Tuesday, April 29, 2008

First China censoring, now Twitter!

After reading a tweet from Scott Drummond on whether twitter should be censored - I thought I'd just observe if it worked or not, rather than test the theory itself. (Side note - check out the new marketing magazine site - it's been recently launched and looking fabulous!).

So next thing I know - Lee Hopkins (yes two mentions in two blog posts - definitely on a roll now!) has written a rather surprised post on seeing text being censored on twitter.

Using the world's most reliable source (Wikipedia of course), I thought I do a bit of research on online censoring - which inevitably lead to China. First they blocked Google, then more recently the dispute with BBC.

Posted on this blog was the question:
So, is this a genuine loosening of web censorship in China or just a temporary PR move in the run up to the Olympics?

If this is suppose to be a PR stunt, I can't see it being fairly effective. There's been no official notice on restoring connections to the BBC and other online sites, nor has their been any release on the matter - it's all been very restricted.

Interestingly, the lead story on ABC's Foreign Correspondent tonight is on "The Great Firewall of China". Perhaps that will provide more insight into the Chinese government's censorship campaigns.

On a separate & final note, while having a scan on this topic in the blogs, one of the more amusing posts was that "Free Tibet" flags were being made in China!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Marketing social media through traditional press?

I might be a little slow off the mark in blogging about this topic since it's been discussed into depth - but I thought I might provide a little insight into the topic of social media integration in Australian businesses.

Lee Hopkin's post of "Why Don't Australian Companies Get It?" raises some important points of opinion on why it hasn't been adopted within the business world - a question on ROI for most executive management teams.

So if an Australian business is keen to experiment with new social media, just googling it doesn't really help when this is the result of (searching social media services Australia (Have a look at the link provided - so much for SEO!). I am not silly enough to think that a google search is to blame for this - but where are companies getting their information from?

If public relations agencies aren't up to speed or their in-house communications team isn't aware - how are companies going to change if the people leading the pack aren't even skilled up? Then I guess this takes us along the path of educational sessions/programs - not that PRIA is to blame for the Australian industry to catch up, but from my understanding, they only starting hosting seminars on social media this year.

Maybe there's a market out there for social media "experts" or "advisors" to market themselves for Australian businesses through traditional media channels?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


I've recently joined PROpenMic.

The fun (or perhaps terrifying) part of social media is becoming part of the online community - participating and learning through experience, rather than theoretical babble. The building of a community and those to engage in conversations with involves more than just the odd few comments - it's tracking whats happening in the blogosphere. In this light, it's great to become part of a new network that is growing more and more everyday.

Another wonderful thing about this site is all the connections I'm making with public relations professionals and students from around the world. The opportunity to not only discuss things in the forums - but to add more friends on twitter is great - especially for someone that is relatively new to the whole online scene.

Even Dr James E. Grunig is a member - someone who we referenced and discussed in university has joined - clearly a sign for new students to jump on the bandwagon and find a funky profile picture.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Investigating the online trail of Lou Veyret

On the topic of managing your "digital dirt" I decided to evaluate my presence online. Sure there's my myspace, facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter pages - but what about what comes up when you search "Louise Veyret" on google?

Luckily that's all quite innocent, I'm not committing any kind of facebook suicide and I'm managing my online reputation well so far.

Amusingly, for the past 10 years or so (literally) the first thing that came up for Louise Veyret on google was a response to an Australian Science Magazine poll. Despite the comment being published in 1996, the comment seemed to haunt me as I was reminded of how I didn't think that violent video games would prevent someone from beating someone up. I kept thinking that this could sway the opinion of future employers, as the comment wasn't well written (I was still in primary school!) and not really related to anything that would be of interest to me. So I started signing up to other social networks, and slowly that link has made itself down the pile, surrounded by mentions of my father and other siblings.

I guess it's true what the social media experts and online gurus say about monitoring your online image - anything can be tracked or sourced, even things from over 10 years ago.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Killing two birds with one stone

There was an article published in today's Sydney Morning Herald discussing how travel writer Thomas Kohnstamm has been fabricating content that was previously published in a few of South American Lonely Planet travel guides. This story was of particular interest, as those that know me, are aware that I am venturing overseas to South America in early June this year.

Perhaps I am quite cynical in thinking that this could just be a PR/marketing ploy, which is what has most recently been mentioned in the online forum LP has set up. The publicity generated not only is good for Kohnstamm's new book coming out, it's beneficial for all those travel worry warts who'll invest in a new Lonely Planet.

The tranquilo traveler has included a few links on the story - fascinating to see the widespread international coverage. There is also quite a long blog, with lots of passionate comments listed Brave New Travler . Eva Holland sums it up quite nicely:

Kohnstamm has done several things at once here:

1. Seriously undermined the credibility of an enormous publishing house that - in my opinion, anyway - does some pretty good work in the world
2. Re-proven in the minds of many editors that travel writers as a group are not to be taken seriously - and hey, guess what, it doesn’t benefit any of us in the long run to be considered a bunch of plagiarizing hacks
3. Taken opportunities away from other young writers who might have actually been willing to do the job they were paid for
4. And done it all deliberately, in the name of his own self-enrichment. Nice guy, right?

Luckily, the contribution of Kohnstamm to the travel guides does not seem to be substantial - and newer editions have been published without his content. I guess it just means travellers can't rely on one source for their knowledge on a topic, something that should be really reflected in all audiences of all texts.

Saturday, April 12, 2008


The writer's strike early this year in the states didn't really effect (or affect, I never really know!) my television viewing. Australia was actually lucky for being so behind in the overseas sitcoms and dramas. This was probably due to the Aussie programmers of specific networks, delaying episodes so the Aussie audiences aren't left hanging.. (continuity in ratings may play its part too!)

It's actually so well planned that I shouldn't be disrupted in Grey's Anatomy viewing! Although I get my weekly enjoyment on Sunday nights of delayed episodes, I've started to think that despite it being full of soap operatic relationships, complex medical procedures and an awesome soundtrack, I found I still miss the complex dialogue of Dawson's Creek.

Take this clip for example - a whole montage of "seriously's"..

I'm finding that the more I watch this addicting drama, the more I begin to talk like the characters on the show. I guess it's better than my Sex and the City phase, where all my stories in my journalism class were "I couldn't help but wonder"!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The Glenn Wheatley saga..

Working in a PR agency, it doesn't take you long to discover that to get coverage in the media, the process involves merely more than an email, it's follow up calls and chasing.

So when I saw this article of Glenn Wheatley on news.com.au, I thought perhaps the release must have had something meaty in it, so I checked out the fake release - but no, it was the usual scandalous, gossip focused story, aimed on the attracting the attention of the celebrity- driven, reality-television-watching teenages and young adults.

Judging by google news, the list of major metropolitan papers that picked up the story was huge!

I guess it's pretty easy to figure out what the media is after! But more importantly, it highlights the need for journalists to verify data - especially surrounding stories that can possibly tarnish the reputation of individuals and organisations.

Friday, April 4, 2008

"Starred" posts

I've been slowly making my way through google reader, and have looked back on the 'starred posts'..i.e. the blog posts that I've found very valuable as a new graduate and practitioner..And here they are:

Ten Things You Didn't Know About Facebook
How To: Identify key words
Wikipedia: Where do people go after visiting wikipedia?
Ten no-cost ways to measure online engagement

They're definitely worth a bit of squizz!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

April Fool's jokes

I haven't been blogging in awhile - but I thought I'd start back on track with some links to some of the humorous jokes doing the rounds today.

The first one I got was through my rss feed for Google blogs Australia - still not sure if Smarthouse took it seriously or not!

I particularly enjoyed the UK BMW release - aiming to deter dogs from urinating on cars!

A social media related joke was that of Problogger - "PayPerTweet". Pretty hilarious, especially the results he received.

A couple others that are worth mentioning was the Red Balloon Days weekly newsletter - offering tea with queen, dinner at Mt Everest and tightrope walks across volcanoes.