OK- So Here’s What’s Happening


OK, so here’s what’s happening:

We hear noises, and it sounds like a mouse, but I don’t want it to be a mouse. I want it to be the fridge, even though that would be much more expensive. Actually, it sounds like a mouse that has gained the ability to use tiny tools, like a saw or nail gun.

So the cat comes in, which is very good of him. It’s late, and he has a busy Monday lined up. But he hears the sound too, and knows it’s a mouse. I trust him with these things. So, there must be a mouse under or in the center cupboard where we store cooking implements (note: rinse the frying pan before use).

The cat (Whoopie, a name that strikes fear in the local rodents by the way) camps out near the furniture. He’s a great hunter, but I can’t help thinking I can be of assistance. My contribution? The cheese. I saw it work in a movie once.


I say to the cat, “The cheese is for the mouse. I’ll put it here, and when the mouse comes for the cheese…BAM! you hit him on the head.”

I know he won’t hit the mouse on the head, but I thought that sounded better.

The stakeout begins. I’m off to bed.

 

(Yeah, catblogging. One way to get unstuck)

Go Ahead, Attack Each Other Online (from PodCamp Boston)

Podcamp Boston 6 is in the can- I can’t believe there have been 6 (the first occurring on the fall of 2006). As someone involved in each of these PodCamps in some form (I’m going to be like one of those old guys who has been to every SuperBowl) I have been fascinated watching the event mature from “Hey, let’s put on a (really big, with lots of people travelling to get here) show!” to a more consistent gathering of people who want to learn and converse about social media.

For my part, I decided to lead a session this year, “Culture Clash of Personal & Professional Brands, and Why It’s Necessary.” What I meant by that terribly convoluted title was that the public questioning and criticism among members of the social media community is a good thing, and discussed some of the things I make such back-and-forth valuable, such as the addition of constructive arguments coupled with the lack of intimidation against questioning someone who is popular, vs those things that aren’t, such as out and out trolling, the unexplained “Great Post!” comments, and ultra-defensiveness by those being “attacked” (and since one of my tenets is it’s ok to name names, tag Chris Brogan, you’re it).

What was awesome, is that at least one person came to the session thinking it would be more about mixing your personal and professional life online, said, so, and helped start a good discussion on that topic. Somehow, that tied in the spirit of my original topic. Bravo!

I don’t necessarily follow my own advice to the letter, but I lean toward all of us having frank and open discussions about what’s good and bad in what we are doing in our profession. So next time you see a practice or idea, say so publicly– same if you really like something. Just bring something to the table.

Now if we could only get social media d*****bags to stop posting photos of themselves speaking on their blogs. That is such obnoxious egotism. Look at that self-satisfied grin. Have at it in comments if you like.

@DougH at #PCB6

(photo by Wayne Kurtzman on Flickr)

 

 

Social Media Top 5: Dammit, I’m Writing About Google Plus

plus

Flickr photo by Bert23

I’m trying not to write “just another blog post about Google Plus,” as there has been a lot of crap and good stuff on this here Internet that is hard to ignore. However, I have had some time to think about it, and would like to place it in context of “other networks.” Most of us active social media users have focused our daily time on Facebook and Twitter for talking with people, along with our blogs, YouTube and similar scattered platforms for our content.

It is way to early to judge whether Google Plus will even have long-term traction, let alone unseat Facebook, Twitter and blogs (as I wrote on the Voce Nation blog; patience, people). As for Google plus for business, they haven’t opened business accounts as of this writing so my counsel has been to wait until there is something to hang on to before putting any resources into Google Plus education– outside of trying it yourself. Still, there have been many interesting things around it– thus my Google-Plussy Social Media Top 5:

  1. Google Plus is intriguing because it is tied to other Google products many of us use
  2. If you use Gmail, there’s Plus, right there. Google Reader? Right there. Google Buzz? (Shut up, I use it and I know at least two other people do). There it is again. Google starts with an advantage because they have a built-in audience who all of a sudden have a toolbar on all their Google pages that shows their Google Plus notifications and other account information. It’s easy, in that case, to incorporate it into that part of your online life. Heck, even when you get in to the Google Plus web interface, there is Google Buzz right there– maybe people will use that too. Maybe.

    All this is significant to me, because Google has a history of having disparate products that should be integrated tightly but aren’t. Anybody who uses Feedburner and Google analytics (still) knows that. Even here, I don’t see a Google Plus bar on top of my YouTube (a Google property, remember?) page. Why not? Perhaps that will come.

  3. Google Plus is frustrating because it is not integrated into the established routine we have already assigned to other social networks
  4. In Google Plus, I have no easy way to publish to Twitter and Facebook also. I think it’s important for some early adopters, unless Google is simply convinced they will all dump Facebook and/orTwitter and embrace Google Plus full-time. Again, it’s way too early for anyone to be doing that, because not nearly enough people are on Plus yet. Perhaps that could change, but it will likely be quicker to find a way to add multi-platform posting functionality. As for those saying “I have left Facebook and am now on Google Plus,” that’s great if you have the kind of following who is a) largely part of that early adopter crowd who has access and b) willing to flock over there with you. It reminds me of a few years back, when Jeff Pulver abandoned LinkedIn for Facebook. Great for him, but I couldn’t have pulled it off. No way am I doing it here, or recommending that to any colleagues or clients.

    And while you’re at it? I’m sure (Google property) Picasa is fine, but I have a lot of time, money and resources invested in Flickr. Would love to be able to post my pictures there with a click.

    (And while I’ m at it: The notion that Google Plus should replace your blog is not necessarily the best idea (or a good idea) for anyone who actually wants to own their content vs having it controlled by a company that could take it down, make it disappear or otherwise mishandle it. I prefer to mishandle my own content first before handing it over to the professionals

  5. Google Plus is about “you” while Facebook et al are about “other people” (Maybe?)
  6. This article has an unfortunate title about Google Plus being doomed to fail- just as silly as saying it’s the new shiny before it has even launched. but it did make me think about the difference in approach. In my initial experiments, Google Plus seems to be about “me” (or to you, “you). My Circles, my organization of friends. I have no idea what Circles other people have put me into, just that they have put me in some. I don’t think the reason for that is privacy, as there are some scary potential privacy pitfalls in Plus (check the settings on your Android Google Plus app to see if your cellphone photos are automatically being posted to your Plus profile. Really, check right now). I just think the design ethic doesn’t account for finding other people and groups of interest- it’s just about you talking to people you already know. I suspect that will change. I would love to have more discovery options (a “Red Sox” public circle? cool!), and perhaps we shall see some as Plus develops.

  7. Interesting Google Plus experiments have been popping up
  8. This one, in which a press conference was held on Google Plus, is interesting. The hangout tool is still a bit klugey for some folks, and again, not everyone is on Plus, but as an experiment (important word), this makes sense and is interesting- and is not a bad PR stunt either.

  9. Quora (ha! curveball!) – don’t forget tools that may have been dismissed by the early adopter/short attention-span crowd.
  10. I know. Not Google Plus. Also, I was largely absent from the Quora hype when it launched. However, it’s a specific tool that does a particular thing well- provide a forum for experts to answer questions- and if it provides a place for established experts (like New York Times reporters) to embed the Quora Q&A format on their own sites, there may be life in that old dog yet. Just a caution not to over-hype a new service or complete ignore its utility when it’s down.

    So let’s see what happens with Google Plus, shall we? I think there will be a lot more to watch, rendering this post and all the musings, rants, webinars and complaints irrelevant. That’s the exciting part.

Social Media Top 5: Through Being Awesome, Content Quality & My Checkins Are Interesting

One: OK, You’re Awesome- Now Get to Work

We hear a lot in the social media world about being “awesome.” some of the people who espouse this are great friends, others are simply well-known within our little industry. I’m all for building up our confidence with supportive epithets like this, I’m all for building up our own egos to the point that we are not afraid to do great work- but at some point we just need to show the work and stop speaking in bromides.
Maybe it’s just me– I’ve always had an aversion to the “self-empowerment” tropes, because. they tend to cross the line from helping people become self-assured into a tiresome Cult of Me. whatever happened to Being Awesome and not pushing other people to do it your way? Blah, I digress.
By the way, the word’s not just “awesome.” It can be anything, I’m just hearing that one a lot again right now.

OK, you’re awesome, I’m awesome- stop talking about it now and get to work and show your employers and clients that awesomeness.


Two: Levelator on video– simple media quality tasks
I am a big booster of “good enough” multimedia. By “good enough” I don’t mean “good enough to get by,” but “meeting a minimum technical requirement without taking your attention away from good content. People- and companies- have fallen hard for the “Flip cam” mentality of do-it-yourself style content. This make it easier to get things produced, but does not excuse poor content. What’s the floor? How about and audio podcast that is on a fascinating topic, with an interview of a fascinating person, but is unlistenable because the sound levels are all over the place? That helps noone– it just wastes everybody’s time, including the podcaster and interviewee.
That’s why I’m always happy to point to posts like this one by Christopher Penn, a step-by-step tutorial on using Levelator (I’m a huge fan) to improve audio in movies you edit with iMovie. It’s pretty simple, and can keep you from wasting your time and that of others.


Three: Someone Cares About Your Post– Don’t Listen to the Haters.

I have recently seen posts by people (I’m not even going to link because we all post silly one-off rants that may or may not represent our overall social media personae) looking down on what I call “mundane” checkins. For example, if you use Foursquare, Gowalla or Facebook Places to check in to your daily Starbucks visit, well, that’s just a waste of space and nobody’s interested (bevause, perhaps, there are no celebrities, natural or man-made disasters, or free schwag involved).

Wrong.

Noone should be telling you what is interesting or what is not when it comes to personal posting. I publish my checkins at the YMCA because people frequently comment on or like them, whether as inspiration to work out themselves, or to encourage me. Often I don’t even know, but appreciate it.

Brands certainly like it when you mention them. People near you may be interested, and the more context you add the better, but even the fact you are at a place or doing a certain thing is a signal to people you  know. People who don’t care are wasting time asking you not to bother– they need to filter better.

We talk to our friends a lot, and some of the messages are subtle and passive. That’s OK. To the haters, well, ignore and move on — but don’t tell us what’s worthy– we, in turn, should ignore you. Yeah, I posted the following photo of my lunch to Twitter.

My lunch IS a celebrity

"My lunch IS a celebrity"

Four: I went to the Bruins Rolling Rally (and Yes, I checked in)

 

Five: I Got Nothing Else– I Hope You All Had a Great Father’s Day.

Social Media Top 5: Do You Know Where That App’s Been?; QR and Proud; and *sigh* Dunbar Again

Rotten To The Core

The Social Media Equivalent of Picking Rotten Food Off the Ground and Eating It in Front of Your Friends

Recently on Facebook, friends have tagged me in a “Friendmatrix” photo. FM is an app that takes photos of your Facebook friends and makes a collage out of them. My first question, as someone who is always looking for useful Facebook applications, is “Is that all this does? So what?” (technically 2 question, I know).  The answer, as far as a I can tell, is, “Yes.” It does nothing else besides having a new cute way to linkbait your friends on Facebook. If I wanted to do something that useful and ego-stroking, I would go to the much nicer-looking Intel “Museum of Me.” I have no time to pursue empty apps, though a few people in my industry apparently do.

Next, I was slightly alarmed at reports that FM may be a phishing scam. This link shows the site and app have a “poor reputation,” for security and privacy, though with 2 million users. Is it a scam? I don’t know, but I’m staying away until I know it isn’t it.

Back to the people in my industry- did they vet the site or application before trying it? I would shudder to think what my colleagues at Voce Communications or worse, my clients, would think if I were publicly trying out apps that could potentially be malware or phishing scams. It’s the social media equivalent of picking up rotten food from the ground and eating it for everyone to see. Who would want to do that and be taken seriously?

QR Code Cupcake

They’re Here, They’re QR Codes, Get Used to Them

I’m not sure Dave Wieneke, author of this Ad Age piece on QR Codes really means they are “Dead” (such a pet peeve of mine) but he does refer to them as a “dead-end technology.” OK, so I am angry to be deprived of the opportunity to rant against a “this technology is dead before anyone got a chance to use it”  post.  While I do agree that not everyone with a smartphone magically know what a QR Code is, and also agree that a thoughtless campaign based on an unexplained QR code display just because QR’s are “cool” are themselves dead-ends.

I fear that people will take pieces like this and declare the technology dead before they got really interesting. This isn’t RSS- a back-end technology that has no real business trying to explain itself to the average consumer- it’s an evolution of something very familiar- the bar code, that people have already been trained to scan on their own in supermarkets. The familiarity is not far off, and the adoption is already there- even by small businesses- I was in a party store the other day to buy cupcakes, and by the register was a small sign with a QR code and the simple note “scan this” promising more information on the store and its products.

Patience, people.

Twitter, Facebook, Social Media and Measurement

I’m sorry I had to miss Tom Webster’s presentation at Blogworld, and this post urging people to rethink how people consider brand effectiveness on social media is why. No one should be surprised that Facebook is more popular than Twitter, and I’m certainly not surprised that people engage with brands on Facebook more than Twitter, but the magnitude in Tom’s research is a bit surprising. It merits further consideration, at the least. I would like to see if this information is repeated in other studies.

Dunbar Strikes (Feebly) Again

“Dunbar’s Number,” usually quoted as 150, is the standard for the maximum number of relationships one’s brain can hold. A new study, detailed in this post, shows that limit again. I understand that, and always have. What I expect is that a new round of people is running around trying to shame and shush those who would dare to follow more than 150 people on any given social network. Rubbish. I still stand by my contention that attention can be compartmentalized and that my notion of “baby dunbars” applies to the ability to focus on a certain number of relationships under a given context or time, and another set of relationships under another.

Do I follow thousands at once? Not all at once, silly.

Call Yourself a Guru, Get Followed by 100 More… What, Exactly?

I enjoy Dan Zarrella’s metrics-driven studies on social media, calling out, for example, that saying “please gets more responses on Twitter, or what day or  time of day is the best to post to get Retweets on Twitter or Likes on Facebook. His latest was a head-scratcher for me: those adding “guru” to their Twitter profiles have 100 more followers on average. My question is “what kind of followers would those be?” Bots, spammers, the gullible. Further study on the kinds of followers “gurus” get would be interesting (no, I’m not volunteering to do it).

By the way- Dan, in his post, refers to “don’t call yourself a guru” as a “unicorn” myth. I still stand behind it, because applying any high-falutin’ title to yourself and asking people to believe it is high-level ass-clownery (Dan’s “social media scientist” is an exception in my book., by the way)

Photo Credits:

1. Rotten To The Core by pupski, on Flickr

2. QR Code Cupcake by clevercupcakes on Flickr

Social Media Top 5: DM Spam, Infographic Pain, & Naughty Words

Blogworld: Spam is Spam No Matter Who Sends It

I was lucky enough to be invited to attend Blogworld Expo in New York City this week, moderating a panel on social media in the financial services industry. I also attended the opening keynote, featuring author and winer Gary Vaynerchuk, former Kodak CMO and current, um, marketing e-book something or other Jeffrey Hayzlett, and author H.P. Mallory. One moment that stood out for me was when the subject of promoting products via unsolicited direct message on Twitter came up. Hayzlett defended, somewhat, his experiment with doing that to promote his e-book. I received one of those DM’s a few months back and was pretty shocked to get such a piece of spam from someone so well-known in the marketing industry. When Hayzlett’s defense was that he received only 18 negative comments about the spam, Vaynerchuk, to his credit, said “That you know of.”

Applause moment.

And yeah, I mentioned Gary Vee 2 weeks in a row. Complain in the comments. To make up for it, I’ll add that I refuse to stand in line for book autographs; that’s a big “whatever” for me. So I took Gary Vee’s book, which was given to all attendees, and had Wendy Piersall, author of the upcoming “Mom Blogging for Dummies,” sign it instead. She’ll need the practice as I’m sure the book will do well.

IMG_1553

 

Infographics Are Way The Heck Out of Control

Similar to my recent rant about overused stock images and their inability to make me respect your writing, I would also argue that making infographics that try to cram too much into a small space– or even worse, take up too much space- disrespects the reader. I think infographics should be simple, to the point, and easy to digest. To extract more detail, write more in the blog post or a white paper.

Geoff Livingston goes on about this at length. Bravo. My only beef is that I wouldn’t describe overwrought infographics as porn, as I don’t think porn is designed to make people angry, give them seizures or destroy their eyesight.

s.i.t.e  (stick in the eye)

Flickr photo by guydonges

The Twitterverse 2.0

The true universe is unknowable.

Yeah, I can easily talk about the Twitterverse, but there are several other examples, sadly too easy to find. Danny Brown pointed me to a blog post discussing the role of swearing in professional blogs, but I couldn’t scroll past the darn infographic to read it for fear of developing tendonitis in my trackpad fingers. Good heavens, what a clusterfudge of info-filth.

About the Swearing

Speaking of Danny Brown’s dilemma; people who know me know I know all the words, and use them (knowingly). I tend not to use them here or on my public Twitter and Facebook feeds (except in rare instances and occasionally by accident), but that’s a choice. Am I offended if people use language in a professionally-focused post? Not really. The words are now in the boardrooms, conference calls and certainly at the water coolers. Use your judgment and be prepared for people to be offended, but it’s out there.

Consarn it.

Twitter Buys Tweetdeck; So What?

Josh Bernoff of Forrester Research says Twitter will favor its own apps. Will other developers cry foul if that happens? Maybe, but so what? An “open API” is as open as its owner makes it, and no more so (accounting for the possibility of legal contracts and such between owners and developers, I suppose). So will we get a better experience on Tweetdeck? A more consistent one as Josh says, sure. For advertisers and marketers, consistent experience across multiple platforms makes Twitter more attractive, not only for marketing but for plain old business use.

Does it mean other worthy tools like CoTweet, HootSuite and Seesmic get short shrift? Not if they continue to differentiate or simply add their own value. I don;t pretend to know if that is about to get more difficult.

Also interesting, is Josh’s mention of the “Splinternet,” meaning that the so-called open world of apps is turning into one of consolidation by companies. Natural progression, isn’t it?

Me? I’m still waiting for the day when Tweetdeck loads on my Macbook in a timely fashion…

…still waiting. Maybe that will change.

Did The Onion Take Over All Things D?

With a headline like “Apple Store Customers Satisfied Even if They Didn’t Buy Anything,” one has to wonder.

Social Media Top 5: Trust the Clowns & More Blather

Trust for Trust’s Sake? I Don’t Trust That Notion

There has been a lot of talk about Trust in social media circles over the last few years. I agree that trust is important in business (not just social media- let’s stop isolating broad concepts, shall we?), but does a company try to engender trust simply for trust’s sake? I don’t think so, and don’t think they should either.

The latest airing of that topic came on Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation podcast interview with Don Peppers of the Peppers and Rogers Group. Peppers and Rogers popularized the notion of “One to One” marketing with their book “The 1:1 Future” more than 15 years ago, and is highly respected in the field; the book was an early influence on me.  When I heard Peppers talk on the podcast about companies’ need to build trust, however, I waited in vain for that other show to drop– that companies build trust in order to get more revenue from us. Just have my trust? Fine, but not if it doesn’t prompt me to buy. This kum-bay-yah unicorn stuff isn’t free. It’s ok to sell me stuff. If I trust you, I’ll buy more, and that’s why you should be looking for that trust

Personalization

So, is personalization on the Internet limiting our world view by only showing us things with which we have affinity, or is it a better engine for serendipity and discovery? It’s remarkable to see people argue hard when both are right (are wrong). So the answer for personalization and the dangers of the limited worldview? It takes me back to the “responsibility of the audience,” meaning that some people will only take in one side no matter what, while others will always explore. Partisan, reality-challenged talk radio existed well before Facebook. Perhaps it’s not social media/personalization’s fault.

 

Chris Brogan clowning it up :)

Photo by Eric Skiff (Chris, I Kid!)

Gary Vee: Send in the Clowns and Let it Ride

Gary Vaynerchuk made a few waves when he said in a Techcrunch interview that “99.5% od social media experts are clowns.” Why would people get offended? Are they not used to Gary’s hyperactive hyperbole? I would only take issue with his use of the word “clown,” as his act can seem a bit clownish, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing (exhausting, maybe). There are plenty of other words, but to the shock of some of my friends I won’t print them here. Gary felt he needed to explain the comment. I don;t think that was necessary. Let people be offended. The people with nothing to fear from such comments won’t mind.

 

Tooling on Social Media Experts

I enjoy Justin Kownacki’s rants against Social Media Expert laziness and complacency. I also love Christopher Penn bludgeoning common sense into our brains. Put the two together (in separate posts, don’t get too excited), and you have satire and sense about how to be a social media expert, with the bonus that one point makes each list (naturally, it’s the saw about using numbered lists, which I agree is both trite and useful– geez, look what I’m doing with these “Top 5″ posts)

Another Victim of Multiple Twitter Accounts

I balance personal and client Twitter accounts, and keep a healthy fear of posting to the wrong account someday. So far, I have managed to avoid doing this. How hard can it be, really?

*For the record, I can’t deal with the blathering either, though it’s not limited to Fox

Social Media Top 5: The Return

Five Fingers?

Photo by Imageo on Flickr

My Social Media Top Five posts are back!

Did you miss them? I don’t care. As it turns out, I did.

I stopped doing the Social Media Top 5 for a few reasons:

  • I didn’t think the posts were meaty enough, at least not consistently
  • I had other things to do (like work for clients)
  • I was probably entertaining myself more than any readers I might get by chance (maybe I’m wrong there)
  • I wanted to write single-topic posts that had more to say (circle back to bullet #1)

The problem is that, while I did write some posts I was proud of– in fact every single one in the interim was pretty good by my own standards, and got good comments– i wrote a lot fewer than I really would like to publish.

Is it important for me to have a personal blog? It is in that I continue to want to understand blogging and other social media and continue to put that experience to use for clients and colleagues at Voce Communications. It’s more important that if I do want to have one, I publish more regularly. So here goes…

1) Owning your stuff… again

There have been a few stories lately that remind us how little we ultimately control social media channels, unless we host them ourselves. The recent Tumblr/Zephoria trademark flap is one example, with Tumblr removing a blog from its original Tumblr URL due to a complaint from a company using the same name. Forget the trademark issue- the fact that Tumblr could make that blog disappear with the flick of a switch should make you ask yourself: Can that happen to me? Do I own and control my content and how people access it? Do I care enough to make sure that doesn’t happen?

And yes, this applies to Facebook, Twitter and other content channels.

Other examples are out there every day: did you opt in to the new ownership of your Delicious bookmarks? ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick says you should (I did).

2) Stories and Questions Versus Bombardment

I saw a few smart or at least interesting posts about how to “engage” (Yeah, I’m sick of that word too) rather than bombard:

In one, Facebook Sponsored Stories apparently are more effective than plain old ads on Facebook. It makes sense that something that brings in the context of Facebook activity rather than just trying to force intrusive relevance would work. Does anyone have their own anecdotes in this regard?

Another, from Social Media Explorer, I will sum up by saying simply: “Ask questions, don’t just push content.” If you want responses (responses are answers, right?) you need to ask questions. Call for response. I have seen this work time and time again.

3) World Events and Social Media Lessons (Shut Up Already)

When Osama Bin Laden was killed, friends quickly laid bets as to when the first “Social Media Lessons” posts surrounding Bin Laden or his killing would pop up. Regrettably, it did not take long. Those of us in the bubble are too eager to drink the silly juice and jump on how you can take social media lessons from this or that world event. I’m not going to side with folks that turn a blind eye to the change social media is assisting, but really folks– sometimes the proper response is to shut yer hole.

I won’t link to the offending posts (some of them were even pulled after they got hounded by mobs wielding flaming torches fueled by common sense), but I will link to this funny reaction story on Technorati by my friend Marc Girolimetti, “What Osama Bin Laden Taught Me about Scrapbooking.”

4) The Future of Publishing? (Shut Up Already 2)

I have long ago grown weary of “future of publishing” pronouncements. That does not mean publishing is changing– of course it is, and the shifts are ongoing, and of a type and pace that renders most predictions meaningless. It’s an upheaval, and it’s fun to watch. One thought: if you are in the midst of publishing books and being known as a successful book author, saying “the book doesn’t matter” seems silly. If that’s how you feel, don’t write books.

By the way, I’m not a Seth Godin basher. I remember when Permission Marketing came out, and it was a game changer. Since then, he has been more of a Woody Allen of Marketing authors. There are too many books, and as with Woody’s films, I pay attention when more rabid fans call something to my attention. That works for me, and takes less time.

5) Copyright and Blogging Common Sense

Just one last note; a good common sense post at The Blog Herald about copyright. Many of us casual bloggers take the use of copyrighted material for granted, and could use a brief refresher to prevent takedown notices or worse.

As for me, I respect copyright by using Creative Commons licensed photos from Flickr, and rights-cleared music from Music Alley. Have you thought about the copyrights on material you use in your blog or podcast?