I don’t need a TV truck, radio station, or printing press to reach thousands of people, and neither do you.
The Mobile Media Platform
In my current role at PodTech, much of my job was to be out in the field where the people are, and use social media to demonstrate how PodTech could deliver to clients. The tactic? I was a walking media platform, and at any time, anywhere, I could publish text, video, audio, or pictures to thousands of people within minutes. I could break news, live stream events, live blog, twitter from my mobile phone, send emails to the influentials, kick start conversations or most importantly, just listen to the network.
Over my time at PodTech, I uploaded close to 8,000 pictures, hundreds of videos, over 1,000 blog posts, and did at least 2 weeks of live streaming. I surprised folks by my rapid ability to post session notes, pictures and even video within 30 minutes of a conference. I want to record how life has been over the last year as things change. See all my posts tagged event or conference to learn see the output (please note most was in real-time or within 12 hours of an event).
Here’s what’s in my bag(s)
In the spirit of the popular “whats in your bag” flickr meme, here’s my response.
(click on picture to see notes in flickr)
Mobile Social Media Platform Inventory (Basic Kit)
Backpack: I just love this rugged and stylish backpack, it should be able to hold up to my abuse, with lots of utility.
Laptop: Thinkpad Lenovo T60 was issued to me
3G Wireless card: Important, as public WiFi is unwieldy
Power charger: For Thinkpad
Power extension cord: (in black mesh bag) important at conferences where supply is limited, and a great way to meet new friends
Moleskine notepad and pen: This is how I stay organized, and it’s in an easy to grab bag with pen
Extra DVR tapes for video camera
Webcam: On loan from Ustream
USB Extension Cord: Critical for live streaming, as the cam often goes on a tripod
Digital Camera (not picture): SD700IS. While only $350, my photos are in the SJ Mercury
Camera case on backpack: see small black pouch on front lapel of backpack, strateically situated for rapid access
Camera spare battery
Camera USB Cable: The gray one
Camera Lens wipes
Wallet: Need money, store parking passes, BART tickets, and business cards (picture of wife too)
Business Cards: Both mine and new contacts
Expense Bag: I throw all my receipts from business trips in that bag and sort out later, a good way to start organized
Reading material (varies week to week): Super Crunches from friend David Berkowitz, and Social Computing Framework
Various personal items: Gum, energy bars, breath mints, and some strange bandaids and hand sanitizer that a conference organizer handed out
(click on picture to see notes in flickr)
Mobile Media Platform Inventory (Show Kit)
If I’m going to do interviews for the PodTech’s Web Strategy Show, I would bring this kit:
Camera Case: compact, and can fit inside of backpack
Camera Case: compact, and can fit inside of backpack
Camcorder: Sony camera (DVR) for interviews
Xacti: Backup camera, USB
Battery Charger: Important to have spare battery on hand
Line Charger for direct power
Extra Tapes: DVR
Remote Control: For when camera is on tripod (not tripod)
Sling: Extra tether for camera, if going mobile
I have this phone on me, although outdated, it gives me access to the web, text messaging, with a powerful speakerphone. Why don’t I use a smartphone? Because I’m often in front of a computer.
What will future tools look like? Many of these will consolidate and become smaller, hopefully without the cost of quality
Alight, I’m tagging bloggers Robert Scoble, Mario Sundar, Chris Pirillo, Scott Squid, and Thomas Hawk to open up and show me what’s in their bags, give an inventory list, your strategy.
Community is important, it means the needs and output of the many are greater than the few. One of the hardest things for companies is learning how to kick-starting a community, just because you build it, doesn’t mean they’ll come.
A few weeks ago I kick started the Web Strategy Group in Facebook, it’s an extension to this blog, but the difference is the topics and lead by the community –not some boring top-down blogger.
[Unlike other Facebook groups, the Web Strategy Group has active discussions among those who make decisions for the modern website]
Unlike other dead groups in Facebook, the Web Strategy Group, is filled with conversations, discussions, debates and sharing. It was important to me that it not just be a ‘badge’ or ‘affiliation’ group but a thriving eco-system where people connect ideas, jobs, and maybe new customers. I seeded it with conversations, gave it love, and thanked the top contributors, gracious strategists Tinu and Connie.
Here’s a high level scrape of some of the top discussions within the Web Strategy Group forum (out of 46):
What Do You Do? Where Are You From? Why This Group? (72 posts by 56 people): A standard introductory post, folks are getting to know each other.
What’s your official Title? What makes you a Web Strategist? (23 posts by 21 people): Another prompt at encouraging everyone to say “hi”
Sharing your “Web Strategy” (13 posts): Learning a lot from others as they share how the get programs started.
What do you want from a Facebook strategy event? (13 posts by 8 people): Teresa who’s hosting a conference where I’ll be keynoting on Communities is getting community feedback from the folks who are likely to attend, a savvy tactic.
How do you drive traffic to a branded social networking site? (6 posts by 3 people): In this classic challenge a strategist has been asked to fix a program where a website was built without first finding the community where it exists.
What comes first? determining the priority of your website (13 posts by 8 people): It’s sometimes hard to balance between your business stakeholders, users, and your boss, hear how others get started.
What’s your methodology for understanding User Needs? (17 posts by 13 people): The members share how they learn to understand their communities
If you can add to these conversations, I encourage you to join the group and get involved, you’ll need to join Facebook first.
Facebook announced that it will be ranking it’s applications not by total number of users, but by engagement. Certainly an evolutionary step forward. Early on, I was trying to define the formula of engagement, so I’ve got a pretty good sense of what it is and what it’s not. Venture Beat covered the story, but I think they got the attributes mixed up between attention and interaction.
[Facebook is confusing Engagement with Interaction, which is a completely different attribute to measure behavior, our industry needs to come to agreement on terms]
Facebook isn’t really measuring Engagement, they’re measuring Interaction.
The four attributes they mentioned are elements of a user interacting with the site:
These touch points are:
- Canvas Page Views
- Link Clicks in FBML
- Mock-Ajax Form Submission
- Click-to-Play Flash
Facebook measurement, an incomplete formula
There’s a few other attributes that Facebook is missing in it’s measurement, this is NOT an Engagement measurement. They’re missing Attention (how much time was spent on a particular widget app, Alex agrees) and Velocity (did the application get shared and spread among a network, and Influence, who share it with who? For example, if Scoble shared with his 5000ish friends, it’s certainly a higher weight than someone with 20.
As an industry, it’s really important that we start to come to agreement on terms and attributes. For what it’s worth, I predict they will release an engagement index, that will help them be the industry standard when it comes to defining a successful application. More thoughts on this topic from the Web Analytics Guru, or check out all my posts tagged Social Media Measurement.
Once I move into my new role, I may have the reach to standardize terms, give me time.
Update: Judah at Web Analytics Demystified (an authority) agrees.
Imagery tied to a brand will still remain important to the corporate marketer, Is your irrelevant corporate website needing a refresh of it’s marketing images? Lucky Oliver uses pro-amateurs to fuel their image library, where they explain it’s about building a concept or image. Recently zooomr has entered the pay-for-image, but it’s suggested that Lucky Oliver has rights and prosumer quality unlike public sites.
I was impressed with a recent Forrester workshop held in SF, so impressed, that I’ve now decided to join the Forrester team.
Forrester is going to host the Consumer Forum in Chicago on Oct 11-12th. I’ll be in training at Cambridge (HQ) for three weeks, but I’ll be flying out to Chicago to attend this conference. Here’s the high level summary:
“Fueled by cheap devices and pervasive access, individuals are increasingly taking cues from one another rather than from institutions — a phenomenon that creates chaos for traditional brands, sellers, and media outlets. Evidence of this new social structure is everywhere; for example, only 53% of consumers in 2006 believed that ads were a good way to learn about new products, down from 78% in 2002. At the same time, consumers are increasingly seeking each other out for information — 31% of online consumers buy or sell products online from and to other consumers, 26% contribute to discussion boards or submit product ratings, and 11% publish their own blogs or personal journals. Broadening avenues of feedback lead consumers to expect participation in product development, innovation, and advertising — witness the success of Wikipedia and Doritos’ user-generated Super Bowl ads”
Robert J. Bach President, Entertainment & Devices Division of Microsoft
Josh Bernoff, Vice President, Forrester Research
Richard Edelman, President and CEO, Edelman
Ze Frank, Founder, ZeFrank.com
Gian Fulgoni, Chairman and Co-founder, comScore
Christie Hefner, Chairman and CEO, Playboy Enterprises
Henry Jenkins, Co-Director, MIT Comparative Media Studies, MIT
Carrie A. Johnson, Vice President, Research Director, Forrester Research
Kevin H. Johnson, Digital Organization Leader, Services Division, Acxiom Digital
Philip J. Kaplan, Founder and President, Products, AdBrite
Charlene Li, Vice President and Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
Christina Norman, President, MTV Networks
Christine Spivey Overby, Principal Analyst, Forrester Research
If you want to discuss or find out who else is going, join the Facebook group, or get updates from the Forrester Twitter account.
Are you going to Forrester’s Consumer Forum? David Armano and his company Critical Mass are sponsoring. The Minnesota Marketing Association says it’s interesting. Leave a comment if you’re going, I want to meet you there.
The last time I went to Chicago I took a bunch of great photos, it’s a wonderful city.
Media is getting smaller, faster, and more connected, I’m seeing this through the adoption of MicroMedia, niche communities, and intimate conversations with smaller groups of folks. Savvy communicators will realize that using the small “pebble” will cause a ripple effect out to other networks. The less savvy will come with the fleet, causing disruptive waves.
Be sure to understand the different adoption personas: The Pebble, Swimmer, Surfer, Boater, or Fleet. Those close to the epicenter can drop a pebble and watch it ripple out to the others. When I announced my job change on Monday, I did it in Twitter, I left a series of messages explaining my intent, I saw the replies come back by the dozens. I answered an y questions in real-time and the wave grew in energy. As their friends saw people saying “congrats @jowyang” (the “@” symbol notifies me someone is talking to me) it encourages others to click on my name and see what I said. It rippled across the Twitter lake. Finally, I dropped the URL to my blog, and then it spread to the swimmers, then surfers, boaters, and finally the fleet, like this news site (thanks Karl).
[The savvy communicator knows that small, targeted, conversations can yield bigger returns on energy than massive bombardments]
Many brands want to announce products by using the fleet, come in with heavy advertising that links to a flash animation, which points to a product page. Maybe the savvy brands will learn how to use the smaller tools and drop that very small pebble close the center of the lake.
By the way, I’m very pleased to see the comments, and trackbacks suggesting that my new role is a “perfect fit”, as many of these folks have worked with me, read my blog, or know my passion for web strategy. It’s really community confirmation that it’s going to work out. Best of all, George Forrester Colony himself left a comment welcoming me (#124), fantastic. Thank you everyone, really, it means a lot, seriously.
Lunch 2.0: First local, now national, and soon global
The Wall Street Journal covered the Lunch 2.0 community event phenomenon in yesterday’s business section (Read Terry’s thoughts). If you’re not familiar with Lunch 2.0 it’s a grassroots community event where savvy corporations and startups host the web community for a casual meal and opt-in demo or presentation. We have founders Terry Chay, Mark Jenn, David Kellogg, and Joseph Smarr to thank.
Big Brands: “Yeah, we got that”
As the Lunch 2.0 event spreads like wildfire, the savvy corporate marketer realize the huge ROI for hosting these events (some are slower) they’ll be pitching these to their management teams, and penciling it near the product launch on the ol’ launch calendar.
Sadly, not all the companies and brands (some are my clients) are doing it right. By slapping a budget together, informing a few marketing folks, and posting an invite on the Lunch 2.0 site, a brand has certainly gone through the motions but missed a very important component –be human. It’s more than showing up to the party, it’s about interacting and engaging with the guests, really be human. Let down the firewall, drop the branding, and show what your brand can do for the community –not the other way around.
Being human, so tough for big brands
Don’t get me wrong, many brands have hosted a lunch successfully (it’s more native to the start-up, than big brand) so learn from them. I told the WSJ that:
“For companies, keeping the events laid-back and unstructured can be a challenge. “This is a community event — unlike what corporations usually do, which is set up booths and pitch,” says Jeremiah Owyang, director of corporate media strategy at PodTech.net, a media network, and a consultant to Fortune 1000 companies.
Smaller start-ups are more eager to embrace the idea. But larger corporations — especially those that are used to controlling communications flow through a public-relations team — may be reluctant to open their doors to an Internet savvy audience that shares its thoughts through blogs and social networks online. Mr. Owyang says, “I hope they roll up their cuffs and unbutton the shirt a bit.”
Doing it right
Lunch 2.0 is going global, it’s going to spread past the Silicon Valley, it’s started in Seattle, going to Singapore, and Europe. It’s really important that we preserve the true essence of a community event (it’s more about the people in the community than the brand) so please read How to have a successful community event I drafted up a few weeks ago.
Did I practice what I preached? I worked at a big brand (Hitachi) when I hosted the Lunch 2.0, if you were there, you can be the judge, leave a comment below; did we open up in a real and human way?
Due to the feedback, I’m continuing this weekly series of the Social Network Industry (now with masthead). I’ve created a new tag called Digest where you can start to track and access these going forward. The hope? To make it easy for a web strategist to quickly scan the activity in the last week. I strive to make headlines on items categorized and succinct.
Need to make decisions about your web strategy? I’m here to help: subscribe to my blog, sign up for emails (right nav), follow me on Twitter, or add me on Facebook (I’ll add you back).
Web Strategy Summary
Facebook continues to grow, thanks to anticipated releases. Social Networks continue to build around brands using White Label Social Networks, segmentation around many affinities continue. The intersection between corporate life and personal life continue to conflict, both around productivity and privacy. Recommendations? corporations should be analyzing the market, and preparing budget for this must-watch and maybe-participate strategy. Segmentation is your friend, this helps you to find your small, passionate, and engaged audience.
Global: Social Networks all over the World
The August edition of Business 2.0 lists out other types of Facebook SoNets: China’s Xiaoneiwang, France’s Skyrock, Germany’s StudiVZ, India’s Minglebox, Israel’s Mekusharim, Mexico’s Vostu, Netherlands’ Hyves, Russia’s V Kontakte, and Turkey’s Qiraz.
Upgrade: Facebook improves development and user experience
In response to massive growth and development of applications, Facebook announces some changes to protect user data, improve experience, and features for developers, the specifics include: Profile Boxes, Application Directory, Requests, Notifications, and News Feed. The net effect? Great apps will be rewarded, bad ones punished. Facebook announced it’s focusing on ‘engagement‘ based on user behavior, critics suggest that it’s a privacy nightmare.
Privacy and Data: Concerns over Facebook’s data cloud cause stir
Facebook watchgroups, concerned with how information about personal, network and business data stir controversy with this big-brother video, blue never looked so ominous.
Growth: Facebook’s Platform 3 months later
This article gives some great stats about the activity, feeds, applications, advertising, and other information happening on the Facebook platform. Most interestingly enough, I believe we’re still at the start of something –orders of magnitude to come.
Targeted Ads: Facebook drops ‘Smart Bomb’ advertising
Facebook can segment some ads by gender and city, not even Google Ad Sense can be this accurate. Mashable wonders if this is clever or evil? I say clever, and if deployed correctly, the ads may be more relevant to the user –and less disruptive. Imagine if ads became so intelligently contextual that they are as valuable as news items on a feedreader.
Corporate Censorship: Half of Employers block Facebook
I really question the survey and numbers that CNET reports that half of employers restrict social networks for employees. Let’s remember that Social Network, if used correctly, can increase sales, bring marketing intelligence, encourages users to self-support, and build better products. Blocking Facebook? why not block the rest of the web.
Segmentation: Religious Groups adapt SoNets
One of the oldest social networks? Religion is now showing activity in groups on Facebook says Venture Beat: “Myspace, the world’s largest social network, recently told the New York Times it had more than 100,000 religion-focused groups while faith-based sites like Mychurch (its free-standing site), Xianz, Muslimspace and others reported well under that number of total users. New religious sites continue to launch.”
Segmentation: SoNets for different Professions
WSJ reports in that professionals of every career are starting to embrace social networks: Sermo for Medicine, New Reuters site for Finance, INMobile.org for Wireless execs, and AdGabber for advertising folks.
Segmentation: Professional Women Network
New SoNet called Damsels In Success has recently launched, it’s focus on the professional woman. There are discussion features, and job features that can launch women’s careers forward.
Money and Segmentation: Mom’s get their own Social Network
This reminds me of woman.com in the first web phase, as cafemom received $5 million in funding. What is this network? “Users offer tips and practical advice. Other popular groups are “Toddler Moms” and “Raising Boys.” The company says it expects two million unique users in August. Some of that traffic is being bought with advertising on search engines.”
Costs: Sponsored Group in Facebook A million $ a year
Valleywag suggests that the media kits for from Facebook cost nearly a million dollars a year for building a sponsored group. I’ve seen a variety of numbers, I guess the only way to really find out is to go talk to them. Also see the rate cards which they’ve published.
Deployment: Playboy to launch social network to save media brand
Limp media giant needs boost for online strategy “Hugh Hefner’s Playboy empire is set to launch a sexy social networking site dedicated solely to college students, its latest online venture as it tries to reinvigorate its stagnant finances.” I wonder if they asked Facebook for entry, if so, changes were they were barred, that’s where the college students are at. To be fair, they should consider a SoNet for Playgirl too. What would be a smart deployment? Dating type widgets for Facebook –but no nudity –think lifestyle (no not the brand). It’s powered by Ning. See Zivity, with a similar approach.
Applications: Google launches Facebook social search widget
Google launches a search widget for Facebook that lets you search the web and share the results with your friends. Sadly, it has errors on the first page on launch. Expect more mainstream features to be ported to Facebook and to sit on top of the social engine.
Be sure to check out previous weekly digests.
For those that read this blog, you’ll know that I’m passionate about the web, I’m pleased to announce that I’ll be furthering the Web Strategy mission by accepting a new role at an amazing company.
Forrester Research, a perfect fit
I’m very pleased to announce that I’ll be joining Forrester Research as a Senior Analyst focused on Social Computing for the Interactive Marketer. Forrester is the leading industry analyst firm focused on this emerging industry, and thanks to luminaries like Charlene Li and team, they’ve produced tremendous thought leadership in the space. They’ve produced a large growing library of resources, and as an analyst, I will also be conducting research, publishing reports, and advising Forrester’s clients. I really believe this to be a perfect fit and am excited to start on October 1st, 2007.
Thank you PodTech Network
Since Sept 2006, as the Director of Corporate Media Strategy, I’ve had the most amazing experience living in the epicenter of social media, and I’m thankful. I’ve met so many amazing people, worked with thought and practice leaders, and been part of amazing events like BlogHaus, PodTech is a training ground for talent. Having informed my colleagues of my change, I’ve received nothing from congratulations and support from James the CEO on down. I’m grateful to John Furrier for launching the company and hiring me on the team. On mutually good terms, I end my time at PodTech on Sept 14th, CEO James McCormick wishes me the best.
Pursuing the Web Strategy Mission
Why an analyst? This is native to me. If you check out my posts tagged Web Strategy, or the various industry lists that I’ve been collecting you’ll find that it’s not too different from what an Industry Analyst does. I enjoy writing, and have published 1,327 posts in the last 15 months (about 3 a day, including weekends). Like my role at PodTech, I’ll also be guiding corporations, helping them navigate the uncharted social computing sphere. I’ll continue to write publications, consult, and speak. Social computing is native to me, before PodTech I deployed the social media program at Hitachi Data Systems, Shel has the story.
Stepping down from Board of Advisors
As an Analyst, Ill be unbiased in my analysis and reports, sadly, I’m stepping down from the Board of Advisors for WaterCooler (a successful Facebook applications company) and UStream.tv (live interactive video streaming).
What will happen with the Web Strategy Mission? It will continue to evolve, and now I’ll be working with the top analytical minds in the industry. For corporations, the journey is just starting, so stay close to me: subscribe to this blog, follow me on Twitter (where I first announced this), friend me at Facebook or find peers by joining the Web Strategy Community.
It’s going to be exciting, I’ll be able to serve the web industry as an analyst at Forrester Research!
I’m going to take a few days off from blogging, see you in Facebook!
I’ve been asked to keynote the 2007 Web Community Forum will take place in Seattle, WA on December 5-6, 2007. (Update: Read these important changes from the Blog Business Summit)
I’ll be providing a high-level strategy on the opportunities, challenges, and market growth of the tool. It’s being run by the good folks at the Blog Business Summit, we all know Steve Brobeck and Teresa Valdez Klein. I started my social media business path with them, in fact at a summer time conference in SF in 2005. A few years later, they’re still leading the industry with a new conference series on the opportunities the Facebook platform provides, if you’re preparing to deploy in Facebook, you should attend.
What’s a big change how Facebook is impacting web strategies? Users can opt-in to offer information connect with peers, in fact it could even mean the death of the registration page once and for all. As an industry, we’re not there yet, but the savvy will figure out that Facebook is really an identity platform first, followed by media, then applications.
If you want to get up-to-date on Facebook strategies, I’ve created a new tag called Facebook Strategy.
Here’s the description of the session I’ll be leading:
Your Facebook Strategy: Opportunities of a Ready-Made Platform
Facebook is a media, community and application platform that offers an existing thriving ecosystem, scalable growth, and word-of-mouth marketing. The ability to understand users, their preferences, and networks, helps web applications to quickly segment and rapidly grow. Of course, no system is perfect, as we will understand the challenges with data, privacy and the growing conflict as work and personal lives collide online.
By analyzing users, their profiles, networks and affiliations there’s a tremendous amount of rich data that we’ve not seen displayed so readily. The ability to create a targeted web strategy to meet specific needs of the ‘long tail’ is more accessible than ever before.
Facebook provides targeted advertising unlike we’ve ever seen before, the ability to provide messages segmented by location, gender, and or preference gives the ability to accurately market effectively
The recently launched Application Platform gives the small agile web team the ability to quickly deploy a widget, scale and monetize. We’ll explore what’s worked as these mini-applications are launched on top of an existing community.
-Demographics and Trend Data of Facebook
-Word of mouth and viral growth using the Newsfeed and Widgets
-Groups, Sponsored groups and other community features
-Harness Personal and Network information
-Contextual and targeted Advertising opportunities
-Monetizing your efforts
-Case studies of success and failure
-Understanding costs, and strategies to measure ROI
I hope to see you there!