Where Does the Public Conversation Start?

Earlier I wrote, “I firmly believe that the point of weblogging is not merely to have your own blog, but to participate more fully in the public conversation. This means reading and commenting on other people’s blog’s – ideally at least as much as you post in your own.”

Jay Rosen agrees with this… and not. He’s taken this like of thought further, with an interesting twist…

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More on My Comments: A Simpler Solution

I’m gratified that many people, including Jay Rosen are intrigued by my recent decision to start tracking and sharing all the various comments I make around the blogosphere.

I’ve just taken a moment to implement the more elegant approach which Koan Bremner suggested for tracking my numerous and varied comments around the web. If you look over in the right-hand column right now (“My Most Recent Comments”), and you’ll see the result. Here’s what I did…

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Citizen Journalism at BlogHer

So here I am at the inaugural BlogHer conference, sipping tea and waiting for the first session to begin. So far, it’s great.

But first things first: As many CONTENTIOUS readers know, I’m very involved in citizen journalism. Specifically, I’m one of the founders of I, Reporter – a project to inspire, guide, and educate citizen journalists and the media organizations who work with them.

One of the activities at BlogHer today is Birds of a Feather: informal gatherings of various interest groups that will occur during the day. Participants can create a sign-up sheet for their own topical group, and I created one on citizen journalism. Now (about 20 min. later) nearly 20 people have signed up! That’s pretty cool…

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My Most Recent Comments (New Feature)

(UPDATE JULY 30: I’ve just streamlined the process described here a bit more…)

I firmly believe that the point of weblogging is not merely to have your own blog, but to participate more fully in the public conversation. This means reading and commenting on other people’s blog’s – ideally at least as much as you post in your own.

Personally, I comment often throughout the blogosphere – so much so that I often lost track of what I’ve said, and where. As yet, the infrastructure of the blogosphere doesn’t make it as easy as it should to follow comments from a specific person.

Therefore, last night I decided to start a separate del.icio.us page: gahrancomments. There, I’m now storing and tagging links to blog entries to which I’ve posted comments. Like all del.icio.us pages, this one offers its own feed – which I’ve now syndicated to the righthand sidebar of CONTENTIOUS. (See right and scroll down to: My Most Recent Comments.)

(UPDATE: My friend Koan Bremner just pointed out to me how I can accomplish this within my existing del.icio.us page, which is a simpler solution. So I’ll implement that later. Right now, I have to catch a flight to BlogHer!)

Why comment in other people’s blogs?…

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Catching Up on Technorati Tags

I’ll admit… thanks to my chronic state of learning overload, I haven’t yet gotten around to fully exploring and implementing a much-touted tool called Technorati tags. I know, I know, I should have been all over this one months ago… but life and paying work intervened.

Anyway, today I was gratified to learn that in a recent Social Customer Manifesto blog posting and podcast entitled The “newvoices” Tag: Throwing On The Floodlights, PR/communications guru Christopher Carfi highlighted and graciously complimented my weblog CONTENTIOUS. (Thanks, Chris!)

I think this “newvoices” tag strategy is intriguing and worth a shot. So I’ll bite the bullet, learn more about Technorati tags, and give it a try. However, I have a couple of reservations and questions about Technorati tags in general…

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Women, Blogging, Podcasting, and Cool Events

I just packed my bag – tomorrow I’m heading off to the inaugural BlogHer conference being held this Saturday in Santa Clara, CA. Blogher is “a network for women bloggers to draw on for exposure, education, and community.” And it’s about damn time, too! Enough with the default boys’ club mentality, already!

Coincidentally, I’ve also recently agreed to speak on the topic of women in podcasting at Corante’s upcoming Podcast Hotel event (Sept. 6-8, 2005, Portland, OR). I was thrilled to be invited. It was also cool that Corante president Stowe Boyd interviewed me on this topic for his own podcast, True Voice.

More about these events…

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Problems with My Feed

A few people have let me know that iTunes and other podcatchers are having difficulty downloading my most recent podcast. Sorry about that. The main problem was that one letter in the file name was lower case. That was a silly typo on my part, I’ve fixed that.

However, I know there is another glitch in my feed resulting from combination of difficulties related to implementing those #$^#^$%#$ iTunes proprietary tags and Feedburner

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Nonprofits, Press Releases, and the Public Conversation

Last night I had an interesting e-mail exchange with CONTENTIOUS reader Tom Poe, who run the nonprofit organization Open Studios. He asked:

“…It’s my understanding that press release format is laid out with the purpose to provide all elements of a news article for the journalist, who may, or may not use those elements to publish an article.

If that is true, then before the press release dies, don’t we need to provide a better model, a more streamlined model, for journalists to use? Thanks – from a nonprofit searching to replace nonexistent grant funding with marketing skills for the Digital Age.”

With permission from Tom, here’s our exchange which followed…

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