October 30th, 2009 / 5:00 pm
When I was a kid, I was into electronics and shortwave radio in a big way, and one of the technical terms I heard about then was ‘signal to noise ratio.’ In the radio listening context, I took this to mean how much of the radio station you could hear versus the all the noise in the background (and there is no shortage of ‘static’ on shortwave, as a dwindling band of fellow die-hard enthusiasts would know).
These days, I notice that the signal to noise expression is being used all the time by people into social networks. In most cases, it seems to mean getting the content online that you want that adds value, as opposed to extraneous clutter information that wastes your time. It strikes me as an apt expression, party because there’s so little quality content these days and way too much junk out there.
I have certainly noticed that people really do appreciate quality content when they see it. On Facebook from 2007, and then Twitter from 2008, and now more recently Friendfeed, I’ve been trying to share what I think is ’signal’ from the media that I consume every day. Usually I’ll post what I regard as interesting articles in areas of personal interest (PR, psychology, media, propaganda, renewable energy, radio, maps and the environment), accompanied by a brief commentary reflecting my own opinion. So, I’ve basically been selecting stories for the ’front page’ of my ‘lifestream’ and drafting comments and questions, leaving the heavy writing to the authors whose articles I forward.
A few folks have proactively let me know that they appreciate this approach; here’s one example:
“Hey Bob! Thanks for bringing the collective IQ of my FB page up. As I scroll down the updates and see lines of ‘How well do you know so and so’ and ‘My kids just spilled the Q-tips’ I see your notes on the demise of the Aral Sea…like accidentally stumbling across NPR during a Jerry Springer episode.”
Lately, though, several people have been encouraging me to articulate my own long-form opinions, so this new blog is my way of transmitting some signal of my own rather than just relaying that of others.
I’m looking forward to sharing ideas and insights with you.
- Visualizing the rise and fall of marketing monikers
- The climate change PR disaster
- Humanitarianism in the network age
- The marketing might of modern public relations
- Guest lecture at SMU on Asia social media
- An end to ‘time zone chauvinism’
- climate change
- crisis communications
- guest post
- media relations
- national brand
- PR industry
- social media
- speaking platforms
- A shocking example of how a vile regime uses online media to communicate propaganda: http://t.co/MXkmAaUXLH http://t.co/K3y7Q2f0R7
- The power of collaboration [video]: http://t.co/niIlK38hYT | The rising peer-produced economy - and culture
- @neilclevine I look forward to seeing your blog post about photographs, videos and memory
- This looks like fun for fellow students of 'mass persuasion:’ http://t.co/FTLq3tuFAB | The Propaganda Poster Art Centre in Shanghai
- RT @dorocren: six practical tips for producing killer brand journalism: http://t.co/At6N0LPsTC | Hint: more journalism, less brand
- Why the cult of hard work is counter-productive: http://t.co/8FtehQiRpq | A subversive yet bracing take on the folly of constant 'busyness'
- RT @CampaignAsia: Congrats to all the Agency of the Year winners: http://t.co/kPtrtI79yq | An excellent evening with many deserving awards
- A timely presso on the instant ‘messaging wars:’ http://t.co/JiisrblY2s
- How Instagram alters memory: http://t.co/VJrASDxRIH | Our cameras now remember for us
- The wheel of emotions: http://t.co/nDasPhwJr4