This section of the book is called “The Big Picture.” Within this section, in the chapter entitled, “Emerging Technology,” the authors write about some developments that were occurring or gaining popularity as they wrote the book (and are still developing today).
One of these things is RSS. I don’t even think I knew what RSS was before I took this class. Now, I’m just starting to subscribe to blogs’ RSS feeds. However, blogs aren’t the only websites with RSS feeds. The authors wrote, “Almost any content page on the Web can be RSS-enabled, and more of them are doing so every day.” I hadn’t considered subscribing to the RSS feed of something like the New York Times, for instance. I was vaguely aware that a website, not necessarily a blog, could offer this kind of service. It would be useful to know when a page has been updated, thanks to RSS feeds, without having to directly check the website.
The authors also mentioned podcasting. I only recently downloaded iTunes and started subscribing to a few podcasts, one of which I got through the iTunes store. Meanwhile, vlogging was a new term for me when I started taking this class. Writing in a blog was doable, but when it came to making and editing videos, that was foreign to me. However, in this class, I’ve had to make videos and create my own vlog. Who knows what the future holds, regarding myself and also the emerging technology?
I’ve reached the end of Naked Conversations, and this class is winding down. However, for me, I think this is just the beginning. Although I may not have always understood what was going on in class, I’m becoming more aware of concepts and aspects related to technology.
“There are no rules.” That’s something I’ve heard in class from time to time. Technology is constantly changing and becoming more advanced. It’s a time of experimentation and exploration, so why focus on rules? However, there are a couple chapters in Naked Conversations that focus on “Blogging Wrong & Right.” I didn’t think there were rules about blogging. Then again, in this case, “rules” is too strong of a word. How about referring to them as guidelines instead? As informal as that may be, people or businesses may want to think twice if they plan on disregarding these guidelines, though.
According to the authors, “authenticity is the core value that makes blogging such a new and different way for businesses to communicate. If authenticity is the defining feature of blogging, then credibility is its benefit.” When blogging, your “voice” should come across naturally. Blogging shouldn’t feel forced, as if you were trying too hard. Instead, keep it simple, and write about things that you’re passionate about in your blog. If you’re interested in what you’re writing, then it’ll come across in your blog.
Something that I learned is the importance of comments at blogs. OK, I’ll admit that my very first blog was at my MySpace account. When people left comments at my blog, I would respond to their comments- if at all -by leaving a comment at their profile, waiting until the next time I talked them in person, etc. However, blogging is a conversation, so it’s important to present it that way: have a conversation through the blog comments. This also goes with being accessible, another tip from the authors.
Another “do” is linking to other websites. Don’t limit your links to Web sites just inside of your business or organization. Personally, I like it when Web sites, including blogs, have links to other sites. It enhances the reading experience, and I can find more information about related topics. From the blogger’s point of view, especially a business or organization, it’s important to have links, so you can “be the absolute best resource you can be for your readers.”
Overall, the information in this section is pretty straightforward, but it’s good to be aware of it. It’ll come in handy, whether I blog for fun or my future job.
I had a hard time coming up with a topic, but I think I’m going to focus the vlog on my life. I want to include my midterm, but I’d like to do some editing to it. For at least one of my other videos, I’d like to make a slideshow.
I’m reading a chapter about PR in a textbook for another class (a design class, not a PR class, though). According to that book, Graphic Communications Today, PR is “the planned effort to influence public opinion through satisfactory- even exemplary -performance and two-way communication.” Coincidentally, part of the reading in Naked Conversations for this New Media in Journalism class was Chapter 7, which was interestingly titled, “Survival of the Publicists.” Scoble and Israel write about two schools of PR: “command and control” and “listen and participate.” Out of those two schools, the people from the “listen and participate” school of thought are more likely to blog. I think it’s interesting that Scoble and Israel separate PR into two different groups, as oppose to the general term from the Graphic textbook. When I read the Graphics textbook’s definition for PR, I was surprised that “two-way communication” was included in the definition. Perhaps I’m being hard on PR, but I hadn’t considered it as “two-way communication” before (“Spin” is a common, if perhaps stereotypical, word usually associated with PR). I think separating PR into two different groups is more accurate and emphasizes the importance of listening to your audience. Blogging can be a more straightforward of communicating information without as much fluff.
Chapter 5 featured mini-profiles of some small businesses that used blogging to their advantage. Years ago, when blogging wasn’t around, it might have been a much different scenario for these businesses. Blogging is a cheaper alternative to traditional advertising and PR, which can help “the little guys.” From an organic yogurt company to a church to a tailor, there was quite a variety of success stories. However, Scoble and Israel showed these businesses’ similarities by sharing five tips. The tips seem pretty simple and straightforward (e.g. post often and be interesting). However, that sort of directness shows that blogging isn’t rocket science. In fact, these tips could apply to you and me, not just business bloggers. I particularly liked the tip: “Write on issues you know and care about. We cannot say it enough: A good blog is passionate and shows authority.” The important thing is to be yourself, be genuine, in your blog, and people will appreciate and respond to that.
While browsing websites, especially blogs and other sources of regularly updated content, you may have come across an orange-colored button. Chances are that it had to do with RSS. RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication, and it’s a type of XML. Instead of searching through website after website, why don’t you set things up so that the information comes to you in a convenient manner? You can view headlines or catch up with someone’s blog by using a RSS feeder to receive the latest information. As a consumer, the great thing for you is that you get to pick and choose the content that you’ll receive by pressing those orange buttons.
My first impression of this book is that it’s straightforward. It complements the previous book we read, The Cluetrain Manifesto. Here’s a quote from Chapter 2: “We think that blogging and conversational marketing are about to change the world most significantly. But we won’t be able to prove our claim until we look back at it several years from now to see how business conversations have changed.” This reminded me of something that was mentioned in class: these predictions about blogging and the Internet’s role in business might be way off, or they could be right. We won’t know until later on, so there is an element of uncertainty. However, that just makes things more exciting and interesting. Innovative ideas and foresight are needed to join this revolution (there’s that word again, just like in Cluetrain). It’s just a matter of whether people are willing to take the plunge.
I looked over one of mefeedia’s guides: “2006 Vloggie Nominees!!” At first glance, one of the vlogs on that list stood out to me because I had seen a video from that website before. It’s called Ask a Ninja, which was nominated in the categories Best Vlog, Best Comedy Vlog, and Funniest Video. According to the vlog, Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine, the people behind the site, are two guys from L.A. who use this and other vlogs as an outlet for their comedy. The Ninja video that I had seen before is called Pirates of the Caribbean. It’s a review of the movie, “Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest.” I don’ think there are any film spoilers in this video, but it helps to be familiar with it. I agree with the Ninja’s review that the film has too many story lines, and the ending left much to be desired (then again, this was the second film in what’s suppose to be a trilogy). Also, this brief Ninja video grabbed my attention because of the title (it seemed related to our class; the Ninja gives an analogy as part of his explanation): What is Podcasting?