Rob Cottingham's blog

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Ask not for whom the bell pings...

Apple could be the company that takes down Ticketmaster

Apple's new Ping social network lets you follow artists, find out what your friends are listening to, and even find out when your favorites will be playing near you. With one click, you can buy tickets.

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Turn a one-hit wonder into a rock star

How a popular (but off-topic) blog post can boost the rest of your content

Off-topic blog post 45


Stories abound of rock bands who produce hours and hours of music that deepens the soul, challenges the psyche and redefines human existence in a new, profoundly meaningful way.

And then they write one frigging novelty song, and that's the one that chews its way to the top of the charts. You spend years writing songs about social justice and the human condition, but I Just Choked on a Tic Tac is the song that defines your life's work.

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Another feature, another setting

How to update your privacy settings for Facebook's new Places feature

If you're using Facebook from your mobile device, and you're in the U.S., you may have noticed a new feature called Places. It allows you to report your presence at locations such as coffee shops, airports or bars (particularly popular among those who've tried to manage Facebook engagement projects)... much the same way that apps like Gowalla and Foursquare do.

So now's the time to adjust your privacy settings. It's pretty fast and easy to do:

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"IRL" means online, too

It's time to recognize the reality of our digital lives

There's a habit people have of referring to the offline world as "real"... as in IRL, or "in real life". The implication is that the online world isn't real, and that the portion of our lives spent there somehow doesn't count.

Alex challenged this idea in a blockbuster blog post on Harvard Business Review, 10 Reasons to Stop Apologizing for Your Online Life, where she argued that this artificial division causes real harm - offline and online:

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Flipboard could gently challenge your intellectual comfort zone

Flipboard logo

By now, you've probably heard about the prominent but troubled launch of an iPad app called Flipboard.

Beautifully and simply designed, Flipboard presents the photos, news, blog posts and updates your social media contacts on Twitter and Facebook are sharing – along with a curated selection of updates from a number of sources such as GOOD and GigaOM.

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Where's your content when the lights go out?

Protecting yourself from an online service's shutdown



Another day, another bunch of people seeing their content vanish without warning.

According to the BBC, when blogging site Blogetery suddenly disappeared - taken offline after the FBI warned their hosting service about alleged Al Qaeda-linked material posted there - it took with it the posts written by more than 70,000 bloggers.

Make that 70,000 really unhappy bloggers.

They join the users of, whose users found the forums the site used to host were gone as of last week.

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Disconnected? No problem!

Five ways to work on your blog when you aren't online

Cutting a wire

Originally posted on BlogWorld Expo.

Flaky wireless connections are a fact of life for bloggers on the move. If it isn’t tortoise-slow downloads, it’s a password that never seems to “take”. If it isn’t a connection that keeps dropping, it’s a router that refuses to give you an IP address.

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Last RSSpects

Can you resuscitate your dead blog?


It's official - I'm the cartoon blogger for BlogWorld Expo, coming this October in Las Vegas. And as part of my duties, I'm running a weekly cartoon on their blog. This post originally accompanied one of them.

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Klout and HootSuite: when influence becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy

Klout logo

Yesterday, we had some fun looking at Fast Company's Influence Project. (Well, I had some fun. If you did too, well, that must be my influence at work, right?)

Influence is weighing heavily on the social media community's collective mind right now. I've noticed a surge in Twitter and blog chatter around Klout, a tool that aims to measure influence on Twitter.

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Wherein Rob throws his hat into - or out of - the ring

My entry in Fast Company's Influence Project


The social media world has been chewing over Fast Company's Influence Project lately. And the initiative has sustained heavy fire from critics who point out that their method for determining who in the online world has the most influence...

Social Signal on...

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