Exploring Social Media: Live Citizens Press Conference on Twitter

Twitter example during Israel Gaza Press Conference by Israel Consulate of New York

Exploring Social Media article series badgeYesterday, was used as a real-time news conference podium by the Consulate General of Israel in New York and featured on their Israel news and commentary blog, . In this ongoing series on Exploring Social Media and Social Media Tools, the politics in issue are not up for discussion, but the manner in how this popular social media tool was used to great a Q&A forum for discussion of a current event is worth discussing.

Called a Citizens’ “Press” Conference on Twitter, from 1300 – 1500 EST on December 30, David Saranga, Israel Consul of Media and Public Affairs in New York, answered questions regarding the situation in the Middle East regarding Israel and Gaza and all parties involved. Questions were submitted to their Twitter account, @IsraelConsulate and attempts were made to respond to the questions through the 140 character limit, with those requiring lengthy answers would be posted on the blog.

There were no rules, other than the typical “play nice” and all questions were welcome from any and all angles. While Mr. Saranga was the host of the Twitter event, I’m sure he had a lot of help from his staff at the Consulate to respond to the flood of questions.

Twitter example during Israel Gaza Press Conference by Israel Consulate of New York

Within a very short time, the “edited” version of the Twitter conference was posted in sections on the Israel Politik blog. They explained what they meant by “edited” as: [Read more…]

Blogcasting The Future: Which iPhone (Blogging) Apps Will Dominate In 2009?



With 2008 almost over and everyone celebrating (or dreading) the upcoming new year, it seems that many people have an opinion about what 2009 will bring to our over communicated globe (note: thanks Twitter).

While no one can forecast what the future will bring–especially on mobile devices such as the iPhone–here are my “humble” predictions as to which iPhone blogging apps will dominate by the end of next year. [Read more…]

WTF Blog Clutter: Bookmarking and Site Submission Icons

Row of social media tool and site submission icons

As part of my ongoing series on WTF Blog Design Clutter, it’s time to tackle all those social media icons that clutter up your blogs, on the blog posts, and in the sidebars. Those little annoying icons that say “recommend this post” to everyone visiting your blog.

Old Method for Bookmarking and Site Submission Icons

If you wanted to encourage the spread of your blog post across the social media blogosphere, you’d include an image and/or text link to every social media bookmarking, site submission, and site networking service around. These included links to:

Ma.gnolia | Reddit | BizzBites | BUMPzee | del.icio.us | Digg | Facebook | Furl | LinkedIn | Mixx | Newsvine | Plurk | Shadows | Sk*rt | Sphinn | Squidoo | StumbleUpon | Technorati | Utterz

Row of social media tool and site submission icons

The idea was to encourage everyone to submit your site to every social media tool available. The goal was to create a peer review and recommendation system, with the “most popular” sites moving to the top of the list, attracting a lot of attention and traffic.

It worked at first, but in today’s world of automation and loyalty to specific social media services and tools, and the overwhelming choices, social bookmarking and site submission icons and links are just clutter, folks. Confusing, unused clutter. [Read more…]

Is “Deep Linking” in Trouble?

Linking directly to individual pages on a Web site instead of the home page, also known as “Deep Linking”, is a staple of blogging and the Internet in general. It is used as a means to reference sources, forward interesting articles and, generally, get information out there on the Web.

Without deep linking, social news would likely not exist, many Web 2.0 services (such as Delicious) would have to close and even Google would have to drastically change the way it operates. The Web would, almost overnight, become a much more difficult to use and less efficient place.

However, a recent lawsuit filed by GateHouse media has asked new questions about deep linking and its possible legal implications.

Though the lawsuit is clearly misguided in some ways, including the claim that the site loses advertising over deep linking, it is worth taking a quick moment to look at some of the potential legal hazards that come with deep linking and how to avoid them. [Read more…]

WordPress News: 650,000 WP 2.7 Downloads, BuddyPress, Theme Threat, Schwag, and More

WordPress 2.7 downloads now past 650,000. Poll out for WordPress 2.8 input. Possible WordPress Theme threat you need to know about. BuddyPress beta released. Imagine moving millions of Typepad blogs to WordPress? Want some WordPress schwag? WordCamps coming up in January – are you going to a WordCamp near you? And if the weather permits, and electricity holds, we’ve got more WordPress news for you!

WordPress News

Get Ready for WordPress 2.8: Already work is ongoing for WordPress 2.8 and WordPress wants your feedback. In “Prioritizing Features for WordPress 2.8,” Jane Wells invites people to take a poll on what are the top priorities WordPress developers should be putting their energy into. Currently, they are focused on WordPress Widget management, automatic Theme updates and installs, and performance improvements. The poll features the most popular features requests from the Ideas forum and more that the WordPress developers want to work on. Vote by noon on December 31 to have your say in what you want to see in WordPress 2.8.

Half-Million Downloads of WordPress 2.7 and Growing: Last week, there were 500,000 WordPress 2.7 Downloads and Miroslav Glavic caught the rollover of the counter. As I write this, there are now 654,434 downloads, moving fast for 1 million. Bets are on Twitter as to when one million downloads will be counted on the counter. There is now the WordPress Download Counter which adds a counter to your blog’s sidebar featuring the number of official WordPress version downloads from the WordPress Download Counter for WordPress fan blogs.

Friendster Moves Millions of Blogs from Typepad to WordPressMU: Matt Mullenweg and the WordPress Publisher Blog have switched “millions of blogs from Typepad to WordPress” to .

WordPress Theme Intruder Reported: A lot of people are reporting notifications from their web hosts regarding the remv.php file creating malicious behavior on your WordPress blog. Jason Cosper offers a good step-by-step tutorial and Ronald Davies has a video tutorial on how to remove this malicious file from your WordPress Theme folder. After removal of the file from your server via FTP, update your site immediately to WordPress 2.7. For more information, see these discussions on the WordPress Support Forums: Blog hacked, host said to upgrade and WTF is remv.php in wp-content/themes folder. [Read more…]

Happy Holidays: Looking Back at the Blog Herald in 2008

Santa on the beach

Santa on the beachIt’s been a busy year for the Blog Herald. I took over as the new editor, and relaunched the site with a new design in August. I have focused on getting into a rhythm myself, and there has been some shifting in the staff. All natural stuff.

I’m happy with how the Blog Herald have been the last couple of months. We’ve got great WordPress coverage through Lorelle’s WordPress Wednesdays, and the addition of Billy’s Movable Type Mondays complements this. We might add further features like these in the future (do tell me if you’re missing something!), but for now I’m pretty happy with it. [Read more…]

Are Twitter and FriendFeed Stealing Your Time?

Michael Arrington has slapped Robert Scoble with a Friendfeed Intervention

So lots of people follow Robert on those services, but they aren’t visiting his site and the content he writes is on someone else’s server. Plus all that content is just really forgettable, compared to a good thought piece that people refer back to over time. There is no direct way to monetize any of that content, which is something that a full time blogger with a family really needs to think about

Is Scoble wasting his time on FriendFeed? [Read more…]

Can Bloggers Have a Snow Day, Too?

Snow Guitar carved by Lorelle VanFossen

The snowy driveway to Lorelle's homeFor the past week, my husband and I have been snowbound in our home outside of Portland, Oregon. The Portland airport has tons of canceled flights. Businesses around the area are shut up tight, lights turned off or no electricity at all. Roads are closed, highways shut down, and life has come to a veritable stand still. And the weather continues to predict this unusual snowfall will continue for another week.

He was thrilled to have a snow day. Remember those from your childhood? If you lived in a part of the world with business closing snow storms, a snow day meant the schools were closed, winter clothing came on, sleds came out, and snow construction and fun would commence. It was a day filled with fun and laughter, getting wet and dirty, and having a grand time in the elements.

Snow Guitar carved by Lorelle VanFossenSomewhere in my early teens, I started creating snow sculptures for fun. I believe it started with Mary Poppins complete with wide brim feathered hat, apron, and umbrella. I’ve created dragons, bears, horses, guitars, giant mice, and a variety of characters in snow over the years, when the snowfall permitted. Unfortunately, much of my adulthood has been spent in extreme heat conditions where not a drop of snow would be caught within a thousand miles. [Read more…]