Archive for category SocialMediaRelease

Social Media Press Release Evolves Slowly, but Nicely

Maggie Fox recently sent me an email to talk about the new Social Media Press Release format she has been working on with Ford that she is now releasing as a template they call Digital Snippets.  You can download the PDF to review for yourself.  Overall I think it is a good step in the right direction.  As I said to Maggie in an email discussing this, it feels a bit too densely packed and could use some more white space and simplification, but it is otherwise good and evolving nicely.

Jason Falls make a good point about including the context of the whole conversation around the news being published which is well taken, but I doubt we will see a full and proper execution from any large publicly traded company for some time like he envisions to include all things people write about the news.  Perhaps in smaller companies and startups where they don’t have to fight all those lawyers and ‘not how things are done around here’ attitudes.  Definitely not in a company where there is a boisterous and dare I say potential for negative feedback on any given number of issues by ongoing opposition. I am particularly thinking about labor, cafe standards, general haters of the brand and consumer safety folks who might take any opportunity to swipe at the company they could.

While I would like the SMPR to include link backs to all the people talking about the news, there are some situations and some companies which are simply not going to be treated fairly.  This is one of the reasons GM was not enabling comments on their blog post on Fast Lane during labor negotiations that were ongoing during the strike in the fall (Shel Holtz has an excellent post on Blogging in a Strike).  They were right then, and I think Ford was right in this situation.  It could have been included on these releases if someone were to manually approve them as being relevant, but that approval process must include negative reviews as well as positive ones to have any credibility.

My only real issue here is that I am troubled by yet another attempt to rebrand the format with new terminology – especially since we have fought so hard to generate understanding around the SMPR language.  Why does everyone need to ‘own the language’ when building on top of someone else’s work? From my perspective, it is another template that may be used to do Social Media Press Releases in the same spirit that Todd Defren originally created it after speaking with Tom Foremski. Social Media Group certainly is accrediting Todd properly, but I don’t see why we would call these digital snippets – perhaps I am just missing the point of why they are different…

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David Sifry Good, Service Still Not

Technorati Responds to Complaints

Thank you David Sifry for responding to my blog post about my trouble with Technorati and having your engineers take care of my primary concern regarding the Technorati rank being broken for this blog, chrisheuer.com, but you have a bigger problem on your hands then just a colo server move and you need to let people know what is really going on and what you are really doing to address the problems rather than patching on complaints one person at a time (I will be glad to talk to you on the phone BTW, but please note my prior post).

While this one issue was fixed, almost all other parts of the Technorati page about my blog are still way off. In addition to the problems that my fiancee told me about upon my return with not being able to get Technorati customer support to respond to her problems, numerous other people who don’t want to go public with this problem have privately told me about similar frustrations. I like you David, and know you are a stand up guy with good intentions, but I dont understand why you guys can’t get these problems fixed with the money you raised over the past few years. I would like to believe it is a server move causing it, but it really seems like a much deeper problem given how long this has been going on and the pattern of problems we have all experienced over the years.

David must have seen my complaint, and like Rick Klau does regularly for FeedBurner – responded by having his engineers fix at least one part of the broken bit (my technorati rank is now 40,181 (147 links from 68 blogs) and personally responded on my previous post. However, it says it was updated 2 hours ago (correct), but the most recent post listed is from 118 days ago. Also, the most recent outbound links are from a magnolia blog bling link? The popular tags are way off, I can’t even imagine how they came up with that mishmash of a ranking on the tag strength.

When I interviewed Rick Klau for They Get It, a Social Media Club podcast to be published this weekend, he had said to me something that has been nagging at me all week – “when a Blogger complains and a company does something right about it, the Blogger owes it to the company to point that out too.” So David, I am sorry for not getting this up sooner and I am thankful for your personal response, but more sorry to report it still does not work and I don’t suspect you can really fix it by the end of the server move (please prove me wrong). I did however photoblog the reponse right away on Flickr, so I don’t think I was unfair, just slow.
As I said, I like the folks behind the service (and know several socially), but after all this time and all this money, the service should be working normally and it is not. They can not afford to do customer support on issues like this for everyone that cares about this service or they will certainly go bankrupt or provide dismal service as they have done with my fiancee.  While I appreciate David taking the time to respond, I also know he should be spending his time on finding innovative solutions to the company’s problems.  I fear that they have little time left to get this together and save their reputation/credibility but few people are really complaining about it, which is odd – perhaps it is like those other silicon valley darlings that no one is willing to publicly criticize.  It seems that no one really ever wants to point out the pink elephant in the middle of the living room…

The recent design changes at Technorati are great improvements and I am certainly a supporter of their efforts with Microformats due to our work with the Social Media Release, but if they can not get their core indexing and data infrastructure stable, all the remodeling on a shaky foundation won’t hold up the walls when a strong wind blows. I am not switching to IceRocket yet (not even linking to them), but may need to change my habits finally if I can no longer trust Technorati is accuracte.  As Greg Narain said when we were beercasting with John from Swinecast, “no one is fooled when you throw lipstick on a pig” or a pink elephant for that matter… (btw – just thinking about that South Park episode at least brought a smile to my face)

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