Social Citizens blogger Kari Dunn Saratovsky wonders why more Fortune 500 companies haven't followed Pepsi's lead and used their Super Bowl ad budgets to promote the idea of "doing well by doing good." "Taking a step back from the commercials that made you laugh out loud or evoked your inner child," writes Saratovsky, "were you compelled [during the Super Bowl] by a brand or product because you recognized that it was a good company or that it cared about more than selling a product?"
On his Six Pixels of Separation blog, Twist Image president Mitch Joel argues that AOL's acquisition, for $315 million, of fast-growing content aggregator The Huffington Post is all about "the new way content flows in a digital world."
What Would Google Do? author Jeff Jarvis offers his own take on the merger on his BuzzMachine blog:
I was just thinking yesterday that though AOL has lots of content and plans to make a lot more, I never think to go there, apart from heading to one of its brands, such as Engadget. Portals are burned toast. Making content for search is not, I believe, a growth strategy, as the more Google becomes personalized and successfully seeks out signals of quality and originality, the more SEO will die as a black art. So to execute on its content-and-advertising strategy, AOL needs brands with engagement. Huffington Post is that. Armstrong needs someone who understands that the critical sphere of discovery for content will more and more be people: peers links, not algorithms; Arianna [Huffington] gets that. The company was bought at a high multiple to its revenue but I think the price is not insane. [AOL chief Tim] Armstrong didn’t buy pageviews (how 2005); he bought a content and distribution strategy....
"I'm a blogger. And a journalist. I report on the news but am also supposed to be more personal, more conversational. So is what I do news or opinion, or neither?" asks Humanosphere blogger/journalist Tom Paulson. While nobody seems to be able to answer the question, adds Paulson, "more important to the future of global health journalism...is what I would argue is the lack of a clear definition of what we mean by 'global health'."
Philanthropy Action's Tim Ogden admits that a few "troubling developments" over the last week have left him feeling "deflated" since he forecast in a previous post "sunny days" ahead for the microfinance industry.
Philanthropy 2173 blogger Lucy Bernholz wonders whether "the many small trends, ideas, and changes in philanthropy and society" that have caught her eye recently are harbingers of bigger trends or just a bunch of one-offs.
On his World Affairs Commentary site, Rahim Kanini chats with Rockefeller Foundation president Judith Rodin about the evolution and promise of social innovation.
On the McKinsey Quarterly site, McKinsey's Dan Singer talks with Jennifer Aaker and Andy smith, authors of The Dragonfly Effect, about the power of social media and how social-media engagement differs from traditional marketing and advertising.
And in a world in which the act of connecting has been commodified, what matters most, argues Assetmap founder Nathaniel Whittemore, "is the weight of the reputation behind the connection and in turn, the likelihood that all parties will engage with it seriously."
That's it for now. What did we miss? Drop us a line at email@example.com. And have a great week!
-- Regina Mahone