Friday Wrap #29: Google+ communities, gender differences on Pinterest, PR and “pageview journalism”2012-12-14
I’ve accumulated a treasure trove of interesting items over the seven days. This week’s Wrap includes some of the juiciest. You can see all the items I’ve bookmarked on my link blog at LinksFromShel.tumblr.com.
Here come the predictions
Ah, the holidays. A crispness in the air, Christmas tree lots, holiday music in malls and—the latest tradition—mountains of predictions for digital and social media for the upcoming year. Over on GigaOm, several staff members have offered their thoughts on what 2013 will hold for digital media. Laura Owen, for example, thinks a well-known author will turn down a seven-figure deal in favor of self-publishing. (Perhaps that author will have read Guy Kawasaki’s new book, which makes the case for self-publishing.) Jeff Roberts thinks BuzzFeed will earn a Pulitzer prize. Mathew Ingram (my favorite GigaOm writer) sees Twitter becoming an even bigger competitor for media companies. But perhaps the most interesting prediction of the batch comes from Robert Andrews, who believes branded content will re-fuel media. “Branded content will become more popular than ever,” he writes, “helping to fund publishers struggling with conventional revenue approaches and helping advertisers communicate in a world of cacophony and dubious ad effectiveness.”
HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes, writing for Forbes, sees five ways social media will change the way you work. Personally, I think he’s optimistic when he says social media will expand beyond marketing and community-building and into the enterprise, but I agree we’ll see more companies start to make this transition. He also sees email use declining in favor of better communication channels that offer greater levels of collaboration. More companies will build social media command centers of the sort Dell, Cisco Systems and The American Red Cross have established. (In fact, during a panel discussion I attended at Dell World this week, both AMD and The American Heart Association are readying their own command centers with Dell’s help.) Social media compliance will become a priority and international and niche social networks will present new challenges.
Men on Pinterest are from Venus…
Social Habit is offering a report on Pinterest Users in America 2012 for $99. Social Habit is a collaboration between Jay Baer, Jason Falls and Mark Schaefer, so I have no doubt the report is detail rich and mightily useful. On his Convince and Convert blog, Baer offers a key takeaway from the report: women use Pinterest as a wish list while men use it as a shopping cart. Jay cites the report: “The number one reason women pin clothing and fashion is to get ideas. The number one reason men pin clothing and fashion is that they are items they plan to buy.” He elaborates, “Women are using Pinterest in a far more aspirational and motivational way than are men, who are more likely to use Pinterest like a visual bookmarking tool. In fact, within clothes and fashion, men are twice as likely as women to say their number one reason for pinning is to showcase products they already own. Male usage of Pinterest (and I suspect other sites like Fancy, et al) is far more literal than it is for women.”
LinkedIn’s vision: the world’s first economic graph
LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner wrote in a post on the site that his company’s “ultimate dream” is to “digitally map the global economy, identifying the connections between people, jobs, skills, companies, and professional knowledge—and spot in real-time the trends pointing to economic opportunities.” The concept leverages the idea of the social graph, popularized with the rise of Facebook, Weiner writes. Just one benefit of an economic graph, he says is that “We could look at where the jobs are in any given locality, identify the fastest growing jobs in that area, the skills required to obtain those jobs, the skills of the existing aggregate workforce there, and then quantify the size of the gap. Even more importantly, we could then provide a feed of that data to local vocational training facilities, junior colleges, etc. so they could develop a just-in-time curriculum that provides local job seekers the skills they need to obtain the jobs that are and will be, and not just the jobs that once were.” And here you thought LinkedIn was just for job-hunting.
Location-based search revenue will reach $6 billion by 2017
Local search is going to become a bigger part of the mobile marketer’s toolkit, according to a study from Strategy Analytics reported on Mobile Marketer. Expenditures on location-based search will reach $6 billion in just four years, according to the Strategy Analytics paper. “Search and location-based search in particular is clearly going to be one of the key battlegrounds in mobile for all the major ecosystems,” according to David MacQueen, the director of the firm’s wireless media strategies group.
PWC releases gamification report
PriceWaterhouse Coopers has devoted an entire issue of its Technology Forecast to gamification. Three feature articles cover how video game techniques are being used now in business to engage and motivate the workforce and inspire customers, how gamification technologies integrate at the user experience level, and why CIOs who dismiss gamification may be passing up real benefits. The issue also includes interviews with experts in the field. Gamification will be part of every communicator’s and marketer’s toolbox. This report is one more resource worth some time to help build better understanding of the role it can play.
Why PR needs to jump on the Google+ Communities bandwagon
Since Google+ opened communities last week, I have received invitations to join at least two dozen. (I’ve joined three.) eConsultancy‘s Danny Whatmough writes that brands and PR professionals, along with SEO professionals, need to pay attention to the new offering, which gives Google+ a direct competitor to Facebook and LinkedIn groups. “The power of Communities extends beyond this in a way that is massively important for brands and PRs,” he writes. “I’ve banged on enough about the importance of AuthorRank for thought leadership and I see Communities as another step by Google towards building authority around individuals related to particular specialisms or topics.” The fact that Communities can improve your position in search results “extends the influence of Communities far beyond what is possible with Facebook and LinkedIn Groups.”
PR needs to understand “pageview journalism”
Media outlets from Buzzfeed to CNN get paid when people click on the stories they publish. It’s called “pageview journalism” and it’s all about the clicks. Writing for ZDNet, Tom Foremski notes that the phenomenon is “a product of the hard economic realities of the media industry. But its rise represents a capitulation of editorial direction and voice to the fickle whims of pop culture. The result is what we have today: a bland me-too media landscape which publishes huge numbers of the same stories.” However, he points out, journalists aren’t the only ones under pressure to produce content that prizes popularity over substance. “What about PR companies”? Why should I take a briefing from your client if I can’t get the traffic? Can PR companies drive traffic to a story that I write? If they can, they are golden. Reporters will take their calls over any others.” Tom’s right. PR is no longer just a matter of pitching the story. It’s also getting the traffic to the story once it has been written. How many agencies include that as part of their process?