Well, it’s the end of January already and it’s been crazy around here! I was telling my friend Rusty Speidel that January will be more profitable for us than 2008 and 2009 combined. I guess the economy has turned!

Between that and all of the brand building we did last year (speaking, blogging, networking, guest blogging, featured columns, social media, email marketing, and more) things are set to explode here and we’re hiring…again! Just goes to show that it doesn’t happen overnight, but it does happen if you’re consistent and work hard at it.

With that lesson of the week, following are the top five stories.

5. Start-Up Opens a One-Stop Shop for the News. I’m not sure I ever thought I’d live to see the day that the Washington Post, New York Times, and USA Today would all work together. But it’s here. Now if this is combined with the Cubs winning the World Series this year, we’ll all know hell has frozen over. Ongo shows articles from 20 publications, in one spot, and is int talks with dozens more. Check it out if you like to read and want to have it all in one spot.

4. Why the News Release Is Worthless In Today’s Social Media Space. No matter how you feel about the news release (I think it’s completely worthless), this is an interesting take on how to efficiently and productively pitch the media with your news. And, I know it will come as a big surprise, it doesn’t include a news release.

3. 2011 Edelman Trust Barometer. There are plenty of people that think Edelman is “a legend in their own mind” when it comes to its 11th annual Trust Barometer, but I find it fascinating, especially as it relates to our trust in corporate America. But I leave it to you to decide what you think.

2. The Six Pillars of Influence. I think David Armano is one smart guy and this blog post certainly doesn’t discourage that opinion. He describes six critical “pillars” (not to be confused with metrics, he says) that are significant when analyzing influence. And guess what? Klout or any of the other tools aren’t described here. Check it out!

1. Eight Ingredients that Make a Community Manager. The community manager title was the most talked about of 2010 and companies have now either made the hire or decided against it. If you’re still on the fence, Lisa Barone has eight traits that she recommends you look for when interviewing candidates. I can’t think of a trait I’d add or one that I disagree with in her post.

Do you have a story you’d add that I missed?

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

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