Doug Haslam

Gischeleman: "To Create With the Mind"

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Best birthday card ever, iphone category

I don’t really have a reason to blog about today being my birthday (unless it results in a Pownce invite), but I simply love the card that John Federico sent me; very timely, very funny:

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Photo caption finalist! Vote for “Botox,” vote for me please

Looks like I am in the running for a photo caption prize over at Strumpette’s Web site.

Please go to the contest page at www.Strumpette.com and vote for me if you are so moved. The contest runs through 1pm EDT on Sunday, July 1, 2007.

As an added incentive, I am donating at least 1/2 of the proceeds to a project very close to me, the building of the Andrew Curry Green boathouse at Wah-tut-Ca, my old summer camp.

I am actually fond of my response, “Liquid hydrogen facials are the new Botox,” so it would be a real kick to win.

The photo is at the contest page, but here it is for you:

image6.jpg

Remember, vote for Botox! and thanks.

UPDATE: Well, things got a little ugly after I suspected one of the other contestants of cheating and responded in kind to find out for sure. I’m out of the contest, which I fully expected as soon as the BS started. Not convinced I did the right thing, but not convinced the alternatives would have illuminated the situation either– plus, I had a little help;) .

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Blogging/podcasting contests. good ways to draw in the community?

RSSI came across a couple of social media contests recently that intrigued me. The first is from a blog called “Create Business Growth” that has a drawing for $335 worth of podcasting equipment. All you have to do to enter is subscribe to the RSS feed– and notify the blogger. I did that, so let’s see if I win. Oh– and did I mention if you blog about the contest you get 10 additional entries? Well, now I have done that too.

My question– will this only attract people who are into podcasting and audio and thus would want that prize? If that’s the desired audience, then it’s a win. what would you do to attract people to your blog?

Hat tip to Russell Holliman of Podcast Ready for that one.

pSpeaking of Russell and Podcast Ready, a company I helped do the PR launch for with Topaz Partners, Russell is running a contest himself. Here, he is urging podcasters to get listeners to use PodcastReady.com and myPodder, by giving away a spot on approximately 100,000 new media players pre-loaded with myPodder software. He is giving out promotional coded to identify the podcasters who are entering, and the one who drives the most new registrations wins. To be fair to smaller podcasters, he has added a drawing for 3 spots on 10,000 players.

This sounds like an interesting concept (and I am not involved with this particular campaign, by the way). I wish both of these contests luck, and most of all I am curious how they turn out.

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Podcast! PRobecast #21: PR Nightmares, Tech :Publishers and iPhone

Welcome to the PRobecast, Episode 21 of Topaz Partners’ weekly PR-related podcast.
This week, we record from the lovely Blue Shutters Inn facing good Harbor Beach in Gloucester, MA, with a bigger than usual gang of suspects.

Tony Sapienza, Todd Van Hoosear, Susan Koutalakis, Tim Allik, Doug Haslam and Adam Zand discuss:

  1. Don’t Be This Company.” Spell check your pitches, because you never know when, say, Michael Arrington of TechCrunch might be grumpy enough to call you out in public.
  2. Tech publishers in trouble? What will be the impact of the consolidation of CMP properties, and the sell off of Ziff Davis‘ enterprise magazines?
  3. Topaz making the rounds: Tony Sapienza talks about his recent speaking engagements at BullDog Reporter Media Relations 2007 and the PRSA T3 PR conference, and Todd Van Hoosear recaps the latest Social Media Club Boston event on Social Media ROI.
  4. Juvenile behavior report: Google holds a party during eBay Live, eBay retaliates by pulling advertising.
  5. Hillary Clinton chooses her campaign theme song, and the blog debate spills over into PRobecast.
  6. Things to do: Internet Radio Day of Silence in protest of impending RIAA fees, and getting in line for the iPhone (plus Doug tells the worst PR joke ever).
  7. Coda: Christina Carlson feels bad for the AT&T employees who have to cancel vacations due to the iPhone launch.

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

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Responsibility of the audience


Chris Brogan, Mochant, Kosso at Boston TweetUp


Last night I attended one of the several Boston “Tweetups” that have been gathering lately. These are meetings of people who converse regularly on Twitter, but value face-to-face meetings as well. This TweetUp included several prolific Twitterers, including PodCamp founder Chris Brogan, blogger/storyteller/ZDNet columnist Marc Orchant, and John “Kosso” Kossman of Podcast.com and Kosso’s Braingarden, all pictured. Also attending were Sooz of the new BostonNow paper, Schuyler Erle of MetaCarta and WhereCamp, and Kristen “KrooshCrusius.

Ok, on to the title of this post. We talked about a number of subjects, and one of my favorites came up: the responsibility of the audience. Ever since my days as a Mass communications major at Emerson College, I have been turned on the idea of perspective in the media. What that means is that the audience has the responsibility to consider the perspective of the content creator when reading, viewing or listening.

this came up in the concept of the Nikon D80 blogger outreach campaign. My point there is that I know the blogger will feel warmly towards Nikon, so I take any positive review as a certain % of BS, but– give me specifics of how the camera works, how it is different, why you like– or hate– it. Give me enough information to agree or disagree with you and make my own decision. I also brought up the example of any public demonstration, typical of which was the Million Man March of 1995. Organizers, according to Wikipedia (talk about considering your sources) said there were as many as 2 million people at the March, while U.S. Park police said there about 400,000. Well, somebody’s wrong. This is why newspapers should report both numbers. Each side has its own reason to exaggerate or downplay certain facts.

The concept of the critical audience has become more obvious in this age of bloggers. “Surely, these bloggers aren’t journalists, they must have biases. We can’t trust them.” All true but the last part. The thing is, we needed to be a critical audience before the days of blogs. For the CBS evening News, for the New York Times, for Time Magazine.

This has not changed for blogs, but I do think this attitude towards blogs is a good thing– it will make us a more critical audience to the mainstream media as well. Don’t assume political reporting is even-keeled, look at the body of the reporter’s work, and take any potential agendas into consideration. Do the same for your sports reporters your movie reviewer, and of course bloggers and podcasters, and be able to pick out the facts from the point of view. Nothing is purely objective, no matter how hard any journalist might try.

Content producers have the responsibility to disclose, to represent their views as they are to the best of their ability- and heck, to keep the audience interested in coming back. Prying some form of the truth from a host of human perspectives; that is the responsibility of the audience.

What are your thoughts?

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Podcast! Probecast #20: YouTube Debate, Liveblogging Sports, and more

Just posted the 20th episode of Probecast, Topaz Partners’ weekly PR-related podcast.
This week, Rob Capra, Adam Zand and I discuss:

  1. Liveblogging and sports: should the NCAA have expelled a Louisville Courier-Journal reporter/blogger from an NCAA baseball tournament? Plus, the NCAA blog has an interesting response.
  2. The New York Islanders embrace hockey bloggers.
  3. PR Measurement comes up again, courtesy of PR News. And a preview of Katie Paine‘s appearance at the next Social Media Club event in Boston June 21.
  4. Presidential Social Media (Again!): an upcoming Democratic debate will use questions submitted via YouTube.
  5. Listener-submitted question: comparing Catchpole, PRSourceCode, and Marketing with Honors, along with Harrington Communications (Thanks to Todd Defren)
  6. Having your client deliver the pitch: good strategy or ceding control?
  7. We recap recent visits to Topaz from David Berlind of ZDNet and Karen Testa of the Associated Press Boston bureau.
  8. What to do this weekend: celebrate FIR‘s 250th episode, boo Barry Bonds at Fenway, check out the Playboy sim in Second Life and please tell Doug what they heck they are doing there (CC Chapman does have some clues).

Comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

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Podcast! Topaz Partners PRobecast #19: Ghostblogging, Olympics logo and more

Another cross-post from Tech PR Gems of show notes from our PRobecast PR podcast. I’m not in it this week, but it’s still good:

In this episode of PRobecast, Topazers Todd Van Hoosear, Tony Sapienza, and Tim Allik mind-meld over the following:

Ghostblogging: The final chapter. Todd tells us he has the answer to the Ghostblogging dilemma that we first talked about several weeks ago.

PR Then and Now: We try to identify which PR skills translate best from the pre-Web to the post-Web worlds.

Keeping it clean online: Tony talks about a legal remedy involving URL redirects that one cyberstalking victim is leveraging to combat online defamation of character.

The Logo from Hell: Tim awards the 2012 Olympics with this week’s Bright Side Award. The 2012 Olympic logo has been universally panned as ugly and overpriced, and video ads featuring the logo have resulted in epileptic seizures among scores of victims. (Readers of our sister blog POP Culture Gems will recall that the Olympics have struggled for a long time with logos, mascots and other touchy-feely things.)

Online Advertising: Mayor Michael Bloomberg announces “Online Advertising Week” in New York City as online ad revenue enjoys another quarter of stellar growth, even with overall ad revenue down slightly.

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Popularity? Hadn’t occured to me until today

popularWell, it appears I have been “tagged” with a blogging meme. My friend Scott Monty at the Social Media Marketing Blog looked at his most popular blog posts

in terms of traffic. Such an exercise might seem egotistical– it is, for me anyway– but it does put one’s writing in perspective. What gets the most traffic, anyway?

This blog isn’t designed so much to maximize traffic– if it were, I would slap some ads on this sucker and start getting that vacation home down payment together. Rather, it is here to help me “create with the mind”– that is what “Gischeleman” means– and work on my writing and thinking by doing it regularly. I am also interested in what posts spark the most reaction, but have not been obsessed enough with stats to sort out my audience numbers properly. Trust me, I do not have much to brag about.

Anyway, here are the top 5 posts I could determine in terms of the traffic stats I do have.

  1. Webkinz, or Why I Can’t Get on My Own PC at Home: It appears that Webkinz is a very popular but under-exploited search term
  2. “Life with Cancer” Columnist Lauren Terrazzano, 1968-2007: The recent death of a high school classmate brought out my favorite post to date, written on the strength of her final column for Newsday.
  3. That Summer Camp You Went To: What if They Wrote a Book About It?: This is a recent post, and not one I expected a lot of traffic to, but I am glad some people have read it. By the way, you can purchase the book about my summer camp here. 50% of proceeds go to building a new boathouse at the camp.
  4. Why the Hanson Brothers Weren’t at the Oscars This Year: One of the first posts when I relaunched the blog this winter, it was a blast meeting the stars of “Slapshot.”
  5. Tut Tut, Sunglass Hut: Just a tale of poor customer service. People seemed to stumble over this post gradually over the last few months

Now, I would much rather look at my five favorite posts in the short life of this blog, not all of which are on the above list. Feel free to click on these to make them more “popular.”

  1. “Life with Cancer” Columnist Lauren Terrazzano, 1968-2007: Yup, definitely a favorite
  2. The Legion of Creepy Actors: An idea I came up with a few years ago. I spent a lot of time thinking up this list– please feel free to add to it.
  3. Which Comic Book Super Hero are You?: Partly because I had an unusual answer, partly because I knew Chris Brogan would have to comment. The things you think up while sick in bed…
  4. Twitter Adoption to Burnout: Approx. 23 Minutes: I found that many fellow Twitter addicts had the same initial reaction.
  5. Bringing Social Media to the Masses: or Vice-Versa: I got a lot of good reaction to this topic, here and elsewhere.

Now that I am done gazing at my own digital navel, perhaps some visitors will discover what I think are some pretty decent posts. If you like them great. Either way, let me know.

Now, to extend the game of tag. I would be curious not only about popular posts, but favorites (you too, Scott):

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Podcast! PRobecast #18

The Topaz partners PRobecast is back with Episode 18 after a holiday week.

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This week Tim Allik and Adam Zand join me to discuss:

  1. Introducing our new, user-friendly URL: PRobecast.com
  2. The Nikon D80 blogger outreach campaign. Good, ethical PR or blogola?
  3. “Flea” unmasked. Doctor/defendant in malpractice case unmasked. Anonymous blogging, and watch what you blog about.
  4. Presidential Social Media Part I: John Edwards campaign makes good after missteps in Twitter outreach.
  5. Presidential Social Media Part II: Hillary Clinton asks the public to choose a theme song. Plus, we rate the songs that made the cut (but Doug forgot to mention his own write-in choice).
  6. Melcrum’s new Communicator’s Network joins MyRagan in the PR communities space.
  7. Products of the week! Microsoft Surface, iTunes Plus, iTunes U.
  8. What to do this weekend: Red Sox fans welcome A-Rod to Boston, Human Giant twitters MTV Movie Awards, and an early Belmont pick from Adam (Tank).

Text: comment below or email bmoc@topazpartners.com
Audio: Leave a comment at +1-781-404-2419, or Skype doug.haslam

You can subscribe to the podcast via Podcast Ready
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