Watching: The Amazing Spider-Man

More plot holes become clear during repeated viewings.

The subscriptionization of everything: Why it’s time for publishers to get intimate with their audiences

“…subscriptions might not pull in more dollars per reader per unit, but they potentially build a more reliable, regular readership and ensure a steadier flow of dollars. If they get the price right, it might also attract a broader audience, appealing to people who might otherwise forget to seek out the content every month, or neglect their email alerts or push notifications.”

via The subscriptionization of everything: Why it’s time for publishers to get intimate with their audiences.

There’s a Big Marketer/Consumer Disconnect on Social Media

An interesting study broke in late November (sue me, I’ve been busy) that continues to show how differently people think of what they’re doing when they interact with a brand on a social network platform compared to what the marketers behind those profiles interpret those actions as meaning.


Essentially, marketers put far more value on proactive actions on social media than consumers do. And younger consumers show the kind of brand affiliation that means they see what brands they like as an important part of who they are and who they’re perceived to be.

Additionally consumers and fans don’t think that Liking a brand’s Facebook page or Following it on Twitter is nearly as cool as marketers think it is. Conversely marketers don’t assign things like promotional code redemption the weight that consumer preference for them would seem to necessitate.

Social Network Usage Continues to Increase

People spent 37 percent more time interacting with social media in July of 2012 than they did in July 2011 according to a report from Nielsen. While the majority of that time is spent on computers, the amount of time devoted to mobile devices is also increasingly, though not nearly at the same pace that time spent within apps is.

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Facebook remains tops across all categories – PC, mobile web and apps – with Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and others also accounting for significant amounts of time spent. Blog platforms like WordPress and Blogger, which are counted here as social networks, are also quite popular, though they appear only on Nielsen’s list of top PC and mobile web destinations.

“Post to WordPress”

How that’s not a option/button that’s a part of every app I have on my iPhone is beyond me. Why are app makers so concerned with distributing activity to all sorts of social networks that have walled gardens instead of an open source publishing platform that they can basically do whatever they want to with seems like a massive missed opportunity.

Just think about it.

Social Media Editors Don’t Have to Hinder the Conversation

New-York-Times-LogoI’m going to disagree slightly with Mathew Ingram slightly in his displeasure at the New York Times assigning a specific social media editor to one of its reporters.

While I agree in concept with him that this takes away the immediate publishing of unfiltered thoughts, one of the key components of Twitter and other social network publishing, it is also perfectly reasonable that a major brand would want to make sure that one of its representatives is staying on message and remaining appropriate.

It comes down to the question, which can be debated from case to case, of who owns the Twitter or other profile that someone is publishing to. Is this a brand-owned profile or something that is personal? If it’s the former then the employer, whoever it is in a given scenario, absolutely has the right – the necessity – to exercise some control over what’s published there. And while I’m not a huge fan of the idea of a single editor for every individual Twitter profile the existence of a social media editor, whether it’s a single, general one or one for a department or group, is a pretty solid recommendation.

It’s not hard and, honestly, doesn’t need to infringe greatly on the idea of Twitter being an unfiltered firehose. If the editor and writer agree that they’re all on the same team, that they know what the goals are and more then things can go on pretty much as they were before, maybe just delayed by a half hour or so to allow for approvals. But assuming the editor in question isn’t openly hostile toward social media and *wants* the program to succeed then it doesn’t need to be a roadblock of any great size in the ongoing conversation.

Watching: The Nightmare Before Christmas

Been so long since I watched this. And it’s so good.

Feeling Overwhelmed by the News? You’re Not Alone

6a00d8341c03bb53ef0134828279a4970c-800wiWhether, and to what extent, we feel overwhelmed by the news and information inputs around us depends greatly on what platforms we use to read and collect that information according to a new study.

The study found that it doesn’t matter so much what you’re reading as much as how you’re reading it. So Twitter on a computer would push you into overwhelmed but Twitter on your phone isn’t likely to cause much stress. It doesn’t even matter so much how many news sources someone reads regularly. According to the study the deciding factor was almost always the device in question.

Personally I feel overwhelmed by the sheer number of inputs that I have going at any given time. I’ve got X hundred personal RSS feeds, X hundred client-related RSS feeds, several hundred people I follow on Twitter and so on and so forth. If I’m paying attention to one thing it means I’m behind on – or completely missing in the case of the Twitter stream – the others. There’s a certain amount of letting go that has to be done, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel them building up in the background. And while all that is going on it means there are newspapers, magazines and more that I’m not reading at the moment. It can get to be a bit much.

Live Blogs Engage Readers More Fully

The Guardian recently revealed that it found live blogs of breaking news events outperformed conventional news stories by 300 percent when it came to pageviews.


The analysis of the traffic differences found live blogging to be more engaging and more interesting to readers than the stories that came later, after the news event – whatever it was – was over. The spur-of-the-moment nature of such coverage appealed to those reading news at work, those looking for the juiciest gossip fodder and more. Part of the reason they were seen as more trustworthy by readers is that the live-blog format conveyed authenticity, something that trumped other considerations.

For brands who are publishing live blogs of conventions, conferences, announcements and other events many of these same factors and considerations likely come into play. The live blogs bring those events to the audience in an immediate and seemingly unfiltered way and are therefore more engaging to the readers.

Google Reader Used To Be the Shiznit

google-readerWhile I still use Google Reader for my RSS reading I miss the social functionality that used to be built into the system, functionality that has been stripped away as Google has shifted focus over to Google+. It always made sense to me to have those sorts of features within the news consumption ecosystem as opposed to taking them somewhere else. Buzzfeed has a history of the service that includes this nugget:

In December 2007, Reader linked up with Google Talk (the chat feature in Gmail) to display shared streams from friends. Within the context of feed reading, it fomented something of a Neolithic Revolution. Foragers, hitherto gathering headlines on a crude and solitary basis, became farmers, cultivating streams of information for their neighbors. Sharing increased 25% overnight. At Yale University, a student named Richard Berger (later known as Richard Likebot or Obscure Reference) notified his friends of the changes. “Holy shitballs,” replied Tom Lehman (aka Lemon or just Tom), who would later create the popular and lavishly funded lyrics annotation site Rap Genius. “I fully support this idea. Even if no one else does, please add everything to your shared feed.” Soon after, Reader implemented a bevy of complimentary features like pithy annotations and a bookmarklet to aggregate sites that didn’t support RSS. In March 2009 came a crucial update, allowing Readers to comment on one another’s shares. Eslao, the Reader from Boston, convinced her boyfriend to sign up.

I’ll always fondly remember the Fall a group of other Reader users and I basically spent months using comments, annotations and other features basically busting Rick Klau’s balls. After all, what is social media for if not for giving your friends a hard time?