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December 2008

is exponentiality yesterday's news?

Do you remember that Did You Know video that circulated the web a little while back?

The numbers were shocking.

The comparisons were staggering.

I felt weighed down, inspired and amazed, all at the same time.

And while this year's video is arguably a flashier production, it doesn't strike me as remarkable?

Has remarkable become the new normal?

Did You Know 3.0 Video Below


For contrast, check out the original video below


the rise of the meta-community

Consider:

  • Facebook launches Facebook Connect, allowing users to log in to third party sites and share their experiences on those sites with their Facebook friends.
  • Google launches Google Friend Connect, doing pretty much the same with their Google connections.
  • OpenID has been doing pretty much the same all along.
  • Plaxo connects our networks by email registration.
  • FriendFeed connects us with one another across our social networks, and within the meta-connected environment that is FriendFeed.
  • Gigya and Open Social are connecting widgets and applications across multiple environments.

Let's face it: 

  • Facebook groups are joined one day and ignored the next.
  • Twitter connects us to one another beyond our blogs, in real, live conversation.
  • Widgets are today's microsites, a low hanging build familiar to broadcast marketers.

We are evolving:

  • No longer do we interact in a single destination.
  • Influence is determined by level of ongoing engagement, of relationship equity, or brand presence and perception.
  • Communities behind walls have a limited shelf life.
    • People and brands that belong in your life will have a place in it.  Those that don't will remain a widget

Key Takeaways for Marketers:

  • Forget the destination.  Sure, you should be there, but it's not about the destination, it's about your integrity (hat tip to Karl Long for inspiring that takeaway)
  • Forget the technology and hire a technologist. Get back to marketing and conversing responsably.
  • Embrace the Change.  Socializing on Twitter will grow your blog numbers.  And participating in the real community will increase your brand equity.
  • Get Real.  Nobody expects you to be greater than human.  Just be real.  If you're relevant people will care.  If you're irrelevant, all the media in the world won't help.

Because:

  • You know it's only a matter of time until Tivo inks a deal with Facebook Connect to share your favorites.
  • Eventually a connective aggregator is going to do this for us anyway.
    • The future is inevitable.  All you can do is prepare yourself for it.

For More Information

And if you've got a couple of minutes to spare, check out Karl's extensive post on hybrid-economies of interest here.  Great read.  And if you want to learn more, Morten Blaabjerg has shared interesting take on this converastion here.  Check it out!


going out on a limb

We don't celebrate our failures. 

And genius that isn't recognized as visionary is failure at the time that the thought is expressed.

So we only recognize greatness when it's validated.  But going out on a limb, being the big man, sticking by what you believe, regardless of the popular opinion... do we really encourage this?  Do we celebrate it?

Should we?

How can we change this?

How are we going to celebrate the next Peter Schiff?  How are we celebrating those making the big bets, even when we don't agree with their positions?

Video below:

Inspired by this post and this conversation.


mumbai - reflections and actions

XmWP2480509 Tragedy struck.

As a human, as a Jew, as a father and a husband... I care.  And I know you all do too.

So let's do something about it.

Firstly, you can help the victims and families of the Mumbai Tragedy by opening up your wallets.  There are a number of great charities collecting in their honor.  While I know that this charity is legit, the widget below looks to be local, non-profit and tax deductible.  We can make a difference.  We can give more than a candle lit or a tear shed. 

The second is to pass along this cause, or even this widget


The embed code is included below.  Please feel free to copy and paste into your social pages, blogs, etc.

<embed src="http://helpmumbai.pinstorm.com/images/helpMumbai.swf" quality="high" bgcolor="#ffffff" width="180" height="180" name="helpMumbai" align="middle" allowScriptAccess="always" allowFullScreen="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/go/getflashplayer" />

The third action you can take is to do a mitzvah, a good deed, in memory of those who perished.  Chabad, the worldwide organization who's Jewish Center was attacked and who's local affiliate rabbinic leadership was slaughtered, has created an amazing memorial page, where they are inviting the public to the share their mitzvah or good deed contributions.  So do a mitzvah.  And share it with the world.

As for me, my mitzvah is spreading the word. Inviting you all to share, to link, to love.  To create a better tomorrow.  What will you do?


giving it away - kmart and izea (w interview!)

Pepsi hands their new cans out to select bloggers and... they blog!

Kmart izea Izea gives bloggers $500 Kmart gift cards and invites them to share additional gift cards with their readers/followers, and... they talk!

Sure, Izea gave out gift cards and Pepsi gave out social equity... but with full transparency, there's nothing unethical about Izea's campaign, is there?

Twitter's all abuzz, with top social personalities including @emom, @1938media, @chrisbrogan, @shefinds and @shoemoney allowing participants to participate by commenting on their blogs or, more impressively, by RTing (retweeting) - extending this contest into new social circles, activating the ripple effect! 

Amazing!

Multi-platform, inexpensive and efficient.  Right?

And it's transparent... with big names in the social industry like Chris participating! 
    Is Izea now certified kosher? 
        Have they kicked the PayPerPost stigma? 

Or is there more to this than that?

Consider, as of 3:30PM EST, Tuesday, December 2nd 2008, look at the spike in buzz on twitter below.
Izea works


The Interview
Ted murphy Izea founder and CEO Ted Murphy agreed to a short interview, please find below.

What was your key insight for Kmart?  How did seasonality and timing effect your campaign strategy?

Ted Murphy:  Timing was key for this campaign, we wanted to take advantage of the holiday rush. In addition to the holidays I believe that the downturn in the economy has created a huge opportunity for Kmart. Everybody is looking to save money and Kmart provides brand name products at low prices.

How did you go about identifying and reaching out to influencers?  How was this campaign different? 

Ted: IZEA has spent the last year building relationships with key players in social media. We know what they blog/tweet about, how much traffic they have and how they are connected. For Kmart we tried to select bloggers that represented a diverse audience of readers and specifically targeted people that weren't active Kmart customers. We wanted to show them what Kmart had to offer and give them a chance to share that experience with their readers.

What are your metrics for success?  How are you substantiating these metrics?

Ted: We are measuring impressions, clicks, tweets and conversations. Everything within the campaign is tracked and we have set some internal targets (sorry, can't share those).

How do you see campaigns like this driving sales?  Where do you see campaigns like this playing in the lower funnel, driving spend in today's economy?

Ted: Kmart's biggest hurdle is getting their value proposition in front of a younger, connected audience that isn't watching television anymore. Social media has enabled IZEA to execute a relatively low cost awareness campaign that is completely measurable through to the sale.

What's next for Kmart and Izea?

Ted: Kmart is part of the Sears Holding Group. We will be working on other campaigns in the near future.

PS - the campaign doesn't end here.  Izea is also using their cewebrity personality's personal shopping journeys and testimonials in ad creative (included below), lending additional credibility to the story KMart is telling.  Check out some sample ad units (going live on Thursday) below.

Chris brogan izea 

Loren feldman izea 

... so what do we think...