I really am not one of the most influential PR bloggers in the UK. Honestly, I’m not.

So it was with considerable mirth that I read Gorkana’s latest blockbusting news – that someone has, schlock horror, discovered who the most influential PR bloggers are in the UK! Wow! That was quick of them! The Ad Age Power150 has only been around for, what, at least five years. Apparently it’s news to Gorkana however.

And I’m 7th on the list. Sorry, 8th. Sorry, 9th already. They’re popping out of the woodwork as I type.

A quick backstory to the Ad Age Power150 (as far as my memory serves). It was originally Todd Andrlik‘s Power150, which I came across quite a while ago and thought it was a neat way to ‘measure’ blogs. Take of the publicly available metrics such as Technorati Authority (remember that?), normalise them out of ten, add them up, and you get a list of influencers. So I took that, applied it to the list of 100 PR bloggers that I followed at the time, and created my own list.

Naturally Todd wasn’t too happy that I’d copied his idea, so I put an attribution at the bottom, and in later versions of what became the PR Friendly Index I adapted a more graphical approach (that would appear to be broken on this new template), without normalising, which gave me something of a USP.

Along the way Sally Whittle also asked me for some help with her top secret project, which begat the Tots 100, and Jonny Bentwood also started his list of analysts along similar lines.

The PR Friendly Index got me a lot of attention and in fact I’d say it’s the main reason I appear on lists nowadays. Many people linked to me, not least because I provided little badges for them complete with code that included the links. But it just became too tedious to maintain – which, in a neat circular kind of way, is what Todd found, which is why he gave it, or sold it (I know not which) to Ad Age.

So it’s probably fitting that it all comes back to Ad Age, which is where the Gorkana list comes from (actually it’s a list from 10 Yetis, but Gorkana are shouting and pointing at it, as if it’s news which, just to be clear, it is not).

However, Ad Age really is just bean counting. Which brings me to the title of this post: I’m not influential. Look, Drew Benvie is below me. Drew is UK MD of the group that includes Hotwire, Skywrite and 33 Digital. Steve Waddington co-runs Speed, which I visited the other week. Metrica is an entire company of measurement professionals (whose competition entries I wrote two years back so I know them quite well too). These people are all much more influential than I am. It just happens to be that I got more scores via various metrics once upon a time because I had some good ideas occasionally. Honestly.

So I really wouldn’t go by the figures. I don’t really think Andy Barr, head of 10 Yetis, has had a very inspirational idea in peeling out the UK PR people from the Ad Age Power150 (it’s been done before). I’d find out who these people are first, and then take a punt.

If Your Team Hates Blogging, You Need A New Team

My friend Steve Farnsworth recently shared a link to some tips from Matt Ceniceros at Applied Materials about how to encourage blog posts from team members who hate blogging.

Something about that concept got me thinking. It wasn’t encouraging team members to blog, as that’s critical for all organizations seeking to embrace the notion that every company is a media company. It was the point about team members who “hate blogging.”

They don’t really hate blogging. They hate their job: and that’s a problem beyond the fact that you can’t get them to blog.

Love this.

One thing I never really ‘got’ about social media, and blogging in particular, was why other people didn’t really want to do it. I think this post has given me at least part of the answer: it’s because they don’t really like their jobs!

It’s a broad brush and a hard line (are these mixed metaphors?) but I like it. It accounts for why I so seldom see comms people who actually read the papers, or read business publications, or listen to podcasts, or actually do anything outside of their immediate work that is even slightly work-related.

The way I’ve approached this topic before has been “Your job just changed. Tough.” But from now on, I might change it to “You don’t like your job. Tough.”

Anyway, hop on over to thefuturebuzz.com for the full piece…

Flanged bananas. Or: how to write a press release that works online too.

Do you write press releases? Do they work online? As in, can people find them? How do you know? Here are some ways to make your releases work as hard for you online as they do offline.

Takeaways:

  • Use keywords
  • Make the title and first sentence look good online
  • Write the release first, then the first sentence, then the title
  • Make it trackable
  • Make it Twitter-friendly

I’ve written more press releases than you’ve had… whatever you’ve had a lot of.

A press release is like great big vat. At the top is a load of stuff that needs squeezing down, down, down – until a little drop comes out at the bottom. So you need to make sure that concentrated, pure essence is as effective as possible.

Often, this just means writing a good release. What’s the real news here? What’s the story? Who is it for and how can you make it as likely as possible that they’ll publish?

But now, the ‘who it’s for’ part also includes an online audience. This could be because you publish your client releases on your own blog (it’s a nice trick, try it sometime). Maybe you’re writing it specifically for one of those fancypants online release companies. Or it could just be that somehow, it just winds up online and you see it floating around months later.

So today, a good release also means something that ‘works’ online. This doesn’t need especially arcane or difficult skills. Here are some tips.

  • Use keywords. SEO may have been coughing up blood last night, but it’s not quite dead. Find a website that talks about exactly the same thing you want to talk about, copy its address, hop on over to the free Google Adwords tool for keywords and paste that address in. The Adwords tool will tell you what it thinks are the most likely keywords for that page and, by inference, what words you should be using. It’s a bit like a reverse search: instead of typing keywords and getting the page, you’re specifying a page and finding what the keywords might have been. Now, use them roughly 3-5 times every 100 words, especially in the title and first sentence because that’s where Google likes them. You just made your release more attractive to search engines because you’re using the words other people use online, not the ones you think you should use.
  • Make the title and first sentence look good online. Again, this goes back to how people might read your release. If they’re using RSS, then for example in Google Reader the title is cut off at 70 characters and the first sentence at 120 (this applies to Google search results too). So if you have nice, well-formed titles and first sentences that get the message across within those limits, people might be more likely to read you. It’s not exactly SEO – that is, search engines don’t prefer titles and first sentences within those limits – but humans do. Maybe we need to call this HSEO?
  • Do it backwards. Write the release first, then the first sentence, then the title. That’s how I write blog posts and as a result, it’s how I write offline too. Usually I have it all in my head after writing it, and find it easier to compress than expand.
  • Make it trackable. Use an unusual phrase in the title that you can then track, via searches, Google Alerts, RSS monitoring, dashboards, whatever. I added ‘Flanged bananas’ to this, which is of course ridiculous (I’m a ridiculous person after all), but it’s a safe bet that when I search for that phrase from now on, I know it’s this blog post (actually, it seems I just inadvertently created my very own Google Whack). If you do it, you’ll know it’s your press release. Especially if you’re writing about flanged bananas.
  • Make it Twitter-friendly. Add a 140-character-or-less pre-made sentence at the end that people can copy and paste, complete with a bit.ly URL that you can track. Something like “Flanged bananas: How to write a press release that works online too. Brendan Cooper gives some tips. http://bit.ly/oIybwe” You just made it much easier for people to spread the word – and you controlled the message and can track it too. Nice.

Note that the second, third and fourth points above could equally apply to any title and first sentence no matter whether they’re offline or online because they just promote the essence of good copywriting. Get the message across with as much impact and brevity as possible, and make it lodge in people’s minds. Don’t give me any ‘revolutionary’ or ‘world-first’, begone with your ‘cutting edge’ and ‘delighted to announce’. It just doesn’t cut it any more. Think flanged bananas.

I usually avoid the cheesy “So what hints and tips do you have” motif at the end of blog posts but, seeing as nobody reads my blog any more, I’m willing to try anything. So, what hints and tips do you have?

Takeaways:

  • Use keywords
  • Make the title and first sentence look good online
  • Write the release first, then the first sentence, then the title
  • Make it trackable
  • Make it Twitter-friendly

If you liked that, tweet this: Flanged bananas: How to write a press release that works online too. Brendan Cooper gives some tips. http://bit.ly/oIybwe

How to get around the content problem

My previous post was just a bookmark, but it tied very neatly into the challenge all my clients face: how to source good, compelling content.

You say you don’t have the time to generate content. The blunt response is: face it, your job just changed. You have to make the time because, as the current meme doing the rounds says, every company is now a media company. So you can very easily set up a Twitter account or a blog or a Facebook page, but then you do need to think of something to say.

I use the analogy of setting up a radio station. Imagine hiring (or constructing!) a building, setting up the studio, organising the huge launch party. Imagine you’ve got the microphone in front of you, and the mixing desk, and you press the big ‘On Air’ button… and then you suddenly realise you don’t actually know what you’re going to say. How mortifying.

It’s precisely those barriers to entry that made people take ‘the media’ seriously, whether print or broadcast. But now they’ve been removed, and you can create a Twitter account or a blog within minutes, for free. So there’s no barrier. So people don’t think it through.

Setting up a social media presence is not heavy lifting. But sourcing content – lots of it, on a daily or weekly basis – is.

So here are some ideas I put in front of people for helping with this.

Create a blog calendar

As  a copywriter I fully understand the fear of the blank page. It’s the same with blogging. So the way I get around that is to create a blog calendar. Think of all the events that you might be able to participate in, from exhibitions to seminars, from Father’s Day to Christmas. Then you can see what’s coming up and write about it, before, during and after. You don’t have to think about what you’re going to talk about, because it’s right there in front of you, and you get to ride that news wave too.

Have a comment strategy

You don’t have to write all your own posts. Sometimes it’s better to jump across to what someone else is saying, and comment on theirs instead. They love you for commenting, and you get a link back to your own blog. Instead of just broadcasting, you’re engaging and, in the process, learning too.

Retweet and reply

If you follow people on Twitter, just jump in occasionally and reply to them, or retweet them. Keep that feed going, and in the same action reinforce your willingness to engage online.

Use bookmarks

You can get an RSS feed from Delicious, so use it. Integrate it with a platform such as Twitterfeed to tweet whenever you bookmark something, or with Delicious’s own blog post feature so that you also post at the end of each day with the aggregation of what you bookmarked.

Or, use Posterous to get the same effect – posting to Delicious, Twitter, your other blogs and so on – and get a free blog to boot.

Set up a dashboard or aggregator

Use Google Reader or Netvibes to see what other people are saying. I guarantee you that, in following people, within seconds you’ll see something that piques your interest, and off you go.

Get the team involved

Don’t make it one person’s sole responsibility for writing blog posts or managing the Twitter account. Set up a rota so that everyone contributes. Build this into the blog calendar, together with your comment rota.

Next thing you know, instead of writing a post a day, you’re writing one a month. And when you’re not writing, you’re commenting, replying or retweeting. In other words, you’re being active and engaged, but with a lot less weight on your shoulders, because you’re sharing the burden.

Invite guests to blog

You have clients, colleagues, maybe even friends. Get them to contribute too. They’ll love the free publicity, you’ll be seen as a part of the community, and an interesting new perspective will be presented. Oh, and you might just strengthen your ties with that client in the process, which can never be a bad thing.

Make time

As I said at the beginning, your job just changed. If you want to be back home in time to watch Hollyoaks or whatever, then cut time from somewhere else.

And the bottom line? Set targets. Review them. When you hit them, it’s high fives all round and time to crack open the prosecco.

5 and a half ways to ensure you never run out of content

Content may be king, but it’s a cruel, merciless despot. Having a blog, a Facebook page or a YouTube channel for your business is like making a promise to your customers that you can never permanently fill. No matter how great that last post was, you need to keep feeding the beast. How can you possibly keep up? Here are five (and a half) easy way to keep your fans satisfied without letting social media take up too much of your time.

Content. Content, content, content. Content is king, but there are never enough kings around when you need them. It’s the perennial problem of all communications: just what, exactly, are you going to say? Jesse Stanchak offers some neat ways around this.

Pressed for time? Cute tools that give immediate results

Last time around, I posted about not having enough time to blog. I’m trying to fix this by basically making time – but it seems a good point at which to list some tools that help you get ‘cool’ results with as little input as possible.

By this, I mean tools that use your media to create interesting publications or multimedia. In other words, the exact opposite of blogging. In that, writing a good, well researched, informative blog post takes a while and looks frankly boring, whereas some of these tools basically make people go ‘wow’ with the minimum of effort required.

Paper.li – newspapers from people you follow

I’ve often thought of Twitter as the ‘compressed web’, that is, people tend to tweet with a link to a web page, so you go from 140 characters to a page via Twitter. Paper.li have very cleverly demonstrated this, by automatically publishing a nicely formatted newspaper from people you follow on Twitter.

The idea is that, if you follow these people, it’s because you find them interesting in some way. In turn, the people who follow you might find them interesting too. So, ‘expand’ from the links of people you follow, package them into something attractive, and you’re promoting them and yourself in the process. It’s sort of curation, and you can click here to see mine live.

As you can see, you can give it a name, and you can choose how often to publish (daily makes sense given Twitter’s timescales). You can also use it to create newsletters from Facebook although I tried that with mixed success. It seems to promote/publish the tweets that have been retweeted the most.

What I’ve found is that people tend to retweet if they’re on it but I don’t know how well it works otherwise. Still, given that it’s free, takes virtually no time to put together and looks nice, it’s certainly something you can add to your client’s online presence.

Imagine how effective this would be if you then, say, print these off, put them in envelopes and mail them to people. Oh, wait…

Pummelvision – movies from your pictures

Pummelvision is cute. Point it at your Flickr account (or, as of fairly recently, Facebook, Tumblr and some other platforms) and it creates a nice movie from your images, synchronised to some quite cool music.

Here’s a fairly random example pulled from YouTube:

I think  it’s quite impressive. Take a ton of interesting pics at your next event, point Pummelvision its way, and when it’s rendered after a few minutes, you’ve got a video for presenting as a follow-up.

It would be nice if there were more customisation features, such as different music or arranging images by colour, but perhaps, as with the increased platform count, they’re in the pipeline. Like paper.li it’s just so quick and easy to put together, and it might just impress a client or two.

Xtranormal – cartoons from scripts

This one might not work so well for B2B because, well, it’s cartoons, but you can make some strong points with heavy irony and this might suit some brands. See below:

Here, you type in your script, choose the cartoon figures you want to use, and you can even put in small actions such as double-takes, glances to camera and so on.

It works well with small scripts but be warned, the script editor isn’t the easiest to use (for example, you can’t import from a word processor, you have to type it all in manually), and it can take a while to render the movie. I once tried to get it to perform Monty Python’s entire Cheese Shop Sketch, and after quite some time typing it all, it was still rendering 24 hours later, so I guess it just wasn’t to be.

Presentations from PDFs

No, not the other way around (ie PDFs from presentations). By this, I mean, adding a bit of pazazz to a client’s PDF simply by presenting it in an interesting new way. I’ve been looking around and there are packages out there that seem to do this, but I honestly cannot vouch for them and haven’t used any of them yet. I’ll report back when I have because I think this could be a very nice way to add a bit of spit n’polish to an annual report or corporate brochure, for example.

And finally… someone should invent this: Kinetic Typography software

Kinetic Typography is a buzz word par excellence. It means ‘moving text’ but, of course, we all have to invent clever terms for simple things, don’t we?

Once you’ve impressed your client with your ability to use seven syllables rather than three, you can start showing examples of what this means. Here are some:



Now, I’m sure this could be automated somehow, so you can just input text and get kinetic treatment out. I’ve looked and there’s a free package called Jahshaka that seems a bit unstable and could do with some interface refinement, and I’m not sure it does what I want it to. [post-edit: seems Cinefx have taken over development so perhaps I’ll give that a go sometime soon]

But I’m absolutely certain that someone with some nous would be able to develop software that lets you type in a script and use effects from a menu, very like xtranormal, with no need to understand graphics packages such as After Effects or programming. Perhaps you could coordinate it with music, a-la-Pummelvision, or create kinetic typography on the fly from Twitter input, like paper.li (kinetic microblogging typography anyone?).

Surely someone could do this. For free. Now. It’s so stunningly useful someone should invent it.

Blog? I don’t have time to blog!

Brendan Cooper is a digital and social media strategist who helps clients win business, win awards and talk to people through digital and social media strategy. He has been helping people to communicate, online and offline, for over fifteen years.So for quite some while I’ve been helping people to get the most out of social media through doing things properly, effectively, creatively – and, as far as possible, in as little time as possible.

By this, I don’t mean writing cursory blog posts because a useful post needs to be a certain size to convey a message (300-500 words tends to work). I also don’t mean automating everything, although you can get smart with some tricks such as tweeting whenever you post, linking your Twitter account to LinkedIn, posting whenever you bookmark a page, and so on. Within reason, these are little things you can do to help your social media tick along nicely without busting a gut.

But time has always been difficult. If you’ve got a CEO with a bazillion things he or she needs to do to keep a company afloat, especially in these straitened times, then the last thing they want to bother with is a blog post. OK, so they could get someone to ghost-write it (and please, don’t tell me that’s unethical, it’s just a way of life nowadays and we have to accept it) but still, blogging takes time. Even if you don’t sit down and mull over what you’re going to say, and just say it – like I’m doing now – you need to set apart at least, what, 15 minutes. It doesn’t seem long, but it is when your working day is already ten hours long and counting.

And you know what? Since going freelance I find I just don’t have time to blog myself! Oh, the irony. I know I need to do this because the blog is my number one marketing resource. I regularly get new business through it. And there are the many, many other reasons to blog, such as firming up your take on issues, learning new things while researching for a post, building the community, and so on.

So my stats have slid. I’m no longer the #5 PR blogger in the UK or one of the top 50 social media bloggers globally. Because frequency is important as well as content, and I am now decidedly infrequent.

This makes me wonder how other people manage to appear in the many “Top X Tweeters/Bloggers in PR/Social Media/Marketing” lists, tables, leagues and indices that come around regularly. If you’re doing it, how can you talk about it so much? The mind boggles.

So here’s the real dichotomy: I’m definitely better at this game than I was before I went freelance. I’ve learned more in the past year than I did in the previous five. But because I’m doing, I have less time for talking, so I’m classed as less influential. Does this mean that the most influential people in social media are in fact the laziest? Of course not. But it does raise interesting questions about how these rankings are calculated. I know incredibly effective social media types who have very little online presence. I would like to say I also know complete idiots who are all over the place but that would be cruel (and possibly litigous).

So what is to be done? Do I work less to blog more? Do I just grit my teeth, work more and blog more? Or do I find other, smarter ways to maintain my online footprint, that help move the debate along, satisfy my curiosity, and, let’s face it, get me attention and new business? Answers please – if you have time, that is.

Social media? I wouldn’t bother.

In the 18 months since I went freelance, I’ve spoken to a lot of people and worked with quite a few different companies, including a fair number of PR agencies.

And what have I learned? That the state of social media is pretty much exactly as it was when I first became a social media type, over three years ago. Except it’s worse. So, I’m going to make it all better, right here and now.

When I started there was a vague notion that something called a blog might be quite a useful communications tool. This was before Facebook and Twitter had started to loom quite so large. I told people how useful I thought blogs could be, but no one listened. I made it my job to find out about these developments and eventually moved on to pastures new, where there were tactics a-plenty but no concept of strategy, measurement, value.

Eventually I decided to go freelance so I could do things more how I felt they should be done. I’ve since developed what I would call fairly nifty ways of monitoring, measuring results, developing strategies. But time and time again I come up against the old problems:

  • You develop a strategy that considers all the angles – the people, the message, the brand, ownerships – maps it onto what a business does, sets targets. You’re sure it will work. It’s beautiful. There is a lot of excited waving of hands. And that’s it. Six months down the line, it’s dead in the water. Why? Because, I think, people are too busy to be bothered with it. They got along fine before it, they’ll get along fine after it. They don’t really need it.
  • Clients make unreasonable demands of social media because they’ve heard of it. They want you to do things with it, right here, right now. You want to explain to them that it’s not a tap you just turn on. But they’re too busy to care. So you get unsatisfactory results because you’ve been using the wrong solution for the wrong problem.
  • You find yourself siloed because people don’t want to know. Part of your social media strategy is that people all look after different parts of it. But they don’t because they’re too busy. You just cannot sustain this position because social media is content-driven and you cannot be the expert on everyone else’s content.

Can you see the thread here? People are too busy. They’ve got their heads down working and social media is something they’re prepared to pay lip service to, but no more. It’s nothing malicious. They’re just too busy.

I have a very clever friend who once looked after the marketing for a prominent occupational psychology firm. When I met him recently I asked how things were going. He replied sadly “No one listens to me.” Of course they don’t. They’re too busy for marketing. So it goes, they’re too busy for social media too, it would seem.

But get this: things are worse now because a lot of people have sorta kinda heard about social media. So now they feel extremely smug when they say they’re not sure about it because they don’t know how it generates ROI.

ROI? Gimme a break! How many companies know the ROI of anything they do, let alone comms?

For example:

  • What’s the ROI of your website? How much did it cost you to put together, and how much have you made from it? If you don’t know, then why did you put one together in the first place? What would be the effect of taking it down?
  • What’s the ROI of your PR or advertising? How many leads did you make out of it? What was the value of those leads? If you just increased brand awareness/value/sentiment, how do you quantify this?
  • What’s the ROI of your intranet? Has it reduced development time? Has it reduced time to market? Has it helped retain knowledge? If so, how much do you think you’ve saved on the cost of recruiting and training new staff?

Etc

The real problem here is that people have no idea of how their online efforts are doing because a) they don’t measure them and/or b) they never measured them so they have no benchmark. And c) they’re too busy to worry about this anyway.

So, my advice?

I once saw a programme about some men who spent time in a monastery. After several weeks one of them had what he classed as a spiritual experience. He went a bit ‘funny’ and couldn’t quite explain what was going on. The monk he told this to just said, in a very calm, soothing voice: “I wouldn’t bother.”

It felt nice. Nice and reassuring. Calming, some might say. Absolving, even.

So, if you’re worrying about social media, I wouldn’t bother. You’re too busy. It sounds cooooool but really, if I put a strategy together for you, you won’t follow it because you’re too busy.  So I wouldn’t bother. If you want it to do something for you, here, now, then that won’t work because that’s not how it works, so I wouldn’t bother. And if you’re suddenly overly concerned about ROI – which you never were in the past – then, again I wouldn’t bother because if you didn’t measure anything before, you won’t do it now.

There now. Doesn’t that feel better?

PR? Essential? Blogs? From a Ragan tweet to a Cooper post via good old-fashioned email.

Today I saw an interesting tweet from Mark Ragan of Ragan Communications. He pointed to a list of ’25 Essential PR Blogs’.

This piqued my interest for a number of reasons.

Firstly, I have a bit of form when it comes to lists of PR blogs. I used to curate the PR Friendly Index, in which I attempted an evolving, transparent methodology in which to rank the PR blogs that I read. I learned a lot from doing this and, incidentally and completely honestly, got a lot more attention for doing this than I ever anticipated.

Moreover, I was interested in two critical words: essential, and PR. Because what I learned through the PR Friendly Index was that, while my list tried to remove the subjectivity as much as possible – given that, accepted, it was my own reading list to begin with – I keep coming across other lists that have little or no objectivity at all. So ‘essential’ interested me.

PR was also an interesting term. I found out through the index that people who used to write about PR had largely turned to talking about social media.

So I retweeted and responded: RT @MarkRaganCEO: 25 essential PR blogs: http://bit.ly/bMEo1J << Essential in what sense? PR in what sense? Sorry, don’t buy it.

Mark responded, asking why. So I emailed him back, and we had a nice email chat about it.

This is the gist of my argument, which Mark has kindly given consent to be republished bearing in mind it was an email convo:

Regarding the ‘I don’t buy it’ comment, it’s just that I’ve seen a lot of lists, mainly in my PR Friendly Index travels (see http://brendancooper.com/the-pr-index/ for the backstory there).

I just have a problem with:

  • Essential – without any metrics used to qualify this. About six months ago I popped up on Smarter Social Media’s list of 100 Smartest People in Social Media (see http://brendancooper.com/copywriting-blogging-social-media-strategy-services-… – although I just noticed the link is broken so I’ve asked them where that’s gone). I did point out to them at the time that there were no metrics accompanying this, so it really was just their take on it and it would have been nice to see a real, objective way of compiling such a list (I even had a chat about it with their CEO later that day). This is what I was trying to do with the PR Friendly Index. So, I don’t buy ‘essential’ without a way of saying what that means. Essential for what, to whom, why?
  • PR – I noticed some blogs on the list that were about social media. Now, I know it’s all about communication, and social media and PR fit together hand-in-glove, but that was another issue that my PR Friendly Index brought up: namely, that everyone seems to be jumping on the social media bandwagon. I posted about it here: http://brendancooper.com/2009/05/11/the-pr-friendly-index-is-no-longer-about-…. So, as well as not really getting the ‘essential’, I don’t get the ‘PR’ here either. I guess this is just definitions, but they’re important.

And basically I was probably just trying to cause a stir with my tweet, but it got your attention! ;)

At least I was open and transparent with the last point there…

So, very interesting. I like the way Mark asked me for more feedback, and how we were able to have a chat about it away from Twitter (I almost said ‘offline’ there but that’s almost how I view email these days).

We’re still all learning from each other and, on a day in which Facebook makes a move to dominate the location-based space and in the UK we find we’re spending half our time with online media, perhaps we need to start accelerating our understanding, now.