Saying books don’t go viral is flat-out wrong. Without the internet, books went viral and got passed around like the flu. Books are social by nature and shared and re-read until they fall to pieces (unless it is Bill Clinton’s memoir, in which case it is donated to a neighborhood coffee shop’s bookshelf.
The web does give us a different way to discuss books, before and after they are published. Books were always discussed, but perhaps only a fraction of that discussion made it to the writer – perhaps that is what this article is referring to.
Some are saying that Facebook is on the defensive in reaction to the release of Google+.
Google+, the social network to rule them all, the replacement for Twitter and Facebook in one.
Early reports laud G+ as the best thing ever, or, conversely, the next Google Wave.
Sure, Facebook has offered some immediate changes – like the topic-sorted wall posts. But, suppose it does have more up its sleeve?
Take Facebook Messenger, aka, a re-branded Beluga, as an example. Now, I have two Facebook apps on my home screen. What is the point? Why give me an extra app to do something that I could already do? Isn’t it the same as Facebook chat, which is already functional in my Facebook app?
For the record, the Facebook iPhone app is shitty. It doesn’t always tell me when I have updates, it freezes, it is undependable. I would never trust it to keep me in touch with friends. “My Facebook app didn’t tell me you replied…” is not an acceptable excuse in my book.
Facebook Messenger, on the other hand, works as seamlessly as BlackBerry Messenger did, from what I remember (minus the so-and-so is writing and read/not read functionality). This is a replacement for texting.
This is especially good news, as I have a friend who won’t pay the extra $10 for unlimited texting and tells me when I’ve hit my quota 🙁
So, this isn’t another Facebook app – it is a texting app – and it comes pre-developed with all my friends in it. No more “I dropped my phone, please text me your phone number” Facebook events and groups from old acquaintances.
But let’s look at the big picture.
Google started with a number of applications – Maps, Search, Documents, Mail. With G+, they’re rolling it all into one, one place to rule all of your stuff. The social network of social networks.
Facebook began with a social network, and perhaps, they are expanding outward – the opposite of Google. What if Facebook Places became a separate app? To dramatize with a longshot – what if Facebook made Facebook Maps? Every place you’ve checked in, every friend who lists their address, is saved. That would save me some time.
Start watching for Facebook Mini-Coopers with cameras, mapping your neighborhood.
When I was finishing up J-school, we discussed journalists on Twitter, what to say, how much to reveal and can a reporter maintain credibility if his or her opinions are public on social media.
Digital capabilities offer new opportunities for journalism, and with those opportunities come a lot of questions to be answered concerning best practices. The procedure is guess-and-check for some, or watch the competition for others.
- Entrepreneurial journalism
- Mobile journalism
- Citizen reporting
Revenue is an issue. Widely, digital ads to not measure up to print, and profits are down, meaning reporters and staff get laid off. News media needs more content, meanwhile, it has less people to produce content. Hence, citizen journalism. Patch.com uses freelancers who are not required to be career journalists. Tips have always been accepted by the media – now, photos and videos on Flickr, YouTube and Twitter are commonly used in digital publishing. Citizen reporting helps to mend a hole in the system.
Many smartphone users look at their phone before they get out of bed. This is a blog, otherwise I would look up the latest statistic on that, but based on anecdotal evidence: I check my email and Twitter in bed. The newsiest news should migrate here immediately. But what news displays best on a phone? Slideshows, conversations? News anchors don’t sit there and read a newspaper story aloud, and mobile news really shouldn’t be copied off the Web, either.
Entrepreneurial journalism threatens to marry the rivals across the newsroom – ad sales and editorial. What happens when the person in charge of the content also has a say in marketing decisions, and vice versa? Best practices and ethics must be defined in this new space.
Lastly, distribution. A regional magazine veteran with whom I used to work began his career in the distribution department, and eventually moved towards the money in sales, and is now the publisher of a media group. He explained that he always saw journalism as standing on three legs: editorial, sales and distribution.
As much as we blame ad sales for the media industry’s woes, I think the leg we are lacking is distribution. As much as we try to alter editorial in order to fix our problems (front page hosting celebrity news instead of “serious” news coverage), the problem, perhaps, is in distribution.
What is distribution? It is fulfilling the need of advertisers to have an audience, the right audience. Yes, we can target editorial, and companies like Sugar Inc do that well. But it is distribution’s job to generate the number of readers that will be attractive to advertisers. Part sales and marketing, part logistics. Logistics used to mean delivery trucks, now it means social media.
As a magazine editor, I got to go to a few media events, supposed to introduce me to a new product or service in hopes I would write about it and publish it. The idea is, as a writer or reporter, I have a large and select distribution. What I say about a restaurant or clothing store goes out to a large group of people.
I’m not invited to this stuff because I’m special or cool; just because it is more strategic to allow me to sample the tuna tartare, because if I say I like it, I am able to tell a whole subscription base, while the next person is only able to tell her circle of friends. In addition, depending on the magazine, my subscribers might be rich and the PR company wants rich people to know about their restaurant client.
But, with the capabilities of the internet (specifically web 2.0), everyone is a publisher.
It used to be that journalists were sort of the guinea pigs of society. My college journalism professor told us that the career was not necessarily lucrative, but it would give us front-row seats to life. That might be global conflicts or local politics, or a more literal front row, as a photographer on the sidelines at the Superbowl.
I have, for awhile, held a theory that Twitter users are first adapters. Initially, this is obvious. Twitter is a new technology, and the only people on it and using it regularly are the type of people who try out something that is not yet mainstream. These are probably many of the same people who bought the first iPhone, or the first iPad.
But on a closer look, I wonder, will Twitter go mainstream? Facebook did – it began as a service for college students, but eventually it became useful to people of all ages. Twitter is a few years newer, and is still growing, as businesses use it as a marketing tool. But, with its simplicity, will Twitter ever become a tool that is useful or necessary for a mainstream crowd?
Or, will Twitter always be niche.
I’m not saying that as a downside. Twitter has shown to be very useful for people reporting the news, spreading the news, breaking the news and so on. Very effective. Very networked.
But, does *everyone* need to get on Twitter? Because, I sort of think that when I read something on Twitter, I tell my friends … aloud, in person, in conversation. Twitter is a point of distribution.
Back to my theory that Twitter users are first adapters. Marketers are wise to introduce a product to Twitter users because they are experimental and will try it out, willingly, and they will tell their friends if they like it. They might post it on Twitter, but they will also tell their “real, live friends.”
Are first adapters also influencers, by definition? Maybe not, but I would be their is overlap.
All that to say, try this out: Next time you think of having a media event, to introduce the media to a message, instead of inviting professional journalists, consider inviting Twitter users. See if they don’t have a similar reach compared to traditional publishers.
We all wear as many hats as we have social groups. This spurs a common complaint among Facebook users. Suddenly, my friends from church know what I say to my friends from grad school and wait, my cousin is on there too.
It’s not that we have secrets, per se. It’s just that, at church I was the shy girl, and at school I’m the funny one. I’m not a different person in these groups but I do play a different role, and, when it is all combined, it creates a schizophrenic identity.
Is there an upside? Most of us spend our pubescent years trying to decide who the heck we are. We wear t-shirts with the name of our favorite band, we dye our hair, we select clothing brands and pick and choose among available slang words. We make designs for our backpacks and notebooks, sometimes collages from magazine graphics. We especially like it when we find something that is “so me” that we want to tattoo it on our foreheads. What if there was an easy way to display our likes, our dislikes, and create a picture of who we are, inside and out?
I cannot wait to read studies done by psychologists over the coming years (hopefully) that will tell us if Facebook helped preteens to find their identities or if it had no effect or made this process more challenging. The identity crisis hits again in the college-to-adulthood transition and usually again at mid-life. No wonder moms are on Facebook – they too have a driving desire to tell the world “this is who I am!” But, does Facebook fence us in to one persona like picking the wrong friends does? Luckily, the favorite books list can be edited and when regularly updated, the infamous Wall renews itself weekly. As for the numerous social circles we all have who all see our same Facebook profile, I think the hitter will be that human beings understand each other’s complexities. We will all begin to realize that our neighbor is not one-dimensional, and just because he enjoys gardening does not mean that he can’t frequent rifle conventions, too.
The oil spill is killing the birds, the internet is making us dumber, and the world will likely end in 2012 as the Mayans predicted.
Back at the birth of emailing, we complained that it was an inferior form of communication because it did not allow for inflection of tone or sarcasm except for those PEOPLE WHO EMAIL IN ALL CAPS WHO WE HATE HATE HATE.
We said, at least a handwritten letter reveals some personality or some emotion through penmanship. Truth be told, personality can be analyzed by penmanship, but so far, I don’t think psychologists are asking anyone what font they use in Microsoft Word.
Today is a new day, a new generation, and I will argue that we are not inferior to the days of shorthand and professional calligraphers. I *will* argue #socialmedia #2012
It seems that language will continue to evolve. We did not stagnate with the King James version of English and now, regular old complete sentences with correct punctuation are no longer satisfactory.
Scan through the Twitter streams of Generation Y and you will find that the kids who grew up with AIM quickly developed ways of communicating much more than words with only a regular set of alphabet letters and a few symbols.
It’s like a new Morse code. It’s written language, plus more. And, those of us who communicate with this enhanced version of English, are learning it like a new language without even realizing how much information we are taking in and storing in our memories. It’s not over. As the need to work virtually continues to grow, friendships are kept up across geographical breaks and web interfaces improve, we will learn how to code and decode messages even better.
Foursquare recently claimed to be running like a “well-oiled machine” and sure enough, they offer an app for my Blackberry. But does anyone really want to check in around town and rate their experiences, all for some measly coupons that anyone could get in the Sunday paper? It sounds like a game from church camp.
Well I for one never liked coupon clipping. I find it tedious. And, I like games. And, if I earn the coupons based on my own mettle, aren’t I that much more likely to use them?
Out of everyone I’ve ever emailed or Facebooked, Foursquare found three friends that I actually know and one of them actually has badges. It clearly has a ways to go before it becomes a household name.
For the record, I would suggest making the badges cooler or just less badge-ey. I don’t want to feel like I’m in Sunday school, or the military.