BREAKING: Instagram's No. 1 user Kim Kardashian considering dropping photo service. Following the week we've had, I can hardly think of a headline that's more needlessly overblown than this one. Or is my reaction like this because I'm not one of Kim Kardashian's 5.7 million Instagram followers? Or because my life is, as documented in this column, so dull that the best picture I shared anywhere all week was a photo of a rainbow -- arching over the big water tower in Yonkers that has "yonkersgov.com" painted on it?
Already the pace of posts, tweets and shares is starting to level off. Less than a week since the tragedy in Connecticut, we are returning back to where we were before. But, it's too early. No matter what side of gun control or mental health support you stand on, it's too early to stop the debate. Now is the time to discuss, inform and become informed. Every column I've written for Social Media Insider has been about helping businesses. This one is not. This column is about using social media to help ourselves.
The other day, while I was sitting in the waiting room at the pediatric orthopedist, I saw the strangest thing: it was the soap opera "General Hospital," playing on the flat screen in the waiting room. I thought that show, not to mention soap operas, was dead. But it turns out even Robert Scorpio is alive! Forgive me, but now I'll turn to the kind of soap opera that only people in social media care about. It's our own little internal drama, wherein the major platforms are fighting over photos and fretting over filters.
As we look back at 2012 from a social media perspective, it's important to look at the good and the bad. I always like to ask two questions when analyzing a situation: 1) "What is being done right?" and 2) "What if everything is wrong?" So, to start, here's a social media insider's top-six disappointments of 2012:
I was too busy to notice when it happened that Wed., Nov. 7 was National Stress Awareness Day. There was no time - and hasn't been for a while - to casually surf through Facebook and Twitter. Not when there are things to write, conferences to organize, and a volunteer project that just doesn't know when to go away. But lately, I feel like I've been seeing more and more signs - well, three to be exact - that even when you do have the time, and perhaps even inclination, to while away the hours on Facebook and Twitter, there's …
Most businesses like to think they are special: They have a unique problem. They have a unique customer. They have a complicated offering. Businesses make excuses all the time for the difficulty they find with social media. Trouble is, most of the time, it's just not true. This struck me as I saw one of the most complicated issues facing America today -- the fiscal cliff -- being discussed via a Twitter Q&A. That's right, the morass of political, financial and social complexities known as the fiscal cliff was being discussed in 140 characters or less.