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August 2008

saying thank you

1278760904_48d1d4730d_b When someone holds the door open for you, you give them the nod.

When someone gives up their seat on the train for you, you say thank you.

When someone agrees to marry you, you give them a diamond.

When someone stays married to you, takes care of you, embraces your eccentricities and craziness, gives you a beautiful son, takes care of him, maintains a wonderful home despite crazy schedules and more... all while driving her professional ambition and passing her nursing boards... you run out of gift ideas.

I wish I could say I had that great original idea.  I wish I could say I remembered to backup the video of our engagement before our laptop crashed.  I wish I could say that tomorrow we are jumping on a plane and going to vacation in Eilat.  There are so many things I wish I could do, I wish I could say.

But tonight, there are only two words I can say. 

Thank you.  Happy second anniversary.

bad blogging and AM talk radio

Old time radio Last night I was listening to AM radio and it wasn't sports or news... it was politics. 

Call me crazy, but every once in a while I like to hear an old man whine, yell and scream about the interwebs, the left wing bloggers, the gadgets and gizmos, the blueberries, etc. 

And believe it or not, I learned something: bad blogging is very similar to AM talk radio.

Similarities between bad bloggers and AM talk radio hosts

  • The host is often there to talk to, not with, their constituency.
  • The host strictly screens participants (and moderates their participation).
  • The host uses their position of power to talk over their participants.
  • The purpose of the conversation is to win the argument, not to discuss the real issues.
  • The host is broadcasting for broad reach, not broad conversation.
  • The host loves the sound of their own voice.

And the best part of all:

  • We can turn them off.

Am I missing anything?

photo credit here

kick off: project smile : social media intelligence landscapE

Project smile We've said it time and again:  Social media marketing starts with listening.

  • But how do YOU listen? 
  • What solutions providers will best fit YOUR needs?
  • With a new offerings in the market virtually everyday, how do YOU know which solution will work best for YOU?

In the coming week (or weeks), Future Visions will be profiling many of the leading social media intel solutions, hopefully offering a strong overview of the category, covering both the big players and some of the up and comers. 

If you would like to see a social media intelligence offering (your own, your friend's or your Aunt Sally's) featured in this landscape review, please feel free contact me via email, twitter, or leave a comment with the appropriate contact information in the comments section below.

asking for IT vs. earning IT

  • Asking for it Is it ok for a blogger to ask for votes in a contest?
  • Is it ok for a company to ask/suggest that their employees embed a video, share a clip/widget/app, or digg a piece of "viral" content?
    • Must the employee disclose that they were prompted to share?  Must their friends or family do so?  How do you disclose a digg?  A tweet?
  • Is it ok for an ePR/Social Media "Guru" to use his or her network to promote their clients?
    • It is ok for clients to ask for/expect this?
  • Is it ok for a company to "follow" many people on Twitter without joining the conversation?
  • Is it ok for a Social Media Advocate to "become" your "friend" if they don't really care about friendship?
  • Is it ok to ask someone to recommend you on LinkedIn based on your blogging alone - without any insight into your productivity?

There is something fundamentally different between asking for it, and earning it.
    If you can't earn it on your own, when is it ok to ask? 
        How should one go about asking for it? 

photo credit here
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information overload > politics and marketing today

Chess Players in Dupont Circle

Image by dbking via Flickr

A coworker recently shared Perspctv, an automated political social buzz aggregator.   The data presented is clearly labeled, easily overwhelming, and of questionable value.

Key Insights
Predictably, more of the social content out there more is Obama/Democrat centric than McCain/Republican.  As the old adage goes, Republicans fall in line, Democrats fall in love.  Obama seems to be simply more remarkable, more sociable.  Or maybe Obama's constituency is just more digitally social.  Either way, there is clearly more buzz around Obama than McCain.

The Challenge
This information may prove virtually useless in the big picture.  Anyone can pull raw numbers, it takes skill to manage the data overload, to present clear and actionable/informative data.  Successful information management, whether it be social media intel, site design, presentation authoring, or writing an email, is key to success in today's world of information overload. 

Take a look at Perspctv.  What value/learnings do YOU see in the buzz?

For more on next gen election coverage, check out this enlightening post.

EA : when getting it wrong = getting it right

Image representing Electronic Arts as depicted...

Image via CrunchBase

Anyone who has ever played a video game is familiar with the art of the glitch. It's as much a part of the gaming culture as mustachioed plumbers with an intense hatred of turtles.

Gamers practically expect to occasionally walk through walls, see through corners of buildings or walk on air.  These glitches aren't created on purpose, but with all the depth in today's games, it's understandable when something occasionally slip through the cracks.

Such was the case in Electronic Arts' Tiger Woods game.  A "glitch" known as "The Jesus Shot" was "discovered", allowing players to walk on water.  In a game that prided itself on realism, this glitch seemed both entertaining and a bit out of place.  A "fan" posted a video to this effect on You Tube, generating quite a bit of buzz.

So what does EA do about this buzz?  They used the buzz momentum for some great free publicity, creating the spot below (video below/after the jump).  Well Done.

Here's to hoping that this was an honest play, and not a seeded campaign.  For more conversation on the EA Jesus Shot campaign, check out the discussions linked here.  Really check them out.  I would estimate that nearly all the buzz was positive (with the only concern being the corporate usage of a religious icon in marketing).  Well Done!

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rethinking "new"

Perspectives Some will run towards it.

    Others will run in the other direction.

Some will stop everything and think about it

    Others will approach it with caution.

But what about you?  How do you approach new?

  • With age and experience often come stagnation and inflexibility.
  • With excitement, passion and freshness often come uncertainty.

Staying in the middle, living with the law of the golden mean, the golden average, is going to deliver average performance. 

Success will not be realized by limiting the excitement of the pink faced pimply new employee or fresh technology, nor will it be found in conducting "business as usual."  Success will be found in creating the right mix of old and new, the right culture of strategic excitement.

In today's agency world, where talent is often a transitional commodity and media is increasingly purchased at auction, success will be defined by the operational dynamic an agency employs rather than it's size alone.  Attracting top talent will always be a priority, and effective partnerships and leadership cannot be commoditized, but these are not what will define excellence.  Excellence will be defined by the dynamic mix of the old and the new, the experienced with the excited, the well worn and the fresh faced.

The business of doing business is changing.  And today, more than ever before, you have to ask yourself, "How do I react to new?"  What am I bringing to the table?  How am I leveraging my experience to strategically activate in a fresh, new way?

photo credit here

transparency > authenticity > sincerity

  • Transparency is a state of honest communications.
  • Authenticity is a state of presenting.
  • Sincerity is a state of being.

Transparency Not long ago the market began to buzz about the need for transparency in corporate culture as they communicate in social channels.

This soon translated in brand authenticity, further evolving the humanity of corporate culture and the resultant media.

So what's next?

If we think about human relationships, the truest form of communications is that of sincerity.

Which begs the question: Can a brand be sincere?  What does a sincere brand look like?  What are the components that define brand sincerity?  Are there many/any sincere brands out there in the market?

How would you gauge your brand's presence in social media? 

Where do you believe the social media early adopters like Dell, Comcast, Zappos, SouthWest, GM, Delta, Home Depot, Graco, Jet Blue Verizon and AT&T are best categorized?  Are they transparent?  Are they authentic?  Are they sincere?  Are they human?  Or am I totally off?

Thanks to Paull Young for helping to cull this list.

Photo credit here

Disclosure: some of the brands listed in this post are clients.  The views expressed in this post are personal and do not reflect those of my employer or it's parent company.