A Bad Headline is Still Bad Journalism
When I was starting out in public relations, I helped a client, a games web site, get a nice article n the local paper. The article was indeed very positive, but the headline made a reference to gambling– something the client wanted to be very clear they were not- and it ruined the effect of the entire headline. That experience underlines the appreciation I have for the art of headline writing and the contempt I have for those who do it poorly.
This week, an even more poorly-written headline may have had a worse effect- it likely spawned a number of false stories and a lot of bad information on Twitter and (fittingly) Facebook. The story? M.C. Siegler’s TechCrunch article “One Year Later, Facebook Killing Off Places…To Put Location Everywhere.” The problem? It was a great, informative article about how Facebook is changing its location feature, Places, to be more deeply ingrained in the service. Even the URL simply, helpfully reads “facebook_location_tagging.” In trying to grab attention, the headline led lots of people to assume that Places was being killed off– and that Foursquare had won the location-based services battle.
I don’t know if Siegler wrote the headline or an editor did, but what a colossally bad move.
Kudos to Brian Carter for being among the people to point out that no, Facebook is not killing Places.
Two Sides of Google + Adoption: Too Much Drama and Good Reasons Why It Will Be Adopted
While I have preached patience with Google + – not dismissing it while it grows and adapts, but not latching it on to it for business use before it actually has features for business – it is interesting to see in action reasons for not throwing in completely with the new social network. Violet Blue writes in ZDNet of having her account suspended
because, apparently, Google believed she was not using her real name. I know people who have had their accounts suspended for using three names, as if that trips off the “this is a business not a person” alarm at Google or something, but the true alarming part was that account suspension meant loss of access to other Google accounts- mail, Reader, calendar and more. Not cool, if the suspension criteria are a bit shaky. I do know that this gives another reason for calling the notion of leaving Facebook to use Google + exclusively silly.
On the other side, Alberto Vildosola writes about six reasons why people will flock to Google + (three of them are here
). I do believe the integration with everyday Google products is a huge, um, plus, but not sure about getting celebrities to use the Hangouts feature as being an engine for long-term growth. Who knows, really? (Hint: nobody. Nobody knows).
Speaking of Drama, If Someone Leaves Twitter and They Make a Lot of Noise, Do We Care That Much More?
And speaking of leaving Twitter and Facebook, Social Media cartoonist, author and consultant Hugh MacLeod left Twitter and Facebook
to concentrate on his blog. If that works for him, great. If he needed to be public about why, well sure. If that works for me, or would I as a social media consultant recommend this to clients? Highly unlikely. I continue to wonder if the very loud behavior of social media “experts” is being taken as potential counsel to clients: leave Twitter? Divert all content to third-party hosted solutions rather than an owned platform? Do the same but just for blog comments? I feel the need to be more careful about how I use social media, and practice what I’m going to have to preach, to the extent that’s feasible.
I do feel funny wondering about someone retreating only to his owned platform when I am very critical of those doing just the opposite– but I guess the message is, there is a balance between owning your content and reaching out to third=party platforms because that is where more people are.