Blogs You Probably Aren't Reading But Should

Radar DDB 10am One Thing: #FreeAndOpen

The following post originally appeared on the DDB Canada blog as part of the Radar 10am One Thing series of posts.

The internet connects billions of people to each other every day. It allows us to talk to people around the world, instantly. It lets us share and create art. It can help us learn.  It helps people who might not otherwise have a voice be heard.

Unfortunately, some of the world's governments want more control over the internet as we use it today. They want to be able to censor it, spy on it or otherwise manipulate it, and they are often supported by organizations that don't have the public's best interest in mind.


Enter the #FreeAndOpen campaign from Google. With a real-time map displaying the names and locations of those who have pledged their support and a video to put a face to some of these people, the company whose informal corporate motto was once famously "Don't be evil" is really trying to do some good. 3 million people have already added their names to the map online.


Visit to learn more about what's at stake and pledge your support at

This is an important issue that goes far beyond the advertising industry and our work at Tribal DDB. We urge you take a moment to consider how a free and open internet has benefitted you, and how it can do so much more for the entire world.

The One Thing is a result of the daily 10am meetings held in the DDB Canada offices, where our digital teams meet to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies. Today's One Thing was written by Tribal DDB Toronto Social Media Strategist, Parker Mason.

For an archive of the 10am links, visit our Delicious account and Pinterest board.

Follow Radar on Twitter:

The Radar DDB 10am One Thing


Almost every weekday, digital and social media teams at DDB Canada gather at 10am to discuss new online trends, tools and technologies. The half-hour meetings involve various team members discussing the merits of a particular site or video, and how it fits into greater online trends.

For me, the meetings are a great opportunity to get insight from my colleagues into what's happening online, and it definitely exposes me to things I might not have noticed or found otherwise. They are a highlight of my week and one of the cool things about working at DDB Canada.

To see what we've discussed, check out the DDB Canada blog or follow Radar DDB on Twitter. If you're interested in getting a daily email from us with the 10am One Thing (and a weekly wrap-up!), leave a comment her or send me an email.


How We Spent Our Summer Vacation

Once again, it's been over a month since I wrote the last post on BlogCampaigning and I'm scrambling to explain how we spent our summer. In late July, I broke my collarbone playing soccer so I spent a lot of time in the past few weeks sitting on my patio and watching Game of Thrones. I also changed roles at DDB, and am now a Social Media Planner. I'll elaborate more on that in a later post.

Jens Schroeder got a real job, and is now the Campus Academic Coordinator for Qantm College's Sydney Campus. For a guy who lives next to the beach in Australia and whose job is basically telling people about video games, he spends a lot of time complaining about how tough his life is.

Heather Morrison continues to work for Sequentia Environics, but she also got to got to Florida and Vancouver this summer.

Espen Skoland has written a post for BlogCampaigning in years, and considering him and his wife Hanne had a baby this summer, it'll probably be a while before we hear from him again.

We're all excited have more updates for you soon here on BlogCampaigning! Don't forget to follow @BlogCampaigning on Twitter, too.



A Social Media Age Divide

Timothy B. Lee (no, not that Tim B. Lee) is one of my favorite pundits bloggers thinkers writers these days. In a recent blog post for Forbes (The Social Media Singularity), he wrote the following great paragraphs:

Like any skill, the ability to find good Internet content gets better with practice. Intellectuals under about 35 have had access to the Web for their entire adult lives. Most of us rely on the Internet as our primary source of information about the world. We’ve all been practicing finding interesting content and sharing it with our friends for over a decade. Many of us are quite good at it.

In contrast, intellectuals over about 45 had already gotten used to a print-centric media diet by the time the Internet arrived. As a result, they didn’t adopt online reading habits with the same enthusiasm. When social media arrived, few of their peers were using it so they didn’t either. And as a consequence, they never developed the kind of Internet-filtering prowess that comes naturally to many people in my cohort.

There are certainly exceptions to both cases, but I think it is a great way to sum up part of what's happening online today.

Read his whole article here.



Heather at Mesh!

Here at BlogCampaigning, we've been pretty big supporters of the Mesh Conference over the past few years. That's why I'm super excited that BlogCampaigning's own Heather Morrison is going to be speaking at Mesh this year! Along with her colleagues Ujwal Arkalgud and Michael Coulson from Sequentia, Heather will be speaking on a panel entitled "Digital Ethnography: How to build a better online community by understanding your audience's culture"

From the description:

"This workshop will introduce you to the power of digital ethnographic research. Through the use of interactive exercises, we will walk you through a practical application of this research method to examine the cultures of two prominent online communities, Reddit and Digg, and spark ideas for how you can use digital ethnography at your organization. Here are three key questions that we will address:

  1. What is digital ethnographic research and why is it useful to me?
  2. How can the idea of contextual observation, the foundation of ethnographic research, be used to: better understand audiences, optimize marketing initiatives and messages, and better position products and services
  3. How can digital ethnographic research be applied to understand and build online communities?"

I'll definitely be heckling live Tweeting this panel, and I encourage you to check it out!


Work Out Wednesdays Volume 1

As mentioned in one of Parker's previous posts, I recently launched a new fitness, health and nutrition blog called This has really allowed me to tap into one of my passions and continue learning and finding new information on wellness in general. If you share this passion, here are a few of my recent blog posts that might interest you: 1. 5 Easy Steps to a Healthier You - A quick overview of some easy and achievable things you (and pretty much anyone) can do to stay healthy.

2. Green Mango Smoothie Recipe - I recently started drinking fruit and veggie smoothies for lunch. I've experienced a huge boost in energy and have also managed to shed a few extra pounds. If you're thinking of incorporating more fresh fruits and vegetables try this recipe - it is truly delicious!

3. Running Tips for Beginners - If you are considering taking up running for the first time, or just getting back into it after the long winter break, here are some tips that I found helped me as I started running last year. If you have any to add - let me know!

Let me know what you think and if you have any suggestions or questions - I'm really looking forward to continuing to learn and incorporate new ideas and feedback into future posts.


WikiLeaks: Supplementary Reading

When I was in University, a lot of my classes had a supplementary reading list. You didn't need to read these articles or books to pass, but they were related to the subject matter and might help your understanding of it. As I'm reading more and more about Julian Assange and WikiLeaks, I've become reminded of some great articles or stories that I've read over the past few years. Below are a few of them that I think anyone interested in WikiLeaks might also be interested in: The Cypherpunk Manifesto - "Privacy is necessary for an open society in the electronic age. Privacy is not secrecy. A private matter is something one doesn't want the whole world to know, but a secret matter is something one doesn't want anybody to know. Privacy is the power to selectively reveal oneself to the world," wrote Eric Hughes in 1993 as the opening lines of The Cypherpunk Manifesto. And while that was almost 20 years ago, it feels incredibly relevant in the context of the Wikileaks case breaking now. As the text continues, I can't help but feel it must have very influential on a younger Julian Assange:

"Cypherpunks write code. We know that someone has to write software to defend privacy, and since we can't get privacy unless we all do, we're going to write it. We publish our code so that our fellow Cypherpunks may practice and play with it. Our code is free for all to use, worldwide. We don't much care if you don't approve of the software we write. We know that software can't be destroyed and that a widely dispersed system can't be shut down."

Anything about Sealand - While I haven't been following the Wikileaks case closely enough to know where exactly the information is being hosted these days, the talk of finding an independent data haven reminded me of the brief obsession I had with The Principality of Sealand. This off-shore platform was built in international waters during World War II and has had a colourful history of pirate radio stations, pretenders to the throne, secessionists and so on ever since then. For a while, I remember there being talk of it being used as a data haven by online gambling (and more nefarious organizations) wanting to keep their information safe from the prying eyes of government.

Cryptonomicon by Neal Stephenson - While it is a work of fiction, the plot of this lengthy tome is about a group of people trying to set-up a data haven somewhere in the South Pacific. Its got historical adventure, techno-babble and the type of writing you can't put down. If you want to have a taste of some the research that went into writing this book, I strongly recommend also reading "Mother Earth Mother Board," an epic article that Neal Stephenson wrote for Wired Magazine in 1996 about the business of laying undersea fibre-optic cables across the world. In the age of Wi-Fi, it can feel a bit dated at times but is still a top-notch read.

Assassination Politics - I feel like there have been a couple of calls for the assassination of Julian Assange, and the whole thing got me thinking about Jim Bell's concept of Assassination Politics (an article I read about the same time as The Cypherpunk Manifesto). The concept is basically that with the right type of cryptography, the type that would allow us to exchange information and money without either side of the exchange knowing the identity of the other, you could set up a sort of assassination market that would easily collapse governments. Jim Bell's article is a great thought experiment, particularly when combined with some of the other articles in this list.

What would you add to the Wikileaks Supplementary Reading list?


Where It All Began (4 years of BlogCampaigning)

As a follow-up to my post of awesome pictures the other day, I thought I'd post this gem of a picture:

It is a picture of Jens and Espen, taken sometime in September, 2006. Espen had just launched BlogCampaigning as part of his thesis at Griffith University, and Jens and I were just starting to write posts for the site.

In the four years since then, we've gone on to do some different things but the three of us have mostly kept in touch via BlogCampaigning.

Thanks for reading - we hope BlogCampaigning is around for another four years for you. And for us.


Advice For Anyone Who Wants to Start A Blog

A few days ago, a friend of mine mentioned that she had begun PR school and asked for advice about what to do for the blog she was obligated to do for one of her classes. If you're one of those die-hard BlogCampaigning fans, you probably already know my thoughts on adding another PR blog to the over-saturated sea of PR blogs.

Back then, my advice to my young friend would have been that she should start a blog about something she cares about.

Now, my advice would be that they avoid starting a blog altogether.

Instead, she should start a Facebook Page.

Right at the start, she can populate this Facebook Page with information about herself (or her project) and what the page is about.

Since I'm pretty sure students in these PR classes are encouraged to read each others' blogs, she can then ask her follow students to 'Like' the page (a much easier task than subscribing via RSS).

Instead of daily blog posts, she can write daily status updates for the page. Facebook's newish tagging ability makes it easier to link to other pages, and isn't really that different than the traditional HTML links you'd include in a blog post. These tags have the added ability of ensuring your post is visible on the page that you tagged, potentially increasing your audience. Interactions on these pages (Likes, Comments) will be spread across the social network of her and her friends, encouraging further interaction and becoming much more visible than if these same interactions were made on a blog.

If she does all this, she'll have the framework for a 'blog' that has the potential to be more popular than any of her classmates. She'll also learn a lot about an increasingly relevant tool in the communicators' kit.

She'll still have to ensure her posts are interesting, resonate with her audience and encourage interaction. A supporting website with basic contact information and direction to 'Like' the Facebook page couldn't hurt, either.

What do you think? Is this good advice for a PR/communications student? If you're a teacher, would you give a passing grade to a student who did this instead of starting a traditional blog?


What's good these days?

I had lunch Rick Weiss a few weeks ago, and one of the things we talked about was completely clearing your RSS Reader (removing all feeds), unfollowing everyone on Twitter, deleting your friends from Facebook and basically getting a fresh start. I took part of that advice, and gave the blogs I do still subscribe to a hard look. Which ones am I actually reading? Which ones do I just skim over every day?

Here are a few keepers:

When it comes to learning about the latest and greatest technology news, you can't go wrong with Slashdot. Their short, microblogesque posts leave out the hyperbole and hype of those 'other' tech blogs and leave you with the facts, short and sweet.

I might not read every post on io9, but that's just because I don't have time. This science-fiction blog isn't just about space aliens and Star Wars, and often talks about the real-life impacts seemingly sci-fi technology can have on our lives. I'd recommend reading it for anyone interested in where we might be in the next few years.

Nike Sportswear's Facebook page isn't necessarily a blog, but they still pump out some cool stuff on a pretty regular basis. Its also a great look at a slice of a big company with lots of different divisions doing something interesting in social media.

The Simpsons fan in me will never get tired of the Eye on Springfield blog. They've really captured some classic moments.

Gaga Stigmata is a blog of "Critical writings and art about Lady technological breed of journal that intends to take seriously the brazenly unserious shock pop phenomenon and fame monster known as Lady Gaga." What's not to like?

Yimmy is a taste-maker of the photoblog generation, and I feel like images that show up on his site always end up spread across the web a few days later.

So there you have it. Mostly guilty pleasures, and an escape from the fishbowl.

Any other reading suggestions?


Oh, and I also read Ed Lee's blog. He's not just my boss - he's also a pretty smart dude.

BlogCampaigning On Facebook

It used to be that you could get away with just a website. Then you needed way to collect email addresses so that people could subscribe to it. Then those forward-looking social media pros started saying that RSS was the future of communications, then Twitter. Whatever the medium, its always been about making it easy for your audience to get updates from your website. With that in mind, I set up a Facebook Page for BlogCampaigning. All it will really do is pull in posts from here, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't become a Fan.


Wanted: Toronto Bloggers

Some of you may have noticed Ive been quieter than usual on BlogCampaigning. This is because I was neck deep in a site redesign and overhaul of my blog, Toronto Uncovered. Check it out if you haven't already, and let me know what you think. I'm still working out a few kinks, but suggestions and feedback are always welcome! Toronto Uncovered!

One of the main features of the new design is to add visibility and prominence to different categories on the main page and in the menu bar. I'm hoping to grow out different sections and increase the amount and variety of content that readers have to choose from. I can't do this alone—I need help! I'm looking for Torontonians who have something to say and need somewhere to say it. Come forward and help me uncover Toronto's good, bad, and ugly. If you have a unique idea for a section that you want to take charge of, or just have a lot to say on one current category, let me know!

This is open to anyone who lives in Toronto, newcomer or born 'n raised; all opinions and perspectives are welcome. You can contact me at or via Twitter at @hmorrison.

Did BoingBoing Sell Out?

BoingBoing was one of the first blogs that I ever read, and it'll always have a special place in my heart. (This post remains some of the best advice I've read on the internet.) I don't subscribe via RSS or email anymore, but I still stop by once in a while just to see how things are going.

Over the past few months, they've been touting the BoingBoing Bazaar, a section of the Makersmarket website that features products hand-selected by BoingBoing staff.

More recently, they posted that they also have a BoingBoing online store on Amazon.

Presumably, the BoingBoing organization gets a cut of all products they sell through these online outlets.

So does that mean they sold out?

No. In a way, I think they did almost the exact opposite. While they used to offer their readers their opinions and thoughts on the weird internet ephemera that they found, now they can share the equally weird and cool physical goods

Better yet, by getting paid as affiliates (as I assume they do), they're rewarded for all the work they put into the blog. I feel like by including these suggestions as part of the editorial content, the BoingBoing crew is walking a very fine line. However, if their users feel like they're endorsing products strictly in order to make money, they'll stop reading.

While micro-payment services like Flattr aim to make it easy for you to reward the sites or artist you like online, I think they are a bit idealistic (the world isn't ready for this type of whuffie thinking) and don't result in any reward for the person paying beyond a warm, fuzzy feeling.

Online advertising is dead and dying. The future of profitable websites is in their ability to develop content that they can turn into sales of actual, physical goods or services. Whether success comes in the form of the website selling branded goods related to its own brand (BlogCampaigning pogs, maybe?) or by setting up its own, shop like BoingBoing has remains to be seen.

This is an issue with all forms of digital media, from blogs and websites to music, movies and games so I'm definitely interested in seeing how it will turn out.

What do you think? Did BoingBoing sell out? Would you buy products that the BlogCampaigning crew recommended? What is the best way to reward your favorite website?


The Bottom-up Perspective and Public Relations

Over the past few months, I've really come to enjoy reading Timothy B. Lee's blog. The computer programmer, writer and think-tank worker bee is now pursuing a PhD in computer science, and is blogging his thoughts about "bottom-up" thinking. What is bottom-up thinking? Its not something racy, nor is it about chugging beer. As Tim says:

"I’m convinced that Silicon Valley’s fundamental strength is the fact that it embodies what I’ll call a bottom-up perspective on the world. The last couple of decades have brought us the dominance of the open Internet, the increasing success of free software, and the emergence of the free culture movement as an important social and political force. More generally, Silicon Valley is a place with extremely low barriers to entry, a culture of liberal information sharing, and a respect for the power of individual entrepreneurs."

For the most part, Tim's posts have reinforced some of my own opinions about the way things should work. He has also occasionally caused me to second-guess my own actions; but never as much as a few weeks ago when he wrote a critique of the Public Relations industry ("The PR Firm As Anti-Signal").

"PR people seem to be floundering in this new environment," he writes, before going on to explain that hiring a PR firm sends the message that your company "doesn't get the web." Tim feels that if your product or company is good enough, you don't need PR. People will talk about you, write about you, and do business with you. It was particularly tough to swallow considering I'd just made the move from Product Management to Public Relations (the two really aren't as different as you'd think).

However, upon closer inspection, it seems that his complaint is about PR companies that also don't "get the web". You know, the kind that we always complain about, the ones that send the cookie-cutter pitches to thousands of reporters on the very off-chance that they might write about their client.

What Tim doesn't understand is that PR isn't just about sending pitches. Its about communicating.

Tim is fortunate enough to be able to write clearly, and I'm going to guess that this isn't a skill that every computer sciences PhD candidate has. In fact, I bet that Tim is a bit of a renaissance-man rarity in his world.

But at the same time, there aren't very many Public Relations professionals that know much about computers (seriously, as a group, we're not as tech-savvy as we like to think we are).

Computer programmers (coders, developers, etc.) need PR pros to help them tell people about their product, explain what it does and communicate with the user base. They need designers to make it look nice. They need sales people to sell it.

And the patent lawyers that Tim talks about, the ones that he recommends start a blog instead of getting their PR people to offer to comment on various issues? If they're really experts, they're probably too busy with cases to start a blog. But a PR team could help lawyers set one up, and teach them how to write concise posts that draw on their knowledge but require a communicator's skill to make them more palatable to a wider audience.

As I heard someone say about this same issue a year or so ago, "Sure I can paint my house myself, but why wouldn't I just hire professionals who can do a better job?"

Tim, if you read this I hope you give PR a second chance. We're not perfect, but we're learning. And there are some public relations practitioners who are redefining the profession using the bottom-up thinking you preach.


We're Getting The Blog Back Together

Its been a while since we last posted on BlogCampaigning, and I know that a lot of our readers are wondering what happened: PR message boards have been flooded with rumours and speculation, and Jens and I have been getting emails and phone calls at all hours from fans. Everyone has been wondering what happened to BlogCampaigning. The short answer is that we don't really know.

The long answer is that the site got messed up and that I've been super-busy with real life (work, soccer and summer drinking). Thanks to Tommy Vallier at Wordpress by the Minute, we were able to get rid of the spammy links and Javascript that had pervaded our RSS feed (if you need any blog work done, I highly recommend his services).

I haven't been writing much for the site because I was working on a product launch for CNW Group (more on that in an upcoming post), Jens hasn't been writing much because he's been "working on his thesis" (which I equate to playing Xbox), and Heather has probably just been busy with her own blog, Toronto Uncovered.

We still don't know where Espen is, but we hope you like the BlogCampaigning redesign and that you'll continue to read our thoughts about Public Relations, Video Games, Technology and whatever we feel like.

But don't spend too much time reading BlogCampaigningget out there and enjoy the summer weather.


Advice For Those Planning On Starting A Blog About PR and/or Social Media


If you want to start a blog, start one about something you're interested in. Not only will you learn everything about social media and blogging that you might learn with a PR blog, but you'll also learn more about something else. While I don't doubt that you do care about PR/Communications/Social Media, I really like to think that you've got other interests (if not, then your problems are greater than my ability to help you with them).

If you're young and think you want to get your start in PR or communications, that's great. Prospective employers will be happy to see that you have a blog and are involved in the online space. They'll probably be happier still to see that you've got enough originality to think outside this realm, and become an expert in something that interests you. You'll also be able to demonstrate that you understand the other side of the media fence.

You can still be involved in the world-changing discussions about social media and the future of PR that happen all over the web these days by reading and commenting. In fact, by blogging outside the social media bubble you might even become more of an expert than some of those social media consultants and gurus.

UPDATE: Darren Barefoot wrote a similar post today called Writing About What You Know. Definitely worth a read.


Corporate Sponsorship: Blood and Wine

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post outlining some of my thoughts about corporate sponsorship. Shortly after that, wine blogger Steve Heimoff wrote a good follow up post musing about what corporate sponsorship for a wine blog might look:

"This may work in the entertainment industry, but it’s not clear to me that it can succeed in wine. For one thing, why would a non-wine industry corporation sponsor a wine blogger?"

I don't know a great deal about wine, but I do know that there are probably plenty of companies that would like to be aligned with a wine blog. For as long as there have been people reviewing things, there have been people providing them with free versions.  Movie reviewers get free passes to opening night, car magazines are frequently invited to test drive new vehicles and I'm sure that video game magazines and blogs are given consoles and games for free.

What I like about Steve's blog post about wine sponsorship is the discussion it created, particularly one comment by Charlie Olken: "An online blog with sponsorship is a magazine."

While part of me wants to disagree with Charlie and say "a blog is a blog, not a magazine," I'm also inclined to agree with him.

As I've mentioned above, magazine editors and writers frequently receive free goods to review in their publication. They have to be ensure that their reviews aren't unduly influenced by the swag, as they have a responsibility to their readers. Similarly, I think that Charlie is saying that a blogger has a responsibility to his readers as well.

He also makes a good point that unpaid bloggers blog for the love of it, adding that...

"....When someone is paying you to reach a set number of eyeballs on a schedule with minimum number of words, your world will change. For guys like Steve and me and others of us who comment here, we are already in that boat with out day jobs. When you get paid to blog, that becomes your day job."

Related is the tale of Gawker Media allowing Blood Copy, an adverblog created by a PR/Advertising agency working on behalf of the HBO Television series True Blood, to "join" its network. This is clearly advertising content, not represented as such and generally seen as a huge fail by both the editors of the various Gawker blogs and their readers.

Annalee Newitz, the editor of i09 ("strung out on sci-fi" - part of the Gawker network and by far my favorite blog these days), writes of the debacle:

"I know it is wearying to see ads masquerading as editorial, and it's especially difficult for us at io9 since we've been covering the show True Blood for over a year without any incentive other than the fact that it's part of our beat...Blood Copy's ads, however, are not clearly marked as advertising and that is the problem. We're not happy with that, and you shouldn't be either. But that isn't going to stop us from covering a show that we think is worth critical attention. Please learn to be a critical reader yourself...The point is, we're not going to change our coverage of a media property just because somebody paid to put an ad on our site."

Gawker as an organization clearly agrees with this, writing that "Gawker the editorial staff and Gawker the advertising staff don't tell each other much about what they're doing. And they shouldn't."

I understand why some readers might be upset advertising copy making its way into their favorite blogs. But I also understand that someone needs to pay for the cost of keeping the lights on at these blogs and if HBO wants to foot the bill as a way of promoting their show, I'm glad.

Does this change your opinion of the way corporations should sponsor blogs?


Blogs You Probably Aren't Reading But Should: TorrentFreak

If you're into downloading music, movies and software from the internet, chances are you've heard of BitTorrent technology (if you haven't you need to get with the times - read the Wikipedia entry, then download a Torrent client and enjoy). If so, then you know that Torrents are one of the easiest and most popular ways to download and share files over the internet. As our world becomes increasingly connected and we turn to the online world for our entertainment,  issues surrounding file sharing will become equally important.

While I think that eventually we'll have a much larger selection of streaming, high-quality media and that we don't need to download as much using things like torrents, TorrentFreak is still a great look at what is important right now and will provide some great examples of how free file sharing can benefit content creators.

Some recommended recent posts are "Five File-Sharing Predictions for 2009" and their series about the most pirated TV shows and movies of 2008.

Check them out at or watch their online tv show, (most recent episode embedded below)

Do you use Torrents to download files, either legally or illegally?

Are there any other blogs or websites you think I should be checking out?

For more in this series, check out other blogs that I think you should probably be reading.

For a related article, check out this one about aXXo, one of the most prolific film pirates in the world.


Blogs You Aren't Reading But Probably Should:

I recently wrote a post on this blog introducing you to Jan Chipchase's Future Perfect blog in an attempt to introduce people to some blogs that might be outside their usual reading scope. Continuing with this series is a post about SEOMoz and why you should be reading it. A concept that has been around for a long time in the web industry but only recently seems to be gaining steam amongst communications professionals is that of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). According to Wikipedia, this is the process of improving the volume and quality of traffic to a web site via natural or "organic" search results. Basically, the more optimized your website is, the better traffic you'll get to it.

For some reason, many of the people that I have spoken to in the past few months seem to think that there is some sort of alchemical magic or technological wizardry that optimizes a site for search engines.

Put aside those thoughts and start reading the SEOMoz blog, written by some of the world's leading SEO experts. Some of their posts are directed at newcomers to the world of SEO and can offer a great introduction. Others are a little more complicated and technical, and the balance of the two types of posts lets you pick up anywhere and start learning or applying what you already know.

If you're more of a visual learner, they also have a series of posts called Whiteboard Fridays where one of their team members will create a short, casual video explaining some SEO concepts.

One of my favorite posts on SEOMoz is about the Three Cornerstones of SEO. Even though it was published back in mid-September, I'm constantly referring to the great diagram they have that makes it easy to explain the basic concepts of Search Engine Optimization.

So head on over to SEOMoz and find out why can proudly say they've got more than 30,000 subscribers to their RSS feed.


PS: Related is a great post from Ed Lee about why your site sucks in search engine rankings. As I commented there:

"I also think that too many people complicate SEO, particularly in our industry. They think that it is some kind of alchemical magic, when it really comes down to the three simple “pillars” that you mention. I’ve always heard that if you design a site that is easy to navigate by humans, the search engine bots/spiders will also be able to crawl it easily and find your content. If you’re creating relevant content and writing naturally using words that people are likely to search for rather than jargon, people will be able to find your site and are more likely to get something out of it, and subsequently link to it."

Blogs You Probably Aren't Reading But Should: Future Perfect

If you're like me, chances are you've got a big list of blogs in your RSS reader and don't venture out beyond that to regularly read other blogs as much as you should. You get comfortable with the same authors and the same ideas. We've done posts here before where the BlogCampaigning authors update their blog rolls and write about why they're reading what they are. Similarly, Over the next few weeks I'm going to highlight a few of my favorite blogs that fall a bit outside the regular ol' social media and PR frame. One of those blogs is Future Perfect, written by the amusingly-named Jan Chipchase.

Jan works for Nokia Design to develop new applications that if he does his job right, "you'll be using in the 3 to 15 years from now." From what I can tell, a great deal of his work involves travelling around the world and looking at the way people in different societies use objects. Fortunately for us, Jan shares his insights via photos and short observations on his blog. I like reading it because he is based in Tokyo, and a lot of his posts focus on that city (I lived in the Tokyo suburbs from 2004-2005).

On the about page of Future Perfect, Jan writes:

"Pushing technologies on society without thinking through their consequences is at least naive, at worst dangerous, though typically it, and IMHO the people that do it are just boring. Future perfect is a pause for reflection in our planet's seemingly headlong rush to churn out more, faster, smaller and cheaper.

Somewhere along the way we get to shape what the future looks like."

I highly recomend that you have a look at his blog and subscribe to it, even for just a few weeks, to see if he challenges your idea of how we use objects in the everyday world.

Jan Chipchase - Future Perfect