Welcome to the 56th episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week we try to pierce the heavy-duty hype coming from Apple around its new iPhone 5, as well as the hype about social media marketing. First, we discuss the iPhone 5 and how it has only incrementally improved on the last generation of phones. Engadget’s Nicole Lee and Buzzfeed’s Matt Buchanan give their take, and discuss how it stacks up against offerings from Nokia and others. Is Apple only good at making breakthroughs with entirely new product lines?

Then we talk with author and comedian B.J. Mendelson, who read every book about social media marketing and tried and failed to break through following their tips and tricks. He finally decided that their hype around social media was complete bull, and wrote a book titled “Social Media Is Bulls**t.” While he uses Twitter quite a bit to test out jokes, he thinks it’s a joke for every business under the sun to feel like they have to engage on every social platform or they will die. Mendelson shares his caustic take on the marketing business.

Guest Bios

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Nicole Lee

Nicole Lee has been covering technology since 2005 with stints at Wired, Gizmodo, CNET, This Week in Tech, and now Engadget. Much of her time at CNET was spent reporting and reviewing all things mobile, with a focus on phones and smartphones.

Matt Buchanan is the editor of BuzzFeed’s tech vertical FWD. Buchanan was previously the deputy editor of Gawker’s Gizmodo, and has contributed to American Photo, Bloomberg, the New York Times Diner’s Journal, and Popular Mechanics. Buchanan has been writing about technology and the way it’s changing our lives for five years.

Brandon B.J. Mendelson used to be in love with social media and thought it was going to be the thing to make him rich enough to retire at 30. Then he started asking questions … He has contributed to CNN, Forbes, Mashable, The Huffington Post, the Eisner-nominated ComicsAlliance, and MTV’s O Music Awards, all but two of which he doesn’t regret.


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Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


1:00: Are we approaching gadget burnout? Do we need every new one?

3:30: Mark: Life-cycle for upgrades is getting shorter for smartphones, tablets

5:00 Rundown of topics on our show

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Matt Buchanan

iPhone 5 not insanely great

6:30: Special guests Nicole Lee and Matt Buchanan

8:30: Buchanan: Most people don’t even use smartphones to make calls

11:00: Lee: People with older iPhones will be angry with the new connectors

13:40: Buchanan: Why hasn’t anyone beat the iPhone design in 5 years of trying?

16:30: Lee: Nokia Lumia has an issue with not having enough apps

17:30: Buchanan: Windows Phones look cool, but they never deliver on promises to fix things

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B.J. Mendelson

Social media is B.S.?

19:20: Special guest Brandon (B.J.) Mendelson

22:00: Mendelson: Big name social media marketers are running from my critiques

24:10: Mendelson: Rules are different online for people who are famous or have a lot of money

27:10: Does the industry bully people into using more social platforms?

28:30: Buchanan: We do get a benefit from social platforms at Buzzfeed, with so much traffic coming from them

31:20: Good news about Google+?! Is it possible?

More Reading

Why So Many People Hate the iPhone 5 at Business Insider

Apple iPhone 5 Gives the World a New Connector: Lightning at CNET

The Only Thing You Need to Read About All the New Apple Stuff at Buzzfeed

Nokia Lumia Smartphones: A Strong Comeback! at the Express Tribune

Samsung’s Galaxy S III’s Success Ups the Ante for Apple’s iPhone at Forbes

Frequently Asked Questions about Social Media Is Bulls**t at BJMendelson.com

Mendelson on CNBC Talking About Book at The Reformed Broker

Keen On… B.J. Mendelson: Why Social Media Is Bulls**t at TechCrunch TV

MediaShift Poll

Don’t forget to vote in our poll, this time about the new iPhone 5:

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian and fiancee Renee. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+