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April 2007

Social Networking Puts People to Work


Looking for a job? Then read this post by Nadine Turner. Sure you can read the classifieds, check Monster.com and all the other usual suspects, but if you really want to give yourself every opportunity to land the job you really want you would be wise to follow her example and put some effort into building your LinkedIn network, and check out Emurse.com.

Here is a brief excerpt from Nadine’s post:

In my experience, yeah networking works but not in the way I originally thought. It seems to work more unexpectedly. I don’t pretend to know the secrets of success, but what I found is that if you trust a few people, more end up putting trust in you. And if you help a few people, some will help you. And if you blatantly offer help to those that need it, NONE will accept it. Crazy isn’t it?

/Congrats on the new gig Nadine.

Thank you Tris


Just a quick public thank you to Tris Hussey for the fantastic job he did live blogging the Web 2.0 conference for us. Tris landed some great interviews and may have the fastest fingers this side of the Pecos.

btw if you ever need a blog consultant or need to find a blogger for hire. Tris’ company One by One Media should be the first people you contact.

Last session … all media, all the time …


First, I have to tell you, I’m wiped out.  This has been a darn long week and my brain is full.  Thomas Hawk, Scoble, Chris Pirillo, and Jeremiah Owyang are on stage getting ready to tell us about the world of video blogging, lifecasting, podcasting, twittercasting, coffeecasting … okay I made those last two up.  You get the idea.

I’ve been Jeremiah’s show a couple times now.  This morning I felt like I was on a mini panel session, and that was really cool.  That is certainly a benefit to the conference!

Chris just Twittered that this is all coming live on http://live.pirillo.com/ …

Okay is history being made or is this hype?

Robert is covering the basics … blogs, search etc…

Thomas, who really is an amazing photographer, is talking about zooomr and controlling the images associated with your company.  Wow, yeah.  Never really thought about that!

Is online identity and openness and social media changing .. politics?  Scoble was talking about his experience with John Edwards on the plane … yes.  Covering all the bases.

Chris is talking about the recent experience of the earthquake in Mexico … bit of luck that I think made a bit of Web 2.0  history.

Scoble has 3000 followers!  Jeez … I don’t know if I could handle that … Chris says that they are all sneezers … if Robert says something (sneeze) then it spreads rapidly across the Net.  Now, this can be good, but it also could be bad.

Ah, Thomas has made the point that there are so many channels now. We have started developing large social communities …

Are we visionaries or just able to see the vision?

Ah the killer question from the floor: “And how does it help my business?”  Ooh Scoble and Chris bantering back and forth … just a wee heated.

Twitter to help your business … it would take time but if you can get one of the people like Scoble or Chris or other major twitterers to follow you … you can get news out fast.  You can start your community, start your viral campaign … it’s new, it’s unproven, but I think some smarts and creativity will find a way.

Now, while I was twittering, they moved to search.  Well … oops.  First question from the chatroom … How does ustream.tv change things … revolutionary or complimentary?  The ability to be live take things to a new level and building a new community.

Is Chris blowing this all out of proportion?  Is it all that?  Yes … because ustream is free, it is making the world of broadcasting on it’s head.  This expanding the audience, getting better questions, better info, faster easier.

Chris caught on Twittervison that his video wasn’t working … and fixed it!  Wow.

Okay they have 10 mins left … I bet they go over, but I’ll have to leave … sorry I have to get to the airport!

So … the take away from this whole panel is … the conversation from blogs, forums, etc.  It’s being connected to find ways to improve and fix your product … and maybe find your best evangelists.

Is PR still relevant? Dead or mortally wounded?


PR 2.0?  Huh?  The evolution of PR practices to the Web 2.0 world … is it real?  Are they kidding?

So what is this new PR … Jeremy made the point that PR hasn’t changed pre se, but it’s how it’s done.  All the panelists are talking about engaging people, being a part of the conversation and listening.

PR 2.0 dead?  I didn’t even know it was alive in the first place.  Jeremy is bang on I think … yeah PR has to adapt to new consumer patterns and technologies, but really you’re just trying to tell your story.  It’s just learning to do it better.  I think at its core, PR has always been around.  People always want their stories to be heard and past on.  So how to do keep the story and the transmission medium in step.  You adapt.

Hmm, must less control and much more to manage.  Very true.  I think the whole pace and scale of information is a challenge for any one to keep on top of things.

Blogs aren’t completely mainstream so traditional media still matters.  Which is true, this is a pragmatic realism.  There are tons of people who really only do e-mail and maybe look at a few sites online.  So to say that only blogs matter is as foolish as saying only traditional media matters.

Bad content (release or post) … still doesn’t get coverage now any more like it did in the past.

Is a post on Scobleizer better than a Mossberg article in the WSJ?  Maybe for some companies, but you can’t discount the established people who can connect you to others.  It’s the audience and channel that is the guiding factor.

Just because it’s new, doesn’t mean it’s right (not all clients need Twitter or should be on MySpace).

Yes, press release isn’t dead, it’s just changing.  To reach bloggers, to send or not to send?  I like them sometimes for the quotes and background, I guess you ask first.  I just hate having PR people contact me out of the blue and expect me to write about their client, when I don’t know them or the client.  Look, I listen to my friends.  They get an automatic shot.  Haven’t heard of you before?  Well, trying to get me to blog about your launch on launch day, not good timing.  Take a little time to learn about me, what my interests are, etc.  While I might not be considered a journalist by some (I think of myself as a nouveau journalist), you do need the same kind of relationship you have with your traditional media folks.

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RSS and Marketing


When you know 3/4 of the folks speaking at a session … you know you have to be there and you know that it should be fun.  I’m here in the RSS and Marketing session.  Niall is doing his intro, but I wish he had polled the audience to get the user level.  That said is it pretty comfortable at the podium.


Niall Kennedy, Principal, Hat Trick Media
Bill Flitter, Founder and VP of Marketing, Pheedo
Don Loeb, FeedBurner
Stephan M. Spencer, Founder and President, Netconcepts

Don did his intro and Bill is doing his now.  Interesting that these two competitors are sitting next to each other!

Bill is talking about his new product, which I happen to have tried for one of my other blogs.  It’s called the FeedPowered Platform.

Stephan dude!  Slow down!  Okay we have full-text feeds, multiple feeds, category feeds, optimize blogs, tags, internal tags, optimized title tags (WP plugin).  Whew.  Stephan says just to e-mail him to get the presentation (hey man what about a flash thing or something!).  Oh and his daughter makes $20 a day through Adsense via her blog!

Don is making the key point here … just blogging isn’t enough, you need to be out there, tracking mentions, finding links, and comments.  Then you need to leave comments contributing to the community.  I’ve seen this first hand with not only Feedburner (I love em, use them for all my blogs) but many other companies.

Stephan is talking about making sure you have tag pages, tag clouds, related tags because while blogs are search engine friendly they aren’t search engine optimized.  Looks like I’ll have to get these on some (all?) of my blogs.

Don: E-mail and RSS are complementary.  Yes, RSS you should be able to get feed content in e-mail if that’s what you want.  Of course, e-mail is just not a great way to deal with content you really want to read.  Look … try Google Reader if you’re not using RSS.  It’s easy, it’s free, and you can manage the info flow better.

Of course with RSS (and blogs) you need to post often with relevant, recent content.  Good idea for moving your e-mail mailing list to RSS: email each group (AOL, Gmail, Yahoo, etc) and let them know they can add you content to the My Yahoo, etc page.

I also know that FeedBlitz allows you to import an e-mail list into their RSS to e-mail solution.  The key is trying to wean people away from e-mail as an info source.

Ooh the partial vs full text debate … I’m wondering if I should speak up?  Bill says his data on partial text feeds don’t have high click through rates.  Don … when people are looking for content they are looking for all of the content.  Even with full text, people will click through to comment (I do it do be able to blog it).  Generally MSM and other media companies do partial, bloggers, full (well I don’t know about that).  Stephan does make an excellent point that with full text Google and other engines can index the links out and related tags and keywords in the whole post vs just a bit.

Okay measurement … that’s still a tough one.  I haven’t tried Pheedo’s solution, but I do use FeedBurner.  RSS metrics is still in its infancy.  Essentially I use FeedBurner and look at their metrics.  I don’t take them as gospel, I take them as a barometer.  Then you look at the comments, links in, look at what keywords people are using to find you.

When people consume RSS through something like MyYahoo … they often don’t realize they are consuming RSS. Just make it easy and don’t say it’s RSS!

My chat with Vidoop


 Yesterday in the Launch Pad portion of the keynote the startup Vidoop made their pitch for why they have a better way to deal with password … don’t have them!  Okay this isn’t entirely accurate, but really what is going on here is that we all have a ton of different passwords.  Heck we also have a ton of different user ids as well.  So Vidoop is part of the larger OpenID movement, which really hadn’t hit my radar until this conference.  Okay I knew about it, but hadn’t really done anything to learn more about it.

Regardless, the premise is, if you don’t already know, is that your ID becomes a URL and that is tied to your information and that is passed onto participating sites as you login credentials.  WordPress.com and Netscape.com both support it, Digg is supposed to but I didn’t see it when I just went there.  Okay, yeah so now I have a freakn’ URL to remember and a password!  How is this better?  Well it’s supposed to (eventually) give you only one thing to remember.  Where does Vidoop fit in then?  Well they are taking the concept and process to another level, they are taking passwords out of the picture.

Here’s how it works.  You sign up with them (they are in private beta now, but the president of Vidoop, Luke Sontag said you can request a code to get in), and after picking your ID you don’t set a password, you pick categories for a grid of pictures.  Like planes, trains, and automobiles … you pick a picture of a plane, a train, and a car … you got it.

Here’s the cool park, when you need to enter your password you see this grid of pictures with a letter on each one.  You type in the letter that’s on the pictures of your categories.  The best part … next time all the letters are different!  Your password can’t be sniffed, because if the hack tries it he only has these three letters … but he doesn’t know what your categories are.  So, sure enter those letters, doesn’t matter chances that they match up is slim to none.  Oh and if you think someone has guess your categories, you can lock your account down and change the categories … heck even then that would be tough because each computer that you use has to be authenticated to be able to even try to login!

Yes, this is revolutionary.  Business model is interesting.  They allow companies to “sponsor” the pictures (right now SmartCar has the cars and a pizza chain has food). and then they sell their solution to companies as well (license really).

I over heard Luke talking a about maybe a VPN solution for later this year … ooh maybe a free VPN for when you’re using free WiFi maybe?  Man I’d be there!

Of course Vidoop’s challenge is going to be uptake.  More sites need to sign onto OpenID (I’d love a WP plugin for my blogs … it would save me so many headaches) to be effective.

Frankly … this is an amazing solution and I’m looking forward to trying it more.


Web 2.0 in the Enterprise


Dan Faber is leading the panel, and playing the role of CTO/CIO of a large company.  So he put on Ross to give the elevator pitch on why would he want to or leave … Ross of Socialtext replied if you don’t get it, you’re going to gone.

Matt of Google Enterprise Apps … second biggest money maker in Google (second to ads … now there is some secret sauce).  Makes the point that it’s probably already there and you just have to deal with.

Satish …Zimbra (sorry don’t know that product …) end users want to be just as productive with as web app as a desktop.  Make it easy and reduce cost for IT (less support … updates).

Cost and time savings is a common theme in the discussion.  Flexibility and power and ease of use.  Desktop to the Webtop.  People being able to work together in the way that works for them. It might all be different, but it all has to work.

Ross: “Doing your homework on MySpace is called cheating, at work it’s called collaboration” … Perfect.  At school we have to learn independently, then at work we have to learn how to learn and work together.  Maybe if homework was collaborative …

“If you take away the watercooler, you’ll only make people more thirsty.”  –Ross in reference to people surfing on MySpace during work.

GoogleApps before it could be rolled out to the world, all of Google had to use it.  Well, good.  Personally I like Gmail for domains, which rocks.  For other stuff… well I’ll keep trying.

For the the Microsoft shop … well?  Ross is making the point that you have to recognize that you can’t do it overnight.  I’ll have to get more info on the new suite that Ross is talking about that they did with Intel.

Dan asks Matthew … yeah GoogleApps doesn’t compete with MS Office … Matthew still uses MS Office apps … it’s a task by task basis.  Complementary not competitive.  Really to make it better, GoogleApps needs an MS Office syncing mechanism like Zoho does.

And what about offline … Satish thinks all the web apps will absolutely have to have an offline component within this year.  Yes!

Maybe my goal for next week is to try more of these apps.  Gotta stay ahead of the curve man!


The new Topix, taking on local


Okay ad revenue is there, but the content on a local basis isn’t.  Of course.  They started with the traditional online news sources.  Okay, then look at bloggers.  And the point is there … bloggers don’t usually cover real local news (I don’t go to the local RCMP station to see when Pender’s been up to lately … heck I don’t even write about much at all).

So as a little test, I decided to check Victoria, BC (since I’ll be moving there soon)…you know it’s pretty good.  I’m going to have to look at this more.  This could really change how we consume news.  Okay Pender is kinda thin … not unexpected.  There are only 2000 people there!  But … they did get the news about our local cable co getting acquired.

This really is something to watch.


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