Aristotle on Twitter, Mom Knows Best, and Other Lessons from SXSWi 2009

March 23, 2009
Is Aristotle on Twitter

If Aristotle were on Twitter, he'd be a big retweeter.

Getting attention in a cluttered content universe was just one hot topic at South by Southwest Interactive this year, and the question, “Do you give good URL?” aimed to address the point in a delightful panel of  University of Texas at Austin academics.

Maybe my background as an American Studies graduate from UT predisposed me to this panel, but I found it was one of my favorites in the five-day new media conference of more than 6,000 attendees.

The discussion, “Is Aristotle on Twitter?” revisited the great philosopher and addressed the struggle many of us face online–deciphering style from substance. Giving good URL–that is, supplying readers with useful, relevant content via helpful links–indicates BOTH, say the academics.

Generous, appropriate Link Love not only shows your style, but reflects your judgement.  You wouldn’t knowingly pass along something you didn’t find valuable–would you?

While last year Twitter was oft discussed in the context of the horrendous Sarah Lacy/Mark Zuckerberg interview, in 2009 Twitter tips were ubiquitous, as attendees filled conference halls, laptops opened, Tweetdeck loaded.    Example: Retweeting may be the sincerest form of flattery and is strongly encouraged, say the academics.   “Retweeting creates judgement, while tweeting creates familiarity.” 

Other great takeaways:

1. Every cell phone is a media outlet.
2. Retweeting makes readers see through you; tweeting makes readers see you. Both are important.
3. Social media will provide the data helping determine the five things you SHOULD be doing rather than the 50 things you COULD be doing.
4. “Being better is its own word-of-mouth,” Kathy Sierra.
5. Distinguish the urgent from the important, as in don’t respond to “urgent” emails at the expense of those that are important.
6.  The humble “telephone is one of the best branding tools out there, despite being low-tech,” Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappo’s.
7.  The organization chart of the future will have customers at the top, CEOs at the bottom.
8.  When it comes to social media, it’s just as important to be interested as it is to be interesting.
9.  When hiring, chemistry is MORE IMPORTANT than skills.
10.  When you find yourself in the echo chamber, call your mom for a reality check on ideas. Mom frequently DOES know best.

As a mom, I concur.


Wire Services Don’t “Go To Technorati,” Nor Should They

April 11, 2008

Curious clients have posed the following question of late :  “Do you go to Technorati?”                                                                              

Well, not exactly.   “Going” to Technorati is a misnomer, since what Technorati does is index blog content, not press releases.

Take the blog post you are now reading.  When I hit the “publish” button, the clever WordPress interface I’m using sends a message–or “ping”–to Technorati and other blog search engines.   When blog search engines receive the ping, they deploy a “spider,” or automated search program to come see what’s new.  

Magic pixie dust?

That content is then indexed against all the other content competing for your attention.  The order in which the blog search engine results are served up is based on hundreds of variables–things like in- and out-bound links, how many clicks those links are getting, what authority the blog has, how long it’s been around, how frequently it’s updated, and a slew of ever-changing factors.

So:  does Business Wire and EON Enhanced Online News “go” to Technorati?  You mean do press releases sent on Business Wire and EON: Enhanced Online News–or any wire service for that matter–show up in the Technorati blog search engine results?

Only if bloggers reference the content in the context of a blog post.  

The goal of the professional communicator should be to engage the blogosphere to write (preferably positively) about your company or organization.  Press releases, well-done, are a powerful tool for accomplishing just that.

Sorry, there’s no Magic Pixie Dust.  Wish there were.    We’re back to good content, well written, appropriately distributed.   That’s why you get paid the big bucks.

P.S.   Communicators who want to guarantee that their press releases are indexed by Technorati and other blog search engines should start their own blogs, follow best SEO practices, and figure out relevant ways to work their press release content into them.


New Multi-Platform Business Wire Widgets on Netvibes Ginger

March 5, 2008

  

We’re happy to announce our new multi-platform widgets we’ve developed with Netvibes 

Netvibes offers personalized homepages to users where they can easily aggregate all of their RSS feeds, widgets, and other content in one place. To many Business Wire users Netvibes is a familiar name: in 2007 we’ve launched our Business Wire Netvibes Universe offering our various feeds and widgets; have been featured in the Netvibes directory and ecosystem; and offer Netvibes subscription options on our RSS page 

Netvibes just launched its new platform, Ginger, that adds a social networking layer to Netvibes pages. So from now on, Netvibes users can share their entire Netvibes page itself (aka Universe) with their contacts. This means that their friends can see what kinds of feeds they are following, what interesting widgets they use, what networks they’re on, and more — allowing users to discover new content and websites through their friends. Users can also proactively share modules and widgets with others. While of course not every user wants all their contacts to see what they read and watch online, this is a great offering for many who wish to share and discover new interesting content sources.  

In conjunction with the new Ginger launch, we partnered with Netvibes again to create a series of four new Business Wire widgets. Each of the new widgets offers up to 15 unique content categories from Business Wire, including multimedia news and various types of feeds by industry, subject, and language. Another great feature of the new widgets is that they are compatible across platforms like Windows Vista and Live, Apple Dashboard, Opera, and iGoogle. We’re very excited about the new widgets as this makes it easier for more users to access Business Wire content in the format and platform of their choosing. As an official launch partner, our premium widgets are also featured in the new Ginger directory, as can be seen in the image below:  

Business Wire Widgets on Netvibes Ginger 

  

Please feel free to give both Ginger and our new widgets a test drive and let us know what you think. Simply follow this link or the bookmarklet below and click to add one of our widgets to your page. To keep the widget there whenever you return, you’ll need to login or sign up for a Netvibes account. 

Click to add Business Wire Widget on your Netvibes Ginger page


New Surveys and Rankings Show Business Wire’s Strong Presence in Both Traditional and New Media

November 15, 2007

Arketi Survey 

As the blogsphere establishes itself as a meaningful and reliable source of information -- with some tech, media, and political blogs wielding as much influence as, if not more than, some traditional media outlets in certain areas -- we at Business Wire are happy to see that we are still able to continually serve both worlds well.  

A recent journalist survey by the Arketi Group found that news releases are used by 90% of business journalists as sources for story ideas, sharing the top spot with industry sources. 54% of journalists mentioned they currently use blogs for story ideas, while 84% said they may report on stories that originated from blogs.  

A larger survey with a slightly different focus, conducted by PR industry news site Bulldog Reporter and online newsroom provider TEKGroup (fair disclosure: all the above mentioned companies have ties with Business Wire), shows that 69% of journalists follow at least one blog regularly, 44% visit social media sites at least monthly, 37% are subscribed to at least one RSS feed, and 20% actively seek multimedia content from companies at least once a month. (this survey also shows some different data on commercial wire services. Michael Tangeman of Media Mindshare makes a few interesting observations on methodology and findings).

Finally, the recently published Techmeme Leaderboard, which ranks websites based on how frequently their stories appear on Techmeme’s increasingly popular technology news application, places Business Wire as its 24th highest source for news (as of the writing of this post), with similar ranking to traditional news organizations as the Wall Street Journal and the BBC, and blogs such as Search Engine Land and PaidContent.org.  

Techmeme Leaderboard snapshot

In recent years Business Wire has put substantial effort into enhancing our multimedia capabilities for video, audio, and photo distribution; enabling our EON: Enhanced Online News search-optimized platform; introducing social media sharing features; reaching new-media sites and platforms; and creating robust RSS offerings. These initiatives are intended to help our clients reach end-consumers directly, interact with the blogsphere, and reach the young and young-at-heart generations of journalists who use new technologies and new media as tools and resources for their work.  We are thrilled to see that these efforts are paying off with both new and traditional media, as indicated by the Arketi and Bulldog Reporter/TEKGroup surveys and Techmeme’s Leaderboard. 

Malcolm Atherton, our eloquent and new-media-savvy account executive, who is one of the strong proponents of our digital media offerings, provides some great info in an interview with podcast site Rocky Mountain Voices during the recent Blogging for Business conference in Salt Lake City. Malcolm sums it all up fantastically. Check it out:

[podtech content=http://media1.podtech.net/media/2007/11/PID_012978/Podtech_BusinessWire_SocialMedia.flv&postURL=http://www.podtech.net/home/4524/new-media-helped-by-traditional-news-distributors&totalTime=420000&breadcrumb=38b0ffcfc3294db2bec05fb60c682b0d]

Posted by Ken Zamkow, Director of Product Development, Business Wire


Google Comments Offers New Opportunities for Communicators

October 30, 2007

 Google News 

One of the goals of our Business Wired blog is to provide readers with better tools for communicating their messages in the ever-changing media landscape. Today we are happy to highlight a service we’ve been following with much interest that we and our friends in Google News thought would be of value to Business Wire clients.  

Earlier this year Google News launched a comments feature that allows individuals or organizations that are mentioned in news articles to add their own comments. Comments are then served up alongside those articles on Google News.  

Josh Cohen, Google News’ Product Manager explains: “Google News has always tried to present as many sources as possible to give our users a wide spectrum of views on the news.  Comments is an experimental feature that we believe will continue this goal by letting readers see exactly what people in a story think about current news.  We think this will help us increase the number of diverse and meaningful points of view on the news.”  

So how is this different from any comment section or discussion board? Well, on Google News only persons or organizations who are specifically mentioned in the story can comment. Google News then contacts the person submitting the comment or others in their organization to verify their identity. As a result, each story is expected to have only a handful of highly relevant comments that give readers a more in-depth look at topics in the news. Cohen adds: “their insight will both help readers understand the news, and cover views that may not be well-published or well-understood within the current coverage”. 

For PR professionals and marketers, this is an excellent opportunity to provide greater detail or clarifications when their press releases receive media pick-up. Also, it creates a new channel to follow-up on a press release with updates, success stories, or links to other relevant stories. Finally, it is another form of reaching out to your audience and participating in the conversation. While these comments differ from commenting on blogs or engaging in social networks, they can be a valuable part of the new communications mix.  

So how can you comment on a story that is relevant to your company or client?  According to the instructions on Google News you should send an email to news-comments@google.com containing the following information:

  1. Your comment (hyperlinks allowed, but no attachments)
  2. A link to the story you are commenting on
  3. Your contact details: name, title, and organization
  4. A way to verify your email address

Verification is one of the central components of Google’s comments feature. Therefore it is highly recommended to provide as much information that Google News staff can use (for example adding contact details of persons who can verify your credentials, or, if you are submitting a comment on behalf of a client, demonstrating that you are indeed authorized to speak for them). Keep in mind that Google News will not edit comments once the sender is verified, so they will be posted exactly as you emailed them. 

So the next time your press release or related articles are shown on Google News and you feel you have more valuable input to share, this can be a great new outlet. Please look at the Google Comments instructions page for more details. 

As usual, we’re happy to hear what you think. If you’ve already used Google Comments or would like to share your own thoughts about it, feel free to comment below.


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