Social media was burning up last week over the Iraq war exaggerations of NBC Nightly News anchor Brian Williams.
Williams is being pilloried and lampooned in equal measure because he lied or exaggerated, depending on how judgmental you are, about his involvement in an Iraq war firefight.
In the days before social media and 24 hour news cycles, Williams' story would likely have occupied our minds for a few days in the papers, maybe been the butt of a few late night talk show monologue jokes, and likely been quickly forgotten.
Today in the glare of the unforgiving social media spotlight, his long and distinguished career is being defined by this one moment, reduced to hashtags on Twitter and Facebook memes.
Williams' foibles have been splashed across the Internet for all to scrutinize and will now live forever in Google and Wikipedia.
Surely, Williams made a mistake or two, but It seems a shame to me that all the good things he's done in his long career will fade to black and the great Internet filter will leave us with the distilled version -- his very public shaming -- and nothing more.
I don't watch television news. Brian Williams probably wouldn't have entered my consciousness, or dare I say that of many of the same folks damning him or having a bit of Internet fun at his expense, but today all we know him as is that guy who lied about his time in Iraq.
And that's a pretty sad testament to the state of the Internet in 2015.
Today it's Brian Williams who is the latest victim of social media roulette, but it could be any of us having our mistakes spread across the world.
Before you take too much glee in his misfortune, remember that there but for the grace of social media go you.
Photo Credit: Anfuehrer on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.
By now you've probably heard that Facebook released a limited version of its enterprise social product today. I talked to a bunch of people about the implications of this release and what Facebook is up against as it tries to take on the enterprise. http://tcrn.ch/1yl6JWa
Can you imagine pulling off a total digital transformation and putting together a complex system of software together in just four months? That's precisely what Canada's Yellow Pages Group did. Here's how they pulled it off. http://bit.ly/1rfz2kb
One UMass professor had a vision for a class involving international students collaborating using cloud tools, and while it took some time for the technology to catch up with his idea, it finally did and he's running a class today involving students in the US, Ireland, Russia and Egypt -- and he's using a package of Microsoft tools to make it happen. Here's his story: http://bit.ly/1hSOIay
I came across a story the other day about a trend where some restaurants are banning picture taking. I actually couldn't think of a more short-sighted reaction to social media. These folks are acting as your brand ambassadors and broadcasting your business to the world. Who wouldn't want that? http://bit.ly/1hhM3Xw
Photo Credit: “Breville Fave Food Shot” by Breville USA. Used under CC 2.0 Attrbution license.
IBM has been trying to commercialize Watson since its coming out party on Jeopardy a few years ago, and this year at South by Southwest they built an application that put the technology to delicious use. http://bit.ly/1iV9dDm
When you're on center stage as the Russians are this week, it's essential to put your best forward, and let's face it, the Olympic hosts haven't done much to make friends and influence people with the world watching. http://goo.gl/5Fgffs
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Bruno Mars and Miley Cyrus know how to generate publicity, but the fact is with social media and a clever and creative team, you can generate some of your own buzz even without a record deal or highly paid publicity team. http://goo.gl/naVkQj
Photo Credit: Tiger Girl on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.
Super Bowl ads are so 20th century Many brands will spend tens of millions of dollars on Sunday night to deliver an ad most of us will forget about by the next day. Really smart companies don't want to preach to their users in expensive ads. They want to talk to them online in social media and get them engaged and excited about their brands. http://bit.ly/1jBfLsu
Photo Credit: MTAPhotos on Flickr. Used under CC 2.0 license.