FIR B2B #22: Why B2B Communicators Should Care About Freedom on the Net

In this episode:

News & Trends

Twitter beat the street on earnings, but subscriber growth is slowing and some people are calling for radical steps to ramp up activity. Did Twitter’s focus on maximizing revenue cause it to lose touch with the unique experience it once gave members? Can current management restore some of Twitter’s early magic? Wired says twitter may becoming the Bing of social media – a capable product whose virtues are only appreciated by a technology-savvy elite.

LinkedIn, on the other hand, is going gangbusters thanks to a clear mission and a willingness to forsake short-term revenue opportunities to maintain trust with its members. The company should be praised for its willingness to forego short-term revenue opportunities in order to keep its eye on long-term growth.

The excellent Buffer Blog analyzes the factors that took the company from 0 to 275,000 Twitter followers in four years. Early outreach to influencers and a commitment to make Twitter a key communication channel with users are a couple of highlights. Buffer’s commitment to transparency even extends to publishing the salaries and stock options of all its employees and the status of its fundraising efforts. The company even has an internal practice of sharing all emails publicly. Not many companies would be comfortable with that level of transparency, but it certainly sets Buffer apart from the pack.’s Michael Fertik makes a persuasive case why reputation is now more important than money. “I am less afraid of big brother than I am of little brothers, meaning companies that have all this data,” he writes in his new book. In other words, you should worry less about how government uses private information than how private companies can misuse it through practices like profiling.

Special Guest: Madeline Earp, Research Analyst at Freedom House

Freedom House says the Internet is becoming a more dangerous place to express opinions. The nonprofit has just published its annual Freedom on the Net report, which takes a look in depth at 65 countries and their progress on online freedom. The report is not very encouraging. It finds that privacy and free expression are increasingly under assault by governments, even in some well-developed economies. Research Analyst Madeline Earp explains why businesses should care about online freedom and how it may impact their ability to do business overseas.

Madeline Earp (@MadelineEarp) researches Internet freedom throughout Asia for Freedom House’s Freedom on the Net program. She is fluent in Chinese and an expert on restrictions facing new and traditional media in China. She previously worked at the Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights in China. She has published considerable research on Chinese press freedom issues. A fluent Mandarin speaker, she received a master’s degree in East Asian studies from Harvard University and a bachelor’s in English literature from Cambridge University.

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About Your Hosts

Paul GillinPaul Gillin is a veteran technology journalist and a thought leader in new media. Since 2005, he has advised marketers and business executives on strategies to optimize their use of social media and online channels to reach buyers cost-effectively. He is the author or co-author of five books, including Social Marketing to the Business Customer (2011), the first book devoted entirely to B2B social media marketing. He is also a social media trainer and coach at Profitecture, a training firm for B2B companies and their channel partners.

.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or connect with him on Twitter: @pgillin

Eric Schwartzman is a digital strategist with 15 years of experience selling and leading teams on the agency side in the development and delivery of innovative integrated marketing initiatives for multinational corporations, NGOs, federal government agencies and military commands. He is a frequent speaker at conferences all over the world on the topic of how technology is changing the way organizations communicate and the way people use media and information.

Follow Eric on Twitter at @ericschwartzman.

Eric’s expertise is in digital strategy, digital governance, content marketing, database marketing, user experience design, employee advocacy, education technology, digital multimedia production, B2B lead generation, search engine optimization and social media engagement techniques. He’s also the best-selling co-author of Social Marketing to the Business Customer.

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FIR B2B is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications,serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

Posted by Paul Gillin on 02/09 at 05:59 AM
  1. “you should worry less about how government uses private information than how private companies can misuse it through practices like profiling.” Great point Michael Fertik makes here!

    Posted by Eva  on  02/13  at  09:52 AM






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