Do You Need a Blog? The Personal Branding Perspective

Why should I have a blog?  This is a question many of us in the marketing arena are often asked.  From the personal branding perspective the answer is absolutely.  A blog is where your personal brand is shaped.  Unlike a static website or social media profile, a blog is where an individual’s personal brand comes to life.  It’s where you can express your opinions and passions and demonstrate your experience.  It’s where people get to know you, what you are interested in and what you are about.  Your blog creates the narrative for your brand and allows you to express yourself how you want to in the way that you want to.

Image c/o kathybackus.files.wordpress.com/

From a business perspective, why should a person blog?  Besides creating a brand narrative, blogging helps to build relationships.  Writing timely, topical, fun and informative posts builds a following.  Have you seen Amy Adams and Meryl Streep in the movie Julie & Julia?  The film demonstrates the power of blogging, and how it can impact an individual’s life or business.  I won’t give away the plot, but the main character played by Amy Adams follows her cooking passion and writes about her struggles and successes.  Her creativity, writing ability, emotion and content slowly began to resonate and attract a following, media attention and much more.  Social media expert Seth Godin said, “It doesn’t matter who reads your blog.  What matters is the humility that comes from writing (a blog)….the meta-cognition of thinking about what you’re going to say.  How do you force yourself to describe in three paragraphs why you did something, how do you respond out loud?  [Blogging] forces you to make yourself part of the conversation.”

What Will You Blog About?

What should you blog about?  There are no rules here, but certainly something you’re interested in, an expert on or something you are passionate about.  If you have trouble coming up with blog post ideas then maybe you should look to another subject for inspiration.  A blog does not have to be all about business.  Watch Julie and Julia and you will see what I mean.  If you are looking to grow your personal brand and build relationships with people, post what you are passionate about and interested in.  Readers will connect and engage with you.  If you build your following and readership with content that you enjoy creating, then blogging will be a joy instead of a chore.

Be Consistent

Consistency matters when blogging.  Some may find that once a day or once a week works, while others determine twice a month works for them.  No matter the schedule, stick to it.  Consistency is vital to maintain reader interest.  According to Jane Sheeba, author of Pro Blogging Success, “choosing a blogging frequency depends on various parameters for different people.”  She emphasizes that blogging frequency is dependent on many factors including the blogger’s goals and preferences, the type of blog, and how new the blog is.

Time Limitations

We are all pressed for time in our fast-paced world.  Many of us have limited time to read and research topics we are interested in.  We want information in a short and concise format.  Susan Gunelius, author of About.com’s Blogging Guide says, “Most people who read blogs don’t have a lot of time or patience to read thousands of words of content. They’re looking for quick access to information or entertainment. Therefore, you should try to write succinctly and use headings to break up long blocks of text.”  Blog posts should be a reasonable length that allows information and messages to be conveyed.  For blogs that provide how-to or do-it-yourself advice, the length may be longer, but consider using bullet points. This will allow you to get the same message out but with fewer words.

A personal brand focused blog needs to be promoted in order to attract followers, subscribers and readers.  Besides including keywords, tags and categories in and with the blog specifically, the following are several simple strategies for getting the word out:

  • Post a link to your blog on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter (use a shortened link)
  • Use Facebook applications such as Networked Blogs to allow your blog to also reside on Facebook
  • Send your blog link to your contact list and ask people to subscribe
  • Ask friends to share and recommend your blog on social media and directly
  • Put the link to your latest blog in your email signature – highlight the topic
  • Each time you blog, ask 20, 30 or 50 or more people what they think of it? Share their comments and ask them to follow.

There are literally millions of blogs.  According to Hat Trick Associates there may be as many as 450 million English language blogs as of 2011 and possibly close to a billion if you count all languages.  Many of these blogs have virtually no readers.  These brands aren’t growing they are stagnant.  Become a successful blogger and create a brand that reflects you and your passions in life and business.  Start by determining what you will write about, find the platform that works for you and start posting.  Remember to be consistent and proactively promote your blog.  To grow your brand and blog you need to tend to it, nurture it, create content for it and build relationships with it.

Author:

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm.  For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com.  He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Sources:

About Bill Corbett Jr.

This article is provided by Bill Corbett, Jr., President of Corbett Public Relations, Inc., a leading media relations, social media and personal branding consulting firm. For more information, go to corbettpr.com or to his blog corbettprblog.com. He can be reached at wjcorbett@corbettpr.com or @wjcorbett.

Using Content Calendars

Content is king.  Everyone says so, going back to Bill Gates in 1996.  So, it must be true.  But how do you keep track of your content and when you are going to post to your blog and the various social media platforms that you engage with?

Content calendars.  That’s how.  A “content” or “editorial” calendar is just geek-speak for a schedule outlining what content will get posted when.  And for any blog, the time spent preparing a content calendar will make the process of writing and posting that much easier.

It’s not easy for small businesses to come up with ideas for blogging and posting to the various social networks.  It takes time and commitment to come up with ideas, goals, and solutions to share with your network, and a content calendar can help put all of this in order.

What are the benefits of preparing an editorial calendar?

  1. Planning.  An editorial calendar allows you to see the month at a glance and know what needs to be written when.  It makes it a necessity instead of a maybe.
  2. Structure.  Using an editorial calendar ensures that you will always be aware of when your posts are due and allows you to think ahead.
  3. Commitment.  Writing a blog and participating in social media are not “set-it and forget-it” projects.  They take time, energy, and commitment, and having an editorial calendar quantifies that commitment.  It tells you things need to get done on schedule.
  4. Themes.  An editorial calendar allows you to set-up your writing and posting schedule to cover consecutive topics, so that you aren’t just writing for the sake of writing.
  5. Variety.  A content calendar allows you an overview of what is published over a set period of time, and allows for variations in the medium.  Maybe it’s a blog post on Tuesday and a video on Thursday that reinforces the blog.  The calendar allows you to see the forest for the trees.

How do I create a content calendar?

All projects start with one thing – a goal.  In order to know where you are going, you need to have a roadmap for the trip.  You need to know where your efforts will take your clients and prospective clients.  After you have decided on your goal, you need to determine how often you will be posting and interacting.  If it’s a blog calendar, will you be posting daily?  Weekly?  What time of day works best for your audience?  Will you post in the morning, afternoon, or evening?  What do they expect?  Once you know the how and the when, you need to decide on the “what” of your publishing.  The best advice is to come up with themes for every week or month that you will be publishing.  Maybe this month you will speak about Facebook.  Next month, it’s GooglePlus.

Knowing your goals, your timing, and your themes in advance will take blogging from a chore to something that is done regularly, with specificity.

To make it even easier, there are many plug-ins available for various blogging platforms to help with this task, and I have listed some resources for them, below.  I have also recently found a company called DivvyHQ, the spreadsheet-free editorial calendar application, and they offer a free version to try out.  I have signed up, and will be giving them a run-through myself.

Are you using an editorial calendar?  Have you found it helpful?  Any other tips to offer?  Please make sure to share.

Author:

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.

Resources:

About Craig Yaris

Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you. He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line. EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business. Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107 .

Why Blogs Matter More than Ever for SEO

I recently showed a college student a blog post I was working on, and he asked me what percentage of the content I dedicated to keyword phrases. He had taken a course in SEO, and he understood keyword density. So do I. But even as an SEO copywriter, it’s not really something that I take into account when writing content anymore.

Rather than give him a percentage, I explained to him that the number of times a keyword is placed within an article isn’t as important as it used be. Yes, keywords still play a big role, but the quality of the content has become a more critical factor in getting higher search results. That’s where blogs come into play.

The Rise of the Blog

Back in the day (1990s to early 2000s), blogs weren’t as widely accepted as they are now. Saying you had a blog was like telling people that you’re kind of a geek and you really like to talk about yourself. Last May, eMarketer reported that 53.5% of Internet users would read blogs in 2011. That’s 122.6 million blog readers. Today, blogs have become an effective way for people to share their opinions; stay updated on news, trends and topics that interest them; and have ongoing conversations with others who share those opinions and interests. For businesses, blogs have become a necessary tool for reaching customers on a higher level and improving SEO.

The rising value of blog content has not gone unnoticed when it comes to search results – Google wants to put the content that people read in front of them, and right now, that means blogs.

Keep Your Content Fresh and Relevant

Google favors new, fresh content, and in today’s fast-paced market, content can get outdated pretty quickly. Maintaining a continually updated blog on your company website allows you to keep adding new content to your site without having to completely rework product or service pages. In addition, the content must contain valuable information – Google Panda updates now put low-quality content created solely for link building at the bottom of search results.

Guest Blog, Guest Blog, Guest Blog

Writing guest posts on other blogs has a number of benefits, one of which includes SEO value. Guest posts often allow back links to your blog and website within your blogger bio. Good relationships with authoritative bloggers can be incredibly valuable for SEO, especially if the blogs have high page ranks, as Google is impressed by link quality and diversity. Networking also helps establish your own blog as an authority in your niche.

Social Sharing

The better quality the content, the more it’s shared through social media. Google recognizes social sharing, such as tweets, retweets, Facebook likes and Google +1’s. Internet users are much quicker to share a blog post, rather than a website page, through Twitter. With the rise of Pinterest, blogs that post quality images are also being shared more, resulting in increased traffic and higher search rankings.

Do you have a blog? Are you using it to improve your SEO strategy?

Author:

Jacqui MacKenzie is a writer for Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing companies in Chicago. She writes for a wide range of clients, from providers of GPS for vehicle tracking to broadcasting equipment specialists. Check out the Straight North blog! @ straightnorth

Sources:

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

PINTEREST Part Three: The Perplexed Pinner


PROMISING BEGINNING

I have devoted myself to the pursuit of Pinterest since I responded to my invitation to join on January 28th, 2012. When I signed up for this online visual platform, I was intent on learning how best to incorporate it into my social media tool box. In fact, I have already written two blog posts about Pinerest using the “read, write and share” philosophy we espouse here at Digital Brand Marketing. I have to admit that the more I practice this philosophy, the more perplexed I get concerning Pinterest.

In my first post, PINTEREST: Social Media Scrapbooking with Style, I approached my topic with the enthusiasm of anyone with a new tool to promote a business. I was brought up short by one of my fellow pinners on a LinkedIn Group as I was reminded of the pinner’s code (as I understand it), pin for business but make it look like pleasure. I realized that was very similar to the advice I had given in a recent blog post I had written recently, SOCIAL MEDIA: One, Two, Three.

The Pinterest logo in banner form

The Pinterest Logo © Pinterest, in banner form from the site www.lawyerist.com

AN INQUISITIVE STUDENT

In my second post about this new platform, PINTEREST PART TWO: Pinpuff to the Rescue, I raised the question about how this seemingly simple virtual visual scrapbooking platform had become so successful. As I continued to research for answers, I started to unearth all kinds of contradictory and even skeletal matter.

Since there were questions being raised about the legality of pinning other people’s images, some one suggested to just pin original work and that would bring popularity. Others warned not to pin original work because there were rumors that it was being sold without permission. In fact, the original Terms for Use created by Pinterest were explicit in their right to do so.

LOSS OF INNOCENCE

a graphic by Angelique A.F.MarCom

A graphic about Pinterest by Angelique © A.F.MarCom

I was perplexed, to say the least, nonplussed and perturbed.  Well, it all hit the fan when an announcement was made by Pinterest that their ‘Terms of Service’ would change at the beginning of April and that they never intended for people’s work to be sold***. This still did not explain their severe and self-serving warning that any copyright infringement was completely on the shoulders of the pinner**. Pinterest would bear no burden for such.**** (All of these comments are documented in the source materials below).

To my knowledge, there has been no mention by Pinterest about popular pinners getting paid for their pins.*  Then a blog post revealed that some popular pinners were sponsored and/or getting paid to pin corporate brand materials to their boards for a profit. One after another came the chops at the pedestal I had put Pinterest on. I doubt I was the only one, as both friends and professional bloggers started contacting me with either warnings or inquiries about my own sources to document the rumors flying about.

WHAT’S NEXT PINTEREST?

I actually sought legal advice from an attorney/colleague so that what I wrote about, related to both the original and the revised ‘Terms of Service’, would be thorough and accurate. His response to me was, “I honestly don’t know that I have the time to completely review both the old and new terms of service, and provide you with any meaningful information before your post is due. I don’t think the review of both sets of terms is a quick project.”

If an attorney cannot easily and quickly make sense out of how to pin properly, how can anyone else?
• Gone is my innocence about Pinterest being just a simple scrapbooking platform to ‘collect, share and inspire’.
• Ever present is my concern for those unschooled in social media who have turned to this platform more naive than I.
• Many of us are holding our breaths to see if someone is going to be made an example of with copyright infringement.
• In question, is my future relationship with Pinterest. But that remains to be seen in my next segment on this platform.

A row of pushpins from the site www.marketingprofs.com  standing up at an angle

A row of pushpins from the site www.marketingprofs.com

AFTERWORD

This platform is getting more attention now than ever.  But the impact may become bearish rather than bullish. Many are unfettered by what is happening and feel that too much attention is being paid to these particular issues and Pinterest in general. What are your thoughts about this and about Pinterest in general? I welcome your comments, questions, suggestions and criticisms. Thank you.

AUTHOR:

Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere.

Their boutique style – very personal service – hybrid company specializes in helping local/small biz generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. Contact MARKETING BYTES at info@marketingbytes.biz or call 516-665-9034 ET


DOCUMENTATION

EXCELLENT RESOURCE 

These four posts from A.F.MarCom explain the situation with Pinterest in the clearest, simplest way I have found:

FROM THE PINTEREST SITE

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

What a Successful Company Blog Says about Your Business

We’ve all seen them – the company blog that is buried within the site map, with a single “Welcome” post that is three years old. Or the blog that is littered with bad grammar, typos or business jargon. A bad company blog can give off the impression that you’re lazy, technology-challenged, or you think you’re smarter than your readers. No blog at all is better than a bad blog.

Writing a successful company blog takes time and effort. It’s a way to start, continue and strengthen a meaningful conversation about your business and your brand.

So what does a great company blog say about your business?

You care about your customers.

The blog is your opportunity to reach out to your customers and provide them with in-depth, valuable information that they can’t find on your website. It allows you to connect and engage with them daily – answering questions, providing feedback and responding to comments. This interaction shows your commitment to building a community that benefits your business and your customers.

You know what you’re talking about.

When you write comprehensively about industry-related topics, you can establish your company as a leading authority in your field. Let readers know that they can rely on you for sound advice, useful information and knowledgeable opinions – and they can count on your products and services, as well.

You’re not a dinosaur.

You should be sharing your blog through Twitter and Facebook. Being active through social media channels can help you connect even further with your audience, and lets readers know you’re up-to-date with current trends and always thinking forward.

You’re well-known and respected in the industry.

Networking with other bloggers in your niche can increase blog traffic and in turn, increase leads. Engage other industry thought leaders in the conversation – contributing guest posts for other prominent blogs, for example, can help you expand your blog’s reach even further.

You have the resources to create quality content and designs.

Readers can tell if you’ve created a company blog with no knowledge of Web design or copywriting. A well-designed, well-written blog is crucial to drawing attention to your blog and keeping it there, and demonstrates the ability and talent behind the scenes – whether you have a staff of designers and writers maintaining the site, or you have taken the time to learn these skills yourself.

You’re friendly. 

Blogs allow for a more casual, personal tone than your company website. Your blog has a voice – your voice – to give readers a sense of the people behind the business. Don’t fill your posts with industry jargon or make your readers feel inferior; this will only repel readers from your blog and your business. A blog that reads like a friendly chat over coffee, containing stories with which readers can relate, makes your company seem more approachable.

Do you know what your company blog says about your business?

Author:

Jacqui MacKenzie is a writer for Straight North, one of the leading Internet marketing companies in Chicago. She writes for a wide range of clients, from merchant account providers for credit card processing restaurants to manufacturers of electrical gloves. Check out the Straight North blog, or follow @StraightNorth on Twitter.

Sources:

About Guest Blogger

This article is a guest post provided by a third party, its content was added to Digital Ethos to help provide additional information for our readers and followers. While the Guest Blogger posts do not undergo the same scrutiny as Authors and lack sources, the content was reviewed and approved as valuable to our mission.

Find A Lifetime of Success in 2012 by understanding “Time” & “Why?”

Ready to understand why some people are far more successful than others?

Brace yourself! I am going to share my perspective on why 2011 was such a success for me and give you something to think about in 2012. Here’s the funny part, I made more money in 2011 than I have ever and that little fact actually has little to do with why I was so successful in 2011.

I have had some great mentors and it’s all due to listening! You see those that know me might think that I am more of a talker, but I do a lot of listening. The fact that I actually hear what I am listening too makes it all the more effective. A lesson that’s valuable for life and Social Media.

TIME

In the movie “Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps” the Character Gordon Geckko turns to a young man and tells him that “time is the most precious commodity that I know of” a statement of absolute truth! While Einstein argued that time could be something of perception, in the case of the “theory of relativity” scientists make assumptions and simulations that space-time and other aspects of physics and astronomy  do not change the current state of time, in relation to the phenomenon of life.

During my masters program, we studied a concept that fascinated me on its own, supply and demand. The wildcard here was that demand was driven by perception. The concept became even more exciting when later we talked about the monetary value of leisure! The economic evaluation for leisure comes when there is not enough value to make the individual work more, or in the tipping point where the individual is willing to work during a time period traditionally reserved for leisure.

Time is clearly something that holds financial value, and in the case of supply and demand, we have a market where supply is consistent. There is only so many hours in a day, so many days in a week, so many weeks in a month and so many months in a year and so many years that we live. However, what if life is not as long as we believe it to be? The supply may be shorter or  longer then perceived. Demand seems to be the one thing in America that we do not have in this equation.

Whatever you choose for your profession, do not let it dictate your life. Travel, Family, Exploration and the Art of Doing Nothing are just as important and I believe a healthy part of a successful life.

WHY?

I will tell you right now, if you work for or with someone who answers “Why?” with “because I said so” or “that’s how we do it” RUN!

That person is likely, lazy, selfish and/or just plain ignorant! Yes, ignorant! I have had these people just like everyone else and it made for a negative professional career experience in the fields of education, banking and sales. There is probably nothing more dangerous to the health of an organization, its culture, and our economy then these people. “Why?” is crucial to success!

Why is how we learn, grow and develop. It is crucial to success both for individuals and organizations. A supervisor, manager or superior has an fiduciary responsibility to both the organization and the client to teach their subordinate everything they know. I pride my work in student affairs with the notion that I had started teaching my staff from day one what I do and why so. In my absence, everything, for at least a while could run as consistently as if I was still there. If you don’t believe that you should prepare for your absence, then what will you do if you should be promoted? Do you not believe that your people are  more effective contributors to a culture where you have empowered them?

A small business owner should have the same relationship with their consultant and media professionals, if you do not invest the time to teach them about your business how will they be able to understand its culture? If you do not understand “Why?” the consultant or media professional is doing something then how will you know what to do in their absence or to communicate the evolution of the business. You may not be able to do what others due, either because of talent, skills or time, but you still better understand why they are doing it.  

Both “Time” and “Why?” are a crucial part of life, not just business or professional development. Adapt a plan that encompasses learning and educating the “Why?” to those around you, and you will find “Time” which will bring you prosperity in 2012.

It was a great 2011, I am looking forward to an even better 2012! Hope you’ll Join me!

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

The Case of Crystal Cox: the Issue of Bloggers as Journalists, Continued

INTRODUCTION
This post started as a comment to a comment on another blog that sited my post on the DBME Blog, dated December 10, 2011, in its ‘Related Articles’. As I wrote my comment, I began to feel that it contributed enough new insight into this issue that I started to consider publishing it as another blog post on this issue. I have made some minor changes to my ‘responding comment’ for this post since I’ve done additional research since commenting.

Most importantly, I would like to thank the commenter (on the article on eff.org) who used my post as part of his/her ‘Related Articles‘, (Posted on December 14, 2011 by zandocomm). This commenter’s feedback and insights inspired me to research this issue further and  put my thoughts to post on this issue once again.

legal Guide for Blogger © eff.org

Legal Guide for Blogger © eff.org

MY COMMENT AND A BIT MORE
I appreciate the expansion upon the blog post I wrote initially, The Daring Digital Decision: Bloggers Are NOT Journalists, that is listed in the ‘Related Articles‘ from a comment on the blog post, The Crystal Cox Case and Bloggers as Journalists. It clarifies what I feel are some of the more germain issues to this case. There are some very valid points made by the commenter and everyone else in my follow up research.

In particular, what I find most important are the fact that, (from the commenter) “Two important things appear to be going on in this case. First, courts occasionally identify a reluctance to extend journalistic protections to non-traditional “media” sources such as bloggers because of a perceived lack of a limiting principle. How can everyone potentially be a journalist? courts seemingly ask. This sentiment is frequently echoed by mainstream journalists who, rightly or wrongly, balk at the perceived threat of dilution of legal protections for traditional journalists posed when (as here) self-proclaimed journalists might go too far and risk protections for established media. As EFF and many others have pointed out, the proper approach to this question is to focus on what amounts to journalism, not who is a journalist. Journalism is not limited to a particular medium; instead, it focuses on whether someone is engaged in gathering information and disseminating it to the public. To the extent that laws are unclear or out of date – such as Oregon’s retraction statute which does not clearly include (or exclude) Internet journalism – legislatures should be encouraged to expansively update them to ensure the protection of individuals seeking to communicate information to the public.

“Second, and lost in much of the discussion about this case over the past week, Cox’s case seems to have much to do with an underlying discomfort and concern about how information is distributed online, whether or not it is actionable. David Carr’s recent article in the New York Times illustrates the phenomenon well. In it, Carr quotes plaintiff Kevin Padrick as lamenting the effect of Cox’s “long-running series of hyperbolic posts” and telling Carr that “his business as a financial adviser had dropped by half since Ms. Cox started in on him, and any search of his name or his company turned up page after page on Google detailing his supposed skullduggery, showing up under a variety of sites.”

THE BIGGER ISSUE
Both points lead to what I feel is the bigger issue. Traditional media journalism does not, per se, have the viral affect that blogged information can. Therefore, veracity of information or the lack of it can be magnified exponentially. As a result, the information posted can spread like wild fire and have a previously unseen impact on the parties involved. As we have already seen, social media has outdated the need for traditional war as the medium for a national revolution. The implications of what blogging can do, as a part of ‘journalistic’ media, reach beyond our imagination.

I totally agree that there seems to be something askew in this case. The issue of shield law has to do with protection of confidentiality of sources. The judges ruling skirts the real issue. This is about the Internet and whether or not to deal with it as part of the present  definition of journalism (which is confined to traditional media) rather than focusing on the journalist, Crystal Cox in particular as the Supreme Court case decision did.

The commenter continues, ” . . . the proper approach to this question is to focus on what amounts to journalism, not who is a journalist. Journalism is not limited to a particular medium; instead, it focuses on whether someone is engaged in gathering information and disseminating it to the public. To the extent that laws are unclear or out of date – such as Oregon’s retraction statute which does not clearly include (or exclude) Internet journalism – legislatures should be encouraged to expansively update them to ensure the protection of individuals seeking to communicate information to the public.”

CONCLUSION
We have not heard the end of this issue. In fact, we have only seen the beginning. Blogging as a form of ‘journalism’ is NOT going away. More and more individuals will increasingly use this form of new media to voice their opinion and report what they consider newsworhty. In my opinion, the standards required for traditional journalists need more than ever to be upheld, (education, credentials, and ethics). But it will become increasingly difficult to monitor and distinguish truth from fiction when so many individuals blog and posted information can go viral before a retraction of error or slander can possibly undo the damage.

SOURCES AND OTHER INFORMATION:

The Crystal Cox Case and Bloggers as Journalists

Crystal Cox and Bloggers as Journalists

Kevin Padrick

Related Articles

When Truth Survives Free Speech

Legal Guide for Bloggers

Are All Bloggers Journalists?

The Problem with Pre-Internet Laws

Should We Rethink Shield Law?

According to the Law

A Broader Definition of ‘Journalism’

The facebook page, Room for Debate

About Alison Gilbert

Through decades as an entrepreneur, I developed ventures in over a half a dozen industries including HEALTH FOOD | GRAPHIC DESIGN | BUSINESS PROMOTION | HOLISTIC HEALTH | DECORATIVE PAINTING | SOCIAL MEDIA | PUBLIC SPEAKING | WRITING. Eventually under the umbrella of ALISON*S ART, INC, they evolved into the dba MARKETING BYTES, a hybrid company specializing marketing small business using social media marketing and traditional graphic design services. Currently retired, I am focusing on teaching social media marketing graphic design and visual journalism. I can be messaged through www.facebook.com/alisondgilbert and tweeted @MktngBytesMaven and @AlisonsArt.

Google+ Pages Open the Doors for Brands and Businesses

This past June, immediately after Google launched it’s highly anticipated Google+ social network, internet savvy businesses like Ford, Dell and Mashable.com rushed to create pages for their brands. Only to have them removed a few days later. Google’s announcement soon followed: “In the meantime, we ask you not to create a business profile using regular profiles on Google+. The platform at the moment is not built for the business use case, and we want to help you build long-term relationships with your customers. Doing it right is worth the wait. We will continue to disable business profiles using regular profiles. (Christian Oestlien Ads project manager on Google+)

One hundred days later Google delivered on its promise. On November 7, 2011 Google+ announced the grand opening of Google+ Pages worldwide.

Google+ Pages allows businesses, brands, and organizations create their own page and establish a circle of like-minded people who enjoy the brand and want to talk about it. Not only does the page allow having a conversation with brand representatives in a way of personalized customer service, it also allows the group of followers to have a conversation with each other.

As Google+ puts it, when it talks about the customers: “…we want to make sure you can build relationships with all the things you care about—from local businesses to global brands… this means we can now hang out live with the local bike shop, or discuss our wardrobe with a favorite clothing line, or follow a band on tour. Google+ pages give life to everything we find in the real world. And by adding them to circles, we can create lasting bonds with the pages (and people) that matter most.” (Google’s blog)

Not only brands and businesses are involved. Google+ wants to enlarge the circle of users to local business, products, corporations, institutions, organizations, arts and entertainment, sports teams and more. They have been working with businesses since the launch in June to understand the needs and requirements of brand names. You can see the pages of these businesses already active:

  • Dallas Cowboys
  • Macy’s
  • Pepsi
  • Toyota
  • Anderson Copper 360
  • X games
  • Zen Bikes
  • The Muppets

Having pages for brands and businesses is nothing new, but Google+ has a few advantages over the competition:

  • People can recommend the brand easily by pressing the +1 button, and start sharing immediately.
  • A brand can have more than one page. A car manufacturer, for example, can have a page for each of its models.
  • Although Facebook has over 500 million users, and Google+ has, so far, about 50 million, the biggest advantage of Google+ has to do with the billions of queries made every day on the search engine, most of them looking for businesses or services. Google will include Google+ pages in its search results.
  • Direct connect – The easiest way to find a band you like to follow or a product has been amended as well. Typing the sign + before the query will take the searcher straight to the brand page. (Try it with + Angry Birds)

The official announcement on Google’s blog ends with these words: “With Google+, we strive to bring the nuance and richness of real-life sharing to software. Today’s initial launch of Google+ Pages brings us a little bit closer, but we’ve still got lots of improvements planned, and miles to go before we sleep. So stay tuned.

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About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

6 of the Best Guest Posting Tips

Guest posting can be a very lucrative venture for all parties involved. The owner of the blog is provided with free content, and the writer of the content is given acknowledgement of their wisdom on the chosen topic. In this aspect, guest posting seems to benefit both parties equally. However, it can be just as difficult to find high-quality blog owners who will allow guest posting, as it is to find high-quality writers to make guest appearances on your blog.

Keeping in mind a few helpful guest-posting tips can be beneficial for all involved and will help to produce the highest quality content that will reflect well on both the blog owner and the content creator.

Posting Tips for Guest Bloggers

  1. Aim High – Look for highly traveled blogs or those with impressive page rankings. These links will also be highly valuable portfolio material.
  2. Research the Blog – In order to create what is fresh content for the blog, you will need to know what content has already been created. If the blog is a lengthy one, check for tag clouds or keywords on the topics that are the same as your posting idea.
  3. Catchy Title – Catchier content. Be sure that you supply an eye catching title for your content, and make just as certain that the content lives up to the title. A good blogger knows that even the most boring topic can be made interesting with the right language.
  4. Give Your Best Stuff Away – This may be a hard concept to swallow for some bloggers but you want your guest posts on any blogs to be the most shining examples of your work. Not only will this garner the blog owner increased traffic or interest in their site, but it may also cause others to take notice, and perhaps even offer you paying gigs.
  5. Interact – Reply to commenters and pay attention to your re-tweeters. Get involved and make sure that you are available to ponder any issues about your blog posts with others who may be doing the same. Building a rapport with readers is valuable regardless of the blog posted on. Thanks to social media, people with similar interest or interest in you, can find you with a simple click once you have engaged them on site.
  6. Promote Your Posts – Promoting your own post is never more important than it is when posting on someone else’s site. Show them that their effort to give you a great link in exchange for great content has not gone unnoticed. Tweet, share, Digg, and do all you can to make sure the posts receives all of the coverage that is in your power to create.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

Turn Your Social Media Content into Something Incredible with FeedFabrik

By now most folks who use the internet for work, play, or both, are likely to have generated a bit of personal or business content on their social media sites. Blogs, videos, articles, tweets, and more have their own special place online for quick and easy access when you need to reference them, share them, or simply enjoy viewing them.

What if you could take your already available content and give it a shiny new cover? What if you could avoid the inevitable process that most all content suffers from as it gets old, left behind, and falls into Internet Purgatory, likely never to be seen (easily) again.

FeedFabrik to the Rescue

FeedFabrik offers the ability to capture your own digital life and turn it into a proud display in a couple of different ways.

Create Your FriendPoster

Users can integrate with their Facebook account to quickly create a FriendPoster. This poster displays all of your social network friends by listing them on the date of their birth with their current profile picture. Users can choose from five different display theme styles as well as selecting different options for saving the creation. FriendPoster comes in:

  • PDF
  • Poster
  • Desktop Wallpaper

It will also be available with gift voucher options very soon.

Make a BlogBook

Turning your blog into a book may have endless possibilities. However, doing so has long proven to be a process usually full of bugs and issues and, in general, difficult to manage while retaining an aesthetically pleasing document. FeedFabrik’s blog book creator can smoothly turn your current blog into a well-designed book. FeedFabrik has full integration options on:

  • Blogger
  • WordPress.com
  • Self-Hosted WordPress Blogs
  • Typepad
  • Tumblr

Your book is prepared for you automatically and is ready in just a few moments. Users are free to take advantage of the customization options to tweak the book’s originality.

FeedFabrik has much to offer those who utilize social media on a regular basis and has several shining selling points when it comes to those who work in the publishing industry.

Alexa shows a 1500% increase in traffic views over the last three months and is currently ranked at #486,284 in the world with most users spending an average of three minutes on site.

Sources:

About Basil Puglisi

@BasilPuglisi is a Content Contributor and the Chairman of the Board for Digital Ethos. Basil C. Puglisi is also the Digital Marketing Manager for PMG Interactive. As the Digital Marketing Manager he provides oversight and support to Digital Campaigns, from Website Development to Search and Social Reach.

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