nostrich: They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but how much is a title worth? If the story that proceeds is any indicator, a title is worth over 6700 words and months of research. It all began Friday when the New York Times published an article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets“. It was an extremely long article which discussed how large companies like WalMart and Target collect data about your individual consumption patters to figure out how to most efficiently make you happy. It was a great piece but there was one problem: it didn’t have the title it deserved.
The original title was “How Companies Learn Your Secrets”. Kashmir Hill, a writer at Forbes, realized this and quickly developed a condensed version of the article with a far more powerful title: “How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did“. It cut out the crap and got to the real shocker of the story. As of the writing of this story, the New York Times article has 60 likes and shares on Facebook versus 12,902 which the Forbes article has. The Forbes article also has a mind boggling 680,000 page views, a number that can literally make a writer’s career.
We simply don’t need another social network, no matter how great your circles are or how badly Larry Page wants to have one.
Agreed. The problem, which Google really, truly does not seem to understand is that at the end of the day, they’re solving a problem which has already been solved. They may think it hasn’t, but it has.
It’s the same problem Bing faces in search against Google. It’s a fine product, but in order to get people to it, it has to be far better than the incumbent. Bing isn’t, so it will never beat Google. Google+ isn’t, so it will never beat Facebook (or Twitter, for that matter).
But Google is trying to cheat this system. By shoving it in our faces, they think that they can make their product catch on without the need to be above and beyond better than the incumbent.
I think we’ll see that this approach still won’t work. Social networks like Facebook and Twitter work because they evolved based on how users were naturally using them. Google+ is trying to make the users evolve to fit into the network they created. It’s unnatural.
Google Plus has another major problem, IMHO: It’s far too easy to build a follower base there. Which is not to say followers aren’t nice (really, they’re great), but there’s no feasible reason I should have 3,000 new followers in the past 30 days, when I’ve only posted five times since January 20, and my most recent post was Feb. 3. That is not natural, no matter how many circles I might possibly be in, and suggests spam issues. The way circles are set up now discourages engagement on a person-to-person level, because ultimately people and companies don’t want a follower, but a “relationship,” even if it’s one-sided. But to MG’s point, I’ll say this — I wouldn’t say the problem is fully “solved” yet. Keep in mind that people didn’t see a need for Twitter at first, and Tumblr came about in an already-crowded market. Google’s problem is that G+ is not different enough from other parts of the market. They didn’t need to make a new Facebook/Twitter hybrid. They needed to make Pinterest. — Ernie @ SFB
(Source: Henry Miller on Writing Image: Henry Miller, c.1950, courtesy of Answers.)
Work on one thing at a time until finished.
Start no more new books, add no more new material to “Black Spring.”
Don’t be nervous. Work calmly, joyously, recklessly on whatever is in hand.
Work according to Program and not according to mood. Stop at the appointed time!
When you can’t create you can work.
Cement a little every day, rather than add new fertilizers.
Keep human! See people, go places, drink if you feel like it.
Don’t be a draught-horse! Work with pleasure only.
Discard the Program when you feel like it—but go back to it next day. Concentrate. Narrow down. Exclude.
Forget the books you want to write. Think only of the book you are writing.
Write first and always. Painting, music, friends, cinema, all these come afterwards.
Finding people – essentially crowdsourcing the pubic for information on the whereabouts of witnesses or other key figures in a story;
People who self-publish – activists (holding regimes to account), bloggers or anyone in need of a voice who would otherwise not be given a voice;
Big events – the London riots was an excellent example of how journalists could harness the power of Twitter to follow leads and chase down stories. The ensuing chaos was too big and too fast-moving for journalists to manage on their own;
The butterfly effect – a small action creating a ripple effect. It has to be a tweet containing very valuable information, which can be hard with 140 characters. One example would be the tweet that broke the Ryan Giggs super-injunction.
SMNNY started in June 2011 as a modest collaboration between two friends. After a month, the collaboration ended — other priorities came to play — and I stood at one of life’s crossroads, wondering if and how to go forward and just what could one person do on their own?
Then, I remembered the point of social media that I teach: It’s not about me, it’s about you and it’s about we.
I am, and always have been, a journalist. There is no story that I can’t write, no interview I can’t get, no issue that I won’t cover. It’s arrogant, but I’m a positive thinker, an optimist and a striver. So, I opted to go it alone and to call on every single ounce of creativity, cleverness and innovation that I could to make this work.
I wanted to get a 1,000 “Likes” by September. They, my friends, are harder to get than I thought. I like to say that I work for “Likes” and I scheme to go into the subway with a poster board, jingling a cup of change and ask for Likes.
But, Likes are not the end of the story. It’s about engagement, a measure we in social media talk about but have yet to quantify and formulate.
Social Media News NY is the focus in my professional life as a journalist, educator and an entrepreneur. It’s where I walk the walk, not talk the talk. It’s about taking the last 17 years of work as a digital journalist and putting it into play in the real world, with bootstraps to build a community of trust with credibility and value-added information.
I watched as the “likes” started to build, I studied Facebook’s analytics pages, I counted Likes and I liked comments and I went to events, sometimes as many as five in a week, and posted photograph albums and quick videos and built a livestream library and blogged and tweeted and worked until 3 a.m. pretty much every day in addition to taking other responsibilities and pursuing opportunities.
On Tuesday night, Feb. 14, 2012, Valentine’s Day, Social Media News NY (http://facebook.com/smnny) is hosting a panel discussion on women and leadership in social media at the New York Institute of Technology (16 W. 61st Street, 11th floor), starting at 5 p.m. until 8 p.m.
The panel will feature five panelists who are New York’s top emerging social media professionals:
Amy Vernon @amyvernon, Vice President of Strategy, Hasai, Inc
Nora Walsh @patchworkcompass, Director of Public Relations, The Pierre, A Taj Hotel
Gemma Craven @gemsie, Executive Vice President, New York Group Director, Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence
Laura Mignott @lmigno, Co-founder/President, DigitalFlashNYC
Linda Bernstein @wordwhacker, Writer and Educator
These amazing individuals have been super connectors on the Social Media News NY community and have been mentors as well as friends as I have worked on creating a platform for New York’s emerging community of social media professionals. I seed it with my journalism, my video, my reporting, my gut feeling for reporting, leveraging technology and new tools to expand beyond the reach of an 18-hour day and I look forward to their comments and insights.
On Tuesday, we take a new step forward in the creation of the journalism of tomorrow, today, by convening this panel: “She Shall Lead: Helping Women Take a Leadership Role in Social Media.” http://socialmediaweek.org/event/?event_id=1858
I’m not sure, but I don’t think there is anything like this on the Social Media Week agenda. In December, I went to the Social Media Week board meeting and heard a presentation by Facebook about their hacking process, which is how they have formalized creativity and marketing in their organization.
The SMW board meeting took the attendees through a process, a workshop, for hacking and challenged us to be inspired for Social Media Week. I spoke with Michelle Welsch of Crowdcentric, the organization that organizes SMW and was encouraged.
Then, I went back to the Social Media New NY community and asked. Who I asked was easy to decide, the wise leaders of the community are these amazing women you see here at the panel.
In looking at the statistics for SMNNY, I have found that this community is 60 percent women and that knowledge, and my presence covering events have shown me this: Women are underrepresented as leaders in social media. They are a majority of users on most platforms yet we see panels and panels that are mostly men and that doesn’t represent the truth of social media, and it makes me mad.
So, I designed this panel and this unique experience where the attendees, virtual and IRL, will have a chance to collaborate and at the end, we will share some action points for women to consider as they make 2012 the year where women step into a rightful place as social media leaders.
This is an ambitious project. We are grateful for the support of the New York Institute of Technology, which has generously allowed us to use their space and has given us their support to make the in-person experience.
And, we are delighted to be partnering with Watchitoo, an early-stage New York company that enables rich virtual conversations to happen. They are providing us the help we need to connect IRL and the virtual for a rich and interactive experience that I feel will be unique, and will offer a model for the future as we combine the rapidly evolving world of social media and in-person events to ignite new collaborations and change in society.
I am very proud to be part of this and now turn to you, the folks here and at the other end of a monitor to say, let’s get this thing started.
Nora Walsh, PR director for the Pierre, will be speaking at “She Shall Lead: Helping Women Take a Leadership Role in Social Media” panel discussion organized by Mo Krochmal and Social Media News NY (http://facebook.com/smnny) on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2012 at New York Institute of Technology auditorium (16 W. 61st Street, 11th Floor)