The U.S. Navy has a clue about Google+

Google+ is my social tool of choice these days, feeling more functional and valuable than Facebook, Twitter, et al. This is especially true for me because I’ve adopted so many parts of Google’s web ecosystem. Via a link posted by David Armano of Edelman, I’ve just found the most clueful Google+ overview I’ve seen – produced by the U.S. Navy.

Blogging’s not dead

Social media-savvy medical advocate Regina Holliday pointed out a clueful post at Health is Social, a blog “about integrating social and digital media into healthcare.”

The post’s subject is “Healthcare Blogging: Wide Open Opportunities,” but the post itself is not just abou9t healthcare blogging. It’s a more general explanation why blogging is NOT dead, contrary to the opinion, expressed by some supposed social media experts, that “blogging wasn’t worth the effort and that nobody reads blogs.” Of course, “experts” who are totally focused on Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube argue that those platforms are “all that’s needed anymore and that … websites [including blogs] were basically useless.”

Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, among other social apps, are indeed important to consider in creating an organizational media strategy; many businesses truly don’t understand how to use them effectively. Anyone hoping to create a vital and productive Internet presence should go where the conversations are, generally Twitter and Facebook.

Note that there’s a lot of confusion and questioning about the future of the Internet. John Battelle posts about points of control, and Tim O’Reilly has posted a map to highlight the point that we’re seeing platform wars from which the Internet of the future will emerge. [Link to complete map.] Blogs are nowhere on that map, probably because blogs will be everywhere in that world, like trees spewing oxygen into the ecosystem.

So blogs and web sites will continue to be critical points of presence for individuals and organizations, where they will develop more static core content, and dynamic emerging content via blogs, to show expertise, articulate new ideas, publish news about relevant organizations or projects, etc.

Some history: Blogs catalyzed the mainstreaming of social technology by making it easy for anyone to publish online. This meant more writers and more readers, a more robust social ecosystem online, which spiraled ever greater adoption. As more people were communicating in more ways over the web, social network platforms and messaging systems other than blogs appeared and evolved – the platforms on the O’Reilly/Battelle map. The growth of interest in social connection and persistent short messaging made Twitter a hot phenomenon, and as Facebook incorporated its own form of short messaging and activity streaming, it grew like wildfire and became the mainstream platform of choice for all sorts of social activity.

A new breed of consultants emerged who were not especially active on the Internet before Twitter and Facebook came along. I would argue that these consultants have blinders on; because of their limited experience, they don’t have a deep understanding of the Internet and the broader set of potentials inherent in its still-evolving ecosystem. Much of what you hear about “social media” is noise generated by folks who’re smart enough, but have limited experience and constrained vision. Considering that, confusion around “platform wars,” anxiety over economic instability, persistent growing deluges of unfiltered information, it’s great to see a breath of fresh air like the post at “Health is Social.” In fact, I’m finding that empowered patients and their advocates are as clear as anybody about the current and potential uses of social media in their world. They’re in the middle of a revolution that depends on the Internet, democracy of information, and robust social knowledge-sharing environments (patient communities).

I have more to say another day about the importance of deep, sustained conversation, not really supported by Twitter/Facebook short messaging/activity streaming strategies.

Mindcasting

Jay Rosen made a rich Tumblr post about mindcasting and Twitter. Mindcasting is Jay’s term for his posting style – where his goal is to have a high signal to noise ratio… and he’s a very active conversation engine. This post has notes on the form… e.g.

The act of building an editorial presence in Twitter by filtering, processing and structuring the flow of information that moves through the medium using one’s follow list, journalistic sensibilities and individual right to publish updates.

Also “It’s true that mindcasting is a pretentious term. People have always told me that certain things I do are pretentious. Every occupation has its hazards, right? What saves mindcasting from being totally so is that it’s an alternative to an even more pretentious notion: lifecasting.” He ends with a great Julian Dibbel quote:

It may begin as just a seed of an idea — a thought about the future of online media, say — tossed out into the germinating medium of the twitterverse, passed along from one Twitter feed to another, critiqued or praised, reshaped and edited, then handed back for fleshing out on a blog, first, and then, perhaps, in a book. It’s not that tweet-size sparks of insight haven’t always been part of the media ecosystem, in other words. It’s just that Twitter now has given them a vastly more exciting social life.

Read Jay’s whole post, my excerpts here don’t do it justice. Just registering my affinity. I really like the idea of diving into the information flow and working it to accelerate its quality. (Wondering if I should add Tumblr as yet another venue for writing/blogging/conversation.)