If one word has dominated social media in the second half of 2010, for me it's "curation". We have reached a certain maturity in our interaction with media to question our traditional abdication of curation to others.

Until recently, people we don't know decided what we might like to read, listen to and watch. Our only choice, should we disagree with theirs, was to switch channel; change newspaper; retune the radio. And employ technology like personal video recorders to collect what we might want to watch later.

Now a new breed of services is emerging, sometimes referred to as social news aggregators.

Apple has just awarded Flipboard its iPad App of the Year 2010 award. Flipboard is a social magazine unique to you. It employs your Twitter network to populate the magazine with stuff your network has chosen to tweet about... or in other words, a magazine with content curated by the people you follow.

Pulse is a similar product for iPhone, Android and iPad, but in this instance it consists of RSS sources you subscribe to... think of it as the latest generation of RSS newsreader.

My Taptu for iPhoneBut I'm most excited about My Taptu, currently available for iPhone (right) and Android. Why? Because My Taptu gets closest to allowing me to curate content from the widest possible sources. You can subscribe with RSS or follow the shares from your Twitter and Facebook networks. You can subscribe to topic-defined streams of content pulling the best content in from multiple sources, and even create a new stream yourself by leaning on Taptu's extensive legacy in mobile search.

I consider this to be the kind of power and flexibility we'll all demand of this nascent type of service to the point where I decided earlier this year to work with the Taptu team in defining and leading this market. I'd be absolutely delighted to hear what you think of the app, and should this really pique your interest, you can listen to an interview Robert Scoble conducted with Taptu CEO Mitch Lazar this morning.

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

Marketing using Business Christmas Cards

by Rebecca Caroe of Creative Agency Secrets

Corporate greeting cards can be used in many ways to promote your business and to show appreciation to supportive clients; some traditional and some a bit more creative. However, there are some rules and tips you should keep in mind to get the best return on your investment of sending out a Business Christmas card:

1. Procedure/mailing list

Make sure you keep your company contact information up-to-date on a regular basis and take your time to add new contacts you gain throughout the year. More...

Canadian Social Media Marketing in Perspective

by David H Deans of Digital Lifescapes

When most industry analysts profile digital marketing and online advertising in North America, the focus is typically on the U.S. market. That said, Canada has a relatively high internet access penetration and growing social network usage rates.

According to a recent eMarketer report, Canadian social network users view social media as their online home -- a hub for communication, entertainment and information.

"Canadians readily adopt social network activities, often at rates higher than users in the U.S., but gaining the trust of users on a social network is a brand manager's biggest obstacle," More...

(R)evolution: Katie Couric on Social Media and Real-Time Journalism

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

As as I say at the beginning of this interview, I don’t even know where to begin, so let’s just go ahead and jump right in. In a special three-part series, I’m joined by none other than Katie Couric, anchor and managing editor of the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC, correspondent for 60 MINUTES and anchor of CBS News primetime specials.

When the CBS EVENING NEWS WITH KATIE COURIC debuted on September 5, 2006, Couric became the first female solo anchor of a weekday network evening news broadcast.  More...

KPMG attempts to make sense of media fragmentation: no appetite for paywalls, apps show promise, and print resilient

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Another week and another report attempts to make sense of UK media land. This one is from management consultancy KPMG. There’s confirmation that paywalls are unpopular, with only two percent of web users willing to pay for desktop access to a print publication. The majority of consumers faced with a paywall, says KPMG, seek out similar content for free elsewhere.

App-driven media on mobile devices is providing publishers with a potentially lucrative digital revenue stream (see my blog last week). More...

The Joys of JELL-O and brand journalism in the 1960s

by David Meerman Scott of David Meerman Scott

I ran across a terrific little 96-page book called Joys of JELL-O published by General Foods Corporation.

It features dozens of recipes, tips and tricks for molding, flaking, and cubing, and ideas for party planning all using JELL-O BRAND Gelatin Dessert. Based on the images in the book my guess is that it is from the late 1960s.

Turn on some Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, we're having a party! Let's play Twister!

It's very interesting to me that companies have been marketing via brand journalism for many decades before the Web made it so darned easy to do. More...

Somebody likes PR...who isn’t in PR

by Simon Hilliard of Racepoint Group

There was a fantastically satisfying read for anyone who works in PR in today’s FT - an endorsement of the value well thought out campaigns can bring to businesses from Luke Johnson. He’s not some two-bit nobody by the way, he runs private equity firm Capital Partners, and is also chairman of the Royal Society of Arts. To steal a phrase from my American cousins, ‘he’s kind of a big deal’.

The article shows a genuine understanding of how PR should work, differentiates between engaging content and advertising “puff pieces” More...

Wikileaks and internet censorship

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

So you thought that internet was open and democratic, enabling any person to share information with anyone else, anywhere. Not a bit. Two posts in my RSS feed this morning cite concerns for the future of democracy citing the speed with which businesses have removed support for Wikileaks when pressurised by the US establishment.

Here’s Broadstuff’s Alan Patrick.

“Whatever you think of Mr Assange’s leaks, the one thing that has got all “Net Neutral” people a-twitter is how easily some of the Big Names in the online world rolled over to a bit of (unofficial) US strong-arming. More...

FT.com Publishes ‘Mobile in the Boardroom’ Report

by Andrew Grill of London Calling

New report finds that business professionals are significantly more willing to pay for online mobile content than consumers.

60 per cent of business professionals use their handsets to browse content on the mobile web
Over 40 per cent of business professionals use their handsets to access news and current affairs content
iPhone is dramatically changing the way business users consume content
LONDON: 9 December 2010: FT.com today announces the launch of its inaugural ‘Mobile in the Boardroom’ More...

Meltwater expected to appeal High Court decision on NLA web licensing

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

I caught up with Intellectual Property & Media lawyer Steve Kuncewicz (@stevekuncewicz) of HBJ Gateley Wareing at the Somecomms awards in Manchester tonight. He’s the author of Legal Issues of Web 2.0 and Social Media, published in June. I was keen to get his view on the recent High Court judgement that found in favour of the NLA’s web licensing scheme.

Steve believes that Meltwater will appeal the judgement and that it could result in a reappraisal of copyright law to deal specifically with the Internet. In his own words: More...