Posts Tagged 'mack collier'

Why Social South Worked

logososo

Of all varieties of fopperies, the vanity of high birth is the greatest. True nobility is derived from virtue, not from birth. Title, indeed, may be purchased, but virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.
- Robert Burton

Did you know I have a tattoo on my arm with the saying “Virtus sola nobilitas.” on it?  It’s part of my family crest. As cool as that is, what’s more important is what the words mean. Essentially, it means that virtue is the only coin that makes the bargain valid.

Why do I bring this up? Because the words mean a lot to me. They resonate. I like people who carry themselves without pretentiousness. Especially when they so easily could. I think it’s an amazing quality to possess. Humility. Especially in today’s personal branding, all about me world.

At Social South I was amongst the most unpretentious, unassuming, group of high profile social media thought leaders assembled in one place at one time. Sure, I could have gone to a half dozen “larger” more visible cities and had just as many social media thought leaders assembled. And I have. But I would have gotten the attitude thing along with the assumptive title of social media thinker, high brow, I’m better than you, thing.

There would be none of this at Social South.

Beyond a list that included the incredibly down to earth Beth Harte, the humble Mack Collier, the classy Toby Bloomberg, the social media handyman Paul Chaney who has a book coming out, the incredibly smart Jason Falls, the genuine Christina Kerley, the effusive Kellye Crane, the solid Tom Martin, the refreshing An Bui, and of course the giving Lionel and talented Richard from Dell, There were a host of “other” people that deserve recognition in their own right.

From Andrew Keen, Dave Barger, Mitch Canter, Robert French, David Griner, Tammy Hart, to Dana Lewis, Andre Natta, Phyllis Neill, Will Scott, Jeff Vreeland, Stacey Hood and of course Ike Pigott all of them brought value, humility, a sense of community and a sense of “leave the ego at the door and lets learn from each other.” You don’t get that at 95% of the conferences that you attend. That’s why Social South worked.

Of course I would be remiss to not bring up 2 more people. The first is as finest an individual that I’ve met from practically meeting for the first time. This person essentially pulled Social South together and shaped it into the conference that it was and did it in a way that it was seamless and looked effortless. Scott Schablow you rock.

Esra’a Al Shafei

What can I say. This person gave one of the most riveting non-keynote keynotes I have ever heard. And it was via Skype. The night before Scott Schablow mentioned that every time he heard her speak, it gave him goose bumps. I had no idea what he was talking about. Yet, this was no exception. Not only did it give me and everyone else goose bumps, it also reduced more than half the audience to tears and the rest were giving her a standing ovation.

Esra is the founder and Executive Director of MideastYouth.com, and what she did was she showed the crowd gathered at Social South the true power of crowdsourcing people for the cause of freedom and human rights via  social media, via video, via the internet and really any other means possible. She showed what’s possible. What is possible.

In short, it was the perfect keynote for a group of people who were so into what they were doing. People who were so genuine, that it made perfect sense for them. As I said, you don’t get that at other conferences. You hope to, but you generally don’t.  And That’s why Social South worked. Thank you #Soso!

I could go on, but it might take days to highlite everything! But one more thing before I go, here is that tattoo and remember,”Virtus sola nobilitas.” :)

tat

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The ROI of competitive intelligence

eaves

Rachel Happe is hosting this weeks #socialmedia session. I bring her up for a reason, which you’ll soon see. For those of you that are unaware of what #socialmedia is, I will quickly explain and then get to my point. Every Tuesday at Noon EST, Jason Breed of Neighborhood America and myself host a one hour Twitter session around the business of social media. Every week we have a different host to moderate  a session wrapped around some of the hottest social media issues revolving around business. They’re job? To challenge and question and probe participants to reach higher in their assumptions about what social media is.  The list of people that have hosted over the past few months is like a who’s who of social media practitioners. They include Jason Falls, Geoff Livingston, Toby Bloomberg, Lee Odden, Mack Collier, Danny Brown, David Alston and Beth Harte, to name a few.

Now more to my point. In one of Rachel’s recent posts on her new project blogsite The Community Roundtable, which I highly suggest you check out, she does a snap shot  view of how community managers use Twitter. She highlites  Connie Bensen, Dirk Shaw, Guy Martin, and herself. In each case, we see how each person manages to monitor the twit streams in their space. In every case, they all manage to monitor the sandbox or boxes in which they play. Why? Because it gives them more information, knowledge and data. And the best part, it’s free and for the most part passive.

Call it competitive intelligence or call it consumer intelligence, call it whatever intelligence you want; but don’t dismiss the value of this information. On the surface it may not deliver the troika that I constantly talk about when talking about hard ROI in social media- make money, save money, or increase equity but if I were going to place a value on competitive intelligence I would say, to use a few sports analogies- It’s the 6th man in basketball, the utility club in golf, the setter in volleyball, the pitcher with the rubber arm in baseball, or the slotback in football. Simply put, don’t underestimate or discount the value of competitive intelligence.

To not take advantage of competitive intelligence that is freely available is more like giving the competition a constant headstart. Or better yet, if you are a hitter in baseball, you’re starting with a strike before you even step in the batters box.

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The Microcosm of social networks

One of things I love so much about what I do is how fluid it is. Not only personally, but as a whole, the industry and space  I swim in, is very fluid.   But within that fluidity are small pockets of conversations, networks and  silos of brewing relationships that enhance one’s ability to “be fluid”. As of late, I have noticed a lot of really interesting discussions that have bubbled up based on these principles of micro-networks and our ability to flow in and out of them.

David Armano who is all about micro-interactions, adds to his  growing volume of work, which I respect very much, with this  preso titled, “The Micro-Sociology of Networks.”

Slide#36 struck a nerve for me in which David says that Micro-social economics are Niche. For me, I picture the relationships I have in social networks, the relationships I have offline and the one’s I might have in a large stadium, Each has it’s own dynamic and niche quality.

Valeria Maltoni, another person who brings fresh thinking to everything that she touches, did the following post a while back titled Micro Interactions in PR In which she states that:

Public relations is the discipline that gets to the single interactions, the relationships, more closely.

The single interactions and or the relationships.  It’s as simple as this-Is it easier to develop a more intimate relationship with one person or 2 or 3 or 40? Every time you add another person to the conversation, divide the conversation, the relationships and the signal exponentially.

This  exponential division reminded  me of a tweeted conversation I had awhile back with Robert Scoble, in which I asked him, “Now that you have 70,000 followers, what is the percentage of “actual” conversations you have with your followers/or those he followed?”  His answer? When he was only being followed by 20,000, he spoke to 25-35% of them-meaning more than one tweet. Conversations. As the number has risen, it is now less than 10%. In Scoble’s case, I believe it’s always been more of a macro-interaction, but it works for him. But I think he would be the first to admit, that any value that he derives from Twitter, would still be on a personal micro-interactive level.

Recently, I was reading a post by Bernie Borges titled… The Lifecycle of Interaction in Social Media in which he discusses the collective wisdom and influence of communities, and I started to think about the “microcosm of a community” no matter how large or small.

On the one hand one might not think of a community as a microcosm, yet niche communities are in essence, reflections of larger less fluid communities, aren’t they? There is the chance that you are in this or that niche community, because of the rigidity of the larger network. You are, in a sense, a microcosm of a larger group. And because of the possible lack of micro-interactions, you chose to find one that met your needs.

Quick definition here from dictionary.com

mi⋅cro⋅cosm

human beings, humanity, society, or the like, viewed as an epitome or miniature of the world or universe

The fluidness of  online networks now allows us to be a part of many networks and create many realtionships. Sounds very reflective of the offline world doesn’t it? So it begs the question: Aren’t all online social networks, microcosm’s?  Subsets of society played out online?

In conclusion, as I’ve said, I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately, and the thoughts might be disjointed but as my friend Mack Collier mentions, I’m  removing the perfect filter from this post and throwing it up.

Mardi Gras and Social Media

mardi-gras-parade

Today is Mardi Gras and given that I’m here in Naples and I’m from New Orleans, I need to do the next best thing. I’m going to compile a list for you. The list is of people that I would want to buy food and drinks for and a short reason why. You see with drinks and food readily available, we could have some killer conversations.   Hell we already do, and there ain’t no food and drinks!!!! 

And isn’t what this all about? Social Media, Mardi Gras, being together sharing, talking, laughing, drinking, eating…So,  laizzes bon temps roulez

Say Hi to…

Mack Collier- great conversation, good person, here’s some beers for you Mack, followed by  a shrimp po-boy…:)

shrimp-po-boy

Arik Hanson Loves a good hoppy microbrew, so pull up a chair and crack one open.

Amber Naslund, she can bring it. Between myself, Arik and Amber the beer scene will be covered. I’d have beers with Amber anytime.

I gotta have someone who can bring the crawfish. Ahh Paul Chaney is in Lafayette, he can do it. Plus he’s a great guy. I’d split 15-20 pounds of crawfish with Paul!

crawfish1

This party needs some flavor and maybe I can show David Alston that his Canadian beer is not up to snuff. Molson? ick…:)

I can’t forget some Austin Flavor right? How about Peter Kim, Jack Leblond and Dave Gonzalez? I need to buy all three of these guys beers for their ability to share so much with me, for that, they can drink for free!

beers

What party wouldn’t be complete without some wicked people from the Boston area? Rachel Happe between sips of her Sam Adams, would be a welcome addition. As long as she kept the Red Sox talk to a minimum!

I’d buy a beer for good friend Jason Breed anytime, as long as it was a 2 for 1 special!

Speaking of Jasons why not have Jason Falls? He has an “in” over at Makers Mark! Plus, he’d be a welcome addition to any party.

I better invite George “Loki” WIlliams since he lives in New Orleans
and does write a blog called Social Gumbo!

I’d buy a few beers for David Armano provided he hooked us up with some Chicago dogs.. waddya say Dave? Plus he’s a good dude too. As big a heart as someone can have.

It goes without saying that 3 of my favorite gals would all be getting beers AND shots from me. Beth Harte, Liz Strauss and Toby Bloomberg. If They didn’t want that, then we’ll settle for splittin a Muffeletta from Central Grocery- Trust me you won’ be disappointed. These sandwiches are ridiculous!

muffuletta

I’d also like to have beers with the following: Sonny Gill, Daria Steigman, Ari Herzog, Nathan Taylor, Lisa Trosien and Shannon Paul, Todd Defren, Brian Solis and of course the Yat Pundit! Because they all are great conversationalists and thinkers and even more importantly, better people!

One more rule, You can bring 2 friends. Mardi Gras is all about blowin it out..so bring a friend or 2. Who ya bringin? and Where Yat?

Oh we need someone to do the music, any suggestions?

Social Media and Community Mistakes I’ve made

As the VP of Marketing for a dot com start up geared towards IT professionals and major corporations, I assemble multiple focus groups consisting of average Joes to get their opinion on the UI. Not realizing until after the site is built, that perhaps it might have made better sense assembling the typical actual user of the site in garnering user feedback. Huge error.

After having started my first user based community wrapped around a very popular consumer product, I manage the community as if I am a dictator. I say no to everything and listen even less. Big mistake!

These are but 2 of the mistakes I’ve made in my journey through marketing, communities and social media. Encouraged by my friend Mack Collier who has a similar post right now over on his site The Viral Garden, I decided to recount some of the mistakes I’ve made in social media, marketing and managing communities.  I think this is a very viable topic right now for a number of reasons, as you will soon see.

Mack mentions that people who are entering the space for the first time-be it social media, marketing, managing communities, blogging, or whatever-may fear that doing anything, any misstep, will be met with criticism, or perhaps a stiff rebuke. Which is not the case at all, in fact Mack’s point is this:

When it comes to social media; no one knows everything, and everyone makes mistakes. I’ve made more than my fair share

Don’t buy into this ‘I don’t have anything to say/tweet/post about’ nonsense. Get out there and make your mistakes, because that’s the best way to learn. And besides, one of those ‘social media experts’ has probably already made all the same mistakes you will

So along with the other 2 mistakes I made above, let me highlight some of the bigger ones I’ve made.

2002 I set up a knowledge base, a BBS, and an instant chat function all to allegedly help our customer service dept. Results?  Customer service didn’t know how to use the complicated KB and neither did the customer. The BBS was too complicated as well and the chat function crashed constantly. 0 for 3.

2002, I created an online community that instantly becomes popular and balloons to 3,000 users. At which point, I endear myself to no one as I kick out some of the brand champions for what were in hindsight, petty transgressions. It’s at this point that I am called out for the first of many times, and issued my first death threat as well. Major screw up on my part!

2003 I’m still not listening to the customer.  Thinking that perhaps silence is golden as a community manager, I participate very little when the complete opposite was needed at the time. FAIL.

2004 A new product and business unit is created. I create new sites that get tremendous traffic but do very little analysis of the trends, the topics, the hot buttons and customer suggestions flowing in from email and I funnel them to Customer Service, because “I’m too busy!”   Apparently, they never read them either. Product tanks. My fault for not listening, at all.

2005- I start blogging to create better brand recognition. But I know nothing and blog/spam with zero regularity. The only gain I see, is a minor SEO bump, but realize that it came from me commenting. So rather than genuinely read blogs, I decide to just lamely comment for hyperlink purposes. It works for SEO but I get nothing out of the exercise.  At which point I’m just an SEO loser/hack gaming the system. FAIL

2006 I start blogging again but this time it’s out of a need to communicate with customers better. Obviously I’ve seen some light somewhere.  But I read very few other blogs and comment even less. Not realizing that blogging is a 2 way street. It takes a full 6 months for that fact to sink in.

2006-2007 I engage in a full blown reputation management endeavor utilizing  social bookmarking, blogging, and participating in multiple social networks. Only problem-I’m not engaging earnestly. Another problem, I create persona’s in the name of the company but not in my name. I’m not transparent, not even close. Apparently I realize the SEO implications but still don’t get that its all about you being you and the conversation. I’m everywhere and I’m not. The reputation management campaign has worked and yet I have zero traction. I still have not understood the basic principles of social media. FAIL

2007- The light is starting to go on a bit more, but it still has not dawned on me to come out from behind the curtain and be myself. It takes the last 6 months of 2007 to realize that transparency actually works in creating better conversations. In the meantime I start joining social networks on behalf of products instead of myself, and continue to push the message as a brand marketer instead of engaging and listening as a person. Mistake

2008- I was very active but not always in a good way. In 2008 I created “more” social networking accounts instead of concentrating on the few where I have become part of the communiy. I blog about too many different things not realizing that my traffic came from being consistent and on point. I also sometimes still forget that traffic comes from participating and reading other blogs. I also forget that the best way to create value and more long lasting relationships and perhaps derive business, is to go beyond thinking like a marketer and to think more like a friend, a peer, and a colleague. I realize now that from all of my mistakes that, as I told my friend Paul Chaney on his Blog Talk Radio show:

Active listening leads to active relationships that translate to real opportunity..

So you see, I’ve made a ton of mistakes, and those were just the one’s that come to mind immediately. The key though, is that I learned from them, and kept trying. But if you never step outside, you will never truly know what’s out there.  Bottom line is don’t be afraid to make mistakes. I have to think that regardless of your backgrounds , you have all made mistakes. Don’t let the mob mentality, or some random blog comment or snarky tweet,  sway you from trying and experimenting  in social media. Let it be a motivator.

The Virtual Street Cred of Twitter

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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?

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.

Every follower can be a thought leader

leadership_1_

I was inspired to write this last night after “I started thinking” that we all are capable of being “Thought leaders” in our right. This meme came from a couple of posts that I read over at Amber Naslund’s and Valeria Maltoni’s blogs. Amber had touched on this week about reputation and branding, value propositions and being personal, While Valeria listed 25 ways to fail and come out on top. I highly suggest after reading this short post that you head over there to read what they have to say.

While both Amber and Valeria have taken different approaches to the same topic, the message to me is quite clear. I’m going to sum it up for you. Right now, you read our blogs for pleasure, for business, for insight, for research or for shits and giggles. The reasons are many, but what I want people to realize and what Amber and Valeria are saying in oh so many words is you can be the thought leader or the influencer who inspires us. With that being said, I am a firm believer in empowerment, I think it creates more leaders and less followers and more original thought in doing so.

We talk about thought leaders in social media all the time. But what you need to realize is that all of us, thought leaders and influencers included, are starting from the same point. We start with nothing and we build from there. I tweeted earlier today that everyone can make the new rules. I thought that, because I read and hear all the time about the new rules of marketing or the new rules of media, or social media marketing rules of engagement.  And I get that. But guess what? You can make your own rules too! Wanna know why? Because we’re all still figuring it out ourselves. We always will be. But you can be the one that shows us the way, just as much as the next person.

Be the one that makes or breaks the rules. There is no reason why YOU can’t be the thought leader.

The social media food chain and A-listers

A-listers, movie stars, superstars and rockstars, every industry has them. Including ours. Social media, PR and Marketing. We love to worship them don’t we? We watch their every move. We’re fascinated by them. The only thing they might lack are the paparazzi and a posse. There’s just something about what they say and do and write that mesmerizes us. (Cue the chorus of angels) We have decided by our adoration that they hold the keys to the kingdom and thus we need and have decided to quote them and listen to them and follow them whenever we can. Is it wise? Seriously. Is it?

Admit it, you’d take some of that “rockstar” love if it was thrown your way. By that, I mean if you became an A-lister yourself, you wouldn’t turn down the title. Additionally, If they showed interest in you, or talked to you-you’d take that “bounce effect” as well, in a heartbeat. Hell, it might be why we all blog. We want what they got. It’s just that some of you might not admit it. It’s Ok. It’s not why I blog but the residual effect of the blog has certainly brought some notoriety with it that I was not prepared for, and thus I’m not going to reject it.

When you get right down to it, and where I might be in the social media food chain, I think I might be a J or K lister. And while we’re on the subject, lets ask ourselves why we are blogging.  That’s right you- “Mr. or Ms. Stranger that I don’t know yet I trust more than an advertiser”. You, The New influencer, What is your endgame goal here? Is it to be a new influencer?  To be a difference maker? A game changer?

Lets back up though.  That’s not the sole purpose of this post. The duel purpose is to figure where we should place the A-listers in the social media food chain.  Lets ask ourselves who’s eating who here? For example: I recently asked at one conference whether advertisers realized the influence that A-listers have just in the Twitter-sphere. I didn’t really get an answer to that. My point: Twitter followers look for A-listers, follow them immediately, and then jump all over those A-lister quality tweets. And why?

So let’s ask ourselves. What, if any, value or credence should we place with an A-lister when they utter anything? Be it in a micro-blogging platform, a conference, a blog post, a book, an e-book or a podcast. I know some have a body of work that certainly can belie their status. Others, are a tad bit more fuzzy. But even then, we have to be careful and we have to be selective of what we choose to listen to.

I say we read the menu, sample what you want, chew on what tastes good, and digest what will stay down.. Their’s is not the only restaurant serving something hot.

A couple of days ago,  Mack Collier wrote about why he enjoyed the SMBU more than SXSW because it was more of a teaching gig than it was a big “look at me” Rockstar, fest. and frankly, I’m down with that. In fact, if I think back on the last 6 speakers I’ve listened to at various engagements, 4 of them had the same M O.

You see, we’re all guilty of our own MO or modus operandi, as well. Ours might look something like this: We show up at a conference, and wait for “the name” or the “A” lister to talk. When they take the stage, we sit on the edge of our chair, try to tweet something sharp and clever and original and game changing that he or she might say in their slotted time. Then we watch them hustle through their slides and then.. . they answer 4 questions, and poof, they’re done. I know thats not always the case but bear with me.

We then sit there with a few thoughts: They are: “Have I just seen the second coming? Or, WTF was that?” Or, “Did I get anything out of that just now?” Or maybe, “I can’t believe he or she really looks and sounds like that”. All the while the A-lister has stepped off the side of the stage into a throng of social media, marketing or PR groupies. At which point, the exalted one” answers maybe 1 or 2 more questions while 15-20 others hope that he or she looks their way. It’s at this point that I might shake my head, mumble something to the effect, “when is a speaker going to learn how to at least  properly close their talk with something other than, “well it looks like my time is up, thanks.” Perhaps they should read Rohit’s blog post about how to avoid being a bozo when presenting?

In closing, I see that my time is up. But here’s your takeaway. There are a lot of people to listen to in this space. Some of them are not even close to being A-listers, and you know what? They still know their stuff. Maybe even more than the A-listers. Chances are, the A-listers might even be pulling their thoughts and content from them. It’s up to you to decide who you engage. Step back and decide why you are listening to them. Is it because “everyone” else is? Or because they make sense to you. If that’s the case, then stay the course. One last thought: If you’re blogging and you have a dedicated following, you might just realize that you are a thought leader yourself and not a follower of a social media A-lister with clay feet.  And there ain’t nuthin wrong with that.

Can Twitter and Plurk co-exist?

Anybody remember the Hatfields and McCoys? Check out this picture and read what you can of the sign:

Civil war conflicts, romantic entanglements, family oriented discord, property disputes, mixed with mountain pride…. Yeeeeehaaaaa. Mabel, git my gun!

Ok..so the guy on the left is Twitter and the the feller on the right is Plurk.. The guy on the left looks like he’s tolerating the guy on the right, doesn’t it? It’s sorta the way I’m seeing whats happening right now between the 2 currently. The golden child versus the upstart. Ali versus Frazier, Firefox versus IE, Kirk versus Khan? Leno versus Letterman.

I know I’m stretching the relationship a bit, if you want to call it a relationship but….really, it’s a situation where eventually you are going to end up in one of two camps but not both…  At the least, they are labor intensive, don’t you think? As I have alluded to in a previous post, social networking is hard work, and that includes the likes of micro blogging using  the aformentioned Twitter and Plurk.

This topic stems from a LinkedIn question I have currently active in which I asked Do you Twitter? If so why? and if not, how come? For now I’d like to pull from some of the tremendous answers I received from some really really smart people that speak to the duel that is heating up thanks to the Twitter outages of the past few weeks.

 Here’s a quick thought maybe Twitter and Plurk could hang together like..

.

 Ben and Jerry?

Those scarry 70′s mugshots notwithstanding, we might as meld the two micro-blog sites together and create another entity called Twurk? Plitter? Plutter? Let me digress, before I lose you and share with you some thoughts and links about what others have to say about Twitter and Plurk.

First off, Daniel Schutzsmith provided a great link to a post he wrote called 20 things I learned using Twitter, it’s informative, has a ton of links and makes sense.(nice glasses btw, Daniel)

Next, although this person did not specifically chime in on her love or hate for Twitter, I still liked her post, Melissa Chang, tells me why she likes Twitter, bumps and all…

Beth Harte of OnPath technologies supplied not only some great observations but also 3 great links to 3  great articles that speak to exactly what is good, bad and ugly about Twitter and Plurk. the first is by Mack Collier titled, Getting individuals excited while trying to create a community, I like Mack, and he brings up some great points about Plurk.

Beth’s next suggestion was to read a post by Jason Falls, titled 5 reasons Plurk is better than Twitter and vice versa, who by no coincidence, was recommended to me by Todd Defrens in response to my top 30 social media experts, and 17 thought leaders posts. Jason has some thoughts as well about Plurk you might find interesting.

Lastly, she mentioned a post by Frank Martin  called The question of Plurk, which lays It all out pretty succinctly, screen shots and all. I highly recommend it. He seems to be a champion for the Plurk cause, but it’s cool, it’s all good. Ultimately, I think Twitter and Plurk can co-exist just like:

Why not? What sayeth you?


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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