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Thursday, March 23, 2006

Hooray for me

Following in the vein of indulgent, self-serving posts that have become the norm, at least this week, here at leading corporate blogging information and analysis website clogger, I'd like to say hooray for me.

For I have been thanked in the list of contributing influencers to the launch of PR.ojet Z, the brainchild of deputy GM of Edleman Paris, Philippe Cherel.

Erm, that's ok Philpox. My pleasure. Can't remember what I did though, but it must have been awesome. Best of luck!

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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Busted

I've been busted by a number of people now as to my 'true identity', so am toying with the idea of 'coming out'.

Which raises some interesting questions about how to disclose my business interests when commenting on this blog. After all, isn't the reason that I'm blogging about this crap in the first place purely because I'm part of the PR industry?

And isn't the process of building up a decent head of steam with this blogging lark and then exposing my true identity just a cynical way for me to forward my employers' image in a market that's particularly focused on blogs and how they work? Surely then this blog should have a blanket disclosure clause that warns every visitor of my intentions?

But what if that isn't the case?

What if I do care about the fine line between traditional and social publishing and sometimes that natural interest sometimes crosses with what I do to earn a living? How do I disclose that inevitable, but less regular, occurrence?

I'm not sure I like the way Morgan and Loic and most other people do it - following the post itself. Yes, the method is up front and fair, but I always feel a little cheated that I've absorbed the info as gospel, only to find out after it had a motive all along.

But, as is usual with this blogging business, I end up at the same question every time: "Does anyone really care?" With so little to regulate the blogosphere and the errant knaves within, most of the comments are purely opinion anyway, with little control over the content.

Why shouldn't that opinion be tainted with a little commercial bias?

My head hurts. I feel a new entry into the clogger Code of Ethics coming on... I know, I know. It's been a while.

Here goes:

3. Disclose everything. (Godin)

I've named it after Seth Godin as he's the top hit in Google for 'blog disclosure', and his post made me smile. Oh, and it's ages old - well before anyone else started talking about this stuff.

And so, the usual recap:

1. In social situations, everything is off the record unless otherwise agreed. (Foremski)

2. When you edit a published blog post, track your changes openly and publicly. (Tebbutt)

3. Disclose everything. (Godin)

Onwards and downwards...

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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Not Amanda Congdon's boobs either

Just checked my traffic reports - brilliantly, someone got to my site via the Google search 'congdon boobs'.

Unfortunately, it took them to my post on Scoble and his nippleizers and not the exposed chest of web legend Amanda Congdon. Sorry buddy, tough luck.

But, in honour of the Googler who's search resulted in a disappointing dead end, here's a haiku courtesy of Friends of Rocketboom:

why's your shirt so tight?
so we can get more viewers
my mouth is moving

*update*
My second most common referral page is now via the 'boobs' Technorati tag. And who said the Internet wasn't a haven for intellectuals?

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Social publishing and social etiquette

It's funny being a blogger working for a company where there are other bloggers. Funny peculiar, that is.

A couple of times I've been mid-conversation, probably moaning about the journalism vs blogging debate or harping on about some online issue, and I realise the person I'm talking to already knows my point of view in detail. The moment I realise I'm quoting a post word for word normally coincides with the moment they realise they've read the entire argument already and we both glaze over, carrying on talking but thinking about whether it would be embarrassing to stop and say something.

(It's like telling someone you've got a dodgy stomach and the other person saying they already know because they were in the next cubicle that morning in the toilet and thought that, judging by the horrific noise and overpowering stench, you ought to have gone home hours ago. It just isn't done. Not in polite company, anyway.)

At other times, being a blogger among bloggers works a treat. Like in seminars about new publishing techniques, when you can dispense with 50% of the background info as the others in the group are up to speed on your views already. You can get straight to the good stuff.

Another good example of how blogging lubricates intracompany relations is the ability to ask colleagues you barely know about intimate details of their personal life.

"Good holiday was it, Paul?"
"Er, yes. Not bad."
"Didn't the wife get terrible tan lines from that bikini though?"
"Erm... A little maybe. I'm just wondering..."
"And hasn't little Tarquin grown? If you're not careful he'll be following in Wayne's footsteps and ending up in prison."
"Heh. Quite... Erm..."
"By the way, loving the new house. Shame about the curtains in the bedroom."
"I'm sorry... Do I know you?"

Brilliant.

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Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Quaking in our boots

The journo community woke up to blogging today. Features in two or three big nationals referenced the movement, while Rupert Murdoch's admission that the media was changing forever only fuelled their fires.

The most interesting rant was from Terence Blacker in The Independent. So interesting in fact, it sounded like it could be one of my posts...
"The blog has become regarded, at least by blogocrats, as the ultimate in free expression. Whereas someone writing in the mainstream media - the "MSM" as it is now contemptuously known - will be cribbed and confined by fear of offending a vested interest, a brutal editor or a proprietor, the blogger, putting down his or her views without fear or favour, is as unrestricted as someone talking in the pub. The system is the free market of ideas at its purest, and those who argue otherwise are almost always hacks fearful of their dwindling influence from within a dying media establishment."
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Monday, March 13, 2006

Why you should hire a blogger

Margaret Atwood's bizarre idea to sign her latest novel The Tent by remote robotic arm is a perfect demonstration of how geek power, when unharnessed, can go horribly awry.

Geek brains are not designed to be entrepreneurial, or be in positions of power, or be used to manage other people. Geek brains are advanced biotechnical computers, sucking in information from the worldosphere and spitting it out through carefully executed actions.

Like programming. And blogging.

When a geek brain becomes too powerful and lacks direction, it thinks of stupid things, like robotic arms that don't work and embarrass everyone involved. Even the geeks in the crowd, waiting for their copy of The Tent to be signed remotely by robot, were visibly flushed at the cockup.

"This geek is out of control," they whispered to each other, before shuffling home and watching three episodes of Farscape - The Peacekeeper Wars.

(Atwood founded a company called Unotchit to develop the LongPen. The device, unfortunately, turned out to be total chit.)

Where the corporations come in is keeping the geeks busy doing productive things. Those that had the foresight to hire a few to blog for them are doing the world a valuable service - keeping the geeks from having their own ideas.

It's a win-win situation. The company gets a detailed, accessible media marketing channel that speaks to the legions of blog readers and the geeks find that they have, at last, found a place in the media mix.

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