Another grain of salt for Wikipedia

Larry Sanger, a recently-departed co-founder of Wikipedia, has written a lengthy diatribe about the problems with the open-source participatory encylopedia. The primary issue, he says, is anti-elitism:

As a community, Wikipedia lacks the habit or tradition of respect for expertise. As a community, far from being elitist (which would, in this context, mean excluding the unwashed masses), it is anti-elitist (which, in this context, means that expertise is not accorded any special respect, and snubs and disrespect of expertise is tolerated).

The consequence, according to Sanger, is experts staying away from Wikipedia because they don’t… Read More »

Blogs are in a state of transition, according to Pew

The Pew Internet and American Life Project has released a study on blogs that shows readership skyrocketed in 2004. In November, 27% of online adults said they read blogs, up 10% from February. Blog coverage of the South Asia tsunami disaster is likely to increase awareness and readership even more, according to Pew project director Lee Rainie.  ‘The tsunami is one of those cataclysmic news moments where lots of people’s perceptions change. Awareness of blogs will grow dramatically. There’s so much attention to the coverage on blogs and Web sites and first-person video as primary news sources.’‘

While readership is rising dramatically,… Read More »

Corporate blogs and Sarbanes-Oxley

Another in the ever-proliferating series of articles on blogging for business comes from Electronic Business Online with input from Sun Microsystems and Intel, among others. One interesting comment in this piece comes for Sun’s Andy Lark, vp of Corporate Communications: “Even on my own blog, I’m not protected by the First Amendment. I’m governed by Sarbanes-Oxley.”

Thus, the article contends:

“Blogs are no different from e-mail or instant messaging in terms of rules of engagement???no offensive content or dissemination of proprietary information is allowed on a public site. “Just as with e-mail and instant messaging,” warns Nancy…

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Do you provide tech support for your parents?

My mom lives about 500 miles away, in Los Angeles, so most of the tech support I provide is over the phone. Whenever I’m in LA, though, I’ll listen to her latest list of PC woes, most of which are easy fixes. I have found that most of my computer-savvy colleagues provide the same kind of support for their parents. Thanks to a link from Geek News Central, I’ve found a blog post that lists, then details, several steps every tech-centric son or daughter should take with mom’s computer. I’m proud to say I’ve done all of these, just not all in one session.

There’s also much wisdom in the 68 (so far) comments.… Read More »

Hallmark’s online research success story

Hallmark, the Kansas City-based greeting card company, has employed online consumer research for three years now. Based on a comparison of the results with those of traditional research (i.e., focus groups), the online efforts are now a regular part of the company’s research effort. In a Marketing Sherpa interview,  Tom Brailsford, Manager of Advancing Capabilities, notes:

“You can do three focus groups and hear from about 24 consumers and it’ll cost you two or three weeks and $10,000. We can hear regularly from 150 consumers in 36 hours on a particular issue. We have evidence from linguistic analyses that suggests that the content we…

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What it takes to be an A-list podcaster

Wired News offers a nice look at podcasting with a focus on the A-list podcasters. The piece quotes “Cluetrain Manifesto” co-author, blogger and podcaster Doc Searls: “To me, it’s sort of like evaluating an ecosystem when there are three blades of grass pushing up through the dirt.“I think it’s the future of whatever the people will replace radio with…. It’s a way for the demand side to supply itself.”

The article delves into some of the characteristics of early podcasting success, including the need to be quirky, cliquey and cultish. Neville and I are listening. Does the PR profession qualify as a cult?… Read More »

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