September 27, 2005

Blog readership up: research

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The number of consumers who are reading blogs atleast once a week has increased to 10%, compared with 5 percent in 2004, according to Forrester Research.

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First Chinese blog awards launched

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The first Chinese blog awards have been announced by popular Chinese portal sina.com

According to Chinastic, anyone can submit their own or their favorite blogs, but they must be based on the free blog system provided by Sina. The author of Best Blog gets an award of up to ten thousand yuan.

And for those who doubt me every time I publish the Blog Herald Blog Count, the report also indicates that statistics from iResearch show that there are now six million blogs in China and the number is expected to surpass 25 million in 2007.

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100 blogs in 100 days, day 35: Philobiblon

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Day 35 of 100 blogs in 100 days takes us to a blog from Natalie Bennett in London

Blog: Philobiblon
About: “Philobiblon covers mostly history, particularly women’s history, with a fair few book and theatre reviews, a bit of art, and an occasional political rant. One thing, it is always feminist.”

So drop on by to Philobiblon and let Natalie know what you think.

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Singapore schools punishing students for naughty comments on blogs

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School kiddes in Singapore aren’t yet getting the cane for dissing teachers , but they are getting suspensions for calling teachers “prudes” and “frustrated old spinsters” on their blogs.

Reuters reports that in August, five junior college students who posted derogatory remarks about their teachers and vice-principal on their blogs were suspended for three days and have been ordered to remove the comments from their blogs.

Hilariously, local lawyers say students could be sued for defamation for the comments on their blogs, even if a teacher was not named.

Perhaps Singapore school kiddies need to start reading about blogging safely with the guide recently released from Reporters Without Borders.

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PR professionals find blogs threatening: survey

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A survey of PR professionals has found that many see blogs as posing a significant threat to corporate reputations. 64% agree that a disgruntled employee or a dissatisfied customer could use a blog to ignite a full blown crisis. 58 percent of respondents agree that businesses have not yet woken up to the threat posed by blogs.

The survey, conducted by British firm Blog Relations, also found that 82 percent of respondent agree that there are either “quite a few” or “many” businesses that could benefit from setting up their own blogs. (48 percent for “quite a few” and 34 percent for “many”), and that America is browsing blogs far more actively than Europe, with 73 percent of American respondents saying that they read blogs “At least five times a weekâ€? as opposed to only 36 per cent in Europe.

Full details are available here.

(thanks to Hugh for the tip)

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Where does your traffic come from?

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Darren over at Problogger has a fine question for this weeks poll: Where does your traffic come from? certainly speaking to a lot of people recently there is a world of different stories out there, although generally speaking I’d split it this way: content driven/ discussion and news sites that aren’t geared to marketing, such as the Blog Herald tend to favor traffic from other sites and loyal readers, where as product blogs (gadgets, tech, clothes etc) tend to get a higher search engine return. What’s your experience? Leave us a comment or drop on by a leave Darren one, and be sure to answer the poll result.

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September 26, 2005

The 11 subjects forbidden to Chinese bloggers

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Following details Sunday of a new crackdwon on Chinese bloggers, the Chinese Government’s State Council Information Bureau and Ministry of Industry and Information has issued a list that contains 11 subjects forbidden to Chinese bloggers.

Bloggers are banned from putting out news that:
– violates the basic principles of the Chinese constitution:
– endangers national security, leaks national secrets, seeks to overthrow the government, endangers the unification of the country;
– destroys the country’s reputation and benefits;
– arouses national feelings of hatred, racism, and endangers racial unification;
– violates national policies on religion, promotes the propaganda of sects and superstition;
– diffuses rumours, endangers public order and creates social uncertainty;
– diffuses information that is pornographic, violent, terrorist or linked to gambling;
– libels or harms people’s reputation, violates people’s legal rights;
– includes illegal information bounded by law and administrative rules.
and the final two dictates that:
– It is forbidden to encourage illegal gatherings, strikes, etc to create public disorder;
– It is forbidden to organise activities under illegal social associations or organisations.

Blogs that break these new rules will be shut down and those running them will have to pay a fine that could reach 30,000 yuans (aprox $3,500 USD).

(via RSF Media release recieved via email)

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77% of people find blogs useful for shopping: survey

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A new survey from hosting company Hostway has found that an amazing 77% of respondents found blogs were a useful way to get insights into the products or services they should buy.

According to the BBC, respondents believed that as many blogs were the work of individuals,they were more honest and reliable because they were not subject to the same marketing pressures as corporate or commercial websites.

Almost half of respondents (49%), thought that blogs were as credible as articles in magazines, 46% thought blogs were as trustworthy as newspapers and 40% thought blogs and TV news programmes were just as reliable as each other.

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Conservative blog causes angst in Canada

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A Canadian blog listing the names of members of the Canadian Conservative party who are seeking to oust their leader, Stephen Harper, has caused a lot of angst for a number of party faithful claiming that they did not agree to appear on the list.

According to
the Edmonton Sun, the blog (nnamed) set up by Ontario Conservative organizer Carol Jamieson names Conservatives’ New Brunswick West secretary, Diane Bormke and Conservative Senator Marjory LeBreton as standing against Harper, although both deny doing so.

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How many pieces of comment spam have you got hidden

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This post is both in jest, and yet on a serious issue none the less. Its also a little hint to the great guy behind WordPress, Matt Mullenweg, that we might need some changes for the next version of WordPress.

In the old days when I was an MT user comment spam was a major problem. Jay Allens MT Blacklist blocked some of it, but daily I would find myself deleting comments by the hundreds. Enter my conversion to WordPress about this time last year with its built in spam fighting abilities, and in my case comment spam isn’t nearly as bad any more. Sure, a few do get through, but on average maybe 5 a day. More also get picked up in the moderation que (this morning it was 20, some days its only a handful). Zapped them no worries as well. But this doesn’t mean that comment spam wasn’t being targeted at the Blog Herald, it meant that most of it never sees the light of day. But I made one mistake though: I presumed that those getting caught got deleted. I was wrong.
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