On Scraping the Screens for Making the Feeds

I wrote this post on ReadWriteWeb for Marshallk.com originally as it had been such a long time since I last posted here, but I showed the screencast I made for it to Richard MacManus at ReadWriteWeb and he asked me to post it there instead. I was happy to do so, but do want to point it out to readers here. I post a lot at RWW but I think this one will be of particular interest to readers here.

The highlights of the post are the link to this Wired article about the economy of screen scraping (great article) and this screencast about how to use Dapper that I finally recorded.

These types of tools are things I use often in my consulting work. They are really exciting and worth a close examination by anyone who reads this blog.

When a Blogger Criticizes Your Company…

I had an opportunity to comment today on the question of how a company ought to respond to bloggers who have damaged their reputation. Below are my thoughts. I’d love to read yours, too.

The best thing that companies can do in response to bloggers who have done their reputation harm is to take the bloggers’ complaints as seriously as is appropriate. Readers will determine the validity of blogger criticism for themselves, but if the criticism is valid then there’s no hiding from it any more. It’s best to be publicly responsive, on the critical blogs and on a blog of your own if you’re that concerned about it. You may need to change your practices, just like you’d have to if a journalist in the traditional press criticized you in a way that you take seriously.

You may have to just agree to disagree. That’s ok. It’s good to presume that all parties involved are adults.

One way or the other, if you can engage and win over bloggers with honest communication then you’ll become the darling of the blogosphere among your competitors and you’ll be in a better place than you were before any of it ever happened. Imagine it’s the dawn of cable TV and a young CNN criticizes you publicly. Are you going to say that no one consumes that media so it’s not significant or are you going to try to trick CNN into believing you’ve changed your practices when you haven’t? Probably not. You can act with the benefit of hindsight today since this isn’t the first time that media has expanded dramatically to include new voices.