24 episodes

In addition to news items and in-depth discussion of trends and issues, you'll hear the Internet Society's Dan York report on technologies of interest to communicators.

For Immediate Release Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz

    • Business

In addition to news items and in-depth discussion of trends and issues, you'll hear the Internet Society's Dan York report on technologies of interest to communicators.

    FIR #206: We’re Both Vaccinated, So Listen Without a Mask

    FIR #206: We’re Both Vaccinated, So Listen Without a Mask

    The April installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report includes reports on these stories:



    * Reuters’ website goes behind a paywall

    * NFTs are still hot as problems (and possible solutions) emerge

    * Advertisers like podcasts but want better measurement

    * CEOs and brands are pushing COVID-19 vaccinations

    * Volkswagen tarnished its already dicey reputation with an ill-conceived April Fool’s prank

    * Is Clubhouse cooling off already?

    * Dan York reports on Unsplash’s acquisition by Getty Images, Wix’s challenge to WordPress, TikTok, Clubhouse, and Substack facing competition, Google’s revamp of Feedburner, Core Web Vitals’ change to Google search ranking, and Instagram Lite.



    Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is Saturday, April 17 at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch live here.

    (You can watch the video of the making of this episode, though it’s clearly too late to share comments we can read right into the show.)

    We are hosting an FIR Communicators Zoom Chat each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to fircomments@gmail.com. Spread the word to your communications community.

    Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

    You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Neville’s link blog, Outbox, is available, as well.

    Links from This Month’s Episode



    * Reuters website goes behind paywall in new strategy

    * Reuters finally decides to charge you for its online news stories with a paywall

    * Topps debuts its first NFT baseball card collection

    * NFTs Arrive in the Watch World

    * WWE dropping a set of NFTs ahead of WrestleMania

    * Tom Brady is launching an NFT company

    * Do You Really Own Your NFT? Chances Are, You Don’t

    * People’s Expensive NFTs Keep Vanishing. This Is Why

    * Time magazine is selling NFTs and will begin accepting cryptocurrencies for digital subscriptions within 30 days

    * NFT prices are plummeting. What could this mean for the art world?

    * a href="https://www.mediapost.com/publications/article/362151/advertisers-say-podcasts-of-growing-importance...

    • 1 hr 23 min
    FIR #205: Are NFTs Nifty or Not?

    FIR #205: Are NFTs Nifty or Not?

    The March installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report includes reports on these stories:



    * The road to hell is paved with good intentions, which Burger King learned after one well-meaning but poorly thought-out tweet

    * Do you subscribe to a podcast or follow it? (Or listen to it?) These verbs may have consequence, especially in attracting new podcast listeners.

    * Another company has fired another employee who built a following sharing work-related TikTok videos.

    * A racing drone’s 87-second flight through a bowling alley has captured Hollywood’s attention.

    * Neville is trying Timely, an Android-based competitor of Clubhouse.

    * NFTs — non-fungible tokens — are a hot topic right now. Will they become a staple of marketing and communication or will remember them as a flash in the pan in a few years’ time?

    * Dan York has updates on WordPress and Google in his Tech Report.



    Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is Saturday, April 17 at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch live here.

    (You can watch the video of the making of this episode, though it’s clearly too late to share comments we can read right into the show.)

    We are hosting an FIR Communicators Zoom Chat each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to fircomments@gmail.com. Spread the word to your communications community.

    Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

    You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Neville’s link blog, Outbox, is available, as well.

    Links from This Month’s Episode



    * Latest Politemail Internal Comms Benchmark Report

    * Burger King UK under fire for tweeting ‘Women belong in the kitchen’ on International Women’s Day

    * Burger King’s Snafu Puts Focus on the Danger of Using Shock Value as a Social Media Strategy

    * KFC Gaming tells Burger King to delete ‘women belong in the kitchen’ tweet

    * Burger King Gets Grilled for ‘Women Belong in the Kitchen’ Tweet Supporting Female Chefs

    * Podcasting: What word to use instead of “subscribe”?

    * Subscribe or Follow a Podcast: What’s in a Word?

    * Brands: Let your internal culture out

    • 1 hr 32 min
    FIR #204: Won't You Join Us In Our Clubhouse?

    FIR #204: Won't You Join Us In Our Clubhouse?

    The February installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report includes reports on these stories:



    * Can anyone moderate podcasts the way we expect Facebook and Twitter to moderate content?

    * How communicators can make a difference when IT introduces new software or systems

    * There’s a right way and a wrong way to engage in newsjacking

    * Can “branter” build long-term brand value (and what the hell is it, anyway?)

    * A deep dive into Clubhouse, the hot new audio social networking app



    Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is Sunday, March 14 at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch live here.

    We are hosting an FIR Communicators Coffee Break on Zoom each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to fircomments@gmail.com. Spread the word to your communications community.

    Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

    You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Neville’s link blog, Outbox, is available, as well.

    Links from This Month’s Episode



    * Why wellness at work looks different in 2021 (from the Politemail blog)

    * Can anyone moderate podcasts?

    * Research: When New IT Systems Shift the Burden onto Employees

    * There’s a right way—and a wrong way—to leverage newsjacking

    * Does ‘branter’ ever really build long-term brand value?

    * The Future of Social Audio: Startups, Roadmap, Business Models, and a Forecast (by Jeremiah Owyang)

    * The Problem With Clubhouse

    * Is Clubhouse the Next Big Social Media Platform for Brands?

    * Clubhouse Is Suggesting Users Invite Their Drug Dealers and Therapists

    * Why Is Everyone Talking About Clubhouse?

    * How Media Companies Can Capitalize on the Clubhouse App

    * Audio Takes Off During the Pandemic

    * Mark Cuban is co-founding a podcast app where hosts can talk to fa...

    • 1 hr 37 min
    For Immediate Release #203: Insurrections and Sea Shanties

    For Immediate Release #203: Insurrections and Sea Shanties

    The January installment of The Hobson & Holtz Report — which marks the beginning of the 17th year of FIR — includes reports on these stories:



    * The 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer is one of the bleakest yet

    * Communications and the U.S. presidential transition

    * Business, communication, and the insurrectionist attack on the U.S. Capitol

    * The future of misinformation

    * Why CEOs Need to Amp Up Their Social Media Presence

    * The Heinz bottle competition

    * Dan York’s Tech Report covers the deplatforming of Parler, the new White House website, U.S. government analytics, and sea shanties on TikTok (and TikTok’s duet feature)



    Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is Saturday, February 22 at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch here.

    We are hosting an FIR Communicators Coffee Break on Zoom each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET. For credentials needed to participate, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to fircomments@gmail.com. Spread the word to your communications community.

    Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

    You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Neville’s link blog, Outbox, is available, as well.

    Links from This Month’s Episode



    * Listen to FIR #1 from January 3, 2005

    * Shel’s “Webcor at 50” podcast

    * Circle of Fellows podcast: A look back at communications in 2020

    * Politemail report on employees and click fatigue

    * 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer

    * 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer: Plague of Mistrust Follows COVID-19

    * Technologists Use Facial Recognition on Parler Videos

    * President Biden Swore In Hundreds Of Appointees On A Zoom Call

    * President Biden Swears In Day One Presidential Appointees in a Virtual Ceremony (YouTube)

    * New White House website includes a hidden recruitment message for coders

    * As Americans Crave Stability After Capitol Attack, CEOs Step Into the Leadership Void

    * Ben & Jerry’s Calls to “Impeach” Trump as Brands Like Coca-Cola and Chevron Break Their Silence on the Capitol Insurrection

    * a href="https://www.buzzfeednews.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    We Regret Any Inconvenience

    We Regret Any Inconvenience

    The December installment of the Hobson & Holtz Report includes reports on these stories:



    * Twitter’s plans to relaunch verification and what’s next

    * Clubhouse is poised to become a major social media platform (if Twitter Spaces doesn’t squash it like a bug)

    * How a company should say, “We’re sorry”

    * Walmart and others expand their employee advocacy programs while Sherwin Williams fires the only employee engaged in it on their behalf

    * Euphemisms for getting laid off

    * Could Substack be a new channel for journalism (including brand journalism)?

    * Dan York’s Tech Report covers more Twitter changes; screen sharing comes to Discord while Reddit acquires Dubsmash for its screen sharing functionality; Snap and Facebook take on TikTok; Walmart and TikTok introduce video shopping; WordPress powers 39% of the web (and more about WordPress); podcasting turns 20



    Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is Saturday, January 23 at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch here.

    We are hosting an FIR Communicators Coffee Break on Zoom each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET (though not on Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.). For credentials, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to fircomments@gmail.com. Spread the word to your communications community.

    Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

    You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Neville’s link blog, Outbox, is available, as well.

    Links from This Month’s Episode



    * Twitter’s plans to relaunch verification and what’s next

    * Twitter tests ‘humanization prompts’ in effort to reduce toxic replies

    * Why Clubhouse App Might Be the Next Major Social Media Platform

    * Twitter launches its voice-based “Spaces” social networking feature into beta testing

    * When Your Company Has to Say Sorry, Here’s How to Do It Right

    * ‘A true influencer program’: Inside Walmart’s growing army of employee TikTokers

    * Fired Sherwin-Williams Paint Enthusiast and TikTok Star Joins Rival Firm to Develop New Paints

    * Euphemisms for being laid off

    * Substack: the new journalism?

    • 1 hr 10 min
    For Immediate Release #201: Wow! Mom Air's Big Launch

    For Immediate Release #201: Wow! Mom Air's Big Launch

    The November installment of the Hobson & Holtz Report includes reports on these stories:



    * A spoof airline fooled a lot of people. Experts say it had some good ideas.

    * A look at some technological behaviors adopted during the pandemic but that are likely to outlast it.

    * Twitter is the source of some remarkable PR pitch fails.

    * Digital-only financial services startups are turning to influencers to help build their brands.

    * Retailers and other brands are pressuring employees to become TikTok influencers for them.

    * What happened when humans stopped managing social media content? (It wasn’t pretty.)

    * Dan York’s Tech Report explores Twitter “Fleets,” Google search results and “page experience,” and Google’s new webinars and its partnership with PRX.



    Our FIR recording sessions are now being streamed live, because why not? We already stream it in order to capture a backup recording on YouTube; we’ve just been making these restricted streams. We have decided to make them public so you can watch and comment. Our next recording is Saturday, December 19 at noon ET. You’ll see our pre-recording conversation as well as seeing how the sausage gets made. Watch here.

    We are hosting an FIR Communicators Coffee Break on Zoom each Thursday during the stay-at-home period at 1 p.m. ET (though not on Thanksgiving Day in the U.S.). For credentials, contact Shel or Neville directly or request the credentials in our Facebook group or send an email to fircomments@gmail.com. Spread the word to your communications community.

    Special thanks to Jay Moonah for the opening and closing music.

    You can find the stories from which Shel’s FIR content is selected at Shel’s Link Blog. Neville’s link blog, Outbox, is available, as well.

    Links from This Month’s Episode



    * Minimizing email overload for remote teams

    * The spoof airline that could actually predict the future of travel

    * New technological behaviors will outlast the pandemic

    * The Workplace is Dead. Long Live the Workplace.

    * 10 embarrassing PR fails that show how not to pitch

    * The “Fin-influencer” boom: Why Instagram and TikTok are the new battlegrounds for digital banks

    * Retailers are pushing their employees to become TikTok influencers

    * What happened when humans stopped managing social media content

    * Coronavirus: Facebook accused of forcing staff back to offices



    Links from Dan York’s Report



    * Fleets: a new way to join the conversation

    * Timing for bringing page experience to Google Search

    * a href="https://googlecp.prx.

    • 1 hr 17 min

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