While the old saying "the more things change, the more they stay the same" has reached a cliche-like status, there is some truth to it. For all the good social media provides, it cannot fix problems that occur at the core. It can however, amplify them.
The government can still be among the most ineffective communicators despite having the best tools to do it right. People are still mesmerized by popularity, whether or not those popular folks know what they are doing. We still need objective reporting even if people tend to tune into opinions that affirm their own. Businesses still think in terms of broadcasting messages, even when they operate in a space where people talk back. And Google, once again, is making a change to help curb SEO gaming.
Best Fresh Content In Review, Week of November 15
• Will Your Site Survive the Google Shrink Ray?
Pamela Wilson takes a look at the Instant Previews being enabled by Google. What that might mean is that the heyday of SEO trickery is finally coming to an end. It might not be enough to have the right words. If people start using the little magnifying glass, they can tell in an instant whether or not your site is worth the visit. And some of it may be made on the snap judgment related to its design. Wilson then offers up some tips to clean up the clutter. (By the way, some over-produced sites pop up as nothing more than a puzzle piece!)
• 5 Steps To Thinking More Socially About Communications.
Dave Fleet has always been good about writing with solid topic breaks. In terms of social, he sums up some steps that a few people need to read again: Think "inbound" instead of "outbound" (e.g., broadcast); think long term and not short term; adjust your definitions of measurement; integrate your channels; and expect some two-way communication. For many people working with social for some time, it might sound like old hat. But you know, there are plenty of people who still need to learn it.
• How Not To Use YouTube by Ike Pigott.
Ike Pigott's mash up post on the failing and flailing TSA social media program is a fun way to point out that the ease of social media tool usage doesn't mean everybody ought to use them. One person who doesn't belong in a high profile spotlight as spokesperson is John Pistole. Pigott points to everything that is wrong about the video, which can be best summed up as producing it in the first place. The only thing they did right, he says, was disable comments.
•Journalism Skills For Everyone.
A few years ago, Geoff Livingston and I got into a fight about whether bloggers could become journalists if they wanted to be. So, I find it ironic and amusing that he has come around with a wish list of bloggers who want to be more than hobbyists and give real reporting beyond an invented reality a try. What makes the post stand out is that Livingston, much like I did a few years ago, hopes that the amateur might step it up to help fill the void as many papers are left diminished. I hope so too, but expect we might have to have another run with a few yellow journalism empires before people see the need again.
• The Problem With Influence.
Danny Brown has been writing with a new found fire since breaking free of some social media fishbowl posts. Nowadays, he is tackling the tougher issues like the problem with online influence measures and the bastardization of the word. There is an underlying irony in the post presented by Brown in that social media "experts" were the first to tear down fictitious measures of importance that some people held, only to resurrect them in some equally bizarre way — online popularity.