Category Archives: Publishing

Students: The Council of PR Firms asks, “What is the most dangerous idea in PR today?”

Cross-posted from PROpenMic.

Reformed PR practitioner B. L. Ochman writes a review of the recent Council of PR firms (CPR) critical issues forum in her blog, What’s Next.

Read the Council’s take on the event in Dangers Equal Opportunity for Smart Marketers, PR Firms, Lively Annual Public Relations Council Critical Issues Forum Addresses “Most Dangerous Ideas” for Future of PR.

The conversation has actually already become an old one. The paradigm shift caused by the advent of social media software (both free open source and paid platforms) has given voice to the masses in a way never seen before. Word of mouth (WOM) is now digital and spreads like wildfire, or creeps along where no one can see it – then achieves a Groundswell of reach people in PR only dreamed of just 10 years ago.  Continue reading


Clever Video Comic Book Promotion :: Johnny Bunko

Kevin Dugan, of the Strategic Public Relations blog, recently shared the following videos via FriendFeed, a social network sharing tool. (Students, check out FriendFeed.)

Both are good examples of video used in creative and compelling ways. Continue reading

Two Frightening Stories :: Newspapers Continue to Hemorage

Newspapers. I still love them. That is why these stories make me very sad.

Rick Edmonds - PoynterRick Edmonds, Poynter’s Biz Blog, shares “the latest American Society of Newspapers Editors’ annual census” and it ain’t pretty.

Print is continuing to hemorage at a sad rate. The good news may be, they will learn and adapt. Sad how they didn’t do it beforehand to stem this ugly flow.

Out With The Old … In With The Newbies

Fulltime professional news staffs fell by 2,400 last year, a drop of 4.4% to a total of 52,600.

It was an even larger decrease than the 2,000 drop-off in the recession year of 2001. Since the census is completed as of the end of 2007, the tabulation does not include hundreds more buyouts and layoffs already imposed in 2008.

Poynter Online - perhaps the best journalism Web siteIf there is good news in all of this, some of those being fired are being replaced by younger journos. So, students leaving school actually still have a chance. Why are media companies doing this? Well, one reason is likely to get rid of the high overhead of expensive, mature & seasoned talent. (Well, it is the expensive part they want to dump.) Then, they replace them with inexpensive newbies. Gee, will this make us want to buy more newspapers?

Diversity Suffers…

Thomas Huang - PoynterTo make matters worse, Poynter Online’s Tom Huang reports that Diversity at Work is suffering, too.

…the overall numbers don’t seem too gloomy: In the past year, the percent of minorities working at daily newspapers grew a smidgeon — from 13.43 percent to 13.52 percent.

But it’s the absolute number we should be worried about.

The only reason why the percentage of minorities in newsrooms has essentially remained flat is because both white and minority journalists left our newsrooms at about the same rate (resulting in an overall 4.4 percent decrease in full-time journalists at daily newspapers).

The total number of minority journalists at daily newspapers fell by about 300 people…

You’ll find some very good “RELATED” links in each story. Please check them out. Also, please start some prayer circles for our print industry. No, I’m not kidding. Seriously.

The Real Driving Force Behind Social Media :: Might Surprise You

Previously, I mentioned the question I received during the HighEdWebDev conference. I was asked the always difficult question, “So, what’s next? What is the next thing on the horizon?” Again, if I knew (if any of us knew), we’d invest in it and reap the rewards. I did not have the answer, because I don’t know what is next.

It did remind me of something that I’ve thought about for a long time. The relatively unsung true driving force, in my opinion, of social media’s growth. Surely, the overall contributors are the users. But the initial force was (and continues to be) a relatively small group of young people that had an idea, a lot of curiosity, and the ability to write code.

The developers of the various open-source platforms would be excellent candidates for honors as The Real Driving Force Behind Social Media. Most were college students when they spawned their ideas.

I’m talking about the people that launched WordPress, LiveJournal and CivicSpace, for instance. Aside from Tim Berners-Lee, who did start it all, these people have been the agents of change: Matthew Mullenweg of WordPress, Brad Fitzpatrick of LiveJournal and Zack Rosen of CivicSpace Labs (blog) are the best examples.

Another is Drupal. and the remarkable story of then-student, Dries Buytaert. Continue reading

Time Jumps The Shark :: Then Gets Eaten By It

Time magazine’s Person of the Year (POTY) is out. It is “You.”

Normally, I enjoy reading the POTY issue. I’m a fan of Time, too.

I see some merit in Carlyle’s “Great Men” People philosophy. But, that’s likely becaue I love biographies and they account for the majority of my personal reading choices.

“No sadder proof can be given by a man of his own littleness than disbelief in great men.” (Heroes and Hero Worship)

I don’t like their choice for POTY, though. With all the political turmoil in the world, with Darfur, the Middle East … all that is going on, this is a poor choice. And, Time is late to the party. They may have arrived as others are ready to go home.

Jumping the shark is all about that moment in Time when something becomes irrelevant. And Time is now being panned by bloggers for copping out with a lame thoughtless selection. And, by choosing social media – everyone creating content online – they assure that all future POTY issues will be less valuable. This TIME POTY is not newsworthy. It is a few years late and their analysis of why it is important misses the mark. It may be more likely that Time has jumped on the end of the first wave of social media adoption. It is quite likely that social media has reached a plateau, for the immediate future.

Part of the reason why so many bloggers have dissed the Time selection is likely due to MSM finally awakening to the diffusion of social media. Early adopters usually don’t like to have their baby recognized as mainstream. Time’s selection sort of accomplishes that distinction. Still, I’m not impressed with the POTY selection because it seems lazy and late. Also, this now diminishes the “great people” theory.

Time should have picked the previously unknown entities that have driven change in social media. The developers of the various open-source platforms would be excellent candidates. Most were college students when they spawned their ideas. And, I’m not talking about the Facebook people of the world or the chubby-buddy club people of the A-list blogebrity set.

No, I’m talking about the people that launched WordPress, LiveJournal and CivicSpace, for instance. Aside from Tim Berners-Lee, who did start it all, these people have been the agents of change: Matthew Mullenweg of WordPress, Brad Fitzpatrick of LiveJournal and Zack Rosen of CivicSpace Labs (blog) are the best examples.

Continue reading

Glenda Decided To Do It All Herself :: She Had To

A remarkable woman I’ve met through her Web site and podcasts, is about to publish a book. I’m sharing the information with you in hopes that you will visit her site and perhaps write about her. So, meet Glenda.

I am coming from the perspective of 25+ years dealing with people that have disabilities. Glenda’s writing is representative of how many of them, from my experiences, look at the issues of disability.

Glenda’s book will not be another poor pitiful crippled child pulls herself up by the bootstraps and achieves yawner. Yes, she has achieved a lot, and she does share the stories. However, that’s not the focus I’m taking from her book. Glenda will share the reality of living in a world that doesn’t have a very healthy respect for people with disabilities. She will help us understand the barriers we create and also provide insights for how we can break down those barriers. Glenda’s story, I believe, will frame this all in rational and understandable terms for all those unfamiliar with a life impacted by a disability to better understand.

I’m not discounting that there is some great information out there about people with disabilities. TLC has been airing some great programs, for instance. Woman with Half a Body aired this weekend. Paralyzed and Pregnant is airing this week, too. But, there are other stories of strong women dealing with disabilities, too. Glenda is one. I believe she deserves to be read.

Here are the details on Glenda’s book:

…Anticipated release date is November 4, 2006!

I’ll Do It Myself: A Collection of Memories from a Woman Living
with Cerebral Palsy
by Glenda Watson Hyatt

Glenda has cerebral palsy. A lack of oxygen at birth meant she would not be able to walk, her hands would not function well and her speech would be almost impossible to understand. Her parents were advised to institutionalize her. She wouldn’t amount to anything, the experts said.

Yet, this gutsy redhead proved them wrong. Glenda was integrated into a regular classroom long before mainstream was a buzzword. She went on to earn the Canada Cord, the highest award in Girl Guides, and the Outstanding Junior Student Award. The girl who could not walk won a gold medal in horseback riding!

How did she do it? Read Glenda’s inspiring autobiography I’ll Do It Myself: A Collection of Memories from a Woman Living with Cerebral Palsy, due out later this year. Glenda intimately shares her life story to show others cerebral palsy is not a death sentence, but rather a life sentence.

Visit for more information and to sign up to receive book excerpts monthly and pre-launch specials. (Glenda has a blog, too.)
Suite 316, 13910 – 101st Avenue
Surrey, BC V3T 1L6

PayForPlay, PayPerPost … The Bane of Online PR and Marketing – Link Fraud

Pay for play isn’t new. Think Armstrong Williams, VNR scandals, CEO vanity magazines, advertorials and more. Now, there is shock and horror about (PPP). It is a bane. It is a poison. But, it is as old as hemlock in digital years.

…as the web grows, more mature or less mature, aren’t these attempts to monetize blogs (for good or bad) inevitable?…

I’ve been waiting for some enterprising federal prosecutor to pump out a string of indictments for link fraud online. Is this the perfect opportunity? I’m not a lawyer, so maybe one will jump in here and help out with a definition.

Payola online? Hey, I imagine it has already happened too many times to count. Will Google and Yahoo! and others join with prosecutors to help keep their link rank / page rank algorithms free (or, as free as possible) of taint? Why not. They have a lot of advertising dollars at stake here. Link ads have been propping up Google from the beginning, haven’t they?

In a conspiracy charge, “a group of conspirators (have) banded together to achieve some harmful or illegal purpose” and if that purpose is fraud – well, do we have the open door to a trial? I imagine that intent plays a role here. If the company seeking the links can be proven to use blog posts knowing that the testimonial is insincere and the blogger can be shown to have made the post solely to make money, well we have a beginning. However, that’s not likely to be easy to determine from the willing participants – after the fact. So, what we can expect is a sting operation. Yes, just like the guy on NBC that has been phishing for perverts, some industrious blogger or reporter (TV or print) can at least make a pretty good expose out of all this. How long do you think it will take for that to happen?

as seen on has a pretty funny tagline on its header – “As seen in BusinessWeek.” That brings back some scary memories. Just check the logo to the right. Now, most people that see that logo, I believe, think of the product as schlock.

as seen on tvThe funny thing about the tagline at Jon Fine decries it – and the ensuing online meme about it – in BusinessWeek as “a rhetorical race to the bottom.” He’s probably right.

Wonder if PPP will be asked to take that tagline down. And, what hubris does it take to use a negative article to help promote your own product? You’ll notice that there is no link to the BW column so people can see what it is about. Makes sense from a company willing to foresake transparency in their own business model.

It isn’t as if this hasn’t been happening all along, is it? My feeling is that anyone believing that these types of scams haven’t been occuring – under the table – for a long time in blogs is quite naive. And, it is a scam if the intention is stated that disclosure may not occur. That’s fraud, no matter how you spin it.

Think about it. The link loving bloggers – linking in faux adoration circles – are just one such example. How so? Think of the many feigned adoration posts by bloggers about some a-lister (just praying for a link back) and think of the lil’ chunk of their soul given up for that link. Don’t think it happens? Wanna buy a bridge?

If that doesn’t do it for you, then think of all the splogs out there. They are playing the links, too. But this one (PPP), using blogs with heretofore legitimage page ranks, is particularly sleazy. I think the hubris of admitting that disclosure won’t necessarily happen is the sleaziest part of all. No, it isn’t transparency to admit you are not practicing transparency. OK, if you mean the people behind the endeavor are being transparently sleazy. Yep, that’s transparent – in so many meanings.

A poster in Adrants Soflow Network says it (PPP) “is going to destroy the credibility of all bloggers even the ethical ones like myself that have even forgone monetizing my traffic via advertising so as to maintain an independent perspective on the industry that I choose to cover.” Funny thing is, on his mobile blog (not his personal one) I found this ad among a plethora of ads.

FAKE Testimonials?
That’s what Your Visitors Think. Get the Seal and ProveThey’re REAL! (Ad by

You will note, I hope, that the Trusted Testimonials site and the Pay Per Post site both have the same “Secured by GeoTrust” logo on them. Wonder if that Adrants poster knows he is running an ad for what may be the same type of site he abhors?

That company – GeoTrust, like those blogger associations (honesty police), will no doubt fail in securing trust among readers of blogs. And, of course, given the relationship noted above I am curious as to whether any of them are legitimate.

Let’s face it. Blogs are a combination of facts (as they are interpreted by the author) and opinions of the blog’s author that you cannot – with any hope of universal accuracy – trust to be truthful. At least you cannot trust them until you have done a lot of your own research and fisking. And, who’s going to do that – really?

Take a lesson from journalism. Approach everything with a healthy dose of skepticism – even traditional mainstream media. I trust blogs, in general, much less than I trust traditional media. The blogs I do trust are always as upfront as possible. They also only gain that trust after a great deal of time spent reading them and following links – researching what they write – to see if I agree. And then, even if I do agree, that’s just my own infopinion, too … isn’t it?

Gee, just look what social media has wrought. Anyone ready for another update to EPIC?