Buzz and Brilliance: Week ending November 19

While most people are still talking about the battle between Facebook and Google+ (that I still maintain is ridiculous) I am beginning to think there is a battle - of who gets the most news stories of the week. And, quite frankly, with the numerous different products Google has, Facebook is likely always going to be the winner. They're always the big news of the week, so I'm going to start with someone else for once.

One of my favorite tools to help me organize content and ideas is Evernote. It's become invaluable to me, from the ability to easily clip pages on the web from my browser to accessing my notes anywhere - web, desktop, iPad, iPhone (and they're on the other major mobile platforms as well). My Evernote notes even get searched when I search google, which is great for me to be able to access content I already have on topics I'm searching. This week, Evernote launched a new browser plugin, Clearly. It's a great way to clean up busy web pages to consume the more important content. The downside is that it cleans up web pages to consume the content. No ads, no links within the post. This is even more stripped down than RSS feeds. It is easy to toggle back and forth from Clearly to the live version of the site, so visitors won't entirely miss what you're delivering if they use Clearly, but it will give (in many ways) a much nicer Web experience.

I've been doing some experimenting in a Facebook group on posts that get engagement. What I'm finding is that the easier the question, the better engagement I get across the board. It's given me some insight into why updates from brands are ignoredMari Smith has put together a great list of tips to help generate better sharing. There is no better indication of an engaged audience than when they want to share your content with their friends and followers. Better engagement from brands will reduce un-likes/follows regardless of the platform.

Speaking of engagement, do you know the difference between engagement and social media optimization? Mashable defines both and explains how adopting appropriate strategies in both areas will benefit you with increased, targeted readership. As other research suggests, engagement begets engagement - though it's not all equal. Maybe there are other ways engagement would improve for brands on Facebook, but friending a brand is going to be a tough sell.

If you have thoughts on ways to improve Facebook pages, you'll be happy to know that Facebook wants your feedback! I'd encourage you - if you're interested - to read on about the latest changes to the Facebook Events, Photos and Jobvite.

The introduction of Google+ brand pages means that there is a whole new round of comparison stories. The overwhelming majority (that I've seen) are ho-hum about the Google+ introduction. Many have said businesses don't need to have a G+ page yet...I tend to agree. But there are plenty of compelling reasons why you'd want to start a G+ brand page as well. This isn't any huge surprise since Facebook has about 5 years on Google+ in the page stakes. Not to mention a hefty lead in the user department with 750million (and counting) more users to attract.

By the way, if you're still an individual unsure about Google+, don't worry. It's not for everyone.

QR Codes are by no means mainstream or even "popular" by today's standards. But they're gaining traction and it doesn't look like they're going to fade away any time soon given the diverse and creative ways that businesses are finding to use them.

For over a year, Digg has been taking a dive (I've pretty much ignored my Digg account for two years) and - more and more - Reddit is flying high. I thought about joining Reddit a year or so ago, but decided against it. I'm changing my mind - look for a post about it in the coming weeks. Of course, just as with StumbleUpon, Reddit is what I would term as a secondary network. Not meant to take a great deal of time or replace Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+. Having recently read some other interesting stories from Kenna McHugh lately, my interest is officially piqued.

Foursquare has incorporated new badges that highlight users' expertise in various areas. I hardly need to point out that this will be incredibly useful for people to build proof of authority - particularly for anyone in food and retail, but other topics that are well-supported with location-based information as well. With their recent re-design as well, I have a renewed interest in what will come in the next little while from Foursquare. I think they could be answering users' requests in such a way that is creating a robust, (unbeatable?) tool.

As soon as I saw the title of this 12 Most post, I knew my RSS reader was likely about to get another boost. Thankfully, it's a small boost. I was already following most of them. For the record, anytime I get recommendations like this with a great reason, I'm likely to subscribe. My one complaint about this piece is that there were no links to the blogs, because that would have been really useful.

To me, it's a dangerous practice to definitively say someone is doing social media "wrong". I think that requires proof, such as lack of growth, effectiveness in the network they're building. So, when I saw Mathew Ingram's post earlier this week, I was curious about what he had to say about the use of Twitter by media companies and Adam Singer did a good job of pointing out that social media use just isn't that black and white. On the other hand, sometimes we see people suggest practices that don't have solid logic behind them, so questioning the practice is valuable.

One use of Twitter than we CAN definitively say is just wrong is spam. And it's been getting worse lately. TweetSmarter has some info about it and steps Twitter is taking to alleviate the pain for all of us.

Wendy's recently ran a twitter campaign that netted a secondary account 33,000 followers in just one month. While it's impressive, I'd love to know specifics about their tactics before I would say it's a great idea. If they aren't using methods that are measurable, it's impossible to say how effective such a campaign will be on their bottom line. However, it is a very creative way to gamify social media use and create greater brand awareness as well. General best practice would say that splitting accounts isn't a good idea, but maybe Wendy's has come up with a clever way to benefit from having secondary twitter feeds.

On a final merry note, I cannot believe how tempted I am by this Twitter-sourced ornament! Have a great week!

Buzz and Brilliance - Week of September 12

A lot of the content of The Media Mesh is going to be thoughts (mostly mine) on any topic related to social media. But there's a lot going on out there and I want to take the opportunity about once a week to highlight some of the news that comes out of the week, with a side of brilliant thoughts/strategy that I find in my daily reading. And occasionally, I'm sure I'll run across some fun tidbits to share too.


This week has been all about Facebook. Subscriptions, Pages,, Smart Lists (coming to most accounts in the next couple of weeks), Privacy. Okay, privacy was actually pretty old news, but have you gone through the new settings yet? If not, try to schedule it in. I try to go through their settings thoroughly every time Facebook makes a change since they have this pesky little habit of opting me into things - whether I want them or not. This week's most confusing news related to Facebook was the new subscription settings. If you're curious about how this new feature might benefit you, check out this Mashable post.

Facebook brilliance: A bit of page strategy can be found in this post about using tools other than Facebook to post to pages. This wasn't the only post I read this week about the affect that third-party posting options have on your Edge Rank. While I think it's really valuable to know this and keep it in your mind, don't throw out all your automated RSS feeds just yet. If it's

Not one to let Facebook get all the attention, Twitter had some exciting news this week, too: Web analytics (for the 3,000,000 Web sites using the tweet button). Okay, so that may not sound all that exciting, but for anyone who likes mining data this will be a veritable goldmine - for advertisers. For twitter, it's one step closer to the holy grail of monetizing their service. For the rest of us? I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I want twitter to make money so I can keep merrily tweeting about my life, but I don't want them to ruin the experience. Since the announcement was made at TechCrunch's their story too.

Twitter brilliance: I always find it interesting to read about the thought process that goes into someone's tweeting behaviors - even if I don't agree with their tactics, there were a few here I don't agree with, but this post is still full of insights.

I logged into Klout yesterday to check out a perk and got a notification that I was selected to preview the new topics pages. So, after I previewed them (which was an underwhelming experience) I jumped over to Google Reader to find out what was going on. These topic pages, as noted in this post, are the first use we're seeing of the +K feature that was introduced back in June. So far, I'm dubious about the usefulness of these pages. It seems like it might be just another thing that the truly ambitious types can game to get attention and I'm not going to be interested if it turns into a popularity contest. But, as you'll see from the Klout brilliance below, even this dubious Klout user is trying to maintain some optimism about the tool's usefulness.

Klout brilliance: I have a Klout post brewing of my own and these guys are helping spur it on. I happen to be a sometime critic of Klout, even knowing that there is great potential for Klout to matter - for some, it already does.

Social Media Brilliance

I read a lot of blogs and I see great advice on strategy and social media management in the hundreds of posts that I download to my reader daily. There's no doubt that social media is a time suck - particularly if it's your job, and most especially if it's a hobby. The important thing to remember if you're overwhelmed is that you can control it.

Do you think you'd like to work in social media? Are you looking to hire one? This list of qualities of an effective social media manager would be a good place to start to figure out if it's the right fit for you. And don't let the "nonprofit" in the banner fool you - this list applies to any industry.

Just for Fun

Blast from the Past - Twitter, Facebook and Google

Tip of the Week (NSFW) - This one's all about search on Google via Images. I didn't try to replicate it because I don't care, but it would be easy to accidentally do this at work...and, uh, oops.