New Skype services

Skype has announced some new fee-based services, one of which has been long overdue. With SkypeOut, Skype users have been able to dial the phones of people without Skype, but Skype-less people couldn’t call you. SkypeIn changes that, providing phone numbers in eight countries (Denmark, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Norway, Sweden, the U.K, and the U.S.). A three-month subscription is $13.

The voice mail service has also moved out of beta and is available to all Skype users as of today, costing 5 euros for three months or 15 euros for a full year.

Skype also announced that it’s working on a video-conferencing service.

The blog vs. journalism debate continues

San Jose State University journalism professor Richard Craig jumps into the blogs-vs.-journalism debate with a well-reasoned op-ed piece appearing in today’s San Jose Mercury News. Craig wins points by noting the whole debate is specious, but goes on to explain why. He lists several points, my favorite of which is: “Declaring that blogs equal journalism is like saying that television equals journalism—people mistake the medium for the message.”

Exactly! Craig points to the vast majority of blogs that are used for nothing even close to journalism. “A tiny minority (of bloggers) choose to gather and report news, and, among these, there… Read More »

Aggregators abound

This morning, perusing my RSS feeds, I found an item I wanted to blog about. The source was an site out of India called Webnewswire.  (The item prompted my post on whether blogs might someday replace press releases.) As I tried to figure out who wrote the post—no attribution appears anywhere on the site—I decided to hop on over to Technorati where I entered an entire sentence from the post into the Technorati search engine.

I found the original post on a blog called “Media Orchard,” written by Scott Baradell, “an accomplished corporate brand strategist and communicator who has been the senior corporate communications executive for two… Read More »

Will blogs replace press releases?

Scott Baradell cites an Economist article in which Bruce Lowry of Novell foresees blogs “completely replacing press releases within 10 years.”

The argument goes like this: The Net has promoted transparency. Your press releases don’t just go to a targeted segment of the press; they also get posted to Yahoo! and other sites. Since everybody sees all releases, companies need to be more consistent in their messages. So as long as companies are saying the same thing to everybody, why not just move from press releases to blogs?

Even if the premise were accurate, the idea is still absurd. The primary difference between a blog and a press… Read More »

InfoWorld redesign incorporates del.icio.us tags

InfoWorld debuts a new look to its Web site today, but the exciting part of the redesign is under the hood. According to Matt McAlister, director of online product development for the magazine,

“What I like most in this new architecture is that the related links are now driven by del.icio.us.  Our edit team is tagging content in del.icio.us.  The engineers are pulling down the del.icio.us RSS feeds.  And then we create matching logic based on the common tags.  We also link back out to del.icio.us pages via the tags for the article on display.”

While McAlister also maintains that there’s a need for more rigid tagging, the use of a… Read More »

New Udell screencast looks at issues underlying Google Autolinks

There don’t seem to be too many people who are in the middle on the issue of Google’s Autolinks feature. Some think it’s great. Others (myself included) don’t like the idea of Google adding links to my page—for the sake of making money—that I didn’t intend to link to.

InfoWorld’s Jon Udell is out with another one of his terrific screencasts, this one a four-minute look at Autolinks and the issues that underlie whether it’s appropriate or an abuse. Udell doesn’t have an answer, but he does ask everyone to chill out for a while while we figure out what the rules should be. By way of explanation, he gives us a brief look at a bookmarklet… Read More »

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