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the big blog company | Blogs in the media
“Oh wow, that's a big blog you've got there!”
Some important bloke on some important blog.
Blogs in the media
November 20, 2004
Saturday
Blogging - a time saver?
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Products & Services • Internal blogs 
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Sure. That’s what Dianne Marsh, a co-founder of SRT Solutions and president of the Ann Arbor Computer Society, thinks:

It’s a time saver. A lot of companies are asking employees to write down what they do on a daily basis. It makes a lot more sense to keep that as a blog.

You don’t say. grin They also cottoned up onto the fact that blogging provides the convenience of a Web site but is a far less static environment.

It’s becoming a pain and a commodity, calling someone to constantly add content to your site. (Blogging) is a much more efficient way to keep your site up to date.

Indeed. The more people realise this, the better.

For example, Stardock‘s 25 employees built a public blog for customers to sound off on the software as well as an internal blog for software developers in Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Italy and Poland. The technology has helped form a “community” for employees, most of whom have never met face to face, said Stardock president and CEO Brad Wardell.

As more and more companies go virtual, they have to have a way to create a more cohesive environment for their employees, and blogs help do that.

Yes, they do indeed. Internal blogs are a perfect tool for creativity and a bottom-up collaboration. 

November 18, 2004
Thursday
Kryptonite lesson
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Marketing & PR 
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Kryptonite is dealing with the fall-out from the revelations about how easy it was to unlock their products using just a Bic pen. A message on their website says:

Thousands of replacement locks have been sent out to customers in the last few weeks. Kryptonite continues to manufacture and ship new products to consumers on a weekly basis. The whole process of the Lock Exchange Program is a complex one with manufacturing and transportation all coming into play. We are building and air shipping the new locks to get them out to our customers as fast as possible.

Jeremy Wagstaff of LOOSE wire revisits the Kryptonite saga for a few pertinent points:

One thing that deserves a closer look are reports that the Bic pen information was not new - it was just better disseminated. The problem, some websites have said, was first highlighted by British freelance journalist and cartoonist John Stuart Clark in 1992. His methods - collaborating with a ‘professional villain’ undermined his story and the vulnerability was largely forgotten (except by the professional villain community, presumably). The original article is worth a read (PDF only).

That is interesting. So the problem was discovered in 1992 and picked up selectively by a few journalists, probably as a sort of urban myth type meme. So blogs indeed have a impact, or rather the network of bloggers. Companies, take note.

If this Kryptonite case is a Cluetrain ‘markets are conversations’ moment, maybe that is the lesson we should all be taking away, not just that some locks are hopeless? After all, other manufacturers and vendors are being quick to claim their products are Bic-pen safe…

Indeed.

via Steve Rubel

November 15, 2004
Monday
Bloggers and Journalists cont’d…
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Trends 
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Steve Rubel notes another blog birdie and finds other places that mention the symbiotic relationship between the ‘big media’ and bloggers. This is a debate that has been covered many a time, which is not to say that more cannot be said about it. And apparently, Tom Curley, the head of the Associated Press, adds to it an interview, predicting that current news giants will survive:

The bloggers need a baseline of facts and professional analysis on which to base their work. Imagine Drudge without somebody to link to, or Wonkette without somebody to poke fun at. It’s a new community that’s forming in the news and information space. The “neighbors” may not all like each other, but we’re all part of the same network, like it or not.

Well, quite, and that is why we have a biz hippo and blog birdies on this blog…

November 10, 2004
Wednesday
Quote to remember
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Quotes 
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The problem with Big Media is that it learned how to “store” trust--in brand, reputation and ritual--and so forgot what it was. But the blogger has to make trust, from scratch as it were. So the blogger winds up knowing more about the current conditions for trust capture.
- Jay Rosen commenting on an interview with Jeff Jarvis

November 02, 2004
Tuesday
A hippo spots the birdies
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media 
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Morgan Stanley in its October Update from the Digital World has a lot of nice and interesting things to say about blogs and as they call it - user generated content and its distribution via RSS feed.

This is good since in the UK most people do not really understand that blogs have ‘serious’ biz applications. If they know about blogging, it is ‘kitty blogs’ or publishing fest for geeks. Sure, there are many of those, but so what? It is how you make blogs and the network work for you…

Either way, the report is unusually (for a serious business run by men in suits, that is) enthusiastic and positive about blogs:

And if there are hundreds or thousands of thought leaders and motivated, interested parties on the Internet with the ability to publish news or insights into any number of local or global issues, then it is safe to say that these blogs often become both the first source of news, a vital proving ground for authors and a source of potential community for other interested parties. For example, you’re probably going to get far more Boston Red Sox specific-content from a blog about the Red Sox made by a die-hard fan than you will from a random sports page, especially if you’re after opinions and community.

The author also gets excited about RSS syndication and Yahoo is mentioned heavily as a result of introducing RSS feeds into the My Yahoo page. (I had a look at it and it looks good - simple and functional, any problems can be put down to beta but it does have the simplicity that is needed for wider take up). I do not think I agree with the business/pricing model based on micropayments or sharing of revenue with Yahoo as the platform publisher. But there are a couple of groovy diagrams that I totally approve of, the business geek I am… Certainly worth a glance.

October 28, 2004
Thursday
The sky is not the limit
David Carr • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Bloglaw 
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This is, I believe, the first public domain glimpse of a growing problem to come.

Airline Stewardess, Ellen Simonetti, runs a blog called ’Queen of Sky‘ wherein she posts interesting bon mots about her life as jet-setting airline attendant.

All was seemingly going well, until Ms. Simonetti posted up a slightly frisky photograph of herself on her blog in her company uniform. Her employers were not amused:

Queen of the Sky, otherwise known as Ellen Simonetti, evolved into an anonymous semi-fictional account of life in the sky.

But after she posted pictures of herself in uniform, Delta Airlines suspended her indefinitely without pay.

Ms Simonetti was told her suspension was a result of “inappropriate” images. Delta Airlines declined to comment.

Oh dear. Says Ms. Simonetti:

“I never meant it as something to harm my company and don’t understand how they think it did harm them,”

It appears as if Ms Simonetti was entirely unaware that the company had any policy on these matters and, consequently, she posted her photograph in good faith. Borrowing from the movie “Cool Hand Luke”, what we have here is a ‘failure to communicate’.

Now Ms. Simonetti is an American and her employer is a US Company but if this incident were to occur in the UK then Ms. Simonetti might well have a decent claim for unfair dismissal on the basis that her employer did not take steps to advise clearly of the company policy on these matters.

It would probably be a fair bet that very few employers have any policy at all on employee bloggers because blogging itself has yet to the flood the plain of commercial consciousness. But that is all changing, and as much as I am loath to heap yet more responsibilities onto the shoulders of already overburdended employers, this is a problem that they are going to have to address and soon.

So if you are an employer, and you think your employees may be blogging (even in their own time) start devising a policy on what is and is not acceptable to publish and then make that policy clearly known to your employees. It may save a lot of tears and heartache (and legal fees) later.

October 09, 2004
Saturday
Reservoir Blogs
David Carr • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Bloglaw 
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The phenomenon of ‘celebrity blogging’ appears to have experienced a big boost with the launch of Quentin Tarantino’s Blog.

Or has it? Judging from the e-mails sent to “Quentin”, the reader’s response has been heavily coloured by a fairly high degree of scepticism as to whether the blog in question is really the enterprise of the real Quentin Tarantino or whether it is the handiwork of an fan/prankster merely posing as cult movie director.

This is a sample of just such a e-mail response:

What does your e-mail address, Tarantinoed@yahoo.com, mean? I’d say your obviously a hoax because Tarantino aint gonna have a yahoo account and use tarantinoed as a word it sounds shitty.

To which the reply is:

I don’t have an official website, although that IS being worked on right now. I’ve got a webmaster interested already. Then I’d stop using the blog and use the official site to answer e-mails.

Earlier, “Quentin” says:

I’ve been out of town for a while so let’s get straight down to it.

Over the past week a lot of people have been releasing statements saying this blog is a fake, and I’ve been asked to make a public announcement saying the same thing.

Here’s something for all you people to chew on: You want to know why Miramax and I haven’t denied the blog?

Because it’s real.

So is it the blog of the real Quentin Tarantino or isn’t it?

October 06, 2004
Wednesday
“The most powerful type of corporate marketing per dollar spent ever invented”?
Jackie Danicki • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Quotes 
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That’s what Rich Ord of Insider Reports thinks blogging could be, according to his article that focuses on CEO blogs.

October 05, 2004
Tuesday
Beyond the “living résumé”: Blogs and recruitment
Jackie Danicki • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media • Products & Services • Internal blogs • Trends 
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Via BL Ochman, I see that this past Sunday’s New York Times featured an article on how blogs are used in recruitment (annoyingly, a subscription is required to read the NYT’s content). As well as job seekers using a company’s blog(s) to get a feel for the corporate culture and whether or not it would be a good place to work, and writing their own blogs as “living résumés,” employers are increasingly scouring blogs for leads on candidates. Heather Hamilton, senior marketing recruiter at Microsoft, says that she has found great candidates through blogging, and that she thinks blogs will change how companies recruit. That echoes what Thomas Nelson Publishers’ COO Michael Hyatt told me recently:

I think it’s a way to contribute back to our industry and recruit new talent to our company. I have had several people write to say, “Gee, I’d like to work for a company that is this forward-thinking.”

But the recruitment and HR uses for blogs go much further than the NYT piece explores. 

September 24, 2004
Friday
tBBC in the news: The Times
Jackie Danicki • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media 
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I spoke to Andrew Heavens from The Times (London) last week about corporate blogging and CEO blogs in particular. The resulting article is here - unfortunately, The Times restricts access when it comes to foreign web users (how annoying!), so here is an excerpt and what I had to say to Andrew.

September 23, 2004
Thursday
Blogs in the news… again
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media 
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Wired News has a very positive take on the role of blogs in the CBS memos scandal. Adam L. Penenberg makes a good point about CBS’s denial of bloggers’ power to fact check Dan Rather’s arse.

The CBS apologist was asked about the role bloggers played in propelling the story to national scandal, he dismissed them as little more than journalist-wannabes, sitting in their underwear in front of their PCs, typing whatever thoughts/opinions/rants they had between trips to the refrigerator.

My first thought was if bloggers had no credibility then why was this guy on my television, defending CBS?

Even more interesting is his view on what it means for the big media reporting and journalism in general.

They function as a vast, ad-hoc quality-control department, reflecting the entire political spectrum. Suddenly readers can (and do) subject reporters to unprecedented levels of scrutiny. Facts are analyzed and checked against their sources, quotes deconstructed, grammar parsed - all of this done in public view.

This isn’t the first time that blogs have kept an issue alive. The first blog-driven controversy caused the fall of Trent Lott when bloggers located quotes from previous speeches that many believed were racist. Another led to The New York Times op-ed page instituting a policy on corrections for its columnists.

Whether a blog leans left, right or sideways, as a collective force they are working to keep reporters honest. Journalists may not like their methods - having your work sliced and diced in public is no fun - but the end result may be better-quality news.

September 22, 2004
Wednesday
The first green shoots
David Carr • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media 
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Speaking for myself alone, I always find it quite unsettling to find my ideas accurately reflected in the Guardian:

CBS’s admission that its story of George Bush’s special treatment when with the Texas air national guard was deeply flawed is being seen as a key victory for the new “blogging” community of the internet against old media.

It is being seen that way because… er, it is that way.

CBS was doubly at fault. It failed to appreciate the force of the thousands of voluntary fact-checkers out there on the web (let alone trying to harness their power in advance), while also failing to interview bloggers after the event as part of an ongoing story.

No, not at fault, just behind the curve.

In fact, bloggers are often people very expert in their own fields who attract other experts when issues in their domain are newsworthy. Stories in old media can be fact-checked instantaneously and the journalists and their newspapers held to account.

Yup.

There is no doubt that the tectonic plates of journalism are moving. There is awesome potential in the internet as a gatherer, distributor and checker of news - not least through instant delivery channels such as mobile phones. This does not mean old media will die. But it will have to adapt quickly to what has so far been an asymmetrical relationship.

Blogs have battened off newspapers and many newspapers, including the Guardian, have launched their own blogs. But most newspapers, let alone TV stations, have not embraced the blogging revolution as an essential part of the future rather than an irritant in the background. The CBS saga may prove to be the wake-up call they needed.

In the interests of accuracy (well, I am a blogger!) it behoves me to point out that the Guardian has always displayed a readiness to recognise new tehcnologies and trends and they have been aware of the growing presence and significance of blogging for some time.

That said, this is the first mainstream media admission I have encountered that has been willing to admit that the mainstream media itself is under serious assault.

August 22, 2004
Sunday
IOC tries to restrict blogging, free speech
Jackie Danicki • Blogs & Blogging • Blogs in the media 
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American Olympic athlete Scott Goldblatt is blogging for NJ.com and at his own personal blog - despite the International Olympic Committee’s ridiculous ban on blogging for competitors, coaches, and anyone else involved with the games. As Jeff Jarvis puts it, the IOC is saying they do not have any right to free speech and can speak only through journalists. Dan Gillmore goes further:

This is about greed, nothing more and nothing less. It is about the historically corrupt International Olympic Committee’s desire to please the giant media organizations to which it has sold “rights” to tell and show the world what is happening.

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