Browsing Tag


The NY Times Cuts Social Media Editor Position (VIDEO)

Jennifer Preston was in her Social Media Editor position at The New York Times for little more than one year.  Apparently, that was enough time  convince honchos that her position as the paper’s first Social Media Editor was… meh… not as relevant as they thought it would be.

Jennifer Preston is said to have lobbied to have her position phased out.  Poynter (who interviewed Preston about the upheavel) shared Preston’s insights on the shift:

While some journalists at the Times were already using those sites, there wasn’t a newsroom-wide understanding of why the tools mattered. “At the beginning there was some resistance among my colleagues about using these tools,” Preston said.

As social media editor, Preston met regularly with section editors and reporters to demonstrate how they could use social media tools not just to promote content but to build communities and attract new audiences.

The NY Times will forge ahead with plans to integrate print and digital operations (a slow but steady process) while Preston will return to reporting full time (on social media).  C’est la vie.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Jennifer Preston at The Influencers 2010 Conference in New York two months ago.  During the interview (wherein she discussed The NY Time’s social media philosophy) she gave no hint whatsoever of the changes about to to be made in her position.  She clearly was an enthusiastic social media evangelist at the paper and, I’m sure, will continue to share that passion in her new (old) role as a reporter.

Social Media Monitoring and Analytics Platforms (a thorough list) has done us all (and by “us” I mean social media freaks, geeks and entrepreneurs) a favor by compiling a comprehensive list of  social media monitoring and analytics platforms (and by “comprehensive” I mean 245 companies – sweet).

This chart contains must-have info when researching an analytics platform like the platform’s social media monitoring source, whether it’s free or paid, whether it incorporates sentiment analysis, if it has real-time features and a nifty rating score of 1-5 (rated by

They’ve also included a search function for the chart and, most thoughtfully, included a link to a list of all 245 companies on Twitter which you can follow in just… one… click.

Thank you!

You can find the original post and chart here.

Tweetup Throwdown

There will be blood on the floor.  Sure, we all worship at the alter of technology, we all (shameless, self-promoting  whores that we are) love social media, and some of us might even be the best of friends.  But, by the end of the night the list of survivors will be short and allegiances will be forever altered.

Having been on Twitter practically since it first launched, I was there for the first tweetups in New York City two years ago.  It was fun and exciting (meeting these people who had been sharing their microthoughts and “following” me on this strange, new social media platform that nobody new quite what to do with).  It was geek heaven.  The community was very small and Twitter crashed more than it ran effectively — there was no shortage of discussion and back then (especially with investors throwing insane amounts of money at startups that were launching at an astounding rate).

Tweetups (and other social media gatherings) today have become dull and void of inspiration and imagination.  We’re in a rut.  All anyone does is stand around, with a drink in their hand, and compare the latest iPhone app (the only excitement happens when someone pulls out a camera). Here are photos from recent tweetups around the country:

There’s nothing wrong with these Tweetups necessarily, but they’re just so… congenial.  They all look the same, they all sound the same, they are all, pretty much… the same.  We can do better, and we can get more out of these face-to-face encounters with our social media compadres (otherwise, what’s the point of social media?).

Apparently, I’m far from the only one who feels this way.  Dan Zarella (@danzarella) (the “social media scientist” and blogger known for dissecting social media through the lens of scientific research and experiments) has officially thrown down the gauntlet.  Last week, Zarella wrote a post called “Social Media Battles – This Ain’t Your Father’s Tweetup” that was like a bright and hopeful light at the end of a long, dark tunnel.  Zarella’s starts the post by saying what many people in social media probably have thought at some point but most certainly won’t voice audibly in mixed company (like a tweetup):

“If you’ve seen me speak, or read my blog you’ve probably heard me rail against unicorns and rainbows advice. Going to lots of social media conferences, and reading a lot written about it, I’m noticing a disturbing lack of healthy debate, nobody disagrees with anyone else (at least not by name, in public).”

Hallelujah!  Pass the holy wine!  Not only has Zarella perfectly stated the problem, he has come up with a brilliant, fun solution:  “Social Media Battles“.  He explains briefly:

“Each battle will be composed of 2 people representing opposing viewpoints on a social media topic. They’ll each be given 2 minutes to make their case, and 1 minute rebuttals to their opponents, then the audience will decide the winner. Fast, simple and honest.”

My response to Zarella’s call-to-action:  I’m down for a social media battle (I just have to remember to check my knife at the door).  Two topics I’d like to suggest: (1) Social Media “Gurus”:  Snake Oil Salesmen or Necessary Evils? and (2) Social Media Analytics: Fools Gold?

The first battle will be October 7th in Cambridge, MA but look for one in New York shortly thereafter and others happening in major cities across the country soon.

So, what do you think?  Time to throw down the gauntlet and start having fearless debates about social media or stick to drinks, comparing iPhone apps and standing around trying not to look bored or boring?