Archive for April, 2009

Sponsored blogging

April 27, 2009

This whole debate that is arising about sponsored blogging is interesting. Is blogging more or less ethical if you know whether or not money has changed hands. Should you care? Do you care?

Personally, I take a lot of this stuff with a grain of salt. Those reviews on TripAdviser that say how utterly wonderful the hotel is, I query. I double-check. I Google to get more information. I check whether there are other testimonials.

And I kind of rely on my own input.

Just because something is written on the internet doesn’t mean it is gospel.

For me, it is the same as the newspaper. What is written in the newspaper is not gospel. It is more a collection of media releases, press releases, information and ideas put out to the wider world.

Some of it has been investigated, some has been copied verbatim from releases and some is simply content.

Blogging is the same. Some articles are written for the purpose of providing information. Some will be subtle advertising. Some will be blatant advertising.

It depends on whether you, the reader, is discerning.

And I am betting that you are.

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Sony eReader

April 27, 2009

I was recently given one of these and, after almost six months of use, my comments and thoughts are as follows:

  1. It is an utterly cool piece of kit. It still gives me pleasure when I use it. Tactile, pleasing to the eye, clean and easy to read.
  2. You can easily read it regardless of the angle. Lying in bed or sitting in the sun it is still clear to use and, if you wear glasses, you can take them off and just up the font size.

How would I improve it?

  1. I’d add a dictionary function. I use the e-Reader when we go on holidays and the kids could use a dictionary
  2. I’d also add a highlighting function rather than just the bookmarking function which it currently has.
  3. I’d make the way the pages turn  slightly easier. If you read a lot it gets a bit irritating after you have turned your hundredth page.

How do I use it? Mostly for pdfs and downloaded books. I have a lot of work texts on it and it is easy to throw in a handbag or drawer.

Would I buy it again? Yep.

Beatblogging definition

April 27, 2009

Beat journalists cover a specific topic.  They work a beat whether it is crime, planning, politics. They focus. And beatbloggers do the same. They focus on one area but instead of reporting in a one-dimensional way as is done with traditional news, they focus on the two-way process of communications. They engage and discuss. And if you aren’t moving to this engagement process, you will be left behind.

It’s all about the comments.

Twitter spam

April 27, 2009

It’s sad. Twitter is changing. Over the last week I have been used Topify – and I really like it. Topify allows you to receive an email to your iPhone advising you of any person that is now following you on Twitter. The email gives you a short breakdown about the number of people the person is following, the number of people that are following that person. It also shows the number of tweets and the last few. You can read a short profile of the person as well.

And what have been the last dozen or so emails that I have received?  Twitterers who have been on Twitter for two days and who have 10,000 plus people they are following. And the only tweets that they make are product related. Or their profiles are blocked. Or they have made no tweets – they are just building mega-databases of names.

Engagement? This is not enagagement. This is not about a process of sharing information and gathering thoughts. This is simply about building spam databases.

And the twitter spam is starting. From bloggers saying “read my blog”. To internet entrepreneurs saying that they can make $1 million in ten days. And people offering to teach me how to get 10,000 followers in ten days. Or drive 10,000 people to my blog in one month.

Ugh.

Twitter. Is there really a conversation?

April 27, 2009

All the discussions about Twitter focus on the engagement that has created. Everyone keeps talking and chatting about how, now that social media is around, the focus has changed to one of engagement and debate. The flow is two-way.  Yet, after being on Twitter for almost a year, I am finding the conversation to be pretty much a one sided dialogue.

There is truly very little engagement back.  Mostly, I post. I send links out, I try to re-tweet any interesting topics and I always reply to any direct message that I receive. I ask questions. I say please. I try to answer any question that is posted that I can help with.  And after all this time? Generally, the response rate is  pretty poor. I get a better response with email.  I  get the occasional tweet from a few locals but that is about it.  I have checked all my statistics – I am a great engager/ my twitfluence is high but the thing is the conversation is not really as two way yet.

Why? Maybe because there is not as wide spread a usage here as in the US. It is still seen of as something that people are aware of – but not really inspired to use.  At this point, I have four real-life friends on twitter.

And to me, that’s not really that engaging.