Friday, December 30, 2005

Belated Happy Holidays

As you can see from the lack of posts, I have been on an extended holiday vacation, and am still wrapping it up. I will return to the keyboard next week.

Of course, this means no 'Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack' for this week, I'm afraid. Those of you making great entries during the week ending 12/28 need not fear. I'll include posts from two weeks back in next week's 'Pack Picks.'

It has been a great 2005, and I expect an even greater 2006.

Happy New Year, and I'll see you next week!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

'Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack' for the Week Ending 21 December 2005

Time again for another week of the feedosphere's finest. And yes I CAN count to ten... Remember, winners each receive this attractive GIF for use in shameless web promotion of their feed prowess.

The Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack for the week ending 21 December brings ten great things to think about from this past week's feedosphere.

Impacting me is the 'globalization' of the RSS icon by Firefox and now Microsoft; hence, the reason for two 'number twos' in the list. It's a sort of mash-up of the old Saturday Night Live "Point/Counterpoint" sketch with Dan Ackroyd and Jane Curtin played by Steve Rubel (MicroPersuasion) and Bill Flitter (Pheedo).

If you want to know more about this week's 'Pack Picks' use the comment feature and ask. What are your thoughts and findings this week? Please share in like manner--via comment.

So here are this week's picks:

1. Coming Soon: Center for Citizen Media, 12/21/05
Blogsource: Bayosphere, ... of, by and for the Bay Area

2a. Evolution of the RSS Icon, 12/21/05
Blogsource: Our Blog, Pheedo RSS + Weblog Marketing Solutions

2b. Future Proof Your Blog with the New RSS Icon, 12/20/05
Blogsource: MicroPersuasion, Steve Rubel explores how new technologies are transforming marketing, media and public relations

3. How (Blogging) Awards Work, 12/19/05
Blogsource: Anil Dash, Blortal 2.0

4. 5 Strategies to Combat Negative Comments, 12/17/05
Blogsource: Business Blog Consulting

5. Structured Blogging "Plays in Peoria", 12/17/05
Blogsource: As I May Think..., An infrequently updated collection of comments on random subjects

6. PodTech News: Clash of the Titans - Yahoo and Google, 12/16/05
Blogsource: The infoTalk Podcast, Download the fresh voices of Silicon Valley

7. What's up with Typepad / Six Apart?, 12/16/05
Blogsource: The Intuitive Life Business Blog

8. RSS and Real Estate, 12/16/05
Blogsource: DigitalThom, technology coach

9. Syndicate: the power of corporate blogging, 12/15/05
Blogsource: Sally Falkow's Website Content Strategy

10. What's RSS Anyway?, 12/15/05
Blogsource: Halley's Comment, by Halley Suitt

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

The Anal Retentive Blogger--Overworking Content Quality

Can syndication marketing professionals overdo it on the content quality issue? What is the right balance between stuff that's good, and stuff that's timely?

As you know, I've been working to bring podcasts to the RSS Pundit. I've conducted some great interviews, and have them ready to go. It's getting the pre- and post- stuff--the bumper music, the sponsors, and all that--the way I want it. I have a very clear image in my mind of what I want, and I'm struggling with getting there. Fortunately, the holidays will afford me the time to finish this stuff up and get on with delivering the content goods to you.

And while I am focusing on topical podcasts with more shelf-life than the typical 'podfare,' this delay of mine works against one of the key tenets of syndication: freshness.

So, I pose the question:

"How forgiving is the feedosphere of content that makes trade-offs between quality and timeliness?"

While I've spouted off about how syndication technology lets us enjoy having it all three ways (quality, timely, cheaply), poor quality seems to plague syndication marketing content. Even Geoffrey Moore's new blog has typos in it, and he's a New York Times-bestseller kind of guy.

As a producer of content, are you more 'anal' (and after reading the Wikipedia definition I doubt you'll use that term as loosely--no pun intended--as you have in the past) about style or substance?

As a consumer of content, what is your pain threshold here? Is part of the allure the less-homogenized nature of the material we deliver?

I’d like to understand your take on this. Why don't you lie down on that black leather couch of yours and "tell me about your mother?"

Saturday, December 17, 2005

A Saturday Evening Post: Blogging as Organizational Communication

Reading this link to an insightful post is a fine way to pass a few precious minutes on a wintery Saturday night. Nicely done, Leigh!

I had the opportunity a little over a month ago in engaging in a lively syndicated (not synthetic) dialogue with a Northeastern University professor and class members of an Advanced Organizational Communications class through their blog and mine.

We had some very lively discussion on the topic of 'synthetic transparency.' One student in particular, Leigh Taginski, had much to say in the course of the discussion. She challenged my assertions with thought out responses. It was a great exchange, with even the instructor, Dr. Carl, producing a follow up post to address the issues raised in our exchange.

I have, since that initial discussion, frequented the class blog and found many things well worth your perusal.

Reading it tonight, I am pleased to inform you that Leigh was one of three students whose final essays will make their way onto the blog--Leigh's post being the first. She responded to the question: "Why would you study blogging in an organizational communication class? What concepts from organizational communication give you any special insight into blogging?"

Take a look at her response (licensed under a Creative Commons License).

Congratulations to Leigh, and to all those who participated in the course. I expect them to make an impact in the blogosphere and on the social media scene.

Friday, December 16, 2005

'Houston, We Have a Problem'--TypePad is Down

According to ComputerWorld, the Six Apart people say TypePad "has been down since last night due to a problem with its primary storage system." The silence is deafening.

According to ComputerWorld, Six Apart's TypePad has been down since last night. The outage occurred during "routine maintenance." The article says Six Apart is rolling back to two days ago, and the TypePad application is off-line until the restore is complete.

At the time of this post, there are only 20 posts in the past 12 hours on Technorati about the outage.

If you've come to depend on any TypePad-based blogs for getting (or getting out) your information, the silence speaks volumes to the dependence we've developed on the blogosphere as a media outlet.

For those of you with TypePad-based blogs, it's got to start feeling like you're trapped watching Ron Howard's Apollo 13. Six Apart's executives must be feeling like Swigert, Haise and Lovell (after this picture, of course).

Let's hope for the same eventual happy ending to this story.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

The RSS Pundit Introduces the 'Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack'

Launching a new weekly feature from The RSS Pundit, today heralds the introduction of my compilation of the most interesting syndication technology-related posts I've seen in the past seven days. You can play, too. You might even win an award.

From the 'Eating My Own Dog Food Department,' I'm a consumer of large quantities of syndicated content. There are some incredibly smart, innovative people and companies doing fascinating things out there in the syndication technology space. They think of things, they hear about things, they do things, and they write about things all relating to the ‘feedosphere’ (all types of feeds, not just blogs).

So, in my efforts to help you construct your own content management system for all things syndicated, I am delighted to introduce <drum roll here>…

The RSS Pundit’s “Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack

Posts finding their way into the Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack:

  • occurred in the previous seven days prior to the time of the weekly post

  • contain something about syndication technology

  • made me say ‘Wow!’ or ‘Cool!’ or ‘Ew.’

The list is prioritized in reverse-chronological order. In short: the newest post makes the top of current week's 'Pick of the Pack'). The list is not otherwise ranked by any other subjective quality or relevance metric of mine (beyond making it onto the list per the parameters above in the first place).

In recognition of your post making the Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack, you’re also entitled to place this attractive recognition graphic on your website:

For anyone (like the 'Pack Pick' post's author--say that fast three times) asking the question “Why on earth did this post become a ‘Pack Pick?’, I’ll tell you why it made the list if you'll ask by commenting on the week's post.

Watch for the Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack each Thursday, and please share any cool syndication technology-related posts you encounter (or author) each week with me by comment on this weekly post from The RSS Pundit...

With that, here it is: The inaugural…

Feedosphere Weekly Pick of the Pack for 15 December 2005

1. RSS Industry Night Roundtable: IRSS Solution Coming, 12/14/05
Blogsource:, Marketing Views and Experience with a Difference

2. 27,000 Readers, 12/13/05
Blogsource: A VC, Musings of a VC in NYC

3. About the, er, porn ad promoting MSNBC TV, 12/12/05
Blogsource: BlogWrite for CEOs, Debbie Weil on CEO Blogs, Writing a Thought Leadership Blog and the Corporate Blogging Phenomenon

4. RSS Feeds In Your Email, 12/12/05
Blogsource: RSS Insight

5. NYTimes and Blogging: A Different Take, 12/08/05
Blogsource:  Blogspotting, Where the Worlds of Business, Media and Blogs Collide

6. Irish Government Budget 2006 - using RSS, 12/07/05
Blogsource: Nooked, RSS Marketing Made Simple

7. Podcasting Emerges as an eBusiness Tool for Marketers-5 Reasons to Podcast, 12/07/05
Blogsource: PodBlaze Blog, Create, Manage & Host Your Own Podcasts

8. Waggener Edstrom: When PR Gets Savvy to the Blogosphere, 12/09/05
Blogsource: Blog Business Summit, Publish and Prosper

9. Resurrected From Google, 12/09/05
Blogsource: C:\PIRILLO.EXE, Ubj pbzr abobql rire hfrf EBG13 Nalzber?

10. SES Chicago: RSS Blogs and Search Marketing Panel, 12/07/05
Blogsource: Online Marketing Blog


Monday, December 12, 2005

They're On a Roll: Yet Another Yahoo! Social Media Announcement

The folks at Yahoo! are busy turning out syndication-based products/services at a frenzied pace.

Yesterday (Sunday, December 11th, that is--not a typical news day to be sure), Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo! announced a small-business targeted partnership with San Francisco-based Six Apart Ltd., creators of the Movable Type blog publishing platform.

Yahoo is on a tear here, given that just last Friday they announced the acquisition of the ever-popular web link sharing site At the time of this post, neither Yahoo's nor Six Apart's on-line press rooms contained news releases about the announcement, which makes me wonder about the announcement's timing. What rushed the announcement ahead of the press releases? (Something else to make us go "hmmm" about.)

The partnership has Yahoo providing the web hosting services (with a lot of other value-adds), and Six Apart supplying the business platform for "easily updated Web sites." It will be available today--December 12, 2005--in the PM (California time, I presume).

While the announcement follows a spate of product/service activity from Yahoo, and seems a win for the existing and the new Yahoo customer; the partnership (in my opinion) is a bigger win for Six Apart. Marketing Movable Type to Yahoo's installed base is incremental for Yahoo, but could deliver significant quantities of new Movable Type users to Six Apart. The news announcement quoted Anil Dash, vice president of professional products as saying, "This is going to be our recommended (sales) channel for small business."

For those in the small business demographic, this could be an easier way to establish syndication technology as a part of your web presence. Will this make you do the Yahoo!? Let me know.

I wonder what Yahoo! will announce next?

Friday, December 09, 2005

A DMZ for Intellectual Property: Creative Commons Licensing

When talking about the intellectual property aspects of syndicating your creative works, it's generally assumed the choice is Boolean: copyright or public domain.

Well, now there are alternatives...

Once you've decided to utilize syndication technology for marketing your company or yourself, and you start creating content to deliver, questions you'll need to answer are going to be asked (most likely from people in your organization--including the legal department or attorney). Most assuredly, one of those questions will involve intellectual property (IP) rights to the content.

If you're repurposing content that's already created, the decision may already be made for you. The stuff may already bear the ©, ®, or ™ mark. While I am no lawyer (hence my disclaimer here: I’m not offering a legal opinion), these marks indicate the assertion of intellectual property ownership. Decision made, move on.

If the content you're creating is new, you may think you have only one of two IP ownership choices: copyright it, or place it in the public domain.

Not so.

A San Francisco-based organization called Creative Commons is changing all that by expanding creative works licensing choices. Founded in 2001, Creative Commons is a group of very bright people and prestigious institutions of higher learning. It was brought to life through help from the Center for the Public Domain to create what constitutes a sort of 'DMZ' for intellectual property rights: The Creative Commons License.

Creative Commons licensing enables you to share your creative works without giving up your copyright--while not going so far as placing it in the public domain. Creative Commons enables you to offer some of your rights to any member of the public but (as they say on their website) "only on certain conditions."

The beauty of the Creative Commons approach is that you can define rights relative to attribution, commercial/non-commercial use, control of derivative works, and a great innovation they call "share alike" (meaning you give others the right to distribute your derivative works only on condition the re-distributor offers a license identical to the license you've used to govern your work). Great flexibility with rights-retaining control.

Creative Commons website offers simple web-based tools to help you mix and match the attributes of the license you want to create for your content, and then helps you integrate the license into your work. They do all of this without a preponderance of legalize--a fact in which most creatives will delight--but for your legal department they've also crossed all the t's and dotted all the i's.

As you can see by scrolling to the bottom of my blog, I really believe in this approach. From its beginning I've used a Creative Commons license for the content I produce here on RSS Pundit).

Take a few moments and look at their website. The short film does a great job of explaining the concepts.

So, now you have a third choice: "Some Rights Reserved." What you do with the choice is up to you, and I’d love to hear how you choose.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

'Is this off the Record?'--UITA's PR Tips from the Trenches

Today UITA hosted a PR breakfast event / panel discussion with several of the Utah PR 'illuminati.' While a little behind-the-curve on syndication technology’s role in public relations (IMHO), this group shows us ‘Utah public relations’ is not an oxymoron.

Being the Utah technology company booster that I am, I sat in on this morning’s Utah Information Technology Association (UITA) a.m. B2B soirée entitled 'PR Tips from the Trenches.'

Sponsored by PR Newswire and the Salt Lake City campus of the University of Phoenix, the event is a continuation of UITA’s invigorated efforts—in times past arguably resembling CPR—to generate synergy and momentum amongst Utah’s technology community.

I’m pleased with what they’re doing, actually.

The panel (moderated by Chris Tunis of The Enterprise) consisted of some of Utah’s finest PR experts (I say that with authority, as I used to work with two of them in my agency days) including:

- Susan Richards, director of corporate communications for Altiris, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATRS)
- Debra Lund, public relations director for Franklin Covey (NYSE:FC)
- Mark Fredrickson, director of marketing for NextPage
- Blake Stowell, company spokesman of The SCO Group (Nasdaq: SCOX)
- Cheryl Snapp Conner, partner and executive director of public relations services at Snapp Norris Group

A substantial amount of practical PR wisdom was dispensed, including the following profound comments I captured:

"In PR you have to be willing to take risks."
–Blake Stowell

If you’re having problems convincing people PR is worth the budget, look at what the WSJ is doing—In North America, social responsibility and how you treat employees is moving up the list. Publicity on this influences who consumers buy from.
–Susan Richards

Number five of the Seven Habits: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.
–Debra Lund

The press always has the last word.
–Cheryl Snapp Conner

We waited until the Q&A segment of the meeting to get to the intersect of public relations with syndication technologies and trends. My question (the only one the panel had time to repond to) asked about public relations and the rise of social media (an instantiation of syndication technology). Specifically, I asked about traditional PR and findability, control of the message, and the return of PR to true ‘public’ (as opposed to ‘media’) relations.

There were some thought-provoking responses, including these:

PR…as an industry is not being the thought leader and leading the way in blogs. Some PR professionals are doing that, but the industry as a whole [is not].
–Mark Fredrickson

You can have some control by setting policies that encourage your employees to blog, maybe that incents them to do that, and start monitoring.
–Susan Richards

Public relations is becoming more ‘public’ relations and less strictly ‘media’ relations.
–Cheryl Snapp Conner

"There is still a widely-held consensus that something that appears on a blog is not given the same credibility weight as something that comes from a… formal publication.
–Cheryl Snapp Conner

Just like the blogs are perpetuating, what you’ve communicated is perpetuating.
–Cheryl Snapp Conner

We used to not highly regard news services…That has changed. [When] we write a press release and put it on the wire, we write an article, not just a press release. It’s going to be seen by a wide variety of audiences... I wrote a press release as a favor for a client. His son was the youngest master scuba diver perhaps anywhere—age 12—so I wrote a press release and posted on the Idaho wire only. Feature articles, world-wide, with photos, this boy with his Dad, underwater, high-definition photography. That kind of thing can happen. What you put on the Internet can perpetuate.
–Cheryl Snapp Conner

Learn about SEOPR… make sure that your headlines and your content relate to the terms that people are searching… Southwest changed their name to Southwest Airlines in their news release and saw a huge impact on sales.
–Mark Fredrickson

[Franklin Covey is] posted on two blogs this last week…That thing has been picked up all over the place. Whatever you put out there, everybody has access to it. Google—bless Google’s heart! I love ‘em!
–Debra Lund

A blog is the opinion of one individual. Okay, now that can be a powerful individual… that depends on who the person is, what their reputation is, et cetera, but it is one person—so not as credible as a news source.
–Debra Lund

We are such a society of the ten-second hit. We are a sound bite culture now… the need for utilizing public relations as it has worked for years and years is still important… Don’t send out garbage! Before you send something out, ask ‘why do I care?’ I still think media relations is a huge issue.
–Debra Lund

There is a particular blog that follows my company, and we monitor that blog very closely only because the media also follow that blog very closely, and they call us whenever something that pops up on that blog seems to take their interest. So, yes it is something we monitor closely, but it is not something that we spend a lot of time with.
–Blake Stowell

A variety of takes from a variety of companies, to be sure. What do you think of their comments? Agree or disagree? Put some of your own up and let me know.

We'll keep them totally 'off the record' (not).

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Pay No Attention to the Man behind the Curtain: Silver Anniversary Delay of Game

Producing podcasts is easy. Producing quality podcasts is not.

Almost two weeks ago my day before Thanksgiving post told you to "watch for something completely different on RSS Pundit" the week following. My last post for the month of November mentioned my plans for giving you a "Silver Anniversary gift" in association with my twenty-fifth entry.

Well, as they say: 'The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry.'

One of the classic marketing blunders (right up there with "Never get involved in a land war in Asia.") is to over promise and under deliver. My afore-mentioned teasers have caused me to do just that. I should have known, as my significant other can attest to my miserable track record of raising expectations and then failing to deliver the goods on memorable occasions like birthdays and anniversaries and such.

So, for credibility's sake, I'm now forced to tell you what I am working on before it's ready for prime time.

If all goes well, this week will hail the RSS Pundit's first podcast on Apple iTunes. Once all of my post production work is done, these podcasts will be a weekly occurrence. The format involves interviews with people in the syndication technology trenches. Many gracious experts have agreed to provide their insights in podcast format. It's going to be a great resource for your syndication marketing toolkit.

Now, the embarassing part: I completely underestimated the time it takes to get a quality podcast production up and running. (Sounds like the RSS Pundit himself could use an interview with a podcasting great, eh?)

As the raison d'etre for this blog is to provide useable information on syndication marketing, I will--once the first podcast is published--provide you with a post mortem of sorts to help you avoid some of the delays I encountered. I've learned much about producing podcasts. I've also learned how not to do a lot of things relative to producing podcasts.

I'm confident this information will be as useful as one of the podcasts itself (if you're considering podcasting as part of your syndication marketing strategy, that is). Hopefully I'll share something that will accelerate your execution and speed to market.

Happy (Stinkin’) Silver Anniversary!

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Blog Maintenance: Please Disregard This Post

Please disregard this post. It is just some housekeeping, and not the 'Silver Anniversary' Post that's up next.

No Need to Click Here - I'm just claiming my feed at Feedster

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 License.