Monday, March 10, 2014

7 Weeks to a Better Social Media You

After three days in bed with the flu, I was up and running this afternoon and tonight and was able to get my thoughts together for my Storify collection.

Please review my post -- 7 Weeks to a Better Social Media You -- and post your comments, either here or on Storify.

Particularly, let me know if you think I've explained enough the promotional efforts made on behalf of Liebling Realized.

Thanks to one and all in advance for your assistance.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

What's My Storify? Read on to find out what's in store

As we enter the closing stages of COMI610, I am working through my Storify project.  As a complete newbie to Storify, I am (slowly) creating my digital paper for future consumption.  In the interim, please find here the outline I am following as I complete this project.


Here I will give a brief overview of the course in which we are engaged and the culminating project that follows. 


In this  section I will use to provide background on myself, my career and the inspiration for my blog. See my sample text below:

Early and mid-20th century American journalist A.J. Liebling famously said “Freedom of the press is limited to those who own one.”  While he was speaking about the power of those who in his time published the nation’s largest newspapers, I believe his comment rings even more true in the age of social media, as we all now have the potential to publish our interests, ideals and opinions.  My name is Michael Kinane and I named the blog created in support of this coursework Liebling Realized to celebrate the linkage between past forms of information distribution and contemporary ones.  I am an older student, in my mid-40s.  I love journalism, particularly the serious sober kind. I gravitated to communications as a passion early in life, and continue with that passion today.I am in the midst of what has become a 25-year career in public relations, marketing and higher education.  Along with being a graduate student currently enrolled in Marist College’s Integrated Marketing Communications program, I lead the public relations, marketing, fund-raising and government relations activities for SUNY College at Old Westbury, a small, public liberal arts college on New York’s Long Island.  Liebling Realized is my latest attempt to engage the digital world in conversation, building upon my active Twitter and LinkedIn efforts that precede it.  I greatly enjoy the passage of information through the written word, reading as frequently as I can in my free time, which led me to the bookcase-laden design theme of Liebling Realized.

Question -- Is the above entry too long?  In all those words, is there enough of an "introduction" of myself and my project?

Plans & Policies

The Plans & Policies section of my Storify project will focus on the quantifiable and measurable objectives and goals of LieblingRealized. Among the items included here will be the site strategy, site policy, goals and objectives. Below are some points I expect to cover and explore in greater detail:

Qualitative objectives

  • Be mindful of my readers needs by publishing no later than Tuesday evening each week, 
  • Use more frequently and with greater efficiency SEO-friendly content and keywords, and
  • Experience social interaction via social media in response to both my and my peers' content.

Quantitative objectives

  •  Earn an average of 20 comments per post,
  • Attract at least 25 class users as followers of my IMC Twitter and Pinterest accounts,
  •  Accrue 12-15 followers to my blog  by the close of the class to my blog, and
  •  Average 25 comments for each class-related blog post.


In this section I will outline in detail the efforts I’ve taken related to content development and promotion of the blog.  Here I will review some specific examples from my posts, along with information from the supporting evidence linked to the posts as well as samples from the Twitter and Pinterest efforts made to drive traffic to Liebling Realized. The information illustrated will include: 

Content Development:

  •  Examples of anecdotes used that I believe my readers can relate to and using those anecdotes as the prism through which the weekly content is viewed, 
  • A review of what I hope were my creative headlines and how those were received by my readers, and 
  • Samples of the imagery used on the site that links to the headlines and content.

Blog Promotion:

  • A discussion with samples of from the social media accounts used to introduce readers each week to each new post, and
  • Samples of mid- and late-week Tweets and Pins used to seek a continuance of discussion and comment. 


Through the information available via Blogger statistics, I will use this section to outline the growth and development of the blog, including information that defines whether I was successful in achieving the goals originally developed for the project.  Screen shots from the graphs on Blogger stats as well as other illustrations will be used to present some of this information. 

Included among the data I expect to analyze are:
  • Number of registered followers of the blog.
  • Number of visitors making comments per blog post,
  • Number of comments per blog post,
  • Weekly pageviews for the site as a whole,
  • Weekly page views per post,
  • Geographic (by country) points of contact by week,


Here I will summarize the large picture messages of what I’ve learned through this experience, focusing on the practices I’ve learned, the outcomes those practices have produced, and the meaning I’ve derived from both.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Social Media Self-Defense: Not just a war-time activity

The U.S. Government throughout World War II used a variety of methods to persuade its citizens to rally behind the war effort (Olson, 1998).  One of the most popular catch phrases of that era still applies in today's landscape of social media and networking:

Essarge loose lips poster

The great many benefits reaped through the advent of new technologies that are bringing our world closer and closer together by the minute come with inherent risks.  Without care and attention, every user of social media puts at risk information that can be used and abused by others.  For that reason, social media security and social media policies must be vital elements of every effort to engage online, whether personal, professional or as an organization.

What do I mean by "Social Media Security" and "Social Media Policies"?

Let me give you my simple definitions of each of these:

  • Social media security is the state you achieve through the creation of habits that govern -- strictly in many cases -- what, when and how you engage with social media, what information you willingly provide and what other information you seek to protect.   Oh yes, you should also know that you never fully reach the "state" of security because the social media landscape is constantly changing and dangers, new and old, continue to surface and resurface.  But be vigilant, and as safe as possible.
  •  Social media policies are the doctrines, or codes, established by employers and other organizations that serve as guidelines for how those associated with the organization engage in social media engagement as that engagement relates to the practice of their professional responsibilities.

How can I keep my ship Afloat?

There are many, many ideas and tips available to help you surf social media with greater security.  Rather than write about some of the most often shared tips, I'd ask that you take a look at this fun little video from Toshiba.

Now that you have those basics in mind, let's get a little more granular:
  • We are what we Tweet...for all posterity:   Are you aware that the Library of Congress is archiving every Tweet emanating from a U.S.-based Twitter account?  In short, if you post it, consider it permanent.  
  • Secure your computer:  I'll also mention where the video above left off.  Make sure the machines you use have the latest and greatest software to protect you.  The Privacy Rights Clearinghouse gives some great information on firewalls, antivirus software and more.  
  • Use Bookmarks...or URL be sorry:  Don't go to your preferred social media services through email links or another website.  You could be entering your account name and password into a fake site where your personal information could be stolen. These types of phishing scams are everywhere.  Only use hyperlinks from sources you trust.  I hope you are growing more trustful of Liebling Realized, so I'll offer this hyperlink Information Security Buzz where you can read more about avoiding phishing scams.  
  • Take the time to add contacts:  Services like Facebook, Google+ and Klout are really persistent in asking you to link accounts so you can easily share contacts between services.  DON'T DO IT!  Once the sites have the information of your friends and peers, it falls under their terms of use, which could open up that network of contacts you've work so hard to develop to unsolicited marketing and promotions.  
  • Be mindful of location preferences:  GoogleMaps, OpenTable, FourSquare and other social
    media sites and applications can make use of the GPS location settings on your smartphone if you let them.  So, don't let them  (Thanks to John W. Tomac for the illustration below, which ties up my post pretty well).  You'll have to lose some of the conveniences these services provide for the sake of security, but it might be beneficial in the long run. 

Parting Shot

Are the benefits of social media and social networking vast for us personally and professionally?  Undoubtedly.  At the same time, an almost as vast set of risks can come into play.  Mitrano (2006) phrased this situation well, for me anyway: "New technologies alarm us for very real reasons but can and must be addressed in ways that do not crush innovation and fun" (p. 22). 

Hear, hear!  

Mitrano, T. (Nov/Dec 2006). A wider world: Youth, privacy, and social networking technologies. EDUCAUSE Review, 41(6), pp. 18-28. Louisville, KY: EDUCAUSE.

Olson, T. (Feb 23 1998). Loose lips sink ships. Scholastic Update, 130(10), pp. 15-17. New York, NY: Scholastic, Inc.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

A local , digital, successful news enterprise? Maybe, someday...

NOTE: A departure from blogging about my IMC graduate school topics to offer a test post of what I hope the future of Liebling Realized might be...a place to talk about the future of journalism and the field's successes and failures as it evolves across our ever-changing digital landscape.

The old axiom "all news is local" has always held meaning for me.  The news people tend to focus on is that which connects most closely with their lives. 

That's why I was excited when AOL in 2009 acquired and began pushing for widespread growth of, a network of "hyperlocal" news websites with locally based editors generating local news content.  This seemed to me to be both a local and national response to the increasingly digital way we get our news.

Unfortunately, Patch hasn't taken root as had been hoped, as two Long Island journalists and former Patch editors I know, David Reich-Hale (@drhliand Jason Molinet (@jmolinetcan attest.  In the interview below, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong makes the case that the company's commitment hasn't dampened in Patch, even with news of the divestiture by AOL of a majority of its stake in the venture. 

Unfortunately, the massive layoffs and site closings of the past year or so have dramatically dampened the spirit of those of us who welcomed Patch's introduction.

Can local news be successful in a digital world? 

The folks at Digital First Media seem to think that the way to combat this changing nature is to "unbolt" the digital news function from the traditional operation of a newspaper.  "Project Unbolt" as it has been dubbed, will attempt to reconfigure the way Digital First newsrooms, news decisions, news gathering efforts and more operate to ensure that digital distribution and collection is the foremost priority -- above print.

I learned about Project Unbolt by reading The Buttry Diary, a blog by the Steve Buttry (Twitter: @stevebuttry) , the company's digital transformation editor.  In a January 30 post, he describes what they expect the characteristics of a successful "unbolted" newsroom will be.  It's a worthwhile effort that I hope bears fruit.

And the fruit better be tasty...

As an avid consumer of news, and believer in the positive power of professional journalists and journalism, I hope Digital First finds success.  And I hope that success is replicable because Gen Xers are tuning out.  The Poynter Institute has shared data that young people spend roughly 40 percent less time consuming news than Baby Boomers do, showing "a willingness to bump into the news as they go about their way on social media" rather than actively seeking it out.

With local, digital, successful news enterprises, we might be able to turn that tide.