Wednesday, August 31, 2005

SC paper creates 'citizen journalism' blog

Columbia, S.C.'s "The State" newspaper is taking newspapers where they've never been before (or, at least where few have been).


Not just a reporter or editor. Actually, not any reporter or editor. In fact, the newspaper will launch a new site Sept. 1 -- -- with content provided by 25 community experts to serve as "citizen journalists."

"The State's" Online Editor Dave Roberts said the objectives of the newspaper's blog include increasing reader participation and news tips. In addition, "The State" hopes to generate additional advertising revenue geared to the specific topics or niches being blogged.

As a journalist still at heart, I think "The State's" foray into blogging -- and using local experts -- is a great outreach program: Generating more traffic and interest to its own paper, providing additional services for readers all the while generating additional revenue.

I definitely hope it works.


Technorati tags: blogs, blogging, citizen journalism, journalism

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The demise of the news release?

A posting Monday Steve Rubel of Micropersuaion deal with story in the "St. Petersburg Times" about Sunbelth Software. To summarize, Sunbelt discovered an identity theft ring, and gained international media attention because of its discovery. (Yes, it did notify the FBI.)

How did it make this announcement?

Through a news release via PRNewswire or BusinessWire?


Sunbelt Software posted a message on its company's blog.

While some companies like Microsoft and Google already have blogs and offer feeds for their company news and blogs, it's definitely not the norm.

At least, not yet.

But, in the future, more and more companies will distribute their news simply via corporate blog posts and/or via XML feeds. Not just technology companies, but all companies. In plastics, in building products, in automotive, utilities, institutional, etc., and other industries and markets.

Rather than pushing news to media, the media will be pulling ustomized news from the companies and industries on their beat. Today's newsrooms -- many which don't even exist in B2B companies -- will primarily consist of blogs.

It's just another example of the amazing personalization and interaction the Web offers.

-- Mike

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Do we need a definition for Web logs?

Like many, I read the comScore report that said one in six Americans visit/read blogs, among other things.

Now, also like many of you, there's been some conflict about traffic to blogs, and blog ranks. I'm not going into that.

What got me thinking was the line in the introduction (page 2, 2nd paragraph) that "it is likely that a certain number of people in a survey regularly visit specific sites without realizing that those sites would be qualified as "blogs," and so they neglect to identify themselves as blog readers."

Does there need to be a definition of what a blog is?

I visited some of the "blogs" that were ranked high. Many, like the R- or worse rated doesn't seem like a blog. It has too many internal links on the left side, and seems like a regular Web site.

Should a blog be pretty basic, simple? Shouldn't a blog contain the owner's comments, opinion, links to information, other sits, and maybe a little about the owner?
Too much more than that, than it's not a blog. Right?

Am I off?

Isn't there some unwritten but commonly accepted definition of a blog?

If not, there should be.
-- Michael

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

GPS on airplanes?

You know what would be a great feature on airplanes?

If each passenger on the airplane was able to find where he/she is at any point during the flight.

When flying, you usually cannot determine where you are, relative to a state or the entire U.S. (or other country you may be flying over). So, why not devise a GPS-type, hand-held device for each seat that allows fylers to see where they on a map.

Yes, I know that the captain will sometimes point out landmarks, but that seems to be more rare.

How cool would that be?

And, maybe charge an extra $5 or so per ticket for all passengers to cover the cost. How much would it really be to implement?
-- Michael

Friday, August 05, 2005

Great PR links

Am in the process of adding some real "PR meat" to my main blog, Just added links under three "PR Resources" link categories:

  • Media list development,
  • News search sites (good if you don't have a clipping service), and
  • News release distribution resources.

There may be some inconsistencies in the formatting, but will correct that. All links do work.

I will add more resources as time goes on. But, am definitely open to more helpful resources that we all can share. And, if I post your suggestion(s), will give credit in a post.


Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Personal connectivity

One of the great things about the Internet -- specifically discussion boards like Yahoo! Groups, IM'ing, e-mailing, chatting, etc. -- is the personal connectivity. One-on-one expressions.

Even sites like Amazon personalize your visits by making suggestions for purchases based on what you previously bought.

I've always thought that the one great thing about one-on-one 'net communication is that you can be totally honest. Why not? Most likely, you won't ever meet the person or group you are connecting with. What do you have to lose?

But, the flip side is that people can be totally fake. Who's gonna know, right?
Another flip side (yes, I've just made a three-sided coin) is that people type things they would never say to someone face-to-face.

While the various vehicles noted above provide great avenues for personal connectivity, they also provide a barrier for people to hide behind: their keyboard.

It's a shame that better judgement and even common courtesy is not always practiced in that personal connectivity, whether personal or professional.
-- Michael

Monday, August 01, 2005

Traditional media on the outs?

Traditional media on the outs?

Reputable bloggers and even so-called "citizen journalism" will definitely continue to grow, and gain credibility. No big news there. However, don't count out the current traditional media of newspapers, TV, radio, etc.

While their value for editorial "hits" may be less due to increased media competitors and fewer eyes reading/viewing them, your local newspaper and TV station will still be vital vehicles for those in media relations.

Traditional media will -- and some are -- place more importance on their Web portals for day-to-day information. No longer will daily, or even 6, noon, 6 and 11 be enough.

All this means is that those in PR working with the media have more avenues to track, to get to know, and to develop those ever-so-important trusted relationships with.

Competition can hurt while in process, but it does make us better.
-- Michael