Friday, August 29, 2008

Guide to blogging, commenting & managing your personal brand

Since we will start setting up blogs in class next week, it's time to address blogging etiquette, reputation management and personal branding. That's why I've put together a slideshow on the topic. Take a look:
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: blogging reputation)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Class Participation in Blog Action Day 08

Last year, the students in my fall social media class participated in Blog Action Day, an "event that aims to unite the world’s bloggers, podcasters and videocasters, to post about the same issue on the same day." The goal is to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion on critical issues facing society. This year's Blog Action Day will focus on the issue of poverty and will take place on October 15th. I plan on getting my class involved again this year. So stop by again later this semester to check out their October 15th posts!

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty from Blog Action Day on Vimeo

Monday, August 25, 2008

Resources on blogging etiquette, personal branding, and online identity management

Today was the first day of the fall semester and soon the students in my social media class will begin blogging. For a lot of them, it will be their first time to do so. To help them get ready to enter the blogosphere, I have compiled a number of resources which I thought would be worth sharing here:
Blogging & Blogging Etiquette:
Guidelines for PR student blogs -- Richard Bailey
Etiquette in the Age of Social Media -- Chris Brogan
Call for a Blogger's Code of Conduct -- O'Reilly Radar
Bloggers' FAQ: legal issues arising from student blogging -- Electronic Frontier Foundation
Disclosure Best Practices Toolkit -- The Blog Council

Commenting on a Blog:
Comments about comments -- Karen Russell
Geek to Live: Lifehacker's guide to weblog comments -- Lifehacker

Managing your Online Reputation:

Update 9/11: Chris Brogan just published a free e-book on personal branding that is worth checking out

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Facebook to give social ads another try

There's an interesting post on Wired's blog today which looks at some of the new social advertising schemes Facebook plans to roll out in the near future. 
I covered Facebook's previous attempts at social advertising in an earlier post.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Video on the digital footprint we leave behind on the web

I seem to be having a footprint theme going on on this blog lately: Here's a great new video from the digital native on the digital footprints we leave behind on the Internet. Interesting to think that we start leaving those footprints long before we are born and that they may follow us even after our death.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Another Step towards the Adoption of Social Media Releases?

The Swiss blog "das Wortgefecht" today reported that PR firm Burson-Marsteller just launched a Social Media Release (SMR) distribution service named Although the site currently only houses a few examples, it shows that the PR industry is getting serious about SMRs. 

I took a closer look at the only publicly available English language SMR on the site (yes - there's a password protected Social Media Release on the site - not very social if you ask me...). The publicly accessible SMR announces fashion icon Karl Lagerfeld's decision to design 80 limited edition homes on an island in Dubai. 
The layout of the page is simple and clean (especially when compared to some of the early SMRs), but the site itself seems to be lacking some elements that would make it a truly interactive and social site. SHIFT Communications' latest SMR template called for the integration of a commenting feature and pointed out the importance of offering an easy way to embed multimedia files. Neither of these features seem to be present in the Lagerfeld SMR however. Add those features to the site and I think you'd have a really nice example of a news release worthy of the 21st century.

Update (8/19): Turns out the service does allow you to grab the embed code by using the video contained in the body of the release instead of the one listed on the sidebar.

Update (8/19): The CNW group, a Canadian news and information distribution provider, also just launched a very nice SMR distribution tool. Their service allows for user comments and displays the video embed code right under the video.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Web 2.0 Course Resource for the Upcoming Semester

Here's a great resource on Web 2.0 created by David Wiley, a professor at Utah State University. Contains lots of links to resources on blogging, tagging, podcasting, wikis, RSS feeds, etc. Check it out!

Friday, August 1, 2008

PR Crisis brewing online for the National Communication Association

There's an old joke floating around the communication discipline which implies that the people who are attracted to the study of communication tend to be the worst communicators. Judging by the National Communication Association's (NCA) latest actions (or inactions), this may very well be the case.
Here's a case study in PR crisis management courtesy of our own disciplinary organization: NCA is "the oldest and largest national organization to promote communication scholarship and education" and counts roughly 7,700 members. Last year, the NCA Executive Committee approved a new registration policy for its annual convention, which is usually held at the end of November. The new policy requires all designated presenters, panelists, chairs, and responders to pre-register for the conference by August 6, 2008 or be removed from both the printed and online convention program. This new policy and the way NCA has attempted to enforce it, have unleashed a backlash of angry comments and calls for a boycott of the convention on CRTNET, a daily e-mail listserv managed by NCA.

The anger seems to stem not only from the policy itself, but also from the harassing tone and the exaggerated number of reminder emails and announcements NCA has been sending out during the last few weeks. Below are just a few sample messages sent out to members:
1. If you are a solo author, chair, or respondent and are not registered for the convention by August, 6, your paper/panel will be removed from the printed and online program.
2. Are you a listed participant in the 2008 Convention Program?
Program Participant Registration Deadline: Wed., August 6, 2008
Hurry Register Today! Don't Wait Until the Last Day!
3. There are two ways to register.
4. Dear NCA member,
Q: What do the following books have in common?
- Cat in the Hat
- Guinness Book of World Records
- War and Peace

A: No one will find your name in these books.

Please don't let this happen with the NCA Annual Convention Program Book. Register by August 6!"
When you consider that most of NCA's members are communication professors who examine messages and their effects on an audience for a living, it goes without saying that these nagging reminders received a thorough critical review. As one professor put in on CRNET:
Note to the NCA office: You people may want to start reading some of the research published in your journals. Generating reactance and animosity from condescending, pushy, and annoying email messages---high in controlling language and low in positive and negative politeness---may gain you a short burst in compliance, but it will likely result in source derogation and a serious loss of referent power.
What is amazing is that although NCA manages the CRNET listserv and should therefore be well aware of the storm that's brewing online, it has yet to respond to the growing criticism and animosity. Could it be that NCA isn't listening and monitoring online conversations? Surely, they would have to. They're the National Communication Association after all! Why they haven't joined the conversation is beyond me. From a PR perspective this seems rather foolish. Why not respond to NCA members who've vented on CRNET, or at least explain their side of the story? Seems like there might be some truth to that old communication joke after all...