Flamewars in the Blogosphere

I don’t want to be the guy that shines a spotlight on the many varied and obscene warts that exist in the blogosphere. Far be it from me to hold myself up as an example of exemplary behavior. However, there is a disturbing trend in the world of blogs these days and it really needs to stop.

godwinslaw.pngFlamewars are nothing new on the internet. They date back to the early usenet days, where some smart dude figured out a key scientific law known as Godwin’s Law. Godwin’s Law states, in essence, that as a discussion online is prolonged over time, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler increases.

Eventually, usenet gave way to forums and forums gave way to blogs and blogs gave way to social networks.

The scientific law seems to have been preserved as a core guiding principle of internet interaction. Unlike the super smart Jason Calacanis, I don’t believe it’s all that healthy for the blogoshpere.

Well, it might be. It all depends on how the disagreements are aired. Healthy dialogue out of a mutual respect combined with lethal verbal barbs are fine, and in many cases serve to make the world a better place. However, going personal – in life, in politics, on the web – is almost always uncalled for.

Take for instance the recent hidden “cold war” between two influential technology bloggers, both supposedly friends. One does small business with a competitor and now they don’t talk to each other. Apparently. Silly pettiness.

What about the mommy blogger kerfuffle where one supposedly A-list blogger got petty with a longtail blogger over who did what when and where and why? Something to the effect of, “I did this first and you’re a lying thieving bitch”. Mmmmmm…. Female cat fights. Can I get mud with that?

Public relations and bloggers is another catch topic we like to talk about, and have. Bloggers want to own the medium and force PR to cooperate. PR wants to use longevity as a bludgeon tool to get bloggers to fit their paradigm. Stupidity.

And don’t even get me started on politics. Left vs. Right. McCain vs. Obama. He said this, no I didn’t. It all boils down to frivolity.

When is it all going to end? When are we going to realize that people are people and every person should command the respect of others, regardless of sides, positioning or dialogues.

This is a commentary piece for The District of Corruption show to be aired live on July 1, 2008 at 4pm EDT. The archive can be heard here.

Read More

The Power of Bloggers

I subscribe to a handful of blogs that are completely unrelated to my niche. The reason behind these subscriptions are varied: historical niche coverage that I’ve done (for instance, politics when I got started), friends or associates, really killer blogs related to specific sports teams, etc. There’s different reason. Largely, though, my RSS reader is a smattering of technology news, analysis, business, etc combined with a growing number of search feeds from Technorati, Google Blog Search or Icerocket.

One of the blogs I do subscribe to is Outside the Beltway which is one of the few political blogs that stuck after I stopped covering politics. Occasionally, James covers a topic that has crossover into the Technosailor market. This was one of those posts.

I still think the political space is different than the rest of the blogosphere and is a bit myopic (okay, a lot!), but there’s some great stuff. In his article, James notes that back when he began blogging in 2003(?), bloggers liked to write about blogging.

Unfortunately, it’s still that way today. Am I doing it now?

Largely, he makes a good point inadvertently, that the great blogs today are blogs that have something to say. They might be seen as “media”, depending on the niche. They might be seen as Journalists, depending on the niche. In the tech space, I’d call Gigaom a journalistic property, more than a blog. TechCrunch is largely a media organization, but I do question the journalistic legitimacy of a “publish now, correct later” site (something that Mike acknowledged in a Mesh Conference keynote last year and numerous other times as well).

I don’t want to get broiled down in the question of what is journalism and what is not? I don’t really want to discuss the “media merit” of any site, really.

More importantly, there is an evolution that takes place where a blog goes from a blog to a media property. It’s hard to tell, at least for me, what that point is. Is it when a site gets more than one author? Is it when there is a certain “rate of fire” on posts per day? Per week?

Is it pageviews and eyeballs? Is it simply a nomenclature thing where the Editor stops considering and calling the site a blog and starts referring to it as something else? Is it advertising? Is it the presence and participation in a network?

What’s the difference? Where is the line?

I think it’s obvious that some sites are “media” while others are not, but where and how does this evolution take place?

I expect other people to have different theories than I do, and that’s okay. My feeling is that it’s a combination of all of those things, but mostly it’s how the site is “sold” to readers? I see Technosailor.com, for instance, as a media property. Yes, it’s a blog? But is it?

We’ve recently refreshed the layout of the site to be more of a newspaper look, thanks to a large degree of influence from Huffington Post and The New York Times – both significant, and undeniable, “media outlets”.

Is that enough though? Probably not.

I’ve also hired other writers and contributors with an eye on hiring more as I’m able to recoup costs via advertising and other sponsorship. This is another ingredient, or at least that’s what Google News believes, since it does not accept any sources that don’t have multiple authors.

What’s the difference? Where is the evolutionary point?

Read More

7 Herramientas de Relaciones Públicas que su Empresa No Conoce

La web ofrece una gran cantidad de herramientas para hacer relaciones públicas. A continuación, siete herramientas que facilitarán su operación de relaciones públicas online.

Distribución de Boletines de Prensa

Para distribuir boletines de prensa al mayor número de personas posible, están SanePR y PR-Web. Fáciles de usar, gratis la primera y paga la segunda, estas herramientas enviarán sus boletines de prensa a través de internet, a los servicios de noticias, buscadores y webs sociales. PR-Web es un poco más completo en sus opciones de distribución y análisis.

Interacción con los Usuarios

Para interactuar con los usuarios, Facebook permite crear grupos y páginas de productos. Los grupos permiten a los miembros conversar entre si, publicar contenido y hasta servir de moderadores. Las páginas de productos son un tanto más estáticas, pero permiten a los usuarios indicar su preferencia por el producto. Ambas opciones son buenas como métodos de distribución de información y recepción de comentarios de los usuarios. También podemos crear aplicaciones en Facebook que permiten a los usuarios relacionarse alrededor de nuestro producto o mensaje.

Twitter es otra herramienta ideal para diseminar información a un grupo de usuarios. La conversación puede ser de ida o de ida-y-vuelta si preferimos.

Second Life es un universo virtual en el cual podemos crear una presencia tan elaborada como queramos. Empresas como Sun, Pontiac y Reuters han creado versiones de sus oficinas en Second Life, donde los usuarios pueden obtener más información, probar nuevos productos y hasta asistir a conciertos y entrevistas.

La herramienta más básica para informar y recibir información de los usuarios es un blog. Estos permiten darle un toque más humano a un producto o marca, y pueden ser tan informales o frios como haga falta.

Análisis de Competencia

Parar terminar, Google Trends permite realizar análisis de competencia sencillos que pueden indicarnos si existe algún producto de nombre similar en un mercado de interés, o cuál de varios productos genera más búsquedas en Google.

¿Tienes alguna otra herramienta que recomendar? Anótala abajo en los comentarios.

Read More