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February 2011
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March 2011

Social CRM - The Platform Challenge (Congrats Radian 6 and SalesForce!)

The Social CRM space is still fairly new, but it's going to be huge.  As social hits the enterprise and organizations look to reconfigure their solutions to deliver streamlined coordination, measurement and efficiency, Social CRM and Social-Friendly Organizational Design are going to be essential business practices.  

A strong Social CRM solution does all of the following:

  • Monitors the online conversation
  • Employs single user IDs across multiple social networks (knows that I'm @jonburg on Twitter, the Jon Burg that's your fan on FB, and FlyerJB on FlyerTalk) to establish true customer-level tracking
  • Enables rich workflow, collaboration and participation similar to and in alignment with your traditional contact center and CRM databases (ex email databased)
  • Enables team collaboration via the platform across departments
  • Delivers rich analytics on brand level activity, agent/community manager level activity and customer value
  • Delivers insights based on not just product mentions and social dialogue, but peer interactivity and network proximity (does this person's network discuss your industry, your product and if so, how?)
  • Integrates with traditional CRM channels to deliver data integration to enable both informed agent interactivity and 360 CRM analytics

 On that note, I'd like to wish a warm congratulations to the entire team over at Radian6 on joining the SalesForce team.  It's been a pleasure working with you, and we wish you only continued success.  

The 10 Commandments of Social Moderation / Censorship

22447367_c897e0b014_b Over the past few weeks there has been a good deal of debate regarding the role of the social network management in policing user actions on their networks.  This becomes a particularly contentious issue in the case of political protest.

I would like to propose the following set of guidelines for brand and network moderation:

The 10 Commandments of Social Moderation

  1. Moderation should seek to be permissive.  Encourage dialogue, avoid censorship.
  2. Policy and process must be clearly communicated in advance.  Seek to deliver what's best in the interest of the community through the lens of the individual.  Avoid "greater good" and "moral relativity" discussions by setting clear, universal guidelines.
  3. Define processes for receiving and addressing feedback. Consistently implemented with transparency.
  4. Define your process for addressing the unusual or unexpected.  When breaking from your established policy, clearly explain why you have elected to make this change.  When the unusual becomes common, consider revising guidelines or differentiating guidelines based on specific criteria (ex allowing anonymous usage in China).
  5. Threats of physical harm against civilians must be removed.
  6. Threats against minors must be removed.
  7. Communicate a comprehensive privacy policy.  User-expected privacy rights aren't network priorities aren't always the same.  This information must be freely available to all users.
  8. Real names/anonymity guidelines should be enforced with consistency, barring a human rights issues (see 5).
  9. Every user has the right to know why they were removed from a network, as well as the license to voice their concerns outside of the community.  Due process must be defined in advance and clearly communicated.
  10. ....

OK, so I only had nine commandments.  What would you put in as #10?  What would you add or remove?  Here's to hoping we can start a meaningful, productive discussion, advancing our practice and our space moving forward.

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

On that note, THANK YOU FACEBOOK for removing the Third Intifada Facebook page.  Here's to hoping, praying and dreaming that we can all find a way to peacefully and productively coexist. 

UPDATE: A second Third Intifada page is up on FB with over three million members.  Please go to the page and report it.  Share the message, save a life.

This Facebook Page MUST COME DOWN

The views expressed in this post are solely my own and do not necessarily reflect those of my employer.


UPDATE: Facebook shut down this page.  Kudos Facebook!

UPDATE: UPDATE: A second Third Intifada page is up on FB with over three million members.  Please go to the page and report it.  Share the message, save a life.

I'm a huge fan of Facebook.  Their platform offers an incredible opportunity for engineering social change.  The world has witnessed this power first-hand as grassroots movements took down deeply entrenched evil regimes all across the Middle East.   

But there is a black and white line between social change for evil and social change for good.  To me, that line is drawn when it comes to the indiscriminate murder of civilians.  

It is our moral imperative as a people who value freedom and human life to report this page to Facebook. 

Contrary to the reporting in the majority of the western media, Intifada in this context does not refer to a peaceful protest or uprising, nor does a refer to a structured or ethical military effort.  The first two Palestinian Intifadas brought the indiscriminate murder of dozens (if not hundreds) of innocent civilians.  This isn't a matter of dispute, it's a fact.

Over the past two weeks, Israeli civilians have one again been repeatedly attacked.  From the small band of barbarians who murdered a family and their children in their sleep through the military launching of mortars into civilian areas, followed by this morning's bus bombing in Jerusalem, this terror and barbarism is real.

Regardless of your political stance, there is no place in rational political discourse or negotiation when there is the threat of intentional violence against civilians.  This isn't a negotiation tactic.  It hurts everyone on both sides of the table.  

Enough is enough.  TAKE A STAND.  Report this page to Facebook.  Share this with message your friends and social networks.  You have the ability to make a difference.  Let's make a statement that cannot be ignored.

Please share this post.

We Need To Kill The #EpicFail

4487208502_a59d02af90_b Over the past few years, a good deal of digital ink and discussion has been wasted on overstated outrage and senseless vitriol.  Whether it's fairly well regarded bloggers or digital personalities personally attacking one another, or bands of social participants decrying outrage at the most trivial items (minor platform redesign, minor brand policy changes or one-off service failure), most of these feuds seem to lose steam within a week or two.  

The real loser in these disagreements aren't the bloggers, social personalities or the complainers, it's the social space overall.  When people see influencers behaving poorly, they learn that such behavior is acceptable in the digital culture.  When the community overreacts to every little thing (only to move on 30 seconds later), serious marketers and technologists learn to take the community less seriously.  A digital culture known for it's childish behavior will be not be taken as seriously as it could be by the those investing in creating or supporting these digital experiences (technologists, investors and supporting marketers).  

If we want our voices as citizen journalists, bloggers, and social media participants to be taken seriously, we must start behaving like the professionals and responsible citizens we claim to be.  This means that we should not air our dirty laundry, or that of our colleagues for the sake of gaining a few clicks.  We should not leverage our influence to strong-arm brands into offering better compensation or "enhanced" customer service.  We should not jump on the latest bandwagon for the sake of being viewed as current. And for Gd's sake, not every negative experience is the end of the world as we know it.  With all this talk about encouraging marketers to embrace risk and a culture of frequent iteration, one would think we would get used to the occasional stumble and learn to participate in the dialogue in a productive manner.

We as an industry and as a culture need to learn to leverage our voices to facilitate meaningful and productive discussion.  We need to learn to keep our personal gripes personal, and approach all public discourse with an eye towards productivity.  We need to learn that not every service failure is an #epicfail and not every change is a desperate attempt at _______.  Sensationalism drives clicks, but it destroys our credibility.

The ability to voice our opinions may be a right, but the respect of our peers is a privilege.  Socialize responsibly. 

Humanity Despite The Mainstream Media

Fogelfamily2 Tragedy

One week ago today, a community was shattered.  While a natural disaster threatened millions in Japan, a small community in Israel faced an incredible man-made evil.  Terrorists broke into a random home and murdered two parents and three of their children in cold blood.  These monsters took a blade to a three month old baby, and left the three survivingng children (aged 2, 8 and 12) orphans.

The Failure of The Mainstream Western Media

As a digital native, when I heard the news I headed straight to to learn more.  CNN however, referred to these monsters as quote "terrorists" (suggesting that the Israeli's were alleging that these were terrorists - clearly CNN didn't want to confirm this as they don't seem to value human life).  The television media referred to them as assailants.  They are both wrong.  Anyone who kills a child for political reasons is a terrorist.  And any "news" outlet that doesn't recognize this is doomed to irrelevancy, driven by their own inhumanity.

When the mainstream media ceases to report as real humans, they lose their relevancy to us real humans.  When was the last time you saw someone cry in the mainstream media or even appear truly affected by the tragedies they report?  I'm not talking about the political actors calling themselves pundits, I'm talking about real reporters.  When was the last time you saw real emotion in their reporting?  When was the last time you felt like you were connecting with an anchor in a "professional" media outlet?  This just may be why social reporting is so much more compelling.

3 Inspirational Anecdotes NOT Reported By The Press

Where mainstream media more or less ignored the humanity of this story, I'd like to share with you three anecdotes in this tragedy that showcase the beauty of humanity.

  1. Giving Without Personal Gain:  Rami Levi owns a chain of supermarkets/shopping centers in Israel.  Rami personally showed up every day of the shiva (mourning period) and stocked the kitchen pantry and refrigerator.  When someone commented on what a nice gesture this was, Rami replied that they had better get used to seeing him, as he intends to stock the family's kitchen himself until the youngest surviving orphan turns 18.  

    This wasn't a PR play and there was no media behind this charitable giving.  This was a real person who cared, doing what he can to help in his own way.
  2. Humanity Unites Us:  My older brother lives in Israel and like tens of thousands of others, attended the funeral services held for the Fogels.  He had never heard of them before this tragedy, but like everyone else, felt a moral imperative to attend.  Tens of thousands of strangers from all walks of life joined together to honor a human life, to honor human dignity, to stand in solidarity against terrorism.  I highly doubt that most of the people attending this funeral had ever heard of the Fogels before they heard of the tragedy.  But much like the US on 9/11, when tragedy strikes, strangers bond over their shared humanity.  

  3. Life Is Paramount:  In the week while the town of Itamar was in mourning, a cab pulled up to the town gate with a medical emergency.  An Arab woman from a nearby town was in distressed labor and needed medical help.  The umbilical cord was wrapped around the infant's neck, posing a real threat to both the child and the mother.  Local medics not only successfully delivered the baby but celebrated the birth of a new life with the grateful mother.  There wasn't a moment's hesitation.  There was no thought of "us" or "them".  There was no less joy in this delivery than any other.  Life is beautiful. 

How Should We Learn From This?

In a week where the world saw so much tragedy, I think the lesson we all must take away is to embrace our humanity.  Where the mainstream media seeks to sensationalize and dehumanize, we must embrace what makes us so great as individuals and as a society.  

Last weekend I struggled with what the appropriate response was to this entire episode.  I wanted to lash out at the western media.  I wanted to point fingers at the major global political players who said nothing regarding this tragedy for far too long.  I wanted to post the pictures of the parades and parties in Gaza, or links to the PA affiliated terror group's post claiming credit for this attack and ask the world how they could continue to demand so different a moral standard of Israel than their neighbors.

What I've Learned

It's now a week later and I still feel this outrage.  But I also know that I cannot go into this weekend the same person I was last week.  I know that this weekend when I sit down at the Shabbat (sabbath) table with my family, when I bless my two sons, when I recite kiddush and thank Gd for everything I have been given, I will have a greater appreciation of what a gift my life, family, religion, heritage, morality and humanity are.  

What You Can Do

Times are tight.  But it is our humanity that keeps us together and will ultimately pull us through.  If you have a few extra dollars, I'm sure the Fogel family can use your help.  If cannot give money, send them a letter and let these kids know that they are not alone.  Say a prayer for the Fogel children and those in Japan.  Spend some time with someone you love doing something that matters.  Do something great in your community.  Activate your social networks and share these great tragedies so that we will no longer live in ignorance, but be sure to share the great stories of those that inspire us as well.  We can sure use a few moments of inspiration as we pick up the pieces.

There is enough evil in this world to shatter countless lives.  But if we can embrace our own goodness, there is so much opportunity for a better tomorrow.

The Social Commerce Playbook #DigitasSocial

3908285404_82e5f4676b_b The pace of progress is accelerating at an unprecedented rate.  Like many innovations before it, social commerce will challenge the status quo in remarkable ways.  With this world of opportunity unfolding, creative technologists, savvy start-ups and visionary marketers are clamoring to build the solutions that will define our tomorrow.  As this is a new space, many will fail, some spectacularly.  Those that succeed will utilize the potent combination of (a) rock solid data, (b) insights into the social context, (c) the creative application of one or more of the core varieties of social commerce and (d) leverage the best practices and lessons learned from others engaged in the social commerce space.

It is with great pride that I present the below white-paper, Together We Buy.  Special thanks goes out to my incredible, brilliant, resourceful and thankfully patient co-author, Beth McCabe, Noah Mallin and the entire team at Digitas for all your feedback and assistance.  Without your help, we wouldn't be where we are today.

Please feel free to share!  #DigitasSocial

 Together We Buy: The Social Commerce Strategy Playbook

Safe Social Marketing : What Every Social Marketer Should Learn From Chrysler

3431203874_d0ec158204_b Dozens of people likely have access to your brand's core social accounts.  Across the brand and their agencies, there are likely many people who may not be the most savvy with admin access to your Facebook, Blog and Twitter accounts.  From the measurement gurus through your community managers, customer service representatives, media, creative, and corporate communications folks, it's easy to see how this admin list can become unwieldy.  If you aren't practicing Safe Social Marketing, every one of them, from the internal brand managers through outside social consulants is a potential liability.

Safe Social Marketing doesn't just mean restricting all access.  It starts with using your third party solutions and multiple-user level access capabilities to limit potential exposure.  An analytics lead should be limited to measurement.  A smart agency partner or advisor should be baking this into core vendor review criterea and deployment solutions.  

The next step is education.  Every company must institute some level of Social Awareness and Responsibility Training on what it means to have admin access to a page.  This isn't just about training agencies, it's about training everyone at the brand as well.  Once someone has clicked to "Use Facebook As Page" they have the ability to inflict real damage on the brand.  Every accidental personal Like and comment will be broadcast as coming from the brand.  The same is true of people using Twitter - once you're logged in as the brand, every Tweet will come from the brand until you log out.

In an ideal world, every social platform would create stop-gaps and multiple user levels.  But until that day comes, it is no longer acceptable to simply add a junior analyst to your admin list so they can gather analytics.  Professional marketers need to leverage professional grade third-party solutions.  

It's time to start taking Safe Social Marketing seriously.

My Life As A Domino - Poke The Box Review

Domino project The Domino Project

A few weeks ago I was invited to join a very special tribe, The Domino Project Street Team.  The Domino Project (TDP) is a partnership between Seth Godin and Amazon and a completely new way to look at the book publishing model.  In this model, proven authors can tap into a closed network of socially active book enthusiasts by genre (aka the Stream Team).  The Street Team engages with the author, gaining access to these proven authors (and potentially other value) and generating interest around the books in return (at the individuals discretion).

TDP promises drastically improves an author's speed to market while slashing overhead, leveraging Amazon as a direct sales channel.

In the case of Poke The Box, last week about 20 Street Teamers and members of the TDP team met up in-person, our first time as a group.  Seth joined, gave out free copies of his book to everyone, and facilitated an intimate discussion around TDP and Poke The Box.  As a longtime Godin fan, I left on a high and immediately started writing this post.  (I guess this access play really works!)

While we are only on our first book, I can't wait to see how the next few authors challenge themselves to generate increasingly unique and compelling ways to activate the Street Team.  

Leaving this meeting, I still don't quite understand the full workings or vision of TDP.  However, with a new appreciation for the challenges of the publishing industry, I would like to suggest the following:

TDP is not the publishing house of the future.  

It's the future beyond the publishing house.

Why You Should Buy, Borrow and Gift Poke The Box

The first book to come through the TDP solution was Seth Godin's Poke The Box.  Much like Seth's more recent books, Poke The Box is refreshingly short and strongly focused.  The central message of Poke The Box is as follows: in an age where there is plenty of plenty, the scarcity is those willing to challenge the accepted and take action again the challenges.  Now go Poke The Box.

Like many of his recent books, Seth made everything about the book itself conversation-worthy.  For example, the inside of the front cover contains a list of names from Seth's tribe.  By graying out and darkening certain names, Seth has embedded the words "Go, Go, Go" across these names.  In yet another brilliant move, Poke The Box will be offered in packs of 5 and 52 for those who want to gift it or resell it on their own.  And there is more... trust me, there is more.

This book isn't for someone looking to learn the art of marketing or the secret to social media.  If you're looking for one, trust me, there is no shortage.  However, in keeping with his central theme, Seth explores a much needed but little supplied manifesto on productive, active provocation.  This book is great for someone looking to take the next step in their career, someone who has ideas but needs the drive to take action.  This book won't tell you what to do or how to do it, but it will poke at you regularly, gnawing at your brain until you take that leap and poke the box yourself.

Reflections on The Domino Project Thus Far

What most amazed me about this project isn't their radical new approach to publishing - both analog and digital - but the strength of the community.  Even before we knew what it meant to be a member of the Street Team or what TDP was all about, there were dozens of people talking about it, both in the private community and in public on their blogs.  As a community, there is a genuine excitement to be connected around our shared passions.  The community has a vibe that is simply incredible.  I never would have thought that the sheer act of connecting - without a destination or objective - around a shared passion and the promise of an unknown participation would have been quite so powerful. 

This just goes to prove - Seth not only drinks, but he pwns his own kool aid.