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Thoughts

ESRI is losing the blog PR battle

It is pretty hard these days not to see daily news of Google Maps, Google Earth or MSN Virtual Earth. Click on any one of those links to see all the blog posts about them in Technorati. Bloggers can’t get enough of these services, but us long time GIS folks know that we’ve been doing this stuff for years with and without ESRI’s help. Google Earth is pretty much the same as a demo I saw Jack Dangermond give a couple years ago. Of course while we all know this, what about the average user who is now interested in these kinds of geospatial products. Go ahead and click on the Technorati ESRI tag link below.

Technorati Tag: ESRI

A whole bunch of my posts appear. That is it. People are finding my blog by using that tag, but they aren’t being directed to any ESRI blogger sites. Currently there are a couple of ESRI bloggers, but none of them are able to make the kinds of posts that would be required to get the ESRI name and their services in the blogosphere more. I’d love to see someone take every new Google Maps API website and show how ESRI has been doing this for years. When someone posts about how Google Earth is going to be the end of ESRI, a nice history of the immense task it was moving from ArcInfo 7.x/ArcView 3.x to ArcGIS 8 and how successful ESRI has been since then would be perfect.

When you currently find stories about ESRI in the blogosphere, usually they are just “reprints” of ESRI press releases similar to the ones that Directions Magazine posts. Sure there is good content out there, but it gets lost because there is so much noise. ESRI has begun to offer RSS feeds, but again it is only on their press releases. Hearing about how some city in the mid-west saved millions of dollars because they used ArcGIS is nice, but people want to read about the Northrop Grumman Touch Table that was demonstrated at last years conference. That was impressive, maybe not practical for most people, but it got everyone excited. These kinds of implementations of ESRI technology occur every day of the year, but we only get to read about them in ArcNews or ArcUser and by that time it is old news.

So what should ESRI do? First they need to find a PR blogger. Someone like Robert Scoble or Jeremy Zawodny who can help bloggers learn about ESRI and show the world what they are doing. It doesn’t have to be a “professional” blogger such as them, but it should be someone who knows how the weblogs interact and can leverage tools such as PubSub, Technorati and Feedster. Second, they need to get their project managers and staff blogging. It is easy to look at Microsoft to see how they have grown doing so, but companies such as General Motors are jumping on the bandwagon and you can see the results with the amount of bloggers that are commenting about their posts. Third, they need to offer up more RSS feeds of their existing content. I’m sure there are plans to do so, but the latest support documents and ESRI Developer code samples are difficult to find.

I went to BlogPulse to see how the keywords “ESRI”, “ArcGIS” and “Google Earth” rated over the past month. You can see on the graph below that there is almost no blip for ESRI, even with the increased focus on GIS brought out by Google Earth.

Esri google blogpulse1

As the 25th ESRI International User Conference is upon us, I also thought it would be nice to see how they keyword ESRI compared against the Where 2.0 conference. I wonder if ESRI will see a similar spike later this month. With the lack of bloggers talking about ESRI these days, I sincerely doubt it. To ignore the blogosphere is ignoring your customers.

Esri where blogpulse1

Categories
Thoughts

ESRI is losing the blog PR battle

It is pretty hard these days not to see daily news of Google Maps, Google Earth or MSN Virtual Earth. Click on any one of those links to see all the blog posts about them in Technorati. Bloggers can’t get enough of these services, but us long time GIS folks know that we’ve been doing this stuff for years with and without ESRI’s help. Google Earth is pretty much the same as a demo I saw Jack Dangermond give a couple years ago. Of course while we all know this, what about the average user who is now interested in these kinds of geospatial products. Go ahead and click on the Technorati ESRI tag link below.

Technorati Tag: ESRI

A whole bunch of my posts appear. That is it. People are finding my blog by using that tag, but they aren’t being directed to any ESRI blogger sites. Currently there are a couple of ESRI bloggers, but none of them are able to make the kinds of posts that would be required to get the ESRI name and their services in the blogosphere more. I’d love to see someone take every new Google Maps API website and show how ESRI has been doing this for years. When someone posts about how Google Earth is going to be the end of ESRI, a nice history of the immense task it was moving from ArcInfo 7.x/ArcView 3.x to ArcGIS 8 and how successful ESRI has been since then would be perfect.

When you currently find stories about ESRI in the blogosphere, usually they are just “reprints” of ESRI press releases similar to the ones that Directions Magazine posts. Sure there is good content out there, but it gets lost because there is so much noise. ESRI has begun to offer RSS feeds, but again it is only on their press releases. Hearing about how some city in the mid-west saved millions of dollars because they used ArcGIS is nice, but people want to read about the Northrop Grumman Touch Table that was demonstrated at last years conference. That was impressive, maybe not practical for most people, but it got everyone excited. These kinds of implementations of ESRI technology occur every day of the year, but we only get to read about them in ArcNews or ArcUser and by that time it is old news.

So what should ESRI do? First they need to find a PR blogger. Someone like Robert Scoble or Jeremy Zawodny who can help bloggers learn about ESRI and show the world what they are doing. It doesn’t have to be a “professional” blogger such as them, but it should be someone who knows how the weblogs interact and can leverage tools such as PubSub, Technorati and Feedster. Second, they need to get their project managers and staff blogging. It is easy to look at Microsoft to see how they have grown doing so, but companies such as General Motors are jumping on the bandwagon and you can see the results with the amount of bloggers that are commenting about their posts. Third, they need to offer up more RSS feeds of their existing content. I’m sure there are plans to do so, but the latest support documents and ESRI Developer code samples are difficult to find.

I went to BlogPulse to see how the keywords “ESRI”, “ArcGIS” and “Google Earth” rated over the past month. You can see on the graph below that there is almost no blip for ESRI, even with the increased focus on GIS brought out by Google Earth.

Esri google blogpulse1

As the 25th ESRI International User Conference is upon us, I also thought it would be nice to see how they keyword ESRI compared against the Where 2.0 conference. I wonder if ESRI will see a similar spike later this month. With the lack of bloggers talking about ESRI these days, I sincerely doubt it. To ignore the blogosphere is ignoring your customers.

Esri where blogpulse1

Categories
Thoughts

Blogger Meet-up Planned for the ESRI UC

Link: My Own Little World – Blogger meet-up for the UC.

Steve and Brian (dead link) are trying to set up a meet-up at the ESRI User Conference later this month. If you are intersted, navigate over to Steve’s site and let him know what you think.

Categories
Thoughts

Tracking GIS Across the Blogosphere

Trying to find GIS information on the Internet can be like looking for the proverbial needle in the haystack. Well lucky for us we have a couple tools that enable us to see what other users are saying about topics we care about. I use my RSS aggregator to read the blogs that I feel keep me up to date the most, but what about the thousands that mention GIS?

Enter Technorati, PubSub and Feedster. These three tools allow me to use keywords or “tags” to find blog postings that match terms that I want to follow. What is ever better about them is you can subscribe to them with your RSS aggregator. I will use the keyword/tag “ESRI” to show you how each of them finds and displays blog entries.

PubSub is a little different than those two as you really need to create the keywords yourself, but I think I get better results with PubSub than Technorati or Feedster.

I’ve got PubSub feeds for ESRI, ArcGIS, PostGIS, Oracle, MapServer, Ka Map, Cartography and Geospatial. I don’t have one for GIS because you get many results for GIs (think Iraq). Any time almost anyone posts about the above terms on their blog, I get to read the post. I know many users know about these services, but if you don’t you should really check them out.

Categories
Thoughts

The “New” Spatially Adjusted

I’ve moved from Blogger to TypePad to get better control over the site. You’ll also notice that the web address is now http://www.spatiallyadjusted.com rather than the more complex old address. Make sure you are using the following RSS feed rather than any old ones to make sure you area always up to date.

http://feeds.feedburner.com/SpatiallyAdjusted

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Thoughts

Why Blogging about GIS works

I posted a blog entry moving to a .NET development environment last month and questioned what the possible licensing issues were with ArcGIS Engine. I had searched ESRI’s site to see if there was a definitive answer, but couldn’t really find much. Lucky for me ESRI Product Manager Rob Elkins saw what I wrote and offered to answer my questions. I’ve taken him up on it and he cleared up every question I had, thanks Rob!

Weblogs are great tools for everyone. We can talk about issues that concern us in an open forum and get reaction from other bloggers and just people in general. I decided to start blogging about GIS again because our company was moving our GIS work in two new directions, from COM to .NET and into open source server side GIS. In a closed development environment I wouldn’t have had the great suggestions people have given me about connection to PostGIS and I sure wouldn’t have learned as much as I have about ArcGIS Engine.

ESRI has a couple of bloggers that are in my blogroll, but I sure wish there were more. I’d love to see every ESRI Product Manager have a weblog to interact with users. Forums are nice, but I don’t think you get the kind of feedback that weblogs can give you. Microsoft has jumped on the weblog bandwagon and I think this gives employees better feedback than they would get with surveys such as the annual ESRI User Conference questionnaire.

Categories
Thoughts

Why Blogging about GIS works

I posted a blog entry moving to a .NET development environment last month and questioned what the possible licensing issues were with ArcGIS Engine. I had searched ESRI’s site to see if there was a definitive answer, but couldn’t really find much. Lucky for me ESRI Product Manager Rob Elkins saw what I wrote and offered to answer my questions. I’ve taken him up on it and he cleared up every question I had, thanks Rob!

Weblogs are great tools for everyone. We can talk about issues that concern us in an open forum and get reaction from other bloggers and just people in general. I decided to start blogging about GIS again because our company was moving our GIS work in two new directions, from COM to .NET and into open source server side GIS. In a closed development environment I wouldn’t have had the great suggestions people have given me about connection to PostGIS and I sure wouldn’t have learned as much as I have about ArcGIS Engine.

ESRI has a couple of bloggers that are in my blogroll, but I sure wish there were more. I’d love to see every ESRI Product Manager have a weblog to interact with users. Forums are nice, but I don’t think you get the kind of feedback that weblogs can give you. Microsoft has jumped on the weblog bandwagon and I think this gives employees better feedback than they would get with surveys such as the annual ESRI User Conference questionnaire.

Categories
Thoughts

Spatially Adjusted is Back

I’ve decided to restart my blog Spatially Adjusted this summer.

I’m not sure what Spatially Adjusted will be this time, but this summer I hope to get more into Open GIS Standards (Mapserver, PostGIS, Python and PHP) and I’ll try and post what I learn here.