Tag Archive: MySpace


“Isn’t that kind of crazy? … Almost one in 20 bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2011-12 was in communications/journalism. Why? I have no idea. Probably not because of the hot job prospects.” – Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post

How analog can you be?

missouri

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the percentage of college students taking Communications, Journalism and related programs (e.g., public relations and advertising) has quadrupled from 1.2 percent in the 1970-71 academic year to 4.7 percent in the 2011-2012 academic year. That result even exceeds the percentage increase of students taking business, 13.7 in 1970-71 to 20 percent in 2011-12, and is headed in the other direction compared to those pursuing education degrees, 21 percent in 1970-71 to 5.9 percent three years ago. Yikes!

Mizz Rampell and others with similar sentiments must be wondering what is wrong with these journalism/communications students. Don’t they know that the Internet is killing legacy media (e.g., newspapers, magazines, radio and television)? For example, the Washington Post published Newsweek since the Earth cooled. The planet is still here, but Newsweek for all intents and purposes is long gone, hanging on in digital format.

Yes, I still have trouble sleeping at night.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer is no more. The Rocky Mountain News is deceased. The Oregonian has been reduced to a tab. There is example-after-example of the destructive technological force of Web 1.0 and Web 2.0. Right, Borders? Ready to say ‘goodbye,’ Barnes and Noble?

Even college newspapers are feeling the Internet pressure as the 137-year old Columbia Daily Spectator of Ivy League Columbia University will go from daily to weekly starting this coming fall.

The trend is unmistakable.

And yet more students are enrolling in professional J-Schools 

As an incoming tenure-track assistant professor at Central Washington University and an incorrigible optimist, your author of Almost DailyBrett salutes the students who defy conventional thinking. Their collective thoughts are not to the past or even the present, but focused squarely on the future.

According to the 11th edition of Public Relations Strategies and Tactics, the projections are for 3 billion Internet users worldwide in 2016, more than 40 percent of the world population. Almost 70 percent of the US population will use smartphones in just three years. We send and receive more than 6 billion text messages each day, and about 2.8 million emails are sent every second.

socialmedia1

These numbers are staggering and the pace is increasing.

Why are all of these people on the Internet? Why have 1.1 billion subscribed to Facebook (founded 10 years ago), making its audience the third largest ‘nation’ in the world?

Twitter has 500 million (2006), posting 340 million ‘tweets’ every day.

LinkedIn (2003) reportedly has 259 million members, using the social media site to network and establish ‘connections’ with hiring managers and sales leads. LinkedIn is the social media site of choice for executive recruiters.

All of these impressive stats point to a world in which the demand for breaking news and information has never been greater. The laws of supply and demand do not go away just because we have a relatively new disruptive technology. In fact, the demand exceeds the supply, particularly online…for now.

$5 billion for the Wall Street Journal? 

Rupert Murdoch may not be a hero in all Journalism schools, but he is nobody’s fool. Okay, he shouldn’t have purchased constantly declining Myspace for $580 million in 2005, but not every Rembrandt is a masterpiece.WSJ

In purchasing the Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones, Murdoch acquired not only the largest newspaper on the planet, but more importantly the number one brand for news and information about global markets for growing investor classes. The WSJ has also proved that pay-for-online content works as more than 900,000 digitally subscribe to the Journal. We should also not lose sight of the acquisition by Amazon’s Jeff Bezos of the Washington Post for $250 million.

So newspapers are not dead overall, at least the big hitters. Newspapers with globally recognizable mastheads and reputable brands will always be in demand, more so in digital format as the years progress.

And just as important is the advent of digital news services. Ever heard of TMZ (The Thirty-Mile Zone)? Donald Sterling of the Los Angeles Clippers (Or should we say, formerly of the Los Angeles Clippers) knows all about TMZ. The digital news service broke the story of his racist tendencies and led to his downfall.

The names Gizmodo, TechCrunch, Mashable, Gawker, POLITICO, Drudge Report, Huffington Post, BuzzFeed, Daily Kos, Red State, Real Clear Politics, Silicon Valley Watcher may not be household names…yet. Some will succeed. Some will not. Having said that, they all have the mission to meet the insatiable demand for news and information around the world through the magic of binary code or the digital ones-and-zeroes.

digitalnewsservices

And just think they need editors, reporters and correspondents.

They need the information provided by public relations professionals.

They are an increasingly lucrative outlet for advertisements aimed at target audiences.

Maybe these students who are seeking degrees in journalism, public relations, advertising aren’t so crazy after all. 

http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/rampage/wp/2014/04/25/over-the-past-40-years-fewer-english-majors-but-more-journalism- majors/?wpisrc=nl%5Feve

http://nces.ed.gov/programs/digest/2013menu_tables.asp

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2013/09/03/in-defense-of-journalism-education/

https://almostdailybrett.wordpress.com/2010/12/20/why-newspapers-are-toast/

http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/money/media/story/2012-04-22/college-newspapers/54630566/1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Twitter

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LinkedIn

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Myspace

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Wall_Street_Journal

http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/washington-post-closes-sale-to-amazon-founder-jeff-bezos/2013/10/01/fca3b16a-2acf-11e3-97a3-ff2758228523_story.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

“They were on Geritol. Injecting and mainlining Geritol. I mean they were some old farts.” – Singer Robert Plant reflecting back on a Rolling Stone negative review of Led Zeppelin’s first album

“I was wondering why the door closed on me.” – Actor Pierce Brosnan on being axed as 007 James Bond for the “New Bond,” Daniel Craig

geritol

Welcome to the Who Would Have Thunk It Department…

… An African-American man was elected and re-elected as president of the United States. His opponent and respective party standard bearer is a Mormon. Somewhere in heaven Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. is smiling.

… Gay marriage will soon be legal nationwide. Write it down. It is only a matter of time. Let the big court rule and let’s move on (lower-case spelling).

… Be careful not to step on the shattered pieces of the glass ceiling as women are serving or have served as corporate chieftains, the prime minster of England, the chancellor of das Vaterland and at some point (it’s inevitable) the leader of the free world.

These statements do not suggest in the slightest that racism, sexism and negative slurs about one’s sexuality do not and will not continue to exist. Check out the viral video of fired Rutgers Coach Mike Rice.

At the same time, there is absolutely no doubt that we have come far as a society when it comes to leveling the playing field for racial and ethnic minorities, women and alternative lifestyles…but what about those north of 50?

Walking into a meeting room to speak to about 20 PR professionals last month in Sacramento, they expressed surprise that someone approaching his 60th birthday was coming to speak to them about why social media is not monolithic, how digital is eternal, and how to develop effective search engine marketing (SEM) campaigns.

What seemed unusual to them was that I was not sporting tattoos or any unconventional piercings. Where was my skateboard? Only Millennials and maybe, X-Gens, know social media. They are the ones that are listed “innovators” or at worst, “early majority,” when it comes to the Diffusion of Innovation Theory curve. Baby Boomers (who need not apply) are considered to be “late majority” or even “laggards” when it comes to digital self-publishing. Based upon their birth dates, it just has to be that way.

And yet, I teach social media to college students. My Y-Gen students ask about my Almost DailyBrett blog and how to use tags, other social media sites and online groups to spur SEO. If you need to ask for a translation of the acronym…you are too old (Just kidding, kind of…)

Whenever I fill out an “optional” demographic survey, particularly from a taxpayer-supported entity, non-profit or technology organization, I sense that I am committing professional Hari-Kari. Just insert that pen right into my stomach…and feel what is left of my career ooze out onto the floor.

First question: Male or female? The last I looked…hold it (checking)…yes, male. Strike one.

Second question: Hispanic or non-Hispanic white? Que’? Non-Hispanic white. Strike two.

Third question: Veteran or non-Veteran? Sorry to say, non-Veteran. Strike three.

Legally, they can’t ask for your age, but if they could? … Should I hide the date when I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts degree in Broadcasting Journalism from USC?  Not a bad idea.

The other day, I was discussing a potential contractor opportunity with a Silicon Valley software startup to assist with Search Engine Marketing (SEM), and applying my dozens of research hours into social media to help the firm break out of the pack, secure greater VC dollars and succeed on its own or be acquired by a larger company (Exit Strategies).

Better yet, I live in Eugene, Oregon and naturally do not charge Silicon Valley consulting rates (way north of $100 per hour).

Alas it was not to be. I was diplomatically told that unofficial company policy (and it has to be that way) is they won’t hire anyone else north of 45 years young.

Yes, yes…I know there are laws against age discrimination…try proving that in a 7.7 percent (official) unemployment rate backdrop. Does one want to be known as a whiner? Do you want the world to know that you just sued your last employer?

Every Baby Boomer PR/Marketing/Investor Relations type that proclaims to me that he or she does not “get” social media has one thing in common: They are all unemployed.

Social media may have its ebbs and flows (e.g., goodbye Myspace; whatever happened to Google+?; Is Pinterest fading?), but there is no doubt that digital self-publishing is ubiquitous and permanent. The landscape has shifted to true two-way symmetrical communications.

Having said that, the playing field is not level. When it comes to social media pros north of 50, there is a question about whether they will be allowed to even get on the field…any field, level or not.

Instead of exclusively focusing on extracting even more taxpayer dollars from the government, maybe the AARP and other seasoned-citizen NGOs should devote some of their energies to the new Civil Rights cause of our times: Giving qualified people more than 50 a truly fighting chance to apply their knowledge, talent and tons of energy to solving the issues and problems that come with our increasingly advanced, warp-speed digital society.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geritol

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/entertainment/2010/02/pierce-brosnan-still-wants-to-be-james-bond/

http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20061103112837AA9OqUd

http://www.hollywood.com/news/brief/2420257/news-oct-15-brosnan-says-he-was-fired-as-bond-celebs-urge-people-to-vote-prince-s-new-video-labeled-racist-more?page=all

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seppuku

Unless you have been living under a rock, you have undoubtedly heard the tagline for Head and Shoulders: “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” http://www.headandshoulders.com/en-US/index.jspx

headandshoulders

And in this age of gnat-like attention spans and information overload, the ability to make a positive first impression in 15 seconds or less has never been more vital whether it be attracting that delectable member of the opposite gender (or your own, if you are so inclined), pitching a story to an irritable editor/reporter/blogger or applying for a job to a stressed-out hiring manager. There is no time for beating around the bush; you have to get to the point, pronto.

Just this past week, I was given the flattering opportunity to deliver a PowerPoint presentation on cover letters and resumes to a group of University of Oregon undergraduates. Coming as no surprise, I had their full attention as they are all nervously looking past their upcoming graduation and what will inevitably follow, entering and (hopefully) successfully competing in an incredibly brutal job market.

Without rehashing the entire presentation, here are some of the key points that I humbly advocated to the soon-to-be-entering-the-job-market competition:

● Get to the Point. Find out who is the hiring manager and send an e-mail to this person, don’t just send your cover letter and resume into digital never-never land. Copy and paste your cover letter and attach your resume. Ask for the order immediately in your cover letter. Tell she or he what distinct value you bring to the job and exactly why you want to work for this particular company, non-profit, trade association, PR agency, governmental agency.

● Sweat the details. Check and then double-check your prose. Read your letter and resume out loud. Better yet, ask a colleague to proof it for you. Another pair of eyes is better, particularly a pair of eyes that are more critical than yours. Don’t rely on spell checkers as they will miss the wrong word spelled right (e.g. “their” instead of “there” of vice versa or worse, “pubic” instead of “public”). And at all costs, make sure you do not misspell the hiring manager’s name or the name of the company in your cover letter (worth a one-way ticket to Hell).

● Think Twitter when writing your cover letters and resume. Why Twitter? The answer is that Twitter forces you to communicate in 140 characters or less, and it is amazing in what you can achieve in so few characters (many Baby Boomers have trouble with this concept to their own peril). Your sentences in your cover letter and the phrases in your resume should be short, punchy and direct. The clock is ticking. It is time for your red-zone offense to covert as the time is expiring. www.twitter.com

● Digital is forever. In the corporate world, we used to say that “Digital is discoverable.” Translated: a plaintiff’s attorney in a securities litigation case can demand all the e-mails and electronic memos on a given subject despite the fact that they were deleted. There are no shredding machines for digital content. Virtually all digital is recoverable. The point here is that anything that you do on Facebook, MySpace, YouTube, Flickr etc., regardless of the friendly intent can and will be found.

● That leads to the next point…Google yourself; they will. What may have been a goofy photo this year with a bong pipe (e.g. Olympic Swimmer Michael Phelps) or a topless expression of sexual joy reminiscent of “Girls Gone Wild,” can become an embarrassing incident causing a hiring manager to question your sense of judgment. My point here is to have fun, but don’t make any career limiting decisions while you are still in college or just graduated. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michael_Phelps

phelps

● Speak in their language, not yours. Whether an entity is for profit or not, they are expending a certain amount of capital on someone who is going to bring in unique skills to solve problems. They are looking for a return on investment (ROI). So what are some of the key phrases (hint: ROI is one of them) that they want to hear or their software is going to be searching for? How about: Message Development; Social Media; Search Engine Optimization (SEO); Employee Communications; Crisis Communications; Investor Relations; Media Relations; Analyst Relations; Media Training; Brand Management, Marketing Success, Multi-Media Skills, Presentation Skills and many more. Use these words to your full advantage.

● Don’t just talk-the-talk when it comes to social media; walk-the-walk. Ever wondered why you should start your own blog? Think personal branding and marketing. How about pushing toward 500 connections on LinkedIn? Think networking, networking and networking. How about hundreds of friends on Facebook or thousands of Tweets on Twitter? The reason for all of the above is that companies are inevitably going to figure out how to monetize social media. They need people who embrace this trend. Remember: Social media is not a fad. If you don’t believe me, then ask yourself why Goldman Sachs recently put $500 million into privately held Facebook, started a $1.5 billion hedge fund to invest in the company and why Facebook has an estimated $50 billion market cap. http://www.economist.com/node/17853336

● Seek out the advice of career counselors who know how to unlock the hidden job market, not just the jobs that everyone applies for online. One example is Dennis Thompson of Pleasanton, CA, who wrote “Four Degrees to Your Dream Job.” Think of it this way, you may be much closer via your contacts and friends to an influential decision maker than what you ever thought was possible. Now back to the main point: How are you going to make the best use of your critical 15 seconds to make a lasting first impression? http://fourdegreestoyourdreamjob.blogspot.com/2011/01/should-you-stay.html

To Blog or Not to Blog?

. . . That is the question: Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outraged blog readers, Or to take aim through social media against a perceived sea of troubles, And by commenting, end them? To die: or to employ conversational marketing, No more; and by a blog to say we end the heart-ache and the thousand natural shocks . . . or merely to build personal brand . . .

Okay I will stop now and offer my apologies for butchering William Shakespeare in his posthumous state and his literary masterpiece, “Hamlet.” http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/385300.html

Seriously, should you start your own blog to build your personal brand, become a thought leader and develop a cadre of readers and colleagues? When I ask the question that way, the answer is an obvious, “yes.”

Here’s another way of posing the same question: Should you burn up valuable personal time on at least a weekly basis to become just another voice in the crowded blogosphere? How do you know that anyone will even care, let alone read your blog? And can you run afoul with your employer, leading to your quick demise in the face of the worst economic downturn in the modern era? If that is the standard then Mother Teresa (if she was still around) wouldn’t even attempt to post a blog on comforting the sick and the poor.

One of the key reasons to post a blog is that traditional means of getting out your messages are rapidly declining, particularly the pencil press. The invention of digital media, yes those ubiquitous ones and zeroes, are providing us all with the ability to self publish. We can now climb on top of our virtual soap box and speak to the masses.

Keep in mind that the trend is toward Facebook (400 million reported users), Twitter (75 million users), LinkedIn (60 million users) and MySpace (57 million users). Technorati www.technorati.com may track 70 million registered blogs, but the dirty little secret is that only 15 million or 21 percent of this total number can be considered to be active. Blogging may have peaked. http://www.businessweek.com/the_thread/blogspotting/archives/2007/04/blogging_growth.html

There is no doubt that it is much easier to write quick little quips on Facebook, Twitter (only 140 characters), LinkedIn or MySpace then to come up with four or five paragraphs of copy for a blog. I found that most would-be thought leaders pass on starting a blog because of bandwidth concerns. They just don’t have the time (or don’t believe they have the time). Instead, they have suggested working on a contributed article, which probably eats up 8x as much time when you prepare and submit abstracts to editors and go through the same exercise on the actual article. Besides why do want to be the subject of the whims of external editors, when you can just self publish in a fraction of the time?

Another concern is what will you write about? That is a legitimate consideration. The answer lies with the famous quote by former US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart when he was asked to define hard-core pornography, “. . . You will know it when you see it.”

The key is not panicking. There are so many things in your life and your work that are fascinating to you that may also be something that interests somebody else. So why not take the plunge? In a later blog, I will discuss the key steps in starting and maintaining a blog. The real question that you should answer in the interim is: To blog or not to blog?

“If everyone is thinking alike, then somebody isn’t thinking.”  — General George S. Patton.

“…Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” – Thomas Jefferson.

Neither General George nor President Thomas could conceive of fiber-optic cable. Breaking the German siege of Bastogne would have been so much easier with Internet telephony. Imagine Thomas Jefferson tweeting about the Declaration of Independence and then letting all of his friends know about it on Facebook?

The Economist’s http://www.economist.com/  special report on Social Networking offers some staggering numbers. Facebook www.facebook.com has 350 million users, making it the third largest “nation” in the world after China and India. That’s pretty impressive for a firm that was created in a Harvard dorm room by Mark Zuckerberg in 2003. Sorry Thomas, the Facebook nation is even bigger than the one that you and an earlier George W. founded.

There is more, much more. Facebook, the world’s second most accessed URL after Google, is updated 55 million times daily and 3.5 pieces of content are shared among the users each week. Facebook is bigger than any television network on the planet. The tremendous growth of Facebook, Twitter www.twitter.com, LinkedIn.com www.linkedin.com validates the “network effect,” meaning that the value of a communications network rises exponentially with the number of connected users.

Does that mean the hot social media site of today will be the hot social media site of tomorrow? Ask MySpace, which saw its share of the US social media market plummet from 67 percent to 30 percent in just one year. The innovators will keep innovating and those on top should never be comfortable. The winners of tomorrow may not even be born today.

What does the growth of conversational marketing via social media mean to professional communicators? One thing is certain is that we have to compete in this digital marketplace of ideas. Suppression of competing thoughts and ideas as difficult as it was in the past is just impossible now.

China may temporarily block this social media site or that social media outlet, but pretty soon the math gets out of control. Let’s see: 1.2 billion people, millions of PCs, thousands of miles of fiber-optic cable and oodles of ideas, ideas and even more ideas.

As Harry Callahan (Clint Eastwood) in the “Dead Pool” said, “Opinions are like (fill in the blank). Everyone has one.”

As professional communicators, we need to use our diplomacy and tact to deliver an important message to management: We aren’t just competing to make the sale, attract investors, hire the best and the brightest, we are in an eternal public relations tug-of-war made both easier and more difficult by ubiquitous uploading of information via digital technology. Just as social media with its ones and zeroes can make it easier to reach literally millions of users instantaneously, these same tools can be harnessed by competitors to “deposition” your company, your NGO, your educational institution, your government entity.

As we set out to compete, we need to realize that getting unanimous agreement for the product, concept or idea that we are peddling is not possible (save Steve Jobs and the iPad). Instead, we need to employ our skills and wits to develop winning strategies, bringing a critical mass behind our noble cause.

What did General Patton say about letting the other guy die for his country?

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