Thursday, January 12, 2006

Google will sell video online

Google Inc. will let consumers buy video over the Internet from CBS, the NBA and other providers, becoming the latest company to explore the new method of distributing TV content

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Supreme Court refuses to hear Univ. of Texas spam case

The U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to hear an appeal of a case by an Austin-based online dating service that claimed it had a First Amendment right to send unsolicited e-mails through the University of Texas’ computer system.

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Monday, January 09, 2006

Annoy someone on the internet and go to jail

Annoying someone via the Internet is now a federal crime.

It's no joke. Last Thursday, President Bush signed into law a prohibition on posting annoying Web messages or sending annoying e-mail messages without disclosing your true identity.

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Monday, November 21, 2005

Web ad sales hit another record high

CNET "Sales of Internet advertising have continued their long rally, reaching a quarterly all-time high of $3.1 billion in September, according to a new study.
As a result, Web ad sales are on track to reach more than $12 billion for the year, up from $9.6 million in 2004, according to trade group Interactive Advertising Bureau's annual study conducted in partnership with PricewaterhouseCoopers."

Blogging, Part 2 - Dos and Don'ts

Blogging, Part 2 - Dos and Don'ts
By Steve Plunkett
Man: "Hi, my name's Steve...and I'm a blogger."
Group: "Hi, Steve."
It's true. I'm hooked on blogging. I have posted links and commentary to one blog since 1996. I have a personal blog, a work-related personal blog, a Yahoo! blog, and an MSN blog, not to mention the corporate blog I set up for our PR department.
As if the description "personal" doesn't say it all, my personal blog has commentary about my personal life. That's where I express my displeasure with Cingular, link to news stories that interest me and post stories and pictures from my free time. I post all these things using a process called "mob logging" (mobile blogging with a cell phone equipped with a digital camera.) One of these days, when I'm not too busy blogging, I'll learn how to "vlog." That's the process of sending video to a blog.
Partly out of personal curiosity and partly out of professional necessity, I started my Yahoo! blog and my MSN blog just to test Yahoo! and MSN search results as they pertain to those blogs.
To say I "experiment" with blogs would be an understatement. I blog daily. Several times a day. Thankfully, this addictive stuff is part of my job; I'm an Internet guy.
Speaking of work, my work-related blog has links to technology news - stories about data encryption, security and privacy issues, computer viruses, identity theft, spyware, Sarbanes-Oxley and HIPAA to name a few. That and pretty much anything related to Google or Yahoo! And anything containing Internet marketing information in general. Like I said, I'm hooked on this blogging thing.
My work-related blog is not linked to our corporate blog. That's a good practice for any blogger; don't mix your personal and professional blogs. I don't use my real name. The main reason? Sometimes I may post things, controversial or not, that do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
Conversely, on our corporate blog, I use my real name and post articles which have been edited by a copywriter, a VP, the PR department and sometimes the owner of the company. Rightly so. Everything appearing on the corporate blog represents the entire company, so it must fall within company guidelines.
So, why should you be very careful with your personal and corporate blogs? And why am I telling you all this? Hopefully, to share some hard-earned experience. Like I said, I've been at this since 1996.
In the relatively young world of the blogosphere, a few problem areas have arisen. Several bloggers have been fired from their positions for not exercising good judgment and posting something with which their employers didn't necessarily agree. In other instances, corporations have suffered negative consequences. For example, some insurance companies will cancel your corporate liability insurance if they learn your company has a blog.
Why? Defamation cases.
For a defamation lawsuit to succeed, there must be (1) a defamatory statement of fact; (2) of and concerning the plaintiff; (3) publication; (4) damages and (5) falsity and fault. Given the fact that any statements made by the blogger are actually published, a blogger should exercise great care in not crossing the line of defamation/libel.
Comments on another person's blog are considered published by the commenters and not by the host. Currently bloggers are accountable only for the information they write and publish on the Web. However, the laws in this area are still in development, and it's critical to stay informed about the changing laws that govern blogging. In other words, it's better to be safe than sued.
To help you with the process, here is a list of blogging guidelines. If you choose to involve your employer on your blog, be careful. You've been warned. And remember, involving your employer can be as simple as saying "I work at Company X":
1. You agree not to attack personally fellow employees, authors, customers, vendors, celebrities or religious or political figures. You may make personal observations respectfully without ridiculing, defaming or libeling them in any way.
2. You agree not to disclose any sensitive, proprietary, confidential or financial information about your company, other than what is publicly available in corporate press releases.
3. You may not comment on the company's competitors.
4. You agree not to post any material that is obscene, defamatory, profane, libelous, threatening, harassing, abusive, hateful or embarrassing to another person or any other person or entity.
5. You agree not to post spam advertisements, solicitations and/or chain letters or pyramid schemes. 6. You agree not to post any material that is copyrighted unless you are the copyright owner, have the express, written permission from the owner or are sure the use conforms to the doctrine of "fair use."
7. You agree not to post any material that violates the privacy or publicity rights of another.
8. You agree not to post material that contains viruses, Trojan horses, worms, and spyware
9. You acknowledge that any reliance on material, content and/or links posted by other parties will be at your own risk. You assume full legal responsibility and liability for all actions arising from your posts.
10. You MUST NOT allow comments on a corporate blog.
In Part 1 of Technique's special three-part series on blogging, we shared the basic definitions and descriptions of blogging. In this article, Part 2, we hope you learned the basic dos and don'ts of blogging. In Part 3, we'll share tips on how to make your blogging experience easier. Specifically, you'll learn about blog tools, feeds and blog engines.
Until then, see you in the blogosphere.