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).


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