Blog Moderation & Damage Control

A year ago, on January 06, 2008, I wrote and posted “Do NOT Tamper With Your Comments!”. At the time, I offered “Turn On Moderation” as an alternative:

Bill: “Turn On Moderation – Make it so that NOBODY’S comments make it to personalblog or widgetblog unless YOU approve them. That way, when everything ends up positive, you just look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked. This is DIFFERENT from changing people’s posts because there’s never anything negative for people to see in the first place, AND dissenting comments don’t become agreeing comments with the same person’s name on the top, posted at the exact same time.”

I wrote that line at a time when I wasn’t doing a lot of commenting on other people’s blogs. I hadn’t achieved a perception of the potential effects of “You *just* look like you spun the situation by only letting the comments through that you liked” on people who visit your blog and make comments that never get approved. Let me tell you about it.

Initial Perception

Mike, Kfir & BillInitially, when I check out a blog for the first time, I’m thinking that the person who wrote the posts is looking for A DISCUSSION. I’m thinking that if they didn’t want A DISCUSSION, they would have turned off comments.

Actually, one of the very first times I ever posted on someone else’s blog, it was a dating blog and the woman had written flawed advice. With my naive way of thinking about blogs as sort of “personally-hosted forums”, I wrote a nice long comment about what was incorrect about her ideas. To her credit, she emailed me my words, when she could have just deleted them. Hats Off to her for that. 🙂 My ideas could have been lost in space, because I had written them directly to her blog entry form. Last time I ever did *THAT*.

She emailed me my words and explained to me that she wasn’t going to host my ideas about her post on HER site, and if I wanted to, I should place them on MY site. At the time, I wasn’t hip to trackbacks and pingbacks. I had a short email discussion with her expressing my opinion that I thought she was lame for having a blog and ONLY approving comments that made her look good. Pretty soon after that, I found out that this is pretty much status quo. She represents the mainstream and I’m “odd man out” on this issue. Continue reading “Blog Moderation & Damage Control”

Social Media in Action

On Thursday, January 1st, 2009 at 3:02 pm, I made a post about a client who didn’t pay me the money he owed me. Here is the Recent Visitor Map for just that one article, ~38 hours later (approximately a day and a half):

Bill Cammack Recent Visitors Map Click here to view 1048 x 857 image

This is Social Media in Action. “Reach” is now determined by how much time and effort you’re willing to put in to maintain your internet presence.

When it comes to determining “Reach”, the days of “who lives next to that person?” are OVER. The days of “Is he a radio personality or performer or some other type of celebrity?” are *OVER*. Connections are made and maintained virtually.

People are aligning themselves by values, aptitude & beliefs now, instead of by local territory and “Accident of Birth”. The “lines” are being re-drawn as people get to sample other people’s mentalities through reading their blogs, listening to their podcasts, watching their videos and selecting to find out more about people they feel in-tune with.

Jeff Pulver, Kathryn Jones, Kfir Pravda & Keren DaganJeff Pulver called it his “Social Media Living Room”. He was absolutely right. The people that you know live wherever they live, but we all come together, in various locations… virtual locations.

Sometimes, we meet up IRL, like @ PodCamps or BarCamps or SXSW or TweetUps or meetup.com or Gary’s Guide events. In the meantime, in between time, we’re reading each other’s blogs and communicating with other through social media sites like Twitter, Ning, Facebook, MySpace, etc etc etc. Continue reading “Social Media in Action”

How Much Does It Cost To Borrow Your Brand?

My friend Chris Brogan has inadvertently caused a stir. 😀

Chris Brogan & Bill Cammack

From the little I’ve read about the situation, (you can read about it yourself, on Chris’ site) basically, he accepted a $500 gift card from Kmart to write a blog post about Kmart. He was completely transparent that he was writing a sponsored blog post. As part of the deal, he also received the opportunity to give away a second $500 Kmart gift card. Here’s what Chris says he did with the money:

“I realized really quickly that I could do two good things while satisfying the project request: I could give someone else a $500 gift card for the holidays, and I could use my shopping experience to buy toys for the Toys for Tots program. (My kids kept the jackets and my boy kept some pants.)”

This kind of thing was discussed AT LENGTH exactly one year ago, when Cheryl Colan made a post questioning Steve Woolf & Zadi Diaz‘s sponsorship & advertising practices with regard to their show Epic-FU in her post “What Up, New Media?”. Cheryl posted a video on that page speaking about her issues if you want the background on that 99-coment-long saga.

The point in both cases was whether bloggers or content creators can GET PAID and talk about products with integrity at the same time.

While I personally don’t see anything wrong with Chris getting paid to blog about something, I see the problems that some people are going to have with the situation. Continue reading “How Much Does It Cost To Borrow Your Brand?”