How do you 2.0?

We’re very version happy. We’re already up to IE7. Firefox is finally at version 2.0. How many incarnations of Windows has there been (I remember Windows 3.1 back in the day)? We like the new and more improved.

1.0 is always pretty exciting, but there always seems to be that extra oomph to 2.0.

Web 1.0 (that I’ve never heard of) must have been back at the birth of the commercial internet. The thing that I grew up on (literally) with dial-up AOL and the 30 min connection times. People were just happy to have information at their fingertips. Even with dial-up.

Now we’re at Web 2.0. User-generated content is king. Even TIME Magazine said so. Information isn’t just at the users’ fingertips. Information is coming from the users, shared, connected, commented on. Information is everywhere. From blogs (my personal favorite) to videos to Wikis to social networking to RSS feeds to pipes…  We are in an information saturated environment.

I use blogs, RSS feeds,  social networks (myspace, linkedin (see my button in the right sidebar), facebook), and social bookmarking (del.icio.us).

What do you use? 

Blog evangelist.

Sometimes I feel like a blog evangelist. I went to a networking event last night, and told quite a few people how I was heavily into social media and the internet in general. Ironic, because some people I have known for quite some time remembered how I used to get into trouble with advisors and teachers for spending what they assumed was far too much time on the internet. Now it’s my life.

In college, a professor of mine nicknamed me the ‘Blog Queen’ owing to how much time I spent my TA office hours on LiveJournal. Back then, it was the only blogging platform I truly cared about, as I used to update it quite a bit. Not so much anymore, but that’s okay. I feel like, as with my internet usage, I have evolved with my blogging.

I’m a huge blog advocate. I love social media and the different avenues and opportunities it has opened up to our society as of late. I’m not one of those uber-nerds attached at the belly button to their beloved machines… but I understand their value and how they can best be applied to today’s businesses.

At a past job, I was in charge of creating and maintaining a blog directory for both conversation tracking and outreach purposes. As a result, I see existing and potential clients and I can think of — off the top of my head — at least two blogs that could potentially benefit their business. Everyone’s strategy can be different, but guaranteed, there is someone, somewhere who is discussing your business.

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).

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This isn’t my first blog.

I doubt it will be the last.

So, where in my long history of blogging does this one rank? If I remember correctly, it’s #10. But it could very well be #9 as well.  Out of my current active blogs, this one is 1 of 5 (or 6, as I have plans to resurrect one soon). Why so many? I wish I knew.

What is the purpose of this? The purpose of Web Impact is to track and discuss the different ways the internet influences us. Impacts our lives. Affects our day to day activities. Let’s face it. We live in a high-tech world. There’s no way to escape it now.

A long long time ago, there was a time when I thought that the internet was merely a way for me to  procrastinate doing school work. There was no value here, save for entertainment value. I was very wrong. The internet is now my life, it is my career, it is a part of me.

As the world wide web is a place that never sleeps, rests, or takes time out, expect this blog to be updated often.