Jeff Jarvis

Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending January 14

CES might have been going on this week, but the rest of the world still kept journalists hopping on the social news - from SOPA to Google to a place called Boner's BBQ. I bet they never expected to be nationally known. And I'm officially not sharing just five links because the SOPA/Google stories are just too complex to throw just one out there.


Source: Stop SOPA Page on Google+

SOPA is the acronym for Stop Online Piracy Act and if you're not aware of it or think you're unaffected because you live outside the U.S., please read this brief overview or this more comprehensive overview (the long one is worth your time) to get up to speed. The U.S. is a world leader and they set precedents for other jurisdictions all the time AND your site may be "based" outside the U.S., but that doesn't mean it's immune from being affected. One interesting development (and I'm surprised it's taken so long to come to light) is that the sponsor of the bill appears to have his own copyright infringement issues. Tim O'Reilly shared his thoughts about SOPA with GigaOM this past week and I think he makes a lot of sense. Yesterday, the news out of the White House gives me hope that this will never see the light of day. Obama disagrees with some key parts of SOPA and PIPA, which leads some to believe he'll veto both if they pass. Following the release of the statement from the White House, Jeff Jarvis asks some pointed questions about where the U.S. Government will let this battle go in the future. This is important for all of us who want a free Internet. That really is what's at stake with should any of these bills pass. It's important enough to some that they're initiating a blackout this Wednesday.

It's hard to say whether Google or SOPA won the race to the top of the news heap this week. The release of "Search, plus Your World" has led to a vocal backlash where some believe this will lead to further anti-trust investigations and few speaking up to support it (including Matt Cutts, of course). Meanwhile, there's been a back and forth tiff between Twitter and Google that resembles something from the schoolyard. Facebook has been fairly "quiet" about the whole business. Mathew Ingram summarizes the entire Google search saga quite eloquently and points out that this war between Google and Twitter is only hurting users. Finally, Danny Sullivan at Search Engine Land did some pretty interesting analysis of real-life search examples if you'd like to see how this is working.

Marketers, PR reps and humans in general gasped in horror at Papa John's and Boner's BBQ for their unbelievably offensive treatment of customers this past week. And in true Gini Dietrich style, she's given them the advice they need to avoid the post-screw-up PR disaster that they've just experienced should future mishaps occur. I just hope more businesses start reading Spin Sucks so they respond appropriately and timely to avoid getting into these tangles in the first place.

Finally, this week Facebook - without much fanfare - rolled out sponsored posts that will appear in your news feed this week. I haven't seen any in my feed yet, but the majority of the pages I "like" are not the kind that would purchase this kind of advertising.


Who out there uses social media and has been followed by (or follows) someone claiming to be a guru, ninja or expert in social media? (I'm raising my hand.) Mitch Joel admits to being fascinated with Social Media and the rise of the social media celebrity. He raised some thought-provoking points this week about the social media Kool-Aid.

"Social business" is a term I've been hearing more and more lately - 2012 is apparently the year of the social business. I'm still making up my mind, but I don't think I particularly care for it. I'm not sure we need to designate everything social if it comes into close contact or touches social media. I'm not sure we need to have a term to reflect the changing culture of business with the rise of social media use. Widely accepted business practices have changed in the past and we didn't necessarily put a name on it. That said, there's a lot of wisdom in Pam Moore's tips for becoming a social business that businesses should heed.

You probably already read it, but it's worth repeating. Seth Godin's post this week on the TED imperative is short, sweet and so very well said. It's the Cole's(Cliff) notes version of Pam's post about social business, but it's really all anyone creating content needs.

Ever since I realized a friend in my teen years had a bit of a jealous streak aimed at a talent I had that they were less proficient with, I've felt strongly that we each have to accept our strengths and weaknesses. Recognizing them makes life easier and allows us to ask for help where we're weak and speak up to help where we're strong. Finding your strengths can be so empowering - here's a few tips on how to do it.

I sometimes struggle to work at home, but most of the time it's really productive. This article helped me see how I could do even better.

This week from The Media Mesh

This past week The Media Mesh started a new series, Social 101, and our first topic was Twitter. I hosted the first twitter chat for #MediaMeshBBC. And the Sixty Second Social this week was about social media shortcuts and trying to emulate high profile people. Coming up this week, I'll be sharing the details of our next Business Book Club assignment, going over the 5 Ws of Twitter and more!

Privacy through Publicness: My thoughts after hearing Jeff Jarvis

Last Friday night I had the absolute pleasure of going to see Jeff Jarvis speak at the Canadian launch (in Ottawa) of his second book, Public Parts. (First book was What Would Google Do?) I haven't read either of Jeff's books...yet. They are both on my list and I snagged a copy of Public Parts at the launch Friday, so I'm halfway there already.

First of all, I would like to say that Jeff was an amazing speaker. Should you have the opportunity to hear him, do not miss out. And if you can't see him speak in person any time soon, just listen to his show on TWiT, This Week in Google. I follow his blog, Buzz Machine, which I've linked to about four times already. ;) This man has thoughts about privacy that make a lot of sense to me.

I'm just going to share a few (paraphrased) points that Jeff made - thoughts that are so important to the way we use and think about this online space that we're immersed in:

  • Jeff opened with talking about fear of privacy (breech) being associated with new technologies - he shared examples of the Gutenberg press and Kodakers and the backlash regarding privacy.
    My thoughts: This puts privacy concerns of today into a certain perspective. Are we moving toward a world where publicness is the norm?

  • Privacy is an ethic. Each of us is responsible for making use of it.
    My thoughts: Yes!!! What is shared out there is under my control. Granted, others may share things about me that I'm not comfortable with, but  those incidents can be dealt with.

  • We're still trying to figure out the social norms for online. When something new comes along, it's okay to proceed with caution, but stay open to the opportunities for good to come of it.
    My thoughts:  We trust banks, utility companies and other companies with our data for decades now. We've purchased magazines from companies that openly admit to selling our information. What Facebook and Google do with our data isn't all that different. The immediacy of the information and the volume scares people, though.

  • After sharing about his experience with prostate cancer, Jeff shared that men in the U.S. are being told they don't need to be checked. Less information is never good. Go get checked. How does that apply online? Imagine the good that can come from people sharing stories about their health. The connections, support and potentially links to causes. Yes, insurance companies can see it if it's online, but we have to tell them anyway.
    My thoughts: This is kind of revolutionary to me. I had never thought of this subject in the realm of the scientific advantages. But, setting that aside, the connections and support are invaluable.

  • Publicness eliminates the idea of a stranger, enables collaboration, community, wisdom of the crowd, disarms stigmas.
    My thoughts: Publicness opens doors you never even realized were there. Along with all these other benefits, it's hard to make a case against being public.

  • What you share on the Internet is a tattoo. It's permanent. Oversharing means the listener isn't interested. ("Don't want to hear what I have to say: unfriend, unfollow, don't read. Don't tell me I'm oversharing.") Jeff talked about the "digital native" myth and shared that we all have to learn to navigate this new space.
    My thoughts: I think oversharing can also be defined as sharing something you wish you hadn't shared. It happens every now and then. But people I see "oversharing" are usually sharing more than I'm comfortable with and it has nothing to do with them or anyone else.

  • Companies need to be more open. If they don't, we will trust them less. Government should be open by default, though necessary secrets do exist and are understandable.
    My thoughts: I agree. I often wonder why I can't find certain companies on social sites and why they aren't interacting with people. If I say something to a company, I (usually) expect a response, but often don't get one. Companies who respond to my random tweets about their products get an A+ in my book, especially if they work to address a problem. Same applies to government entities.

By far, the greatest argument for publicness was this: If you have information that can help someone, why not share it?

You can see the full stream of tweets for the event here and Joe Thornley published a list of reviews and posts from the Toronto and Ottawa events that took place last week.