Why: Why let the media pundits and political analysts have all the fun? You can now be an armchair critic, all you need is a twitter account, a TV, and internet access.
[On the first Presidential Debate on Sept 26, 2008, YOU get to be the armchair political analyst and use Twitter to score the candidates]
What is it: With the success of the previous Twitter SuperBowl ads rating last Jan, let’s repeat this community based voting event for the upcoming presidential debates, this time, you’re in charge.
9PM Eastern. September 26, 2008: Presidential debate with domestic policy focus, University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS. More details available from the commission of Presidential Debate.
You’re the judge! In your opinion, score points to the two candidates and tweet it
A) Score the candidates ability to debate
Using twitter, you can score the candidates with this handy scoring guide.
-3 for a personal attack
-2 for a false statement
-1 for avoiding the issue, or not answering the question
+1 for a successful assertion
+2 for a successful counterpoint to opponents assertion
+3 Quotable sound bite
B) Use Twitter to tell the world (use the hash tag)
Example: A proper tweet is: “Mccain +1 for articulating his energy policy #tweetdebate”
Example: A proper tweet is: “Obama -3 for calling McCain an old fart #tweetdebate”
Example: A proper tweet is: “Mccain +3 for great line: “It’s the economy stupid” #tweetdebate”
D) After the Debate, Tally your score, then leave a comment
At the end of the debate, count up your score, your twitter handle, then leave a comment on this post.
Tip: Enter your score into a spreadsheet in real time, saving you time to tally.
My twitter handle is http://twitter.com/jowyang
Obama scored a total +25 and McCain scored a total of +26
Then create a percentage: Obama scored 49% and Mccain 51%
Then soak in your glory of being a true armchair political analyst (and argue the scoring of the other twitter pundits)
Future Debates: Come back to this site for discussions
October 2, 2008: Vice Presidential debate, Washington University, St. Louis, MO
October 7, 2008: Presidential debate in a town hall format, Belmont University, Nashville, TN
October 15, 2008:Presidential debate with foreign policy focus, Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY
Despite that I work at a research firm, this event is entirely for entertainment, and some education, and won’t be used in any formal studies –have fun.
Input from Zack Reiss-Davis
Post Event Findings:
The game started out with folks scoring as suggested above, but soon, the scoring became pretty lax, then many just used it as a way to track conversations. Current TV was showing tweets live on TV, which at one point, overwhelmed their system, resulting in no tweets showing. Twitter’s infrastructure withstood the onslought –I think they’re finally starting to see their opportunity as a major communication device.
We started out strong scoring the sound bytes and assertions, but soon the threshold to score became too difficult. I suspect folks were also interested in Current TV, The Drinking Game, the Friendfeed debate room, or just used the tweetdebate tag to track all their responses. In any case it was all good –watching any event is no longer a lonely event –we participate and mainstream media is watching and adopting.
A graph indicating the frequency of the term “#tweetdebate”
For the last few months, er years, Microsoft has been getting their assets handed to them as Apple tears into their brand with the “PC vs Mac” clever ads.
Microsoft has launched a new campaign with at least two phases, the first one showing Seinfeld and Gates acting as “normal guys” at the mall, at home, on the road. Most tech heads didn’t get it, but for the mainstream everybodies, it may have resonated. The ads may have been stalled, the reports contradict.
The second phase, which launched last night, extends the “everybody is a PC” theme shows some highly structured actors (including the lovely Eva Longoria) showing how they’re a PC.
I figured out that the theme was “everyone is a PC” which is a differentiator from the elite feeling of Mac for young urban 20 something year olds, to the rest of the business and work world.
Create YouTube Video Templates that have the same video start and end (called bumpers) and have a seperate MP3 track that can be added in the background
Create a set of tags “ImaPC” or “PCpride” or “everyonePC” that makes the videos easy to find
Next, aggregate the videos onto one page, making them easy for folks to find.
Create a voting campaign allowing users to add points to the videos they enjoy the most
Use these user created videos in actual TV and web advertising
Allow negative videos to be included, and showcase these on the web
Elevate these social features right on the campaign page, expand to Facebook, LinkedIn, and where else creators and joiners exist.
To take the win, Microsoft should let the people lead, create, and own the campaign, Jerry and Bill can share the spotlight, reframe the campaign on creators. I see there site is hinting at this, and it maybe in their plans, but I’d expect them to crank this user created feature up.
If you agree that Microsoft should elevate the opportunity for everyone to show how they are a PC, leave comment below, maybe, just maybe, they’re watching.
There’s a whole ‘nother hidden layer of information that never hits the blogosphere or twittersphere: gag orders, quiet deals, or the sucking sound of credit stealing brand managers.
One of the benefits of being an analyst is get opportunity to talk to folks behind closed doors –I hear that ‘nother hidden layer of information. I get to hear the secrets, learn about who’s shaking who’s hand and who’s in competition with who.
There’s always a story behind the story. What does that mean? When you see successful projects touted by large brands, there are almost always unseen vendors that are helping behind the scenes. In many cases, the brands want to take the credit for the successes, and when things don’t work out, sometimes the vendors get the shaft.
Who are some of the unsung heroes you may never hear about? technology vendors, PR firms, agencies, and even VCs.
Recently some PR pros told me the ideas they gave clients were rejected for months or even years, and eventually when they were implemented, it was somehow forgotten the ideas came from them. Or take technology vendors, I know who’s running some very high profile communities, but the vendor has a gag order not to tout their connection. Agencies: digital, brand, interactive, often do the heavy lifting for marketing campaigns, yet brand managers who sign the checks often get the credit. Or lastly, VCs connect, influence, and encourage deals to happen that you will never hear about –perhaps by design.
While maybe this is the cost of doing business (putting your client first and foremost) next time you see success or a failure from a large well known brand, always realize there’s an untold back story that doesn’t hit the press, and rarely hits the blogs.
Here’s a quiet 21 un-gun salute to those unsung heroes, shhhhh.
I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an Industry Analyst –a good way to get in my head.
I’ve created a new category called Digest (view archives). Start with the Web Strategy Summary, then quickly scan the succinct and categorized headlines, read text for my take, and click link to dive in for more.
Subscribe to this blog in your feedreader, or use the email subscription box in the right column.
Web Strategy Summary
A smattering of deals, deployments, features and a few acquisitions continue to make this a pretty standard week in the social networking space: typical fast moving space that makes it very hard for anyone (even me) to track. Do note that Gigya’s “Socialize” will help the spread of the social graph, extending not just widgets –but access to friends– even further.
Advertising: LinkedIn launches Ad Network
In yet another way to monetize, this profitable social network (an oxymoron?) is now deploying it’s own advertising network. I’ve seen these slides before, and was surprised to see Techcrunch published them.
Deal: MySpace music extends labels reach
In theory this sounds like a great match between popular media centric social network MySpace and media labels. With the ability to stream content and share with each other, is this enough to deter users from stripping content and sharing on p2p networks?
Deployment: MTV launches online community This real time community supports shows, provides additional content, and allows another outlet for users to watch –and engage with each other around media shows.
Deployment: Vehix utilizes Pluck
The Vehix site now integrates Pluck’s “Energizing” features to allow the site to grow social wings –letting members share, comment, and interact with each other.
Investment: IBM grows Cambridge facility, focuses on Social Networks
Expect to see more investments in Lotus, as IBM starts to assemble more social networking software features for their enterprise products. Competitors will likely follow suit, and put more blips on the future roadmaps for enterprise social networking features. (Updated)
PR professionals that have clients in this space, should subscribe to this blog, and ensure their clients are put on this digest by sending me an email, or better yet, leave a comment. If you work for a white label community platform, keep me updated, I want to know of your wins.
Although just a hyperlink on a flash player, YouTube trials this first Interactive Riddle which let’s users choose answers at the end. For interactive marketers, this can lead to new forms of interactions such as quizzes, exploratory product demos, choose your own adventure, virtual world tours, and increased brand engagement. It’ll be interesting to see how video bloggers start to adopt this interactive narrations, or how perhaps how in the future dynamic links can be inserted right on the video to those that may want to add their own responses to existing videos.
I first saw mockups of this product a few months ago from LiveWorld, and it seemed impressive, but unlike embedding chat, comments, forums, or blogs directly into the webpage, this is an ‘overlay’ that is quietly positioned at the bottom of any webpage.
What use cases could warrant this overlay experience versus an embed? Existing large websites with an inflexible CMS system that makes UI changes difficult. Companies that want to experiment with social on their websites but aren’t ready to dive in. Lastly, websites with heavy interactive marketing or content where community should take a back seat to what’s being shown. Expect to see competitors of Liveworld to develop their own versions of Livebar, allowing lightweight deployments of community features. Also, expect this to be a great ‘sampler product’ for LiveWorld to demonstrate community to hesitant brands –much like the easy to deploy OpinionLab tools.
Looking forward, whether companies like it or not, the future holds that websites will be social, and it means that customer opinions (good and bad) will circumvent their marketing content. The LiveWorld folks also have launched a community site, where you can interact with them further.
I’m conducting a Wave report on this community platform, and it’s become very clear to me that the technology is a commodity (that’s why there are around 100 vendors) and what really is going to count is strategy, service, support, and knowhow.
Left: Scale Venture Partners brought VPs of Marketing, CMOs and founders portfolio clients to meet with me last week.
When we think of influencer groups in the social media space, we often think of top bloggers like Techcrunch, RWW, GigaOm, Fast Company, Cnet, yet there’s a whole ‘nother influence group that rarely gets ink –I’m starting to spend more time with them as it helps me to better understand the space.
An inconspicuous influencer group . The last seven business days have been intensive full day sessions with vendors for my upcoming Forrester Wave research on community platforms. I’m always energized by the fire in the eyes and the passion that comes through when talking to founders and entrepreneurs. Sadly, a problem for entrepreneurs is that they often get tunnel-vision and forget to look up outside of the lab at the greater market, fortunately, they should have VCs (who often sit on their board) that help them to see further, connect deals, and provide guidance.
The interesting thing about VCs is how incredibly powerful they are in our space. Compared to the excessive noise in our industry, tou don’t hear too much out of the mouths of VCs, but believe me they are extremely powerful. Aside from the obvious power from control of funding for investments, they can influence the direction of their portfolio companies, and foster relationships between different companies. VCs influence the sellers, in my market, these are the startups.
On the other hand, industry analysts, while do have some influence over startups, have an even stronger relationships with the buyers, (and media) in this case is the the Fortune 5000 companies that seek help to make decisions on how to organize their company, staff, budget and deploy social computing.
VCs and Analysts are on a quest to answer the same questions
Despite these different takes on the same market, VCs and industry analysts are answering the same questions: 1) What’s going to matter in the future? 2) Who’s going to do it? In fact, while the methodology differs slightly, both analysts and VCs are conducting research, taking in pitches and briefs, and finding out what others think of companies before they fund or recommend them.
Given the similiar goals, last week, my long term friend Jennifer Jones, a marketing expert who is known for her work with VCs such as Mayfield, Versant Ventures, Scale Venture Partners, and Levensohn is my go to guide to meeting these folks. In fact she helped coordinate a dinner between myself and Scale Venture Partners with a handful of their web portfolio companies (VPs, CMOs, CEOs and founders) and potential investments. So what did we talk about?
Over dinner we discussed that:
We all see the same direction of the social web, the social graph is going to separate and be available from many different websites.
Micromedia tools are powerful for support and marketing, but monetization is still a mystery.
Jokingly, Microsoft and Yahoo aren’t known for innovation and flexibility, yet we are in awe with Google, Apple, and Facebook.
There are too many players in the space due to commodity technology, the need for segmentation and stratifcation is needed.
Funding for social media in the marketing space slowly grows as it gets pulled from other traditional marketing channels, many are looking at where other buckets of money can come from within the enterprise in IT, HR, and maybe even Sales.
There’s a need to bring the varying vendors together for roundtables to discuss how data will be shared from site to site as the entire web becomes more social.
Analyst/VC dinners As you can tell, we all learned alot from this trifecta of entrepreneurs, VCs and industry analysts; it was healthy to bring forward a larger part of the ecosystem to share with each other. VCs also want to demonstrate to their investments and investors that they’re highly connected, influential, and have a broad set of connections. Jennifer is setting up some future VC/Entrepreneur/Analyst dinners, if you’re a VC firm and want to participate, I recommend you contact her, as I’ll be spending more time with this powerful influence group as I move forward, it gives me a greater viewpoint to how the market is shaping for my research as well as providing portfolios with access to brief analysts on what they’re working on.
Dave Delaney (who has an interesting blog) is now a Social Media Coordinator, for Griffin Technology.
Susan Koutalakis, is now Mzinga’s Public Relations Manager, she emailed me about this change, and I called her up within a few minutes to introduce myself and offer her congrats, I know many of her colleagues, she’s in good company.
Clinton Schaff leaves M80 and now ships off to Houston to take on the role as Senior Director, Marketing & Communications, Mouth Watering Media LLC
Congrats to Nicole Vanderbilt to the newly-created position of Head of International Expansion at popular social network Bebo, where she will be responsible for driving Bebo’s business and membership in key international markets, focusing on France, Spain, Italy, Germany and the Netherlands. She previously worked as Google’s Head of Industry Marketing in Europe and India, responsible for building the b-to-b marketing and industry sales strategies.
How to connect with others (or get a job):
Several people have been hired because of this blog post series, here’s how:
Submit an announcement
If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email. Please include a link to your announcement, and ensure you’re really living and breathing in the social media world –this is not a small aspect of your role.
Seeking Social Media Professionals?
If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources
Hiring? Leave a comment
If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it)
I’m seeking folks that are related to full time hands on social media strategy and community managers, to be on this list, so let me know if you see these folks, and please submit them –try to include links to announcements on blogs or on the wire. Also, I probably will not include executive management changes on this list at social media companies, as the list would go on and on, but you can feel free to express yourself in the comments!
As of yesterday, Gartner analysts are now able to blog about topics related to their industry, judging by their posts, this looks like an internal battle they were finally able to win, fantastic news. In light of their upcoming Web Innovation Summit (see the official blog), there is a great deal of focus on social media, the cloud and web 2.0. For many IP companies, making decisions on whether to join the company always requires some degree of uncomfort and a whole lot of trust.
While Gartner has official corporate blogs (as most analyst firms do) the following list of Gartner blogs appear to be personal blogs maintained by individual analysts, I’m great at lists, so here’s a start.
Mark Driver, focus on large scale distributed computing and web technologies.
Jeff Mann: As VP of Research, Jeff has a personal blog, but discusses analyst related duties from his Twitter account. Aside from being interesting, he’s been a real gentleman towards me.
What’s interesting in Gene’s comments is that he writes the following: “Thanks to all for the welcome aboard. Several of us have been chomping at the bit to get out into the blogosphere. Stay tuned–the last I heard about 50 Gartner analysts will be joining me”.
As a friendly tip to these new bloggers, I always reccomend to my clients to use Feedburner in order to track growth of subscribers –a great way to measure the ROI of your efforts, but it’s important to do it now from the start, to accurately benchmark growth.
I believe in being a gentleman in business and want to lead community, not break it –it always seems better to respect competitors, and to get energized when they do something interesting. When we’ve smart people from multiple areas of the industry sharing online and talking, the hope is that new information can be shared, confirmation of existing premises, or new ideas can start to form, or at least that’s my answer to Carter’s question. Please take the time to welcome Gartner’s analysts to the conversation, I look forward to being in dialog with them.