The quiet explosion gets a little louder with a bold move by This American Life

Audio: The Quiet ExplosionFor 17 years, public radio’s “This American Life” was distributed by Public Radio International, one of several rival organizations that make content available for the hundreds of local public radio stations across the U.S. Several competitors vied to become the new distributor of Ira Glass’s iconic program, but Glass and Chicago Public Media—the show’s producer—spurned all those advances and decided to self-distribute via Public Radio Exchange.

To be honest, I had never heard of PRX before the “This American Life” story broke, so I visited the site to see what it was all about. The 14-year-old nonprofit serves as an online platform… Read More »

Friday Wrap #95: Boost for financial services social media, voice-recognition mobile ads, and more

Friday Wrap #95Greetings from Orlando, where I spoke twice yesterday at Ragan Communications’ annual Social Media and Communications conference. This Friday Wrap—a little shorter than usual and a bit more hastily prepared—is your weekly source of curated news, research, reports and posts that may have slipped by unnoticed, but that could prove useful to communicators and marketers. I collect items that I consider including in the Wrap (as well as my podcast) at my link blog, Links From Shel, which you’re welcome to follow.


SEC approves third-party social media endorsements—The financial services industry has been one of the latest to the… Read More »

Listen up! You may be producing audio sooner than you think

Audio is surging on the social webAudio never really took off on the Web. Not the way images and video have.

It hasn’t been as bad as some people would have you believe. Podcasting is alive and well, for example, but its uptake has never come anywhere near the success of video. And have you noticed that the default for Vine videos is audio off?

Audio’s online stagnation is attributable to any number of factors, many of which were articulated brilliantly in a Digg Original by Stan Alcorn titled, Is This Thing On? Alcorn bases his long, thoughtful piece on the premise that audio just doesn’t go viral. He quotes radio and podcast producer Nate DiMeo, who said, “If you… Read More »

Friday Wrap #87: Pew’s Facebook data, too many apologies, brands and Paper, real-time audio, & more

Wrap PartyThe Friday Wrap is my weekly review of items I caught in my feeds and subscriptions that I found interesting enough to share, but don’t include the big news items you weren’t likely to miss. I select items for the Wrap from my link blog, which you’re welcome to follow. It’s at

Above the fold

This hardly looks like a teen exodus

73% of U.S. teens are on Facebook. If that’s a teen problem, I’d be curious to see what success looks like. The AllFacebook has details and tons of other stats released by the Pew Internet & American Life Project on Facebook’s 10th anniversary. For instance, 54% of U.S. adults use the… Read More »

FIR Interview: Eric Wahlforss, Co-Founder and CTO, SoundCloud

SoundcloudSoundCloud‘s co-founder Eric Wahlforss sees his company as a social network, with its primary competitors Facebook and Twitter, two of the giants of today’s social web.

Its Wikipedia entry describes SoundCloud as an online audio distribution platform that allows collaboration, promotion and distribution of audio recordings by users. It was founded in 2008 and now has more than 20 million users worldwide, with membership growing by over 1.5 million every month.

In this FIR Interview, co-host Neville Hobson met with Eric Wahlforss during the FT Digital Media Conference 2013 in London on April 26, to talk about audio and business.

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Apply a grain of salt to social media research reports

imageSocial media is the source of more research than any topic I can think of. There’s research undertaken by research companies like Forrester, professional services firms like McKinsey & Company, by large organizations like IBM and by every marketing agency and service provider looking to get a little press. The tactic of sponsorsing research in order to issue a press release and get some ink is nothing new, but with the proliferation of social media-focused companies, the volume of research has exploded.

With the release of these studies, you can find commentary by any number of analysts, consultants, columnists, reporters and bloggers… Read More »

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