The Media has Become the Emperor

We live in the days of the Emperor’s New Clothes. The media is our Emperor, the leader, the trend setter, commander, ruler and most of all the judge. How did it change from the days when the media reported the news and kept judgement and opinions out of it?

When I studied writing in college, not so many years ago, I was taught the importance of the media reporting from an unbiased point of view. But, even then, we talked about how psychology, marketing and peer pressure could be used to slant the facts.

What do you think?

What do you really think when no one is listening, tattling on you or judging you? What do you think when you strip away political correctness and public expectations? Do you even know what your real, sincere and genuine opinions are any more? Can you still admit to yourself that some of your opinions aren’t popular in today’s world? Are you intimidated by peer pressure, popular opinion and the media or can you allow yourself to disagree, even just a little?

I think we live in a world where the media is the Emperor and we all tell it how wonderful it’s clothes are, even though we can plainly see the media isn’t wearing anything at all. The problem is the media is the best tool of everyone who wants to start a witch hunt and witch hunts are a great way to become famous, in the media.

Add in Google for social media online and even without offline resources a witch hunter can do quite well for at least a short time. Fame and fortune for the small sacrifice of people having a mind of their own.

The media Emperor thrives on it all. The Internet may shake the print publishing industry but the media itself is thriving on gossip, scandal and witch hunting.

emperor

You can read The Emperor’s New Clothes online if you’ve never heard the story or forget how it goes.

Living Longer on the Sidelines

Most predictions of life in the future expect increased life spans where people live to be over 100 years old. However, we have a culture oriented to being young. What will all these old people do and how will they fit into our culture? How will it feel to live an extra 20, 30 or so years, on the sidelines of life?

Watch commercials, TV shows and other media. Young people involved in the plot, central to the action. Notice people over 45. Mostly they are extras or being sold insurance policies in commercials. Seldom are older people seen as important or vital.

How will the future be when we live a lot longer?

What is a (#) Hashtag?

Thanks to the member-driven online information site Twitter, the lowly “pound” or “number” symbol “#” has been elevated to a new role. The hash mark, or pound symbol, (#) is now known by social media users as a “hashtag” or “hash tag”. Posts that have the same keywords prefixed with the # symbol are grouped together in user searches, bringing a level of order to the frenzied chaotic world of Twitter.

Twitter user Chris Messina (@chrismessina) first Tweeted with a hashtag symbol # in August 2007, as a way to define groups on the social media site. The use of the pound symbol to categorize messages and define conversations spread quickly throughout the Twitter community, and is now an integral part of this fast-paced live information network.

via What is a (#) Hashtag? | Hashtags.org.

I can’t resist adding some Internet history along with the information about hashtags.

Hashtags can be used or organize information, create an archive or directory for a group of people. But, I think hashtags are just fun. Stick together a phrase (shortened for space) and add it as a sub-commentary to your post.

Don’t take hashtags too seriously.

Pay for Comments?

Granted, this will never happen. We’re still clinging to the idea that comments give people a voice. Plus, the idea of “community” and “engagement” is still too powerful—money depends on traffic, and traffic depends on readers, and a lot of sites confuse “making readers feel involved” with “giving readers and drive-by randos a platform to say basically anything with our tacit approval.”

But failing that, there is a way to save comments and shore up the flagging news industry simultaneously. It is this: Make comments cost money.

via An ingenious way to save the comments section.

Maybe it’s how you view the Internet but… I haven’t noticed a real problem with comments. Nothing different from the old newsgroups which would get flame wars and endless spam. Give people a forum where they can get a lot of attention without showing their face or taking responsibility for what they say… it becomes a free for all.

I think the problem is how comments are moderated. Some people think they have to give everyone a voice and let each person be heard. To delete a comment is awful, denying someone their chance to be heard. But, this is the Internet. Anyone can set up a free site and rant about their issues.

But, setting up a site, maintaining a site and promoting a site is work. It’s so much easier to steal the space someone else has created and worked to build. That way you can pick the best site, or a lot of sites, and drop your comment bombs like a cowbird leaving her eggs in another bird’s nest.

If you run a site, just don’t let the cowbirds comment. Moderation is all about “everything but in moderation”. When you run a site you are not responsible for giving anyone else a voice, or letting them be heard. Choose the comments worth keeping, those which add value to your site and the conversation.

Or, turn off comments and leave people to post comments via social media like Twitter or Facebook, or Tumblr. Somewhere off your site, yet connected.

I think Twitter is the best choice. Not only does it limit the length of comments, making people choose their words, it also lets readers choose who they want to read. You can follow someone who interests you and not follow people who don’t interest you. Readers of your site have the same option. So, in that way Twitter moderates your comments for you, or your readers moderate the comments themselves.

I agree with the post as far as not having to end commenting. I just don’t think asking people to pay for comments is going to work. Comments should not be based on how much money you can spend on them. Those who want to spew and rant will spend money on it. Those who might actually have said something interesting will likely not leave a comment. I wouldn’t. I already don’t like registering for any site in order to leave a comment so I sure won’t be getting out my credit card on top of that.

Titles Matter Don’t Assume

Titles matter when you post to Twitter or other social media or the actual blog post itself. Don’t assume people will know what you are talking about. A title is especially important when you are sharing a link you want readers to click. Inside your blog post a link should be used for the words which describe the post. Not “click here”.

Don’t send a link to social media like a “click here”.

titles matter

 

If this appeared in your social media feed (Twitter in this case) would you click that link?

We follow a lot of people in Twitter, at least I do. We don’t know them all well and we can’t possibly keep up with all of them. So we catch snippets and some of them catch our attention or interest. Some of them don’t. This interview may have caught your attention if you had known what it was about. But, from this title you don’t have that information.

It’s too bad because a lot of women would have enjoyed the interview. Or, if not, they at least would have appreciated the concept of being a sexpot with stretch marks. Perked your interest? See how that works much better than assuming people will know who she is and what book she wrote. Now you might even look her up on Twitter. But, not so likely before knowing the details.

Are you Preventing Social Sharing on Your Own Site?

 

Have you accidentally blocked social media sharing on your own site?

I tried to share a post on this site (see below) to my Scoop.it account. I was using a bookmarklet (more often called an app these days) but I could not get around this site’s note about their use of cookies. How important was this pop up note versus having a post shared?

For that matter – how important are the cookies? I block third party cookies by choice and I’m not changing that. Why is this site using third party cookies anyway?social media blocked

 

Check your own site(s). If you don’t already have a bookmarklet or app for social sharing go to the site for Chrome, Opera or Firefox (or which ever web browser you use) and take a look at the add-ons for social media. They are really nice for making social sharing quick and simple. I actually have a few of them. This way I don’t need to rely on the site itself to have social media sharing and better still, I don’t need to figure out how their social sharing works.

Social Media Marketing Strategist

Social Media Marketing Strategist — Work at Medium — Medium.

Medium is looking for a social media marketing strategist to help support the engagement efforts of the platform’s five digital publications (Matter, Re:Form, among others). He or she will manage the creative, analytical, technical, and relationship aspects of all five publication’s social media channels. The role will involve creating measurable goals and conducting social experiments on a regular basis. This is a 3-month contract position with a competitive salary based in San Francisco.

This person’s daily responsibilities will include:

  • Building specific target audiences for all five publications using distinct voices and tones for each
  • Writing and managing all social media content for each publication
  • Creating and monitoring Facebook and Twitter ad campaigns, as well as other special engagement campaigns
  • Tracking and analyzing social traffic data
  • Optimizing strategy, content, and ads based on performance
  • Creating monthly social media content calendars for each publication
  • Crafting each publication’s weekly newsletter
  • Experimenting with new ways to increase engagement on the platform
  • Liaising with Medium’s User Happiness team on all support queries
  • Working closely with @Medium’s social coordinator to promote these publications across the platform and the web

This person should have previous experience with:

  • Managing social media content and campaigns

  • Experimenting with, tracking, and analyzing social data

  • Implementing online marketing strategies focused on community content engagement

  • Developing voices for brands

  • Copy-writing

Content Designer/ Writer Job Post

Found this posted to FreshGigs.ca

Content Designer/Writer Full-Time

Our philosophy is and yours should be ‘people using our products come first’.

We’re working to create marketing products that people want to use and words play a big part in that. Join the Trade and Marketing Division of the Ministry of Economic DevelopmentEmployment and Infrastructure where you will write, design, develop and produce marketing content, materials and products to market ministry programs and initiatives to target audiences through multiple content formats.

What can I expect to do in this role?

In this role:

  • you will create marketing products to market ministry programs and services using the written word, digital technologies, graphic design and other media
  • you need to be user-focused and know how to write and create with a real-life person not a department in mind

How do I qualify?

Marketing and Communications Knowledge and Skills:

You are able to:

  • create marketing content using a wide variety of media including written, digital, video, graphic design, etc.
  • take complex language, concepts and processes and make them easy to understand
  • clarify and communicate content objectives and bring a broader perspective to a topic so that it can focus on the right information for the user

Technical Knowledge and Skills:

You have proven experience:

  • writing for the web and creating marketing content that is clear, accessible and usable
  • developing marketing material in a variety of mediums and formats
  • choosing the best format for communicating information to the user
  • using existing content and repurposing it into alternate formats for additional uses
  • implementing content marketing strategies
  • using metrics and user feedback to define/refine content
  • marketing in a B2B setting

Analytical and Evaluative Skills:

You can:

  • analyze client needs and target audiences and recommend the most appropriate approach/medium/format, etc.
  • plan and design user-focused content
  • identify content gaps and overlaps and map out content strategies for different audiences using different formats
  • work with a multi-disciplinary team to understand user behaviours and feedback and develop effective content

Content Shock

Let’s fast forward one more time to 2014 and look at the two factors that impact the economics of content marketing — the amount of content available and the amount of content consumed (supply and demand).

Of course the volume of free content is exploding at a ridiculous rate. Depending on what study you read, the amount of available web-based content (the supply) is doubling every 9 to 24 months. Unimaginable, really.

However, our ability to consume that content (the demand) is finite. There are only so many hours in a day and even if we consume content while we eat, work and drive, there is a theoretical and inviolable limit to consumption, which we are now approaching.

This intersection of finite content consumption and rising content availability will create a tremor I call The Content Shock. In a situation where content supply is exponentially exploding while content demand is flat, we would predict that individuals, companies, and brands would have to “pay” consumers more and more just to get them to see the same amount of content.

Content Shock: Why content marketing is not a sustainable strategy – Schaefer Marketing Solutions: We Help Businesses {grow}.

My comment:

You’re talking about what is mainly regurgitated content, repeated from one blog to the next and the next and then shared on social media too. There is still a “market” for fresh and original content – something which has not been duplicated and repeated and made to suit the almighty Google.

Niche blogs from people who actually are a source of information, an authority on their topic and artists who still create something of their own will still have readers.

The problems will be copyrights, not having content ripped off (shared without permission). With so many content marketers, content curators, social media and Google rank obsessed people it is not so hard to get original content picked up and shared around. The hard part is keeping the source link (the artist’s link) with the content.

There is a lack of original content and the marketers are quick to dive in when they actually find something unique because it is becoming harder to find something that hasn’t already been shared and overshared.

18 Personal Service Home Business Ideas

home biz ideas

Personal Concierge

People who run their own home based business as a personal shopper, running errands for other people, are also known as a concierge service. Concierge are the people who work in fancy hotels, making sure the guest have all the extras they need. The concierge would book tours, order them a taxi or a limousine, whatever comes up. It’s a wonderful thing to have someone you can count on to help you with the little extras, if you have a lot on your plate, need help and can afford to pay for it.

Photographer

Take photos of people at events. Photograph pets for their owners. Learn a little more about light and shadows then look for work as a professional photographer. You don’t need the expense of your own darkroom or developing film now so photography can be a simple home business.

Event Planner

Weddings, family reunions, local business events, there are endless events going on all the time if you track down the sources. Talk to a veteran event planner and see if you can apprentice while you get the hang of things and build your list of contacts and sources for cakes, flowers, party supplies and etc.

Local Newsletter Publisher

Your local area may already have a local newsletter, distributed in stores and other businesses in the area. If so, consider formatting your newsletter online instead. But, gather businesses who want to reach more customers and provide the content to fill the newsletter with news, tips, stories, events, and ads.

Packing and Unpacking Service

Not only can you work with real estate agents to provide a welcome to new people moving into the neighbourhood but you can offer your own service to help people pack to move or unpack when they move into their new house.

Pet Sitter/ Walker

If you like animals offer to pet sit for the evening or a weekend (or longer if you are able to). This may be in your own home or you may come to the home of the animal. If you can, offer extras like pet grooming.

Yard Work

Whether it’s raking leaves, shovelling snow, cleaning a pool for Spring… there is always outside yard work to be done.

Internet Services

Building a website is not the job it used to be. These days you can spend some time learning the software and put up a finished site in an hour. Not everyone wants to do this however and those people will pay to have someone do it for them. You can also set up their online portfolio with social media accounts. Offer Internet lessons to teach them how to use social media and update their site too.

Tutoring

What’s your best subject? Offer your services to parents with school children who need some extra help and your expertise. English, math, science… but don’t forget piano playing, sewing and other skills you have.

Collectibles

The idea isn’t to build up a collection for yourself but to find and add to the collections of others. Pick items which you have an interest in and know something about then search for them online, in second hand shops and from other collectors who may want to sell. Connect yourself to people who collect and want what you can find for them.

Graffiti Removal

Here, a local business is told to remove graffiti within a specified amount of days. This is left for the business owner to do and if it is not removed in time the city will fine them. So, graffiti, especially when it continues over time, is a problem and a headache. Watch for the businesses which tend to be hit and offer to clean it up. You could even get a contract to come out weekly and take that headache away for them.

Local Tours

Your town will have something interesting to see. Even if you can’t think of anything, there is a reason people are coming to your town. Find it. Offer yourself as tour guide and then… go a bit farther. Offer a walking tour of your town and talk about the history, the paranormal, the UFOs, the ghosts and hauntings. Work with people who run local events, have a bed and breakfast or other tourist related businesses – don’t forget great sources like the local library and museum too.

Home Staging

You may not want to clean someone;s house but you could help set up homes for sale. Look at their curb appeal, see what could be touched up and make to look better for the sale inside and outside too.

Personal Chef

Not a caterer who cooks for parties and events, but a personal chef who cooks for a family (or someone alone and needing a specific diet). You do the shopping and cook it too. Preparation could be at your own home but the idea is to serve the food hot in their home.

Clothing Repair

Can you sew? People need cuffs hemmed, buttons sewn on and rips and tears repaired. If you can do alterations add that to your list of services.

Bookkeeping

Even with the software out there to make keeping books easier, someone still needs to pull it all together on a regular basis. You could have a few businesses (even other home businesses) who you visit weekly to gather the paperwork, sort it out and enter it into the system.

Office Plant Maintenance

Find which businesses keep plants and offer your service to maintain them: water, prune them and fertilize.

Elder Care

Seniors living alone need company and help with things like running errands and organizing.