Monday, June 30, 2008

Steve discusses podcasting at NJ Technology Council

Professional Podcasts was one of seven companies from New Jersey and Quebec, Canada invited to present a seven-minute overview of their business at the New Jersey Technology Council's "What's Next in IT?" conference held at the Mezzanine in 744 Broad Street, Newark, NJ, on June 26.


About 125 high-tech executives, investors, and others attended the event.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

LOBP-SNCR2Binhammer: Lubetkin's Other Blog Podcast - SNCR #2, Richard Binhammer of Dell Computer

In this second in a series of special episodes of Lubetkin's Other Blog Podcast recorded during the New Communications Forum of the Society for New Communications Research, we present SNCR Senior Fellow John Cass interviewing Richard Binhammer of Dell Computer.

Richard Binhammer, left, and John Cass, SNCR Senior Fellow (Lubetkin photo)

This program was recorded April 23, 2008 at the New Communications Forum in Santa Rosa, CA.

Download the podcast here (95.7 mb stereo MP3 file, 01:09:44 duration).

Send comments to or call our podcast comment line, +1-856-861-6146 (Europe and UK, +44 020 7193 6146)

Keywords: sncr, new communications forum, lubetkin, cherry hill, nj, newcommreview, dell, binhammer california, santa rosa, conference, new media, social media

Produced by Steve Lubetkin, SNCR Senior Fellow, managing partner of Professional Podcasts LLC.

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Recycle Bin Technology Comes to New Jersey, just as it's being tossed on the, well, dustpile, in the UK

So next week, Cherry Hill, NJ residents will begin using their new high-tech recycle bins to give politicians additional cover to avoid the tough decisions about our trash.

Why should we build much-needed trash to steam generating facilities that might anger some people (aka voters) while benefitting us with cheaper energy, if we can pretend that government-enforced recycling with a high-tech gift certificate at the back end will solve all our ills?

This is the pattern among those we elect to run our government. Take the easy way out. Don't tell people the hard facts of reality. Don't really DO anything that requires making tough, unpopular decisions. We saw what happened to NJ Gov. Jim Florio when he actually told people the truth, that he was going to raise their taxes.

Why should we allow responsible exploration of our vast reserves of shale oil, offshore oil, or ANWR oil as part of a comprehensive plan for energy independence?

It's much easier to just offer people a few pennies off on gas for the summer vacation season by suspending a much-needed gasoline tax that pays for the highway repairs we aren't even doing, because we've stolen the trust fund money to prop up social security, because we don't want to ask people the hard question about funding it properly?

Let me review.

We now have beautiful, blue barcoded recycle bins, delivered by our tax dollars to your door. Starting June 30, we must put all of our recyclable glass, plastic, metal, and paper into these bins, which have wheels (easier to schlep to curbside) and are very big and tall, to hold a week's worth of this stuff.

When they are picked up, the garbage truck will read the bar code and keep track of what you have recycled.

Then you can log onto and find out how many "points" you have accumulated toward the purchase of what? More "stuff", as the late George Carlin would have said. "Stuff" that is wrapped in more waste paper, packaging, etc., that you can put into the recycle bin and start getting points all over again.

Talk about bread and circuses! Distract people from the real issue by making them work really hard at throwing stuff away correctly.

News flash...we just got back from the UK, where one of the interesting local controversies is the discovery after spending millions of UK pounds (worth twice the US dollar at this point)...gasp! The bin-data technology doesn't seem to work very well.

Can't wait until someone in Cherry Hill asks how we know the points are being accurately awarded...that will keep everyone's minds off the energy issues for at least another campaign season.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Interview about podcasting appears on the Marketing Safari blog

I met Hjörtur Smárason through LinkedIn initially, when I was trolling the web looking for corporate sponsors for a series of podcasts we're producing from the International Association of Online Communicators meeting that took place June 11-13 in Reykjavik, Iceland. Hjörtur graciously recommended several clients and acquaintances in the Icelandic business community who he thought might be interested in the project.

We began a regular correspondence via email and Twitter that culiminated in a face-to-face "Tweet-Up" when I was in Reykjavik. We previously posted this photo of me, Hjörtur (right), and Belgian new media expert Luc Van Braekel:

Now,  Hjörtur has posted an interview with me about podcasting on his Marketing Safari blog. We will be producing a podcast in the next few weeks with Hjörtur about the state of social media in Iceland and the other countries where he practices.

LOBP-SNCR1Jaffe: Lubetkin's Other Blog Podcast Special SNCR Episode #1, Keynote Address by Joseph Jaffe at New Communications Forum, 4/2008

In this first in a series of special episodes of Lubetkin's Other Blog Podcast, we present the keynote presentation at the New Communications Forum in April 2008 by Joseph Jaffe, president and chief interruptor of crayon, a new marketing company.

This program was recorded April 22, 2008 at the New Communications Forum in Santa Rosa, CA.

Download the podcast here (139 mb stereo MP3 file, 01:41:52 duration).

Send comments to or call our podcast comment line, +1-856-861-6146 (Europe and UK, +44 020 7193 6146)

Keywords: jaffe, sncr, new communications forum, lubetkin, cherry hill, nj, newcommreview, crayon, california, santa rosa, conference, new media

Produced by Steve Lubetkin, SNCR Senior Fellow, managing partner of Professional Podcasts LLC.

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Sunday, June 22, 2008

PRSA/Philadelphia Video Podcast: Media Chameleons: How the Visual News Media is Adapting in the Fast-paced Video World, May 22, 2008

PRSA/Philadelphia and Professional Podcasts LLC present a video podcast program, recording at the Union League Club on May 22, 2008.

In this vidcast, a group of media experts discuss how their jobs have changed and the media has adapted to technology and changes in the news business. The program runs 1 hour 23 minutes, and includes an audience Q&A session.


Sarah Glover, Inquirer Photographer
Shawn Sullivan, Courier-Post web content producer
Brian Conley, Alive in Baghdad
Jim Eyles, NFL Films

Moderator:  Cheryl Squadrito, President, Media Friendly Public Relations

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Some ideas about the gas price crisis that you won't hear on mainstream TV

You may not like his politics or even agree with him, but Newt Gingrich makes some compelling statements here about how to deal with the gas price crisis. We have the intellect and the technological means to figure out how to be environmentally responsible while exploring for new oil. So why don't we?

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Social Media Experts have Tweetup in Reykjavik

Reykjavik, , Iceland - Saturday, June 14, 2008: Social media experts from three countries had an encounter at the Hotel Holt here. Posing while discussing social media networks are (from left): Steve Lubetkin, managing partner of Professional Podcasts LLC, a leading US producer of business podcasts; Luc Van Braekel, a Belgian blogger and podcaster; and Hjörtur Smárason, president and CEO of Scope, an Icelandic internet marketing consultancy. Lubetkin and Smárason met online via LinkedIn and Twitter; Van Braekel met Lubetkin and Smárason in Reykjavik. Lubetkin and Van Braekel were covering the International Association of Online Communicators conference at the Hotel Holt. Live blogging of the conference appears on the PRSA/Philadelphia Brainstorm Blog, on Luc's blog, and on the IAOC's blog.

Photography Copyright

Friday, June 13, 2008

Keynote about Swarms and Collective Intelligence, Peter Gloor, MIT

Concluding the IAOC Conference in Reykjavik today is Peter Gloor, an MIT professor and chief creative officer of galaxyadvisors researching swarm intelligence and crowdsourcing, using some social network analysis software called CONDOR.

It analyzes the relationships between people and the topics they are discussing in online communications channels, building a map of relationships and connections, and enhancing predictive value of the content.

This has application in business for integrating new employees into the company network.

Complete audio podcast will come in a week or so, thanks to a grant from PRSA/Philadelphia, which is underwriting this coverage of the conference.

UPDATED 6/14/2008: Luc Van Braekel, Belgian blogger and podcaster who helped Philippe Borremans liveblog the conference, has posted a video of Peter's presentation.

International Online Communications

We had a concluding panel before lunch about the international implications for online communications.

Reykjavik, , Iceland - Friday June 13, 2008: IAOC Conference panel on European/US issues of online communications included (from left): Philippe Borremans of Blackline, a Belgian social media consulting firm; Bill Wolff, a professor from Rowan University; and moderator Don Dunnington.

Here's a small video excerpt from the panel. We're producing a full audio podcast of the panel, courtesy of the grant from PRSA/Philadelphia.


Effective Tactics During a Product Recall: A Case Study of the Menu Foods Pet Food Recall

Melissa Bass of Rowan University (with microphone) is presenting her Master's thesis research on product recalls. She's a graduate student at Rowan University.

She reviewed the Menu Foods pet food recall and her survey of pet owners about how they got information.

37% of survey respondents were older, yet still went to the Internet for information about the recall. Only 8% were between 18-35, and all used the Internet for their information.

Consumers remain confident in pet food industry. Despite early chaos in the recalls, once consumers were able to get information about specific brands that were affected, it helped alleviate concerns. People did not switch brands. Also, most people used dry foods which were only recalled as a precaution but were not affected by the issue. Small percentage actually didn't use affected brands but cooked their own pet food.

Online Libel and the Court’s attempt to apply First Amendment Protection to an Emerging Medium

Joe Basso of Rowan University presented research on efforts to apply First Amendment doctrines to online speech.

False ideas will be discredited by speech that directly rebuts it. Problem is what if the original listener is not online to get the rebuttal.

It almost becomes the ethical duty of the sender of the message to infomr people that thier view is biased, and that readers need to seek out divergent points of view. It's a laissez faire approach to free speech; i.e., we actually have to seek out other opinions.

Cyber SLAPs - Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Opinion. Courts have refused to force disclosure of anonymous bloggers. Come down on the side of the bloggers.


Basso discusses paper while Lubetkin live-blogs and podcasts

Reykjavik, , Iceland - Friday June 13, 2008: IAOC Conference Speakers presented papers in the second day of the conference. Joe Basso of Rowan University presented research on online libel and First Amendment issues. Looking on are (from left):  Rick Sykes of Central Michigan University; Keith Brand of Rowan University; and Luc Van Braekel, who was live blogging the conference.

Student-produced news media, how complex have their online efforts become

Rick Sykes of Central Michigan University researched student-produced media. He was surprised to find student media recruiting his students to become multimedia editors. They are moving to multimedia journalism including video and podcasting.

His survey of several hundred student publication websites shows only a small fraction were still text-only. More than 90% had photos or slideshows, some with video and audio. 46% were using podcasts, about two-thirds had some blogs. Industry professionals in print told him that columnists blogging for the sports page was one of their biggest features. Readers want to see opinions from columnists.

Old Needs, New Demands: How Online Communication has Re-shaped the Practice of School PR

Ed Moore, APR, of Rowan University, presented research on how school public relations is changing because of online communications.

For last several years, he has looked at award winning school websites and pulled the top national winners, and audit them, to identify the components that make them excellent.

Creative approach - special purpose websites (portals) - such as site for school bond issues; new residents; teacher recruitment

Interactive sites designed to provide financial information - pressure to be transparent and comply with freedom-of-information requirements. Schools responding by putting all financial information online.


Research suggests municipal government websites are often written above the 12th grade reading level. Yet most people believe governments have responsibility to provide information on the web. The question is how well they are actually communicating.

Need to look at metrics - how well schools are doing this. He has anecdotal data of how some districts address the issue. Schools look at improving traffic through site, getting to destination data in fewer number of clicks. Currently no real standard for what metrics to watch. Accuracy and timeliness of information important, but Moore thinks a need for ratcheting up the level of sophistication in performance metrics.

Sees three areas for additional work:

  1. Trying to track how schools are adopting technologies
  2. How to get the most out of communications/PR and IT staffs
  3. Standardizing and codifying performance metrics

Back for second day of IAOC Sessions

Good morning again from Reykjavik, where the International Association of Online Communicators is holding its international conference. We have heard several presentations on academic research by IAOC members, summarized in the blog posts below. These summaries and the forthcoming podcasts from the conference are underwritten by a grant from PRSA/Philadelphia. These posts are also being cross-posted at Lubetkin's Other Blog. The conference is also being live-blogged at

Up first in our paper presentations today,

Using Google Applications for Online Teaching: Competition For Proprietary Educational Software in an Age of Fiscal Constraint, presented by Kevin Lee of Western Carolina University.

Free applications attractive to professors, particularly in an age of fiscal constraint.

Quotes Esther Dyson as recognizing early on that commercial life of most products online will be brief. Quotes from 1994 writing suggests that content providers will need to figure out what to charge for and what to give away free as a way to encourage people to buy other services.

Music CD sales plummeted, TV shows available on the 'net. University courses now available free online, thousands of copyright-free books, free online phone calls, open source, including wikipedia model.

Kevin sees trend accelerating, people are buying fewer things, and if they can get it online, they will.

Free microapplications at Google - course management software, email that is essentially spam-free; word processing, presentation and spreadsheet software, synchronous chat, voice chat, blogging, web creation and hosting, photo and image management, video, academic research (, RSS reader, private groups.

He discussed some other online services available for academic applications, some of which charge for access, but offer some discounts if schools commit to their applications, like and Web-CT.

He thinks schools will increasingly turn to the free, Google style alternatives.

Melissa Bass, a Rowan graduate student attending the session, noted that Google's scholar application is not as comprehensive as Lexis-Nexis.

She also finds a better organizing tool and has her school email forwarded directly to gmail. She can even respond using her school email address directly from gmail.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Issues of Organizational Commitment in the Era of the Virtual Office

Crossposted from PRSA Philadelphia Brainstorm Blog:

At the IAOC Conference in Reykjavik, Professor Evonne Kruger (left) from Richard Stockton College, and Diane Holtzman, of Stockton and Rowan University, presented research on how millenials and Gen X-ers deal with organizational commitment and structure in the era of virtual offices. PRSA is sponsoring my presence here to produce podcasts, and we're also live-blogging.


Findings - millenials because of all the years of volunteering, they actually read corporate mission and vision statements, want to know the values of the organizations they are interacting with.

Gen X need to see things that affect their lives.

Millenials expect more praise, difficult to have conversations with them that involve constructive criticism of work performance.

They have close relationships with parents, who are seen as mentors and friends. They are less interested in going away to school than boomers were.

There are also differences culturally and nationally.

Broadcast Media Meets Social Media; Radio 2.0 and the Future of Broadcasting


Professor Keith Brand of Rowan University discussed his research on how radio stations are using social media. This is from the IAOC Conference in Reykjavik, where we are producing podcasts for PRSA Philadelphia.

Looking at NPR profile, noted adults 45-60 are top group listening to NPA, he said. Younger listeners are not listening as much.

Paper looks at different examples of radio stations or networks dealing with "participatory culture," endemic to the younger demographic.

Problem with these services that radio stations are trying are - attempting to create separate programs for separate sudiences.

Brand focused on Vocalo, a podcasting/broadcasting initiative by Chicago Public Radio that puts members of the community on the air in their own voices. Vocalo rhymes with the Spanish word Zocalo, which means "plaza." Currently broadcasting on an unused repeater frequency, but a signal strength boost is coming.

Metrics - measuring amount of content being uploaded and downloaded on the website

Participatory approach could be a way to get younger people reinvigorated about radio.

Online Newsrooms and Media Kits


At IAOC Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland, Joe Basso of Rowan University presented on online newsrooms and media kits, and how people in different age groups use them.

At University level, there is an emphasis on one-way communications model, using communications platforms online as delivery systems to repackage existing material. Teaching professionals to think about how they use the channels to move organizations toward ethical business decisions is critical.

Question from Sam Terilli of University of Miami - are notions of transparency doomed? One way that enhances is that everything goes right out instantly. Compare with more seasoned practitioners who might be more reserved if they've has a problem.

Answer from Joe - Younger group wants to communicate without thinking about the fallout, needs to learn how to take time to think about the fallout. 36+ view the message more important. Slower to communicate but more conscious of the fallout. 35 and younger almost an addictive drug, the need to communicate overshadows thinking strategically. Younger people are not thinking about the two-way process. They are more interested in getting the communications out quickly.

User Interaction with Time-dependent Presentation in Online Journalism. Results of an Eye-tracking Study


Peter Schumacher of the University of Trier reported on multimedia websites and how people look at them. His interest is in determining the best ways for designers to pull the content together for multimedia presentations, automated slide shows, and other online content, to enhance the experience by using data collected from how people actually navigate through such presentations. He analyzed eye-tracking data from participants to see how they viewed these presentations. You can see what parts of pictures people look at first and where their eyes go in the presentation's environment.

Preparing Online Communicators for the Future of Information Systems


Diane Penrod and Bill Wolff of Rowan presented on information "ecologies," including online portfolio, RSS feeds, and social bookmarking tools. Goal is showcasing how information is moving. Bill showed an example from a student about how that student is gathering information from multiple blogs and rss feeds and aggregating them in a way that is useful for her own collaborative writing projects.

Diane is interested in the "semantic domain" of Web 3.0. Beat-blogging is citizen journalism mixed with professional journalists and other experts interested in journalism. Twitter is mentioned in coverage of spot news events increasingly.

Teaching them a semantic, linguistic structure - Tweets are different semantic, linguistic structures.

Students are not digital natives, they are digital "primitives." They are not completely fluent. Goal is to take the primitives and get them away from the primitive uses and move the communications process forward by helping them learn how to use these technologies better.

Wolff: goal is to think critically about these tools and technologies, rather than just using them.

Liveblogging from International Association of Online Communicators (IAOC) Conference in Reykjavik

CROSSPOSTED FROM PRSA Philadelphia Brainstorm Blog:

Greetings from Reykjavik, Iceland, where the IAOC Conference is underway. We're here as the IAOC Conference gets underway. We will live blog the session highlights, and there will be podcast recordings of the short presentations, sponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America.

There is also live blogging at the IAOC blog, courtesy of conference sponsor Phillippe Borremans of Blackline, a Belgian social media company.

We are sitting at square tables for a series of roundtable presentations. I've convinced (wasn't hard) Suzanne Sparks Fitzgerald, APR, Fellow, PRSA, of Rowan, who organized the conference, to have the presenters rotate instead of the listeners. That way, we don't have to move podcast equipment from table to table.

OK, up first is Kathryn Quigley of Rowan University, who is presenting research entitled "Loud Voices, Silenced Voices; The Ethics of Online Content in Media Coverage of High-Profile Child Death and Child Disappearance cases."

Kathryn is examining how news media are handling child disappearances and murders in their online coverage. Some papers have allowed offensive and scurrillous comments on their online content. The Madeline McCann website set up by the Sun in London has 38 different click-on discussions available. Discussion is more tabloid, headlines, the bias is more pronounced, she says.

We'll post her presentation here on the blog when it's available to us.

Friday, June 06, 2008

PRSA Chair Jeff Julin responds to attack on PR by CBS's Andrew Cohen

In a surprisingly clever use of social media, the Public Relations Society of America has employed YouTube to deliver its response to a scathing and ill-researched attack on the public relations profession in general and PRSA in particular.

On CBS Sunday Morning last week, commentator Andrew Cohen lambasted the society for its Code of Ethics and Professional Standards, arguing that having such a code was akin to a professional organization of burglars promising not to steal.

Jeff Julin, APR, PRSA's 2008 Chair, responded in a letter to Cohen and then posted a video on YouTube:


Despite what many people may think because of the bad examples of publicity agents masquerading as communications consultants, the vast majority of public relations professionals do attempt to base relationships with the media on a two-way, transparent, and honest dialogue about issues as they represent their clients.

As a matter of personal policy, I incorporate the PRSA Code in every contract I write with clients, and provide them with a copy so they know what I will and will not do. And I really will walk away from business if a client asks me to be deceptive.

Anyway, it's a big step forward for PRSA to be employing the social media tools in this way. In the late 1980s, I was part of a "Communications and Technology Committee" that was trying to get PRSA's then executive director to embrace CompuServe's PRSIG special interest group as a means of online communications. At the time, PRSA's Job Center was a printed list that went out to members once a month. Headquarters would only fax the typed 3x5 cards to Ron Solberg in Chicago, who rekeyed them and posted the jobs on CompuServe.

How far we have come!