Archive for December, 2008


Chime In: Feedback Needed for Blog Redesign

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I’m practicing what I preach to clients, and am adopting one of the five objectives we call “Embracing” which is when brands use social technologies to collaborate with their customers to create new products. In this case, the product is my blog, and the customers are you, my community.

I’m undergoing a blog redesign, and after deciding on designers (read the process) I’m working with Mitch from studionashvegas. We’ve done several comps on my redesigned logo, which is now finalized, but am looking for feedback from YOU, my readers on the blog redesign.

I study community, and this blog needs to serve your needs as well as mine. I know who my audience is from real research (see stats), it’s primarily interactive marketers at agencies, corporate, and consultants. Since I’ve outgrown this current design, see the overflowed right nav, it’s time to clean up the layout, make it easier to find information and highlight what I think is important.

Although we’ve taken a few comps to get to this point, here’s the latest version we’re willing to share. Since you’re going to be looking at this design as a community member, I want your feedback, and am watching for patterns in suggestions, or what you like.

Comp 1 for Redesign of Web Strategy Blog
Click image to see large version

We’re also having the same discussion on Friendfeed. Here’s to making a great blog to suit our needs as a community, love to hear your opinion, please leave a comment below.

Diagram: How the Air Force Response to Blogs

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The Airforce has created a process flow diagram that indicates very succinctly how the Air Force can and should respond to blog posts, there’s a lot to learn from here, and for the most part, I try to follow these similar rules. The Airforce, well all military units across the globe come across criticism, so establishing a clear sense of communication guidelines.

Thanks to Joey DeVilla for posting this, who learned of this from David Meerman Scott who was in contact with Capt. Faggard who’s involved with the Airforce’s social media team: Twitter, and a blogspot blog, (I’m surprised they don’t have their own blog on the airforce websites, so we’re going off David’s word that this is authentic)

There’s a lot to be learned from this military diagram that can be applied to corporations or even your personal blogging efforts.

Air Force Blog Assessment

On a personal note, my Grandfather was a decorated Lieutenant in General Patton’s 9th Army AirForce station in Europe in WW2, he flew a P47 Thunderbolt, and was one of the very few Chinese American pilots in the war. You can see clippings of an article that featured him (the beautiful lady is my Grandmother). The plane? He named it after his hometown here in Silicon Valley the “San Mateo Belle”.

Thank you 2008

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This has been the busiest year of my career by far, I’ve traveled (and held blogger dinners) in great cities like Tampa, NY, Virginia, Hawaii, Colorado, Austin, Dallas, So Cal, Barcelona, and Tokyo; I’ve accrued many-a-frequent flyer mile. I published several research reports, (won an award), did more public speaking than ever before, delivered above my average of client engagements, was quoted a few times in the press, and grew this blog and twitter account, even though I’ll still get paid if I stop blogging.

Of course, not everything went well. There’s always room for improvement, I need to be better prepared for client engagements (I didn’t do hot on at least two client engagements), I was criticized a few time by bloggers, got duped by Janet and need to check my ego before I get trapped. Outside of work I need to stay on top of my health, and I need to do better at balancing personal and work life.

Perhaps one change is that I’ve now been given the stigma of ‘guru’ which I really dislike. Why? I want to be known for what I can do, not just thought leadership. I produce research reports (products) and help my clients make decisions and give them recommendations (services).

As a result, you’re going to see some changes in my behavior this year, I’m going to do less ‘talking’ and focus more on ‘listening’ and ‘energizing’ (what we call ‘word of mouth’), that’s why I’m taking a Twitter hiatus. Perhaps most importantly, I plan to continue to ‘support’ my community, many people are going to be hurting as they wont be working, keep an eye on this blog in the coming weeks.

Update: To cap the year off the Top Chocolate Blogger brought me some treats, thanks Brian

Weekly Digest of the Social Networking Space: Dec 24, 2008

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digest3

I’m respecting your limited time by publishing this weekly digest on the Social Networking space, which I cover as an industry analyst. By creating this digest (I started this over a year ago) it really helps me to stay on top of the space I cover.

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. Or you can subscribe to this digest tag only and not receive my other posts.

Web Strategy Summary
This digest contains two weeks worth of news as the end of the year tends to slow down. Even with that said there are some interesting happenings in the space such as Facebook’s growth exceeding 140mm users, more cases of viruses and scams, and increase of adoption of social networks during a recession.


Growth: Facebook’s user base at 140mm users
Facebook continues to grow at rapid speed, I met with Mark Zuckerberg last week, and he told me they now have 140 million users, Inside Facebook has more on the stats.

Virus: Look in the Mirror, your Face(book) looks like a KoobFace
The latest strain of the Facebook virus “KoobFace” is an evolution from a previous one, and now spreads to other networks. Beware of odd looking messages and don’t click on them.

Scam: Marketers create fake groups to spam future students
A marketer trying to reach college students has created fake groups in order to get them to quickly sign up and get their friends on board. In the long run this will result in the ability to glean info as well as market products to this group. Certainly not ethical, I’m sure if it’s illegal.

Identity: Facebook, Google and MySpace Logins
Respected thought and practice leader David Berkowitz sheds light on the differences between Google Friend Connect (go wide), Facebook Connect (new visitors), and MySpace’s (overlap of audience) registration specifics –and how media brands should choose.

Launch: Watercooler Aggregates their distributed network
This application network was primarily distributed on social networks like Facebook, but now is centralizing the experience by creating a stand along website called TVLoop that will aggregate all the discussions from various social networks to one location.

Press: Advertising on Facebook Questioned
This NYTs article reflects on P&Gs recent marketing efforts within Facebook. Aside from highlighting the Crest white strips campaign, it challenges that most campaigns are not successful.

Research: Consumers love social networks—but advertisers are still standoffish
eMarketer indicates that many marketers are not on board social networks despite that fact that millions of consumers are on board. Of course this doesn’t account for other forms of marketing –like participating. in the discussion or creating sponsored pages or groups. Given that advertising performs very poorly in social networks, we shouldn’t be surprised.

Communication: Facebook used to ‘serve’ legal notifications
Sign of the times, Facebook ‘pokes’ are being used for court notifications.In Australia, a court recently allowed a lawyer from a bank to serve papers for a foreclosure.

Usage: During recession, increase in social networks to increase –relieve anxiety
In this article by BusinessWeek “The Recession: My Facebook, My Therapist” people that were laid off can now communicate with others –to network, grieve and relieve.

Metrics: Bebo launches measurement suite
Bebo announced that it has launched new engagement metrics and tools for application developers. These tools will provide new metrics and engagement tools to nearly 100 Java, PHP, and Rails developers who have created applications.

Announcement: Yahoo launches Y!OS to build apps on top of email platform
This announcement, much in timing with Microsoft’s Live announcement will allow third party developed to extend their experience on the largest social network that we know of: email. Expect other email platforms to allow applications to interact with these large communities over 2009.

Ads: MySpace v. Facebook Advertising Showdown. Which Platform Is Better?
This comparison (although you should read the notes at the top showing this isn’t fully scientific research experiment) demonstrates why Facebook’s advertising system is better than MySpace.

Humor: This fun video shows how you’re my Facebook girl
Have a laugh with this one, I wonder where he got those glasses –they look mighty cool.


If you’re a social network, or widget company, I want to know of your news, send me an email, or leave a comment below. Help me stay up to date.

Hungry For Social Networking Stats? Then you should see my collection of Social Networks Site Usage: Visitors, Members, Page Views, and Engagement by the Numbers in 2008? Bookmark it, then share it with others as I continue to update it.

Video: Facebook Girl

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Culture meets Social Networks, I wonder what high school would have been like if I had social networks or even email available. We communicated using pagers –but few of us had cell phones so it was quite odd. I’m sure rumors, relationship status, and test cheat notes spread faster than ever possible. If you like this video, I’ve posted up a few others Videos: When Social Media enters Popular Culture.

Best line? “I poke you, and you never poke back”.

Photo: Motrin and Kmart

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Motrin and Kmart

I happened to stumble into Kmart in my local area, went for the Motrin and created this mashup. Popart? Brand Mashup? A case study in a jpg? You be the judge.

If you’re not familiar with how these two brands are related, read the Motrin Moms backstory (they have recently removed the apology from the corporate homepage), and the Kmart sponsored post story.

In reality, when these debacles happen, they are actually brand opportunities. several of the companies on my punk’d list have been able to turn this to their advantage.

Update: I just learned that Burger King has served a ‘cease and desist’ by tweeting for someone creating the ‘whoppervirgins’ account. It’s a going to be an interesting year.