Jen Zingsheim and I were pleased to welcome Geoff Livingston to the Media Bullseye Roundtable this week. Geoff is the CEO of Livingston Communications in Washington, DC and author of the social media primer “Now is Gone.” He also runs his company blog, The Buzz Bin, and is co-host of a DC-centric podcast The District of Corruption, with Aaron Brazell.
It was a bit of synchronicity this week, as Geoff lives in the DC area and we had our top story come out of the Capitol, with the news that spread like wildfire (mostly incorrectly, as it turns out) that Congress was attempting to ban social media among members.
No, It’s Not True – Jen is very quick to point out that if you actually go through the documents posted on the Technosailor site (Technosailor features a comprehensive, thoroughly updated guide to this complicated issue, kudos Aaron!), the issue is not as simple as “Congress wants to ban Twitter.” Basically, some congressmen are using social media sites, including Twitter and video sites YouTube and Qik, to reach out to constituents. Because there are strict rules governing official communications from elected officials, some in Congress want to look into how web 2.0 is affecting these rules. We also discuss how quick the blogosphere and social media community were to jump on this issue, before they really took the time to understand it.
Defending Business Blogs – We also respond to the recent Forrester survey released this month that indicates that many business blogs are “dull, drab,” and unimaginiative failures that do not attract comments or serve much purpose. We all agree that there are some pretty terrible business blogs out there, including some high profile companies. But where’s the praise for those who get it right? Jen notes that setting up goals and expectations in advance is key, and Geoff notes the need to appropriately pre-grame, and determine the audience you’d like to reach and how best to connect with them.
Cult of Personality – Finally, we react to this post from Todd Defren, where he lays out the responsibilities of both the company and the employee when dealing with a “social media rock star.” A strong personal brand can have enormous benefit to the company, but what should be their role within the workplace. We agree that it’s important to strike a balance between our own personalities and our responsibilities as employees, with Geoff disagreeing slightly that as long as employees are getting their work done, their online activities should be of no concern (so long as it’s not illegal).