- Youtube’s evolution from cute cat videos to Gangnam Style: This says more about the aesthetics of and mass participation in web culture than anything else. As web culture has become more about inclusion (“going viral”) vs. being “first to publish” that obscure piece of content, aesthetics have trended towards that which is most easily consumed by the largest number of people. This is in opposition to earlier, more rough-and-raw aesthetics that might be of much higher cultural value but were too obscure to travel to wider and wider circles.
- The AP Has Started Selling Its Twitter Feed: While this is, yes, a big deal, there’s little that’s new in form and function here. Companies have for years been experimenting with adding advertising to their social network feeds. What makes this notable is that it’s an news org doing it, but in the days of “native advertising” this doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that seems too far out from the ordinary.
- Meet the four social networks bigger than Facebook (in some countries): When building global social programs it’s important to take stats like this into account since each country or region seems to have a unique network that people there are using.
- Whither the Brand Website?: There has clearly been a change in perception as studies done in the earlier days of social media marketing all trumpeted that corporate sites weren’t considered trustworthy. This is all the more reason to structure a program around the hub and spoke model.
- Brands Experiment With Photo-Messaging Service Snapchat, Facebook Poke: Snapchat seems to be getting more attention in the wake of Facebook launching Poke, which is a direct Snapchat competitor. But the intrusion of advertising and marketing into the service, which is primarily used by teens, is likely to turn that audience off to the tool as a whole.
We Are Communication Architects
Building brand awareness through content creation and community engagement.
Voce NationJanuary 14th, 2013
Voce NationJanuary 11th, 2013
For the sixth year in a row we hosted the Voce CES Media Dinner, a gathering of Voce clients, employees and the top tech journalists in the industry. Away from the flowing currents of people filing the halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, the annual media dinner is an opportunity to slow down from the day’s activity and spend time conversing with peers and catching up with friends.
Each year the Voce CES Media dinner seems to grow, with familiar faces and first time attendees filling the upstairs dining room in the Canaletto with tech banter, war stories from past CES trips, laughter and stories of the occasional CES celebrity sighting.
This year we were lucky to spend the evening with clients from PlayStation, SanDisk, HP, Sony Entertainment Network and over 30 tech journalists from publications such as The Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe, CNET, Associated Press and others. There are a lot of bars, restaurants and people in Las Vegas for people to spend their time in and with and it’s an honor to be able to host this event each year with such a great turnout comprised of the best people in the tech industry.
It’s a little early and probably a faux pas to begin discussing next year’s CES while the current one is still going, so let’s just say it was a great show, another wonderful year for the Voce CES Media dinner, and we’ll look forward to seeing you again next January in the desert.
Chris ThilkJanuary 2nd, 2013
So this is the place I should be making some sort of predictions about what’s to come in 2013, right? I should be pontificating on how this will be the year of engagement, or the year near field communications sends promoted Facebook posts straight to your Google Glass headset or some such, is that the thing? Because in all honesty I’m always aghast at attempts to do so since there’s almost never a year – heck, almost never a week – where the endpoint is so drastically different than what was foreseen at the start.
By way of example let’s look at Instagram. No, this isn’t more faux outrage over a small (and not that big a deal unless you purposely read it looking for opportunities to get your outrage on) change to the terms of service there. Instead it’s about Instagram embracing the web.
Earlier this year Instagram, which had heretofore been almost exclusively based on mobile platforms, gave photographers sharing their pics there a web presence they could link to and on which their fans could Like photos and leave comments. In and of itself that was a big change to Instagram’s public identity and the way people could interact with photos and others.
But then it made another interesting step when they launched an aggregator page for New Years Eve photos, marking what I believe to be the first time Instagram has taken to collecting photos published on their service and created a destination for them. Meaning a service that was purely mobile just a year ago is now driving people to a web page on purpose.
Anyone see that coming? Cause I don’t remember seeing “Instagram starts to sever its sole reliance on mobile” on any lists a year ago.
(Bonus points to anyone who saw this launch and thought “Huh, that seems more like something Twitter would do than anything Facebook has ever done” and then chuckled to themselves at random times while getting odd looks from family members.)
And the fact that it came out of the blue means the only prediction that’s ever safe to make is that things will change. Some people may be bored with the state of the tech industry (something that I think has more to do with the press’ reliance on covering funding, patents and the like than any real lack of innovation) but the reality is things are always in flux. There are always changes happening and very few of them can be seen coming down the road. In other words, if you’re bored it’s because you’re not paying attention.
2013 will have lots of such changes happening. As professional communicators it’s not our job to see the future happening, though we obviously can make intelligent predictions as we put together client programs. It is our job to watch what’s happening and make any necessary adjustments based on what has or hasn’t changed. So good luck with your predictions but make sure that the guidance being given or taken isn’t based on predictions but on the ever-changing reality in front of you.
Tiffany CurciDecember 3rd, 2012
- Consumer Response to SocNet Marketing Messages Depends on Brand Relationship: Nothing surprising here since it makes sense that those who have taken a positive action are more open to receiving messages. But when the study starts going into expectations around message types it’s a good reminder to be evaluating how you’re meeting audience needs.
- Survey: 65 percent of social media pros juggle other duties: The survey also shows a lack of satisfaction with efforts, possibly indicating a need for more dedicated staff, though budget forecasts in this survey do not indicate more money coming their way to staff up.
- Tumblr grows to nearly 170 million monthly visitors, up 50 million from January: Tumblr continues to make big pushes toward being a big, kind of late-blooming hit with people who want social networking combined with some real blogging capabilities. This is just the latest milestone for the platform.
- Post Industrial Journalism: Adapting to the Present: A fascinating look at the business models involved in journalism these days and how many of those models, particularly advertising, are failing. It also examines what sort of evolution should be happening at the reporter beat level and more. A must read.
- Facebook Testing Display Of Number Of Views On Users’ Links To Page Posts?: This could provide some substantial value in gauging how effective different types of posts are so publishers can make adjustments to get more viral reach. Other Facebook experiments with this space, though, haven’t been long-lived so it remains to be seen how long this one will last.
Nick GernertNovember 26th, 2012
I’m excited to announce the release of a WordPress plugin our team developed to help better the search experience of WordPress-based sites — Lift Search for WordPress.
What is Lift?
Lift is a plugin for WordPress that leverages the search index power of Amazon CloudSearch to improve your WordPress-powered site’s search.
Why create Lift?
If you’re familiar with implementing WordPress as a content platform, you may also be familiar with how out of the box WordPress search doesn’t always fit the needs. I can say that for us, we solved search in a case-by-case way. Sometimes it was using out of the box WordPress search. Sometimes we’d use Sphinx. Other times, Solr or Google Custom Search. Each had their plusses and minuses, but I was never happy with the fact that we never really came to the table with what we felt was a best-case solution.
We liked what we saw with Amazon CloudSearch, but there were not any WordPress plugins that could easily integrate indexing and search. That’s where Lift comes in.
Lift is a search product that’s the result of our team’s combined experience with a wide range of large-scale WordPress projects. We’re releasing that back to the community to hopefully help those feeling the same pains we did.
Why use Lift?
We are huge believers in the power of this plugin. We have created this for those who have outgrown the capabilities of built-in WordPress search and would like to retain control over things like indexing and results presentation. If you’re looking at options for search, take a look through Lift’s website as well as the documentation
A few things to note:
- Lift relies on Amazon’s CloudSearch service for true content indexing rather than wildcard database queries.
- Lift does not rely on any services to run server-side and can be leveraged on any web host.
- Lift is built with flexibility in mind as we needed this to work for a variety of projects across a variety of interfaces. Its beauty is in its simplicity.
We hope this can be helpful for others in the community. If you have thoughts, we’d love to hear them!
Voce NationOctober 29th, 2012
Put together while hoping all East Coast Vocians/clients/partners and everyone else stay safe this week.
- Twitter Users Who Mention Top Brands Have An Increasingly Amplified Voice: Consumer behavior around brands online continues to shift. The drop in tweets with a link is most interesting since, as the report suggests, it means there are more actual conversations going on as opposed to just “This is cool (link)” updates.
- Blog Frequency Produces Real Traffic, Lead Gen Results: This simply reinforces the existing advice that the more you increase your digital footprint – the more connection points you create for people to latch on to – the better. There’s a line, of course, at which it becomes too much but few companies running their own publishing programs run into that problem.
- On Twitter Brand Retweets Are Up but Original Posts Are Down: This is mixed good news for brand marketers since it shows that people are increasingly more likely to amplify a brand-approved message than they are to say something original. But on the downside it shows that more and more passive behavior is taking over, something that could mean declines in the number of people taking a desired call to action like clicking through.
- Why the “Want” Button Doesn’t Work for Social Commerce: It’s not as simple as just presenting a pretty picture for people, you have to move them. Interestingly this moving of “both levers” seems to be what Facebook’s Collections testing seems to be about achieving.
- Content – 2013 B2B Content Marketing Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends: The study shows that the bigger the B2B company the more tactics are in use, which shouldn’t be surprising but which also underlines the idea that it may not be a lack of interest in a content strategy restricting its usage, it may just be a lack of resources.
Doug MadeyOctober 18th, 2012
What’s the value of a media list?
They provide access to email addresses and phone numbers of journalists and influencers who cover the industries our clients operate in. Media lists are a necessity for PR people, yes, but they’re largely glorified phone books. Stagnant spreadsheets filled with contact information. As soon as they’re created we’re immediately asking when the last time they’ve been updated was.
What I’ve realized over the course of the past few years is that a well kept Twitter list can be more valuable to a PR person than a well kept media list.
On a daily basis, what do you look at more often: Twitter or a media list? I’m going to go out on a wide limb two feet high and say, Twitter.
Twitter tells you what’s going on, and media lists tell you how to get in touch with people that you want to talk with about what’s going on. They work hand in hand, and with a properly pruned Twitter list of influencers in your client’s industry and market you’re not going to need to access that media list as much as you should.
For each client, I try and create a corresponding Twitter list for all the media and influencers included on our media lists. What it does is give life and perspective to an Excel spreadsheet. And no information saved within the cells of a spreadsheet will allow me to relate the sentiment of a media contact to my client in real time the way being able to access their immediate, in the moment thoughts on Twitter can.
If you’re ever asked to relay media sentiment immediately following a news announcement you’re going to be late to the game without a well kept Twitter list.
Before most journalists put pen to paper – or fingers to keyboard – to file a story they’ll be live-Tweeting their perspective on your client’s news in real time.
With a robust Twitter list you’ll essentially be able to get a sense of what your media contacts think about your announcement before they ever publish their stories.
Either softening the blow of imminent dissatisfaction, or justifying an early toast with celebratory beers, well kept Twitter lists give you the insight that’s almost required in today’s real time news cycle.