How Tumblr is changing the PR industry


Well the original title from the Read Write Web is “How Tumblr is changing journalism”. But it doesn’t really matters. I think content curation activites, and related tools for that, already has, or for sure will change, the way we share stories with each other, as information junkies, as journalists. as PR communicators, as people.

A few month ago I wrote a post about “Why Marketers Should Care About Content Curation”. As a matter of fact I didn’t write it. I just curated another post by Derek Edmond from Search Engine Land with a similar headline “Why B2B Search Marketers Should Care About Content Curation”. And he wrote it from a SEO perspective:

“B2B search engine marketers realize new content creation is a critical tactic in an effective SEO strategy. But it is also realized, as illustrated in the Marketingsherpa chart below, the level of effort required to successfully develop new content may be significant, in comparison to other tactics. Therefore, with limited resources and immediate lead generation goals, it is not surprising when we find that new content generation falls behind other SEO initiatives on the priority list. Enter content curation. While not a substitute for new development, content curation can help B2B organizations provide important information to their market.”

Since Google launched the Panda I don’t know If this matters anymore? Because as you might know, Google Panda is the “filter designed by Google to spot low-quality content”, as Catch Pope from the Australien “Curated Content Agency” put it.

If you’re not sure what “low-quality content” is, maybe Amit Singhal, Google’s head of search, explanation on the official Google blog, make sense? He says:

“Below are some questions that one could use to assess the “quality” of a page or an article. These are the kinds of questions we ask ourselves as we write algorithms that attempt to assess site quality. Think of it as our take at encoding what we think our users want.

  • Would you trust the information presented in this article?
  • Is this article written by an expert or enthusiast who knows the topic well, or is it more shallow in nature?
  • Does the site have duplicate, overlapping, or redundant articles on the same or similar topics with slightly different keyword variations?
  • Would you be comfortable giving your credit card information to this site?
  • Does this article have spelling, stylistic, or factual errors?
  • Are the topics driven by genuine interests of readers of the site, or does the site generate content by attempting to guess what might rank well in search engines?
  • Does the article provide original content or information, original reporting, original research, or original analysis?
  • Does the page provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?
  • How much quality control is done on content?
  • Does the article describe both sides of a story?
  • Is the site a recognized authority on its topic?
  • Is the content mass-produced by or outsourced to a large number of creators, or spread across a large network of sites, so that individual pages or sites don’t get as much attention or care?
  • Was the article edited well, or does it appear sloppy or hastily produced?
  • For a health related query, would you trust information from this site?
  • Would you recognize this site as an authoritative source when mentioned by name?
  • Does this article provide a complete or comprehensive description of the topic?
  • Does this article contain insightful analysis or interesting information that is beyond obvious?
  • Is this the sort of page you’d want to bookmark, share with a friend, or recommend?
  • Does this article have an excessive amount of ads that distract from or interfere with the main content?
  • Would you expect to see this article in a printed magazine, encyclopedia or book?
  • Are the articles short, unsubstantial, or otherwise lacking in helpful specifics?
  • Are the pages produced with great care and attention to detail vs. less attention to detail?
  • Would users complain when they see pages from this site?”

And as you might see, some of these bullets seems to criticize the curated content; or at least some of the curated content seems to be “low-quality content”. And Google might punish your site for that, seen from a SEO perspective? But… I still think marketers (and others) should care about content curation, because that’s a great way to share interesting stories etc with your stakeholders, the people you care about. And not to forget – it’s not just about sharing, it’s about contribution and reflections as well.

Therefore I was not surprised when Richard MacManus recently wrote the article “How Tumblr is changing journalism” for Read Write Web.

As you might know Tumblr is a super easy and smooth blogging tool, but also a sharing tool, or a content curation tool. Becuase that’s pretty much how people are using it. Tumblr themselves says the tool “lets you effortlessly share anything”.

And I don’t know if the curation trend is one of the reasons why Tumblr, with it’s 12 billion page views per month, just hit knockout on WordPress, which is not a curation tool?

So I think it was just a question of time before the journalists, who are already experts on rewrites, would start using the tool (or others) “to power” their news websites, as Richard MacManus put it.

He mention the Tumblr-powered news service, ShortFormBlog, as an example.

“The concept behind ShortFormBlog is very simple: to publish really short posts throughout the day. The site publishes over 200 posts per week, an average of about 30 per day.”

Pretty successful as far as I know.

So now we’re waiting for the trend to really take off in marketers and PR staff’s newsroom.

As a matter of fact, IBM were using Tumblr when they already in November, 2008, launched the Smarter Planet project to help people grasp IBM’s Smarter Planet initiative. The site “uses frequently updated, “microblogging” entries to illustrate how the Smarter Planet vision is unfolding across IBM and across the world.”

Facebook vs Twitter as journalistic tool?


Since I wrote the posting below partly about the brand new Facebook page “Journalists on facebook” and finished that part with the sentence: “I’m pretty sure that many journalist now will take the oppertunity to use this possiblity, to get more out of their daily work.” There’s been a lot of buzz regarding Facebook vs Twitter as a journalistic tool.

Justin Osofsky, Director of Media Partnerships at Facebook, says that the page has been created: “to serve as an ongoing resource for the growing number of reporters using Facebook to find sources, interact with readers, and advance stories. And that “the Page will provide journalists with best practices for integrating the latest Facebook products with their work and connecting with the Facebook audience of more than 500 million people.

I believe he’s spot on, but… I do respect the critics. Among other I got an e-mail from Daniel at Newsy.com who recommended me to see the video about the topic Facebook vs Twitter as a journalist tool.

The news anchor Jim Flink at Newsy, says:
“So, could Facebook challenge Twitter in the battle for reporters’ hearts? One blogger says – probably not:
“Twitter allows you to order the account you follow into lists so you can have all the information about one subject on the same feed while Facebook imposes on you the feed of every journalists you will follow, no matter the subject they are working on or they are specialized in.”

Gigom’s Mathew Ingram suggests the company might have to alter its image a bit to make this work.
“…many users still likely think of Facebook as a place to socialize rather than be informed — a place to play games … not necessarily a place where journalists are active. Those things may not be mutually exclusive, but it’s going to take some work to make them feel like they belong together.”

I do agree. But my point of view is that both services has some left to prove to be kick ass tools for journalists, and their audience in particular.

I would say that the biggest headache right now for both this services, within this matter, is that most people has only one newsstream (or wall) for all their interests, topics, networks, etc (discussion in groups excluded). And most of the people is as a matter of fact interested in several topics and member of many communities. Do you really want the latest news from the revolution in Egypt on the same wall as where my cousins birthday party shows up? I don’t. And these lists feature is too… time-consuming. The same applies for Twitter. Ranking system, like Facebook Edgerank, might make the updates more relevant, but doesn’t solve this problem.

Personally, I love my Google RSS Reader with an extensive but careful selection of sources (social networks included)  in combination with Flipboard.

B t w – what happened to the service “LinkedIn for Journalists”? What I can see is pretty much no more… Or it ended up as a tiny group.  And LinkedIn Today…? Well – we won’t start our days with that kind of news aggregator, do we?

To be continued.

First radio reporter using iPhone as primary field recorder


Journalism has truly turned up side down. And I think that’s just great. I just ran into a few great examples of that:

First of all check out the WTOP reporter Neal Augenstein, who has replaced his heavy radio equipment on an iPhone. He’s writing about this interesting change in MediaShift. And it’s truly inspiring. In particular for those who want to go out on the field to cover, create, and distribute remarkable stories direct to their audience. It hasn’t been easier than now.

Neal describes himself in his Twitter bio as follows:
“Believe I’m first major market radio reporter using iPhone as primary field recorder.”

And he says:
“Now, with the Apple iPhone 4 and several apps, I can produce intricate audio and video reports, broadcast live, take and edit photos, write web content and distribute it through social media from a single device.”

“With the VC Audio Pro app from VeriCorder, I can quickly pull cuts, edit and assemble audio wraps, and adjust volumes on a three-track screen similar to the popular Adobe Audition used in many newsrooms. The amount of time saved by not having to boot up the laptop and transfer audio has been my single greatest workflow improvement. The finished report that used to take 30 minutes to produce and transmit can now be done in 10.

This is a rundown of all the key ways he’s using on and with his iPhone.

Neal Augenstein hasn’t a journalist page – yet. But Nicholas D. Kristof has. He’s one of the top journalists that might got inspired of the possibilities that Justin Osofsky, Director of Media Partnerships at Facebook, talking about on the brand new Facebook page “Journalists on Facebook”. The page has been created: “to serve as an ongoing resource for the growing number of reporters using Facebook to find sources, interact with readers, and advance stories.”

Justin says that “The Page will provide journalists with best practices for integrating the latest Facebook products with their work and connecting with the Facebook audience of more than 500 million people.

I was actually one of the first to like that page, now one day later, they are ten thousands of journalists. And all of them are now asked to create professional pages on Facebook, for both reach and interact with their audience, listen to them, work with them, get ideas for articles of them, and so on. Some of them might already have done that, like Nicholas D. Kristof, that already has more than 200.000 “fans”. And some of them also bring their page to their newspapers bylines like Robert Fisk at The Independent. Why not?

I’m pretty sure that many journalist now will take the oppertunity to use this possiblity, to get more out of their daily work. Some of them will be CNN journalists if they haven’t already joined “the Facebook revolution”. And the media itself is no exception… Look at NPR or the very small local news blog Rockville Central.

When I talked to Nick Wrenn, vice president of digital services for CNN International, during the conference Social Media World Forum, in London, he said that Facebook is an equally obvious that common source of information and meeting point. But he would rather emphasize CNN’s iReport and Open Stories as the public Forum for meeting, collaboration, and sharing, between CNN journalists and their audience.

Från mediadatabas till nätverk


Efter att ha föreläst vid sex frukostseminarier i Stockholm, Göteborg och Oslo för sammanlagt hundratals kommunikatörer, så är det ett par frågor som sticker ut ur mängden och som de flesta av åhörarna tycks vilja få svar på:

Hur ska jag lyckas identifiera och kommunicera med hela den nya och brokiga skara människor som har inflytande på mitt företags marknad?

Jag svarade att det kanske de varken kan eller bör göra, åtminstone inte hela skaran, då det finns risk för att de då tar sig vatten över huvudet. Men jag rekommenderade följande:

Gör ditt företag extremt tillgängligt och transparent. Se till att all information om förtaget och dess verksamhet når ut i alla relevanta sammanhang, där din målgrupp förväntar sig att den ska finnas, inte minst när de söker efter den. Lyssna på din omgivning, hjälp den, och skapa förutsättningar till självhjälp. Och fokusera dig på den exklusiva skara som har störst inflytande på din marknad.

Beroende på vilken verksamhet deras företag bedriver är en hel del av de sistnämnda sannolikt journalister, men bli inte förvånad om majoriteten av dem återfinns bland deras kunder, branschkollegor, anställda, partners, återförsäljare, leverantörer, m fl.

Ben Cotton på PR-byrån Edelman Digital i London skrev nyligen ett blogginlägg där han tipsar oss om tio gratis verktyg för att finna inflytelserika människor. Gissa en gång om något av tipsen omfattar någon mediedatabas i traditionell bemärkelse? NOT. Tjänsterna är av typen sök och nätverk med webben som spelplan. Och fler tips av liknande slag finns. Jag gillar dem alla, även om några inte funkar i Sverige. Men om jag känner typen Ben rätt, så organiserar han dessa människor i något CRM-liknande system för bearbetning. I bästa fall med några sociala plug in’s. Det gillar jag inte. Jag förordar nätverket framför CRM’et. Dessutom så tycker jag att Ben förbiser en viktig faktor; att den som ger är också den som får. Det räcker inte med att hitta dem, du måste bidra med något. Ben snuddar förvisso vid frågan, när han poängterar vikten av att bara prata med dem som är engagerade och intresserade av dig. Men vaddå “prata”? Utöver Ben m fl’s tips så skulle jag vilja lyfta fram kraften i att förse målgruppen med verkligt värde; intressant och relevant information, tips, hjälp, nyheter, med utgångspunkt ifrån vad du lärt av den. Materialet driver trafik. Bland trafiken finns fans. Några av dem är dina viktigaste opinionsbildare. Vig en del av ditt professionella liv åt att serva dem. Och – gör det i ett nätverk.

Nytt från Twitter: Bädda in Tweets


Nu har twitter lanserat möjligheten att bädda in tweets på bloggar och andra webbsidor. Eller “baka in” som de uttrycker det. Anledningen är att man sett ett ökat behov hos publicister alla kategorier att referera till och citera tweets på sina webbplatser.

Tidigare har man helt enkelt löst det genom att citera texten, eller klistra in bilden på tweeten ifråga. Den inbäddade tweeten är inte bara en enklare lösningen, utan även bättre då länkar till “mentions”, hashtags, etc följer med i inbäddningen. Självklart plockar den med stilen på din tweet, inkl bakgrunden. Som en skärmdump, helt enkelt.

För att bädda in en tweet klistrar du helt enkelt in tweetens url i en tjänst de kallar “Blackbird Pie“, och ber den generera den kod du ska klistra in på din sajt.

Självklart funkade det rätt dåligt i denna wordpress-blogg. Själva “stilen” följde inte med. Därför tvingades jag paradoxalt nog klistra in en bild på tweeten på gammalt manér. Men… Twitter varnar just för denna typ av spädbarns-problem. Så tids nog kanske det funkar även för wordpress. Låt mig veta.

Mottagandet har varit blandat. @svartling tycker det är enklare att maila in tweets “direkt från Twitter iPhone Appen till en blogg“. Vet inte det ja… Techcrunch är desto positivare.

Svara på 10 frågor innan du börjar lyssna på sociala webben


År 2010 står för dörren. Och surret på webben ökar i takt med att internetanvändare blir allt fler och allt socialare. Tiden är minst sagt mogen för alla som jobbar med PR- och marknadskommunikation att i någon mening lyssna på vad som sägs.

MyNewsdesk lanserade nyligen ett verktyg för analys av våra kunders närvaro på webben. Detta som ett komplement till den statistik som visar hur många och vilka journalister som bevakar, prenumererar, läser deras information som släpps via MyNewsdesk.

Men inget av detta ger ännu så länge en fullständig bild av vad företagens marknad snackar om i den sociala delen av webben. Här finns en uppsjö olika verktyg som specialiserat sig på denna realtidskommunikation. Tids nog kommer MyNewsdesk med något som även tillgodoser dessa behov. Men tills dess kan ni själv börja med att kolla in denna lista av verktyg och liknande som spetsat in sig på sistnämnda. Listan är ingalunda komplett och inte helt up to date, men en bra start hur som helst.

Innan dess gör man dock klokt i att ställa sig några frågor kring användning av dessa verktyg. Jag snappade upp de här 10 nyckelfrågorna på en av aktörernas bloggar. Check it!

1.    What kind of sites do you want to monitor? Are blogs more important or are the comments from Facebook what you are trying to listen to? Many tools are better at certain things, like blogs, forums, or Twitter.
2.    What are you trying to monitor? Are you monitoring your brand or are you monitoring a keyword or phrase like “social media monitor”? Some tools will have special features if you are targeting a brand. Other tools are more focused on keyword monitoring.
3.    How much money do you want to spend? There are some solid free tools as well as some extensive and expensive tools. How much you want to spend is probably related to the type of features you want as well. Sometimes, the free or cheap tools can help you get started and figure out what you really want to do.
4.    What do you expect to get out of monitoring? As many social media people will tell you, you need to know what you are expecting. You can not start monitoring for your brand and expect additional sales to roll in. If you monitor, you need to have a plan of action. In some cases, you may just want to become more engaged with your customers. In other cases, you may be pushing discounts or promotions through social media that you want to track the success of.
5.    Do you want basic social media analytics? Social media is quite a wide breadth of sites. There are basic metrics like how many times a specific keyword was mentioned, or maybe how many times a blog post was shared. These metrics can also be segmented by the type of site, i.e. social news or social network, as well as the sites themselves.
6.    Do you want to hook into your web analytics? Tracking metrics for social media is only one piece of the puzzle. Even if you tweeted about a discount in your store, and it was retweeted several times, how can you tell that it had any effect? You can make a correlation to your basic web analytics metrics. You could include a campaign code in the URL that you post for a direct correlation to traffic, or you can make a loose correlation by looking at referral sources.
7.    Do you want basic or advanced analysis features? Do you want some standard reports or the ability to slice and dice the data in any manner that you see fit? Some of the more advanced tools give you the ability to analyze data in something similar to a Microsoft Excel pivot table. You may also be able to export data to Excel or some other format.
8.    Are you doing this work as an agency for other companies or do you have multiple people looking at the data? Some tools expect you to be an individual monitoring something. Other tools are built by marketing agencies for marketing agencies, where you can have a “workspace” for each client. There are options in between as well, where you can monitor up to a specific number of keywords or just allow multiple people access one account. Some tools also have white label or branded services, where you can go to the site and you see your own company’s logo and other branding elements. Typically, the branded services are separate costs in addition to the monitoring fees.
9.    Do you want to be able to see mentions and reply to them in one application? Most social media monitoring tools are purely “listen only”. This makes sense given that they are monitoring tools. However, you may be ready to respond quickly to mentions on Twitter or Facebook. To do this, you typically need to use a different application to write your tweets. Some tools are now including some basic writing capabilities.
10.    Do you want to create social media campaigns and then look and listen to the results in one application? There is another group of tools that probably fall into the marketing category that allow you to create social media campaigns, send data to the various social media sites and monitor these sites all in one. These tools are much more advanced than simple monitoring, and you can expect to pay more for them. However, some larger brands would really be able to take advantage of such capabilities.

Hur inflytelserik är du på Twitter?


Hur inflytelserik är du på Twitter? Edelman vet. PR-byrån (b t w en av de ledande i världen med drygt 3000 anställda på 50 kontor) släppte nyss TweetLevel. Det sägs vara ett unikt verktyg som mäter folks inflytande och betydelse på Twitter.

De har valt att kika på fyra olika faktorer:

1) Inflytande – vad du säger och hur många som lyssnar.

2) Populäritet – hur många som följer dig?

3) Engagemang – hur aktivt du deltar i din vänkrets.

4) Tillit – i vilken mån folks tror på det du skriver.

Du rankas mellan 0-100. Vilket betyder att ju högre du rankas desto mer betydelsefull är du.

Så vad fick jag? 49/100. Jag är med andra ord betydligt mindre betydelsefull än exempelvis Perez Hilton, Mashable, Deepak Chopra och Guy Kawasaki, som alla ligger runt 80/100. Men åtminstone lite mer betydelsefull än Lisa på Bloggomsverige och PRNewser 😉 Ja, jag tar detta med en stor nypa salt framför allt av två skäl: 1) vet inte exakt hur de rankar 2) har alltid haft svårt att lita på “articifiell intelligens”, men tycker ändå tjänsten är lite underhållande.

Så inflytelserik är du på Twitter!

Här ser ni hur TweetLevel placerar mig:

Your Influence score – You may not be CNN but you understand the importance of Twitter and use it well. To increase your influence score, you will need to get people to re-tweet what you are saying more frequently – the posts you make and the number of people who follow what you say is critical.

Your Popularity score – Your popularity score is OK – but can easily get better. The chances are you have got a good following but there are a few things you can do to make the seismic shift to become Mr. or Mrs. Popular. This number is solely based on how many followers you have. Many Twitter measurement tools purely rank people according to this metric, however just because someone is popular doesn’t mean they are influential. However, to increase your popularity post regular and interesting content, time your posts to peak times and add hashtags to make it easier for people to find your tweets. You’ll have more people following you in no time.

Your Engagement score – Your engagement score is OK but could be better. You understand that even though influence is important, to many people how you engage is what counts. You don’t need to be movie star to score high in this critical category as it is your participation within niche communities that count. Take more time talking to individuals, make your posts easier to find by including hashtags and enjoy the conversation.

Your Trust score – Your trust score is pretty good but could be better. The Edelman Trust Barometer states that 77% of people refused to buy products or services from a company they distrusted. It is trust that makes someone act – for this reason alone, having a high trust score is considered by many to be more important than any other category. Trust can be measured by the number of times someone is happy to associate what you have said through them – in other words, how often you are retweeted. To increase your trust score you will need to create more interesting and informative posts that will give your followers a reason to retweet what you have said.

Testa!