Google was way ahead of MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook in disrupting the content business — Google acquired Blogger in early 2003 to accelerate the rise of “user-generated content,” otherwise known as people publishing content online with free, easy publishing software (as with “blog,” I use that phrase as an unfortunate consequence of wide adoption). But how would this explosion of online content benefit Google? Why own the platform? The answer arrived soon after with the launch of AdSense, which provided this legion of new publishers a way to monetize their content, thereby embedding Google in the exploding economics of online content. [Read more…]
Digg has rolled out a whack of new features. So many, in fact, that it prompted many to ask “is this v4?” However, no one from the Digg camp has referred to this as a new version, so lets not go there.
With this upgrade came some new features, some features removed and left us scratching our head about the whereabouts of some oft-promised vapor-features. [Read more…]
Do you ever become curious in how online and offline relate to each-other? Maybe they are extreme polar opposites or could they bear, a perhaps odd, resemblance to each other. I find myself in flux, experiencing change not of my choosing taking place both online and offline. An adaptation of sorts will need to be learned. [Read more…]
In early October I was sent an email by the guys at b5media asking whether I would be interested in working with them on a project that had a tight deadline. I’d heard of b5 and read their main blog a few times, but I wasn’t a regular reader and didn’t know any of the people running the network. [Read more…]
I have visited New York City many times in the days since 9/11. Each time I have visited, I believe it is appropriate to take a few moments to visit the hole in the ground that once held two of the tallest buildings in the world – and where nearly 3,000 of my fellow citizens were killed. Nearly 400 of which were police, firemen, and other rescue personnel.
No matter one’s political view – 9/11 is an event that has changed many of our lives – personally, professionally, and spiritually in many cases. It’s hard to fathom or think back to a time before 9/11 and how things were different, almost more innocent perhaps.
Our first two podcasts were recorded using a simple noise canceling headsetup plugging into the line in jack on our Dell XPS computer.. and we quickly learned that this setup sounded horrible. So we did some research over at Podcast Rigs and settled on something fairly similar to their Basic Rig for in-studio podcasting…
For years after leaving college, my partners in BlogMedia (then called something else) worked primarily as consultants. We did programming, systems administration, and database work for a variety of firms.
One client in Boston got us interested in making money online rather than simply coding the backends of websites for others. We did some research, and before long, decided to make our mark by launching some humor websites.
Now humor is a fickle thing. What I think is funny is not the same as my partner thought was funny.. and my wife has a whole other definition of funny. But to stay current and make good money on a humor website, you need a continuous flow of content coming in.. and it’s even better if its fresh, viral content that will drive traffic to your website…
Thus began the eternal circle of trying to find the latest and greatest in content and posting it on the humor site… after all, there’s a ton of content out there.. just use Google images, grab some cartoons or funny pictures, and go to town….
This worked well for awhile – my site grew and grew.. and then I joined a private humor webmaster community. This was an even better place to be as there was a very passionate community that shared information, including monetization tactics, new affiliate programs, and new sources for content.
The community had an interesting mix of folks. Many ran humor sites, some ran affiliate programs, others were the artists and creators that made our business possible.
And it was quickly apparant that the artists were not happy..
Despite this being somewhat of a close-knit community – the community was divided between those that felt a moral and ethical obligation to follow the law.. and those that felt that any content on the internet was theirs for the taking…
Two of my good friends in the community were artists. One was an incredibly talented poet and writer… the other, a nationally recognized photographer and cartoonist. Both of them made their living by licensing their content – as well as running their own humor websites.
This battle amongst our community eventually led to the artists (and I – for I supported their stance) to being kicked out of this community so that the content thieves could continue their work.
And this battle continues to this day..
In the end, this story isn’t really about the humor website community. It’s about how we choose to conduct business.
It’s about the choices that we make…
In the blogging world, we live and die by our content. What we choose to write about, how we choose to market that content, how we write our headlines, who we link to.. and so on.. Our living is wrapped up in our content.
After all, no one would read The Blog Herald if we didn’t provide interesting and compelling content every day of the week.
In this business, it’s the content creators that are king. They create the graphics, the designs, the photographs, and the content that makes our world go around.
Now, you may not like copyright laws. And there’s much to be said about the approach of organizations like MPAA and RIAA who are going to extreme lengths in order to “protect” the content of their member organizations and licensees.
But you have to respect the role of the person that creates the content. Particularly in the blogosphere, where it’s often small groups of folks – or small businesses – that are working to create and market this content. They take the time to craft something with art, time, experience, and patience.. they do it for you…
Don’t we owe them the same level of respect?
It’s really simple:
- Don’t use content that isn’t yours unless you have proper permission from the content creator/owner
- Understand the limitations and guidelines that go along with Creative Commons licensing use
- Don’t use content that’s marked ‘All Rights Reserved’ unless you have specific permission
- Respect the restrictions called for by content creators/owners – including links, attribution, and so on..
- And remember that it’s not your content to do with as you please…
Photograph courtesy of Pegatinas Creative (flickr)
Earlier this week, we posted about a community media effort led by Chartruese to send a group of bloggers, podcasters, or videobloggers down to New Orleans to report on the “ground truth” of what was happening.
This effort is important to us for a number of reasons. First, a good friend of mine was personally responsible for some private sector crisis management efforts related to Hurricane Katrina. Just to hear his own story about what he went through trying to ascertain the safety of around a thousand employees of his corporation was enough to scare the hell out of me.
Second, Katrina was the largest natural disaster in the United States. Avoidable? Perhaps not. Fucked up? Totally.
Finally, we have a vested interest in blogging.. or what we’re calling in this case Citizen’s Media. On the ground reporting from folks that don’t have a mainstream media connection will produce what I hope to be some raw and challenging footage and thoughts that will show us what the current state of affairs in New Orleans really is.
From New York, New York, 1938 Media’s Loren Feldman.
From Los Angeles, California, Mishikea Brathwaite.
From San Francisco, California, New Orleans native Travis Campbell.
Assisting the team on the ground in New Orleans is Candice Quates.
We hope to have an interview posted soon with members of the team. Keep an eye for stories here and at New Orleans Now.
The last thing Web 2.0 needs is a cheerleader, but it has one. in Mike Arrington, our ninth bastard of the blogs. A shout out goes to Blogebrity, who also thought that we should see Mike’s legs in a cheerleader uniform.