Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending November 12

I'm generally not one to follow celebrities - in the movie star sense - on social networks. I don't really care if they're on social networks at all, though I'm happy that so many with public personas have adopted social media as a way to connect with their audience. To me, it's a good thing. Mostly.

This week Ashton Kutcher made a gaffe on twitter (my paraphrase of his assessment) about Joe Paterno being fired. Kutcher declared he's going to hand over management of his twitter stream. I don't have a lot of interest in this story other than a distaste for anyone letting third parties handle their social media interactions. Chris Brogan nailed it in his piece talking about outsourcing your voice. .

The whole "busy" argument doesn't really fly with me. Why? Tweets are all of 140 characters. It doesn't take thirty seconds to type that out even on your phone. The other argument that doesn't fly is the whole accuracy of information. Who hasn't used social media to vent? Probably someone, but they're the exceptions that prove the rule. Not to mention that there are people out there who are sticking up for Joe Pa - rightly or wrongly, it is happening.

Interestingly, Chris Penn wrote a post this week about testing the value of your content - one of the tests was whether you learned from it. I'd hope that we all learned something from this Ashton Kutcher situation. If the takeaway from those tweets is nothing more than to learn the whole story first, then doesn't that content have a certain value?

This week, Google+ launched Pages for businesses and brands with significantly less fanfare and applause than the network itself. There was much begging and pleading for this to be rolled out in the preceding weeks and months. And what did everyone do when pages were finally rolled out? I'm pretty sure I heard a collective "Meh" from across the Interwebs. Admittedly, there are plenty who are excited about it, but I've seen just as much commentary on the negative end of the scale. I've officially claimed a few pages and that's about as far as I've gone with it. There are some good things about pages that were introduced upon launch, but I wish people would remember that it took years for Facebook to launch pages and then more years to get them to where they are today. Maybe we could cut Google a wee bit of slack and recognize page potential for the long-term. The best suggestion I've seen is to just claim your page and sit on it if you're not happy with the functionality. If you want to jump in - here's how. A little tip for you: Google+ has said no to contests. So, don't think that's a way to get around Facebooks TOS.

Have you been struggling to find the purpose of Google+? This smart post from SmartBlog on Social Media gives us all a good reason to want to be on Google+. I haven't spent a ton of time on it and sometimes I have to remind myself that it exists, but I think it's worth the effort. (And now I want to go to BlogWorld Expo more than ever!) Further support for Google+ came from Mathew Ingram at GigaOM. If you really don't want to get into another social network, that's fine. But if you work in marketing and communications, it's a bad idea to ignore G+.

Facebook gave us all reason to cheer this week when they finally announced they will henceforth treat all third party posting apps equally. I was skeptical so I've been doing a little testing between manual posts and automated posts. I've had mixed results. Sometimes my manual posts are getting more impressions and sometimes they're getting less. It has improved though. I can say that with certainty. So, go forth and use your Hootsuite and RSS Graffiti at will. But if you're using Notes as your feed? You might want to find another option. (I was never a fan of this one anyway.)

Are you a fan of the Top Stories in Facebook's latest updates? Some are, some aren't. That is the one thing in the September changes that I don't care for. Thankfully, Facebook is going to give us back our chronological option...soon.

In a huge win for privacy, Facebook has finally been told they need to stop making controversial changes opt-out (like Beacon, facial recognition, etc.). As for the recent "Take This Lollipop"'s a great perspective that I happen to agree with. We DO have control over our privacy on Facebook. No one forces us to post anything on there at all. I didn't install the app, but I doubt it would scare the hell out of me.

Speaking of Facebook, have you ever seen a page that resembles a Web site? Yeah, me too. Gini Dietrich has a great post about the pros and cons of this practice. The biggest downsides? You don't own your content and you limit your reach to those who use Facebook, even if that number does hover around 800 million-ish.

Email is officially middle-aged now. Well, at least in terms of human life expectancy. 40 years old last month. Who's heard that email is dying? *raises hand* My inbox disagrees, as do many experts who are pushing for companies to jump on the email marketing bandwagon. It IS a powerful tool, but I'll talk about that more another day.

Finally a LinkedIn post that doesn't encourage people to link their feeds from other social networks.

Do you ever wonder how to drive traffic to your site other than posting links on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook? Wonder no more.

What are your thoughts on the Ashton Kutcher story? Would you ever let someone else post content for public consumption under your name?