There are a lot of brands on our blue planet that use blue as a signature color. There are probably good reasons for that. For one thing, blue evokes trust and reliability, attributes that many brands want to be associated with. That’s probably the reason why GM, Ford and Fiat Chrysler all use blue as a primary brand color.
Decided to take the day off to decompress from a couple of stressful weeks (while campus is quiet for spring break). And also, to try to get some writing done, because it seems I get more writing done at home than at the office. But guess what? Not a bit of writing yet. Too busy trying to keep the RSS feeds pruned, and straightening up the blogroll. (Thanks, debunkd., for the motivation.) Now, if I could just get motivated to finish off my story for the summer issue of Missouri S&T Magazine.
Anyway, on to the musings. And these may have to keep you for a while, as I’m going afk from Wednesday afternoon until the weekend. So, if you don’t hear from me until next week, that’s why.
- Social networks: a business model? Not so much. Lots of bloggers are talking about this Economist article about the business value of social networks. (Hat tip to Buzz Canuck, who breaks down the main points of the Economist article — namely, that the social network is a bad business model.) Conversation Agent also offers commentary, and a clip from Jerry Maguire.
The Economist argues that “it is entirely conceivable that social networking, like web-mail, will never make oodles of money,” but says social networking’s true value because may lie in “its enormous utility.”
Social networking has made explicit the connections between people, so that a thriving ecosystem of small programs can exploit this “social graph” to enable friends to interact via games, greetings, video clips and so on.
If only the myriad networks would tear down their “walled gardens” and open up to the rest of the interconnected world.
The problem with today’s social networks is that they are often closed to the outside web. … [T]hey are reluctant to become equally open towards their users, because the networks’ lofty valuations depend on maximising their page views—so they maintain a tight grip on their users’ information, to ensure that they keep coming back. As a result, avid internet users often maintain separate accounts on several social networks, instant-messaging services, photo-sharing and blogging sites, and usually cannot even send simple messages from one to the other. They must invite the same friends to each service separately. It is a drag.
Surely some enterprising entrepreneur will find a solution. SocialThing, perhaps?
- Free and legal news photos for bloggers. GigaOM reports that San Francisco-based PicApp is making copyright news photos available free of charge to bloggers.
The photos are displayed in a flash media file and can be embedded on any web page, just like YouTube. PicApp makes money off contextual advertising it embeds in the photos, and in turn shares it with the photo agencies. The new service is a sign of how tough things are in the stock photography business, where new and low cost competitors are emerging thick and fast, and challenging the old dogs like Getty Images.
- The United States of Google. BuzzMachine’s Jeff Jarvis examines how an open-source mindset, a philosophy of transparency, and a better understanding of empowerment and interconnectedness could improve government. For example:
Government officials and agencies should blog. This ethic of openness should go beyond official documents and files. Openness should be part of the work habit of government officials and conversation with constituents should be an ethic of government. The open blog is merely a tool and a symbol for this — and a more efficient tool, I’ll add, than individual letters and phone calls.
- The future of marketing and advertising — a good (and funny) slide presentation by Paul Isakson, via the Marketing and Strategy Innovation Blog.
- Simplicity. Via Eliacin Rosario-Cruz via Twitter.
- Moving toward two-way marketing. This piece in The Buzz Bin talks about how listening, customer feedback, etc., have become more important in traditional marketing.
- State of the news media: gloomy. Still. PRWeek summarizes the Project for Excellence in Journalism‘s 2008 report on the news business.
- Be like the Internet (Slideshare). Slides from a SXSW presentation by Lane Becker and Thor Muller of Get Satisfaction, all about business success in the Internet age. Via Communication Nation.
- Three Internet careers that soon won’t exist. Interesting thought piece from Steve Rubel.
- Of course, now it’s only 29 years and 50 weeks before the Internet ends. Because I’m two weeks late in posting this.
Now playing: Michael Franti & Spearhead (Yell Fire!) – I Know I’m Not Alone
I’ve been fighting an upper respiratory infection all week long, and today I’m staying home in hopes of sending this bug to its death.
But I can’t seem to sleep, daytime TV is too dull for words (except for a showing of A Mighty Wind on Comedy Central this morning), and I’ve got several neglected RSS feeds in need of a severe pruning.
Plus, it’s been a long time been a long time been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely time since I blogged. (For the previous sentence, blame the Sudafed. And too much Led Zeppelin during my formative years.) Anyway, it all adds up to lots of contextless links for your point-and-click pleasure:
$100 for a link on Digg’s front page? A new low in online marketing?
Meet the new web influentials. They’re not necessarily the most people-connected, but rather the “people who influence the network by leveraging the most powerful force on the web — the link. So says Publishing 2.0. (Note to self: More contextless links in the future.)
Hidden mysteries of marketing revealed! Anita Campbell, editor of Small Business Marketing Trends, asked a bunch of A-list marketing gurus to share their best-kept marketing secrets, and they obliged. A bunch of lesser lights also shared their tips in the comments. Lots of good ideas here. Link via Chris Brown’s Branding and Marketing.
The rise of open-source mega-universities. “The world’s top universities have come late to the world of online education, but they’re arriving at last, creating an all-you-can eat online buffet of information. And mostly, they are giving it away.”
OK, folks. Sudafed’s wearing off. Time to go.
As part of the University of Missouri-Rolla’s fast-approaching name change to Missouri University of Science and Technology, we’ve been trying to get the new name out into the social mediasphere. We’ve done this in a couple of ways:
We’ve created a Missouri S&T outpost on Twitter just to see if any alumni or students who use Twitter will join us. We plan to offer news updates from time to time on Twitter, if there is a demand for the service.
Also, we’ve created a Missouri S&T photo-sharing site on Flickr. There, people may view and download images from campus. That isn’t anything new, as several colleges and universities do the same thing.
After Jan. 1, we’ll probably be doing more with social media. Any ideas? I’d love to hear from you. Just don’t ask me to create an island in Second Life.
Lots of social networking stuff in the news these days — more than I can keep up with. Here are a few items that have caught my attention recently. More flotsam, as always, in my shared items.
- How to break into Technorati’s top 100: offer free blog templates.
- Social media vital to PR success. Lois Kelly points to some good thoughts on this.
- Struggling to measure social media effectiveness? You’re not alone. The Institute for Public Relations reports that “As more companies adopt social media, they struggle to find effective metrics for deciding who are the most influential players.” This is one of many findings of a survey conducted last fall and summarized in the news release.
- Wikipedia founder says the site has a place in academe.
- Facebook alternative Multiply upgrades, looks great. So says Read/Write Web, which calls Multiply “a small but sophisticated social networking service with one of the most loyal userbases on the web” and offers a good comparison between it and FB.
- Facebook may get all the buzz, but MySpace is still bigger, with twice the audience.
- Colleges try to build buzz with offbeat video. The Chronicle references Karine Joly’s collegewebeditor blog
but doesn’t link to it. Not fair. Also unfair: nNo mention of our campus’ hello campaign. Apparently not offbeat enough.
- The Open Web Awards, sponsored by Mashable, let you vote for all sorts of open social applications — from search sites to news sites to social networks great and small.
- Speaking of social search: such sites could challenge the biggies, says Micro Persuasion.
- Participation is the key to social media success, according to Chris Brogan. The post is long and ponderous, but as usual, Brogan makes some good points. He lists some good ways to foster participation and cites Lawrence Lessig extensively.
- Corporations form group to create blogging best practices. GM, Coca-Cola, Dell and other biggies form The Blog Council. Not everyone thinks the council is such a great idea.
- Video: blogs in plain English, another remarkable Commoncraft video, via (dis)information architecture.
- Another social media press release unleashed.
You may have read on this blog about our university‘s campaign to introduce our new name — Missouri University of Science and Technology — to various audiences. We call it the hello campaign, and it features brief video clips introducing students, alumni, faculty and staff.
The campaign is now the subject of a parody by a group of enterprising students. (Enterprising in the truest sense, as they’ve created a t-shirt business poking fun at the university.) Here’s the video they’ve posted in response to the campaign.
[kml_flashembed movie="http://youtube.com/v/REccpS1cScY" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
If I were wearing my official university spokesperson hat, I wouldn’t be sharing this. But this is a personal blog, so what the heck. I love parody in all its forms, so I tip my hat to these guys.