This week, Jen Zingsheim was joined by co-host Mark Story for a lively discussion on Twitter breaking the news about the Discovery Channel shooter, the decline in customer service (and how that relates to nurturing social media fans), and whether social media tools make us more social or, well, tools.
- First, Jen and Mark talk about Wednesday’s shooting at the Discovery Channel, and how once again professional news organizations were scooped by Twitter. Mark points out that the news business is starting to grudgingly accept Twitter’s place in breaking news. Jen points out that this development is head-slappingly obvious: of course people inside a building where an event is happening will be the first to report it. Mark wonders how news channels are seeking out this information: who do they follow on Twitter?
- Next, the two discuss a post by Dave Fleet about collecting social media “fans” with no thought given to how to retain and engage them, and a piece from the New Yorker about customer service. There are common themes between the pieces, most importantly that a lot of thought and effort goes into collecting fans/customers, but virtually no thought appears to be behind how to keep them. Mark sees this as less of a “scorched earth” issue and more of an “allowing them to die on the vine” issue. Jen veers off into a mini-tangent pointing out that responding in social media to customer service issues doesn’t mean a thing if companies don’t address and correct the underlying problem(s).
- Finally, the two discuss Mitch Joel’s piece on narcissism in social media. Mark takes issue with Mitch’s use of the word “we,” (“what have we become?”) stating that he feels while this might be a problem for some in social media, anyone who engages in social media for self-serving purposes is bound to be disappointed. Jen points out that some of what Mitch outlines as narcissistic behavior–such as setting up Google searches for one’s name and one’s company–are simply smart business practices in this day and age.