February 2008 Posts

“Blogs are not reliable sources”

Ah, Wikipedia. I actually really like Wikipedia. But, obviously, with so many chefs working the broth, things happen. Like, for example, a couple days ago. I have never edited Wikipedia in my life and I most likely never will. But, links to my sites have shown up in Wikipedia many, many times. This isn’t a surprise, really, because of the work that goes into those sites. Bad Boy Blog is linked to on all sorts of pages because of the stories that we’ve broke and the reporting we have done.

So, after a source at the label sent me the tracklistings for the upcoming albums from Danity Kane and Day 26, I published them. Shortly after my reports, they were added to the Wikipedia pages for both albums. Again, no surprise – many fans have come to regard us as a first stop for news on Bad Boy artists.

I figured this because I was getting a little traffic from it and it was in my referrals. I opened them up just now and realized that both links had been removed by Admc2006. The reason was the same for both. “Blogs are not reliable sources.” Of course, that’s not fair. (As an aside, the new source link in the Danity Kane entry, Wal-Mart.com, doesn’t even have a tracklisting). That’s like saying “Magazines are not reliable sources.” It’s too vague. Some magazines are not reliable sources… some are. Some blogs are not reliable sources… some are. But, at our heart, we’re just a publication, whatever you call us.

At Bad Boy Blog, we have an established history of breaking stories and checking sources. We broke the tracklisting for B5’s “Don’t Talk, Just Listen”; we broke stories about Jordan McCoy filming a reality show, Diddy not changing his name (when 50 outlets had reported he was), Cheri Dennis’ album being digitally released exclusively, Christian Daniel being dropped from the roster, 8 Ball & MJG being dropped from the roster, Elephant Man adding four tracks to the U.S. release of his album and on and on.

Is this the stigma of being a blog in the minds of some people – however misguided? If the name of the site was Bad Boy News or Bad Boy Journal or Bad Boy Herald – would I then be a reliable source? I have to think no, that another reason would be created. But, Chris doesn’t really like the term blog and I don’t really care, but it’s funny to see how these standards are invented and then applied to me.

Personally, I don’t think blogs should be targetted in any sort of way. And I was just talking about this over at YanksBlog.com, because there has been talk that the Yankees may try to prevent players from having personal blogs, out of fear that they might say something inappropriate. If something is inappropriate, it’s inappropriate – it doesn’t matter whether they say it on their blog or to a reporter. Where it comes in is knowing what to say and what not to say. Once in a while, someone may see a little trouble because of something they said, but that’s the same for speaking to the press, as well. People are human, things slip out. And, sometimes, the companies that you associate with make themselves think that something you said is inappropriate.

However, no matter where anyone links to, we broke both of those tracklistings, as far as I know, and that’s the bottom line.

Congrats to Stephan and Jessica!

Congratulations to one of my best friends, Stephan and his fiancée Jessica on their engagement. I wish you guys nothing but the very best – always!

SXSW Presentation: Creating a Positive Environment on Your Forums

After listening to feedback (and feedback that was offered on a one to one basis, I have decided to go with the idea that was most popular: Creating a Positive Environment on Your Forums.

Thanks for the feedback.

My Start Menu

Ray tagged me, asking me to show my start menu. Here it is:

My Start Menu

You are supposed to tag three more people. So, I will tag Brandon, Chris and Stephan.

SXSW Book Presentation Ideas

I will be doing a book reading in March at South by Southwest Interactive. Instead of a “reading”, it will actually be a presentation around an idea or series of ideas that I discuss in the book, most likely backed by slides of some sort. It’s the first time that I’ve done something of this nature. But, I am looking forward to it.

What should I do the presentation on? That’s the stage I’m at now. I’d like your feedback. I’ve given it some thought and have come up with half a dozen ideas. Please give them a look and let me know what your favorites are or what your favorite is. If you like none of them or have a better idea, feel free to look at the table of contents and suggest something entirely different. Keep in mind one key limitation: I have only 20 minutes of stage time. So, I want a presentation that I can fit into 15 minutes, in case it goes long or so that I can take a couple questions.

Here are the ideas I’ve come up with:

Are You Ready to Manage Online Forums?
This discussion would cover the fundamental things to consider before you decide to start a community. What do you want the forums to cover, who do you want to attract, are you ready for the time commitment, can you support the community financially, etc.

Training Forum Moderators
I would focus on the training of community staff members through staff member guidelines, a violation documentation system that they can learn from and by encouraging staff members to ask questions.

Developing User Guidelines for Forums
Talking, in a general sense, of the creation of community guidelines. The time limit prevents me from covering all of the things that can be covered in guidelines, so I’ll need to, as I said, speak generally, as far as the guidelines influence over the community and what they can do.

The Process of Community Forum Moderation
I will discuss the process of content moderation that I use on my forums. Basically, it goes in four general steps: recognition of the violation, removal of the violation, documentation of the violation and the action taken and notification of the member, if needed.

When Community Staff Members Leave
Covering the four most common scenarios that staff members leave under and how you should handle them. They are: inactivity, resignation in good standing, resignation after disagreement and when the person turns into a lunatic.

Creating a Positive Environment on Your Forums
Discussion of some of some common ways to create a positive, friendly atmosphere on your forums. This would include requiring that members treat each other with respect, welcoming new users, staff member involvement, how you answer questions, how you can make members feel involved, how to deal with problems, not allowing political, religious or other controversial discussions (unless that’s what your community is about) and more.

So, what do you think? I appreciate any thoughts.

Matchbox Twenty Offers USB Bracelets at Concerts

I was just reading the latest issue of Billboard where I saw a small article noting something that Matchbox Twenty has been doing on their tour.

While they are performing a show, they do a soundboard recording of it. After the show, this recording is placed onto a USB drive that closes into the shape of a wristband. And then they offer them up for sale. So, fans can buy the audio from the show that they just listened to. This is a wonderful idea along the lines of my desire to buy performance .mp3s after watching the performance. All big tours should be doing this. It’s a great new revenue stream with little downside that I can see. I’d love to see all major performances offer something like this.

Kanye and Daft Punk at the Grammys

Kanye West and Daft Punk killed it at the Grammys on Sunday night with “Stronger”, pumping out an alternative mix of the track that was incredible. Kanye followed with a moving performance of “Hey Mama”, in tribute to his recently deceased mother. Great performance.

Why can’t I buy .mp3s of these? Is the music licensing system so complicated that it’s not possible? Seriously, I’d happily plunk down $0.99 a track for live performances and I’ve thought this for a long time. Slice Kanye’s performance into the two tracks, sell them for $1.98 and take my money. I’m not sure why award shows, artists, etc. aren’t looking at this as a revenue stream. That leads me to think it’s probably too complicated for anyone to make any real money. But, I for one would be happy to pay for quality recordings of these songs.

Anyway, watch below for the performance.

Via TV Guide.

SXSW Slot Assigned

The time slot for my presentation at SXSW has been assigned. It’s from 11:00 AM to 11:20 AM on March 11 on the day stage. I’ll post some presentation ideas up soon to get some feedback.

Book Website Launched

The book website has launched. It includes all kinds of book related content including the table of contents, upcoming appearances, the book’s acknowledgments and more.

I’m really happy with the whole site, but I am truly thrilled, honored and humbled by the advance praise (along with the foreword – not online – by Chris). A group of brilliant people that I respect – greatly – came together for me and offered praise of me and the book that really means a lot to me, because of who they are and what they have accomplished.

So, if you have a moment, please give the book site a look and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Upcoming Podcast Appearances

I have a couple of live podcast appearances coming up. I will be on phpBB Weekly on February 9 at 12:00 PM ET and System Showdown on February 12 at 7:30 PM ET. On both shows, there is some level of listener participation, so if you are around and want to listen, I’d love for you to do so. Thanks.