Social Media Top 5: The Return

Five Fingers?

Photo by Imageo on Flickr

My Social Media Top Five posts are back!

Did you miss them? I don’t care. As it turns out, I did.

I stopped doing the Social Media Top 5 for a few reasons:

  • I didn’t think the posts were meaty enough, at least not consistently
  • I had other things to do (like work for clients)
  • I was probably entertaining myself more than any readers I might get by chance (maybe I’m wrong there)
  • I wanted to write single-topic posts that had more to say (circle back to bullet #1)

The problem is that, while I did write some posts I was proud of– in fact every single one in the interim was pretty good by my own standards, and got good comments– i wrote a lot fewer than I really would like to publish.

Is it important for me to have a personal blog? It is in that I continue to want to understand blogging and other social media and continue to put that experience to use for clients and colleagues at Voce Communications. It’s more important that if I do want to have one, I publish more regularly. So here goes…

1) Owning your stuff… again

There have been a few stories lately that remind us how little we ultimately control social media channels, unless we host them ourselves. The recent Tumblr/Zephoria trademark flap is one example, with Tumblr removing a blog from its original Tumblr URL due to a complaint from a company using the same name. Forget the trademark issue- the fact that Tumblr could make that blog disappear with the flick of a switch should make you ask yourself: Can that happen to me? Do I own and control my content and how people access it? Do I care enough to make sure that doesn’t happen?

And yes, this applies to Facebook, Twitter and other content channels.

Other examples are out there every day: did you opt in to the new ownership of your Delicious bookmarks? ReadWriteWeb’s Marshall Kirkpatrick says you should (I did).

2) Stories and Questions Versus Bombardment

I saw a few smart or at least interesting posts about how to “engage” (Yeah, I’m sick of that word too) rather than bombard:

In one, Facebook Sponsored Stories apparently are more effective than plain old ads on Facebook. It makes sense that something that brings in the context of Facebook activity rather than just trying to force intrusive relevance would work. Does anyone have their own anecdotes in this regard?

Another, from Social Media Explorer, I will sum up by saying simply: “Ask questions, don’t just push content.” If you want responses (responses are answers, right?) you need to ask questions. Call for response. I have seen this work time and time again.

3) World Events and Social Media Lessons (Shut Up Already)

When Osama Bin Laden was killed, friends quickly laid bets as to when the first “Social Media Lessons” posts surrounding Bin Laden or his killing would pop up. Regrettably, it did not take long. Those of us in the bubble are too eager to drink the silly juice and jump on how you can take social media lessons from this or that world event. I’m not going to side with folks that turn a blind eye to the change social media is assisting, but really folks– sometimes the proper response is to shut yer hole.

I won’t link to the offending posts (some of them were even pulled after they got hounded by mobs wielding flaming torches fueled by common sense), but I will link to this funny reaction story on Technorati by my friend Marc Girolimetti, “What Osama Bin Laden Taught Me about Scrapbooking.”

4) The Future of Publishing? (Shut Up Already 2)

I have long ago grown weary of “future of publishing” pronouncements. That does not mean publishing is changing– of course it is, and the shifts are ongoing, and of a type and pace that renders most predictions meaningless. It’s an upheaval, and it’s fun to watch. One thought: if you are in the midst of publishing books and being known as a successful book author, saying “the book doesn’t matter” seems silly. If that’s how you feel, don’t write books.

By the way, I’m not a Seth Godin basher. I remember when Permission Marketing came out, and it was a game changer. Since then, he has been more of a Woody Allen of Marketing authors. There are too many books, and as with Woody’s films, I pay attention when more rabid fans call something to my attention. That works for me, and takes less time.

5) Copyright and Blogging Common Sense

Just one last note; a good common sense post at The Blog Herald about copyright. Many of us casual bloggers take the use of copyrighted material for granted, and could use a brief refresher to prevent takedown notices or worse.

As for me, I respect copyright by using Creative Commons licensed photos from Flickr, and rights-cleared music from Music Alley. Have you thought about the copyrights on material you use in your blog or podcast?


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