January 23, 2008

Is Twitter Changing Your News Habits?

How do you get your news? In the past I have variously read newspapers, watched TV news bulletins, read news.bbc.co.uk and obviously more recently sites such as Digg. Now it seems I get most of my news from Twitter.

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WordPress.com raises a wee bit of cash

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29 Million worth of cash was dumped into the back of Matt Mullenweg and Toni Schneider’s garage by multiple Venture Capital Funds. Speculation has it that Automattic will use the extra cash to expand its feature set to include more social networking, and more paid features to return a sizeable investment to its investors. Pretty impressive for a company that I’ve always viewed as slightly evil with a twist of strong solid resiliency. Time for them to unveil the much needed adsense widget.

Automattic has raised a whopping $29 million in a Series B Round of funding, including a strategic investment from The New York Times Co. True Ventures led the round, which includes previous investors Polaris Ventures and Radar Ventures.

Multiple sources including Gigaom were used on this article. We promise we didn’t hurt any of them.

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The Art of the Weekend Blogger

Years ago, I read the delightful book, The Sunday Gentleman by Irving Wallace. The premise was two-fold. First, it hearkened back to the day when England had a law that prevented the debtor from being arrested on Sundays. Thus, a gentlemen in debt could avoid debtor’s prison on Sunday, a good day for a gentlemanly walk about in the park, time to socialize, greet the ladies, and, who knows, maybe get into more debt.

Second, it contained a series of short stories written by the author on Sundays, his only day of rest to which he dedicated the day to writing. Working to pay room and board all week, the only day of the week to work on his real job was Sunday. In his own way, he became a Sunday Gentleman, using the time to work on his stories, perfecting them for submission to magazines and publishers, his only day out of his personal form of debtor’s prison.

Luckily, with the future posts feature, many successful bloggers can also be weekend bloggers, a form of a Sunday Blogger, writing up a week’s worth of posts and setting the date and time to publish throughout the week.
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January 22, 2008

Why Are You Really Blogging? And What Keeps You Blogging?

Jason Boom asks a really good question of bloggers:

Why do we blog?

I’ve thought about this, as I’m sure all bloggers have at some point in their blogging careers. As with anything, its as much about the lifestyle as it is about the blog itself. We create content, network with other bloggers, join communities, rate blogs, write comments, surf listings, seek out new online thrills, buy advertising, sell advertising, trade links, buy links, fret over traffic, add widgets, join RSS feeds, gain readers, and have a great time doing it. All of which I’ve enjoyed doing this first full week at this blog.

The appeal of making money sure does sound great, but when that becomes the primary goal of anything it tends to outshine the other inherent qualities. Do we blog to make money, to increase our awareness of writing itself, to join communities, or do we do it simply because we love to blog? I think its the latter. We love this stuff. This is how we build a strong reader base.

He wants to know, and I want to talk about it, too.
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January 21, 2008

Science bloggers debate need for code of conduct

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Attendees at the North Carolina Science Blogging Conference have been discussing whether there is a need for a code of conduct amongst science bloggers, which may include elements such as conflicts of interest disclosures, comment moderation, and protection of anonymous colleagues.

The first session of the second annual event was led by Janet Stemwedel. According to Ivan Oransky, who attended and reported on the conference, a lot of the debate focused on the differences between journalists and bloggers. Sound familiar?

I mentioned that, and Stemwedel’s response was telling: “Consider that science journalists are parents, and science bloggers are teenagers. The bloggers don’t really want to be like their parents, but they know journalists have been at this for a while and might have something to offer as they make their way.”

Worryingly, at one level, was the possibility that science bloggers might want to take a look at, and adopt, O’Reilly’s general bloggers code of conduct draft.

Possibly a better idea, though open to abuse, was a “science blogging ethics code wiki”. This idea was met with some enthusiasm.

While a general, blanket code of conduct for bloggers has been widely met with harsh and impassioned opposition, there may be a place for particular niches to develop their own, voluntary, codes or “best practice” guidelines. Not all blogging communities are as large or as outspoken on the technicalities of blogging as the tech and metablogging ones, so what may not work in one area could work very well in another.

(Via TheScientist.com)

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The Blogosphere is Defined By Technology

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Chris Garrett wrote in ‘Why Blogging is Not About Technology‘ that instead of focusing on technology we should focus on people. Kevin added in the comments that blogging is about sharing information and Lorelle VanFossen added that blogging is about (reader) interaction. An important blogging technology that enables us to share our information is the site feed. While the practice of blogging is not about technology the blogosphere heavily depends on this technology.

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Developing Your Content Theft Strategy

When it comes to content theft, there are three critical areas to work in: Prevention, detection and cessation.

All of the areas are crucial as a content theft strategy without some element of all three is doomed to failure. Without prevention, the problem becomes overwhelming. Without detection, there can be no cessation. Without cessation, there is no protection at all.

Webmasters who are interested in protecting their content need to pause and think about what they can do in all three of these areas. Not only can improving efforts in one area greatly impact the overall level of protection, but forging an interlocking plan of all three elements provides the best security and keeps the inconvenience to a minimum.

In short, your content is protected and you can get back to blogging.

So what should each area include? Let’s take a look at each pillar and analyze exactly what elements make up a solid content theft strategy.
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3 Things Bloggers Can Learn From The Office

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Bloggers Can Learn Stuff From TV, Says Chris Garrett

Chris Garrett, one of my Twitter pals, and a guy I really respect claims I can learn stuff from TV. Which is the total opposite use for television than I normally take. I normally use television as an excuse to get away from online learning,work, and anything that I’d like to absorb. But I like his take on shows and I didn’t want to bore you with the TV shows I actually watch but did want to share and change the meme ever so slightly. I took the only show I actually really watch on a regular basis.

Kiss Ass and Network A Lot
Dwight Schrute is the biggest office brown noser on the planet. If you want to make it in the A-List you have to kiss up to the Michaels of the blogging world. I won’t name any names but it’s true you gotta do it to get links and gain fame. Kissing up and doing there laundry is The Way you make it in tech. Totally being sarcastic. I’m totally not advocating kissing up to anyone, but if anyone wants to do my laundry feel free to ping me later I can teach you a lot about SplashPress and can guarantee you success in the blogosphere.

Be Real
Jim and Pam’s relationship seems so real. From their awkward flirting to the sideways glances; the honesty of their longing is what’s really drawing in loyal viewers. You want to draw in loyal blog readers and make it in the blogosphere be yourself don’t cater to whatever you want people to think of you. IMO, the success of The Office is Jim and Pam and how real it all seems between them. And the fact that Jim’s my idol and I think Pam’s a hottie. But moving on. Be real, be authentic and goof off a lot. Success is sure to follow.

Be A Friend First, then a Blogger
If you want to gain mindshare be a friend of the blogosphere first then be a blogger. Taken straight from Michael Scott, well sort of. But I really believe the deepest strongest most meaningful moments of my time in the blogosphere have not come from traffic, business deals, or attention but have come from meaningful relationships among friends I developed here on the web.

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BloggerTalks relaunches with Skelliewag Interview

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BloggerTalks, a blogging commentary site that was formerly run by Tony Hung, former Blog Herald Editor and Thord Hedengren has relaunched with an interview with Skelliewag, the founder of a new favorite site of mine Anywired.com. I have to admit the interview didn’t jump out at me but I’m going to give it time to mature and gel a little bit before I have to pick up the phone and tell Thord I need a job asking the dangerous questions. You all know how I am. A bit to controversial for my own good.

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Do we have privacy?

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Duncan Riley former editor of The Blog Herald starts an interesting conversation over at TechCrunch with a post entitled Should There Be A Privacy Line with Life Streaming. Life streaming is basically microblogging and sharing of lots of personal data with just about everyone using tools like Twitter,Tumbler,Jaiku, and Facebook.

My simple answer to the privacy debate is YES we all need it.

In the past I’ve had people send me death threats via email and I’m not inclined to have my personal tweets, facebook messages shared with the world. So I keep it private. However just like that I create ‘profiles’ for each site I’m involved with and create ‘social streams’ of data that are publicly accessible and are relevant for each site. So I protect personal privacy while still being apart of the active conversation.

An example of that would be The Blog Herald’s new Twitter Feed http://www.twitter.com/blogherald, it’s not meant to be a personal twitter its meant to be relevant and on topic to share blogging related content to people interested in this niche not be a stream of my personal life. No one really wants to know I spent $10.22 on Chinese today at lunch with my friend and her family and her son threw up on me afterwords, and I really don’t want the universe knowing this information all the time either.

However my friends can access my Twitter Feed, people I know, and care about and am in business with. This is totally acceptable. But the public masses. They are free to get to know me better and network with me through less intrusive ways.

So in a nutshell, I think Duncan is spot on.

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