Call For Screenshots: Facebook Privacy Settings [en]

I’m giving a workshop on Wednesday to a group of teachers on Facebook privacy settings. Of course, Facebook changed their privacy settings in December, so I’m having to scramble to get up to speed before giving the workshop. This is why I’m asking for your help.

I was pointed to an article about the new settings, but I’m sure there are other good ones out there: 10 New Privacy Settings Every Facebook User Should Know — please leave links to articles you found useful in the comments.

The main thing I’d like to as your help for is that I’d like a little collection of examples of privacy settings — mainly to help me understand what settings people are using, and possibly as examples to show at the workshop. I will anonymise any identifying information like e-mail addresses etc which might appear in the screenshots, no fear! Here are links to the various pages I’d love to receive screenshots of, if you have a few minutes to indulge me (e-mail firstname dot lastname at gmail — you know what my name is, don’t you?):

Don’t feel like you have to send me screenshots of all of these if you think it’s a lot — anything more than nothing is great for me. If you want to explain why you use certain settings, I’d love to hear about it too (in the comments or by e-mail).

A huge thanks to those of you who’ll take a few minutes to provide me with material!

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New Tumblr iPhone App [en]

[fr] Si vous êtes un utilisateur de Tumblr muni d'un iPhone, il vous faut absolument l'application iPhone pour Tumblr.

I missed the Tumblr application for iPhone when it came out, because I had downloaded an earlier version named Tumblrette — and didn’t spot the name change. I was quite disappointed by Tumblrette, to be honest — but I absolutely love the new Tumblr app.

There is an iPhone-specific dashboard view, you can easily like and reblog posts, follow new Tumblelogs you discover, or create new original posts. Here’s a view of the dashboard (easy insertion of iPhone screenshots by using the WordPress iPhone app to create a draft containing the images — my iPhone is starting to feel almost like a computer):

When you click on the top right arrow in a given post on your dashboard, it changes to this:

To like, just tap “like”, and if you want to reblog, you get a chance to edit (like in the web interface) before posting:

The one thing I’m not wild about, because it really breaks the flow of what you’re doing with the app, is that once you’ve reblogged a post, you end up at the top of the “web-view” dashboard.

The logical place to end up would be back in the “iPhone-view” dashboard, so that you can continue skimming through the posts you were reading before you reblogged:

But in all, it’s really great. If you’re a Tumblr and iPhone user, get Tumblr for your iPhone now!

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Diigo — I Think I Like the Idea (Bonus Content: Conversation Fragmentation) [en]

[fr] Diigo semble être un outil de commentaire et de bookmarking social intéressant. Regardez les images si le texte vous rebute. En prime, petite digression sur la fragmentation des conversations.

I’m a bit of a [referrer obsessive](, and today that little habit of mine led me to discover [Diigo](, a social bookmarking tool which does way more than that. It seems at first view to be a mix of []( and what [coComment]( could have been, with a pinch of [MyBlogLog]( and maybe [StumbleUpon]( thrown in.

[This is the link]( that led me to it. It’s pretty well-designed, because it immediately gave me an idea of what the service might be able to do for me. Look for yourself:

Diigo non-user landing page

That’s the page that was bookmarked, with a “toolbar” (a fake one) on top. Close-up:

Close-up of "fake" Diigo toolbar

Oh-oh! I can bookmark, *highlight*, annotate, comment… sounds nice! If I scroll down [the page](, I get to see what “highlight” might look like:

Diigo highlighting

That’s actually pretty good, because it allows me to **see** what I could get out of the service without having to sign up. Good marketing, guys and gals. Well, I don’t know about you, but that was enough for me to sign up and see what it was really about (specially as I’m keeping an eye open for something that could [replace what I use coComment for]( — but it doesn’t seem this will be it, I’m afraid).

So, here goes. Sign-up was pretty straightforward. Sadly, Diigo commits the [password anti-pattern]( crime, which **no social tool is allowed to do anymore** now that [Google has a password-free API]( to get around that (see [Flickr and Dopplr: the Right Way to Import GMail Contacts]( I’m from now on refusing to give my password to any “find your friends” interface, even if it makes my life more difficult. One has to take a stand, sometimes.

So, finding friends will be hard. Let’s have a look around, however. Diigo has a toolbar, which installed quite nicely. The FireFox add-on provides a side drawer for Diigo.

My Dashboard | Diigo

Amongst other things, this makes it easy to leave a comment on any page. A good point for Diigo: they make it possible to share annotations with non-users (which is how they got me interested, as I just explained). So for the comment in the screenshot above, I can get a “[share link](”:

Diigo -- Sharing annotated link

Which means people I give this link to get to see this:

Diigo comment visible to non users

Oh, and they have [OpenID]( too! Another good point for them. In case it wasn’t clear from what I’ve already said, I think that leaving the functionalities of the tool **visible to non-users** like that is a great thing. It makes it easier to use for me when I don’t already have friends, and it allows people who haven’t joined yet to see more clearly what they might get out of doing so.

Back to the tour.

Diigo does bookmarking. I’ve been faithful to from the start, but it doesn’t mean I’m closed to switching if I find something better. If I can bookmark and post [Skitch]( sticky notes and comments on the web pages I’m bookmarking, well, that could win me over. First thing I checked, though, was import/export capability. One of the things I feel burnt with about my coComment experience is that there seems to be now way to leave *with my data* — so export is one of the first things I check before I consider using a new service I’m going to be storing data in.

Import is important, because if I’m going to switch to Diigo, I want to bring my past data in. Well, in that department, good marks:

Social Annotation: Seamless Integration of Social Bookmarking, Web Highlighter, Sticky-Note & Clipping

And even better, the “save elsewhere” feature:

Save Elsewhere

This means I can start saving my bookmarks to Diigo right away, and get Diigo to post them to That way, it doesn’t break anything in the way I work — it just changes the input method and allows me to test a new tool “without risk”. Great.

I tried importing my bookmarks through the API and it seemed to stall in the middle:

My Bookmarks -- import fail

I can’t say I’m wild about the amount of advertising on the site, but it seems in slighter good taste than [coComment]( (I encountered a seizure-inducing vibrating banner ad on their site just minutes ago — but to say the good, I also discovered that they now support OpenID during that trip).

So, after the first import seemed to fail halfway, I followed Diigo’s advice and imported my bookmarks through the HTML export file provides. I got the following message:

Diigo File Import from

…which made me fear I would end up with duplicates — but no, everything worked fine. It’s now possible to see my “[goingsolo+coverage](” bookmarks on Diigo.

The interface is sometimes a bit difficult — I’ve found how to do things, but it doesn’t “flow” as easily as I’d expect it too. I guess they still could use some work there, and it sometimes has a feeling of “rough around the edges” (ie, import message that says things are ok when they aren’t, extra space in URL when filtering two different tags in bookmarks, chopped usernames under avatars…). This, for example, looks like it could use a bit more work in the design/usability department:

Reader Community for ,Twitter: What are you doing?

What would be really nice would be if Diigo could capture comments made in traditional commenting forms, in addition to letting me add “separate” comments:

Could Diigo do comment capture?

This is important because comments made through normal commenting forms appear on the page immediately — so site owners aren’t going to get rid of them right away. I need to dig into what [Disqus]( is doing, though, haven’t yet had a close look. A bunch of people ([Loïc Le Meur](, [Louis Gray](, [Stowe Boyd](, amongst others) have been noting lately that conversation/commentary is moving away from blog comments.

**The conversation is now forked or fragmented**, something that [Ben Metcalfe noted as a problem with coComment, already at the time]( I remember that at one point in time, the direction coComment was taking (with groups, mainly) was to abandon the idea of one conversation” and the move towards “multiple conversations” per post/page. I guess I never really liked that idea, because as a blogger before anything else, it’s important to me that *commentary* about what I publish can easily be found using the original post/video/whatever as a starting point.

On the other hand, I don’t believe in forcing people to use this or that system to leave their comments. Lots of people comment on my posts through Twitter, and that’s fine — but I regret there isn’t a system to indicate that those tweets are part of the commentary on this or that post. So, comment through Twitter, the comment form, Facebook, Diigo, on [my FriendFeed]( or on your own blog, even with a [Seesmic video comment]( if you want — but as a content provider, I’d like a way to collect all that commentary with a big net and display it on my blog post page.

Comments have more value when they are displayed alongside the content they’re referencing, but the process of leaving a comment should be tool-agnostic.

So anyway, end of bonus digression, and back to the Diigo tour. This Diigo thing is social, so I need to find friends. As I refuse to do the password-thingy, I tried typing a few names of superconnectors I know (Robert Scoble, Stowe Boyd, Michael Arrington, Chris Brogan… for starters). Only Arrington had an account, but it had one test bookmark and zero friends… not too good for a start.

I’d noticed the Diigo side drawer had a “Readers” tab. So I loaded up my blog in the browser, and scanned the [list of my readers]( for known names (I figured I might know some of my readers). Lo and behold!

Climb to the Stars (Stephanie Booth) » More than just a blog.

My friend [Thomas Vanderwal]( was in the list. Here’s his bookmarks page:

Thomas Vander Wal - Bookmarks

(Note the “tasteful” German-language ad — because [I’m in Switzerland, I speak German, of course (not)](

I had to poke around a bit for the “ad friend” button, but finally found it on Thomas’s profile page:

Thomas vander wal Profile

Unfortunately, it seems not many people from “our bloggy-twitter circle” have joined yet — Thomas only has two friends, and I don’t know them (I think). Or Diigo need to work hard on their “finding friends and adding them” processes.

Well, there we are. Looks interesting. Will try to use it. More to be said of course, but already spent way too long on this “quick post with a few screenshots”!

If you join Diigo, [here’s my profile page]( if you want to add me. Tell them I sent you! (Who was saying I should get paid to write this kind of stuff, already? ;-))

**Update:** Diigo isn’t new, though I don’t recall having ever heard of it. Seems Techcrunch mentioned it in [2005](, [2006](, and again [last month]( Maybe I should read Techcrunch more often 😉

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More on coComment Advertising [en]

[fr] Malheureusement, coComment et moi sommes partis pour une "Séparation 2.0: quand les 'social tools' que vous aimiez ne vous le rendent pas." Le choix de leur distributeur de publicité est vraiment malheureux (un cran au-dessus du spam, à mon sens), et clairement, il n'y a pas de dialogue entre coComment et ses utilisateurs, malgré les déclarations acharnées "d'ouverture au dialogue".

A la recherche d'une solution de remplacement pour la saisie des commentaires, donc. Le suivi des conversations m'intéresse beaucoup moins que la centralisation de tous mes commentaires en un endroit.

I was alerted to this a few days ago by [Nathalie](, and after witnessing it [with my own eyes]( — well, I’m going to go to bed a little later to blog about it, after all.

After [preparing to slap ads in our comment RSS feeds](, [coComment]( is staying on the same ugly and obviously slippery slope by inserting ads in the cocobar:

coComment blog ads in cocobar

So, slightly more discreet than the [big banners placed in the RSS feed](, but not in very good taste either. Here are some examples of scrolling ad text:

– “Want fast fitness results? Click for free info, revolutionary products.”
– “Walk on the well placed warmth of radiant heating. Click now!”
– “Free comparison of top car rental companies. Click here!”
– “Click to create your dream holiday trip now.”
– “Easy-to-use, advanced features, flexible phone systems. Click for more info.”
– “Visa, MasterCard, AMEX & Discover. Compare Offers & Apply Online. Click here!”

Reloading a cocobar-enabled page will provide you with hours of endless entertainment. (I’m kidding — but there are more out there, of course.)

Now, I understand that [coComment needs to “monetize”](, though one could question a business model which seems to be based on revenue from scrolling ads and blinking banners. (I can’t remember who said “if your business model is putting ads in your service, think again”.)

There are ads and ads, though. Here’s a sample of banners from the coComment site:

coComment blog » Blog Archive » Advertising, Revenues and harsh realities

Commenting is sexy. HotForWords is the talk of the party at Geek Goes Chic

Commenting is sexy. HotForWords is the talk of the party at Geek Goes Chic

coComment blog ads

The screen captures don’t render the blinking quality of most of these ads, but I guess your imagination can fill in. Now, does anybody else than me feel that this kind of advert is just about one step above spam? Based on a few of the comments I can read on [the post Matt wrote about the “harsh realities” of advertising](, it seems not:

> With all honesty, the banners displayed on the cocomment site are awful and are making the service look VERY unprofessional – totally agree with “disappointed” on this one. Few will argue that perception is 99% of reality, so with those banner ads making the site look like crap, the whole service becomes questionable. I felt like I was about to get a trojan into my computer when I first saw

> there are other advertising partners that don’t crap up your web site with ads that flash in your face. most opensource projects are using google ad sens now (just an example) that displays relevant ads that look very subtle.


> I agree with some of the commenters here about the ad selection. It wouldn’t be so bad if it were unobtrusive AdWords or… something a little classier. It cheapens your brand. Think upscale! Or, at least, more upscale.

Allan White, in comment

Yes, there are ads and ads. These ones definitely make coComment look very cheap and dodgy, and I’m not sure it would encourage users to hand over credit card details to pay for an ad-free version. Also, what’s with the [Hot For Words]( thing? I’m sorry, but this is not my world. coComment has obviously moved into a space which is very alien to my beloved blogosphere.

Unfortunately, it’s not enough to [state]( that you [want]( to have a [conversation]( to actually be having one (I guess that for starters, that last post would have pointed to [the post of mine]( that [contributed to prompt]( it). A conversation starts with listening and caring, and obviously, despite their efforts to prove the contrary, the coComment team sadly don’t get this.

What could they have done? Well, I’m not going to launch into a session of full-blown strategic consulting for an ex-client of mine (who didn’t seem to value my advice much at the time), but simple things like taking up issues such as the arrival of advertising *with* the people who use the service **before** actually dumping ads in their feeds unannounced could be a way of showing you care a little bit about how they feel. Understanding that [apologies and justifications]( when you mess up do not erase the past also seems like a good idea. As my friend [Brian Solis]( put it:

> Making mistakes in social media is a lot like sticking daggers into a wooden fence. Just because you apologize and pull them out, they still leave the scars for others to see, and feel. Sometime apologies help people feel better, but they don’t fix perception. This is why thinking before engaging is critical to success in the world social media marketing. This is after all, about people.

Brian Solis

So, as I told Brian, coComment and I are headed for **[Breakup 2.0]( when the social media tools you loved don’t love you back** (yes, you can quote that one, it’s from me).

At the moment, I’m only using the service to “save” the comments I make, because I like keeping a trace of my writings (I used to collect stamps). Sadly, I’m not even sure coComment will allow me to walk out with all my data in an XML dump — I don’t see anything obvious in the interface for that, so if I am able to, it will probably be due to my relationships with the people who have access to the server. (I said “if”.)

The tracking feature is too confusing and overloaded for me to use — I can imagine using something like [co.mments]( to keep an eye on the small number of conversations where I’m on the lookout for an answer. But I don’t have an alternate solution for “capturing” the comments I make. Copy-paste is a bit of a bore, and doesn’t capture the comment content — just the fact that there is a comment.

I’ve been thinking up **an idea involving a Firefox add-on**. It would have a bunch of algorithms to detect comments fields (maybe would support some microformat allowing to identify comment feeds or forms), have a simple on/off toggle to “activate” the field for capture (some right-click thing, much more practical than a bookmarklet or a browser button, because it’s always there, handy, wherever you click), would colour the field in something really visible when capture is on (red! pink! green!) without disrupting readability (I need to see what I type). It would capture the comment, permalink, blog post name (it knows I’m the commenter, I could fill in that info in the add-on settings), and dump the info in an XML or RSS file, or in the database of my WordPress installation, with the help of a WordPress plugin.

It’s a half-baked idea, of course, and I don’t have the JS skills to actually code anything like this. It should probably be a week-end project for somebody with sufficient Javascript-fu — if you’re interested in bringing it to life, get in touch.

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How Blogging Brings Dialogue to Corporate Communications [en]

[fr] Notes d'une conférence que je viens de donner à Zurich sur les blogs en entreprise.

As promised to the participants of this (Monday) evening’s event, here is my slideshow of the talk, notes, and links. *note: notes written up on the train on the way home, I hope the links aren’t too broken and that it makes sense; let me know in the comments if there is anything weird.*

Thanks to everyone for participating so well 🙂 Please feel free to add notes, comments, further questions, things you took away from the talk in the comments to this post.

*note: the beginning of the notes are roughly what I said; questions and answers are not included — there were lots; I gave an accelerated version of the second part of the presentation, as we had talked a lot, and actually, covered much of what was important anyway.*

For links related to corporate blogging, see those tagged [corporateblogging]( and [20070924]( for those linked to today’s talk. Click on the “related tags” on the right to explore further.

I’ve added slide numbers in brackets roughly when they appear. Not that the slides are that interesting, of course…

[1] [2] Blogging is a tool that brings dialogue, and the point of this talk is to see how that happens in a corporate context.

[3] Two main aims:

– understanding the “[bigger picture](” blogging is part of
– practical advice on introducing blogs into a business setting.

[4] As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a Powerpoint wizard, so won’t be dazzling you with fancy slides and lots of buzzwords. I’d like to have something approaching a conversation with you. I’m obviously expected to do quite a lot of the talking (that’s what I was asked to come for!) — but you know lots of things I don’t, and you’ll have comments and questions. Please ask them as we go along… I’d rather go off-track from my presentation and be sure to address the things you’re wondering about. *note: and yeah, that’s exactly what happened! got so caught up in our conversation that I lost track of time!* This way of doing things, you’ll notice, is related to what blogging is about.

[5] First, I need to know a bit more about you. I know you’re communication executives and I’m told you’re already familiar with blogs — that’s a start, but I need more:

– who reads blogs?
– who has a blog? (personal, corporate, work-related?)
– who is blogging this talk? *(nobody — hopefully in 2 years from now, half the room)*
– who uses a feed-reader (NetNewsWire, BlogLines, Google Reader)
– who is in a company that uses corporate blogs?
– who has employees/clients who blog?
– who has read The Cluetrain Manifesto? Naked Conversations? (required reading!)
– who is in a company that is blogged about? do you know?

[6] Before we get to the meat (practical stuff), let’s clarify

– what is blogging?
– where does it fit in?

There’s a lot of confusion there.

Blogging is:

– a [tool](
– a culture
– from a business point of view, a strategy

Different [layers](

Blogs@Intel · Intel Corporation

[7] [Using just the “tool” layer]( often fails, because it’s just publishing “official communications” in a different wrapping. And official communications are boring — I hope I’m not breaking the news to anyone. Example of this: []( Not very exciting.

I think a lot of corporate blogging failures can be attributed to stopping at the “tool” aspect of blogging, and underestimating the cultural aspects.

Listening and Learning Through Blogging

[8] Example that gets the “culture” layer: [Listening and Learning Through Blogging on McDonalds’ CSR blog](

> I’ve just finished my second posting, and I’ve realized how much there is to learn about the blogosphere. I’ve spent a lot of time looking at other blogs, listening to what others are saying about what we’re doing, and picking up some suggestions along the way. ([McDonalds’ CSR blog](

From a business point of view, adopting blogging is a strategic decision, because it impacts the culture. It’s not just a shiny tool we can use to do the stuff we do usually, it’s linked to deeper changes.

[9] So we’re going to concentrate on the “culture, strategy” side of blogging, which is the first part of this presentation. So we’re going to have to backpedal, zoom out, and look at the big picture: [10] The Internet, The Cluetrain Manifesto.

**So, what’s [the Cluetrain]( about?** It started as an online rant, and grew into a book in 2000. It’s still valid today.

Basically, the Cluetrain says that [conversations are happening](, inside and outside your organization, and they can’t be stopped.

[11] People are tired of being talked at. They (inside: employees; outside: customers) are too busy having [12] real conversations with their friends, people they know and trust. Offline as well as online. They won’t listen to fabricated discourse (a lot of marketing). I know that when I receive my bank statements, I’m interested in how much I’ve spent, and the flyer giving details about my bank’s latest service goes straight to the bin. What about you?

[13] These conversations are everywhere. They’re talking about you — you the companies. A lot of our day-to-day conversation is about brands, consumer products, services… These conversations [14] can’t be controlled. Control is a big issue when it comes to corporate blogging.

Is communication something you control?
Are conversations something you can control?

[15] We know how important word-of-mouth is in marketing, and in the shaping of buying decisions we make. We listen to our friends (people we trust) way more than advertising.

Do great stuff. Care. Let people know. They’ll talk about you.

[16] Blogging is about jumping in there, being part of the conversation. And this conversation is bigger than just blogging.

Not that easy, but [not that hard]( remember what it is to be human. To be passionate about something. To care. Bring that into the conversation.

So the important question becomes: how will this fit into my corporate culture — or not? Is it compatible?

[17] What [I mean]( by corporate blogging: blogging that has to do with corporations, businesses. Blogging beyond the tool (culture). Everything is possible.

– internal
– external
– one author
– multiple authors (group blog)
– very official
– unofficial
– employee blogs
– news outlet (with the danger of missing the “culture” and falling back into the “just tool” use)

[18] Some quick [examples]( of real “corporate” blogs. A lot of damage control in my examples — one thing blogs are good at.

– [Dell]( started out badly, listened, learned
– [McDonalds CSR blog](
– [English Cut]( “my tailor is rich” (haha) fairytale; blogging to demonstrate expertise and built credibility (and [drive your business through the roof](
– [Palm’s response to Engadget’s open letter]( a personal reply, and look at all the comments
– [Robert Scoble]( ex-Microsoft, hired for his blogging skills and reputation
– [Nee-Naw]( a LAS employee — impacts the image we have of the LAS
*note: this is where things started going fast*
– [Richard Pierre SA]( Swiss, also an “expert” blog (demonstrating expertise)
– [Rapleaf’s “we made mistakes”]( if you mess up, and talk about it, and say sorry, chances are many will forgive you
– [Domaine du Crest]( winemaker, Geneva; insight into vinyard life
– [Yahoo! official blog]: taking the heat in the comments
– [4500 Microsoft employee bloggers](
– [DreamHost, ongoing disaster]( being candid about what went wrong
– [Larry’s take on the Vista SR bug]( info straight from the horse’s mouth
– [Michel-Edouard Leclerc](, French CEO (see also [reaction in food poisoning crisis](

[19] Who should blog?

Corporations do not blog. Humans do, people. You can’t remove the person from the blog. Businesses with a “do the right thing” attitude. Enthusiasm needed! [20] Bad guys shouldn’t blog. Businesses who mistreat customers and employees shouldn’t either. Not if you’re dull or cheesy or very controlling. (See Naked Conversations, pp. 134-138.)

[21] [Why]( should one blog? Very important question.

– to communicate differently, humanise the company
– not just another channel to push the same tired message through.

Where does blogging fit in strategically? => who, what exactly…

See [possible objectives here]( Basically, anywhere there are people doing things. Except probably high-confidential security stuff.

[22] How?

You want to get blogs going for all the good reasons, but how does one

– start blogging [23]
– blog well? (ongoing work!)

[No real “one size fits all”.]( Many answers to this, depends on the situation/culture of the company in question.

Some general answers, however.

[24] Check out the [corporate blogging 101](, very precious stuff there.

enable blogging. Encourage employees to blog. Blogging is a grassroots phenomenon, but it needs support form the top. There are maybe people already blogging — find them, and use them to encourage more blogging.

[25] have a purpose (that important Why? question). Don’t blog to blog. Figure out what **current needs** can be adressed by blogging. You can start small:

– event?
– product?
– “news”?
– project?
– office life?
– expertise on one topic?

This is very context-dependant. Need to understand the context well to be able to choose/advise wisely.

Careful! If you’re using a blog to post the usual “official communications”, you’re missing something.

[26] **learn the culture**: this is the big bit. Listen to bloggers (online and offline, in-house and out). Get training (this is where it’s worthwhile to put your money, as you’ve saved on expensive software).

Before going to [India](/logbook/), I studied the culture, but it couldn’t prepare me totally for what I found when I went to live there. You need to go to a foreign culture to really “get” it. Blogging is a foreign culture.

Learning to blog well can take time. Not everyone is a natural. Ongoing effort!

[27][28] Remember, blogging is about **Me & You**, having a conversation.

– dialogue
– relationship
– people

[29] **Listen.** Read blogs. Read comments. Be open. Get a feed-reader.

[30] **Passion.** Believe. Be passionate. If you’re not interested, it’ll be boring.

[31] **Style.** HUGE subject. How to write on a blog. It’s difficult.

– write for the web
– use “I”
– use links, make your writing 2D instead of 1D
– informal
– short paragraphs
– simple, direct language
– no jargon or corpspeak
– tell a story, as if to a friend
– author name, but don’t sign posts like e-mail

[32] **Time.** Don’t kid yourself, it takes time. Commitment. Easily an hour a session, a few times a week. But it’s fun 🙂

If you try to remove any of these ingredients, I doubt your blog will be successful and survive.

[Best practices?](

[33] DO:

– eat your own dog-food
– trust your bloggers
– read other blogs
– be [part of the community](
– use a feed-reader
– link! even to competition, negative stuff
– be human
– learn the culture
– use an existing blogging tool
– discuss problems
– define what is really confidential
– give existing in-house bloggers a role (evangelists! learn from them!)
– tag, ping, use the “kit” and other social tools

[34] DON’T:

– try to control
– use a ghost-writer or outsource blogging
– “roll your own” tool
– ignore established blogging conventions, they’re there for a reason
– copy-paste print material in posts
– use corpspeak
– force people to blog
– write happy-clappy stuff
– write blog posts or comments as if they were e-mails (starting with Hi… and ending with a signature)
– be faceless (signing with the name of the company instead of the person)

[35] FUD: fear, uncertainty, doubt. Cf. Naked Conversations pp. 140-145 for discussion, really, it’s all there:

– negative comments
– confidential leaks
– loss of message control
– competitive disadvantage
– time-consuming
– employee misbehaviour
– ROI absent…

[36] ROI of blogging (google for “ROI blogging” — without quotes). Comes up often (need for quantitative measurement), but still very debated topic. Respected experts all over the map, from [“it doesn’t/can’t apply”]( to [“here is a way to calculate it”](


– hard returns
– soft returns

There is a return, it’s a worthwhile investment, say those who do it. How to measure it is another story. Sorry 🙁

[37] A closer look at some examples… [coComment]( [disclosure: ex-client]:

coComment blog -- Corporate Blogging Example

[38] Read the first sentence… what is wrong here? Not a human speaking. Don’t post press releases as blog posts. You might cite them, or link to them, or comment on them, but don’t stick them in there as posts. How does the reader think his “feedback” will be received when he’s being spoken at to start with?

coComment -- Corporate Blog Example 1

[39] Privacy concerns raised on other blogs. Good to address the issue and respond, instead of hiding! (it would just get worse… cf. Kryptonite). “Click here” looks bad, though, and hints that the medium (blogging) isn’t really understood.

coComment blog -- Corporate Blogging Example

[40] OMG. What is this doing here? Did somebody smoke something? First-time author on this blog — an introduction would have been more appropriate.

coComment blog -- Corporate Blogging Example

[41] Note that this is a multi-author blog, which is usually the case with an “official blog”, though often there will be one “main author” who carries it. Apology for painful upgrade, that’s good. E-mail-like signatures on each post, however, again point to incomplete understanding of the culture.

[Flickr]( great example (and great photosharing service too, sign up today).

Flickr Blog -- Corporate Blog Example

[43] Look at that outage notice. It’s fun! Really fun. And there are updates. Two of them. As a user/customer, I feel that they give a damn.

Flickr Blog -- Corporate Blogging Example

[44] Coverage of what’s going on in the community. Blogging is a lot about community, nurturing it.

Flickr: it's not just blogging

[45] Here, a forum post. It’s not just about blogging, remember the “bigger picture”? But same kind of attitude. How you engage with others in the community. Treat them as people and not like numbers. Look at how well this issue is documented, with links and all — and this is a “problem situation”. We’re not shoving the dirt under the carpet here.

[Moo]( *note: if you got a business card from me, this is where they come from!*

MOO | Blog -- Corporate Blogging Example

[46] So, this is a promotional posting (ad, marketing, oh my!) but look… it feels like she was e-mailing a friend, rings true.

Up for debate (bloggers will tell you “yes”): can you feel if somebody put his/her heart into a post?

[47] Closing notes:

Blogging is a strategy. Deep change in communications. Not pushing a message anymore, but

– conversations
– relationships
– trust
– people

The question to ask is:

Is my company/department/team ready for this?

Blogging is a grassroots phenomenon, so bottom-up (you can’t force people to be passionate about something and blog about it), but needs support from top-down. There are maybe already blogs in your company, and you might not know it!

Read The Cluetrain Manifesto and Naked Conversations to start. (I’m serious.)

Eat your dog food. If you’re going to introduce blogging in your company, you need to start blogging — before. Open a account and start writing about stuff you’re interested in. Use your blog as a [backup brain](, writing things as they occur to you. For you first, and for sharing with others in case it’s of interest to them.

Blogging is technically cheap, but culturally expensive.


Some extra stuff, off the top of my head (some from off-presentation discussion):

Blogging tools: [Wordpress](, Movable Type and Typepad ([SixApart](, Drupal.

Looking up stuff in blogs: use [Technorati]( or Google BlogSearch. Use Technorati Cosmos to see who linked to a given blog post.

The “Because Effect”: I make money *[because of](* my blog, not *with* my blog.

Discussion of trust and reputation in the blogosphere. Auto-regulating medium.

A few sketches I made while preparing this talk, but didn’t use:

Cluetrain 101 Sketch 1

Cluetrain 101 Sketch 2

Cluetrain 101 Sketch 3

[Open-sourcing the invitation copy.](

Good example of an “event blog”: [LIFT conference]( (and go to the conference, too, it’s a great event).

*promotional 😉 note: if you would like to have me come and give this talk (or another!) elsewhere, please don’t hesitate to [get in touch]( This is one of the things I do for a living.*

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Finally Getting Tumblr [en]

[fr] Un tumblelog, c'est un blog réduit à sa plus simple expression: des articles, des liens permanents, un fil RSS. Pas de commentaires, pas de gadgets, pas de tags, pas de catégories. Un bookmarklet permet de facilement choisir entre six sortes de billets prédéfinis (texte, citation, lien, photo, chat, vidéo) et devine même pour vous si vous le cliquez depuis une page web.

C'est un lieu idéal pour bloguer en passant, au fil des lectures. Noter une idée en vitesse. Mettre en valeur une photo ou une vidéo qu'on a appréciée. Prendre des notes sous forme de citation lorsque l'on lit.

I’ve had a [tumblelog]( since February of this year, but it’s taken me a long time to figure out where it fit into my online presence.

I first tried importing **everything** into it, but that was a mess. [Jaiku]( is better when it comes to lifestreaming, for the moment. (Wow, just checked, and [Suprglu’s still alive]( — head there if you want the “fuller” version of my lifestream… with the lag, though.)

Anyway. This is what I publish on it nowadays: comments from other blogs, screenshots, quotes, and passing thoughts.

Let’s take a closer look.

#### What on Earth is This Tumblelog Thing?

A [tumblelog]( is a blog stripped of all the non-essential stuff: no categories, no comments, no monthly archives, no fancy layouts, widgets. What is left? Posts, permalinks, RSS feeds… and a simple, no-nonsense layout.


Back in 2000 when I started blogging, the revolutionary thing about blogging tools (which at the time meant Blogger, there weren’t that many others) was that they **made it dead easy to publish** things online.

Tumblr has focused on that. Make it simple. Remove everything that gets in the way. Make the act of blogging so effortless that it can really [become a true backup brain](

It’s a place for passing thoughts, interesting links, a video here or there. No time lost for anything else than the act of posting. Whatever you do, don’t think before posting.

A tumblelog is really a “me first!” thing. Stuff for me, first. Maybe you’ll find it interesting too — but if you don’t, no heat.

#### What I’m Importing

Tumblr Feed Settings

At the beginning, as I said, I imported everything into my Tumblr. But then, I wanted to import my Tumblr into my lifestream on Jaiku, and I ended up with duplicate content.

I decided to remove all my imports from Tumblr except for comments — through [coComment]( Comments on other people’s blogs are an important part of my online activity, and they deserve to be “kept” somewhere. CoComment does that, of course, but not in a really comfortable way for readers (the RSS feed is fine, and included on my blog, but it’s only the last comments). Reminds me that I never wrote that post about the disastrous launch of the 2.0 version, btw. Oh, well.

So, my comments go in my Tumblr.

During my stay in San Francisco this summer, I was converted (quite easily) to [Skitch]( by [Mr. Messina](, and since then, my ( has seen the arrival of a great many screenshots. I feel like I finally have a camera to take photographs of my online life — as soon as I see something of note or bump into a problem, Skitch allows me [](effortlessly upload a screenshot).

These screenshots are a narrative of my online wanderings, and as such, deserve to be displayed in a timeline separate from my thousands of photographs.

In the Tumblr they go.

#### What I’m Posting

So far, I’ve found two really important uses to Tumblr: quotes and thoughts. The Tumblr bookmarklet is smart enough that it recognizes that I want to post a quote if I select some text on the page before clicking it:

Posting a Quote to Tumblr

This makes posting quotes dead easy. It’s suddenly made my online reading way more valuable: I’ve always read books taking notes on what I was reading, copying quotes so I had them handy in the future — and when a lot of my reading shifted online, I lost that. With Tumblr, I’ve found it again. (Finding the quotes will be trickier, I hope Google’s indexing of the Tumblr will be sufficient.)

The [Tumblr Dashboard]( has six pre-set types of posts: text, photo, quote, link, chat, video.

Tumblr Dashboard

These pre-set post types offer different formatting and posting forms.

I’ve started to use the text post type to jot down random thoughts that occur to me, or notes to myself. For example, I’ve spent quite a bit of today thinking about a talk I’m going to give tomorrow, and jotted down some thoughts like [this one](

As you can see, Tumblr allows me to link to an individual post.

A few times, I’ve also posted [snippets of chat/IM conversations](

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Satisfaction Looks Neat [en]

[fr] Un outil de "customer care" qui permet d'une part aux "clients" de s'entre-aider, et au personnel de participer à la conversation. Ça semble vraiment pas mal! Quelques petits problèmes après 20 minutes d'utilisation.

I read about [Satisfaction]( yesterday somewhere and saw it again today [in Brian Oberkirch’s blog]( I went to [sign up]( and [give it a quick toss around]( Here are the first screenshots.

The nice thing is that as this is a support tool, I used it to [record the problems I bumped in]( too.

Satisfaction: submitting a problem_idea_question_chat

I think it’s a pretty neat tool and I’m going to use it in future when I bump into problems, in addition to [posting them to Flickr with Skitch]( It’s community-based support, but with an option for company employees to participate with a “label” that identifies them as staff.

The first thing that annoyed me was that I had trouble finding where to change my profile photo. I clicked on “Account” and expected to find something there, but in fact it’s under “Dashboard”.

Satisfaction -- change image

Here is [the topic I created about this problem](

Next issue, a rather important workflow/design flaw:

Recently active topics in Satisfaction Unlimited about Satisfaction Beta Release

I was a bit wordy in [explaining it]( (early Sunday morning here), but I hope this makes sense:

> Ideally, when fill in the first “chatbox”, I’m going to want to check out the links before saying “not quite right, want to add details and submit”.

> Unfortunately, once I’ve done that, it seems I can’t come back to the page with the link inviting me to “add details and submit”.

> That doesn’t encourage me to click the links and check out first! It encourages me to go straight to “add details and submit”.

> So, if those links are really expected to be useful, encourage me to click on them by providing the “add details and submit” form on them too.

Last but not least:

Get Satisfaction: two gripes

1. If you’re telling me that I’m set to receive e-mail updates, that’s really nice of you — but it would be even nicer to give me a link to where to change it.
2. Please, please, please. [Space-separated tags]( At least support them. I’ve talked about this [elsewhere]( (and before, too, but I can’t remember when or where). It breaks the current input model we’re used to (, Flickr…). It makes us type an extra character.

Go try out Satisfaction!

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Google Shared Stuff: First Impressions [en]

[fr] Google Shared Stuff, nouveau venu dans l'arène du social bookmarking. Pas convaincue qu'ils aient pour le moment quelque chose de plus à apporter que leurs concurrents déjà bien établis.

I’ve briefly tried [Google Shared Stuff](, and here are my first impressions. I’m one of those horrible people who always see what the problems are instead of what’s good, so I’ll just say as a preamble to the few gripes I’m raising here that overall, it looks neat, shiny, and it works roughly as it should.

#### Profile Photo

Your Shared Stuff -- Upload Picture

– **nice:** I can choose photos from various sources
– **not so nice:** “The photo you specify here will be used across all Google products and services which display your public photo, including Google Talk and Gmail.”

I already have a photo in my Gmail/Google Talk profile. Why can’t you use it? If I upload a photo here, is it going to overwrite it? Need more info, folks.

#### Private vs. Public

This is my shared stuff:

Your Shared Stuff -- As I See It

Shared stuff can be public or private. Above is the page as *I, the account owner* see it. Below is the page that the public sees:

Shared Stuff from Stephanie Booth -- As Everyone Sees It

See the missing link? (Not difficult, there are only two in total.) “Hah, you’ll say, you made the second link private! That’s why the public can’t see it!” Try again:

Trying - And Failing - To Share CTTS

The link was shared as “public”. This is obviously broken in some way, folks. Please fix it.

#### Email/Share Bookmarklet

The bookmarklet is nice, but nothing revolutionary:

Sharing Bookmarklets and Buttons

What about the sharing pane? It looks very much like the sharing pane, but more cluttered. The nice thing is that it lets you choose a photo to illustrate your share (like FaceBook does, for example):

Google Shared Stuff Email / Share Bookmarklet Pane Sharing Pane

Besides being less cluttered, the pane has a huge advantage over the Google one: it’s a resizable window. Really really appreciated when a link you clicked (or a page opened by Skitch) uses that window for the new tab.

One interesting feature of this sharing pane is that it allows you to share to other social bookmarking services — not just Google’s. That’s nice. Open. No lock-in. But… isn’t it a bit pointless when I can access the bookmarking pane in just one click instead of three?

Google Shared Stuff Bookmarklet Pane

#### What I Wish For


I’d like a one-click bookmarklet which works exactly like the “Share” button in Google Reader:

Google Reader Share Button

Clicking the “Share” button adds the post to the stream of my [Shared Items page/feed]( Painless. I can easily add them to my sidebar:

Google Shared Items on CTTS

However, now that I’m using [the Google Reader “Next” bookmarklet]( more, I find that I’m in Google Reader less, so something like a “Share Bookmarklet” (Google Reader-style) would come in really handy.

The main point here is that to share something in Google Reader, I click once. With Shared Stuff or, I click at least twice.

**[Holes in Buckets!](**

So here we are. Again. Make all this stuff communicate, will ya? **When I share stuff in Google Reader, I’d love it to be pushed to my account automatically, with a preset tag or tags (“shareditem” for example).** It annoys me to have links I’ve saved [in]( **and** in Shared Items (Google Reader). It’s not as bad as it was when you couldn’t search Google Reader, but still.

Am I going to add yet another list of “shared stuff” to my online ecosystem? That’s the question. Make that bookmarklet share to Google Reader Shared Items, and let me push all that to, and you’ll really have something that adds value for me.

Otherwise, I’m not sure where Shared Stuff will fit in my social bookmarking life.

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A Blog is Not a Post, Dammit! [en]

[fr] De plus en plus répandue, la confusion entre "blog" et "post/billet/article" est un cancer qui ronge la terminologie blogosphérique. Pour mémoire, un blog est un type de site composé d'une série d'articles (ou posts, ou billets). On ne dirait pas, dans le cas d'un magazine composé d'articles, "j'ai écrit un nouveau magazine" -- et donc on ne dit pas "j'ai écrit un nouveau blog sur le sujet".

Photographiez les coupables à coups de saisie d'écran et envoyez-les-moi -- je les ajouterai à la collection dans ce b... illet!

Lately, [I]( ([and others]( have noticed an increasingly aggravating trend: saying “blog” instead of “post”.

To make it clear: a blog is a type of website, made of a collection of blog posts, or “posts”.

Just like a magazine is a collection of articles. You wouldn’t say “he just wrote a new magazine” instead of “he just wrote a new article”, would you?

So, you don’t say “to write a blog” instead of “to write a post”. It just doesn’t make sense.

I’ve started collecting screenshots of offenders and I’m collecting them here (Flickr tag: [ablogisnotapost]( Post your own screenshots on Flickr and I’ll add them to this blog… post (!) — with credit, linkage, and everything, of course. Just drop me a line or leave a comment with the link.

Let’s fight back and get all those newcomers to get their terminology straight before it’s too late!

#### “Blog” and “post” confusion — offenders

[How to Make a Blog](

Confusing 'blog' and 'blog post'


E-mail with "blog" and "post" confusion


StumbleUpon » My Preferences

StumbleUpon » My Blog

[Plasq](, courtesy of [Stowe Boyd](

plasq bad blog usage

Maria on [Millions of Us](, courtesy of [Stowe Boyd]( (one could argue that this is, in fact, her “first blog”):

Her First Blog Ever

[Foreign correspondent Telegraph Blog](, courtesy of [Adam Tinworth](

Not a Britney Blog - a Britney Post!

[SAP Community Network](

SAP Blog_Post Confusion

[Alan Patrick](,-long-shadow.html) (his excuse: lots of beer and a late night, and an attempt at justification by invoking a semantic shift of the word “blog”):

broadstuff blog_post confusion

[Dwayne Phillips commenting on /Message](

Comment on /Message, blog/post terminology confusion

[Tim Berners-Lee himself :-(](

OMG. TBL himself calling a post a blog :-(

Send me yours!

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Lijit Feedback [en]

[fr] Un peu de feedback sur Lijit, un moteur de recherche sympa qui s'organise autour du contenu en ligne d'une personne et de son réseau.

I lost the first version of this post in a Firefox crash while I was writing [my post on structured portable social networks]( (that’s what I get for doing too much at the same time). With a bit of luck it will be better 😉

So, as promised, here’s my feedback to Barney about [Lijit]( First, for those of you new to Lijit, [Stowe Boyd blogged about Lijit]( about a week ago, which is how I discovered it. (Yes, go sign up now, but come back here to read the rest of the post when you’re done. Thanks!)

Signing up must have gone reasonably smoothly, because I don’t have any screenshots of it — which is a good start. (When I bump into any interface problem or bugginess nowadays, I quickly [grab a screenshot]( with [Skitch]( and upload it to Flickr with a few notes. Photographs of my online life, if you like.)

I was disappointed that I could only add my and MyBlogLog networks. The latter is a good addition, but how about my Twitter network? Or a blogroll on [my secondary blog]( CTTS doesn’t have a blogroll (pure laziness). I tried importing my network from Facebook, but it was way too creepy, I disabled it as fast as I could. I got the feeling it was going to allow people to search through my friends’ notes and stuff — as well as mine. I do take advantage of the “walled garden” side of Facebook to publish slightly more personal stuff there than “outside”, and I know I’m not alone here.

What would be really neat would be if I were able to export *just the connections* I have to other people from Facebook, and if they are Lijit users, import their blogs and content into my network. Think [portable social networks](

Being able to import the blogs I read (they’re my “network”, aren’t they?) directly from Google Reader (filter with a tag though, so I can keep all those naughty sex blogs I’m keeping track of out of the public eye).

I used Lijit twice to find the old posts I linked back to in the post above. First, on the Lijit website itself:

Holes in my Buckets (Lijit)

Then, using the wijit I installed on my blog:

Lijit Search On Blog

That’s pretty neat. Lijit opens a “fake window” over the current page with the search results, and when I click on a link in the results, it loads in the initial browser window. Sounds obvious, but I like that it works — many ways it could have gone wrong.

I’m moderately happy about the space the wijit takes up on my blog:

Lijit Wijit on CTTS

I know companies are hungry for screen real estate (“make that logo visible!”) — but be less obtrusive and I’ll love you more! Notice that I now have Lijit search, normal Google search, and WordPress search. Way too many search boxes, but for the moment there isn’t one that seems to do the job well enough to be the only one. (Maybe Lijit, but I haven’t had it long enough…)

Stats page is neat, though I’m still totally unable to tell you what the two pie charts on the right do:

Lijit | My Stats

What on earth is Ma.gnolia doing in there?

There, that’s what’s on my mind concerning Lijit for the moment. Watch out for [the screenshots]( if I bump into anything else!

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