February 28, 2005

Realtors flock to blogs

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Not content to leave John Mudd alone to represent the real estate industry in the Blogosphere, real estate agents are flocking to blogging according to a list provided at The Realty Gram blog, a new blog recently launched by Frances Flynn Thorsen of Realty World Benchmark Realty Bethlehem, P.A.

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Technorati gets an A+ for service again

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Robert Lindsay reports that after placing a call to Technorati with his technical problems, he has his call returned the same day from the head of Business Development. Interesting commentary for those not familiar with Technorati’s revenue model, and a great example of why, despite obvious technical difficulties and outages from time to time, the blogosphere remains loyal to Technorati and its team. Six Apart should take notes.

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Observer launches its first blog

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The Observer, UK Newspaper The Guardian’s Sunday stablemate and the world’s oldest
Sunday newspaper, has launched its first weblog.

Edited by leader writer and Observer.co.uk editor Rafael Behr, the team behind the blog is hoping the site will shed new light on the workings of the paper and provide a new way for readers to engage with its journalists. The first two entries by executive editor Kamal Ahmed, posted between sending editions to press, provide a good example of the kind of openness the team is aiming for.

http://www.observer.co.uk/blog

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Burke give Blogs a blast of Wikinews

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The World Editors Forum, the organisation for editors within the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), is still campaigning for the leadership of the Old Media Army with a new post this week from a new combatant in the war on blogging, John Burke, who comes to the defence of Wikinews following a few negative comments from a number of blogs, with an attack on the whole of the blogosphere.

Like most of the attacks to date, Burke falls into the usual trap of generalising, referring to all blogs as a collective of like minds, and like all attacks, returns to the Freudian theories of longing for a mother figure in that blogs are somehow not worthwhile as bloggers don’t have editors:
” blogs are defined by individual immediacy of emotion, with no fact-checking and no editor”

Whilst he makes some relevant points on Wikinews, namely that it will take some time to establish itself, in much the same way that Wikipedia did, the attempt to disguise an attack on blogging in a defence of an organisation may bloggers hold dearly: the Wikimedia Foundation, just goes to show once more how far old media will continue to crawl into the gutter in its desperate attempt of relevancy in a world that is quickly passing them by.

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Memo to Jon Friedman: we don’t trust you either

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Duncan Riley> Jon Friedman, Media Editor with CBS Marketwatch, has fired another salvo in the war on blogging with an article stating that bloggers frighten him and that “I haven’t reached the point where I can completely trust them to be accurate or comprehensive or analytical or, especially, fair. Sometimes, I’m not even sure if they worry about such conventions of journalism”.

Memo to Jon Friedman: many bloggers have reached the point where we cannot trust old media/ mainstream media to be accurate or comprehensive or analytical, and most off all: fair. We’ve been wondering for years whether the conventions of journalism a merely a 20th century myth created to lift journalists off the bottom of the most disliked professions list.

Friedman, guilty of the perverse generalisations that are regular features of attacks on the blogosphere, writes of all bloggers as a collective whilst occasionally trying to mask his apparent dislike of blogging with notes that some bloggers have gained credibility and an audience. Like most of his CBS brethren, he pines over Dan Rather by claiming that Rathergate made the blogosphere, and gives credit to CNN for starting a decentralisation of news, of which blogging is apparently a result of.

And like his fellow combat soldiers opposing blogging, he refers to his Freudian theories of longing for a mother figure: “Still, bloggers might need the infrastructure that a traditional news operation thrives on. Newspapers and magazines have long had teams of news editors, copy editors and proofreaders to catch mistakes and make sure a writer is capturing an appropriate tone.”.

Once again, because he needs his mothers hand to cross the road, so do bloggers if they are to be as famous and well respected as, well…old media.

Another name for the list :-)

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One to read: Interview with Darren Rowse

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Buzz Marketing with Blogs has a great interview with Darren Rowse, a blogger and all round good bloke making big bucks through a series of blogs (17 to be precise: crikey! Its hard enough to maintain 1!).

Lots of good tidbits and advice for those seeking to make money from blogs. Notably it never mentions that he is an Australian blogger, although he does personally mention once that one of his blogs is about life in Australia: further evidence that geography is irrelevant in terms of success in the Blogosphere.

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MSN Search uses fake blogs in bizarre viral marketing campaign

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In a sign that many advertising and PR firms still don’t get viral marketing, MSN Search has launched what it claims to be a “viral marketing” campaign that features 6 fake blogs that apparently interact with each other, according to a report in Online Media Daily.

The campaign has been widely condemned by bloggers and rightfully so, as it seeks to exploit the growing popularity of blogs and bloggers by demeaning the blogosphere with crass, commercial opportunism that misses the whole point of blogging anyway: an open, honest discourse between blogger and reader.

Fake blogs = bad advertising karma.

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CheapTickets.com pulls sponsorship of Gawker blog

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CheapTickets.com has confirmed it has cancelled its sponsorship of recently launched Gawker Media blog Gridskipper.

Cheaptickets has exclusive advertising rights when the blog was launched at the end of January.

PR Week reports that Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker Media has declined to comment about CheapTickets.com, but, wrote via e-mail that would suggest a falling out between the two over either content or audience: “We’d rather lose the occasional advertiser than the character that attracts the audience in the first place. If an advertiser wants a safe environment, there are thousands of tired media outlets to choose from…Weblogs are supposed to be unexpected and wincingly frank. That’s an essential part of the appeal to a generation that’s turning away from network television and print media. We had a million visitors to our sites on Tuesday alone.”

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February 24, 2005

FBI warns against teen blogs

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Not content to let their British counterparts warn alone against the dangers that blogging presents children and teens, the FBI in Little Rock has joined in the fun.

According to a report at KTHV Little Rock, the FBI is warning against posting personal information on blogs after 23-year-old Louisiana man was arrested for kidnapping a girl he met through a Xanga blog.

Bill Temple, special agent in charge of the Little Rock FBI says, “We have made numerous arrests, convicted people that have gotten on the Internet pretending to be teenagers and meeting for sexual purposes.”

Temple says one in five kids every year is contacted by a predator. He is surprised at the amount of personal information kids are posting in blogs.

Temple says, “The Internet is a wonderful thing for educational purposes and a lot of other things, but it’s open to everyone and we live in a dangerous world where not everyone has good intentions.”

The FBI apparently has many tips for parents when it comes to Internet safety and never let your kids post pictures of themselves. Never let them give out personal information

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Iran jails blogger for 14 years

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An Iranian blogger has been jailed for 14 years on charges of “spying and aiding foreign counter-revolutionaries”

Arash Sigarchi was arrested last month after using his blog to criticise the arrest of other online journalists.

Sigarchi, who also edits a newspaper in northern Iran, was arrested in January after using his blog to ciriticise the arrest of other bloggers.

His sentence has been criticised by human rights watchdog Reporters Without Borders and comes a day after The Committee to Protect Bloggers held an Global Blogger day of action, calling on the Iranian Government to free Sigarchi and a second Iranian blogger, Motjaba Saminejad, who also used his blog to report on bthe arrest of other bloggers and remains under arrest.

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