BloggerView #23 Bruno Amaral

Esta semana tenho o prazer de publicar a bloggerview do Bruno Amaral. Para quem não conhece o Bruno Amaral é o autor do excelente blog “Relações Públicas“, que segundo o Bruno, e com o qual eu concordo, é “o melhor recurso para o diálogo sobre Relações Públicas e marketing“. Eis as respostas do Bruno.

1. Quando é começaste a “blogar”? Quais as principais razões que te levaram a ter um blog?
Bruno Amaral (B.A.): O meu primeiro post tem a data de 8 de Setembro de 2005.

Tinha terminado o curso e comecei o blog como forma de procurar emprego. Sou do ramo de Relações Públicas por isso fazia todo o sentido começar um blog onde mostrasse o que sei e aplicasse uma estratégia de comunicação.

2. Como surgiu o nome do teu blog?
B.A.: Não foi preciso muito para me aperceber de que focar o blog em mim não ia resultar. Por isso concentrei-me no tema de que gosto, Relações Públicas.

Aproveitei o termo para o nome porque não encontrei nenhum blog que já o estivesse a usar, e porque era a base da minha estratégia de Comunicação.

3. Tens metas ou objectivos que pretendes atingir com o teu blog? Quais são?
B.A.: No ínicio queria encontrar um emprego e impulsionar a minha carreira, parte dessa estratégia implicava ter o blog no primeiro lugar do google para “relações públicas”. Isso já consegui.

Agora o meu objectivo é produzir ou encontrar conteúdos de qualidade para partilhar com os leitores. Em segundo plano, quero que o blog seja uma referência na blogosfera de/sobre comunicação.

4. Em tua opinião, qual é o papel que os blogs podem desempenhar no futuro, por exemplo em empresas ou escolas?
B.A.: No que diz respeito a empresas, o blog pode aproximar da empresa os seus clientes, parceiros e o talento. Alinhados com os objectivos de negócios podem trazer retornos que não se limitam apenas a vendas.

Para as escolas, um blog pode ser uma fonte enorme de dinamismo. Usámos um blog interno para coordenar a minha turma de mestrado, e funcionou muito bem. Não só para a partilha de links e documentos que iamos encontrando online, também na coordenação de actividades.

Ultimamente o blog tornou-se num mecanismo de comunicação para o grupo e sinto que aproximou bastante os alunos e os professores. Teve um impacto muito positivo numa série de níveis. Se aconteceu com uma turma, pode acontecer ao nível de uma escola.

5. Como prevês o futuro dos blogs nos próximos anos?
B.A.: Não consigo fazer grandes previsões, mas tenho acompanhado algumas ideias de web semântica que acho muito interessantes.

As ferramentas têm vindo a mudar e as redes sociais como o hi5 ou o facebook podem tornar-se mais importantes do que os blogs junto de algumas pessoas. Da mesma forma, há plataformas de comunicação que fazem mais sentido para do que os blogs consoante o público. O flickr por exemplo, pode fazer mais sentido para um fotógrafo do que ter um “fotolog”.

E para dar sentido a todas as ferramentas, temos os agregadores como o Friendfeed. Resta esperar, tentar observar o melhor possível e ver qual será o resultado.

6. Quantos feeds RSS tens no teu agregador de conteúdos? Que agregador utilizas? Porquê?
B.A.: Tenho 200 subscrições e uso o google reader. Não só porque me permite ler os feeds em qualquer lugar, também por causa da opção de partilhar conteúdos. Gosto de incluir os google shared items na minha página de Friendfeed.

Nem sempre tenho algo interessante para comentar a um post, mas sinto que é importante partilhá-lo ou interagir de alguma forma.

7. Qual é a tua opinião sobre os feeds RSS? Que papel pensas que poderão desempenhar no futuro, por exemplo na relação entre os governos e os cidadãos?
B.A.: Prefiro os RSS a uma newsletter; É mais fácil de gerir e prende mais a minha atenção. Na relação entre governos e cidadãos, até posso mostrar um exemplo: http://www.lexfeed.eu/

É um site onde podemos ter acesso a todas as rss feeds da união europeia. Algo que faz todo o sentido uma vez que pode passar imenso tempo entre uma proposta e a criação de uma legislação específica.

Encontrei este exemplo no blog de Thomas Pleil, onde está inclusive uma entrevista ao responsável pelo website: http://thomaspleil.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/lexfeed-tracking-legislation/

E como este exemplo tenho a certeza de que há mais. Geralmente apenas olhamos para o RSS como uma forma de subscrever, mas através do yahoo pipes e outras ferramentas podemos usar o RSS como base para algo muito mais dinâmico.

8. Para ti, qual é a coisa mais importante que está a acontecer na web, neste momento? Porquê?
B.A.: Para mim é a criação de blogs por parte das agências de comunicação. O trabalho destas agências é dar consultoria de comunicação, por isso as minhas expectativas em relação a estes blogs costumam ser muito elevadas.

Mas a verdade é que até agora, as agências estão a passar pelas mesmas dificuldades que as agências de outros países.

9. Para além dos blogs, que outro software social utilizas, como o Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Twitter ou outros?
B.A.: Por acaso, desses só não uso o Digg. Também gosto bastante do dopplr, brightkite e dropbox.

Sempre que surge algo novo, faço o possível por experimentar e descobrir se é algo que faça sentido no meu dia a dia e que me facilite a vida. E quando alguém me pede conselhos sobre software (web-based ou não) tento nunca recomendar algo que não tenha usado antes.

10. Como analisas o comportamento das empresas de assessoria de comunicação e Relações Públicas portuguesas face à web 2.0?
B.A.: É um tema próximo da pergunta 8. Tenho visto iniciativas muito interessantes por parte de várias agências. Principalmente blogs e a criação de um directório por parte da Lift. A LPM patrocinou a ida de um blogger aos Estados Unidos para relatar as eleições.

Mas acho que ainda falta uma alteração de postura por parte das agências. Uma preocupação maior em dar e em interagir com a comunidade online e menos acções onde a preocupação maior é o retorno de investimento.

Obrigado Bruno pela tua participação. Para consultar as BloggerViews anteriores basta seguir este link.

BloggerView #22 Paulo Querido

Paulo Querido Após mais uma semana de ausência, infelizmente (ou felizmente) pelos mesmos motivos, eis mais uma BloggerView. O entrevistado desta semana é o Paulo Querido, que tanto como se apresenta no próprio blog, é é jornalista freelancer, formador e consultor em Tecnologias de Informação e Conhecimento, autor do blog autor do blog / webzine “!Certamente“. Eis as respostas do Paulo Querido.

1. Quando é começaste a “blogar”? Quais as principais razões que te levaram a ter um blog?
Paulo Querido (PQ):
Tendo em conta os disparates que fui lendo, ao longo de 2008, sobre a história da blogosfera em Portugal, decidi optar pela resposta longa a esta pergunta sempre que ela me surja.

Já publico na web, em domínio próprio e numa lógica de “último empurra primeiro”, desde 1996. Contudo, nunca foi um blogue, nem uma “homepage”, os antepassados dos diários pessoais. Era simplesmente um webzine — um magazine mais ou menos periódico publicado na web. Assumi a designação, o formato blogue e a ferramenta em 27 de Março de 2003. A principal razão: ver como funcionavam os blogues do ponto de vista técnico, uma vez que ia escrever um livro sobre eles.

2. Como surgiu o nome do teu blog?
PQ:
O meu deve ser um dos poucos espaços que mudou de nome 😉 Começou por ser “o vento lá fora(*)”, com asterisco, uma evocação de um poema de Álvaro de Campos. Porque o blogue começou por ser um mero espaço citacional do que eu ia encontrando por aí pela web.

Em 2005 mudou de nome para “Certamente!”, com ponto de exclamação, numa homenagem à minha mulher. Só nós dois percebemos a razão da palavra, mas isso não é um problema. O espaço é, como todos os blogues, um espaço de afirmação pessoal e a palavra certamente, para mais exclamada, ajusta-se ao ambiente.

3. Tens metas ou objectivos que pretendes atingir com o teu blog? Quais são?
PQ: O Certamente! sempre teve objectivos. Começou por ser a forma de entender a tecnologia. Depois tornou-se num laboratório — o que me custou o PageRank, com tantas cabriolices que fiz no domínio a Google tem-no penalizado. Laboratório de técnicas de blogging e de tecnologias (o blogue conheceu 4 sistemas editoriais e ainda hoje está dividido por 2 bases de dados).

Na verdade, durante anos nunca o levei a peito enquanto espaço editorial, até porque espaços para ser jornalista não me faltam. Este ano, contudo, decidi que Certamente! ia ser um espaço sério. Fiz uma limpeza aos meus trolls e passei a editar com maior consciência. Mesmo os posts eminentemente pessoais têm hoje uma linguagem mais cuidada e algum resguardo pessoal.

Actualmente tenho por objectivo praticar jornalismo multimedia no sentido verdadeiro da palavra multimedia, e não no sentido que lhe é dado em Portugal, como sinónimo de audio-visual: usar diferentes meios, agrupados ou não, para transmitir um conteúdo jornalístico, fixo ou dinâmico.

4. Em tua opinião, qual é o papel que os blogs podem desempenhar no futuro, por exemplo em empresas ou escolas?
PQ:
Penso que desempenharão o mesmo papel que têm em geral: veículos de comunicação bi-direccional (de conversação, se preferirmos) entre grupos de pessoas. No caso das empresas podem servir também para comunicar a empresa para fora, desempenhando o segundo papel dos blogues, que sem deixar de ser conversacional, leva o diálogo do circuito mais ou menos interno para uma relação entre a empresa e o mundo. Para as escolas, o blogue pode — e deve — ser também (ou principalmente, diria) uma ferramenta de educação. Quer sobre ela própria e a edição web, quer sobre os outros conteúdos do ensino.

5. Como prevês o futuro dos blogs nos próximos anos?
PQ:
Variado 😉

Temos por um lado a evolução diferenciada entre países. Os blogues portugueses, individualmente e mesmo consideradas as suas tendências colectivas, seguem um percurso cada vez mais divergente face aos americanos e aos brasileiros, por razões diferentes.

Por outro, evolução editorial variada. Um blogue serve para muita coisa, não só para mostrar o gato e o ego ou para spining político. Convergindo mais ou menos acetuadamente com as metodologias do jornalismo e com jornalistas na equipa, alguns blogues tomam conta de algum do espaço até aqui ocupado pelos órgãos de comunicação social. Por exemplo. No extremo oposto, continuarão a existir blogues diarísticos sem outra pretensão além do exercício do autor.

Em terceiro lugar, evolução tecnológica. Os sistemas editoriais são cada vez mais potentes e continuam a evoluir. Poderão comportar, ou apenas aceitar como adicionais integráveis, outras ferramentas de edição/agregação, ou distribuição (RSS, microblogging, redes sociais, semântica). A esta evolução está intimamente ligada a evolução em termos de networking: o desempenho de um blogue dependerá da sua capacidade de adaptação à cultura reticular, que por sua vez depende da sofisticação tecnológica.

6. Quantos feeds RSS tens no teu agregador de conteúdos? Que agregador utilizas? Porquê?
PQ: Vou confessar 1 coisa: eu não tenho agregador de conteúdos!

Ou por outra: uso os agregadores de conteúdos de forma variada, seja para produzir o www.blogservatorio.info, o www.nestemomento.com ou mashups como o Mediastream PSD (http://pauloquerido.net/mediastream/psd/) , não uso os agregadores de conteúdos para ler blogues.

Isto a menos que consideres o Thunderbird um agregador de conteúdos; as publicações que me interessa realmente seguir, subscrevo-as por mail, hoje em dia esta subscrição está associada ao RSS. As outras, que vejo intermitentemente, sigo a partir de… bem, de sistemas que escrevi para me detectarem os padrões emergentes que valem a pena espreitar. Se não fossem eles, a minha atenção dispersava-se excessivamente, ao ponto da improdutividade e até da paralisia.

Também valorizo o Twitter como ferramenta de selecção dos conteúdos importantes, uma ferramenta que, tal como as que idealizei e construí para meu uso, é um intrumento de crowdsourcing, de aproveitamento do valor gerado pelas interacções da multidão.

7. Qual é a tua opinião sobre os feeds RSS? Que papel pensas que poderão desempenhar no futuro, por exemplo na relação entre os governos e os cidadãos?
PQ: Um papel essencial! Eu QUERO o Diário da República em RSS. Eu QUERO as sessões do Parlamento em RSS. Não quero “ver” o debate, nem sequer na televisão do parlamento, mas quero ler o debate e pesquisá-lo. Eu quero, além das sínteses que só os jornalistas me podem trazer (televisão, jornais), poder produzir as minhas próprias sínteses do DR e do parlamento, e para isso preciso de RSS. Eu QUERO os concursos públicos no meu agregador (no meu caso, no mail 🙂 ), para seleccionar os que me interessem, não quero pagar uma assinatura a um intermediário para me trazer uma informação que já é minha, é pública.

O RSS é essencial na relação do governo e do Estado com os cidadãos. Em Portugal não conheço um único exemplo de um organismo público com RSS, o que é lamentável e nos dá a dimensão exacta da relação do Estado com a web social: zero.

Isto para não irmos às APIs, que são o passo seguinte dessa relação. Eu QUERO produzir uma pesquisa, selecção e output dos MEUS conteúdos (toda a informação produzida pelo Estado é, por definição, pública, logo minha) recorrendo directamente às fontes: as bases de dados onde ela reside. Não quero procurar essa mesma informação através do Google, que não mandatei nem tenciono mandatar, para me filtrar a informação.

Da mesma forma, o Estado deve querer dar livre acesso directo a todas as pessoas, e não apenas a algumas, à informação que produz.

8. Para ti, qual é a coisa mais importante que está a acontecer na web, neste momento? Porquê?
PQ: O mais importante é o sacrifício da atenção. A dispersão dos nossos sentidos. Dividimos o nosso tempo por um cabaz de conteúdos que pensamos que escolhemos, mas não pensamos na razão porque os escolhemos — e o grau de futilidade dessa razão pode não ser o mais desejado no final. Ao contrário da web, a nossa capacidade intelectual não é finita. O cérebro cansa-se e e cérebro fica inoperacional com tanta informação, que acaba em ruído.

O mais importante é tomar a consciência de que a liberdade de escolher produz uma euforia que, como todas, é contraproducente no médio e longo prazo.

Tecnologicamente, o mais importante da web neste momento são as ferramentas que nos auxiliem a recentrar a atenção, as ferramentas que nos ajudem a centralizar o que é útil, as técnicas que nos ajudem a saber mais — o que não é nada a mesma coisa que ter mais informação.

9. Para além dos blogs, que outro software social utilizas, como o Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Twitter ou outros?
PQ: Em pessoa ou por interposto infobot, uso diariamente o Twitter e o Delicious. Dou alguma atenção ao LinkedIn, ao DoMelhor (o Digg português) e ao FriendFeed. Tenho conta e ligo pouco a meia dúzia ou uma dúzia de outros serviços.

10. Achas que existe espaço em Portugal para bloggers profissionais?
PQ: Acho. Mesmo que os salários venham de outro lado, há muita gente cuja actividade profissional depende do seu blogging e esse número aumenta todos os dias. Dentro de um ano, ou menos, teremos os primeiros bloggers a viverem só do blogging, ou tendo desta actividade mais de 3/4 dos seus rendimentos. É capaz, até, de já existirem alguns destes no nicho do “ganhe dinheiro agora, pergunte-me como”.

Obrigado Paulo pela tua participação. Na próxima semana, pelo menos assim, espero, irei publicar a BloggerView do Bruno Amaral.

BloggerView #19 Ricardo Bernardo

Zone 41 - Ricardo BernardoAfter a small break, this week BloggerView is with Ricardo Bernardo, the author of “zone41” and “NaWeb2: um olhar português“. I had the pleasure to meet Ricardo at Covilhã, at the “2.º Encontro de weblogs“. I think he is one of the more interesting Portuguese bloggers. Please enjoy his answers.

1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Ricardo Bernado (R.B.): I started blogging on the January 2004. The mains reasons were to keep myself updated on technology. Then I started to blog about events or just facts or even personal opinions.

2. What were your reasons to christen your blogs as you did?
R.B.: First I needed to create a domain for several things and as I have a special feeling for the number 41, the blog got christened also as zone41. Since the beginning the only thing that changed together with the templates was the blog description. Currently is titled memory extension, because for many things it really is my memory extension.

3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
R.B.: No, just continue to express my opinions, talk about some issues important to me.

4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
R.B.: For the companies a blog could be a way of communication with the costumers. Actually some companies are already using this tool, achieving new markets and pleasing costumers. Anyway there is a long way to get there, for example, the last episodes with DELL. They decide to use ubuntu distro on their new machines by suggestion of their own costumers, who vote that decision on a DELL’s social software website.

5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
R.B.: The blogs will continue to be more and more the people voice on the web.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
R.B.: I have more than 1000 feeds subscribed in different categories. I use google reader or liferea according to the situation. I use the Greader because it is web based and I have there the most important feeds. The liferea I use it just in my notebook and there I have all the feeds.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
R.B.: The RSS is a great tool to notify people in an easy way.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
R.B.: Somehow power to the people. The companies can not have the control on what is written about them, and the same for the governments, as it was in the past.

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other?
R.B.: I use all those services, and I give a special attention to the Twitter as it is the most recent.

10. Do you think, in the future, we could have pro-bloggers in Portugal?
R.B.: Yes, we already have a few examples. The question is that they are not getting the digits as some pro-bloggers outside Portugal. In the end of last year i was invited for be part of a Portuguese blogs network, TubaraoEsquilo.pt, maybe its a beginning.

Previous BloggerViews:

BloggerView #1: Rui Carmo
BloggerView #2: Nuno Leitão
BloggerView #3: Pedro Custódio
BloggerView #4: Carlos Jorge Andrade
BloggerView #5: Pedro Melo
BloggerView #6: Mónica André
BloggerView #7: André Ribeirinho
BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner
BloggerView #9: Jose Luis Orihuela
BloggerView #10: Laurent Haug
BloggerView #11: Martin Roell
BloggerView #12: Stowe Boyd
BloggerView #13: Stephanie Booth
BloggerView #14: Dannie Jost
BloggerView #15: Suw Charman
BloggerView #16: Euan Semple
BloggerView #17: Tara Hunt
BloggerView #18: Henriette Weber Andersen

BloggerView #18 Henriette Weber Andersen

HenrietteThis week BloggerView is with Henriette Weber Andersen, the author of the blog “Web avant-garde“, which is available at http://henrietteweber.com/. She is a very funny danish girl, that I have the pleasure to met, at LiFT06. After that, I have been with her at SHiFT and again in Genebra, this year, at LIFT07. I hope you enjoy her answers, as I did, specially the 8th and the 10th.

1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Henriette Weber Andersen (H.W.A.): I started blogging in june 2005 – the main reason was that I was building a social app which never happened – at least not in the format it used to be.

2. What were your reasons to christen your blogs as you did?
H.W.A.: I am probably the best person at being myself. I wanted it to be extremely “me” as noisy and provocative that I can be, but also as funny and gentle. I first named it “only the real is unreal” which is a song by tracy bonham that I have always addressed, but later i renamed it to “web avant-garde” – because I believe that the avant-garde period of the web is where we are right now

3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
H.W.A.: well exibitionism =) no, I want to learn and research and make all these really weird assumptions, but the absolutely main goal and objective is CREATIVITY…

4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
H.W.A.: I think that blogs could play a big role, especially within social problems in the global society. I love integration blogs and green blogs. blogs makes me feel richer as a person. I think that businesses will take from blogging what they can see is benificial for them, but also keep the “what’s in it for me?” distance that basically is giving me nausea. But hey businesses are businesses, not people and not blogs.

ohh – I believe that mobile social communities is going to have a really big impact on society also – because the process is different and the spontaneous effect is so much bigger.

5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
H.W.A.:
they get swallowed in the whole web 2.0 thing ( social apps) which they already have been. But they will not stop existing, they will just be a part of the total communication package. I believe that the biggest goal that blogging can achieve is to be evaluated on equal terms as other communication tools.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
H.W.A.: I have around 200 – i don’t read them though I skim them and comment. the comment part is the most important for me. it should be like that for everybody. I use bloglines – because it’s not crashing like blogbridge. Blogbridge deleted my feeds twice and then I was out of there. I use it because it’s fast and it doesn’t crash that often. It works fine for me..

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
H.W.A.: I think that RSS is interesting in blogging, but also the way that Jaiku is using rss to show everything you do online is really spot on. RSS makes the online world more efficient and spontanious – I love it..

Between government and citizens I will believe that it would make the information flow better and more interesting… i absolutely hate the boredom of newsletters..

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
H.W.A.: I think the ” something is missing” tendency in the transition from web 2.0 to a web independent of the internet is REALLY interesting, and it probably will be for quite a while..

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Jaiku or any other?
H.W.A.: Yeah I use all of those, actually I use a lot of social apps… right now I am real hyped over Jaiku and nabaztags

10. After the blogs and web 2.0, what do you think will be the next tendency?
H.W.A.: the web without the internet. definitely. a more mobile world. see the social communities like jaiku and twitter are already going mobile…

Next week:

Ricardo Bernado (I hope)

Previous BloggerViews:

BloggerView #1: Rui Carmo
BloggerView #2: Nuno Leitão
BloggerView #3: Pedro Custódio
BloggerView #4: Carlos Jorge Andrade
BloggerView #5: Pedro Melo
BloggerView #6: Mónica André
BloggerView #7: André Ribeirinho
BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner
BloggerView #9: Jose Luis Orihuela
BloggerView #10: Laurent Haug
BloggerView #11: Martin Röll
BloggerView #12: Stowe Boyd
BloggerView #13: Stephanie Booth
BloggerView #14: Dannie Jost
BloggerView #15: Suw Charman
BloggerView #16: Euan Semple
BloggerView #17: Tara Hunt

BloggerView #17 Tara Hunt

Tara HuntAs I promised last week, this week BloggerView is with Tara Hunt, Citizen Agency Co-Founder, author of the blog HorsePigCow (http://www.horsepigcow.com/) and one of the best Internet marketers. Please enjoy her answers.

1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Tara Hunt (T.H.): Um…I think my first blog post was sometime late 2003. Then I took a long break because I didn’t know what to say (and I had no readers, so it felt odd just to wax poetically into thin air). I went back mid-2004 and have blogged pretty regularly ever since. Many of my early archives were deleted when I moved over to WordPress, though.

I started blogging because, while reading other blogs, I felt I wanted to respond in my own space.

2. What were your reasons to christen your blogs as you did?
T.H.:HorsePigCow is what my Mom used to say when she forgot someone’s name temporarily. It’s totally silly. I had purchased the domain name way back when and when it came time to have a blog, it seemed like a fun, nonsensical name. I also want to remember my roots as a farm girl.

3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
T.H.:No real objectives…just to be able to look back and see my progress and map my thoughts in the future.

4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
T.H.:Giving individuals in those organizations a voice. Writing the story of us from various different perspectives.

5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
T.H.:They’ll be as common as email.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
T.H.:I use Bloglines and have over 400 feeds. I’m also over 10,000 posts behind in my reading. I have to ‘weed’.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
T.H.:I heart RSS. I prefer the ‘pull’ rather than ‘push’ nature of it. I get ultimate choice over what I read and consume. I have no clue whether it could play a role between gov’t and citizens. Sure.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
T.H.:Flattening of power hierarchies. And yes, it’s happening. The big voices are getting drowned out by the myriad of smaller ones. This will, I hope, lead to a general weeding out of crap that we haven’t previously had the chance to avoid (because of limited choice). I also see the further move into nichification. Not stratification, but the ability to express oneself in circles of people engaged in the same passion.

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Jaiku or any other?
T.H.:Flickr, Ma.gnolia, LinkedIn, Twitter, 43 Things, Skype, Technorati, Tangler, PBWiki, etc.

10. As we are facing web2.0, shouldn’t we begin to talk about Marketing 2.0, centred on the users, and not on the produts?
T.H.:That’s kind of what I do. That’s the only thing I talk about, really. Maybe I haven’t been clear enough?

Next week:

Henriette Weber Andersen

Previous BloggerViews:

BloggerView #1: Rui Carmo
BloggerView #2: Nuno Leitão
BloggerView #3: Pedro Custódio
BloggerView #4: Carlos Jorge Andrade
BloggerView #5: Pedro Melo
BloggerView #6: Mónica André
BloggerView #7: André Ribeirinho
BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner
BloggerView #9: Jose Luis Orihuela
BloggerView #10: Laurent Haug
BloggerView #11: Martin Röll
BloggerView #12: Stowe Boyd
BloggerView #13: Stephanie Booth
BloggerView #14: Dannie Jost
BloggerView #15: Suw Charman
BloggerView #16: Euan Semple

BloggerView #16 Euan Semple

Euan SempleAfter a two weeks break, my next BloggerView is with Euan Semple, the author of “The Obvious?“, available at http://theobvious.typepad.com/blog/. Euan Semple, that was one of the speakers of SHiFT, last September, “has four years of unparalleled experience learning how to make the most effective use of blogs, wikis, forums and other social networking tools, in a large corporate environment.” Please enjoy his answers.

1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Euan Semple (E.S.): I started blogging in 2001 and it was really just because I had heard about it, thought it looked interesting and wanted to find out more about it.

2. What were your reasons to christen your blog as you did?
E.S.: I wanted to call it “Stating The Obvious” because it was me overcoming my reticence about stating the obvious but someone had that title already so I shortened it. The question mark was to suggest that it is just me chucking ideas out to see what people make of them.

3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
E.S.: No, I still don’t, I just like having somewhere to chuck interesting stuff and trigger conversations.

4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
E.S.: Given that spreading the word about social computing is now how I make my living I am pretty passionate about the potential of blogs in all sorts of environments. They various uses are too many to go into in detail here but suffice to say anywhere where people are engaged in doing something and would benefit from better communication between each other would benefit from blogs – and so that means pretty much anywhere!

I recently wrote a blog post about blogs in education, as a tool for teachers, and I firmly believe that this simple technology has the potential to revolutionise all sorts of bureaucracy burdened activities.

http://theobvious.typepad.com/blog/2006/10/the_madness_of_.html

5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
E.S.: They are already becoming much more mainstream and the demand for understanding them in business is clearly increasing. They will probably morph and change into other tools with other names but I believe the basic principle will remain the same.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
E.S.: I have around 250 and I use Google Reader because I can get to it wherever I have a browser and it works really well.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
E.S.: I think RSS is the killer app. It is what makes the increase in communication a benefit and not a burden. Certainly anyone needing to stay across patterns of opinion and comment can do so much more readily than before and this will affect businesses as well as governments.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
E.S.: I think managing identity is getting bigger and will affect more and more people in ways they don’t really yet appreciate. This can be as basic as remembering that Google doesn’t forget. I think it will actually make people more accountable and thoughtful about what they say and why.

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Jaiku or any other?
E.S.: Yep -all of the above.

10. What do you think will be the near future of social software inside organizations?
E.S.: Increasingly rosy and lots of work for me!

Next week:

Tara Hunt

Previous BloggerViews:

BloggerView #1: Rui Carmo
BloggerView #2: Nuno Leitão
BloggerView #3: Pedro Custódio
BloggerView #4: Carlos Jorge Andrade
BloggerView #5: Pedro Melo
BloggerView #6: Mónica André
BloggerView #7: André Ribeirinho
BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner
BloggerView #9: Jose Luis Orihuela
BloggerView #10: Laurent Haug
BloggerView #11: Martin Röll
BloggerView #12 Stowe Boyd
BloggerView #13: Stephanie Booth
BloggerView #14 Dannie Jost
BloggerView #15 Suw Charman

BloggerView #15 Suw Charman

Suw CharmanThis week BloggerView is with Suw Charman, the blogger of Strange Attractor and Chocolate and Vodka, who I have the pleasure to meet at SHiFT, last September, where she made a presentation entitled “Protecting your Bits: In Defence of Digital Liberties“. On her own words “Suw Charman is a social software consultant and writer who specialises in the use of blogs and wikis behind the firewall“. Suw is also an important member of the Open Rights Group, a digital rights advocacy group which aims to raise awareness of digital rights issues, to campaign against bad legislation in Britain and the EU, and to support grass roots activism“. I hope you enjoy her answers, as I did, especially n.º 8.

1. When did you start blogging? What were the main reasons that take you start blogging?
Suw Charman (S.C.): I started blogging on Sunday 16 June 2002, but I had a pretty shaky start. I blogged quite enthusiastically for the first two weeks, but that was followed by a long silence punctuated only by a couple of ‘Yes, I’m still here’ posts. It wasn’t until April 2003 that I really settled into a rhythm and started blogging regularly.

My ostensible reason for starting to blog was that I wanted to improve my writing: I had once been a music writer and was thinking about going back into journalism, but felt that my writing skills were a bit rusty. Blogging was a good way to get my confidence back. Looking back, though, there were also a lot of social reasons. I was living on my own and working from home in a town where I knew no one, and blogging gave me a social connection to people whom I felt comfortable
with as my peer group.

2. What were your reasons to christen your blogs as you did?
S.C.: Naming blogs is as hard as naming bands or books, or thinking up a username or IRC nickname. I just thought of the two things I enjoyed the most – chocolate and vodka – and that was that. The strapline – bubbling enthusiasm for $arbitrary_topic – was gifted to me by my friend Richard Eriksson (if memory serves me right!). It just describes my blog perfectly.

Strange Attractor is a term from chaos theory that I rather liked. Simply put, a strange attractor causes patterns to form around it out of the chaos, and I liked that as an analogy for trying to see patterns in chaos of the blogosphere. Of course, now the blog’s about more than that but the name’s still cool.

My portfolio blog’s name seems pretty obvious to me: Blogiculum Vitae. It’s a sort of pun on curriculum vitae: it’s my blogging resumé.

3. Do you have any specific goals or objectives you want to achieve with your blog? What are they?
S.C.: Not Chocolate and Vodka, no. I never have. It’s always been a place for me to just express myself and connect with people.

Of course, with Strange Attractor the story is different. Strange Attractor started off as a blog about blogging in July 2004, and over the years has diversified into a blog about anything vaguely related to social software, the media, or Web 2.0. It was always intended to showcase me as a social software consultant and help raise my profile, and the fact that it was a part of the Corante blogging network was a really useful endorsement.

In January 2006 I invited Kevin Anderson, who was then my boyfriend and is now my fiancé, to blog with me on Strange Attractor. He wrote the BBC’s Blogging Strategy and is now the Guardian’s Blogs Editor, and he revitalised the blog at a time when I was suffering a little burn-out. Both of us see Strange Attractor as a way to bring our ideas to people’s attention and to kick off or participate in conversations about one of our main passions – social media.

The runt of my blogging litter is Blogiculum Vitae, which I started as a way to gather together case studies and other work-related stuff that didn’t fit anywhere else. It’s out of date and needs a lot of TLC, which I hope to give it soon!

4. In your opinion, what role could blogs play in the future, for instance at companies or at schools?
S.C.: Blogs are incredibly versatile, so the question is not ‘what role can they play’, but ‘what problems do you have that a blog could solve?’. Whenever I talk to people who are interested in starting up a blog or wiki, the first thing I do is talk to them about what they do and how they do it. I try to get a feel for where blogs or wikis could be unobtrusively slipped into their working day and how they would help them to achieve more. Social software is not an end in itself, it is a tool to help people achieve their goals. I believe blogs will play a huge role in the future of many businesses, schools, universities – and any other group of people who have some reason to talk to each other.

5. What do you think will be the future of blogs over the next couple of years?
S.C.: We have some significant technological problems to overcome that will otherwise hold back the spread of blogs. Most blogging platforms were built with individual users in mind, and some of the most popular ones simply do not scale. When businesses want to install blogs for their employees, they are not going to want one or two, but hundreds or
thousands. They will also want proper support for integration with standard business systems, and in my experience this is far easier said than done.

Other tools that we are used to using on the web, even things as basic as RSS readers, don’t always function properly in an intranet environment, so much of the shininess we enjoy isn’t available to business users. As more businesses want to use blogs, they are going to find that their plans are defeated by inadequate technology, and that’s going to be an issue.

Despite that, however, I think that we will see a lot more use of blogs and wikis by business, both internally and externally. The blog is going to becomes a common communications tool, a bit like the phone or email. Our challenge is to try to keep our blogger ethics intact – things like honesty, transparency, voice, individuality – and to transfer these ethics to the businesses that use blogs. That way, we might be able to create real positive change and help businesses become, well, nicer.

6. How many feeds do you have on your news aggregator? What news aggregator do you use? Why?
S.C.: I use NetNewsWire, mainly because I like the interface and I’m too lazy to see what else is out there. I like the fact that it caches entries locally so if I’m offline I can still read my feeds – not that that happens too often! I currently have 264 feeds, with 20,957 unread posts. I actually have a folder of about 25 feeds that I read religiously. The rest I should sort through and cull, as I don’t read most of them.

7. What do you think about RSS? What role do you think RSS can play in future, for instance in the relation between government and citizens?
I love RSS! I think it’s a really key tool for making information more readily available. I advise all my clients who regularly publish news or newsletters of any sort to put it all on a blog and let people subscribe to the RSS feed instead. We’re seeing the majority of mainstream media sites, such as The Guardian or the BBC, offering RSS feeds of their headlines, and as home pages such as Netvibes.com become more popular, you’re going to see RSS spread away from the early adopters – us geeks – into the wider population. They won’t necessarily know or care that they’re using RSS, they’ll just be happy that they have an easy way to collate all the information they are interested in.

8. What do you think is the most important thing happening in the Web, now? Why?
S.C.: The democratisation of creation. It’s easier than ever before to be creative, to write and publish, to make and distribute music or video, to take and publish photos, even to make web applications. If you’re in Second Life, you can create your own avatar and have it 3D printed, effectively turning us all into (rudimentary) sculptors without ever having to hold a chisel. This is, I think, going to revolutionise the way that we relate to each other and to the traditional music, movie and publishing industries. Instead of being passive consumers, we’re now all producers, and the media that is most precious to us is the stuff we’ve made, or that records our lives. This is why commercially produced materials are going to have less cultural importance as this revolution matures.

Of course, this huge blossoming of creativity brings its own problems. With so much stuff out there, how will we find the interesting bits? There’s going to be a real need for curation of the web, careful searching and sorting and gathering together of things that have value to the curator. And when I find a curator with taste the same as mine, I’m saved a lot of aimless searching!

9. Beside blogs, do use other social software, like Flickr, Del.icio.us, Digg, LinkedIn, Twitter or any other?
S.C.: I love my blogs, but I also use wikis a lot, from MediaWiki to Socialtext, I probably have log-ins to about a dozen or so wikis. Kevin and I recently set up a Del.icio.us account for Strange Attractor, and I’m also a huge fan of Twitter, which I think is just a stroke of genius. It appeals so strongly to me because it’s basically small talk on the web, which is great for me because I work mainly from home and have only the radio and my computer for company. I also use Basecamp, and am in Flickr, LinkedIn, Last.fm and load of other networks that I’ve forgotten about.

10. Do you think that the European governments are beginning to be aware of the digital rights issues? Are they taking any measures to support grass roots activism?
S.C.: There are a lot of digital rights issues that I wish the European government would think more carefully about and show more respect for. It’s an ongoing battle to educate policy makers across Europe, both at a pan-European and national level, about technology. There are lots of organisations across Europe, like the Open Rights Group in the UK which I helped start, that are working to hook up government and experts, and trying to give the policy makers the information they need to make good policy decisions, but it’s hard going. Frequently, the activist’s voice is drowned out by those in industry, because businesses want to ensure that governmental decisions favour them.

I don’t think any government really support grass roots activism, per se, but I do think that some of them are starting to sit up and taken notice. We are entering into meaningful dialogues with MPs and policy makers, and that’s a very positive step forward. It’s also increasingly easy in the UK to contact your representatives in local, national and European government, via TheyWorkForYou.com. That’s a huge help as elected officials tend to be responsive when their constituents contact them.

So, we’re making progress, but there’s a lot still to be done.

Next week: Euan Semple

Previous BloggerViews:
BloggerView #1: Rui Carmo
BloggerView #2: Nuno Leitão
BloggerView #3: Pedro Custódio
BloggerView #4: Carlos Jorge Andrade
BloggerView #5: Pedro Melo
BloggerView #6: Mónica André
BloggerView #7: André Ribeirinho
BloggerView #8: Beverly Trayner
BloggerView #9: Jose Luis Orihuela
BloggerView #10: Laurent Haug
BloggerView #11: Martin Röll
BloggerView #12 Stowe Boyd
BloggerView #13: Stephanie Booth
BloggerView #14 Dannie Jost