Monday, May 21, 2012

The Most Simple Social Policy in the World

A tip of the hat to #PRSA newsletter and CBS News for the social media policy at Mayo Clinic. Talk about a high-risk environment for social -- a medical research facility of the highest profile is HIPAA central. Yet Farris Timimi boils it down to 12 words: Don’t Lie, Don’t Pry Don’t Cheat, Can’t Delete Don’t Steal, Don’t Reveal Simply brilliant. Read his detail behind the 12 words on his blog entry, but consider Another great find is Mayo's Friday Faux Pas series -- giving a whole new meaning to #FollowFriday.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Twitter Impact in the Political World

From Ad Week, the outside limit of response time to a Twitter outbreak: 84 minutes. Read the story to understand the reference. It is, for better or worse, the center of the political conversation, and it is transforming the way political campaigns and those who cover them do business. Toward the end, the article notes the growth of Twitter with a painfully dated number: 130 million active, up 100 million from the previous March. Although, I do like this nice geometric progression: It took Twitter three years, two months and one day to serve up 1 billion tweets; it now does that volume every three days. In the sports world. I doubt you have the 84 minute window. Take the Arkansas coaching hire announcement. Well within that time frame, team members -- not available to the general media -- were making their own comments via Twitter.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Another GoPro Use

Gear tip of the week: use your GoPro for stills that lead to stunning Facebook cover art. If you've tried to get that extreme landscape image that looks awesome -- 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall which translates into something along the lines of 16x6, much more "widescreen" than 16x9 -- you are missing out on the best possible tool. Aside from using an app like Pano to create nice wide images with that thin stripe down the center (check out my composite of Nam June Paik's Electronic Superhighway), the GoPro camera is a natural. I've spoken of this magic point of view camera -- they run about $250-$295 depending on the kit and now available everywhere (ie - any Best Buy) -- and this is another great reason to have it. Check out my purple flowers for the Northwestern State timeline today and my wide shot of the main gallery of NASM on my own Facebook page. If you want to see the images themselves -- NSU's flower and the X-15. See how they give you that middle edit that yields a pleasing image that fills the full width? Just frame to accommodate your profile image and there you are. Combine this with the videos and the time elapse features -- you simply MUST own a GoPro if you are serious about on-line digital. Bonus -- here's the baddest-assed plane in the USAF with the GoPro.

Sunday, May 13, 2012

There are Users, and Then There are Users

John C. Dvorak makes an interesting point on a recent DH Unplugged. While Facebook claimed 845 million users just before its IPO filing, recent info coming out as the social media giant modifies its S1 imply there may "only" be 150 million active users. Why the large discrepancy? Dormant accounts, duplicate accounts and "like farms" -- fake accounts created to only inflate views that can be purchased by the unscrupulous.

Two Halves of the Same Information Coin

Digital assets are extremely portable and once posted last forever. Wrote that in this space way back in 2006 -- what seems like an internet generation ago. Years ago a line of thinking about the oversharing at the start of networked media was in the future, no one will care because EVERYONE will have an embarrassing youth moment captured on-line. Hey kids, remember MySpace? The cassette tape to the CD that is Facebook. You bet George Zimmerman wishes that he'd been a little more diligent in deleting old social media accounts. The Miami Herald first discovered the old page, which includes a lot of personal anger toward an ex and lots of Hispanic slurs. The Washington Post. So do you just run out and delete, delete, delete? No, they'll still find you somewhere with enough diligence -- just ask Cortney Fortson who lives to this day with his tweet (SI now lists it among the 20 worst) even though he deleted it. Call it the 21st century Rosemary Woods moment. You did it, and 18 1/2 minutes of erasing won't make it go away. Or today from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, as the former president of Central Arkansas is called out for asking for the destruction of records that led to his ousting. How do state employees think that aggressive deletion of business correspondence syncs with the state (sometimes federal) law on preserving official records? Many justify daily deletion of all email under the guise that there is no policy or guideline in place (or the ones in place somehow don't apply to their agency or branch within an agency). As bad as it is to overshare in the social world, is it worse to violate the public trust by obfuscating your official actions by sanitizing records?

Friday, May 04, 2012

Brevity and Aphorism

In a world increasingly focused on brevity, a nice column from The Chronicle by Peter Wood on the value of being succinct.

His reference to several guidelines to being short but memorable reminds me of a great book that I highly recommend for those who need to write for executives or to have that pithy "it" in short messages.

James Geary has made a career out of dissecting what is quality in an aphorism. His blog is full of insight, but his first book, The World in a Phrase, is a must read. His listing of the great aphorisms and dissections thereof should be on every thinking writer's shelf, right next to the more traditional Roget's.

I notice today writing this post that he has a new book, I Is an Other: The Secret Life of Metaphor and How it Shapes the Way We See the World. Kindling that today.

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Happy 1400 to Me

Ah, it seems like it was just yesterday when this space began. Celebrating the 1,400th post today.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Good Causes, Bad Outcomes

The New York Times writes about the admirable social campaign to get people to publicize a life-giving personal fact. But in the same article, Facebook continues to press for your birth date. Why? In today's job market, it is more than vanity that moves people to not list birth dates, and especially birth years. Bad enough that some are asking for your Facebook login credentials on interviews. Timeline is crossing over from proud expressions into encouraging potentially self-damaging data. I repeat my standing Facebook line again: It is the greatest voluntary data collection and data-mining tool in the history of mankind. The Life Events are prompts to urge us into compliance with that goal and make life easy for investigators. I appreciate the feedback of colleagues @LTorbin in particular. Yes, a cancer survivor often has great pride in the victory, and those are moments to celebrate. Why one of the most courageous people I know is Yonna Pasch, who is living her breast cancer treatment very openly, very socially and it is very inspiring. And the organ donor campaign encourages that sharing of something personal for a greater good. The joke once was the foodies better fear that they would be next after the smokers were isolated as pariah and that restrictions and bans were for their own good and the greater good of society being healthier. To invert the saying, first as farce, now as tragedy: look at the growing regulations on salt, etc., from government agencies. How long until keeping your personal life private becomes a ThoughtCrime against the collective? Someday, it might be more than getting targeted ads from AARP based on your birthday.

The Final Third

The following was a response to a post on one of the message boards from back in Arkansas. I was reacting to a conversation about how the media in the area didn't "get" social media. After finishing I decided to repost here for two reasons. First, I like the rule of thirds way that the division of effective media works. Second, to show an example of how you can interact with the participatory media as someone who lives in the PR field. I'll take a slightly different angle and the rule of thirds. A third of the media remain clueless - and this is mostly management - to the way the networking of computers has changed the flow of information. They still want to be the gatekeepers, and Twitter just undercuts them. Another third understand it, but they want to just do the easiest things. They equate doing something with journalism. These are the ones who want to stream press conferences, live blog or tweet games, put up raw materials like documents and say, see, look how productive we are. The third that will survive are the ones that understand that what separates them and their craft from the second third is value added. Anyone can grab a FOIA to get Houston or Bobby's cell phone records. (An essential item the second third of media forgets - they aren't special compared to the eager citizen who could do the same thing.). You need knowledge to vet the numbers, see patterns, discover connections. That j-school training to edit, parse and separate crap from importance is the value a well trained individual adds to their work. And, with so much information out there now, the ability to sift and sort it - to curate it - for the end user is the other part of this equation. Look at the media in the area and see if you can't put them into those three categories. Bet the ones you pay the most attention to are in the final third.