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I use Microsoft’s Live Writer running on a 3G netbook from HP, which I purchased from Verizon. The 10.1″ display and the physical keyboard come in handy when I need to seat down to do some research on the spot when writing an article.
I do carry either a Blackberry from AT&T or a Google Nexus One, which I used to take the above picture. Both run a WordPress widget designed for mobile blogging. So far, I’ve been using the smartphones for microblogging more often than not. This means posting short updates on Twitter, which get displayed at the upper right corner of my WordPress blog right away. The same updates are automatically captured by my Facebook, LinkedIn and Plaxo pages.
Interestingly enough, WordPress has recently launched a new feature that let’s me “phone my blog.” It enables me to “post by voice” by dialing a public phone number, entering a code and recording a voice message, which will show up on my blog soon after my call. This complements WordPress’ “post by email” feature.
Posting sound, pictures and video on the go, coupled with location and other tags is not news. Both netbooks and smarphones feature increasingly better cameras. Though, I thought of adding a digital camera to the above picture just to make a point about other digital gadgets.
For instance, Eye-Fi’s card is shaped like a regular SDHC card which fits into cameras enabling picture uploads over Wi-Fi. Moreover, Google’s Nexus One doubles as a portable hotspot, so that Wi-Fi devices such as your digital camera, can leverage the phone’s 3G wireless service.
Anywhere, anytime (and from any device) publishing is now available at our fingertips. Enjoy!
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A couple of weeks ago I attended Emerging Communications 2010 in San Francisco as a blogger. Most of us were first micro blogging by issuing tweets to share what was going on in real time. Adding #eCommConf and #eComm to my tweet would also display my updates on the conferences’ two Twitter channels right away. Additionally, the reach of some of my tweets would be further expanded by others who ended up “retweeting” the most interesting ones.
Cross-platform syndication enables you to write just once and to populate a variety of online media services. As an example, the same tweets I was discussing above were also captured by my facebook, linkedin and wordpress pages, which I had already set up to that end. Plaxo was in turn displaying the same updates by getting them from facebook.
I posted full length articles on my blog once a day, which get also further announced and propagated across tweeter, facebook, plaxo and linkedin. A “share this” or “add this” button enables others to continue to disseminate my content from my blog, also in a cross-platform syndication fashion.
Needless to say that this micro blogging and blogging activity kept me not only more focused on making the most of this conference, but also enabled me to engage in online conversations with others who shared the same interest in the event’s topic, some of which became face to face and, interestingly enough, email discussions that are still going.
As shared in my previous posts, the time has come for us to seriously think of managing our online persona and reputation. Web 2.0 tools have democratized publishing, blogging being one well known example. But, the lower the barriers to entry, the higher the need for staying relevant: the quality of the content that we are creating and sharing matters as well as how that is perceived and redistributed by others.
The two basic quant metrics I used to look at were “impressions” and “authority.” The former is delivered by WordPress’ statistics so that I can figure out how much traction my blog is getting in terms of eyeballs. The later I get from Technorati to get a feel for my blog’s web recognition in terms of links from other sites and blogs that are pointing back to mine, which is key search engine popularity ratings anyway.
From a qualitative standpoint, I track down the quality of visitor comments (a subjective assessment) especially those yielding online discussions (whether on my blog or on social media sites such as Facebook and Plaxo.) I value resulting LinkedIn invitations and calls from headhunters and professionals in the media industry. Having shared that, I try hard to keep business and personal as two different identities and, therefore, I do manage two distinctive online personas and networks.
However, spam is becoming an issue of concern. Every week I have to spend time deleting comments that have nothing to do with my blog. The number of automated splogs is also growing. These are phony blogs where I’ve seen quite a few of my articles posted. Many do not credit the source and some even make up the author’s name. All of that can distort one’s reputation. So, in my next post I will outline social media listening and online reputation management tools.
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In my previous post I discussed the fact that we live in a new world that behaves like a global small village and, therefore, one’s online persona needs to be actively managed as it has a projection of one’s worklife.
Moreover, quite a few things have changed since Descartes proclaimed “I think, therefore I am” back in the XVII century. With the advent of user generated content, social media and online networking, it makes much more sense for our generation to think in terms of “we create and share, therefore we are” a statement that I first introduced at a presentation I gave a couple of years ago, which is available on Slideshare.
In this context, our online persona is defined by the relevance of digital stuff that we create and who we share it with. Our reputation is then defined by how what we create is perceived and valued by others anywhere in the world. The fact is that your online reputation is now part of your personal identity and, frankly speaking, that is not yet well understood by many.
Your online reputation can be designed, managed and capitalized in the form of social and professional recognition. If you happen to be in the business of delivering professional services chances are that the higher your online reputation, the lager the reach of your network, which is key to attracting not just more clients, but also more interesting projects to your firm. Some other people have chosen to monetize their reputation by displaying online advertising under a business model where impressions and clicks translate into ad dollars. Last but not least, online commerce thrives on rating members’ reputations.
Long story short: those who pay attention to what others say about them in their day-to-day lives would need now to also sense their online persona’s reputation. The tools to do so will be the subject of another post. In the meantime, I will welcome your comments and emails on this subject.
Social media and online networking have brought about a new paradigm shift, one by which you can reach and communicate with anyone in the world. In this new borderless environment, the paradox is that the more global you become the more you should expect small village behaviors. So, you now need to actively manage your reputation and your online persona before others do it for you.
Every once in a while I talk to people who are not interested in doing much online due to privacy concerns. However, some of them have already been tagged in pictures by others. That is stuff that can be easily searched online. For better or worse, they might not have necessarily been portrayed the way they usually conduct and project themselves.
We wear clothes, talk and behave in manners that convey our personality and belief system. In a matter of speaking, moving forward we also need to get dressed, communicate and behave online. Otherwise, others will intentionally or unintentionally involve us and the resulting patchwork might do a poor job at telling who we really are. Here is a real life example: employers conduct web searches when screening candidates.
Therefore, the same way schools have been teaching not just reading and writing but also communication skills, today’s digital society demands that we become adept at developing and managing our online persona. This does not mean giving away all kind of personal information. On the contrary, your privacy is now best protected by proactively managing what’s going out there.
The bottom line is that you are now your best public relations agent, and that’s a communication skill which should be taught in all schools.