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August 25, 2009

Wikipedia protects people pages as “flagged revisions” rolls out

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wikipedia-logoWikipedia moderation isn’t that new, with the German version of the site having had it since July of last year, but now a “flagged revisions” system is to be introduced on the main English language version of the online encyclopaedia in a bid to protect entries about living people.

The number of issues of deliberate vandalism or simply ill-informed updates to information pages about people is too long to list here, but has often involved derogatory and biased prose, factual errors and incorrect reporting of deaths.

“Flagged revisions” would create an additional editorial layer, whereby experienced volunteers review any changes made to people pages before they go live.

Such a move is due to the increased popularity of the site. read more

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November 3, 2008

7 Blogging Tips from David Ogilvy

David Ogilvy, in what is perhaps one of history’s greatest understatements, referred to himself plainly as an “advertising man”. The truth is that, in many circles, Ogilvy is though of, even today, as the advertising man, an idol in an industry where egos often run very high.

Though he first retired over thirty years ago, his writings and teachings are still standard reading for college students today. Over the course of his 40-plus year career he helped create many of advertising’s most famous print ads, he founded Ogilvy and Mather, an advertising agency is still thriving today, and he wrote two books that are still relevant today.

Ogilvy was known for his laser-focused efforts on creating ads that “make the cash register ring”. Though his approach was not as “creative” as others in the field, it was very effective. His ads also tended to favor longer body copy, including at least one ad that contained some 10,000 words. In fact, Ogilvy’s first book, “Confessions of an Advertising Man” was originally written as a lengthy piece of direct marketing, mailed out to prospective clients.

Though Ogilvy died in 1999, he left behind a powerful legacy and one that any writer, no matter the field, can glean something from. Even today, in the age of the Internet, his philosophies, Ogivlyisms and rules remain just as effective today as they did forty years ago.

What are some tips Ogilvy has to teach bloggers, here is just a sample. read more

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August 24, 2008

Blogging Under Pressure

Pressure make diamonds, but does blogging under pressure make for a better blog and blog posts?

Joss Whedon, Creator and Executive Producer of the television series, Firefly, summed up the show in the season’s DVD extras in a way that reminded me of how many bloggers work under pressure to publish:

A lot of the pressure of being a show that might be canceled at any moment really helps you. It doesn’t help your digestion, it doesn’t help your marriage, but what it does help is your storytelling. Because you go back and say what is the most important thing I need to feel. What is the most primal story. What is the thing that is going to show how great this crew is, how funny they are, how brave, how disjointed – whatever it is you need. What do I need to get to the primal story?

A television and film under pressure of a time crunch and the threat of cancellation still has time to go back and “get it right” – clean out the clutter and time wasting words to really get to the point. Does a blogger have that kind of time?

There are a variety of pressures a blogger can be under. Time, timing, and word counts are the three key pressure factors I see most often at work. read more

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