Posts Tagged 'todd defren'

15 reasons to love social media

My last few posts have been about the darker side of social media and thus I wanted to clear something up.  I am the biggest champion of social media that you will find and here’s why. I may get a little spicy sometimes, but that doesn’t diminish all the “good” things about this crazy space and all that it delivers to us daily. So get a gander at these 15 reasons and when you’re done reading them add your reason to the mix.

1)  Today I have a very large network of close and semi-close contacts that I can reach out to at a moments notice. Chances are, you do too! 4 years ago, I did not have anything remotely close to this type of network.

2) If I need a really good PR firm for example, I can contact that person today and we’d know each other well enough to have a very nice conversation… without the usual vetting process. The confluence of PR and social media ain’t no coincidence.

3) If I wanted to have someone guest post on my blog and bring their incredible smartness and knowledge to the table, all I have to do is ask. Have you ever thought of asking someone? You should. There might be some really smart folks in your network and you might not even know they are following you!

4) If I have to refer a killer web design person to someone, I can do that in 5 seconds. I’m sure you know of someone too. I could come up with a list of 10 in no time.

5) Need a good email marketing company? I know one or two. In fact, I got to know someone from a pretty cool company just in the last 2 months,  Thanks network.

6) How about a good social media monitoring company? I can help you, I know a few good people there. What’s great about this one particular company? They don’t push the product, they just act like normal people should act.

7) Want to know who you need to contact in regards to social media and non-profits? Here’s one for you. Thanks to social media, these people have a chance to influence us in a way that allows us and them to make a difference in this world. We need more of that.

8. Because of social media, my network, no matter how jaded or pissed I can get sometimes, allows me to  get jaded and pissed… and they’re ok with that. They still like me in the morning. :)

9) Social media has allowed me to contribute to one book and create a rough draft for another. It’s allowed me to present at conferences, write articles in magazines and speak on the radio and create projects that connect some very dynamic people together.

10) Without social media none of us would be allowed to share the cool things we are doing 24/7/365. That doesn’t mean we always care about all of it, but you have a channel to express yourself now that you didn’t have before.

11) If I need help, all I have to do is ask. Need proof? Check out the 50 people that have hosted Hashtagsocialmedia. I asked and they said yes.

12) If I’m asked to help or assist on something, and because I generally know who is doing the asking, I don’t hesitate, thanks to social media.

13) Because of social media, when I meet someone for the first time, like a Jason Falls for example, I generally am “not meeting” them for the first time. We already know each other.

14) Because of social media, we have something to talk and write about every day.

15) If I didn’t know you before and now I do, chances are it’s because of social media.

At the end of the day, it’s still all about the relationships, the connections, and the conversations. For that, I’m thankful.

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Engagement by proxy

I was looking at the definition of proxy for some odd reason the other day and I was struck by the irony of the definition.

Last week, Todd Defren, who is taking a unique approach towards the social media space by discussing the ethical side of engagement, blogged about ghost tweeting and ghost blogging. Essentially asking his readers to determine whether doing either or not doing them, had any ethical merits.

But I have news for Todd and everyone else. Ghost blogging and ghost tweeting happen a lot.  A lot more than people will care to admit. It happens because people that write and talk and engage for a living are a lot better at it than people who don’t do it for a living. And those that don’t, would rather leave it to those that do. Though I applaud him for taking the high ground on this issue, Todd knows it’s a lot more prevalent than most will admit. So do I.

Is there a solution, I don’t know. There might be, but it has to meet the criteria of the agency and the expectations of the client. Good luck with that.

Engagement by proxy.

You have 11 months to step up your social media game

What are you looking for when you read the latest link bait blog title? I’m always looking for the new tool. I’m looking for what I haven’t found yet, We all are. It’s why new diet books keep popping up on book shelves. Because people keep buying them. Because what worked before just doesn’t seem to be doing it now. We’re all constantly looking for a new approach, a new way to do things. Social media is no exception. We just have a different name for it, it’s called social media obsolescence.

Here’s an example:

You see as a society we’re just not satisfied. This extends to the social networks that we use. Yes, we all are using Facebook, and they are truly the exception to the rule. They are the immovable force. But other sites just die on the vine but for no other reason than it has reached it’s point of critical mass. It’s now in decline for the simple reason that we are looking for, no craving more than what that site delivered to us flawlessly.

To that end, I often find myself pondering whether I could possibly write something that hasn’t been said already. What will satisfy this rabid audience of social media consumers looking for the brass ring or the uber answer? Well the answer is, every day there is another great batch of great posts from some really smart people that I’m pleased to know professionally. Each with a new twist, a different angle, a fresh thought. Which tells us that indeed we are in the nascent stages of this monolith that we call social media.

So what’s there left to do?

What is left is for you and even me, to take all of these thoughts and processes and put them to good use and into action. Then you, my dear readers must pay it forward. No more selfish consuming.

You need to become the next legion of social media foot soldiers. We still have so many people that are completely perplexed and yet those of you that have been playing in the sandbox now for say the last year, know so much more than 75% of the population. That’s you! Start sharing what you know and what you have read. Don’t keep it to yourself.  Be a creator, as well as a conversationalist. Push the envelope in 2010, you have 11 months to get it done!

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The sea change in Twitter sentiment

I thought it was just me and thus I wrote about the rise of the transactional conversation of Twitter on Monday. Then yesterday David Binkowski threw a post up on Shamable  about gaming social media.  At the same time Hubspot put out it’s 3rd state of The Twittersphere report.  And Todd Defren lastly writes about moving the needle on Twitter.  All of these posts and reports and what have you, alluded to something that may be occuring before our very eyes and that’s this:

Conversations on Twitter have deteriorated into flat out unadulterated pimping of one’s wares, or the company they work for.

As new marketers and companies flock to Twitter, their predisposed notions of how to use Twitter have been fueled not only by us subconsciously, but also by other marketers and individuals who “think” that the best way to use Twitter is as a one to many broadcast mechanism.

Subconsciously, we have become a party to and have embraced traditional marketing on Twitter.

The conversations have eroded into flat out pimping, so has the spirit of what all of us celebrated no less than a year ago. The conversation and ensuing relationship. But not, for some of us, we’ve become jaded, and wary of what it it that you want. For some of us,  the quality of the conversations are few and far between and it’s our fault.

I know, some of you are going to fire back and say “What conversations?”  You’ll say, “Twitter is not a platform for conversations and never was.” You’ll say,” Who can have conversations in a 140 charcaters or less?”

The interuptive interaction?

And maybe that is what the true evolution of what Twitter is or what it should be?… A way for brands and individuals to pimp themelves and try an extract something from the engagement.

Instead of learning more and developing a relationship with the people you follow and that follow you, Twitter now just might be turning into one big drive in theater to make out in now. Who needs conversation?

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?

5 life lessons I learned from social media this week

learning

Last night I was wondering what I was going to write about that hopefully someone new or old in the marketing, social media and PR space would understand. It’s been a crazy week but there were a few posts that caught my eye that led me to this topic.

The first was by Todd Defren about the value of modesty in which he mentions that some of the solid thinkers in the social media space are truly humble  about themselves and about what they have accomplished. Imagine that? The people that you admire in the space, have no idea how good they are and in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as important, as it is to help others. Humility in social media.

Another post that caught my eye immediately was authored by Steve Radick essentially stating that social media is scary and the reason is, social media gives everyone a voice, whether they want it or not. It can instill fear and it can intimidate. Which made me ask via Twitter if some felt intimidated or scarred to talk to some of the other better known Twitterati and the answer was a collective yes. Which made me immediately wonder if I did and how can I change that? How can you change that perception if it exists? it’s unacceptable so thus I learned about-Fear of social media.

So in 2 instances we have humility and fear bubbling up from social media. I wanted to write about respect and how we, as social media practitioners may not give newcomers enough of that and that stemmed from the following:

I did a vlog  on how I was going to start viewing social media differently; and the more I look back at that vlog, the more I realized that it’s not that others have to do anything different it was me. I complain about the echo and the people that repeat things but fail to really consider who might be the person behind it. Or really who is listening? I’ve judged, I’ve deliberated and I’ve executed before even doing any legwork to justify some of my criticism. For that I apologize. Though I still want to see more from both the N00bs and the sage veterans in this space, I certainly see that not everyone came aboard at the same time. And, they’re still coming aboard! I welcome you with open arms. I apologize with all my heart. Contrition in social media.

Lastly I want to tell you about the good in social media and the good that can come from community and how quickly people can open their hearts for others. David Armano for those of you who don’t know him has a friend that you should meet and get to know. I’m not going to steal David’s thunder but if he doesn’t do anything the rest of the year, he can rest assure that what he did for Daniela will have changed her life forever. Impactful. Social media can be love, can be generous and can be impactful.

So you see, even when I said I had nothing to write and  was struggling, it was there all along, right in front of me. To be honest, it’s always there,  sometimes it just takes the community we’re in to point it out to us in an ever so subtle manner. I thank you for that. and thus I have gratitude for social media.

Twitter Patter

Ok I admit it. Twitter matters to me. My 300+ peeps that follow me and vice versa, are starting to take on  the characteristics of a community where you can depend on certain personalities to talk about the things that they are passionate about. . Yes, this community still has the people that will give you TMI on the little nuances of their lives, but somehow even that isn’t so bad. My community is a diverse group from all walks of life that I enjoy exchanging thoughts links rants and raves with.

Thanks to Tweetdeck which though I consider a bandwidth hog, I can manage and filter my community with simple ease. It takes a mili-second to see what people are talking about and because it’s a very targeted group of people talking about all things that are markting, PR and social media related, the content that we share amongst each other is usually pretty strong.

Peter Kim brought up some great points recently in which he explains the value of Twitter to him, as well as some of the splinter sites he likes, that are devoted to making his Twitter experience more powerful.  Last night I was thinking about this:

When and how could you have in the past, connected with so many great minds and thought leaders on such an immediate real time level?

Therein is the true value of Twitter. Connect and converse not only with your peers but people that make a difference in your professional life? Are you kidding me? How can you not realize the value in that? Even the biggest of skeptics has to see that, and not the baseline, entry level, tag line that is wrapped around Twitter-”What are you doing?”

There are some rules of engagement that one should follow though, and to that I have to give a shout out to Beth Harte and her “Why should i follow you post” I’d suggest checking it out. And then follow it up with Michael Brito’s Twitter Manifesto post which is a nice dovetail from Beth’s.

Twitter is a great tool as long as you understand the value and the context in which it can be used; and or abused.  However, as is the great self policing aspect of most online communities, the abusers or the poseurs usually don’t last very long. Consider them similar to the travelling carnies. They usually are in town for the weekend and then you won’t see them again. Missing teeth and all…

Just remember: Value begets value.  So If you are going to Tweet or you’re going to participate, then try and avoid the mundane and the banal. We can get that anywhere. But you should be using Twitter for the following reasons, which I am going to scrape from Todd Defrens blog post on why PR people need to be in Twitter:

  • Personal branding
  • Knowledge
  • Relationships

Wow, talk about value adds! And Twitter is freakin FREE! Are you kidding me? Listen, if you’re reading this, then chances are very high that you already know about Twitter. That’s cool. But maybe what you take away from this post is that there is a “way” to use Twitter right, and I hope you “get” that more than anything else. Oh and you can follow me here,   http://www.twitter.com/@marc_meyer

I know I might be beating a dead horse here, but I’m going to throw Common Crafts Twitter Video back up.

Twebinar 3, a Mashup of Heavy Hitters

So yesterday was the final Twebinar in the series of 3. I’ve written about how successful the other 2 were and this one did not disappoint. What makes these twebinars better than good, are the components, that in their own right are singularly successful.  Combined into a mashup of staccato like proportions though, they then take on a life of their own.. It is in short a live show, a webinar, live video, taped video, live Q & A, and twitter. Will it blend? Ohhhh yea it did and yes it does.

Each of the Twebinars is and was hosted by Chris Brogan  from Crosstech Media, who currently is the pied piper of all things social media related and rightly so. Chris knows everyone and everyone knows Chris, so it works. Along with David Alston from Radian 6, Chris and David have melded multiple technologies and people into a workable format for robust discussions. In the course of the hour plus twebinar Chris trots out all of the hitter heavy hitters in marketing, PR and social media like Todd Defren, Maggie Fox, Sally Falkow, and Paul Gillin, to name a few, and in rapid fashion they give you their take on all things, in this case, the art of listening in the space that we all are swimming in right now. How to listen, as I tweeted yesterday is not a novel concept, but you would be surprised how often it is ignored and overlooked as a tool of measurement. All of yesterdays guests and fellow twitterers essentially said nothing to the contrary either.

I’ll tell you why I like twebinars. It’s an opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas and opinions on what I think works, with my peers, with my colleages, and with people that are looking for answers. All in an insanely fun and interactive format. In fact, all of the participants have that exact opportunity because we are as much a part of the twebinar as are the people that Chris had on. It’s why it works.

Glitches? A few but all temporary and expected. The upside? 95% of those who participated woudl do it again. And the downside?  I’m sure there was a downside if someone chose to find one, but on the surface, I’d say Chris and David, and all those who were a part of the Twebinars, would say in baseball parlance, went three for three. To check out the tweets from yesterdays Twebinar, Try #tweb3 on Summize. I would keep your 2 ears open for the next one.

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?

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?

 

 

 


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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