Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Gig

Things have been quite here at Thinking for a while, but not because I was lynched for my series on conversation (this blog doesn’t get enough traffic for that). It’s because I have a SOCIAL MEDIA WRITING GIG.

Sort of. I’m working with Tyson Goodridge at Dialogue (OMG I'M ON THE BIO PAGE) a social media marketing consulting firm that looks at the big picture – how the way we have conversations are changing because of the tools we use. Awesome right? Tyson and I collaborate on blog posts for the Dialogue site; sometime this week, hopefully, I'll be meeting the rest of the team. It’s really exciting to be a part of a growing company (right in my own backyard!) in the same sector I’ve been voraciously consuming information about for the last eight months.

I can’t even tell you how exciting is ok? There is no way to convey that in a blog. Except writing in all caps, but then you wouldn’t be able to read it. Ok? But remember: I’m REALLY EXCITED about this.

Anyway, after we worked on this post, I found some more information pertaining to social media use today that is interesting.

First, we have a new study from the Pew Internet and American Life project that says nearly all Americans get their news from more than one source, which includes the Internet, but only a little more than half get it exclusively from the Web. The study reads:
In the digital era, news has become omnipresent. Americans access it in multiple formats on multiple platforms on myriad devices. The days of loyalty to a particular news organization on a particular piece of technology in a particular form are gone.
...and I'm not sure that's entirely true. I access the news online, but usually through just a few sources. CNN for one. Of course, I'm also in love with Thoora, which may mean my habits will change in time. But I think the bigger picture is people aren't loyal to a particular news organization, but to particular curators of news. For example, I like ReadWriteWeb and True/Slant, which draw information from a wide variety of sources (but I LOVE T/S).

The study also emphasized that people are getting more news through social networking. I would guess Facebook especially, though the 37% who said news is a social experience (and by that I mean they share and comment on items reguarly) for them did cite Twitter too.

Cool tidbit: the survey highlighted weather specifically as one of the most common topics of information people look for online. The study said 81% of respondants look for weather information online. Why wait for Local on the 8s when you can get instant access? Makes me curious to see what the Weather Channel is doing to beef up its online presence. I perfer NOAA personally. Blame CW for that one.

The other interesting article I found was from ReadWriteWeb, citing a report from Hitwise Intelligence that said Facebook is quickly growing to be a major driver of traffic to news items all over the Web. And I love that it talks about how great this is for encouraging freer thought and more dialogue around current events. We all know how I feel about Big News. Of course, that good news is tempered:
Perhaps more importantly, though, Facebook, Google News (1.4%). and Google Reader together account for less than 5% of news sites' total traffic [emphasis their's]. The #1, 2 and 3 drivers of traffic to news sites? Google, Yahoo and MSN - portals and search engines where the editorial judgement is made by centralized algorithms and powerful front-page editors.
And as much as I love Facebook, I love RSS readers better, and this article said those just aren't competeting. I say its a matter of people not realizing what they are missing, so I digress:

I use Google Reader, which has the trademark simplicity and clean look of all Google's applications. There are so features I'd add, but it certainly gets the job done. I highly reccomend you try it out, but there are others to choose from; here are a few to consider.

It's simple to use, but start by going to your favorite sites, like those you have bookmarked, and look around for a little orange box with three white curves in it; scroll down this page and look at the left hand column until you hit the Subsribe section - that's what you want to find. Follow the prompts, add it to your Reader, and then check back every morning or, when you get more subscriptions, every few hours to see what's new. You'll always have something interesting to read, and YOU can CONTROL what information you absorb, not Someone Else who is also interested in selling you more Stuff.

Feels good to be back here writing!

1 comment:

  1. It's an honor to have you on board Megerrific! Dialogue loves your editorial expertise. Looking forward to more social commentary from you. and I think I may have to head over to Thoora- never heard of it before- see I learn sometihng new every day!