Wednesday Reading List

Random posts which I won’t go into too much depth on.

John Whiteside at Opinionated Marketers points out that CBS doesn’t get it – the YouTube video I posted yesterday from them doesn’t allow embed…missing a major part of the power of YouTube.

Rob O’Regan notes that Constantine von Hoffman has a new blog up called “Business and Networking

Rob’s thoughts on social networking and business echo my own (but are more lucid, and aren’t bug infested…)

As I pointed out a few months ago, I agree that the next big social networking movement will be toward niche/special-interest groups, not full-blown, category-owning destination sites like MySpace or Facebook. And as I noted on Con’s post, businesses can succeed as facilitators for users who share common interests, but they can’t force-feed community to their customer base.

Exactly – as I have said for sometime, there are a limit to the number of places I want to go to network. And those places are becoming less numerous…

But Constantine makes an incredibly prescient point:

Having a social network feature only works if you have something else that people come to your site for. That something else can be the love of your product — Disney, Harley, Mustangs, Apple, etc. It can be information that they can’t get anywhere else — Fark.com & BoingBoing are two examples. The other reason to add a social network feature is if the people coming to your site have common interests and don’t have another venue for connecting with each other. For example, if your site draws a lot of B2B marketers because of the information you provide, you could also give them content to help them and provide a way for them to connect with each other.

I’m wondering when we reach (or reached…) the saturation point for new blogs dealing with Social Networking. Again, there’s a limit to the number of places I will go to get my Social Networking information. Von Hoffman does an excellent job, and has automagically made my Google Reader lists.

Somewhere, someone made the point yesterday that Social Networking for business is more likely a component of a good website, rather than an end in itself. I couldn’t relocate it, but I find that point important.

At Reflections of a Newsosaur, Alan Mutter has a meme going, on the subject of the diaspora within the online units at the newpapers. A must read, and one I’ve seen underway for some time. It’s not just the newspapers either – the system vendors in the space are also clueless about the web…be sure to read the comments – he’s have struck a nerve in newspaper veterans…

“What am I doing here?” a talented young designer and programmer working at a publishing company asked me recently. “These guys don’t get it. I’ve got to get out. I’m just wasting my time.”

Like the others quoted in this article, the young journalist is not being named, so as to protect his livelihood until he bails out of his MSM job.

Steve Yelvington picks the thread up in “What Alan Said…

The role of a senior leader and manager is to cherish, coach, teach and grow talent. We need everything we can get from smart young people in our organizations. And we need senior leaders who know how to support them, how to clear middle-management roadblocks, how to say yes and when to say no.

We are at a critical turning point for American newspapers. We can’t afford to drive away our smartest and most creative voices. The Internet not a publishing system, a Web site is not just another channel, and digitizing the thing we’ve been doing for the last century is not going to work. We need to think new thoughts, and pushing new thinkers out the door is a fatal mistake.

All I can say is that this has been brewing since the last bubble. I wondered if the resentment I sometimes see between print and online units was due to the cash lavished on the online units in the late 90’s. Either that or it had to do with the fundamental difference between print and online – the print side is steeped in a tradition that goes back centuries, while online is so new the paint isn’t dry.

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