Category Archives: About This Blog

WordPress “Annual Report,” a boon to writers

Interesting how delivers stats about one’s blog.

To many, numbers mean a lot. I’m more after the intangible benefits of writing for small groups, so I was able to glean some useful data beyond the highlights. For instance it tells you what parts of the world traffic originates, search terms etc. This is not exactly new, since the dashboard does collect this data.

However, on an annual basis, the Report would be good to compare going forward.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,300 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

As a writer, I constantly look at the ingredients of the story, often by way of feedback from readers. Some remember the exact headlines of a piece written 10 years ago. A few have amazed me by recalling key argument made in a column. Combine this with WordPress stats (an older posts from 2009 seems to get consistently high visits, and now I know why), given the fact that many of my magazine columns begin as blog posts, and it’s valuable data.

Thanks, WordPress!


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Public Radius is two months young

Can’t believe it’s been nearly months since I left ASU, and hung out my own shingle, PublicRadius.

PublicRadius_logoBut it’s been two wonderful months. I have been travelling, blogging a lot, conducting interviews, and managing (monitoring) Twitter feeds etc, apart from writing for two magazines.

As a result, I’ve been neglecting my blog here at Hoipolloi Report. But what has really amazed me is that when I occasionally glance at my page visits , traffic is up — sometimes inexplicably rising.

But from this weekend I plan to integrate the blog a lot more into my client work. So many great stories have been put on hold. But it has been worth it. So here are some random thoughts about this mini anniversary:

  • I often refer to a blog as the ‘center of gravity’ of traditional and digital communications –and this extends into media relations, reputation building, and managing relationships. It’s certainly been my starter kit in all these areas as I take Public Radius forward.
  • A blog teaches me about how to tell complex, many-sided stories in a people-friendly way, while being search-engine friendly as well.
  • Working in the digital space opens your eyes to the value of face-to-face communication. Yes I conduct business via Skype video conferencing, and interact with my LinkedIn and Facebook contacts. But nothing beats a great brainstorm on a napkin, seated in coffee shop (where I am writing this).
  • People don’t care about the tools. We tend to talk too much about Twitter workarounds and Facebook apps, when what people (and businesses) really care about are conversations. When electricity was first invented, I suspect people blabbered about plugs and light switches until someone told them to shut up.
  • Photography and Podcasting somehow complete the circle of storytelling, branding and reputation building. Both let you observe, record, and capture nuances that often get lost. I covered a conference last weekend using both. My camera bag was heavy, but my ‘stories’ are are that much more colorful.


2008 in Retrospect: The Good, The Bad, and The Absolutely Hilarious!

We said goodbye to some extraordinary people this year.

PR disasters and signs of the times

  • Bill O’Reilley’s studio performance over a teleprompter
  • Scott McClellan‘s unconvincing tell-all book on his White House years.
  • New York Governor, Eliot Spitzer busted in prostitution scandal
  • Alaska Senator Ted Stevens found guilty of ethics violations
  • Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich charged with corruption
  • Sheriff Joe Arpaio of Arizona launches immigration busts.
  • Sarah Palin ‘pranked’ by two Canadian radio DJs, into believing she was speaking to French president, Nicolas Sarkozy.
  • The Big Three car makers, GM, Ford and Chrysler, arrived in DC to ask for a bailout in their corporate jets. They were sent back and returned, driving hybrid vehicles. One even car-pooled. Honest!
  • The Guardian in London, declares Gillette ad featuring (Roger) Federer, (Tiger) Woods and (Thierry) Henry the worst ad in 2008.


  • The 15th birthday of Hypertext – Tim Berners-Lee
  • Barack Obama elected the 44th president of the U.S.
  • The iPhone cuts its price, and adds a new model
  • The New Yorker‘s controversial cover on the Obamas
  • The 2008 Olympics in China
  • Dipnote celebrates one year as a blog
  • Blackberry introduces Storm, the answer to the iPhone
  • ASU’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Comm celebrates 25 years
  • Saturday Night Live‘s YouTube skit on Sarah Palin
  • Arizona governor, Janet Napolitano, picked to be new Sec. of Homeland Security
  • Christian Science Monitorshifts from daily to Weekly
  • bizAZ Magazine folds due to downturn in economy
  • The horrible Mumbai terrorist attacks, which now have a Wikipedia entry

Happy Birthday, DipNote

The blog of the US State Department, DipNote, turned one this week, on Thursday.

It’s one of those blogs in my RSS reader precisely because it is not “the media” and because it captures the voices of ordinary people –the hoi polloi — in far flung places.

Sure it’s the official voice of the State Department, but not in the legally-scrubbed sort of way. It’s diplomacy in action via social media. I have had issues with the scope and speed of its coverage, but like any toddler in the social media sense, DipNote will soon get out of its diapers.

The editors point out that readers have shaped the blog, too:

“While we provide the posts, the back and forth debate gives each post a far more interesting and informative context. I firmly believe a blog’s greatest service is in getting disparate voices from varied geographical regions together in a way that would have been impossible prior to the advent of blogs.”

Congratulations, Luke and the team!



“Gather Conservatives, lend me a hand..”

JibJab has come out with another classic ‘toon to relieve the dark mood about the economy and the sniping that passes for campaignin’.

What’s more interesting than the entertaining usual suspects, is that this time around, being a social media election and all that, you can insert yourself into the video! Then post it to your social networking site, or grab the link.

Watch this.


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We’ve got ranked

AdAge has given this blog a 362 ranking in its Power 150 top media and marketing blogs.

ValleyPRBlog is also ranked!


About me

angelo-fernando.jpgIf you’re looking for my resume, here is the link to a PDF




Hoi Polloi is 2 years, 1 month, 2 days old

It’s over two years since I began this blog. That was pre-tsunami. What a lot –the BK subservient chicken ad, mobile phones, a papal election, flat-world theory, word-of-mouth marketing, iTunes — has transpired since then.

I want to thank those who rallied around when I briefly converted this blog into a tsunami relief site (now at which was able to help one devastated family, and an orphanage start anew. Also to those contributors, editors, and all those whom I’ve interviewed for articles, using this blog as a starting point, bigtime thanks.

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People will talk (behind our backs!)

A blog has quickly evolved from being a ‘diary’ to becoming a powerful way to report, analyze and colloborate. For communicators, blogs do a lot of the heavy-lifting that Email, instant messaging, and SMS can never do.  One of these is to connect with one’s audience, that now has a talk-back button.

They often have more engaging stories to tell which is what Hoi Polloi is all about.

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Posted by on July 14, 2004 in About This Blog


About this blog, Hoi Polloi

Blogging is still a huge question mark hanging over us. Many communicators are skeptical about all this ‘chatter’ that’s going on, so different from the speechifying we see –and work into– Web sites and press releases.

My position is that Blogging is the Web 2.0 with those at the periphery, rather than the status quo, taking control of Communications. The people have spoken, and we better listen up. They may not be the ones with MBAs and marketing-communication degrees, but they have stronger opinions, tell better stories, and sometimes have a louder voice. What once seemed like a crude, inarticulate medium is a fast evolving one, defined by specializations and –surprise– brands!

Hoi Polloi is then a place where I gather and link to material that is defining this neo-communications movement. Hoi Polloi, after all, is Greek for that derisive term ‘the masses’ who are now so fragmented, diverse, but so powerful. Often it is they, who influence what goes on at the center. Individuals matter (duh!) evidenced by the rush to customization, to connect with minority groups, and to understand the ‘tribes’ and sub-segments among us.


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Posted by on April 29, 2004 in About This Blog


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