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August 2013

Do it with passion

PassionPassion inspires those around us.

Passion ignites our souls and inspires our action.

Passion amplifies any and every effort.

Passion is the heat of our spirit and the drive of our humanity.

Passion is youth and experience, exuberance and temperance.

Without passion, life is just going through the motions and everything feels fake.

If it's worth doing, do it like it matters. Live it with passion.

Lifestyle brands thrive where product lines fail

Gillette beardsThey say that times are tough for the men's shaving and grooming space. I'm sure that there are many contributing market factors. But a challenging market is also a great opportunity to extend the product, embracing evolving lifestyles and buying cycles.

Bearded youth and hipsters may not use as many razors, but that doesn't mean that they aren't buyers. They just aren't buyers of a single-use product line. But shaving was never just about shaving. It was about looking your best. Everyone wants to look and smell their best, even if their best doesn't mean being clean shaven.

Why can't Gillette sell a massively multi-level beard trimmer? Or head sculpting razors for sideburns, mustaches, beard styling and more? Why can't Gillette sell beard shampoo or conditioner? Or face wash that can works on a bearded face? Or extend their shaving gel to include hair gel? Or shaving cream to hand cream?

Consumers don't just buy products, they buy solutions. They remain loyal to brands that tell a story, brands that satisfy their needs. 

If Gillette can find a way to keep a connection with the bearded, you can be sure the bearded will return when to Gillette razors when they decide to start shaving again.


Welcoming a new, better generation of media moguls

Bezos Washington PostI understand why Amazon would want to own a newspaper. But Amazon won't own The Washington Post, Jeff Bezos will. And this news brings a smile to my face.

Like many of you, I am concerned about the intentions and agendas of many media moguls. But I don't have quite as many reservations about Jeff Bezos. I look forward to a new era of journalism and the industry currently known as "newspapers" led by the likes of Jeff Bezos. Here's why:

  • Digital natives appreciate the voice of the public. Public accountability is core to the success of newsroom of the future.
  • Jeff Bezos thinks very long term. Leading a legacy like The Washington Post requires long term vision beyond short term trimming and losses.
  • Jeff appreciates what he doesn't know. Before starting Amazon he took a course on running a book store. Jeff has a lot to learn about the newspaper business, and the newspaper business has a lot to learn about online retail, the cloud and everything else Jeff knows.
  • Jeff appreciates the challenges of working with physical goods in a largely digital world.
  • If Amazon owned Washington Post there would be inevitable clashes and challenges. A shared ownership under Bezos insures that mutually beneficial opportunities are explored, but neither company sacrifices their bottom line for the other.

The future of news is in tech and the future of communications innovation will require the fourth estate. Here's to tomorrow.

Facebook Embedded Posts For Marketers and Publishers

This post was originally posted on the Wibiya blog here.

Fb-embdA few hours ago, Facebook rolled out Embedded Posts. Embedded Posts allow publishers to feature Facebook posts complete with the design, features, and functionality of Facebook, on their own sites. Embedded Posts display identically to the original Facebook post – complete with pictures, videos, comments, hashtags, and likes, as well as a Like or Follow button.

This new feature is currently available for select publishers and will be rolling out to additional publishers shortly.

What does this mean for your site?

Publishers have enjoyed Twitter’s Embedded Tweets feature over the past year, bringing the Twitter conversation into the content experience. As the Facebook experience is richer, their Embedded Posts platform should offer publishers and marketers a richer canvas for visitor engagement.

For example, publishers looking to boost their Facebook engagement can embed select posts from their own page on their site. Publishers discussing posts on others’ public Facebook pages (such as discussing a controversial post) can embed the post, presenting readers with the post in the social context they would find it in on Facebook.

At the same time, sports teams and politicians (as well as political and sports publishers) are going to love the ability to drive negative comments on their rival’s Facebook posts. This cross-platform engagement is sure to develop into some heated and entertaining exchanges. Publishers must prepare in advance for an influx of comments and engagement, particularly during a crisis or controversy. It is important to note that we do not yet know if Facebook will give publishers the ability to disallow post embedding.

Whereas YouTube embeds load an iframe, Facebook’s embeds (like Twitter’s) use javascript. Not only should Embedded Posts load quickly, but they will be indexable by search engines.

What does this mean for Facebook?

Despite the many claims to the contrary by industry pundits, this is not the end of Facebook’s proverbial walled garden. The only posts that will be embeddable will be public posts – posts that were already indexable and discoverable. By only making public posts embeddable, Facebook also avoids any privacy concerns.

Industry watchers should note that just three weeks ago, Instagram rolled out their own embedded images and video functionality. It will be interesting to see how these two platforms come closer together in the months ahead.