My Gilmore Girls Experience

Posted in Blogging, Professional Blogging, Social networking, TV

Since Gilmore Girls closed its final episode in May, you would think that my Gilmore Girls site would have all but disappeared. Quite the opposite. At the end of the show, I was nearing a million monthly pageviews. Not bad, hey? Well, it went down from that slowly each month, as you’d expect… but now it’s going back up.

I think I am enjoying the site more now than I ever have before. The community that stuck around is fantastic – supportive, interactive, and insightful. The end of the show has challenged me to explore a lot of new ways to develop a television fansite.

As soon as the show ended, I took stock of my categories and completely rehauled them to reflect things I wanted to improve my SEO on: actor names, shows they are in, etc. While my focus was before fairly broad, I made it an aim to seek out a lot of information rather than passively writing what’s in the news.

I started a fun trivia category, dig around for what all the actors are up to, and come up with fun posts about the show – like my Oy with the poodles already post. I have also been, since some time in November, recapping Gilmore Girls from its pilot episode onward every weekday to coincide with its airing on ABC Family – so 5 Gilmore Girls episodes a week. We all watch the episodes together and I tack on some discussion questions to my recap post. It takes a long time to do (at least 2 hours per recap), but I actually look forward to that part of my day. The early seasons of Gilmore Girls were the best ones, and I always feel good after watching an episode.

I provide regular recaps of Aliens in America (with Scott Patterson) and Samantha Who? (with Melissa McCarthy), as well as recaps of any guest spots. Right now, for example, Matt Czuchry is doing a guest arc on Friday Night Lights. I have been contacted by more publicists now than ever before, so I have been able to promote a lot of exclusive stuff and run some great contests.

The whole experience has taught me the value of community and how that community will stick by you, and indeed grow, if you support them and share with them. It has been a great experience, and I love writing this site probably more than any other. And it doesn’t hurt that it’s still one of the largest blogs in b5 ;)

Now, off to watch another episode – we’re mid way through Season 3 now. Stay tuned here if you want to read them.

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Facebook to drop the ‘is’ status

Posted in News, Social networking, Technology

This has got to be the best Facebook feature upgrade ever. And I’m being serious here. I may even think it’s bigger than allowing for applications as addicting and wonderful as Scrabulous.

Facebook is removing the mandatory "is" from status updates. Now your status can be something other than action-related. And grammar nuts like me can breathe a sigh of relief.

No more: "Arieanna is hating the WGA strike"

Instead: "Arieanna hates the WGA strike"

Much better.

The planned removal of ‘is’ will happen tonight.

The news will be warmly welcomed by thousands of activists who have joined more than 500 anti-"is" Facebook groups, including the "Campaign to lose the mandatory ‘is’ from status updates" and the "I die a little bit inside when I see grammatically incorrect status updates" group.

Via wired & allfacebook Tags: , ,

MyBlogLog: that is not my picture!

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Social networking, Technology

Update: Robyn from MyBlogLog explains in a comment that Arieanna can add me as a co-author.

I was watching a funny video on Darren’s blog and decided to leave a comment. So I fill in my name, email address and blog URL, write my comment and click submit. And this is what I see:

That is not me

Arieanna’s picture next to my comment! Looks like the picture comes from MyBlogLog and Darren is probably using some plugin to add the photo next to people’s comments. At this point I’m thinking that maybe if I get a MyBlogLog account it will be able to tell that it is me, based on my email address or name. I remember I do have an account I’ve probably logged in to only once when I created it, so I go to their website to try to add my blog information. And this happened:

MyBlogLog is broken

I can’t set my blog because Arieanna already did. Haven’t they heard of blogs with more than one author? The error message is funny too: of course the blog already exists, if it didn’t why would I want to add it to my profile?

Darren: you should turn that plugin off :)

Going to BlogHer

Posted in Arieanna & Ianiv, Blogging, Events, Professional Blogging, Social networking

I’ll be heading down to Chicago for BlogHer at the end of the month. It’s my third time out, and I’m looking forward to going again.

I’ll be moderating a panel on Professional Blogging, and it’s a larger panel than the one I was on last year. That should be quite fun.

I’ll be down in Chicago for a week. We’re having a b5 meetup for all the peeps in town for BlogHer, and I’ll be staying with my pal Leora while I’m there. Major shopping time. I’ve already set up a bunch of things to ship to her place from Amazon. ;)

If anyone is down for BlogHer, be sure to say hi!

BlogHer '07 I'm Speaking

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Facebook & Twitter?

Posted in Social networking, Technology

An open invitation to any developer out there with some free time:

Please make Twitter play with Facebook!

Twitter, in and of itself, it not much use to me. It’s too single-purpose. However, if it could be plugged into Facebook then I’d use it.

Facebook has it’s own "status" area in which you update what you’re doing. Since that is Twitter’s purpose, I would like to see someone create a Twitterific-ish program that enables me to remotely update both my Twitter and Facebook at the same time.

Any takers?

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Addicted to Facebook

Posted in Social networking

I am getting sucked into Facebook further each day.

When I signed up a couple of months ago, I connected with most of my current friends, put up my profile, and just kind of let it sit there. I tried searching for friends from high school to see what they were up to, but didn’t find many of them.

I have Blogaholics for most of my updates, so I wasn’t much into updating my Facebook.

However, in the past couple of weeks, I am finding myself being pulled into Facebook. More of my high school friends started to appear, and I have been thrilled to see what people are up to. It also seems to appeal to many of our friends who have never had a blog. So, I can read their Facebook updates like I would a blog.

I think Facebook is one of the more interesting social networking sites I’ve signed up for. LinkedIn just became annoying and spam ridden with contact requests. MySpace attracted too many friend requests from guys. But Facebook seems to be providing value other services cannot.

If you want to add me as a friend on Facebook, here is my profile.

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An abstract on journalism vs. blogging

Posted in Blogging, Business, Social networking

Today I went on visit to the set of The 4400 and interviewed one of the cast, Chad Faust. I drew a lot from the interview, and ironically little had to do with the interview itself (although superb).

Sometimes moments in time stand out for you where you have the opportunity to assess where you are and where you want to be. This was one of those moments.

The moment had as much to do with my view of myself as well as my goals in the industry. I have stepped aside from calling myself a journalist or a writer in the past. This has been purposeful in some ways, but also perhaps a mistake.

b5media is still recognized more as a ‘blog’ network than a ‘new media’ network. That is one part of the perception issue. The other part has to do with purposeful grassroots strategy. We put the community first. Understanding that the community is best served by not just information, but dialogue, immediately strips away much of the formality in journalism today. We take on the role of the blogger, which is much more approachable. We talk as if in conversation. We gossip. We go for niche posts with depth instead of sparser, more comprehensive posts. It is a different style, which has its merits.

However, I wonder if by doing so, do we in some ways underestimate our audience, as well as ourselves? Does removing the formality of language necessarily mean removing the formality of topic?

I think this is more applicable to our tv sites than our celebrity ones. In the case of The 4400, I think Alexandra (my co-writer) and I have taken to task the analysis portion far more than on any other site. We dig down into the nuances of episodes as well as the overarching themes and the social commentary therein. But it’s more the exception than the rule, and due credit goes to the writers of the show for making this key.

This struck me today as an odd balance. On the one hand, I think our decision to strip away formality has been a great one, even if it can mean "dumbing down" sometimes. On the other hand, it might be something we want to consider as the network grows. As we try to get more professional recognition as journalists by "old media" standards there will need to be some give. With communities of scale, there is the expectation that we will have the inside information privy to journalists, and we have a responsibility to meet these expectations.

I have some very exciting ideas in this area to add to the big pile of ideas that I’ve been sitting on for a while now. The spotlight is shifting our way and I feel the pressure to innovate. To pull things together, create a brand that sells not just to advertisers but to media, and give our hard working writers the due credit – and opportunities – they deserve. 

I feel the urgency to grow our network not just in size, but also in reputation. To use our skills as writers, with the aid of technology and innovative ideas, to be recognized by communities and industry alike.

We are all the experts in our topics, far more than old media yet recognizes. And, as a network, I think we have much more to offer as well as prove.

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