Colleges to U.S. News: You Don’t Rate

US News & World Report College RankingU.S. News & World Report has built a powerful business around ranking top colleges. Started in 1983 as a modest guide for parents overwhelmed by data needed to choose the best college for their kids, it has ballooned into the media-whipped Bible for academic status climbers and college administrators who lust to be in the Top 10. In the end, it has been a terrific PR program for the magazine.

No longer. The Annapolis Group, a consortium of 115 liberal arts colleges, has forcefully rejected the magazine’s slice and dice approach to college rankings. Dozens of liberal arts colleges that belong to the Group, some high up in the U.S. News rankings, will no longer play ball with the magazine. 

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Coolhunting Totally Transparent PR

Coolhunting - chasing down the next big thingI have been on to these Coolhunting guys for a couple of months, since they started the Swarm Creativity Blog in  a marketing push to support their new book “Coolhunting – Chasing Down the Next Big Thing” . Peter Gloor and Scott Cooper, co-authors of the book, were members of a live online Coolhunt for a month, ending in May, and logged it on the Swarm blog.

These are cool characters. Gloor studies Collaborative Innovation Networks at MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, develops networking and data visualization software, and wrote “Swarm Creativity – Competitive Advantage through Collaborative Innovation Networks”. Cooper is a writer and a research affiliate at the MIT Sloan School. 

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Hillary Ups The Ante With Mob Inspired Web Video

Hillary Clinton campaign video

Is that Johnny Sack from the Sopranos up there in a web video announcing Hillary Clinton’s campaign song. How brilliant is that? Nearly as brilliant as getting husband Bill to play a central role in the video, and for the brief script to mirror the last cryptic minutes of the last episode of the Sopranos. Those Clintons have a knack for an accurate middle of the road reading of the American mass psyche – they’ll need it to fend off Barack Obama – but really the song sucks. It is this weepy over the top Celine Dion show stopper that doesn’t exactly rouse you to patriotic fervor, or inspire a vision of the promised land. Can’t we bring back Fleetwood Mac?  Instead of Bill and Hillary, this time it’s Hillary and Bill, and we can accept that we are getting two for the price of one. That’s progress. And it gives the Clintons an edge that could win this election.

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Blogs We Love #3: Marc Andreessen

Marc AndreessenMost bloggers have to build up an audience over time, connecting to issues and other bloggers, hitting on an occasional hot topic that might spike readership. Most business blogs plumb a narrow field of issues and appeal to a niche audience. It is the “narrow and deep” factor accepted as the norm for blog success.

Then most bloggers are not Marc Andreessen, who  launched his blog blog.pmarca earlier this month. The blog has taken off like a rocket with many admiring posts around the blogosphere echoing a common response: wow, how does he do it?

Andreessen is chair of Opsware, a software company, co-founder of Ning, a consumer Internet company, and most notably co-founder of Netscape, and co-author of the pioneering browser Mosaic. This makes Andreessen practically Internet royalty. What took him so long to launch a blog? Has he been holding back his brilliance to unleash it in a torrent?

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Feeling social

The Social Media Club, which we declared dead here yesterday (with no refutation from its ‘leaders’), failed for several fundamental reasons:

- There was no social media. Throwing up a wiki or occasionally posting to a blog is not social media. First define it, then use it. Neither took place.

- There was no purpose. What were we trying to accomplish? Who knew.

-  Lack of response. Unresponsive to membership requests, ideas, offers to help.

- Too ambitious. Suddenly there was a national club, branding, workshops when it wasn’t working on a local level, at least not here in New York. And if you ain’t making it here …

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