Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Another lesson in web 2.0 transparency

I just came across another good case study in web 2.0 transparency via the Ethical Blogger.
The gist of the story: A guy who created a nonprofit organization dedicated to making charities and their operations more transparent, pulls a John Mackey and throws all principles of transparency out the window. 

What exactly did he do? He used a fake online identity to post a question about where to find a good charity and then answered it with the name of his organization using yet another pseudonym. 

The result: he is asked to step down from his position as Executive Director and openly apologizes for his lapse in judgement.

Ikea gets an ultimate citizen marketer: Man who moves into the store

When Mark Malkoff learned he needed to find a new place to live for a week because his apartment was being fumigated, he turned to Ikea and asked the Swedish furniture giant if he could move in. According to the Washington Post, "Ikea was dubious at first, but once they got to know Malkoff -- realized what squeaky, G-rated videos he made and what a good, unpaid spokesman he'd be -- they opened the doors and made a little placard reading "Mark's Apartment" to go outside his living space". Sounds like they realized what a great citizen marketer Mark would make.

You can follow Mark's adventures at Ikea on the Mark lives in Ikea website. Here's the first episode:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Most popular social networks by country

Here's an interesting map from LeMonde which displays the most popular social networks in different parts of the world.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New BusinessWeek Article on Corporate Bloggigng

If you haven't already seen this, check out this new BusinessWeek article on how social media will change businesses. Interesting material!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Corporate Blogging & Blogger Relations Slides

I've uploaded the slides from our class on corporate blogging and blogger relations. As always, click on each slide to navigate to the next. This is a big file that may take a second to load.

Jobs in social media

Just in case you've discovered your love for blogging and podcasting this semester: Here's a new social network for people interested in social media jobs and here's another web site with job listings in that area.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Useful RSS mashup tools (especially for converting your blog posts into a PDF)

Want to tweak your RSS feeds a little? Then try out xFruits, an RSS mashup tool that can create PDF files from your feeds, or combine a number of feeds into one.

If you are thinking of including your blog posts from this semester in your physical communication portfolio (yes seniors, those portfolios will be due soon!), you can also use this tool to create a decent-looking PDF version of your blog and then print out the PDF.

It looks like xFruits might be a little easier to use than Yahoo pipes, another tool that allows you to aggregate, manipulate, and mashup content from around the web.

Friday, February 15, 2008

New resource for creating your social media resume

This post might be a bit early considering that our social media resume assignment isn't due until the end of the semester, but I figured that those of you currently looking for internships or jobs might be interested in this visual resume service I just stumbled upon.

VisualCV is a resume building tool that allows you "to build and manage an online career portfolio that comes alive with informational keyword pop-ups, video, pictures, and social networking". The goal of this free service is to bring "both the CV and the resume into the modern Web 2.0 world by transforming the way in which resume data is presented, accessed and shared".

Last semester we used PRXBuilder to build a resume that would do just that. This semester we may just give VisualCV a try. I haven't tested it yet, but I think it looks promising. Let me know if you try it out before our social media resume assignment is due.

On a similar note: One of you recently asked me how to describe your social media skills on a resume. The point is that you want to display them instead of describing them. What you want to do, is show off your blogging and podcasting skills rather than listing them in the form of bullet points. I think this cartoon illustrates this idea superbly:

Credit: James Barbour

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Avoiding the Google Netherworld

The fact that Google has an excellent memory and that it rarely forgets big bloopers or faux pas, shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone in this class. After all, we've already examined plenty of examples of "Google Wrath": Vincent Ferrari and his attempt at canceling his AOL account, Jeff Jarvis and his DellHell blog post, the ComCast technician falling asleep on a customer's couch, etc. Today's example of a PR pitch turned ugly (thanks to Dr. Russell's WOM class blog for bringing this to my attention) and of a CEO's fears of entering the Google netherworld as a consequence, is another great reminder of the power of Google. What's particularly interesting in this case is the fact that a Google search of the name of the PR firm tied to the pitch, already returns Odden's blog post among the first 10 search results - regardless of what their true intentions were. And that's a big problem for their online reputation! Especially when considering that Google ranks among the top three news sources opinion leaders rely on most for obtaining information on companies (according to the 2008 Edelman Trust Barometer results).

Podcast Assignment

Just a quick reminder that as we are getting close to wrapping up our discussion of corporate blogging, you might want to start thinking about the upcoming podcast assignment (due date: 03/06).

For this project you will work in a team of 3. Your assignment is to produce a 5-10 minute podcast on an issue pertaining to this class. You can either interview an expert on the topic of social media and make that interview available in form of a podcast, or discuss a social media & PR issue in your group and edit that discussion into a podcast.

The goal of this project is two-fold: (1) to produce a meaningful audio resource on the topic of social media, and (2) to demonstrate that you possess the necessary skills to produce a podcast. You will be evaluated both on the content and the technical quality of the podcast.

The specific topic of your interview or your group discussion will depend on the area of expertise of your interviewee and/or your own area of interest. This is your time to be creative! If you decide to interview an outside source, be sure to develop your interview questions ahead of your interview and to phrase your questions in such a way as to avoid simple yes/no type answers.

  • Create a 5-10 minute podcast and burn an RSS feed 
  • Create a blog post about your podcast which links to the podcast, contains the show notes, and is tagged for effective search engine exposure 
Grading Criteria:
Interview Content
  1. Questions invite in-depth exploration of social media issues 
  2. Chosen expert has credibility in topic area 
(or) Group Discussion Content
  1. Discussion explored social media issue in-depth 
  2. Members came across as credible by citing/discussing relevant research 
Technical Quality
     3.  Podcast is well edited (use of bumpers & jingles, clean cuts)
     4.  Audio quality is good (adjusted volume, quality recording)

Overall Requirements
     5. Fulfills the 2 requirements listed above


Live-blogging while anchoring the news: The CNN experiment

First we had blogging reporters and citizen-journalists, and now it seems that CNN has added live-blogging news anchors to the mix. As I was channel surfing a couple of days ago, I caught Anderson Cooper announcing that he would be live-blogging from his 360 show this week. Cooper started the experiment on his February 6th show, by reading and responding to viewer comments during commercial breaks. The idea of live-blogging news anchors doesn't seem to be completely new however. Apparently Greta Van Susteren over at Fox News has been both blogging and commenting while anchoring On The Record. Talk about multi-tasking...

This looks like an interesting attempt by CNN to make their shows more interactive and to draw TV viewers to their website. Is it paying off? According to a CNN spokesperson who was interviewed by TVNewser, the page had more than 12,000 views from 10 p.m. to midnight on the first night, and the live-blogging is scheduled to continue "occasionally with the goal of making it a nightly event."

Monday, February 4, 2008

Resources for PR student bloggers