Tag Archives: social media

Recent social media training

Hi long-neglected blog. Here’s a recent presentation I gave with my good friend and colleague Nina Miller to Arizona State University units/communicators:

And just because Google juices still keep flowing here to this blog, here’s another fun link; my flavors.me site is handy little aggregator of what I’m up to nowadays. Updated daily! (now with more Julie)

On publishing, people, privacy and Pepsi

So, I’m taking an online class in social media this semester, and since I’m putting a good amount of time into reading and discussing topics every week, I am going to selectively cross-post some of my thoughts here on my blog. Because I am really interested in discussing this and I want it to be “out there” for all four of you to engage with. 😉 And because this could be fodder for something more polished in the future, and I don’t want to lose it when Blackboard locks up old courses. This is further proof of my comparatively liberal view of publishing and privacy, I guess, but if I don’t have permission to publish others’ words, I’ll paraphrase them.

The prompt was on what are the consequences of being able to freely post information using text and a variety of other media as an individual or as a representative of an organization…”Does it matter where you post? Should you able to control who sees what?”

My response (scattered as it is):
Publishing has been transformed through Web 2.0, in a way that reimagines what was traditionally a closed process. The audience are now co-publishers, as we blog, tweet and Facebook our reactions to what we read elsewhere. I’m noncommittal about whether these consequences are positive or negative.

The effect of opening up the market like this to millions of producer-consumers means that yes, there will be a lot more noise and a lot of it will be crass and popular and really worthless, the long tail, if you will. There’s a niche for every topic out there, and while not always the sites with most hits, highly intelligent conversations are going on.

What we have is more people getting together who are willing to collaborate and willing to share ideas back and forth. And an unprecedented level of creative remixing, which strains at the intellectual property laws which predate this revolution.

Citing your sources, i.e. the link economy, is even more important in today’s networked social environment (whether as a traditional news provider or an average person). If you try to pass of a lie as truth or somebody else’s work as your own, you will inevitably be found out. Information can travel very quickly, and while there is the risk of falsehoods spreading that Chris Heuer talked about (Safko, 17), I agree with his idea that being able to share ideas in progress is only a good thing. What he refers to as self-correcting blogging. What Jeff Jarvis calls process journalism.

All of this is great, but what about the consequences for people concerned about privacy? What about companies concerned about their brand image?

For the first, historically individuals who speak in the “public arena” waive their right to privacy, and that extends to online contexts. People should learn how to tweak controls in social networks so that they can share what they want about themselves and about their thoughts with only a limited group of acquaintances. [I’m not sure where I fall on privacy, but the post Two ways of looking at the future of privacy, from VentureBeat, does a good job of explaining the arguments out there.]

For the second, companies, candidates and the like should realize that they no longer control the message. Unfavorable news may get out there. There is more transparency than ever, so more responsible behavior than ever is needed. Their recourse for quelling negative published material is to engage directly and counter with their own version of the story. (Individuals should, however, be wary with what they post about their employer, as speech is not protected in private companies.)

Q: Will companies create new departments of social media communicators?

They already are…shifting people and resources away from marketing and PR as these departments reassess the brand landscape evolve. Just look to Pepsi, which announced it would not run a Super Bowl commercial this year, in favor of community-directed investing and increased online advertising.

Clay Shirky on the New Media Landscape

I took a couple of notes from Clay Shirky’s TED presentation on how social media can make history (thanks for sending it to me, AbsolutEvan). I embedded the video here and encourage you to watch it:

In a world where media is global, social, ubiquitous and cheap, in a world of media where the former audience are now increasingly full participants, in that world, media is less and less often about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals and is more and more often a way of creating an environment for convening and supporting groups. The question we all face now is how can we make best use of medium, even though it means changing the way we’ve always done it.

1) If you want to have a conversation in this world [The traditional media landscape we had in the 20th century] with one other person, if you want to address a group, you get the same message and you give it to everybody. Now, many can talk to many. The Internet is the first medium in history that has native support for groups

2) Media is increasingly less just a source of information and increasingly more a site of coordination, because groups that see or hear or watch or listen to something can now gather around and talk to each other as well.

3) Members of the former audience can now also be producers and not just consumers.

It’s not just a question of the Internet or no Internet, as the Internet becomes more social.

That’s not all: the last time China had an earthquake of this magnitude, it took them three months to admit that it had happened. Now they might have liked to have done that here, rather than see these pictures [of the Sichuan quake], but they weren’t given that choice because their own citizens beat them to the punch.

The media was produced locally, produced by amateurs, it was produced quickly and it was produced at such an incredible abundance that there was no way to filter it as it appeared. So now, the Chinese government, who for a dozen years has quite successfully filtered the Web, is now in the position of having to decide whether to allow or shut down entire services, because the transformation to amateur media is so enormous that they can’t deal with it any other way.

[The audience] is no longer disconnected from each other.