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The thing that I found most striking in the third three chapters of this book was the quote from Buzz Bruggeman that read:

I immediately scan it, read it and figure out what to do, i.e. respond, comment, thank, forward to our team, etc.

When I respond to a blogger, he/she is thrilled, and typi­cally writes more about us, and tells his/her readers that we are great people, responding to users and customers and the net leverages all the time. If there are user problems, we solve them quickly; on balance it is brilliant stuff.

My total involvement in this process once the query is done is almost zero. Probably weekly I check out Google news, Google newsgroups, but the Feedster stuff is vastly more important.

If you assume that bloggers really are “intelligent human agents”, then this model is sensational as you don’t have to go look for anyone or anything; it comes to you.

He is referring to Feedster, which serches for mentions of the program he created, “Active Words” and creates an RSS feed to his newsreader, and every half hour he can check what people are saying about his product. I find this amazing that it has become this easy to get customer feedback. Knowing what people think of your product can be so valuable. With the consumers input you can tweek your product to make it better and better. This is the kind of things companies pay big money to find out, and here it is for free.

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I continue to agree with Dan Gilmore on many levels. From making communication pro-active to open source on the web, we can see how learning needs to be two-sided and conversational with the doors wide open. Sitting in a class room and listening to a lecture, for example, is learning however, the real skill comes into play when you have to answer a question or formulate your own question based on the facts given. This is similiar to New Media because the audience becomes engaged and in turn participates in finding the solution and figuring out the facts. There is a dialogue that reveals ideas that were hidden in the minds of individuals. Now, there is an outlet for anyone to expose their thoughts and share their expereinces in an organized and focused channel. The audience can take what is given and make it their own. Open source, for example, is huge in the technology industry. Having access to free code allows creative minds to think out side the box and make history through minor additions to existing data. With out the internet, I’m sure it was really hard to even find what open source was out there unless you were directly connected in the industry. Today, anywhere in the world, you can find open source on the web and possibly patent new technology.

For me chapter 4 was the most interesting chapter, from chapters four through six in Dan Gillmor’s on-line book, We the Media. Chapter four had a lot to do with public relations which is my major. Gillmor gave many tips on how blogging and RSS feeds are vital for public relations. He also quoted from Tom Murphy on his PR opinion blogs, “Blogging provides a unique means of pro­viding your audience with the human face of your organization. Your customers can read the actual thoughts and opinions of your staff. On the flip side, consumers increasingly want to see the human side of your organization, beyond the corporate speak.” I found a lot of the tips very useful because they pertained to my degree. Chapter five was interesting also and had to do a lot about new emerging technology and how it is affecting politics and the government. I definitely agreed with Gillmor about the renewal of car registrations and how they cannot mail you the sticker but saving money on envelopes and stamps is always a good thing. I also agreed with him on how many government sites need to have a suggestion box where people in the government listen to the average citizens needs. Chapter six had more about journalism and how new technology is taking over traditional journalism. Overall I enjoyed chapter four and five the most and found them very interesting, especially the PR tips.