Archive for the ‘Shel Israel’ 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.

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: 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.

Blog or Die part 4 and 5 (up to 232)

May 7, 2007

In the first part I like the part “When bad blogs turn good,” it reminds me of this girl mentioned in We the Media by Dan Gillmor that created a blog while she was supposedly dying of cancer but eventually the whole thing turned out to be a hoax. It also proved that nowadays citizens journalists are as good at investigating as journalists. The authors also mentioned the issue of anonymity: How can you have have a real conversation with a character that does not actually exist, or one who might be real but hides his perspective in a cloak of anonymity?
The second part deals with the aspect of subscription and of course not surprisingly rss comes into the discussion. Basically you do not have to go and look for information but it comes to you if you subscribed to receive it. Now rss is not limited to blogs but almost all online media have adopted it so in brief you don’t have to look, the information you want, need comes fromt the sites that you usually like to visit.

Naked Conversations pg. 208-232

May 6, 2007

Today, more and more businesspeople understand that blogs are here to stay and that companies need to figure out how to incorporate them into the way they communicate.
Scoble and Israel-

Scoble and Israel do great in explaining the significance and benefits for a company to allow their employees to blog freely.  But it still seems however huge the benefits are, allowing employees to blog freely in the public sphere is a very scary thing. 

My place of work is creating a company/department blog as we speak.  Replacing our old website, it’s purpose is to boost team morale and allow efficient rapport building.  Although many aregung-ho about it, many others still have their concerns, including myself.  Someone blogging something negative is our main concern.  But how could we regulate blogs?  If we start putting limitations as to what is “bloggable” and what is not, inevitably, the blog will be considered fake or untrustworthy.  The public will be able to see right through it and our own employees might not even want to participate if there are stringent restrictions. 

As of right now, there will simply be a disclaimer explaining that any/all postings do not actually reflect the thoughts/actions of our company/department.  We’ve decided to trust the employees who blog.  I’m just hoping that Scoble and Israel are right about the benefits to a company blog.  I’m also hoping that no one ends up getting dooced. 

Naked Conversations pg. 149-208

May 6, 2007

This book has changed my initial perception of blogging.  I was first introduced to blogging from a past teacher who made blogging a bi-weekly homework assignment.  She pretty much killed the whole blogging experience for me because she put so many rules and restrictions on it that it just made blogging a strenuous, boring task.  She told us what to blog about.  She warned us that one misspelled word or the improper use of grammar was “gonna cost you (us).”  It was horrible. 

 From reading Naked Conversations, however, I’ve learned that blogging doesn’t have rules or restrictions as my former teacher warned and pushed.  The innate essence of blogging is to blog from the heart.  Blog about what you know.  Blog about what you have passion for.  And if there’s a few errors in the message- SO WHAT!  It shows your audience a “real human” is writing, and not an edited version of yourself or of your thoughts.  Who has edited thoughts anyway??? 

I do agree that a person has to blog smart, that intellect should be applied to blogs.  But rules and restrictions as to what to blog about and how to blog it kills the whole point of blogging.  Although, I’m not condoning mind-numbingly boring blogs that are full of misspelled words and/or has really aweful grammar.  <– That’s where the intellect should come in. 

Scoble and Israel give tips and suggestions as to how to blog the right way (IE. Scoble’s Corporate Weblog Manifesto).  This prompted another student in my class to conclude that they’re being hypocritical.  “They are saying there are no rules, but at the same time layout rules for their readers to follow.”  However, I don’t agree.  I think both authors are merely suggesting how to blog the right way-be passionate, have authority, be interesting, and be honest.  There are no rules to blogging, just rules to having a successful blog. 

I now understand the whole phenomenon of blogging and the blogosphere-everyone has something to say, and everyone wants to be heard.

May 8, Tuesday Class

May 6, 2007

Discussion: The Long Tail

The Long Tail

Impact of the Long Tail

Anderson on the Long Tail

Important terms for this conversation:

  • Disintermediation: “Cutting out the middleman.”
  • The Long Tail: “Products that are in low demand or have low sales volume can collectively make up a market share that rivals or exceeds the relatively few current bestsellers and blockbusters.”

Topics of conversation:

  • Amazon and the death of the corner bookstore
  • iTunes and the death of the music store business
  • Craigs List and the death of classified revenue.

Roy's Motel Cafe

Related Commercial Moment
“We have every movie ever made, in every language, any time, night or day,”
“Qwest – Bandwidth – Roy’s Motel Cafe (1999)”.

Places to Go, People to Know:

The Long Tail

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Final Project
There will be more demo tutorials and we will be discussing the Final Project Assignment
Presentation on getting an RSS feed
I will be doing a demo presentation on getting an RSS Feed using FeedBurner.

Lab
Students will get their own FeedBurner Feeds specific to final. This feed needs to be posted to the class blog. The balance of the class will be devoted to accomplishing these tasks.

++++++++++++++++

Due This Day:

Put a picture of yourself on your server space
This picture needs to be 300 pixels x 300 pixels. If you were unable to get this posted, bring it to class and we will post it in class!

Blog Post about Your Final Project
This isour first media entry on your Blogger Blog. A link to it should also be on your class blog. This also requires a photo to be posted on your blogger blog for the link to your post, no wider than 375 pixels. If you were unable to get this posted, bring it to class and we will post it in class!

Blog Post about Reading Assignment
Up through page 237 (the end) of Naked Conversations by Scoble and Israel.

You are now free to blog about the country. (Naked Conversations)

May 1, 2007

They have said it several times in the book: there are no set rules to blogging. However, they then go on to say how companies shouldn’t blog, and why they shouldn’t blog, which seems kind of like rules. I don’t think companies shouldn’t blog if they don’t want to do it the “traditional” way. They should be able to run their blogs however they please. If they get criticism for it, so be it. You cant always make everyone happy. Or, maybe we should keep “traditional” blogs as blogs, and create corporate blogs for corporations to do whatever they want and call them clogs or something. At least this way, companies are still getting more feedback from their consumers, and they know what their target markets want. Such as Mazda with their 30 second spot that flopped both on TV and on their blog. At the very least they now know that that isn’t what their target market wants.
Its better to get in a conversation about yourself, in any way, instead of just standing idly by and watching.