The scoop on flavorful approaches to social media
ON THE MENU THIS WEEK:
NAME: Melinda Newman
Melinda Newman is a freelance lifestyle and culture journalist whose byline has appeared in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Variety, Entrepreneur, Nuvo, and forbes.com, among other outlets. She is the former West Coast Editor for Billboard. Newman also started Causes & Effect: My Year of Giving Daily, a blog about her experiences giving money to a different charity/person every day for a year. The blog continues with guest bloggers, who post each day for one month.
SOCIAL MEDIA URLS:
LINKED IN: Melinda Newman on Linked In
Q: We have access to so much news on a daily basis. What kinds of information do you consume at the start of your day?
A: I generally start with Facebook and look at what’s trending and scan posts. That can lead me down a rabbit hole of clicking on news links that others have posted. Inevitably, I end up on the New York Times site and peruse that for headlines. That’s followed by checking a number of other sites, including the LA Times, Wall Street Journal, billboard.com and rollingstone.com.
Q: How do you use social media?
A: For news gathering and for keeping tabs on friends. Facebook, for all its issues, is great for hive mind-type questions, especially when I have computer troubles or need a recommendation for a doctor or mechanic. I also use Facebook and Twitter to promote my work and probably post stories I’ve written way too much for anyone else’s liking.
Q: How has social media changed your life?
A: Professionally, it has made it easier and harder. Artists and politicians break news through their Twitter feeds now and journalists are left to follow up, instead of breaking a story. As a consumer, it’s wonderful to not have a middle man, but as someone who has spent my whole career as a middle man, it’s a tough adjustment. One of the scourges of social media is how quickly false information travels and how attribution now counts as verification, which is a sloppy and horrible journalism practice that I’m guilty of myself.
Q: Do you think social media has enhanced or diminished our personal relationships?
A: It’s done both. I love that I can keep in touch with people from all facets of my life from elementary school on up, but I, like many other people, now tend to communicate way more via FB and text than through picking up the phone. We are more in touch than ever, but the de-personalization of that contact ultimately feels dehumanizing and, before long, I crave a true human connection through hearing someone’s voice or, gasp, actually seeing them in person rather than reading about what they had for lunch on Facebook.
Q: What organizations, brands or personalities do you follow? What makes them worth following?
A: Anything not Kardashian related.
Q: What kinds of posts spark your interest?
A: It’s all over the map and depends upon what mood I’m in. A post of a bulldog puppy learning to howl can make my day if I’m feeling stressed. A post linking me to a good political story always makes me click and, sometimes, I just want to take a quick quiz telling me what band I would have been in in the ‘70s.
Q: What is/are your favorite social media platform/s and why?
A: Facebook and Twitter. They are quick ways to catch up on news. I have an Instagram account, but can’t seem to be bothered with it.
Q: Favorite hashtag or one you’d like to see?
Q: What advice would you give to a brand about how to get started with a social media program or make their existing one more effective?
A: Don’t over-tweet/post and stop hyping everything. Some sites send out breaking news alerts and give a gossip story the same weight as a true breaking news event. And, for God’s sake, don’t put down a “suggested tweet” for journalists to re-tweet. It’s offensive.
Q: If you could follow any historical figure on social media, who would it be?
A: Jesus. Don’t you think he’d have a lot of interesting things to say about what passes for Christianity these days?
Q: Cone, cup, or straight from the container?
A: Straight from the container. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.
Q: Favorite flavor?
A: Haagen Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter.
Have something to add or share? Please leave a comment in the section below. Feel free to like and share on social media. And be sure to join us next week when our guest on Ice Cream Social is veteran music industry publicist Rey Roldan, who has spearheaded campaigns for both platinum-selling and indie artists. He’s the President and Founder of Reybee, representing: Good Charlotte, Kristian Nairn, The Fratellis, English Beat, Yellowcard, and more.