7 articles to read this week

Some interesting reads I came across this week:  

An open letter to Social Media.  Many brands and people were ignorant of social media marketing for years before it became to take shape and become mainstream.  Now everyone owns the same creative publishing tools; the challenge today is distinguishing your work from the rest.  

Social Networks are suffocating the Internet as we know it.  Ryan Holmes of Hootsuite examines the paradox of an open web, specifically how all social media platforms are taking control of access to their networks in their quest to become larger, ad-selling media companies.

Heading Home: Michael Pollan and Fritz Haeg on Reviving Domesticity. Artists Pollan and Haeg talk about the creative benefits of remaining ignorant, or at least acting such.   

Here’s How Maria Popova of Brain Pickings Writes.  One of my favorite bloggers offers some tips on working as a writer/collector. 

Is New York Only for the Successful?  New York, only if we could all afford to live there. 

Is VSCO Cam the next Instagram?  I don’t think so.  VSCO is more about photography than socializing.  VSCO will make money other ways.

‘Like’ This Article Online? Your Friends Will Probably Approve, Too, Scientists Say.  Mimetic desire, herd mentality, call it whatever you want.  Fact is, you evaluate something based on it’s popularity rather than it’s quality.  Does anyone actually like Justin Bieber?

Bonus (non-article):  

One Second on the Internet.  We produce heaps of information every second of the day, and this even before we send emails.


‘Like’ This Article Online? Your Friends Will Probably Approve, Too, Scientists Say

Duncan J. Watts, a scientist at Microsoft Research, said the overall findings fitted with “cumulative advantage,” the idea that something that starts slightly more popular will build upon that popularity until it is far ahead of its competitors — and conversely, something that does not catch on will usually fade away whether or not it is good.

Popularity can skew quality (e.g. Justin Bieber). Conversely, sometimes the best stuff goes unnoticed.


Rich Content ≠ Rich People

Virality is not a clear indication of great content. At the same time, just because your content doesn’t get shared with lots of people doesn’t mean your content sucks.

The problem with direct to fan marketing, aka Twitter or blogging, is that influencers are generally poor sharers. They’re riding the fame achieved through some other occupation: acting, writing, business. Celebrities are the unfortunate avenue in which many get their information.

Famous people will always have a high Klout score regardless of how boring or useless they are as social users. People are obsessed with engaging with anything celebrities have to say.

You may not be able to compete against the noise from Justin Bieber, Beyonce, Tom Cruise, or Rupert Murdoch. But you can at least share your voice and try to attract an engaged audience.

Quality content eventually finds the right people. If you don’t participate you don’t stand a chance at getting noticed.


Social Media Fanaticism


64k Retweets, 30k Favorites later

This is what happens when artists can go direct-to-fan and speak with their true voice.