Find Me On.. Where?!?!


Social Networks

Maybe we have too many social networks.

I mean, think about it. Facebook and twitter. Instagram and Vine. Quora and Google+. Yelp and Foodspotting. And on and on and on.

You need a scorecard just to keep up, and an entire afternoon just to be remotely relevant on any more than one on two.

I’ve read more than one article this week about younger people rejecting Facebook.

And Peter Shankman this week opened up a storm of controversy when he predicted Yelp! would be out of business in two years.*

I think it’s just a matter of time before more people are migrating to something else. Who knows what that is. But if I’m feeling that way, I can promise you, it’s already happening.

I must have more than 100 apps on my iPhone. Truth is, I don’t think I use half of them. And I have no plans to.

So I’m opening this up for discussion, because I am really interested in what you think: which social networks/apps are becoming less relevant? Which should I close out or delete, and which should I keep? Which do you use on a regular basis and why?

I don’t want to hear any brand-bashing. This is not meant to take jabs at anyone. I’m just really interested in what others are thinking.

Leave a comment below!

*This post has been amended to accurately reflect Shankman’s prediction on Yelp. Thanks Peter!

Xbox One Isn’t the Only One


XboxOne

The unveiling of the Xbox One has got my inner geek pretty stoked.

Tear it apart any which way you want, but this new console it represents a terrific leap forward in the way we experience and share media in our homes: music, movies, games and TV. The new functions look very cool, especially the improvements in Kinect. I will be getting my hands one as soon as possible.

It’s probably not the elusive “all in one” box that Microsoft claims it is, but I frankly don’t think we will ever get there, because we really don’t want to. As consumers, (especially us geeks, who thrive on variety and shiny new things that replace and outdo the old ones) we don’t like limiting ourselves to just one platform or one way of doing things. We like to integrate our systems together and make them do unique things that serve our purposes.

The Xbox One is also a good example of how we – as communications professionals and PR people – need to constantly keep up with evolving technology that affects our business.

I was a semi-early adopter of social media, and saw its potential for one-to-one, human connectivity right away. And while I’m better at it than most, I’m far from an uber-user or an expert by my definition of the word.

Part of the reason we fall behind is because things evolve so quickly, it’s hard to keep up. And yet, that’s also part of our business: recognizing the changes afoot and evolving our tactics with them. We need to take time out – hard as it can be – to experiment with these technologies and make them work for us.

Take time to turn off all your inputs and just experiment, at least once a week. Part of keeping up is making sure you do it with the frequency to make it effective.

It’s a Jungle Out There (Trying to Get an iPhone5)


Waiting In Line For an iPhone

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Unless you were living under a rock (or you’re just a hater) you know that Apple announced the iPhone5 yesterday. The response was mixed, with some even harping that Apple has stopped innovating.

Of course, that didn’t stop pre-orders from going off the charts. One article even noted that iPhone4S sales raked in more money than Google made in all of 2011.

Personally, I don’t think I will be upgrading, and in fact I’m hoping I’ll be able to get a deal replacing my iPhone4S with the cracked screen.

Will you be buying iPhone5? And do you think Apple is tapped out when it comes to innovation? Let me know in the comments below.

Speaking of things that may have lost their lustre, are you still using Google+? The youngest of the big social networks (I’m not counting Pinterest, for reasons I may write about next week) just doesn’t seem to have caught sustained fire the way facebook and twitter did.

So for Friday ShareDay, let’s check in with our buddy Michael Stelzner for a great podcast “Why Marketers Should Not Overlook Google+”

Everybody’s Pinning on Friday ShareDay


Pinterest

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This is amazing.

When I first came across Pinterest (thank you Katie Ruckel) I wasn’t that blown away. It looked like a jumble of randomly thrown together images with no way for me to understand who was associated with the posts.

After playing with it for a couple weeks, and seeing what it did to drive traffic to last week’s Friday ShareDay post, I have been converted into a Pinterest believer.

So for this Friday ShareDay, here’s a post I found valuable on how you can build influence on Pinterest.

And while I am not terribly fond of his style, here’s a video from Gary Vaynerchuk on what Pinterest does so well.

Happy Weekend!

Create or Die


Create or Die

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We live in a world of amazing connections.

We can share our most intimate thoughts or important news with a keystroke or mouse-click. American media has the farthest reach of any on the planet (except perhaps for Al Jazeera), with billions of people influenced by what we say and do every day.

More recently, social media has become intertwined with traditional media, with news organizations running facebook pages, twitter feeds and even pinterest boards. It has literally never been easier to send your message to a global audience and engage with others.

Yet in the course of our day, we PR folk can get too “nose to grindstone” or just too close to the act of pushing out our message that causes us to lose sight of a more important piece of this complicated puzzle:

Content.

It is the “what” we say. It’s what we ask others to share and spread around for us. It is our message. And it needs to come first.

If we are to be successful PR people, we need to create content that is interesting, unusual and occasionally mind-blowing. It is messaging at its apex. Nothing shocking there.

Important as the message is, content created in a vacuum is dead. And if content has a twin, it’s conduit: the medium we use to spread the message.

It used to be, you didn’t need a visual to tell a radio story; now with radio stations having their reporters also snap photos of news events, there’s no such thing. Same for social media – the best (and most shared) posts are those that come with a photo or video, not just text (however amazing the story is!).

At the end of the day, it’s the PR person’s job to marry content and conduit. We need to constantly push beyond the banality of the news release or pitch letter to come up with innovative social media posts, videos, blogs, podcasts and other content ideas that can help spread your client’s gospel.

Because in the end, like scotch or coffee, success is in finding the right blend.