Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Article summaries

What better way to keep track of what I read than to write it all down? What better way to scare off anyone who might be interested in reading this? No, please don't go, you hypothetical you, you.

Smudde, Peter M. "Blogging, Ethics, and Public Relations: A Proactive and Dialogic Approach." Public Relations Quarterly. 2005. http://users.marshall.edu/~stewar49/pages/461092/links/ethics/3.pdf

Smudde is interested in discussing how a corporate public relations blog should behave ethically. My initial reaction to this is, wa-haa? It seems to be that ethical PR blogging consists of be careful of sounding too much like an ad, disclosing confidential info, paying for bloggers endorsements, and controlling content. These things seem pretty obvious to me. But maybe PR is another world? Smudde does remind us nicely that a PR created blog will be suspected of bias. And rightly so. In a nutshell, PR bloggers need to be 'virtuous professionals.'

Tinapple, David, and David Woods. "Message Overload from the Inbox to Intelligence Analysis: How Spam and Blogs Point to New Tools." Proceeding of the Annual Meeting of Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. 2003. http://csel.eng.ohio-state.edu/woods/data_overload/papers/messageoverload2003.pdf (*note: 80% sure of citation)

These fellows are suggesting that blogs can be used in place of some emails and, indeed, provide a central and easily referenced information location. Blogs make clear the relationship factor of things. Emails sort by arrival time, not relationship import. I buy that. Good example of centralized blog in place of email? Tacoma Art Museum Docents Blog.

Beler, Alpay, Ann Borda, Jonathan P. Bowen, and Silvia Filippini-Fantoni. "The Building of Online Communities: An Approach for Learning Organizations, with a Particular Focus on the Museum Sector." EVA 2004 London Conference. http://arxiv.org/ftp/cs/papers/0409/0409055.pdf

Community is key. That's the idea here that's important. That and that museums have a magnificent resource in the internet and its networking/community building potential. Honestly, I skipped the case studies. I read the beginning of the first one (www.ingenious.org.uk) and the description read like it was a kind of myspace for museum sites. Looking at that site today, it's clearly not true. Message boards, like Museophile, provide a kind of community, but not the kind that creates stakeholders in the museum. Also, isn't it amazing how outdated 2004 can be? I'm on some email list-serves, but I consider them archaic, despite being very useful. Just another product of my age that expects everything in shiny packaging? Maybe.

Miller, Carolyn R. and Dawn Shepherd. ‘Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog’ in Gurak et al. (eds), Into the Blogoshphere. Rhetoric, Community and Culture of Weblogs, (2004),http://blog.lib.umn.edu/blogosphere/blogging_as_social_action_a_genre_analysis_of_the_weblog.html

Copy and paste citation! Woo! Okay. Blogs as a genre. It's interesting. Sadly, this doesn't take into account corporate or organizational blogs, so it's mostly talking about individual endeavors. It provides an interesting family tree of blogs, a discussion about voyeurism and exhibitionism, and, again, relationship building. More importantly, it gave me the best comparison yet: that of the blog to a Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosity. It's not actually a quite from the article, but is quoted from We've Got Blog. The idea of assembling separate interesting objects or links and placing them in proximity to be interpreted next to each other. Yes! How perfect! Interesting article.

Two news articles. Not going to bother citing them unless you're interested. Mostly good for nice quotes from museum professionals.

Tom Kelleher, BarbaraM Miller (2006) "Organizational Blogs and the Human Voice: Relational Strategies and Relational Outcomes." Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication 11 (2), 395–414. Looong link.

It's hard for me to read stuff read by public relations professionals, but you know what I loved about this article? Experiments! Empirical evidence! Someone is actually testing something. The tiny scientist in me loves it. And, it turns out, people can tell when it sounds more like a human voice than the voice of an organization. Again, this is something that seems painfully obvious, but getting it proven get 3 bonus points. You know what's good about having a human voice for an organization? A human voice is open to conversation! Yes. And conversation leads to community and community leads to an interested and invested public which is what museums need and want.

*Too much coding effort is required to hide portions of this long post, so neener, neener. Maybe another day.

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