Posts Tagged social networking

Tool Academy

So you’ve got your head around an integrated social media strategy… now what?

As a necessary caveat – we don’t condone starting to ‘do’ social media based on which tools everyone’s talking about (also known as the “we’ve gotta get on that Twitter!” mentality). With that said, it can be daunting to approach the practical aspects, how-tos, dos and don’ts of using specific media.

Soon we’ll be launching an area on PR Nonsense that keeps track of these particulars of using and intelligently reaping the benefit of social media tools – the elements that come after social media strategy. Of course, this is a resource that can never be complete, so to speak. Considering the pace of growth and change in this area, both the best tools for your objectives and the best practices surrounding them are a constantly moving target. So we’ll be collecting and featuring, on an ongoing basis, the best resources and hands-on tool guides we can find.

As we begin to compile these resources, what are some you’d recommend? The more current and specific, the better. General websites and blogs about social media are great, but an article titled “16 Ways YouTube Won’t Help You Grow Your Business” is better.*

Here’s a good starting point for getting familiar with the tools we’re talking about: Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism (the latest version of the prism can be viewed here). This is a consistently updated graphical representation of social media tools by category, useful for comparing tools within each category, but brilliant for exploring the purpose of one type of tool versus another.

* This article has never been written, to our knowledge, but it certainly ought to be!

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Bye-Bye Bunny Ears, Hello Social Networking

The viral spread of social networking is revolutionizing the way we communicate and is even changing the way we use our leisure time.  Studies show that social networkers are spending more hours online and less time watching TV.  Social networking and blogging now account for nearly 10% of all time spent on the internet and have “become a fundamental part of the global online experience,” according to John Burbank, CEO of Nielsen Online. 

To capitalize on this trend, service providers need to harnes the interactive nature of IPTV (Internet Protocol Television) by making social networking a part of the television experience.  Imagine being able to gossip with friends via TV on last night’s Idol performances?  Check out Sarah Reedy’s recent article in Telephony, “Is TV the Next Facebook,” and you’ll see what I mean. 

If you’re attending NAB next month in Vegas, check out Mariner at co-located Telecom2009, where they will be demonstrating the wealth of opportunities that social networking presents for IPTV providers. 

And as Tracy Swedlow, CEO and analyst with Interactive TV Today, points out in Sarah’s article, “If you don’t see social TV as one of your highest priorities, you are going to get left behind.” 

Seacrest out!

iptv

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The good, the bad and the ugly

Some interesting, some ridiculous and some sublime stories online last week about the state of the media industry and the future of the PR industry…

Let’s start with the interesting one.

PR Week reported that  the media industry is in a real crisis with 2009 potentially its worst year yet.

According to ‘The State of the News Media Report” , people are flooding online but online ad models aren’t going to generate anything like the same revenues as offline (is that really still a surprise?). The report actually concluded that classified advertising at newspapers could be nonexistent within five years!  The recession of course isn’t going to help…

This is the backdrop for the “urgent need for change”, “industry dying on its feet” PR nonsense / detritus that came out of the SXSW conference too.

Now, the Pew Study revealed that while nearly four in 10 Americans go online for news, up 19% from two years ago, they are still largely visiting online news sites like the NY Times (5th) and Tribune papers (6th) – although CNN, MSNBC and Yahoo News were the top three.  Nonetheless even the most popular blogs were nowhere near the top 10 in terms of traffic numbers.

But, according to commentators at SWSW, media relations as we know it is already dead and PR agencies are a dying breed. For me, this falls into the category of ridiculous.

Why on earth would PR agencies not be relevant just because the media landscape is changing? If you consider PR agents as brokers of information, then the more diversity that exists in the channels through which we can communicate the greater our potential.  Most of the people who are fueling this fire have launched agencies that claim to shun traditional PR techniques in favor of new “cutting edge” media techniques – the likes of which a normal PR agency is just incapable of comprehending.  Like rich media content creation (taking that enormous step from the written word to the spoken one) and social media press releases (really, how can those words even be used together!?).

In reality of course, intelligent PR people will just evolve their skills in tune with the evolving media (and non-media) landscape, adopting and incorporating new tactics and strategies as they always have.

And now the sublime – and I don’t think I have ever read a more ridiculous piece, dressed up as it is as an independent issues-based contribution to Ad Week.  No wonder the media are going out of business if this is the sort of thing they are willing to put their name to.

Who Owns Social Media – a clue:  don’t look to digital agencies or PR shops

Written by a guy who just launched his own…wait for it….social media agency.

“But don’t take my word for it. Continue to vest your future in companies that build elaborate destination Web sites, construct parties that nobody shows up to and deliver ostensibly social solutions that reek of control, manipulation and fakery.”

Now there’s a bit of competition bashing that smacks of desperation to me!

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Stop tagging me, Dad!

The statistics Nate reflected on earlier this week should come as no surprise to those of us in our mid-twenties who have found ourselves, of late, frantically untagging Facebook photos posted by our parents in which we look unspeakably hideous and embarrassing. Yes, it’s inescapable – “old people” are on Facebook now. Related discussion of the generation gap among Facebook users (and reactions from some “old people” themselves!) has been ongoing this week at The XX Factor.

My own Facebook nightmare arrived late in the game… it was barely two months ago that I suggested to my father, jokingly, that he should be on Facebook. My fiancé’s parents are on Facebook, I explained, and it’s adorable! His immediate reaction was begrudging consideration. “I just don’t know what I would use it for.”

Within two hours my dad had posted his first Facebook photo album: Fish I Have Killed, the contents of which are exactly what you’re imagining. Within 24 hours my stepmom had a Facebook account, then my two aunts, then a variety of my parents’ friends and neighbors, all posting on each other’s walls with wild joy and abandon… and intense frequency.

Then came the mortification. Photo albums filled with family pictures of me at my most awkward, worst-dressed, and ill-maintained – all several years old and now at the top of Facebook’s “Photos of Me,” flouting proper chronology and pushing more current, flattering photos down the queue, provoking both my vanity and obsessive-compulsion in one fell swoop! Come ON, Dad!

In fact, the whole thing’s still kind of cute. But it does demonstrate a permeating fact of the social web age: it is becoming less and less realistic to break your public image into facets for each audience, and to hold back artifacts inconsistent with your desired branding. The answer, again, is to stop scrambling for control and start building. Identity is a constructive process, and the only way you can come close to controlling yours is to be the primary purveyor of content about you. Especially now that your Dad and all those fish are on Facebook.

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Are you my friend?

What’s the definition of a friend in the Social Media world?

Do you want to be my friend?  Do I want to be your friend?  I was reading Peter Shankman’s post on Facebook Purgatory and it made me stop and think about whether I would ever get to 5,000 friends on Facebook and still have another 4,000 in waiting.  I think NEVER.  And mainly because it would be impossible to correspond and visit that many “friends”.  And isn’t that what Facebook is all about.  It’s not a nubmers game – well to some it toally is – but to  me it’s an up to the minute reunion.

Shankman is very well connected and everyone wants to be on his radar but are you really “friends” with him?  I would like to be connected to Shankman professionally and make sure I know who he knows and perhaps the best way is to follow him on Twitter and/or get introduced via LinkedIn. ….(she leaves the page momentarily asking a colleague to introduce her to Shankman on LinkedIn and double checks she is following him on Twitter remembering her last post was way tooo long ago in the social media world.)  ANYWAY…

So how many Facebook friends do you have?  I proudly boast 223.  But if you are Adam, Matt or Bon J I would love to be friends with you.

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Googled yourself lately?

From Seth Godin this week: Personal Branding in the Age of Google.

It surprises me a bit to see Godin writing about such a well-trodden subject. Hasn’t it been the “age of Google” for almost a decade now? While his post is about all of the well-known ways Google search results can hurt you in the professional sphere, there’s been far less attention paid to how the relative permanence and authority ranking by Google can help your branding – as an organization or as an individual.

A quick Googling of my own name turned up about fourteen pages of results filled with (in order of appearance):

I’d say this is a pretty accurate and fair representation of who I am, what I’ve done, and where my professional and personal expertise lies. And for a person with a relatively uncommon last name, I have a fairly long Google record. This is unsurprising; I live a lot of my life on the Internet, and don’t expend too much effort trying to keep things from showing up in Google results… as Godin advises, “The best plan is to overload Google with a long tail of good stuff and to always act as if you’re on Candid Camera, because you are.”

I am predicting, however, that the matter of maintaining one’s own Google presence will become both more urgent and more complicated in the future. Employers, prospects, and customers will start being as concerned about what isn’t discoverable about you on Google as what is. Claim to be an expert on a subject, but Google can’t find any articles you’ve written on it? Advertise that your company has top tier customer service, but it has no presence on social networking sites, and no visible responses to conversations about your product? While there may have been perfectly valid excuses for these scenarios five years ago, this is not the case today.

It’s tough (and in some cases impossible) to erase the online record of things you wish you’d never done or said. But it’s never too late to start doing the opposite – leaving a long-term trail of realistic, flattering, and credible evidence to support the values of your brand.

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Where is privacy hiding?

Privacy issues are surfacing everywhere…

Two weeks ago Facebook suffered its third outrage around user privacy after announcing terms of agreement changes that had users horrified that their data and content could become property of the behemoth social network; on Monday, New York Times reporter Saul Hansell wrote an article about the World Privacy Forum’s most recent report on cloud computing privacy concerns; and just yesterday, John Foley covered a new survey by Kelton Research in InformationWeek’s blog Plug Into the Cloud, showing that security concerns are one of the top two reasons holding businesses back from adopting cloud services.

While the connection between Facebook and cloud computing may not seem that clear at first, they both support the undeniable fact that everything is moving online.

To give you a better example of how closely these social and high-tech applications are connected, take a look at Google’s Gmail outage earlier this week. While Gmail accounts via Web access were down for approximately 2.5 hours, Venturebeat reports that people accessing it through their IMAP accounts – what you might use on an iPhone – never even noticed there was a problem… a clear “victory” for cloud computing, according to Tim Beyers of Motley Fool.

It’s clear that cloud computing and social applications like Facebook and Gmail are here to stay, but until we can find ways to adequately meets concerns for privacy, people – and businesses – are just going to have to decide if potentially losing some privacy is worth the benefits.

(…As I was writing this, TechCrunch tweeted a new story on Facebook’s plans to open it’s terms of service for user input – staying true to its roots of promoting a more open and shared environment. Will be interesting to see what ensues….)

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