Tag Archives: social media

Facebook wall photos = Neanderthal’s hieroglyphics


Facebook wall photos are our modern-day hieroglyphics. We tweeted this observation the other day and nobody was interested enough to respond. Our hypothesis is that, with the growing array of social media tools available for our daily communications, people have lost the interest to write and to read. There’s no time for words when a graphic will do. No time for your fingers to hang over the key board and compose your thoughts when you can simply post a wall photo. The truth of the matter is that most would rather surf through a collection of wall photos than compose a paragraph of thoughtful prose.  

We have become a society of “the quick glance” with a carnivorous appetite for simple graphics, one-line slogans and photos to explain our daily thoughts and happenings. Facebook wall posters rule!  

We want it all related in graphic images, produced to fit our screen (no scrolling please!) – very much like the Neanderthals, who gazed at stick figures on cave walls to comprehend their life stories.

Agree? Disagree? Let us know by leaving your comments on this blog – or join the discussion on our Facebook page. You may wish to tweet us your thoughts… or, if you’d rather, go ahead and find an appropriate wall poster to explain what you think. (We promise to glance at it.)

Must-read on our Internet Age and Politics

Touche!  Thanks for your insightful perspective Jonathan Kay!

How the Internet makes us dumb – today’ National Post column.  Here’s the pertinent  excerpt:

I’m old enough to remember the early 1990s, a time when starry-eyed futurists believed the Internet would make all of us smarter. We would learn new languages, surf newspapers from around the world, cultivate international pen pals, become more enlightened people by exposing ourselves to different opinions. Twenty years later, it turns out that all this was starry-eyed nonsense: All we want from the web is to have our own ideological biases read back to us in the most hysterical and entertaining form possible – preferably with neat little YouTube links that we can pass around to our friends.

Experts call it the “confirmation bias” – our natural psychological attraction toward data or anecdotes that serve to support our pre-existing attitudes and bigotries. It’s something that always has been part of human nature. But the combination of social media with cheap online video technology has turbocharged the confirmation bias to the point where rational political dialogue is in danger of extinction.



A Summary on “The Future of News”

This week, By George Journal posted the insight of many of our leading news personalities as they considered, “What will be the future of news?”

Prompted by an excellent series of articles in the Business Insider, we explored the possibilities of what our new digital realities will mean for the news industry, reporting, and the delivery of information.

Our By George Journal commentary: The Future of News

The Business Insider’s special report on the future of news:  The Future of News is Going to be Awesome

News personalities’ opinions from the pages of The Business Insider:

Insights into the Future of News

Insights into the Future of News (2)

Insights into the Future of News (3)

Insights into the Future of News (4)

Also, two weeks ago, Canadians also witnessed the passing of a torch on the country’s most-watched nightly newscast. By George Journal paid tribute to this event – saying goodbye to Lloyd Robertson:

Having to say “Goodbye” to our trusted Lloyd Robertson

…and hello to Lisa LaFlamme:

Lisa LaFlamme – beginning the new era of CTV News 

In closing this review of the future of news, we quote Arianna Huffington, President & Editor-In-Chief of AOL Huffington Post Media Group, who says, “The future of news is about connection and engagement…” Today, there is growing involvement of the public in the development of news stories. According to the many newsmen who shared their insight, we can expect this involvement to increase in the years to come. The Internet is the “game-changer.” It has allowed news to become a participatory sport – that will come with new playbooks and responsibilities – and, undoubtedly, with growing pains. By George Journal will continue to explore and report on this fascinating transformation of “news.”

Our personal communications have changed

Because of the choices of available media, personal, one-on-one conversations are becoming increasing hard to have. There’s Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and a host of other media channels to “stay connected” and to converse.  On Facebook, you either voice your thoughts to “friends” (and otherwise) or you comment so the unseen group can see. With Twitter and other tools, your voice can broadcast around the world – and at the same time you can hear the reflections of everybody at your desktop. Skype offers you head and shoulders and a distracting set of lips that are seconds behind the audio.  

What is increasingly missing in all of our daily exchanges is the personal intimacy of a face-to-face conversation. So, when you want to get personal and talk directly to a single person, what is most effective – appropriate – satisfying means for both of you to converse? A Twitter direct message? A Facebook private message? A BBM? A Skype call? An e-mail? A telephone call?

Frank Bruni confronted this dilemma and in a rather humourous NY Times op-ed entitled “Sorry, Wrong In-Box”:

     Communication can become a multistep, multiplatform process. My friend J. and I like to talk on the phone, but only after she has sent me a gmail to propose a gchat, during which we determine if a call is actually warranted and whether I should use her home, mobile, main office or satellite office number. By the time voice meets voice, we’re spent. There’s a lot of heavy breathing; none of it the fun kind.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/01/opinion/sorry-wrong-in-box.html?_r=1

So, do we Tweet, FB post, BBM?? In a recent G&M post by Dakshana Bascamurty, we find our preferred choices of communications are fast changing. Picking up the phone and calling someone is no longer something we want to do – and receiving a phone call from anyone has become for many a bothersome interruption in their day.    

J.D. Power and Associates’ wireless use and habits study found wireless customers are using their phones less for talk time and more for texting – a consistent trend over the last number of years. The average customer sent and received an average of 500 text messages a month (this is averaged out with all users – among teens and young adults, the average is much higher).  [ Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/the-hot-button/do-you-tweet-text-bbm-or—gasp—call/article2150035/ ]

Facebook and texting – and then there’s Twitter! As By George Journal posted yesterday, Americans and Canadians are enraptured in Twitter-mania.  There’s 100 million users and 55% log on every day via mobile. On average, there are 1 billion tweets sent daily (an 82% surge in Tweets since January 2011).

For the many who would still rather converse via phone calls, emails, letters and live, face-to-face conversation, social media has become disarming. Where’s the true conversation in all the background typing noise to be heard from the exchanges on Facebook, Twitter, etc. Where’s the personal connection in one’s conversations?

The short (inadequately brief) answer to this query is that our personal communications have changed – and will continue to do so. Today, there are many who exchange personal matters directly with other individuals on a daily basis and have no thought regarding the medium; there are many who no longer expect an intimacy in many of their daily conversations;  and there are those who use social media to chat and banter and surf – and then connect on a personal level when they turn off the computer to interact with their family and neighbourhood.

So, what’s appropriate, effective for personal connections and intimate conversations depends on how comfortable you are with the various social media channels and our on-line, global voicebox.

Latest stats re Twitter

Here are some impressive Twitter-stats revealed today by the company’s CEO Dick Costolo.

  • 100 million users are active on Twitter
  • Over half, 55% log on every day via mobile
  • On average, 1 billion tweets are sent each day. This represents an 82% surge in Tweets since January 2011.
  • Twitter.com sees 400 million unique visitors each month
  • 40% of active users do not Tweet or have not Tweeted in the last month.
  • 82% of US Congress and 85% of US Senators are on Twitter.
  • 87% of the 2010 Billboard Top 100 are also on Twitter.
  • 100% of the top 50 Nielsen-rated TV shows Tweet.
  • Every team in the NFL is on Twitter with over half of players hosting accounts as well.
  • 75% of NBA players have Twitter accounts.

SOURCE:   http://briansolis.posterous.com/100-million-active-on-twitter-other-stats

Our eyeballs tell the story behind the advance of SM

Canadians love their social media! 60% of all Canadians — over 17 million Canucks — are online according to a recent Ipso survey.*  50% of online Canadians visited a SM site at least once a week. 35% of online Canadians visited a SM site everyday (this number was only 19% a year ago). 35% say that the time spent on SM sites has increased. And SM in Canada is expanding its reach among the entire population. 86% of the 18-34 year old demographic range is active on SM sites. Almost 2/3 of 35-54 year olds and over 40% of those over the age of 55 in Canada are now actively using SM.

Yes, Canucks are wired! With regard to social media sites, here are some amazing numbers on the three largest SM sites:  Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

Facebook #’s

Facebook has more than 750 active users worldwide. The US has 154 million users; followed by Indonesia (40 M), India (34 M), Turkey (30 M) and the UK (30 M).

  • People spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook.
  • 50% of active users log on to Facebook in any given day.

Canada has a total of over 16.6 million users (that’s 49% of the country’s population).

  • There are 9+ million active Canadian users a day.
  • Canadians spend an average of over 400 minutes on Facebook per month.
  • 50% of Canadian users are between ages of 18 – 34 and 30% are between ages of 35 – 54.
  • Canadians are one of the friendliest countries on the planet – with the highest average number of friends of 190 (the world’s average is 130 friends).

To put this market penetration in Canada into perspective, Facebook has a daily audience greater than 2 Super Bowls and 6 times that of Hockey Night in Canada.

LinkedIn #’s

There are 101 million LinkedIn users worldwide.

  • 47% of LinkedIn users are in North America.
  • 72% of users are between 25 – 55.
  • Users tend to be more senior (56% are “individual contributors”, 16% are management level, and 28% are director/VP level or above).
  • The majority (66%) are decision makers or have influence in the purchase decisions at their companies (and decision makers also tend to be more active on LinkedIn).

For Canadian businesses, this is the place to be… there are more than 3.7 million users in Canada.  The top nations on LinkedIn are U.S. (44.2 million), India, UK and then Canada – ranked 4th.

Twitter #’s

March 2011 marked the fifth anniversary of this social media tool. The numbers of users active on Twitter are staggering by any measure…

  • 106 million Twitter accounts and there are 180 unique visitors to Twitter each day. 
  • Users send a billion Tweets per week. There are (on average) 140 million Tweets sent per day.
  • Over 60% of users are in US – followed by UK, Canada, Australia, and Brazil
  • Most users in specific cities:  NY, LA, Toronto, San Fran and Boston (2009)
  • There is an average of 460,000 new accounts per day created.
  • 182% increase in number of mobile users over the past year.


* To view the Ipso survey results, go here:


Questioning the societal impact of the Internet

Here is a must read – a very thoughtful article by Mark Wegierski (posted August 8th on ESR): The Internet: Boon or bane to serious discourse?


The Questions:

Will the Internet offer the possibilities of enhancing serious social, political, cultural, and truly philosophical debate?

Or, will the Internet simply deepen the extension of American and Canadian consumerism and political-correctness, and the (mostly American) mindless, ersatz patriotism?

Two observations made by this Canadian researcher are:

  • One of the general effects of the Internet is the tendency to accentuate a “hyper-fragmentation” of social, cultural, and political interests, which means that broadly-based public and political debate becomes ever more difficult.
  • In the case of a very large number of people, the Internet is used simply for access to various entertainment and pop-culture imageries and “news,” existing in various subgenres like “porn”, celebrity-cults, rock- and rap-music, and sports, movie, and television show fandom.

Read the full article here:


Great Quotes about Social Media

  • Social media is the ultimate canary in the coal mine. – Jay Baer
  • Social Media is about sociology and psychology more than technology. – Brain Solis Principal of FutureWorks
  • The difference between PR and social media is that PR is about positioning, and social media is about becoming, being and improving. – Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents
  • “Build it, and they will come” only works in the movies.  Social Media is a “build it, nurture it, engage them, and they may come and stay.” – Seth Godin
  • Social media is just a buzzword until you come up with a plan. – Unknown
  • Social Media is like teen sex. Everyone wants to do it. No one actually knows how. When finally done, there is surprise it’s not better. – Unknown
  • I realize everyone is telling you social media is a unicorn, but maybe it’s just a horse? – Jay Baer
  • As a general principle, the more users share about themselves, the more others in the community will learn about them and identify with them. – Matt Rhodes, quoted in Social Media Today
  • Social Networking that matters is helping people archive their goals. Doing it reliably and repeatability so that over time people have an interest in helping you achieve your goals. – Seth Godin
  • Think like a publisher, not a marketer. – David Meerman Scott
  • Quit counting fans, followers and blog subscribers like bottle caps. Think, instead, about what you’re hoping to achieve with and through the community that actually cares about what you’re doing. – Amber Naslund, quoted in Social Media Today
  • Social networks aren’t about Web sites. They’re about experiences. – Mike DiLorenzo, NHL social media marketing director
  • In the end, the winner is content. Good content, sharable content, and consumer-driven content will allow us all to have a broader spectrum of information and, for the marketer, an easier way to connect with their base. – Aaron Kahlow, chairman and founder of the Online Marketing Summit
  • If content is king, then conversion is queen. – John Munsell, CEO of Bizzuka
  • Ask yourself this question CONSTANTLY: where can I add the most value to what matters most to me and the people who care about me? – Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents
  • Attention spans will only decrease as technology breeds laziness and the expectation of rapid solution delivery. – James Gurd, e-commerce consultant
  • Don’t say anything online that you wouldn’t want plastered on a billboard with your face on it. – Erin Bury, Sprouter community manager
  • Twitter is a great place to tell the world what you’re thinking before you’ve had a chance to think about it. – Chris Pirillo
  • Twitter is like a tragically hip New York night club. It is a cool, easy way for companies to engage customers in social media. But the experience can be loud and crowded. – Bob Warfield, CEO of Helpstream
  • LinkedIn is for people you know. Facebook is for people you used to know. Twitter is for people you want to know. – Unknown

Quotes re Social Media and Business

  • What’s required is a kind of social media sherpa, who can find you the audience you seek, who can reach to them on the platforms where they are already congregating, and who can help promote in tasteful ways that fit the sensitivities of the networks where your audiences are found. – Chris Brogan, author of Trust Agents
  • Monitor, engage, and be transparent; these have always been the keys to success in the digital space. – Dallas Lawrence, Levick Strategic Communications
  • Every company is its own TV station, magazine, and newspaper. – Jay Baer, social-media strategist
  • Don’t worry; skills are cheap, passion is priceless. If you’re passionate about your content and you know it and do it better than anyone else, even with few formal business skills you have the potential to create a million-dollar business. – Gary Vee, author of Crush It
  • This isn’t a direct marketing tool, this is human communication. – Rob Key
  • You can’t buy attention anymore. Having a huge budget doesn’t mean anything in social media…The old paradigm was pay to play. Now you get back what you authentically put in. You’ve got to be willing to play to play. – Alex Bogusky, co-chairman CP&B
  • Why are we trying to measure social media like a traditional channel anyway? Social media touches every facet of business and is more an extension of good business ethics. – Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics
  • A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is – it is what consumers tell each other it is. – Scott Cook
  • You can be professional while also ‘keeping it real’ with your customers. By interacting with customers in a less formal way, you’ll build a strong human connection that helps build brand loyalty. – David Hauser, co-founder of Grasshopper
  • A marketing person should always ask one key question when beginning to develop a social media strategy: how much chaos can this organization handle? – Gary Stein, vice president of strategy for Ammo Marketing
  • Marketing in a social media world means you are trying to have your message spread while competing with a billion other channels for attention. At any given time, you don’t know where your potential customers are or what they might see. – Jeremy Epstein, founder and chief marketing navigator at Never Stop Marketing
  • Marketing is no longer about the stuff that you make, but about the stories you tell. – Seth Godin
  • It’s hard to get lice out of your head, and there’s no easy cure for shaking off campaign-based thinking, either. – David Berkowitz, senior director of emerging media at 360i
  • If your reputation sucks, none of it matters. People with lousy products, crummy business practices, and shady backgrounds get found out. And word spreads with frightening speed. – Sonia Simone
  • If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends. – Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon.com

Current Social Media Trends in Canada

CNW and Leger Marketing report “public relations practitioners continue to find value in using social media, as consumer use of social networking tools grows.”

Here are key points taken from their recently conducted Social Media Reality Check 2.0.  The study explores professional communicators’ use of social media compared with consumer opinions about social media influence on their purchasing behavior.  A comparitive analysis of their year-over-year study reveals insight into how social media use has grown; campaign objectives and measurement, as well as gaps and overlaps in PR practitioner perception and the consumer reported reality.

Rising social media budgets

  • The number of organizations that have a budget devoted to social media have doubled in two years (from 15% to 30%)
  • 32% of professionals surveyed this year say they have a dedicated social media team in place

 Objectives remain informal

  • Visibility (73%) and awareness (70%) are the top objectives for social media campaigns today
  • Awareness (66%) and generating dialogue (59%) were the top objectives for social media campaigns in 2009
  • 26% of those conducting social media campaigns have formal, measurable objectives in place

 Twitter use continues to grow

  • Twitter usage has jumped to 76% from 39% of communications professionals in the last two years
  • Their audience, however, is only using Twitter 32% of the time – up from 8% in 2009

 The influence of social media on consumers

  • 37% of consumers say that they have purchased a product they heard about on social media first
  • Half of respondents state that online reviews influence their purchasing behavior
  • Consumers agree that social media influences smaller purchasing decisions such as which books to read and music to buy

Social Media Reality Check 2.0 was presented yesterday by CNW and Leger Marketing at the Canadian Public Relations Society Annual Conference. For details on the survey:


An attempt at defining “social media”

Want the definition of “social media”? Google it an find that Wikipedia defines it :

“are media for social interaction using highly accessible and scalable pubishing techniques. Social media uses web-based technologies to turn communication into interactive dialogues.”

But we came across a few tongue-in-cheek definitions of social media from Jackson Wightman:

  • The group of web based things that saved the PR profession from going the way of dinosaurs
  • The group of web based things that brought loads of losers out of their moms’ basements and turned them into internet superstars
  • A much hyped marketing channel whose overall performance is still dubious, due to the difficulty in measuring its impact on the bottom line with any degree of rigor
  • The ‘next’ version of email marketing (remember how hyped that was)
  • The collection of web based things that killed society’s attention span
  • A misunderstood group of tools that are driving Fortune 500 executives crazy
  • A marketing channel where “awesome” is the most used word
  • Scary shit, because you have to keep feeding the beast

 [ SOURCE:  http://www.jacksonwightman.com/2010/10/9-awesome-definitions-of-social-media/ ]

Social media is misunderstood more than it is appreciated. One certainty – it’s both a blank sheet for your creativity and a black hole for your spare moments. It’s all and nothing. The value on derives from it is found in what is shared with your “friends” – and the world. It’s what you give – of not only your time, but also of yourself.

Greater Interactivity with Your Social Media

So you’ve unwrapped a new blog, got yourself on Twitter and are increasing your comments and activities on Facebook. Still, there doesn’t seem to be an interest in what you’re doing and what you’re saying. How do you get attention for your ideas? How do you get your readers involved in your dialogues?

Here are a few tips to get greater audience engagement with your social media.

  • Use conversational language
  • Ask open questions or ask people for help.
  • Leave your posts slightly undone so that you invite your readers to add to the posting
  • Link to other people, other sources of information in your posts (to encourage cross referencing between those sources)
  • Reply to every comment (and send a welcome e-mail to those commenting for the first time)
  • Visit the blogs of those who comment on your posts and reply by commenting on their posts

And the #1 tip for getting people to engage with you, your issue and opinion is to share something of yourself in your post. Readers want to know what motivates you to sound off. The more comfortable they are in recognizing the motive(s) for your post(s) the more comfortable they will be in contributing to your dialogue.

Social media is a two-way conversation… you need to share and to give in order to receive.

My Right Hand – a social media service

After a few months collaborating with our network, our public relations company CG&A COMMUNICATIONS is unwrapping My Right Hand.  We are offering a virtual assistant service that will support and enhance clients’ social media activities. The core strategy and content development services include: 

  • Content and Copywriting Services – articles and blog posts, media releases, web content; proofreading and editing; identify value-added links, videos, photos, surveys, etc.
  • Internet Design and Development Services – create new site(s) architecture or improve existing one; develop websites, blogs, microsites, brochureware sites
  • Online Management Services – create and manage your social media accounts via blogs, Facebook and Twitter; stakeholder relations including moderating comments and developing content so that you are an active participant
  • Monitoring and Analysis – monitor your communications and produce “Interaction Reports”; suggestions to meet the stated communications objectives; develop your content marketing strategy

To read more information on My Right Hand, today’s press release is here:


Or find out more from the CG&A COMMUNICATIONS website: