This week, Bryan Person joined me as co-host of the Roundtable. We discussed Google+, from the angles of brand and personal usage; the AP’s request of reporters that they not post opinions on social networks (oh, and please don’t break news on Twitter either); and the Twitter Town Hall–Twitter comes of age as the President uses the service to interact with voters.
Today’s show is 28 minutes long.
- First, we discuss an AdAge Digital piece on Google+ for brands. Apparently, some brands were so anxious to explore Google’s foray into social networking, some of them hacked pages to secure a spot. Never fear brands–Google is working on it, and should have you set up fairly soon–within a couple of weeks. Bryan and I talk about the look and feel of Google+, and how it’s fairly intuitive. Bryan wonders if perhaps we, as geek-types, might not have the same experience as the average user as others might not use things like circles as actively as we do. Maybe, but I point out that Facebook’s list feature is buried and you have to dig to figure out where and how to use it, whereas the Google+ circles are front and center and pretty self-explanatory.
- Next, via Poynter, we discuss a post titled “AP warns staff about expressing opinions on social networks.” Bryan and I agree that the policy is sound, and that it can present issues for a news organization when a reporter has an identifiable position on a news story–like the Casey Anthony trial, for example–and makes it known online. However, I ask Bryan where the line is between expressing enough of oneself that it meets the criteria for “online authenticity” and being personable, and wading into areas of opinion that might have an impact on reporting. Bryan notes that staying away from news stories is one way, and limiting the personality driven content to things like BBQs. This led to a discussion about the prohibition on breaking news on Twitter–Bryan notes that he follows some baseball reporters on Twitter and likes the inside scoop he sometimes gets–and, he points out, Twitter is his news feed of choice.
- Finally, we talk about the President’s Twitter Town Hall, kicking off the discussion by examining a TechCrunch piece on the topic. A presidential forum using the microblogging service is so far from the tool’s initial use, it’s almost hard to remember the jokes about sandwich choices that populated the Tweetstream in the early days. Ah, nostalgia. (Kidding!) We end the discussion on a slightly wistful note, discussing the end of the Space Shuttle program, and NASA’s embrace of social media.