Inside PR 270: We talk about Intranets and the changes to Facebook

In this week’s Inside PR, Martin WaxmanGini Dietrich and Joseph Thornley talk about Intranets and the recent changes to Facebook.

Joe’s company’s Intranet is built around a Wiki to host content, Present.ly to support publishing and linking to content and Windows Live Messenger to enable one to one video calls. He encourages people to use these three tools to divert content from emails (we all suffer from inbox glut) and to channel communications from broad publishing through to one to one communications via video.

Martin points out that we have so many “places to go,” so many channels of communication, that managing these different channels can become a challenge unto itself.

And then there’s Facebook. We received a comment from Liza Butcher, who suggested that, “With the changes made this past week, I believe facebook it is trying to be too many things in one space, and ostracizing generations of people that may not be as tech savvy as others. … Facebook was a place for everyone, and now it is becoming too technical for the masses.”

Gini and Martin talk about their impressions of the most recent Facebook changes. Gini points out that it will be important to decide what you want to include in your timeline. Sharing everything won’t be for everyone. And it’s important to be aware of what the timeline automatically shares so that you can filter out the info you wouldn’t want to see there. Martin suggests that we all should become familiar with the “view activity” panel that will enable us to remove content from our timeline. Other neat features: the cover photo we can add to our Facebook profile and the ability to add “milestones” to fill in our timeline.

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Reminder: Inside PR will be recording live from the PRSA International Conference in Orlando on October 16 and 17. We’ll also be interviewing speakers and participants. So, if you’re planning to be there, let us know and we will grab a sound bite with you.


Inside PR 2.69: TV or not TV…that is the question

Gini, Joe and Martin start off by announcing they’ll be attending the PRSA International Conference in Orlando, Florida, October 15 to 18 as ‘roving reporters’ roaming the halls and recording episodes of Inside PR.  If you have any suggestions for topics or would like to do an interview, please let us know.

Inside PR is also sponsoring a tweetup at the conference on Monday, October 17 – details to follow.  We hope to see you there.

Joe then talks about a post on the Niemen Journalism Lab blog, ‘A Vast Wasteland Revisited’, to mark the 50th anniversary of FCC Chair Newton Minnow’s speech about television’s potential for greatness… or garbage (i.e. the wasteland).

He feels the ideas resonate more than ever today with social media and especially Facebook, which can be seen as another ‘vast wasteland’.

Martin segues into some of the changes Facebook has made recently including the ability to subscribe to feeds from people you’re not friends with and its new lists function. Gini thinks the change is an interesting play on privacy and if you just want to communicate with friends, you should turn off the subscription option.  Gini uses Facebook for business publicly and is more private about her personal profile.

Joe thinks this could be the week Facebook lost it by overcomplicating things and introducing too many features.  He believes Twitter is a great news feed; Google+ is the place to have conversations with smart people and blogs are where you go to read and comment on long-form ideas.

Martin mentions the fact that you now have lists on the left side between groups and pages and the defaults aren’t working well for him. For example, the college default is a random group of friends who happened to go to the same university he did at some point and doesn’t have any cohesiveness beyond place.

For our second topic, Gini talks about Netflix CEO Reed Hastings saying how the company ‘messed up’ the way it handled the price increase. She believes he shows some humility because, while Netflix had moved away from listening to its customers and made the decision in a boardroom, a customer uproar caused them to admit they were wrong.

Gini goes on to say it’s clear Netflix wants to shed its DVD service and move to streaming, but from a communication perspective, they should have had better counsel.  Joe discloses that one of his clients works in a similar space – but as an outside observer, he’s impressed when any company is honest with its customers.  It will be interesting to see if their actions are enough for people to give them another chance.

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pron Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR 2.68: The Evolution of Journalism

This week on Inside PR, Joe Thornley, Martin Waxman, and I discuss how two interesting studies – Twitter active users and bit.ly link active length of time – intersect with the departure of Michael Arrington from TechCrunch and the evolution of journalism.

The interesting thing to note is that Twitter shows they have 100 million active users. But, as Fred Wilson points out, there are 400 million monthly unique visitors on Twitter.

Four hundred million monthly uniques.

This statistic, alone, demonstrates the value of Twitter as a newsfeed and we discuss the implications of this on both the fourth and fifth estates.

Then to add a layer, Michael Arrington, who infamously has said he doesn’t care if he’s right, he just wants to be first, was publicly fired from TechCrunch because of ethical concerns around his newly created CrunchFund.

We discuss what this means both for social media and journalism, as we know it.

And to add one more layer, Matthew Ingram blogs that it’s not just nice for media to be social, it’s imperative. He says journalists have become complacent and stopped engaging, assuming their readers will come to them.

In response to Ingram, Dave Weiner argues that journalism is becoming obsolete because it was a response to publishing and it was, but now we can all be distributors. And Ingram responds with saying that it’s not becoming obsolete, but rather, evolving rapidly.

The point of all this back and forth is that, as communications professionals, we need to understand there are profound implications to the way we’re getting our news, how content is being created, and what is being published and distributed.

We discuss how journalism (the fourth estate) is about providing context and expertise and citizen journalists (the fifth estate, or citizen witnesses, as Joe calls them) provide quick information without that context.

And these wonderful discussions are all wrapped up with some exciting news that you’ll want to hang around to hear!

You’ll find the links bookmarked on Diigo as IPR268.

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pron Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.

Inside PR 2.67: Summer’s over and IPR is back

We’re back. Ready for another year of Inside PR. And we hope you’ll be joining us again for a discussion of communication, technology, community and the impact they are having on us.

We start off today’s podcast with a discussion of corporate social responsibility – an issue Liza Butcher raised in a comment last week. Gini talks about the preference people have to work with a company that gives back. Joe cites Guy Kawasaki’s suggestion in Enchantment that you “should be a mensch.” Among other things, this means that you should “help someone who can be of absolutely no use to you.” Martin underlines this point with an example of a company that risked appearing self serving and self congratulatory in acting upon their social responsibility.

We also talk about the We the People site that is being launched by the White House. Joe compares it to the British Prime Minister’s Number10 Website, which also has a petition function as well as links to policy consultations. Gini argues that the site falls short of its potential by making the culmination of the process a response from policy makers in the White House. Martin wonders about the requirement for 5,000 expressions of support as the threshold at which petitions will receive a reply. Is it an arbitrary number? Or is there some rationale for this?

Finally, we talk about the recent news that monitoring service VMS shut its doors recently. Katie Paine published a thoughtful post on why the service failed. One of her arguments is that some longstanding suppliers are focused on giving their customers what they feel comfortable with. Newer entrants like Radian6 and Sysomos are innovating to provide the marketplace with new insights. Services that don’t match them will fall by the wayside.

Do you have an idea for a topic you would like us to discuss? Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the Inside PR Facebook group, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pron Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoe Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer.

This week’s episode was produced by Kristine Simpson.