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May 2007

looking to improve your SMO?


as in Social Media Optimization?

Then check out Paul Dunay’s latest post at Buzz Marketing for Technology. Aptly named 5 Rules of Social Media Optimization (SMO). Here is a brief excerpt:

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for websites has been honed into a fine art and while I believe in the power of SEO, there is a new discipline beginning to emerge called Social Media Optimization (SMO).

The concept behind SMO is simple: implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on blog search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.

Here are 5 rules to help guide your thinking around SMO for a client’s website:

1. Increase your linkability – This is the first and most important priority for websites. To optimize a site for social media, we need to increase the linkability of the content.

You will have to read Paul’s post for the rest of his great tips.

Senate Press Gallery Refuses to Renew Blogger Credentials


From consumeraffairs.com:

May 9, 2007
The U.S. Senate Press Gallery has ejected ConsumerAffairs.Com reporter Joe Enoch after his credentials expired and Gallery officials refused to renew them.

As a result of the ejection, Enoch is no longer able to cover Congressional action on consumer issues like food safety, consumer protection for airline passengers and the confirmation hearings for Michael Baroody, President Bush’s nominee to chair the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

Enoch was honored last year when he was chosen as the inaugural recipient of the Buffalo News Award for excellence in enterprise and investigative reporting. He was nominated for the award by the faculty of the Russel J. Jandoli School of Journalism and Mass Communications at St. Bonaventure University.

Besides his coverage of consumer issues in Congress, Enoch has broken stories dealing with Blue Hippo Funding; High Tech Pets, Northern Nevada Telecom and other telephone “cram artists;” and the widespread but little recognized safety issues involving the lithium ion batteries used in millions of laptop computers and cell phones.

The Senate Press Gallery offered no formal reason for the ejection, although Gallery employee Joe Keenan has questioned whether ConsumerAffairs.Com is a “legitimate journalistic enterprise.”

Huh?  This man is not only without a doubt a legitimate journalist, he is an award winning one. Dimes to Donuts this decision gets reversed.

Do you blog for your home business?


Then consider submitting a post to the Working at Home on the Internet Blogging Project Competition.

The competition asks you to write a post on:

…help people with a Home Business determine the Advantages or Disadvantages of using a Blog to enhance their business through Blogging on the Internet. It can be about direct income through Blogging or indirect income using a Blog as a way to reach potential or existing customers.

The winner will be randomly drawn and will win a copy of the new book The winner will be randomly drawn and will receive an autographed copy of my new book, Blogging Tips, What Blogger’s Won’t Tell You About Blogging.

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised


but it might just make it to print:

While most newspapers are trying to stake bigger claims online, one new publication is pulling material off the Internet to be printed in ink.

John Wilpers, editor in chief of BostonNow, a free weekday daily introduced last month, said he wanted to fill the paper with items that local bloggers submitted to the BostonNow Web site.

While many newspapers are finding their voice online:

New York – The audience for newspaper Web sites is growing at nearly twice the rate of the overall online audience, according to new data released today by the Newspaper Association of America. An average of more than 59 million people (37.6 percent of all active Internet users) visited newspaper Web sites each month during the first quarter, a record number that represents a 5.3 percent increase over the same period a year ago, according to Nielsen//NetRatings NetView custom analysis*. During the same time period, the overall Internet audience grew just 2.7 percent.

You Call Yourself a New Media Professor?


/HT Jane Hamsher at Firedoglake for this latest bit of nonsense. First of all Chicago Sun Times reporter Jennifer Hunter just realized last week at the California State Democratic Convention in San Diego that this blogging thing is big:

When I walked into the California State Democratic Convention last Saturday in San Diego and saw all the bloggers, I realized that not only was I a Luddite, hauling around my ailing microcassette tape recorder, but that this trend of political blogging is growing like a kudzu vine, snaking around a dozen newspaper boxes … overnight.

Jane provides some great stats at her post but here are a couple more for Ms. Hunter. When we originally started planning BlogWorld back in October of 06 Technorati was tracking 57 million blogs. Today they are tracking 71 million blogs, before BlogWorld & New Media Expo take place this November 8th and 9th Technorati will be tracking over 100 million blogs. By the way that does not count MySpace with over 100 million users.

From a recent Zogby interactive poll:

A majority of Americans (55%) in an online survey said bloggers are important to the future of American journalism and 74% said citizen journalism will play a vital role, a new WE Media/Zogby Interactive poll shows.

But that is just tip of the clueless iceberg found lurking beneath the surface of the Sun Time article. Here is the coup de gracie:

But Sree Sreenivasan, new media professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, says the effectiveness of Web sites and blogs as political tools may only go so far: “It’s still a small percentage of people using these technologies.”

Most are young and what Sreenivasan terms “early adaptors.” And, as he concludes, the impact of young voters “is notoriously hard to predict.” It was thought they were going to turn out in big numbers in 2004 but that didn’t happen.

In the end, who has time to blog? After reading four newspapers each day and my e-mails and doing my work, I’ve had it. Blogging remains a luxury for the young — or the bored.


I don’t know if the **cough** professor **cough** was misquoted or mis-spoke but the term is “Early Adopter” not adapter. I am also not sure if the last comment was made by the professor or if Ms. Hunter was editorializing but whoever made the comment should get an RSS reader and learn how to read 100 newspapers and a 1000 blogs in less time that it currently takes them to read four fish wraps.

As for the professor asserting that only a small percentage of people used blogs, as of July 2006 Pew Internet Research found that over 57 million Americans were reading blogs. That equates to 19% of the population and a 178% increase from a similar study Pew released January of 05.

Remember we are talking July of 06 numbers. If the exponential growth had slowed by half that would put us at about 100 million blog readers today or approximately one third of the American population.

What’s the point?

Well point one is this type of growth in publishers and readers can only be characterized as a revolution.

Point two is this revolution has been going on since at least 2004. I hope Jennifer pays more attention to the weeds growing in her lawn than the kudzu like growth of the blogosphere or she may be in need of rescue soon.

Point three is what kind of a “new media professor” would say such things?

I will contact both Ms. Hunter and the good professor to find out where they are coming from. Stay tuned.

More at Seeing the Forest, and Atrios.

[tags] BlogWorld & New Media Expo, blogs, blogging, Chicago Sun-Times, Technorati, Poltical+Blogs[/tags]

President Bush opens 2007 Milblog Conference


This morning conference organizer and military spouse Andi of Andi’s World announced that she had a special guest who wanted to offer some opening remarks and address the 2007 Milblog Conference . The room erupted in surprise and cheers as she announced President George W. Bush who then addressed the room via a video feed.

more at Wizbang, and Gateway Pundit who are living blogging the event.

PC Magazine Editor Quits Over Killed Story


Kim Zetter of Wired has the story. Long story short a new CEO comes in and doesn’t appreciate the Editor-In-Cheif writing stories that are critical of advertisers.

The blogosphere has been talking about transparency and not selling out to advertisers and maintaining integrity, etc for a very long time. As I have said many times before this is nothing new.

If any magazine or radio station let alone TV program tries to tell you that the advertisers don’t hold any sway over editorial content don’t believe it for a second.

Even in this story where now former PC World magazine Editor Harry McCracken ended up quiting over his story being killed Wired reports he was willing to compromise:

The piece, a whimsical article titled “Ten Things We Hate About Apple,” was still in draft form when Crawford killed it. McCracken said no way and walked after Crawford refused to compromise.

Don’t think advertisers effect content? think again. Anyone who ever accepts a dollar from an advertiser will feel pressure to compromise their content either internally or externally. That is just a fact. Blogs are no exception.

Does that mean advertising is bad or that anyone who runs ads in their newspaper, magazine or blog is a sellout?

Personally I don’t think so as long as you don’t cross the line. Where is the line you ask?

It’s kinda like the old saying in pornography when you see it you will know.

A great post at Ed Bott’s Windows Expertise but I have to take exception to this:

For people who aren’t in the publishing trade, it’s easy to build elaborate conspiracy theories about the role of advertisers in editorial decisions. I’ve seen enough letters and online comments to know that some readers believe that reviews and news articles in technical publications are influenced by how many ads the subject of the story agrees to buy.

I know it to be a fact Ed. Maybe not at your magazines but I know it happens every single day. It looks like it is happening right now at PC World doesn’t it?

Read the whole post as Ed makes some very good points like this one:

Ten years ago this sort of story would have appeared in a trade magazine for publishers and editors, and most readers would never have heard about it. In the online era, the story is out in a matter of hours, and it doesn’t make IDG look good.

That right before blogging a story like this would have never seen the light of day.

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Army ban on Milblogs follow up


First off thank you to my buddy and Milblogger Sgt. Tim Boggs. Be sure to stop by his site and thank him for his service. Tim has done two tours in Iraq and has several must read posts including What Makes Tim Tick (that is actually his dad’s post), and parts 1 and 2 of his interview with an Iraqi General.

Tim is just one of hundreds of fantastic milbloggers who write about their real life experiences while deployed and after returning home. The Pentagon’s decision to silence people like Tim has to be one of the worst in this war.

I understand the need to keep the Army’s operational details secret, but I also understand how the media covers this war is just as important as what happens on the ground. Milbloggers have been the single best counter narrative to that of our enemies who understand and manipulate the media far better than our military leaders do, can or are allowed to do.

Real first hand accounts from Milbloggers who post the good the bad and the uglyness of war have a powerful ring of truth that cuts through our enemies spin far better than any counter propaganda we could ever produce.

These Milbloggers inspire millions of us civilians here at home and connect us to the hundreds of thousands of heroes serving in harms way.

The Irony of the timing is right out of a bad Hollywood screenplay. The Milblogger conference (I will be there) is set to begin this Friday evening hosting several hundred of the best milbloggers around. They all just got something to blog about.

For more reaction from top milbloggers check out BlackFive, Noah Shachtman has a great round up at Wired.

/HT to Hugh Hewitt for the earlier link.

Pentagon Bans Army Milblogs!


See the story here:

Tim here filling in for Rick who is on the road. To introduce myself I am a milblogger and am somewhat shocked at the what the Pentagon has just done. I say somewhat because there is a part of me that is never surprised by anything the military does. What shocks me the most about the situation is that the Pentagon is going in the opposite direction of where we need to go right now. Let me explain.

The world over knows that our enemy (terrorists will suffice) will never be able to beat us on the battlefield. Heck the terrorists even know that. So what do they do? They beat us with propaganda. ‘Terrorists’ are masterminds at using the media to further their cause, and we (USA), seem hell bent on doing all that we can to lose the war on that front. If we can’t convince people in America that that the war on ‘terror’ is the right thing to do, then we will never be able to garner the support needed in order to win on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So what does my theory have to do with the fact that the Pentagon has banned Milblogs? Well during my time blogging while deployed to Iraq I was able to give a real picture of what life was like on the ground. I received countless emails from people the world over thanking me for telling it like it really was. Most people have a strong desire to understand what is going on in Iraq and Afghanistan and one of the main sources (up until now) where they got their information was from soldiers like myself. Now that the Pentagon has changed that everyone will once again have to rely upon the MSM for their “news”. So go ahead and voice your opinion if you think soldiers should be given the right to tell the world what is really going on. Believe you me, if the world really knew what it was like on the ground in Iraq they would be behind us 100 percent.

Be sure to check out the Milblog Conference.

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