Thursday, June 30, 2005

Blinkx search podcasts, video blogs

Blinkx now allows search queries on podcasts and video blogs. See article on Yahoo. A natural evolution for search engines in an increasingly rich media online environment.

Talking of which, Blogger finally included an image upload facility in its blog post template. I always found uploading pictures via Picasa's Hello then sending them to my blog to be a real headache at best. I started to become envious of my more pictorially enabled colleagues (who use TypePad) and mocked my austere text only blog. Blogger: it's about time! But thank you anyway.

Beyond PR featured in PR Week

Beyond PR has been featured in an article about blogs in the UK edition of PR Week. The article, titled "Blogs cast a shadow" provides an overview of blogging and its impact on PR and compare companies who have embraced blogging with those who shy away from it. Not available online I am affraid but I thought I should mention it out of pure self-promotional interest.

Monday, June 27, 2005

10 years on, Internet transforms modern life, my car.

CNN Technology carries a special feature to celebrate 10 years on the web. The lead article, "The Internet transforms modern life" reflects on how much our society has changed since the time people needed to lick a stamp to send a mail. It is worth emphasising how the Internet empowered a new generation of consumer and citizens by giving all an access to knowledge previously controlled by the privileged few.

That brings me to a personal anecdote: my beloved car (an old Daihatsu Sportrak - a best seller in Indonesia and the Philippines) needs a new radiator and my local garage took a month talking to his preferred supplier to tell me he couldn't find what he needed. Last week I learned that my initial quote of £150 would have to shoot to £350 (at least) as their only recourse was to get their part from the official Daihatsu supplier. Within 10 mins of online research, I found a supplier of Japanese 4x4 spare parts in Manchester who sold me a new radiator for £75 only.

I called my garage to let them know. They were surprised. 10 years ago I would have been ripped-off…

Friday, June 24, 2005

Hollywood Recruit On Instant Messaging

Production companies use instant messaging (IM) to quickly recruit teams for their projects. Freelancers looking for work are customising their IM status from "away from my computer" to "need work" or"wrapping up shoot". See article from Wired.

If you want to be noticed, forget the adress book, you need to be on the right "buddy list". I am sure that an entrepreneur somewhere will soon offer to tailor your CV or portfolio for IM...

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

BBC Newsnight starts Gleneagles G8 Blog

Newsnight, the thinking man news program just announced tonight that they are commissionning Paul Mason to blog the G8 summit. The blog is available at

That one goes straight to my blogroll. Way to go!

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Journalists read blogs, don't trust blogs, corporations and each other...

According to a survey by Euro RSCG Magnet and Columbia University:
  • 51% of journalists use blogs regularly and 28% read them daily (compared to 11% of the US population reading blogs),
  • 70% of journalists read blogs for their job, mostly for story ideas or researching,
  • 33% read blogs to uncover scandals or breaking news.

The survey points to a trust crisis among journalists and between journalists and corporations:

  • 49% of journalists have lost trust in corporations over the last year,
  • 76% said that corporate candidness is poor in time of crisis and 66% said the same about transparency,
  • 45% are less trusting of their colleagues' professsional behaviours,
  • 93% are less trusting of colleagues who are paid to act as spokespeople.
And the beauty of all of that: only 1% of journalists believe blogs are credible... (So why do they read them, use them for their work and all that... duh!)

The survey is not publicly available yet but Yahoo carries the press release.

Thanks to Anton-Jan who pointed me to this study.

First French Blogger In Defamation Suit

Christophe Grebert becomes the first blogger in France to be sued for defamation. His blog, (a small town in Paris' suburbs) is keeping Puteaux' city council accountable for the town's management and its related expenses. Not to the liking of the town mayor though. See article in Liberation (in French). There is a mention of the case in this BBC article about blogs censorship.

That follows from the Singaporean blogger case I was mentioning in April.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Wimbledon blog

BBC sport service announced a Wimbledon tennis tournament blog to bring gossips and live comments to fans and office workers across the world. You can contribute via the “Five live message board” or via text message. I must say I am bit confused as to whether the link to the official blog brings you to the official blog (and I searched…). I saw Dot Rees blog on Wimbledon but the officially titled Live Wimbledon blog fell short of my expectations. Where are the live pictures? the facilities for comments? the blogs writers’ backgrounds?… I hope that it is early days and that the action will really kick in later as it is a great idea.

On a personal note, I am back in London after an eye-opening training course organised by WPP in sunny Connecticut. I feel all pumped-up now and probably gained 2 Kgs (I blame the snacking culture and the blaming culture for blaming the snacking culture). It feels good to be back blogging.

Friday, June 10, 2005

No updates... are you bored?

No updates lately and none for next week as I will be away, locked up in a training workshop. I have been busy preparing for that these past few days and missed up on blogging.

While waiting for my return and if you are bored you could:

- Phone someone in the office you barely know, leave your name and say "Just called to say I can't talk right now. Bye"
- Leave your zipper open for one hour. If anyone points it out, say, "Sorry, I really prefer it this way"
- Walk into a very busy person's office and while they watch you with growing irritation, turn the light switch on/off 10 times.
- Play the same CD on every stereo in the house at once. Try to synchronize them.
- Sit on the front porch with a bottle of scotch. Yell abuse at pedestrians. Say nonsense. Wave your arms. Yell. For bonus points, colour a tooth black beforehand.
- SCARE YOUR PETS!!! Then cuddle them. THEN SCARE THEM AGAIN!!! Then cuddle them. Ahh, a nice, quiet cuddle--SCARE!!! No baby, it's okay... SCARE!!! If they run away, they'll be back, for food; make sure you're ready for action when they return.

If you want to read more of these, go to It made my day.

And don't forget to vote for BeyondPR for the Marketing Sherpa's blog awards at:

If you would prefer another PR blog to win, think of a different way than voting to show your appreciation. Maybe you could just post a "well done!" note on their blogs instead?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

China Bloggers Must Register with Government

Bloggers have until the 30th of June to provide their full identity to the Chinese Ministry of Information Industry or be declared illegal. Story on BBC and BusinessWeek.

Sunday, June 05, 2005

Young web users turn up the heat on MSM

The Sunday Times is carrying a great article today on how mainstream media is increasingly under threat from the online news revolution of late.

This is especially true with younger Internet users. Two interesting quotes:

  • The Carnegie Corporation of New York reports that 44% of Americans aged 18 to 36 access their daily news online but only 19% read newspapers.
  • A forthcoming survey from the Oxford Internet Institute found that 28% of Internet users watch less television.

The article sees a double whammy attack on established media by:

  • The popularity of news aggregation services (a logical consequence of information fragmentation). Traffic to Google News increased 90% over the last year while traffic to the New York Times website fell 23%.
  • The rise of “non-mainstream” news sources (think blogs or independent online news outlets like the memory hole).

The article concludes by noting that while we are entering a potential information minefield online, the man in the street will need to sharpen his critical judgment to weight stories accuracy.

It is an interesting era where the success of self-published news is driven by an increased distrust in established media – i.e. a quest for unbiased news and paradoxically by the increased popularity of opinionated news sources.

Friday, June 03, 2005

GSK Launch Blog

Niall pointed to me this morning that GSK recently launched a blog titled "Avenir de la Sante" (Future of Health) in France. I too applaud the initiative. The blog is run by Véronique Delvolvé, Public Affairs Director for GlaxoSmithKline (in France). It aims to stimulate constructive discussions about the understanding and acceptance of risks/benefits of medicine in today's society and about how the pharmaceutical industry should evolve to respond to these complex challenges. I like the fact that it allows comments and that rules for postings and discussions are clearly laid-out. That sets a precedent.

Dukes of Hazzard blog, it's fun but is it transparent?

CNN Money reports that Country Music Television hired its own blogger to promote the "Dukes of Hazzard" weeknights at a cost of US$100,000...

It is said that more than half of the jobs our children will do have not been invented yet. Looks like Corporate Blogger will be added to that list (it's an imaginary list as it hasn't been invented yet). Salary package is not bad either... It won't be long before blogging courses tout punters with claims like "tired with your job? feel undervalued? yearning for the lifestyle you truely deserve? Become a blogger and earn over US$100,000! No experience necessary. All training provided."

Steve Rubel thinks that CMT pulled a clever PR stunt but raised questions about transparency.

He is right. I have no moral dilemna about bloggers getting paid to blog, as long as they reveal their cards. It is up to the informed readers to decide what amount of credibility they would give to paid bloggers. The keyword here is "informed". Would you ask a LandRover salesman for advice on what 4WD make you should spend your money on? Probably not. But that is because you saw the LandRover logo hanging above its desk. Things are not that clear cut in the blogosphere.

You wouldn't expect anything too controversial in Hazzard county anyway. It is designed by fans for fans. Pure entertainment. But I would hope that Christopher Nelson (that's the chosen CMT blogger name) will state upfront that he is paid by CMT.

I leave you with the Dukes of Hazzard theme song, courtesy of :

Just two good old boys, never meanin' no harm...Beats all you never saw, been in trouble with the lawSince the day they was born.Straightenin' the curves, flattenin' the hills...Someday the mountain might get 'em but the law never will.Makin' their way, the only way they know how...That's just a little bit more than the law will allow.Just two good ol' boys, wouldn't change if they could,Fightin' the system like two modern-day Robin Hoods...

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Boeing Launch Worldliner Blog

Lifted from NevOn: Boeing got its engineers and test pilots to write about the new 777 Worldliner in a brand new dedicated blog: Flight Test Journal.

Are Online Shoppers Naive?

64% of American adults do not know that it is legal for online stores to charge different people different prices at the same time of day for the same product. More than two-thirds of people surveyed said they believe online travel sites are required by law to offer the lowest airline prices possible.

The PDF report is available for download on the Annenberg Public Policy Centre website. CNN ran an article on it.

For the least price aware among us, Kelkoo is a good first step towards finding the best online deals and epinions is another step towards finding out what others think of these deals.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Yahoo! releases employees blogging guidelines

Jeremy Zawodny gives access to the PDF version on his very own blog. Does your company provides blogging guidelines to its employees?