Jed Cohen

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Archive for October, 2009

Syndication

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Shortly after I first started blogging, I started broadcasting my content to a variety of websites. Because I figured, why not? The costs of setting up syndication are low. Most blogging tools have RSS built in, and a lot of websites accept RSS feeds. StumbleUpon and Technorati are two examples of what I’m talking about here.

Then there’s the sites that contain some kind of profile but also allow for sharing content – generally through some kind of “widget.” LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, and Careerealism’s private Ning network all fall under this category (we can analyze why these are all career focused later). Here too the initial costs are low, so why not set up syndication? Especially in light of the fact that many people already have profiles on at least one or two websites with this feature.

The third kind of syndication is link sharing websites. Digg, Delicious, and so on. These require slightly more effort in terms of setting up individual links to individual content. Which changes the dynamic a bit; as an example, Digg requires that the community like what you’ve submitted in order to give it any kind of recognition.

And let’s not start on ways to share your contributions from one network to another automatically.  While you can easily share content across platforms this way, you can also blur the lines between what you keep public and what you keep private.

Are more places to go for the same content ideal?  Perhaps not.  There is a balance, I think, between promotion and overextension.  I believe that brands should customize their message to the platform they’re using; why don’t I do that?  I suppose that part of it is because of my desire to reserve my username across a variety of sites – if I’m setting up an account, why not take a minute to add a link here or there?

Will I change how I (don’t) use the sites I’ve listed above now that I’ve written this?  Probably not.  Perhaps there is some kind of opt-in/opt-out psychology at work here.  Or maybe I just don’t want to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Written by Jed

October 20th, 2009 at 9:15 am

The Benefits of Diction

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Diction is done with the tip of the tongue and the teeth.

I spent a lot of time in the theater while I was in high school.  Not on the stage, but behind (and above) it.  Building sets, stringing together light cues, and managing the cast and crew.  As part of the last one, I sat in on every aspect of rehearsals, including vocal warmups – which is where the phrase above is from.

But diction is not just how we say what we say; it is also what we say.  Because word choice can be just as important as tone, or facial expression, or posture when conveying meaning.

Consider the health insurance reform debate in the United States.  I do not wish to get into the politics of the situation; instead let’s just focus on the fact that health insurance, when provided by an employer, is considered a benefit.  But is health insurance really something that provides an advantage?  I would argue that the answer is no given the cost of modern health care.  Instead, it is a necessity.  And I can not help but wonder whether or not health care reform would be so controversial if we all viewed it that way.

I do not want to suggest that by altering one word we can completely reframe the way people view this issue.  But maybe by using the right words in the right place we can change the way we view the problem.  And that can often lead to solutions we’d never have considered before.

Written by Jed

October 16th, 2009 at 10:21 am