With millions of sites floating through the blogosphere, who really has time to peek at even a fraction of them? Blogophile reads them for you and presents a weekly roundup of the buzz on must-read blogs. Blogophile appears new each Wednesday, and is written by CBSNews.com's Melissa P. McNamara.
Never mind who won the Super Bowl. Some blogging viewers this week had a lot to say about the commercials. Were they worth the wait? And, make room for dads on the blogs. See what they have to say about their journey to fatherhood.
Bloggers Go Super Bowling
I confess: I only watch the Super Bowl for the commercials. Happily, I'm not the only one. In fact, bloggers at AdFreaks and BusyMom, among others, took their interest to a whole new level, live-blogging their reactions during the commercials.
Some advertisers are hoping their ads attract new life online. For example, Burger King's Super Bowl commercial is available on their site, along with mock cast features and sheet music.
So were the multimillion-dollar ad buys worth the wait?
K Street Blogger doesn't think so. "Super Bowl advertising was a complete flop this year ... Nothing nearly memorable. Cavemen? Thanks, FedEx, Geico's already been there. A show-stopping number with women dressed as hamburger condiments? Whatever, Burger King. Ugh. So lame."
Many bloggers spotted a trend: the flurry of TV promotional ads during Super Bowl XL. "In the end I felt the luster of the Super Bowl ads had tarnished a bit," blogs Thoughtful Preparations. "Less great ads, more blah blah car and TV promo ads. It looks like the Super Bowl is headed the way of the Miss America pageant, like who cares? "
Well, PoliPundit cares, and especially liked the promotional ads. "The commercials with the celebrities talking about the Desperate Housewives storylines were cute, especially the one with Shaq crying because Gabby lost the baby," Polipundit blogs.
Randomduck blogs with a list of the "great, the good, and the awful." But the only two ads to make his "great" list are Bud Light's "Magic Fridge" and Disney's "I'm Going To Disneyland."
And, for those who may have actually been watching the game, check out all of the commercials at CBSNews.com's Super Bowl Ads video archive. The archive includes a 1984 ad for Apple Computers that has legendary status in some circles.
The Daddy Track
Is there a dads' rights movement brewing in New York? This week, The New York Times clues readers into a blogger using Google maps to pinpoint locations of public men's rooms in New York equipped with changing tables.
Greg Allen compiles his findings on his blog, daddytypes.com, "a site for new dads," and offers some surprising tips on where to change a baby's diaper. For example, if you're in New York near a W Hotel, he advises: "The middle elevator goes to 'M,' which is a private dining area of the lobby restaurant/bar. It was totally empty in mid-day, and the banquette looked very usable."
While Allen may be more methodical in tracking society's embrace of fatherhood, he is far from alone on the daddy/blogger beat. Fatherhood is heading in a technological direction, thanks to numerous keyboard-wielding dads. The blogosphere is full of posts from laid-off dads, modern day dads, rebel dads, and start-up dads ... to name just a few.
MetroDad's blog, which tracks one man's journey into fatherhood, "going from bottle service to the binky," solicits sympathy from dads sad to find their children prefer their mothers occasionally. "To rectify the situation, I'm mounting a comeback," MetroDad blogs. "I won't go into all the details here, but let's just say that my plan involves cute little kittens, ponies and an all-you-can-eat cupcake buffet. Because NOBODY puts Daddy in a corner!"
Some fathers publicize their baby's latest party tricks. "Kaden now waves, claps, knows to back himself down stairs, and, get this, he WALKS," Start-Up Dad blogs. "He's tromping all around the house falling and getting back up and falling again." I'm hoping his audience is mostly family members.
Will This Lead To New Marketing Methods?
How much influence do blogs really have? Natalie Glance, a senior researcher for Blogpulse, thinks they have a lot when it comes to the movie industry. After delving into some statistics, her study finds "positive sentiment is indeed a better predictor for movie success when applied to a limited context around references to the movie in weblogs, posted prior to its release." In other words, references to movies in blog posts correlate with their financial success
It's not too surprising when you consider some bloggers' readerships rival regional newspaper columns. Commentary posted by influential bloggers undoubtedly seeps into editorial and news articles published in mainstream media. But, the news is sure to please bloggers nonetheless.
And, if sheer blogosphere popularity indicates success, Brokeback Mountain may have staying power. It stayed in first position on Feb. 5 on technorati.com. And blog-driven buzz about the movie soared throughout February, Blogpulse finds.
As the, I wonder if Glance's correlation holds for the music industry as well.
Think Before You Blog
It's hardly a new phenomenon, but this week brought news of another blogger losing his job thanks to his techy avocation.
Matt Donegan, a reporter from Dover, Delaware was fired from his job at the Dover Post newspaper after his employer was made aware of allegedly offensive comments on his MySpace blog. Donegan, complaining about his African American neighbors partying late on the evening before the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday wrote, "King's assassin was awakened by black people on the night before he killed King." Donegan maintains this was a joke.
In response to his firing, he blogs: "… The brass thought if they didn't can me, there would be some outlandish racially-sparked boycott of the paper, which would, of course, be 'bad business.' So they did what they thought they had to do."
Dana Garrett, a Delaware-based blogger says Donegan's firing could have a chilling effect on employees. "When someone can lose their livelihood simply because their employer finds their off-hours speech offensive, then the conditions for free speech don't exist for the vast majority of citizens," Garrett blogs.
That's just one opinion, albeit one many bloggers share. But it raises an interesting question for journalists, as more and more newspapers and television networks feature blogs on their sites. Major newspapers including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times and The Washington Post all run blogs on a range of topics from entertainment to real estate. Many of the newspaper blogs, like The New York Times' The Walk-Through, hire writers apart from the newspaper to posr, but often, reporters slip in to the mix with their own entries. If a reporter injects his or her opinion into one of these blogs, could that be a firing offense?
First Amendment lawyers must be busy these days.