Ethical blogging

In light of the Wal-mart flogs (yeah, two posts about this in one day), Web Ink Now posted on blogging ethics.

I’m just copying and pasting here. I don’t think I’ve been blogging long enough (at least not on a platform other than OpenDiary, Xanga, or LiveJournal) to give really good examples.

Transparency—You should never pretend to be someone you are not. For example, don’t use another name to submit a comment on any blog (your own or somebody else’s), and don’t create a blog that talks about your company without disclosing that someone from your company is behind it.

Privacy—Unless you’ve been given permission, don’t blog about something that was disclosed to you. For example, don’t post material from an e-mail someone sent you unless you have permission.

Disclosure—It is important to disclose anything that people might consider a conflict of interest in a blog post. For example, if I write in my blog about a product from a company that is one of my consulting clients, I put a sentence at the end disclosing my relationship with the company.

Truthfulness—Don’t lie. For example, never make up a customer story just because it makes good blog content.

Credit—You should give credit to bloggers (and other sources) whose material you have used in your blog. For example, don’t read a great post on someone else’s blog, take the idea, change a few words, and make it your own. Besides being good ethical practice, links to other bloggers whose ideas you have used helps to introduce them to your blog and they may link to you.

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) has compiled a more comprehensive list. Which makes sense, as they’ve put Edelman on probation for that unethical blogging strategy.

I try to follow these with every post I make.


PR firms need to embrace social media.

Funny how this is coming from the CEO of Edelman.

Why? Who here remembers the Wal-mart blog fiasco (Feb 2006)? It’s already being called the Wal-mart flog (Nov 2006). (Ouch)

I do. Sure, it was 8 months ago (on the front page of the NY Times business section, no less!). But it proved that traditional PR firms know little about the power or even the influence of blogs. See my last entry (forget that these were students he was talking to — but students who wanted in on the PR industry).

Seems like Edelman has gotten itself into some trouble with WOMMA. Their membership with the association is in jeopardy. I suppose they really need to re-evaluate their knowledge of blogs, and how to use them without coming off as an unethical PR agency (which I know is something that PR firms come under constant fire for).

Read the rest of this entry »

Wanna Wii?

According to one of the radio stations I listen to on my way to work, this past Monday was unofficially ‘Cyber-Monday‘. (edit: that actually has a wiki? Whoa.) That is, the unofficial start of the online holiday shopping spree. As everyone knows, the day after Thanksgiving is the official start of the physical holiday shopping spree — Black Friday.

I do most of my finances online. You know, online bill pay — I’m a huge fan of that. I’d rather use email, rather than snail mail to conduct things like job searches (not as of late — I’m currently happily employed). I’m not a phone person, I like IM much better. Skype, while it’s still a phone-type service, I’m much happier using than the usual touch tone, cell-phone (I still adore my Treo, though). I don’t really do the whole online shopping thing. The closest I get to online shopping is making my annual Christmas wishlist on Amazon.

Enter: Wii vs PS3

Two brand new game systems hitting the market… massive buzz and hype right around the craziest shopping time of the year. The big question over the next couple of months (for me, anyway) is which system to get?

I’ve heard some great arguments for both of them. PS2 has the larger game library, nearly everyone has one, there’s something for everyone. Wii is new, it’s Nintendo, it’s easy, there are cool (and rather groundbreaking) controllers.

I suppose my stance is this: my last game system was a Gameboy Color. I still have my original NES. Super NES was about as complicated as I got — and to be honest, my only way around the SMB with Yoshi (I can’t remember the name of the game) was to push all the other buttons (besides the directional keypad) — and pray and hope that SOMETHING happened. I knew how to  jump. And I knew how to make Yoshi’s tongue stick out. But that’s it. I’m all about simplicity. The only game I play on the Gameboy (and this is when I still used to commute to work via the train) is Tetris. And let me tell you, I’m damn good at it (high score: more than 4 million). The PS2 has a lot of buttons. And it’s not as simple as up, down, left, right, A and B. Sure, I love the huge selection of games — but if I’ve been simply happy with just Tetris (I have that for the original NES as well)… then what use is the huge selection to me?

When I got the original NES system, I was in 1st grade… my parents and grandmother played the NES more than I did. And one thing was constant. Every time they wanted the car to jump, or Mario to swim faster — they moved their body along with the controller.

Enter Wii.

Richard Edelman speaks to Future Leaders of PR

…and finds out they’re still into print media.

The horror. Really.

7) Media Choices – Over dinner, I was amazed to learn that 14 of the 15 students read print versions of newspapers. Relatively few of them read blogs – in fact they wanted my advice on which blogs to read. The consumer facing magazines were very popular, as were shows like America’s Top Model or Project Runway. Only a couple of them were YouTube fans. They preferred Facebook as their social media.

I know that traditional PR revolves around traditional media channels such as print media,TV, and radio. Most PR firms still revolve around this model. However, the power of the internet is undeniable. Commercials and advertisements are now adorned with ‘’ at the bottom, in the background, in your face. URLs are now hastily stuffed into a 2 second soundbite at the end of radio ads.

PR firms now have interactive departments. There are interactive agencies all over the place. Internet marketing firms. Internet PR boutique agencies. 90% of my life revolves around the internet.

I shouldn’t be that surprised that Facebook is the preferred social media, probably after MySpace — and far ahead of the now annoying Friendster.

I’m rambling. It’s post-Thanksgiving and I think I overdid it.

I’m not saying that print media is bad, I’m just saying that with the recent influx of all things internet in society today, I’m surprised that these young people know Facebook but not know anything about blogs.

I was there not too long ago, but still!!

Happy Thanksgiving.

Even though it’s important to give thanks for anything and everything every day.

How to write a blog post

From the master of short posting, Seth Godin:

An appropriate illustration,
A useful topic, easily broadened to be useful to a large number of readers,
Simple language with no useless jargon,
Not too long,
Focusing on something that people have previously taken for granted,
That initially creates emotional resistance,
Then causes a light bulb go go off
and finally,
Causes the reader to look at the world differently all day long.

I’m learning. I need more other media. I need pictures. I need to figure out how to post audio. More importantly, I need my video camera back.

Update on Tasered UCLA Student

I’ve gotten so many hits on that past post, I have to post an update.


Mostafa Tabatabainejad, the 23 yr old senior, has hired a high-profile civil rights lawyer (Stephen Yagman) to file a brutality lawsuit as well as false arrest.

The video, which has made its rounds through YouTube (over 400,000 views from the video I linked to) and passed by WOM to countless others, is a testament to the unnecessary UCPD police brutality used against a UCLA student. I haven’t viewed the video since I originally posted it, but I can still hear his cries of pain and protest in my head. The video is more than 5 minutes long, but you only need to hear and see 1 minute of it to know what I’m talking about.

My past post is one of my most popular posts thus far since the inception of web.impact and I hope many others will be enlightened to this horrific case of police brutality.

I hope he wins his lawsuit.