July 29, 2014 thelabnyc@internetmedialabs.com Real-time. Relevant. Intelligent
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Home / Five Links / Five Links: Cultivating Relationships, Being the Underdog and Women in Tech

Five Links: Cultivating Relationships, Being the Underdog and Women in Tech

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Social Media is about all anyone’s talking about right now, at least here in New York City. The Columbia University School of Journalism hosts its annual Social Media Weekend starting this evening, and next week is Social Media Week, a worldwide series of events and conferences – which has one of its hubs in New York City.

We’ll be speaking at both, too – check out our events page for more information.

As my talk tomorrow at #SMWknd will be about curation, it caused me to think very carefully about what I was sharing with you this week, and why. I take my job as curator of the Internet seriously and strive to share only the best and funniest cat photos and videos.

Seriously, though, my biggest problem was narrowing down the articles to share here from the dozens I sent out over the course of the week.

  • I’ll start with this from Todd Van Hoosear’s Fresh Ground blog, a guest post written by Ruth Bazinet. It struck me immediately, with its provocative headline: “Media Relationships Don’t Matter, and Other PR Fairy Tales.” My favorite line? “Connections matter, but so does context.” Amen! It’s all well and good if you have connections and can leverage them for your clients. But if they’re not the right relationships, what’s the point? If the audience you’re reaching doesn’t have any interest in what is being written about, you’ve wasted the time of both your client and your contact. And sooner or later, both will tire of you. Whether you call it context, relevance or something else, it matters.
  • That rolls so nicely into my next choice, from Gini Dietrich‘s Spin Sucks – “I Hate P.R. People: The Rules of Pitching Bloggers and Media.” Did I mention she also had a very charged headline? Now, before you get your knickers in a twist, Gini is a P.R. people. One of the very best, in fact. So she’s allowed to call out her fellow P.R. folks for doing it wrong. And the things she points to are similar to Ruth’s argument: Know who you’re pitching and who you’re pitching for. Don’t invite everyone to a P.R. dinner if there’s no chance they’d write about your product. All buzz is not created equal. Also: Take no for an answer. If your contact doesn’t want to write about it, drop it. The more you push, the more annoyed they’ll get. And the less likely they will be to take your call/read your email next time around.
  • I didn’t realize how many of this week’s posts had great headlines. Another was Bryan Kramer‘s “The Mentality of Being Number Two,” over on the Pure Matters blog. We’re usually urged, exhorted, encouraged to be Number One! The tops! The best of all! Thing is, sometimes the best is actually Number Two. When you’re second, you’re likely to be pushing yourself ever harder, so you can come out on top. Even if you actually are the tops in subscribers or customers or sales or whatever metric is important to you, having the underdog mentality can be invaluable. It keeps you humble and innovating. I, myself, have always preferred to root for the underdog, too. A lot of people do. There’s something very satisfying in seeing the underdog come out on top. Bryan shows us how to cultivate that mentality and use it to our advantage – even if we’re No. 1 or No. 10.
  • Danny Brown’s headline, “So You’re the Top 1% on Generic Social Network X. Great. Now What?” definitely got my attention as by Wednesday, 1% fatigue had already set in as Twitter & Facebook became bombarded by folks who wanted us to know they were the top 1% or 5% on Kred or LinkedIn and how special that made them. Ugh. Really? Millions of people (quite literally millions) got these emails from both sites, being told they were in the top whatever percent of influencers or in visibility, some getting both “honors.” Of course, part of what they wanted was people talking about them. Sadly, they both showed themselves to be a bit desperate for page views by doing this. Sort of like how Klout used to email users what new +K they’d received, and now just tell you that you’ve gotten it and have to visit the site to find out from who and for what. Just stop it.
  • Finally, I simply loved this microsite, “To a Future Woman in Tech.” Created as a letter to her eight-year-old niece, who declared her desire to be a video game designer, Stacey Mulcahy hit a nerve with men and women alike this week. Perhaps my favorite line in the piece was:  “I hope that you attend conferences and find yourself complaining about long lines for the bathroom.” Women are still in the minority at tech conferences and in many parts of the tech industry. The first step toward changing that is to encourage more girls and young women to aspire to careers in tech. While the colors of the site kind of made my head hurt, the message was fabulous. 

What blog posts or slices of internet culture got you revved up this week?

Photo by Donna Grayson via Flickr Creative Commons.

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