A good attitude can overcome a bad sense of direction

We all sort of looked at each other with a quizzical “whaaaaa” expression on our faces and then had our attention pulled back to the present by the appearance of Santa.

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I stood in an intersection taking photos of a Christmas parade, something I have done dozens of times for various news outlets.

But this event marked the first time I ever saw some of the floats go the wrong direction.

It was near the beginning of Malakoff’s annual parade, which had a change to its usual route. I guess the new instructions didn’t reach everyone and the band, the sheriff and a couple of floats missed a turn.

I don’t think anyone watching realized the mistake until the rest of the parade went off in a different direction. We all sort of looked at each other with a quizzical “whaaaaa” expression on our faces and then had our attention pulled back to the present by the appearance of Santa.

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I’m getting tired of manipulation by sockpuppets

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By Elke Wetzig (elya) – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

A member of the Texas House of Representatives is being criticized over his use of sockpuppets and no, he wasn’t playing with children’s toys. He used an anonymous Facebook page to fight against a bond election in his hometown and the mayor is not happy.

If you haven’t heard the term before, a sockpuppet is a fake online name or identity created by someone for a particular purpose — such as winning an election, for instance.

Some people can run an entire cadre of sockpuppets arguing both sides of an issue, having them debate each other in an effort to change the minds of readers. This was a key idea in Russia’s disinformation campaign during our last election. 

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3 Thoughts On Post About TV Reporter

I’m guessing that Kaufman County resident Jan Shedd wishes she had never posted about Demetria Obilor.

Shedd started a firestorm last week when she posted on her personal Facebook profile that Channel 8 traffic reporter Obilor was “a size 16/18 woman in a size 6 dress.”

Since she made the post public, we can only assume that Shedd was hoping her hot take would get some traction. Well, it did. The post went viral after it was shared on Twitter by a user named Mother of Draggings and then shared by Chance the Rapper. Shedd was accused of body shaming, a type of bullying aimed at certain body types.

The story then got picked up by news outlets across the country. 

Today you can’t see the original post — or anything else — on Shedd’s Facebook profile, but it doesn’t matters since there are thousands of screenshots now available like this one.

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As for the heart of the controversy, I think Ms. Obilor is very pretty and if the photo above is the worst thing she wears then I really don’t know what all the fuss is about.

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How your business can benefit by going hyperlocal

Hyperlocal news is a great option for small business owners trying to grow an audience, particularly if you focus on a connected niche.

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Definitions are easy.

Damian Radcliffe defined hyperlocal as “offering an online news or content service pertaining to a small community such as a town, village or single postcode.”

I think that is a great definition except for the online part, because I have been a hyperlocal journalist for more than 20 years even though we didn’t have the word “hyperlocal” when I started. We used to call it community news, but it is the same thing.

It is true, however, that the delivery system has changed dramatically. Now your news comes to you on your smart phone instead of the once common small town newspaper.

Why am I trying to remind social media marketers in 2017 about something that’s been around since Benjamin Franklin was printing fliers in Philly? Two reasons:

1. You can’t advertise without an audience.

2. You can’t get an audience without content.

Simple, isn’t it? Consider the goal of content marketing:

Content marketing is a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant, and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience — and, ultimately, to drive profitable customer action. 

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