Links for my URMA talk

On Wednesday, May 17, I’ll be giving a talk at the annual conference of the University Reseach Magazine Association (URMA). They seem like a fun group of media professionals. (Seriously — their conference agenda even features the Creature from the Black Lagoon!)

The topic of my talk is: Invasion of the bloggin’ pods: The new media – ready or not, they’re here! (So whatta we do with ‘em?)

I already warned URMA: I don’t do lectures, so the people attending this session had better be ready to get involved.

Here are some links I plan to mention in my session…

(Read the full article at The Right Conversation…)

Corante\’s Comment Spam Problem

I often read the weblogs offered by Corante, because they mostly choose excellent, thoughtful writers representing a broad range of expertise. They’re rather nicely designed blogs too, with decent usability and readabilty. Obviously some people over at Corante know a few things about doing blogs well.

Why, then, is comment spam such a pervasive problem on Corante blogs? That’s like making a nice dinner and then just dumping it directly on the table in front of your guests, without a plate – an unnecessary and disturbing mess.

Here’s what I mean…

(Read the full article at The Right Conversation…)

Mac wish: I want Spotlight to search ALL my stuff, everywhere

The internet is my computer. Really.

From my perspective, from how I work with and store information, I’m coming to rely on web-based services at least as much as I rely on software and storage in my little iBook laptop. My content, literally, is all over the place.

I adore the powerful Spotlight desktop search feature of my Mac’s OS X Tiger operating system. It’s so easy for me to find anything stored on my laptop.

The trouble is, a lot of my content (most of it, actually) isn’t stored on my computer, so spotlight doesn’t index it and can’t search for it. For instance…
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Are \”target audiences\” a problem?

Wow, I’m gratified that my recent Right Conversation post on strategic commenting attracted so much attention – including praise from the famous Apple-maven-turned-venture-capitalist Guy Kawaski!

I’ve been slamming on several client projects lately, but right now I’m going to take a few minutes to address some of the points raised in the rich comment thread that article spawned.

On May 2, Jeffrey Treem of Edelman PR spoke up to disagree with my use of the “target audience” concept. Here’s what he said…

(Read the full article at The Right Conversation…)

Why I had to uninstall the CoComment extension

On April 30, I wrote with great enthusiasm about the nifty new Firefox extension for CoComment, a free tool for tracking your online conversations.

Sadly, today I had to uninstall that extension. It was, I found out, causing serious problems with how my web browser interacted with other online services that I use several times daily: Gmail, Furl, and Typepad.

That’s a bummer, because I’m really getting to like CoComment…

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Weird behavior with Firefox 1.5.0.3?

(UPDATE MAY 10: I figured it out. Apparently the culprit was the CoComment Firefox extension I installed recently…)

Recently I upgraded to the Firefox 1.5.0.3 web browser for the Mac. It seems to be working fine, but I suspect there may be problematic incompatibilities with some of my favorite online services — especially Furl and Typepad.

Here are the problems I’m seeing. I have queries in to Furl and Typepad about them, but in the meantime is anyone else seeing these particular problems?…

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\”Self-styled\” and proud of it!

I never was good at fitting into other people’s boxes. Therefore, one of the main reasons I’ve been an independent consultant for about a decade is that independence offers considerable freedom to define myself, my roles, and my work.

This freedom is what’s allowed me to keep working at the forefront of the editorial side of new media, because I can explore new directions, trends, tools, and skills at will. I like being on this edge, because to me the most exciting paths in media are the ones that aren’t yet well worn.

Since I provide a different blend of skills and services that many of my colleagues offer, it makes sense for me to define myself to the working world with a title that, I think, reflects the role and direction I’ve chosen for myself. Consequently, my title has undergone considerable evolution. Currently, I bill myself primarily as a conversational media consultant, and also as a content strategist, writer, and editor. Often in discourse I shorten that to “media consultant” or just “consultant” on first mention, but when I introduce my full title into the discussion that gives me a good opening to describe what I really do.

I’ve worked hard to earn the respect of my colleagues and others. I’m proud of my work. So I’ve got to admit: It rankles me when I see myself referred to as a “self-styled ‘conversational media consultant’” – as if defining myself is somehow a bad or questionable thing…

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Hunting the elusive usable bliki: Translation, please?

Just a quick note: I’ve written before about one of my personal “Holy Grails” of the internet: a really usable bliki.

Today the German weblog Examensblog published what appears to be an excellent overview of the current state of the quest to develop a superior bliki tool.

I say “appears” because the article is in German. Sadly, like most Amercians, I only read English (to my great embarrassment). I did a quick-and-dirty Babelfish automated translation, which was enough to tell me that this is an article I really, really want to read.

So I would dearly love to see this article translated into English – or at least summarized in English.

If any German-fluent Contentious readers want to take a stab at this, I’d be very grateful!

…OK, so what’s a bliki?…

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Trailblazing Your Blog, Backward and Forward

One of the reasons blogs can be so engaging is that they evolve and interact through time. We get to see how things change. In that sense, many blog postings can be considered snapshots of a world, event, or issue in progress.

However, each posting also stands on its own, residing at a unique and permanent web address (URL). When looking at a single, static posting, it can be difficult to follow the tendrils that stretch forward and back in time to other postings in that blog. Which postings were the precursor to this one, and which were the follow-up?

One way to make it easier for people to engage with your weblog over time is to make sure you blaze a trail for postings that bear a direct sequential relationship. And I can attest from my many hiking expeditions, a well-blazed trail can be easily followed in either direction.

Here’s how you can do it, in your blog…

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