links for 2010-01-07

  • community imageSimply having a presence on various online networking platforms won’t work in the social media sphere. The key is spending time to build relationships to not only engage with site users, but to get them to interact with each other. While a lot has been said about how to do it, there are also ways to kill off an online community effort.

    Here are some pitfalls that online organizations should avoid when trying to foster engagement.

    1. The Gaping Hole Perception

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    Site visitors need to know that there is someone at the other end of the online community who’s listening, and who will respond and engage with them.

    “The absolute biggest inhibitor is the perception that your contribution is just going into a gaping void,” according to Matt Thompson, interim online community manager for the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, in an e-mail interview.

    For example, on a blog post that doesn’t have comments, few people want to be the first to comment. Thomp

  • Kidblog.org is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog.

    Kidblog's simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.

    Set up your class with no student email addresses.

    Provide your students with an authentic, engaging, and interactive learning experience with Kidblog.

  • One reason seekers of news are abandoning print newspapers for the Internet has nothing directly to do with technology. It’s that newspaper articles are too long. On the Internet, news articles get to the point. Newspaper writing, by contrast, is encrusted with conventions that don’t add to your understanding of the news. Newspaper writers are not to blame. These conventions are traditional, even mandatory.

    Take, for example, the lead story in The New York Times on Sunday, November 8, 2009, headlined “Sweeping Health Care Plan Passes House.” There is nothing special about this article. November 8 is just the day I happened to need an example for this column. And there it was. The 1,456-word report begins:

    Handing President Obama a hard-fought victory, the House narrowly approved a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s health care system on Saturday night, advancing legislation that Democrats said could stand as their defining social policy achievement.

    Fewer than half the words in

  • To truly capture someone's personality in a portrait is a difficult task – especially when asked to pose for a camera. We all cherish those rare, candid photos of friends and family that were caught during a moment in our lives. Photos that show us in our own environment – not self-conscious of a studio with bright lights and formal poses.

    This is what Julie's portraits are all about. She enjoys taking pictures of people when they are at their most relaxed. This usually happens when shooting at a location that puts people at ease. Whether that's in a home, at a park, or at a party – the portrait should capture the person as others see them.

    Julie has a BFA in Photography from Washington University School of Fine Arts. Her focus on documentary photography emphasizes the use of natural lighting and a spontaneous perspective.

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