One Man and His Blog: February 2008 Archives

February 2008 Archives

February 27, 2008

links for 2008-02-27

February 26, 2008

Quality Online Video Strategy for Journalists

We've been having a couple of meetings about video here in RBI towers over the last few weeks. I always recommend our video virgin hacks check our Andy Dickinson's blog, because he gets this stuff so right...

I think this video he produced recently sums up things beautifully:

I rather enjoyed Cyndy's video response, too...

links for 2008-02-26

February 25, 2008

links for 2008-02-25

February 23, 2008

links for 2008-02-23

February 21, 2008

RBI for Sale: Coverage Continues

Reed Elsevier LogoLots of coverage by bloggers of Reed Elsevier's decision to divest itself of Reed Business information - my employer.

PaidContent speculates about an RBI IPO:

And Davis isn't in any hurry to sell RBI either. "It's early days - we're ruling nothing in and nothing out". That includes an IPO for the unit. "We are very open and flexible on how we do this and also on timing." highlights RBI chief executive Keith Jones' positive take on it:

In an internal memo to staff, Keith Jones, chief executive of RBI UK, said this was 'an exciting new era' for the publisher.

"Reed Business' senior management team are very confident in our company, as are all the RBI UK Board - so it's very much a case of business as usual," he said.

Continue reading RBI for Sale: Coverage Continues.

Don't be rude about IBM

Cliff Saran blog logoOne of our blogging journalists has discovered that you shouldn't be rude about IBM, unless you're on very certain ground.

The commenters have been taking Cliff to task over a blog post in which he compained about IBM's cusomer service...

RBI to be divested by Reed Elsevier

RBI logoWell, a rather interesting mood in the office this morning.

As Press Gazette is reporting, Reed Business Information is officially for sale. We no longer fit with Reed Elsevier's business model. So, RBI is for sale.

Quite what this means in the long term? No idea. For now, it's business as usual...

Update: One of my colleagues from Flight has posted about the news on Unusual Attitude.

Update 2: Another colleague describes how she discovered the news:

A bright crisp dawn was breaking as I took my seat on the early London train today to catch the opening of the ICIS Base Oils conference, switched on my Blackberry and read that our parent company was selling us off.

links for 2008-02-21

February 20, 2008

One Man & His Blog: iPhone Ready

OM&HB on iPhone
For those of you with iPhones or iPod Touches, One Man & His Blog now comes with a neat little icon just for you.

If you add this fine blogging entertainment to one of your home screens, you'll get a lovely little pic of Taupy, the media reptile from my new header. 

Lovely, isn't it?

links for 2008-02-20

February 19, 2008

The Max Gogarty Vote

What's this in my in-box? Why, it's an e-mail from Laura Oliver. mentioning that is running a poll on the Max Gogarty business from last week.

I've been to cast my vote. Why don't you? (Note: you need to register with the forums before you can vote.)

links for 2008-02-19

February 18, 2008

This Is a Post, Not a Blog


PPS: Note to print journalists like Rafael Behr deigning to comment on the Internet -- nothing makes you look more clueless and out-of-touch than when you refer to a post as a "blog." Ectomo is a (we)blog. The article you are reading now is a post. This is not difficult to comprehend.


February 17, 2008

After Max Gogarty: Rethinking Mainstream Media Blogging

This post is my contribution to this month's Carnival of Journalism, hosted by Innovation in College Media.

I think it's fair to say that the Max Gogarty blog story which I blogged about on Thursday has gone viral. The story has spread over the internet like a rash, and it has brought a whole load of discomfort for journalists with it. In fact, it's shaping up to be a textbook case of how traditional media people can get the new social media almost 100% wrong. And, because of that, it bears a little bit of more careful examination.

I said in my last post that the blog-reading world hold blogs from existing publishing brands to higher standards than those from individuals - and I stick by that. Max's work was compared against both the standards and ethos of The Guardian, and those of blogging in general. And many of the readers found it wanting. And certainly, as a piece of blogging, it makes a great bit of Sunday supplement colour text. 

If you take the time to read Max's piece, fundamentally, it's a writerly article. What he's not doing is talking to the audience, he's talking at them. He's building a character for himself and setting the tone for his later pieces. You can almost see the scaffolding in place in the sentence structure. And, in all honesty, if this had been in print, it would probably have worked fine.

But it's not in print. It's on a blog. And he's an occasional scriptwriter whose Dad is a journalist (who makes the classic old media mistake of calling posts "blogs" in a quote in a news story). Max doesn't appear to have shown much of an active interest in social media, before now, based on a few Google searches. 

All of which leads us to one conclusion: he's not blogging, he's writing. And therein lies the problem. It's the other classic old media mistake of pushing an old media concept into a new media format without really understanding it.

So who's to blame here? 
Continue reading After Max Gogarty: Rethinking Mainstream Media Blogging.

links for 2008-02-17

February 16, 2008

Gherkin by Night

Gherkin by Night, originally uploaded by Adam Tinworth.

Grabbed on my iPhone on the way to the pub last night.

links for 2008-02-16

February 15, 2008

Social Media Café, London

Social Media Café
I spent the morning at the Social Media Café, held in the upstairs room of the Coach & Horses in Soho (yes, that Coach & Horses)

I was, in a word, packed. I got to catch up with some old friends, and meet some new ones, but there were so many people networking in that small room that any idea of it being a co-working session disappeared out of the window fairly swiftly. And that's no bad thing. The social media space is packed with people who work alone - either because they're freelancers, or because they're isolated within a large business. The chance to catch up with like-minded folk, share gossip and swap ideas is invaluable. 

An absolutely wonderful way to spend the best part of a day. But I'll leave the final word to the organiser, Lloyd (and a special guest star):

links for 2008-02-15

February 14, 2008

When Mainstream Media Blogging Goes Bad

gutravellog.pngMy colleague Emily just dropped a few of us an e-mail with a link to this travel blog on The Guardian's website:

Hello. I'm Max Gogarty. I'm 19 and live on top of a hill in north London.

At the minute, I'm working in a restaurant with a bunch of lovely, funny people; writing a play; writing bits for Skins; spending any sort of money I earn on food and skinny jeans, and drinking my way to a financially blighted two-month trip to India and Thailand. Clichéd I know, but clichés are there for a reason.

The Guardian's commenteriat are less than delighted by his inclusion. Their responses range from "who's son is max then?" through "He looks like a cliche, talks like a cliche, and is about to embark on a monumental cliche" to "Deleted by moderator", which proves that what's left is less unpleasant end of the reaction.

The editor who commissioned him eventually posts a response, and 'fesses up to Max being the son of one of their travel writers. However, it does little to moderate the flow of invective, some of it very funny.

However, now I've got through the juvenile (but strangely cathartic) sniggering stage, it's worth pointing out that this is another indication that blogs from mainstream publishers are held to vastly different standards than the rest of the blogosphere. If this was just Max's blog on, say, Vox or, it would just be ignored. But somehow that endorsement of The Guardian puts it to another level, and people expect a higher quality of blogging. And that puts a little crack in the argument that  existing brand reputation doesn't translate into the  blogging world...

Update: Travel Weekly takes up the tale...

links for 2008-02-14

February 13, 2008

Going Solo: Conference for Web-Savvy Freelancers

Going Solo
When I was over in Paris for Le Web 3 '07 last year, one of the friends I met the year before, Stephanie, was in buoyant mood. She was telling everyone she could about her new venture, Going Far, and the series of events she's hoping to run. The first of these is Going Solo, a conference for freelancers and small business owners taking place in Switzerland on May 16th. The general thrust of the conference looks fascinating: everything from the hard business end of closing deals, through to meeting your social needs when you work alone. It's the sort of niche micro-topic conference that the internet can really enable.

Olivier & StephanieAnd because I trust Stephanie and the plans she outlined sounded so cool, I'm giving the conference a free plug here. (Yup. I'm not getting paid a penny for the plug. I can hear members of our sales teams clutching at their hearts from here...)

I'm seriously considering going along. I'm not actually a freelancer or small business owner, but you never know what the future might bring...

You can find out all you need to know at the Going Solo site. Early bird discounts until this Sunday (£140), and then a reduced rate (£190) until the middle of March.

Love Blogging on the Intranet

Blog of Love header
Strange request of the week: our internal corporate communications team run an anonymous Valentine's Day Message service each year. In the past, this has been a painful hand-coded task that ate up one member of staff's time for most of the week. This year, they bought me coffee, bribed me with flapjacks and asked if we could do something with Movable Type to make life easier.

Luckily, we have an install of MT within the intranet, purely for internal blogs. It took me about half an hour of hacking the default templates to present a single entry and the comments form, without any of the additional details, to give us a quick and dirty anonymous bulletin board. A little wave of pink magic from the guys in Creative and we were done.

And here we are, the day before Valentine's Day, and already we have 174 messages of varying levels of smuttiness...

links for 2008-02-13

February 12, 2008

Scenes From Office Life

Way too busy right now. Photos are quicker than text:

Video Doodle
Megabucks Meeting

February 9, 2008

links for 2008-02-09

February 8, 2008

An Anonymous Anti-Blogger Journalist?

FlightbloggerA few months back, Flight International, one of our most successful publishing divisions, hired a well-known blogging in the aerospace industry, Jon Ostrower aka Flightblogger, to come blog for us. And it's been a great success. He's by far the most trafficked blogger in that market, and is regularly vying for the position of most popular blog we have with the New Scientist blogs.

So, trebles all round in RBI's palatial blogging HQ? Well, pretty much, to be honest.

However, one of the team just stumbled over something rather interesting: Flightbloggercritic. Essentially, a one post blog, the self-proclaimed critic rails against Ostrower's ways of working:

Besides being irked by the fact that flightblogger doesn't see the need to disclose his "sources", nor will he ever, (so why is it we believe what he's putting out there?), I'm amazed that Boeing isn't doing "damage control" (which might be a good indication the info is accurate or has been "placed") and more flabberghasted that it has someone running around taking pictures and sending off potentially damaging information in a secure facility.
That first sentence there raises the possibility that the flightblogger critic may actually be an anonymous journalist somewhere within the team, annoyed at the attention given to a non-journalist...

The path of true traffic gains never runs smooth.

February 7, 2008

links for 2008-02-07

February 6, 2008

Facebook on iPhone

Oh, dilemma.

Apple has put out a new advert which combines on of my great loves, the iPhone, with Facebook, my current bugbear. Confusion... Love/hate... Two sides of the same coin...

Damn you, Jobs! I'm going to be logging into Facebook in just a moment.

links for 2008-02-06

February 5, 2008

Best of the Journalism Blogs

Due to a possible moment of irrationality, or incipient nervous breakdown, the good folks at have decided to include my feed in the Best of the Journalism Blogs. Stop sniggering at the back.

It's well worth checking out for a steady stream of good content from far more worthy hackloggers than me...

links for 2008-02-05

February 4, 2008

Hot Dates & Social Engineering in Facebook Apps

Oh, look. It's been over 48 hours since I was rude about Facebook. Time for another pop at it...

In my in-box this morning sat this:
Facebook app e-mail
Facebook social news? How exciting! Maybe a summary of activity amongst my friends? Uh, no. The sender is a dead give-away. It's e-mail from a Facebook app that I installed back when I went through my brief enthusiasm phase on the site. 

What's really interesting to me is the way they try to encourage you to come and use the app:

Important, Your help is needed!

Wow! Really? Better read on:

Six of your friends have pending dating requests:

Crickey! They need my help to date? Wow.

However, the list of six lovely women is rather suspect...
Continue reading Hot Dates & Social Engineering in Facebook Apps.

Scoble & Arthur on Microsoft & Yahoo

Because we've been discussing it in the office this morning:

Count how often Mr Scoble mentions that he suggested something to Microsoft...
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links for 2008-02-04

February 3, 2008

Are Journalists as annoying as Bloggers?

A little Sunday evening therapy: I was reading the Game Dame's list of the six most annoying things that bloggers do, and mentally comparing it with what my journalists-turned-bloggers get up to. In the interests of openness, transparency and having my tongue firmly in my cheek, here were my thoughts:

1. Censored Comments
Oh, start with the biggie, why don't you? Almost all journalists want to start with 100% comment moderation, and have to be talked down from that ledge. Why? I think it's because they're used to being the arbiters of what appears in print, and the idea of unfettered access to publication is alien to them. And a touch, the merest smidgin, of suspicion of their readers is there, too.

2. People who don't participate in a process and yet feel they are justified in criticizing whatever they opted out of being a part of.
Hang on! That's what journalists do. If we can't criticise things that we aren't part of, how are we meant to make a living? Huh? Huh?

3. Calling someone a troll because they don't bow down to your point of view.
Journalists don't do this, mainly because most of them are unfamiliar with the term "troll" in this context. They do, however, have a tendency to refuse to publish negative comments rather than interacting with them.

Continue reading Are Journalists as annoying as Bloggers?.

Blog Azeroth: Mashing Blogging and Forums

Blog Azeroth Logo
There's plenty of evidence that people who are very into social media tend also to be committed neophiles, rushing after the latest, greatest thing on the internet and assuming that it will supplant that which came before. It's all nonsense, of course, as good tools will continue to have their place even as new ones come along. 

I've been reminded of this in one of my other blogging lives as a World of Warcraft blogger. In the last six months the number of bloggers in that particular blogosphere has grown exponentially, to the point where it's become hard to keep up with it. 

One blogger, Phaelia of Resto4Life came up with a solution that's so simple and effective that the idea seems blindingly obvious, but only in retrospect: she set up a forum. She then kicked started the community by inviting bloggers she'd already interacted with to join, who then posted about it on their blogs, so the bloggers who read them came and join and, lo, a community was born.

Except, the community wasn't born - it already existed. It was just hungry for another way to communicate, one that supplemented the "public" communication between the blogs. In effect, the creation of Blog Azeroth enabled a level of meta-discussion around a social object - in this case the activity of blogging, rather the subject that they're blogging about. It's without doubt one of the cleverest pieces of blog/forum interaction I've seen in a while, which has created a new site which is helping drive traffic to all the participating bloggers. 

In fact, it's such I neat idea that I decided to ask Phae how the idea came about: 
Continue reading Blog Azeroth: Mashing Blogging and Forums.

February 2, 2008

Facebook: Don't Be Too Web Active, Now

Facebook LogoHere's a weird thing. An old acquaintance just e-mailed me:

I'm removing you as a friend on facebook but just writing to let you know its nothing personal! You have so many status updates or blog posts every day that like half of my news feed is purely from you and there's no room left for news from my other friends. 

The strange thing about this is that I haven't actually logged into Facebook in something like 10 days now. I'm not a great user of the site and, while I'm not tempted to commit "Facebook suicide", I only login in response to prompts from friends to do/reply to things. 

So how did I end up overwhelming this guy's news feed? Well, my Twitter updates and blog posts are pushed to my news feed via various apps. I tweet a fair bit, and I'm a pretty frequent blogger. That can add up over the day (as my new Action Stream in the sidebar makes clear).

I've argued before that Facebook is pretty much "training wheels Web 2.0 for those of low web activity". This tends to provoke a defensive response from people who love the site (one example: "I know people who are giving up blogging for Facebook". Of course you do: blogging is a high investment activity, Facebook is a low investment one. You're making my point...), but I think it's pretty accurate. If you want the social interaction that Web 2.0 provides, but don't want the level of creation investment that goes with blogging, posting photos to Flickr or even keeping up a Twitter or Seesmic stream, then Facebook rocks. For those of us who are already active on the social web? It's too limiting.

links for 2008-02-02

February 1, 2008

New Irish Medical Times website is a blog

Irish Medical Times website
One of the biggest projects I've been involved with here has gone live today. We relaunched the website for the Irish Medical Times, a business paper for Ireland's doctors, this morning - and it's all built around blog software. The whole of the content on the site is built and managed using our Movable Type Enterprise installation.

Of course, I can't claim to have done the heavy lifting on this. That was a combination of the publisher, Michael, over in Dublin, and Matt Carey and his team at Lift who did the hard work in building the Movable Type templates.

But this is certainly an interesting experiment for us, giving us the chance to build a really-well featured site swiftly and (relatively) cheaply, and give the staff a quick, efficient CMS to use to manage it. The real test, of course, will be how it performs over the next few weeks. Fingers crossed...

links for 2008-02-01


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This page is an archive of entries from February 2008 listed from newest to oldest.

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