If you think I’m losing faith in Web 2.0, here’s why…

November 7, 2007

images.jpgYesterday I received a link to Michael Stelzner’s blog and this post celebrating the “top 10 marketing blogs.” I don’t know Michael and had never visited his site, “Writing White Papers.” The site promotes Michael’s consulting business and his book, which puts him in a sizable club here in the blogosphere.

Clearly, the site is working for Michael, as his blog ranks among the top 10,000 on Technorati and has an authority number of 505 — nearly 10 times what my blog earns. Michael understands how to play the links game.

But Michael, I have to call you out on a very critical issue: Censorship.

Yesterday, I was one of two commenters (the other being Jenn Mattern), who questioned the selection process used for your “Top Ten Marketing Blogs 2007/2008.” I’ll admit to being more critical than Jenn, but I was tactful, as was she. (I don’t know Jenn nor do I read her blog, though I suspect I will now!)

Your readers will never know about our concerns, Michael, since Jenn’s comment and mine have been removed from the site.

So much for “the conversation,” eh?

It’s your blog, Michael. You may post whatever you like and disapprove any comments you don’t like. But when you take down comments, shouldn’t you tell your readers why? (I’ve only done it once and felt compelled to write an entire post about it!)

Jenn and I simply asked you for some detail, since your selection criteria goes directly to the credibility of your list. Do the bloggers honored in this selection know that it took only TWO nominations to make the finals? Do they know anything about the rigor of your review process? If the list represents your top-ten favorites, then just tell us that. Bloggers do this all the time to build traffic and links.

Michael, every blog in your “ten ten” is a pretty dang good one. But your policy for handling comments, apart from those that gush with praise, well, it’s more than a little suspect.

This morning I left this comment. I’ll be interested to see how long it lasts. (Update at 10:45 a.m., 11/7 — the comment below has already been removed! But this one from Markus Pirchner remains — for now! I’ve made a copy just in case it disappears, too!)


I see the comments questioning the selection criteria have disappeared. So, what’s up with that?

Yeah. What’s up with that?

(Update No. 2, 10:55 a.m., 11/7) — To my students: Isn’t this a great case for those researching ethical behaviors in the online world? To help you with the research, also reference this fine post by Amy Gahran. Markus includes this link in his comment over at Stelzer’s blog, but it’s very unlikely it’ll be there for long. Criticism — or conversation for that matter — isn’t welcome at Mike’s place!)

One PR man’s sordid affair with Amanda Chapel

October 16, 2007

Update: In case you haven’t heard, the next iteration of Strumpette is in the works. It’s called Furthermore. The evolution will be interesting.


A few online friends have asked for the “real story” of my no-so-secret love affair with Amanda Chapel, aka, Strumpette. Most of those calling me out are devotees of Web 2.0 – a PR practice niche we’ve all celebrated in our blogs. Since Amanda rejects the use of unmediated communication in PR, many can’t accept my fascination with this anonymous, potty-mouthed vixen — the very one who last week signed off the blogosphere for good.

Here’s my confession – for the record.

amanda.jpgStrumpette delivered a critical and seldom-heard take on the PR business. We needed it. But many couldn’t accept the message thanks to Amanda’s, er, unorthodox style. Unlike most bloggers, Amanda didn’t “converse” with us about her views. She spewed them, sometimes in venomous fashion, and she couched them in satire that many found offensive. But if you read Strumpette as the “Theatre of Amanda,” as I did, you chuckled and you moved on. Amanda loved opponents who locked horns with her, and she ate most of them for lunch. Read the rest of this entry »

Welcome to the blogosphere, Andy Curran

July 19, 2007

My long-time pal and colleague, Andy Curran, has officially arrived in the blogosphere with his site, MediaTide. It’s housed here at WordPress.

andrew.jpgAndy was moved to start his blog after watching the role of Web 2.0 in reporting news of the Virginia Tech tragedies. But it was the announced shutdown of his local newspaper, the Cincinnati Post, that proved to be the triggering event for this “old media guy.” But I’ll let him tell you the rest.

Andy and I met 35 years ago while students at one of our nation’s great party academies. We’ve managed to stay good friends all these years, a task made easier when he married my wife’s sister. I mean, what choice do we have? Andy is associate professor in computer information systems at Cincinnati-Clermont College.

Please take a minute to drop by MediaTide and welcome Andy to the blogosphere. Post a comment, offer ideas, or just give him grief. He deserves it.


TransArctic Expedition Update: If you’ve tried to follow my son’s progress on the TransArctic Expedition, you’ve been stymied by a website glitch (though you can sneak into the site through the backdoor).

transarctic.jpgWe talked last night with Brenda Harrison, wife of the expedition’s leader. She spoke to Jeremy just a few days ago via satellite phone.

Seems the men are well ahead of schedule and paddling north on the little-explored Morse River. They should reach Garry Lake in a few days. They’ll cross Garry west to east, then connect to the frigid Back River for the final leg to Chantrey Inlet, on the Arctic Ocean. If all goes well, they’ll arrive August 7, give or take a day, then catch a bush plane back to Yellowknife, NWT.

Two weeks back I told you about the group skidding their loaded canoes across 75 miles of Arctic ice. Last week they traveled upstream on a tributary flag.jpgof the Thelon River, then made the grueling portage to the Morse — 10 trips in all to move boats and gear. Good news is, they have plenty of food and are eating well. Seems the lake trout are practically jumping into the boats.

Something tells me these boys are gonna need a beer when they get back. Too bad 3 of the 6 are underage, eh? I’ll ask the same question I did last time: What are you doing this summer?

‘Open advocacy’ must replace spin — Edelman

June 8, 2007

At the opening session of Edelman’s New Media Academic Summit Richard Edelman told PR professors and others that social media enable us to embrace the concept of “open advocacy.”

He added, “PR cannot progress progress if it’s categorized as ‘spin.’ We need to disavow this kind of behavior. While PR people cannot and should not claim to be impartial,” he said, “we can be transparent, so contentions (about our clients) can be examined by the public at large.”

Fortune magazine’s David Kirkpatrick quizzed Richard about his firm’s missteps involving WalMart. Edelman called the WalMart RV tour a “learning experience for all of us that shows we still have a long way to go. We’re out in front (on uses of social media), and periodically, we’re gonna stumble.”

While Richard spoke specifically to public relations, the rest of the panel included MSM experts who told how they’re are using the Web. They covered a lot of ground in 90 minutes, but I came away one clear message: Today’s PR practitioners, just like today’s journalists, must be will more versatile, and adept at using and understanding the full range of media. And we’ll need to do this very quickly.

But you knew that. More to come.

Disclosure: Edelman is covering my expenses for attending this conference.

PR blogs are growing, and Kent State’s Heather Bing is on the list!

April 12, 2007

Kudos to PRKent senior Heather Bing, whose Experience PR site made Constantin Basturea‘s list of new PR blogs. It ain’t the A List yet, kiddo, but you’re on your way!

Heather’s blog grew from an assignment in our PR Online Tactics class, taught by Professor Michele Ewing. Heather says her blog focuses on applying heatherii.jpg“bookish knowledge to the real world,” which is exactly what we do in the Kent State PR program. Her blog is the only one of 12 in the class to gather enough Google Juice to make Constantin’s list. I could send him links to the other 11, but I’d rather see them earn it. Read the rest of this entry »

I’m the media, dammit!!!…plus assorted thoughts from a PR lunatic

April 3, 2007

Item #1: It’s official. I’m a citizen journalist. And that makes me the “media,” at least for today.

I know it’s true, because I got a pitch from a company wanting lyro_logosmall.pngme to pimp for its new business-networking website. That’s right, the folks from Lyro want me to review and cover the “launch” of their new venture. I’m not gonna bother, since it looks way too much like LinkedIn, only more boring.

I include the link just in case you want to check it out. Besides, it allows me to celebrate my newfound media stardom. Just call me “Gatekeeper,” baby. Do you feel the power? Read the rest of this entry »

Bringing market realities to the PR classroom — It’s a fast track here, just like in the ‘real world’

March 22, 2007

We all know twitter.pngthe business is changing by the hour. No, make that by the second. And I’m sure it’s true. I learned it from Twitter. Twitter’s been all the rage for maybe two weeks now — center stage in the Web 2.0 world until the next new toy comes along.

If you don’t know about Twitter, not to worry. You probably were focused on 5 or 50 other phenomena affecting audiences in the online world. And if you’re feeling a a little out of breath, join the club. No one can really keep up these days. You simply run faster today than you did yesterday, then you do the same tomorrow. Read the rest of this entry »

Political bloggers must prepare for comment scams

February 27, 2007

bostonglobe.jpgThis piece from the Boston Globe last Friday didn’t draw much attention in the PR blogs, maybe because the topic of astroturf campaigns is old hat with most. But it sure has those who blog on political topics worried, and it has implications for all who use social media.

Thanks to Joe Harper for passing it along.

The Globe article grew from the reporter’s discussion with conservative blogger Erick Erickson, Redstate.com. Seems Erick was able to trace redstate.jpgcomments from an unknown writer back to a Michigan-based operative with ties to John McCain, a guy not among the favored candidates of Redstate readers. Read the rest of this entry »

BurrellesLuce/Kent State Blog Study, Part Two — Some insights from the in-depth interviews

February 21, 2007

bl.gifOn Jan. 29 I posted some initial findings from the Kent State blog-use-and-monitoring study. Jeanette Drake and I just completed the project, with support from BurrellesLuce. It included in-depths with 54 of the 938 survey participants.

This post offers some highlights. It also offers some observations that don’t appear in the paper. Since this blog isn’t an academic forum, I don’t feel guilty about mixing in some interpretation and suggestions for action. Those suggestions will strike veteran PR bloggers as basic, but will benefit readers who have less experience with social media.

ksu.gifOne caveat: Our study is exploratory, and uses a self-selecting sample. We mustn’t try to project the data onto a general population.

Oh, and I’m sorry about the length. To paraphrase Twain: If I’d had more time I’d have written less. Read the rest of this entry »

The essence of social media in under 5 minutes

February 8, 2007

Yeah, I said I was taking a week off, but…

This post from Chris Anderson, editor of Wired magazine and author of The Long Tail, is something you shouldn’t wait on.

Chris posts a short video that captures the story of Web 2.0 in less than 4 tail.jpgminutes. The video didn’t show up on my NetNewsWire screen, so you may have to link directly to the blog post. Take the time.

And if you haven’t read The Long Tail, do it now.

Update: In my haste to get out the door this morning I failed to credit the dude responsible for this video, Professor Michael Wesch of Kansas State University. He’s part of the digital ethnography group at KSU, which should not be confused with the REAL KSU.