Posts Tagged 'Web 2.0'



Quit talking about Social Media and Go Make Some Money!

Ok so by now we all know the hows and whats of social media and social media marketing. At least, we better.  Hell, I’ve written a books worth of articles myself on the subject. And lately we’re all writing about how to use social media in a down economy. Or whether social media can survive the meltdown. Or how to use social media to deal with the crappy economy. It seems everyone has their take on what to do. Scoble says we should listen

 The Buzz Bin says keep a cool head and keep morale up. We can even go to extremes and ask Will the Recession Spell the End of Web 2.0? or we can go to the opposite end of the spectrum and be forthright and ask whether you would tell your employees and customers how bad it is?  Don’t get me wrong, those all are great and relevant posts, but we gotta move on.  So let’s take this to the next level.

Seriously, you do not have to look far to read another article about how one can use social media to improve their marketing, or how bad it is out there. Between the two, We get it. It’s in our face all day every day. But now, it’s time to get serious.

Scenario one:  I’m a big company and I don’t have time to be pitched and I don’t have time for social media marketing initiatives to ramp up, but I’m willing to try them. What can your social media marketing campaign, Mr. Agency/Marketer/In house CMO do for me right now? What can we roll out that will show immediate results?

Scenario two: I’m a marketer/agency. I now do not have the luxury of educating you Mr. Big Company on what social media is and how it can benefit your company- I now have to show you direct ROI with a timeline that is reasonable and cost effective. What’s your plan? And do you trust me? Because my ass is now on the line.

So wutcha gonna do? Do you have a plan? Playtime is over.

Even our “friends” over at Forrester have said, “quit dippin the toes and invest only in programs that can deliver on measurable metrics.”

So what are the programs? Do you even know? You can’t manage what you can’t measure. Page views and traffic aint gonna pay the bills. Talk to me. Do you have a plan? Which of these below can make you or your client money?

About these ads

Hey people, let’s step it up.

I was sitting in the stands of a basketball gym a few nights ago and talking to one of the major movers of one of the top social media companies in the country, and I had asked him what’s going on at work. I like to see where they’re at sometimes since they are right in the thick of it usually, and I’m always impressed in the directions they head. He told me that they were looking to do more and to do bigger and better things with companies rather than just to pitch or create wikis, and blogs and communities and what not.

Don’t get me wrong, they “do” do more, it’s just that the perception or thought right now with other large companies wanting to get into the social media game is “this is what works with others-so lets do that”. He said they were looking to expand their reach and their depth of  what that can do instead of offering component driven solutions on large scales. Great strategy.

This made complete sense to me. In fact I had been mulling over that corporate perception and social media perception of late with the posts I had been reading in my reader and on some social sites I frequent. 

My thinking was it had become somewhat static, one dimensional and monotone like in its themes. Or maybe stale? Tired? Repetitive?

Think about it, we are creatures of habit and we do what the pack is doing. We see what works and we do the same. Isn’t that the way certain companies are approaching pitching social media solutions to large companies. They see what has been successful elsewhere and then take the same approach and basically say we can do that to? Yawwwwwwwwn. Go ahead and do that. But how bout you stretch out and take a chance on doing something bold and different?

Which was the essence of  what my friend was saying and I applaud their thinking for this. We, and they are only limited by our collective thinking of what social media can do. Right now we’re implementing what we know what works instead of turning it inside out and attacking it from a completely different vantage point.

 I implore that tact with some of the incredible collection of thinkers that I subscribe to. I personally believe that we have only scratched the surface of what social media can do and I plead with you to step back and really think about the ways and means in which we can take this piece of clay that is social media and shape it into things that we have not even begun to fathom as being possible. Let’s eliminate… the echo.

Clay Shirky Get’s It

Clay Shirky, is someone who “get’s it” in a big way. Take 8 minutes to watch this.

more about “Interview Clay Shirky on Vimeo“, posted with vodpod

 

Are you a thought leader or a follower?

When I was a kid most coaches and teachers used to tell me to be a leader and not a follower. Amazing how we manage to find ourselves saying the same thing to each successive generation. Why? because it makes sense. But does it? I immediately think of the old saying, “too many chiefs and not enough indians”. Ok so now we should all be confused. Which should we be?  Do we need more indians or more chiefs? Rachel Happe brings up a great point in her post about The Wisdom of The Crowd in which she writes:

Crowds without leadership and inspiration are not necessarily better or worse than individuals.  But a crowd can become both more than the sum of its parts and less than its lowest common denominator depending on how it is inspired.

What this means to me is that although I might want you to be a leader, you might be better suited to be a follower. Some people are born leaders and some are born followers and some can become…. etc etc. However, in social media and Web 2.0, if we’re to look at the whole thing holistically,  the space reeks of the “follower mentality”. Too many people as I said in an earlier post are inclined to be of the “echo mindset”. They possess zero original thought. I’m not sure they are even actually participating in the conversation to be honest. To this end, they are not leaders, and they are shitty followers. So they bring nothing to the table. Period.

Rachel’s original post stemmed from one that Guy Kawasaki wrote on Dadomatic titled, The top 10 lessons his dad taught him in which #3 was:

Don’t follow the crowd. Initially, I thought that he was saying that most people were stupid–and I agreed with him. But I now realize that he was telling me not to follow the crowd because the crowd “mentality” can make smart people do dumb things. This is why I don’t believe in the “wisdom of the crowd” to this day.

Given the current state of all things political and economic, perhaps what we really need is original thought and not noise that has a new tread on it. I know it’s easy to just put some lipstick on the pig, forgive me for using the analogy, but try to step out from under the umbrella and look at things in the social media and web 2.0 world differently. I don’t need you to be a though leader or a follower, I just need you to think.

 

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.

Web 2.0 Expo NYC Wrap Up

Ok so its been quite a week. In short order I went to New York, and attended the Web 2.0 Expo. I wanted to blog every day about what sessions I attended but there was always something preventing me from doing that. So the take below will be the high highlites and then I’ll follow that up with subsequent posts on some of the more worthy sessions.

So why couldn’t I throw out a dispatch daily? Either it was the back to back to back sessions that were for me personally,  or so I thought, all relevant; or it was the beer infuzed booth crawl that was a must. (more on that later) Or it was the keynotes which I tried to pay attention to, and take notes of in the dark; or it was recruiters calling me. I’m not sure why it works like this where all of a sudden in the middle of a “show” the karmic gods feel they must bestow more karma on you when you least expect it, but thats what happens.

Try thinking about what your next moves should be with your life and your family when you’re trying to soak in what’s happening around you at a conference. Mental multi-tasking- i was not really into. I think it was at this point that my eye would not stop twitching.

So anyway back to the gig. I thought that the highlites from my perspective were geared more towards the media and marketing tracks. That’s the space I swim in and know best, so obviously my summation of the show is going to be different then the person who attended the show for the design and UX tracks, but…

With that being said though, One of the ironies of the show was that i thought that the emphasis on the conversation was not emphasized enough. To a degree isn’t that the essence of web 2.0? A technology that allows us to collaborate and share and communicate in ways that are more seamless and transparent and with lower barriers of entry?

The de-emphasization of the conversation?

Case in point. Up on the expo floor there were these little pod like rooms where the Web2Open sessions were going on. A place where the attendees can “create the conversation”.  Which was a cool idea. They almost got it right because that’s what a lot of people wanted. Except that they were quite a ways away from where the sessions were taking place. And they were taking place to a certain degree while the sessions were in play downstairs. And on top of that, it was loud in the expo area.

Meanwhile, downstairs outside the session area, there were dozens of these 6 seat tables to sit and charge and blog and eat. Very quiet area for the most part with some mild chatter; but people were mostly doing there thing, solo.  My thought is that there has to be a better way to draw the attendees out. I know and have to believe they want to talk and exchange and share, but we need to give them a better forum or platform to do that in the future. We, they want to share and collaborate. I know it.

I also think that we need to do a better job of trying to tie in the intense micro-blogging going on while these sessions are in place. Yes there was a backchannel and I know that that can border on insanity and you may get some pretty wild comments but perhaps maybe a live chat function that ties in either the audience or people unable to attend. All visible live. Just a thought. Better yet, a microblogging room where all of the entries are posted realtime on the screen.

Also while I’m at it 5 minute  Q & A ‘s at the end of some of these sessions isn’t enough. Don’t you think? I think some might appreciate more time to pick the brains of some of these thought leaders. Perhaps more panel discussions? If you were at the web 2.0 expo what did you think? Send me the links to your recaps.

Next up, who hit it out of the park and who didn’t, and why.

Semantics in social media

So today isn’t starting off like I want it to be. I had to enagage in defending the childish difference of how someone responded to me. Email or blog comment..wtf? Does it matter? Which made me think about semantics in social media?

Semantics is the meaning, or an interpretation of the meaning, of a word, sign, sentence, etc.: i.e. Let’s not argue about semantics.

Isn’t social media at it’s core, about conversations and communicating?  Does it matter how we communicate? or the vehicle used to converse? I’m sure we could  all rattle off about a  half dozen different ways of communicating online.  The bottom line is, “there was communication”. But does the message change, gain, lose meaning, or become altered based on the delivery method? For example:

I called you on the phone to say hi.

I texted you via cell phone to say hi.

I emailed you to say hi.

I tweeted you to say hi.

I did a blog post in which I said hi.

I friended you on Facebook so I could say hi.

I posted on your Myspace page to say hi.

I sent you a pic that says hi.

I created a video on Youtube that says hi.

I commented on your blog to say hi.

Does the medium matter? Sure it does, in regards to delivery. Is the message the same?  Sure is. In every case. Can the message be construed any differently based on the medium? Depends on how many different ways someone can construe what “hi” might mean. I use this simplistic example for obvious reasons. And yes I understand that you cannot hear tonality or inflection when someone is writing something but my point is the same.

I can see it now…

“What did he mean when he texted me to say hi?” Was he pissed? Was he happy? Did he really mean it?  I mean it was a text. Now if he would have emailed me, thats totally different. Isn’t it? or Is it?

When it comes to social media, lets not argue about semantics.

*For the next few days I’ll be at the Web 2.0 expo in New York, hit me up while I’m there and we can chat about this.

 

 

 

Does social media force us to be interesting?

First off, I have to tell you about a very funny post about The 10 commandments of Facebook that you should read.

Next I was reading another great post on Social Media Today by John Bell about whether Twitter was breeding a lack of authenticity and it pushed me to think about how authentic people are now, or rather how social media has allowed us to be more visible and “out there” and god forbid but I’m going to use a very tired word…”authentic”.

But has the explosion of social networking tools, resources, and outlets, forced some people to try and be interesting? Or forced them to think they have to be more interesting? When they otherwise might not be? Or has it, or does it force us to inflate an average persona into something entirely not us? I think so. I think some people think they have to “be” in order to “be”.

Or… how often is someone forced to be the voice of a corporate brand and asked to be more interesting for the sake of their corporate or personal brand? When in fact…. They otherwise might not be? Or otherwise would choose not to be?

Hey I applaud you for jumping in, but don’t blog or talk, or brag, or bash, or be snarky for the sake of trying to be interesting. We like the real you. We appreciate real people.  It’s why the social net has evolved the way it has. It’s allowed us to learn and share with more people than ever.

 Which begs the next blog post.

Is social media raising the bar of expectation?

Are you ready to become a social media “doer”?

I was reading Joseph Jaffe’s latest post on the Agency of the future in which one of his points was that brand marketers are wanting someone or a company with more experience and knowledge in regards to the digital space.

It struck me that the majority of brand marketers are currently searching for someone who gets it. Or at least for someone who get’s it, until they get it.  Which makes me wonder how many of us out there right now, could take a company where they want to go? Sure we all have an idea, or maybe a clue, at least I hope you do, but how many of you could map out a plan, that works? I’m guessing not as many, which leads me to my main question of how many of you are willing to take the lead instead of languishing in the echo chamber?

 With that being said, here are 5 questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Are you a social media “me too” person?
  • Could you sit down today and map out a social media plan that could garner results either for yourself or a company?
  • What are you doing to become a social media doer or leader?
  • How long are you going to sit on the sidelines?
  • Have you really tried?

Once you answer these questions, see where you’re coming up short and do something about it. You can only read and write about it so much. A great resource for “how to’s” if you need it, is Chris Brogan   But most of all, practice what you preach! Get out of the fishbowl and go do it dammit!

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?


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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