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December 2008

November 2008

Why are you recommending "new media"?

Sales Because it is there is not a reason, a rationale or a strategy.

So why are you recommending that your clients use new media?

Where is your ROI presentation or slide?  Because THAT is the money slide that the big boys care about in most major corporations.

How are you generating more revenue for your clients using "new media" than a similar ivnestment in traditional communications channels?  How are you building the case for new beyond "test it and we'll see"?

The difficulty here is that there are very few case studies that share ROI numbers.  It is very hard to say that user X read, watched or commented on Y's tweet or post, then purchased at site Z.  This isn't how social "media" operates.  But this is the reality of web metrics today.

So how do you measure your success beyond direct sales leads generated?

Social metrics? Soft metrics? Quantitative metrics like links, views, posts, sentiment, personalities and the respective relevance of all of the above?  How do you demonstrate the ROI in these channels? 

And do these metrics capture the full ROI of your efforts??

There are additional metrics that cannot be quantified.  For example - impact.  Some web personalities may not generate many views, but still hold significant influence - because they are memorable. Some video "bloggers" may not generate millions of views, but have a real impact on the industry, on their audience.  Let's face it - great messages, great creative, great copy stands out.  But is this behind tracked via social metrics?

Can we demonstrate the full ROI or social? 

How would you substantiate your proposal for "new media" or a social effort/presence with hard deliverables?

Beyond "because it makes sense", can we show the accountants upstairs that we are outperforming traditional channels?  Are ad equivalency scores the best we can come up with?

When will this industry have an answer? And if you don't have that answer, why should your clients be investing in your offering?

photo credit here

Yes We Are?

While the excited massive chant Yes, We Did, a nation depressed experienced a near unified joy and pride.  An emotional moment of catharsis.  A near religious revival in a dream one step closer to reality.


  • It is easier to die for a cause than to live for one.
  • It is easier to take action once than to transform into a nation that embodies that action.
  • It's easier to quit smoking for a minute than to quit smoking for a lifetime.
  • It's easier to go to the gym once than to eat right and hit the gym regularly.

We have proven that Yes, We Can because Yes, We Did.  But are we ready for Yes, We Are?

- Post Inspired by's It's a New Day (video below)

where vision meets reality > Obama's Conundrum

Baracks personality What do you do with your Twitter account, your Facebook groups and pages, your followers, advocates and devotees when your campaign ends?  Most brands would dump them into a generic CRM program, offering email updates and more traditional CRM channels at best.

This may be where Barack Obama may have bit off more than he can chew.

Countless individuals attended rallies, rallied voters, gave micro-donations, signed up for SMS alerts, email alerts, follow him on Twitter and joined his movement on Facebook.

What will he do with all of these relationships?

Will the White House become truly open an conversant?  Will Obama maintain some of his PR personnel as executive staff, keeping these relationships alive?  What will the relationship dynamic look like?

How would a truly conversant White House change the US democratic dynamic?

Will Obama reach out to McCain's supporters, inviting them into THE dialogue?  Would they care?

Will Obama care?  Will he listen?  Will he respond?  Will he govern any differently?  Is Washington really ready to speak with the people?  Are the people ready to have a voice? 

How will his constituency respond if this doesn't happen?  Do they expect their relationship to continue into the White House?

Is digital social media the proper channel for governance? For communications?  For leadership?

Here's to hoping there's someone incredibly smart at the reigns.  Because these are not simple considerations or decisions to be made lightly.

it's not about social presence, it's about personality


Seth Godin does one thing extremely well - everything that he says is remarkable.  And that is his brand personality.

Loren Feldman does one thing extremely well - provoking/prodding.  And that is his brand personality.

Chris Brogan does one thing extremely well - social marketing communications in action as well as in theory.  And that is his brand personality.


Twitter is a tool for conversation and discovery.

A blog is a personal forum for presenting yourself to the world.

A branded widget is the microsite of social media.  It's a micro-experience.

A network site is a destination for connected conversation.


Being "there" doesn't make you valued.

Being desired "there" should be your goal.

You will be desired by not only driving presence, but by establishing a personality, something PEOPLE will emotionally relate to and with, a relationship people value.

Social is not a technology or a marketing ploy, it is a movement.  I am not a Mac or a PC, I am me. 

So let's talk.

The Chief Technology Adviser in the Cabinet

Old computer While Jason Hiner asks Who would be better for tech, McCain or Obama? I would like to ask - do either of them know their way around a server farm, basic coding software or a media extender?  Should we expect them to?

The role of our president is to lead our nation, to guide our direction and to build a better tomorrow.  We don't expect our president's to know everything, that is why they have a cabinet.

And I believe that the time has come to nominate a Chief Technology Adviser to the cabinet.

Neither candidate has real tech experience.  Neither candidate can bring an insider perspective to the issues.  Neither candidate is qualified.  But which of them ready to to learn?

Which candidate is committed to US leadership in the tech field, to bringing best practices and world leading insight to guide us through into a highly digital era?  Which candidate is ready to create the position of C.T.A.?

While Obama has suggested that he would create such as position, I have not yet read a full description of how he would interface with or otherwise incorporate this officer into his government.  It's easy to make a pledge, it's harder to fulfill. 

Here's to hoping that whoever is elected tomorrow has the foresight to build for success while cultivating in the present.

photo credit here

5 Challenges Presented by Aggregators

  1. Complexity In a world of ubiquitous content distribution, is syndication the best answer?  The only answer?
  2. What role does site-based metrics play in a distributed equity model?
  3. In a world of aggregated social experiences (like FriendFeed and, how can users possibly gain more value than they do noise?
  4. To what extent does/should context define value in content?  How does this impact the effectiveness and efficiency of distributed content?
  5. How will aggregators integrate the richer functionality of the aggregated content - like comments, trackbacks, formatting etc?  Can richer widget based aggregators/applications replace pure RSS aggregators?  Or does the simplicity of RSS the define value of the experience?

About a year ago I had a nice long email discussion with Matt Dickman about this.  As this trend begins to breach the mainstream market, these are the questions that will define the market. 

Any answers?

photo credit here

the magical pill for today's market

Magic beans Every marketer dreams of the magic pill, the magic bean, the magic technology that solves it all.

  • Press X button and you will make more money.
  • Take Pill Y and you will loose weight.
  • Read Book Q and you will have the answers.
  • Hire employee A and you can cross that capability off your list.

But have these tactics ever really worked?  Has convenience really bettered our lives? 

Are we less stressed now that we have the internet?  Do we spend more time relaxing now that we have washing machines?  Are we leading richer lives now that we have disposable plastics?

Success is not about the technology or the solution, it's about the journey.

Do not think about the next big thing as your solution, because it isn't. 

Action inspired by insight has been and will always be your solution.  Action defines movement, movement defines successful progress and successful progress means hitting your goals.

And that's not a magic pill, is it?

When your client or manager asks you about the new magic pill or technology, that field of dreams they will pour resources into in the dream that people will come, ask yourself one simple question: why? 

Because when that strategy doesn't perform as promised, espcially in today's economy, you will be held accountable.