Posts Tagged 'david armano'



11 thoughts from the last 3 days

So every once in awhile I have these stream of consciousness moments that I need to share on a larger scale instead of just the Twitter platform. Here are some good ones from the past couple of days, at least I thought they were good:

-How many of you understand that one of the true underlying features or aspects of social media is that it really boils down to reciprocity?

-Raise your hand if social media is transforming the way you do business.

-What level of “digital intimacy” would you say we all share via twitter? We’ve all gotten to at least first base here, right?

-The whole election process is a macro-conversation that in the end, boils down to a micro-interaction between you & the candidate. David Armano your thoughts?

-What has been the effect of social media on this year’s election?

-In the looming age of measuring all things related to social media-how transactional should your conversations be? Or how transactional will they eventually become?

-Sacrifice usability at the altar of sexiness-I have to credit Avanish Kaushik for that one, but I love the meaning of it.

-4 things you will struggle with throughout your life : saying no, saying goodbye… saying I can’t, and saying I don’t know.

-Valeria Maltoni is the definition of class. she cares and she is deeply insightful… and she is a game changer.

-The difference between communities is not people but individuals but social media is about individuals being authentically individual.

-The network based on trust begets value which in turn brings a higher ROE return on engagement

Feel free to blog about these, or use them as topics for discussion. I’d love to see all of them become blog posts one day but alas, that’s up to you! Words of advice, keep the yellow legal pad close by!

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5 posts not about you and your social MEdia self

I’m so sick of reading about the bad.  Actually I blame it on Shel Israel and his morning Twitter report on the sorry state of things. But Shel is just reporting it, it’s not his fault. So I’ve got 5 items for you to do some thinking on.  See if you can figure out the theme here.

Scott Monty drives a point home that all social media people on the inside looking out need to know, It’s not about you!

David Armano explains why giving begets giving prompted by Chris Anderson

Seth Godin explains why spreading yourself too thin aint’ a good thing.

The Kolbe A™ Index/Instinct Test: IQ tests tell you what you can do. Personality tests tell you what you want to do… the Kolbe A™ Index measures what you WILL or WON’T do. Check it out.

The rise of social media has made us all influencers and with that responsibility comes the notion that you can make a difference as long as you continue to give and not take.

See what the theme is? Social media and conversations are really not about you and what your needs are, they are about the other person or the community as a whole that you are a part of. Do what you do with the other person in mind for a day and see what happens. or better yet instead of trying to be some person everywhere, try concentrating on being some one in one place.

What can social media do for reputation management?

 

Alot has been written about online reputation management of late, and recently I was asked by a company to explain to them what I had done in regards to reputation management. So I’ve decided to recount what I did and what were the results.

 

About 18 months ago Emerson Directs’ web presence was no more than a brochure-ware site with no more than 3 pages of cursory content with zero traffic and zero web presence. all of its business was by word of mouth and referral. The only web presence was of SERP’s of information on an FTC settlement and consumer affairs reports on some bad customer service that occurred over 6 years ago.

 

Realizing that this had to have and was having a negative impact on the company and its ability to go out and get new business, I decided to do a few things. In short order, 1) I decided to create a new website, 2) a Social Media Optimization strategy wrapped around creating a number of social media pages devoted to the company-specifically the company name, 3) a blog site devoted to pushing out a more positive and leader like image for the company, 4) a robust social networking campaign 5) a Twitter persona in which I knew and hoped that people would go from the tweet to the blog site or to the website based on the quality of the tweet and lastly 6) be more visible and authentic with current and potential clients.

 

By creating the blog, it was another way of creating more content as well as another web site devoted to the Emerson Direct brand. As of today, The blog averages more than 10,000 visits per month, connects with clients, potential clients, and the casual reader, and has received numerous accolades. All of which were not my goal going on. They include ranking in the Adage power 150 The Power 150 is a ranking of the top 900 English-language media and marketing blogs in the world. The site is also ranked #23 of the Junta 42 which ranks the top 42 content marketing blogs. It’s also ranked oddly enough in the UK for top marketing blogs. It’s also part of the Big List of SEO blogs compiled by Lee Odden of Top Rank Blog. The indirect result of all of this, is people go from the blog to the website. The indirect direct result has been the creation of my personal brand as well, which has been cool and also very humbling since that was never my goal.

 

The residual effect of this effort has been tremendous in 1) driving traffic to a new site we built as well as 2) creating more opportunity for the company as well as 3) driving down the negative websites and 4) managing our website and companies’ online reputation in a more positive and proactive fashion and 5) I’ve become the de facto spokesperson for the reputation management campaign that Emerson Direct  undertook, as well as a champion for all things social media related and 6) Their phone has been ringing and 7) I’ve made some great new friends and contacts and 8. I’ve learned a ton and  9) respect so many others in the space now.

 

In regards to other forms of social media, I’d also created company related personas at nearly all of the top social networking sites, and even some of the lesser ones. I would venture that the total number was close to or had been 50. Some of those sites included YouTube, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Disqus, Propeller, Friendfeed and Twitter. All good viable ways of sharing content and changing a bruised reputation. Delicious is a prime example of my social media book marking efforts, in which I have over 600 bookmarks. That might not seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it is.

 

I’ve toned all of this down now, as I’ve been able to dial it back, tweak it, and develop a happy medium with a consistent social media presence in the places where it’s most effective. Plus the time suck was killing me.

One note:  I also created a number of filters in Google Alerts, Summize  and Backtype that keep and kept me abreast of anything that was said or written about me, the brand, the company, or any of the products that they were marketing, which I highly recommend.

 

 

 

 

The culmination of these social media and reputation management efforts has been, to put it mildly, extraordinary. Not a day goes by where they do not see some type of positive ripple effect both professionally and or for me personally from these efforts. 

The interesting thing about this whole exercise has been, and some people might not realize this, the tremendous amount of effort and work required to maintain and do all of this. The payoff though has been well worth it. I also think it’s important to note, that you cannot afford not to be doing some variation of the above. What do you think? What more could I have done? Did I miss anything?

 

 

You have no idea how much you know

I was on the phone yesterday with a student from Columbia U who is doing her Masters thesis on a certain aspect of social media. We were on the phone because we exchanged a bunch of emails and she felt that maybe a call was in order. After 45 minutes of talking about all aspects of social media we were done. I hung up and I thought to myself; “Wow, did all of that just come out of me?”

Let me sum up what I chatted about.

  • I told her people like Scoble and Chris Brogan had devotional followings yet were different in nature and focus.
  • I mentioned that people like Brian Solis offer an interesting take on the landscape that is the ever-evolving moving target of social media.
  • I mentioned that she should check out Naked Conversations as a primer on what the blogging scene is all about and where it came from and where it’s going.
  • We talked about how Twitter is a great way to connect with Rock Stars, A-listers and thought leaders, but can still pull people into your circle that you have no reason why they are there.
  • I told her she should check out Danah Boyd and some of her work on Social media, teens and class divisions
  • We talked about why people do not contribute right away in social networks, though they have joined a community; and that it could be they’re just not completely comfortable yet.
  • As well, different demographics have different comfort levels in embracing new media.
  • We talked about communities and how individuals and brands operate within those communities.
  • I abused the words authentic, transparent, and “real”.
  • I’m pretty sure I did not take a breath.
  • I stressed that Chris Brogan is walking the line that separates saturation and Scoble like status.
  • I told her that Seesmic would be a good way to connect with people in regards to some of her social network questions
  • I’m pretty sure I mentioned David Armano
  • We talked about the goal of brand participators in communites and the challenges they face in trying to connect with their users and customers
  • I forgot to tell her which of my favorite blogs would help her in her research, so here’s the shortlist.

———————–

  • Brian Solis- Brian is very giving with his thoughts and observations on social media and PR,
  • Valeria Maltoni- If you want deep, thought provoking takes on all things social and beyond, I highly suggest you add her blog to your list 
  • Adam Cohen-Adam is a new add to my list but I enjoy his take and the variety of his posts
  • Ari Herzog-good writer, good take and his posts are timely.
  • Peter Kim-I’ve been probably been giving Peter too many props lately but man his stuff is so insightful.

So after all that, I sat there and started thinking. My first thought was that earlier in the day, I was explaining social media to a bunch of people in a doctors office. The first question out of their mouth was to ask if it was like an online dating site. Ouch.

Having my little chuckle to myself, my next thought was about what I just verbally spewed out to the grad student from Columbia, who by the way, didn’t know as much as I expected. This gave me pause to ponder what do I know? Was it alot? A little? 

Well, maybe I do know a little about some things but… I do know this. The people that I deal with, and talk with, and share with, and laugh with, everyday in my communities, know a lot. ALOT.  And everyone else outside of these circles or spheres that I float in, just might not. And that’s pretty cool. So I wanna thank you for letting me be a part of that.

On your radar: 6 People from Web 2.0 expo NYC.

I’ve now had a few days since I left New York and the Web 2.0 expo, to think. My last post was a quick shot at the highlites, and this post will focus on the specifics of what I thought were memorable moments and people. Keep in mind that I was focused more on the media and marketing tracks of the expo.

Jonah Peretti

One of the funnier and more informative sessions belonged to Jonah Peretti. Peretti co-founded  The HuffingtonPost. During Peretti’s session he cited some of his viral media experiments including the Nike sweatshop email, which was hilarious, as well as BlackPeopleLoveUs and the New York City Rejection Line. According to Peretti, all of these projects started small but spread through word-of-mouth to millions, illustrating the practical application of 6-degrees of separation and tipping points, though the tipping point was not the end game. To sum it up, you should add, test, tweak and optimize.

Words to live by in more than just this setting I think. Don’t you?

Brian Solis

One of the sessions that I thought would deliver more just based on the quality of his blog and other writings was from Brian Solis. For some reason, and there can always be some that can prevent someone from knocking the ball out of the ballpark all the time, this one did not deliver. Though it did provide some nuggets, it mostly was Brian reading slides. I’m going to give Brian a free pass this time though, because his blog “over-delivers”. With that being said, I still suggest that everyone take the time to read and then add Brian’s blog to their reader list.

Avanish Kaushik

If you are into web analytics, as I am, and you don’t know who Avanish Kaushik is, then I would suggest you check out his blog, Occam’s Razor. His session was informative, funny, entertaining and passionate, and it was about fricken web analytics.  With that being said, he topped off his session by giving away his book, Web Analytics-An hour a day. He even autographed it too, if you wanted to wait! Thanks Avanish!

 

Michael Lazerow

Michael Lazerow is the CEO of company called Buddy Media and he delivered probably one of the more intriguing and informative sessions on Why Brand Advertisers Will Be the Biggest Beneficiaries of Social Media and How You Can Participate. He started slow and I was thinking, “uh-oh” here comes more of the same.  I had sat in on a few other sessions in which it was pointless to take notes since the speakers were re-hashing what we read and write every day. But Lazerow didn’t disappoint. He provided case studies and metrics to validate how brands can essentially use a company such as his (which he did not pimp) to promote and leverage a brand or product using social media.

While search dominated the last 5 years of advertising,  Lazerow is dead on when he says that social will emerge as the leading way for major brands to reach and engage consumers. As such, the social media application is both the new ad unit and the new media property all in one. I was very impressed.

Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer had a session titled, Best-kept Secrets to Search Engine Optimization Success: the Art and the Science, and to a certain degree it was. Throughout his talk he peppered the audience with the question, “How many of you knew this”? To which there were very few hands being raised, which in essence validated the whole theme of this session. He provided not only real world examples and strategies, but also a follow up email of content and links that certainly speak to the space of SEO. If you would like the email forwarded to you, let me know. I’m sure he would not mind.

David Armano

David Armano’s session was titled Micro-Interactions: How Brands Can Influence Consumer Behavior in a 2.0 World. I was fairly familiar with this since I am a big reader of David’s blog and his thoughts on micro-interactions. David focuses on new thinking in the web 2.0 world and his session did just that. Unlike some of the other echo sessions that prevailed at Web 2.0, David focuses on the little things that matter. To quote David:

We live in a world where the little things really do matter. Each encounter no matter how brief is a micro-interaction that makes a deposit or withdrawal from our rational and emotional subconscious. The sum of these interactions and encounters adds up to how we feel about a particular product, brand, or service. Little things. Feelings. They influence our everyday behaviors more than we realize.

You can access a lot of these presentation Decks at the  Web 2.0 expo site, but it won’t be the same without the audio. Overall, I’d like to see a little less echo going forward with these conferences, but I don’t think that can be avoidable. With the above people I have mentioned, they have stuck to what they know, and what they know works and they have run with it. For that, I’m thankfull. It was, in the end, a good gig that some should plan on attending.

Post Conversation-What do we do now?

Once you get beyond the conversation, what’s there?  For each aspect or rather in each of it’s iterations, there will always be a result or an action. Conversations, regardless of the network they are swimming in, have to have some causal net result. If not, then it’s one big dinner party or bar, where the conversations have no substance, and we all go home and wake up in the morninh with a headache and ask what happened.

There is a great discussion about this exact subject going on in a few places that I would encourage you to visit. Over at Valeria Maltoni’s site the conversation agent, Valeria has always maintained that it was always about the outcomes of the conversation. And she cites numerous sources that in one way or another support this premise. I couldn’t agree more. You have to do something with the conversations that you have participated in. There has to be an outcome. Unless of course, you converse just to hear yourself speak.

But see, the difference is that in this Web 2.0 age, our conversations take on many different forms. We reach out to have these conversations in many forms and in each form, the effort on our part is the push and we want the pull from the other party. But the conversations may have a tinge of self aggrandizement unfortunately, and that’s where we might be missing the point. I think that these days people are realizing that some of the conversations may be disingenous. It’s the dirty little secret of the social-ness of what we are all participating in. Its the nature of the fluidness of social. It’s way too easy to start the conversation and it’s way too easy to manipulate the conversation in your favor. But most of us are hip to that and I think it eventually  sorts itself out. We’re able to police that part fortunately.

What happens next in each aspect is covered as well by David Armano  with another one of his wonderful graphic representations in which David essentially asks… We’ve identified all the different mechanisms and networks and tools to bring forth the dialogue and raise the level of everyone’s voice beyond the tinge of a whisper so, “What next?”.

You see in each “property” in the above graphic, conversations are and have been taking place. But what comes of them? Here is a quick example. Do we blog because we want to hear and read what we speak and write about respectively? No, we do it because we essentially want to talk and we want to be heard, and we want to engage others in a dialogue. Problem is, and I’ve noticed that perhaps this one tiny aspect is often overlooked- in order to be heard and in order to converse on or in a blog platform, it does not happen immediately. It takes work, and it takes effort, and I think to a large degree, most people underestimate that. Thus they abandon the endeavor. Do we need to make it even easier to be heard and engage others? Is it still to intimidating and difficult to join in the conversation?

The outcomes of conversations in each of David’s properties all predicated on various barriers of entry. Some not as great as others, but each still requires some effort in order to be heard. Do people want to work at their conversations? I don’t think so, but in each example, conversations and the endeavor of enagaging in them is not a passive activity. never has been, unless you like to lurk.

Another aspect often overlooked in the online social world, is that there is still the aspect of engagement. Type “A”‘s might still have an easier time of engagement than type “B”s. We still have to look at easing the transitions for N00bs. Once they are engaged in the conversation, they may be ok. But then we all come back around to the beginning. And we ask ourselves, “Now what?” “What comes of this?”

Seth Godin started an invite only social network called triiibes that was tailored to his forthcoming book. There are roughly 3000 people in this network and conversations abound. The problem is, I have to think, and do, that all the people in the network are in the “take” mode. A network where everyone is looking for, according to Steve Bridger’s comments to David, “what’s in it for me” can’t be very productive, or maybe it is? Conversations have to be equally 2 way, if not, they’re not called conversations, they’re called monologues. They have to have something more to them in each web 2.0 scenario. That’s what Valeria and David are getting at. We have all these tools, so now what? What do we do with all the various ways that we now have to communicate with each other. Perhaps a Conversation Manifesto is in order?

Social Media Visualization Part III:10 Wordles of your peers, do they fit?

In deference to Hermann Rorschach, I give you 10 Wordles from some of the more popular or notable people in the social media, marketing, and internet space that we swim in.  Interestingly enough, what makes them unique, is what makes them different, yet similar. Lets check them out and come up with a few words that might describe each of their blogs.

For the uninitiated, Wordle is a toy for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

Our first Wordle belongs to Jeremiah Owyang, the notable Forrester analyst:

What sticks out? Content, brands, social, personal, chanel, community and Youtube. All of which, in one way or the other, speak to what he writes about on a day to day basis. The one that is the real head scratcher is Ronald. Jeremiah?

 

Next up is Toby Bloomberg’s wonderful blog, Diva marketing Blog

I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Toby is all about blogging, blogger relations, business strategy, marketing and social media. Your thoughts?  How did I do?

Next up is Todd Defren’s  Why is the McCain reference so prominent?  Todd’s wordle appears to look like it’s been tagged by some of Boston’s best graffiti artists. But PR does jump out of the mix, thank goodness.

Well, lets bring in Chris Brogan, the very prolific, as of late, Chris Brogan

Actually Chris’s wordle is very much like him as of late, all over the place. Lots of words. I mean lots. but Speech and Post certainly reveal what Chris is all about-in a good way of course. But so does email?

With that being said, Lets look at the wordle of Brian Solis

As you can see, the word information was cut off, but was essentially alone at the bottom. I find that odd for someone  with this type of blogsite. As if there is some sort of disconnect between PR and the conversation and information? The wordle does reveal the things that Brian blogs about, are dead on with his passion. PR and social media.

Did someone mention Hugh Macleod?

Given the nature and style of Hugh’s blog, its interesting and appropriate to see the word prominence falling on…of all things, people!  But companies and organizations fall in behind the term along with thought and know.

The next few people are certainly people we all know about, so lets see how their wordles compare. The first being David Armano’s Check out how prominent Twitter is, and like people, as well as media, talking, social and brand.

 

Next is Shel Israel’s  Whic speaks to everything that Shel is about. Very representative.

Speaking of representative, check out Scoble’s.

And lastly here is mine: Social, media, conversation, value and people all figure prominently.

Are we all too predictable? Or do we all just stick to what we know?

Visualizing Social Media Part 2

I had such a good time with the visualization of what we all do, what we evangelize, what we learn and what we share on a day to day basis that it seemed like a good idea to show you a few more graphical representations of the space:

Here is Deborah Schultz’s version of the social media ecosytem

Then there is Fred Cavazza’s Social Media Landscape

 

Next is Deirdre Breakenridge I know its tough to see, but it was a huge file.

Or perhaps you can relate to this?

Although, I always like David Armano’s visuals.

 

Which ones make sense to you? What should be obvious is the interconnectivity of every diagram up there, with the exception of the web 2.0 diagram of all the social media apps currently out there. Where do you fit in? Where do you see yourself in any of these? Are you a watcher? A participator? Do you contribute?

There needs to be a little of Randy Pausch in all of us

Valeria Maltoni could not have said it any better in this post titled There’s a Randy Pausch in Each Person. I echo her sentiments by saying if there is not already some Randy Pausch in each and every one of us, then there needs to be.

Read her post. It made my week. Along with the ensuing conversation between her and myself and David Armano, it has really made me glad that I know both of them to the limited degree that I do. Be sure to read David’s post in which he says that we really need to make every interaction count. My question to you, are you making every interaction count? I bet you are online, but what about offline?

Chasing the dragon that is social media

Social media…….social media…. I was reading Geoff Livingston’s latest post and he had a clip on there from Tech Cocktail in which he, David Armano, Frank Gruber and Danielle Wiley opened with a “what is social media” intro.. Which got me wondering, ranting, or just pondering first a) am I too close to the subject and b) c) d) e) and f) and g) are below…

This is what I wrote to Geoff..

Let’s talk about what social media is not. In fact, what if the term social media was banned from our lexicon, what would we call it then? Is it an accurate term to use? Have we trounced on it too much? Or is it still this mystical nirvana like state that marketers, advertisers, agencies, and corporations are all chasing? Are they chasing the dragon? Are we forcing them to chase the dragon? Is it elusive? Are we making it that way? Can we dumb it down? Does it need to be?

 

It’s not really a rant per se, more of just “lots more questions” from maybe a different point of view. Some might say that social media is merely the flavor of the moment for marketers and PR people. Uhh no, it’s where we are headed, and we can choose to integrate and embolden and implement or we can get steamrolled by the ones who decided to embrace it from the get-go.  Who is the person that said “a computer in every home will never happen, it just doesn’t make sense…” Who would like to step up and say, social media is nothing but another internet phase…a fancy web based app…go ahead and throw the first stone.

 Here’s a link to the Vid


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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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