Content Shock Illustrated

Mark Schaefer wrote an insightful post about Content Shock two years ago, explaining that a glut of content from hundreds of millions of blogs and websites was testing everyone’s capacity for attention. Therefore content marketing might be an unsustainable strategy for individuals and organizations without the capacity to buy attention.

About that same time LinkedIn began slowly rolling out its new post feature that encouraged people to blog with LinkedIn. I had qualms about using the new platform because of fear of “digital sharecropping” – once again slaving away to create content in order to make a couple nerdy guys in California rich.

I experimented with the new platform and posted 11 articles between June and October 2014. I was delighted with the engagement – averaging over 2,000 views and 25 likes. Even after taking out the highest and lowest viewed posts, each article averaged over 1600 views and 10 likes.

For personal reasons I stopped posting on LinkedIn for 10 months. I have posted 4 posts between August 2015 and today. The drop-off in views, likes and comments has been significant!

Time Period Avg Views Avg Likes Avg Com #Posts


26 6.5 11
6-10/14 w/o extremes


12 4


8/15 – 1/16

124 9 2


I expected a decline, as I had noticed a steady rise in the number of posts every day by the people I follow and and linked to. But the fall really is dramatic. From an average of 1600+ views per article to less than 125 and from 12 likes per article to 9.

By creating a new platform for blogging LinkedIn afforded me a personal accelerated view of Content shock. It looks like this:

Content Shock2

Small sample size, my own experience: this is anecdotal evidence and I would like to hear from others who have been posted on LinkedIn from early 2014 so there would be more evidence. I did anticipate a drop-off in interaction in advance of resuming, though, because of all the content currently being shared – content shock.

How are you dealing with the glut of content???







Posted in Blogging, Content, Digital Marketing, Facebook, LinkedIn, Social Media, Social Media Marketing | 7 Comments

#Cluetrain Derailed!

The Cluetrain is derailed.

Last Spring Adage pronounced that “There is no more social media marketing: just advertising.” The article announced a new era of #NotReallySocialMediaMarketing and went on to proclaim:

“The idealistic end to business as usual, as “The Cluetrain Manifesto” envisioned, never happened. We didn’t reach the finish line. We didn’t even come close. After a promising start — a glimmer of hope — we’re back to business as usual.”

I love Big Brother

My first social media marketing class was Spring 2012. It was a brand new class – there were no syllabi online to crib, so I built the course fresh with the help of my Twitter friends. I proclaimed that “marketers must drop the megaphone – broadcasting or shouting at customers and prospects is dead! We must engage and have a CONVERSATION.” Our group projects were to work with organizations to show them how to have that conversation….

Tomorrow I will face two new sections of my SMM class. I will talk to them about the ominous and omnipotent Facebook algorithm, social media advertising, and sponsored posts. I require them to be Google AdWord certified. For our group projects we will participate in the Google Marketing Challenge and use AdWords to help organizations with their marketing efforts.

Using AdWords is a valuable skill. Translating that skill to the evolving world of paid posts and social media advertising is challenging and interesting. My social media marketing class will continue to be a vital part of digital marketing and the marketing curriculum.

But I really love Cluetrain

I love the original manifesto! I want to believe in “the conversation” and “content marketing.” We should return to the craft model of having a genuine relationship with our customers. We absolutely should stop shouting and drop the megaphone.

“Organic” communication is so much kinder than paid ads. The idea of a “Like Economy” was really cool.

Just two years ago I warned that Zuckerberg was using the algorithm-formerly-known-as-EdgeRank to kill the Like Economy. At the same time Mark Schaefer noted that even without malignant forces such as Zuck and Facebook, content shock would wreck havoc on organic marketing strategies as audiences were buried in a deluge of information.

Organizations: learn the ins and outs of online and social advertising. A conversation sounds civilized, but you have to reach your audience.

Wishing doesn’t make it so…  The Cluetrain is off the tracks!



Posted in Content, Digital Marketing, Social Media, Social Media Marketing, Teaching SMM | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Social (Media) Innovation

In a post on my service co-creation blog, I took another look at a list of my 16 favorite innovation books. I categorized them and then thought about what gaps were exposed by my list and several others I reviewed.

One of the two big gaps I identified was Innovation and social media.

I am surprised to not be hearing and seeing more about the impact of social media on the innovation process. There have been lots of great ideas like “netnography” or social mining to uncover deep needs. Or social prototyping to test concepts earlier and more often. But aside from crowdfunding and crowdsourcing – both of which are big deals! and both of which will be discussed in upcoming posts – I haven’t seen evidence of organizations integrating social media into innovation.


Am I missing something?

To read the post on the “Blue Ocean” spots in innovation books go here.

Posted in Entrepreneurship, Innovation, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Social Mood and Social Media

Kerry Gorgone and I were recently interviewed by Bethany Teague, a TV reporter from WSLS in Roanoke, about a defendant’s request for funding for a detailed social media study to support a change of venue (child abusers don’t seem to be popular in Pulaski county…). I attach the 6 O’clock news version of the story.

I think we will hear more about this issue and this application of social media analysis going forward. Certainly social media reflects social mood. Traders are following social media to spot sentiment changes for stocks; a consulting group from Virginia Tech predicts political events from Twitter…


This copy is a bit old school: I set my webcam in front of my TV and played the saved broadcast from my DVR. A lot like the 75 cent movies they used to sell in Macau. The DVR has a USB port, but I couldn’t figure it out… The version that WSLS posted on their website was condensed to the point that the issues were not discussed (and Kerry and I had little face time 😎 )



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Think twice before sharing unconfirmed information…

A 30-second news clip from an interview with Justin Ward of WDBJ7 after the on air tragedy at the station….

Many people wrote and shared false information about Wednesday’s shooting on Facebook and Twitter…

Source: Think twice before sharing unconfirmed information on social

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Are you living on #Facebook?

NewsYesterday (August 26) at 6:45 Alison Parker, a young newspaper reporter at WDBJ, and Adam Ward, a camera person, for the Virginia TV station were tragically murdered by a former employee of the station.

The killer created Facebook and Twitter accounts to post his videos of the murders.

Within a couple hours of the murder Chris Hurst, a news anchor at the station, posted romantic  pictures of Alison with him and shared the news that they had moved in together recently.

In the world of 2015 this shooting is horrible… but the social media activity somehow seems perfectly normal…

I posted pictures of my dog visiting with my mother at her assisted-living home yesterday. My daughter “stages” and then posts every restaurant meal on Instagram before dining.

All of this would have seemed weird a decade or so ago.

What does this mean? Are we now living our lives on social media. Is the Facebook timeline our life? Did something really happen if it is not recorded on social media? Is the “real world” becoming artificial as we stage Facebook, Instagram, Periscope and Snapchat moments? Are we all narcissists? Is reality online?

What do you think????????

Posted in Social Media Marketing, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

MODERN Business Plan Competitions

Business plan

At my other blog site I posted about an Innovation Contest that I co-chair. I appreciate any thoughts and feedback!      The Un-Business-Plan Contest

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#Blog problems: Blogger’s Block? #Audience not growing?

A 17-minute SMM lecture on what to do if you encounter the two most common problems after launching a new blog:

  1. Blogger’s Block – I used up all the great article ideas!
  2. Where’s the audience?

My goal is to motivate new bloggers to keep going!!

I appreciate any thoughts on material to add or how to improve this lecture…

Posted in Blogging, Digital Marketing, Higher education, Social Media Marketing | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Student Blogs – From Moneyball to Cotton Seed Oil. Check them out!

Yes there are 200 million active blogs in the blogosphere. Never fear – my Digital Marketing class has created 7 fresh new ones to take a look at!

cotton-seedDeb’s Dietary Do’s and Don’ts –  Insight from a concerned consumer about the impact of the food we eat. She has discussed cotton-seed (see pic on left), hybrid corn, diet soda’s and auto-immune disease. And More to come!

Enjoy “Moneyball?” Here are 2 blogs about the business of baseball (sans Brad Pitt):

Cincy BBall

BaseballBryan talks about the Marketing of the national pastime, including social media efforts on Twitter and Snapchat.           America’s Greatest Tradition talks about the front office and business of the sport.

Retirement by Design deals with the key issues of who will be able to retire and when. It also offers advice on planning and saving for retirement.

Heard of the Paleo diet? Sound interesting? Pushing for Paleo discussing the details of the popular diet and  the reasons for the fad.

Expansion in Charlotte – Are you a fan of soccer living in North Carolina or SW Virginia and frustrated that the nearest MLS team is in Columbus, Ohio? This blog is for you!

What does it take to pass the CPA? Another student blog talks about the issues and work involved.

Tech Doodles – Finally I take the liberty of recommending a new tech cartoon blog that happens to be created by my daughter.

EIGHT new blogs – check them out! Return next week to the ones you find interesting!

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You can make a good decision… and lose – Ask Pete Carroll

PetePete Carroll will be long remembered as “the coach who blew Superbowl 49.”

Everyone KNOWS that he should have had “Beast Mode” run for the winning touchdown, but instead:

  • Over-thought it,
  • Tried to be cute, or
  • Favored Wilson over Lynch.

But let’s take a moment and fresh look at: How would a strategic or data-driven manager make the decision to run or pass?

Continue reading

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