Your voice, your choice.

Nobody says ‘Hey, wanna hear a dull story the longest way possible?’

This isn’t our idea of an intro; it’s one of the lines from a recent campaign by the New York Post. Called “Made You Look,” the campaign’s irreverence capitalizes on the Post’s tabloid reputation, with lines like: A good headline kicks you in the eyes, What good is freedom of the press if you’re not going to use it?, and even – on a cab topper – If this were the Post, there’d be a body in the trunk. If you’re sensational, it makes sense to own it, even if it’s not in the best sense of the word.

MonaLisaAtLouvre2012Also from the revitalizing journalism department, Andrew Haeg (formerly of American Public Media’s Public Insight Network) wrote for Medium last week about a new venture aimed at facilitating grassroots reporting. Based in mobile, GroundSource allows users to find potential sources and create and track source networks through electronic surveys, SMS, and voice. Haeg suggests it as “a place to communicate problems and observations with an expectation of being heard.” Journalists aren’t the only ones who may want to check this out. It could be useful to anybody who’s trying to get in touch with the groundswell.

Moving from voices to numbers, Quartz posted an article this week on big data and the increasing role it plays in the study of economics. The article notes that today’s economists face huge potential conflicts in working with the new wealth of proprietary digital data. Economists must find novel data sets to advance their careers, but will they be willing to bite the hand that feeds them if it should prove necessary? More and more economics papers are being presented without their data being made available for verification, so it may actually be hard to tell.

Other disturbing revelations from the data-driven world: The data generated by the music you listen to is helping to ruin the music you listen to. But at least this news comes in video form.

To the extent that one accepts what’s shoved in one’s ears, this may be true. Last week also brought a defense of the Internet’s effect on music from legendary producer and Big Black frontman Steve Albini. He gave the keynote speech at Melbourne’s Face the Music Conference. Alibini’s point is that the Internet has allowed a more direct connection between band and audience, cutting out the label system that was taking the biggest cut. We’re taking bets on how long until Cracker and Camper van Beethoven frontman David Lowery (who sees the Internet age as far more problematic for artists) fires back.

Finally, we’ve been chatting a lot around here about the recent Forrester market research report titled “Social Relationship Strategies That Work.” According to a summary from Fast Company, Facebook and Twitter don’t offer the value that many marketers think they do. “It’s time for marketers to start building social relationship strategies around sites that can deliver value.” What delivers value? For one thing, at least according to the Forrester report, email.  For another, branded communities.

What do we recommend? That depends. There are still a lot of faces on Facebook. It’s just getting tougher to reach them. And we’re not big fans of putting large numbers of eggs (let alone all of them) in one basket.

You should consider all your options, study your audience, and reevaluate frequently. And there is one thing we can agree to as a basic principle. However you get to your audience, you should have something to say and say it well.

Photo credits:

Michael Haase (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3AMonaLisaAtLouvre2012.jpg) via Wikimedia Commons.

Alexey Malgavko (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3ARIAN_archive_988824_Facebook_social_network’s_page.jpg)