Tag Archives: linkedin

Social Media, All These Years In

30 Nov

Made via iPhone with Decim8The way I’ve come to use social media lately is for curation, news and making new connections. Whereas a few years ago it was more about keeping in touch with friends and entertainers, these days, it’s as much a means of collecting and discovery, particularly now that I’m active in visual art more so now than back then. I remember doing my first MySpace page about 10 years ago now, and putting customized CSS in the “about me” section to alter the design. Ah, memories.

I wonder if in the decades to come, the term will seem outdated, as online connections simply become, “media.”

Have you found the way you participate in, or use social media has evolved over the past, say, five years? Has it become more integrated into your routine or other activities? Let us hear from you in the comments.
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PR and Social Media News: Ragan and PR Daily

31 Mar

PR DailyA couple of my favorite sources for news and happenings in both public relations and social media are PR Daily, and Ragan Communications (PR Daily is part of Ragan). I’ve been following both sites for years, have attended a couple of Ragan events, and have even been quoted as a source in their reporting. I’ve found their coverage of the news cycle from a PR perspective to be consistently informative and entertaining. Ragan’s daily headlines is one of the few email newsletters I read daily, and in itself, it’s a study in crafting winning headlines with engaging graphics that make readers want to click through to your content.

Stories I’ve enjoyed there recently:

If you’re into PR, social media, – or grammar, online trends, and any of the communication-related other areas they cover – definitely give these sites a visit and consider signing up for the newsletters.

What do you think? Are you a Ragan.com or PR Daily consumer already? Or have you never heard of these sites? Do you have a personal or business interest in PR or social media? Let us hear from you in the comments.

What Smartphone Apps Have Changed Your Life?

10 Jan

Has the way you live evovled by way of a smartphone app? What’s a non-standard add-on (besides maps, texting, etc.) that’s changed – hopefully for the better – the way you conduct daily life? Not necessarily saying they’re the very best, here are my immediate top three:

Instagram App1. Instagram

This app has literally changed the way I see the world and connected me with people from all over the globe through a very user-friendly interface, turning ordinary snapshots into art with the barest minimum of effort. I now see the world through “Instagram Eyes” and have gotten so much from what it offers Although the recent spam influx and terms of service update now have me exploring elsewhere, there’s no denying Instagram’s impact.

Dragon Dictation2. Dragon Dictation

This app listens to what you say and turns it into text. It’s like magic. It’s fast, intuitive, and lets you easily email, MMS, or copy and paste what you say. I’ve used it for years to handle texting and  composing blog posts, and it accurately gets the job done every single time. It’s been life-changing by by bringing my phone new functionality with incredible convenience and capability. Now that speech-to-text is built into the iPhone, I’ve been using Dragon less, but they were the ones to get it right first.

Pandora3. Pandora

This is the mobile version of the already robust website, but I mention it here because of how it’s impacted my enjoyment of music. Pandora is streaming radio where you create stations based on artists, songs or themes. It serves up related music, and gets better over time as you thumbs-up or thumbs-down what plays. I couldn’t begin tell you how much great music I’ve discovered this way. It’s a simple premise: “if you like this, then you might also like this” — and Pandora’s highly personalized  approach wins the day for me, even though I also enjoy similar services like 8Tracks. Even TheStreet.com says Pandora has “rendered terrestrial radio, on a grand scale, obsolete.” Consider how long radio has been in our lives as you consider that statement.

What do you think? What apps have made a difference in the way you do things? Let us hear from you in the comments.

Foursquare: Do or Die Time?

17 Aug

Here’s something interesting: I often look to the media for blog post ideas, but this time it seems to have happened in reverse. Case in point: a few weeks back I heard a broadcast from Marketplace Radio speaking to Foursquare’s CEO. Amazingly, just a few weeks prior I asked this very question on LinkedIn: “Has Foursquare’s time passed?” There were several good answers and a general consensus that it’s too early to tell.

Not long after I posted my question, Foursquare released a major update to its mobile app and got its PR machine cranking. What’s interesting here is that both Marketplace and I shared the same thought: Foursquare was introduced in 2009, gained massive popularity, and has been gradually cooling off ever since. Is that a sign of its having peaked already or just the fleeting attention span of the digerati?

Life After Death of the Check-In

“Life After Death of the Check In” -Jon Mitchell via ReadWriteWeb

Earlier this year, months before any of this, Jon Mitchell of ReadWriteWeb did this excellent and provocative article on the death of the check in. He rightly notes that it can be overkill:

…it’s a mundane performance of “I’m at the grocery store!” which is annoying noise to one’s friends and followers.

I started using it in early 2011, out of curiosity and to have something to do – like taking photos – while waiting in line at places or making art out of routine trips to places like, well… the grocery store. Hey, at least I try to make my activity interesting – but I sure as heck do NOT post every single update to Twitter, Facebook, etc.

Grocery Store Art

I took all these photos of my local grocery store with my phone for Foursquare check-ins.
I always try to include a photo with each one. Hey, it keeps me entertained.

Businesses Could be Using Foursquare Better

Here’s the secret ingredient: Photos. Include fun photos of your storefront, employees (smiling, preferably), specials, or a behind-the-scenes view of what’s going on. These kind of unique details draw people in, and it can certainly be endearing to customers. I’d love to see an “ask us about this photo” post at some place I check in, then feel like an insider when I take them up on the offer. I’d be getting to know the business better, and maybe even getting a special deal.

I’m glad to see Foursquare innovating and I look forward to what’s next. The real test will be adoption. It won’t be genuinely interesting  until more businesses and users get in on it and get creative. I just hope the next major developments don’t take as long – and with any luck they won’t. I’m sure Foursquare itself has also surely noticed its buzz decline, like Marketplace and your humble author.

What do you think? Are you on Foursquare? Have you been on it and lost interest? Have you ever gotten a deal somewhere because through the app? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Social Media Selectiveness

20 Jun
Social Media Roulette

Where are your contacts landing?
Photo by Håkan Dahlström / Edit by rsmithing.
Click for original.

Are social networks a gamble? Do you spin-off your contacts from one to the next?

With each new social network I actively participate in, beyond simply creating an account for, I become more selective with the people I follow. This started with MySpace. Initially, I followed bands and other folks whose profiles seemed vaguely interesting. I made some real friends (still in touch to this day), and as my offline friends got into social networking, I racked up contacts at a steady clip. This was fun until MySpace started to go downhill with spammers and overly customized profiles. But that was fine, because Facebook was ready with open arms as a fresh start.

Facebook Got This Right

Once on Facebook (just after they opened up beyond universities in 2006), I made it a point only to add familiar folks and people I knew in “real life.” What a difference this made! Pretty soon, I was reading status updates on MySpace about how folks were abandoning their profiles there and going to the cleaner, faster, more relevant Facebook. It’s my theory that this “fresh start” element was part of Facebook’s early mass appeal. That they got other things right also helped — photo sharing is what really sold me on embracing Facebook.

The one exception is Twitter, where following can become a free for all. Being selective there is somewhat counter to the experience, because content there moves so fast. I personally tell folks new to Twitter that until they follow about 200 active users, the experience just won’t be that interesting. I also use lists to sort those I’m interested in, some of whom I may or may not follow.

That said, I’ve been selective about my Instagram, LinkedIn, and now Pinterest accounts. As I’ve become familiar with Pinterest, I’ve found the experience at the site more rewarding now that I have a stream of cool and inspiring images coming in– rather than lame pictures from folks I don’t even know (or may actually know, but whose tastes don’t match mine).

So did LinkedIn

LinkedIn is another example of the fresh start approach, at least in my experience. The longer I’m there, the more steadily my colleagues trickle in. And I can truly say I’ve worked with, done business with, or somehow professionally interacted with each contact there. For me, LinkedIn represents quality over quantity rather than a numbers game.

Who’s Next?

My theory is that Pinterest will experience similar adoption, but these are still early days, and the site is more about visual content than social interaction. Only recently have I gotten serious about the site, and it takes some work to find boards to follow that really catch my eye. I think that’s a good thing for now, since it keeps the content I see relevant – not unlike when I signed up for Facebook after ditching MySpace a few social networks ago.

Did you welcome Facebook as a fresh start from MySpace? Do you welcome Pinterest as a fresh start from Instagram, now that Facebook owns Instagram? Do you follow people on different social networks all the same way, or does your criteria change from one to the other? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Looking for a Job in PR? Know Your Social Media.

27 Jan

You gotta’ walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

Click to view video

In this video, Mark Ragan talks with Weber Shandwick VP of Digital Communications, Jason Wellcome, about how social media is playing an important role in the hunt for Public Relations talent.

Social media is changing how résumés are viewed in the PR industry

Wellcome says, “this whole transition to social media and the earned side of the pie has bode well for communications and PR, but there’s still a lot PR folks have to consider in their businesses to optimize that change.” I’d say that applies doubly if not more so for job seekers — and not just in PR, but across industries.

As LinkedIn has all but made it their goal to be nothing less than a deathblow to the paper résumé, our digital selves become ever more relevant. As far as going totally paperless, I don’t think we’re there yet (and the Wall Street Journal agrees) but having your digital act together is mandatory. Even if you aren’t in the PR industry, you’re definitely in it for yourself if you’re looking to get hired — so be your own best representative.

As Wellcome says, “Everyone’s media now.” And if you claim to know more about “the space” than what your activity actually shows… you ain’t getting the job. Best part of what he says about PR candidates here:

Three things that make PR candidates stand out:

  • Passion
  • Curiosity
  • Not fearing the trial & error of finding out what works.

I say these are great qualities to have not just for PR, but in any industry.

What do you think? Do these apply to your field? Have you recently been on the job hunt, and did social media play a role ? Have you ever screened candidates’ social media presences when hiring, or been screened yourself (that you know of)? Let us hear from you in the comments!

Klout = Krap?

7 Oct

In the past week, I’ve signed up for WordPress, actually blogged here (twice now), linked that to Klout, posted 20 pics via Instagram on Facebook/Twitter/Flickr while doubling followers, tweeted every day, conversed with influencers (both ways) on Twitter, gotten way more than usual hits on a Facebook post, posted in a writing discussion at Ragan.com via Twitter, checked in & tipped like a fiend in multiple states on Foursquare…. and — not that I care, mind you — my Klout score goes down by 5 points. WTF, Klout?

Really?

I’m serious about not caring; I truly believe any kind of “score,” rating or whatever of a person’s online relevance should be based on quality, not quantity. And I’ve definitely gotten some good out of Klout, just from a personal branding angle — it’s motivated me to align my online presences at Flickr, YouTube, etc.

For anyone not familar with this suddenly important metric in the world of new media, Stephanie Rosenbloom of the New York Times writes:

If you have a Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn account, you are already being judged — or will be soon. Companies with names like Klout, PeerIndex and Twitter Grader are in the process of scoring millions, eventually billions, of people on their level of influence — or in the lingo, rating “influencers.” Yet the companies are not simply looking at the number of followers or friends you’ve amassed. Rather, they are beginning to measure influence in more nuanced ways, and posting their judgments — in the form of a score — online.

So I have to wonder what they’re factoring in over there when my engagement and sharing have actually been higher this whole week. Again, not that any of this matters whatsoever. Oh, and please be sure to like/ retweet/ reblog/ photograph/ screenprint/ yadda, yadda.

Update, 10/27: Apparently I’m influential to someone over at Klout, because since this post they have revamped scoring. The image of my monitor included here on this day now no longer even looks like how it did in the picture. Interesting. Klout now rewrites history.

Update, 11/16: The plot thickens! If you’re concerned about privacy, you’ll be very interested to read, Klout Updates Privacy Features. Is it Enough? by Tonia Ries over at The Realtime Report.

What do you think? Are you on Klout? Have you ever even heard of it? Or do you know your Klout score by heart and check it regularly/daily/hourly? Let us hear from you in the comments…

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