Plague democratizes the infectious spread of information

An image shared on PlagueWhether Plague takes off or is relegated to the scrap heap of failed apps remains to be seen, but the idea is intriguing (if not downright revolutionary). At its core, Plague democratizes the process of determining what spreads through social media, and even what goes viral. The app bills itself as “an essentially different way to spread information.”

The idea is simple. You share something on the app—a video, a photo, an animated GIF, a link, your own thoughts—and it immediately “infects” the four people closest to you geographically who have downloaded and installed it. (You are automatically connected to all other Plague users as… Read More »

Friday Wrap #120: Vine for audio, hashtags gone bad, Ello goes viral, employees like badges, & more

Friday Wrap #120
Flickr photo courtesy of Peter Gordon
Welcome to the Friday Wrap, my weekly summary of stuff I’ve found in the last seven days that didn’t grab the big headlines but is still important, interesting, and/or worthwhile for communicators and marketers. I collect these on my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.


Sobo is Vine for audio—Audio has been proliferating across the web in all kinds of interesting ways lately, even if it hasn’t attracted a lot of attention. Yammer co-founder Alan Braverman thinks there’s something going on, though, which is why he launched Sobo, a “social soundboard” (currently only for iOS), enabling… Read More »

Friday Wrap #106: New rules for paid Wikipedia editors and pharmas, Twitter GIFs, social sentiment

A gift-wrapped Second Life store
Second Life image courtesy of Torley
The Friday Wrap is a curated rundown of news, reports and posts from the past week that, while they didn’t go viral or attract much attention, are still interesting and useful for communications professionals. I select Wrap items from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow.


Wikipedia tightens rules against undisclosed editing—In the wake of the multi-agency statement committing PR agencies to playing by Wikipedia’s rules, the online collaborative encyclopedia has changed its terms of use to require disclosure from anyone paid to edit articles. Wikimedia’s top communicator explained,… Read More »

Study explodes the myth of Internet-based information overload

the information overload mythListen to enough hysterical warnings and dire forecasts and you’d think that information overload is leading us to some kind of bleak, post-apocalyptic future. In an Advertising Age column he wrote back in 2007, Edelman Senior VP Steve Rubel said, “A crash is coming, folks. But this time it’s not financial—it’s personal.” The attention crisis, he said, is an epidemic. “There’s no more room at the inn. People will cut back.”

Outlets ranging from The New York Times to have addressed the consequences of too much online information. Personally, I’ve never bought it. More than a decade ago, I argued that people can stand all… Read More »

Cures for David Murray’s attention crash

A few weeks back, my friend David Murray singled me out in a post to his “Writing Boots” blog in which he complained about the stress that social media is causing him. David and I go way back and he’s hoping I have answers for him to ease his frustrations:

I’m over-friggin’ whelmed with the stuff, constantly scrambling from Twitter to Facebook to LinkedIn, round and round, at once amused to have so many going projects but never satisfied that I’m doing enough to promote myself or my projects, via all these online contraptions.

In more colloquial terms, David addresses the “Attention Crash” Steve Rubel insists is headed everyone’s… Read More »

What are you willing to barter in exchange for content?

Back in 1984, Stewart Brand uttered the words that have become the slogan of the free content movement: “Information wants to be free.”

Those who advocate free content, however, are taking Brand’s statement out of context. At the first Hacker’s conference where he made the statement, he was talking about the tension between the value of content and the vanishing cost associated with distributing it. Here’s what he actually said:

On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost…

Read More »

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