Readings Response Week 3

Read:  Jarvis, What Would Google Do? book “New Publicness” and “New Society” sections

Easy question for this week since you are working on case studies. Just tell me one thing you found interesting or relevant about the readings for this week.

 

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21 thoughts on “Readings Response Week 3

  1. rars22 says:

    As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, I am thoroughly enjoying Jeff Jarvis’ book, “What Would Google Do?” In the Chapter “New Publicness,” Jarvis reminded us how important it is to live your life in public. This means a lot of different things but the basic principle is to be seen, to be heard, and to be transparent. Jarvis breaks it down by explaining how important it is for the information on your website to be clear and easy to find. He uses the example of a dentist calling himself a “smile doctor” instead of a “dentist” which causes Google or another computer search engine algorithm to misunderstand his purpose. This would make his website less likely to be found by a person who needs a new dentist. Jarvis also explains the important of permalinks and clearly labeled separate pages on your website for separate topics – haven’t we all searched for a restaurant’s menu with no luck? As a former restaurant GM, I am glad that someone explained the importance of this. Nothing is more frustrating when you are just trying to order takeout from a restaurant and can’t located their menu – this is a direct cause of business loss. All of these tips from Jarvis causes you and your business to have more “Googlejuice.” Googlejuice, is how Google gives you value. The more click, links, and mentions you get, the higher you rise in Google’s search results, which in turn gives you more clicks from potential customers – and isn’t that every business’ goal?

    Next, Jarvis notes the importance of being online in this day and age. He notes that individuals should have their resume located on the web and that businesses should make sure to have tagged photos on sites such as a href=”www.flickr.com”> Flickr. Finally Jarvis, notes how “publicness is an ethic. The more public you are, the easier you can be found, the more opportunities you have.” This reminder leads into his final section on customer service in “New Publicness.”

    In the final section of “New Publicness,” Jarvis notes that customers and word of mouth are the new advertisements and ad agencies. I don’t believe that businesses pay enough attention to the importance of this topic. Many take their customers for granted and refuse to make their customers the number one priority. Today, customers have a megaphone and a cheerleader on crack manning it. They can make or break your business because they have an unlimited reach without paying a dime – thanks to the internet. Customers on Amazon.com for example, can let others know if a product malfunctions, if they have trouble with a customer service agent, or if the company as a whole, does not act as if they value your business. How Amazon.com or its individuals sellers respond is what makes or breaks them once a complaint has been logged. Jarvis said, “Even if you don’t have a product to love, you can still have a company worth admiring.”

    I’ve often wondered why so many companies just don’t seen to understand this concept. In my personal experience, Comcast sucks. However, I wouldn’t be so hard on them for their cable service issues, if they acted like they gave one iota of a damn about their customers. Their representatives have no authority to take care of issues, many exhibit a poor attitude, going so far as to cuss at the customer on the phone, their technicians do not know how to fix most problems, and it takes an act of GOD to get in touch with someone who can actually solve your issue. And if that isn’t enough, at the end of each trouble call, the representative who has NOT solved your issue, tries to sell you another Comcast product for an additional fee. I am utterly flabbergasted each time I have to call Comcast – and that number of calls was running around 2 to 3 times per week, until I lost the energy, or the ability to sit on the phone for that many hours without solving anything. I could go on and on about how poor Comcast’s customer service is and how sometimes I fantasize about their building spontaneously exploding, but i’ve made my point. Comcast doesn’t value their customers nor the power of their customer’s voice – those that “advertise” for or against their business. According to Jarvis, “…it comes down to relationships–relationships that are lived in public. Everytime someone says something good about you online because of your product, service, reputation, honesty, openness, or helpfulness, you should knock another dollar off your advertising budget.” Comcast doesn’t understand the value of relationships, and thus spends an exorbitant amount on traditional advertising.

    In “New Society,” Jarvis describes the concept of “elegant organization,” a term coined by Facebook’s Founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg. At first read, I wasn’t sure I understood exactly what he meant and wondered if this was another “buzz phrase” coined to sound meaningful but when one actually thinks about it, means nothing. However, this is not the case. Mark Zuckerberg used the story of his art class at Harvard to explain how his social platform, Facebook, enabled people to more easily organize their social networks–something they were already doing. Zuckerberg had not attended a single class or studied for an art course in which he was enrolled but yet, he didn’t want to fail the final exam. He did what the web savvy do best – he went online to solve his problem. He created a website with pictures of all the artwork that he knew would be covered on the exam and left caption blanks under each picture. Zuckerberg then cleverly penned this creation a “study guide” and emailed it to his classmates, knowing full well that they would fill the “blanks” for him. And they did!

    However, the more interesting part of the story is how his professor explained that the entire class excelled more than usual because they “pushed” each other and collaborated. This, was “elegant organization.” Jarvis goes on to show how many of the sites that we use on a daily basis help us to organize ourselves. This is an extension of what Clay Shirky calls “Organizing without Organizations,” in his book “Here Comes Everybody: Organizing without Organization” Jarvis actually mentions Shirky in this chapter when talking about Meetup.com – a social networking site that helps people with like-minded interests find each other and “meetup.” I found this part especially interesting because last semester in Mass Media Theories, Barry and I were tasked with explaining how the theories of the internet through a presentation on our weekly readings. In our presentation, I mentioned Meetup.com as a way of bridging and bonding but also explained how it seemed to be an example of how the internet can be used for people to form groups based on similar interests but then to get off the internet and meet in person. It turns out that is exactly what it was created to do, according to meetup.com’s founder Scott Heiferman. Jarvis described how Heiferman had read Robert Putnam’s ”Bowling Alone”, another weekly reading from Theories and one that I used in my Theories research paper on Political Participation. Heiferman wanted to show how the internet could be used to help communities grow, instead of unravel, as Putnam suggests.

    My interest was aroused next by Jarvis’ mention of politics and how political organizations seemed to be the last of the groups to understand self-organization. In 2009, when this book was published, that was most definitely the case. Jarvis mentions the 2004 Howard Dean Campaign and of course, the 2008 Obama Campaign in reference to how collective action and online organization can be quite effective when used for politics in general and political campaigns specifically. I would like to note, as usual, that he leaves out what could possibly be the best example of online political organizing – the 2008 and 2012 Ron Paul Campaigns. In a previous blogging assignment, for Mass Communication Theories, I gave specific numbers as to how those Presidential Campaigns topped the metaphorical chart in online fundraising and group organization.

    The following is an excerpt from that blog comment:

    Ron Paul’s campaigns in 2007/2008 and 2011/2012 should be viewed as the first real internet-based presidential campaigns – the first time a campaign truly made use of, and relied upon, grassroots internet activism and social media to take root and flourish. Nobody has been as successful at this as Ron Paul, though certainly the Obama campaign has also made social media and online activism central to its efforts.
    “It’s odd, in one sense, that someone whose message cleaves so ferociously to the past should make such good use of modern technology, but that’s exactly what Paul’s campaign has done, spreading a gospel of small government and liberty through social media,” said Erik Kain, a contributing writer for Forbes in his article “Internet Vs. The Machine: Ron Paul’s Social Media Revolution Still Can’t Topple The Status Quo.”

    Ron Paul’s famous ‘money-bombs’ raised millions of dollars as well as more money in a single day than any other candidate in both 2008 and 2012. His following of Republicans, Independents, libertarians, Libertarians (capital L is representative of the political party and lowercase is representative of the philosophy), peace loving hippies, businessmen, grandmothers, moms, dads, blue republicans, college students, professors, stoners, rappers, celebrities and more, materialized and self-sustained largely online.

    RP’s reputation online was always disproportionate according to Kain. “Despite polling well behind Romney, the buzz online never materialized for the former Massachusetts governor the way it has for Mr. Paul. Part of this is the skillful way the Paul campaign used the internet to bring supporters together, and send Paul evangelists out into the digital wild to spread the Ron Paul Revolution message to the masses.

    I leave you now with a PBS NOW special on the Online Movement of Ron Paul

    To see the specific numbers and read the blog post in full, and to learn more about democracy and the media, please click here.

    I think that Ron Paul’s 2008 and 2012 grassroots campaigns are perfect examples of what Shirky, Zuckerberg, and Jeff Jarvis are trying to get across. People will organize themselves, as they have for numerous years, through the traditional formats of non-profits organizations and political parties. However, the internet has helped them more easily form these groups, and through the internet’s incredible reach, these groups were able to grow larger and more vast than ever expected. Jarvis notes that people want to be connected to each other, and to the like-minded, but in the digital age, our society has gained a reputation for being anti-social because we are tied to our laptops, phone, and tablets. What many don’t understand is that in some ways this may be true – some people lack human face-to-face interaction, but in regards to being connected, we are more connected than ever before. We are connected with more people and more people from more places and from more diverse backgrounds, than we have had the opportunity to be in the past. The social platforms and interconnectivity of the internet have provided us with the ability to reach out to others and to organize ourselves.

    For example, Young Americans for Liberty, (YAL) the continuation of Students for Ron Paul (SFP), a division of Ron Paul’s 2008 Presidential Campaign, established over 500 college and high school chapters in all 50 states and helped over 26,000 students join the Ron Paul’s 2008 Presidential Campaign, in less than 8 months, through the collective action and organization made possible by the internet. YAL, founded by former a href=“https://www.facebook.com/students.for.ron.paul.official”>SFP Director Jeff Frazee in December of 2008, now has over 500 active groups on college and high school campuses across the United States. Jarvis states, “We no longer need companies, institutions, or government to organize us. We now have the tools to organize ourselves. We find each other and organize around political causes or bad companies or talent or business or ideas….We can communicate and come together in an instant. We also have new ethics and attitudes that spring from this new organization and change society in ways we cannot yet see….we are organizing society.” I believe that there is no better example than the liberty movement itself, the 2008 and 2012 Ron Paul campaigns, and the organization of Young Americans for Liberty on campuses nationwide to show just how effective the tools of the digital day are, and the truth of these statements. I believe they are also perfect examples of the next point that Jarvis makes about how one must remember that you do not own the community that gathers around you.

    As the Shelby County Chair for the Ron Paul Campaign in 2012, I learned this lesson the hard way. Prior to assuming this position with the official Ron Paul campaign, I had not been active with the local grassroots movement in Memphis. When tasked with organizing these groups into one collective group, complete with one “leader” and one guiding goal, I was met with resistance from some of the factions. They felt that they had been “in the trenches” together since 2007 and had done an excellent job of organizing themselves. In true libertarian fashion, they did not want guidance from “the man.” In this case, I represented “the man,” a comparison of which I was not particularly fond. This faction and I had the same ideals and the same purpose but because I was “sent” to bring the multiple factions together and through my training, help them better complete the campaign goals, this specific faction felt that I didn’t deserve to lead them as a “person sitting behind a computer and not down in the trenches.” This role and their resistance, helped me learn several important lessons. First, I had to put down the computer and put on the ripped jeans, grab the old bedsheets, and purchase cans of spray paint in order to join them “in the trenches”. This showed that I was in fact one of them and not some mysterious “man” behind the screen but it also showed that I could lead by example. Secondly, throughout the campaign, I had to remember that the community was letting me lead their groups “into battle” – I didn’t “own” them nor were they doing what I asked because they had no choice. They allowed me to be a part of their group, both online and offline, and I respected the community’s wishes. If I had not, the power of their collective action through the internet was apparent and I didn’t want that to be used against me or as they say, “ I would never work again in this town.”

    I also found this trailer to the documentary “For Liberty,” to share with you all. The film was created after the 2008 election and shows how the internet was a substantial influence in the grassroots liberty movement. It’s only 3 minutes and is really interesting – it’s less about Ron Paul himself, and more about how people, united with an idea, organized themselves through the internet, to create the largest grassroots movement in history. Check it out!

    • Carrie Brown says:

      Good…I would agree with you that these are definitely good examples of the possibilities of the web to organize people.

  2. Barry Parks says:

    Interesting relevancy from Jarvis readings:

    It occurs to me while reading through some of the material required for new journalism courses and plenty of the related material that one can encounter online—even on the night of Facebook’s 10th birthday—just how simple and almost rudimentary much of the information still comes across where it pertains to best practices on the internet. We’re pretty far along with the internet being an integral part of our lives. But when it comes to writing about it and the best ways to capitalize on it for business use, it can read like we’re still figuring all that out at almost a beginner level. It’s a little like listening to lectures for news writing 101 where “the 5 W’s and the H” are pounded into so many clueless undergraduate heads as the best consideration for writing a lede sentence.

    At once this basic nature of the content seems a little shocking and almost offensive. Facebook IS 10 years old, after all. We’ve been surfing and researching the internet for decades. And we’re still talking about being digitally visible, clear, obvious, easily found and transparent? It seems we should have a pretty firm handle on these concepts by this point.

    But then it further occurs to me that we DO still need to be talking about these seemingly basic concepts—in all the more nuanced fashion—because online activity is evolving so quickly that it’s almost like we’re ALWAYS in that news writing 101 class. Technological advancement happens so rapidly in our age that continuing to discuss and employ fundamental approaches to use it will likely be in order for some time to come. Because of digital advancement, business is (as about half of Jarvis’ chapters are titled) “new” again.

    So when Jarvis’ advice in “New Publicness” can seem terribly pedestrian, it has to be significant. Basic and maybe even obvious approaches truly can’t be emphasized enough, in fact, if any number of us wants to be successful via the internet’s tools—professionally or otherwise. Blogging, entrepreneurial endeavor/news startups, personal resumes and the like MUST be visible, searchable, findable…public. It’s a bit unnerving to acknowledge that requirement on a personal level, because I have a sense that sometimes it’s just preferable not to be found. But in order to survive in a world that now almost requires digital interactivity, being ‘public’ online is smart.

    It’s also pretty fundamental where Jarvis discusses the concept of organization in his chapter “New Society.” Specifically, he detailed Zuckerberg’s “elegant” variety. I like the way organization is characterized in this chapter, as well as the profundity of not actually trying to create new communities but rather developing organized ways of cultivating existing ones. That’s definitely entrepreneurial thinking. And I need to pay special attention here, because organized is something I have never really been. But when order and form are necessary and pivotal attributes for any successful business endeavor online or otherwise, I’m personally a little skeptical when Jarvis alleges that Google and its nature or even the internet at large actually does contribute to this.

    I acknowledge that the best ways to use or benefit from the internet are still developing. And indeed, Google, the thousands of available apps, Facebook, etc. have certainly streamlined our lives. But to allege that any of it is “organized” yet sticks in my craw a bit. Maybe it’s because I’m a little older. Maybe it’s also because I’m a little resistant to change. Or maybe it’s because it’s true.

    It seems to me that society becomes more fragmented, compartmentalized, niche-oriented, and even interrupted because of the nature of the internet. Bonding as opposed to bridging. Bowling alone. Losing yourself in hours of available free porn online rather than attempting to interact romantically with others (heh). And everything can just seem a lot more spread out online and can require more time to wade through. Google helps to narrow things down, but it also leads to more digital sprawl as you trek down the rabbit hole that search results can produce. Also, we use dozens of separate and unique social media outlets, and then we often aggregate them (i.e. using WordPress, Instagram,Twitter, Flickr and Tumblr each for their own functionality and then pulling it all over to Storify instead of just having one application that kinda does it all..like, say, Myspace once was, for example?). It’s like we’re intentionally developing ways to splinter online functionality just to develop other ways to bring it back together. I guess that’s being entrepreneurial. But it doesn’t seem all that organized or even sensible.

    But that’s all probably just me kicking and screaming a little, as it were. And if that’s the case and if I’ve misread, then maybe Jarvis’ sentiment is actually to strive to BE more elegantly organized in order to wrangle the opportunities that the internet, Google, etc. proffer and in their myriad ways. And in that respect, he’s spot on.

    Meanwhile, can I just say I hate the word ” Googlejuice”?

    • Yeah – sometimes I’m amazed that I still have to teach pretty basic things about the web and how journalism has evolved – it seems pretty pedestrian as you say – but when I ask questions I get a lot of blank stares, as in this class when I first asked about the specifics of how news has been economically disrupted. It’s really, really important to grasp the fundamentals of the news BUSINESS, not just the editorial side of things, if we are going to build new things.

      I’m not quite sure what you are thinking about/interpreting Jarvis terms of organization here. But I definitely think there are spaces of great opportunity for better filtering/organizing of the web.

      Heh, Googlejuice – bad word, but entire businesses have been made off it. Pretty crazy.

  3. alables says:

    First of all, I will have to agree with Barry in that I also hate the word “Googlejuice.” Otherwise I love Jeff Jarvis.

    As for what I found interesting this week, I really enjoyed the part in the New Society section about elegant organization. The concept of helping people do what they already do better is something so simple but with such great impact. Organizing the world’s information, as Google does, is such a perfect concept. I say the phrase “I don’t know, I’ll Google it” a ridiculous amount of times per day. A world without Google is now as foreign to us as a world without our smartphones, and, sadly, I don’t know how I survived without either. I got lost today and if I had not had my Google maps app to help me there’s a good chance I would still be wandering around aimlessly. My friends and I were talking the other day and were incredulous at the thought of using an actual paper map to get somewhere. Its a foreign concept to us because we have the luxury of typing an address into our phone and having Google take us there. My Garmin GPS got stolen out of my car several months ago and honestly, I didn’t even really care. I mean yes, I was upset that something was stolen from my car (although they left the power cord and my checkbook, hmmm) but I was not upset at the loss of a Garmin because I have Google and its elegant organization that it provides to get me where I need to go.

    After reading part of Bowling Alone by Putnam last semester which discusses his idea that communities are falling apart because our society is becoming more and more disconnected from one another, its easy for me to understand the need for elegant organization, and especially after Jarvis talks about how Shirky drew off this and created meetup.com with the slogan “Use the internet to get off the internet” I was really able to see how people benefit from this type of organization. Shirky didn’t pre-create these communities, but let them form on their own, which resulted in a community of witches. How else would that many witches have been able to come together and talk about witch stuff? I don’t know. But Shirky helped make it happen through elegant organization. The witches were already doing witch stuff, but meetup.com helped them do it better. Just as Facebook initially helped Harvard students organize their social networks better and just as Google better organizes the world’s information. It truly makes you think about simple, day-to-day tasks that you could help people do better.

    I’m really, really enjoying this book and look forward to reading it each week, which is awesome.

  4. Jeff Jarvis’ remarks on “New Publicness” evoked some conflicting thoughts. I had to reflect about his comment on so-called Googlejuice. “The benefits of search are also lost on a few media companies that resent Google and think they are punishing the big, bad beast by hiding from it”, Jarvis says. When viewed from a user’s and reader’s perspective I completely agree on that – as I hardly receive news from elsewhere than online. I will not read what I cannot find. How should I?

    Jarvis mentions European newspapers which are exactly doing that: hiding from Google. One of them is the “Rhein-Zeitung”, a typical traditional, regional newspaper. Rhein-Zeitung has explicitly decided not to allow Google to provide its news on Google news. At a first glance, that may appear as the expectable reaction to the “big, bad internet” by a close-minded, outdated media company. But surprise: Rhein-Zeitung is not one of those companies. Usually, they are very progressive when it comes to the changing media landscape. They try out new things and are known as one of the good examples (as I will also present in my case study about Rhein-Zeitung!)

    Jarvis mentions: “Blocking Google only means that it will stop sending readers, which is nothing short of suicide.” That is the crucial point: Rhein-Zeitung’s chief editor Christian Lindner states in an interview that only one percent of the paper’s traffic comes from Google News. I suppose the main reason for this to be Rhein-Zeitung’s concentration on local news and on local platforms. Their readers already know where to look for them. They do not need Google News. „We have made a fundamental decision and we do not want to comp our content anymore”, Lindner says. As he can say this and, in doing so, have a reasonable basis for his decision – I cannot find fault with that.

    For now, Lindner has his point and only time will tell if Jarvis will finally still outrun him.

    • Carrie Brown says:

      Interesting! I think one key element of this is that each news organization is different and may have a different audience, so there may not be a one-size fits all strategy for this. Although also interesting that if Rhein-Zeitung is getting so little of its traffic from Google anyway, what does it gain by blocking it, exactly? What is it preserving?

      • Actually, I haven’t thought of it that way. I guess they are blocking it for more ethical reasons and as a matter of principle. In my case study I focused on that aspect. After announcing the installation of a paywall, chief editor Lindner said in an interview: “A paywall would not go together with the fact that we are giving away our precious content for free elsewhere.”

  5. The web geek in me really enjoyed the “New Publicness” section. Jarvis’ “If you’re not searchable, you won’t be found” heading really struck a chord with me. In dealing with websites, so often it seems that the emphasis is placed on visual design rather than content. While good design is of course important, the content or the “question answered” merits much more attention. Google doesn’t rank websites in its search results based on how “pretty” they look. I think this idea translates seamlessly into the startup world. As was discussed in last week’s reading, we shouldn’t aim to develop a “startup” idea. A flashy, futuristic-sounding startup may draw media attention and fun headlines, but will it be used in the long run? We’re aiming to find a solution — something that solves someone’s problem. If we’re not solving a problem, then what are we doing? Is a website with no “Googlejuice” really a website at all? I’m really enjoying this book so far. It seems you can apply “Google logic” to just about anything.

    • Carrie Brown says:

      So glad you are enjoying the book! I think the “If you’re not searchable, you won’t be found” is a pretty key insight for pro communicators.

  6. Aidan Galasso says:

    I think that Jeff Jarvis touched on an important part of any startup at the end of the “New Publicness” section. Customer service is definitely key to any good business. In the past few chapters he has talked all about the product but if the people aren’t as good as the product it won’t succeed. Customer service should be easy for startups to do well since they are often marketing to a specific group of people many of whom they know well. Jarvis says business expands because people have a pleasant consumer experience at a business and recommend it to friends. People like to be treated like they are important and with big stores such as Wal-Mart and Target coming under fire for employee benefits and data security this could be a chance for smaller business that offer products larger stores sell to promote their personal side of the business. In newspapers this can be as easy as reaching out to readers on twitter and adressing reader questions in a blog. This will satisfy readers and bring traffic to a website. It also provides the hyper-local content that can help newspapers survive.

    It seems as though customer service gets lost in expansion sometimes and it seems that this is a result of a big company trying to control communities as Jarvis discusses in the next chapter. He doesn’t specifically say when that change happens in the life of a business but the companies he mentions having problems relating to communities are all offering large general interest products. Although he thinks Facebook has done such a good idea interacting with communities it has imposed restrictions on people within recent years such as timeline. While thus are not major inconveniences it doesn’t help people who liked the original product. Facebook does have a corner on the market though so it can do what Yahoo and AOL couldn’t. Back when AOL was the only IM service it could do what it wanted with AIM. Obviously it will take many years for Facebook to lose out to another social media site but the way it is imposing changes on its users it may.

  7. Several things are interesting about “New Publicness” and “New Society”. Jarvis briefly explains how some companies view Google as the enemy, and some of these companies have been active in removing themselves from Google’s search engine. According to Jarvis, this is a rather big mistake. The goal for companies in the Internet age is to be searchable, or what others call public. Jarvis even expands this argument to individuals, basically saying the more public the better. I agree that this seems like a great business plan, but it makes me wary as an individual. Google is one of the best, if not the best, tool to help companies and individuals achieve “publicness”. So it makes sense that turning Google into the enemy is dangerous. Although this book was written four years ago, a lot of what Jarvis has to say still holds true. He mentions one of the ways to make an enemy out of Google is game the system, usually by spamming search results. This scenario took place only a month ago when rapgenius.com was caught manipulating search results (more information: http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/04/google-rap-genius-seo/). The founders of the website made amends with Google and the site has recently been reinstated in Google search, but as the article points out this could have been a “death sentence for Rap Genius’ traffic”.

    What I really enjoyed was the “New Society” chapter. Jarvis describes this new society as a “mass of niches”. This idea is similar to the idea Shirky (I believe it was from his article) posited, which was that the newspaper business (and Journalism to a certain extent) should focus more on niche markets/interests. All of these niche communities have the ability to connect and grow with other communities. The goal is to get these communities to organically grow around you, not to control how they function. The Mark Zuckerberg anecdote was excellent and described how giving existing communities a tool, or tools, to organize is the key to building these new societies.

  8. In Jeff Jarvis’s, What Would Google Do, section “New Publicness” and “New Society”; what I understood from the readings is that you need to be searchable on Google, that it’s probably smart to get a website, and its important for you to have your resume’ online. Jarvis was mainly talking about business and organizations, however, he encouraged individuals to also have websites. Also, he talked about the importance of Google and how no one wants to be an enemy of Google, because they have to be visible to their audience. I agree Google is the largest search engine and if anyone wants publicity and to be successful they need to be searchable on Google because that’s the first place customer’s are going.

    In the chapter about New Society,Jarvis talked about how people think we are now anti-social because of laptops ,earphones and never physically talking to anyone, but that isn’t true. He said we are talking to more people in more places, because we have more ways to do it. I agree, but I think the physical interaction and connection with people has highly decreased. You can only know so much about someone by talking to them online. The physical, face-to-face communication is very important and social media isn’t going to give you that even if you’re face timing, or skyping. People hide behind the internet. You will only know the real them trough physical interaction.

    Lastly, the quote from Jarvis, ” We no longer need companies,institutions or government to organize us. We now have the tools to organize ourselves. We can find each other and coalesce around political cause or bad companies or talent or business or ideas. We can share our knowledge and behavior. We can communicate and come together in an instant.” I agree with this statement because I do believe that the internet creates a community of people to share thoughts and ideas that are alike or contrary to someone else’s, but it allows them to discuss and have more insight on certain things that we may otherwise not have access to without the internet.

  9. While reading the “New Publicness” chapter of Jeff Jarvis’ book “What Would Google Do?” I really started reflecting on today’s significance of Google for businesses. Of course, we all use Google, we know that Google needs to find us if we want to be found by the people, and we adapt to Google mechanisms in order to being ranked higher in Google listings. We make ourselves “Google-ready”, to say it in Jarvis’ words.

    When I interned for news organizations and edited content for news websites, just to give an example, I was supposed to formulate headlines with the issue’s most important keywords and to tag the articles – in order to being found by Google, and in this manner by the internet users.

    “Google defines what your web presence should be”, is just one of the sentences that contains Jarvis’ key message: Most people will not find us without Google. Using Jarvis’ example of newspapers, Google is the new newsstand: Google makes the contact between the company and the customers. I totally agree with that. It does not really make sense to block or ignore Google as a news company, you would just elude the space where your customers are. Whatever your business is, you need to be searchable, and therefore you have to “please” Google. You will be lost, if you do not provide information or Google cannot read it.

    From the small restaurant providing its menu online, to the large news company adapting their content to the search engine’s mechanisms, all the world complies with Google, a corporation that is not older than 20 years. One the one hand, this is cool and simplifies lots of things for internet users. I do not know if my doubts are by reason of my European perspective, but on the other hand it is also kind of scary that everyone has to play by Google’s rules nowadays to succeed in business. In fact, it seems to be the only way to grab your customers’ attention.

    • Carrie Brown says:

      Good, Robert, and I agree. There are many advantages, but there is definitely a dark side here. Many news orgs are relying quite a bit on an outside organization for a huge piece of their business, and that is worrisome for many reasons. Even a small change in Google’s algorithm can have a massive impact on a news orgs sustainability and revenue.

  10. One thing I found very interesting in the readings is the section titled ‘Elegant Organization’. It made me think of social networking in a different way. For the longest I credited the founders of Facebook to be these people who created an Internet culture. But this section explains that that culture was already there, Facebook just helped it. It said communities already exist. You should just find ways to help them heist better.
    Also the ‘New Publicness’ chapter Jarvis gets into the importance of Google juice; which I find very interesting as well. He talks about the importance of being heard on the web and how to do it. Very useful info about how to word things on a website so it will receive more hits.

  11. Reading about new Publicness and being seen by Google and others in Jarvis’s book brought me back to this past summer and how it was that I ended up being seen by Google. I had to track back to find out exactly how they were able to find me. Really, if you search for AdWords in LinkedIn, I’m the 3rd result…or somewhere around there. The fact that my own professional resume listed AdWords a few times caught the eye of a Google recruiter. It’s these keywords that allowed me to be out in the public a little more that relates back to how Google is able to attract so many people. You have to ensure that your site is marked with the right keywords (SEO) and that you can be seen by search engines.
    I live my life in the public sphere, so when Google called, I took the advice of those more conservative than me and hid or made private my public social media pages. This…was dumb. To go to a place like Google and limit yourself digitally just doesn’t make sense. In any case, being in the publicness online allows you to get yourself out there more and for people to relate better to you.

  12. Ketevan Dolidze says:

    I bought this book on my Kindle, since it was cheaper and I figured it would be much easier to read on the go. So far, I have read this book while walking, in bed, and especially, in the gym! Just shows how much I am enjoying it so far.
    Jarvis brought up many points in this weeks assigned chapters, yet some stuck out to me more than others. I found it interesting that some European papers asked Google not to search their sites, because they thought that Google was making money off of their stories. When, in reality, Google was sending these papers more readers. You do not have to be a genius to see that making Google your enemy is a suicide, as Jarvis points out. If you are not capable of making Google your friend, make it your frenemy. By doing so, you are “exploiting” Google’s resources while getting more likes and clicks, more readers.

    One of the things Jarvis mentions in his chapter “New Publicness” is that you should make information about you searchable. From what I understood, this is not just a few facts about you but information anyone could and would want to know about you. I am sorry, but I do not agree with that. It is good to have your resume on Monster (and most people do), but it still scares me having just all of my information out there for public to see. We live in a world where most of what we do is exposed by us, our friends, or family members. Not to get too political, but privacy is not a Constitutional right and that is why so many agencies get away with spying on persons. Even though the internet probably knows more about me than it should, I feel as if I still have some control of my own information if I am not exposing it myself. May be silly to some, but it still gives me a sense of control. Jarvis goes on discussing the importance of clarity and how beneficial it is for your person or your business. If you clearly identify yourself, your brand, your business, it is easy for Google to search for key words and display the search results to a potential client or patient who is browsing the web.

    In the next chapter, Jarvis talks about “publicness” and I love what he says about it: “Publicness is about more than having a web site. It’s about taking actions in public so people can see what you do and react to it, make suggestions, and tell their friends. Living in public today is a matter of enlightened self-interest. You have to be public to be found.” This quote shows just how important it is to have some sort of internet presence. He gives examples of restaurants that have internet presence and are up to date. I cannot tell you how many times I simply looked over a really good local restaurant just because they did not have an online menu available or their menu was not updated. It is extremely frustrating not to have such information at your fingertips, when we live in a world where that is simply the norm.

    Toward the end of the chapter “New Society” Jarvis mentions Mark Zuckerberg and what his view was on organization. Zuckerberg stated: “Bring them ‘elegant organization!’” This is an outstanding idea, in my opinion. We now have the tools to organize our information, our networks. We just need some innovative and exciting ways of doing just that. Not all are successful at creating the most perfect way of doing this, but at least they try and give people something they can pick from. Control, is yet again, in the consumers hands.

    • Carrie Brown says:

      Excellent. I think the import of having a web presence is only heightened when your job is in communications.

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