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The Rundown with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson-Part I

TheRundown Welcome to the Rundown Podcast. Here I give and get The Rundown on social media and all things Public Relations and Digital marketing on the web.

Episode 3 of The Rundown Podcast features part one of a discussion of podcasting with two of my favorite podcasters – Shel Holtz (@shel) and Neville Hobson (@jangles) from the For Immediate Release series of podcasts. They recently released the results of their listener survey, which spurred a detailed discussion of podcasting past, present and future…

The Rundown with Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson – Part I

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Show Notes

  • 00:00 Face off
  • 00:41 Welcome
  • 01:33 Comments? Suggestions?
  • 01:50 Segue
  • 02:00 Welcome, again
  • 02:20 Introduction of Neville and Shel
  • 05:00 The FIR Listener Survey – why release the survey results?
  • 07:29 Changes to The Hobson & Holtz Report?
  • 08:20 Length
  • 09:05 Podsafe Music – Really?
  • 11:40 RSS vs. iTunes
  • 13:49 iPod vs. iPhone
  • 16:02 Conversation Rules
  • 17:03 Podcast Stats – Downloads vs. Listeners
  • 18:37 Is content still king? (eMarketer study Podcasting Into the Mainstream, March 2009)
  • 21:07 Diversity in audience – why and how?
  • 22:57 Podcast listenership
  • 25:21 Break
  • 25:30 Luke pimps these other podcasts:

Don’t hesitate to send in audio or text comments, questions, feedback and anything else that suits your fancy. I reserve the right, of course, to play or read any and all of your comments as well as delete them without a second thought. But don’t let that stop you from giving it a shot!

Please let me know what you think via email or leave an audio comment at: +1 206.337.3731.

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Blog Scrapers Imagine a Magical Concern

RSS Scraping

Original Photo by Bret Arnett

Since there have been blogs, there have been people who steal your content. I’m not taking about borrowing your thoughts or words under a Creative Commons license, I’m talking about directly stealing your content to house on blogs loaded with Google Adwords or other advertising. Actually, for some of these blogs I’m not even sure what the point is. I’m not sure I understand a lot of the scraping and comment spam I’ve seen. If anyone has a good post on it, let me know in the comments.

Shel Holtz briefly introduced CopyGator during episode #416 of The Hobson and Holtz Report last week. CopyGator is:

…a free service designed to monitor your RSS feed and find where your content has been republished in the blogosphere. We automatically notify you when a new post of yours is copied to another feed, we also build an overview page you can view to see how/when/where your content is being duplicated, quoted or plagiarized.

It’s a great idea, but one I haven’t been able to test it out yet.  I’m looking forward to it, as in the past I’ve found a surprising amount of my content posted to other sites, which, while flattering, is annoying.

So while monitoring the blogosphere for some client mentions today, imagine my surprise when I found this bizarre review of a product with the strangest non-native-English-speaking tone to it, i.e.

  • “Imagine a magical concern where you read text scribbled by a kinsfolk member in their poorest cowardly scratch” or
  • “Make trusty to yield a interpret here to intend this terminal entry.”

And while absolutely hysterical to read in the Engrish Funny kind of way, it just shows that for every tool created hackers, scrapers and spammers will figure out a way around it.

Upon further review, I did discover the original blog post written about my client’s product. So apparently scrapers are now taking your content and running it through some sort of thesaurus program or other word-altering script so you can’t easily locate them, except that the product name was still in there along with the images. Not cool. CopyGator appears to work on the feed, not the content, so I look forward to delving further into that and seeing how it works.

So if you find your content being scraped you might want to look into CopyGator. Has anyone tried it? Thoughts? Comments?

For kicks, I just wish I had whatever program they were running this content through. It would be fun to push some classic poems or literature through it, i.e.

  • “To have being or to not exist, that is the interrogatory statement”
  • “Times being the most plentiful, also worst of all were the times.”
  • “More than one pathway did fork in timberland, and myself taken to me the unihabited choice, and that has made all the expression of the form f(x + h) − f(x).”

The Blessing and Curse of RSS

New PictureI’ve been a huge fan of RSS for many, many years. I love it. I think the technology behind it has done more to revolutionize the web than most applications or file formats. For communicator, it has done wonders to allow us to monitor conversations. For people who know how to use it, it has brought the web directly to them – on their terms and at their pace. It’s given rise to podcasts, for one.

But, like many, I think I may have overdone it. I currently subscribe to 225 feeds, many of which update several times a day. Maybe that’s not a lot for you, but with my current work/life/commute balance, it’s a strain on my resources.

If you follow me on Twitter, you’ll know that I just zeroed out my RSS reader. I always feel terrible about doing that so I rarely do it. Consequently, I typically have thousands of unread messages lurking in there, eying me up, guilt ridding me. And I hate that.

MarkAllAsRead And I’m not alone:

Response

But I found that when I went in there at lunch today to read my feeds, I found it a relaxing and enjoyable experience. Sort of how I used to feel about it, when there were only a handful of bloggers worth following and the top most news sites worth keeping track of.

But before long my reader will probably say All Items (1000+) again and I’ll feel bad about myself again.

So what can one do about it?

No, that’s not rhetorical. Have you recently zeroed out your RSS reader? What have you done to get over the guilt?

How do you manage your feeds? How do you maintain a limit that doesn’t overwhelm you. Years later I’m still struggling with keeping track of everything I’ve collected. Is it time to get out the RSS scissors or do I just have to learn how to read faster and more often?

Thoughts?