Archive for the ‘Naked Conversations’ Category

Naked Conversations: Looking Forward

May 10, 2007

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.

Naked Conversations pg. 149-208

May 9, 2007

In chapter 10 the authors warn that you will not enjoy the experience of blogging if you “do it wrong.” Frankly I think it’s impossible for the authors to really know whether or not people would enjoy the experience regardless of whether or not they follow their dos and don’ts. The two main rules are basically keep it real, and don’t market your product.

            A good example of a company who didn’t keep it real was Mazda who set up a blog with videos of one of their new cars. Mazda tried to pass it off as a blog set up by a hip young driver, but within hours the blogosphere caught the scam. Mazda lost all credibility with bloggers that day.

            As with the Mc Donald’s case, the authors suggest that if a company’s blog is rejected by the blogosphere, instead of retreating and terminating the blog, the company should apologize and ask bloggers for suggestions of what they can do to make the blog more genuine.

            Also, character blogs are lame. Don’t do it. A character Blog is when a company uses a fictitious character to emulate a real person. Bloggers hate seeing this, and they are usually pretty quick at catching them. If you are guilty of character blogging you may become a nominee for one of Hugh MacLeod’s Lame Blogging Awards. MacLeod is trying to discourage lame blogging.

            One of the worse things that can be done when it comes to blogging is staying out of the conversation all together like EA did when they refused to comment on a blog authored by one of their developer’s wives complaining of the poor work conditions. EA is now facing a second class action suit charging employee abuses.

            That’s enough about what not to do. Chapter 11 gives 11 really good tips on what you should be doing with your blog. Here are a couple of them, starting with the title. In order to optimize search engine results, you should title your blog something specific to what you are blogging about. Keeping your blog simple and focused, it’s best to have each post contain only one idea and only one set of links, this makes it easier for other bloggers to link to your page.

            Chapter 12 looks at some danger zones in blogging that can lead to getting “Dooced.” One of the danger zones is not matching up with the companies PR image, such as the Delta flight attendant who posted a sexy picture of herself on her blog wearing her uniform. She was depicting an image Delta’s PR was trying to change, and she got dooced for it.

            The authors introduce us (or introduce me at least, I had never heard of it) to the safety knob. If you turn the knob too much in one direction, chances are you are entering a danger zone, if you turn it too much in the other direction, chances are your blog is way boring and no one will read or link to it. It’s all about keeping a balance.

            Wow, this post is way to long, I better stop.

Wrapping up Naked Conversations – Joe Aguila

May 8, 2007

As said in chapter 14 The Big Picture, “not much was happening in technology, but in fact there has been a lot of innovation stirring behind the scenes.” How so true this comment is, since the dot com boom, from my personal experience, it just seems that technology internally and externally just keeps getting better. One good example is that game Second Life, the one we learned about in class. Now because of our advancing technologies, business people from across the world can meet together in game and discuss business matters in a fun way.

Naked Conversations through pg. 208 – Joe Aguila

May 8, 2007

Again, more excellent reading through page 208, especially my favorite part in pages 205 -208, “First Couple’s Trouble.” As a PR major, I always learn about crisis communication, and in this case, the couple used blogging as a way to put away all the negative things being said about them by customers when they had to charge people for there once freeware software. Blogging had a huge affect for them because they were able to communicate effectively through blogging letting customers know why they did what they had to do, to help them understand they situation better through a business aspect, and it worked. kudos to blogging!

Naked Conversations Ch. 7&8

May 8, 2007

Chapter seven began by outlining some of the ways the ways in which the blog challenges PR, beginning with the press release. Press releases are edited over and over again by different levels of employees at a company, where a blog is simply a single persons thought Blogs are amplified by the people who receive them, where press releases are amplified by those who budgets that support them. Also, PR practitioners find ways to work with Bloggers, such as Frank X. Shaw who uses bloggers to sped the delivery of his message into the channel.

The rest of chapter 7 focuses on PR practitioners who also make good bloggers, such as Steve Rubel who has earned a spot in Media Magazines 100 most influential people to the media thanks to his blog Micro Persuasion.  Rubel, who began as just anothr PR practitioner, now encourages all of his clients to join the blogosphere. Rubel believes all agencies can prosper while providing clients services through blogging.

Mike Manuel who’s job it is to teach companies how to be more human (basically that;s what he does), tells his customers that the best way to join a conversation is to shut up and listen. Three major trends Manuel see’s being driven by blogging are
1. Blogs democratizing the media
2. Blogging making companies more transparent in their practices, and
3. blogs changing traditional PR practices.

Chapter  8 starts off with a small lesson on “Google Juice,” and I think I finally understand it. The more authenticity you have in the blogosphere, the more google juice you get.
My favorite segment in this chapter is abou the T-Shirt guy. It’s brilliant what he did building his business around customers like that, I guess the only possible way to do that would be through a blog. The customers not only come up with the ideas, but they buy them as well. He’s pretty much just the guy in the middle making money.

The end of the chapter goes into why blogging works for certain countries and companies and not for others. The authors claim that culture plays a major role in the way blogging develops.  For example, if a company provides an environment for their employees which encourages them to blog freely, than blogging will flourish for that company.

end of book!

May 8, 2007

The thing I liked best about the remainder of the book, was the way it defined and discussed many of the key concepts we have learned in this class. Things such as, podcasts, video blogs, tags, and RSS feeds were all mentioned. It is interesting, because they were all just coming into existence when this was written, and only a few people such as Scoble were using them. And now, people like me, who had never even heard of any of them, are actually learning how to use them.

I also liked the way he defined RSS feeds better than the definition I found a few weeks ago. One point he made was the fact that the information you receive is only the information that you want, unlike email subscription, where your information is often passed on to third parties. He says, “RSS empowers the receiver, not the sender, to decide when the subscription will be terminated.” I like the idea that RSS “recalibrates the playing field, changing the tilt from the company to the user.”

Naked Conversations, pgs. 211-232

May 8, 2007

’94-Web surfing emerged.
’98-Google search engine with algorithms.
Present-RSS feeds. (Don’t forget your aggregator.)
Future-You inside the monitor. Just kidding.

RSS feed buttons, those orange squares with white waves within them are the latest fad in Web technology. People can to thousands of RSS feeds.

RSS feeds are similiar to direct mailings that are developed by marketing teams in corporations across the world. Direct marketers, as the book mentions, can use this avenue of targeting.

iTunes then introduced podcasts in June 2005. The podosphere came about. VJ visionary Adam Curry had one of the first podcasts. His network produces 35 porgrams, as Naked Conversations reports.

Other media mega-moguls like the BBC network followed.

Doug Kaye says businesses would make more money if they gave away their podcasts. I agree. It’s a great way to lure an audience because they’re trying something on their terms, without monetary restrictions. Then when the company comes out with a product, the subscribers will want to buy their items.

I also agree with Kaye about companies not selling their database list to other companies for a profit. In the long run, it won’t be a profit because the subscribers will be irritated at these extra e-mails and Internet spam. That spam will lead for people to stray away from the company who betrayed their trust.

Videos are slowly emerging? I agree with the book because I’m taking a class on multimedia, while most still have trouble with their media like digital cameras and video development. I’m sure the younger generations will be more tech savvy; however, the older population will struggle with these new technologies.

Tagging is important for standing out. Nowadays, you type in one word in a search engine and you receive many results, so imagine you’re trying to be that needle found in the haystack. It’ll never happen without tags. I know from the STEM club meetings that tags are vital for prominence within a search engine. Andrew Venegas was able to have anything he tags be one of the top results on Google. Wow!

The final chapter offers a regurgitation of all the central concepts discussed throughout the book.

In all, the book was a stimulating read. It flowed with many facts, and its complex concepts were easy to understand. I particularly like the examples of companies and individuals because it gave words like podcasts, blogs and PR a face and identity. It wasn’t words anymore, it was history being retold in an informative, insightful manner.

It was a good read; much better than Cluetrain Manifesto.

Again, that’s just my humble opinion.

Naked Conversations: Do’s and Don’ts

May 8, 2007

“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.

N.C. 208 – 232

May 7, 2007

It’s interesting that the real in-depth discussion of RSS and its impacts is only a section near the end of Naked Conversations, a book scribed about a year ago.  In comparison, RSS has been at the forefront of the discussions in this class almost since the first day.

In the previous section, Scoble and Israel talked much about the “right” things to with a blog– tell a story, keep it simple, etc.  Ironically, I think that RSS may potentially nullify or at least sidestep a few.  For example, one of my favorites, EastSouthWestNorth a blog run by a Hong Kong resident focusing almost exclusively on media studies and cross-cultural journalism, is probably the only blog that I currently make a habit of checking on a daily basis.  However, the blog’s design is shocking.  The sheer amount of textual data and hyperlinks sprayed over the front page is intimidating and almost impenetrable.

Without ESWN’s RSS feed, I would probably never have been able to follow the blog very closely at all, simply because of the design.  With the RSS feed, I’ve been able to tailor the real content of the blog to my specifications and access it on a more intimate, less convoluted basis.  In this way, the author actually seems to be in close touch with Internet trends, realizing that a very image-heavy, flashy front page design is not necessary when the user can customize the content within with this XML dialect.  Indeed, the content is the biggest draw of ESWN (as opposed to many other blogs that to me seem high on presentation and thin on intellectual meat), consistently enlightening and well-researched.

N.C. 149-208

May 7, 2007

I can remember watching the video displaying the exploit for Kryptonite locks
locks and laughing.  I never learned about the company’s sluggish, ambivalent response until now.

In “Blogging Wrong,” It was interesting to see all the vitriol directed against so-called character blogs.  Admittedly, looking some of them up, they were distinctly corny and at times rather insulting to one’s intelligence.  How strong do marketing types assume our suspension of disbelief is? you think to yourself more than once.

My question is how the pitfalls could apply to blogs attached to existing journalism outlets.  Do dailies and glossy magazines have a leg-up in blogging “know-how” through opinion columns?  While much less dynamic than an online setup, an opinion column works somewhat similarly to the blog format: chronological entries, each geared toward a specific subject and the author’s educated (mostly) thoughts/opinions on it and a degree of conversational accountability through Letters to the Editor.

It seems like many popular opinion columns in more established papers are already character blogs, writers becoming charicatures of themselves.