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Introduction to social media

Social Media.
Guide + Workbook

By Robin Low

                   Copyright 2009
Introduction to Social Media (What?)
- Background
- Social Media Influence Chart
- Social Media in the world
- Social Medi...
Today, more than ever before, "social media" has become a buzzword. Not only has it
gained popularity, it has been accepte...
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Introduction to social media

  1. 1. Social Media. Guide + Workbook By Robin Low Copyright 2009
  2. 2. Introduction to Social Media (What?) - Background - Social Media Influence Chart - Social Media in the world - Social Media in Asia Terms and definition Importance of Social Media (Why?) Social Media in action (How?) Implications of Social Media Social Media classification Blogging Basics Effective use of YouTube / Flickr Effective use of Facebook Twitter Do and don'ts (Social Media Etiquette) Social Media for Business – Develop Social Media Strategies Digital Crisis Management Internet Glossary
  3. 3. Today, more than ever before, "social media" has become a buzzword. Not only has it gained popularity, it has been accepted into mainstream culture. There are many new genres of social media that have gained traction here: blogs, wikis, media-sharing sites, social network sites, social bookmarking, virtual worlds, microblogging sites, etc. Introduction to Social Media Background The Internet brings about many advances in how people communicate. Today, sharing knowledge and information is a very common thing. By sharing experiences, groups of people with similar interests can participate and contribute to make an idea better. From the idea of open-sourced software, many great products came from jointly sharing codes, information and knowledge. When people started to expand on this similar idea, they participate with stories, jokes and experiences. By joining forums and different online groups, communities and networks are formed. People can find other folks with similar interests meet up or even jointly work on projects when they are miles apart. Isn’t this great? Social media is not new. Media has been leveraged for sociable purposes since the caveman's walls. Even in the realm of the Internet, some of the first applications were framed around communication and sharing. For decades, we've watched the development of new genres of social media - MUDs/MOOs, instant messaging, chatrooms, bulletin boards, etc. (Evolution of Social Media) 1979 - USENET was the first service to link people with similar interests, allow them share news and information and provide them a place to unite. 1979 – BBS (Bulletin Board System) The first BBS or electronic “Bulletin Board System” was developed and was opened to the public in 1979 by Ward Christensen. The first BBSes were small servers powered by personal computers attached to a telephone modem, where one person at a time could dial in and get access. BBSes had social discussions on message boards, community-contributed file downloads, and online games. The early BBSes had no colors or graphics, but with the advent of MS-DOS 3.0, a predecessor of HTML called ANSI was used to make colors and underground online artwork. 1979 – Commercial Online Services - Online services, like Prodigy and CompuServe, were the first large scale corporate attempts to bring an interactive, “social” online
  4. 4. experience to the masses. Online services rose to popularity concurrently along with BBSes and catered to a more corporate and mainstream-home-user kind of set. They offered a safe, moderated environment for social networking and discussions. CompuServe was infamous for the high cost ($6 per hour, plus long-distance telephone adding up to almost $30/hr.) - but it offered the first online chat system called CB simulator in 1980. The first real-life wedding from a couple who met via real-time Internet chat happened shortly thereafter and was featured on the Phil Donahue show. Prodigy launched nationwide in 1990, growing quickly in popularity for its color interface and lower cost. Later, America Online (AOL) gained critical mass with aggressive CD promotions and direct mail campaigns. AOL also did one of the most epic product placements of all time in the 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail!” starring Tom Hanks - bringing “social” online culture and romance into the Hollywood mainstream. 1988 – IRC, ICQ and IM - People have been addicted to “tweeting” their real-time status updates (using hash tags (#) and at-signs (@)) for over 20 years. Jarkko Oikarinen created IRC, or Internet Relay Chat, in August 1988. It was notably used to break news on the Soviet coup attempt during the media blackout and keep tabs on the first Gulf War. Many people stayed logged into IRC constantly… using it to share links, files and keep in touch with their global network - the same way Twitter is used today. IRC clients were primarily UNIX-based… but in 1996 four Israeli technologists invented the instant messenger (IM) system for desktop computers called ICQ. AOL quickly purchased this and it became a mainstream hit. IM technology helped developed the emotional lexicon of social media, with avatars (expressive images to represent yourself), abbreviations (A/S/L? = age, sex, location?) and emotion icons (or emoticons). 1991 – Dawn of the World Wide Web - The Internet existed since the late 1960s, as a network, but the World Wide Web became publicly available on August 6th, 1991. At the beginning of the 90s, Internet access was available only to those with legitimate with university / government / military connections (and to hackers). But around 1994 or 1995, private Internet service providers (ISPs) began to pop up in most major metro areas in the United States. This gave millions of home users the chance to enjoy unfiltered, unlimited online experiences. Usenet was the first center for most of the high-end discussion - but early Internet users were extremely outspoken and opinionated by today’s standards. The first online social media etiquette standards were proposed, and called netiquette, as a reactionary to stop the rampant flaming and keep things somewhat civilized. 1995 – First social networking site, 1999 – P2P, bit torrent and file sharing - Napster… a peer-to-peer file sharing application that went live in June 1999, marked an radical shift of distribution power from record
  5. 5. companies to the consumer. I’ll never forget the (unprecedented) technological thrill of downloading an album in .mp3, burning it to CD on an external $500 drive, and playing it in my car. Music started to freely flow across the Internet at an astonishing pace, stripped of hype and payola… on the merit of real people’s tastes and personal collections. The online music party raged through 1999 and 2000 (just like the tech stocks), until it was declared “illegal” and Napster was forced to filter out all the copyrighted content. Competing peer-to-peer applications like Limewire took Napster’s place - until BitTorrent technology arrived and provided a robust, centralized way to share files without being blocked. The Swedish website The Pirate Bay became a cult online destination for “social” media distribution. 1999 - Sixdegrees was the first modern social networking site. No one understood the concept, and it failed to garner the audience it needed and collapsed. 2002 - Friendster was the first highly successful social networking site. A victim of its own popularity, the servers buckled under the strain and as users were kicked for TOS violations, they flocked to other sites, leaving it to be one of the biggest Internet ghost towns. 2003 - MySpace exploded after rumors that Friendster was rumored to be a pay site, and by marketing to a younger demographic. It's lost some steam but founders have cash out. 2004 - Flickr and Facebook emerged as the Social Media groundwork is laid. Facebook focused on communities of High School students and quickly even the 35 - 60 crowd started getting on. 2005 - With Flickr and MySpace gaining popularity, YouTube, streaming video generated by users became popular, and everyone was watching and discussing video on the Internet. 2006 - Twitter emerged and new concepts began to emerge along with presence apps, micro-blogging, SMS integration, and many others. Twitter made social media much more promising. Slashdot got famous for generating tons of traffic and buzz around its editor-picked stories, but the modern social news revolution took off when Digg gained critical mass in late 2006 and sites like StumbleUpon and Reddit followed. Delicious became popular as a way to share bookmarks of static pages. 2007 - With too many social media sites to keep track of, many new sites started aggregation. Friendfeed and other sites like it collected feeds from other sites; rather than hosting contact, they bring it all together.
  6. 6. From IRCs, chat rooms, online forums to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter -- social media have changed many of our lives. With today’s technology, we can now communicate on social media not only from our desktop computers, but with other portable devices as well. Adoption of Social Media Social networking sites (A short American Centric History) Back in 2002, Friendster was designed as to be an online dating site. The goal was to attract audiences repelled by Quickly, gay men, the digerati, and urban 20- somethings who were known for running around naked in the desert on an annual basis picked up the site. Friendster, the company was not prepared for what the latter group would do. With too much time on their hands and a lot of artistic idea, many of the early adopters began creating “Fakesters” or fake characters. They used these for many different purposes, but notably, they were used to collapse the network graph. As the company tried to swat away what they believed to be the blight on their digital landscape, a new wave of young people started flocking to the site to join in on the fun. This new group - indie rock bands - had a goal. They wanted to connect with their fans and they thought this new tool would be perfect. Of course, by creating portraits that looked like the Fakesters, they fueled the ire of Friendster. They too were shooed away. Angered by the site's management, many of the early adopters started leaving. Many different sites entered the market on the coattails of Friendster and attracted different audiences. Many of the Burners flocked to The digerati flirted with Orkut before moving onto other media-sharing-focused social network sites; they returned to SNSs with Facebook. Then MySpace emerged but was effectively ignored by the press and digerati. MySpace aimed to attract all of those being ejected from Friendster. They succeeded in getting a few small niche populations before gaining traction with the musicians who were just starting to get that social network sites were valuable. Based in Los Angeles, they had an upper hand. MySpace managed to attract club promoters and others catering to young urban hipsters who were looking for a tool for cool hunting. This in itself would be a footnote in the history of social network sites, except that bands have fans. And indie rock bands are not just listened to by those who can legally hear them play in clubs. The teenagers also love them. Slowly, a symbiotic relationship emerged on MySpace as bands and fans became mutually dependent on one another. Against this backdrop, a youth phenomena emerged. Meanwhile, another U.S. site was taking hold with a slightly older population. Facebook had launched as a Harvard-only site before expanding to other elite institutions before expanding to other 4-year-colleges before expanding to 2-year colleges. It became
  7. 7. popular with college students everywhere. It wasn't until 2005 that they opened the doors to some companies and high schools. And only in 2006, did they open to all. By then, the landscape around social network sites had changed. MySpace's popularity with American teenagers had sparked a new wave of moral panics, driven primarily from the media's misrepresentation of teenage runaways and disturbed kids who leveraged the site to find and knowingly meet up with older men for sexual encounters. Facebook was narrated as the "safe" alternative and, in the 2006-2007 school year, a split amongst American teens occurred. Those college-bound kids from wealthier or upwardly mobile backgrounds flocked to Facebook while teens from urban or less economically privileged backgrounds rejected the transition and opted to stay with MySpace while simultaneously rejecting the fears brought on by American media. Many kids were caught in the middle and opted to use both. While there were many adults on MySpace for legitimate purposes, it wasn't until white collared professionals joined Facebook en masse that the moral panic started to subside. Finally, privileged Americans "got" social network sites, even if they were stuck confronting their high school identities through the listing of 25 things. At this stage, over 35% of American adults have a profile on a social network site. The adoption by this older, wealthier, more educated crowd changed the headlines of the news. Facebook became the new darling and most people thought that it had squashed MySpace long before it had even a fraction of the number of users. The adoption of social media is quite different than that of non-social technologies. For the most part, you don't need your friends to use word to find the tool useful. You do need your friends to use email for it to be useful, but, thanks to properties of that medium, you don't need them to be using Outlook or Hotmail to write to them. Many of the new genres of social media are walled gardens, requiring your friends to use that exact site to be valuable. This has its advantages for the companies who build it - that's the whole attitude behind lock-in. But it also has its costs. Consider for example the fact that working class and upper class kids can't talk to one another if they are on different SNSs. Friendster didn't understand network effects. In kicking off users who weren't conforming to their standards, they pissed off more than those users; they pissed off those users' friends who were left with little purpose to use the site. The popularity of Friendster unraveled as fast as it picked up, but the company never realized what hit them. All of their metrics were based on number of users. While only a few users deleted their accounts, the impact of those lost accounts was huge. The friends of those who departed slowly stopped using the site. At first, they went from logging in every hour to logging in every day, never affecting the metrics. But as nothing new came in and as the collective interest waned, their attention went elsewhere. Today, Friendster is succeeding because of its popularity in other countries, but in the US, it's a graveyard of hipsters stuck in 2003. Network effects
  8. 8. Community managers and abuse teams have a sense of the health of a community. All sorts of tools are used to search for inappropriate behavior or content. But how successful are they? In a Friend-driven system, if someone is posting child porn, you better be paying detailed attention to that person's Friends. And if you want to curb problematic behavior, you need to think of the problem in terms of networks, not individuals. Further, while we all agree that killing off some behavior is an absolute imperative, what about the gray lines? The health of a community has a lot to do with its network and you can prune if you prune wisely. How can selective censorship be done properly so that everyone can stay while they know that they can be banned for violating a certain code of conduct? Network effects are also critical for deployment. People pick up the things that their friends use. This is all fine and well if everyone can get access to the same platform, but when that's not the case, new problems emerge. We're all developing nice new social technologies for the mobile phone. Even when people want those technologies, they aren't taking off. Why? There are no cluster effects. If you use IE and I use Firefox, we can still both get to Facebook. If you use Windows Mobile and I use an iPhone, the chances of us being able to do the same things with our devices are pretty limited. We can't role out cool new technologies if there are no cluster effects. Different usage of Social Media Between Youths and Adults As many of you know, youth played a central role in the rise of some social media. Now, many adults have jumped in, but what they are doing there is often very different than what young people are doing. For American teenagers, social network sites became a social hangout space, not unlike the malls in which I grew up back in the 1980s. This was a place to gather with friends from school and church when in-person encounters were not viable. Unlike many adults, teenagers were never really networking. They were socializing in pre-exiting groups. Social network sites became critically important to them because this was where they sat and gossiped, and jockeyed for status. They used these tools to see and be seen. Those using MySpace put great effort into decorating their profile and fleshing out their "About Me" section. The features and functionality of Facebook were fundamentally different, but virtual pets and quizzes served similar self-expression purposes on Facebook. Teen conversations may appear completely irrational, or pointless at best. "Wasssup?" "Not much, how you?" may not seem like much to an outsider, but this is a form of social grooming. It's a way of checking in, confirming friendships, and negotiating social waters. Adults have approached Facebook in very different ways. Adults are not hanging out on Facebook. They are more likely to respond to status messages than start a conversation on someone's wall (unless it's their birthday of course). Adults aren't really decorating
  9. 9. their profiles or making sure that their “About Me's” are up-to-date. Adults, far more than teens, are using Facebook for its intended purpose as a social utility. For example, it is a tool for communicating with the past. Adults may giggle about having run-ins with friends from high school, but underneath it all, many of them are curious. Similar to what happens at school reunion. We all secretly really want to know what happened to out high school Sweetheart. Nowhere is this dynamic more visible than in the recent "25 Things" phenomena. While teens have been filling out personality quizzes since the dawn of social media, most adults only went through this phase once, as a newbie when they felt as though they really needed to forward the chain letter to 10 friends or else. The "25 Things" phenomenon took me by surprise until I started thinking about the intended audience. Teenagers craft quizzes for themselves and their friends. Adults are crafting them to show-off to people from the past and connect the dots between different audiences as a way of coping with the awkwardness of collapsed contexts. Social media continues to be age-graded. Right now, Twitter is all the rage, but most kids are not on it. It's not the act of creating and sharing social nuggets that's the issue. Teens are actively using Facebook status update, MySpace bulletins, and IM away messages to share their views on the day and their mood of the moment. So why not Twitter? While it's possible to make Twitter "private," the culture of Twitter is all about participation in a large public square. From the digerati seeking widespread attention to the politically minded hoping to appear on CNN, many are leveraging Twitter to be part of a broad dialogue. Teens are much more motivated to talk only with their friends and they learned a harsh lesson with social network sites. Even if they are just trying to talk to their friends, those who hold power over them are going to access everything they wrote if it's in public. While the philosophy among teens is "public by default, private when necessary," many are learning that it's just not worth it to have a worrying mother obsess over every mood you seek to convey. This dynamic showcases how social factors are key to the adoption of new forms of social media. With all of this, it shows that as a developer, you are no longer simply an author of software. You are an actor in a process in which software is being developed and repurposed. The key lesson from the rise of social media for you is that a great deal of software is best built as a coordinated dance between you and the users. There are also significant policy implications in all of this. Many people are aware of how inaccurate the public portrait of the Internet risk is. Policy makers in many countries are hell-bent on "solving" the safety problem, but what they're trying to fix is not what's really happening. Yet, in trying to address public fears, they run the risk of putting more kids in harm's way AND forcing companies to build technologies that would help no one.
  10. 10. Shift in Company Policies In order to use social media effectively, many companies must adopt a “customer first” ideology. To respond to requests or feedback, the process of getting things approved must be streamlined, so that if a problem arises, the person responding can be empowered to respond. In my experience, I found many companies believe that Social Media is like Public Relations and should be handled by the Pubic Relations department or the marketing department; however, I feel that a company should not use the marketing manpower on Social Media. Although it has a lot of brand building aspects, and it should tie in with the company’s marketing plan, it also involves much of a company’s customer service. Furthermore, social media is much more than just marketing and customer service. It can be used for informational gathering, managing relationships with vendors and customer, organization knowledge management and much more. Social media is considered by some as “putting the public back in public relations” and it does take time to build relationships, but the returns are far greater than just advertising. When a customer, feels happy, they will become a repeat customer, and with them on board your social media platform, some of these customers can help spread your products and services and eventually become an evangelist. Companies who are interested to engage in Social Media should consider starting a new department, and the duties of this department would include the following: - Monitor the Internet for new, blogs and other articles about the company. - Write blogs about interesting tips or findings in the industry. - Engage bloggers, tweeps and other contributors who write about the company. (Either thank them or resolve their problems) - Maintain and update the company’s Fan Page on Facebook. - Maintain and update the company’s Twitter account. - Disseminate information and achievements of the company on Social Media. - Liaise with the customer service department and inform them of customer feedback. - Liaise with marketing department and make sure Social Media strategy supports marketing plans. - Work with Human resources to gather information on the company (achievements and news), use Social Media to help in new hires, and look out for potential employees. - Research information on the industry using Social Media, feedback to management or R&D about findings. - Train and encourage staff to use Social Media. Nothing better than the staff believing in the product and service and promoting using word of mouth. - Organize events; add picture and videos of company’s happening on Social Media to share the company’s experience and events.
  11. 11. (Social Media Influence Chart) Today, social media affects many things in our lives. Empowered by the Internet, people now can share information and affect opinions and sway decisions even for major things like election of a president of United States. News break much faster, and with the Internet, it is now very hard for government to cover up happenings as photos of the incident can be found on the Internet literally minutes after it happened. Besides the breakneck speed for which news appear on social media sites – much earlier compared to news site, social media also brings about changes to companies as those companies who are slow to respond to their customers’ needs can now find lot of complains on the Internet, and of they are not handled in a timely manner, it can easily become a crisis. (Crisis for branding on Social Media) In Singapore, social media is also gaining in influence. The AWARE crisis which happened in April 2009, has shown the world that even a small country like Singapore can leverage on social media and gather support all over the world about a small organization which was interested in women’s rights. Through the use of Facebook and Twitter, the ousted committee was able to gain control of the “hijacked” organization, to win in a new EOGM election, and made it very high profile news in Singapore. It even became the trending topic on Twitter for several days.
  12. 12. What is Social Media? Social media is the latest buzzword in a long line of buzzwords. Academics still tend to prefer terms like "computer-mediated communication" or "computer-supported cooperative work" to describe the practices that emerge from these tools some might even categorize these tools as "group work" tools. Social media is driven by another buzzword: "user-generated content" or content that is contributed by participants rather than editors. So besides being a buzzword, what exactly is social media? “Social Media is a group of online media which has the following characteristics.” • Participation – Social media encourages participation and feedback from everyone who is interested, the kind of audience participation blurs the line between media and audience. • Networks – Social media allows networks that share common interests to form and communicate effectively and quickly. • Two-way communication – Social media is a new way of communication which content is distributed by audience, unlike traditional broadcast media, it allows user comments during transmission. • Connectivity – Social media thrives on connecting people, allowing people to share their experiences on the web and add their comments and links to related topics. • Open source – Social media is open to feedback and participation. It encourages voting, sharing and comments and it frowns upon restrictive barriers like passwords.
  13. 13. Importance of Social Media 2 way communication – allows feedback, comments Generate massive amounts of traffic – get attention and links Viral propagation – Word of Mouth marketing (Invite friends to promote) Networking – create community / supporters Branding Search engine visibility Low cost / high returns Compliments marketing efforts – use with advertisements and PR Market research / customer feedback Crisis Management – resolve things before they become a crisis New Communication Channel Less effort with community sharing / help Marketing has changed a lot since the 80s. In the 80s, there were Fewer Ads Reached more people With undivided attention In 2005, there were More Ads Reached less people Paying less attention 1965 2000 Percentage of viewers who can name a brand in the show they 35% 9% were just watching Source: Internet advertising bureau 2004 With the proliferation of Media today, the media is fragmented. In the US 1960 2004 Number of Radio Station 4,400 13,500 Number of Magazine Titles 8,400 17,300 TV channels per home 5.7 82.4 Websites MILLIONS WebPages BILLIONS Not to mention, the number of new devices and mediums we can get to. Furthermore, these forms of mediums have less reach and are considered more niches. A radical change is happening in the world of advertising and marketing. Consumers are not listening anymore, the audience is creating information, and sharing is prevalent. The audience is selective, and ever changing. In digital media, the consumers are controlling
  14. 14. the online environment so today, brands need to think about facilitating user created actions, and not just user generated contents. Unlike radio and newspapers which broadcast information, the Internet now allows 2-way communication, and back and forth interaction. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Today, a lot of people are on the Internet. Graduates from good schools are dime and dozen. It is very hard to differentiate yourselves in the competitive job markets where everyone wants to get into the top companies. "22% of managers screen their staff using social networks and 10% of admissions officers verify potential students using social networks." For those looking for jobs, blogs are a good way for companies to differentiate from others. Using Social Media to know more people in the industry you are interested to work in is definitely a big bonus as I’ve many examples of people landing a good job with a big company because they connected with someone on Twitter or LinkedIn. Networking on Social Media is a good way of growing contacts you need in the future. To get an edge over the competition, Social Media is often used for personal branding and networking.
  15. 15. Social Media in Action Many people want to feel connected. In today’s fact paced world, many people may feel left out. With the Internet, online communities and forums makes communication a lot easier than before. Many thing that were previously not possible is now a reality and many people can be connected like never before. Enabled through different platforms such as media sharing, blogs and forums, communities are formed where people can meet, organize and collaborate in an unprecedented fashion. In today’s Social Media landscape, it is important for most companies to get on the Social Media as people will talk about the companies regardless whether it is on Social Media or not. If these companies have a blog, Twitter account or Facebook page, their customer can engage with them if any issues arises, otherwise these customers may just start blogging about the problems they face. More often, when other customers read about these complains, they tend to add in their own comments, and sometimes their feelings and opinions. With more people joining in the conversation of “bashing” a company, it can easily snowball into a crisis. If the company had a blog or some other mediums where their customer could contact them, at least, the customer would attempt to get a response, as most of the time, when a customer has a problem, they want it resolved rather than complain about it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Today, there are 100 Million Internet searches a day (just on Google) data by Search Engine watch. Many people use the Internet for their research, often before they do a purchase. Hence, having a web presence is very important. Generating web traffic, having the right keywords, and search engine optimization is very helpful for you to get your company website to be ranked highly on the Internet, however, getting many people do not realize that even getting on Social Media, and adding links back to your WebPages, can also help generate traffic. Most of the time, when you generate an article, you position yourself as an expert in the industry. For example, if you are selling footwear, an article on 5 tips on choosing the right footwear, can easily help not only your customers know how to pick their footwear, it also inform others that happen to search for tips on choosing footwear find the answers, and if you have a link of your WebPages attached, some of them may even visit it and become a customer.
  16. 16. With more articles and blogs linking back to your WebPages, your search engine ranking will also improve and you company may even be found on related WebPages due to the articles written. Here are some examples of companies who are actively engaged on Social Media This list is by no means exhaustive, and it represents a wide variety of businesses, industries and social media tools. As you can see, engagement takes many forms. Some are likely to generate more discussions with the company while others might result better connections between customers. Some will fade away over the next 6-12 months while others will continue to grow and evolve. There are no rules to what form your engagement has to take. Look at your company, identify its strengths, what types of conversations energize employees and determine how you can best grow/shape/build/join your own community. If you have other examples of corporate social media engagement, please share them in the comments. Blendtec is famous for its bevy of inexpensive “Will It Blend” videos posted on YouTube (YouTube) and shared by millions. Adobe (adobe AIR) maintains a list of interesting company related websites and conversations on the social bookmarking site Delicious (Delicious). Best Western sponsors a blog, “On the Go with Amy,” where the author travels the country writing about her experiences. Cadence recently relaunched its website that now prominently promotes the company’s community.
  17. 17. Cisco hosts 12 blogs addressing a variety of audiences for their global business. Coca-Cola Conversations is a blog written by company historian Phil Mooney that focuses on Coke collectibles. Dell leverages a variety of social media platforms for customer engagement, including an island in the virtual world of Second Life. Ford publishes news releases with lots of multimedia content and employs a social media news release format to display them in their newsroom. Fuji film recently launched a social network to build a community of photo enthusiasts around its newest camera. GM uses blogs to communicate directly with its customers around topics ranging from design to green tech. H&R Block created a Facebook (Facebook) fan site to aggregate its social media activities, engage customers and offer tax advice/resources. HP used Twitter to power a scavenger hunt at a recent conference. HSBC built the HSBC Business Network to connect entrepreneurs using blogs, videos and forums. IBM was the first large enterprise to embrace employee blogging and now boasts thousands of blogs related to every facet of its business.
  18. 18. Intel has also developed many social media touch points with its software communities, which includes blogs, Twitter (Twitter) and virtual worlds. Intuit sponsors the Tax Almanac wiki, where anyone can find and contribute to this resource for tax information. Jeep connects with customers via a community page with links to photos on Flickr (Flickr), the company’s MySpace (MySpace) and Facebook pages and a list enthusiast groups.
  19. 19. JetBlue employs social media as part of its training for JetBlue University, as this video explains. Johnson & Johnson uses this blog to show another side of the company, with frequent video posts and interviews. Lenovo launched “Voices of the Olympics Games” to aggregate posts from the athletes competing in Beijing. Marriott CEO Bill Marriott posts regular updates and stories from his travels to Marriott properties around the world to fuel the content for this entertaining blog. McDonalds maintains a blog to highlight the company’s corporate social responsibility efforts. National Geographic uses Google’s new virtual world -- Lively, to bring people together around its new show, LA Hard Hats. New York Times is beta testing a Firefox (Firefox) add-on that allows users to share and comment on stories through a decentralized social network. Nike started a social community on Loopd to connect athletes interested in surfing, BMX bike racing and similar activities with the brand. SAP sponsored a global survey of social media professionals to learn more about social media worldwide. Sears partnered with MTV to create a social network around Back to School shopping.
  20. 20. Southwest Airlines employees share their stories and communicate directly with customers through the “Nuts About Southwest” blog. Sun CEO Jonathan Schwartz’s blog is the example most often cited for what the CEO blog can be. Starbucks started MyStarbucksIdea so that customers can submit ideas for the company that are then voted on by other users, the best of which will be implemented by the company. Toyota started its own virtual world to promote its products in Japan (site is in Japanese). Visa launched The Visa Business Network application on Facebook to connect small business users and to help them promote their businesses to a larger community. Wells-Fargo blogs target two audiences; one examines the company’s history and the other is for students interested in getting their finances in order. WWE has a Facebook application, among other social networking tools and widgets, to bring fans closer to the action. Xerox blogs address several of the company’s core B2B constituencies. Zappos uses Twitter for employees to communicate with Zappos customers about their shared love of footwear.
  21. 21. Implications of Social Media Specific genres of social media may come and go, but these underlying properties of Social Media are here to stay. Social network sites may end up being a fad from the first decade of the 21st century, but new forms of technology will continue to leverage social network as we go forward. One of the key challenges is learning how to adapt to an environment in which these properties and dynamics play a key role. Properties of Social Media 1. Persistence. What you say sticks around. This is great for asynchronicity, not so great when everything you've ever said has gone down on your permanent record. The bits-wise nature of social media means that a great deal of content produced through social media is persistent by default. 2. Replicability. You can copy and paste a conversation from one medium to another, adding to the persistent nature of it. This is great for being able to share information, but it is also at the crux of rumor spreading. Worse: while you can replicate a conversation, it's much easier to alter what's been said than to confirm that it's an accurate portrayal of the original conversation. 3. Searchability. But with social media, it's quite easy to track someone down or to find someone as a result of searching for content. Search changes the landscape, making information available at our fingertips. This is great in some circumstances, but when trying to avoid those who hold power over you, it may be less than ideal. 4. Scalability. Social media scales things in new ways. Conversations that were intended for just a friend or two might spiral out of control and scale to the entire school or, if it is especially embarrassing, the whole world. Of course, just because something can scale doesn't mean that it will. Politicians and marketers have learned this one the hard way. 5. (de)locatability. With the mobile, you are dislocated from any particular point in space, but at the same time, location-based technologies make location much more relevant. This paradox means that we are simultaneously more and less connected to physical space. Those five properties are intertwined, but their implications have to do with the ways in which they alter social dynamics. Let's look at the different dynamics that have been reconfigured as a result of social media. 1. Invisible Audiences. We are used to being able to assess the people around us when we're speaking. We adjust what we're saying to account for the audience. Social media introduces all sorts of invisible audiences. There are lurkers who are present at the moment but whom we cannot see, but there are also visitors who
  22. 22. access our content at a later date or in a different environment than where we first produced them. As a result, we have to present ourselves and communicate without fully understanding the potential or actual audience. The potential invisible audiences can be stifling. Of course, there's plenty of room to put your head in the sand and pretend like those people don't really exist. 2. Collapsed Contexts. Connected to this is the collapsing of contexts. In choosing what to say when, we account for both the audience and the context more generally. Some behaviors are appropriate in one context but not another, in front of one audience but not others. Social media brings all of these contexts crashing into one another and it's often difficult to figure out what's appropriate, let alone what can be understood. 3. Blurring of Public and Private. Finally, there's the blurring of public and private. These distinctions are normally structured around audience and context with certain places or conversations being "public" or "private." These distinctions are much harder to manage when you have to contend with the shifts in how the environment is organized. The Internet has long been able to search for people, places and companies. With the introduction of social media, this way in which people can be searched are further enhanced and frankly, a little scary at times. We need to realize that whenever we use the Internet, we share a bit of ourselves whether we like it or not. Some companies have an illusion of control when they only participate in traditional media. Losing control is a primary reason stated by brands that are unwilling to open themselves up to the conversation – and a major reason why most continue to use social media as little more than a brochure on the web. And yet the illusion of control is just that – an illusion. By not involving yourself you actually do more to remove control than if you did. In traditional marketing and brand management you set out the position you want to take, the message you want to get through and then you put it out there. You feel in control because you’ve lined up your one-way communications and in a vacuum everything appears to line up. Combine this with your brand tracking research, which abstracts the consumer response, and you create a feedback loop where your marketing activities and your market research self-reinforce the illusion. And yet under these circumstances you have, and have always had, precisely zero control over what people think and how they will respond to you. The reality is that great branding has always been about influence and not control – influencing consumer choices and desires in a manner conducive to your goals and their satisfaction.
  23. 23. In today’s world, the way to achieve this is not through bigger advertising budgets or better creative, but through involvement – first by observing the conversation and then by involving yourself in it. As a result, it’s likely that those brands with the most effective influence strategies rather than the most effective control strategies will be the most successful.
  24. 24. Popular Social Media tools Blogging Tools Commonly used blogging tools include WordPress and Blogspot. WordPress is also available as a module to be installed onto your webserver and you can host your own blogs. Individuals commonly use Blogs as a form of diary to share their personal experiences and feelings. However, more companies and online magazines use this today for their posting articles, reviews and their own branding purposes. Microblogging Twitter and Plurk are fast gaining popularity in the Social Media community. Microblogging is a form of blogging that is restricted to only 140 characters. People do not need to spend so much time following someone on his blog as now the messages are now only 140 characters long. With proper use of links and hashtags, microblogging is definitely becoming a very viral form of Social Media with far reaching capabilities. Media sharing tools Flickr and YouTube are great resources to find photos and videos on a topic you are interested in. On Flickr, people put up pictures of travel locations and events to share it with their friends and sometimes the world. On YouTube, you can find all sorts of videos that people upload into the Internet. You can find trailers, home movies, recorded parades, funny commercial and much more which can be a definite way to spend some time entertaining yourself. Social Networking Sites Facebook is a very big and popular Social Networking site. With more than 200 million users on Facebook, it is slowing becoming the most dominant Social Networking site. Facebook is a site that you can connect with friends and meet new friends, share photos, play games and organize events. LinkedIn is a professional networking site where you can connect with your professional friends. You get to meet up with other people in similar industries and you can get introduction through your friends to others and you can give recommendation of your peers as well.
  25. 25. Wiki A Wiki is a site that allows pooled knowledge about a topic that is contributed by the public. Wikipedia is a online encyclopedia which the public contributes information on everything. When a topic is deemed too abstract and of no interest to a certain group of people, it is sometimes removed from Wikipedia, however many other people have setup wiki sites for topics for their own use, such as a wiki for a TV series or cartoon. Forums Online forums and bulletin boards are sites where users are allowed to register and post some discussion on a certain topic that is of interest to them. Other people with similar interest will post their replies and form a community to chat about their similar interests. Virtual World Second life is a good example of a virtual world. Usually, there is a subscription involved and you play a character in a world where you can interest with other players like you would in the real world. MMO Massively Multiplayer Online Games. Similar to virtual world, MMO allows players to control virtual characters to join in campaigns to complete quests or battle other factions. Unlike Virtual world where there is often just simple interactions, MMO involves more complex rules and character leveling up in skills and powers as they play along.
  26. 26. Blogging Basics Blog definition/history Blog types Blog lingo Locating blogs Blog preliminaries Blog Etiquette Niche blogging Hot bloggers Joining the Blogosphere Leaving comments Blog topic brainstorming Starting a blog Blog software options/basics Linking to other blogs Blog controversies Generating web traffic Stats Google page ranking Affiliate ads Blog hosting What to blog about Educational tools Business applications Alternative discourse Vlogs; podcasts; wikis
  27. 27. Blogging is a low-cost, high-results tool for competitive differentiation, marketing, customer relations management, media contacts, and sales. Plus, the software platform is much simpler than what’s required for websites, so any business can afford to set up and maintain a blog. And now blogging is getting more and more popular: Blog search engine Technorati was tracking more than 112 million blogs since 2007. Simple tips for bloggers: 1. Blog what you care about. If you don't care about the subject, it shows. 2. Let your character show through your writing, don't let it restrain you. 3. Experiment with different formats; some like to write short posts, and post often, for e.g. Andrew Sullivan. Some prefer more sporadic posting, but write long posts, like Glenn Greenwald, who posts a 2000-word essay on a daily basis. Neither is wrong, both grab their own audiences, and both deliver quality writing and content. 4. Develop your own style of writing, and stick to it. 5. Don't be too bothered with lack of comments or interaction, but be sure to respond quickly to comments left by your readers. 6. And really, blog what you care about. Blogging Definition / History A blog (a contraction of the term "weblog") is a type of website, usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb, meaning to maintain or add content to a blog. Many blogs provide commentary or news on a particular subject; others function as more personal online diaries. A typical blog combines text, images, and links to other blogs, Web pages, and other media related to its topic. The ability for readers to leave comments in an interactive format is an important part of many blogs. Most blogs are primarily textual, although some focus on art (artlog), photographs (photoblog), sketches (sketchblog), videos (vlog), music (MP3 blog), and audio (podcasting). Micro-blogging is another type of blogging, featuring very short posts. History Jorn Barger coined the term “weblog” on 17 December 1997. The short form, "blog," was coined by Peter Merholz, who jokingly broke the word weblog into the phrase we blog in the sidebar of his blog in April or May 1999. Shortly thereafter, Evan Williams at Pyra Labs used "blog" as both a noun and verb ("to blog," meaning "to edit one's weblog or to post to one's weblog") and devised the term "blogger" in connection with Pyra Labs' Blogger product, leading to the popularization of the terms. The modern blog evolved from the online diary, where people would keep a running account of their personal lives. Most such writers called themselves diarists, journalists,
  28. 28. or journalers. The Open Pages web ring included members of the online-journal community. Other forms of journals kept online also existed. A notable example was game programmer John Carmack's widely read journal, published via the finger protocol. Some of the very earliest bloggers, like Steve Gibson of sCary's Quakeholio (now Shacknews) and Stephen Heaslip of Blue's News (still running since 1995 with online archives back to July 1996), evolved from the Quake scene and Carmack's .plan updates. Ritual Entertainment hired Steve Gibson to blog full-time on February 8, 1997, possibly making him the first hired blogger. Websites, including both corporate sites and personal homepages, had and still often have "What's New" or "News" sections, often on the index page and sorted by date. One example is the Institute for Public Accuracy that began posting news releases featuring several news-pegged one-paragraph quotes several times a week beginning in 1998. Early weblogs were simply manually updated components of common websites. However, the evolution of tools to facilitate the production and maintenance of web articles posted in reverse chronological order made the publishing process feasible to a much larger, less technical, population. Ultimately, this resulted in the distinct class of online publishing that produces blogs we recognize today. For instance, the use of some sort of browser-based software is now a typical aspect of "blogging". Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software, such as WordPress, Movable Type, Blogger or LiveJournal, or on regular web hosting services. After a slow start, blogging rapidly gained in popularity. Blog usage spread during 1999 and the years following, being further popularized by the near-simultaneous arrival of the first hosted blog tools: Open Diary launched in October 1998, soon growing to thousands of online diaries. Open Diary innovated the reader comment, becoming the first blog community where readers could add comments to other writers' blog entries. Blogging combined the personal web page with tools to make linking to other pages easier — specifically permalinks, blogrolls and TrackBacks. This, together with weblog search engines enabled bloggers to track the threads that connected them to others with similar interests. By 2001, blogging was enough of a phenomenon that how-to manuals began to appear, primarily focusing on technique. The importance of the blogging community (and its relationship to larger society) increased rapidly. Established schools of journalism began researching blogging and noting the differences between journalism and blogging. The impact of this story gave greater credibility to blogs as a medium of news dissemination. Though often seen as partisan gossips, bloggers sometimes lead the way in bringing key information to public light, with mainstream media having to follow their
  29. 29. lead. More often, however, news blogs tend to react to material already published by the mainstream media. Since 2002, blogs have gained increasing notice and coverage for their role in breaking, shaping, and spinning news stories. The Iraq war saw bloggers taking measured and passionate points of view that go beyond the traditional left-right divide of the political spectrum. Blogging was used to draw attention to obscure news sources. For example, bloggers posted links to traffic cameras in Madrid as a huge anti-terrorism demonstration filled the streets in the wake of the March 11 attacks. Bloggers began to provide nearly-instant commentary on televised events, creating a secondary meaning of the word "blogging": to simultaneously transcribe and editorialize speeches and events shown on television. In 2004, the role of blogs became increasingly mainstream, as political consultants, news services and candidates began using them as tools for outreach and opinion forming. Even politicians not actively campaigning, such as the UK's Labor Party's MP Tom Watson, began to blog to bond with constituents. In 2004, Global Voices Online, a site which "aggregates, curates, and amplifies the global conversation online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore" surfaced, bringing to light bloggers from around the world. Today, the site has a relationship with Reuters and is responsible for breaking many global news stories. Blogs were among the driving forces behind the "Rathergate" scandal, to wit: (television journalist) Dan Rather presented documents (on the CBS show 60 Minutes) that conflicted with accepted accounts of President Bush's military service record. Bloggers declared the documents to be forgeries and presented evidence and arguments in support of that view, and CBS apologized for what it said were inadequate reporting techniques. Many bloggers view this scandal as the advent of blogs' acceptance by the mass media, both as a news source and opinion and as means of applying political pressure. Some bloggers have moved over to other media. The following bloggers (and others) have appeared on radio and television: Duncan Black (known widely by his pseudonym, Atrios), Glenn Reynolds (Instapundit), Markos Moulitsas Zúniga (Daily Kos), Alex Steffen (Worldchanging) and Ana Marie Cox (Wonkette). In counter-point, Hugh Hewitt exemplifies a mass media personality who has moved in the other direction, adding to his reach in "old media" by being an influential blogger. Some blogs were an important news source during the December 2004 Tsunami such as Medecins Sans Frontieres, which used SMS text messaging to report from affected areas in Sri Lanka and Southern India. Similarly, during Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 and the aftermath a few blogs, which were located in New Orleans, including the Interdictor and Gulfsails, were able to maintain power and an Internet connection and disseminate information that was not covered by the Main Stream Media.
  30. 30. Origins Before blogging became popular, digital communities took many forms, including Usenet, commercial online services such as GEnie, BiX and the early CompuServe, e- mail lists and Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). In the 1990s, Internet forum software, such as WebEx, created running conversations with "threads." Threads are topical connections between messages on a metaphorical "corkboard." Early blogs were simply manually updated components of common Web sites. However, the evolution of tools to facilitate the production and maintenance of Web articles posted in reverse chronological order made the publishing process feasible to a much larger, less technical, population. Ultimately, this resulted in the distinct class of online publishing that produces blogs we recognize today. For instance, the use of some sort of browser- based software is now a typical aspect of "blogging". Blogs can be hosted by dedicated blog hosting services, or they can be run using blog software, or on regular web hosting services. Blogging Types: There are several types of blogging. 20 Types of Blog Posts • Instructional - Instructional posts tell people how to do something. I find that my Tips posts are generally the ones that are among my most popular both in the short term (i.e. loyal readers love them and will link up to them) but also in the longer term (i.e. one of the reasons people search the web is to find out how to do things and if you can rank highly with your tips post you can have traffic over a length of time). • Informational - This is one of the more common blog post types where you simply give information on a topic. It could be a definition post or a longer explanation of some aspect of the niche that you’re writing on. This is the crux of successful sites like Wikipedia • Reviews - Another highly searched for term on the web is ‘review’ - I know every time I’m considering buying a new product that I head to Google and search for a review on it first. Reviews come in all shapes and sizes and on virtually every product or service you can think of. Give your fair and insightful opinion and ask readers for their opinion - reviews can be highly powerful posts that have a great longevity. • Lists - One of the easiest ways to write a post is to make a list. Posts with content like ‘The Top Ten ways to….’, ‘7 Reasons why….’ ‘ 5 Favorite ….’, ‘53 mistakes that bloggers make when….’ are not only easy to write but are usually very popular with readers and with getting links from other bloggers. Read my post - 8 Reasons Why Lists are Good for Getting Traffic to your Blog for more on lists. One last tip on lists - if you start with a brief list (each point as a phrase or sentence) and then develop each one into a
  31. 31. paragraph or two you might just end up with a series of posts that lasts you a few days. That’s how I started the Bloggers Block series. • Interviews - Sometimes when you’ve run out of insightful things to say it might be a good idea to let someone else do the talking in an interview (or a guest post). This is a great way to not only give your readers a relevant expert’s opinion but to perhaps even learn something about the topic you’re writing yourself. One tip if you’re approaching people for an interview on your blog - don’t overwhelm them with questions. One of two good questions are more likely to get you a response than a long list of poorly thought through ones. • Case Studies - Another popular type of post here at ProBlogger have been those where I’ve taken another blog and profiled them and how they use their site to earn money from their blogging (e.g. - one I did on Buzzmachine - the blog of Jeff Jarvis). Sometimes these are more like a review post but on occasion I’ve also added some instructional content to them and made some suggestions on how I’d improve them. Case studies don’t have to be on other websites of course - there are many opportunities to do case studies in different niches. • Profiles - Profile posts are similar to case studies but focus in on a particular person. Pick an interesting personality in your niche and do a little research on them to present to your readers. Point out how they’ve reached the position they are in and write about the characteristics that they have that others in your niche might like to develop to be successful. • Link Posts - The good old ‘link post’ is a favorite of many bloggers and is simply a matter of finding a quality post on another site or blog and linking up to it either with an explanation of why you’re linking up, a comment on your take on the topic and/or a quote from the post. Of course adding your own comments makes these posts more original and useful to your readers. The more original content the better but don’t be afraid to bounce off others in this way. • ‘Problem’ Posts - I can’t remember where I picked this statistic up but another term that is often searched for in Google in conjunction with product names is the word ‘problems’. This is similar to a review post (above) but focuses more upon the negatives of a product or service. Don’t write these pieces just for the sake of them - but if you find a genuine problem with something problem posts can work for you. • Contrasting two options - Life is full of decisions between two or more options. Write a post contrasting two products, services or approaches that outlines the positives and negatives of each choice. In a sense these are review posts but are a little wider in focus. I find that these posts do very well on some of my product blogs where people actually search for ‘X Product comparison to Y Product’ quite a bit. • Rant - get passionate, stir yourself up, say what’s on your mind and tell it like it is. Rants are great for starting discussion and causing a little controversy - they can also be
  32. 32. quite fun if you do it in the right spirit. Just be aware that they can also be the beginnings of a flaming comment thread and often it’s in the heat of the moment when we say things that we later regret and that can impact our reputation the most. • Inspirational - On the flip side to the angry rant (and not all rants have to be angry) are inspirational and motivational pieces. Tell a story of success or paint a picture of ‘what could be’. People like to hear good news stories in their niche as it motivates them to persist with what they are doing. Find examples of success in your own experience or that of others and spread the word. • Research - In the early days I wrote quite a few research oriented posts - looking at different aspects of blogging - often doing mind numbing counting jobs. I remember once surfing through 500 blogs over a few days to look at a number of different features. Research posts can take a lot of time but they can also be well worth it if you come up with interesting conclusions that inspire people to link up to you. • Collation Posts - These are a strange combination of research and link posts. In them you pick a topic that you think your readers will find helpful and then research what others have said about it. Once you’ve found their opinion you bring together everyone’s ideas (often with short quotes) and tie them together with a few of your own comments to draw out the common themes that you see. • Prediction and Review Posts - We see a lot of these at the end and start of the year where people do their ‘year in review’ posts and look at the year ahead and predict what developments might happen in their niche in the coming months. • Critique Posts - ‘Attack posts’ have always been a part of blogging (I’ve done a few in my time) but these days I tend to prefer to critique rather than attack. Perhaps it’s a fine line but unless I get really worked up I generally like to find positives in what others do and to suggest some constructive alternatives to the things that I don’t like about what they do. I don’t really see the point in attacking others for the sake of it, but as I’ve said before this more a reflection of my own personality than much else I suspect and some people make a name for themselves very well by attacking others. • Debate - I used to love a good debate in high school - there was something about preparing a case either for or against something that I quite enjoyed. Debates do well on blogs and can either in an organized fashion between two people, between a blogger and ‘all comers’ or even between a blogger and… themselves (try it - argue both for and against a topic in one post - you can end up with a pretty balanced post). • Hypothetical Posts - I haven’t done one of these for a while but a ‘what if’ or hypothetical post can be quite fun. Pick a something that ‘could’ happen down the track in your industry and begin to unpack what the implications of it would be. ‘What if….Google and Yahoo merged?’ ‘What if …’
  33. 33. • Satirical - One of the reasons I got into blogging was that I stumbled across a couple of bloggers who were writing in a satirical form and taking pot shots at politicians (I can’t seem to find the blog to link to). Well written satire or parody can be incredibly powerful and is brilliant for generating links for your blog. • Memes and Projects - write a post that somehow involves your readers and gets them to replicate it in some way. Start a poll, an award, ask your readers to submit a post/link or run a survey or quiz. Read more on memes. Other types of blogs: Group blog- with multiple contributing bloggers. Event blog – focused on an event Kittyblogger – writing about cats. Celeblog – focused on a celebrity. Celebriblog – maintained by a celebrity. Clog Blog – written in Dutch and/or in Holland. CEOBlog – run by a chief executive officer. Plog - a project blog. Also for personalized weblogs Movlogs - mobile video blogs. Splog- a spam blog Tech blog – focused on a technical subject. Anonoblog – by an anonymous blogger Linguablog - about linguistics, translation etc. Metablog – a blog about blogging. Milblog - a military blog. Blawg – blogged by lawyer / related to legal stuff Edu-blog – education oriented blog. Progblog - A progressive blog. Shocklog - provokes discussion by posting shocking content Klog - used by company knowledge workers. by Kloggers Blogsite - A web site that combines blog feeds from a number of different sources Dark Blog- A non-public blog Photocast- a photoblog that automatically updates when new photos are added. Blogging Lingo Blogging does have their own language and Jargon (Blargon). Here are some common blogging terms organized into a simple blogging glossary. Only common and popular blog tools and services have been included. If you want to be "cool", "hot", or "whatever", then you need to know the lingo. Note : The language used here is mostly non technical to make the newbie blogger understand the blogging basics. These have not been created by me, but collected over time. This is NOT a substitute for dictionary meaning or a strict definition of these terms, but a simple layman approach to understanding what they mean.
  34. 34. Bleg - to use one's blog to beg for assistance such as money. It's known humorously as blegging. Bloiversary - the birthday of the establishment of a blog. Blogger ecosystem - a chart or list showing the links between blogs. Blogroach - someone who infests the comments section of a blog with obnoxious postings. Similar to trolls who disrupt discussions by tricking others into reacting. Blogroll - a collection of links on the sidebar of a blog linking to other blogs. Blogosphere - the totality of the blogging community. Also known as Blogistan or the blogiverse. Blogstorm - when a large amount of information, commentary, or activity erupts in the blogosphere. Blurker - a person who reads many blogs but leaves no evidence of themselves behind; a silent observer. Crud - when a blogger makes an error in programming that results in visible code appearing on the screen. Comment Spam - an unsolicited commercial message automatically posted in a blog's comments area. Dead-tree Media - anything made of paper such as newspapers and magazines. Dooced (pronounced like deuce) - losing your job for something you wrote in an online blog. Drive-by Blogging - the sudden rush of blog entries that fill in the gaps and fulfill the requirements of the weblog portfolio assignment. Edublog - an education oriented blog. Event blog - a blog set up for a particular event. Feed Reader - news aggregators that are extensions to web browsers such as Firefox are used to read RSS feeds from blogs and other sources. Flame - to make a hostile remark; usually of a personal nature. Klogs - also known as knowledge logs are internal blogs often housed on intranets. Link rot - when a list of website links contains many dead links; the best solution is to design your website with a permalink system People to Know Jorn Barger - Credited with coining the term weblog in 1997 Peter Merholz - Credited with coining the term blog in 1999 Dave Winer - Created one of the first weblogs Permalink - a web link that takes you to the permanent location of an article in a blog archive. Podcasting - using your MP3 player to listen to the audio from a blog. Plog - a project log used to chronicle a project. RDF (Resource Description Framework) - a web content syndication format. RSS (Rich Site Summary) or (Really Simply Syndication) - a web content syndication format; a feed reader is used to check RSS enabled WebPages on behalf of a user and display any updated information. Learn more Thread - a side discussion taking place within the comments section of a blog. The term is taken for the forum discussion environment. Vlogging - video blogging Xenoblogging - the work you do that helps other people's blogs
  35. 35. Weblog- An online dated diary listing your periodic thoughts on a specific topic, often in reverse chronological order. Blog – short form for weblog Blogging - the act of posting on blogs Blogger - a person who blogs Blogosphere - The Internet blogging community BLOGGING FORMS: Photoblogging - a blog predominantly using and focusing on photographs and images. Photoblogs are created by photobloggers Podcasting - a method of distributing multimedia files (audio / videos) online using feeds for playback on mobile devices and personal computers. Podcasts are created by podcasters. Autocasting - is an automated form of podcasting Blogcasting - the blog and the podcast merged into a single website. Vlogging - Also called video blogging. Shortened to vlog. Posted by vlogger. A variant on the blogging using video instead of text. Audioblogging - Also called audioblog, MP3 blog or musicblogs. a variant on the blogging using audio instead of text. Created by audioblogger. Moblogging - Also called moblogs. A blog posted and maintained via mobile phone. Moblogs are created by mobloggers. Index page – the front page fo the blog Header - the topmost part of the blog usually listing the blog title. Footer - the most bottom part of the blog usually listing navigation and copyright statements Sidebar - One or more columns along one or both sides of most blogs main page Categories - A collection of topic specific posts Post, Entry- individual articles that make up a blog Comments - enabling readers to leave their remarks Captcha - short for “Completely Automated Public Turing test to tell Computers and Humans Apart”. Those word and letter verification images you need to type in to show you are human and not a bot. Helful to block automated spam comments. more Ping – Short for Packet Internet Grouper. Blog and ping helps to notify other blog tracking tools for updates, changes and trackbacks. Trackback - A system by which a ping is sent to another blog to notify that you have mentioned their article Pingback - See trackback. Permalink - A link to a specific article Tags - labeling / attaching keywords to collect similar posts Tag cloud – Displaying tags lists or keywords in a blog. Blogroll - list of links to other blogs in your sidebar. Also see Sideblog - A smaller blog usually placed in the sidebar of a blog. Template - the blog presentation design BlogThis - a function allows a blogger to blog the entry they a reading
  36. 36. Plugins - Small files that add improved functionality and new features. WordPress plugins can greatly improve your blog usage and interactivity Dashboard - When you login to your blogging account, it is the first screen with all controls, tools and functions. Archives – a collection of all your posts on one page. Can be categorized by month etc. Expandable post summaries – show a small teaser part of the post on the index page that link to the full post. more Jump – the continuation of a the story on another page to preserve space on index page. FTP - short for file transfer protocol. Transferring file to and fro from your web host using FTP tools like Filezilla WEB FEEDS Web Feed – allows online users to subscribe to websites that change or add content regularly. RSS - a family of web feed formats used for Web syndication. Short form for Really Simple Syndication (RSS 2.0), Rich Site Summary (RSS 0.91, RSS 1.0), RDF Site Summary (RSS 0.9 and 1.0). WordPress generates RSS 2.0 XML - short for eXtensible Markup Language. a general-purpose markup language for syndication formats used on blogs. RDF - short for Resource Description Framework. A web content syndication format. Atom - another specific web feed format. Blogger feeds are usually of this type. OPML – short for Outline Processor Markup Language. It is an XML format for outlines. Easily import and export multiple blog subscriptions between different RSS aggregators. Photofeed- a web feed with image enclosures. BLOGGING SOFTWARE / CLIENTS Blogger - a free blogging platform by Google. Blogspot - free Blogger hosting blog at LiveJournal - free blogging tool by SixApart Movable Type – paid blogging tool by SixApart Typepad - paid blogging tool by SixApart Free. Easy to Upload, customize and upgrade. – A WordPress blog hosted free for you. Radio Userland – another blog publishing software package BLOGGING HABITS Metablogging - writing articles about blogging Blogstipation - writer’s block for bloggers. Cant think of what to blog about? Blogathy - I do not want to post today and I do not care about it Blogopotamus - A very long blog post Blogorrhea - unusually high output of articles Bleg - To use one’s blog to beg for assistance etc. Hitnosis - Refreshing your browser repeatedly to see if your hit counter or comments have increased GAD - Google Adsense Disorder. Repeatedly checking your adsense earnings. more Blego - Blog+Ego. Measuring blogger worth
  37. 37. Blog hopping – jumping from one blog to another Blogroach - A commenter who rudely disagrees with posted content Blogoholic - addicted to blogging Blogorific = blogtastic – something which a blogger says is terrific Blogsit - maintaining a blog while the primary blogger is on leave Blogvertising - Also called blogvert. Advertising on a blog. Blurker - a blog reader not posting comments, just lurking around quietly. Blogathon - update your website every 30 minutes for 24 hours straight. Maybe collect sponsorships. more Blogiversary - your blog birthday Blog Carnival – Links to other articles covering a specific topic. Multiblog - running multiple blogs Blog Tipping – Compliment 3 blogs on day 1 of every month. more Blogger bash - a blogger party Commenter - someone who leaves remarks / comments Reciprocal Links - called link love. You link to my blog, I link to yours. To improve search engine rankings. Linkbaiting - a habit of writing good content with the sole purpose of getting it linked from multiple sites. Blogstorm – a large amount of blogosphere activity due to particular controversy. Also called Blog Swarm. Blogsnob – refusing to respond to blog comments from “not-friends”. Doppelblogger – plagiarize the content of another blogger. To Doppelblog. Blogophobia – Fear of blogs and blogging. Bloggerel – the same opinion posted repeatedly on a blog BLOGGER TYPES Problogger - professional blogger Blognoscenti - especially knowledgable bloggers Blogebrity - a famous blogger. Blogerati - the blogosphere intelligentsia. Commentariat - The community of those leaving comments. Dooced - lost a job because of blog entries. To Dooce. Blogther - a fellow blogger. A-List- the top bloggers who influence the blogosphere. Blogstar- blogger running a popular blog OTHER BLOGGING TERMS Bloggies- Annual blogging awards. more MSM - Mainstream Media, or old media like newspapers etc. BSM - Blogstream media. from most heavily trafficked blogs. Blog Day – 31 August. Find 5 new Blogs that you find interesting and tell them. more Blaudience - your blog audience. Blargon - Also called Blogssary. Blogging slang and glossary. What I am telling you now. Blogiversary - your blog birthday
  38. 38. Blogiverse – see blogosphere XFN – short for XHTML Friends Network. Is a simple way to represent human relationships using hyperlinks. Blogonomics - blogging conference on a Blog Cruise in 2006. more EFF - short for Electronic Frontier Foundation. A nonprofit group working to protect blogger rights. Blog of Note – a recommended blog. more Navbar - a navigation bar usually seen on top of Blogger blogspot hosted blogs. more Blook - a book created from a blog. more Hat Tip- acknowledgement of the source that tipped you the news. Spomments- Spam comments Blammer- Blog spammer SOB- acronym for Successful and Outstanding Blogger. From Blogiday- you get fed up and take a holiday from blogging BLOGGING TOOLS & SERVICES Bloglines, Rojo, Newsgator, Kinja, – are News Aggregators that display content from syndicated Web content from web feed. Can be configured online or downloaded on your desktop. Like . Also called RSS readers, feed readers, feed aggregators or news readers Pageflakes, Newsvine – Track multiple feeds on a single page by modules. Odeo, Podnova – are Podcatchers, a form of aggregator used to automatically download podcasts and can sometimes transfer a portable media player. Like Feedburner - a professional feed management system Pingomatic, Pingoat – ping multiple blog tracking services. More Feedblitz, Zokooda – Email subscriptions and newletter tools. Technorati – a real-time search engine that keeps track of what is going on in the blogosphere b5media, 9rules – examples of popular blogging networks. Collection of blogs and bloggers providing great content, with revenue sharing sometimes. K2, Blix – names of some popular WordPress themes. Blogexplosion, Blogclicker- popular blog traffic generation / exchange services. Adsense, Adbrite, CJ, Chitka, Blogads – popular affiliate programs to generate money from your blogs. Sphere, Icerocket – blog search engines Live Bookmarks – a firefox web browser feature. Update themselves automatically with the latest content from the Web. Creative Commons – licenses provide a flexible range of protections and freedoms for authors to offer a voluntary “some rights reserved” approach. CoComment - Tracks your comments across different platforms and follow conversations WBloggar, Ecto, Qumanna – desktop blog publishing tools Mint, Mybloglog, Measuremap, Analytics – site traffic tracking tools. Haloscan- free trackback service YouTube, Rapidshare- puts video on your blog Flickr, Imageshack - photo sharing service. Host images on your blog, furl, spurl – share social bookmarks. Blogburst - Syndicating your feed to top publishers.
  39. 39. Bloggeropoly - professional blogger recruiting agency. more Blogger code – a way to describe different types of bloggers. more Bloggoggle - Directory of Blogging Professionals BlogHer - where the women bloggers are. At BLOG TRAFFIC SURGES Digged - link posted on driving huge traffic to your blog Slashdotted - link posted on driving huge traffic to your blog. more Instalanche - link posted on driving huge traffic to your blog Farked – link posted on driving huge traffic to your blog Boing Boinged – link posted on driving huge traffic to your blog MISCELLANEOUS BLOGGING TERMS Ajax - acronym for Asynchronous JavaScript and XML. creates interactive web applications. Greasemonkey - a firefox web browser extension that can alter the functionality of any website using specific scripts. Wiki - a collaborative on-line software that allows readers to add and edit content. SEO - search engine optimization. To improve your search engine rankings. Page Rank – Google measures of importance of a page, which reflects in its rankings. CMS – short for Content management system. software used to publish and manage websites. Locating blogs Blogs, or Weblogs, are very popular. They are personal-community publishing events, rather than websites, but they are arranged chronologically, rather than by content. Most blogs are also distinguished by encouraging readers to post ("comment") on the site's content. Readers can also be advised of new and updated content by subscribing via email or via RSS feeds. While search engines like Google can locate blogs (include the word "blog" in your topic search), blog engines locate individual postings especially well. Technorati [] Intelliseek's BlogPulse [] RocketNews--Locate Blog posts and news items from the last 30 days. [] Blog preliminaries During the past six years blogs have evolved from a highly personal form of communication on the Internet to a powerful new medium for business. It’s working for ecommerce sites as well. More than a few e-retailers have jumped on the blog bandwagon. Before you blog here are the few things you need to consider: 1) You need to understand why you want to use a blog.
  40. 40. Don't do it because it's the latest Internet trend (notice I did not say “fad") or just because everyone else is doing it. Have some sense of your specific purpose. For example, are you using the blog as a marketing channel, or will it be more for company news and updates? Online retailer Bluefly uses their blog specifically for marketing purposes. The company asserts their blog has had a positive effect on sales, even stating that visitors who click to the blog “have been more likely to make a purchase than those who visit Bluefly directly." However do not just “broadcast”. Remember in Social Media, 2 way communication is key, and reader can just ignore your blog and not read it. Even though it may be to increase sales or enhance branding, blogs primarily should be used to increase awareness of the industry rather than doing a hard sell. It is also good to blog instructional and informational blogs about your industry. It enhances the fact that you are an expert and show your knowledge as well as creating awareness about your company. 2) Consider its core message. What are you going to write about? What topics will be covered? What "tone" will you give the blog? Should it be humorous and informal, or more straightforward and informational? The way you write will be determined by the audience you're attempting to target. Obviously, when writing any blog your primary consideration needs to be your readers, at least the readers you hope to attract. They will have the most bearing on the nature of the content and the way it's presented. 3) Determine who is going to write it. The best person for the job would be someone inside the company. You need to consider whether or not you have in-house talent you can afford to assign this task. One Internet retailer, Stone Creek Coffee, uses employees to write entries for the blog. You might even consider following Stonyfield Farms lead and hire someone full-time to write your blog. Stonyfield has four blogs written by Christine Halvorson, a full-time employee. The company has become a model example of how small businesses can use a blog for marketing purposes. The blogger will inject their own personality, so it's incumbent upon you to find a writer who understands what makes your company tick and can accurately reflect its persona. 4) Determine whether they are prepared to engage the conversation without attempting to control the communication.
  41. 41. The “blogosphere" is a no-holds-barred free-for-all means of communicating. It's a two- way street. Using the comments option built into most blog platforms readers can respond to what you have said. Their responses may not always be kind. In fact, depending on their experience with your company and its products or services, they may even be caustic. Not every organization is prepared for such raw unedited content to show up on their public website (blog). Before your company makes the decision to deploy a blog, it must be willing to accept the good with the bad and have a plan for addressing those less than congratulatory comments if and when they occur. Don’t be alarmed however. Most comments won't be of the negative variety. Many will come in the form of questions, while others will have a positive spin to be sure. From a PR standpoint, blogs can serve you well as they lend credence to the notion that you do value what your customers and others have to say. They put a human face on your company that no other form of Internet communication can. If you are going to interact with the people who comment on your posts, make you use the same medium to resolve the issues. Simply censoring and ignoring negative feedback will only further show the company’s lack of customer support. If a customer has a bad experience, try to solve in transparently in the replies to show your willingness to interact. 5) Determine a company blogging policy and establish posting guidelines. Simple Guidelines to follow: I will be accurate. When I make a mistake, I will correct it as quickly as possible. I will post only on the following topics: (List your topics), and I will respond to comments and emails quickly. 6) Monitor what is being said about your company and your industry. There are a number of reasons to do this, the most obvious being to find out how people view your company. You may find no one is talking about you at all, or that what is being said has negative connotations (or positive for that matter). If you are not being talked about, even to a small degree, a blog can help change that. If your company is being viewed negatively, you can use a blog to challenge misperceptions. In addition, monitoring your industry helps you to know what is being said about your competitors. Observing industry trends might help you find a niche worth exploiting or a marketing avenue others are overlooking. A lot of online tools have been created to assist you,,,,,, and just to name a few.
  42. 42. 7) Decide on a blog platform. This is not difficult as many good platforms are available. If your blog is going to be self- standing separate from your company website, is a good solution. If you want to include it inside your overall website structure, Movable Type or WordPress are good options. (One platform not recommended for business purposes is Though many small businesses use it, the platform lacks some of the most elemental features included in others, such as the ones mentioned above.) 8) Determine ways to market your blog. If the blog has marketing ramifications, getting the attention of search engines is vital. There are a variety of ways to do that, including submitting the blog to a number of search engines and blog directories. 9) Optimize your blog for search engine. Remember, you want people to read your blog, and the best way to do so is to have a search engine optimized blog. Using the search function on Google Adwords, you can find out what people are searching for on the topic that you are going to write. If your topics were very specific, when a person uses the search engine to search for the exact terms, your blog or article would most likely come out and be highly ranked. Decide whether you want to use the “most popular Adwords” which you may compete with many of the other articles and blogs out there, or the less popular and “more specific Adwords.” If you have the keywords in your title, first paragraph, body and conclusion of your blog, as well as the meta tags, it is very possible that your article would be highly ranked when people key in the exact phrase. 10) Develop a plan to track statistics. This is an area where bloggers have not traditionally paid much attention. However, when using blogs for marketing purposes, it is vital to know the effect they are having on your bottom line. Blogs are just like any other website in that their effect should be tracked in terms of unique visitors, page views, and conversion rates. Tenth, be sure to know your keywords. Blogs can help customers find your business when they are searching on Google or other sites. Therefore, it is important to know what words customers most often use to find you via the search engines, and what words show up in competitor or industry blogs on a regular basis that help place them high in Google's index. Knowing which words to drop into your posts on a regular basis will help boost your search rankings. Writing frequent, keyword-optimized entries can help boost search
  43. 43. standings, which goes a long way for a business owner on a tight marketing budget. Don't overdo it though. Readers will see right through any obvious attempts at self-promotion. While blogs are all the rage these days, using them for business demands forethought and a strategic approach. Taking time to consider these points before you jump on the blog bandwagon will help ensure a positive outcome. Different url shorteners can also be used to tract where people go to the blog from, especially if you are on the other social media platforms and you also use them to promote your blog. Blog Etiquette There are a few things in the blogging community that are commonly frowned upon; the following are good rules to follow when you are blogging. People become very courageous behind their computer screens. Really, it doesn’t take a whole lot to be considerate. A good rule of thumb is to treat other people’s blogs like you would treat your own. Be nice, be respectful and be considerate. Do not treat your opinion with gospel truth. There is a strong temptation, particularly when discussing contentious issues, to claim unimpeachable authority on the subject at hand. Although everybody is entitled to express personal opinions, but by treating your blog or wiki like a panel rather than a pulpit, the dialogue will more likely be divine. Do not invoke personal attacks. One of the powers blogs and wikis seem to possess is the capability of turning otherwise sensible people into bickering schoolchildren. Unless the discussion subject is "Say something insulting about somebody who holds a different opinion than you," leave the personal feelings out. Rule of thumb: Argue with the post, not the poster. When you comment on someone else’s blog, there’s usually a line under the name and email for a link to your blog or website and that should suffice. There’s no reason to link your blog again in the comments. If you have a link you feel is relevant to the topic, contact the blogger; she will probably bring it to the attention of her readers. Don’t Spam. Do not side track from topic. Blogs in particular can get tangential in a hurry. To some, that's part of the charm - you start with an idea and end up somewhere completely different. That's all well and good, but let tangents arise organically within the context of the discussion. If you've got something wildly off topic to say, start a new thread or keep it to yourself until it becomes relevant. Never post someone else’s words on your own blog, unless you have specific written permission. You’re certainly welcome to provide a quote with attribution but to reprint the entire post is not good blog etiquette at all. In fact, it can get your blog shut down and your hosting taken away.
  44. 44. It’s ok to disagree with bloggers or those who drop comments, but do be respectful. Calling names, using vulgarity and telling me to get back in the kitchen to make a sandwich only show off your ignorance. If you can’t offer a decent rebuttal, keep your thoughts to yourself. Respond to commenters. Your readers took the time to offer their thoughts, keep them coming back by reciprocating. Everything you write is on display for the world to see. If you don’t want to the world knowing something, don’t post it. Many employers, or the Government now use Google. Do not say something that will get you into trouble or you will regret at a later date. Cite references. People can come up with statistics to prove anything; 40 percent of all people know that. So, set yourself apart from the herd by showing where you get your facts. You'll look knowledgeable, honest, and trustworthy. Punctuate and capitalize. We're not saying you should write every post with one eye on the Associate Press Style Manual, but writing several paragraphs as one gigantic, all- lowercase, run-on sentence is a definite no-no. As is writing in ALL CAPS, WHICH IS LIKE SHOUTING! Punctuation is your friend, so use it. Without punctuations, messages do lose or have different meanings. (Eat this, asshole – vs. – Eat this asshole.) Thou shall own up to thy mistakes. Despite online chest-puffing to the contrary, nobody's perfect. You are going to make mistakes. You are going to be wrong about things. Instead of being defensive and denying it, just admit your blunder and move on. If you have the urge to browbeat somebody about making a mistake, refer to the second commandment. Do not use aliases or shadow identities. If you have to invent a separate identity in order to create the illusion of agreement, then perhaps your point isn't as good as you think it is. Although it's tempting to play games with the pseudo-anonymity the Internet provides, it's far better to stick with one identity. Resize your blog images. Remember, not everybody has fast broadband connections, and not everybody has the patience to wait for that huge picture of your pet cat to download. “What happens on the wiki stays on the wiki.” It's wonderful how blogs and wikis can provide you with new knowledge, insight, and perspective, and you should certainly carry what you learn with you when you leave your computer. But all the bickering, arguing, correcting, and other antics it took to get there? Leave those behind. There is no need to bring your wiki-capades home with you. Niche blogging
  45. 45. Niche blogging is the act of creating a blog with the intent of using it to market to a particular niche market. Niche blogs are blogs that exclusively focus on a specific subsection of a general and usually popular topic. In some cases, the purpose of the niche blog is to incite the reader into visiting another website which may then attempt to sell the reader a product or service. Niche blogs will usually contain advertisements of some sort (pay-per-click or products or both), and are sometimes referred to as splogs (spam blogs), and though the desired end result for the niche blogger sometimes is to make money, the niche blog itself often contains valuable information. Most pay-per-click advertising is content-sensitive, so it is vital to the niche blogger to have useful content that is related to the chosen niche Five Characteristics of a Successful Niche Blog Laser-focused Content. The niche blog has a very tight content focus and all of its blog posts must be strongly related to the niche while only occasionally including material in the general field from which it is drawn. Small Scope. The niche blog has a small content scope, which allows it to easily go in depth on the chosen topic and dominate it. Unique Material. While niche blogs can be created through feed-based aggregation of content via search engines or other blogs, they have more long-term value for visitors if they offer content that is unique and currently unpublished on other websites. Monetization-friendly Blog Template. Basically, you’ll need a fairly unique blog template that is easily customizable and flexible enough to accommodate heavy monetization. Has an audience. It is important to choose a niche that actually has an audience, no matter how small. Ideally, the niche should be one that will naturally receive search engine visitors over time. How do I Make Money with a Niche Blog? Let it be known from the onset that the monetization strength of a niche blog lies in its exclusive and ever deepening focus on one topic and nothing else. Niche blogs are remarkably easy to monetize and they can be very profitable in terms of ad earnings. For example, a niche product blog will do well with product and action- orientated advertising networks like Auction Ads. This tight focus on a specific topic also opens up a lot of doors to relevant affiliate programs, which can provide recursive income.
  46. 46. These ad networks can and usually are accompanied by Google Adsense, a popular contextual advertising solution that complements the keyword/phrase heavy content that are found in all niche blogs. Google Adsense is a remarkably fuss-free way to make money from any website and niche blogs are no exception. Some reasons why Adsense and niche blogs fit together: Relevancy. In most cases, Adsense provides targeted advertising that fits your content well, especially if your blog posts are keyword dense and doesn’t stray from the general blog topic. Effectiveness. Depending on your ad placement and blending, Adsense is one of the best ways to make money from search traffic. Visitors arriving at your blog are looking for specific information and Adsense tends to fill that need quite well. Passive Income. Adsense is more or less a set-and-forget system that allows you to concentrate on producing more content that attracts and retains visitors to your blog. It provides a basic monetization level that can be supplemented by other ad programs. Tips to write a good blog. Write it yourself - Personal branding is about being authentic and transparent online, you need to be honest. Be informed and opinionated – You need to have your own point of view and opinions to be viewed as an expert. Be concise – Try not to have long blog posts as people now have rather short attention spans. People do not have time for long essays. Use proper formatting, spell checks and good grammar – You should write professionally, and include subtitles and bulleted lists when possible. Write it in a word processor and check for spelling and grammatical errors. Try to use simple terms and as little abbreviations as possible. Use key words – Make sure key words are used throughout your blog multiple times. Google picks up these keywords and make your blogs visible. Link to other blogs – If you get information from other blogs, add links to them. This makes your blog more credible and readers can understand the subject better. Use multimedia – Blogs are more interesting with videos and photos. Most popular blogs The following is a list of the most popular blogs by