Saturday, September 8, 2007

9/11 class meeting at NMI

Here is a very important announcement about our next class session on Tuesday, Sept. 11:
Class will be held in New Media Institute (412 Journalism Building) instead of normal classroom
Dr. Scott Shamp will give SecondLife 101.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Job Blogs?

As we begin to realize that our final season at the University of Georgia is coming to a close, the pressures of finding a job continue to bear down on us.

I know that I want to stay in the southeast, but I don't necessarily want to be in a city as big as Atlanta. I have been looking at moving to Charlotte, NC following graduation, but I don't have any connections there. How do I find jobs? good companies? safe neighborhoods? I started searching online for a Web site about job fairs when I cam across This blog offers information about job openings, events and resume help for the Charlotte area.

They have a portal on the side where you can chat with a representative and ask questions. I asked her a few questions about how to get started as a entry level person and she was very helpful. She even asked for my resume because she knew some people in the field I wanted to get in.

Wouldn't it be nice for companies, universities and other employment agencies to have something like this? Way to go NC!

second life in edu

The New Media Institute's Dr. Scott Shamp will guest lecture in class on Tuesday (9/11) to show us SecondLife! To get you pumped up about this virtual world, check out this article in Columns, the UGA facutly/staff newsletter.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

"gossip" blogs -- a building block?

It seems to be common knowledge that women talk more than men. Apparently, we type more, as well!

According to a Synovate/Marketing Daily survey, 20 percent of American women who have visited a blog also have one of their own, compared to 14 percent of men. It may not be a huge difference, but it's important to note.

As one may expect, participation in blogging has a strong correlation to age. Younger people are much more active. In fact, 78 percent of those aged 18 to 24, who are aware of blogs, say they have visited a blog.

Putting these statistics together leads to an interesting conclusion. Women between the ages of 18 and 24 are the most active bloggers. Girls like to talk -- or type. Big surprise!

In addition, the survey pointed out that 65 percent of people read blogs to get opinions, and 35 percent read to be entertained. Women like to "type" about themselves. Also, about one in three people look for gossip on blog sites. I don't think men are looking for gossip. Well, not many men.

Although I had always assumed the self-proclaimed "nerds" are typically the ones reading blogs and blogging themselves, eBizMBA's list of the 30 most popular blogs proved quite the opposite. The top blogs include TMZ, Perez Hilton, Gawker, Defamer and Wonkette. This very much supports the previously mentioned survey's results.

I admit that I enjoy the occasional celebrity gossip. Who doesn't? Nonetheless, it's a little depressing to see where our online interests lie. Come on, ladies! Let's get some real information in our blogs.

Is our obsession with celebrity gossip blogs just a jumping off point for more insightful blogs?

ethical outreach to bloggers

Dr. Karen Miller Russell pointed me to this link where Ogilvy PR talks about creating a blog engagement code of ethics.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

use wikis for class notes

Mike Schottelkotte from Ohio University points out another great & interesting use for wikis: class notes!

Facebook and digital litter

Just yesterday we were discussing in class the fact that Facebook profiles are not accessible through search engines like Google, Yahoo or myriad others. But today a news alert popped up on my Facebook home page telling me that in one month that would change.

According to the Facebook blog post,
"Starting today, we are making limited public search listings available to people who are not logged in to Facebook."
Facebook users will still have the ability to control the degree to which their profiles are viewable to the public. Only users whose privacy settings allow "everyone" to search for them will be viewable through search engines. Even then, a user has the ability to control how much or how little of their profile can be seen by the public.

While it may seem relatively benign, this move by Facebook generates a couple key questions regarding privacy on social networking sites and the Internet in general.

Om Malik uses the term "digital litter" to describe all the little bits of information we leave about ourselves on the Internet. Stefanie Olsen examines the degree to which digital litter abounds; it is not limited to just social networks, but to any site where an e-mail address is cataloged. Those bits will only increase with Facebook opening up to search engines. But is the public aware of the amount of personal information left scattered across the Internet?

Steve O'Hear suggests that Facebook being open to Google gives users more control over their digital litter because users can control what is seen on his or her profile, whereas users cannot necessarily control the other bits of personal information on the Internet. Because Facebook accounts would be one of the top hits for Google search of someone's name, that person would have a greater ability to control their own press. But do people and businesses really understand how much an Internet life can impact real life?

There are indications that digital litter and Internet image control are becoming better understood. It is generally known that many employers check social networking sites during the interview and hiring process. Businesses are becoming more savvy about their own online presence, having tapped into a two phenomena known as "social media marketing" and "search engine optimization."

Yet while employees are becoming more savvy about their individual online presence and businesses are beginning to understand marketing through social networking sites, do employees' individual sites reflect well upon the companies they work for? And are people really aware of the amount of information that can be found on the Internet?

I do not think the implications of digital litter are fully understood by the public, or even public relations professionals. The technology is too new for public relations professionals to have completely grasped the implications of social networking sites like Facebook and of digital litter in general. With the supposed amount of privacy and control users have over something as obvious as a Facebook profile, when advisors to a candidate for the most prestigious job in the nation miss something as simple as his daughter's Facebook support of his opponent, it is clear that digital litter is not as easy to control nor as private as previously thought.

How should smaller org PR folks go about editing Wikipedia?

As we discussed class, PR practitioners should avoid making edits on Wikipedia regarding their company. Why? Because it is so easy to be "caught" & it goes against the online community's norms.

Social media expert Josh Hallett has long preached that company's should respect these rules & just stay away. But a recent post on his blog shows that he is struggling with finding the "right way" for practitioners to actually communicate in a void where an organization's entry is nearly non-existent.

He has a good process outlined, but admits he expects very little feedback & buy-in from a company. This, of course, is probably why they org doesn't have much in their entry to begin with -- no one is talking about them.

We can't all work for major corporations where there is already a lot going on ... so questions like how the "regular guys" can ethically & acceptably operate are still in the air.

BlogOrlando is Sept. 28

If you are interested in following the upcoming BlogOrlando event at the end of this month, be sure to check out the schedule.

links from blog class

With technology working against me, I'm posting the links I had wanted to show you in class yesterday here on the blog. I'm hopeful we will have time in another class for us to go to these sites & talk about them.

Word of Mouth Marketing Association codes

Measuring blogs
Google Analytics
Measure Map
Buzz Logic

RSS Readers
Google Reader
Netnews Wire