Buzz and Brilliance - Week ending October 6

The biggest news stories this week and greatest brilliance really didn't come from social media. It was first the launch of the iPhone 4S (the coolest parts of which are Siri and iCloud) that dominated my RSS feed, followed shockingly by Steve Jobs' death. I had to stop myself from reading the multitudes of amazing tributes to Steve Jobs today because I've been genuinely affected by his passing. Though these stories will no doubt affect users of social media, they're not the focus of Buzz and Brilliance. But I'd be remiss if I didn't at least mention them.

No doubt due to the aforementioned stories, much of the news this week has been pretty low-key stuff.

One small news item that I'm excited about is that a newish blog, 12most, which is fast becoming a favorite of mine, is looking for new guest bloggers. The beauty of guest posting for 12most is that you get to pick the subject AND you can cross-post. And it will get you really good exposure in your area of expertise.

Another favorite blog of mine is Spin Sucks. The name is pretty catchy, don't you think? Gini wrote this week about five tools to prepare for 2012 and, after I stopped hyperventilating over the fact that 2011 is truly almost over, I thought she made some excellent suggestions.

Where spin doesn't actually suck is when you can take a seemingly negative trait and turn it into a positive selling point. This short, sweet, to-the-point post gives a perfect example.

Google, being the proprietor of all things data-related, appears to be entering the travel business. Though I like the ease of using Google products, I'm not sure I want my travel plans and all related data connected to my Google account, which is also a social network for me. Can you imagine the consequences if there was a data leak? Sometimes one-stop shopping for everything isn't an advantage. Think I'm overreacting? Check this out. Despite all of that, I am really excited that Google+ will soon have brand integration.

The recent Facebook changes have re-energized my interest in the platform. And yet I can see issues that will annoy or even alienate some users. Do you think, as this Mashable Op-Ed piece states, that Facebook is getting too complicated? Are you looking to spice up your Facebook activity for your business? Here are a few tips from Hubspot to help you get started. Alternatively, you might want to review this 12most list of mistakes to avoid (or discontinue).

Are you keeping tabs on what Facebook is doing these days? Whether you think you have a right to privacy on a site that is offering you a service at no cost or not, it's important to know where it's headed so you're not caught off guard. Not to mention that roughly every two months a new privacy breach is uncovered in the hallowed https of Facebook! Of course, there's a slim (not really) chance FB Timelines won't roll out on time. (Personally, I think this lawsuit is more reflective of's inability to innovate to attract users more than it is about confusion. A site that devotes itself to documenting historical event timelines is not easily confused with Facebook.) In other Facebook news, they're ditching the discussions tab on pages. Yes, I know you're thoroughly disappointed that you now know you will never get a response to that inquiry from three years ago.

Have you tried branching out into video yet? I haven't, but I'm starting to think about it. I have no idea what I'd do and I don't plan to jump in until I do. But if you have hangups about the value or just aren't sure it's worth the time and effort, read a few wise words from MarketingProfs before you discard the option. Maybe one day I'll actually link my YouTube account to my Klout profile! Speaking of YouTube, there's a lot of myths floating around about their policies. Here's five of them debunked for you. You're welcome.

I'm not a big fan of people who spout off a million "rules" for social media usage. However, there are definitely times when you can learn from the mistakes of others. Twitter is a great tool when it's used well, but it's not too hard to create a bad impression that turns people off. If you need more ideas on how to better engage your followers, Duct Tape Marketing has a pretty creative ideas here. Finally, if you want to swear like a sailor and do  something good, check out the Twitter Charity Swear Box. It almost makes me want to swear online...but no, not gonna happen.

Do you ever wonder why I talk so much about engaging your audience? Wonder no more.

LinkedIn is getting a home in Hootsuite, which makes me wonder two things: Will engagement increase on the network, and will people finally start to notice that linking their Twitter account was never a good idea?

Pinterest is being talked about so much lately and I keep wondering what I'm missing. As a tool, platform or whatever you want to call it, it doesn't appeal to me. Maybe I'll force myself to use it for a while to study the benefits. It's not as if I mind using anything related to social media. :)

Finally, another link-sharing network that I really like is StumbleUpon. I'm reminding myself to use it as much as possible and learn everything I can about it. The more I learn, the more I like it. If you haven't signed up, do. It's truly a window to a world you'd completely miss otherwise.

Next week I'll be attending Blissdom Canada in Toronto. Depending on time, I may not be able to do my weekly roundup, but I'll be back again in two weeks. Watch my tumblr blog - The Mini Mesh - for stories and commentary through the week!