10 social links you need to bookmark

Content. We’re either creating it or consuming it. There’s no in between here on the interwebz. With that said, lets look at what you might have missed over the past week.

1) Here’s a cool little tool: Type in a brand name. Find out how visible it is on the social web-How Sociable

2) Always wondered about the “other” social sites that might be out there? Well here’s a list of a 101 social media websites. Pay attention to the second 50.

3) Quix is an extensible bookmarklet, that allows you to easily access all your bookmarks and bookmarklets, across all your browsers, while maintaining them in only one spot. Handy, for those of us with thousands of bookmarks.

4) The Social Media Group this past week rolled out the “Social Media RFP, which is essentially a working document on what companies of all sizes should be looking for when hiring a social media consultant or firm. It also serves as a document/template for marketers to use to gauge where they stand before they go traipsing into a client stating that they are a social media expert. It is without a doubt the most extensive document that I have seen for this purpose.

5) According to Brand Tags a brand exists entirely in people’s heads. Therefore, a brand is whatever they say it is. Check out this collective experiment in brand perception.

6) I know lists and to 10’s are all subjective and don’t hold a whole lot of water, and I was even nominated for this one, but here is Invesp’s Most Influential Online Marketers of 2009 It’s a nice list of folks that at the least are worth following on Twitter.

7) Ever since Jeremiah Owyang joined Altimeter Group, he hasn’t been as visible on Twitter as he used to be. But nevertheless, he tweeted out this List of Social Media KPI’s on Flickr. which is invaluable.

8. If you haven’t discovered Oneforty yet, you’ll thank me for pointing you in their direction. As their name belies, Find better Twitter tools and share your favorites.

9) You know who is a smart dude? Paul Gillin. If you are not following him on Twitter, you should be. Paul recently wrote an amazing post titled, Integrating Social Media Platforms? Let’s Talk, in which he assesses the value of integrated social media marketing programs to a company’s overall strategy. A great read.

10) Lastly, here is a lesson in social media. A cautionary tale if you will. H &M’s Trashgate.

Content. Consume it, then share it.

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The social media food chain and A-listers

A-listers, movie stars, superstars and rockstars, every industry has them. Including ours. Social media, PR and Marketing. We love to worship them don’t we? We watch their every move. We’re fascinated by them. The only thing they might lack are the paparazzi and a posse. There’s just something about what they say and do and write that mesmerizes us. (Cue the chorus of angels) We have decided by our adoration that they hold the keys to the kingdom and thus we need and have decided to quote them and listen to them and follow them whenever we can. Is it wise? Seriously. Is it?

Admit it, you’d take some of that “rockstar” love if it was thrown your way. By that, I mean if you became an A-lister yourself, you wouldn’t turn down the title. Additionally, If they showed interest in you, or talked to you-you’d take that “bounce effect” as well, in a heartbeat. Hell, it might be why we all blog. We want what they got. It’s just that some of you might not admit it. It’s Ok. It’s not why I blog but the residual effect of the blog has certainly brought some notoriety with it that I was not prepared for, and thus I’m not going to reject it.

When you get right down to it, and where I might be in the social media food chain, I think I might be a J or K lister. And while we’re on the subject, lets ask ourselves why we are blogging.  That’s right you- “Mr. or Ms. Stranger that I don’t know yet I trust more than an advertiser”. You, The New influencer, What is your endgame goal here? Is it to be a new influencer?  To be a difference maker? A game changer?

Lets back up though.  That’s not the sole purpose of this post. The duel purpose is to figure where we should place the A-listers in the social media food chain.  Lets ask ourselves who’s eating who here? For example: I recently asked at one conference whether advertisers realized the influence that A-listers have just in the Twitter-sphere. I didn’t really get an answer to that. My point: Twitter followers look for A-listers, follow them immediately, and then jump all over those A-lister quality tweets. And why?

So let’s ask ourselves. What, if any, value or credence should we place with an A-lister when they utter anything? Be it in a micro-blogging platform, a conference, a blog post, a book, an e-book or a podcast. I know some have a body of work that certainly can belie their status. Others, are a tad bit more fuzzy. But even then, we have to be careful and we have to be selective of what we choose to listen to.

I say we read the menu, sample what you want, chew on what tastes good, and digest what will stay down.. Their’s is not the only restaurant serving something hot.

A couple of days ago,  Mack Collier wrote about why he enjoyed the SMBU more than SXSW because it was more of a teaching gig than it was a big “look at me” Rockstar, fest. and frankly, I’m down with that. In fact, if I think back on the last 6 speakers I’ve listened to at various engagements, 4 of them had the same M O.

You see, we’re all guilty of our own MO or modus operandi, as well. Ours might look something like this: We show up at a conference, and wait for “the name” or the “A” lister to talk. When they take the stage, we sit on the edge of our chair, try to tweet something sharp and clever and original and game changing that he or she might say in their slotted time. Then we watch them hustle through their slides and then.. . they answer 4 questions, and poof, they’re done. I know thats not always the case but bear with me.

We then sit there with a few thoughts: They are: “Have I just seen the second coming? Or, WTF was that?” Or, “Did I get anything out of that just now?” Or maybe, “I can’t believe he or she really looks and sounds like that”. All the while the A-lister has stepped off the side of the stage into a throng of social media, marketing or PR groupies. At which point, the exalted one” answers maybe 1 or 2 more questions while 15-20 others hope that he or she looks their way. It’s at this point that I might shake my head, mumble something to the effect, “when is a speaker going to learn how to at least  properly close their talk with something other than, “well it looks like my time is up, thanks.” Perhaps they should read Rohit’s blog post about how to avoid being a bozo when presenting?

In closing, I see that my time is up. But here’s your takeaway. There are a lot of people to listen to in this space. Some of them are not even close to being A-listers, and you know what? They still know their stuff. Maybe even more than the A-listers. Chances are, the A-listers might even be pulling their thoughts and content from them. It’s up to you to decide who you engage. Step back and decide why you are listening to them. Is it because “everyone” else is? Or because they make sense to you. If that’s the case, then stay the course. One last thought: If you’re blogging and you have a dedicated following, you might just realize that you are a thought leader yourself and not a follower of a social media A-lister with clay feet.  And there ain’t nuthin wrong with that.

Twebinar 3, a Mashup of Heavy Hitters

So yesterday was the final Twebinar in the series of 3. I’ve written about how successful the other 2 were and this one did not disappoint. What makes these twebinars better than good, are the components, that in their own right are singularly successful.  Combined into a mashup of staccato like proportions though, they then take on a life of their own.. It is in short a live show, a webinar, live video, taped video, live Q & A, and twitter. Will it blend? Ohhhh yea it did and yes it does.

Each of the Twebinars is and was hosted by Chris Brogan  from Crosstech Media, who currently is the pied piper of all things social media related and rightly so. Chris knows everyone and everyone knows Chris, so it works. Along with David Alston from Radian 6, Chris and David have melded multiple technologies and people into a workable format for robust discussions. In the course of the hour plus twebinar Chris trots out all of the hitter heavy hitters in marketing, PR and social media like Todd Defren, Maggie Fox, Sally Falkow, and Paul Gillin, to name a few, and in rapid fashion they give you their take on all things, in this case, the art of listening in the space that we all are swimming in right now. How to listen, as I tweeted yesterday is not a novel concept, but you would be surprised how often it is ignored and overlooked as a tool of measurement. All of yesterdays guests and fellow twitterers essentially said nothing to the contrary either.

I’ll tell you why I like twebinars. It’s an opportunity to share my thoughts and ideas and opinions on what I think works, with my peers, with my colleages, and with people that are looking for answers. All in an insanely fun and interactive format. In fact, all of the participants have that exact opportunity because we are as much a part of the twebinar as are the people that Chris had on. It’s why it works.

Glitches? A few but all temporary and expected. The upside? 95% of those who participated woudl do it again. And the downside?  I’m sure there was a downside if someone chose to find one, but on the surface, I’d say Chris and David, and all those who were a part of the Twebinars, would say in baseball parlance, went three for three. To check out the tweets from yesterdays Twebinar, Try #tweb3 on Summize. I would keep your 2 ears open for the next one.