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25 posts from November 2007

"Corporate Blog Portal" area now opened up on The New PR Wiki - please contribute! (or send feedback)

200711071344Per my last blog post on the topic, I've now added my "Design Suggestions for a Corporate Blog Portal" to The New PR Wiki. There is now a "Corporate Blog Portal" page which includes the suggestions I've blogged about here, as well as some examples and a placeholder for links to software.

Feedback would be definitely appreciated! What do you think about these suggestions? Are there other items you think should be on the list? Do you have examples of corporate blog portals that you thought were really well done?

Please feel free to leave suggestions as comments here on this blog post, email me, or make the edits directly in the wiki if you have the password. If you don't and want to edit there, please feel free to email me.

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A truly *useful* example of using Twitter for local alerts...

I was somewhat amused when local TV station WCAX started using Twitter... I first learned of it when they started following my twitter feed. At first I didn't follow them in return (purely because I am getting a lot of Twitter followers and I like to check them out before just following them), but yesterday I decided to start following them purely to have another source of local news.

Today, I saw a great example of how Twitter could be used for local alerts:

Now, working in a home office, this doesn't really impact me, but I did call my wife who was out doing errands and let her know to avoid the highway. Tomorrow, I'll be heading up to FacebookCamp Montreal and this type of message could help me decide which of the exits I would use to get on the highway.

Nice to see... and now a good reason for me to continue following WCAX's feed.

There's also an irony here, in that I don't watch TV, so this Twitter feed is really my only exposure to WCAX and their brand. (Outside of obviously knowing that they are around.)

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Do you have a favorite example of a "corporate blog portal" that works well?

Question for readers - do you have any examples of "corporate blog portals" that you think are done "right"?

One of my tasks with Voxeo will be to create a "" portal with some of the blogs that we are looking to launch. Obviously, I'm looking to learn from what others have done and come out with something that works well. Back in April, I posted the second round of my "Design Requirements for a Corporate Blog Portal" and that naturally serves as a background for my development, but I'm curious for feedback six months later... are there more items you think should be added to the list? (For instance, I'm thinking that a "tag cloud" would be a worthwhile addition.)

Do you have examples of companies you think did it well? I listed Cisco and Sun in my post, and a commenter suggested Edelman... and then there's the rather minimalist Microsoft MSDN portal. Do you have other suggestions?

Also, if any of you have built corporate web portals, do you have any suggestions for software? Anyone done it with open source solutions like Wordpress? Or have you used commercial software? Any and all suggestions would be welcome.

Thanks in advance if you have any suggestions for either corporate blog portals or software.

P.S. Ultimately, my aim is to capture all this inside of The New PR Wiki so that others can learn from this exchange.

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Any Vermonters out there want to head up to FacebookCamp Montreal on Wednesday (Nov 7)?

200711052045Are there any readers of this blog in the Burlington, Vermont, area who want to head up to Facebook Camp Montreal on Wednesday? I'm planning to go and given that the event starts at 6pm (and goes to 10pm) I'm figuring to start driving up around 2 or 3pm to avoid rush hour. Normally it's only about a 1.5-2 hour drive, but I've always found the traffic in the late afternoon to be horrid in Montreal.

Anyway, if there are any Vermonters reading this who want to head up, I wouldn't mind the company. Please drop me an email or call (802-735-1624).

P.S. If you don't speak French, no worries... neither do I. (Outside of the 20 or so random words I picked up from living in Ottawa for 5 years.)

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Still thinking about Google's Open Social... does it truly tear down the walls of social networks? Or just make widgets work across socnets?

200711021131Unless you have been under a rock for the past few days, you should by now be aware that Google released an API called OpenSocial. There is a new Google blog that had the announcement, which included this:

OpenSocial is a set of common APIs that will work on many different social websites, including MySpace, Hi5, Ning, orkut, and LinkedIn, among others. In addition, this allows developers to learn one API, then write a social application for any of those sites. Learn once, write anywhere, if you will. And because it's built on web standards like HTML and JavaScript, developers don't have to learn a custom programming language.

The list of OpenSocial partners is quite extensive... basically everyone in the social networking space except Facebook, but also including other companies such as and Oracle. Having the big players like MySpace and LinkedIn is definitely key. Google has also provided a wealth of information:

I find it all intriguing. There is a great amount of talk in the blogosphere about how this "tears down the walls" of social networks... and it does - in one aspect. It seems to me that this is really a direct shot at the Facebook Platform in that it gives application developers the ability to create applications that work across multiple networks. So from the point-of-view of a developer, this truly does open up the world of social networks. You can now write an app that is not just restricted to the confines of Facebook's walled garden, but instead can run in any of the other social networks out there (that support OpenSocial).

So it solves part of the problem out there in social networking... and it looks like quite a compelling way to do so. I'm certainly going to be reading the tutorials and experimenting with sample code.

But please let's remember that there are other issues with the walled nature of social networks. For instance:

  • Why do I have to sign in with a different username and password to each of them? Why can't I just have a common (and secure) username/password that I use? (such as OpenID)
  • Why do I have to recreate my friends list in each social network? (something the "social network portability" folks are looking at)

OpenSocial lets apps be created that work across multiple networks. I commend the folks behind it and supporting it. But let's please remember that it solves only one part of the overall "open" issue.

I need to really play with it more before I can comment further. In the meantime I'm capturing here a number of links related to OpenSocial that I have found useful:

Stay tuned for more...

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