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Archive for February, 2010

What publishing used to mean…

by henrycopeland
Friday, February 19th, 2010

On recent nights I’ve been reading A Crooked Sixpence, a novel about London journalism in the 1950s by Murray Sayle. Published in 1961, the book portrays the many mechanisms and methods needed to crank out a newspaper before computers came along… and LONG before The Internets made hundreds of hours of labor and tons of machinery obsolescent. Here’s Sayle’s portrait of a Saturday before the weekly Sunday edition came out:

The sub-editors had already started work around the big horse-shoe table a few feet from him, trimming and shaping the smaller stories for the news pages. There were twenty of them, in shirt-sleeves, heads bowed and pencils flying over piles of copy-paper. The bare arms and furrowed foreheads, the unbuttoned collars and loosened ties made them look like aging schoolboys doing a grueling Eng. Lit. paper. The chief sub-editor, a one-eyed elderly man who looked after the answers to readers’ queries during the week, presided at the center of the outer curve of the table. He was working through a pile of stories from the basket at his elbow, reading the first few paragraphs of each, marketing a spot on a clipped bundle of page schemes and throwing the document to one of the labourers with his order, ‘Five pars with a single-column staggered two-line head in eighteen’ or ‘Two-par fill, early page.’ For more complicated prescriptions, he wrote he directions on the copy and sometimes drew the shape of headline he wanted.

As the sub-editors worked, O’Toole noticed that their left hands were periodically busy on the table, the fingere thumping in order like pacticing pianists’. They were counting letters, reducing political turmoil in far-off republics to RED GRAB BID because eighteen-point Roman Ultra-Bodoni makes nineteen units (including spaces) in a twenty-four em line over a shallow double, and even the Russians haven’t developed rubber type faces yet.”

For the record, Sayle is one of the journalists who Harold Evans, as editor of the Sunday Times, sent to Ulster to report on Bloody Sunday, the day in January 1972 when British troops shot dead 14 civil rights protesters in Londonderry. The results of the Sunday Times’ investigation — that the day was a massacre, not a battle — was never published because the commencement of British judicial proceedings put a lid on any and all publishing about the event.


by henrycopeland
Friday, February 12th, 2010

This Drudgereport.com photo setup for a story about Alexander McQueen hanging himself is too much…

Drudge fashion photo

SMWNYC panel notes

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 11th, 2010

This is a compilation of notes taken by Blogads team members at panels during Social Media Week NYC, Feb. 1-5.

The Oldest Media Goes Social: from books to blogs at Booz & Company with author AJ Jacobs, blogger Levi Asher, Wiley marketeer Natalie Lin, publicist Meryl Moss and moderator Henry Copeland.

* 20 years ago, book publicists pitched to ~300 newspapers, now it’s down to ~25 physical papers and the online components of a few dozen more.
* TV and radio shows remain the “big book movers,” but new media is an important complement.
* While publishers and publicists encourage authors to establish and maintain an online community fewer than 50% stick with it.
* A grassroots approach is ideal- to ask for feedback while you’re writing makes your fans feel more connected to your work. Authors who get online only when their book is published can feel spammy.
* Plenty of attempts to “viralize” a Youtube video for a book fail miserably.
* With all the noise, ads can help penetrate the haze, help the community realize that the author/publisher takes it seriously.
* Social media can soak up a huge amount of time for a dedicated author.

What’s Your Social Media Currency at No Longer Empty with Questlove, Andrew Katz and Marisa Bangash.
* Brands are cutting out the middle men (labels, agencies) to align themselves directly with artists. Think Santigold for EA Games and Julian Casablancas for Converse.
* Artists need more than just musical talent- they must be able to blog, tweet and interact online.
* Blogs are well-respected content providers for reviews and inside information… it’s not uncommon for traditional pubs to lift blog content in lieu of writing their own reviews.
* For those anti-SM folks longing for “what’s next”- focusing on the tools is a losing battle. You must focus on the changing consumer behavior- the why not the what.

Crowdsourcery Potions 101 at JWT with John Winsor, Faris Yakob, Saheel Radia, Michael Lebowitz, Ty Montague

* Most of us work in an environment where we are paid even if our ideas aren’t selected. Some say that crowdsourcing is a waste of resources. You have 1,000 people designing a logo. 999 don’t get paid for their work; that’s a huge waste of resources.
* Solution: Crowdsourcing doesn’t have to be a “winner takes all” model. Some consider it to be the new internship – allows inexperienced people to find a place to put their skills to work and try ideas.
* “Coopetition” — when competing teams come together to benefit from each team’s specific skills. The more collaborative a group is, the less control you have.
* Effective crowdsourcing requires good management or good editors or good curators to select team members that can be trusted. You build a community or marketplace of ideas. Good example: iPhone App Store.

Digital Cocktails at Gotham Ventures with panelists Adam Penenberg, Paul Kontonis, Katy Kelley, Matt Heindl, Jessica Amason

* Brands should get genuinely involved in social media instead of working through an agency.
* Things go viral based on collective curation– we decide what’s good and then we want to share it, not because we’re told.
* If you have a product with an Achille’s heel, don’t open it up to user-generated content. Example: The GM Tahoe “create our ad” campaign.
* If you build a microsite, you need to drive an audience there and guarantee personality and conversation. FB provides great niche-targeted ads for this purpose.
* Hornitos Facebook page is a good example of a brand existing within social media because it has a dedicated editor-in-chief, someone who understands the voice of the brand. They post interesting, novel content that is interesting to their consumer. It also had an activation budget.

And don’t miss our write-up of the SUXORZ panel here.

(Thank you to Kaley Krause and Nicole Bogas for their panel recollections!)

SUXORZ recap and preview

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Thank you for rocking the SUXORZ last night at the Roger Smith Hotel as part of Social Media Week NYC!

For those of you who didn’t make it, you can rewind the tape here: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=suxorz.

Here’s the deck with all the examples of terrible social media advertising.

Here’s the current map of the SUXORZ mob, attendees, panelists and alumni. The house was packed from screen to bar, and I apologize to folks in the back for the early amplification problems.

Thank you BL Ochman, Steve Hall, Ian Schafer and Caroline McCarthy for presenting so eloquently. And thank you Jon Accarrino for powering the deck.

To recap: By a landslide, the winner of last night’s SUXORZ was Ian’s “unmoderated Tweets” nominee. Winners of individual rounds were: BL’s nominee “Old Spice’s Crusty armpit” (I’m still traumatized), Steve’s “Ryan Air’s abusive response to customer feedback” and BL’s “TimeWarnerUnCares.”

Comparing last night with the SUXORZ we did in ’08 and ’09 at the wonderful SXSW festival in Austin, I think everyone’s expectations for the industry went up this year. Surreptitiously paying bloggers to flatter your brand, a major theme in past SUXORZ, has either stopped or gone underground. But fully disclosed stupidity still abounds, as we saw with Charmin, InsidetheBCS, Old Spice, Habitat, Ricola and Mars Candy. We saw that a social media campaign isn’t a date, it’s a marriage, when Agent Provacateur got dinged for its campaign hiatus. And we saw that experimentation can bring acclaim — Ford City Keys — or concerted kvetching, as with Gawker BloodCopy, PETA and Current TV’s twitter bid. We agreed, yet again, that you should NEVER underestimate the social media urge to f*ck you if your back is turned, as demonstrated by the profanely Tweeting billboard and NFL livetweets.

Most importantly, we saw last night that social media is now understood by any sentient media professional to be an essential part of any company’s relationship with its customers. In prior years, we focused on sins of commission. Now sins of omission in social media — Toyota, Comcast — can earn major SUXORZ. As Ian put it, “how is Toyota putting a full page ad in the New York Times ‘talking with your customers?'”

Looking through the lens of this year’s SUXORZ panel, I think 2009 was the year that social media advertising and marketing grew up. Or at least stopped wetting the bed.

Don’t let the dream die. Our mission never sleeps. SUXORZ are being perpetrated around us daily. While the average bozo dozes, we must remain vigilant. A young professional in the next cubicle over is right NOW scheming to screw up a profoundly beautiful social experience (aka the social web) with some $150,000 scheme to pay 250 tweeps to wear pantyhose while swimming in Lake Erie and drinking your client’s grape juice.

Walk over to that cubicle and say “SUXORZ 2011!” Then ask: how can we celebrate people’s interactions rather than polluting them?

Meanwhile, it’s your duty to chronicle travesties you witness in the SUXORZ Facebook group.

front row suxorz 10

(A nice visual summation of the evening: an even mix of learning, laughing and libating.)

From the archives: Scott Monty’s take on SUXORZ March 2008.

Update: At Brandfreak, Todd Wasserman adds good color and illustrations from the evening.

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