The Hobson and Holtz Report—Special RSS Edition

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Welcome to a the RSS Special Edition of the Hobson & Holtz Report, a 23-minute conversation recorded live at the New Communications Forum 2005 in Napa, California, USA, on January 26, 2005.

Fergus Burns, CEO Nooked

In this show, we interview Fergus Burns (left), CEO of Hookable Media Ltd, the creator of Nooked, the RSS service for corporate communications. Listen to Fergus talk about the measurable benefits of RSS as a communication channel for organizations, the services Nooked offers, and how RSS is evolving into a mainstream communication tool. Download the file here (MP3, 24MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For… Read More »

Personal institutional memory

Neville just made a point he and I have discussed before. He frequently publishes items to his blog so he can recall the information later. It’s a kind of personal institutional memory. In employee communications circles, blogs are being touted for (among other things) the record that’s created around projects. There’s no reason the same idea can’t apply to an individual. I find I often search my own blog for information I want to share with a client or colleague. Neville searches his blog, too, knowing that he put the item there specifically so it can be retrieved later when he needs it.

Blogs vs. message boards

I’m sitting in Neville Hobson’s “Blogging 101” session at the New Communications Forum in Napa, California. The question arose (as it so often does): What distinguishes a blog from a message board? Much has been written about the distinction, and you identify many different characteristics (including the friendly web interface). But from where I sit, the key difference is control. On a message board, anybody can initiate a topic. Only the owner of the blog can open a subject for discussion.

Consider Bob Lutz, the vice chairman of General Motors who has undertaken a blog focusing on product. On a message board, any visitor could start a… Read More »

Labor jumps into the blogosphere

Organized labor has always been Net-savvy, taking early advantage of e-mail and the World Wide Web. I recall around 1995 when Charles Pizzo, who specializes in labor-oriented communications, presented a session at a conference in which he displayed some online tactics that revealed a level of sophistication that outpaced the businesses for which their members worked.

It’s a matter of perspective when wondering whether unions have been slow to jump into blogging. On the one hand, I’ve been expecting to see union blogs for a while now. After all, corporations have blogs and it’s not like labor to follow business in leveraging a new… Read More »

Does the public need to be guarded against us?

Public perception of the public relations profession is so bad that some individuals feel compelled to keep an eye on us and report on what they find. That’s the gist of an article published today in UK’s The Guardian, featuring an interview with David Miller, professor of sociology at the University of Strathclyde. Miller got start-up funding for a Web site called SpinWatch, designed to do for UK citizens what PRWatch does for folks in the US: guard them against “the manipulations of the PR industry.”

“Spin techniques are much more extensive than is generally realised, encompassing media management, lobbying, corporate social…

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Blogs penetrate academia

From BBC News comes an item about the infiltration of blogs into academic life:

“Blogs are giving departments, staff and students the freedom and informality of tone impossible in scholarly journals or even the student newspaper. Blogging lecturers say the technology provides them with easy online web access to students and improves communication outside of the classroom.”

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