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Archive for the 'Web 2.0' Category

The Enterprise Conundrum-Adapt, Adopt or Do Nothing?

Recently I had the pleasure to do 2 things that I enjoyed tremendously: One, I got to participate in a podcast with Geoff Livingston and Toby Bloomberg on Social Media and the Enterprise and Two, I got to speak to a bunch of relative neophytes with regards to Social Media. What struck me about this group, was how little they knew and how little really had an impact on their day to day jobs. Social media either did not figure into their day to day activities or was restricted so much-what was the point?

What struck me about Toby and Geoff? Just how smart they are and how they both see the big picture of social here. Now back to the other group.

For them, social media activities consisted of basically going on to Facebook and either doing a status update or reading others. Social media from a channel usage standpoint within their organizations had nothing really to do with marketing activities, recruiting and vetting of candidates in HR, addressing the needs of customers or monitoring the activities of competitors.

Social Media within the walls of their companies was viewed as something “we know about” but we don’t know enough about to figure out how it can positively affect our company, let alone how it can be used in a positive way on an individual basis to move the dial for our company.”

This dove tailed nicely into my podcast with Toby and Geoff.

Where does the Enterprise start?

Does your organization adapt by just becoming social? Or does the enterprise merely adopt certain social media practices into certain elements or departments within the company?

Am I splitting hairs here? Is this just semantics? Or are adaption and adoption just so large and time consuming that it’s just easier to say-“No social media in the organization, do your Facebooking at home!” Is there a win for stakeholders who do not necessarily move the needle?

Is that flawed myopic thinking on the part of the enterprise? Or reality?

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The Four Semi-Truths of Social Media

First some quick definitions:

The definition of Nebulous according to Dictionary.com is hazy, vague, indistinct, or confused

Shelf life is the recommendation of time that products can be stored, during which the defined quality of a specified proportion of the goods remains acceptable under expected (or specified) conditions of distribution, storage and display

Depreciation is an expense that reduces the value of an asset as a result of wear and tear, or age. Most assets lose their value over time and must be replaced once the end of their useful life is reached.

Obsolescence is the state of being which occurs when an object, service or practice is no longer wanted even though it may still be in good working order.
Now what if we applied these to the world of social media?

My friend Danny recently sold his Boston Whaler. It was a boat no more than 2 years old and it was in pristine condition. He lost $5,000 on the transaction. His take? The boat depreciated as soon as he bought it. It was cool when he first had it he said, but after awhile, once the “newness” of it had worn off-it then was just an old boat that took up space.

Semi-truth #1: Our infatuation with the next, new, shiny, thing in social media depreciates as soon as we realize that it’s just another engagement, aggregator, application, thingy requiring more time, increased effort, permission to access, another profile creation etc., etc. and yet at the end of the day, delivers not much more than all the others. It’s like Danny’s boat.

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Mike, a friend and a CEO of a cool little boutique ad agency, used to use Twitter, but then claimed that it was too nebulous. (Note I quickly had to run and look up the word nebulous)

His agency has never been doing better, and yet just because he doesn’t use Twitter any longer, doesn’t mean that he doesn’t think it has value for him or his clients. To him, Twitter is what Twitter is- But the basic tenets of good business like customer service and doing the job right, go further for him than “some web app”  that takes up too much of his precious client time. fair enough.

Semi-truth #2: The majority of social media applications can indeed be nebulous and though they may have the best of intentions with a cool interface-at the end of the day, they remain nebulous at best with a typical “make money via advertising” as it’s business model, and a primary marketing approach that is dependent on social “coolness” and going viral. Great news! Whether you use social media or not is not going to determine your success in business.

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Remember MySpace? I honestly can’t think of a better definition of social media obsolescence, though there are many to go around. Yes they have had “some UI issues”, but at one point they were THE social network that everyone was talking about. What happened? It still worked and yet people just didn’t or don’t want to use it anymore. The coolness wore off.

Semi-truth #3: What happened to MySpace can happen to any social network. At any point in time, if something better comes along, or if people just get bored with what you are offering, they will leave, and there is really nothing you can do to prevent that, even if it “ain’t broke.”

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Some of your social relationships are platform dependent and might not last as long as you think. What is the useful shelf life of a social media generated relationship? What is the sweet spot for a “social relationship” before it plummets into the trough of disillusionment? How long does it last? 6 months? 1 year? Think Dunbar.

Semi-truth #4: Similar to the the shelf life of social networks,  some relationships in social media, though timeless, can be generally shallow and only last as long as both continue to use the application that bridged the engagement in the first place. If one departs, in general the surface like relationship ends. Thus the shelf life of social relationships is inversely proportional to a) Depth of engagement  b) Type of platform and c) One got what one needed.

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Isn’t it interesting how shelf life, obsolescence, depreciation and nebulous can be so closely linked and aligned to the world of social media? It’s partly what makes social media great on the one hand, and so maddening on the other. It moves at the speed of sound and yet it’s innate fickleness is determined primarily by it’s  makers and it’s users and not much else. Yes new technology may change behavior, but behavior can change or determine the path of technology.

Where do Web 2.0 ideas start?

Web 3.0 infograph

No matter how great a social network might be, bells, whistles and what not- It doesn’t happen without people. It lives and dies by what the users do with it. How many great start-ups and applications die on the vine because no one knew about them? Is it because of a lack of marketing?

10 websites to get you started in 2009

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In the new year its all about doing what we do better, streamlining it and being more effective, here is a list of websites and blog posts that just might help you get that ball rolling.

Lee Odden whom I respect very much has just posted an article about 6 social search engines. The great thing about this, is that I have not heard of any of these before and I love when there are new shiny things out there that might make what we do better. Let me know what you think.

Contrary to how some of you might use Twitter or better yet, the way you add followers, I like to check out who’s following me before I follow them back. With that being said, Taly Weiss started following me the other day, and as I’m wont to do, I checked out her bio and then checked out her  blog site, Trendspotting, This site has so much cool data that it can only help to shape your opinions to make you smarter. I’m glad we found each other.

So staying on the topic of Twitter, if you don’t know what Mr. Tweet is yet, I’d suggest you investigate. Do so at your own risk since it helps you determine who you should follow. You could end up using it all day. But even better, check out Mr. Tweet’s blog too.

And while you’re at it, read this article about the 10 ways that twitter will be changing blog design in 2009. I’m not sure I totally agree with it, but you can definitely see how Twitter is weaving it’sw ay into the fabric of what do online.

I haven’t used this yet but at $139 a year for online  computer and technical support, it isn’t a bad deal. Although iYogi led me to think it was a yoga site.

Here’s a great list of the up and coming companies of  the 2009 Social CRM/CRM 2.0 Space, maybe one of them might help you or your company?

Profilactic is a social media aggregator/lifestreaming service that pulls together just about everything you and your friends create online, it currently supports 190 social sites.

I came across Ennect somehow somewhere, maybe one of its web marketing components  might work for you?

A very good friend of mine Paul Chaney writes a great blog, check out what his 4 goal words are for 2009 and then go check out the company Paul works for Bizzuka

Ok, so now you have 10 sites or blog posts that can jump start 2009. You see if we can’t share the resources that we bookmark, then how else are we going to get better at what we do? I need to rely on you to help me get better. What sites or blogs would you suggest or recommend?

Lets Focus

 tiger-woods-focus-on-what-to-do-next-accenture1

When thinking of writing another blog post, it’s often about social media, or marketing, or web 2.0. All really big topics, and all with champions and thought leaders in each. But chances are if you come here to my blog, you’re looking for something. I want to give it to you. But today what I’m going to give you is some advice. It’s advice I need to heed but don’t from time to time.

It goes something like this.

How many blogs are in your feed reader? Mine? Somewhere between 150 and 200. I would love to read them every day but I don’t. Maybe I should focus on about 10 per day and rotate them from time to time? Want some suggestions?  Instead of the obvious, here are some with some variety in the content like Valeria Maltoni, Mark Story, Peter Kim, Toby Bloomberg, B.L. Ochman, Paul McEnany and Beth Harte

How many social networking sites or groups do you participate in? Me? At least a half a dozen, maybe more. How many can I actively participate in? That’s a good question. Maybe 3, maybe 6 and not much more. I’d rather be really active in 3 instead of marginal in 6-10. How bout just Linkedin, Flickr, Facebook, Twitter, and your blog? 2 of those are somewhat passive so you could manage them all fairly effectively.

How often do you read email? Me? Too often to really even narrow down. But it least 2-3 times per hour. I’m not sure what I’m hoping to get, but surely it can wait an hour or 2 before I respond. I believe Tim Ferris says read it twice a day?

How often do you use Twitter? What actions during your day revolve around the usage and participation of Twitter? Me? I have Tweetdeck running from the moment I step in my office. Not sure if that is wise. Does Mr. Tweet enhance or hinder this?

I think you see where I’m going, but let’s continue.

What amount of your day is spent reading about what is going on in our country right now? I admit that my day revolves around what is happening on a local level (Naples, Florida) a national level, an economic level, and globally. Does it consume me?  No, but It concerns me, so I read a lot. Should I reduce that amount like I should email?

What am I doing about IT? and what can I do about IT? What can you do about IT?

You see the challenge here is that we have a tremendous amount of tool sets and new web sites at hand right now, from social media tools to web 2.0 tools, and we can use them to improve what we do. We can also use aspects of them to improve our companies, our clients and our prospects, but we need to focus on which tools will work best for whom. We need to focus on doing what we do better. We need to refine it. Hone our skills, if you will. We need to better manage our time, our focus and our ability to cut through the clutter of filling up our day with a lot of social media bullshit apps and web 2.0  alpha and beta sites. Focus on what you know and do it better. I know I’m going to try. I need to. We need to. I don’t have a choice and neither do you.

Sports and Social Media

We talk a lot about the fabric that is sports and how it is weaved throughout the daily routine of our lives. Whether we like it or not, we all have some type of passing interest in sports and our communities. Either on a local, regional, national, or international level. Face it, if sports didn’t mean anything it wouldn’t be a section of the newspaper. It wouldn’t have it’s own segment on the local nightly news and it wouldn’t dominate our attention every  four years, or every sunday in the fall.

But how has social media changed the landscape of how we view or participate in sports? Here are some sites and examples that have already or seem to be elevating how we use social media with sports.

Ballhype is a social news site that’s sole focus is on sports, but it uses sports content/news as an entry point to encourage more interaction amongst its users.

Sports-focused social media company Citizen Sports recently acquired a few social media application developers: Sportacular, Sport Interactiva, and FantasyBook.  Citizen Sports launched its first fantasy football app on Facebook in July, and the acquisitions of Sport Interactiva and FantasyBook add new fantasy sports content to the roster, as well as securing  Citizen Sports a coveted spot in mobile, as Sportacular has a leading sports application of the same name for the iPhone.

Yardbarker breaks down traditional barriers, allowing fans and athletes to debate sports, read and write articles, and watch videos. It also features thousands of sports websites and blogs,

Pat Coyle runs a site called sports marketing 2.o that is related to all things web 2.0 and sports. Pat is obviously understand the effect that social media is having on sports, as he also created the NING group, Sports Marketing 2.0

The Sports Business Journal recently mentioned the 5 people that you need to know in social media-

Open Sports Led by Mike Levy, the founder of CBS SportsLine.com this site is a comprehensive platform of products and services that brings together breaking sports news, social media tools, user generated content, fantasy sports games and multimedia applications.

Want to see a professional athlete who has leveraged his blog to a degree that journalists and fans use it for his latest sound bite? Look no further than the baseball player Curt Schilling

Then we have XOS technologies a leading technology partner for maximizing the value of content, commerce and services for sports organizations and fans.Whether it’s a coach assessing recruiting content, a video coordinator creating game-video highlights, a team streaming a press conference online or a fan engaging in interactive content.

Jason Peck uses his blog as a platform for sports, business and social media. In fact, Jason provides a great resource in his 50 sports social networking sites, which is a must bookmark blog post. Along the lines of citizen journalism in sports, look no further than Deadspin.

Mashable, the great provider of all things social media list related chimes in with it’s own 20 sports social networks, though it is a year old.

MVP Spot is an online community that provides amateur athletes the ability to showcase their talents to the world.

And SportMates is a global sports social network founded by a group of passionate sports fans who have created and managed some of the largest sports communities on the Internet over the last eight years. They have created an environment where fans and athletes from all cultures and geographical locations can share their passion for sports with likeminded fans.

The point of this post was really to show you that sports is permeating every thing at every level, related to sports. From fan blog sites, to communities devoted to teams and activities, to Facebook groups devoted to teams and athletes, to teams reaching out by creating social networks devoted to their most ardent of fans. and to  professional athletes themselves blogging.

Sports and social media are at the cross roads of fan participation like we have not seen at any other point in time sports. Look for it to continue to escalate with even more user generated content and platforms created to showcase that content. With that being said, look for the voice of the fan to become more and more prominent in the industry of sports.


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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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