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Thank You, But Hightalk now Closed

As you can probably tell… Hightalk has been an abandoned house for months now. The pipes rattle at night. The old newspapers are piling up on the porch. No one has mowed the lawn. I resisted formally shuttering the place because I thought the spark that kept me blogging here for more than six years would return and […]

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Deal With It: News is a Commodity, a Worthless One

The Guardian posted a recent story called “Can Twitter Make Money Off of Breaking News or is it a PR Platform?” I nearly choked on my coffee. The article notes: “Twitter’s behaviour over the last few months suggests it doesn’t think it can.” Well of course Twitter doesn’t think it can make money off of […]

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The 3 Golden Rules for Creating Brand Content

Social media content only works if: It’s on brand It’s of interest to your customers It’s high-quality Otherwise why bother? Let’s look at these three golden rules more closely. 1. It’s on brand The key to a great content strategy is finding the intersection between your brand and the passions of your customers. ESPN is […]

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National Tragedies Are For People, Not Brands

Here’s the definition of a no-win situation. A brand using a national tragedy to engage with fans on social networks. The opportunity to offend is very high. Yesterday, on the 12th anniversary of 9/11, several brands decided to weigh in with their thoughts about the terrorist attacks on that fateful day, including a diaper company, […]

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How I Would Run a Modern Digital News Room

Take a moment to gaze upon the screenshot above of’s homepage. What do you see? I’ll tell you what I see. Chaos. There are literally dozens of places to click (I lost count at 50). It is a headache-inducing jumble – a crushed mash – of information, advertising, news, sponsored content and micro-imagery. I […]

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The Unintentional Comedy of Bad Amazon Reviews

User generated content is one of pillars of the social web. Without the forces of user-generated content there would be no such thing as Rotten Tomatoes, Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and dozens of other social destinations. Imagine YouTube without contributed content? It would be a completely different experience. Content – from everyone – is what […]

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I Wish You Weren’t Here: Social Media & Vacations

At the beach the other day, two young women sat at the edge of the surf, smiled broadly, and took selfies of themselves to post on Facebook. I watched the whole thing develop. I know a few things their friends on Facebook probably don’t. It had just rained The water was freezing (they only sat […]

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Stop Boring Your Audience

Are you the guy at the party no one wants to talk to? The guy in the skinny jeans and thick eyeglasses wearing an old concert t-shirt who drones on and on about himself? He’s done everything, been everywhere and anything you’re doing he’s already done before – and dismissed it. He doesn’t listen – […]

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The Downfall of Social Media

It was inevitable. Because social media is not the end all be all. Social media won’t cure your marketing woes. Social media will not make you more popular. And social media will not cure cancer. Social media is a channel (or more accurately several channels) and it always has been. Just like television, radio, email and websites. Facebook, […]

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The Big, Fat Content Glut

Content is everywhere – and that’s the problem. Content creators – bloggers, videographers, writers, artists, designers, musicians, journalists, directors, illustrators, actors, etc. – should be celebrating. The internet has opened up the world to them. Writers can sell novels and non-fiction directly to readers. Musicians can sell their songs right to listeners. YouTube and Vimeo […]

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