Richmond Web And Media Roundup: Halloween Edition!

Zombie Walk photo by Myk Meñez
  • Just in time for Richmond's Zombie Walk and Halloween: Facebook sees dead people!

  • It's not just about real time search. This is just the beginning... [Spooky laugh inserted here]

  • If you are a blogger / active social media participant, you may have noticed the rise of aggregation sites taking your content, your voice without your permission.  These sites use your content to make money- through Google Adword sponsors, etc. and increase their site's search engine ranking in a topic, therefore ranking them higher than your own hard-wrought site's industry content.  I resent that...

    I *do* take the time to report these sites to Google, because I have found that when you discover one site is taking your content, it repeatedly does so.

    I've also added Google SideWiki to my arsenal - Yo, if they're gonna take my voice, then I get to write "on" their site*, telling visitors (granted, not many have SideWiki installed yet but still...) what I think! AND leaving LOTSA links to my own site.

    *Note: SideWiki is not technically "on" a site but within the browser.

  • With that "one-two" Google punch I deal thieving websites, these September statistics from iCrossing make me feel like like it might have quite an affect on their seo... in that, if AdWords / Google penalizes them for taking other's content once it's reported, it *will* hurt them. Remove the revenue and ranking rewards, remove the motivation for sites to steal voices.

  • Yes, I "get" the arguments in favor of aggregation, "all data is public"...
    but I'm not emotionally convinced.

    Several sites post my content *with my permission,* which I happily grant because they are 1. publications I respect who 2. asked my permission and that are 3.industry respected and 4.link the synopsis of my content to my sites, where readers can access the full content.

    Yes I share my stories on the 'net... but still, my writing remains such a personal piece of me, so 'private' even though it's public... Each time I discover a new theft of content, it's like... it's like...
    they take another little piece o' mah heart now, baby...

  • Great article in Business Week: Rise of the 'Homepreneur', which starts out with a bang:

    "More than half of all U.S. businesses are based at home. These companies often are dismissed as quaint hobbyist ventures, but new research suggests that's a mistake. An estimated 6.6 million home-based enterprises provide at least half of their owners' household income. Together these "homepreneurs" employ one in 10 private-sector workers, and by many measures they're just as competitive as their counterparts in commercial spaces."
    Not only are home-based businesses just as competitive, their employees are often happier than their cubicle-bound counterparts, therefore remaining with the successful business. This garners not only financial revenue (also benefiting the surrounding commmunity, providing jobs and revenue) but don't underestimate the cultural and environmental benefits such business models offer: no commuting,  greater satisfaction of lifestyle, healthier eating and exercise, workplace composting, less waste...

    Speaking of environmentally friendly, I hear some companies even have traditions like Vintage Hat Friday, where they showcase reuse and recycling, and celebrate repurposed clothes (and hats) in the work place! ; ) Our workplace was recently featured in V Magazine for many of the reasons above.

  • We hope you all have a safe Halloween. If you're still scared of social, here's a good article overview that explains some top venues and why cold technology needs to always keep community in mind.
Thanks for listening!
...If you note any trends or local media items of note, feel free to send 'em on!

I'm Copeland Casati, of Copeland Casati Media,
the original C3 in Richmond creative arts and media since 1999

You can reach me at copeland@copelandcasati.com, or on twitter, @copelandcasati. If you are a Facebook user, we can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Copeland-Casati-Media-C3/52352550685

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Richmond Media + Advertising Roundup from C3, Copeland Casati Media (since 1999...)

  • Hope you had a chance to catch my cousin, Nancy Ross Hugo, as she discussed her book, "Remarkable Trees of Virginia" on NPR this week. Above is one tree that holds a very special place in my heart that's in her book... not to mention the children... : )

    You can listen to her on With Good Reason on NPR here.  The program also discusses mercury poisoning in waterways, a subject important to us all.

  • On to tech! Real time search, and the democratization of data, stepped forward, again this week:
    At lunchtime Wednesday, Danny Sullivan wrote:
    "Bing To Do Deal With Twitter, Launch Its Own Twitter Search

    AllThingsD has reported that Microsoft will announce a deal with Twitter today to gather its real time data. We’re able to confirm that from a source as well and provide some additional details.
    The deal will make Bing the first major search engine to have access to Twitter’s “Firehose” of tweets. It’s not exclusive, however. Google potentially could still do a deal, too."
    Read it all about why this is important here! >>
  • And not to disappoint, right at 3 pm came the tweet from twitter's CEO...

  • I discovered via the web a young girl giving a compelling speech to world leaders about a precious resource: water.
    Watch it here >>

  • And the night before, I watched some Richmond, Virginia heroes, doing their part like this young girl before you, to make our community, hence larger world, a better place.

    Thanks to The Valentine Richmond History Center and its sponsors, whom each year spotlight community activists, all "Average People" who discovered a need in our local community, worked on how to address it, and strode forward to make our community better, often with few resources.

    Read all about these local leaders here:

  • And for all of you using social media to sell, sell, sell: Stop, think. Sure you can search on terms that apply to your own business and reach out and engage them. But read the context. 

    I had just found out our child has a not just severe, but a life threatening allergy, told to carry multiple epi-pens at all times.  Crushed, devastated, my-world-ending, I mentioned it on twitter.

    Within seconds I received this:

    I promise you that the last thing I want to do right now is hear a chirpy voice telling me to "check out" some "adorable" clothes for allergy-ridden children.

    If you think EMAIL is easy to misinterpret or not convey subtleties of feeling (I'm sure this person meant well), think about how easy it is to come off wrong in 140 characters.

  • Back to Wave: We did a lot more testing on Wave this week, and the conference call application means that you don't need a phone with that functionality any more to pull people onto one line. I am excited to see what other applications are developed by others this year.

    My fave, though, is 6Round's Video app- http://www.6rounds.com/?icode=6wave
    (Except now I'm gonna have to make sure to brush my hair more often...)

    To see more Google Wave apps, visit here: http://wave-samples-gallery.appspot.com

  • And finally, stop comparing yourself to others, focus on your own mission, your business identity and voice... it's more about how you interact with your peers, and to not hold rulers like page rank as a constant measure. Shouldn't ya have gotten over that in high school? 

    Ah, but right when you think you can totally dismiss the popular crowd, TechCrunch explains why it, and twitter, are still important, and that all twitter data (not just the popular crowd) will be key in future ranking results.  Here's the difference: page rank is based on web sites; twitter data is interactions, often ranked in popularity, yes, but how is that twitter popularity garnered? By reaching out, connecting.  So don't sit in the corner by yourself; reach out.

    Don't feel like you have to try to be a cheerleader or jock, join the "typical popular crowd" - the beauty of twitter / social is that there is a community for all of us, interested in your interests.  So I'll see ya in the cafeteria - I'll be at a table huddling with a good book, and you're welcome to sit with me!

    Still skeptical as to why your business should be focused on social? Check out these stats.

    Thanks for listening!
    ...If you note any trends or local media items of note, feel free to send 'em on!

    I'm Copeland Casati, of Copeland Casati Media,
    the original C3 in Richmond creative arts and media since 1999

    You can reach me at copeland@copelandcasati.com, or on twitter, @copelandcasati. If you are a Facebook user, we can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Copeland-Casati-Media-C3/52352550685

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American Girl Drama

I may be running into a political bonfire with little more than a garden hose for defense, but come on. All the drama over the new American Girl Doll seems just a tad... well...


They are releasing an expensive doll. They ALWAYS release an expensive doll. The doll, "Gwen", has a complex back story which creates fodder for a series of books and potential movies and made-for-TV specials. Imagine that.

People seem to be upset because charging $95 dollars for a doll that is 'homeless' is a mockery. There is a popular notion that at the very least a portion of that money should go to charities that benefit the homeless. That would be nice, but unless it's a standard of behavior that Mattel has already begun, (donating Addy's proceeds to Civil War History Museums, or Kaya's proceeds to Native American causes) it would seem unfair to start now with Gwen.

I had an American Girl Doll. My two best friends did as well, and we read their books and played with them daily. As far as toys go they are very expensive, and while my family was not wealthy, we were fortunate to be able to afford extravagances like that at Christmas and birthdays. For better or worse I was sheltered from many of life's more unpleasant facts until I was much older by my parents' vigilance.

I suspect that it is the same for many of the children playing with American Girl Dolls today. If a parent wants to introduce their child to homelessness through a doll and accompanying literature, I don't have a problem with that.

If you don't like the product, you don't buy it. That is your feedback outlet as a consumer.

If you didn't plan to buy it anyway and are thus lacking an outlet; imagine for a moment that rather than being upset, every person who had complained about this donated $5 to a charity benefiting the homeless.

I suspect the latter would do a significant amount of good. Whereas the former just creates drama.




Richmond Media Musings October 9th:

The FTC's new rules on social media, especially in regards to the "up to an $11,000 fine" had bloggers everywhere talking. I thought of the trend towards aggregation of content, of local Richmond aggregators such as RichmondBizSense.com, RVABlogs.com, RichmondGoodLife.com... and wonder about FTC liability.

I spoke briefly with NBC 12 regarding this subject, but would like to also add some excerpts from my twitter feed for more thought:
  1. @dbrowell I suspect it will be up to the blogger to prove their innocence, and that is what I've never liked @ govn't entities..

  2. Let's also bring in the RT - if you rt, that implies endorsement. How does RT affect product FTC liability? #nbc12

  3. [And how that heck are ya supposed to disclose within 140?!?] #nbc12

  4. #nbc12 And b/c of aggregation- if your blog is posted elsewhere and you didn't disclose in that particular area pulled in, are you liable?

  5. #nbc12 1st they start with the @dooce's and big bloggers, but think: has any govn't agency ended in 30yrs? So after they get the big fish...
(Thanks to Chip Temple of McSweeney, Crump, Childress & Temple for furthering the FTC discussion off line...)

And finally, for all of the non-organic keepers of the gate:
Thanks to Google's SideWiki, you no longer own your web site.
Put that in yer corncob pipe & smoke it. Can't wait to see what spam & pornbots will do with this...

I also thought about health care and twitter this week when I ran across this:

I'm still not seeing health care professionals on social media locally as other industry counterparts (like lawyers in 2008, for example, although a recent article states only 6% of lawyers are on twitter, yet look at the advantages!).  I thought of the benefits Richmond doctors could similarly use this way to engage their community, branding themselves locally, when I spied this feed, pictured above, quoted below, earlier this week:
  1. Metrics: After Twitter event, 20 people requested info/consults; 16 were surgery candidates; 14 surgeries performed. That's ROI!

  2. Interesting: a couple of Aurora's nurses are heavily involved in Twitter

  3. The Numbers: Before the surgery, Aurora had 900 Twitter followers. Immediately after, they had 2K. Now, they have over 5,300 #smhc

  4. Aurora Health did a live broadcast of a double-knee replacement on Twitter. Helped position hospital as tech & ortho leader #smhc
@riggrl has quite a bit of good social media health care advice, so if you are in a medical / hospital field you might enjoy following her on twitter.  Through her, I also discovered @EdBennett, who has some good social media policy advice and more for a hospital environment.

Richmond Grid had a nice mention of our hard work with Richmond's twestival, benefitting Tricycle Gardens:

@ThatJonesGirl and I are always willing to shout over a rowdy crowd for a good cause... : )

[Up next: More on branding. And ethics.  We tend to find those subjects fascinating. Don't you?]

Thanks for listening!
...If you note any trends or local media items of note, feel free to send 'em on!

I'm Copeland Casati, of Copeland Casati Media,
the original C3 in Richmond creative arts and media since 1999

You can reach me at copeland@copelandcasati.com, or on twitter, @copelandcasati. If you are a Facebook user, we can be found here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Copeland-Casati-Media-C3/52352550685

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Google Wave

Many of you are talking about Google Wave.
Here is a good overview of how to use this application, whether you have an invite yet or not! ; )

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