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 [email protected], 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.


  1. Liza Butcher

    I very much agree with the comments made about facebook. I find the subscribe feature going over the top. To me facebook is a place to have conversations with friends, and not a place where strangers can see what you are talking about.

    As Joe mentioned, facebook is a place for his mother, and although my mother would find facebook too complex as it was prior to the changes. 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. We are not all social media experts, and I think facebook is trying too hard. As Joe said ” It too much trouble to use.”


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