Posted on December 10, 2004 8:11 am by Shel Holtz
While blogs continue to compel the attention of the media, the public and (of course) bloggers, social networking continues to expand into the marketplace with much less fanfare.
Netflix, the DVD rental company that lets you select your movies online and get them in the mail, is building social networking into its offering as part of an effort to fend off competitive threats. Subscribers will invite friends and family to see reviews they’ve written of the movies they’ve watched. If a friend accepts the invitation, the sender gets reciprocal rights to see the friend’s lists and reviews. The San Jose Mercury News has the story.
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Posted on December 10, 2004 7:46 am by Shel Holtz
It’s not the most interesting reading you’ll do this week, but it’s intriguing nonetheless. Ari Soglin, whose byline lists him as “Citizen Journalist,” contributed coverage of the Benecia (California) School Board meeting last night via blog. The report, which appears at BeneciaNews.com, includes comments from readers.
The item, which begins at the end (where the first post appears), notes, “We’re trying something different tonight: The Benicia school board meeting brought to you live by blog. School closure, a parcel tax, maybe talk about a certain high school play. Sure to be an interesting night.” Then, later, “Well, it’s 9 pm and
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Posted on December 10, 2004 7:24 am by Shel Holtz
Several items have been bouncing around the blogosphere pointing to lawyers discussing whether bloggers should enjoy the same legal protections as journalists. In 19 states and any federal court, those protections are non-existent, and in the 31 states that do have shield laws on the books, the laws are inconsistent at best.
It was a federal court judge who yesterday sentenced Rhode Island TV reporter Jim Taricani to six months of house arrest; he could have spent more time in jail, if the judge had opted to impose a harsher sentence. Taricani refused to divulge the name of a source, but there is no federal law that would keep a judge
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Posted on December 9, 2004 9:57 am by Shel Holtz
We’ve been talking about citizen journalists and news sites where readers write the news for some time now. The trend has reached a point where some think it’s worth investing some money. According to a Washington Post story,
Several notable ventures have launched or raised money this year to create local news sites online in which readers contribute all or most of the news. The big idea is that citizen-generated content lowers costs and creates more loyal audiences.
The investment is spurred by the payoff of advertising dollars spent to target ads at a local level.
Posted on December 9, 2004 9:33 am by Shel Holtz
Search Engine Journal offers tips for optimizing your blog for search engines. The tips (which are explained in detail in the article) include:
- Use your primary keyword in your blog domain
- Use your primary key phrase in your blog header tags and the title of your posts
- Use your secondary keywords in the body of your post
- Use your keywords in the anchor text of links
- Make sure search engines can spider your blog easily
- Get backlinks from other blogs or websites
- Update frequently
- Stay put
Posted on December 9, 2004 8:45 am by Shel Holtz
As we praise the virtues, benefits and potential of blogging, we need to balance our enthusiasm with a certain amount of skepticism. Wide-eyed zeal without caution can lead down a dangerous path. Consider how willing readers were to accept two political blogs in South Dakota at face value. CBS News is reporting that the blogs were written by paid advisers to the campaign they supported, although neither blog offered any disclaimer.
In other words, the authors of the blogs—Jon Lauck of Daschle v. Thune and Jason Van Beek of South Dakota Politics—lied. They claimed to be citizen journalists, but in reality were flacks on the payroll of
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