Posts Tagged 'chris brogan'

The Duration of a Conversation

Chris Brogan recently blogged about the addiction of giving one’s opinion. As I read it a few questions and thoughts entered my mind on why we comment.

  1. Do we comment for the sake of commenting?
  2. Are we going through the motions of commenting because we know it has an underlying effect on our social media status?
  3. We really want to engage in a dialogue.
  4. We want to meet this person.
  5. We want this person to notice us.
  6. We want business
  7. We want something from this person
  8. We want others to notice us.
  9. None of the above. I like reading blogs

I think that the nature of why people blog has changed over the last 2 years. When Groundswell came out, the reasons we blogged were because it was clearly a way to express and connect with others. The conversations were pure and lasted longer than the current, I post, you comment-we’re done model.

Twitter has in effect reduced blogging to more of a long form vehicle for self expression only, whereas in the past it was a catchall for all thoughts both verbose and sound-bite’ish. But it has also exposed blogging to the masses as a way to promote one’s self and not necessarily one’s intellect.

Conversations through the comments section of a blog have been rendered to nothing more than a self promotional back pat and a scrawled autograph by the author.

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Marginalizing your social media relationships

margin

What happens when you marginalize your social media relationships? You discount the impact that it will have on you and your personal brand. You dismiss its outcome. Your needs become the priority, though it has been categorized as a relationship. The loose definition of marginalize is to  relegate or confine to a lower or outer limit or edge, as of social standing.  In other words, you push it to the edge. Whether it’s a social media relationship, engagement or a commitment.You push it away, because its importance is not readily evident to you.

A loose definition of relationship is, a particular type of connection existing between people related to or having dealings with each other. Dealings with each other.

Here’s the kicker…

The problem with marginalizing relationships or business connections in the age of social media, is that it can come back to bite you in the ass. Some might claim that marginalizing things for them is merely their way of assigning priorities to things. But because of the broad association of people within the social media bubble and for that matter, outside the bubble, connections are magnified. Six degrees of separation is really about two or three. Every connection counts. The context of what is said, what is written, and what is implied, matters. Always. Everywhere.

Morgan Brown recently wrote about a connection that he had with Chris Brogan and how he came away so impressed with the way Chris conducted himself and handled a very brief meeting of sorts. Why am I struck by this? Because it speaks volumes about relationships on the edge. It magnifies the importance of connections that were made prior to the physical meeting. They might not have seemed evident before, and the meaning not readily apparent months ago, yet they now have come full circle for Morgan and Chris. No burned bridges, bad experiences, bad tastes, nothing.

What am I trying to say? In social media, sometimes I wonder how often we get or give second chances at first impressions. Yet, I do know that any social media relationship or any engagement should never be marginalized or discounted because YOU don’t think it’s important enough.

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Are you the change agent? 10 questions you need to ask yourself

In marketing, in social media, in PR and in just about every other role. Innovation and great ideas can bubble up from anyone. The key and qualities are many.  I know of a number of change agents, some personally, and some not, but in each case, it was a person that truly possessed many of the qualities below. Whether you’re looking for that change agent when deciding on a go or no go on a project, or you are wondering whether you could be that change agent in your company- Ask yourself these 10 questions.

Do you say, “There has to be better way?

early flight

Is this you?

the-box

Are you the only one who gets it?

idea

Are you willing to walk the plank?

plank

Are you the evangelist?

hallelujah

Do you have the conviction?

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Do you have the belief?

conviction

Are you willing to take the risk?

cost-effort-risk-red-dice

Are you willing to be wrong?

crystalball

Do you have the passion?

chris-brogan2

Be the change agent

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We 2.0 is better than Me 2.0

social-networks

I was just reading a blog post by Paul Dunay in which he waxes on about Dan Schawbel’s new book Me 2.0 Paul recommends it to anyone who is looking to build a personal brand.

I think that the onset of social media and social networks has allowed people to certainly increase their levels of exposure and their personal brand awareness, but it only works if others care to notice or pay attention to you. In other words-Your personal brand needs other people. That’s not a “me” issue, that’s a “we” issue.

I think my personal brand would grow and does grow more when I give more, share more, and basically act in a selfless manner towards others. I feel better about myself. Again though, even my attitude about my “personal brand” doesn’t fly unless there are others present. Others need to be there. Wherever there might actually be at that moment. Could be Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, my Blog, a Seesmic or You Tube video, doesn’t matter.

Rather than doing things that made me look good and position me better.  I feel better about myself when I’m able to give of myself instead of giving to myself.

In fact did you know that Altruistic acts can improve your quality of life in several ways, and are absolutely worth the effort? Here’s another great question for you: What makes Chris Brogan more happy? and what does he do better than anyone else? He gives, he shares and provides for his readers and followers- tips, pointers, guides, e-books, links and resources that can make them better at what they do. He doesn’t sell it. He gives it away, every day!

And why is Chris in the position he is in today? Is it because he took from others, because he was more concerned about his personal brand? Because he’s makin’ bank on others? No. Actually Chris is, where he is, because of what he shares and because of the people that it has affected, and has impacted. Chris will be the first to tell you that without the people that read his blog or follow his tweets or watch his vids, he’s just another hack. Actually he might tell you that anyways.

But my point is this, if you pay it forward. Or if you think of others more than yourself that that can have just as much of an impact on your personal brand as it would be if you solely concentrated on your personal brand.

I like what Dan is doing, don’t get me wrong. He has picked a niche and has cornered the market on personal brands; and right now social media, in all of its wonderous technicolor glory, can do amazing things for you and your personal brand. I’m merely saying that you might also want to think about the why, the how and most importantly, “the We”.

The Virtual Street Cred of Twitter

twitter_logo

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about virtual credibility. I guess because a lot of the people that follow me on Twitter have some interesting bios. Some that would have you thinking or believing, “wow this person is impressive.” They say they  do this and they have x amount of followers etc. etc.

Simply put, at some point your bio, your connections and the number of followers you have are going to mean nothing unless you can back it up with true hands on experience and knowledge. I will venture to say though, that you can learn a lot about someone via 140 characters  or less. Consider that the ice breaker or the get to know someone phase if you will. And you know what? It can become pretty obvious after awhile, when actually talking to someone whether they have the “chops” or not.  That’s the difference between virtual credibility and “virtual street cred.”

“Virtual Street Cred”

I could refer you to the urban dictionary for the loosely defined version of “street cred” but attaching the word “virtual” to it simply means that it’s one thing to talk it in the virtual space that is the blogosphere or Twitter, but it’s a whole nuther’  thing to walk it.

So yesterday I tweeted that I was thinking about virtual credibility, when Rachel Happe, whose views and opinion I respect very much, asked the following question:

Is “virtual credibility” like virtual currency…it’s not really money but it looks like it on the internet? :)

Bingo!  So, over the past few months, I’ve been having actual conversations with people I’ve gotten to know from Twitter. This is significant on a number of levels. Not the least of which is the virtual relationship has become something other than “tweeting” back and forth. Another significant aspect, is that before Twitter, I might have still been able to talk to people in the marketing, social media, PR and decision maker space but…It would have taken perhaps a cold call or semi-warm one at best to engage them. And many more to get to some type of comfort level.

Twitter has allowed us ways to create amazing relationships and opportunities at a rapid rate. Prior to Twitter we would have had to work twice as hard to get to know each other.  As Brian Solis puts it in his most recent post:

As Twitter gains in relevance and prominence, its conversation platform will ring the alarms of any business that monetizes relationships, connections, and information exchange

From Twitter I’ve received opportunities to work on projects. I’ve also, on a daily basis been privy to a massive stable of talent that I can refer to for help, perspective, resources, advice, knowledge, expertisepartnerships and wisdom and most of all friendship. I have gotten to know people from so many diverse backgrounds that would have never happened otherwise. The majority of these people are a mere DM away.  That is an amazing aspect that is not overlooked by me.  Some of these people now have, in my eyes attained.

“Virtual Street Cred”

In the comments section of a post by Radian 6′s Amber Naslund, Marketer Beth Harte says the following.

I used to think Twitter was silly (hated it really), but now, it’s invaluable. All those tweets really build a character of the people you interact with. And then when you meet them in person, it’s like you already know them well and you can move past the ‘getting to know you’ phase into a deeper relationship. Imagine that from a business perspective…wow!

I feel that way too.

How about you? What has happened to you since you’ve embarked on Twitter? Good, bad, or indifferent?

Time to view social media differently

Last night I could not help but pause and think after every sentence of Peter Kim’s most recent blog post. Even more compelling were the comments that followed. I’d suggest you read it.  Because of this and because I had been thinking that it was time to change the way I viewed and written about what I have experienced in marketing and social media marketing, I have decided to turn it upside down.

I want you to start thinking like that now. Instead of repeating everything that you read and just slapping a new title on it and linking to everyone else. Give me your thoughts with perhaps just one or two links. Forget about link juice for a minute and write what you really think about Twitter- Does Twitter piss you off? Are you tired of bullshit tweets? Well tell me. Don’t like what Chris Brogan says? Then say it.  I’m not asking you to completely look for the flaws and problems in everyone and everything, I’m asking you to step outside of that and look at things from 3 feet instead of  30,000 feet, and then give me your real thoughts and your perspective. If I’m full of it? Fine, tell me why, and if it makes sense then I will adjust.

It’s time for our discussions and our thoughts to be elevated. I would think that now might be a really opportune time for fresh thinking, what do you think? And for the record, Peter I may be echoing what you have just written but the more people that can spread that sentiment of less echo and more thought, the better.

Social Media could be the savior for SMB’s

help-copy

6 days into 2009 and I’m sure we all have our goals set or we’re busy finalizing what we are going to do. I make these lists and I write down thoughts at a furious pace and still, in the back of my mind, I’m constantly wondering what everyone is collectively thinking right now. By everyone, I’m really referring to small and medium sized business owners. The economy sucks and business is wayy down..

They have to be wondering where the business is going to come from or how they are going to get business utilizing their existing forms of advertising, sales, and marketing. The problem is,  how effective do those continue to be? Were they ever? Do they know they are not working? Do they utilize metrics or do they fly by the seat of their pants to measure their effectiveness? Do they understand that there is more for less out there right now? Or is it less for less? Their heads have to be swimming. I know mine is.

Initially I would have said No,  SMB’s are not aware of their advertising, sales and marketing effectiveness, but in that sense I was referring to “as it pertains to social media”, as in how effective could all these initiatves be if they were using social media, and that is completely true. SMB’s do not know much about how social media might be able to turn the tide.The power. The effectiveness. The impact.

But they do know plenty about what is and what isn’t working in regards to their  sales and marketing initiatives. I love what Christian Maurer says about this:

In today’s business climate, sales organizations think that they have to increase their activities to counteract the increased reluctance of customers to buy. These increased activities will however not necessarily be rewarded by higher revenue.One might end up trying to get more juice from an already squeezed out lemon

So enter Social Media. The darling of the last few years. We go from product centric to customer centric. But how do you articulate that social media could be just what the doctor ordered? Well I could wax eloquent on that question for awhile but I’d like to refer you to Kyle Lacy’s 4 part series on social media marketing for the small business as a primer. It’s a wonderful piece and more so, it exposed me to a great blog for small business called The Marketing Spot. I highly recommend you add it to your list in 2009.

Ok so back to you Mr. and Mrs. SMB how do you go about learning whether Social Media is the cure for what is ailing your business? And how do you do it quickly because you don’t have time to ramp something like this up. WHAT DO YOU DO FIRST?

-You could try and learn about “It” on your own but you need to know what “it” is. This might help.

-But then after you figure out what it is, you then need to know who you can trust or what to look for in a social media consultant, because you don’t have time to be doing this, right?

-Once you figured out what to look for, then you need to decide “who to look for”

-So now that you have “that” person or agency selected, now you have to have a strategy and they have to share that with you, so that you know exactly what they are trying to do for you and your business.

-A blueprint of how that person works is a good thing to have, it lets you know exactly how they work and it is a key component that we talk about all the time and that’s transparency in social media. Amber Naslund does a great job of discussing her “blueprint” in this post.

-Now that we have the strategy and the blueprint, it’s time to implement. Don’t worry though, your accomplished social media strategist knows just what to do.

OK, so you know what it is, you know what to look for, you know who they are, you know what they’ll do and you know how they’ll do it. But the last thing we have to do is we still have to measure what they’ve done.

-We talk all the time about how to measure social media but here’s a simple framework for measuring it’s effectiveness.

With that in mind, I end with this; As long as you know upfront what you are trying to accomplish and you adhere somewhat to these steps above, you may just have figured out how to incorporate social media into your SMB marketing  plan! But don’t stop there and don’t rely solely on your social media expert/strategist. Take the time to learn as much as you can as you go, so that you can understand the sea change that is happening within the worlds of PR, marketing, advertising and communication.

-


The top 10 blogs to read in 2009

award-certificate

Yep add my blog post as one of those end of year “lists’. But as I’ve stated, I’m going to scale back what I read. I’m going to hone in on quality. With that being said here is my list with reasons why. They also are in no particular order either.

  1. Paul Chaney’s Conversational Media Marketing blog always has an interesting post or content. It’s light, it’s a good read and it’s insightful.
  2. Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog is always in the sweet spot. Her stuff is short, generally, always to the point, and it resonates on many levels.
  3. Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog is a no brainer. It’s updated daily and it’s chock full of content that makes you better at what you do. Even if you don’t do “it”, it’s worth reading.
  4. Chris Brogan is our Grand Poobah”. Now I know he’s taken hits lately but look, Chris gives away 10 times more than he takes, and thus he should be a blog that you check in on from time to time. He’s a content creating fool.
  5. Valeria Maltoni true to her tag line, “connects her ideas with people”, and will make you think. When I read her stuff, that’s what happens. Her blog is another that I dip into every once in a while for perspective. She’s current, always on point and she’s eloquent.
  6. I like the Ignite Social Media Blog but it might be because it’s very vertical for me. I’m entitled to one or two of these, and this is one of them.
  7. Ok, so something about Joseph Jaffe makes me want to read his stuff. It’s funny usually, and underneath it all, there’s generally some sort of marketing theme or message.
  8. Beth Harte is one smart cookie. She says it in a straight shootin way. She’s respected, she’s connected and she knows all things marketing.  You will love her perspective.
  9. Brian Solis is a good read, he churns out content, it’s not over your head, it’s current and it’s useful. Boom.
  10. Mashable is the source or the site you would go to if you needed information, if you need updates and if you could only go to one site. This is it. Check it out.

Honorable Mentions

Here are 10 more that I read because  they are prolific in cranking out content that is in tune with the issues of marketing, PR,  social media, and life. You didn’t think I could just read 10 blogs a day did you? Well neither will you, not with this much quality out there!

  1. Ari Herzog
  2. Liz Strauss
  3. David Armano
  4. Peter Kim
  5. Jeremiah Owyang
  6. Mack Collier
  7. Amber Naslund
  8. Adam Cohen
  9. Gavin Heaton
  10. Ken Burbary

Like I said, it’s quality over quantity, though all of these people churn out some pretty good quantities of content. I could only hope to do the same.  I look forward to continued learning from all of them.

Will the economy change the way you blog? or the blogs you read?

I’m currently watching engaged in a lively saturday morning discussion with Jeremiah Owyang, and Ted Murphy Founder/CEO of IZEA on whether bloggers are going to become more of an advertising vehicle for brands. Though this not neccesarily a new topic, it may be becoming prominent again based on a lot of external economic factors. It started with this:

jotweets

Jeremiah goes on to say “Bottom Line: Expect more brands to ‘buy’ bloggers and tweeters as the economy dips, this truly is cost effective marketing”

But is it? Will you, as a blogger become more open to being paid by a brand or company to shill their product to your loyal readers who come to your site because of your candor and POV? Won’t that change the scope and the depth of your posts? Is the economy such that we now will come expect that a Chris Brogan is now going to start pitching product? The easy answer is, “just avoid any paid posts”. But what if you don’t know? Chris might be the exception in giving full disclosure of the paid post.

My tweeted thought:

rp

You as the loyal reader will now be the audience to a pitch from your author, full disclosure is not a prerequisite either, although Ted Murphy does mention:

tm1

tm21

So how do you feel about that? Is it going to change now how you read or what you read from your favorite blogs?

tm3

Will full disclosure matter? Will you read a blog post knowing it is essentially a paid pitch for a product? Isn’t that the same as a celebrity spokesperson? What if they pitch but don’t tell, because they know they will lose readers if the readers knew that it was a paid post?

jo2

What’s not evident is the post Jeremiah is referring to on Chris Brogan’s site is on Dad-o-matic and not Chrisbrogan.com 2 distinct and very different blog sites. So the questions remain:

Transparent?

Authentic?

Sustainable?

convo1

So there’s more to this Twitstream but the question is more geared towards the reader, since bloggers have been getting paid for quite some time now for paid posts. It all comes down to the “big bloggers” and theirloyal  readers. Will your loyalty wane if you know going forward, that the post you are reading, is a paid, sponsored post? Do you care?

15 questions the small business owner will ask about social media

I was reading Peter Kim’s wiki of social media marketing examples which I highly recommend, and thought that I’d follow that up with the following short post about the types of questions and comments you might be getting from business owners about social media. This differs somewhat from say Chris Brogan’s post about selling it internally to your boss-but the questions and comments might be very similar.

Are you having conversations like this? I’ve had these type of questions thrown at me over the course of the last few weeks and months. If you are not getting these type of questions, then maybe you should get out there more. But the flip side is this: You better be prepared to answer them.

  1. How much is it gonna cost?
  2. But first tell me what exactly it is?
  3. Is it like Facebook or Myspace? Because that’s all I really know.
  4. Twitter? I’ve heard about it, but I’m not really sure what that is.
  5. A blog? I don’t see what I blog is going to do for my business, besides, I don’t have time nor the desire to write one.
  6. So you’re going to “show me” how social media is going to drive business? Ok…(proceeds to wait)
  7. Who else is using it?
  8. Are there any companies like mine that are using it?
  9. So can you guarantee this?
  10. Who’s going to do this? You? or us?
  11. How long is this going to take?
  12. I still don’t understand but I’ll take your word for it.
  13. Can you get our website ranked higher in Google?
  14. Will I make money?
  15. Will I save money?

Interestingly enough, even the ones that do “get it” will still ask a lot of these questions.  You see, the issue is that social media and all it’s moving parts really involves putting a value on the engagement and then equating it to dollars earned or dollars saved. That’s what the business owner wants to see. We need to start putting what social media is and does into more equitable simplified terms that the public and small to medium sized business owners can understand, that they can wrap their arms around.  And if you are truly challenged, and you are “that person” that works for the small to medium sized business, then maybe you might want to check out this post by Mark Story, it may help. I know I get it, and maybe you do too, but can you articulate it?


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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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