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Sunday
Apr222012

Buzz, Brilliance and Blogging: Week ending April 21

Every week I compile a list of the noteworthy news (Buzz) from my week of reading. I like to balance news with commentary, but it has to be really valuable for my readers (Brilliance). I recently added Blogging to the mix as well. The links that follow are to sites and blogs that I read on a regular basis - consider them recommended reading for you too. Or you can just come back here each week for a taste of what stuck out to me.

~Karen

Buzz

I’m going to lead off with a story that no one seems to care about based on how much it’s been covered. Klout launched brand pages this week. (Are you excited yet?) I saw one story about it: this one. Does this mean that we’ve finally relegated Klout to the level of importance it deserves?  

Facebook has given notice this week that your profile picture size is about to change as of April 26th. Be prepared to modify your integrated cover photos accordingly. Here’s the statement that came in this week’s Facebook Page Update email:

On April 26, we will be updating the size of the profile picture on all Pages. We are letting you know about this small change in advance so that you can update your profile picture on April 26. The new profile picture will be 160 x 160 pixels and will sit at 23 pixels from the left and 210 pixels from the top of the Page.

Facebook is testing a newsfeed insert that will highlight trending articles. Oddly, this will only include articles from social reading apps rather than curate listings of most shared links. Too bad - I see fewer and fewer social reading app links in my newsfeed. Are people still using them?

Who’s excited about real-time Facebook insights? (Besides me.) This is great news!

It will be extremely interesting to see how One iota does with its self-service deals app for Facebook. If their business model is better than Groupon, it could be a very useful way for business owners to extend special deals to Facebook fans. And imagine if you were able to give an extra discount for check-ins. The marketing possibilities are really good with this one.

Every time the Olympics roll around and I hear all the new (and old, recurring) restrictions the IOC is putting on use of anything to do with the Olympics, I just have to ask if they care at all about garnering goodwill, because this is not the way to do it.

The Red Cross has thought of an innovative way to raise awareness while getting donations. Donate $10 and watch your Twitter avatar break apart and then be restored - much like what the Red Cross does with disaster relief. With all the criticism about slacktivism in social media, it will be very interesting to see how well this campaign does.

Google pulled the plug on Picnik this week, but all is not lost. You can still do a photo collage with iPiccy!

Brilliance

Sincerity in social media is essential, particularly if you want to be taken seriously as a business. Jon Loomer gives some great advice specific to Facebook in his guest post on All Facebook and for general social media use on his own blog.

Related to sincerity is Chris Brogan’s post about earning attention.  Building mutual, genuine relationships with everyone isn’t possible. Capturing the attention of someone with a large following is possible, but do you really want to be known as a squeaky wheel? It’s far better to earn that attention by making a valuable contribution without expectations.

The discussion of the changing nature of advertising has been going on for decades. VCRs and later PVRs threatened advertisers because so many recorded TV shows and fast-forwarded through the commercials. Web content and streaming have taken this discussion in a whole new and interesting direction. 

Some stories are just brilliant because it’s so incredible that they happen. 

Blogging

One of my must-read blogs is Spin Sucks by PR professional, Gini Dietrich, and I should mention that a big reason I started reading is because the name appealed to me. Gini published her response to Mitch Joel’s challenge this week and I think having a set time for blogging daily sounds wonderful. 

One thing I’ve learned from all of the bloggers who shared their process is that they work very hard to maintain a steady stream of great content that exhibits their expertise. 

That said, if you’re looking for ways to take your own blog to the next level, one thing you will want to do is develop your blogging skills. You can start by participating in one of these twitter chats that focus on blogging and reading BloggingPro isn’t a bad idea either.

Do you get stuck on your own blogging process? Here are “just a few” ways to shake it up and maybe even shake you out of writer’s block and make your content stronger than ever.

Are you thinking of starting a blog? Twitter account? Facebook? Any other social network? Before you do, make sure you ask yourself a few questions and answer honestly because content marketing isn’t for everyone.

As anyone reading this post each week knows, I don’t believe in the #4 tip on this list of ways to get more blog comments, but many of the other tips are right on. My #1 tip is not to use captcha as well. Just think about the mobile users and how much a pain captcha is for them.