January 31, 2007

Should Bloggers Create Commercial Content?

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The traditional “Chinese Wall” in publishing stipulates that ads need to be clearly labeled as ads and that editorial content is completely independent, i.e. not paid for. The classic “advertorial,” with content that appears to be editorial but was actually bought and paid for, always walked a fine line by merely using a small slug at the top that said “Special Advertising Section.” That system worked well enough in a world of mass advertising, with one-size-fits-all messages. But we’ve already seen in this new era of micro niche marketing that marketing messages need to be tailored for individual relevancy — it’s a big open question who will create all of this new marketing content, because traditional ad agencies aren’t set up to do it.

Bloggers, almost by definition, create their own niche communities — they create content, readers comment, other bloggers link — it’s a deeply symbiotic relationship where participants get to know each other. There’s a direct connection between bloggers and their communities — so who better than the blogger to create marketing messages that are relevant and interesting for their communities?
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Nose trumpeting blogger finds fame on web and TV

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Mark Goodwin, a British musician and piano salesman, has found fame across the web and on terrestrial TV thanks to his unique brand of music-making.

According to the Oldham Advertiser:

Mark Goodwin recorded a song in his bedroom using his hands, mouth and nose and then posted it online on his own internet blog.

Within a few weeks the 27-year-old was astonished to be contacted by a television producer who wanted to screen it on a new Channel 4 show.

And that was just the start, as Mark has since gone on to make three TV appearances inside a week.

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Reuters Issues Guidelines on Photoshop Use

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A few months ago, top news agency Reuters was severely criticized for publishing digitally altered photos from Lebanon. The unfortunate incident is now better known as the “Adnan Hajj photographs controversy,” leaving a dark blemish in the use of digital photography for news reportage. read more

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Tips for Conference Blogging – Part 3 – Blogging with Video

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For me, one of the most enjoyable aspects of blogging a conference is the opportunity to capture and post video on the blog. Video can add a dynamic element to your blogging, and it can help make the event come alive for your audience. In this closing post on conference blogging, I’ll share a few steps involved in blogging a conference with video. Is it as easy as shooting some video and posting it on your blog? Yes and no.

When I blog a conference with video, I like to ensure that the video clips I shoot will lend themselves to quick, self-contained segments of no more than 2-3 minutes in length. I tend to plan blog posts in advance of shooting the video, with a goal in mind for the topic each post will communicate.

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The Blogging Underground: School Teachers

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While the activity of blogging remains on the periphery of many school teachers, some use it as a teaching tool to get students to participate in and out of class — and sometimes, directly with primary sources, such as authors of books. A few months ago, in fact, the USA Today featured a history teacher in Liberty, Missouri who did just that with great success. However, the Houston Chronicle describes the flipside: an underground culture of teachers venting about students through their blogs. Not surprisingly the vast majority of said blogs are done anonymously, but while their numbers are small, they are growing at a prodigious rate.

Why has this phenomena found fertile ground to grow?

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Blogging Making Publications Bans Impossible To Enforce?

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Up in Canada, a trial is going on in British Columbia that involves a pig farmer named Robert William Pickton.  He is currently suspected of killing almost fifty women, many of them prostitutes. Why is this important to blogging? It turns out that there is a publication ban on the trial. And while “official reporters” are easy to identify courtesy of their badges and credentials, non-professional reporters and bloggers are making their way to this very public trial, creating a quandry for the judge and judicial system in enforcing the publication ban.

The Ottawa Citizen reports that one website, Orato.com, has hired a number of said “non-official” reporters to create a number of reports right from the trial, with the hope that they might provide a kind of perspective that “real” reporters might not have. The vast majority of the victims were prostitutes, and many of these neo-reporters are, in fact, former sex-trade workers.

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WordPress Wednesday: Happy Birthday and More WordPress 2.1

Before we get to the WordPress Wednesday news, Happy Birthday, WordPress!

January 25 was the 4th birthday of WordPress. Mike Little remembered the first beginnings that led to the development of WordPress.

Back to more important things, as I reported in the WordPress news last week, the WordPress 2.1 release went fairly well, though two issues frequently came to the fore: Compatibility with WordPress 2.1 and WordPress Themes and WordPress Plugins. read more

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January 30, 2007

Google Upgrades Google Reader, And Yet Nobody Cared?

Despite the chatter in the blogosphere regarding the search engine king’s embedding of video within Google Reader, the general media seems rather silent over how useful this feature is (not even the ever faithful TechCrunch discussed this…sigh).

For those of you using Bloglines, Kinja, a web/desktop browser to view your favorite pundits or geek blogs, here is Google’s latest scoop on what you may be missing out by using another site reader.
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28 day 28 site challenge: interesting experiment

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Mike at Retire Young and Wealthy seems on the spur of the moment to have decided to set a ‘build one site a day’ challenge for the month of February. I say spur of the moment as yesterday he wrote:

I have enough domain names now that I could spend everyday of the next month putting up a new website. Perhaps that could be a good goal for Febuary – 28 days, 28 websites.” and today, he’s planning it.

Today he writes:

I have a heap of domains just sitting there, so I thought I would set a challenge to get 28 new sites up and running over the 28 days in February. Of course these won’t be fully complete sites, and some might just be a single page, but the fact is I need to get them all going. So I have decided to create the “28 sites in 28 days” challenge.

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Imagining a Social News Browser

Last week, Netscape flashed a teaser of the upcoming version 9 of its browser. Details are few, but what is most exciting to me about this release is that they’re touting integration with their social news site. This is something that many a social news junkie has lusted after for use with sites like Digg, Reddit and Newsvine. But what exactly will it entail? How deep will the integration go? What will it take to make it a killer app for Netscape.com users? And what effect will this have on social news? read more

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