September 2005

Got bad press? Just block it!

What if someone set up a web site to rate the managers in your company.  Assume this web site was used by prospects considering working for those managers.  What would you do if you did not like it?  If you were Mesquite High School you would simply call your IT guy and have him block the website from the computers at the school. 

Mesquite High is lock step with 721 other high schools who block because they don’t like the idea of students rating their teachers.  Note to schools: your students have Internet access at home.  As my 17 year old niece woud say, "Duh!" 

Don’t block data critical of your business, especially if you cannot really block it from anyone but yourself.  Join the conversation or fix the problem.  I think my Mom used to tell me, "where there is smoke there is fire."  Maybe you have an issue that needs to be addressed.  Address it.    

Alexander Muse | 9:15 pm | No Comments Tags: Corporate Blogging , Web 2.0 , Blogs , Media 2.0 | Bookmark on | Digg It

Tagging can increase your readership!

Josh Hallett (I really enjoy his blog, this is the second post in a row I have blogged about) posted an interesting post about tagging.  His point?  The truth is, it difficult for novices (who barely understand the concept of tagging) to tag their posts in TypePad or Blogger.  Obviously, WordPress and Movable Type make it easy as pie to tag (we typically launch client blogs on WordPress).  Why tag?  Here is Josh’s thought:

"I know that tagging my posts has led to increased traffic from Technorati and other search tools that support tags. Granted it is very easy for me include them in my posts." 

Alexander Muse | 9:16 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Managed Blogging , Blog Consultancy , Blog Hosting , Weblog Hosting , Web 2.0 , Weblogs Work , Blogs , Blogging Tools , WordPress | Bookmark on | Digg It

Is elfURL more Web 2.0 than TinyURL?

elfurl_logo_4.jpgOn a whim we had a coder spend a few hours creating a URL redirection tool that would do more than TinyURL.  From my perspective TinyURL is a great idea.  If you have a long URL you just go to tinyurl and the tool will create a short URL for you.  This allows you to email links without fear that the link will be broken by the email client.  I decided we could extend upon this idea with some Web 2.0 features with a service called elfURL.  Here is what I came up with:

  • elfURL should shrink giant URLs.
  • elfURL should provide statistics on the number of times the elfURL has been clicked.
  • elfURL should deliver those statistics via RSS.
  • elfURL should automatically create delicious tags for the links.
  • elfURL should automatically create Rel-Tags for the links as well.

Since July (when we launched elfURL) we have only had 12,894 visitors to the site and created only 688 links.  I think TinyURL has created 11,000,000 links.  Wonder what we are doing wrong?  Also, we created an elfURL Konfabulator widget, but have not released it due to lackluster demand for the free service.  Comments/thoughts would be appreciated. 

Alexander Muse | 12:22 am | [9] Comments Tags: Web 2.0 , Blogs , Startup | Bookmark on | Digg It

Will podcasting work for Whirlpool?

Your dishwasher has its own podcast, check it out here

Alexander Muse | 11:10 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Managed Blogging , Blog Consultancy , Web 2.0 , Blogs , Media 2.0 , New PR , Blogging Tools , Podcast | Bookmark on | Digg It

Bloggers = Clear & Present Danger to Business

A survey indicates that 42% of PR professionals indicated that they pitched their ideas to bloggers.  Almost 60% of them realized that bloggers represent a clear and present danger to companies who ignore them.  Business Week points out that the it will be interesting to do this survey again in six months to see the trend. 

Alexander Muse | 11:05 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Managed Blogging , Blog Consultancy , Web 2.0 , Weblogs Work , Blogs , Media 2.0 , New PR | Bookmark on | Digg It

Corporate Blogging & Campfire Stories

Britt Blaser offers up the cozy metaphor of corporate blogging as Campfire Talk.  I buy his point:  we’re all narrowcasters now.

I’ve been struggling lately to develop a guiding aesthetic for corporate bloggers and I’ve finally got it. Camp Fire Talk. We’ve been conditioned by a million years of camp fire talk to accept its steady, unadorned, agenda-free tone as trustworthy.

Around the fire, after a day of grubbing for grubs or dancing between the legs of a woolly mammoth, our ancestors didn’t harangue cavemates about how their new improved spear thrower would jump-start their sex life. You can’t fool anyone around the fire, because you’ve all been doing the same thing all day, your frailties and strengths on display.

During most of our history, there hasn’t been much conversation except camp fire talk, and I’m not sure we accept any talk that doesn’t pass the camp fire test. It’s a tone that’s almost impossible to fake, and it’s certainly the only tone that one willingly endures for more than a few minutes. Camp Fire Talk is part of us, grafted onto our nervous system so thoroughly that speakers stray from it at their peril. We all know what it is and, better, what it isn’t. Blogging is forcing us to remember how to do Camp Fire Talk.

Blogs are so constant and frequent and informal that we’re being forced at last to drop the stridency and expert tone and false eloquence that orators, and their progeny, corporate communicators, have felt obliged to use. 

Brian Oberkirch | 3:01 am | No Comments Tags: Corporate Blogging , Blogs | Bookmark on | Digg It

Weblogs work for fashion designers.

If you are in Paris the week of the 3rd be sure to check out The Fashion and Blogging Conference.


Alexander Muse | 9:57 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs Work , Web 2.0 , Weblogs Work , Blogs | Bookmark on | Digg It

Andy Dick HHR Chevy Ads = SNL Shorts

andy dick.jpgThis evening I was watching Jay Leno and while I was Tivo’ing through the ads I noticed Andy Dick in what looked like a Saturday Night Live skit.  The ads feature Andy pimping the new Chevy HHR.  I NEVER watch commercials and I watched these (I even found them with TIVO).  Here is an article about the ads. 

Alexander Muse | 11:03 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs , Media 2.0 , New PR | Bookmark on | Digg It

Why CEOs Should Blog

Extensive, linkalicious white paper on CEO blogging here.  Part of Global PR Blog Week, 2.0. 

Brian Oberkirch | 2:24 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Blogs , New PR | Bookmark on | Digg It

Web 2.0 Remix Risk: The cease and desist letter

One of the most interesting features of Web 2.0 is the idea of the ‘remixable web‘ - i.e. to take data/content from multiple sources and combine it to create something new and useful.  The biggest risk for Web 2.0 idealogs is that they will recieve the dreaded cease and desist letter.  Although some relish its effects (see FedEx Funiture Guy), most must hire a lawyer to respond. 

This morning I read a post on The Shout blog, written by Ms. Granick of the Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society.  She detailed an example of this sort of risk.  The folks at Nacredata created a volunteer website called to help locate the victims of hurricane Katrina.  Soon after launch they received a cease and desist letter from Gulf Coast News indicating,

"Devin, Your company, Nacredata, and your actions of scraping data from the GCN Survivor/Connector Database from our website at violates our copyright. You and your company DO NOT have permission to use our data and your distribution of our information violates the trust that people have provided to GCN in providing that information."

I think this sort of sums up the risks - even for a good cause there is someone out there that does not want you to use their data.  If you are taking part in the remixable web, take some time to talk to the people who own the data you plan to use first… 

Alexander Muse | 9:22 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs Work , Web 2.0 , Blogs | Bookmark on | Digg It

Remember the FedEx Furniture Guy?

ghetto.jpgWe introduced Jose, the FedEx furniture guy, to the blogging world after we discovered his fedexfurniture site.  The site recently received a redesign check it out here:  On a side note, 20/20 just recorded a piece in his apartment on the 15th.  Literally, this story will never die…

Alexander Muse | 10:41 pm | No Comments Tags: FedEx Furniture | Bookmark on | Digg It

GAP Online Store Down for 20+ Days

gap_1.jpgThe GAP is losing $500,000.00 in sales each day their online store is down.  Their site has been under construction during the month of September turning away customers.  Save any serious technical glitch with the old site, why take down a functioning ecommerce site when the new one is not ready to launch?  Here are what some GAP customers think:

Merrell Ligons indicated that she thought, "Someone could have accidentally hit the "Delete Website" key, so now there is no old website to show.Mark Baratelli thinks that, "The people who work for the Gap are probably as disinterested in their own company as we non-employees are, so they don’t care if the site goes up or not because hey, who really does care?"  Mark Nathan points out, "It’s deja vu all over again: Toby Lenk is head of Same guy who crashed eToys. Heads are going to roll."

Want to see a preview of the  Click here.   

Alexander Muse | 10:20 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs | Bookmark on | Digg It

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