What follows is the unedited version of my latest post on TechCrunch, “Can the Statusphere Save Journalism.”
Earlier this month, I enjoyed an invigorating conversation over dinner with Walt Mossberg. Friends surrounded us, but for the majority of the evening, we were immersed in a passionate discussion that dismantled and rebuilt the potential future of media and communications.
It took me several weeks to deconstruct the essence and impact of our dialogue in order to share the experience with you.
Fueled by a combination of popularity, curiosity, necessity, strategy, and trendiness, marketers are embracing a new recipe that injects a proactive, social approach to outbound communications and engagement – with or without all of the answers before they jump in. This approach, while courageous, has required faith, conviction, and champions who didn’t necessarily have access to metrics and case studies at the SMB and enterprise level. Many of the most and also least effective campaigns were implemented as a way of learning. As we all know, some Social Media campaigns have excelled while others have publicly flopped and contributed to the cynicism and fear of embracing a transparent form of open and public dialogue.
Not to be outdone by the news of Twitter’s astronomical growth, Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg announced that the popular social network has hit a noteworthy milestone, the welcoming of their 200 millionth user.
To celebrate the moment, Zuckerberg commented, “When we built Facebook in 2004, our goal was to create a richer, faster way for people to share information about what was happening around them. We thought that giving people better tools to communicate would help them better understand the world, which would then give them even greater power to change the world.”
The Social Web is maturing at a blurring pace, packing thousands of years of behavioral and social evolution into the span of ten years or less. Social Media has amplified our individual voices and introduced an infrastructure that connects us contextually across a myriad of social networks. We’re conditioned to participate and engage genuinely and transparently in order to foster meaningful conversations and ultimately relationships.
Twitter continues to defy all those who question its relevance. Exploding from 6 million visitors at the beginning of the year, ComScore released its latest numbers that portray an almost vertical ascent through the end of February 2009, hitting an astonishing 10 million worldwide.
Last year, Stowe Boyd and I, in development with Christopher Peri, introduced MicroPR, an online service for Twitter that connects reporters, bloggers, event organizers, authors, among others, to PR representatives when they need help sourcing content or connecting with experts in Twitter time. To date, MicroPR is followed by over 5,000 communications and marketing professionals.
MicroPR extends a tweet beyond the existing followers of the person asking for help to include those following the decicated PR channel. It amplifies the Tweet to improve the quality of responses.
It’s not news that newspaper revenue derived from advertising and subscriptions is rapidly eroding. While Madison Avenue worries about the recession and its impact on advertising in general, numbers recently published by the Newspaper Association of America indicate online advertising only continues to rise.
Perhaps most interesting is the impending intersection between the decline of a 200 year old institution and a new medium competing for the same precious ad dollars for only the last 15 years. According to this chart, the collision could occur as soon as the end of next year.
My good friend, Frank Gruber is one of the hardest working bloggers and new media professionals I know. By day, he’s a product strategist for AOL in the social networking group. His focus is on lifestreaming products, including AIM, Bebo and SocialThing. Frank Gruber is also a well known blogger focused on sharing his Web product expertise and analysis on Web 2.0, social media and emerging technologies in articles and videos online.
I recently visited the gorgeous San Francisco offices of Loic Le Meur and Seesmic to discuss his company’s roadmap, photography, how to build online communities, as well as my new book with Deirdre Breakenridge ,”Putting the Public Back in Public Relations.”
Loic suggested that we spend a few minutes discussing the book on camera to share with the Loic.tv community. It was an offer I couldn’t refuse – after all, Tim Ferriss had occupied the same chair moments before I arrived.
Part Two of my recent visit to the gorgeous San Francisco offices of Loic Le Meur and Seesmic.
Loic and I spent some valuable time together that proved both refreshing and invigorating. We discussed digital photography, innovation at Seesmic, public relations and social marketing, and brand building in the era of the Social Web.
The conversation evolved into a deeper discussion that tackled the subject of online community building. Loic wanted to capture and share the experience on Loic.tv, so we moved to his video studio to continue the dialogue on camera.
Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.