October 2009 Archives

Why I don't like the CNN.com redesign


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cnnredesign.jpgHere are my top reasons for not liking the redesign. Tell me if you agree.

First and foremost, I'm still trying to figure out how I can comment on an article. Am I missing something or have they temporarily (I hope temporarily) removed what has fast become one of the most basic of features attached to every piece of content online? Come on folks, you're killing me.

If you have to do away with commenting at least replace it with something extra special. You're the team that brought Facebook Connect and live chatting into the mainstream. Remember the Obama inauguration live chat? That was powerful and it helped me convince my own company how important FB Connect was. Why isn't that type of social functionality integrated into the core redesign. This could have been a social product bottom up but it isn't.

Now I've played around with the News Pulse and I like it. It deserves to move out of beta rather quickly. But there's two problems still. First and foremost it is a separate tab. Who'd ever think of something as a pulse if they can't see it right away. This is a feature that begs to be on the home page in some fashion. Secondly, how does it relate to the Latest News? Shouldn't they be integrated?

What's the Dummies book Twitter #hashtag?


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Buddy Media and Facebook Social Platforms


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So Buddy Media has recently launched a social platform for brands allowing them to manage relationships, content, applications and tracking across key social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Their new offering makes a lot of sense as brands (and their agencies) struggle with managing their "owned media" presence on the social platforms. It takes more hours, more dollars and more effort than we'd like. 

While some of these platforms may appear expensive at first (hosted model with monthly licensing fees), they can save significant time and money over the long run. Here's a Media Post story describing the Buddy Media platform and quoting me sharing my impressions We are one of the launch partners. What excites me the most about the platforms is that it really allows brands to very quickly change their FB presence based on how customers are interacting with them. It shortens that time span significantly and can turn a Facebook Fan Page into an engagement and customer response play too.

Some of the other vendors in this space doing good work are AppSavvy, ContextOptional and Involver. They're all discussed in my book too!

MySpace tries to recover its cool - WSJ


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wsj-main_Full.jpgI was quoted in the Wall Street Journal last week discussing MySpace's efforts to win back its audiences, spur engagement and attract new advertisers. They definitely do have an uphill task though I'd warn you not to write them off too quickly. The traffic drops that they're seeing aren't that dramatic and they need more time to show that their more entertainment centric strategy is going to work. Here's the quote:


MySpace lost its way over the years as it got caught up in a race with Facebook, launched disparate initiatives and let technology and new-product developments lag, ad executives say.

Those missteps cost MySpace much of its buzz on Madison Avenue, says Shiv Singh, vice president and global social-media head at Razorfish, the digital-ad agency owned by Publicis Groupe.

"Marketers want to align their brands with the newest and the greatest. Currently, that is Facebook and Twitter," Mr. Singh says.

"Hardly a day goes by without a client asking me, 'What should I do with Facebook?' I don't get anywhere near as many questions about MySpace," he adds.


They've certainly lost the attention of advertisers today but that doesn't mean they can't win it back especially if they focus more, launch innovative ad products and rebuild the somewhat tarnished brand.

Mary Meeker at the Web 2.0 Summit


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This is an absolutely must view presentation from Morgan Stanley's Mary Meeker. The theme for her this year is mobile and the internet. I'm starting to agree that mobile's time in the sun may have finally arrived.
Mary Meeker's Internet Presentation 2009

Table of Contents


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Before you make the decision to purchase a book, it is always good to scan the table of contents. Here's the detailed table of contents (it follows the Contents at a Glance) and a sample chapter (the introduction) for Social Media Marketing for Dummies. Social Media Marketing for Dummies You'll notice that the book makes some very strategic and academic concepts actionable and easily understandable while still helping the reader with the fundamentals.

Social Influence Marketing Guidelines


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In my recently launched book, I discuss the importance of creating guidelines and policies for your organization that can govern how employees speak on behalf of the company and interact in the social web more broadly. The fact that employees talk is not a bad thing but guidelines with recommendations on how to do so doesn't hurt either. 

A good example of guidelines (there are many others of course) are the Razorfish Social Influence Marketing Guidelines. What I like about them and recommend for all guidelines is that they include actual examples and clearly explain when the guidelines do and do not apply. When you're creating SIM guidelines be as explicit, straightforward and example driven as you can be.

InBound Marketing Summit: Social Influence Marketing Deck


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My five idea theme for presentations continues. Organized by Chris Brogan each year this conference attracts some pretty amazing speakers (think Gary Vaynerchuk and Brian Solis) and I was flattered to be included in the group. 
If you're interested in more on this, buy the book! And don't be turned off by the fact that its titled Social Media Marketing for Dummies. That just means it has a lot of thought provoking, strategic concepts explained in simple, easy to digest and practical terms. It does not mean that its for dummies.

Healthcare Napkins All


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Dan is a friend from the time we'd pitch intranet redesigns to Fortune 500 companies while he was still at Razorfish and I was focusing more on collaboration within the enterprise. He's since gone on to write a book called Back of the Napkin (an Amazon Business Book of the Year) and now has his own consulting firm advising companies on visual thinking.

Recently a slide deck of his was recognized by Businessweek as the World's Best Presentation of 2009. Go Dan! Here's the deck and it is a perfect example of how to communicate important business concepts visually.


Incidentally, Dan gave me some great advice on book writing when I was just starting work on my book. Advice that made a big difference!

Social Media Marketing versus Social Influence Marketing


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Why call the book Social Media Marketing for Dummies versus Social Influence Marketing for Dummies and is there any difference? I've been asked this a few times so I thought I'd answer it here. First some definitions - social media marketing is about using the social media platforms to market to customers or in other words to participate in the conversations wherever they maybe taking place in an authentic, trusted and human manner while achieving your marketing objectives too. Social Influence Marketing is about harness social media and social influencers to achieve the marketing and business objectives of an organization.

The book actually covers both and my publishers and I were torn over which title to use. While the book covers the social platforms, it puts a lot of emphasis on social influencers - who they are, how to identify them and ways to market to them. The reality is that social media marketing is the more understood and recognized term so that's why the "Social Media Marketing for Dummies" title was chosen. 

However, as you progress through the book, you'll notice that the language quickly moves to being about influence more than just about the platforms. Social Influence Marketing is truly a new dimension of marketing of which social media is one piece. The influence and influencers dimensions and how they impact business is all explained in the book. And it is worth noting, that's a dimension that I believe doesn't get anywhere enough attention in all the conversations about social media.

Let me know if you have any further questions or thoughts on this.

Advertising. 2009 vs. 1980.


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Absolutely loved this graphic that I had to republish it here. Click to this Barcelona blog for the original.

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WSJ, Social Data and falling asleep


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As a part of Advertising Week, I was on a panel at the Social Data Summit held at the Time Warner Center here in New York. We had a great discussion about how social data can be used for marketing, re-targeting advertising, building research practices and improving display ad performance. We also touched on the privacy and freakyness factors that are important.

The panel was highlighted in the Wall Street Journal and a rather funny offhand remark of mine appeared in print. Here it is below. 

Still, social data's great benefit to marketers and advertisers is that it doesn't come from a set of biased survey questions. It is information that is volunteered, and that's something that keeps marketers up at night. Shiv Singh, vice president of social media at Razorfish said, "We're all very excited about social data. I talk to my wife about it on weekends, and she falls asleep, but I keep talking."

Okay so maybe its time for me to take my job a little less seriously but I do enjoy talking about social data and so what if my wife falls asleep while I do. I think I'm digging myself into a deeper hole here. I better stop.

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