Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Thursday, March 03, 2005
Rich traces the linkage between Hunter S. Thompson and Armstrong Williams.
We might call the relationship a negative correlation. Aside from the obvious
issue of authenticity, one of the things that Thompson had that others don't
was an ability to write well "firsthand." From today's NYT:
"Thompson was out to break the mainstream media's rules. His unruly mix
of fact, opinion and masturbatory self-regard may have made him a blogger before
there was an Internet, but he was a blogger who had the zeal to leave home and
report firsthand and who could write great sentences that made you want to savor
what he found out rather than just scroll quickly through screen after screen
of minutiae and rant."
Lasting Concepts: authenticity, good firsthand writing
Implication for PR online: Blogs allow us to break the rules
of mainstream media (MSM), but we still need to write well and write based on
Wednesday, March 02, 2005
Tuesday, March 01, 2005
As I work on a book chapter and a research paper on PR and blogging, I'm reminded of this post from Kaye Trammell's blog. Her blog is called So this is mass communication?:
...With each article the case for your own study becomes more clear. It was as if all of these researchers were thinking about YOUR STUDY when they did their work over the past 20 years. And now, the glory & moment is yours to seize...
Except that now you've got all of these researchers who did their work over the past 20 years AND all the bloggers who posted their ideas over the past 20 days to consider.
The problem for us in academics - actually it's not really a problem, just what we're supposed to be doing - is finding what will matter most in 20 years. Scoble has already gracefully acknowledged Bob Wyman's criticism that he "can't help wondering if it won't be horribly out-of-date when published in early 2006" . But I think Israel & Scoble, Searls & Weinberg, et al. are on to concepts that last longer than the technologies they describe. We just need to figure out what they are, then try to test them and learn from them.
In public relations, Shel Holtz and Jim Horton have managed to churn out hard-copy books (Holtz lists them as "dead trees") on online PR that have been useful. My biggest challenge in writing a book on public relations online is not to compete with these books. These authors have provided solid information on the state of the field, and continue to do so with their blogs.
Rather, I'm looking for places where PR theory works (or not) online. Theory doesn't get people's attention like technology does though, especially as it's being developed. Another double-edged sword - lasting concepts last, but they emerge slower than the technologies and practices they explain. That's why peer-reviewed journal articles on PR theory have a readership (that's readership, not circulation) of about seven people. ;-)
But I see theory as a way to learn things that will outlast the publishing cycle of both blogs and books. Good theory is worth the paper.