Sure I love the conversation but…

I used to be a social media purist but I’ve evolved. Why? Well we have evolved.  We being the one’s that were there early on who experienced the magic of connecting with someone as smart as  say Gavin Heaton or Tom Martin and having them host our social media tweetchat. Or having that cool, deep discussion with a person like David Alston from Radian 6 when his company was just starting to gain traction, or becoming really good friends with someone i respect as much as Beth Harte. But what made all of those discussions and conversations cool was that we were connecting. Great for us but what about B2B?

There was always the missing component. An outcome. A means to an end. The Why and the What for.

At least that’s what companies wanted to know. And still want to know. They wanted a better value proposition. Some get it but others are still struggling with this. Yea social media is cool but what’s it all mean? What’s the point? To have conversations or make money?  Give us a business use case.

Well yesterdays news of the Salesforce aquisition of Radian6 is a game changer. It’s a watershed moment.  I still like being a purist at heart when it comes to social media but we have to justify its usage. Quite honestly, We have been fighting the good fight for quite some time. Justifying it’s relevance. Educating the masses. But adding strong measuremaent and analytics to social media engagement as it pertains to customer service and sales and lead generation, does just that.  The folks at Sales Force believe that.

With this Salesforce/Radian6 deal, and Lithium grabbing ScoutLabs and MarketWire folding Sysomos into the mix, you are now seeing an alignment of B2B with social beyond just the conversation. Social will always live inside of marketing and PR, but tying it to business functions has now come to the forefront. And the way that become legitimate is by adding measuring and monitoring functions that are directly applied to making money, saving money, and building equity.

Like I said, Watershed moment…


Is it ever wise to knock the competition?

Talking about the other team is a fine line. On the one hand by acknowledging that they exist, you acknowledge that they are a threat and you are aware of them. By not recognizing that they are in the room, you risk not respecting what they might be doing to to succeed in the same space as you. As I said, a fine line.

A healthy respect is one thing but the one thing you should never do is give the competition an advantage of any sort. Either in the press, in person or otherwise. It’s called bulletin board material. Some teams thrive on that. Some teams need it. Some ignore it and others use it as examples that they are the one’s to beat.

Take what a senior executive from one of the world’s largest computer company’s said about one of the most notable and recognizable companies in the world and a direct competitor the other day:

“They’re  great if you’ve got a lot of money and live on an island. It’s not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex,” Their global head of marketing for large enterprises and public organizations, said to CIO Australia.

“Their product with a keyboard, a mouse and a case [means] you’ll be at $1,500 or $1,600; that’s double of what you’re paying. That’s not feasible.”

Even in business. Think it, but don’t say it to everyone “outside” the firewall.  It’s not like they needed ammo but it’s like saying, “Yea Kobe has 5 rings but he still can’t hit the 11 footer off the backboard…”


The Dark Side of Viral Content

Black to beat Bieber for YouTube’s most hated…

via Know Your Meme

This is your brain on Rebecca Black.

Tween sensation Rebecca Black will see her parent-financed video “Friday” beat Justin Bieber’s “Baby” for most disliked YouTube video within the next few days, if not hours, reports ReadWriteWeb. It’s an exciting, yet unsurprising development for the 13-year-old sensation whose Auto-Tuned masterpiece of mediocrity became the cool thing to hate on the Internet barely two weeks earlier.

While mainstream media critics, including this one, contend that “Friday” rates about as high on the Lame-O-Meter as pretty much everything else in current popular culture (with the exception of insanely overlooked NBC sitcom “Community” which is GENIUS), the Internet begs to differ.


Will Color be the NBT in social? Or will it fade?

Think fast!

Find someone. Take pictures together.
Party. Play date. Lunch?

Simultaneously use multiple iPhones and Androids to capture photos, videos, and conversations into a group album. There’s no attaching, uploading, or friending to do. Share together in a new, moving social network. Just look around.


You may have no idea what I’m talking about. yet. Color is a photo sharing/social network app  launched last week, and it was  not a quiet launch either. Mostly because of the massive funding ($41 million), and a complete lack of documentation about how people should actually use the app. Count me as one of those still somewhat in the dark…

I loaded it, opened it, saw that I must upload my pic, no other instructions after that. I messed with it for about 10 minutes. Closed it and thought-$41 million huh? Did someone leak Color too soon? Is bad buzz better than no buzz? Do they even care what we think? Why launch an app like that w/o even some cryptic, requisite instruction on how this is supposed to change out social being? I agree that mobile photo sharing is definitely a route worth pursuing, but I’m still sitting here wondering what the business application could possibly be.

But let’s dig. So if it’s mobile social photo sharing, then, for instance we could pull the photos of specific events all  into one bucket w/o a lot of the fat right? We can see what everyone is seeing from that event, from different perspectives and vantage points right? That’s kind of cool. I’ll keep playing with it but as of this writing, I have rose-colored glasses. 🙂

If this is supposed to be the “Next Facebook,” I’d say they have a long way to go. Which reminds me, how is Diaspora and it’s quest to being the NBT in social coming along?

What does Viral look like?

Do you know who Rebecca Black is?

Rebecca Black  is a 14 year old singer. She started attracting attention this month after a single she recorded and produced was released on YouTube and iTunes. The song’s video was uploaded to YouTube last month and received roughly 1,000 views in the first month. No big deal right? Then something happened. The video went viral. Really viral.  In mid-March it started acquiring millions of views on YouTube in a matter of days, becoming a top trending topic on Twitter and getting both good and bad media coverage. The operative word there being, coverage. As of yesterday, first-week sales of her digital single were estimated to be around 40,000 by Billboard, and the video had over 38 million views on YouTube.

38 Million Views

That’s what we call Viral.

Anti-Social Media-The Anonymous Comment

The new iteration of the 4th estate is represented online with gusto. Outlets such as MSNBC and Scripps insist on traveling at hyper speed with us on the information super highway. They have embedded the social tools and capabilities into their new web sites to allow us to have a voice. We can now weigh in on virtually anything on their websites with our thoughts and words. There is one looming and large problem though.

We have to be babysat. With good reason.

It’s like children who look around and realize that no one is watching and thus decide to do something stupid. I find it amazing that adults view the ability  to freely and anonymously comment on any story, as a green light for stupidity and hate.  Not realizing a few things:

  1. It has no value
  2. You’re weak because you hide behind a computer to make your anonymous comments
  3. You could be found

That’s not social media. That’s anti-social media. It has zero redeeming qualities. And yet we sit here and question criticize large media outlets for a) Not being transparent b) Not allowing comments and b) Censoring their comments because of 1st amendment rights. And they do the same-To allow anonymous comments or not?

In some cases some media outlets allow everything, some allow nothing, and still others blur the lines on what is acceptable. They prune foul language and spam and yet some things make it through. The bottom line, they can’t just “let it go”. It can’t run itself. People are incapable of behaving.

Here’s your example:  You are a media outlet and you post a story about someone dying in a car wreck and through the open commenting system, some of the comments say something like, “He probably deserved it”? or “He was a jerk”.

What do you do?

Your bonus question. The commenter has revealed themselves. Do you allow the comment or not?

When Social Media Strategy Becomes Irrelevant


What’s important? Every day online and in the social media bubble we talk about ROI and the strategy and the channels used to grow your social media presence and impact. Here are 3 examples where social media has never figured more prominently and yet it had nothing to do with strategy or ROI, but had everything to do with the engine that does drive social media, PEOPLE.

This past Friday, YouTube created the YouTube Person Finder a channel that is aggregating video messages from the victims and the people affected by the massive earthquake and tsunami that hit northeastern Japan more than a week ago. No strategy, no ROI justification-Just YouTube realizing that they could create something that could help people in a time of need.

Meanwhile Google, creates the Google Person Finder which is pulling all relevant search information about people affected in the region into a simple interface. You can either supply information that you know about someone or you can search information posted about someone you know. On top of this, Google has created the Google Crisis Response Page which in my opinion should be shared by everyone just based on the amount of information posted and updated on it.

A Facebook Causes page was recently created to support and raise awareness and funds for the earthquake and tsunami victims.  The page is called Help Japanese Earthquake and Tsunami Victims, and it allows Facebook users to donate anywhere from $10 to $500, or they can join the cause and share it with their Facebook friends.  So far they have raised $240.000  This might not seem like a lot but every bit of it will help. Additional Facebook resources can also be found here  Global Disaster Relief on Facebook page.

This is bigger picture stuff here and at the end of the day has nothing to do with business strategies or ROI but has everything to do with people using the power of social media to make a difference when it matters most-People in need. Impactful stuff…


Socially empowering your employees-What’s taking so long?



We talk and write about the ways to grow a business using social ALOT. Companies are obsessing over it. Even the really really big companies want to harness the promise of the prospect, the power of the existing customer and the potential of repeat business-All using social media.

Yesterday, I was talking to a manager of one of those really really big companies. We talked about empowering their employees to engage in outbound social media marketing- That’s a fancy sentence for basically letting your employees tweet and share things about the company on company time. The comment back was, “They are hourly employees, “We can’t do that-We can’t trust what they might say”…

That sentiment is not on an island.

Two days ago I was talking to a salaried employee of another large company who told me that they could not access Facebook from their work computers. Two thoughts came to mind. One-employees can use their mobile devices at any time to circumvent those rules and two, there is a lack of trust coupled with a fear factor of what that employee might do that is preventing this company from taming the social beast.

I mention the 2 scenarios because in both situations we’re talking about employees both salaried and hourly, in which trust is a huge issue.

How do you leverage the power of what your employees can do for you in social media in order to grow your company? Your customers would welcome the socially empowered employee representing your company. We are entering a time in which it is expected and in some cases demanded.

What is the exception and what is the rule? The rogue employee using social media or the empowered one representing all that is good about your company?

What Was Your Enchanted Moment?

I’d like to think that we’ve all had “enchanted” moments in this space. I have had at least two, maybe three. The space I’m referring to specifically is the digital/social media, online marketing space.  Moment #1 possibly occurred when I built my first website. That was pretty cool. It looked pretty bad but there was something to be said about doing it without the aid of templates and the myriad of tools and programs available today. I got better, but the light really went on from that first experience.

Back in 2005 I sent former Apple Evangelist, Guy Kawasaki, an email; and to be honest, I didn’t really expect a response. The email was a general, ” Oh Sensei, What is the path” type of inquiry. At that time I had recently read his book The Art of the Start and also had stumbled onto Guy’s website/blog, How to Change the World.  After reading the book and the blog I was beyond energized and knew what I needed to do and was merely hoping that Guy was as genuine as I thought-and  by responding to my email, he would only validate the notion even more. Though at the end of the day, I didn’t expect a response.

Well…He did respond. The key there? He responded. The content of the email? I can’t really remember. What struck me was that he responded. It opened my eyes to the power of connections, the power of having a direct type of access to someone who you might have thought was inaccessible. It was the power of social to me on a very small but large scale all wrapped into one. That was truly Enchanted Moment #1.

Moment Number Two: I initially got into social media because of my SEO background. I found out rather quickly how one could “game” blogs for SEO and reputation management with hyper linked signatures embedded with key words. It was apparent pretty quickly that this worked so at the time I wouldn’t pay much attention to the content of a blog as much as I did to the page rank of it. Then one day I read a post that struck a nerve.  I commented and they commented back. Whoa. What is this dialogue? This is better than hoping or waiting on an email response from Guy Kawasakai! It was real time, it was genuine, and it added these immediate reciprocal layers of texture to a static web and a static job function that really opened my eyes to the social possibilities of the web. The moment was huge for me. It changed the way I did things and the way I thought about things.

In 2011, it would appear that my three experiences have come full circle. Last night I finished an advance copy of Guy Kawasaki’s latest book Enchantment. I was asked to read and review it and I have to say, I probably would have read it without him asking me. Here’s the point or here’s how much things have changed for me since that day back in 2005 when I sent Guy that email. Not to revel in the reasons why I was selected to read and review the book because it really can be completely subjective, the fact is that my influence and opinion and networks mattered. That’s pretty cool. That’s the power of social, the power of connections and the power of the web. It has shaped my life and my career over the last 6 years all in a positive way. So in a way, Guy has been part of my enchanted moments  from the beginning and now in the middle.

Now the book Enchantment:  It took 2 flights to finish it. A quick read. I didn’t have to struggle to find the meaning of the things I was reading. It was as easy a book to read and understand as you will find. The tag line, “The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions”, could not be more appropriate.  After every chapter is a quick snapshot of someone’s moment of enchantment in their life or career which adds an additional aspect of “human-ness” to the book. It’s real. It’s Tangible. Guy’s style is so non invasive and I think that’s the takeaway. I’m glad I read it, will probably read it again and I will ultimately give it to someone who can benefit from it.

Enchanted moment #3? Having Guy host our weekly #Social Media Tweetchat-That would be full circle. Stay tuned! The key? I just have to ask. Truly the power of social.

Have you had your enchanted moment yet?

Corning Creates an Impactful and Viral Video

Watch this video from Corning. When I first saw it, I was amazed at what was possible with glass and then what caught my eye was the number of views-5.8 million views in less than one month. This is isn’t a funny video. It’s not scandalous or malicious or of someone getting hurt. It’s simply about the many uses of glass. Something to ponder the next time your company wants to create a video. Was it Corning’s intention that it garner close to 6 million views, 14,000 likes and almost 3,000 comments? I don’t think so…