Is the Twitter RT irrelevant?


Do we still need to extend the quaint courtesy of letting people know where we found a link from another Twitter user? I think the retweet, aka RT (in both its informal and official forms), has run its course. There are now over 200 million Twitter accounts (not all active), with

The Trouble with Social Media Influence


Like me, maybe you've been reading about clout, Klout or KLOWT. Traditionally the word means influence or power. It now refers to a complex measurement of a person's or company's social media influence. It has been said that one of the nicest things about industry standards is there are so many

Trending Sources

Kenneth Cole Egypt debacle illustrates Five Rules of Social Media Crisis Communications


Yesterday, in a failed attempt to make light of the current protests in Egypt to promote its products in a humorous way, Kenneth Cole tweeted: "Millions are in uproar in #Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at [link] -KC" The reactions on Twitter and Facebook

10 business buzz words we can do without


As Agent Scully once said, "not everything is a labyrinth of dark conspiracy, and not everybody is plotting to deceive, inveigle and obfuscate." But business jargon is designed to do just that. It should never be used in any setting, but it is obviously here to stay, so all we


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Death finds me on foursquare


Foursquare brought me closer to death today. Around 8:15 a.m. I checked in at the Apple Store in Los Gatos, California, and then walked a few doors down and checked in at Great Bear Cafe, where I ordered a mocha. From across the cafe I heard "Is there a Joel Postman

Every word matters


Every word matters. Whether you're writing to persuade, to inform, or entertain, nearly every word choice affects the meaning of your message. This is especially important in today's foreshortened communications environments like Twitter, Web banners, SMS, and advertising taglines. A couple years ago I wrote a competitive response for internal use

SMS 40

Lightweight infographics: outsourcing original thinking


We have become a generation of inspirational stamp collectors. With the proliferation of lightweight infographics posted on Pinterest and Facebook, we have outsourced the personal tweet and the status update. We are present at a pivotal moment in the decline of modern civilization. The preeminence of these prepackaged ponderings is a

Social Media Policy Should Not Be Driven by Corporate Counsel


Subhead: Don't kill all the lawyers. Just leave them out of the social media review process. Todd Defren writes about the role of lawyers in enabling social media in the corporation. His headline, Kill All The Lawyers, takes the position "the bigger a brand is, the more it can and should

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Maintaining corporate reputation on the social web


Education, policy and practicality are some of the keys to maintaining corporate reputation on the social web. That was the consensus of a panel I was on last week at the Dow Jones Global Compliance Symposium in Washington, D.C. The panel generally agreed on most points, including: Training, training, and more training

Strategy? We Don’t Need No Social Media Strategy


An outstanding piece by Antony Young in AdAge suggests Social Media is a Venue, Not a Strategy. The headline is exactly right. I have been preaching a similar approach for a long time. Young says, "Social media is a venue for marketers. a set of technologies or tactics that

In Other Social Media News Generalissimo Franco is Still Dead


A few weeks ago, before New Years, Time magazine announced that Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg was its 2010 Person of the Year. Many thought the recognition was a year or two behind the curve. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was a runner-up in the magazine's ratings. Too bad Time went with

Shankman: Death to Social Media Experts. Do You Agree?


Peter Shankman’s recent post I Will Never Hire a “Social Media Expert,” and Neither Should You is a cheap shot that could have been much more useful, but was instead focused on name calling and sensationalism. Shankman opens with “I was going to call this article All ‘Social Media Experts’ need

My dad died last night. It was too soon.


My dad died last night. It was both brief and a long time coming. When my mom told me I was very angry. Our life together was not done. It was too soon. I want more time with him. I wanted to hug him again, and see his smile, mischievous


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Ignoring Twitter = Loss On Noninvestment


A recent study from Maritz Research / Evolve24 found that 70% of companies ignore customer complaints on Twitter. Many are citing this as evidence that these companies "just don't get it," but I'd rather see it as a huge opportunity for those companies who are not participating. Anyone looking for

Study 30

Is +1 really 15 years old?


The +1 convention of voting up a post, recently made popular by Google both in Google Plus and within search results, may seem new and shiny but turns out to be at least 15 years old. I mentioned today on Twitter that I thought the use of the expression "+1" was

How important is social media content quality?


How do you measure content quality? Copywrite, Ink, which bills itself as a "strategic communication and writing services firm," launched its Fresh Content Project in an attempt to rank content quality among popular bloggers. The project: "tracked approximately 100 blogs (currently at about 250) frequently referenced by a capped Twitter

Dick Clark jokes - too soon!


Entertainment legend Dick Clark passed away yesterday, and literally, this morning, within the same 60 seconds I learned of his passing, I read a derogatory Dick Clark post on Twitter. What is it about social networking that causes people to lose all social grace and respect for other people? Every time someone well

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Death on foursquare: final chapter


As I guessed in my first post, my recent foursquare "stalker" experience was a PR stunt for, a Facebook app that allows users to create messages that will be distributed when they die. The caller who spoke to me when I was at Great Bear in Los Gatos unfortunately

My foursquare stalker: Chapter 2


On Wednesday, I had my first experience with a foursquare stalker when a stranger called me at the Great Bear Cafe in Los Gatos, California after I did a 4sq check-in. I considered the whole thing harmless if not a little strange. Today, it happened again when I checked into a

They want our Facebook log-in info! Run away!


The latest social media kerfuffle is over news that some employers are requiring job candidates to disclose their social networking log-in credentials. Shel Israel does an excellent analysis and summary of the fine points of this story, so I won't do that here). Foregoing a discussion about why employers would need this

Ghirardelli deceptive practice sours foursquare offer


Yesterday, traveling home from Thanksgiving with family, we stopped at a Ghirardelli Chocolate outlet store on the side of the freeway. I checked in with foursquare, and this "Check-in Special" appeared on the screen: I ordered ice cream sundaes for the three of us, and as the clerk was ringing up

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Advertisers: Super Bowl’s real competitors


With 30-second Super Bowl spots commanding as much as $3.5M, marketers are relying more heavily than ever on social media. So reports the Financial Times (and others). Advertisers aren't replacing broadcast with social media -- they're integrating the two for more impact. The real change, as the Times alludes, is to

Bread perfected: elegant prose


For a programmer, an "elegant" solution is one that uses the least code possible to handle a particular function or process. Last month I wrote about the importance of every single word you choose. This week I spotted on the side of an Oroweat bread truck one of the most

Five interesting questions on Quora


I've really been enjoying Quora. If you haven't used it, it's basically a Q&A site where people post questions and others answer, comment and rank the responses. It has elements of Wikipedia (community editing) and enough rules, etiquette and oversight to be really pleasant most of the time. I've learned

World Press Shortcuts Justice System, Convicts IMF Chief of Rape


I've been amused and disturbed by some of the press coverage of the trial of International Monetary Fund head Dominique Strauss-Kahn on charges that he attempted to rape a hotel chambermaid. My favorite piece is this video produced by Reuters which I saw on Yahoo! The video scans newspaper headlines

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Scan Any Product With Your Phone to Buy it on the Web


AT&T's ATTScanner app lets you scan a bar code which in turn takes you to a web site where you can buy the object you just scanned. This emerging application for mobile phone-based bar code scanning is what I call hard-wired web result. I loaded up the app (released last year

Buy 26

You’re worth $130 to Facebook


Facebook was recently valued at $85B on SecondMarket. With a current user base of 650 million*, each Facebook user would be worth $130 to the company. Warren Buffet thinks social networks in general are overvalued, and we might be headed for the Web 2.0 version of the dot-com bubble/bust, but in

Corporate social media: skate everywhere the puck has been and is going


I've said repeatedly that corporate social media doesn't have its own strategy any more than Microsoft Word does. Social media is/are a set of really powerful tools, and therefore tactics, not a strategy. But that doesn't mean a company shouldn't be everywhere -- Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest and maybe a couple of

Night of the living dead press release


Gini Dietrich admonishes PR professionals No One Cares About Your News Release, and goes on to advise against posting press releases (or links) to a company's Facebook page. Posting links to press releases on a company's Facebook page is not only acceptable, it's desirable. The irrelevance and death of the press

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Social media love is all you need


It seems that nearly every news item that makes its way onto Twitter or Facebook is first expressed through reportage (simple links and tweets with headlines), followed by a fire hose of hate and mockery, and sometimes a backlash against the backlash. A couple examples include: Susan Boyle: "Her popularity in Britain

Social media gurus: slow down for God’s sake!


In the course of just a couple of weeks, Pinterest "buzz" went from "chick niche site social network version of Etsy" to "the next amazing revolution in social business" to "Watch out, they trample on copyright holders! I just deleted my account." Did the world really change that much in less

Metaphors: you break ‘em, you buy ‘em


On a recent Way With Words podcast, a caller asked whether a half-full trash can should be referred to as half full, or half empty, and whether this trash can was symbolic of optimism or pessimism. The question is in relation to the expression "is the glass half full or half

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Bad housekeeping seal of approval


I had a quick hint for public speakers and speechwriters on how to make a speaker more statesmanlike. Don't have important people make "housekeeping" remarks, like: I'd like everyone to thank our sponsors There's a great buffet at the back of the room Don't forget to attend those birds-of-a-feather sessions this afternoon Drop by

How to Be Social: A Social Media Manifesto

Learn the 10 worst social media marketing mistakes and how to avoid them.