Social Advocacy & Politics


It is long past time that we stop talking about which social networks to use for this campaign or that. When it comes to targeting audiences, what matters more than which networks people use is how they use them in combination and to what end. We cannot simply say, “Young people are on Snapchat, so let’s use Snapchat to reach them.” We have to think about who our audience talks to on Facebook in contrast to who they talk to on Snapchat or Instagram. How do people use Twitter differently from how they use Facebook. If young people are chatting with friends on Snapchat, will they also read long-form journalism there? And now, social network designers are creating platforms that define niche networks in ways beyond demographics. For example, (still in beta) bases its user experience on the quality of curated content. Everybody gets only one chance a day to share a killer or article (or your own article, if you are sharing your own content amidst others’). This network is not just about who people share with, it is about what they share and how they decide what to share. … To read more of the article, check…

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Social Media Read More

I am sitting in the lobby of the Algonquin Hotel in New York City where nearly 100 years ago (95 to be exact) the Algonquin Round Table gathered. The Algonquin Round Table was a celebrated group of New York City writers, critics, actors and wits including Dorothy Parker, Harpo Marx and others. They met daily here for lunch, exchanging the wit, commentary and ideas that helped launch many of them to national prominence. In its day, the Algonquin Round Table was, at its heart, a network of influentials who shared ideas with each other in one venue and then went on to share many of those same ideas with their broader networks elsewhere (via newspapers, magazines, film and stage). Ninety-five year later social media has become our new round table, albeit far more accessible. (Click to read the rest of this article)

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics Read More

While last week I cautioned against using old frames of reference when discussing things that have been transformed by new technology, this week I want to highlight the exceptions, the veritable flip-side of the coin. Where in developed countries the smart phone has transformed the notion of a phone, in the least developed countries, the transformations are happening on a much slower rate. But it is happening. Mobile phones are changing the equation regarding how people in Sub-Saharan Africa, for example, connect with each other and with the internet. Though slower to start the transformation and doing so with fewer resources to spend, these countries are benefiting from the new mobile economy. Still, given the context, we should expect them to lag behind the developed countries as they transform at a slower rate. That is why we see reports that show the relatively slow rise of mobile finance, health and agricultural services. But while the statistics show it is happening more slowly, statistics do not tell the whole story.   (Click to read the rest of this article)

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics Read More

The top Muslim cleric in Saudi Arabia, the Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, spoke at length about Twitter on his TV show last week. He had much to say, including that Twitter is the “source of all evil and devastation.” And that is where much of the news media has focused its attention. But while the press focuses on the negative, I prefer to look deeper into what he said, where I see a very realistic reflection on the full scope of the Twitterverse. The Grand Mufti framed his critique by saying, “If it were used correctly, it could be of real benefit, but unfortunately it’s exploited for trivial matters.” (Click to read the rest of this article)

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics Read More

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the marshmallow test and how it relates to social media strategy. In particular, how does the balance between instant gratification and delayed satisfaction play out when trying to grow your Twitter audience? On the instant gratification side, there is the option to buy your Twitter followers. How often has someone followed you with a bio like this: “For $39.99, you can buy 50,000 followers.”  I am always struck by how few followers people selling followers usually have. Do they know something we should know? Do they know that the followers they are selling are newts?  (Click to read the rest of this article)  

Posted by Alan Rosenblatt in Social Advocacy & Politics, Uncategorized Read More