Social Media Top 5: Cancer Comms, A Life Disrupted, & Blab to Bomb(?)

For Immediate Release Podcast: Cancer, Communications and Other Fun Stuff

FIR #29: Communications and Cancer

For years, I have been a fan of the For Immediate Release podcast, hosted by Shel Holtz and (for most of its run) Neville Hobson. I was lucky enough to appear on the show now and again, and even to co-host it, and always considered the FIR community to be one of the richest social media communities to which I have belonged.

In the program’s current incarnation, I have been honored that Shel has asked me to be a panelist on a regular, rotating basis. This week, I joined friends Mark Story and Jennifer Stauss. Tying us together for this episode was our varying involvement with cancer and communications. Mark is social media lead at the National Cancer Institute (, and Jennifer led the initiatives WTF (Where’s the Funding for) Lung Cancer, and SMAC (Sock Monkeys Against Cancer).

Out of my depth, I at least can claim to be a participant in cancer fundraisers, as I ride annually in the Pan-Mass Challenge (to which you can donate at – as always, thank you!).

Here’s me riding the PMC  last summer with Nomo, Jennifer’s lead  SMAC sock monkey:


Anyway, please have a listen to the podcast, as we discuss how organizations can and do coordinate efforts for awareness, research and treatment; we also talked about the AP Style Guide’s “lowercasing” of internet and web (AP Style Guide, guardian against Oxford Comma overuse, can do no wrong!), and the release of Dan Lyons’ book about his experience working at Hubspot, among other things.

Speaking of That Book…

I haven’t read Disrupted yet, though it is in my Kindle queue. While I have several very good friends at Hubspot, I found Lyons’ hiring there to be a potentially odd fit- a young, excitable culture embracing a middle aged, sharply-cynical writer best known as the voice of Fake Steve Jobs? I recall one incident that confirmed my suspicions, which Dan also recalled in a LinkedIn post about age discrimination in the tech industry.

I like Dan’s writing- that’s why I’m reading it, and no amount of snippy, biased reviews or happy-face counter-marketing can stop me from turning the virtual pages.

That said, good luck to both “sides” in all endeavors.

Image Credit: Norbert Gálfi on Flickr

Image Credit: Norbert Gálfi on Flickr

Blab to Bomb?

I really like Blab as a livestreaming service. So does the author of this blog post, Nathan Hague. Blab is a great tool for conducting online panels and conversations, and in the eyes of many who have tried it they found it easier to use and more reliable than, say, Google Hangouts. What Hague tries to point out is that these free tools have costs, and as they scale in minutes and users, those costs can pile up. I didn’t check his math, but even if he is wrong- and I’m not sure about some of the multiplication in there- he is pointing out the (potential) downside of startups that rely on venture funding to get them through growth, but without any whiff of a revenue model. We’ve been through it over and over since the first Internet bubble. Is there a plan for these companies or is it more convenient to forget history and hope for a few winners before the new Web (sorry, web) economy crashes like the old?

Star Wars or Star Trek? Get it Straight or Stay Out of It

I love futuristic tech. I refuse to make fun of Virtual Reality apps, even though being grumpy out it should be right up my alley; it just feels like a technology whose time, to some extent, has come to shine for practical and fun use on a larger scale than had been possible.

However- when promoting such technology, it is wise to get your geek lingo straight; for example, this video Futurism posted on Facebook touts a really cool piece of technology, saying the app “allows you to virtually teleport anywhere in the world –Star Wars style.”

My first instinct was to check the comments to see how quickly the “Star TREK not Star Wars” comments came rushing in, and I was not disappointed.

#nerdfail – although, perhaps the split infinitive à la “To go boldly where no man has gone before’  was a defiant, knowing wink. (nah)

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Forbes- On Brand, as Usual

It’s easy to gripe about Forbes – like the Harvard Business Review blog – diluting its formidable brand by letting lots of people write for the Forbes Contributor Network. However, there are many excellent writers there as well (including, naturally, some clients), so the looser editorial standards mean less the end of journalism and more that readers are responsible for sifting the gold from the sand.

Still, I was amused and somewhat horrified to find that there is a columnist on Forbes- Forbes!- who dedicates server space to play-by-play of events like Wrestlemania 32.

WWE is big business, but this sort of posting seems a little off-brand, even for this new era. Or am I just oversensitive?

At least he did the job, delivering a link to the content I was looking for – Shane McMahon’s insane 20-foot jump from the top of the cage during the Hell in a Cell match. Though he eventually lost to The Undertaker, who knew he had it in him?




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