The March of Time

China Daily. There was a time when the newsweeklies set the agenda for the nation’s conversation – when Time and Newsweek would digest the events of the week and US readers would wait by their mailboxes to see what was on the covers.

Those days have passed, and come the end of the year, the print edition of Newsweek will pass, too. Cause of death: The march of time.

“The tempo of the news and the Web have completely overtaken the news magazines,” said Stephen G. Smith, editor of the Washington Examiner and the holder of an unprecedented newsweekly triple crown – nation editor at Time, editor of US News and World Report, and executive editor of Newsweek from 1986 to 1991.

Where once readers were content to sit back and wait for tempered accounts of domestic and foreign events, they now can find much of what they need almost instantaneously on their smartphones and tablet computers. Where once advertisers had limited places to spend their dollars to reach national audiences, they now have seemingly unlimited alternatives.

So on Thursday, when Newsweek’s current owners announced they intended to halt print publication and expand the magazine’s Web presence, there was little surprise. But there was a good deal of nostalgia for what Smith called “the shared conversation that the nation used to have”, when the networks, the newsweeklies and a few national newspapers reigned.


Want to Quit Smoking, Use Social Media

Checking social networking sites is more tempting than sex and cigarettes, a study has revealed.

Researchers at Chicago University’s Booth Business School used BlackBerrys to log reports about participants’ willpower and desires over seven days.

The online poll of 250 participants in Germany revealed the yearning to interact through tweets, photos, and comments was stronger than sex and cigarettes.

Over seven consecutive days participants were signalled seven times a day over 14 hours, reported the Guardian.

This meant they were required to message back and inform if they were experiencing a desire at that moment or had experienced one within the last 30 minutes.

 They had to identify what the desire was and how strong they felt it was, as well as if it conflicted with other desires and what decision they had made – whether to accept or resit the pull.

The results showed Facebook, Twitter or other social networks yearnings were ranked as the hardest desires to resist.

Read more: 


Riot place faced a crowd that turned violent in Haren, The Netherlands, late Friday after thousands were drawn to the town by a birthday party invitation on Facebook that went viral.

A sleepy Dutch community was still recovering on Saturday from the aftermath of a sweet sixteen party whose invitation, for no clear reason, went viral, spawning a YouTube video, drawing impromptu partygoers by the thousands as well as riot police, and causing the young celebrant and her family to flee town.

Fires were set, a car was burned, shops were vandalized, six people were hurt and some 34 arrested, according to the BBC and the Netherlands Broadcasting Foundation.

“She posted the invitation on Facebook and sent it to friends, who then sent it to other friends and soon it spread like wildfire across the Internet,” a spokeswoman for the Groningen police, Melanie Zwama, told Agence France Presse, according to the BBC.

Haren, a town of 19,000 about 110 miles northeast of Amsterdam, had been girding for trouble all week after the youngster’s Facebook party invitation, which had not been set to be private, ended up going out to a reported 30,000 people. Popular deejays endorsed the event, a Twitter account was born, and T-shirts were printed, sold and sported by some who descended on the town. NYT

When it Comes to Social Media Marketing…

Toronto marketing firm a5MEDIA founder, Yusuf Gad, says most businesses will take at least six months to a year before they begin seeing the effects of online marketing and social media use translate into a sales uptick. And, although it has become an important niche in the marketing world, Gad says social media is only equally as effective — if not less so — than traditional advertising.

“People assume online marketing is a panacea for marketing solutions and it isn’t, it’s simply another tool in your arsenal,” he says, suggesting small business owners look into radio spots and outdoor signage to supplement an online presence.

It’s not as easy as it looks 

Gad says the number one mistake most entrepreneurs make is thinking they can run a social media campaign themselves.

“Managing social media has the illusion of simplicity, when it’s actually very complicated and time consuming,” he says, advising owners outsource to specialized social media consultants, or — if financially viable — a marketing firm. “It can bury an entrepreneur and detract from actually growing their business and driving sales.”

Jack Shapiro, President and CEO of The Speech Therapy Centres of Canada, learned this firsthand after a number of failed in-house marketing attempts.

“We found it tough to find someone who was well-rounded enough to handle all of the online platforms we had,” says Shapiro. “We made many mistakes before deciding an external company with many experts would be better value for our money.”

Shapiro’s marketing firm conducted in-depth research before rebranding the company’s message, rebuilding the website and implementing a social media campaign to reflect those changes.

“Looking at our old website, it seemed like we were trying to sell people something, which is not what you want when you’re running a healthcare-type business,” he says. By changing their message and implementing a social media strategy based on practical advice and user engagement, Shapiro’s business grew from near anonymity to more than 1500 followers on Twitter and 1000 likes on Facebook.

Still, Gad says, successful marketing involves much more than online popularity.

“There is no magic solution, but marketing begins with the fundamentals,” he says. “Understand your market, develop your brand and message, and ensure your website and sales materials reflect that message.”

Check out more: Social Media Is Big


Pentagon looks to make friends on Facebook

The importance and relevance of an effective social media presence has been highlighted by the Pentagon’s decision to re-evaluate their online strategy.

Douglas Wilson, assistant secretary of defense for public affairs, has told Wired that while the military has ceased operations of the institution’s social media office, it views the platform as something that should be embraced by all Pentagon employees.

Former social networking experts hired by the Pentagon – Price Floyd and Sumit Agarwal – have left or been redeployed to another department respectively. Wilson commented that he views social media as an area that encompasses all aspects of the military.

He said: “It’s important for people in press operations, community and public outreach and communications and planning to be able to know how to use and access Facebook, Twitter and the other social media tools, rather than just have a single unit or single person do nothing but social media.”

Via E Word