Archive for June, 2008



LinkedIn has got it’s act together

Yep, LinkedIn does have its act together…Except for today, since they have been down for over 2 hours. But having said that, I’m sure the 23 million plus members will let them slide. Especially since it has now been valued at over $1billion! Watch this video and listen carefully. You may understand the thinking that goes into investing in some of the hottest social media companies out there today.

With 23 million members in 150 countries, more than half overseas, LinkedIn has said it could generate as much as $100 million in revenue this year from premium subscriptions, blue-chip advertisers, job listings and corporate services. It’s all part of a massive shift, dubbed Enterprise 2.0, as corporate America increasingly turns to the Web for software and services.

LinkedIn boasts that it averages a new user every two seconds. Research firm Nielsen Online reports that LinkedIn is pulling in 146% more unique visitors year over year.

In May, it was the fourth-most-popular social network, with 7.7 million U.S. visitors. Its audience stats are the kind that impress advertisers as well: The average user is 41 years old and makes about $110,000 a year.

 

 

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Twebinar: Where twitter meets webinar

Next week, Thursday, the 26th, some of social media’s best and brightest come together to wax poetic about all things social in the form of a twebinar, which is essentially a webinar and Twitter mash-up. The conversations take place in real-time before, during and after the webinar, on Twitter.

To enter the Twebinar

 

  1. Make sure you have a twitter account, don’t worry it’s simple. Next, Sign-up for a webinar on a topic that interests you.
  2. On the day of the webinar, watch the presentation from your computer and receive information visually and verbally from the presenter(s).
  3. During the webinar, a parallel conversation takes place as participants comment, ask questions, and/or discuss the webinar series on Twitter. Follow the webinar participants on Twitter and join the conversation.
  4. Gather ideas and/or resources from a community of people with interests that are similar to yours.
  5. The result? Ta Da…. A twebinar!
  6. Learn some things about yourself, others, your industry, and perhaps how it all comes full circle in social media.

How social networks might make money, virtual goods.

 

Will selling goods be the answer for social networks?

Brian Oneill says that If you take a look at social networks in Asia, they are all monetizing their sites primarily through social goods. For instance, 51.com, which recently raised a $50 million round, earns 70 percent of their revenue through virtual goods.

I’ve written in the past about monetizing social nets and the challenges that the smaller players will face. Unfortunately, I’m afraid that if your revenue models are tied into advertisers, you may be looking at a light at the end of the tunnel attached to a train. So we talked about this over a year ago, and it’s been written about a lot back then, and still. So what has changed? Nothing.

Social Nets have to sell something other than subscriptions and ad space.  So what is it? Virtual Goods,

Susan Wu, a principal at Charles River Ventures says that people spend real money on virtual objects for  four major reasons:

Virtual objects aren’t really objects – they’re services

Virtual objects create real value for people

The cost of buying objects can be cheaper than “earning” them and lastly, and the most important,

You can make money off of virtual objects.

I would suggest all  those who are “thinking” of  jumping into the social media tech start up game to read the full article by Susan, though it came out roughly a year ago to the day, it is now more relevant than ever before. 

 

17 social media influencers and thought shapers

 Butch Cassidy: “I couldn’t do that. Could you do that? Why can they do it? Who are those guys?”

I promised that I would follow up the top 30 social media experts post I did with a few more people who’s work I admire, who’s thinking is forward, and who’s ideas of what culture and technology should be, are wide open.  You have no idea how many bookmarks and sites I have saved that I try to read and digest and actually think about. No wonder my eyes are always bleeding on the way home from work? Easy..I’m kidding..

It’s these types of people that will provide the basis of how we will view our interactions in a technological environment as we go forward. If you are unfamiliar with some of these people, that’s ok. Pretty soon you won’t be. Of these 17, feel free to offer up your peers for review. We currently have a listing of 51 social media experts, luminaries and standouts! I’d love to add more and I know they’re out there. Beware though, if you email or tweet that you’re an expert, then you’re not.

Todd Defren

Neil Patel

Lee Odden

Richard Binhammer

John Cass

Maggie Fox

David Alston

Chris Heuer

Sam Lawrence

Mike Manuel

Steve Lubetkin

Dave Parmet

Pete Blackshaw

Kris Smith

Kami Watson Huyse

Joseph Thornley

Clay Shirkey

Stowe Boyd

I would suggest setting aside some time to really go through the list, as there is quite a bit to digest here, but it’s all good and so so very relevant today!

13 Random Links for Tuesday

 

Sometimes when I’m stuck, I go back to see what I’ve bookmarked over the past few days and weeks.  it’s an interesting compilation.

BuiltWith is a website analysis tool, providing technical analysis and SEO optimization information to further your website’s marketing, sales and navigation effectiveness. It seems pretty cool, though, if you want a really neat web tool check this one out website grader

Clay Shirky is a pretty interesting person who has a new book out that I have on my “got to get” list it’s called, Here comes everybody, I read an excerpt and it was really really good.

I have Mike Stopforth’s web site bookmarked, he’s is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker who heads up Cerebra, South Africa’s leading social media company, I thought it best to see what others across the world are doing with social media.

Check out Utterz when you get a chance. With Utterz, you can instantly share your news by creating a multi-media posting in voice, video, picture and text, right from your mobile phone, or online. It works with every phone, on every carrier, which is interesting.

I struck up a conversation with Paul Chaney a few weeks ago and this is his company Bizzuka, I added Paul to my 4 more social media experts post

Here is a great post on…alas.. Taking a class in social media.

I’m always on the lookout for a good solid analytics package other than Urchin, and this one was referred to me the other day, check out Mint.

And lastly, I’m talking with these people tomorrow Ecairn, I’m looking forward to giving it a test drive.

 

 

Listening and social media: 5 videos that drive the point home

Humility is the defining characteristic of an unpretentious and modest person, someone who does not think that he or she is better or more important than others.

We talk so much about the art of the conversation and how this new age has spurred countless conversations where we are able to share with each other and grow and nourish ideas that could one day create endless possibilities for everyone. But what happens if the conversations are one sided? How many of the conversations out there are taking place between one willing participant and someone who is in it, to win it, so to speak, no pun intended? Are you listening? Or is conversation a dying art?

 

Here’s an example: Forrester Research Vice President Josh Bernoff highlights one of the five primary objectives companies successfully pursue in the Groundswell: Listening. In this example, a group of twenty-one dedicated cancer centers formed the National Comprehensive Cancer Network (NCCN) to better listen to patient needs. October 11, 2007 in Chicago.

 

WHY DO WE TWEET

How many conversations take place today or are originated for the purpose of self-aggrandizement? I think more than we will ever know?  Do you think some of our finest web 2.0 thinkers are twittering for the sake of engaging in worthwhile conversations? Are they tweeting for branding purposes? How many of you comment on people’s blog or tweet, but yet bring nothing of intrinsic value to the actual conversation? How many of you don’t care if someone responds or not? Don’t all stand up at once either. Here is twitter explained for all you common folk out there, thanks Common Craft

 

 

I think we have an inate desire to be heard as well as to be seen and this truly does speak to this generation that I’m calling Generation U for “Generation User” as in generated content. But see, we want to be seen and heard, but rarely do we want to listen, when in actuality, that’s truly where the conversation begins and possibilities are created. Do you spend most of your time listening and reading, or do you create lots of content and vomit the information of whoever and whomever? Do you listen with the intent to understand?


 

So if that truly is the case, do we, or some of our more active purveyours of user generated content, even care about what others might think? Do they even ask what we think? If they did, I would expect the conversations to consist of them choosing to hear what they wanted to hear. God forbid it’s constructive criticism.

Ironically, Chris Brogan has written a post called 100 Personal Branding Tactics Using Social Media in which the first thing he leads off with is… Listening That’s right listening. And not a year prior he wrote solely on the subject of…Listening

I’m sure if you were to ask some of the top social media experts, and I know of about 30 or so, I would imagine that they would collectively say it is more important to listen than it is to talk. How many would understand the importance of listening with humility though? To listen, to truly listen? The disconnect happens when two parties get together and both have these agendas, which they seem to be paying more attention to then the actual conversation itself.

I want the age of conversation to be about what we can do collectively instead of what’s in it for me. The hyper link that preceded that statement, those guys get it. And most do, but I want you, all of you, to start listening, instead of hearing, what someone has to say.

THE MORE YOU KNOW, THE MORE YOU REALIZE WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW

So if you think about, look around and look at what everyone is talking about, it’s the conversation, it’s the word of mouth marketing buzz. We talk about it from the one side but not the other, the listening aspect. The art of listening.

We have more tools than we have ever had that help us with the conversation but we need to really start listening with humility, with a deep understanding of what the person or person’s across from us, is saying. All of these social media tools allow us more access than we have ever had in our lives, to conversations. A way for us to listen and to understand. Lastly, Look what Todd Defren has to say, it’s a quick blurb, so make sure you listen!. By the way, I told Todd I would add him to my new updated list of social media experts coming out soon.

 

 

So what sayeth you? I’m listening. Do people hear what you are talking about? Are you talking over their heads? Or vice versa? How can you improve the dialogue?

 

 

 

Tim Russert will be sorely missed

 Whenever someone passes away in their prime, it’s always a shock. When it’s someone who was in the public eye as much as Tim Russert was, it resonates far and wide. Yesterday, June 13th, 2008, Tim Russert passed away suddenly.

One would have to have lived in a cave not to know who Tim Russert was. Even saying “Tim Russert was” sounds odd to me. I hate it when this happens.

He was the voice to America of what we needed to take away from US politics. Tim Russert simplified things for us. I would like to imagine that if you were of the voting age, then you cared about what Tim Russert had to say. He always brought a level of stability to the noise that was our political landscape.

I’m not sure who will take his place at Meet the Press, the guess would be David Gregory, and I’m sure if it is, he will do fine, but it will take some time before the memories of Tim Russert fade. At least for me they will, what about you? Go here, If you would like to offer your condolences to Tim Russert’s family.

Emerson Direct Marketing Observations cracks Adage top 500 blogs

The Emerson Direct marketing observations blog has cracked the Adage Power 150. The Power 150 is a ranking of the top English-language media and marketing blogs in the world, It currently ranks more than 500 blogs written about all types of media and pretty much every imaginable marketing discipline.  Thank you to everyone who has contributed, and thank you to everyone who has read and reads it….Now lets get to it!

What did we do before the conversations started?

You know, I have never had some many great meaningful discussions on so many relevant topics in all the years I have been in tech. I attribute alot of this to the buzzword of the latter part of this decade and that is the conversation. The emergence of the conversation between people wanting to work together, the collaboration of people working towards a collective goal. The customer finding his voice and the company finally listening with humility.

Mental Note: Be sure to write a piece about listening with humility. Who does that?

 Which led me to think. What the hell did we do before? What did people do with all of this great input, insight, knowledge and wisdom before, but with no real vehicles to share it. Did they write books about conversations? Not really,  Although, I know of one book where the conversations are rich and plentiful and thats the age of conversation edited by Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan.

Tell me this isn’t a great time to be talking and sharing? I know these are hard times in some respects, but from a technology, innovation, and entrepreneuial standpoint, there has never been a more optimal time make a difference and actually do a lot with what we have right now! Here’s someone that all of you should follow. Ironically his blog is called How to change the world, once you get there if you have not heard of him, it won’t take you long to appreciate what he does with his time.

Another person that really enagages in some great discussions about, well conversations is Chris Brogan, your day should consist of stopping by Chris’s blog to see what he is thinking. In fact he has a post that I’m sure we all could relate to called, Be Sexier in Person. Not that Chris is blogging about sexy he is in person, just read the post.

 

 

 

 

 

You know who else I like, who else engages in light but interesting and thought provoking conversations? Mack Collier. he lays it out there in a way thats easy to digest. In actuality there are A LOT of conversations going on out there that I would like to take part in, but my god, would I ever get anything done?

 

I think whats important to keep in mind is that we all love to talk, or we wouldn’t be blogging but you tell me what do you want to get out of your next conversation? Are you into what you can contribute or what you can take away from it? What is your favorite blog and why?

Suffice it to say, I’m glad we’re in the age of the conversation and excited about where we are headed, wherever that may be.

Last thing. While I was writing this I had Pandora on in the backround and heard the most riveting acoustic version of “One”. The song originally sung by U2 was being sang by Warren Haynes at Bonnaroo, Check it out and tell me what you think.

 


The Deets

Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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