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Month: September, 2012

Better to be Feared or Loved?

 News is defined as “the report of recent events through facts and collective information.”

Censorship is defined as “the suppression of speech or other public communication which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, or inconvenient as determined by the government, media outlet, or other controlling body.”

It is the news is to act as the Fourth Estate. To report facts to the people. Recently, this article has the NYTimes admitting major news organizations to fall to censorship by campaigns or government officials.

Media censorship takes many forms in the way you get your news. While news stories are often edited for length, there are many choices that are made that are designed to keep some information from becoming public. Sometimes these decisions are made to safeguard a person’s privacy, others to protect media outlets from corporate or political fallout.

 

Project Censored specializes in covering the top stories which were subjected to censorship either by being ignored or downplayed by the mainstream media each year. Project Censored is a research team composed of more than 200 university faculty, students, and community experts who annually review up to 1,000 news story submissions for content, reliability of sources, and national significance. The top 25 stories selected are submitted to a distinguished panel of judges who rank them in order of importance. 

Is it better for news to be feared by all the corporations and government and report to the people, or loved by the people and risk getting a slap on the wrist?Image

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     Companies wish they could use social media to conduct a focus group on an a product or serivce. But no, you can’t just open a Twitter account and say, “Hey, what do you think?” But you can use it for research and development two different ways: social media monitoring and directly seeking customer feedback. 

   The first approach is to use social media monitoring to gather research about your company, product or service, competitors or industry. By listening to online conversations about certain topics your customers might be talking about, you can gather competitive intelligence that can inform your decision making and produce a better offering.

   Let’s say you make HTML coding CD’s and sell them from your dorm in Florida and they sell fairly well. But you need some R&D or at least some market research to know if what you’re planning to produce makes sense for the new CSS code you intend to roll out in the coming weeks.

   So you go to a free monitoring service like SocialMention.com.You enter some keywords until you start to see some relevant results for conversations occurring from users in or around Orlando. For instance, “This needs to be written like I’m five,” is a phrase you might see pop up a couple of times.

    Then you might notice that when people are talking about what their coding needs, they say the CD needs to be big Mac compatible. And there’s your new product idea harvested from raw data on the Web.

   A second approach is to openly participate in social media and build relationships and connection with your actual customers so you can turn to them into your focus group. As an active social media participant, building followers on Twitter, fans and likes on Facebook, readers of your blog or even subscribers to your email newsletter, you’re essentially growing your potential focus group every day.

   Make a list of the product or service feedback items you might want to ask customers about. Then make a list of the information you’d like to know about your customers or prospective customers. Look at that list and pick the one or two major areas you wish you could solve with a little customer input or feedback.

   These two scenarios don’t require big budgets, or lots of scientific testing. But they are legitimate research-and-development practices any business can use by implementing social media for R&D purposes.

 

If No One Comments On A Blog, Does It Exist?

      According to a 2008 survey by Technorati, which runs a search engine for blogs, only 7.4 million out of the 133 million blogs the company tracks had been updated in the past 120 days. That means 95 percent of blogs are being abandoned, left to lie fallow on the Web, where they become public remnants of a dream unfulfilled.

      Not all blogs die from lack of reader interest. Some bloggers find themselves too busy with homework and after school activities or if older, parenting and maintaining a job. Other people use more immediate formats, like Twitter and Facebook. Maybe a few would like to even not care, and keep what’s left of their privacy nowadays. 

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   (Image Credit: Businessgrow.com)

 Blogging does take a lot of time and some people make a profession out of it, making it their life. It is up to the blogger to sit down and think of something to write about to generate responses, comments and discussion. Most people don’t like hard work.