Where Is the Heritage Media?

Not long ago, I blogged about the need for the traditional media (I won’t call them “mainstream” anymore, because they are slipping so badly) to tap into what the federal government is doing in terms of embracing Web 2.0 tools and culture. Sadly, the legacy media is showing itself to be even more hidebound than that behemoth bureacracy. I’ve been immersing myself in Twitter, which I believe is a revolutionary technology that will grow lightening fast as mobile broadband expands around the world. The Twitter culture is a bit difficult to grasp, as nearly every “expert” has a slightly different take. However, it seems a natural place for old media to gets it sea legs and try out new ways of doing business.

They aren’t doing a very good job of it, though, that I can see. Please, correct me in the comments, because I may just not be trying hard enough, but what I see is that technologists and PR and marketing people are running on the bobbing Twitter decks while heritage media is scarcely to be found. Tech journos like @scobleizer and @mediaphyter are doing just fine, but the only press person I’ve found truly thriving in this 2.0 culture so far is @johnabyrne, who no doubt as editor of a business mag can see the writing on the wall.

Tell me I’m wrong, or tell me why Twitter isn’t the perfect place for notebook dumps. If I was still doing political journalism, I’d be on Twitter even more than I am now, and that’s a lot.

Ten of My SocMed Peeps

So these lists are going to get a bit repetitive, but now and again I want to give shouts out to some of the great folks I follow in my communities of interest: Government 2.0, social media, and locals. Today, 10 people using Twitter to its potential for creating great social media. You’ve probably already heard of most of them, but maybe not. And if you’re just starting out, following these folks will get you up to speed. The list was compiled by starting from the beginning of my own Twitter experience (in unranked order); later on I’ll post newer names I’ve come to know and love. And please add your best of on the comments. For now:

@skydiver @ecevents @chrisbrogan @trib @jonathanfleming @ariherzog @dbillian @stelzner @kriscolvin @anthonyidem

We Are The Future of Work: Book Review

“There go my people. I must find out where they are going so I can lead them.” – French politician Alexandre Ledru-Rollin

Just finished “The Future of Work – How the New Order of Business Will Shape Your Organization, Your Management Style, and your Life,” by Thomas W. Malone of MIT. Recommended by one of my fellow Govloopers. Amazing book for anyone looking at leadership/management consulting, social media and Government 2.0. The above quote is pulled from Chapter 10, “Cultivating People.” Memorize the core themes, analyses and citations from this book, and you’ve got just about all the knowledge you need to talk a solid transformation game. I plan to re-read it to pull out key concepts.

Most valuable, Malone points to the MIT Process Handbook Project, a collaborative effort that, as described on its Web page, provides – free – an “extensive online knowledge base including entries for over 5,000 business activities and a set of software tools for managing this knowledge.”

The book was published in 2004, and as I finished it in the spa this afternoon, the one nagging thought was that its brief and late acknowledgment of the challenges of monetizing a knowledge economy is still a problem nearly five years later. Then I came in and, over dinner,  read Ellen McGirt’sRevolution in San Jose – a hard-core Republican turns Cisco into a socialist enterprise – one with $26 billion in cash,” in the latest issue of Fast Company. And here were Malone’s tenets in practice, in one of the most successful companies of the Internet age. Cisco is embracing the knowledge economy with both arms, because it makes the infrastructure to support it. And the company is evangelizing the future of work by democratizing and unleashing it’s own workforce, with, according to McGirt and Cisco execs, incredible increases in productivity.

Malone points to seminar participants estimating that only 30-40 percent of employee potential is tapped in their traditional workplaces. His chapter structure always ends with a choice that boils down to, “Do you want to give up command-and-control and embrace collaborative work?” Cisco CEO John Chambers is saying yes. It’s 2.0. What do you choose?

Government 2.0: Tweeting the Talk, Walking the Walk

Out of the many uses for Twitter, the one I find most valuable is creating communities of interest. My favorite such community on Twitter is Government 2.0 folks, from private industry to Congress members to gov groupies. You can find lists of government folks who use Twitter, but the folks I’m listing here are the cream of the crop – they add value. Fun, too. If you’ve got some I’ve missed, please add in the comments.

@Jack_Holt @sradick @policymonk @ZachTumin @marlinex @lewisshepherd @johnculberson @dslunceford @planetrussell @dfletcher @corbett3000 @CaraKeithley @cheeky_geeky @johnhale @dbevarly @helenmosher @moehlert @cdorobek @bashley @levyj413 @you2gov @david_tallan @meghan1018 @caseycoleman @pbroviak @immunity @citymark @bgreeves @krazykriz @govloop

Five Inexpensive Ways to Promote New Content

1) Call in to a local radio show to pitch the new content – in SF, we have a guy who does a 30-second open mic show. Like a free ad.
2) Buy a targeted Facebook ad, with a design aimed at bringing people to the site based on impressions, not clicks. Read more here.
3) Ask all of your friends who have Facebook accounts to post a blurb about the site on their pages. Ask your target audience to do the same. For example, I have more than 500 facebook friends (my three audiences – friends from church, SF politics, and Gov 2.0), so when I post something to my news feed, it gets a lot of eyeballs.
4) Use a Twitter account to search and identify locals and others in the target audience, then blast out a unique promos for the site once a day. My site gets the most hits when I promote something to my Twitter group, which is mostly Gov 2.0 and social media folks.
5) Make a short video on YouTube or Tokbox, and promote that link through e-mail and all the channels above. Consider making it a very memorable video that people will want to share.