Inside PR 500: The Web is 29 years old and we still have hope

It’s episode 500 of Inside PR. Thank you for listening to the first 500. And now,we’re starting the next 500. Episode 1,000, here we come!

This week we talk about positive steps by Twitter, Facebook and Netflix to promote authoritative news sources and video news magazines. A new news ecosystem takes shape?

The Web is almost 30 years old. And the Web’s inventor, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, wrote a thought-provoking article about the threats to the Web. Well worth reading and considering. Something about which we all should be taking action.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

Creative Commons Licence
Inside PR 500 by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 499: Algorithms are as neutral as the people who write them

This week, we talk about the introduction of ethics into tech education, a move that’s long overdue. Could ethics in Tech turn on the concept, Do no harm?

Also: Facebook users are skewing older as younger people move to other platforms. Can geritol ads be far behind? And Google AMP Stories shows another platform moving to take advantage of the trend to package and present content as stories.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

Creative Commons Licence
Inside PR 499 by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 497: Take control of your personal privacy and data

Who will give us the tools to have control over our personal privacy and data?

This week, we keep the focus on Facebook and its algorithms. As long as two thirds of us are using the platform, it is important. We start our discussion with Matthew Ingram’s recent Columbia Journalism Review article, Facebook’s latest changes will probably make misinformation worse. Facebook is indisputably a media company. A change in its algorithm will not change that. And so measures like its two question news questionnaire are something we should examine closely, like every move Facebook is making in this area. But as we do, we must recognize that Facebook’s algorithm is opaque to its users. There is no way we really can know what is going on under the hood. And that affects what we read. It’s a question of having control.

And, if you think that we are just baying at the moon, another piece of news worth noting, this time out of Canada. Think about the Right to be Forgotten. Then think about the GDPR. Think about CASL, the Canadian Anti Spam Law. Now read a discussion paper from the Privacy Commissioner of Canada . The need to give individuals more control over their data leads to a focus on de-indexing and source takedown. The bottom line: We may have a global internet, but we have national sovereignty over privacy and personal rights. So, pay attention. You may not want government regulation, but that doesn’t mean you won’t get it.

Finally, we talk about Google Bulletin, It reminds us that, before Facebook pushed into and then fled news, there was Google. And when we talk about innovation, let’s not count out Google.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

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Creative Commons Licence
Inside PR 497 by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 496: News on Facebook. Payola PR. Where’s the accountability and responsibility?

We take a further look at Facebook’s shifting treatment of news that appears in our newsfeeds. The problem: Facebook has become the dominant news distribution platform. However, the algorithms have had a nasty propensity to elevate what has been broadly labelled as fake news. So, in this new world, how are we to know what is real, what is reliable, what is trustworthy? In recent weeks, Facebook has announced measures to address this issue. Today, our conversation centers on the introduction of two survey questions to ask Facebook users about their awareness of and trust in news sources.

Also on this week’s agenda, payola PR. Does it exist? What does it say about ethics in PR? What should we as an industry and as individual practitioners do to combat it?

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

******************************************************************

Creative Commons Licence
Inside PR by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Inside PR 495: Facebook drops news. Now what?

Facebook head Mark Zuckerberg last week announced that Facebook’s solution for fake news is to remove news from the newsfeed. In making the announcement, Zuckerberg said:

“…I’m changing the goal I give our product teams from focusing on helping you find relevant content to helping you have more meaningful social interactions.

“…The first changes you’ll see will be in News Feed, where you can expect to see more from your friends, family and groups.

“As we roll this out, you’ll see less public content like posts from businesses, brands, and media. And the public content you see more will be held to the same standard — it should encourage meaningful interactions between people.”

So, less news in the newsfeed. More things that my friends share or that I click on. Martin Waxman and Joseph Thornley talk about the implications of this for news outlets, PR people and Facebook users themselves.

Some people say this is not a problem for them. Others say that this could be the nail in their coffin. It will take some time for this play out. It most assuredly creates a vacuum. And that could well lead to a period of innovation as publishers and communicators turn to other platforms and tools (check out Feedly).

However this turns out, there is no doubt that Facebook always looks after its own business interests. And in this case, its interest simply was not to come to grips with the problem it created in its relentless push to aggregate audiences and content outlets.

Facebook made this mess. Now the rest of us are left to deal with it.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR.

Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

******************************************************************

Creative Commons Licence
Inside PR 495: Facebook drops news. Now what? by Joseph Thornley, Gini Dietrich, Martin Waxman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Based on a work at https://insidepr.ca.

Inside PR 489: People before Platforms

We talked to one another for 42 minutes to plan the podcast before we started to record. At the end, we’ve decided to take the pressure off by saying that this is a recording that is not remarkable. Just three friends, three communications professionals talking about issues of importance to us. The responsibility of the big platforms, Facebook and Google.  Their begrudging appearance before Congress, an appearance that makes that case that government has levers that, just by their existence, keeps the big players in check. If Congress had not persisted, we never would have gotten the real picture about what was going on with Facebook, Google and Russian interference in the US election.

Yep, Facebook and Google are media companies. Publishers that makes judgements through the algorithms they deploy just as surely as humans do. Have they become too dominant, too focused on their own commercial interest, to realize the original dream of people connecting with one another in a meaningful, positive way?

And what’s the impact of a few dominant players on innovation? When they buy new innovative companies when they haven’t yet fully realized their potential.

That may not be a remarkable discussion. But that doesn’t make it unimportant.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

******************************************************************

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

IPR 480: Walks like a Duck. Quacks like a Duck. Must be Facebook the news publisher.

When is a yellow rubber duck worth a thousand words? Facebook walks like a news publisher and quacks like a news publisher; must be a news publisher. No surprise here: Venture capitalist research features their portfolio companies. But what of disclosure? Marketing with social bookmarking. Social media innovation is alive and well. And IPR is on iHeartRadio.  Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley tackles these issues in this episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Yellow Rubber Duckie?

The giant yellow duck that visited the Toronto Waterfront on Canada Day underlined that, even in this digital world, old-fashioned, real life stunts still pay off.

Inside PR is on iHeartRadio

This may be self-serving, but we want to tell you that Inside PR is available on iHeartRadio. We know that one of you found us – because in the three episodes since we arrived on iHeartRadio, we have had exactly ONE download of each episode of iHeartRadio. We love you whoever you are. And if you are our lone iHeartRadio subscriber, let us know, because we want to give you a shoutout on the next episode.

Social media innovation is alive and well

You may think that the glory days of social media innovation ended when Facebook became dominant. However, a recent Marketing Land post reminded us that the pace of change in social media is still rapid. Change is the new normal. But so much change this year.

No surprise here. Research by venture capitalists may focus on their investment portfolio

Tom Webster of Edison Research published a critical analysis of the Mary Meeker Internet Trends report. He didn’t question her observations. But he did point out that the growth examples that she profiled tended to be Kleiner Perkins investments. There’s nothing wrong with this. But it does beg the question of adequate disclosure. As Webster says, “take the report for what it is — an extremely effective piece of content marketing, promoting the trends and interests of a company selectively invested in the space.” PR people are familiar with the FTC rules governing disclosure of sponsored posts. Would Mary Meeker’s presentation at the Code Conference have passed this test? No one is questioning Meeker’s ethics. But the fact that the highlighting of Kleiner Perkins investments was not explicitly spelled out for the average observer does provide a cautionary example.

Marketing with Social Bookmarking

Gini and Joe have been longtime advocates of social bookmarking as a tool, as a means of contributing to the community, and as a way to make transparent our interests and our research. So, we were happily surprised to see the name of Martin’s latest Lynda.com course – Marketing with Social Bookmarking. Martin talks with us about the course and we exchange tips about how we get the most out of social bookmarking. Yes, this is a shameless plug for our co-host, Martin Waxman.

Facebook adjust its news feed algorithm, reinforcing its role as a news publisher

Facebook’s recent adjustment to its news feed algorithm underlines again that Facebook is a news publisher, not just a neutral conduit, and they have an obligation to serve the public good. Follow us here. When you…

  • Boast a “news feed value” that states that “News feeds should be informative,” (All the news that’s fit to print?)
  • Call out “a tiny group of people … who routinely share vast amounts of public posts per day, effectively spamming people’s feeds,” (letters to the editor?)
  • Suggest that, “Our research shows that the links they share tend to include low quality content  such as clickbait, sensationalism and misinformation.” (editorial judgment)
  • State baldly that, “We want to reduce the influence of these spammers,” and you adjust your news feed algorithm to suppress distribution of their posts,

…you have committed an editorial act on a par with the editor of any newspaper. You are not just a platform or a conduit, you are a news publisher with all the responsibilities to society and the obligations that status carries with it. Facebook, it’s time to step up, admit that you are a news publisher and accept all of the responsibilities that come with that status.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

#IPRMustKnow

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow. If you are tweeting or posting about the podcast, please include our hashtag so that we can find your post.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

******************************************************************

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 475: Car crashes all the time?

Ev Williams reminds us about what the Internet can and should be. Worth considering. Society & Data issues a report on Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online. Worth Reading. Is Pinterest Shazam for Food? Worth sampling. Facebook struggles with community standard and keeps marching forward in video. Worth a time out? And MP3 is dead. Worth debunking.

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are together for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online

Data & Society, the New York-based research institute has published a new study, Media Manipulation and Disinformation Online, which every person interested in today’s media environment should read. Media manipulation techniques are being used by a wide swathe of groups, such as the alt-right, Men’s Rights Activists, gamergaters and trolls. They observe one another, adopt techniques and adapt them to achieve their objectives. The report is well-researched and cites several recent case studies, including Hillary’s Health and Pizzagate. Well worth a couple hours of your time to read.

Pinterest: Shazam for Food?

Do you use Pinterest to share food, recipes and dining experiences? A huge number of people do, including Gini Dietrich. In fact, Pinterest reports over 5 billion food-related saves and searches by US-based users in the past year. And now Pinterest has introduced new tools, including visual Lens discovery, Recipe Pins and search filters to make it easier for users to post, promote and find food and related recipes.

Facebook keeps the focus on video

Three additional Facebook innovations in video are worth noting this week:

Facebook’s community standards guidelines

If every there were doubt that Facebook is operating as a publisher, it was put to rest once and for all by the publication by the Guardian of leaked community standards guidance documents used by Facebook content moderators. As we have argued repeatedly, Facebook is not just a carrier, a dumb pipeline. It is a publisher. And that starts with its algorithms that incorporate the judgments of their creators and it now extends to the increasingly high profile work of their content moderators.

MP3 is dead. Long live MP3

Yep, many tech media outlets were suckered by a self serving corporate position. Yes, the patent on MP3s has expired. Yes, the company that owned the patents no longer will profit from the patent. But that doesn’t mean that MP3 is dead as a standard anymore than JPG is dead as a standard. The patent may have expired on both formats, but they will live on. Why? Because they do the job they are intended to do – and that’s good enough. Sometimes, “good enough” technology is all we need, and its simplicity and widespread adoption will keep it alive indefinitely. So, ignore the stories about the death of MP3. You don’t need a replacement. It’s not going anywhere. And for an intelligent explanation of this, take a look at Marco Arment’s post.

Car crashes all the time

Ignore the clickbait headline in the New York Times. Read the article. Respect for Ev Williams, who embodies the idealism that the Web is built on. We can do better than the ad-driven, clickbaity environment we find ourselves in. Let’s join Ev in not be satisfied until the Web is again a place to create amazing content and to be able to share ideas.

It’s your turn.

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

******************************************************************

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 474: No-slide presentations. Step forward and be seen.

Good times for PR at PRSA Counselors Academy. No-slide presentations! Better tools for Facebook Groups. WordPress joins Hacker One and offers a bounty on bugs. Quartz has an Obsession with propaganda.

Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and Joseph Thornley are together for another episode of the Inside PR podcast.

Good times for PR at Counselors Academy

Martin returned this week from Counselors Academy and he reports that attendance was up substantially. Martin estimated that about one third of the attendees being first timers. We talk about the conference and the subject matter that stood out for Martin. And among the best news for Gini and Joe: Next year’s Counselors Academy will be held in Toronto.

Better Tools for Facebook Group Administrators

Facebook has provided group administrators with the ability to set up a brief questionnaire that prospective new members must answer when requesting membership in the group. It’s not a big thing. But it will help administrators to understand who is joining the group and what has drawn them to it. Thank you Facebook.

WordPress steps up its efforts to keep our Websites secure

Over 28% of the top Websites are powered by WordPress. So, it’s great to see that WordPress continues to take security seriously. So props to WordPress for joining HackerOne and for introducing a bug bounty program.

Quartz Obsesses on PRopaganda

Quartz has started a new collection of articles on a topic that should be of interest to PR practitioners: Propaganda. No, we’re not suggesting that we see ourselves as propagandists. But it would be naïve to suggest that the birth of the PR industry and propaganda weren’t closely intertwined. And in these times, its ever more important for us to pay attention to the ethics of communications. And when you’ve bookmarked the Quartz obsession, you may want to check out Tim Wu’s treatment of Ed Bernays and the birth of PR in The Attention Merchants. And for a lean-back experience that should spark further thought, find and watch The Century of the Self, a four part documentary first shown on BBC in 2002.

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

Our hashtag is #IPRMustKnow.

Please rate us on Apple Podcasts

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on Apple Podcasts.

Subscribe on the podcast app of your choice

We’re trying to be wherever you want us to be. So, you can subscribe to Inside PR on the most popular podcast apps.

******************************************************************

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.

Inside PR 472: Meet you on Mastadon?

The NY Times is on Snapchat Discover. You’re probably not on Mastadon. But is that really important? Consolidation on the Internet. Facebook and augmented reality. Let’s go Inside PR. It’s just Martin and Joe this week. But we cover a lot of ground.

Facebook focuses on AR

Facebook just isn’t letting up on the pressure on Snapchat. Last year, Snapchat made waves with its glasses, pointing the way to a video future. Just as it has parroted other Snapchat features (Stories anyone?), Facebook is now pointing to an AR future and committing Facebook-scale resources to it. Competition is great, as long as the giant doesn’t crush the upstart.

Distributed publishing isn’t all publishers hoped it would be

News that the Guardian has pulled out of Apple News and Facebook Instant Articles comes on the heels of earlier reports that other publishers were not seeing the financial results they hoped to achieve from adopting the distributed publishing model being touted by Facebook, Snapchat and Google. And for those of us who publish our own content, take note. Don’t shut down your owned website quite yet.

The New York Times is looking for more on Snapchat

In April, the New York Times joined Snapchat Discover.

It’s hard to see how Snapchat Discover matches the nature of the Times content. Take an early Discover article as an example. On Sunday April 23, the Times ran a major feature on Uber CEO Travis Kalanick. The version of the Times Website clocked in as just under 4,000 words.  The next morning, the Times launched its Snapchat Discover channel with the Kalanick story. And what a difference! The Snapchat version contained an animated GIF and three text panels containing under 160 words. That’s right. 4,000 words on the Times site. Less than 160 on Snapchat.

 

Consolidation on the Internet

A recent NY Times article underlined the degree to which the previously open Internet is consolidating around a handful of platforms. Consolidation of attention makes us less free, makes us less able to serendipitously encounter different views and different experiences.

Are you on Mastadon?

Probably not. But does that matter? Do platforms need to scale to Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat levels to be of value? No, it’s not. It’s important that we support and play with new experiments like this. Whether Mastadon every grows, the very spirit that gives to its rise underlines the vitality of the Internet and Net Neutrality.

 

It’s your turn.

We’d love to know what you think about the topics we discussed as well as your suggestions for questions you’d like answered or topics for future shows. Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to [email protected], leave a comment on the Inside PR Facebook group or the FIR Podcast Network Facebook group, We’re also on Twitter. We’re @inside_pr or connect directly with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman.

Please rate us on iTunes

We hope you like the podcast as much as we like making it for you. If you do, we have a favor to ask: If you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

******************************************************************

Thank you to the people behind Inside PR. Our theme music was created by Damon de SzegheoRoger Dey is our announcer. Inside PR is produced by Joseph Thornley.