Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending February 18

Every week I compile list of the noteworthy news (Buzz) from my week of reading. I like to balance news with commentary, but it has to be really valuable for my readers (Brilliance). The links that follow are to sites and blogs that I read on a regular basis - consider them recommended reading for you too. Or you can just come back here each week for a taste of what stuck out to me.


I haven’t heard a whole lot this week that was big news and not also big rumor. One item going around is that Facebook will begin rolling out Timeline for Pages in the next few weeks. I really hope it’s true. I’ll let you know when I hear.

Facebook has announced that it will verify accounts for certain “famous” users now. Their process  is better defined than Twitter’s, but there will be no visible identification of verified accounts, which actually makes the process useless to the average user who wants to know if that really IS Lady Gaga they just subscribed to.

StumbleUpon is offering users a way to hide the StumbleUpon bar, which takes up some pretty significant real estate on a wide screen. They’ve also added original link to reviews so that content creators get proper attribution. These two moves have restored my desire to use this tool that I’ve all but abandoned since the changes took place.

The darling of the social media world these days is clearly Pinterest. Everyone is talking about this beautiful tool and how it’s revolutionizing the way we share. As much as I love the tool, I must admit to being a little Pinterested out. Do you want to know more about Pinterest? How about how to “trick out” your boards?

And if you’ve had enough of the comparisons of Facebook to Google+, don’t worry. Apparently we’ve switched to comparing Google+ and Pinterest.

Brilliance - Blogging Edition

I’ve been blogging for three years, which means I’ve been around a while, but I’m still a relative newbie compared to some of the bloggers that I respect. This week, as I was going through the many brilliant posts I get to read, there seemed to be so much good stuff about blogging. So, welcome to the Blogging Edition of Brilliance. You can learn a lot from these five articles!

What is one of the first pages a new visitor will check out on your web site? You guessed it - the about page. They want to know who you are and what you do. This handy list will help keep you from making mistakes on the page that could frustrate visitors.

Of course, you can’t realistically expect to write an adequate about page if you don’t know the answers to these three questions. In fact, it could be argued that one shouldn’t begin (seriously) blogging unless you do answer them.

Something I have a hard time with is writing through writer’s block. Christopher Penn’s post this week spoke to me. Just keep going. He writes a lot about digital marketing, but it applies to anything you’re doing - just keep pushing that snowball.

The best writing tip on this list is “Write the way you talk. Naturally.” This might seem to be in conflict when you think about business writing versus personal writing, but it isn’t. We adopt different modes of speech based on the situations we’re in at any given time. It only makes sense to do the same in our writing.

If ever there was a guide to better blogging, this is it. How appropriate that it comes from Problogger.

And a bonus for the business owners out there, here’s a comprehensive list of non-financial benefits of blogging. Now, do you still need to ask why you should blog?


The #MediaMeshBBC is not going to meet this week after all. I’m going to set a new date in March because February has been too busy for much reading. But the busyness is going to bring some exciting news that I can’t wait to share with you!

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 Timelines.com'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!

Buzz and Brilliance - Week of September 19

Last week was a more balanced week for buzz and brilliance. This week has been all buzz about Facebook. Mostly. Sort of - this might be a long post. :) So, let's jump right in.

Facebook's 4th f8 came on the heels of updates to Facebook that left users with very mixed reactions. The updates included the ability to subscribe to other users' public posts, the one move that I admittedly liked but also wondered if it fit the one-to-one relationship building that Facebook was built on. Apparently, I'm not alone in this line of thinking. But that doesn't mean the subscribe button is a bad thing - some like its potential. One update that I think is a great enhancement, but I may not use much is the smart lists. Why? Mostly because I don't do much filtering of content and I'm stingy about the data I enter into Facebook. Therefore, several of the built-in smart lists aren't even available to me. And let's not forget the two most controversial changes - the top stories and the ticker. The top stories I'm going to tolerate for a while without complaint. The ticker...well, I like it. But if you're desperately wishing it would just go away, here's how you can make that happen.

Personally, I didn't find the changes made a huge difference to my user experience; it was comfortable progress. I still knew where to find everything. Was that that all Facebook had up its sleeve this week? Not a chance. Here's the short, sweet story of f8 announcements, but read on if you want a quick overview and more in-depth coverage.

It's hard to know where to begin with the f8 announcements there was so much happening. The keynote started with Andy Samberg "hijacking" the stage and poking a bit of fun at Zuckerberg.

As exciting as these changes are, some believe Facebook still has some work to do. But so do users. Check your privacy settings, think about what you're posting. In amongst all the #f8 tweets, I spotted this tweet that says, "Make no mistake. Your timeline is now your new resume. Don't populate it with stuff you don't want people to see." Wise words that were reinforced by All Facebook. With all this talk of OpenGraph, some are worried that this is the new Beacon.

The biggest disappointment of The Week of Facebook is the lack of change in mobile apps. Despite that, Facebook raised the bar this week, giving Google+ some incentive to bring their A-game.

Speaking of Google+ - it's officially open to everyone. If you want to get started on G+, here are a few tips from Christopher Penn. And while you're at it, keep this in mind. Fortunately for Google, they didn't stop at opening up Google+. They also added 9 new features that are packed with potential. They're still under fire for their stance on names and I'm wondering if they'll ever relent. Finally, you can now link your Google+ profile to Klout!

Another big announcement from Google is the roll out of Wallet. My guess is this is another of those tools that Canada is just going to have to wait to use. Other Google news includes their announcement that AdWords will reward mobile-optimized sites. Just a little something to think about if your site isn't mobile-friendly yet. Google search now has a preview when you hover over search results. I spotted it today before I read about it and it's not too bad - it will save me clicking on the wrong site occasionally, no doubt.

Foursquare achieved the milestone of a billion check-ins this week and made some changes that will protect the exact location of your home. I can guarantee you that I still won't be checking in at my home any time soon (a.k.a. ever). I share a lot online, but that's way beyond my comfort zone.

Fail Whale Winner

The most outrageous story I've seen in a long time is one I clued in to when I saw Peter Shankman tweet about it this morning. He sees it as a lesson about passwords; I see it as a lesson about letting others tweet under your name, as well as some seriously lacking exit procedures. TechCrunch thinks this story is funny. And now it appears that a second ghosttweeter has gone rogue. It's not funny - it's sad that someone who claims to be an "internet sales and marketing professional" could be caught so completely blind by something like this - especially after tweeting quite frequently about how to use social media. Incorporating an exit checklist would probably benefit him if he's going to fire staff in the future. For instigating a most spectacular #fail, he wins the fail whale this week.

Last, but not least, I wanted to share that women are the dominant force in social media, according to a study reported by Mashable.

What is it about social media that is so attractive to women? Anyone have a theory?

And - any thoughts on the news that came out this week? Who's dying to see the new Facebook roll out NOW??
Enhanced by Zemanta