Murky Mastheads

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Image by Marion Doss

There’s an old saying in politics that perception is reality (attributed to Lee Atwater). If you want an example, look no further than blogs written under the guise of venerable mastheads like Forbes, Fast Company and Harvard Business Review.

Consider the perception of journalistic excellence these mastheads possess — and yes, even new media outlets like Techcrunch, Mashable, and others. What these branded blogs deliver often strays from the greatness they promise. Yet people consider these blogs authoritative for some reason.

With so much chum and hubris floated to succeed in the attention economy, what we get is not what is perceived.
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Does a Social Score Make a CMO?

A recent infographic published on a Forbes blog ranks the top 20 Fortune 100 CMOs based on social scoring. The graphic poses an interesting question: Should CMOs be judged by their individual social media prowess?

The methodology for the social scores released in the infographic was not released, and there was an incredibly wide disparity between follower counts and placement in the Top 20. It’s hard to consider the scores valid because we don’t know the criteria used for the algorithm.

One would hope Forbes would insist authors provide information sources and research criteria, even when it’s published under the guise of a blog. More on this tomorrow. Today let’s address the question of CMOs and social media scores.

Clearly influencers have become an important part of marketing.

The first group of people to tell you that is the influencer/social media community. That’s because we as a group overvalue ourselves.

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Facebook Will Decline Like AOL

Osaka Hour Glass
Image by caribb

Yesterday in my weekly Washington Business Journal blog, I suggested that businesses and marketers should start investing in networks beyond Facebook.

Having watched my fair share of social networks rise and fall over the years, I feel pretty safe in saying we’re looking at an AOL-esque decline for Facebook.

We watched AOL fall from its ISP and online community peak in 2002 to what has become a struggling content holding company with a diverse brands like the Huffington Post, TechCrunch and more.

I would argue that Facebook has peaked in developed countries. Further, Facebook’s public status has exposed many weaknesses that some investors suggest begin with Mark Zuckerberg.

Like AOL, because so many stakeholders are vested in Facebook’s success (Wall Street, corporate America and those who simply love the social network) the decline will be slow, but steady, just like sand falling through an hour glass.

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