April 24, 2007

Is Your Blog On MySpace News Yet?

Add another one to the pile. MySpace is the latest of the big players to adopt the socially driven model for news delivery. Being one of the top 10 most visited sites on the web, its natural to expect a lot from such an offering. It also begs the question, with a user count that is an order of magnitude higher than all other social news sites, can MySpace News be more relevant?
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April 23, 2007

Is Google Droping Blogs From Google News?

With the line between blogs and mainstream media (or MSM for short) getting blurrier by the day, it was not a surprise a few years ago to see highly trafficked blogs being cited at news sources on Google News.

Although many hailed this as another victory for bloggers, others argued that including opinionated voices would generally hurt Google News with people presenting their viewpoint as if it were the only acceptable reality.

Now it seems that the search engine king has removed many of these blogs from its listings as news sources, which may not make too many people happy.
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Flat Rate Compensation for Network Bloggers

Filed as Uncategorized with 5 comments

AhmedF over at Tech Soapbox discusses the virtues of paying a flat rate to network bloggers, instead of the usual pay-per-post setup common among most blog networks. He argues that with a flat fee, bloggers are able to focus on creating good content, instead of focusing on quantity because they have to churn out posts according to schedule, usually without adequate time to do the research and without a good topic to work on.

[W]hen it came to Bloggy Network and our paid bloggers, we never took on a pay-per-post model. I absolutely hate it. Successful blogs produce compelling content. They are insightful, interesting, and require some research. When a person is being paid per post, what motivation does he/she have in producing excellence? A pay per post model, imo, simply encourages people to post as often as you want. Of course there is a certain level of editorial control, but defining requirements is a non-trivial task. It isn’t fun.

The other model, a flat-fee, is working very well for us. It was stressful at first, but the fantastic growth we have been experiencing validates our model. We hired bloggers based on their ability to write interesting and compelling content, not because of their ability to churn out post after post (great for search engines perhaps, but really a shitty solution). We did of course put in certain conditions (you have), but they also meant the stress factor was a lot lower. Our writers knew they would get paid the same, be it with 5 posts in a week or with 50. They also knew that by working harder on each post, by ensuring a higher quality of work, the long-term potential and upside were far better than a post-churning blog.

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Four out of five blogs are offensive or dangerous, scaremongering survey claims

Filed as News with 4 comments

I love surveys and research that takes an entire section of the Internet and makes some grand, and potentially scaremongering, claim about how dangerous it is.

Research carried out by ScanSafe (yes, conveniently they do make Internet security software) claims that four out of every five blogs contain potentially offensive content, such as pornography or adult language, whilst about one in twenty contain potentially catastrophic computer viruses, spyware, and other harmful software.

However, it transpires that the biggest culprits are YouTube (which I thought was a video sharing site, not a collection of blogs), and MySpace.

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Blogger & Podcaster’s first issue now online

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The Blog Herald’s editor Tony Hung wrote about Blogger & Podcaster, the trade magazine that covers blogging and podcasting, being launched. The online version of the magazine’s first issue is now finally up. Impressive at 48 pages, its content and online presentation makes plus the fact of being the first issue makes it a compelling read. We say, not bad and looking forward to next issue.

Read the first issue it here.

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How Often Should You Publish Your Blog Posts

I’ve looked at the issue of when to publish your blog posts, but what about how often?

Sharon Sarmiento of 901AM answers this for me beautifully:

I was thinking: Do these intense evolutionary pressures occur in blogging?

Really, take a moment to think about it–do you ever get the feeling in your blogging life that you’re running hard simply to stay in place?

One thing that springs to my mind is the standard for having lots of posts on a blog. The more content the better, it seems.

You may have started out with the personal expectation of posting 3 times a week, then increased the expectation to 5 times a week, then all the sudden it’s the norm for folks to publish multiple times a day every day of the week, and you’re wondering, “Should I be posting more?”.

As Sarmiento puts it, the race to “keep up” with other bloggers propels many into posting multiple times a day. If you have a multi-blogger blog, then this isn’t unreasonable, but it is certainly kinda nuts when you are a one-blogger show.

She highlights surveys done by ProBlogger Darren Rowse and Guy Kawasaki which basically said that too many posts is one of the main reasons why people unsubscribe from your blog and it’s better to post when you feel like it and have a topic worthy of posting than to post on a schedule.

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Public Relations and the Twitter Scandal

Filed as Uncategorized with 2 comments

By now some of you might have already read about the recent scandal involving Twitter and PR blogger Steve Rubel (of Micro Persuasion fame). Here’s how it went, straight from Steve himself in an open letter to PC Magazine‘s Editor in Chief, Jim Louderback.

Last Friday, yes Friday the 13th, I put up a post on Twitter that I wish I hadn’t. I said that I don’t read the hard copy of PC Magazine and that my free subscription goes in the trash. In a guest editorial on Strumpette you weighed whether the magazine in response should blacklist all PR pitches from Edelman, my employer, on behalf of our tech clients.

I learned a valuable lesson. Post too fast without providing context and it can elicit an unintended response. While the item is true, it does not reflect my full media consumption habits. I subscribe to PC Mag RSS feeds and have linked to several of your publication’s online articles over the three years I have been writing this blog. Further, I have linked to articles from eWeek, your sister site.

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April 20, 2007

PR Strategies and Tactics

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You wouldn’t dive head-first into a pool without knowing how deep the water is, would you?

Public relations practitioners are focused on getting things done. “Let’s put out a news release!” or “Let’s start a blog!” are the quick-fix answers to questions like “How are we going to communicate this message to our publics?” when the real need is for careful planning before these questions should even come up. read more

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When Was The Last Time You Thanked Those Who Made Your Blog?

While the issue of sponsored WordPress Themes is still a hot topic, I’d like to address the issue of giving credit where credit is due.

I think a link in the footer of a WordPress Theme to the Theme designer is appropriate. By displaying it, you thank the designer and give them link credit for using the Theme. I like to think of it as a big thank you and virtual hug.

Have you hugged and thanked any of the other contributors to your blog lately?

Here is a list of those who may have helped you to create and develop your blog along the way that might need a little link love and recognition, as well as a thank you, for helping your blog become your blog. read more

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UK workplaces skimp on AUPs, but what about personal responsibility?

Filed as News with 3 comments

New research from Chronicle Solutions shows that many UK companies aren’t doing enough to protect themselves and their employees from ‘abnormal Internet practises’ in the workplace.

Key findings found:

  • 30% of respondents said that they had no Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) at work
  • Of those who did, 94% hadn’t read it recently.
  • 42% said they hadn’t read it in the last year, and 33% couldn’t recall when they’d last seen it.
  • Blogging was not listed as an Internet activity covered or banned by the AUP amongst anyone surveyed.

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