links for 2008-10-22

  • Launched this week, this group weblog from the National Journal features a diverse group of accomplished experts on energy and environmental issues. It's got a couple of glitches, though. First, the actual content (expert opinions) are posted in the comments, creating search visibility issues. Second, there's no way for readers to comment, which makes the project less engaging. Still, it's a start, and it's worth checking out. It'll be interesting to see how National Journal's strategy on this project evolves. They could probably learn some useful lessons from how Newsweek runs its On Faith blog.
  • Mathew Ingram counters some flagrant flamebait from Wired: "Is everyone going to have a blog? No — and they never were. Facebook and Twitter are probably enough for many people. Not writing at all is enough for many people. But why does it have to be all or nothing? What we have now is the option to micro-blog (i.e., Twitter) some thoughts, post others to Facebook, share things on FriendFeed or through Google Reader, and blog things that take longer to think through. But I guess that’s not as catchy as a 'blogs are dead, Twitter killed them' scenario."
  • "Too many online staffs treat their websites like the Showtime Rotisserie Oven. They, say it with me, “Set it and Forget it.” Enamored with automation, they design sites that is chock full of headline pulls, RSS feeds and automated dayparting, Flash galleries, etc. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a technophobe, but the problem I have is that all the automation becomes an excuse to not deal with their site unless there is a problem or special project."
  • In the UK, this Guardian blog devised an sponsored a bus-ad campaign promoting atheism: "Religious organisations' jobs are made easier because there's no publicly visible counter-view to refute their threats of eternal damnation. The atheist bus campaign aims to change this. In addition to the slogan, the adverts will feature the URLs of secular, humanist and atheist websites, so that readers can find out more about atheism as a positive and liberating alternative to religion. We've also set up an interactive campaign website and Facebook group, so that questions raised by the adverts can be publicly debated."
  • "It isn’t adveristing itself. It’s the way it’s too often done. I almost never click on an ad, for three reasons. First is that I almost never find what I’m looking for. Second is that I don’t want to waste the advertiser’s money on a bad click-through. Third is that I’m tired of looking at so much waste of pixels, rods, cones, cycles and patience."
  • "Search engines tell marketers not to spam them. Many search marketers also advise newcomers not to spam. Spamming issues get debated online. But what is search engine spam? What’s it look like? How’s it smell? And why do search engines (not to mention users) hate it? At our recent SMX East search marketing conference, representatives from Google, Microsoft and Yahoo tackled the topic. Below you can learn more about search spam, as well as reinclusion tips for each search engine."

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