March 23, 2005

RSS Use to Increase Dramatically, Survey

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Slashdot recently commissioned a survey of readers of its RSS feed to determine just how Slashdot readers are using RSS technology now and detect future plans and platforms for accessing content via RSS.

Survey highlights include:

-73% will increase their use of RSS feeds in the next year.
-Most users received their feeds through a Web-based RSS syndication service but many users do not use traditional methods to read their feeds, instead relying on mobile and other devices to obtain their feeds.
-Receiving feeds through mobile units such as cell phones, SMS messaging, voice mail, WAP or portable audio players will increase.
-Technology will improve as RSS use increases, making RSS feeds easier for users to read and for publishers to deliver.

Jeff Bates, co-founder of Slashdot noted, “This is the first RSS survey to reveal new possibilities as RSS technology gains more footing. Our user community looks to us to provide information and guidance on the most cutting-edge technology for their work. As we rely on RSS to streamline our content more efficiently for our users, we are also examining new ways to enable marketers to tap into RSS as a vehicle for audience outreach and acquisition.”

(via media release)

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Blogs being used for “Cyberbullying”

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Cyberbullying, in which school children anonymously spread gossip online using blogs, is an “epidemic” according to the Oregonian, and authorities are find it hard to stop.

The report sites cases of children being harassed, bullied, and just outright slandered through blogs, with one school principal saying that the endemic problems of cyberbulling with blogs and email is similar to the lawlessness of “Dodge City” and an expert stating that “The social norms online seem to encourage disinhibition”.

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Juror’s blog alleged to have denied rapist a fair trial

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The defence attorney representing a convicted rapist in the Belknap County Superior Court, New Hampshire, has been attempting to convince the court that his client’s rights to a fair trial were compromised by comments made by a jury member on their blog.

According to the Citizen Online, the comments on the unnamed jurors blog were not found until after the completion of the trial. Defence Attorney Mark Sisti said Monday that he felt the communication on the “blog site” infringed on his clients rights and that the post indicated that there are concerns with the case regarding “presumption of evidence and burden of proof.”

(via Robert Ambrogi)

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Utah blogs face censorship, compulsory rating under new laws

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Blogs hosted in Utah are to face strict legal regulation due to new laws signed by the Utah State Governor that are designed to protect children from Internet pornography.

The most immediate effect of the law is a requirement that will make it compulsory for bloggers who host their blogs in Utah to provide content rating for their sites.

The laws also creates a “adult content registry” to be run by the State’s Attorney General, that will provide a list of sites that are alleged to contain content harmful to minors, and provisions that internet users will be able to request that blogs and other sites that they find offensive must be blocked by Internet service providers operating in the State.

Whilst many blogs will not naturally fit the definition of providing “adult content”, writing of adult concepts, including but not limited to descriptions of adult relationships of a sexual nature in the context of a blog will be affected by the law.

Blogs hosted in Utah that also fail to attempt to restrict access to adult material from minors may also be subject to criminal sanctions, including fines and possible jail time.

A full copy of the changes is available here (pdf).

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Mindsay hits 60,000 blogs

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Blog provider MindSay Interactive has announced the registration of its 60,000th blogger.

The free blogging service, which remaims advertising free, generates revenue primarily through contextual advertising on its social networking pages. “Many well-funded companies such as Microsoft, Friendster, and MySpace have added blogging to their product offerings and blanket the blogs with ads,” said Brian Klug, MindSay’s co-founder. “We believe that offering a free service that respects the personal nature of blogs will ultimately prove to be a more compelling for users.”

But we ask: will it make money? Brave, courageous? only time will tell.

(via contentwire)

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March 22, 2005

Considering blogging as a full time job: read this first

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Darren at ProBlogger has provided an in depth look at blogging as a profession and has provided the best anecdote for anybody who might catch blogging fever in the same way many may have caught MLM fever in the 1980′s or email riches fever in the 90′s:

“Yes you CAN make a lot of money from Blogging – read the stories that are going around on blogs of people making decent money from blogging – but also read about the hard work and time that it’s taken them and remember that for every success story you read there are plenty of others around who have tried and failed to make more than a few dollars from their blogs.”

read the full post here.

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Swedish University uses blog to attract students

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The Department of Informatics, Physics and Electronics at Umea University, Sweden has entered the blogosphere, with a new blog VadSkDuBli (What will you become?) that they are hoping will encourage new students to study there.

The blog is only being run to April 15, the final date for applications for courses at the University.

The Local reports that the idea behind the blog is for students already attending the university to share their thoughts and experiences at the University with prospective students, and that these shared experiences will act as a positive inducement to obtain new enrolments.

An in a statement certainly not lost in translation, Mikael Soderstrom at the Institute for Informatics said “The computer is a natural part of young people’s lives and the blog is home territory.. it was natural to create a forum where the students themselves could show what it means to take Umea University’s IT course.”

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Grouper adds blogs to service

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Legal file sharing network Grouper has announced a new version of its software aimed at filtering personal media in a social on-line environment.

The new version includes a group blogging service by the name of “Glogs”, group rich-media blogs enabling discussion of files posted for streaming and sharing.

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Blogs return the English Language to the Middle Ages: Expert

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David Crystal, a historian of language at the University of Wales in the United Kingdom advises that blogs are “already providing evidence of a new genre of diary writing, which a few years ago was though to be dying out as a literary domain” Knight Ridder Newspapers reports.

The story, which focuses on the rise of “Netspeak” and the alleged diminution of the proficiency and quality of written English, Crystal compares critics of blogging and IM to other critics who criticised printing when it was first introduced in the 15th century, the telephone in the 19th century and broadcasting in the 20th.

He claims that due to the internet and blogging, “resources for the expression of informality in writing have hugely increased, something which hasn’t been seen in English since the Middle Ages, and which was largely lost when standard English came to be established in the 18th century.”

That’s right, blogging is part of a revival of language development last seen in the Middle Ages.
And people say blogging is new, a fad, or not mainstream!

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Google testing new ad formats

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Snuck onto the tail of the official email from Google which announced changes to Adsense that included new payment options and Adlinks, was news that Google is also set to experiment with new Ad formats which include a combination of current ads and the new adlinks service.

From Google:
“We’re also beginning tests of a mixed ad unit, to include both Google ads and Ad Links. This is a small-scale test that we’ll be running on less than 2% of all AdSense page views on a random basis, so you may or may not see these combined ad units on your standard ad formats. We’d like to hear your feedback about these ad units, so if you see one on your page or on another page, let us know what you think. This test will take place for a limited time only, and you will be paid for all ad clicks that occur as part of this test.”

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