Sunday, September 26

Showing Stories: Fresh Content Project


When I pull together stories for the fresh content project, I never have a theme in mind. However, week after week, it seems to me that they share a common theme more often than not. This week happens to hold one of my favorite themes.

In every writing class I teach, I am constantly banging my hand on the table, attempting to teach would-be writers and public relations professionals the merit of "showing" and not "telling." All of these posts have this important ingredient going for them, even though they rely heavily on images over storytelling. Still, the lesson rings true enough. Most could have told these stories without pictures too.

Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of September 13

The Stories Pictures Will Tell (If You Just Listen).
Ike Pigott shares an experimental post with one of the leading rules for great writing: show me, don't tell me. Except, in this case, he uses pictures to share a tribute to a remarkable teen who isn't with us now. It's a compelling treatment of a life that had a precious impact on others. The treatment, which spans series with several pages that reveal small details of the subject one at a time, tells a story. The lesson, is less than the greater sum of its parts, is that sometimes people can see the truth on their own.

Quickstart Guide to Social Media for Business
In an illustration of another kind, we see a different kind of truth from Marta Majewska. While the formula is oversimplified, her infographic on how to start a social media program is the stuff that provides a mountain of information in about the size of a molehill hole. The infographic paints 14 critical steps for social media, from establishing your goals (even better if you establish a strategy) to measuring effectiveness. The infographic, by the way, is from B2Bento.

The New And Improved Twitter.
Brian Solis offers up a little more of what he does best, painting a picture of the "new and improved" Twitter after being asked to take a test drive. Plenty of screenshots make it work. The biggest change borrows embedded video and photo elements much like the upstart Fried Eggs, except Twitter is going with a two fat column approach. There is already some fallout over the anticipated changes, which will be fodder for a fresh pick we'll pull out next week. Personally, I haven't made up my mind. Sometimes more is less than less.

• The ROI of Rotary.
In his first guest post on the Social Media Explorer, Ike Pigott tackles the history of social media ROI by using a Rotary analogy and reminding professionals that not every measurement needs to be marked off with a click, like, follow, or even sale. Social media tends to be more fluid, with an understanding that not all measurements are quantifiable. Often, it's the benefits we don't measure that have the most value.

• Social Media And The Multiplier Effect.
Ian Lurie has been on a roll lately, including this post which shows how the value of an individual actually falls as an individual network (or platform) grows. And he asks: "why is it that someone tweeting to 50,000 people gets me 3 clicks, and someone tweeting to 5,000 gets me 10,000 clicks?" He then places an emphasis on what he calls the multiplier effect, whereas more really is better because the quality of each relationship (and the content) becomes even more important. In his model, the network begins to take the likeness of a community.

How To Use A Writing Frame.
This post by Chris Brogan almost got me in "trouble." In terms of showing his story, Brogan tossed up a basic blog post outline that will inevitably help some people. Personally, I think it might help people visualize how some posts will go. It will help many novice and medium-level writers because the outline is ready mix. However, as anybody who cooks Italian knows, homemade noodles just taste better. And that is why I almost got into trouble with a homemade noodle crowd or, in this case, some of best writers out there. So, while I still think the Brogan post holds value, temper the rules with my qualifier.
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