One Man and His Blog: October 2007 Archives

October 2007 Archives

October 27, 2007

Bloggers & PRs: Old Dance, New Partner

Over on Workbench, Rogers Caldenhead suggest that the most popular techbloggers are starting to tread a very well-trod path: that of the exclusive and the embargo, as the news sites cut deals with PRs. This is interesting, I think, because tech blogs tend to be a good bellwether for the rest of the blogging worth. Where they go, other blogging niches will follow in time. 

For all the hype about blogging being something new entirely, some of the most popular blogs out there right now are doing pretty much what journalism has always done, just filtered through a new publishing medium. 

Commenter Business Meeting 2

I  quite enjoyed the original "business meeting as internet discussion thread" video that was doing the rounds some weeks ago. I just discovered that there's a follow-up which is even funnier.

Warning: Not safe for work, unless your work is happy with swearing and sexual references.

October 25, 2007

Blogging and Politics Event Upcoming

The Telegraph's holding a Blogging & Politics event the week after next.

I'll be there.

Not a Hardcore Blogger

Lemsip Adam
I am not a hardcore blogger.

How do I know this? I've been down with a cold since Monday and, as such, I've not bothered to post anything at all here.

If I were hardcore, I'd be blogging my way through my sickness, like Mr Butcher. But I'm not. I'm a wimpy blogger, and I've been devoting my writing time to whining on twitter instead…

Anyway, thanks to the wonders of modern medication, I'm starting to feel human again, and thus will grace you again with my bloggy thoughts.

October 20, 2007

Sojourn by the Seaside

Sunderland View
Off in Sunderland for a christening this weekend.

October 19, 2007

The Facebook Debate: Notes and Thoughts

The Facebook Debate
So, last Wednesday, I went to the Great Facebook Debate, held by the British Interactive Media Association at the BT Centre in London. I described it on Twitter as a "bit shallow" which, with hindsight, seems a bit harsh. Looking back over my notes, I'd say it turned into a capable round-up of the issues around the sudden mainstream success of the social network, but failed to provide any real new insights. Let's plunge in:

Panel Discussion

Hugh MacLeod reiterated his trio of key ideas about social media:

  1. It revolves around social objects - shared objects, if you prefer
  2. Cheap, easy global media
  3. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchies

JP Rangaswami, managing director of service design for BT Design, did much the same, listing four pillars of online interaction:

  1. subscribe
  2. search
  3. buy/sell
  4. talk
Facebook does all these, he suggested. But there are limitations, including a flow of non-useful information (is it useful to know that a friend is leaving a group?)

"It's just an instance [of social networking], not the beginning and end of the world," he concluded. 

Chad Wollen of AOL showed some pretty compelling graphs - blog discussion about Facebook is shooting up, discussion about MySpace is down. Facebook is more popular in the UK than MySpace, although it remains the other way around in the US. He described it as a textbook case of innovation - but it's a closed system with the data locked in and no evident route to monetisation of that data. "The Social Graph may not have much value to advertisers, even though it has great value to us."

Is it a fad? "No. Not an interesting question."
Continue reading The Facebook Debate: Notes and Thoughts.

Tony Collins: Award-Winning Digital Journalist

Tony Collins at work One of our blogging journalists, Tony Collins, has bagged the digital journalist award in the Magazine Journalism Awards, for his work exposing the failure, mismanagement and waste of the NHS IT project. According to the judges: "More of us should read this. Staggering sums are wasted on badly managed IT projects, and Tony is usually the first to know.”

Nice work, Tony.

HJi Eye Candy

HJi  Gorgeous 1 Gorgeous54Gorgeous68.jpg
Last weekend was the annual Salon International exhibition (I was there last year), and the HJi team from RBI were there, grabbing photos of the beautiful people wandering the stands and shows. Kate, HJi's web editor, has now uploaded 20(!) galleries of people from the show, so there's plenty of eye candy in there for people of all tastes...

You can start at the first of the beautiful people galleries.

(Incidentally, they also launched a forum for hairdressers, My HJi, last week)

Autumn Light

Autumn Light
Ah, I love Autumn. I love the harsh, striking light on cold, crisp mornings. It makes you feel so alive.

October 18, 2007

Addendum To Last Post

Has the journalism industry been the architect of its own problems by persistently concealing the true cost of its products from consumers by deriving most of its revenue from advertising?

Discuss…

Free = More Pageviews = Money?

The New York Times has seen traffic go up on certain sections of its site since it dropped the paywall. Which is good.

However, this only matters if those pageviews are translating into revenue somehow…

October 17, 2007

Another Pathetic Excuse Post

Facebook Debate Audience
OK, OK, posting remains thin on the ground. I've been busy - between holidays and family stuff, I've only done 6 working days in the last three weeks, and the backlog is hammering me somewhat. Still, there some exciting stuff happening which I hope to be able to blog about soon…

In the meantime, I will promise a post tomorrow about the Facebook Debate I attended tonight in London. It was an interesting event, if occasionally shallow, and I have all the notes I need for a detailed post.

I would have live-blogged it, but the BT Openzone wireless network wasn't being co-operative, which was irritating in the extreme. Poor show, BT.

Oh, and the fuss over The Archers podcast? It's not just me. So there.

October 14, 2007

Quiet Day

Clair and Saffron on St Andrews beach
I've been having a queit day today, recovering from various family-related issues and happily scanning my way through some old negatives. This particular one was taken on St Andrews beach, probably in 1989, just after I left school.

Back to the normal journo blogging business tomorrow.

October 13, 2007

Six Apart on Future Blogging

I'm not a huge fan of Robert Scoble's very static video interview style (I don't think he really takes advantage of the visual nature of the medium), but this interview with some folks from Six Apart is worth a watch, if you're interested in how blogging is developing:


October 12, 2007

An Everyday Podcast of Rural Folks

Cast of The ArchersOh, heaven. Oh, rapture.

The Archers will be a podcast from Sunday.

Dumdidumdidumdidum…

October 9, 2007

The BBC's Social Media Countryfile

BBC Countryfile magazine
One of my Sunday morning pleasures is watching Countryfile on BBC1. It's a form of masochism, I think, watching a show about the beautiful countryside while sat in the heart of urban Lewisham. But it's my Sunday and I'll torment myself if I want to.

Now, the BBC has a fondness for indulging in brand extension, and the latest of those is a new Countryfile Magazine. That's not very notable. They do that a lot. What is interesting is that they've launched it as a social media offering with a podcast, forums and (pseudo-)blogs. And all those offering were online before the mag was launched.

I think it's a good call. The social media element of the product is integral from the start, rather than pasted on later. It's not additional work on top of producing the magazine, but part of what the title is all about. It'll be interesting to see how it works. So far, the forum has only 41 registered users, but it's early days.

Healthy Traffic Competition

Matthew Naylor's TractorI'm back at work, nose to the grindstone, and catching up on what our ever-growing stable of bloggers has been up to while I was offline and out of mind. And, while rambling through our rural backlot, I came across a post that made me laugh out loud:

I am now happily installed in Windsor House. They say that moving house is the third most stressful thing that can happen to a person after bereavement and finding out that Tim Relf is more popular than you are.
Nothing like a little fun traffic competition between two of our bloggers to make your Tuesday. And they're indulging in a little traffic battle...

October 7, 2007

A Quick Confession…

I confess - I've been cheating. The entries that went up during the early part of this week were actually written in advance, and set for scheduled publishing. I've actually been on holiday in this very lovely part of the world:

Lee Abbey from the Woody Bay road I had a wonderful time on the photography workshop, and have returned to London with my batteries at least somewhat recharged.

Normal service will be resumed tomorrow. (And other pictures from the holiday are on Coffee & Complexity)

October 3, 2007

There is no British Blogosphere

Coffee & Networking breakA question:

It's been an interesting week for the British blogosphere. A week that has raised the question of whether there even is such a thing.
The answer is twofold. The first is that the internet, by its nature, breaks down geographical barriers, which gain less relevance in blogging communities. I consider myself part of a journalistic blogging sphere, not a UK journalistic blogosphere.

The second is that the idea of "a blogosphere" is a blind alley. Everyway you define it, by subject, by links, by geography, you find yourself with multipl, over=lapping and ever-shifting blogspheres. To even talk of the blogosphere is a lazy shorthand for a much more complex idea.

October 2, 2007

Fighting Change, Every Step of the Way

Hugh MacLeod absolutely nails one of the biggest problems facing people trying to effect change in big corporations:

Office Life1. "Agents of Calcification". This is a rather snarky term I recently coined to describe the folks in a big company- any big company, not necessarily Microsoft- whose role isn't to invent, make, or sell stuff, but to maintain and enhance the apparatus of bureaucracy, even at the expense of the business itself. Though these agents can serve a legitimate organizational purpose, when any company has too many of these people, you sadly end up with this cartoon [i.e. a "Big Lump o' Death"]. The bigger the company gets, the more energy anybody trying to get anything interesting done will have to spend, trying to navigate around these folk.
I suspect these people are invaluable in good times, keeping the company working efficiently and effectively at what it does best to make money. But at times of great change, they're a problem.

Corporations are, by definition, large organisations. And large organisations tend to develop interest groups whose agendas actually conflict with other, even as each tries to do their best for the company's future. People like Hugh describes occasionally make me want to purchase a large axe and employ it in vigourous meeting room discussion, but, in the end, they are just doing their jobs. It's just a shame that the company they're protecting may be vanishing around them.

Most of the time, I love my job. But once in a while, I suspect it would be easier to get where I'm trying to go by starting somewhere else entirely…

Never mind, I made my choice - and there are more than enough agents of change around me to make it more than worthwhile.

October 1, 2007

Your Bloggy Reading for Monday Morning

More links I'm not going to get around to posting about at length:

Bloggity Blog.Building an Audience For Your Blog
Shane Richmond gives advice on building traffic, and some thought on what advantages branded blogging like My Telegraph offers.

So What's Brassneck?
Speaking of The Telegraph's blogging, they've acquired the services of the founder of Slugger O'Toole.

Seeding Content Via Blogs

Nice analysis of The Economist's use of blogs to promote content

New UK Blog Publisher
Techcrunch UK introduces us to another publisher who thinks blogs can provide a living

Blogs The Centre of our Online Identities?

Certainly true for me.



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This page is an archive of entries from October 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

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