blogs – Social media business strategies blog Tue, 24 Apr 2018 10:34:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 blogs – 32 32 Social media now firmly entrenched in our lives Mon, 02 Aug 2010 23:16:25 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Top 10 Sectors by Share of U.S. Internet Time RANK Category Share of Time

June 2010 Share of Time

June 2009 % Change in

Share of Time 1 Social Networks 22.7% 15.8% 43% 2 Online Games 10.2% 9.3% 10% 3 E-mail 8.3% 11.5% -28% 4 Portals 4.4% 5.5% -19% 5 Instant Messaging 4.0% 4.7% -15% 6 Videos/Movies 3.9% 3.5% 12% 7 Search 3.5% 3.4% 1% 8 Software Manufacturers 3.3% 3.3% 0% 9 Multi-category Entertainment 2.8% 3.0% -7% 10 Classifieds/Auctions 2.7% 2.7% -2% Other 34.3% 37.3% -8%

Source: The Nielsen Company

New study: 43% annual increase in use of social networks, blogs

JD LasicaOur use of social networking and blogs roared ahead by 43 percent over the past year, according to a report released today by Nielsen Online titled “What Americans Do Online.”

The study indicated that Americans spend one-third their online time (36 percent) communicating and networking across social networks, blogs, personal email and instant messaging. We now spend nearly a quarter of our time online on social networking sites and blogs, up from 15.8 percent just a year ago — a hefty 43 percent increase — showing that time spent on sites like Facebook and Twitter is no longer confined to early adopters but is clearly a mainstream activity.

But we knew that, right?

Email is tailing off a bit, except on mobile devices, where it continues to dominate, according to the study.

Interesting study. Does it jibe with the online behavior you’ve been seeing?

A wide collection of free reports

I often hear from business colleagues that they don’t know where to turn to when they want to download and share the latest reports on the state of social media. So I’ll mention here that I’ve pulled together what appears to be the Web’s largest collection of free reports and whitepapers, from dozens of different sources, on our sister site,, as a public service.

See the main Social media reports page. We’ve broken the Reports section into these categories:

Social media/social networking reports
Nonprofit/public interest reports
Media reports
Internet usage reports
Mobile reports

I’ve hired a contractor on odesk to keep these directories up to date, so if you come across additional reports that should be included here, please add a comment either here or on any of the reports pages.

2010 predictions & recommendations for Web 2.0 and social networks Mon, 11 Jan 2010 18:00:04 +0000 Continue reading ]]> How mass collaboration is transforming company and culture

2010_PredictChristopher RollysonAs chronicled in the just-published Decade in Review 2000-2009, the 21st century is proving to be volatile and disruptive in every way, and 2010 will continue the trend. Three disruptive forces are converging: the relative value of the Industrial Economy continues to fall as overproduction reigns. Globalization is replete with extras that people at the head table didn’t order. Most imperceptibly yet poignantly, the emerging Knowledge Economy is digitizing communications and changing the economics of knowledge and relationships.

Web 2.0 and social networks drive down the cost of communication, which accelerates volatility because when people talk, ideas change and lead to action, and digital conversations happens faster and less expensively. Social networks are rapidly making the Web human, thereby attracting an ever-larger portion of all human communications online. In 2009, adoption reached critical mass, ramping strongly among consumers, so many enterprises are following. The Web 1.0 adoption rhythm is very instructive.

Pervasive Web 2.0 also means reexamination or disruption of most areas of life, culture, society, government and business because social networks alter how many and what kind of relationships people have. The impact is similar to Ford’s production line, except it is more powerful: it scales relationships. Large organizations will remain in a profound state of turmoil because they were not built with withstand the volatility these forces are unleashing. Many Fortune 500 companies will be confronted with their survival, and some will not make it. Entire industries will consolidate over the next several years (automotive, airlines, banking, hotels, food, consumer goods…). Web communications mean we consume novelty far more quickly, which curtails product life cycles and leads to ultra-fast commoditization. Companies will require unprecedented innovation to even stay in place. New entrants around the world compete for customers and leverage their lower costs and better innovation processes. And Web 2.0 is still in the early stages of adoption.

This dynamism elevates opportunity and threat for executives and their organizations, so our focus here is to lay out probable milestones for 2010 to assist executives in business strategy and career planning for 2010 and beyond. First, I will lay out predictions, on which I’ll build for my 2010 recommendations. By the way, this follows Year in Review—2009/Social Networking Gains Legs on Heavy Seas and Decade in Review 2000-2009/The Rise of Web 2.0, the New Pervasive Human Space.

Predictions for 2010

  1. The economy will continue to be unpredictable, and demand will be spotty in 2010. Numerous structures of the global Industrial Economy are in doubt, which delays business decisions everywhere. The U.S. juggernaut has serious economic problems related to healthcare and the lack of fiscal discipline that will not be resolved soon, and no one really knows what the impact will be, except it will be significant. Japan and European economies have similar issues for similar reasons (except healthcare). Related to this, there is more uncertainty around the U.S. dollar as a reserve currency than there has been in decades. Major economies’ central banks are aiming to ease back on the assistance they have been using to support their economies, and this entails significant risk. Unemployment will continue to be high due to the uncertainty, and this dampens consumer demand. Overproduction is rampant, which keeps deflation on the table as a potential risk. These are all structural issues that call for leadership and discipline in facing the unknown. I wish I could see “quick fix” scenarios to any of these, but I cannot. These conditions will persist for some time, so I advise clients to embrace them as a reality.
  2. Company failures will continue to make headlines. Automakers, airlines and consumer goods firms will fail or be sold on the cheap. Industries will continue to consolidate to take production capacity out. Mainstream media titles will disappear: newspapers especially will continue to see readership and ad revenue plummet. However, online advertising will continue to increase, and ad agencies that cannot transition to digital fast will fail. This will force governments with unpalatable choices: support enterprises that are “too big to fail” or let them go under, disrupting the economy either way. These decisions are affecting most of the world’s largest economies. Worse, 20th century leaders still cling to the idea that BRIC will drive up demand for their products, but this will largely prove to be a mirage: emerging economies will rapidly innovate and grow their own industries to cater to their growing demand.
  3. Employment for executives will be stagnant, which will require them to commit to consulting, not only as an interim arrangement between jobs but as a more permanent career. Industrial Economy organizations are transforming, so this will permanently change the structure of work, but demand for services will persist. Organizations in turmoil will avoid hiring as much as possible, but they will urgently need expertise and will contract extensively. Smart executives will chunk their expertise smaller (consulting), but this will require them to use social networks to reduce business development costs. In a related development, executive blogging (more below) will see case studies in which executives are hired or contracted due to their blogs. Within 3 years, executives in several industries will be expected to have their thoughts online. Consulting is the new employment. ,^(
  4. Marketing 2.0 will conquer numerous big brands because Industrial Economy push marketing is a deflating dirigible, and customers are experts at tuning out mass media. Marketing 2.0 combines digital and word of mouth in a new philosophy, to treat customers as collaborative partners. Marketing executives have been intensively interested in Web 2.0 during the past two years, and they are increasing their investments slowly. Marketers still have to confront their assumptions about how to engage customers: too many marketing organizations still talk about “content” that they push to consumers. The customer wants to hear other customers, and too few marketers understand that. According to Forrester, digital agencies are displacing traditional agencies in agency of record roles at big brands, and look for this trend to continue. In tough times especially, CMOs love digital’s ability to offer ROI. What they lack is relationship-focused investment models for social networks. Their agencies’ DNA is creative, not roll-up-your-sleeves customer contact and relationship building (it’s not sexy), which will lead to disappointments.
  5. Social business will see mixed results—on one hand, marketing spend will increase 2x or 3x this year. Given #4, social media, which connotes pushing content through “social” channels, will grow the most rapidly because it is closest to legacy marketing thinking. Social networks will grow more slowly because they require new thinking and skills, but they will increase engagement much more. 2010 will be a parade of case studies. However, this upsurge will be accompanied by a palpable backlash against “social media” in which mainstream media (MSM) will criticize social’s lack of effectiveness, but usually for the wrong reasons. Too often, MSM doesn’t get Web 2.0, and they have have negative attitudes because Web 2.0 is raising the bar for transparency, speed and analysis while it takes attention away from them.
  6. Companies will build “social media” teams in earnest. Beginning in Q3 2009, CMOs and CEOs began asking for social networking strategy to weave together their initiatives and synchronize them with business strategy. Consequently, the Social Network Roadmap features prominently in my practice, and this trend will continue into 2011. Large commercial and government organizations have been experimenting, and marketing leaders no longer seriously think of social as a fad, so they will hire “directors of social media” in 2010, and early adopters will create spots for vice presidents of social media and social networking later in the year. These social execs will manage teams of internal and external bloggers, Twitter jockeys, video production people and community organizers. “Community organizer” will become a piping hot position, too.
  7. Social network platform review—2009 was sizzling hot as social network platforms vied for attention. This market couldn’t get more dynamic or competitive as key players broke boundaries, invaded each other’s turf all year, with no end in sight. Here is my back-of-the-envelope on some of the major platforms:
    • twitter-smTwitter—served as 2009’s dark horse and disrupted the Web 2.0 ecosystem, jangling market leaders Facebook and Google. Twitter created another category of social space that very few people understand yet, especially those who comment from the sidelines. Twitter’s competitiveness is largely driven by the social context it created—ubiquitous real-time status—and that remains its key competitive advantage. People are sharingevery aspect of their experiences, even very private things, on Twitter because each tweet is only a glimpse. Twitter is lowering privacy barriers and changing the game. Because people tweet from everywhere all the time, followers are becoming a substitute for Google’s search for some use cases. Meanwhile, Twitter will be seen as the tipping point for the end of walled garden model. I don’t expect Twitter to go through any ownership changes in 2010; they’ve already turned everyone down, their paper value is at parity with Facebook’s and their numbers are strong. Most people don’t know how to use Twitter yet. They are fielding enterprise services in 2010.
    • facebookFacebook—Facebook is the “portal of life” in which an increasing portion of executives and their stakeholders engage and share across all spectra. Until 2009, Facebook had a walled garden strategy: “Attract everyone to Facebook, where they would transact and we would learn more about them.” They wanted to take over the world by attracting the world to them. Facebook is one of the stickiest sites in the world, measured by length of time people spend on it. They reversed that strategy in December 2009 with the change in privacy, and they are opening the wall to push private content to the Web, where Google can access it and get Facebook more exposure (and advertising revenue). In typical form, Facebook didn’t give members much choice as some content was reclassified (i.e. friends are now public). Facebook is still struggling with converting its tremendous stickiness to revenue. It is much more likely to acquire others. Its recent deal with Yahoo was hailed as a coup de grace due to the opportunity to create synergy with the two huge audiences. Facebook is acting like a large company now.
    • GoogleGoogle—is the nervous system of the Web, and its overall strategy is to encourage people to forsake the machine for the cloud (hence the battle with Microsoft). Twitter has been a godsend for Google because it has turned the tide away from the walled gardens. Facebook was a thorn in Google’s side because its growth and high-value transactions were invisible. Google is not a social company per se, but I include them here because they are such an influence in the market, and they are experimenting with becoming more social. They are challenging Microsoft, they launched real-time search to neutralize Twitter’s erstwhile real-time advantage. Moreover, Facebook sees itself as competing with Google, with the differentiation that it measures socialtransactions among friends. Google is likely to acquire.
    • LinkedIn_logoLinkedIn—is the quintessential B2B enterprise play; it is relatively outside the mainstream news, but it is executing its strategy of becoming the executive collaboration platform of choice. It has seasoned hands at the tiller, and I expect LinkedIn to drive further into the enterprise in 2010. This also represents a change: in 2007 the company had a competitive stance vis à vis enterprise software providers, now it is partnering with them. If LinkedIn maintains this strategy, it will avoid major transactions; it can play a slow game and will end up rewarding shareholders handsomely. No transactions, but I expect select strategic alliances to continue. As I’ve said for some time, LinkedIn can become the swiss bank of executive profiles, and I was excited to see the unveiling of LinkedIn API Platform go live in November.
    • myspaceMySpace—constantly surprises me during client work, although it has clearly lost its title as the leading social network to Facebook. However, depending on the demographics of stakeholders, MySpace can be an extremely relevant platform for engaging people, as I’ve repeatedly discovered through client work. Leadership of the company is wandering, and management is delivering relatively little value add, but the community is large. It is the platform most likely to be bought as leadership doesn’t seem to have a strong vision or business strategy. News Corp failed the acquisition and doesn’t seem to have the vision or skills to make it work, so I expect it to unload MySpace, which could only benefit the company.
  8. Social tech will relentlessly drive rich experience into the cloud, but few people will notice. At a minimum, watch for three key trends and, even better, consider pilots with them.
    • Federated identity will gain significant traction. Examples are Facebook Connect and Google FriendConnect, which enable users to use their credentials to log in to third party websites (think “single sign-on” for the Web). This will encourage more mainstream users to interact with Web 2.0 sites, which require logins. More important, however, it will make friends portable. For example, log into via Facebook Connect (FC), and your Facebook Friends who are also members of will appear when you’re on the site, so you can read their comments or interact with them, and share this on your Facebook Wall. It enables you to interact with Facebook Friends on third-party sites of which you are all members (have logged in with FC). Google FriendConnect is a similar offer except it is not restricted to your “friends” because it doesn’t know who they are. Federated identity + social will rapidly become a mechanism for people to ask their friends for input on buying decisions. It will change how people buy.
    • Syndication will ramp strongly in 2010. For one example, LinkedIn’s Platform enables developers to syndicate LinkedIn data into enterprise applications. The Web 2.0 ecosystem will see significant advances in 2010 in which experience is the seamless result of content and functionality of multiple properties simultaneously. The rule is, don’t recreate, syndicate. Leverage the ecosystem.
    • Widgets have been around forever, but they are vastly neglected as engagement tools. A widget is a mini application whose code normal (i.e. non-tech ,^) people can put on their websites, blogs or social networking profiles. Google FriendConnect is a simple example. Companies thus gain a foothold in others’ websites; however, to win this right, their widgets must do something interesting and valuable, so the person wants to have that functionality on her site. Widgets are another way to create and leverage the ecosystem by letting stakeholders create with your information or functionality.
  9. Social business models and tactics will see more case studies in 2010, and here are four with which you should at least experiment in 2010:
    • Crowdsourcing—loosely means asking the crowd for input or advice on important questions, usually in a transparent venue, so the crowd itself can vet responses, driving up quality and cred. Most executives don’t understand the dynamics of transparent forums, so they overlook the potential, which has three key levers: 1) quality is high due to the crowd’s diversity and ability to evaluate responses; 2) crowdsourcing increases engagement because people feel honored that you are asking their opinion; 3) it is fast and inexpensive. You cannot afford to not crowdsource because you will be harmed by competitors who do. It is not complicated, but you need to develop expertise and approach to how to ask, manage venues and follow up to maximize value. One brilliant enterprise example is Facebook’s globalization strategy.
    • Comm-Co—is my term for “community company,” the Threadless’s model. The company serves as an enabler for its online community, which designs products and decides which products are made. I predict that Comm-Co will become widespread for consumer products in general. I’m talking ketchup, apparel, bicycles, tech gadgets, cars. By giving customers a role in designing products or services, you give them a chance to give of themselves, increasing engagement. Give your company to your customers, and your profits will climb. Specifically regarding Threadless, the company has an opportunity to syndicate its business model, as Amazon did. As you remember, Amazon pioneered numerous e-commerce technologies and business processes, and it subsequently used its model to serve as the back end for other companies (i.e. Toysrus, Borders, Target). Did you know that Zappos gives seminars on using culture as a competitive weapon?
    • Pro-Am—mashes up professionals and amateurs to collaborate. Amateurs supply passion, out-of-the-box ideas and time while professionals leverage their expertise. This creates a powerful profit-making cocktail that will become a dominant business model in the next 3-5 years. The Industrial Economy was about buyers and sellers, producers and consumers. The Knowledge Economy is about collaboration. Everyone is an amateur of several things and an expert is a couple things. Unlock the value by inviting amateurs to contribute. Quality is high and cost is low. The Pro-Am model will be prominent in continuous innovation.
    • Gaming and virtual worlds have negative connotations for many executives (“waste of time”), but when you abstract them, you realize they are just structured types of engagement, and many online games and worlds are intensely collaborative. Collaboration in social network forums and gaming are along the same continuum. Contrast World of Warcraft and Wired’s experiment with starting over.
  10. Consumer empowerment will see prominent case studies in 2010. Empowerment refers to individuals using Web 2.0 technologies for citizen activism, outing companies or governments or people. Now everyone has a digital communications megaphone, and people will increasingly use it. Expect to see examples like Saint RegisUnitedMcDonald’s and others. This will call for Web 2.0 disaster recovery services. This threat will increase exponentially as mobile phones have video cameras, so your company is one click away from YouTube.
  11. Mobility and mobile social networkinghave been simmering the the U.S. for years, and 2010 will see significant growth. The U.S. lags Asia and Europe for several reasons: computer penetration is high, wireless network is poor, provider environment stifles innovation. In most of the world, people access the Internet with their mobiles, and this will start coming true everywhere.
    • The iPhone has mainstreamed the market for smartphones in the U.S. due to ease of use, smart design and focus on “iLife” (music, movies and business). Meanwhile, iPhone applications have extended the “phone” to almost any area of human endeavor, so it has become a limitless tool. The U.S. carriers are, if belatedly, finally at 3G. Other significant device competitors like Android and Blackberry will only extend the trend.
    • Mobile devices are mobile computers, and they give people the ability to create text, photo, audio and video content and publish in 1 or 2 clicks. Every person is increasingly a publisher, which will disrupt many businesses. Companies need to develop a mobile strategy in 2010 with some urgency in order to take advantage of this opportunity to engage people wherever they are in time and space. This will take time because they will have to rediscover how stakeholders experience their company. Increasingly, stakeholders will share all aspects of their experiences, and companies need to engage them.
    • Mobile payments via mobile phone will continue to make inroads, increasing the importance of “the device.” These are taking two forms: P2P services like Nokia Money and POPMoney and Mastercard’s MoneySend. Nokia is also a leader in mobile contactless payments (via RFID and NFC technology). This will proceed slowly in the U.S., but it is advanced in parts of Asia and Europe.
  12. youtube-smVideo will be increasingly mainstream, which will require companies to have strategies and processes to be present. As you’ve undoubtedly heard, YouTube is the second largest search engine in the U.S., behind Google. It means that, for many people (they skew younger), the first request for information is for video, which will eventually displace reading as the main medium for information gathering. Video requires production capability and some coordination of camera and verbal channels, so this is not trivial. The tools are getting easier to use every quarter, which will increase participation. Google is working hard on technology that “reads” video and makes video content searchable. Of course, their endgame there is attaching ads to the YouTube video vault. This is certainly an audacious undertaking, but I’ll wager that they have put significant resources against it.

Recommendations for the enterprise in 2010

2010_Predict_actI hope you can see that the Knowledge Economy represents a profound shift in society and business. The good news is, the way you make your transition to it will largely determine whether you survive or thrive. As I review this list, the macrotrends I see are economic uncertainty and increased collaboration tools, skills and expectations. Your company’s place in the value chain/web and your relationships with stakeholders will determine how immediately these trends affect you. In general, customers are consulting each other on what, how and when to buy everything, so companies need to be engaged with influencers. It is no longer about having ads and “content” available, it’s about interacting and creating relationships. Your company needs to know how to show the right people how you care about them. You can’t buy this, you have to earn it.

Based on my experience with disruptive technologies and current work advising companies and executives on their Web 2.0 adoption strategies, I’ll offer this guidance for 2010. I invite your questions in comments or privately.


  • Identify, define, understand and engage your Web 2.0 ecosystem. Web 2.0 communication and empowerment are rapidly changing stakeholders’ expectations, and most companies do not understand how. You need concrete answers for:
    • What are stakeholders (customers, investors, regulators, employees, partners, alumni…) doing in Web 2.0 venues?
    • Why are they there, what are they trying to accomplish?
    • Which venues do they use, how do they use each venue and why?
    • How are they engaging with each other, competitors and other players?
    • Based on your culture, core competencies and business goals, how can you engage efficiently and effectively?
  • Develop resident skills with Web 2.0 technologies, processes and sensibilities. This is a strategic imperative because stakeholders will increasingly expect you to be available. Your presence will have a major impact on buying decisions. For many companies, 2010 will be the last year that they can move ahead of their competitors. Keep in mind, Web 2.0 is all about social behavior; it’s not a technology you can buy and put in place; your people and proxies have to learn how to act, and that’s a process you need to pursue aggressively.
    • Blogging is about what you think, not about selling. Leave the latter for your Website. No matter what your business is, you have to share your thoughts online. This also means engaging bloggers with impact on your stakeholders by commenting on their blogs.
    • Contribute to online forums frequented by stakeholders. This might be LinkedIn Answers, industry forums prominent blogs, MySpace or Yahoo forums, wherever stakeholders are asking questions and solving problems.
    • Deploy social business infrastructure internally to drive skill development and increase productivity; kick off pilots in which teams use wikis, blogs, microblogging, social bookmarking and rich media.
  • Assign a top executive to manage your adoption of Web 2.0 because changing stakeholder expectations will change your business. Do you want to let this happen toyou reactively, or do you want to proactively help guide stakeholders’ expectations?
    • Develop a social business strategy that includes: your overall approach considering risks, rewards and business strategy; goals, timelines and resource requirements; metrics and measurements; a risk-managed process to scale your initiatives. Your availability to interact with stakeholders will increasingly drive your brand value because they will expect you to be present, appropriate and sincere. Your company, employees and proxies need to learn how to do that. It’s not easy because people have to unlearn some key things that used to work but no longer do.
    • The strategy will enable you to create a strategic dialog among management; in 2010 and 2011, executives are going to be doing remediation because social projects are happening all over the enterprise, in some cases counteracting each other. I’m not advocating centralization and controlling message, but having goals and meeting them collaboratively will significantly increase returns.
    • Create a strategic dialog within the organization and with partners and people outside. You need an adoption approach that considers the spectrum of risks and focuses your efforts on rewards that move your business strategy.
    • Your champion should have experience leading “innovation”-type initiatives that break rules and ruffle feathers. S/He should also be open to personally embracing social practices (i.e. blogging, tweeting, interacting online).
  • Create and maintain a relationship-centric mindset for your Web 2.0 initiatives. See the Social Network Life Cycle Model and the Relationship Life Cycle for more on this.
  • Use risk management best practices to maintain momentum. Keep pilots small, specific and rapid to shrink ROI discussions, measure results and scale what’s working. Quickly.
  • Partner with IT on your initiatives, and engage “realistic enthusiasts” to understand IT’s capabilities and willingness to syndicate social content in from outside (LinkedIn Profile information, for one).


  • Start blogging. Here is my free Quick Launch Guide to get on in about an hour.
  • Take your LinkedIn Profile up a level. People go to LinkedIn when they are looking for expertise. Remember, Web 2.0 is about interaction, notcontent. You can pay for content, but your attention is priceless. On LinkedIn, this means:
    • Participating in LinkedIn Answers: answer others’ questions and ask questions; this attracts attention
    • Putting your slides on your profile via Slideshare
    • Invoking your blog posts on your profile with the WordPress or BlogLink Apps
  • Commit to tweeting. Twitter is a new mode of communication that you need to understand because it is transforming communication and creating new kinds of relationships. See Twitter: Key Disruptive Innovation of the Decade.
  • Cut back on unproductive networking. Don’t fall into networking as an activity trap. If you drive an hour to/from an event and spend 3 hours there, that’s half a day. You could have written 6 blog posts and answered 4 LinkedIn questions. When you have a content strategy for your blog, it creates digital breadcrumbs that are always working for you. If you choose the LinkedIn questions you answer judiciously, people will discover them at any time. At face-to-face networking events, the value dissipates much more quickly. I’m not saying to reduce face-to-face significantly, but cutting back on two events per month will give you more than enough time to ramp up online, where the leverage is far greater.
  • Relentlessly conduct yourself so that you increase trust with people who count. Make introductions, answer questions, give help, ask for help, follow through on what you promise. In Web 2.0 environments, other people are observing our interactions. We can choose to be creeped out by that, or use it to our advantage. When you are authentic and help people, other people see. Huge leverage.
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5 ways to increase the reach of your blog or RSS feed Fri, 18 Dec 2009 16:25:32 +0000 Continue reading ]]> survival-guide-toDeltina HayYou may be losing out on opportunities to improve the reach of your RSS feed or blog.

These optimization tips can help:

• Burn your feed to Take advantage of the optimization and analytics features they offer.

• Offer alternate ways for readers to subscribe to your feed. Use FeedBurner tools like email subscriptions and subscription buttons like the ones on to offer more choices for your readers.

• Add your feed to as many feed directories as you can. Don’t assume that just because a service is being pinged (notified) about your posts, that your feed is listed in their directory. Start by claiming your blog at Then use the toprankblog blog directory list to find more.

rss_logo• Import your feed into your social networking sites. Facebook allows you to import RSS feeds into your profile and offers applications for you to import feeds into Facebook pages. LinkedIn offers an application to include your feed in your profile. And you can use a tool like to import your feed into your Twitter account.

• Create a lifestream or social page. Start an account with a lifestreaming service like FriendFeed or create a page on a social site like Squidoo. Import your feed into your new accounts along with relevant information from your other social Web accounts.

Though these tips will help improve the reach of your RSS feed or blog, the best way to get more subscribers is to regularly generate as much quality and on-topic content as you can.

Previously in this series

7 questions for the author of ‘Say Everything’ Thu, 06 Aug 2009 16:28:41 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Scott Rosenberg sketches his vision of blogosphere’s impact on our culture

sayeverythingJD LasicaScott Rosenberg, co-founder and longtime managing editor of Salon — and a longtime friend — has a new book out, following Dreaming in Code, called Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters (Crown Publishing Group). It’s a well-written, well-researched, worthwhile read about blogging, its origins, import and where it’s going. He took part this week in a Q&A about blogging’s impact on publishing, journalism and our culture at large.

1Blogging is no longer the shiny new toy, and the cool kids are moving on to social networks and micro-blogging services like Twitter. Tell us why you think blogs have a vibrant future.

SR: Blogs have a great future because the Web has a great future, and blogs are the Web’s single most important native form. The “cool kids” did their part for blogging by embracing it in the early days and helping it evolve into the mature phenomenon that it is today. That’s their role; they’re doing the same thing with Twitter et al. now. But their waning enthusiasm means very little to a form that we can now see is the single most useful vehicle for self-expression online. Once millions take up some activity, you really don’t need the cool kids anymore.

2You’ve been researching and writing your book for some time. What was the single biggest surprise you came across?

SR: I was surprised by how much of everything that would come later was prefigured by the experiences of the earliest bloggers whose tales are contained in Say Everything‘s first section. Any sort of issue that might come up and hit you in the head as a blogger — with the exception of advertising- and money-related matters — turns out to be something these people faced.

3Name a few bloggers who aren’t household names but whose blogs
enrich the public discourse.

SR: I’m not trying to be difficult, but I have to ask, which bloggers are household names? Whose house, exactly, are we living in? Is Anil Dash a household name? He’s been writing some amazing stuff lately. Is Merlin Mann a household name? Nate Silver? Certainly these are all “well known bloggers,” in certain spheres, but none of them really rises to the level of name-recognition of any second-string actor.

I think I have to continue being difficult and challenge the second part of the question, too. “Enriching the public discourse” makes it sound like “the public discourse” is monolithic. There are a million “public discourses” out there, and most bloggers of any level of ambition are contributing to at least one of them. I may not be personally interested in the obsessions of a quilting blogger or a baseball geek, but they are now participating in the public discourse that matters to them.

[JD: This is worth discussing more deeply over a beer some time. While I value all the knitting bloggers, sports bloggers and mommy bloggers out there, we do need vibrant discussions in the blogosphere around public policy issues, especially with the increasing irrelevance of many newspapers and other traditional media voices. We find some of this with Josh Marshall’s Talking Points Memo, Pro Publica, the Politico, Huffington Post, Daily Kos, Power Line and elsewhere, but we need many more blogs, and bloggers, participating in the public discourse about their communities and their nation.]

4My perception is that few of us are blogging about conferences or live events anymore — it’s easier to Tweet. But that makes it harder for readers to get a contextual understanding of what they missed when it comes over in micro-chunks. What’s your impression?

rosenberg_mediumSR: Twitter’s a more efficient channel for “live blogging” an event, in a lot of ways, than a tool like WordPress or Movable Type, so it’s no surprise we’re using it for that. Blog posts are better for providing the context. It would be a shame for the person tweeting a live event to think, gee, my job is done once the Twitter stream ends, and never offer that context. But maybe now we’re more likely to divide this sort of coverage, letting the live-streamers and reflective posters each do what they do best. The only thing that worries me here is that we don’t yet really know how well a Tweet will serve as a reference point in the future (as I wrote a little while back). Blog posts have known persistence and long-term discoverability. It would be a shame to lose the historical record we are creating with Twitter.

5How did you use your blog during your research? Was it a key tool
in uncovering sources or anecdotes?

SR: Not really. When I’m writing a book I find it really hard to blog at any kind of a regular pace. And the nature of this material was such that the challenge lay less in “uncovering” additional material than in figuring out how to define the story — really, deciding what to leave out. And of course I ended up leaving out tons of important and fascinating stuff. But the most important tool was talking to people. I conducted more than 100 interviews for Say Everything; with more time I could easily have done 100 more.

6How do you think blogging is impacting journalism, both from the
outside and inside newsrooms, ow that many news organizations have journalists who blog?

SR: I wish I could say that the now-ancient “Journalists vs. Bloggers” conflict was behind us. But sadly its patterns persist. Old-line media organizations have now widely embraced the format of blogging for their web efforts. But much of newsroom culture remains defiantly opposed (or stubbornly resistant) to some of the basic practices of the blogging world. Aggregation and linking are as natural to bloggers as breathing; but, as the AP’s recent initiatives and the flurry of debate around the Washington Post/Gawker stories this past week both demonstrate, some significant portion of the traditional press has still not come to terms with how the Web works.

As the business model for much of the traditional media continues to decay, it will be important to try to limit the damage the fading incumbents can wreak on the free flow of information and links that blogging thrives on.

7How do you see multimedia and video taking blogs in new
directions in the next few years? And a decade from now, do you think text blogging will look pretty similar to what it looks like today? What’s the long-term impact of the blogging revolution on publishing and on our culture?

SR: Really, my answer to that giant question takes up the final hundred pages or so of Say Everything. I do think text blogging as a form is now mature and likely to change less than people think. The
rapid evolution is still taking place in filtering mechanisms and sharing tools — how we organize and select, how we fish items out of the river.


Thanks, Scott, for taking time out and exploring these issues. Readers can find Say Everything at:
Independent bookstore through IndieBound
and brick-and-mortar bookstores everywhere.

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Our new look Sat, 21 Feb 2009 14:00:16 +0000 Continue reading ]]> socialmedia-logo-trimmedJD LasicaWelcome to the new blog!

I’m happy to announce that is now a group blog, with a wealth of talented contributors, as well as a network of business strategy consultants who understand the social media needs of large and midsize companies.

socialmedia-formerlogoI started blogging in May 2001 when Dave Winer, the father of blogging, gave me a free UserLand Manila blog. Since then, I hopped to MovableType and TypePad, changing the name from New Media Musings to in 2005 because of the fast-paced changes in the mediasphere. (Thanks for the 1 million page views, Ben, Mena and SixApart.)

Today we’re throwing the switch on this new WordPress blog, and I believe this will be the last blogging platform I move to, barring some unexpected surprise. WordPress has become an astonishingly rich open source platform, with new advances, tools and widgets coming at a rapid clip from a global cadre of volunteers. (And, if you’re wondering, we’re using and hosting it ourselves at BlitzLocal.)

The big changes

You’ll immediately notice some major changes:

  • We now draw on a group of social media experts with deep knowledge of social networking, search, marketing, best-of-breed tools and the other stuff that makes social media such a popular phenomenon. Joanna, Ayelet, Chris, Christopher, Deltina and David have been blogging for years, and they’ll continue to bring their distinctive styles to the new
  • We’re going to be doing a lot of experiments here, using video, widgets and WordPress plug-ins to give readers a richer experience.
  • We still think of social media in broad terms — informed by developments in technology, video, journalism and more. At the same time, we will focus more heavily on the use of social media by businesses and organizations as well as individuals.

You’ll also notice some things that are askew. We’re a small team and so decided to iterate and improve the site as we move forward. That means that some spam comments and ill-formed formatting were carried over when 10,400 posts were imported from TypePad.

You’ll also notice some wet paint in other places. For instance, the videos on the front page, fed by RSS feeds from Vimeo and, aren’t working entirely properly, and the buttons on the video player are still a work in progress. If you see anything that’s bothersome, let us know and we’ll hop on it.

Hat tips

A few tips of the hat are in order, so please give it up for:

BlitzLocal, a startup in Boulder, Colo., that is hosting the site and was responsible for much of its development, with particular kudos to Chad King, Dennis Yu and Austin Stierler. I’ll be continuing to work with their dev team as we improve the site.

Chad Capellman (chadrem on Twitter), who served as CSS impresario and trouble-shooter during the launch.

I subscribed to Elegantthemes for the templates, or scaffolding, we used to build out the site, at Steve Garfield‘s suggestion.

A special thanks to Uta Ritke for creating the logotype at the top of each page. And to my readers for selecting the winning logo.

Thanks to IntenseDebate, now part of WordPress, for the commenting system I’ll be installing.

And thanks, finally, to the WordPress team for creating the most collaborative, public-spirited community of blogging enthusiasts on the planet.

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Bloggersbase: Where readers have influence Fri, 20 Feb 2009 03:10:39 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Ayelet NoffWith so much information on the internet today and the content continuously growing, it can be very difficult to discover an online media site where your voice can be heard.  Uncovering a place where you can make a difference and have an influence is even more difficult. A new Israeli start-up, hopes to fill that void.  This unique blogging platform is an online citizen journalism magazine that is powered by its readers. Here, readers and bloggers alike can discover top quality content while simultaneously influencing the magazine. is a competition-based content discovery platform where bloggers submit content on a variety of topics, and based on readers’ ratings, the highest quality content is discovered and featured on the site. The magazine consists of multi-authored blogs, each on a different subject.  There are four main topics categories: Entertainment, Technology, Lifestyle and World Affairs, containing together ten different blogs. Based on reader ratings and responses, the highest quality content is discovered and featured on the site.  The rating system is not the standard vote “up or down/yes or no” as seen on other social networks such as Digg or Mixx, but rather is on a scale of 1-10 and is based on a variety of criteria from professionalism and relevance to writing style and creativity.

The more accurately you rate, the higher your influence becomes in deciding which content makes it to the main blog.  This reader influence is one of the things that make BloggersBase such a unique platform.

The rating system applies to more than just the actual posts, but to the users as well.  When you first register for BloggersBase, you are given a title as a reader and as a blogger.  As a blogger, you begin as a Newbie and work your way up the scale to Scribe, Penman, Composer, Essayist, Columnist, Author, Wordsmith and eventually Scholar. Your rank is determined by the number of posts you have submitted, their scores, and the responses generated from these posts.  As a reader, you start off as a Subscriber.  In the beginning you aim to match the crowd’s opinion and as your ratings become more accurate, you gain influence and begin to move up the reader scale to Appraiser, Commentator, Reviewer, Critic, Analyst, Trend-Setter, Sage and Oracle.

2Another distinctive quality about is the ongoing competition across all categories.  This competition enables bloggers to take advantage of reaching their target audience while also earning the chance to receive money and maximum exposure for their blog. To be eligible for the competition, bloggers submit posts a.k.a. “Nuggets” into the “Goldmine”.  At the end of each competition time slot, the top bloggers in each topic earn the opportunity to co-author the main blog for their category, resulting in added exposure and respect.  In addition, the top two bloggers in each topic receive special monetary prizes and have the privilege to co-author the main blog for the following week and continue competing.

Although BloggersBase is a new platform, it seems to have great potential for becoming a reliable source for quality content which it’s bringing to the web in an exciting and different way, giving power and influence to its readers as well as exposure and prizes to its bloggers.  To read some of the highest rated and most viewed posts on BloggersBase visit the links below:

Woman, Are you still touching yourself for Cancer?

Why You Should Turn to Social Media During this Economic Crisis

The Four Stages of Twitter

Inauguration: Left behind, but still Thrilled

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Streamlining your social Web presence in 6 steps Thu, 29 Jan 2009 01:43:51 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Deltina HayFollowing the advice of social media and Web 2.0 experts, you have established your own blog and joined a number of social sites, including Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, LibraryThing, and, among others. Now, the experts say you must add content to each of these accounts regularly to keep them dynamic. So, how’s this supposed to make your life easier?

Relax. With some careful planning, you can streamline the process of keeping all of your Social Web accounts fresh and engaging without breaking your back or the bank. The trick is to make your social accounts work together. Most social sites use the concept of open source to make it easy for developers to write applications that enhance the features of the site. For our purposes, we will look at applications that can help us streamline our existing presence in the Social Web.

To demonstrate what I mean about streamlining the process, I’ll start with an example. Imagine that you have the following social media tools and accounts already in place on the Social Web:

  • A WordPress Blog
  • A Facebook Profile
  • A Facebook Page
  • A MySpace Page
  • A YouTube Account
  • A Flickr Account
  • A Twitter Account
  • An Account
  • A GoodReads Account

Your 6 Step Plan to a Streamlined Social Web Presence

Step 1. Optimize Your Blog Feed

The very first step in streamlining your presence in the Social Web is burning your blog’s feed to Feedburner ( This is a free service, and obtaining a FeedBurner account will help you to easily manage and track your feed subscriptions. Once you have burned your feed to FeedBurner, note the URL of your new feed, which will look something like this:

Step 2. Feed Your Blog

Now, you want to make sure that you are getting the most mileage from your blog posts. To do so, feed your blog entries into all of your social accounts that offer blog feeding applications. Remember that each social site may provide its own different way of accomplishing this.

Facebook, for example, allows you to feed your blogs into the Notes section of your Facebook page. Click Edit in the Notes box of your Facebook page and find the option that allows you to import notes from an external blog.

Feeding blog entries into MySpace is a little different. Find and add the application RSS Reader. You can access many MySpace applications by clicking More/Apps Gallery from the main menu of your MySpace homepage.

It is possible to feed your blog posts into Twitter, but blog posts are typically too long for this purpose. If you read on, I will clue you in to a better solution for streamlining your micro-blog entries.

Step 3. Maximize the Use of Your Multimedia

Maximize the exposure of your images and video clips by adding galleries and badges to your blog or Website, and by feeding your images and videos into your social networking profiles and pages.

WordPress has many plugins available for integrating Flickr images. My favorite right now is Flickr Tag (, a plugin that allows you to easily place your Flickr images right into your blog posts and create galleries.

A Flickr badge is a snippet of Flash or HTML code that you can place on the sidebar of your Website or blog that will pull in and highlight random or specific photos from your Flickr account. Find out more by going to:

Similarly, you can embed video galleries into your blog or Website by using your YouTube channels. After you’ve added videos to your YouTube channel, you can generate code for a video gallery and place this code on your Website or blog.

To feed images from Flickr into your Facebook page and MySpace profile, find the appropriate application and add it. For Facebook, I use an application called My Flickr (; for MySpace, use Happy Flickr.

You can place videos on your Facebook page by implementing an application called YouTube Box (, and using the application YouTube Favorites, you can display video clips on your MySpace profile.

Step 4. Integrate Other Social Tools

The way in which you proceed in step 4 depends entirely upon which social tools and Websites make up your Social Web presence. In the example I have created, we have accounts with (a social event calendar) and GoodReads (a niche book sharing and author site) that have not yet been integrated. By searching the applications in Facebook and MySpace, you’ll find that Facebook offers an application that allows you to integrate your events, and both Facebook and MySpace include applications that allow you to display your GoodReads books and book reviews.

Step 5. Take Advantage of Streamlining Tools

Using the social tool,, you can add short posts to your mini feeds on Facebook, MySpace, and your micro-blogging sites like Twitter and Jaiku. ( is useful tool that lets you post one brief entry, or often a status update, and feed it into a number of social sites.

Step 6. Research and Repeat

The very nature of the Social Web is connecting people through social platforms and applications; therefore, when deciding whether or not to invest time and resources into a new social tool, it’s best to research the ways that tool will accommodate your existing Social Web presence. Can you feed in your blog posts? Does it allow you to import images from a photo sharing site or video clips from from your video sharing community? Have sites like integrated the new tool yet, or do your existing social sites offer applications to integrate the new tool?

When you do decide to integrate a new social tool or Website, do so as best you can by repeating the applicable steps presented above.

’49 amazing social media, Web 2.0 and Internet stats’ Tue, 13 Jan 2009 07:53:16 +0000 Continue reading ]]> Adam Singer at The Future Buzz: 49 Amazing Social Media, Web 2.0 And Internet Stats. Excerpt:

1 trillion: approximate number of unique URLs in Google’s index.


2,695,205 – the number of articles in English on Wikipedia

684,000,000 – the number of visitors to Wikipedia in the last year

75,000 – the number of active contributors to Wikipedia


70,000,000 – number of total videos on YouTube  (March 2008)

200,000 – number of video publishers on YouTube (March 2008)

100,000,000 – number of YouTube videos viewed per day


133,000,000 – number of blogs indexed by Technorati since 2002

346,000,000 – number of people globally who read blogs (comScore March 2008)

900,000 – average number of blog posts in a 24 hour period

77% – percentage of active Internet users who read blogs


1,111,991,000 – number of Tweets to date (see an up to the minute count here)

3,000,000 – number of Tweets/day


150,000,000 – number of active users

170 – number of countries/territories that use Facebook

2,600,000,000 – number of minutes global users in aggregate spend on Facebook daily

100 – number of friends the average user has

700,000,000 – number of photos added to Facebook monthly

52,000 – number of applications currently available on Facebook

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