Technology PR

Downside of the web’s “social soup”

BBC NEWS | Technology | From here to cyberspace:

A timely piece from Bill Thompson at Beeb website. He writes: “One of the big problems with Facebook, Bebo, MySpace and the other social network sites is that they
bring the many different groups we all belong to into one online space, creating a ‘social soup’ that encourages intermingling when most of us work hard to keep our friends, family and colleagues just a little bit separate, negotiating the boundaries with more or less skill.

The tools used to manage privacy and sharing online remain crude and inflexible compared with the nuanced way we handle real-life social networks, and we are going to have to learn to deal with the new modes of social engagement that result.”

A good point – whereas in the past you would maintain different circles of friends, we are all potentially intersecting at one central point in the Venn diagram.

He continues: “(Facebook) is rapidly becoming more than just a social network site.

Its support for third-party applications and services is turning it into a platform for all other forms of online social activity, from talking about movies via the Flixster application to asking friends questions or ‘superpoking’ them. Facebook may well become the single point of contact with one’s online networks, wherever they may be hosted. I rarely visit Twitter, the site that lets you send short updates about what you’re up to, because it’s easier to post from within Facebook. And as this trend develops, more and more of us will spend more and more time on Facebook instead of elsewhere. Once someone builds ‘MySpaceBook’, an application that lets you run your MySpace profile from within Facebook, the game will be over.

Is Facebook becoming the first true portal?

Technology PR

The(o) World’s Leading – now on Facebook

TWL has now turned up on Facebook – though he has had to adopt the name Theo as Facebook needs a "proper" first name.

More PR fun to be had here as well then.

Technology PR

Guardian’s Jack Schofield gets Facebook advice – from his son

Is it just me or has the whole world gone Facebook mad? I only joined a few weeks ago – but I can see how it is turning into the greatest productivity destroyer of all time.

Friends and contacts keep popping up daily. It’s like being in a sweet shop – someone invites you to try out a new application and you can’t resist – my profile page is awash with the things – but I guess you can try things out and remove if they don’t prove useful – I sure hope I settle down to a small core of relevant apps.

All in all, I feel a bit old. I was therefore amused to see that Jack Schofield of The Guardian is getting advice on how to use this new fangled Facebook thing from his son James – take a look here – on Jack’s "Wall".

BTW – the Food Fight app is probably the silliest thing I’ve seen for a long time – but I can see that quite normal people are spending significant amounts of their time flinging virtual burgers at each other.

Technology PR

TWL: the future for the UK’s favourite tech PR blog

I spent a very pleasant hour or so yesterday afternoon over a chilled glass of Oyster Bay with the mastermind behind TWL. (No, I won’t name them, but plenty of people know who it is anyway – and I’m sure it will be common knowledge soon enough). It was good to finally meet tech PR’s masked crusader – and to get an idea of where the TWL brand is going.

TWL has been around the tech PR biz for some time – hence why the content is nearly always "on the money". And as Peter Kirwan has already pointed out, although one may think that the site is simply there to find fault with everything, TWL would really like to run some genuinely positive material – it just seems hard to come by – or no-one feels comfortable sharing it.

The following are some of the (many) things we discussed:


1. TWL fulfils a need

Spin Bunny proved the concept and TWL has essentially picked up the baton. Interestingly, TWL is looking at expanding its coverage to encompass other areas such as financial and healthcare PR – broadening the appeal of TWL is certainly one way to give it more long term viability.

2. Bringing the fun back into tech PR

We both agreed that much of the fun appears to have gone out of tech PR – the industry’s general inability to laugh at itself needs addressing. TWL is at least doing its bit to help.

3. Fear of TWL link love

TWL revealed that many people are afraid to link to TWL because it is perceived as being, well, a bit naughty. Again, the sooner everyone lightens up the better.

Clearly, TWL has a whole lot more planned in the coming months – which will no doubt be revealed in due course. For what’s its worth, I think TWL is on to something – I really do think it can be a force for good – as well as offering an alternative voice in an industry that has traditionally run scared from discussing real issues openly and honestly. I certainly wish them well as things develop. More power to your elbow TWL, etc.

Technology PR

Can PR learn from the porn industry?

Well, this Valleywag piece (in turn based on a NYT article) was saying that video bloggers could learn from the porn biz – but the two comments they highlight could be be more generically applied to PR:

We use good-quality lighting and very good sound," said David Joseph, president of Red Light District, a production company in Los Angeles that has made films like "Obscene Behavior."

ie high production values are seen as a differentiator – all those PR 2.0 types armed with a mike and a copy of Garageband ought to bear this mind when recording their next rivetting podcast

There’s not a whole lot of story — it’s basically right to the sex, but we’re consistent with the quality," he said, noting that the company is also careful to pick interesting backdrops. "We use different locations, rooms and couches."

Of the hundreds of press releases that land in journalists in-boxes daily, how many get "right to the sex? Or provide a suitably interesting context?

Technology PR

Rainier and Inferno in PR recruitment spat

As we all know, things are tough in the world of PR recruitment at the moment – so agencies are resorting to ever more aggressive tactics in a bid to lure talent.

However, seems that Inferno MD Grant Currie has somewhat shown his cards early in an apparent attempt to lure Rainier staff over to his camp. Clearly Inferno are feeling the heat in sustaining their 48pc y-o-y fee increase to £2,363,883.

Stephen Waddington has rather sportingly put Grant’s contact details in his blog post for anyone looking for a job at Inferno – though wonder how many other agencies have been targetted by them?