This week, Sarah Santucci joined me to discuss Google+, blogger ethics–specifically, fashion bloggers–and the AP’s admonition to its staff to not break news on Twitter.
This week’s show is 28 minutes long.
- First, Sarah and I discuss a post from TechCrunch titled “Report: 61 Percent Of Top Brands Have Created Google+ Pages, But No One Is Following.” Well–that is a high number, 61 percent–but why aren’t the people there? Sarah suggests maybe it’s still too new to tell. I wonder if Google waited too long between the launch of Google+ (for people) and Google+ Pages (for brands). Once the “shiny-new” wore off, so did the highest potential to capture people. (As…fans? friends? what are we calling people who “circle” brands on Google+? Circlers? That sounds weird.) I also suggest that depending on how many people connect with brands, we could see a logical triage of how companies treat these social channels: Facebook first for sheer numbers, Twitter for the visibility, and Google+ for those who hate Facebook and aren’t on Twitter. Sarah points out that it’s still early and adoption could come around, but acknowledges that some of the sentiment in the comments–namely, that we have too many darn buttons on stuff already (Like this, Tweet this, Digg this, Stumble this, etc.)–might be the overriding factor.
- Next, a post on Jezebel raised my eyebrows–for several reasons. One, the wild fluctuations of blog traffic numbers, and two, the apparently very cozy connections between bloggers and brands in the fashion world. Sarah zeros in on the blog traffic numbers–always an inexact science, but these numbers are so far off it’s a tad unnerving for those who use these services to ballpark-guess the traffic of a blog. Sarah points to an update on the post, where a blogger sent a screenshot of her Google Analytics page that supported the higher web traffic number. The next point, touching on blogger ethics, examines the quid-pro-quo involved. Bloggers like their freebies, and don’t want to jeopardize the relationship with the brand. One anonymous blogger quoted in the piece says she even provides the copy of her posts to the agency for vetting, and will change the verbiage if they don’t like it. She also said she doesn’t disclose her freebies–a clear violation of FTC rules. Sarah makes the very valid point that one blogger is not all bloggers, and that most probably behave ethically. Probably.
- Finally, we talk about the AP’s scolding of reporters who broke the news of their own arrests at Occupy Wall Street protests by posting to Twitter. This is a violation of AP’s social media policy, and Sarah says it’s easy to understand, and they have every right to do this, so follow the rules. I point out that the reporters might have been caught up enough in the moment that it didn’t really sink in that their arrests were news (yes, this is far-fetched). Still, the point many have made is that if news is breaking on Twitter, then perhaps Twitter is where it *should* be breaking.