The Conservative’s Tituba

It was like affirmative action for conservatives. When did conservatives start demanding quotas AND diversity training AND less people from Ivy League Colleges.

I sat there, looking around the room at ‘our side’ wondering, ‘Who are we?’ Who am I? I want to be very clear — I am not referring to every person in the room. There were probably 25–30 people and a number of them, I believe, felt like I did. But the overall tenor, to me, felt like the Salem Witch Trial: ‘Facebook, you must admit that you are screwing us, because if not, it proves you are screwing us.’

Source: What disturbed me about the Facebook meeting. — Medium

That random feeling when I read a Glenn Beck post and nod in agreement.

Interesting account from a meeting between top conservatives and Mark Zuckerberg over whether or not Facebook has been “censoring” their content… go read.

Facebook Drops Branded Content Restrictions

On Friday, Facebook dropped its restriction around how branded content can be distributed on its social network. Anyone who runs a verified Facebook page — a publisher, brand or celebrity, for instance — can now post articles, videos, photos, links or other content to that page that someone else paid for without needing Facebook’s permission or cutting the company in on the proceeds.

Source: Facebook drops branded content restrictions for publishers

Interesting move. Typically on the web, the FTC frowns upon this type of “branded content” without proper alerts for audiences.

Facebook has built in “tagging” to try to offer some disclosure, but I’m not sure that’s going far enough for most FB users:

There’s another catch: any eligible account posting content paid for by a brand to its Facebook page has to tag the brand so that the top of the post carries the line “[Publisher] with [Brand].” That tagging creates a way for marketers to be notified when a publisher posts content that’s paid for by their brand so that they can share it or promote it as an ad.

The ultimate arbiter, of course, is Facebook’s algorithm itself. Shared items that have a promotional “feel” to hear typically get throttled by the algorithm, which limits exposure on users’ newsfeeds, even if they’ve Liked a page.

It’s amazing how rapidly social algorithmic feeds such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat etc are changing the notions of what is permissible and profitable in the marketing world rather than conforming to tried-and-true tactics or even federal guidelines.

Like it or not, branded content is one of the most successful online marketing strategies over the last few years, and it doesn’t show any signs of slowing as brands, publishers, and social networks continue to figure out how to innovate around the concept.

DocStoc is now dead, which I knew was coming. What I didn’t realize is that I had linked to so many pages there (including a few of my own like a paper on Julian of Norwich that had around 3,500 views last time I checked a few months back. I’ve got a plugin configured here to alert me when something I’ve linked to either changes url’s or goes away. I’m getting more and more of these lately. Linkrot / Webrot is real and sad. Thanks, Facebook.

Shaking up Twitter

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Glad to see Dorsey shaking things up now that he’s back at the helm of Twitter.

Under previous CEO Dick Costolo and his team, Twitter was pivoted towards becoming a media / advertising company starting in 2010. The beloved API that allowed for a blossoming of third party apps and a vibrant ecosystem was turned off and there was a palpable feeling that the service had turned their back on devs and their tech base in favor of Ryan Seacrest.

They’ve never been able to monetize to satisfy investors following those paths and should focus on the real time streams / messaging nature of the service by becoming ubiquitous. That will come by opening up, rather than shutting down, that once vibrant ecosystem of services and apps that used the service as a backbone for a coral reef.

Oh, and bring back Track.

Facebook Video Ads Coming This Fall?

Very cool:

Facebook’s Video Ads Now Likely Delayed Until Fall | Digital – Advertising Age: “Based on how they were being positioned for the summer launch, video ads will appear to targeted users in their news feeds up to three times on the day they’re slotted and will begin silently playing when a user scrolls over them, according to source who heard Facebook’s pitch.
Audio won’t be activated unless a user clicks on the 15-second ad, at which point it will restart and spread over the right- and left-hand rails of the page. Users can then scroll horizontally in the expanded interface and play up to two additional videos, which could be useful for storytelling for some advertisers.”

Instagram’s (which is owned by Facebook) video feature has done very well for businesses and there’s been lots of talk about video/photo ads coming to Facebook’s Instagram, so it’s only logical that Facebook roll out a (much bigger) advertising feature on its own turf.

10 Steps to Tracking Your Social Reputation

After my whuffie post last week, I had a number of people ask me how to keep track of their social reputation beyond just doing Google searches on yourself or your company’s name.

First of all (and perhaps most importantly), you have to get an RSS reader (aka feed reader). You don’t have the time yada yada yada, but if you care about your online reputation or who is mentioning you or your company, then you certainly have the time. If you’re on Windows, grab FeedDemon (free). If you’re on a Mac, use NetNewsWire (free). If you’re on Linux, grab Liferea from the depositories. If you want to live “in the cloud” and use a web app, you can’t go wrong with Google Reader.

Got one? OK, next step… actually find places that have the data your’e looking for. Here’s how I do it for myself, CostPerNews, my podcast and Motive Interactive:

1. In your feed reader of choice, create a folder called “Vanity Searches” or “Social Graph.”

2. Grab the “Google Alerts” for all of the terms you need to watch. This is social reputation 101 and chances are you have heard of Google Alerts. However, it’s amazing to me how many online marketers don’t use the service. You can get email. This is delivered by email instead of RSS as well.

3. Google Blog Alerts works similarly to Google Alerts but is a little more comprehensive. There’s some redundancy with Alerts, but it’s still worth watching.

4. Another oldie but goodie is Technorati. While not always up to date or accurate, there’s still some value in watching your brand there. Just put in whatever term or name your watching in the search bar on the upper right and grab the feed on the results page by clicking the RSS button.

— Now that we’ve gotten the foundation out the way, let’s go to the good stuff —

5. Here’s an excellent “Yahoo Pipe” for keywords that monitors news sources from multiple sites such as Digg, Technorati, Yahoo News, PRWeb, and Google News. Just put in whatever term you’re looking to watch, hit “Run Pipe” and then click the RSS button beside “More Options” on the right. This is probably my favorite way to track things on the web.

6. The grandaddy of all Yahoo Pipes for vanity searching is the Social Media Firehose. Works the same way as the keyword pipe above but gives a wide blast of data. It’s valuable, but you have to weed through a lot of duplications. Still recommend.

7. While you’re at Yahoo Pipes, grab the “Twitter Reply Sniffer.” Basically, this is a way for you to stay aware of anyone that @’s you in Twitter (you’re not on Twitter? Geez). Put in the terms or names you’d like to keep track of and you’ll get a custom URL. You then have the option to receive new alerts via Google, email, phone or RSS. Click on that orange RSS button called “more options” over on the right and add it to your “Social Graph” folder in your feed reader when the prompt comes up. Presto.

8. If your company might have some mentions on YouTube, you can track user tags and mentions using this YouTube tag Pipe. Not useful for everyone, but still good to have in the old feed reader.

9. Along those same lines, you can’t go wrong with Summize. Instead of just monitoring @’s on Twitter, Summize notifies you anytime a term you specify is mentioned. Grab the RSS feed on the right and add it into your feed reader. Highly valuable.

10. FriendFeed is becoming a great way to keep track of how others perceive you in the social media space because it is one big aggregation ball of goo. However, you can make some sense of out that with FriendFeed’s nifty search feature. Just put in whatever you’re keeping track of and grab the RSS from the page (should be in the URL address bar). Add that to your feed reader for sure.

If you follow those 10 steps, you should have a pretty good grip on what people are saying about you on the social web from Twitter to FriendFeed to blogs to Digg to YouTube. My “social graph” folder in my feed reader is increasingly becoming the first place I go in the mornings for news just to see if there’s anything going on that I’ve missed or to see if there are any conversations I can have with fans, friends, foes or potential evangelists.

Hope this helps!