March 23, 2007

Do You Have A Hidden Life?

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I know some bloggers who blog anonymously, or sometimes under a pseudonym. This is usually done for various reasons, including personal security (afraid of stalkers, eh?), job security (the boss might be into blogs, and might read the crap you write about him), or sometimes even just to be able to express things you won’t normally want to be attributed to yourself. Anonymous blogging can be liberating, especially since you can say what you want to say without having to worry about what other people will think about you.

What if you broaden the concept of anonymous blogging, and turn it into a whole social network where everyone is writing under an alter ego? This is just what Hidden Lives is all about. It is a “space to reflect on your innermost thoughts, dreams, hopes, fears and imaginings.” It is a place where you reveal your inner self, and also discover other people’s inner selves.

Hidden Lives is a social experiment dabbling in the realms of authentic expression and intimate revelation.

When people have the opportunity and courage to share their hidden lives, it is a powerful reminder that, for everything that separates us, we are all intimately connected.

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Are Public Relations Practitioners Spamming the Media?

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Take a moment to consider what exactly spam is. According to Wikipedia, the authority on everything these days (including the life and death of Sinbad) describes spam as such:

Spamming is the abuse of electronic messaging systems to send unsolicited bulk messages, which are universally undesired.

Anyone who uses email understands spam. It’s something unsolicited and almost always unwanted. If you’re lucky, you don’t get a lot of it. It’s rarely useful/tasty due to the fact that it’s mass produced and, by and large, artificial. At times, this is exactly how one could describe an unsolicited press release sent from a PR practitioner to a journalist: information that is electronic, unsolicited, useless, mass produced and artificial. read more

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How Do you Score Your Blogging Success?

Kamigoroshi’s “Footsteps in the Mirror” post on the three year anniversary of the blog made me think long and hard about how we use our blog’s scorecard to measure our blogging success:

…that got me all nostalgic and I ended up going through my own archives and as it turns out…Footsteps in the Mirror had it’s birthday…yesterday. I didn’t even know about and why would I? It’s not like I’m big on birthdays anyway…

Anyway, there was something I was meant to do a while back when I hit my 1000th post but never got a chance to do it with so many things happening in my life all at once. Seeing this is supposed to be a special occasion for my blog, this is as better time than any to do that challenge and up the ante a bit.

To celebrate his blog’s birthday this year, the KamiCast – Happy Four Years Of Blogging is a podcast, showing how blogging has moved from just words on a page to the voice telling the story, another sign of a blog’s growth and evolution.

When I started blogging, I thought, as all people thought in those days, that blogging is just a way to recording the past. Nobody could have foreseen how big blogging would become today. All we did back then was use it the best way we knew how, whether it be wiping off dirt and putting it on a silver platter, blogs gave people like me a way to record a moment in time that I didn’t want to forget. Moments in time that make me the person that I am now.

Whether it is the birthday of your blog or not, everyone takes stock once in a while to see how they are doing and what they have done. read more

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Last week to get Microsoft to donate to NineMillion.org

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We don’t appear to have written about this worthy cause before, and now there’s just over one week remaining to get Microsoft to donate a bit more of its wealth to the global good.

For those who haven’t already heard, Microsoft teamed up with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), and has promised to donate money to the ninemillion.org project, which helps the estimated 9 million refugee children and youth around the world, for every search made at click4thecause.live.com.

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March 22, 2007

News Corp. and NBC Universal forms tag team versus YouTube and Google

NBC Universal and News Corp. today announced a deal with AOL, MSN, MySpace, and Yahoo! to create a premium online video site dubbed as the largest Internet video distribution network ever assembled. Scary.

The deal was announced by Jeff Zucker, President and Chief Executive Officer of NBC Universal and Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. The video-rich site will debut this summer with thousands of hours of full-length programming, movies and clips, representing premium content from at least a dozen networks and two major film studios.

“This is a game changer for Internet video,” said Peter Chernin, President and Chief Operating Officer of News Corporation. “We’ll have access to just about the entire U.S. Internet audience at launch. And for the first time, consumers will get what they want – professionally produced video delivered on the sites where they live. We’re excited about the potential for this alliance and we’re looking forward to working with any content provider or distributor who wants to take advantage of this extraordinary opportunity.” Again, this is scary. read more

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Japanese read blogs more than you

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Edelman, Japan’s premier international PR consultancy, announced the results of a new blogging study that suggests Japanese are reading blogs more than Americans, Koreans, British, and French. Yup, they love consuming blogs but they are less likely to take public affairs-related action from reading them.

The poll conducted by StrategyOne over 1,000 Japanese, with accompanying studies conducted in different countries, showed that less than 1 in 5 (18%) of Japanese interviewed said that they have taken some sort of public affairs action as a result of reading a blog. read more

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BlogCatalog adds social networking tools to boost readership

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BlogCatalog recently added social networking tools to its blog directory aimed at boosting traffic and online connections among its 73,000 members. It’s a feature that would allow each other to connect, interact, share ideas and drive traffic towards each other.

“The feedback so far has been over the top. It’s very exciting to witness so many bloggers interacting, forming new connections and receiving increased traffic. Bloggers who have joined the BlogCatalog social network are now seeing 3 to 5 times more click throughs to their blogs,” says Angelica Alaniz, President of BlogCatalog.

Bloggers are not the only benefactors of BlogCatalog’s new social community, blog readers also benefit. According to Antony Berkman, head of BlogCatalog’s future vision group, “over 80% of BlogCatalog’s traffic comes from people searching the directory for interesting and useful blogs. For surfers looking for blog content, BlogCatalog’s social network acts as a filter or human search engine.”

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Who Are Your Blogging Heroes?

This week I had to have a conversation with a vendor for SOBCon 07. Something wasn’t going quite right and it needed attention. One detail of the event wasn’t yet of the highest quality. . . . In my younger days, I would have approached the situation by being clever and right. This time I wanted to approach it by being reasonable and compelling.

I spoke to the folks on the steering committee about the problem, and Chris Cree, who writes on Successful Blog as well as his own SuccessCREEations gave me this advice.

Don’t call yourself a blogger. People don’t know what that is. Call yourself a web publisher.

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Do You Judge a Web Design By It’s Cover?

Bokardo offers us “The Dangers of Judging Web Designs Superficially”, a well done perspective on how we judge a book, or in this case a website, by its cover.

People judge things because it is efficient. We judge everything, and we do it as quickly as possible. We look at newspaper headlines to judge which stories we should read. We judge the speed of oncoming cars so we know if we can cross an intersection. We judge movie trailers to see if we should bother. The faster we can judge, and judge correctly, the more problems we can solve, and the more efficient we become.

Being a web designer I tend to judge a lot of web design. I browse through several dozen familiar web sites each day and a few sites I’ve never been to before. I judge them each in turn. I’m not sure how I judge them: my judgments aren’t always definitive, but I know I’m making judgments because I have a general sense of “I like this” or “I don’t like this”.

It seems that other designers do, too. Many designers with blogs often post comments about other sites…Too many of these judgments are superficial, focusing only on a quick visual inspection of the site. They use terms like “look” and “feel”. They also focus on things like color palette choices, validation, which tags were used, or which technique was used to round the corners. They deal with how the site looks or how the code looks.

Yet, we know better. We know that this sort of thing isn’t very accurate or even helpful. First impressions are trivial, and rarely provide insight into the work that was done. We even have this idea crystallized into hackneyed sayings like “don’t judge a book by its cover”.

This bit of brilliant wisdom was written in 2004 and it still holds true today. You would think that the “judging” of web design would change, evolve with the times, but the truth lasts. A “pretty” web design may look great on the surface but can hold evil underneath the hood. read more

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March 21, 2007

Splashpress Buys Blog Advance

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This afternoon it was announced that Splashpress Media, owner of Performancing, has purchased a small group of sites called Blog Advance, Blog Legion, and Top Blog Sites. The three sites formed during a time of discordance at BlogExplosion.

“Jack and Deb were sad to be leaving, but felt they could no longer keep up with the demands,” said Liz Strauss, who spoke with them this week. “Splashpress has ideas for adding value and expanding the offering to the community over time,” was all that Ms. Strauss added.

Blog Advance began as a click exchange program and later added a Blog Review and Directory, as well as Blog Legion, a blog hosting and free blog building center. The community boasts over 5,000 members.

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