Category: Social Media

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I finally say Ello, But Worry It’s Goodbye

I posted to Ello tonight. Finally. I registered three months ago and then did nothing. The text of my first post hints a little bit why not then but more why now. Thomas Hawk convinced me to try, in a ditty he posted yesterday.

Because I’m anal, the text that follows has embedded links, which isn’t their original formatting. Otherwise, the content is as it appears on Ello, which longevity I still have some doubts about. If the site ever goes tits up, the post is preserved here. With that introduction: 

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Writers, Own Your Content!

We all regret something—right? As a writer, my biggest is the loss of content, and lots of it. Don’t make my mistake! Thousands of my online posts are gone, representing the largest chunk, from May 2003 through April 2009. Six fraking years! Some of it I recovered in early 2007 and archived. The posts aren’t online but they aren’t lost either. But what I consider to be the most valuable, posted to the Apple Watch and Microsoft Watch blogs between 2006-09, is gone forever. Who says the Internet never forgets?

If you produce online content—particularly the kind of evergreen stuff with long shelf life—you cannot trust publishers to keep it or for them to simply stay in business. Related, if audience rather than search-engine optimization is your primary objective, your content should post across contextual online venues. You maximize its value through ownership rather than ceding rights to a third party. 

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The #ArtofSocial is What?

This morning, on Google+, successful self-promoter Guy Kawasaki posted about the #ArtofSocial quiz, which promotes his new book co-written with Peg Fitzpatrick  You can see from the screen grab my score, which isn’t as good as I expected. Dammit. (By the way, I didn’t take nearly 6 minutes to complete the quiz. I had a cat interruption midway through.)

Grumble. Grumble. Now I must buy another Guy Kawasaki book, with hopes this time there’s gold. I’ve yet to earn a living writing ebooks, even after reading APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur—How to Publish a Book. Yeah, yeah, go ahead and blame the author—meaning me, not him. 🙂

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Black Friday’s Best Deal is Original Content

Matt Burns’ “The Black Friday Survival Guide” is original content as it should be: Clever, funny, provocative, and unique. This piece of craftsmanship, posted yesterday to TechCrunch, stands apart from the dribble that all looks alike, because it is—lazy aggregators copying news someone else reports, or too often similarly regurgitates. Puke is gross. Let’s not remake and rebake as dinner.

His piece of brilliance evokes the classic survival guide recast to the urban landscape, where dangerous predators roam shopping malls huntings deals and around whom anyone with even 10 meters distance risks being collateral damage. The safest place to be on Black Friday is somewhere else. But if you must go out, Matt has your back. 

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Uber Should Drive Journalists to Accountability

Good for Uber for being transparent about investigating journalists. Bad for Uber for buckling to public relations pressure and renouncing an executive’s statements about the practice. Every company tracks journalists, or bloggers, covering it—to which I can attest from experience. PR pros and I have, in the past, discussed dossiers about me, because some put our relationship first. They feel dirty for keeping records and need to confess.

The ride-sharing startup would do nothing unusual by collecting the data, and there is good reason to want to use it. My profession is in a state of crisis. Sloppy sourcing practices spread rumors across the vast Internet landscape like environmental protestors throwing feces on corporate executives. Shit is shit, whether or not literal, and it all stinks. If the Fourth and Fifth Estates can’t be accountable for themselves—and they most certainly are not—victims of irresponsible reporting should protect their interests.

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A Storyteller Returns (Or So I Hope)

One of my favorite bloggers is photographer Carl Rytterfalk, whose voice silenced several years ago. But in a post overnight (in my time zone) he asks: “Am I back?” That’s a good question, which answer is complicated.

“In February 2013 my life changed dramatically with the early birth of my son who was born with the rare and somewhat difficult chromosome disorder named Trisomy 9 mosaic”, he writes about his absence. “Since William was born I’ve been using Facebook instead of and I think it should be the other way around. So I’m trying to convince myself that it’s ok for a while to post more from life and when ready—about photography, too”. 

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The Best Content is Original

A dozen or so times a day, I figuratively puke all over my iPad Air, out of disgust when reading stories that are plagiarism aggregated, rumors that source nothing more original than some blog or would-be news site, or an echo chamber of repetition—news posts repeating the same, unsourced or poorly-sourced allegations. But occasionally, original content shines through, like Josh Lowensohn’s “I used Apple’s AirDrop to troll strangers with photos of space sloths (And it’s been going on for months)” for The Verge.

Josh doesn’t recap another blogger’s experience, by aggregating something original into a shallow repeat. He produces something enthralling, a story told with vigor, drawn from experience. It’s a confessional. About something sneaky. Invasive. Maybe even illegal. But fun, and activity the reader might wish he or she had been clever enough to have imagined or fearless enough to have done. 

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An Earnest Discussion About Q3 2014 Mac Sales

My website captures so few comments that I consider turning them off. There is engagement around posts, but the extended storytelling typically takes place somewhere else—primarily on social networks. The interaction, while valuable, provides no context here, where it belongs.

I don’t know where Facebook, Google+, Twitter, or any other social network will be five or 10 years from now. A decade ago, MySpace sizzled with popularity. Now it’s a ghost town. So I feel compelled, and disturbed for the need, to post some comment interactions that take place elsewhere—particularly those where my responses are lengthy. 

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Robert Scoble and I Turn in Opposite Directions But Share Destination

While checking Robert Scoble’s website for a link, I came across something quite unexpected: “I have completely moved to social media“. Bwahaha! He goes one way, while I head another. I’m in the process of pulling back my online posts to my personal blog, which will act as the hub for social media as the spokes.

There is nothing original about the idea. Lots of bloggers put social services second. I have long waffled between the two approaches, with the majority of my personal posting going to Google+ since summer 2011. Main reason: Large audience of followers and lots of interaction with them. 

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Twitter betrays You

Today, over at BetaNews, my colleague Mark Wilson asks:
Twitter may be within its rights to block ISIS beheading content, but is it right?” The social service did more—suspending accounts for some users who shared the gruesome video depicting the slaughter of front-line journalist James Foley, who was held in captivity for about two years. Mark writes:

Twitter has a responsibility to allow events to unfold without intervention. The sheer number of people using the site means that it is possible to get a fairly balanced view of what is going on in the world—do a little research and you should be able to find supporters of every side of just about any story or argument. But for this to work, censorship just cannot happen.

I agree but see far darker implications with respect to news reporting. 

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One Word Describes Billboard Twitter Real-Time Charts

Brilliant. Brilliant. Brilliant. Billboard and Twitter are partners in a new project delivering real-time music charts anytime, anywhere, on anything. The mechanism measures conversations around music on Twitter and presents them on Billboard’s website. Now this is contextual journalism in practice.

Billboard’s traditional approach to charting is in too many ways antiquated. The music consuming community lives in the moment—able to sample, stream, or purchase songs whenever, wherever, and on whatever device they may be. Weekly charts are stale before they publish.