September 21, 2014

Bloggers United for a Good Cause

Today I’m joining the chorus of bloggers united for Human Rights today, May 15. My issue – the junta – or ruling military dictators that have kept relief supplies for themselves or relabeled foreign aid coming into Burma or Myanmar after the cyclone recently devastated the country. They relabel the supplies with their country’s symbols and crests so the people will think the government is helping them.

Bloggers Unite

Evil coming in many forms, but this blatant refusal to assist other humans in surviving a natural disaster is a new low. Even when the US failed to act promptly or properly in helping its own citizens struck by Huricane Katrina, we knew the government had good intentions, but were just overwhelmed by incompetence and bureaucracy. In Burma, it seems the government is overwhelmed, but also fearful of losing power even slightly by letting aid in. How sad, let’s hope the international outcry and attention Burma is receiving will change things there.

Find out more about Bloggers United from blogcatalog.

Until next time, let me know if you are doing a Human Rights blog and what your issue is concerning. Tim


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Great Idea – Business Cards for Bloggers

Today, I stumbled upon a great idea from Brian Yerkes, a blogger and designer who is collecting business cards of bloggers. You can add your business card to the mix by visiting Brian’s blog. Great idea Brian! Here’s mine:

RavenWood Creative Business Card

And I have to say, I stumbled upon the idea by checking out one of my favorite blogs from designers who blog.

Until next time, TIm

 
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Blogging on a Spring Day

Like most pursuits, blogging takes dedication. It takes time and energy to research a topic a bit and put down in words, images and links your unique perspective on the topic. Well, here on the East Coast we’ve been fortunate to have a string of gorgeous weather days, and today it’s suppose to be in the 80s and sunny here in PA.

Spring Fever is in full swing, so it’s hard to sit inside and blog, or do other computer related work on a day like today – when there are activities outdoors to be enjoyed with the warm sun and low humidity. Have you been struck by Spring Fever? If so, what are your best tips to beating it? Or do you have to beat it, or should you go enjoy life and the weather while it’s pleasant and save the hard-hitting blogging for a rainy day? Let me know what you think, I might respond tomorrow when it’s raining, because I’m going outside to do some gardening.

Until next time, Tim


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Blogging’s Effects on Media

The other morning I was lucky enough to catch Chris Loder, the head of the Media Relations team for Pfizer in NYC, he was speaking on Media Trends at an IABC Philadelphia event. His discussion centered around how the rules have changed in the media over the last two decades. 112 million bloggers, according to technorati, are the reason. Seems the established newspapers are even starting to cite blogs and other social media sites as sources for stories, not only in the pharmaceutical field, but as seen last week in the Gov. Spitzer story, as the New York Times linked to the governor’s alleged prostitute’s MySpace page.

Which leads to an interesting question, is it okay for the established media to be linking to blogs as sources? Chris also cited statistics that more than half of today’s journalists are “lurkers” (they look at blogs but don’t post) or have blogs of their own. As the number of newspapers drops from 1,697 in 1987 to 1,456 today (thanks, Chris for that stat, too), and the nightly news suffers and loses viewership – the web and blogs are filling the void to give people the “news.” Chris said he has to review hundreds of blogs related to the pharma industry each day – Cafe Pharma, Pharmagather, Pharmalot, and WSJ Health Blog- being some of the most influential – the fact that each of them links to others makes them stronger as a whole. But, there are countless blogs on any industry or activity you can think of – but should any Joe Schmo with a PC be deemed the next Walter Cronkite. When was the last time you saw a link form one newspaper site to another to read the content posted on the rival’s paper? It just doesn’t happen, but should it? Yet, on the blogosphere it is standard practice.

What are your thoughts on the subject, should bloggers been seen as credible sources, or is it a cop out for journalists to just “Google” their sources? What should companies be doing to address the bloggers out there, should they join in, make comments to set the record straight? How should they do it, anonymously or with truth and transparency? Lots of questions, let me know what you think?

Until next time, TimDigg!

Tags: Blogging · Communication · Social Media

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Obsolete Skills and the Skills Needed for Today’s Blog Communication

The other day I heard about a neat little blog entitled Obsolete Skills. It covers the skills that all of us seem to be leaving in the dust of technical progress. I encourage you to check it out.

Today, some of the skills being used in communication are changing as rapidly as technology and the Internet flashes forward. Blogs seem to be popping up everywhere. I’ve joined at least a half a dozen site just to “socialize” this blog, a skill in itself. I’ve applied to many of them to be accepted into their site. It’s like joining a country club.

The number one parameter they examine — your topics. Blogs are becoming so omnipresent that blog directories are becoming selective in their acceptance of your blog. Find an unexploited niche (your cat’s diet or nuclear physics) and you can find room on their directories. Of late, I’ve been discussing blogs in more detail, this third in a series will examine topics. My case study has focused on “Company S” where I’ve been priviledged enough to have access to their Intranet and its associated blogs. They are top-notch and the employees are just starting to explore what can be discussed and accomplished with blogs.

Everything from wikileaks and Wired Magazine’s coverage of the whistleblower site is being discussed with a tint of how it affects Company S. Other topics include how to make the best use of cutting edge virtual worlds like Second Life in business or graphic design within the company. There is tongue-in-cheek blog that plays on the name of the company’s founder and covers everything from how the company is marketing itself to the latest news that affects the industries the company is involved in.

What blog topics do you think are the most popular? Which ones are the most popular at your company or on your blog? For me it’s about anything discussing this new corporate world that is using Web 2.0 technology. What are your interests and what do you want to hear more about?

Let me know. Until next time, Tim


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The Corporate Blog – Tackling Topics of the Day

This is my second in a series on a company I have unique access to, I’m calling Company S. While its a global company and has a very “corporate” culture its very progressive in its acceptance of technology. They have added a blog component to their very comprehensive Intranet and are experiencing growing pains in getting acceptance and usage from their employees. But that’s what I covered in the first blog entry about Company S.

Let’s discuss some of the topics that are being tackled on their various blogs. In the last entry, I covered that they were experiencing some usage issues by the employees of their managment blog which is presented by the entire management team. After asking some questions of why a lot of employees are reading the blog, yet only a handful are actually leaving comments, the feedback was quick and powerful. They received the most comments back on this entry and the consensus was, discuss topics that affect the employees in their everyday jobs, rather than academic or generic topics pointed to not offend or stir up controversy. These were the majority of the comments. But it was interesting that the questioning-the-value-of-the-blog entry received the most comments in this blog — ever.

The follow-up entry asked more specifically about what topics employees want to hear and what obstacles are in place that hammer the employees from doing their jobs. The feedback has been honest and hopefully helpful for the management to hear. Everything from broken equipment to revising the travel planning system that the sales team uses have been brought up.

Time will tell, and time will also judge the next steps for the blog in the corporate world. But it seems Company S is getting to what truly blogs can do for your company, opening up the communication lines, getting beyond hierarchy and politically correct topics – back to honest and free flowing communication.

The next in the series will cover some of the lighter topics being discussed on Company S’s blogs.

I’m really intersted in hearing what your thoughts are on management blogs. Can they have multiple authors? What topics are most effective for corporate blogs? How is your company using blogs, or what’s preventing them?

Until next time, Tim

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Claiming my Stake of the blogsphere

Hello Technorati —

Technorati Profile

Come find me spiders!

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Corporate Blogging Experiencing Growing Pains

I’m fortunate enough to be doing some Intranet work for a large global corporation that embraces technology. There Intranet is far reaching and vastly out shines what I’ve seen from other “progressive” corporations. My work is just refined to an initiative for a division in the US, but their Intranet spans the globe and is very current. But I’m not writing about the entire Intranet here, rather one of the tools that – let’s call them “Company S” – is experimenting with and feeling some growing pains and adoption issues with – the corporate blog. Unfortunately, they are internal blogs and can’t be shared here, but we can examine their challenges and learn from them.

It’s interesting Company S has taken the blog and run with it, there must be 25-30 different blogs covering such topics as diversity, design, social media, technical or engineering to great ones on odd jobs at Company S, Second Life and management. It’s the management one in particular that is experiencing the growing pain and participation issues. Seems the blog started in the fall of 2007 and has had 15 weekly topics presented from different members of the management team. That fact alone makes me wonder, because this blog doesn’t have a single voice, does that effect employees getting involved? As for participation their are roughly 3,000 employees that have access and supposedly be interested in what management is saying, yet over the 15 weeks their have only been a total of 95 comments.

Armed with these stats, the party responsible for the blog, management but also the corporate communications team is asking for feedback through the blog. Asking about its value, the topics presented, and how to get more employees involved. So far the most comments of any topics have arrived at the blog – with an overwhelming majority finding value in the blog. Seems the employees want to make some changes to this blog to build its value. It’s the present topics that people are finding fault with. They feel that are to academic, generic or sterile. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the employees are seeing through the facade and getting a sense that nothing daring or transparent is being shared within the blog. That management might not be truly writing this blog. A blog needs to be written by its author, not a department assigned to present sales figures and company position in a sterile and formulaic fashion. It’s not the cc department’s fault, and it’s not confined to just Company S, every company wanting to take advantage of this communication tools need to be daring and get beyond the old school mentality that they control the message, but also need to convince management to author their own messages and start sharing. Once they do that, and take the celebrity bloggers and political bloggers lead they will find similar participation. As BusinessWeek pronounced if you aren’t using social media to reach and motivate employees and customers – your competition will.

Let me know your thoughts on this topic – can corporations use the blog to its fullest, or are old school mentalities dooming it?

I’m going to discuss the other blogs at Company S and some of the great discussions they create in future entries. Please let me know your thoughts, until next time, Tim

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Agree with Keith – Never Eat Alone

Networking is one of my favorite topics for my blog – I’ve found business, colleagues and friends through networking and try to pass on tips whenever I can. Keith Ferrazzi, CEO of FerrazziGreenlight has a great marketing/networking site and book called Never Eat Alone. That simple tip, whenever you are at a conference, meeting, convention, traveling for your business – to never eat alone – it is strong advice to build your network. I’ve gotten business referrals from the oddest encounters – volunteering in the community, taking a training class, or just having lunch with someone – works for me – I try to never eat alone – plus I find I eat less when I’m dining with a colleague or acquaintance, which helps on the diet end of things.

I also subscribe to an email newsletter on networking called Conversation on Networking from Steve Smolinsky and Kay Keenan and find all types of great tips and stories to use in my business. I recommend it. Steve spoke at an IABC networking event and I found it very well received, he had us such “great communicators” get outside our comfort zone and cliques and actually engage each other in conversation and actually network.

Please share any tips on networking with me here. Until next time, Tim

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Updating my Blog – New Look and Feel

Welcome to my first blog with the new look and feel. I finally got around to getting my blog closer to where I want it – is a blog ever complete? It’s like asking if there’s an end to the universe … it’s a question that gets you thinking. I figure blogs are abandoned all the time, but never completed. People get busy, there isn’t time to keep it up to date, or life interrupts. I wonder what happens to blogs from bloggers who die?

Morbid question, I know, but I wonder if there has been any research into that. Anyone know the answer to that?

Back to my new look and feel, what do you think? I found a great resource on WordPress from Blizzard Internet Marketing, a whitepaper called SEO for WordPress Blogs. It’s a great step by step way to increase the search engine optimization for blogs – something I desparately needed. It covers everything from blog directories to plugins.

Well let me know what you think? Until next time, Tim

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