links for 2008-10-29

links for 2008-10-28

  • "Cision, the company formerly known as Bacon’s Information, publishes newspaper and magazine directories that contain information for every newspaper and magazine in North America. The directories contain contact information and profiles on editors and reporters, which PR pros often use to help determine media targets for pitching.

    "I recently ordered my 2009 directories and quickly noticed the smaller size when compared to my 2006 editions. By an unscientific eye-estimate, the directories had narrowed by about 17 percent, which is clearly reflective of the shrinking media landscape…"

  • Great example of why librarians totally ROCK, and why I want to work with them more:

    "Use some of Librarian Genie Tyburski's suggested search terms on Google to find stuff that people don't want you to find:
    – "not for public dissemination"
    – "not for public release"
    – "official use only" (variations include FOUO and U//FOUO)
    – "company confidential"
    – "internal use only"

    "For Genie's online search class, I tried some of these search terms combined with *NC*. Here's what I found…"

  • "But Mac customers must use Microsoft's Silverlight browser plug-in. Only a limited number of Netflix subscribers will be able to use the service's "Watch Instantly" feature off the bat, said Netflix Monday, but the company intends to roll it out to all by the end of 2008."

links for 2008-10-24

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."

Twitter Basics for Journalists & Recovering Journos

On Saturday, at the annual conference of the Society of Environmental Journalists, I gave a talk to an audience of mostly journalists explaining the basics of blogs, social media, and search visibility. People had lots of questions, more than I could get to in the session. I was getting stopped in halls, at parties, and even in bathrooms, to be asked things like, “Does it really make that big a difference if I blog under my own domain?” (Answer: Yes!)

OK, I don’t mind answering those questions. That’s really why I went to this conference — because I know that journalists (many of whom are facing potential layoffs, or who have already been laid off) are in dire need of online media awareness and skills.

So I’m going to do a bunch of posts answering questions, because it’s more efficient to do that via blogging. This is one of those posts.

By now you’ve probably heard about Twitter, the social media service that allows you to publish posts of 140 characters max.

What Twitter does, in a nutshell: This service allows you to receive posts (“tweets”) from other Twitter users whom you choose to “follow.” Likewise, other Twitter users can choose to follow you. When you follow someone on Twitter, their tweets show up in reverse chronological order in the “tweetstream” that scrolls down the Twitter home page when you’re logged in. The effect is somewhat like an ongoing Headline News version of what’s happening in the minds and worlds of people you know or find interesting.

Twitter also supports rudimentary public and private conversation between users.


In my experience, Twitter’s biggest payoff is that it allows you to gather a personal posse who can support you in powerful, flexible, speedy ways.

Also, if you’re choosy about the people you follow, Twitter can be quite an effective radar screen for news or relevant issues.

But there are many other potential benefits, especially for journos…

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