Archive for January, 2008

How Andrew read this blog…and got a job


Congrats to college graduate Andrew Cafourek for getting a job with Outrider. How’d he do it? by creating a professional looking site, being an excellent blogger, posting his resume, and learning how to use the tools to network with others –he demonstrated his web marketing prowess by doing it.

I’m always thrilled to see when the community connects, especially if it happens on my blog, and this is no exception. Andrew read my people on the move series, and connected with the folks at Outrider and received a job offer (read his post). He’s now packing his gear, moving to St Louis to start his new career, and life, straight out of college.

Jobs aren’t the only thing you should be thinking about, vendors should realize that where conversations are about their industry is there marketplace. In many cases I know the savvy buyers and savvy sellers are checking each other out in my comments, this is all encouraged as long as everyone is adding value to the conversation and not just taking.

Congrats to Andrew and the Outrider team for connecting!

Shel Israel to Fast Company, launches Video Show


Congrats to social media author, advisor, speaker and expert Shel Israel to join Fast Company with his co-author to launch the Global Neighborhoods online video show. Shel pioneered much of the thinking of business blogging with the Naked Conversations book (I purchased 65 copies for me and my colleagues) and will be leading the same passion for social media with his upcoming show.

When we look at what Fast Company is doing, they’re really empowering a new generation of medium as video becomes a part of the web, they’re enhancing their text based product to now add rich media. I’m sure they’ll consider how to incorporate other tools like social networks into their programming.

Congrats Shel to the next leg of your journey, please wish him luck at his announcement post. Ill be adding this announcement to my next people on the move in the social media industry.

Results from a quick and dirty Facebook poll


A few minutes ago, I completed my Forrester teleconference on Facebook, apparently it was very popular and hand more sign ups than most other topics. During the session we ran a poll to those that were attending (most are web marketers and web strategists). Here are the responses:

1. Do you use Facebook for your personal or professional life?
a. Yes 124/196 ( 63%)
b. No 50/196 ( 26%)
c. Not Sure 3/196 ( 2%)
No Answer 22/196 ( 11%)

2. Does your company use Facebook for Marketing purposes?
a.Yes 45/196 ( 23%)
b.No 103/196 ( 53%)
c.Not Sure 25/196 ( 13%)
No Answer 25/196 ( 13%)

3. Does your business plan on using Faecbook for business in 2008?
a. Yes 68/196 ( 35%)
b. No 27/196 ( 14%)
c. Not Sure 76/196 ( 39%)
No Answer 26/196 ( 13%)

Although a very limited sample, and just of those that are focused in on social networking, It’s interesting to see that a majority of the members on this call were using this tool. Forrester should be using Facebook to reach this audience, such as the Forrester Facebook page that I initially created, that’s now being maintained by Alexis. I’ll be unbiased, you should also take a look at the Gartner page while you’re at it, I was one of the first to become a fan.

During the call there were a lot of questions about widgets, open social, and a few who requested success metrics for some of the campaigns, it felt like a pretty savvy crowd, I’m expecting to receive a few meeting requests from clients to further discuss Facebook and social networks.

Understanding the difference between Forums, Blogs, and Social Networks


It’s easy to get the tools mixed up, but it’s important to know the differences. Quite often (usually by executives) I’m asked the difference between Forums, Blogs, and Social Networks, here’s usually how I explain it (focusing first on usage and benefits rather than technical details):

Forums are like social mixers, where everyone is at equal level, milling about and discussing with others. These many to many communication tools allow anyone to start a topic and anyone to respond to one. Members are often at equal level, and content is usually segmented by topic. (rather than by people).

Blogs are like a keynote speech where the speaker (blogger) is in control of the discussion, but allows questions and comments from the audience.
Blogs are journals often authored by one individual, and sometimes teams. In the context of business communication, these are often used to talk with the marketplace and to join the conversation that existing external bloggers may be having.

Social Networks are like topic tables at a conference luncheon. Ever been to a conference where different lunch tables had big white signs inviting people to sit and join others of like interest? It’s like that. Social networks allow members to organize around a person’s relationships or interests, rather that just focused on topic. People that know each other (or want to meet each other) will connect by a variety of common interests. These are great tools to get people of like interest to connect to each other and share information.

It’s important to know the many different tools in your tool chest as every type of accessory fulfills a different need. Before you jump to tools, you should first understand who your community is, where they are, how they use social technologies, and most importantly, what they’re talking about. To learn more about the many forms of web marketing, see this updated list (now in Italian, Indonesian and French).

What Facebook’s Developer Announcement means: How Community can be Portable


Update: Several have suggested that this announcement is nothing new, (See initial announcement in 2006) and upon further investigation (and a quick email exchange with the Facebook team) confirms this to be right. What’s new is that it’s now easier to do than before. Regardless, the awareness of this feature is low within the marketplace, and everything I write in the following still stands true. Consider this awareness raising, and more of these types of distributed web tactics to continue in 2008.

My goal is to simply tech speak and boil it down to what it means for you, a web strategist. I’ll update this post as I learn more information.

What Facebook wrote
In their most recent announcement they gave a very technical explanation regarding the announcement:

“This JavaScript client library allows you to make Facebook API calls from any web site and makes it easy to create Ajax Facebook applications. Since the library does not require any server-side code on your server, you can now create a Facebook application that can be hosted on any web site that serves static HTML. An application that uses this client library should be registered as an iframe type. This applies to either iframe Facebook apps that users access through the Facebook web site or apps that users access directly on the app’s own web sites. Almost all Facebook APIs are supported. The exceptions are:”

Web Strategists’ Translation
This means that web owners can now embed existing Facebook applications easier than before. Now, in addition to being able to create an application/widget that will sit on Facebook alone, you can now easily embed it on your own website (in addition to leveraging the social features that Facebook offers).

[You can start to bring the Facebook community to your own corporate website, rather than directly developing on Facebook alone. This is a step towards the community now leaving the social network and moving to other locations]

This is really making the social features and widgets of Facebook portable. This is important as your web strategy is now distributed in many locations. For corporate web strategists, you’ll need to expand the scope of your plan to include how some of these widgets and applications could be embedded on your own microsites and corporate websites. This also means this is a ‘bridge’ to get active Facebook users closer to your corporate website.

Impacts to Google’s Open Social
If you’re not familiar, I’ve outlined what Open Social Means to your executives, read this first. Essentially, Google and it’s many partners wants to make it easy for widgets to move from one social network to another with little re-coding: portable and re-usable widgets. Unfortuantly, this has yet to be seen, and Facebook’s announcement allows widgets to be more portable, somewhat creeping in on Open Social’s intentions. In the long run, expect all of these companies to be working together, sharing API data, as those that don’t will be left out.

What you need to do:

Action: Do nothing at this point, let’s wait to see some case studies of how this is being implemented.

Plan: This doesn’t keep you from correctly planning, so continue to make your web strategy a distributed one, where content, applications, and people move from social network to social network, and to your own corporate website. Talk with your interactive agency, web developers, and social media gurus on what some of these possibilities could mean. Have weekly 30 minute brainstorming parties and see how this could be implemented and integrated within your current activities.

How to think of this: Plan on adding social features to your own corporate website so that visitors will interact with your own content, re-sort it, edit it, and mash it however they want. The future of content is amorphous and ubiquitous. (I’ve been saying this since 2005 and now we’re finally starting to see it happen)

Video: Alastair Duncan on Corporate Website Leadership (3:30)


Which department should take leadership of your corporate web strategy? Earlier this week, I flew out to Vegas to speak on a panel with Alastair Duncan is Chief Executive of MRM, at Intel’s sales and marketing event.

I was really impressed by his nuggets, that I got him on video in the Sands conference center to talk about ownership and governance of web programs within corporations. Alastair’s blog is located Participation Marketing.

What you’ll learn?

  • Who really is in charge of web strategy programs? Which department (listen to his insightful answer)
  • How to avoid making your website an irrelevant ‘picture on the wall’
  • How can Marketing and IT actually get along?