Monthly Archives: April 2014

Is a web service (G+, Facebook, etc.) ‘dead’ or ‘alive’? A quick users’ guide.

Image courtesy of fanpop.com. Points if you get the reference.

Image courtesy of fanpop.com. Points if you get the reference.

Much typing and responding and counter-responding of late has gone into whether Google+ is dead or alive, as is also happening with Facebook and myriad other past, present and future web services and communities.

What’s the answer? It’s simple.

Merely ask: Is this useful to me?

If you answered YES, then congratulations, it’s alive! Don’t sweat over what the pundits — most of whom make contrary claims mainly to get recognized and boost traffic to their own sites — say. When it’s no longer of use to you and what goals you want to attain, then it’s dead.

If you answered NO, then it’s dead to you. Not dead to the world, but to you. No pundit is in a position to tell others that a web service that they find useful is “dead,” no matter how many blogs they write or followers they have. It’s like telling your neighbor “using the hammer is dead” when you need a screwdriver for a project. If your neighbor needs a hammer, then it’s useful to him or her, no matter what anybody else says.

Glad we were able to clear that up. Keep using what you’re using, as long as it’s useful to you.

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The king of social media content on campus? It’s not us.

Those of us who work in social media and web communication professionally like to think we know all the answers about creating content that works. And then somebody comes along and makes us look like pikers. Such was the case of Charles Trippy of We the Kings, who played at SUNY Oswego on Saturday night. In addition to playing a good set, all he did was create the most popular piece of content ever to come from our campus … by far.

Not only was it a great plug (even if it did contain the word “badass”) but it told an interesting story:

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As backstory, Charles’ father, better known as Chaz Trippy, played percussion in the Gregg Allman Band. So he posted: “This is the badass venue we are playing at (SUNY Oswego) my dad played here too in the ’80s!” It’s a big compliment to our Campus Center arena and a great historical note (the Gregg Allman Band did play at SUNY Oswego, albeit likely in the less impressive Laker Hall, in 1982).

If you’re squinting at the number of likes, do not adjust your set, it does indeed say more than 31,000 people liked it on Instagram (now nearly 32,000). If one of our posts gets 100+ likes, I consider that impressive. I don’t see us dethroning this feat worthy of a king.

The post also appeared on Twitter, where the figures also rang up high: 96 retweets and 504 favorites (updated: 98 and 523).

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We can learn lessons from this, of course. In terms of social media success, yes it helps that Trippy is a good-looking guy who plays in a popular band. But he wouldn’t have 404,316 Instagram followers and 464,000+ Twitter followers if he didn’t create interesting content. His use of media crosses over into YouTube with his popular Web series Internet Killed Television, which basically chronicles Trippy’s life on the road and at home, sometimes with appearances from his parents. And his Charles Trippy Family x Core channel, where the episodes air, has 1,469,912 followers.

Trippy did indeed document his time at SUNY Oswego with a video blog episode, featuring several students and calling the whole experience “pretty awesome.” He enjoyed playing on the same bill as two bands that inspired him growing up, Motion City Soundtrack and Say Anything. Calling the experience “a dream come true,” he offers advice: “Never let anyone ever tell you that your dreams are stupid.” As of Monday morning, or in about its first 24 hours, his video featuring our campus had some 264,000 plays … and climbing.

Plenty of bands are more famous and sell more records, but Charles is certainly a king of content. A lesson learned in retrospect is how anybody involved with the show, including us so-called professionals, could have better engaged him sooner on social media and tried to leverage his huge following to promote the concert. Advice going forward for people promoting shows at any campus, concert hall or cafe: See who’s coming to perform and try to connect with them in advance and in a meaningful way.

Sure, I don’t expect to create a piece of content with better reception that what Charles Trippy got, but he put a lot of Oswego love and interesting stories all over social media. I’ll take that royal treatment any time!

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