Hi. I’m Your New Editor. Now Let’s Talk About Something Useful!

Growth Hacker, B.J. Mendelson, takes over SocialTimes.com as the new Editor and sets the agenda for readers.

Hello, my name is B.J. Mendelson, you killed my father, prepare to die. Oh. Wait. Sorry. I got my notes mixed up. Let’s try this again: Hello, my name is B.J. Mendelson, and I’m the new Editor of SocialTimes. (The E in editor for that sentence is capitalized because The Associated Press Stylebook told me to do it!) 

 Our job is to help you be awesome when it comes to social media, and you can’t do that without cutting through the BS. That’s why I’m here running the show. I know a thing or two about the BS of social media. But don’t worry, my job title doesn’t really matter beyond this post. What does matter is what I can tell you and how you can use it. My goal for each piece we write is that it answers one very important question: “Is this useful to me?” If the answer for you is yes, then we’re being awesome at our job.

The way I see it? The more you know, the better you are at what you do, the more you get paid, and the happier you are to refer people to the site that made it happen. Right? Right.

If we’re awesome at what we do, you’ll tell your friends about us. There’s an acronym I use in my presentations that comes from the viral marketing field: AARR – Acquisition, Activation, Retention, and Referral. You telling your friends about this helpful site would fall under that last one, Referral.

My editorial philosophy is simple: Don’t suck. If we suck, you don’t share. Regurgitating what other tech blogs are reporting? Suck. Trying to force a political and philosophical mindset on you through the lense of our technology coverage? Suck. Picking on rich technology nerds because you’re three thousand miles away and your boss only cares about pageviews? Suck. Taking VC money and giving their companies preferential coverage over others? Suck.

(By the way, The Associated Press Stylebook for 2013 does not have an entry for page views. So I have no idea if it’s pageviews or page views, but I prefer separating it out.)

Now, if something big happens, we’ll cover it. What do we define as big? Twitter’s IPO is not big to me. Twitter suddenly changing its algorithm to bury stuff you’re sharing so your customers can’t see it, and then saying, “Yeah that’ll be $50 to make sure they see it”, is something we’d cover. And if that sounds familiar, yes, this is pretty much what Facebook did not too long ago with their sponsored posts. That’s more important to me than the IPO. Twitter going public, as a standalone story, doesn’t matter. It matters if that IPO flops and they start to make changes that affect your ability to get stuff done.

See the line? One story is useful, the other is not. It’s just news. News you’ve probably read about a million times before you get here.

As far as I go? This is the most you’re ever going to read about my view on things as an editor. I’m a growth hacker. A good one. And althoughI usually hate buzzwords, I kind of like “growth hacker” because it does refer to something different and unique. For example, there’s no difference between a content marketing guru, an inbound marketing expert, or a social media ninja. None. The only difference is the name. A growth hacker, despite the culturally nauseating overuse of the word “hacker”, refers to taking principles of successful viral marketing campaigns and then applying them to other aspects of marketing. The idea being that a more data driven look at things can provide better insights, and thus, better results. That’s not always going to be the case. You shouldn’t get lost in the data, but the term refers to something different, so I don’t mind it. Honestly, I prefer viral marketer, but so many former social media gurus are abandoning their label and trying out new ones, “viral marketer” being one of them. They have yet to latch on, and ruin, growth hacker, so I hope if I get to it first, I can draw a line in the sand and keep them away. Or at the very least, introduce you to good growth hackers so that, when the social media hucksters do start using the label, you’ll know enough to laugh them out of your office.

So, I’ll be contributing a (mostly) daily column about how you can be a growth hacker, and how to apply those principles and tactics to your activities using all these social media platforms.

I hope you’ll join me for the ride in revamping SocialTimes.

P.S. I’m always looking for feedback. Don’t hesitate to send anything about this site my way by emailing: STEditor@boun.cr

(Photo Credit: Andrew on Flickr)

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