Can you go left?

Basketball court

In basketball, there is a term that really separates the wheat from the chaffe so to speak, and it’s all based on a person’s ability to dribble the ball and to a certain degree, shoot the ball.

Fundamentally, those are 2 very important aspects of basketball. Shooting and dribbling right? So what enhances those 2 skills? Well if you’re right handed, chances are you will dribble with your right hand and you will shoot with your right hand and you will favor the right side of the court.

From a marketing, and social media marketing standpoint. You will play to your strengths. You will go or you always go with your right hand. With what you already know.

Now back to the hoop court. The most dangerous players are those with enhances skills and abilities. These are players who have a “handle” and…can go left. In other words, as they are going down the court, they can dribble with their left hand or right with ease, and shoot with either hand as well.

They can change hands on the fly and not skip a beat. They can adapt to any situation because they have the skills to do so. Were they born with those skills? Chances are they were not.  They trained and they practiced. But you don’t see that part. You just see the finished product.

One of the first things a coach looks for in an up and coming player is whether the player has a “handle” with his left hand. Can that player go left? It takes about a minute to assess and if you have 100 kids for example, trying out for 12 spots, it quickly becomes one of the main determinants.

Why is this important? Without the ability to dribble with your left hand, you essentially cut the court in half. It becomes useless, You can never go over to that half of the court because you cannot dribble with your left hand. So you favor the right side-all the time. I repeat all the time.

The same applies to  social media and marketing, you will lose unless you can bring more to the table than the next person. Oh, and you better be able to back it up.

Just as it is on the court, shit talkin’ can only take you so far and at some point, you have to start walkin’ it.

So how bad do you want it? What skill sets are you bringing to the table? Can you enhance what you already know? Do you always go to your right?

Nurture the connection not the platform

watering plant2

I’ve come across in recent days a number of people and their blogs who have struck a chord with me in a good way. I have found them in oh so many ways, but the bottom line is that I have found them. Which gave me cause to think.

I look at what makes us do what we do in online communities, in social networks and as much as I would like to thank the developers for creating a platform in which we can connect, I also realize that.

“No man is an island.”

-from John Donne

It’s the power and the passion of the people that make it work. It’s people being people. I also realize that because of the power of networks and the strength of the people that are within them, quotes like the one below, mean nothing.

You know where you are?
You’re in the jungle baby.
You’re gonna die!

-Guns n Roses,”Welcome to the jungle”

However, I do think it’s important to understand that though these networks can be robust and filled with people, if you don’t engage or try and in engage in thoughtful and meaningful discussions and conversations, you have nothing.  Thus, you might as well be speaking to no one.

“In space no one can hear you scream.”

-Tagline from 1979 movie Alien

Without people and without connections, they, the networks, will die on the vine. And as much as we depend on the platform for our connections, its more important to nurture the connection rather than the platform. Because what if the platform goes away tomorrow? What will you do, or what will you have to show for it?

If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

-George Berkeley, Irish philosopher

Augmented reality

I just tweeted that I thought social media delivers its own little slice of augmented reality. By that I mean that everyone now has the ability to create and enhance a persona that may or may not be a realistic version of who you really are.

Take this video for instance. What if this was the way it was in real world situations?

Or what if we all started to talk in a staccato like, 140 character, cryptic fashion? How would that fly?

Zappos Taps Mullen as Creative Agency but Disses Ignited

One of the participating shops, called Ignited, tracked the amount of time Zappos spent reviewing its submission. With the help of Google Analytics, Ignited found that the retailer had only viewed five pages of its 25-page submission, with an average page-view time of 14 seconds. Ignited then publicly criticized Zappos for what it felt was an inadequate review.

I’d be pissed too, but there must have been something in those 5 pages…

Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

Social Venom


What’s the difference between snake oil and snake venom?

Let’s recap the week.

Leigh Durst goes off on people stealing her hard earned, labor intensive work

Peter Kim laments the plague of plagiarism

David Armano discusses how to spot social media snake oil

Olivier Blanchard has called foul on bogus social media experts

Valeria Maltoni interviews Jonathan Bailey, the topic? Plagiarism Today

I wrote about Social Media might be free, but I’m not

Are you sensing a trend here? I am. That, my friend is what you call venom.  Oddly enough, none of the above posts were precipitated by the other. They all came out on their own, out of anger and frustration. And if I had taken more time, I probably would have found more posts.  Even more telling, is what you see in the comments. A lot of comments. More anger, more frustration.

I’m not sure I have a sure fire solution for any of these posts but I have a feeling that the days of wine and roses may be slowly coming to an end in some respects. If not an end, it certainly won’t be flowing like the wine at a Roman Bacchanalia. Content will be locked down more. Ideas and thoughts may not be so readily provided or shared as they once were.

Fortunately though, I have a feeling that Snake oil vendors will have a harder time of proving themselves. On the other hand, as I have experienced somewhat, we will have a harder time of climbing out of the hole that the purveyors of snake oil have dug for us with once burned clients.

I do have a feeling though, that this only the beginning, and that a larger backlash may be at hand. What to do about it is the question. A governing body? A policing body? I’m not sure. The floor is yours…

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3 Great Social Media Policies to Steal From

3 Great Social Media Policies to Steal From

3 Great Social Media Policies to Steal From

Jennifer Van Grove (Mashable)

Sep 25, 2009

As social media continues to become more mainstream, the chances that your employees will use these online tools for personal and professional purposes are high. Plus, if you encourage your staff to be brand representatives, using the social web to help grow your company and engage with your customers, then you have a potential fireball of a situation where lines could be unknowingly crossed.

You need a social media policy that sets the foundation of your expectations, empowers your employees to tweet or blog without fear, rewards social media problem-solving, and educates staff on things to avoid in both personal and professional status updates.

It’s smart business to have a social media policy, and lucky for you some of the biggest brands have already paved the way and published policies that you can emulate.

1. Kodak on Transparency

With such a big brand name at risk, Kodak could easily fear the social web, and yet they’ve chosen to embrace it, as well as share their learning and policies with the world.

The Kodak Social Media Tips document is available for download [PDF] and a good read, especially for businesses just getting their feet wet. Their actual corporate policies start on page 10 and provide an educational, instructional, and digestible utility that employees can reference when in tricky situations. It reads like a guide book, making it much more approachable than a standard policy agreement.

What to steal: Transparency guidelines
Why? They’re simple, straightforward, and very clear on boundaries.
Text: Even when you are talking as an individual, people may perceive you to be talking on behalf of Kodak.  If you blog or discuss photography, printing or other topics related to a Kodak business, be upfront and explain that you work for Kodak; however, if you aren’t an official company spokesperson, add a disclaimer to the effect: “The opinions and positions expressed are my own and don’t necessarily reflect those of Eastman Kodak Company.”  

2. Intel on Moderation

Intel, a very active and social brand, has their social media guidelines published online. These policies apply to employees and contractors of Intel who use social media in any capacity.

They acknowledge their guidelines are dynamic in nature and will evolve as new trends and technologies are made available. They also clearly spell out what to think about when engaging in social forums and how to handle the sometimes sticky situation of content moderation.

What to steal: Moderation guidelines
Why? Intel does a good job at breaking down why bad or negative content should not be moderated unless it’s offensive .
Text: “The Good, the Bad, but not the Ugly. If the content is positive or negative and in context to the conversation, then we approve the content, regardless of whether it’s favorable or unfavorable to Intel. However if the content is ugly, offensive, denigrating and completely out of context, then we reject the content.”

IBM on Social Media Value

Considered innovators in the social media guidelines space, IBM was one of the first big companies to publish a social policy document and make it available to the public online.

The brand has tried and true social experiences, which makes their policies for IMBers read like best practices learned from real experience in the field.

What to steal: Add Value section
Why? They inspire IBMers to be thoughtful content creators on the web.
Text: “If it helps you, your coworkers, our clients or our partners to do their jobs and solve problems; if it helps to improve knowledge or skills; if it contributes directly or indirectly to the improvement of IBM’s products, processes and policies; if it builds a sense of community; or if it helps to promote IBM’s Values, then it is adding value. Though not directly business-related, background information you choose to share about yourself, such as information about your family or personal interests, may be useful in helping establish a relationship between you and your readers, but it is entirely your choice whether to share this information.”

Image courtesy of
Print 0 aa0

Not that I condone stealing. But Build your own from the 3.

Posted via web from marcmeyer’s posterous

Social Media Mantra #112 Think Judy Garland


Reading Peter Kim’s post from yesterday, “The Plague of Plagiarism” was both enlightening and somewhat disheartening. As well, David Armano’s post How to Spot Social Media Snake Oil, had something to say about the same issue too, though just a tad bit more extreme in his  professional prism of trust.

But then I saw this, the 8 irresistable principles of fun and things were put back in perspective.  However there was one line from it that caught my eye and it was by Judy Garland-she was Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and it was this:

“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”

Boy, does that resonate.

What’s wrong with social media?


If I told you I was going to offer you a job where you failed 70% of the time would you take it?  Probably not. What if I told you that I know of just that type of position where anyone worth there salt would kill to be a part of that organization.  Any clue yet? Its Major League Baseball. They pay their players millions of dollars per year to hit a baseball three out of 10 times.  That’s it just 3. The expectations of hitting it 4 out of 10 times are so unrealistic that it is barely mentioned in conversations. It’s rarified air.

If you close 3 out of 10 deals or you are supposed to sell 10 cars and you only sell 3, should you keep your job?

Anthony Bradley from Gartner has spent the past year collecting  social media cases. he’s collected 200 solid social media cases out of over 350 cases, in which he’s tossed out those that either were not really social collaboration, or were clear failures.

His findings?

  1. Cases with good ROI metrics are rare.
  2. Cases with well articulated business results are few.
  3. Cases with activity metrics are more common.

Ok that’s worrisome.

While his research indicates that if you measure success by business results, the failure rate is very high, If you were to measure success by adoption rates (social activity metrics), which is what a lot of social media folk seem to be zeroing in on these days, the failure rate is still high. So regardless of whether you are measuring business results or adoption rates- the failure rate is still high.

What the hell are these people doing?

Interestingly enough, one of his sources for cases was the social software technology vendors, and by a large margin this group could not articulate the specific business value their clients gained by using their products. I find this odd since this would mean that they essentially did not have a) a business plan or b) were never in it to make money or c) just didn’t really focus on that measurement thing.

Again, what the hell are these people doing? Better yet, maybe we should ask, what are we doing? We’re the ones using this stuff. Are we fricken freemium zombies?

Paying baseball players millions of dollars to hit a curve ball 3 times out of 10 I get. There’s a business plan in there. But are we as a group collectively just following the masses down the path not really knowing where we are going but content to just go with the flow? Developers and users alike? Why would they build social tools or nets that failed the majority of the time?

Are we ignoring the fact that failure might be the most common trait in social media?

I still cringe at the thought of the business plan that’s wrapped around ad revenues, but apparently Web 2.0 still seems to be pretty comfortable with that, and not much more. I would think that one would do everything in there power to reduce the odds of failing, but this data right now or what Bradley is asserting, just doesn’t support that hope.

I hope the data is flawed. because if it’s not, I guess we will continue to invest in and support failure. In an open and transparent fashion of course.

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The Digital Handshake by Paul Chaney


Today marks the launch of my good friend Paul Chaney’s new book, The Digital Handshake.  Paul is what we call good people, in the business. The Digital Handshake explains why advertising and marketing are losing their effectiveness and how to solve the problem using social media to corral elusive consumers.

If anyone is capable of simplifying what’s going on out there in the social media world, Paul is certainly that person. Here is a quick Video of Paul explaining the book.

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The Social Media Maze

Did you ever read the book, “Who moved my cheese?”

It is the story of four characters living in a “Maze” who face unexpected change when they discover their “Cheese” has disappeared. Now think about your journey of discovery with social media. Doesn’t it somewhat work in the same way? You keep looking and searching for the right fit for your needs regardless of whether you are a business or individual?

At some point, the social network, tool, or service ends up either not delivering what you want, or what you need, so you embark on the journey of finding the next best thing out there. Lots of dead ends, but you keep going.


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