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January 2008

when insight becomes influence

Note: for more on this thread check out my article in tomorrow's issue of Personal Branding Mag.  Get a free sample here!


InfluenceInsightful people are not influentials.    Knowledgeable people are not influentials.    Smart people are not influentials.

Key Takeaway: Influence is not defined by one's credentials, but by the depth of the avenue of influence a given party places in this subject's hands.

In Plain English: the level of influence a "thought leader" has on his/her audience is not defined by his/her credentials or even the quality of his/her perspective, but by the level of credence and attention this "thought leader" has garnered against this audience.

Example: Joe Blogger may be brilliant.  But the level of influence he has on me is directly proportionate to the amount of attention and credence I put in his perspective. 

Food For Thought: With all the talk about the role of influentials in community, isn't it time we reconsidered the role of individual-defined influence filtering?  Just because I read TechCrunch or may be a member of the Mashable or NewTeeVee communities, does that inherently imply that my personal influence filter is similar or even related to others in the community?

knowledge vs. intelligence

Knowledge Greg Verdino authored a great post around knowledge in the cloud

In case your not familiar with the concept, here are the basics:

Incredible amounts of knowledgeable perspective are floating across "the internets".   Experts across virtually every field are freely sharing their perspectives, their  insights, and their visions for the future.   This may potentially change the future of our knowledge-based economy.

I would like to posit that even with the incredible amount of information being shared and consumed, there is still and will always be a demand for knowledge sources, for intelligence.  Knowledge sources are the creators of the information going into the cloud.  Knowledge sources may be sharing their knowledge and their perspective, but with rare exceptions, they aren't generating intelligence.  Knowledge sources are not putting themselves out of business by sharing their thoughts, rather they are building their own personal brands by utilizing their intelligence to derive insights, to share their knowledge.

Intelligence is the ability to perceive, interpret and responding to one's environment.

Knowledge is the understanding of what has happened.

Not all knowledgeable people are intelligent.  Anyone can gain knowledge by tapping into the cloud.  Intelligence is needed to build a future.  Intelligence is the commodity that smart companies will always seek.  Savvy companies will not be hiring the most knowledgeable employees, they will be recruiting the smartest, most intelligent employees (and sure, they will have a fair degree of knowledge).

Knowledge is what's needed to understand the past.  Intelligence is what is needed to manipulate the present to create the future.

No amount of knowledge gained from the cloud can generate intelligence. 

Greg and his companions will always be in demand.

Smart Player > next gen online video is here (w video!)

Header OK, so that title is a bit of an exaggeration.  That being said, I am very excited about Permission TV's new Smart Player.  This is THE FIRST truly interactive web player platform I've seen.

  • It has:
    • user generated in-stream commenting,
    • socialization tools,
    • mashability,
    • plinking (product linking),
    • e-commerce,
    • embedability,
    • content oriented interactivity,
    • smart serving (based on a full suite of demographics, geo-targeting and more), and
    • dynamic content/advertising.

And best of all, it's dynamic and semantic content engine is advertiser friendly with a rich reporting suite to boot.  Video below (after the jump).

note: video removed.  You can see it here.

Some Perspective: This is currently a technology play with marketing potential.  Permission TV's next step has to be around licensing and distribution.  They have to get the right content owners and destination/distribution sites on board if this product is going to see the light of day in-market.

Future Visions: Web interactivity is only the beginning.  As out living room media experiences become more connected via iTV, Digital Cable, IPTV, Gaming Consoles, Media Extenders, DVRs and more, the interactivity of the web will merge with the simplicity of the living room media experience. 

I've been hearing more and more about "The 10 Foot Interaction".  Our media experiences will evolve.  We will interact from our couch, just not from a traditional mouse or keyboard.  It is going to be up to platform providers like Permission TV to build out tomorrow's web experiences today, and to begin thinking two steps ahead towards the living rooms experiences of the 2010s, real soon.

The web was only the beginning.

1 ID. 1 card. Your life. EVERY platform. Modu.

Imagine ONE card.  It syncs with EVERY device in your life.  It brings your information, your contacts, your appointments, your directions, your digital life with you everywhere you go. 

It sounds like a dream.  Then I saw this video about Modu. (video below/after the jump)

I don't know how this product works, when it will be in market or if it will truly deliver, but the video looks promising.

Kudos to Tali Aben for sharing.

where have the good digital salespeople gone?

Anger_2 So I'm sitting through a day of meetings with the major portals.  They are presenting to a wide swath of people from multiple digital capabilities.

Overall I am unimpressed. 

  • The lead from a MAJOR portal couldn't speak to 99% of her own inventory, nor did she understand the basics of social media.  To make matters worse, one of her "category expert" subordinates either "mispoke" or straight out lied more than once regarding their capabilities and inventory.
  • Two major portal sales executives I heard from today spoke about how little they heard about Facebook 3 or 4 years ago.  That's funny, because IT DIDN'T EXIST.  Wouldn't it be great if salespeople knew a bit about their business?
    • note: I regularly meet with mobile, gaming, portal and social media reps who DO understand their industry and the agency perspective.  Meeting with them is truly pleasure.
  • Another portal brought in a social media specialist to speak to their social media efforts.  The guy had no conception of activation beyond the banner.  And it goes on, and on, and on.
  • Nearly half of the presentations I saw today seemed to have been written for an investor meeting.  Nobody buying display ads cares about what you did 5 years ago.  Just tell me what you're doing today.  Sales 101: you're here for me, not for you.

I expect this out of start-ups.  I expect amateur hour from most mobile vendors (though it has gotten better).  But major portals?  This is just sad.

  • On the upside, Yahoo! has done something brilliant.  They have brought in an agency person in a full-time advisory position.  She gets what we're sick of hearing about and knows what we do and don't want to see (we want conversation, we don't want charts).  Overall, Yahoo!'s presentation was excellent.  That is not to say that Yahoo! will be lead in the next generation of web marketing, but it does demonstrate an appreciation for that which they do not know - the twisted, warped and sugar-driven minds of media and marketing people.

On another positive note, I have to give a huge kudos to most of my agency salespeople including our portal reps.  Our AOL and MSN reps are fantastic.  I'm just amazed at how clueless some of their larger teams seem to be.