Archive

Posts Tagged ‘blogging’

How Not to do Social Media Case Study – Southern Illinois University Carbondale Facebook Page

November 9, 2011 1 comment

"The Net Interprets Censorship as Damage and Routes Around it" - John Gilmore

Right now, the Southern Illinois University Carbondale is in the middle of a contract negotiation dispute which has resulted in a strike by the tenured faculty.  As one would expect in a situation such as this, the faculty has urged its supporters to be vocal on the union’s behalf and some students took to the SIU Carbondale Facebook Fan Page to urge a resolution to the contract dispute.

Unfortunately, the SIU Carbondale administrators of the page began deleting those messages.  One report noted that they began by deleting only the messages of support for the faculty, but later began deleting all messages related to the dispute – and even went so far as to ban some users. Read more…

Because We’ve Always Done it That Way: Why Newsletters Must Die

October 20, 2011 Leave a comment

Why Newsletters Must Die

It’s often tough to break old habits.  Smoking.  Biting your fingernails.  Paying attention to the Westboro Baptist Church.

Organizations large and small seem completely unable to break themselves of the habit of newsletters; particularly for employee communication.  Even though it’s 2011 and technology is enabling video gamers to make unprecedented advances in AIDS research, we’re stuck on delivering static text in columns – sometimes sacrificing trees (and staff time) to circulate it.

Newsletters need to die – here’s why: Read more…

Missouri Senate Repeals Facebook Friending Ban for Teachers

September 16, 2011 2 comments

I blogged previously about how the Missouri Senate had banned teachers contacting students through unapproved channels (like corresponding with them via personal email accounts not supervised by schools, or friending them on Facebook).

The law was problematic for a variety of reasons, but one thing that concerned me was the liklihood of a teacher violating it unintentionally given the ubiquity of electronically-mediated communication in everyday life. Read more…

The Less Than Definitive Guide to Grading Student Blogs

August 21, 2011 56 comments

Using Blogs in the Classroom

At the behest of my fiancee (who happens to be a superb part-time professor at Grand Valley State University), I’m writing this post about using blogging as an important part of the educational process.

It should also be noted that this post is directly relevant to those outside education as well: every organization should be encouraging employees to blog about work-related content.  Not personal gripes or gossip – but about their day-to-day struggles and triumphs, or about their trade/craft/field.  Social media engagement is the modern equivalent to networking in trade groups or local business associations.

Why Would I Want to Engage in This Sisyphean Undertaking? Read more…

Progress Fighting Zombie SLAPP Lawsuits Against Bloggers

June 29, 2011 2 comments

Fighting off Zombie SLAPP Lawsuits

Recently I blogged about the potential legal threats that face bloggers (“Practice Safe Blogging – Legal Protection Against Zombie SLAPP Suits”).  I was contacted by Evan Mascagni, Legislative Assistant at the Public Participation Project which is working toward legal protections from SLAPP suits.  He described some of the progress the PPP has made toward fighting these sorts of suits: Read more…

More on Blogging Discussion From WGVU Morning Show

May 27, 2011 1 comment

Grand Rapids Calder Plaza

I’m fortunate to be surrounded by great colleagues and to have access to extraordinary (award-winning) news professionals in Grand Rapids.  Many thanks to Adrienne WallaceKim Bode and Shelley Irwin for the opportunity to appear on the WGVU Morning Show today.

I always over-prepare for interviews & presentations so I have a bunch of information I put together just in case it might come up.  Another of the infinite benefits of the Internet is that I can share that with anyone who is interested via my blog with comparatively little effort (yet another reason you should be blogging).

History: Blogs were developed to eliminate the grunt work of publishing web content through automation – they have largely replaced webpages because you don’t need to know HTML/XML. Most of the popular blogging platforms offer the ability to easily set up polls, embed video/photos/audio/documents, allow discussion/comments, embed forms, get analytics, etc. Read more…

Practice Safe Blogging – Legal Protection Against Zombie SLAPP Suits

May 24, 2011 3 comments

Fighting off Zombie SLAPP Lawsuits

I come from a family of insurance agents (among other things).  Don’t hold that against me.

Given that the government has routinely failed to protect the free speech of citizen journalists and bloggers, we’re on our own.

I’ve watched family and friends struggle through the gnawing, never-ending, zombie-like horror of being sued and in our modern world and it’s seriously anxiety-inducing even if you know you’re in the right.

Anyone that is the subject of any sort of negative post online (from blogs to Facebook pages to online review sites) can file a lawsuit against whomever published that information (not that they’ll win, but they can tie you up in court and put you in a bind financially fighting them off). Read more…

Social Media Crisis Comm Case Study: HS English Teacher Natalie Munroe

February 13, 2011 2 comments
English Teacher Natalie Munroe Responds to Social Media Controversy With her own Blog Post

English Teacher Natalie Munroe Responds to Social Media Controversy With her own Blog Post

[Update: I was able to find a link someone posted to the Google Cache of the original blog: http://tin­yurl.com/4­tubjsv]

As part of a webinar I’m presenting this week on Social Media Policy (“Social Media – Campus Policies & Protocol” – February 17, 2011 from 2-3:30 p.m. EST), I’ve been tracking some very recent case studies to discuss with the audience.

One of them was the story of Natalie Munroe, a High School English Teacher who was just suspended from Central Bucks East High School last week Wednesday after a current student happened across her blog (http://natalieshandbasket.blogspot.com/) which contained disparaging comments (including calling one student a “rude, beligerent [sic], argumentative f*ck”) about students, parents and co-workers.  The student forwarded the link to past students of Munroe’s.  Eventually some parents found out about it and notified school officials.

What’s become particularly fascinating about the case is that yesterday, Munroe used her blog to respond with her side of the story (as I write this, the local news media in Bucks County appears not to have picked this up yet).

For what it’s worth – responding via one’s blog is a rather bold and inspired strategy.  In the research I’ve done on cases like these (and in crisis public relations situations generally) people typically regret remaining silent at the advice of counsel and wish they would have weighed in to help influence public opinion on their own behalf.

From a PR perspective, I might suggest to Natalie that she undelete/republish all of the content from her blog.  Here’s why:

  1. hiding it tends to imply that one is admitting that the content is shameful (whereas being transparent tends to be a quality that inspires respect/deference)
  2. it removes the context that the benign portions of the blog provide and allows people to focus on the sensational excerpts posted in the news
  3. as Natalie herself noted, there are already cached copies in circulation anyway

Our society is going to be engaged in a difficult debate about the limits of free speech for the next few years as more people begin to publish information about themselves via social media.

Until we’ve crystallized opinion and established a legal/societal framework around how open we allow people to be depending on their role – it’s best to avoid becoming a case study at all costs.  The nascent legal framework in place and the fact that many judges/prosecutors/jurors/board members are largely ignorant of the intricacies of social media means you can’t be guaranteed a fair trial.

With @artprizeworst, Artprize has Officially Arrived

September 23, 2010 1 comment

Artprize Worst Logo

Mentions in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times are nice, but the way you can really tell that Artprize has arrived is that there’s now a site devoted to lampooning the “worst” entries in the “open” art competition.

The blog “Artprize Worst” (and accompanying Twitter account @artprizeworst) appear to have gone up a week ago, and have begun publishing critiques of some of the entries in the 2010 Artprize competition ala Regretsy (parodying the craft ecommerce site Etsy).

A Sample Artprize Worst Post

I personally think that tributes like this are more important in the era of social media than mass media endorsements.  Here’s why: if someone is taking the time to catalog your foibles, it means you’re doing something well enough to not only be noticed.  More importantly though, it means your effort reaches a level of quality worth having an opinion on.

That’s the intangible quality that communication professionals thirst for.  It’s the reason so many actors long to be parodied on the Simpsons.

A Sample Artprize Worst Post

Hopefully the site won’t get shut down by legal action; giving a forum to this sort of opinion (which exists whether or not anyone files a cease and desist order) is valuable and can ultimately make the whole experience of an event like Artprize richer.  It also gives exposure to works that might otherwise have gone unnoticed.

If I had an entry listed by Artprize Worst – I’d proudly wear that as a badge of honor signifying I was worthy of comment.

We should all be so lucky to have critics.