Browsing Tag


Social Media Club: Standards update and Atlanta chapter

Well, I spent the better part of the week just submerged in work, but Aaron Strout and Chris Saad are already syncing up on data portability, Mark Resch over at Cerado is hooking me up with some creative commons folks and the 4 Missions and 4 projects are clearly underway, not just in writing, but in action as well.

So since others are working, I figure I have to continue some momentum on stuff I’ve been hoping to work. I’ve done a fair amount of outreach with limited input, but the input/questions I’ve had were mainly general questions on what some of the standards are, so I thought I would let you know a little more about them, where I actually know something or at least understand via their website.

What is Creative Commons? Well, in their own words:

Creative Commons defines the spectrum of possibilities between full copyright — all rights reserved — and the public domain — no rights reserved. Our licenses help you keep your copyright while inviting certain uses of your work — a “some rights reserved” copyright.

In my words, it’s a way to share content and provide the RIGHT sourcing to provide the credit where credit is due. Social media has made access to content easier and represents an opportunity for chaos and CC looks to balance access and creative rights.

What is the Data Portability Project?

The DataPortability Project is a group created to promote the idea that individuals have control over their data by determining how they can use it and who can use it. This includes access to data that is under the control of another entity. Get a creative commons widget

What the heck are microformats?

Designed for humans first and machines second, microformats are a set of simple, open data formats built upon existing and widely adopted standards. Instead of throwing away what works today, microformats intend to solve simpler problems first by adapting to current behaviors and usage patterns (e.g. XHTML, blogging).

I suspect that explaination doesn’t really do it does it, now does it? (edit/update: that’s an awful lot of does its – clearly directionally correct, but needs a little work) I’m still not sure what microformats mean for the average person, but I know it’s important or it wouldn’t be on the list darn it. My sheer lack of understanding has made this the lowest priority. Trust me, I’ve tried to figure this out and even after going to the wiki I’m still stumped on the value prop. Since I would like to learn before I engage I’ve sent Ben Ward an email – will let you know, but basically microformats describe stuff, for humans first and machines second. I may have also found my way in another way… we’ll see.

One ID/Username might be cool – OpenID please.

OpenID eliminates the need for multiple usernames across different websites, simplifying your online experience.

You get to choose the OpenID Provider that best meets your needs and most importantly that you trust. At the same time, your OpenID can stay with you, no matter which Provider you move to.

Open Web Foundation

Well, this is a new one which Chris added to the list, but definitely an important one, not sure how it has been overlooked until now, but better late than never. Even tho their mission seems a little lofty, looks like good stuff. Since it is new to the list and seems like an interesting agenda, the outreach is underway. Here is the basic high level overview:

The Open Web Foundation is an attempt to create a home for community-driven specifications. Following the open source model similar to the Apache Software Foundation, the foundation is aimed at building a lightweight framework to help communities deal with the legal requirements necessary to create successful and widely adopted specification.

Since there are definitely no shortage of opportunities to work on standards in the space, any other ideas let me know and I can bring it back to the group, or you could leave comments over at Social Media Club.

One of the other 4 projects is to expand media literacy and part of that comes through membership I would think. So looking to roll out an event in September 4 for Atlanta to start up again. We are finalizing the location, but tentatively it is at Tony’s on Holcomb Bridge in Roswell, other ideas are welcome as Sherry and I look to re-ignite the group with just a little help from others in Atlanta. Should have it solidified in the next week or so…

On Blogging

This is a guest-post from Stephen Smith – small business conversation consultant, public speaker, and the editor of Productivity in Context where he teaches people how to use basic tools and simple practices for taking control of their workflow situation, practical ways of being more productive at work and at home.

These practices are designed to give you more time to do the things that matter to you!

Recently a friend of mine and newcomer to blogging had an inspiration for a thought-provoking post. He carefully crafted his message into three bullet points with clever details and thoughtful insights. Since he had been quite prolific recently, he post-dated the article to run three days out.

Then disaster struck…

A duplicate post!

A similar post was featured on an established blog with a large readership.

What to do?

Since two heads are better than one (even if one is a cabbage), he sent out a call for help on Twitter (where you get breaking news first!). Never fear, I told him, this is what you do:

  1. Run the post right away, with two quick changes:
    • Add a link to the other post at the end of your article. It never hurts to acknowledge the other writers, and it definitely helps to get you noticed. Also, by pointing to the similar post, you can emphasize the differences and not look like you are hiding behind a copy-cat post.
    • Re-arrange your article to highlight the differences. My friend had written his post from a slightly different perspective than the bigger blogger. This meant that by simply moving some paragraphs around he could leave his readers with a much different mindset at the conclusion of the article. Then, by linking to the similar post, the interested reader could go and see the same topic from a completely different point-of-view.
  2. Send an e-mail to the author of the first post and introduce yourself. Let them know that you wrote a similar piece on that topic the same day, but with a different slant. Don’t ask for a link, but provide a link to your post in the e-mail. Perhaps you get a link, perhaps you don’t. In any case you have planted the seeds of a relationship.
  3. Subscribe to that blogger, so you can keep an eye on their interests and post-topics. This will help you avoid duplicate postings in the future, again, to avoid looking like a copy-cat.

The results?

The post was a success, and the final version, if I say so myself, was much better than the bigger blog’s version. Perhaps it had to do with the re-arranging, or perhaps just because a little more thought went into it. Now, I expect some of you might be saying to yourself, “Yikes, this happens to me all the time!“. Well, now you have a tool set for dealing with the situation.

On the other hand, some of you may be saying, “This never happens to me, my niche is too narrow/broad/non-controversial/etc. How can this help me?” I will tell you how.

When you write a new post, one that you really like, ask yourself this question:

How would [insert name of favorite blogger] write this post?

Think on that, then follow step 1.2, above. Re-arrange your post so that it approaches the topic from a different angle, and ends with a strong, non-[favorite blogger]-like conclusion. This is a powerful method for new bloggers to find their voice.

For those same new bloggers, I would also recommend following step 2, above, also. By contacting [your favorite blogger] you can nurture the relationship and foster communication. Let them know that you thought about how they would approach that particular topic as you were writing the post in order to gain a clearer understanding, and transmit it to your readers.

Again, don’t ask for anything but a comment. Just provide the post or an excerpt, and a link to it so they can leave a comment, and be sure to reply when they do comment.

Any questions? Please feel free to e-mail me via stephen at hdbizblog dot com.

June 7th – Relevant Links

Sharing the links for the day: