Jed Cohen

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Syndication

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Shortly after I first started blogging, I started broadcasting my content to a variety of websites. Because I figured, why not? The costs of setting up syndication are low. Most blogging tools have RSS built in, and a lot of websites accept RSS feeds. StumbleUpon and Technorati are two examples of what I’m talking about here.

Then there’s the sites that contain some kind of profile but also allow for sharing content – generally through some kind of “widget.” LinkedIn, Brazen Careerist, and Careerealism’s private Ning network all fall under this category (we can analyze why these are all career focused later). Here too the initial costs are low, so why not set up syndication? Especially in light of the fact that many people already have profiles on at least one or two websites with this feature.

The third kind of syndication is link sharing websites. Digg, Delicious, and so on. These require slightly more effort in terms of setting up individual links to individual content. Which changes the dynamic a bit; as an example, Digg requires that the community like what you’ve submitted in order to give it any kind of recognition.

And let’s not start on ways to share your contributions from one network to another automatically.  While you can easily share content across platforms this way, you can also blur the lines between what you keep public and what you keep private.

Are more places to go for the same content ideal?  Perhaps not.  There is a balance, I think, between promotion and overextension.  I believe that brands should customize their message to the platform they’re using; why don’t I do that?  I suppose that part of it is because of my desire to reserve my username across a variety of sites – if I’m setting up an account, why not take a minute to add a link here or there?

Will I change how I (don’t) use the sites I’ve listed above now that I’ve written this?  Probably not.  Perhaps there is some kind of opt-in/opt-out psychology at work here.  Or maybe I just don’t want to mess with something that isn’t broken.

Written by Jed

October 20th, 2009 at 9:15 am

Squidoo, Followers or Friends, and Twitter on the TV

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So this is the first of my experimental series of mini-posts; just a few thoughts on some things I’ve come across recently.  As/if I write more detailed entries, I’ll insert links.

Squidoo Internship

Remember that Squidoo internship I wrote about a little while ago?  Happy to say that I was selected for it and have been working on it for the last few weeks or so.  There’s five of us; we’re a mixture of experienced Squidoo lensmasters, bloggers, left- and right-brainers.  We’re putting together a few different things now, and while they’re still in the planning phase, stay tuned!  I personally find what we’re doing is really exciting, the people I work with are incredibly engaging and remarkable, and I’m looking forward to seeing our efforts grow over the course of the next month and a half (the internship ends mid-October).

Followers versus Friends

Brazen Careerist has chosen a follower model for their (somewhat) new social network.   Instead of becoming “friends” with someone, you become their fan, and as a result all of their activity across the site is added to your feed.  It’s an interesting choice, and one that many new social networks must make.  In a follower model, you may end up with all sorts of skewed network dynamics (some might say weak ties if they span interest groups) due to the single sided nature of the relationships.  On the other hand, you have the reciprocity principle driving people to follow back and complete the two way relationship – something that defeats the point of establishing a one-way relationship network.  Brazen Careerist is not LinkedIn, and it of course serves a different function.  But I wonder how Brazen Careerist’s network will grow given this one-way relationship, and what we will be able to learn from comparing it to LinkedIn.

Fringe “Tweet-peat”

I watched the “Tweet-peat” of Fringe on Fox last night (I happen to like the show), and it’s an interesting concept.  They had a number of producers and cast members responding to viewer questions and providing thoughts throughout the show, which they both broadcast on @FRINGEonFOX and over the airing of the episode on the TV.  It’s an interesting blending of new media and old.  I’ve seen this done before, like with Current TV’s election coverage, but it’s nice to see the larger networks hopping on the bandwagon.  One thing though: they only broadcast the tweets of the producers and cast on the TV, so it was like listening to half a conversation.  It would have been much better had they put the questions and answers up, so we could follow along.  Or better yet, they could also have had a streaming version of the episode so we wouldn’t have to watch two screens to get the whole picture – it was a bit distracting.  There’s another tweet-peat tonight of Glee, which I actually don’t plan on watching, but I wonder if they’ll take the lessons they learned from last night and apply them tonight.

Written by Jed

September 4th, 2009 at 12:05 pm

A Different Strategy is Required

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I wrote a post a little while ago about how I was going through a period of social media fatigue.  It kind of faded into the background a bit, but ever since then I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to engage with others online.

We do this in a variety of ways.  Some of us form deep personal relationships.  Others joke and play.  Still others network on a purely business level.  We all choose different ways to join the digital community.

I joined Facebook (five years ago!) to keep in touch with high school friends as we all spread out to varying colleges.  I joined Twitter (it’s already been over a year) first because a variety of friends were on it and then because of all the interesting people I could follow.  I joined LinkedIn because that’s what you do for business networking (not going to lie – still don’t know what I’m doing there).  I joined a host of other networks that I don’t even use (just in case I want to some day).

And then there’s this blog.

It’s a bit weird to consider writing a blog as a form of engagement, in that it is kind of a one way form of communication.  After all, I moderate the comments, I write the entries, I control how my posts are distributed to the public.  But the fact of the matter is that I release this blog out into the world for others to read.  And I read the blogs of others.  In a manner of speaking it’s a two way network, because what I don’t control is what you think of me (and what I think of you).

I originally created this blog in part because I wanted to express my opinions.  Because I wanted to control what people would see when they Google me.  And because it’s kind of what you expect from Gen Y-er who is interested in social media.

What does this mean exactly?

Looking back at my usage of this blog and other social media networks, I’ve decided that a change is in order.  Here’s three things I hope to do:

  • Stop following people on Twitter just because I like the idea of following them.  More often than not I end up skipping over/missing their tweets anyway.  Why do I follow a ton of internet marketers and graphic designers when I am interested in the fields but not involved in them?
  • Explore new networks.  Brazen Careerist recently relaunched their site to incorporate more social networking features.  I’m not sure if I’ll use it yet, but I should at least invest time in the network to see if I like it.  As new networks launch (and old ones evolve), I would like to alter the way I use them to match.
  • Make a commitment to this blog.  Even if few people read it, this is still my own little corner of the Vox Populi.  My own place to express my thoughts and figure out what works for me in the digital space.

So?

Over the next few weeks, I’m going to try to experiment.  I’ll be starting by posting short commentaries about a few things at the same time.  Chances are some of these will be revisited when I write full entries, but most things will probably start as these “seed” posts.  You can think of it as something between the 140 characters of Twitter and the paragraphs of more traditional entries.

First up?  Probably a thought or two on the new Brazen Careerist, plus a look at the difference between reciprocal and one way relationships in social networking communities.  Check back soon.

Written by Jed

September 2nd, 2009 at 7:16 am