October 27, 2009

Joanna Lord on brands, SEM and social media

Joanna Lord on SEM and social media from JD Lasica on Vimeo.

JD LasicaThis summer I had the chance to sit down, on a sun-splashed day in Santa Monica, with Joanna Lord, a colleague at Socialmedia.biz who’s a leading industry expert in search engine marketing (SEM).

Joanna is co-founder and chief marketing officer of YourJobStop (formerly TheOnlineBeat), one of the top job search services, and last week she announced plans to move to Seattle (we’ll miss you in California, Joanna!). Seattle is where she presented at Search Marketing Expo (SMX), a search-heavy conference that tackles subjects like SEM, pay-per-click (PPC) tactics and search engine optimization (SEO).

In this 9-minute video, she talks about how brands should be using Twitter to identify strategic contacts and push your content out, the use of SEM, the importance of monitoring and tracking your brand’s reputation, and some of the things that companies need to take into account in an era of social media and empowered consumers.

Watch, embed or download the video on Vimeo Continue reading

October 26, 2009

Xsights’ new iPhone app brings print to life

Ayelet NoffXsights is a new start-up that has just come out with its Light app for the iPhone, which enables its users to bring print to life. Xsights makes it possible to transform static printed items that can be captured through the cell phone’s camera into an interactive multimedia experience. (Disclosure: Xsights is a Blonde 2.0 client)
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October 23, 2009

Web 2.0 Summit: Content & search get social

Aneesh Chopra

Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer.

Social networks becoming more relevant to offline lives

JD LasicaI have been to every Web 2.0 Summit since its launch except for one (when I had a speaking commitment in Toronto), so it was good to be back at the venerable technology conference in San Francisco this week. This year’s event was not a somber affair, but it was considerably smaller in attendance: probably 50-60 percent off its high of a couple of years ago (that’s my estimate, not official). Just look at the Flickr stream: probably one-tenth the size of a couple of years ago.

Here’s my Flickr photo gallery of the summit — that’s Aneesh Chopra, the U.S. Chief Technology Officer, above. I briefly got to meet him backstage. (Disclosure: I was admitted with a press pass.) His deputy, Andrew McLaughlin, dissected dumber-than-dumb U.S. regulations — in effect preventing Government 2.0 from taking place — at the Web 2.0 Expo last spring. I asked Chopra about this from the floor and he talked animatedly about the progress his office is making in cutting the red tape to ribbons.

If there was a theme this year, it was this: Content is getting increasingly social. We see that through the major social networks (Facebook, Twitter), through news organizations that are struggling to find a business model (the social journalism-friendly Huffington Post is expanding its staff), and through a panpoly of new “social search” and “real-time search” results rolled out by the major search engines.

The tech press has already covered the newsworthy items coming out of the Summit (a sister event, Web 2.0 Expo, is held each spring in SF and will be held Nov. 16-19 in New York). Chief among them: announcements that Microsoft’s Bing search engine will now offer results from the real-time Web via Twitter updates (at bing.com/twitter) and, soon, public updates on Facebook (no money was exchanged), and Google will now offer a deeper set of Twitter updates, including something called a social circle (social search), due to debut early next year.

So here are some snippets of the scene at this year’s Web 2.0 Summit: Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Takeaways from Blogworld Expo

Anthony Edwards

Anthony Edwards of “ER” fame did his first tweet — to raise funds for the first children’s pediatric training hospital in Africa.

Bloggers, journalism, celebrities and what the future holds

JD LasicaThere was a little bit of a SXSW vibe at the just-ended Blogworld Expo in Las Vegas — a communal feeling where the goings-on in the sessions (on the whole, consistently engaging) were overshadowed by the face time and first-time encounters between longtime Twitter friends. To be sure, BlogWorld is a smaller affair than SouthBy — one official told me 1,500 people turned out for the Causes/Activism track on Thursday, 5,000 for the next two days — but from my vantage point, it seems that the social media phenomenon has rejuvenated ones of the world’s oldest and largest new media gatherings.

Twitter was front and center throughout the affair, both on screen — where rolling tweets of each session’s hashtags were displayed (though not consistently) — and as a way for conference-goers to figure out evening social plans. And cameras and recorders were everwhere — here’s my Flickr set of BlogWorld.

Below is a recap of the highlights in my field of vision (see after the jump). In addition, I just posted 8 tips for raising funds online — a recap of the Tools for Nonprofits panel that I moderated at Blogworld — over at our sister site, Socialbrite.org.

Journalists vs. bloggers: Can we please move on?

As regular readers know, I’ve been blogging about journalism, blogging, and the need for journalists and bloggers to love each other and use the best elements of both worlds since 2001, when I started this blog (then called New Media Musings). See, for example, Blogs and Journalism Need Each Other in Harvard’s Nieman Reports in Fall 2003.

So it’s now irritating, and not merely tiresome, to attend a new media conference where too many of the sessions veered into hostility toward traditional news organizations. The audience questions to and reaction to CNN weekend anchor Don Lemon (below), was a case in point.

Don Lemon

Why should bloggers want to work with CNN? Lemon should have more artfully worded his reply — “The plain truth is that my platform is bigger than your platform” — but, with the exception of a few outliers like iJustine or cross-over Twitter celebrities, that’s still true. It’s not about CNN, it’s about reach and bringing value to more people.

The notion that crowdsourced amateur journalism can supplant professional journalism, and actually do a better job — which many in the audience truly believe — is not only ludicrous but potentially dangerous to our democratic institutions. Journalism that ferrets out corruption, that takes the pulse of a community, that sheds a light on international events is hard work, something that the crowd tends to avoid. Just ask anyone toiling in overworked, understaffed independent journalism publications like Spot.us, AliveinBaghdad, Pro Publica, or the just-launched Oakland Local.

Similarly, I’ve finally found a fundamental disagreement with my friend, colleague and fellow Traveling Geek Robert Scoble. I tweeted my dismay at the bottom-line premise of his panel, How Social Media Is Changing the Definition of News: that news sites should pass along rumors and second-hand reports without fact-checking them. “The old world was i fact-checked before I published, in this new world i can correct it after the fact,” Scoble said.

Immediately after the panel, he cited TMZ’s early report on the death of Michael Jackson and the fact that no one remembers who reported it second. “It’s over. It’s over,” he told me, referring to journalism’s authentication function. Continue reading

October 19, 2009

Oakland Local: Community news hub goes live

DiaDancers

Dia de Los Muertos dancers, photo by Kwan Booth

JD LasicaToday, after months of planning and programming, a new community news site went live: Oakland Local. And while there are now thousands of hyperlocal, city- or region-focused citizen media sites around the world, Oakland Local is one of the few that offers a blend of nonprofit underpinnings with a staff of independent, professionally trained journalists.

My friend Susan Mernit — we’re two of the founders of the Public Media Collaborative — is the founder of the community news and information hub, which she describes as “a site for Oakland focusing on social justice issues, including climate change, air quality, food access, arts as activism, and identity, race and ethnicity.”

susan-mernitSusan adds: “Oakland Local is launching in partnership with 35 local nonprofit, neighborhood and community organizations. We combine postings of their news and information with blogging and with reported stories from a top quality news team (Susan Mernit, Amy Gahran, Kamika Dunlap, Kwan Booth, Ryan Van Lenning and others). We are media partners and collaborators with Spot.us, Newsdesk.org, The Center for Investigative Reporting, New America Media, Endless Canvas, Youth Rising, Youth Radio and Youth Outlook. Our site offers forums, a directory of 320 local nonprofits and a blog directory of 180 active local bloggers.” Continue reading

October 18, 2009

Under the Second Life microscope


Chris AbrahamI had the coolest interview recently. The gang from Metanomics invited me to take part in the Metanomics Community Forum yesterday “in world” in Second Life, where I spent an hour in open conversation with around 35-plus folks in world: On My Mind with Chris Abraham – Community Forum.

I loved it because everyone on Second Life is bright, passionate, curious, open, and smart — fellow nerds, maybe. What made my day, however, was that I was being interviewed as though I were from an alien culture!

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