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Social Media vs. Traditional News [Infographic]

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If you’re anything like me, chances are you’ve heard about some pretty big news stories on Twitter before they hit the traditional news sites. The most memorable for me was the death of Michael Jackson. I saw Harvey Levin from TMZ tweet about Michael’s death and I immediately went to Google and some news sites to verify that it was true. Nearly 20 minutes passed before any other news agency had Michael’s death up on the Web. Go, Harvey Levin!

Sure, sometimes what’s tweeted isn’t accurate. But, oftentimes the really big stories break on Twitter before the news sites publish their stories.  This infographic has some great stats about breaking news online and whether social media is replacing traditional media as the go-to news source.

 

Social Media: The New News Source
Courtesy of: Schools.com

What do you think? Where do you get your news? Do you take stories that break on social media with a grain of salt or is that the first place you go to see what’s happening?

New Media Shame?

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At BlogWorld and other such conferences, we’re completely immersed in all the geeky new media stuff we know and love. But BlogWorld is only a few days every fall and spring. The rest of the time, we’re scattered across country and around the world where most people don’t understand what we do or why we do it. Perhaps that is partially our fault. For most of us, there’s an element of new media shame in our lives – and until that changes, we’re still going to have a hard time being taken seriously.

In the New Media Closet

Despite the fact that new media is a part of most people’s lives, we still hesitate to admit it. “Oh, yeah…I’ve heard of Farmville,” we say, even as we sneak online during the work day to water our crops. “I’m a writer,” we say, because we’re afraid that blogger doesn’t sound professional enough. “I’m occasionally on Twitter,” we say, though our definition of occasionally might be different than most considering that we average 50 tweets a day.

If you want the best example of new media shame, just look at online dating. I believe it is Match.com’s commercials that report that one in five relationships now start online. One in five! That’s 20%! Yet, people don’t like to talk about it, as though it is somehow shameful to fall in love with something that you’ve met through an online dating site. People lie about how they’ve met, or if they do  admit that they’ve met online, they say so with a  bit of apprehension, nervously hoping that those who are listening don’t freak out. “Oh, how did you and Joe meet?” “Actually…believe it or not, we met online…” This is usually followed by lots of justifying factors. We talked for a long time first. My friends told me to check it up. I signed up as a joke, but it worked out. It’s better than meeting in a bar.

Why do we have to justify it? If we meet someone at the grocery store or through mutual friends or even at the bar, we just say that and everything is fine. Meeting online is still somewhat shameful, though. And I’m not sure why?

This isn’t just about online dating, though. I consider a lot of you out there my good friends, even though we only see one another in person once or twice a year – if at all. There’s an element of shame to the new media world in general, as though it isn’t kosher or we’re doing something wrong. It’s a constant reminder to me that the new media world, even as it is becoming more mainstream, is still on the cutting edge of how we relate to one another, promote products, share news, market ourselves, and more.

Proof of that is perhaps the fact that the words blog, blogger, and blogging still get the red squiggly line in my (albeit older) version of Microsoft Word.

Stand Up, Be Proud

The only way we can change this, make it less shameful to be a part of the new media world, is to stop hiding in the closet. We have to stop considering blog a four-letter word if we want others to give us the same respect. I’m as guilty as the rest of you. When someone asks me what I write, I rarely admit that I’m a blogger unless pressed. In the back of my mind, I always cringe, thinking that people are going to envision me pouring my heart out about what I had for lunch on my LiveJournal.

But here’s the thing – if they are thinking that, their perception isn’t going to change unless I correct them. And I’m the perfect person to do that, just like you are. We are successful business people making money as bloggers and social media marketers. We all have stories about how we’ve helped readers or met really amazing people online, as well as the cool opportunities we’ve received, like interviewing celebrities in our fields or getting free products to review, simply because we have a popular blog or a high Klout score. If we attribute that to blogging and social media, rather than saying we’re writers or website owners or whatever more “acceptable” term we use, the perception of the new media world might start to change.

I’ll start. My name is Allison, and I’m a professional blogger and web content writer. I’ve met past boyfriends through online dating websites. I use Twitter regularly. I like to check-in via Foursquare and Gowalla. Some Saturday nights, I would rather chat with my online friends than go out to the bar. I think online gaming is cool. I have a Facebook app on my phone. Most of my work meetings are via conference call on Skype or webinars on GoToMeeting.

And I love my new media life.

So it’s your turn. Feel free to tell us here, but what is more important is that you get outside of the BlogWorld community and start standing proud as someone who’s immersed in new media. If we all talk about it more with a sense of pride, the perception will start to change. And who knows – you might connect with others who love new media also, but who were also afraid to admit it publicly.

Pirates of the Caribbean Blogging: Growing with Your Audience

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When I was five years old, my family went to Disney World. I don’t actually remember much, but I do remember absolutely loving Pirates of the Caribbean. Since then, I’ve been back to Disney a few times, and while the basis of the ride is still the same, I think it has an important lesson to teach bloggers: if you want to survive, you have to grow with your audience. Otherwise, you’re dead in the water.

Get it? It’s a pirate-themed post. Dead in the…yeah, let’s move on.

The blogging world is changing faster than Lady Gaga’s hairstyle. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers embrace this, moving to start up social networking accounts, implement new blog plugins, and adjust how they monetize. I’ve also seen bloggers refuse to change how they do anything, then wonder why their readers are leaving them behind.

Back in 1990, Pirates of the Caribbean was a boat ride filled with creepy animatronics. Today…it is a boat ride filled with creepy animatronics. But some of the animatronics are modeled to look like Johnny Depp. And many scenes reference the popular movies. Kids are excited to go on this ride, even though it is pretty obvious that the pirates aren’t real. Of course, the ride dumps you into a pirate-themed gift shop at the end, and I can tell you from first-hand experience that families are going nuts buying stuff from this one Disney store. I’m willing to bet that it’s one of the most profitable gift shops in the whole park.

And it’s all because Disney wasn’t afraid to grow with their audience.

What about you? As new and innovative social networking and blogging tools are hitting the market, implementing them in your own life is one of the best ways to keep your audience excited. Do you have a Twitter account? Because in the vast majority of niches, at least half of your readers will be on Twitter. Does your blog show up nicely on mobile phones? Unless you’re catering to a very tech-unfriendly market, many of your readers will be browsing from mobile devices. Have you created a fan page for your blog? Your readers are probably there, too.

It is about more than just growing with the blogging world. You also have to grow with your specific market. Let’s say that you blog about home improvement. Just a few years ago, the concept of “going green” was innovative, but today, it seems like everyone has a compost pile and Energy Star appliances. If you aren’t blogging about eco-friendly options in home improvement, your blog isn’t keeping up with your audience. Another great example? Book bloggers. People will always read books and want reviews, but are you offering downloadable books with your affiliate ads or just traditional print books? You’ll make a lot more sales if you have links promoting both options.

Change is scary, but it is good, too. If you aren’t moving forward, you’re moving backward. A rolling stone gathers no moss. If you stop, you die. Insert your favorite proverb about stagnation here. You don’t have to jump on new technology bandwagons right away, but when a trend has proven that it has staying power, it is time for you to evolve. Otherwise, you’ll just become extinct.

Allison Boyer is a writer for BlogWorld Expo’s blog and the owner/manager of After Graduation. She will consider herself a success when there’s an animatronic character of her at Disney World.

Why Pepsi Is Good For Bloggers

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This is certainly not a “Pepsi is better than Coke” or now begins the cola wars , I am referring to the world of monetizing.  Recently ABC reported, Pepsi announced that it would discontinue spending money on advertising on Super Bowl Sunday.  I have for years thought that the price of advertising on that day is way over priced, unless of course I was the guy getting the commission for that sale.  Millions of dollars being spent to have a slot of 30 seconds for the world to see you and your brand is a big gamble.  I suppose if your 30 seconds was the best or in some cases the worst you would extend your brand to many eyeballs all watching.  This is beginning to change and apparently Pepsi is leading the charge.

Why is this good for bloggers?  Brands like Pepsi and others are going online for their eyeballs.  I am not going to get into the debate in this post about why eyeballs are not the metric I think is for our future, but suffice it to say, eyeballs don’t buy.  Pepsi is also doing something that I believe is a masterful move into also contributing to charity while changing their advertising strategy. Forrester has a great post on its blog discussing the issues of the Pepsi move and its impact on the world of marketing.

Bloggers had a very difficult time selling their content to brands in the beginning. It always went back to eyeballs (perhaps this is the time for that debate). Bloggers that had millions of page views a month, a feat derived only by the top of the top of bloggers, made very little on their content as compared to their traditional media counterparts.  That in itself is supposition with the fact that bloggers were never considered in the same breath as traditional media.  As we all know, this is changing now.  Bloggers are seen as influencers and as people that can vault a brand into rock star fame.  Look at Ford for your example.

We are seeing other areas that are getting the dollars like Facebook for example.  The ABC example of Toys “R” Us building a Facebook page and seeing growth of between 40,000 and 95,000 fans per day after its late November launch is an example of what is catching the attention of those writing checks for marketing campaigns.  Their will be a race to see who can get your attention where you are, and Facebook is getting the attention of every household in America.

As traditional brands such as Pepsi and Ford and others begin to move their war chests of advertising dollars to other areas of the media, meaning bloggers and social networks, we all will have a better chance at a piece of the pie.  Rather than putting millions of dollars into a 30 second spot, brands may even give millions of bloggers that share.  This is only going to mean $2.00 perhaps but it is a huge increase over the .02 I made from Google Adsense last year.  My percentage of increase looks good on a corporate report!

Blogs from a Non-Blogger's Point of View

Author:

laptop 1

Last month, I participated in what I consider my most important speaking engagement ever. My seven year old son’s class invited me to speak with them about writing in honor the National Day on Writing. It was indeed an honor. We spoke about the writing process, the types of writing, the types of writing careers and ways to enjoy creative writing outside of school projects. My favorite part of the discussion was when I opened the floor up for questions. Second graders ask the best questions.

Like:

  • “Do you complain about Mr. Ng on your blog?”
  • “Who tells you to sit up straight and hold your pencil the right way?”
  • “Do you do blogs before you do real writing?”
  • “Who draws the pictures when you write?”

What I found interesting is how most of the questions stemmed around blogging.  What was even more interesting was how many parents were interested in blogging and had no idea it could be a sole source of income for so  many of us.

I learned some interesting things that day:

  • The majority of people who aren’t into the whole blogging/social media subculture feel that all blogs are hobby blogs.
  • Many people don’t think they read blogs, but they do.
  • Many people outside of the blogging community don’t know the difference between a blog and a website.
  • Many non bloggers have no idea of what actually goes into blogging – beyond typing in some words and hitting send.
  • Many people who aren’t into social media don’t quite get Twitter and can’t tell the difference between Twitter and Facebook.
  • Many of the people who read blogs or who have heard of blogs, have no idea people do this for a living.
  • Many people think it’s all kind of silly.

Having this chat with both kids and adults enabled me to see I take a lot of things for granted. We all participate in this whole big community, but there’s a great big world out there just waiting to be converted.

I’m up for the challenge…are you?

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

Blogs from a Non-Blogger’s Point of View

Author:

laptop 1

Last month, I participated in what I consider my most important speaking engagement ever. My seven year old son’s class invited me to speak with them about writing in honor the National Day on Writing. It was indeed an honor. We spoke about the writing process, the types of writing, the types of writing careers and ways to enjoy creative writing outside of school projects. My favorite part of the discussion was when I opened the floor up for questions. Second graders ask the best questions.

Like:

  • “Do you complain about Mr. Ng on your blog?”
  • “Who tells you to sit up straight and hold your pencil the right way?”
  • “Do you do blogs before you do real writing?”
  • “Who draws the pictures when you write?”

What I found interesting is how most of the questions stemmed around blogging.  What was even more interesting was how many parents were interested in blogging and had no idea it could be a sole source of income for so  many of us.

I learned some interesting things that day:

  • The majority of people who aren’t into the whole blogging/social media subculture feel that all blogs are hobby blogs.
  • Many people don’t think they read blogs, but they do.
  • Many people outside of the blogging community don’t know the difference between a blog and a website.
  • Many non bloggers have no idea of what actually goes into blogging – beyond typing in some words and hitting send.
  • Many people who aren’t into social media don’t quite get Twitter and can’t tell the difference between Twitter and Facebook.
  • Many of the people who read blogs or who have heard of blogs, have no idea people do this for a living.
  • Many people think it’s all kind of silly.

Having this chat with both kids and adults enabled me to see I take a lot of things for granted. We all participate in this whole big community, but there’s a great big world out there just waiting to be converted.

I’m up for the challenge…are you?

Deb Ng is a professional blogger and founder of the Freelance Writing Jobs network. Feel free to follow her on Twitter @debng.

Social Media Explosion Not Translating into Jobs, Yet.

Author:

We all know the hype behind social media, heck, we all LOVE the hype behind it.  We all know how much easier it is to get in touch, stay in touch and find New people to want to be in touch with, when you’re using social networking, and any or all of the tools of social media at your disposal.  It’s easier to find people, meet people, and, if the original claims were true, find employment.  Or is it?

So far, not so good according to new reports.  While social media and social networking has been lauded as the newest, best and brightest way to network and find new forms of employment, it doesn’t look like the results are living up to the hype…yet.  Instead of the onslaught of new social media and the technology behind it leading to the creation of a whole new set of job skills, job descriptions and yes, job openings, it seems like so far people are turning to internal, existing employees and just asking them to adopt new responsibilities.

Here’s what JetBlue had to say, that says a whole lot about the current hiring status of some of the biggest, and most active companies when it comes to new media:

“Rather than hiring external social-media savvy people…we looked internally for people who happened to be active on social media in their personal lives.”

Will this change?  Right now, we can’t say, but given the current recession state of our economy, it seems a lot more likely that internal hunting is going to continue to take place, and a lot of these responsibilities that might have otherwise required a new employee, are going to be passed around to the existing ones.

This isn’t to say it’ll always be this way, anything could happen, and all of you job hunters would be extremely wise to add as many new social media and social networking skills to your arsenal.  Just a thought.

Old Media vs. New Media

Author:

press-hat

I began working for a traditional magazine publisher in 1985, the beginning of a long, tumultuous career in “old media”. As someone who started out old school, it’s been interesting watching old media dissolve and new media evolve. Unlike many of my old school contemporaries, I’ve been quick to embrace the new way. I dig the whole community vibe and easily digestible format. I love how news breaks almost immediately without the approval of editors or network heads and how everyone is quick with the analysis.

In case you haven’t been at this “media” thing as long as me, here are a few comparisons:

Old Media: Pay a freelance writer $1 per word to research, interview and write up an expert article. Publish and pay six months to a year later.

New Media: Pay freelance blogger $1 per post to Google and rewrite someone else’s researched, expert article. Publish and pay on the same day.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: News breaks. Sit on it for as long as possible in order to protect the guilty innocent. Make dozens of phone calls. Confirm sources. Check facts.

New Media: Post news immediately to blogs and Twitter. Deal with facts later.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: Letters to the Editor.

New Media: Comments, Tweets and retaliatory blog posts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: Editorial meetings, calendars planned months in advance, red pens and final approvals.

New Media: Same day publishing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: News only at certain times. Newspapers and magazines published only at certain times. Can’t learn new news until they’re good and ready to bring it to you.

New Media: All news, all the time.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: Editors and copy editors go over every word, correct typos and take out unnecessary verbiage.

New Media: Bloggers are called out in the comments for their typos.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: Advertisers pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to sponsor a television show.

New Media: Free products for bloggers to review.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: Censorship

New Media: Bloggers and Twitterers make sure all sides of the story are exposed.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Old Media: Readers.

New Media: Community

Ok. So maybe there are a few exaggerations here, but there’s a whole lot of truth to it as well. To me, the biggest differences between new and old media are the time it takes to get the news to the people, and also, the ability of the people to receive the truth, instead of watered down, sponsored, “need to know basis” versions of the truth we’ve received in the past.

What differences do you see in new vs. old media?

CEO's Are Actually "Social Media Slackers?"

Author:

news1_0 Looks like the biggest big-wigs of the biggest companies in the world might just have some explaining to do.  The world is shifting every day to a much more “socially networked” world, and everyone from your grandparents to your grandchildren are jumping on board and taking part.  That is, everyone except for CEO’s if reports that are coming in are as accurate as they believe they are.

That’s right, some of the CEO’s of the world’s largest and most successful companies are also some of the biggest slackers when it comes to social media and jumping on board the social networking bandwagon.  According to the most recent report done a company called ÜberCEO, who analyze and research the head honchos of the biggest companies:

“by Looking at their use of social media sites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter and LinkedIn, ÜberCEO notably found that none of the Fortune 100 CEOs has a blog and “81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page…Perhaps most shocking of all, in light of Twitter’s popularity, “Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts.”

Is it me, or are those numbers astonishing?  Considering the fact that Fortune 100 companies include names from AT&T, Wal-Mart, Dell, Target, Rite-Aid and many, many others, you’d think that a greater percentage would be involved, especially considering the increasingly social nature that nearly all business on the internet is adopting.

The good news, however, is that for every major company that isn’t using Twitter, Facebook or any of the other major social networking sites and services, there are other companies that are using them, and they are on the rise.  Companies like Zappos, Ford and others are stepping it up, and while some might not be using their actual CEO’s to do the dirty work, at least they are getting their presence out there.

The real question is, when will the other 81% of the top CEO’s in the world get the hint, and start adding a little transparency to their business, and their lives?

CEO’s Are Actually “Social Media Slackers?”

Author:

news1_0 Looks like the biggest big-wigs of the biggest companies in the world might just have some explaining to do.  The world is shifting every day to a much more “socially networked” world, and everyone from your grandparents to your grandchildren are jumping on board and taking part.  That is, everyone except for CEO’s if reports that are coming in are as accurate as they believe they are.

That’s right, some of the CEO’s of the world’s largest and most successful companies are also some of the biggest slackers when it comes to social media and jumping on board the social networking bandwagon.  According to the most recent report done a company called ÜberCEO, who analyze and research the head honchos of the biggest companies:

“by Looking at their use of social media sites such as Facebook, Wikipedia, Twitter and LinkedIn, ÜberCEO notably found that none of the Fortune 100 CEOs has a blog and “81% of CEOs don’t have a personal Facebook page…Perhaps most shocking of all, in light of Twitter’s popularity, “Only two CEOs have Twitter accounts.”

Is it me, or are those numbers astonishing?  Considering the fact that Fortune 100 companies include names from AT&T, Wal-Mart, Dell, Target, Rite-Aid and many, many others, you’d think that a greater percentage would be involved, especially considering the increasingly social nature that nearly all business on the internet is adopting.

The good news, however, is that for every major company that isn’t using Twitter, Facebook or any of the other major social networking sites and services, there are other companies that are using them, and they are on the rise.  Companies like Zappos, Ford and others are stepping it up, and while some might not be using their actual CEO’s to do the dirty work, at least they are getting their presence out there.

The real question is, when will the other 81% of the top CEO’s in the world get the hint, and start adding a little transparency to their business, and their lives?

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