Posted tagged ‘Web 2.0’

Interact08: Two 2.Advertising companies to check out

29, September, 2008

http://www.zadby.com: Video advertising platform

http://www.mobileposse.com: Puts ads on idle cell phone screens

LiveBlog Interact08, cont’d: Creativity

29, September, 2008

Pith load from panel on creativity

“Creativity is not being a designer or programming, it’s the ability to solve a problem.”

Joanna Champagne, National Gallery of Art, on government use of social media

In process of expanding digital programs. Why not still use the “best architects” in the digital program? We want a website that does the same thing.

Must be true to the spirit of our founding…Andrew Mellon! How do we make the digital world that’s. . .as solid and fundamental? He said: “This is a new relationship between paint and stone.” We want to give the gift again in the digital world.

Website hasn’t been touched in 10 years. How to be true to the mission in the digital environment? Ideas:

Pilot and Play. It opens doors, sounds unthreatening.

Launched a mobile tool, a cellphone tour, to learn where the audience is geographically–and to provide a remote way to tour the museum. “Endears” people to the collection.

Example two: Interactive tables–touchscreen in the midst of the exhibition hall.

Iterate until you have enough successes to win support.

Be Yourself Online. Even for government organizations.

Postal service site is “gorgeous,” partnered with John Adams and Star Wars. Department of Education also very good. “Improve morale” as image of agency is transformed via consumer-facing web.

Leave the Building. Hard to get outside the office.

Put reprints outside on walls to literally get out of building.

Use Facebook. So many museum sites on Facebook–it’s become a forum for museum insiders to connect and share good ideas.

Nick Law, Creativity in the Digital Age

Two examples of leveraging user involvement with technology to elevate the brand experience.

NikeID.com: User-generated shoes, online. Not a matter of art director and copy writer going off somewhere. It’s about creating an interface–needs to be emotional, have brand texture to it.

NikePlus: Links music [iPod], athletics [running], technology [sensor in shoe] and social community [web interface for events, personal information, real-time dialog, sharing information, post-race creativity]. 780,000 ran a 10k with NikePlus, linking this all.

Ted Leonsis, Part 2

29, September, 2008

I had a chance to ask Leonsis a couple of questions:

How can the social web help during the current economic crisis?

His new investment, Revolution Money, will reduce the “tax” consumers have paid for credit card use. Merchants will be charged .5 percent per transaction. This smaller tax will be passed along to consumers, but it’s far less.

How can the social web help folks on the ground who are scared and in economic peril?

The startup costs of new businesses have plunged–the “eBay economy.” He points to the host’s $9 cufflinks made by a jeweler in England who can find customers overseas. Millions of people can start businesses, some of which can become big businesses.

Ted Leonsis, Superstar

29, September, 2008

Liveblog from Interact08

Opening session: “Shift Happens,” by Ted Leonsis, vice-chairman emeritus AOL, sage, sports franchise co-owner–all around investor, booster and mentor to many web startups. Said to have coined the phrase “new media” [fact-check that one].

Consumer currently feels “shattered”–in New York last week, it felt to him “like the week after 9/11”

Presidential race is a “turning point” for the integration of Web 2.0

New products, etc. need to be created for 3-screens

How consumers consume: Free, on-demand, mashed up, shared, raw and authentic.

“Our children are growing up in a world where free is better than paid.” Pay-based businesses will “die.”

“People ask me, ‘Where are your people?’ I don’t have people.” Part of being “authentic,” people can smell b.s. a mile away.”

Globalization: We don’t know how to translate international uniques into currency. [Chinese will develop 300,000 math PhDs this year. We’ll graduate 20,000. Marketing is increasingly for math majors. What does this mean to U.S. business?]

What do consumers give you? Money, time, pixels. You need to think in terms of those currencies.

“Ted’s Take”: I blog every day. I don’t like it anymore when people type my name into Google and see the first thing that comes up is a bad [Washington Post] article. My content is now at the top. “It’s important you take control of” your search results.

How this is blurring work and pleasure: A worker arrives at the office and logs first into fantasy football on Monday a.m., yet handled 300 e-mails on Sunday.

Discusses “filmanthropy“–movies with messages, creating a second bottom line. Just launched snagfilms.com, in partnership with Clearspring [in which he invests]. Cuts films into film widgets–now 61 million views. In U.S., there are 500 indie theaters; we have 12,000 virtual theaters.

The Internet is powerful because it enhances all of the following. It’s what all my businesses are designed around.

  • relationships in communities of interest
  • self-expression
  • giving back
  • pursuing a higher calling

Free Social Web Presentation: A $495 value!

24, September, 2008

I’m about to go do a presentation on social media. The topic this time: How to use various search-and-discover tools to monitor what’s being said in the socialwebosphere about you, your company, your partners or competitors, your spouse, your enemies, etc.

The audience is a group of people who do PR, marketing and communications for non-profit groups in the healthcare field. The people in attendance paid $495 to hear my presentation–though, to be fair, a lunch, dinner and a bunch of other, far more interesting speakers are part of the deal too.

But I thought I’d share the useful stuff right here in my blog, where everything is free. And–this is a guarantee–worth every penny.

The presentation lists a bunch of tools you can use to monitor what’s being said out in the social web. I know there are many others, but the ones I’m listing are both user-friendly for late adopters and likely, at least as a group, to produce a good scan of what’s being said in blogs, on Twitter, on discussion forums and hyperlocal news sites.

If any readers of this blog know good tools to supplement or replace the ones I’ve listed here, please leave a comment below. I’ll update the list and republish the full list in a later post.

Anyway, it’s about 12:30 p.m. and I’m on at 1 p.m. Better run.

Here’s the handout I’ll give out.

Learning to Listen In

The following tools help you monitor the many conversations happening all around the Internet. Some comments may involve your business, institution or key people. You may not want or need to respond. But knowing what people are saying is vital.

Listening is also an easy way to familiarize yourself with the baffling world of social media. Later on you may want to use these same techniques in marketing, branding, communication and customer service efforts. Talk like a marketer, though, and they’ll hate you.


Hints:

Most of these tools let you save your searches. Some send results to your e-mail, your iGoogle page or any RSS reader [Yahoo360, Netvibes, Bloglines, etc.]


Be sure to “listen” not only for your institution or firm’s full name, but for its nickname, short name, common misspellings, etc. Don’t forget about the names of key people.

The following tools are listed in approximate order of value. Start with Google Alerts, and see which others turn up content you’d otherwise miss.

  • Google Alerts The most basic way to monitor what’s being published on important topics and events. If nothing else, set Google Alerts for keywords and have results delivered to your e-mail box. http://www.google.com/alerts
  • Filtrbox Can dig deeper and help analyze content that turns up. Monthly fee for high-level use. For some, it may be worth it. http://www.filtrbox.com/
  • BlogPulse A Nielsen service, it monitors blog content http://www.blogpulse.com/
  • Omgili or Twing Both of these monitor the “deep web”—message boards where most search engines don’t prowl http://www.omgili.com or http://www.twing.com
  • Twitter Search To listen in on what’s being said on this annoying, oddly compelling platform http://search.twitter.com/. For alerts: http://tweetbeep.com/
  • Topix Aggregates local news better than most. A good way to see what your local press is reporting without having to visit their sites http://www.topix.com/

On “Thought Leaders” and Other 2.0bservations

16, September, 2008

I admit I’ve developed fairly low expectations of web 2.0 conferences. At this point, I consider them a success if:

  • I take away three nuggets worth remembering
  • I emerge unhurt

And so I’m pleased to report that by these standards the Tech Council of Maryland’s “Growing Your Business Through Social Media” meeting was a smashing success.

As is usually the case, the crowd was teeming with fear and hope about the social web, and eager to learn more. As usual, the panelists recommended various degrees of engagement and caution. There was plenty of coffee and free wireless.

Here are my three takeaway nuggets:

Nugget No. 1: Regarding those who wish to use social media to promote themselves as thought leaders, Mark Hausman, President & CEO of Strategic Communications Group,  issued this unsettlingly insightful remark: “If you want to be a thought leader, you need to have some thoughts.” You could almost hear the deflation in the crowd.

Nugget No. 2: Regarding those paralyzed by legal ramifications of the social web, Shashi Bellamkonda, Social Media Swami of Network Solutions, offered this simple piece of wisdom: “Take your lawyer to lunch.” [Yes, Bellamkonda’s official title is Social Media Swami. I’m guessing if he gets promoted it would be to Boddhisatva, but I’m not very good with org charts.]

Nugget No. 3: None of the panelists or audience members reported having any staff devoted exclusively to social media. Usually the responsibilities for maintaining blogs and discussion boards, working Facebook and LinkedIn for intel and monitoring the social web fell to 2 or 3 people in various departments, who do it essentially on time carved from the rest of their duties. Which is to say: For now, in most of corporate America, the social web is still treated like the idiot bastard stepchild of the communications/marketing/customer service/strategy functions.

Bonus Nugget No. 4! Jeremy Epstein, who did the keynote, is really smart and funny about this stuff. Subscribe to his Igniting the Revolution blog if you don’t believe me. His idea of “tribal marketing,” and how he used it to promote a funky post-careerist-era book by Daniel Pink, is a great illustration.

Photos by the Swami himself, coverage of the event by BisnowTech.


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Rick Sanchez Direct: CNN ADD!

8, September, 2008

Well, Rick Sanchez Direct was unloosed this afternoon onto an unsuspecting world. The CNN program appears to be the first head-on, full-frontal attempt by a mainstream media organization to harness the social web, live and on the air, to report the news.

Promoted on Sanchez’s own Twitter feed as a “Twitter show,” the production turned out to be more like a FriendFeed Gone Wild.

While Sanchez presented the news of the day, he harvested real-time viewer comments streaming in via Twitter, Facebook and MySpace [what, dude, you’re like 15?]. Raw news came in via cell phone images, mobile phone calls and user-generated video. There was even a multi-culti touch, with a flamboyantly Spanish speaking correspondent from CNN Espanol.

Sanchez is full of himself as a broadcaster and 2.0h geek–a brunette Anderson Cooper with ADD and thousands of online friends. His patter was peppered with references to the whiz-bangery by which he was presenting things: “…here’s something from Twitter coming in now, just seconds ago…this is an interactive news broadcast, it’s your show…and this, from Facebook…tell us what you think, we want to hear from you….”

Sanchez clearly relished his role as info-hero, manfully maintaining control of the real-time news battlefield while taking incoming data from all sides. At the end of the broadcast he thanked people for their “openness to Twitter, Facebook”–and indeed, one suspects, to human interaction itself. It was that kind of performance.

It’s easy to ridicule Rick Sanchez Direct as hyperspeed slapdash news-spatter. But truth told I found myself sort of liking it–the hour went fast, I got quick licks of the headlines-of-the-day, and heard the [alas, predictable] voices of my fellow Americans chattering about it all. There are worse news shows, and many that are more boring.

Which is not to say RSD is substantial or of great public value. But let’s consider the context before we bemoan the shameful intellectual decay of cable news–the domain of Wolf Blitzer, Sean Hannity and those blonde women on Fox–wrought by Twitter and Facebook.

Network TV news as it is widely practiced is highly mannered, with carefully staged standups, scripted stories, well-spoken talking heads and press conference snippets, all presented with assertive declamations by people who, as they say outside major media markets, clean up real good.

The thought that this somehow constitutes “news” in its pure form is ridiculous.

The thought that adding social media to the mix could wreck it is fatuous.

News is stuff that happens that someone finds interesting. There are infinite ways to present it. As the culture changes, so does the way it’s delivered.

My biggest complaint with RSD is that the need to generate a constant stream of real-time apoplexy to fill that Twitter screen, Sanchez & Co. will have to keep baiting the hook with red meat.

In today’s Episode One, the topics included “hard to watch” cell phone video of dead civilians in Afghanistan, a bunch of loony pastors who plan to take “all the way to the Supreme Court if necessary” their God-given right to endorse Republic–er, various candidates for public office, user videos of ginormous waves crushing the coastline of Cuba, the Government Bailout of Freddie and Fannie with Your Tax Dollars, etc.

And through Twitter and Facebook and god help us MySpace the people expressed their shock and disgust and dismay!

Sure, this is phony populism–“the issues that America really cares about,” overheated for the purposes of sensation. But welcome to our century. Later in the day, World News Tonight, Fox News and even NPR covered the very same stories, but without the public feedback.

As they say in the eye doctor’s office: Worse? Or better?

Is Rick Sanchez Direct a smart move for CNN? The 3 p.m. weekday time slot isn’t particularly valuable broadcast real estate. Why not turn it into a faddish, hyperkinetic, multi-screen, multi-media playground and see what happens?

Besides, think of the sponsorship opportunities.

For CNN sales reps, I have just two words: Red Bull.

* * * *

For more, see my previous entry previewing the program.


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The 2.D’oh! Roundup: Crowdsourcing images, 2.0 Names

15, August, 2008

The Print ‘n’ Read ™ Feature

I try regularly to point out stories that are so worthwhile that they may actually be worth printing out and reading on paper. This week’s nominee: Cheap Photo Sites Pit Pros Vs. Amateurs, which appeared in Business Week. [A shout-out to Wired Crowdsourcing blogger Jeff Howe for the pointer to the article.]

It’s another story in which longtime-fat-and-happy creative professionals whine about losing business to amateurs. My message to those dislocated by new social and digital technologies: If your work doesn’t have more value than the work of amateurs, why on earth should someone pay premium rates for it? Quit yer belly-achin’ and find ways to create value in the new economy.

For extended responses to this question, print out the article’s comments too.

Too Cute.0

Jim Bacon sent along this link to a Big Media Man animation that has some sport with the juvenile, too-cute-by-.5 names of web 2.0 companies.

For another take on this unfortunate phenomenon, see the seminal written-for-print article on the topic [“How do you tell a web name from a typo?”] by Paul Farhi [interest revealed: Farhi’s a former colleague at The Washington Post].

I previously wrote a post about the wiggy Dot-o-mater, a site that saves you the trouble and automatically generates foolish 2.0 names.

And finally, our regular spotting of The Fifth Horseman of the Apocalypse ™

Salon Blogger “Tipping” System”

N.B.: This entry was posted via Verizon Mobile Broadband service while riding on the Ohio Turnpike. Other than the 56k-baud-era download speeds, it’s working great. Don’t worry: I’m not driving.

Coinage: Rohit Bhargava and “Egocommunication”

11, August, 2008

Web 2.0racle Rohit Bhargava, author of the Influential Marketing blog and SVP at Ogilvy 360 Digital Influence, has visited upon us a brilliant coinage: egocommunication.

Here’s how he describes it:

Egommunication is a form of communication where you can share a message or piece of content with someone based on their own consistent habit of checking mentions of themselves and their content online … in other words, relying on their ego as a channel for your message to get through. It is a tacit form of communication. In effect, you take advantage of the fact that just about everyone in social media is self-googling on a frequent basis.

So I can communicate with anyone who is socially aware enough to Google their name often [or, more likely, have a Google Alert set in their own name] simply by mentioning them.

This is the phenomenon I wrote about not long ago in an entry describing how Dave Garr, founder of a site called Usertesting.com, discovered a negative comment I’d made about his site on Twitter. I had no name to describe the phenomenon I was then writing about [or doing]. I did a shout-out to Garr in the post and, sure enough, he saw it and sent a greeting back in a comment.

Fascinating stuff.

So: Hi again, Dave! Hi again, Rohit!

Rohit was moderator of a panel I was on at the recent Digital Media Conference, hosted by Ned Sherman of Potomac TechWire.  [Hi Ned! Look forward to working together again!]

And Rohit will also speak at a coming conference–a huge one called InterAct08, at which an array of digital high-flyers [Google’s Marissa Mayer, 2.0 bodhisattva Ted Leonsis, among others] will appear in D.C. The CEO of InterAct08 is Stephen Mealy, whose InterAct08 blog describes the event in greater detail.

[Hi Stephen! Thanks for the note. I’ll be in touch soon.]


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The Feds and Social Media: EPA Goes Blogging

24, July, 2008

From the Who Knew? files: The Environmental Protection Agency has been hammering away at a group blog since April.

Don’t worry, it’s not the Bush hacks extolling the virtues of offshore drilling. Greenversations is written by a group of civil servants at the agency who explore greenish issues in a personal way. As they go, they often mention EPA services that can help you, the citizens of America, live a greener life.

Here’s Lina Younes, head of the agency’s multilingual communications office, on how the agency helped her fix her leaky toilet, in a manner of speaking.

I learned about the WaterSense program through EPA and found out that the new toilets with the high-efficiency WaterSense label were finally available in the Maryland area where we live. We studied various options. We considered the dual flush toilets that we’ve seen in Europe and more recently in EPA’s Potomac Yard green building, but we finally opted for single flush toilets that use 1.28 gallons per flush and we couldn’t be happier. They do the job and we’ve put a stop to those leaky toilets, finally.

The entries appear to be vetted by EPA staff. But I came across some useful stuff. In this entry about what to do with an old cell phone, I came a fairly cool federal publication on The Lifecycle of a Cellphone. It’s made for kids, but I learned a lot about the resource intensive manufacturing process of phones, and where the motes of deadly toxin are embedded.

The whole point of Greenversations is to “open up the agency to the public,” to digress into 2.0 communications vernacular, and “put a human face on the agency.” It appears to accomplish this. Yes, but will anyone read it? Hard to imagine someone engaged enough with environmental issues to read blogs would be attracted to this 2.0 public service announcement outlet, however well done.

Comments are moderated, as you might expect. But Greenversations has at least some tolerance for agitprop. A response to an EPA science writer’s introduction of a new regular blog item on environmental science:

Steve Holmer says:

July 23rd, 2008 at 12:05 pm

Rather ironic, but it is encouraging that EPA staff have not given up on science. However, reading today’s Washington Post about how Director Johnson repeatedly lied to Congress about the decision concerning the CA waiver doesn’t leave one feeling like EPA has yet turned the corner.

Looking forward to better times ahead,

Ah, yes, but now about the government has a database of people who have made comments critical of high-level federal officials! Is Mssr. Holmer safe from government harrassment, even under the provisions of the Patriot Act?

From the Frequent Questions page:

Why do you ask for my name and email address when I leave a comment? How do you protect my privacy?

Providing your name or email address is optional. We ask for your name so that it is easier to carry on a conversation, so we will publish it along with your comment. We ask for your email address so that we may contact you if necessary. We will not publish your email address.

To protect yourself, please don’t include information that identifies you in the body of your comment, such as email addresses or phone numbers. We don’t edit comments, so we won’t be able to publish comments containing such information.

Huh. I wonder of Mssr. Holmer included his real e-mail address. And if he did, whether he got a response “thanking” him for his “valuable comment.”

If any of this interests you, you can always follow Greenversations on Twitter.

But you knew that.