Like most of you, I’ve been following the Google+ talk through the thousands of blog posts that have popped up in the past several days. There is no shortage of Feature to feature comparisons with Facebook, nor is there a lack of opinion and analysis of what Google+ means for the future of Facebook. I did, however, come across a post that considers Google’s latest offering for what it means to the Google as a whole.
Alex Salkever’s column in StreetFight is written from the perspective of hyper-local, but his observations and analysis apply across the spectrum of local to global. Simply put, Salkever posits the notion that, with Google+, Google has added the third and final leg it needs to become a “one-stop-shop for multiple facets of local advertising, all sold through its automated self-service sales machine.” What’s more, the machine will be self-feeding. The other two legs are Google Offers and, of course Adwords.
Individually, each has varying degrees of market penetration, but taken in total the three have a very good chance of creating the Web-dominating force Google has long sought.
There are far too many variables in play to determine when, if ever, the consolidation Salkever envisions will come to pass. But based on the early reviews of Google+, I wouldn’t blame Mark Zuckerberg for feeling a bit nervous at the moment.
A friend of a friend asked me if I knew anything about a particular social media organization. Now, considering one cannot swing a dead marketer without hitting an association, or society, or foundation, or professional organization that brings social media practitioners together I didn’t consider it unusual that I would not have heard of the one in question.
So, with name in hand I set off for the Google to do a little research. What I found was a website, LinkedIn and Facebook pages, and YouTube video. Among other items – not generated by the organization – were blog posts (some +, some -), articles, and comments. All in all, I was able to find a fair amount of information, but not enough to help me draw any conclusions about the organization’s credibility, which is why I’m not revealing the name of the group). At one point, I thought I had struck on a blog post asserting the organization’s leader is an inept boob. Problem is, the writer offered no evidence to prove his contention.
In the world of Web 2.0, where anybody with a computer and internet access can publish/distribute whatever they wish, there is an additional burden on the consumer to do their due diligence. We’ve all heard stories of erroneous facts making their way onto Wikipedia pages, but that site is just a small part of the wwww and bad fact, half-truths, and outright lies are more likely to show up on personal blogs.
So let me distill what I learned. When doing internet research, it’s important to take everything you read, hear, or see with a really big grain of salt. After you’ve completed your research, and before you draw any conclusions, discuss it with someone you know and trust – and I’m not talking about someone you only know from Twitter. Finally, as with anything, unless you are certain of the sellers credibility and veracity, “Caveat Emptor” rules the day.
We’ve all seen ‘em, we’ve all read ‘em, and some of us have written ‘em:
- “Top 10 reasons social media will bring peace to the Middle East”
- “Top 5 Twitter will make you thinner and save you from chronic Halitosis”
Yes, these are a bit farfetched, but you get the idea.
Frequently the offspring of writer’s block or a fast approaching deadline, The List, as I refer it, is a quick way to get something in front of your readers. For too many, however, it’s become the default way of creating content. While this isn’t a problem that will lead to the demise of blogging, it is certain to cause problems for those who rely too heavily on The List.
The occasional top 10 post is to be expected, but I’ve been finding more and more popping up in my Google reader. The more often they come, the more suspect I am. When a blogger begins to fall back on The List at least once a week, I conclude they are only trying to drive traffic by packing their posts with highly searched keywords (do ’ya think my headline might get some notice?) and/or are just plain lazy. As a result, their RSS feed is quickly thrown into a black hole.
When I read a blog, I’m doing it because I believe the author has something of value to share with me, something I may not have previously considered or perhaps have considered in a different context. I want a post to make me think about different sides to the same issue. I want him/her to be provocative, engaging and, on occasion, irritating.
If you’re not generating an emotional response from your readers, regardless of what emotion it is, you are not doing your job.
My bottom line, I’d rather skip posting for day – like yesterday – than give my readers a list of the top 10 reasons I think Microsoft is in its death throes.
It would be provocative, but how much value would it have?
My journey into the world of Digital Communications started in 2004 with the idea that I could use video testimonials to drive leads for the enterprise software company I was working for. It worked and, along with my good friends Albert Maruggi and Mike Keliher, I expanded into blogging, podcasting and Twitter. With each step we experienced more and more success. In early 2010 I moved from the client side to the agency side doing the same kind of work for a number of vertical industries.
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Search Wondering Out Loud
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