Highlighting the Social-ness in Social Media this Holiday Season

A few weeks ago I was selected as one of the Top Social Media Strategists to Watch in 2011. That was cool in that it’s nice to be recognized, but then a few days later I got the following email.

We’re excited to have you on our list of “Top Social Media Strategists to Watch in 2011.” We admire your work and look forward to seeing what you come up with in 2011! Our partner, Dancing Deer Baking Co., would like to send you a sweet treat to congratulate you on our accomplishments. Please let me know where Dancing Deer should send the gift! Thanks.

I initially thought what a nice gesture and in normal times I would have taken them up on it, but these ain’t normal times. Upon further reflection, it seemed better to give that treat to someone who could really enjoy it this holiday season. Not that I didn’t want it, but isn’t the essence of social media as much about the realtionships and connections as it is about conversation? Sure it is. So here’s how I responded.

Hi Christina, Thank you but there’s no need to. Do me a favor and send my sweet treat to a homeless shelter or a boys and girls club-I’m sure they could, or someone could really enjoy it this week.

And then they responded:

Hi Marc,
Dancing Deer is a philanthropic brand at heart and donates to charities year round, especially during the holiday season. We’ll make sure that a donation is made on your behalf.
Happy Thanksgiving!

So What Happened? I got this email.

Hi Marc,
I wanted to let you know that Dancing Deer made a donation on your behalf to the Pine Street Inn. Attached is a picture you can use for your post. We will post this to our social media channels this week. Thanks!
Cristina Lepore, Marketing Coordinator

 451 Marketing, LLC

Not only did Dancing Deer make a donation on my behalf but they brought a little more holiday cheer than just a “cupcake”. Here’s more about what they do from a philanthropic standpoint with a project called the sweet home project.  To me, this is what social media is all about, or at least what it’s capable of being. It went from someone recognizing someone for one thing, to a group of people realizing that there was more that could be done for others with the smallest of small gestures of human kindness. A cupcake. Thank you 451 Marketing and thank you Dancing Deer-You 2 are getting it right!

Makes you wonder what we could really do, doesn’t it?

The Takeaway from Social Media in 2010


Online privacy means a lot to us, but for a majority of us, it’s only important when we know our privacy has been invaded. In social networks and social media, every time we join a new shiny network, or register for something online, we give up a little piece of our privacy, like a sculptor chipping away at a piece of marble. Sometimes knowingly, sometimes not, we’re giving up who we are to marketers and brands.

You see, every time we create a profile we are allowing someone to glimpse a little bit more about us than most might really be comfortable with; but we do it because that’s what’s asked or required of us in order to “play”; and like I said, some of you might not even know it. Some of you might not care, because hey, “we’re living in the age of uber transparency”!

Yes we have a right to know what information is being gathered about us, how it is used and whether it is gathered at all, yet most of us are too busy trying to get on the other side of an app to be bothered with reading a EULA or a TOS agreement. Why is that?

I have a feeling  that the reason is similar to when you are hearing a radio spot and at the very end of the spot you’ll hear a guy talking so fast, you have no idea what he just said, so you ignore it, Because all you really care about is the deal that was mentioned in front of the fast talking man-The carrot, the offer, the opportunity. Privacy be damned. Most marketers and companies assume correctly that making the TOS’s and EULA’s so ridiculously convoluted, that we as consumers will just get tired of reading and will click the agree button. And the devil…is buried in the details.

Facebook did the same thing when it came to compromising our privacy the first time. How many times has it changed it’s privacy policy? Most of  the 500 million users probably don’t care what is happening to their data-and that’s a scary thought; but enough of them care to call Facebook out for assuming that we are ready to alter our perception of what is acceptable in data mining- and thus we’ve able to somewhat keep them in check.  I am still not comfortable about the purported data leaks, or satisfied that Facebook is doing all it can to value my privacy, but then again it’s a 1000 times better than it initially was.

So let me ask you something. As we head into 2011, are you cool with giving up snippets of your personal data for the sake of playing Farmville? Or being part of Groupon? or Foursquare?Are you comfortable with that? Are you truly prepared for radical transparency? I’m not sure I am just yet.

30 Social Media Sites, Tools, Posts and Articles that I Bookmarked from 2010

2010 was a heck of a year in so many ways wasn’t it? I know it was for me. One of the things that I do throughout the year though is, I stockpile sites, blog posts, articles, tools and things that just catch my eye-Oh yea that’s called social bookmarking isn’t it? Well, rather than have you sort through the 14 thousand bookmarks in Delicious, I saved you the trouble and am sharing my favorites of 2010. Let’s get to it.

1) It’s all about networking and sharing isn’t it? But it’s also about learning and growing too. So it starts with this resource: 100+ Upcoming Social Media & Tech Events

2) Turn what people post in social media into compelling stories with Storify

3) I liked the premise of this but always questioned whether it was sustainable beyond the this is cool stage? Groubal

4) A ridiculously long Directory of Social Media Monitoring and Analysis Tools

5) Let’s think in a forward fashion-Greenopolis is doing it, now we need to. And you thought the green thing was just a movement…

6) When I saw this, it reminded me of Blame Drew’s Cancer…sorta.  And I have no problem with it…Hey Cancer…F off!

7) How The Average U.S. Consumer Spends Their Paycheck from Visual Economics would seem to really connect with all of us these days and thus I loved this infographic: How The Average U.S. Consumer Spends Their Paycheck –

8. Sometimes blog posts resonate in different ways. For me, I want to lead in a way that resonates in the space that I play in. This post from Don Bulmer titled 13 Rules of Leadership for Communication, Influence and Social Media Strategy, did just that-it resonated. I apologize for using the word resonate 3, 4 times…

9) The Hierarchy of Digital Distractions just makes sense and probably needs to be revised every 6 months.

10) What The F*!# is my Social Media Strategy is hilarious if not for the fact it’s very very accurate.

11) Along those lines Marta Kagan from Espresso has really found her niche with these decks-this one from 4 months ago oozes the words explosive and growth.

12) From March of 2010, David Armano, from Edelman, rolled out a pretty good deck himself about the need for the uncommon in social media. What is the uncommon? Common sense silly.

13) Not only was the Old Spice social media campaign the big wow for me in 2010, I thought this was pretty fun too. The Old Spice Voicemail Generator.

14) This article in July from Wired really touched on a lot of truths in social media that we all know about and in some cases actually do, but don’t admit. Gaming the System: How Marketers Rig the Social Media Machine

15) One of my favorite posts on Facebook marketing came from my amigo Tamar Weinberg in May-How to Use Facebook for Business and Marketing

16) Stick this QR-Code Generator in your back pocket

17) One of the most important issues to come out of 2010 was about cyber bullying, I thought this June article from the New York Times really brought the issue front and center-How Should Skills Handle Cyber Bullying?

18) This pretty sweet image tagging tool from Tangelo was another one of those “this is cool but will people use it type of applications”.

19) Another Google product Follow Finder analyzes public social graph information (following and follower lists) on Twitter to find people you might want to follow-Did you even know about it?

20) One of the key lessons in 2010 was, watch what you say and where you say it-Need I say more from Openbook?

21) Regretsy was one of my favorite sites of 2010-where DIY meets WTF.

22) In March of 2010, Altimeter came out with a great report that I have referred to more than once, The 18 Use Cases of Social CRM, The New Rules of Relationship Management

23) One of my favorite tools of 2010 came from Flowtown

24) I absolutely loved this post from April, but I’m partial because of my SEO background. So it might not mean much to you but I loved it anyway because it was so dead on accurate. 36 SEO Myths That Won’t Die But Need To

25) I always forget to use this Tagxedo

26) This is another I want to try and use more in 2011 Tinypay.me

27) PPC gone awry at your PPC sucks.

28) 35 great social media infographics was a really cool post. We all love a good infographic and here are 35 of them all in one place!.

29) I love time lapse videos, and this one is no exception. One year walk/beard grow time lapse

30) and lastly one of my favorite articles from 2010, Branding and the ‘Me’ Economy from the New York Times.

As we hurdle into 2011, first, I want to thank those who made the content that I consumed and you consumed in 2010, but now it’s time to start thinking in a more altruistic, giving way. People need our help, and for a lot of us we have the ability to use our knowledge, skills and attributes in social media and technology to make things happen. We can do it, I can do it and you can do it. Let’s make it happen through design, through action and through our words and our vision.