Social Media Top 5: Links for my Friends


Flickr Photo by Ravages

I, among many others, get sick of the same people talking about the same things, linking to each other’s posts, and generally turning the echo chamber into an eardrum-ripping feedback loop.


However, at the same time that doesn’t mean don’t link to your friends if their content strikes your fancy and you find it worthy of commentary. To wit:

Christopher Penn on Why Your Personal Brand Sucks

I like Chris because he has a no-BS attitude and eschews the rosy optimism that some of us portray  in the social media business. “Sucky” personal brands, says Chris, are the ones that try to “clone” others in their space.

So here I am, linking to his post.

Actually, I think about this a lot. There is no point in emulating others and what they say. I’d rather take the good stuff and just use it in my work (thanks!).  So, if I don’t do three brilliant ocial media-type blog posts in a week (hey, I was busy), I don’t worry. Read Chris Brogan or someone.

On the other hand, I don’t fuss if I’m not sure a post is up to snuff. I post it that’s me, and you’ll tell me if my stuff stinks.

Peter Kim on What Happened to Liveblogging?

This is exactly what I meant by the “not sure” post. Hasn’t the idea of liveblogging being replaced by “live-Tweeting” been played out for a while? The thing is, this transformation occurred afresh to Peter at a recent show– and it’s an entirely honest and (still) current topic. Worthy of commentary.

And yes, live-Tweeting and other media have made liveblogging obsolete, it seems. It’s a question of platform, not the activity itself.

Chris Brogan Says Stop Talking About Yourself

I say, ignore him, that’s silly. The thing is, Chris has a great point that is better stated as “be generous.” But I wouldn’t frame it the way Chris did. We need to talk about ourselves (or our own businesses). That’s our only legitimate point of view (even journalists must admit this applies to them in a way).

When I raise money to fight cancer (at, by the way), I frame it selfishly– my bike ride, my goals, my experiences- that’s what I know. When I talk about my work- social media- I can only discuss what I have done or learned.

Talk about yourself. Serve others.

Scott Monty on SeaWorld’s Crisis Response

Why try to be some “social media expert” about something like the PR/social media issues around the recent SeaWorld tragedy, when someone like Scott Monty has already done all the work? Plus, in his role at Ford, he could easily be sitting in the same position the SeaWorld folks are in now. It’s his job. Read the post, and think what might happen when, heaven forbid, something happens with Ford products

Let’s Go All the Way and Link to Myself

I’m glad to say that the MEdia Bullseye Radio Roundtable is back in production, and three episodes in, I have joined the rotating group of co-hosts with regular host Jen Zingsheim, speaking with Kelly Crane about ABC News, Twitter ads, and firing clients. Have a listen at the site, or:

Click here to listen directly.

Social Media Top 5: Olympic Chaos, Making Mistakes, and Losing Your %&*#

It’s not about quantity, but the gold you can get from the chaos you create.

I joked during the Olympics that some of the duller (to me) sports could be “crossed up.” That is, have four or more athletes compete at once to create excitement, as in the snowboard cross and the ski cross events.

The excitement, of course, is in the chaos presented by the prospect of putting all these top athletes in a high-speed course at once, and the risk of collisions, wipeouts and controversy (of course, add short-track speedskating to the list).

Do… social media? We talk all the time about numbers and whether they matter. I have always been for having bigger networks rather than smaller, and these sports illustrate why. When you pile up the numbers, the chance of getting something interesting appears (forget increases- it appears, as in made possible where it wasn’t before). Think of this as a long-winded way of endorsing the idea of the “serendipity engine” that Chris Brogan likes to talk about. So, open the floodgates and invite the chaos– just have a plan on how to score the winners.

How can a social media “expert” make such a mistake?

David Meerman Scott, a very knowledgeable PR and social media person, “Re-Tweeted” the above-referenced promotion for the PRWeb service without checking for legitimacy. Does that make him any less knowledgeable? To the contrary, I think it should show that any company thinking about getting into social media should not be afraid of mistakes. We will all make them. There is too much going on, and mistakes will happen, we will get past them and move on (hopefully learning from it, or, in David’s case, even blogging about the lessons learned).

Twitter Phishing– Got Phished?

The recent Twitter phishing scam— in which people are tricked into giving logging into an ersatz Twitter application, which then takes over a user’s account, sending inane or even obscene direct messages, propagating the virus (or whatever it is) is not a new problem. But, it’s a fresh one. Got phished? Change your password immediately, and let people know you got hacked/phished/virused. Don’t worry about looking like a naive social media newbie (see previous item).

Single Point of Failure, Exhibit E

I say “exhibit E” because surely this is not the first or last. Free services for you blog an social networking come and go, but counting on any of them is a shaky proposition. One of my favorite PR/Marketing podcasts, “For Immediate Release,” was using the Sprout widget for embedding the podcast feed on blogs and sites (including letting anyone grab the code and put it on their site). Now, the service is going away (*cough* “sunsetting), leaving previous users in the lurch, while Sprout concentrates on growing its business with an enterprise product. Should I feel bad for FIR’s Shel and Neville? A little, but more to the point, it’s a lesson that any of these services we rely on could go away and affect our content and networks. I went through this with Utterli, which I used to use heavily on this blog, but I have been warned the service is in danger of disappearing, so have eased off it.

What to do? Build your own tools and host them, be redundant and back up everything multiple times so you can replace it, or design your content to be disposable. Whatever works for you (guess what I prefer).

Vimeo adding mobile support

As a premium account holder, I just think it’s cool that Vimeo is now transcoding content for mobile viewing. Before, I would have to upload a video onto YouTube as well (not a bad idea anyway) just so I could view it on my phone. Now I don’t have to, though as I just hinted I still might at times. But for private videos? One and done for Vimeo now (and yes, the originals are backed up).

Help a PR Pro Out Day: Profiles in HAPPO (Boston)

It has been fun being involved with Help a PR Pro Out Day, and now the day, February 19, is upon us. Be on the lookout for the “#happo” hash tag on Twitter (and the #happobo tag for Boston) particularly between 11 am and 3 pm ET, as well as a number of blog posts like this one. Also, here in Boston we are holding an informal HAPPO networking lunch, with space and pizza generously provided by CHEN PR.

The purpose of HAPPO is to connect job-seeking PR professionals with potential employers, and to that end I have let some Boston-area participants take some space here with brief profiles. Also, employers that are hiring have provided me with links to their openings (please scroll to the bottom to see the employers).

If anyone, employer or PR pro, wants to connect and hasn’t done so directly, I am certainly happy to help. I can be reached at doughaslam (at) gmail (dot) com, or on Twitter at “DougH.” If you are a PR Pro or employer who would like to add your name to this group, just jump in in comments. I’ll also add any employers who jump in over the course of the day; and again, don’t forget the Twitter stream!

*I should note that there are some PR pros who do not wish to be so public for various reasons, but are still looking for opportunities and have stories every bit as good as the ones outlined here.


Amy Bernstein

Amy is an energetic young professional who hopes to “hit the ground running” when she finds a full-time job in Public Relations and Marketing. She is results-oriented and has held several positions in the PR arena where she can show proven results. Amy’s biggest desire when she finds a new position is to learn and absorb as much as she can. She is interested in working for an agency or a private company where she can learn from the best.

Bonus– Amy has her own HAPPO blog post here.

Kristin Grages

Diverse experience, singular dedication.  With my depth of agency experience, I have the background to handle the varied needs of clients from any vertical market.  As a former in-house marketer, I know what the client needs and how to manage and exceed their expectations. These has taught me one thing, PR is there to grow business, to boost sales and to increase positive experiences with our clients’ businesses. A team player with a unique perspective.  As the goalie for my hockey team I have learned that you can’t win a game by yourself but you can lose it all on your own.  Being a team player means trusting the people around you and ensuring they have put their trust in the right person as well.  Whether it is training junior staff in best practices or merely setting a good example with my own hard work, I strive to create an environment of positive productivity. A multitasker with an organizational system all her own.  Managing up to eight accounts during my agency days, and a multimillion dollar company’s entire marketing and pr strategy during my in-house days, I learned very quickly to prioritize and be flexible.  Concise recordkeeping and deadline management were critical to my sanity and workload.  Just as important was the ability to put both of those aside when something changed.  Whether it was a service malfunction or a CEO’s whim to submit for an opportunity she passed on months ago, flexibility is just as crucial as prioritization when it comes to successful PR.

(Note: Kristin is a former colleague of mine at Topaz Partners)

Jenna Glynn

Junior at Boston University majoring in Public Relations. Currently spending the Spring 2010 semester in Los Angeles “studying abroad” and interning. Open to all aspects of PR though mostly drawn to consumer PR, brand building and corporate public relations.Loves to tweet, blog and Facebook. Eternal Boston sports fan! What I’m looking for: Summer internship (preferably paid) in Boston area. Willing and eager to get my hands into anything PR and soak up as much experience as possible before graduating in Spring 2011.

Cassie Goldstein

I am a senior at Indiana University majoring in journalism with a minor in political science. My concentration in my degree is public relations. Although I have been living in Bloomington for the past four years, I originally hail from Newton, MA just outside of Boston. I am eager to get back to city life! I am a passionate dancer, sushi lover (I am travelling to Japan in March with an International Public Relations Course), big sister and friend. For after graduation I am seeking an entry-level position or internship in public relations. I have a particular interest in the corporate, consumer and healthcare sectors. I would like to be heavily invested in social media outreach as well.

Nelly Liu

I am a recent grad from Boston University with an MS in Public Relations and am a native Chinese speaker. I am looking for job opportunities in social media/Asian relations/communication strategy consulting/integrated marketing/PR in the Greater-Boston area.

Expert in Asian Relations Grew up in Shanghai, China, I have excellent communicational skills in English, Mandarin and Shanghainese. I am extremely familiar with the Asian culture and have huge networks in China. Those qualities have helped my previous employer establish the first proprietary panel of mainland China luxury consumers to analyze the attitudes and consumer habits of Chinese luxury buyers and develop business strategies for luxury companies. I want to continue being the liaison between China/Asia and the US. I can help international corporations/agencies that have Chinese clients/are interested in the China market/want to boost its business in China.

Passionate about Social Media I believe that social media is more than simply using Twitter, Facebook or Youtube. The true power of social media is in using those tools to engage in conversations with a target group to help a company meet its business goals. I have worked on a variety of social media projects including social media strategy development, viral video/Web site content production, a white paper on crisis communication in social media, social media campaign design and management, and the planning and management of an online video contest.

Positive Attitude Towards Work I am a fast-learner and always bring to the team my energy and enthusiasm. I am not afraid of taking risks or seeking new challenges, and I always do what it takes to make my project succeed. Never never give up!

Chet Murray

Having been laid off from my prior agency due to the turbulent economy, I am excited for what lies ahead in my career.  I am a seasoned PR pro with multiple years of experience representing a vast array of clients in technology and financial services.  Working at Nicoll Public Relations for more than two years, I was responsible for developing strategic media relations campaigns for upper echelon consumer electronic manufacturers.  I spent considerable time crafting carefully targeted pitches for varying media outlets from the New York Times to WWE Magazine to influential bloggers.  I had the pleasure of planning and executing trade shows including the International CES, the world’s largest consumer technology tradeshow. Eaton Vance Corp., a mutual funds firm, is where I started in PR.  As a member of the corporate communications team, I was responsible for drafting press releases, fact sheets, articles, media advisories and other documents on behalf of the company.  I also contributed content for the monthly newsletter and participated with other forms of cross-company communications. I am looking to build upon my experience and utilize my skills with either an innovative agency or a company that is striving to enhance its communications team.  My consistent work ethic with a proven ability to get results will be an asset for my next employer.

Summer Walker

Looking for: AE position at a Boston-area agency As a Senior Account Executive at a full-service public relations agency, I’ve spent the last four years monitoring industry trends, writing press releases, pitching media, and developing talking points, key messages and media lists. I believe truly effective PR is born out of thorough research. Whether it be for marketing plans or RFPs, analyzing industry trends or building blogger relationships, I specialize in producing quality research that helps exceed my client’s PR goals. I have worked with clients in a variety of industries from non-profit to hospitality. I have won Awards of Distinction and Judges Awards in both local and state level Florida Public Relations Association’s Image Award competitions. In 2007, I was honored with the Jefferson Award for Public Service for work with BETA Center, a Central Florida non-profit.


The following employers have explicitly told me they are keeping an eye on HAPPO and have openings. I’m sure (I know) there are more!)


Careers link:

Cone Communications

Careers link:

Manning Selvage and Lee

Careers link:

HAPPO shouldn’t end on HAPPO Day. build your networks to last!

Beatrice Family Update– House Will be Saved

Thanks to the many folks who sent their best wishes, and even contributed to the Beatrice Family Fund this past fall and winter. Great news- the Newton Tab has reported that the Fund’s efforts have been successful, and that the Beatice family will be able to keep their house. This is an incredible story of a community rallying around a man who gave so much to it, and the family he left behind when he passed away last October.

Read more at the Newton Tab.

My Son took the field for Jeff Beatrice's Victorious Yankees team in 2009

Social Media Top 5: Buzz Buzzi, Forrester Blogicide, Trolls Don’t Need Anonymity

Buzz, Bizz-Buzz (Buzzi?)…

So, there’s a lot of talk about Google Buzz online– are they going after Twitter? Facebook? (Personally, I think maybe they can finish off Jaiku if they want to try). Why should I even bother writing about it? I, like many longtime social media users, have been baffled by the stream of Google Buzz buzziness. But here’s the thing– I know the people in the stream– so far– the only problem is the volume of sameness– a lot of friends with similar interests are talking about the same things.

Google may not need to knock off Twitter for Buzz to succeed. What I think will make it work for me is looking at Google’s services  holistically. How does it integrate with GMail, Google Reader, shared items and other services? Right now it’s brutal and confusing, but it is early. Considering how most of us greeted Twitter with hostility before becoming rabid fans, I’m going to wait and watch.

Another thing- people told me to turn off Buzz– no way! It’s easy to ignore for the most part, the network builds itself (since I already use GMail and have a Google account that goes with it). I really don’t have to do anything if I don’t want to.

Forrester Blogging Policy  and Intellectual Property

Forrester’s policy explained.

A great take from Shel Holtz, who disagrees with the policy.

While I’m at it, former Forrester analyst Peter Kim.

As someone who has blogged personally for some time on issues related to work, while simultaneously having an official work blog to contribute to, I was intrigued by Forrester Research’s new policy: no more blogs by analysts on work topics outside of the Forrester domain. Forrester has a right to keep a rein on its IP, and conceivably it is less confusing for Forrester followers and clients if the topical posts are all in one place. It also, I assume, could hedge against the personal brand-building that could, I suppose, detract from the Forrester brand (I don’t see it that way).

Like Shel, I think reining in the off-domain posts shuts out a potential new audience from being exposed to the big Forrester brains. I’m not sure this policy is a reaction to the departures of high profile analysts with their own independent blogs (like Jeremiah Owyang), but I don’t necessarily think having an independent blog is a reason people like him move on. Certainly not the sole reason.

Local Blogs and Anonymous Comments

Dan Kennedy, whose “Media Nation” blog is not purely local, however spotlights an issue that should be watched closely by hyperlocal bloggers and news outlets. He finally decided to put an end to the plague of anonymous commenters. Many of the “anons” could reasonably be called trolls. My question: for pure-play local sites, why tolerate anonymity at all? Aren’t we participating in communities of which we are physically parts? Bravo to Dan, though I understand some of the “trolls’ (not his word as far as I know) have simply continued to thrash in comments under their real names. Don’t hide your light under a bushel, I guess.

How We use (Wicked Smaht) Mobile Phones

In short- we check social networking sites a lot, spend more time on news and games, according to this story in Mashable quoting mobile analytics company Flurry.

Is this how I use my phone? Definitely not. Social networking and productivity are up top, news is a lot farther down, entertainment is a small part of my use (could increase) and I  don;t play games at all. But it will be interesting to see how these numbers change over time. With my Droid (this survey was conducted among Droid and iPhone users), my ability to stay connected through all my channels is as complete as ever, with the full computer used for more intensive applications (otherwise, I barely need it at all- but I’m not going to go so far as to say the phone is our computer- yet).

The Consequences of Unsubscribing (Funny)

Courtesy of Gregg Pollack via Twitter, this is a funny example of a creative unsubscribe Web page, designed to entertain the email subscriber and perhaps make them think twice about tuning out:

LaunchCamp: 101 Cantabrigian Mornings

My first post on Voce Communication’s Voce Nation blog is up— and has some thoughts on the continued need for basic (“101”) social media tutorials. The thoughts came from me after attending LaunchCamp in Cambridge, Mass. last week. The trick is to prepare the crowd (which I thought Todd Van Hoosear and Chuck Tanowitz, the organizers did) so that expectations are set. In this case, some folks apparently expected more, which they got in the afternoon session.

Please read more of my post at Voce Nation. Also, here are the morning “101” presentations, courtesy of Skip Bensley of Brilliant Video Productions. Kudos to Skip for getting these up so quickly!

Viewing note: each session is a little under 30 minutes.

John Wall on the Three Factors of Startup Success from Brilliant Video Productions on Vimeo.

Jeff Cutler The 3 Cs of Social Part 1: Content from Brilliant Video Productions on Vimeo.

Jim Storer and Rachel Happe The 3 Cs of Social, Part 2: Community from Brilliant Video Productions on Vimeo.

Doug Haslam The 3 Cs of Social, Part 3: Conversation from Brilliant Video Productions on Vimeo.

Help a PR Pro Out Day – February 19

As someone who just went through a job search and remains grateful for the help offered by an amazing network of friends, colleagues and (not-quite) strangers, I eagerly jumped on the opportunity to join up with “Help a PR Pro Out” (HAPPO) day. Arik Hanson asked me and several others in cities across the U.S. to become “Champions” – experienced PR pros available to help guide PR job-seekers on their way to finding a job.

This is a fantastic idea, born of the same spirit that led Laura Fitton and other friends to put together a “Pink Slip Party” in Boston a year ago, at a time when a number of great PR and marketing pros in Boston were suddenly looking for work.

HAPPO is February 19, and you can expect a number of Tweets, blog posts and other postings form me and the other champions that day.

In the interest of “sharing,” I have cribbed the crucial details from Arik Hanson on the HAPPO site.

“On Friday, February 19, from 11 am – 3 pm EST PR bloggers, agency leaders, and PR professionals from across the country will donate their time and talents to help fellow PR pros connect with employers as part of the first-ever “Help a PR Pro Out” day.

  • Are you a job seeker? Prepare a creative blog post, pitching yourself to prospective employers and share it via Twitter during the event on Feb. 19 using the hashtag #HAPPO. The HAPPO “market champions” (see below) will help by retweeting and connecting you with potential employers in your specific market (or markets you’re willing to relocated to).
  • Are you an employer looking for talent? Follow the hashtag #HAPPO on Friday, Feb. 19 and share your openings. Market champions will do their best to connect you with talent they think matches your specific needs.
  • Are you a PR blogger/Twitter addict? Yes? Then share the #HAPPO tweets with your personal networks and lend your support to those in need. Help your market champion identify job seekers and pair them with potential employers. This is your chance to make a difference!

Of course, we realize not everyone looking for a job can do so publicly online. So, for those candidates who wish to be more discrete about their job search, please contact one of the local HAPPO champions who can help facilitate the appropriate introductions through the Twitter back channel or via good old-fashioned email.

I realize we don’t have all the major markets covered in the list below, but please realize this is a volunteer event. We’re all donating our time and efforts. And we all want to help. But, we also wanted to put some kind of definition around this event. If you’re in one of the markets we didn’t cover below, please don’t let that stop you. Reach out to myself, Valerie Simon (my partner in crime) or any one of the market champions to see how you can help. This certainly isn’t meant to be exclusive.

Below is a list of HAPPO champions. Over the next two weeks leading up to Feb. 19, these folks will be posting and tweeting about the event. Make sure to connect with them if you’re a job seeker or an employer looking for PR talent. That will help us all connect the dots on Feb. 19.

There are also a number of other folks who will be supporting the event in different ways, including Sarah Evans, Dave Fleet, Allan Schoenberg, David Mullen, Shonali Burke, Rachel Kay and a few others.”

Quite an undertaking, and I am glad to be a part. Stay tuned, and get ready.

Social Media Top 5: Vanity iPhone Apps, Facebook=AOL?, Grumpy Old (non) Twitterers, and More Lunacy

I don’t want your Phone app

I have seen a rash of custom iPhone apps, announced and/or realized, for specific content feeds. Two of them are from folks I consider friends and industry colleagues: C.C. Chapman, and Shel Holtz and Neville Hobson of the For Immediate Release podcast. Having an iPhone (or Droid, or Blackberry) app is all the rage, and I understand the appeal of, say, having a single place for someone to get all of your content. The problem for me is that I don’t want five or 10 or 27 separate applications for each separate source of content- I want one that aggregates all the feeds from all the sources- a podcatcher for podcasts, and, yes, and RSS reader (I’m not of the opinion that people won;t use RSS, but firmly believe that people will continue to use them heavily without ever necessarily understanding what they are). If you create a branded vanity app that will do all that, count me in.

Christopher Penn (congrats on the new gig at Blue Sky Factory by the way), has his own interesting take on the dangers of too many apps.

What’s on my iPhone

Flickr Photo by Erik Mallinson

Is Facebook the New AOL?

Steve Rubel has a post speculating that Facebook could “eat the web.” I interpreted this as Facebook becoming a new AOL, an easy way to use the Web for the less technologically-savvy. Steve does make the AOL comparison near the end of his post. There is a risk in putting all your eggs in the Facebook Web, though, and I don’t think I would recommend that. There is also a risk in the AOL comparison- AOL started as THE way to get on the Web for a time, then became a “starter Internet” for people like my parents, but has been left behind (in the Internet access business anyway) as people became more savvy. Facebook is a pretty closed, tight ship- how long will people really take to it as their “Internet” in this form?

Thank You, Don Dodge, New Mac User

I have Tweeted lately about my recent conversion to Macs, courtesy of my new employer, Voce Communications. I haven’t seen fit to detail my feelings after only a week of Mac-hood, but Don Dodge has. The former Microsoft star, now with Google, posted his reactions after making the switch. I second that emotion.

Mark Cuban Defines Reality. Welcome to the 21st Century

His main point in this post is that search engine indexes do not have to be comprehensive- your business does not have to be there if something else works. My point is that Cuban’s posts like this one are fast becoming must-reads, from a guy who isn’t afraid to make unpopular statements while avoiding the absolutism of some of the counter-arguments. I’m not going to root for the Mavericks, though.

New Yorker vs. New York Times over Twitter

I first saw this New York Times piece in which Nick Bilton takes on George Packer’s criticism of Twitter in The New Yorker. I saw it as a swipe against someone who “didn’t get it,” a old fogey whose enjoyment of train rides betrays the idea that 100 years ago he would have been railing against these new-fangled transport-machines. Then I read Packer’s piece. He seems to be less worried about Twitter than the general feeling that there is always something more interesting going on, enabled by our Crackberries, than what you are working on at any given moment. I’d ask Packer to reconsider his dismissal of Twitter, too, but his pleas do make more sense than the kneejerk reactions to them.

I’m a SNCR Fellow

As the Society for New Communications Research announced this morning, I have joined an otherwise impressive group of new research fellows at SNCR.

Don’t believe me about the impressive list of fellows? Look here:

The official description of SNCR is below. It is sufficient for me to say that I have benefitted from attending the SNCR Symposium in Boston every year, and am looking forward to becoming a more active contributor. It is an honor to be selected, and I want to thank the SNCR organization for selecting me to join this group.

In the coming year, I will be working with my friends and colleagues Todd Van Hoosear of Fresh Ground Communications, and John Cass of Pace Communications on a research project taking a look at the culture of social media across the enterprise, beyond the marketing and communications functions.

First Voce Communications takes me on, now this. I don’t think Groucho would be pleased

About the Society for New Communications Research

The Society for New Communications Research is a global nonprofit 501(c)(3) research and education foundation and think tank focused on the advanced study of the latest developments in new media and communications. SNCR is dedicated to creating a bridge between the academic and theoretical pursuit of these topics and the pragmatic implementation of new media and communications tools and methodologies.