Archive for the 'Social Media' Category

Mozilla Brings Social Network Goodness to Browser

April 4th, 2007

Communicate Your Success - Mozilla “The Coop” photoMozilla is preparing to hatch a social media infused Web browser called The Coop. This could offer a great way to keep up with vendors, clients and other offices. In the public realm, it will be interesting to see if functions like this are adopted more quickly than other social media tools like RSS, since most everyone knows someone with a MySpace or Friendster page.

Social Media Presentation 3-13-07

March 14th, 2007

As promised, here’s a link to the presentation I gave March 13 in your class. You can also watch the videos that would not cooperate by clicking here for the Kryptonite lock video or here for commentary from PR Week news editor Keith O’Brian.
If you’re interested in learning more about social media, I’ve included some links to quality information at the bottom of this post. I wish each of you much success as you graduate and move into the world, and feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments. After all, it’s all about the conversation.

Media Shift guide to RSS

Influence 2.0 [PDF]

Shift Communications PR 2.0 Essentials

U.S. State Department Embracing Social Media

February 25th, 2007

Communicate Your Success - CameraThe U.S. government is using social media tools and tactics in an attempt to maintain a voice outside U.S. borders.
Karen Hughes, Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the State Department, has hired Arabic-speaking bloggers to monitor international blogs and post comments in an effort to correct misconceptions and refute propaganda. She’s also giving exchange students video cameras to record their experiences in America and post them to YouTube. Hughes herself is participating by recording State Department trips to other countries.

Read more about Hughes’ efforts in this Austin American-Statesman article:

Podcasts as an Educational Tool

February 7th, 2007

college.JPGI don’t know why Pythagoras had it out for me in college, or what exactly a Golgi Apparatus does, but now I can brush up on a variety of thought-provoking subjects that eluded me in my more studious days with the University Channel Podcast. 

Maintained by Princeton University, this collegiate conduit features an assortment of academic lectures, panels and events in podcast and vidcast form. Institutions including Vanderbilt, Princeton and the University of Texas all have programs available for download via the University Channel Podcast site or iTunes. Now only one question remains… does listening to a Princeton podcast make me an honorary Tiger?

Shift Releases Newsroom Template

February 5th, 2007

reporterShift Communications has released their take on the online pressroom with a new social media newsroom template. I don’t know that the reporters I typically work with would use a newsroom like this to its fullest potential, but it’s a step in the right direction none the less. Better to lead the way and have to wait for others to catch up than starting from last place in an all hare race. Download the template at at

Accountability Doesn’t Stop Where Social Media Starts

January 31st, 2007

tvset.jpgWith the flexibility, freedom and viral nature of blogs and video sharing sites, advertisers and communicators now have even more ways to propagate their message and start a conversation. These new tools however, must still be used under many of the guidelines that govern traditional media.

In a recent example, vacuum cleaner manufacturer Dyson, Inc. was challenged by a competitor through the National Advertising Division (NAD) of the Council of Better Business Bureaus to prove claims made about the company’s product in a video posted to YouTube. The video, titled “Dyson Ball Video – Dyson has balls,” suggested that Dyson’s vacuum provided more suction and did not clog like competing models manufactured by Hoover, Euro-Pro and Kenmore.

In its petition to NAD, Dyson competitor Euro-Pro stated the comparison between vacuums of different size under less-than-usual circumstances was misleading and not a true head-to-head test.

After reviewing both positions, NAD issued a decision saying it considered the video a comparative product demonstration and “was therefore advertising and subject to the legal requirement that it be truthful and accurate.”

So what does this mean for those using social media tools to promote their product? In a word . . . nothing. Though the tools may change, truthful and honest communication is just as important now as it ever was. Just because there’s a new way to do things doesn’t give us the freedom to abandon our responsibility to accurately portray our product, service or goal.

Dyson has since taken down the video it posted to YouTube, but you can request a copy of the NAD’s report by visiting their Web site at

Disclaimer: NAD is a division of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, which licenses my employer, The Better Business Bureau of Northwest Florida, Inc. That said, I am not involved with any cases or disputes brought before the NAD.

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