July 31, 2009

Each one of these could be meaty blog posts, but I don’t have the time, and I’d rather share them, I guess to some degree, Steve Rubel is right, there’s a need for something in between a tweet and a blog post.

  • It was a busy week, I travelled to Indiana to visit a client, had several briefings and client meetings during the week.  Chiago’s O’Hare is consistently poor performing, bigger isn’t better.   Still conducting interviews for upcoming report on skills needed for social marketers.
  • I don’t need to say it, but there’s a tremendous amount of interest from brands and media around social.  In the back of my mind, I try to keep a bigger perspective, as in 10 years we’ll look back and think of this in the same way as we currently do about people having email conferences in the 90s (that actually happened you know).
  • I wish I went to Blogher, the amount of brands (partial list) that are trying to reach online influencers is a sight to behold.  Heard from many that this year, there were many more brands that ever, I realize there’s more to the conference than influencer outreach, but that’s my focus.  Did you see the fake Scott Monty?  He heads up social at Ford and was omnipresent, smart.   On a related note, Adriana told me her vision for Girls in Tech, a site focused on empowering women in a male dominated field.
  • It’s not just women bloggers, learned of Dave McClure’s geeks on a plane tour that travels to Asia, as well as Christine Lu’s China Business Network blogger trip, and Renee Blodget’s we blog the world are travelling blogger troupes.  Not only does this bring awareness to other cultures, bloggers get expose to new ideas, technologies, and startups.
  • It’s interesting to hear about the many acqusitions that appear to be happening (a common occurance in a downturn) and how companies have to reinvent their social strategies.  It’s also interesting to see how slower projects get shifted into high gear and go live half-baked so teams can prove their worth.  I’ve seen a few of those.
  • A few years ago, when brands said they would dip their toe into social that meant launching a blog.  Now, I often hear of creating a Facebook page or a Twitter account.   Why?  it’s cheaper, less commitment, and all the rage.
  • Met with Ryan Block and Peter Rojas of Engadget, we discussed the launch of their social network Gdgt, here’s my profile.  What is it?  it’s a site where the social object is gadgets, this is important because we know consumers trust each other more than brands –this site will do this for the passion owners, but likely won’t be for mainstream users.   If you’re in the consumer electronics space, you should pay attention.  They have the community, experience, and vision to pull this off.   There are implications to Amazon, Cnet, BestBuy, Wal-Mart, and of course the gadget manufactures.
  • Louis Gray, who I rely on for deep dives into technology,  gave me a demo of My Sixth Sense, which is an app for iPhone.   What is it?  It’s a feedreader that suggests content based on your previous behaviors.  RWW has a more thorough review.   This is a trend, as there’s more content being created, we need tools to reduce the noise, see next bullet.
  • Sensing the FTC and other regulatory legal eagles are moving into the social web.  Did you see the story about Horizon realty suing a Twitter user that had 20 followers for defamation?  Read the comments in my last post from Bryan Rhoades about commercial speech.  We should expect more incidents of this.
  • From an industry perspective, I certainly see many brands and people exploding with social activity, they are mainly doing pollinating, which is spreading content to the social web.  As a result, it creates a lot of noise.  As a result, I’m seeing a trend towards aggregation, the opposite reaction of pollinating.  Aggregation alone isn’t sufficient, the need for prioritization and filtering is the next trend.  Vendors like GetGlue and My Sixth Sense are the early pieces of this.
  • On a personal note, I’m realizing that being really busy reduces my ability to connect with people and build more meaningful relationships.  As a result, I tend to be very direct, which unitentionally gives off the wrong public impression that I never intended to portray. There are certain stigmas I want to shed, I know what Ben would say to me, read his last paragraph.

Curious what you think of any of these bigger than a tweet, smaller than a post observations, either way, It’s 3am, I’m going back to bed.

  • I manage many websites – mainly using WPMU, and so I’m very happy that WordPress is moving towards integrating this more.

    Unlike traditional blogs (which have a 2-class system of posts [follow links] + comments [nofollow links]), by and large my sites are level playing fields open to all.

    I could list some of them here, but they’re mostly topically focused (and in that sense differ markedly from twitter, which is a one-size fits-all watering hole).

    Traditional media doesn’t care much about what people want, they just count eyeballs, regardless of what they’re interested in. This is why people working from this model are missing the boat in a big way.

    I’m guessing that a lot of what is today ad-supported will vanish, and the ads will get more “mashed up” with what has traditionally been referred to as “content” (hmm… that sounds a little like Jay Rosen’s “the people previously referred to as audience” ;).

    At any rate, I’ve been using amplify.com – a cool service that’s built on WPMU. I simply prefer the functionality the technology offers (IMHO much better than twitter ;).

    But for more targeted communities, I will probably stick with the Wisdom of the Language targeting approach (in contrast to the “one-size fits-all”). For more about how this works, see http://gaggle.info/miscellaneous/articles/wisdom-of-the-language

    🙂 nmw

  • Very interesting post, Jeremiah. When I started my posterous blog about five months ago, I saw it as the perfect medium for what you are describing now. Hence, I named my blog “blogbrevity” and described it “as social media musings in 140 WORDS or less.” I found it interesting to reduce my ideas to a couple of bold paragraphs that were link heavy for those who wanted more detail. It was also a great way to post multiple times a day, if relevant. However, I see this as a trend and have been coaching clients, mostly CEOS and small business owners, on this simplified formula of twitter+posterous+bit.ly. Some social media minds have disagreed with me about who should be trained first regarding social media in an organization. I believe in starting at the top with this simple formula. Owners are the best Subject Matter Experts and they quickly realize they have something to say regardless of their writing skills. This simplified formula gives them training wheels in the social media space. They can engage, get relevant feedback and gain a quick understanding of social media strategy, not just the tools. They also become more savvy consumers of social media “experts.” Finally, by combining bit.ly and the analytics available through posterous, owners can track for themselves the relevance of their conversations. The numbers quickly show them the need to get off their soapbox and start relating in a real and authentic way.

    I also see the demand for social media services and information from brands exploding in the last six weeks. Hence, I too, have been extremely busy helping clients that I have not had time to get out my thoughts. An area I have wanted to address is the danger for brands in not understanding that social media is still part of an integrated online strategy. By hiring interns and others who will simply turn on the tools may work in the short term, especially for established brands. They will see false positive results, i.e. Pizza Hut. I saw firsthand a fail in overall engagement opportunity in Jacksonville where this intern was part of a promotional event. The numbers for established brands will explode congruently with the growth of social media itself and are not in and of themselves signs of success. Success will come in measuring engagement and sentiment and that is why you see a number of measurement tools exploding on the market.

    I am excited to see you talk about “filtering” which I also see as a trend. Pages will be added to sites that will aggregate blogs as well as “influencers” on a certain topic for a brand. Companies will also get more of their employees generating content and they will gather it through the MU platforms, now free from WordPress. I am curious how posterous will approach the MU space.

    Well, this is probably the longest comment I’ve written, but there is still so much to say! However, I am sure to read it in your posts. You are always right on top of the pulse and a pleasure to read. Thank you.

  • Thanks for sharing all these insights, Jeremiah.
    You know my interest in cross-cultural aspects of social media, so I would like to react to traveling bloggers. This is good news, even big news. Years to come will expose us more and more to other cultures (a recent Nielsen study stated that half families will be multicultural by 2025), and countries which are today “digitally emerging” will be fast to join us in the conversation.
    This may have an enormous impact on our present rather Anglo-American social media culture, on the shape and nature of tools to come. I lack data to analyze how different cultures already differentiate in social media use (I for instance looked without success for data about protected updates on tweeter), but expecting for something different of what we see now is an easy draw.
    China, for instance, is quite fast at adopting multi-channels marketing strategies through social media… about foreign brands. How will the internal market evolve? What about a texting-based social network in Africa? Shouldn’t brands have a deeper look to Japanese business culture to better integrate social media in their internal practices?
    People, not technology, are now shaping the media landscape. Dealing with different cultures will definitely broaden the spectrum of possibilities.

  • Thierry de Baillon, my French friend (Who I recently met in Paris)

    Yes, the internet breaks down geographical walls, I think that’s one of the strengths of the tool.

    I get Chinese commenters from time to time, but I don’t think the issue is the quantity (There are already more Chinese internet users than USA and France combined) it’s the language barriers.

    Coincidently, we’ve data at Forrester on the social technographics of Metropolitan cities in China, and the ‘critic’ behavior is very high. They use a lot of bulletin boards –but they’re often in Chinese.

  • NWM Thanks as always for your insight and wit esp on Twitter you crazy clown.

    Blogbrevity thanks, you clearly grasp the trends of the web. Interesting how I wrote less (at least on one topic) and you three have written more than my average comment length.

  • Gdgt sounds interesting — I’d be interested if anyone else had any problems signing up. (When attempting to register, I’m on a 1280×800 laptop screen: the TOS and “Register” button can’t be reached, and the modal signup box appears on a layer below your profile.)

    Glad to hear about the international focus — I’m concerned there may be a “Galapagos” effect where social networks hyper-evolve around a particular culture but end up being difficult to export.

    Thanks again for an engaging read!

  • Jeremiah,

    It was my first time at BlogHer although I have been following it’s growth for a few years now. I have to say it was quite an enjoyable experience to be there seeing how brands are interacting and to have a chance to engage in great dialogue with great people.

    I think that segmenting, filtering etc is one of the biggest challenges as a community continues to grow. As far as companies having to reinvent their social strategies, isn’t that one of the beauties of digital? You can pilot small, measure, learn, refine and repeat.

    The FTC thing is a bit scary to me for obvious reasons. Next thing we know, will the FCC step in and start telling people what they can and cannot write about? I think Horizon Realty really took a knee jerk approach to the whole situation and things could have been handled a little more diplomatically. How about starting with a diplomatic request to C&D?

    Checking out Gdgt for sure. Thanks!

    Have a great weekend Jeremiah – and we all understand how busy things can get – you do a great job connecting when you can.

    Adam

  • I’ve been looking for a way to “BLEET” for a long time (somewhere between a blog and a tweet hahaha), anyhow

    Only 8% of Advertisers Say Twitter is Effective Promo Tool… according to marketingcharts.com. So, is the problem they don’t understand it, aren’t being schooled in it, or it really doesn’t work?

    I’ve been trying to make a one stop pollination/aggregation site for a few months now, and you’re right, the biggest problem is the noise it creates. I’m spending most of my time trying to eliminate the noise of double posts on multiple websites. I basically had to make a firefox extension, that posts to all my social sites at once, then on the aggregation, I have to do a cross check titles and links to keep from double posting. It’s a learning experience

    Are you coming over on Sunday?

  • Email conferences? Really? Hysterical isn’t it? Will keep that perspective on a social media workshop I’m going to locally next month. 🙂

  • Adam thanks for all the response

    Thanks Matt. We will talk about this more on Sunday, yes of course, I can’t wait to see you guys again.

    Andy, technology changes, constantly. Yes, email conferences, Kara Swisher confirmed it was true.

  • Hey Jeremiah,

    Thanks for the post. I like this kind of format for some quick reads and thought generation. I know you’ve heard of, and probably tried, Posterous as a useful tool to use between Twitter and blog posts. It is a great way to post multiple times per day and keep it short and simple. Another great tool for doing such is Tumblr. It is slightly less robust, but can be updated from anywhere and plays a simple host to video, audio, text, and links. Furthermore, it gives you great options for a landing page rather that you can customize if that is something that interests you.

    Thanks again,

    -Scott

  • Thanks, Jeremiah, for this generous gesture of doing a brain dump on what you are seeing, hearing, and learning as you do your work everyday–understanding the landscape of social media, piece by piece.

    It’s easy to get busy-busy and neglect sharing knowledge with others OR wait until you can write a perfect piece. You don’t fall for either of those traps.

    Please do continue to write posts like this one. Your commentary can be quickly scanned and I take away important points that help me cut through the noise.

  • Carol

    I value your opinion a lot, you’re always thoughtful. For time to time, I will do these ‘brain dumps’.

  • I manage many websites – mainly using WPMU, and so I'm very happy that WordPress is moving towards integrating this more.

    Unlike traditional blogs (which have a 2-class system of posts [follow links] + comments [nofollow links]), by and large my sites are level playing fields open to all.

    I could list some of them here, but they're mostly topically focused (and in that sense differ markedly from twitter, which is a one-size fits-all watering hole).

    Traditional media doesn't care much about what people want, they just count eyeballs, regardless of what they're interested in. This is why people working from this model are missing the boat in a big way.

    I'm guessing that a lot of what is today ad-supported will vanish, and the ads will get more “mashed up” with what has traditionally been referred to as “content” (hmm… that sounds a little like Jay Rosen's “the people previously referred to as audience” ;).

    At any rate, I've been using amplify.com – a cool service that's built on WPMU. I simply prefer the functionality the technology offers (IMHO much better than twitter ;).

    But for more targeted communities, I will probably stick with the Wisdom of the Language targeting approach (in contrast to the “one-size fits-all”). For more about how this works, see http://gaggle.info/miscellaneous/articles/wisdo

    🙂 nmw

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  • It is a great way to post multiple times per day and keep it short and simple.

  • Some social media minds have disagreed with me about who should be trained first regarding social media in an organization. I believe in starting at the top with this simple.

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