Teaching an old podcast new tricks

FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PRThe Inside PR podcast has been continuously produced since 2006. That’s a long time. Gini DietrichMartin Waxman and I have co-hosted the podcast for half of that time. (We took over from the podcast’s original co-hosts, Terry Fallis (who also co-founded Thornley Fallis) and David Jones.)

Ten years in, we’re making a change to the way that we record Inside PR that could lead to a significant change to the format of the show that we publish.

For all of its life, we have recorded Inside PR as a double ender, with the hosts each recording their tracks locally on their computer or a dedicated recorder. Following recording, we upload our individual tracks to a shared dropbox. Then the show’s producer edit combines the voice tracks together with the musical intros and outros, edits out the bloopers (yes, there are even more than the ones that you hear) and runs the finished product through a program called Auphonic to eliminate background rumble and level the sound across the different input sources.

Screenshot 2015-12-31 07.52.05About a month ago, we started to use a new tool, Zoom.us that transforms the way that we record the show and opens the possibility to making it available as a video podcast as well as an audio podcast.

Zoom.us replaces the double ender recording of individual tracks onto separate devices with a single online recording which can be downloaded as a single, level-balanced track. This eliminates a lot of work. But even more importantly, it also enables us to capture the recording on video. And we’re keen to add a video component to what until now has been an audio-only podcast.

For now it’s an experiment. If you listen closely to Inside PR episode 428, you’ll hear some significant variations in the sound quality between Gini, Martin and I. We’re attempting to identify the source of the differences – mic quality, the age and specs of the computer, the quality of the internet connection are the obvious first candidates for scrutiny. But as we bring up the general quality level, we hope to move on to offer a video feed in addition to the traditional audio feed. So, stay tuned for that.

Inside PR 427: Get ready for podcasting on Android

Martin WaxmanGini Dietrich and I are back with another episode of the Inside PR podcast. In this episode, we point to several #IPRMustKnows:

  • FIR_itunes cover_Inside_PRGini talks about the backlash against Black Friday consumerism and what one company did, announced it would be closed on Black Friday. A gesture that gained them tremendous positive commentary around social media.
  • Martin tells us that Rogers Publishing is pulling its Canadian fashion magazine, Flare, from newsstands, starting in January 2016. They’re not abandoning the magazine. They’ll keep publishing it digitally, because that’s where their audience is. Traditional magazines continue to evolve.
  • On the growth side of the ledger, podcasts are on their way to the Google Play. US Podcasters are registering their podcasts with the app now. Expect to see the launch to consumers early in 2016.

The US-first launch of podcasts on Google Play, the US-first launch of Facebook Instant News, the US-first launch of the Apple News launch raises an important issue for non-Americans. In a world in which first to market and first to use provides a real advantage, social businesses and marketers outside the US must play catch up again and again.

Finally, we talk about SXSW’s bobble of the gamergate panels. This was big news when it happened and it will be interesting to see how it colours the conference when it opens in March.

Are we talking to ourselves? We hope not. Please let us know what you think about the things we discussed on this episode.

Leave a comment on the blog, send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, join the Inside PR Facebook group, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

The Canadian Cabinet’s first day on Twitter

Tweets by the new Canadian Cabinet that resonated most strongly

Tweets by the new Canadian Cabinet that resonated most strongly

Will Canada’s new Cabinet use social media to engage with Canadians?

Canada’s new government was sworn in yesterday. The new Cabinet is dramatically different from its predecessor, with a marked decrease in age, the achievement of gender parity in its composition, and greater diversity of representation.

As I watched the swearing in of the new Cabinet, I wondered whether the new Cabinet will use social media more or differently than their predecessors. And I thought it would be an interesting research project to track their use of it over time.

So, today, I’m launching the first what I intend to be a series of posts looking at how the Trudeau Cabinet is using social media. Today’s post looks at the use of Twitter on the day that Cabinet was sworn in.

How did I go about developing this perspective?

Shortly after the Cabinet was announced, Twitter Canada posted a list of the Twitter IDs of each of the 30 of the 31 incoming Cabinet Ministers. (One Minister, Dominic LeBlanc is not on Twitter.)

I created a watchlist of these IDs in 76insights, the tool we have developed to track which social objects resonate with people. Resonance is the flip side of engagement. Something resonates when it drives people to take action. And on Twitter, this means that people actively shared the post with their friends or added it to their favourites list.

So, what did I see?

76insights resonance graph Trudeau Cabinet November 4 2015

Cabinet Tweets on November 4

The thirty Cabinet Ministers collectively published 86 tweets on their first day in office.  Looking at the total day, we can see that the Cabinet members were more or less silent prior to the 10AM swearing in ceremony. The first to break the silence was Patty Hajdu, who tweeted her excitement at 9:18AM.

The real action began with a tweet from @justintrudeau’s account displaying a Periscope of the swearing in ceremony inside Government House.

Once the ice was broken, the tweets came hard and heavy until mid-afternoon, when there was a relative quiet time. Clearly, Trudeau’s Cabinet realized that tweeting from inside the Cabinet meeting room is a no-no. The first to break the Cabinet meeting silence was Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s account, which tweeted the dates of the return of Parliament and the Throne Speech.

Following Trudeau’s post, tweets by his Ministers recommenced at a strong pace. There was a two hour silent period from about 7PM until 9PM, which I assume corresponded to a dinner for the new Cabinet Ministers. But once that was over, the tweets pick up again at 9PM continued until midnight. Who can blame the new Cabinet Ministers for celebrating late into the night what may well have been the best days of their life?

All tweets are not created equal

Collectively, the new Cabinet Ministers 86 tweets were shared or favourited over 24,900 times, for an average resonance score of 289.

Anyone who is on Twitter knows that only some of the things we post will actually resonate with other people. In fact, most tweets go unremarked and trigger zero reaction.

The same was true of these tweets. Some of the Cabinet Ministers’ tweets failed to move anyone to active engagement. On the other hand, some were passed around and favourited thousands of times.

Which tweets resonated most?

When it comes to making a mark, this was clearly Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s day. Two of his tweets resonated most strongly. The most shared and favourited tweet of the day, with a resonance score of 8.36K, was this tweet marking the Justin Trudeau’s swearing in as Prime Minister.

The second most resonant tweet, with a resonance score of 3.33K, was the PM’s early evening open letter to Canadians.

But Trudeau isn’t the only member of his government whose tweets resonated with a large number of people. Several of his Ministers posted tweets that struck a chord.

Canada’s new Minister of National Defence, Harjit Sajjan’s tweet earned a resonance score of 1.78K.

A tweet by Canada’s new Minister of Justice & Attorney General, Jody Wilson-Raybould, followed close behind, with a resonance score of 1.1K.

A tweet by Navdeep Bains, the new Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, earned a racked up a resonance score of 826.

Late in the evening, a 10:59PM tweet by new Environment and Climate Change Minister Catherine McKenna elicited a strong reaction, earning a resonance score of 627.

Finally, Kent Hehr, the new Minister for Veterans Affairs, chalked up a resonance score of 593 with his tweet.

Will they make the most of their potential to engage directly with Canadians?

Obviously, the tweets posted yesterday were more celebratory and thankful than substantive.

However, several of the members of the new Cabinet demonstrated the potential to move large numbers of others to share their messages on twitter. It will be interesting to watch whether they make the most of this potential.

Hangout with Canada’s New Prime Minister

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The swearing in of Canada’s new government today marked a passing of the torch to a new generation. It also saw a huge value shift as traditional Liberal priorities such as International Development, Democratic Institutions, and Science were recognized as full Ministries. In a Cabinet that was remarkable as Canada’s first with gender parity – an equal number of men and women as Ministers.

And one of his first actions as Prime Minister? To reach out to Canada’s youth by participating in a Google Hangout with students from across Canada.

In his post-swearing-in statement, Prime Minister Trudeau said,

“We will shine more light on government to ensure it remains focused on the people it is meant to serve. Openness and transparency will be our constant companions, and we will work to restore Canadians’ trust in their government and in our democracy. We are committed to the highest ethical standards and applying the utmost care in the handling of public funds.”

Hopefully, this represents the way that the government will again welcome Canadians into their government.

UPDATE:

It’s come and gone. And at the end, the new Prime Minister told the students who participated that, “I’m really glad that one of my first actions as prime minister is to reach out to grade school right across the country. Politics is never supposed to just be just a speech politicians give that everyone else listens to. It’s about dialogue and conversation.”

If you’re curious about what Justin Trudeau’s first hour as Prime Minister was like, watch the Hangout below.

RIP The Ottawa Citizen iPad app

As of this week, this

IMG_0058

 

has been replaced by this

IMG_0060

 

Another legacy media attempt to attract audiences and advertisers in the digital-first era bit the dust this week. When I opened the iPad app for The Citizen, my local newspaper and the only major daily newspaper in Ottawa, Canada’s national capital, I was confronted by the news that the Citizen’s iPad app was no more. Launched with great hope and only a year ago, the Citizen’s attempt to make itself “appointment reading” has failed.

It was beautiful. It was big. It was interesting. It was doomed.

Perhaps its failure was partially linked to the plateauing in tablet use – in a world of larger smartphones. Maybe its failure was the app’s adoption of a “magazine format” – in a world that is not big on contemplation. But I think the app was doomed from the outset by its 6PM daily publication schedule – in a world in which we consume our news in realtime as it happens.

They didn’t succeed this time. But I hope they have the financial strength and vision to keep innovating.

It’s not news that legacy news outlets – newspapers, magazines, television and radio – continue to struggle to find economic equilibrium in the digital-first world. Every time they lose, we all lose. When we turn first to Facebook in the morning instead of our local newspaper or television newscast, we hand ourselves over to the viral, not necessarily the important.

RIP The Ottawa Citizen iPad app. A bold experiment. A noble failure.

And so that it doesn’t disappear unremarked, here are some screen caps from the last few days of the Citizen’s iPad app.

IMG_0061 IMG_0062 IMG_0064 IMG_0065 IMG_0073 IMG_0075 IMG_0076

 

Facebook is eating YouTube’s lunch when it comes to video views and sharing

Facebook has increasingly been making moves to position itself as the preferred platform for uploading videos. This morning I saw evidence that, in fact, Facebook really is eating YouTube’s lunch when it comes to viewing and sharing videos.

The Case

We’re in the middle of a federal election in Canada. My friend, Ian Capstick, uploaded a humourous video to both Youtube and Facebook on August 28. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the YouTube embed.

The Evidence

Ian uploaded the video to both platforms on Friday, August 28. It’s now Monday, August 31 and here are the stats for the first three days since the video was uploaded:

Facebook

  • 17,000 views
  • 205 likes
  • 323 shares
  • 57 comments

YouTube

  • 5,356 views
  • 60 likes; 5 dislikes
  • 11 comments

Same video. Very different views and social gestures. Facebook is generating 300% more views than YouTube, 300% more likes, and 500% more comments.

Clearly, something big has shifted in the past year. Facebook’s new video platform is making it king of video just as it became the top platform for pictures a few years ago.

What you should do about it

This is just one case. And it doesn’t mean that YouTube is in trouble. But it provides clear evidence that YouTube no longer has the video field to itself.

If you are not uploading your videos to both YouTube and Facebook, you are missing a substantial part of your traffic. So, starting now, upload your videos to both YouTube and Facebook. The times are changing – and so is our sense of where we will find and share video.

Native advertising going mobile at the New York Times

frames on white wall in art museum

Native advertising is an inevitable part of our future both as marketers and as consumers of media. Advertisers demand it for its promise of effectiveness and delivery of results. Publishers want it for its promise of revenue and a better reader experience. And consumers of media? Well we just want to get at the good stuff. The material that we came for. And if we think much about native advertising, we’re probably concerned about the threat to independence of editorial voice and our inability to know what to trust.

Native advertising is here to stay. So, we all should hope that it is done right. With transparency about the distinction between earned editorial content and paid content. With a presentation that enhances our content consumption experience. In a way that generates the revenue necessary to continue to fund the creation of content we will want to consume.

The New York Times has not been afraid to experiment with new ways of presenting digital content and charging for it. And it continues to innovate. Soon, it will be reworking the way that it presents advertising on mobile devices.

In a well-documented article, AdAge interviewed several NYTimes execs about the new mobile advertising approach, dubbed “Moments.”  These ads will be presented as “cards” with photos and videos spanning the full width of the mobile device, but leaving the previous and next articles partially appearing above and below the ads. According to the AdAge report, the ads will be customized to the seven moments in a given day that are most important to readers, as identified through a 12-month study conducted by the Times’ editorial product team.” This includes morning, mid-day and evening time periods.

The Moments advertising format and content will vary to match the way that editorial content is presented throughout the day. “For example,’ writes AdAge, “the early-morning ads will be largely text-based to align with the Times’ morning briefing, which is a text-heavy roundup of the day’s news and events. Conversely the evening version of these mobile moments ads will feature photos and videos to complement the Times’ evening briefing, which is a similar news roundup to the morning briefing but typically includes a dozen or more photos to make the reading experience more entertaining.”

This sounds like another big move forward by the Times. And if it works, it could show the way to the future for a lot of other publishers. Let’s hope that the Times does this right. Now just for itself. But also for readers as well as advertisers. And doing it right means transparency and clearly marking native advertising as paid-for content.

Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and I talk about this in the #IPRMustKnow segment of this week’s Inside PR podcast. Download or subscribe to the podcast to hear our discussion.

 

#IPRMustKnows: Facebook and Google Make Some Moves

Each week on the Inside PR podcast, Martin Waxman, Gini Dietrich and I’m thornley on Twitter talk about three #IPRMustKnows, three things that we think that communicators and marketers should know about because they are likely to affect the way that we use digital media and social networks to connect withe people.

This week’s #IPRMustKnows are:

Facebook has made its platform even more attractive as a place to publish videos by providing new tools to give publishers greater control over how they post their videos and target their reach. Facebook has joined YouTube as a must-publish place for video. If you aren’t already publishing your videos to both places, it’s time to test a dual publishing approach. Test it for several videos. Watch your stats closely. Then draw your own conclusion about how these two platforms work together to enable you to reach the people who are interested in your content.

Google isn’t giving up on video. It keeps innovating with YouTube. It is updating the YouTube mobile app, to make it easier for you to upload, find and view videos.

And going the other way – reducing a service’s scope and reach, Google announced that it is decoupling Google+ profiles from the login for other services, starting with YouTube. What does this mean for Google+. Trying to strike a positive note, Bradley Horowitz, Google’s product manager for Google+, said in a post on his Google+ page that,

“Google+ can now focus on doing what it’s already doing quite well: helping millions of users around the world connect around the interest they love. Aspects of the product that don’t serve this agenda have been, or will be, retired. But you’ll also see a slew of improvements that make this use case shine (like the recent launch of Collections – https://plus.google.com/collections/featured).”

So, there is a lot happening with both Facebook and Google+. Things you should know about.

If you find these #IPRMustKnows to be useful to you, click over to the Inside PR podcast blog to subscribe to receive the new episodes as soon as they are published.

 

A European, not global, right to be forgotten

 

“If the CNIL’s proposed approach were to be embraced as the standard for Internet regulation, we would find ourselves in a race to the bottom. In the end, the Internet would only be as free as the world’s least free place.

“We believe that no one country should have the authority to control what content someone in a second country can access.”

This week, Google took a stand that we all should support. It stood up against the extraterritorial application of a country’s laws to restrict freedom on the internet. The specific case is the attempt by France’s Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (C.N.I.L.) to require Google to delist links on all of its sites worldwide in order to comply with a right to be forgotten request it receives. Google  currently honours these requests by delisting the link on European Google sites. That makes sense. A European law is applied in Europe.

What the French court is trying to do is worrisome. Google is right to fight it.

At the same time, there is an irony in this situation. Google is taking a stand against the extraterritorial application of a country’s laws. However, when you consider the terms and services we all agree to in order to use sites like Google, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and virtually all the most popular social sites, you will probably be agreeing to terms and services established according to U.S. standards and governed by California law. In this way, we all are really agreeing to the extraterritorial application of U.S. laws and values – not just on freedom of speech, but also things like copyright and privacy protections.

I applaud Google for standing up for freedom of expression on the Internet on this case. I just hope that my U.S. friends will also be sensitive to the fact that in some ways we all are asked to “become Americans” when we use the Internet. That’s not bad, as long as it always is balanced with a recognition that those of us who live in other countries may have different values that we hold equally dear – and that these values should be respected.

It’s a balancing act that requires that we look at situations carefully and not descend into thoughtless sloganeering.

In the case of right to be forgotten, I think Google has hit the right balance. Respect Europe’s laws in Europe. Now this issue is going before the courts in France. It won’t be decided quickly. It won’t go away. We should pay thoughtful attention.

Context

If you are interested in this subject, here are some posts that I think provide useful context:

CNIL orders Google to apply delisting on all domain names of the search engine

Google Europe Blog: Implementing a European, not global, right to be forgotten

European Court Lets Users Erase Records on Web

‘Right to be forgotten’: How Canada could adopt similar law for online privacy

Facebook questions use of ‘right to be forgotten’ ruling

Consumer group asks FTC to adopt EU’s right to be forgotten

Google accidentally reveals data on ‘right to be forgotten’ requests

Inside PR 414: Humans, algorithmic content creation and #IPRMustKnows

Episode 414 of the Inside PR is available for download.

On this week’s episode, Martin WaxmanGini Dietrich and I give you three #IPRMustKnows:

  1. Meerkat introduces and embeddable player. Now you can put your streaming media on your own site.
  2. Yeplive joins the streaming video field. And it lets you shoot your video in landscape mode, unlike Meerkat and Persicope which serve up your videos in portrait mode. You can get the Yep Live app in the iOS and Play stores.
  3. Google “began remotely installing audio-snooping code that was capable of listening to users.” The code supports Google’s hotword feature that enables voice commands. This is the kind of feature you need to be aware of. Remember what you enable on your device because always-on monitoring has become a “feature” of our lives.

In our main discussion this week, we turn our attention to the increasing role of algorithms and computer code not only to shape the distribution of news, but also to create content. Do you know when your news is generated by a person or generated by an algorithm? This is the type of development that strongly divides people. And it is a discussion that we’ll surely be having much more in the future.

We’d love to hear what you think.

Send us an email or an audio comment to insideprcomments@gmail.com, join the FIR Google+ Community, leave us a comment here, message us @inside_pr on Twitter, or connect with Gini DietrichJoseph Thornley, and Martin Waxman on Twitter.

And we have a favor to ask: if you like this podcast, please rate us on iTunes.

(This article is cross-posted from the Inside PR podcast blog.)