Archive for April, 2009

When Analyst Relations Get Social


I had an interesting conversation with the head of marketing of a vendor here at Forrester’s marketing conference. She told me about the changing role of AR. Now, the role of AR must evolve, as analysts have direct connections to employees of their company, and have the ability to circumnavigate that traditional relationship. For example, I can easily tweet out “anyone in the sharepoint team have have a moment for some questions” and I’d suspect they’d quickly respond in seconds, whether or not the AR person was involved.

To respond to these times, I’ve found that the best AR folks do the following things: 1) Listen to analysts and synthesize. Now, AR folks can listen directly to the thoughts and insights of analysts that share online. Most AR folks I talk to know what I’ve been up to, where I’m going, and what I care about. As more analysts start to create more content online, the AR role becomes more critical 2) Prepare internal stakeholders. This isn’t anything new, but I’ve noticed that the top AR folks are prepping the interviewers I speak with my blog posts and reports, helping them save time. I’ll be honest, it’s difficult to keep track of my output, fortunately the AR person can do this. 3) Reconnect me with stakeholders. The best AR folks are building a long term relationship with me, leave comments on my blog, send me emails, and setup formal briefings.

What’s the theme here? The role hasn’t changed that much in the traditional sense, but the AR professional isn’t a gatekeeper, instead they facilitate.

Leave a comment, how else can AR folks evolve when it comes to social?

Forrester Panel: The Future of Media with Coke, MTV, and Canoe Ventures


Left: The Future of Media Panel rounds off Day 1 at Forrester’s Marketing Conference.

I’m sitting in the front row here in Orlando at Forrester’s Marketing Conference. We’re talking about the “M”M world, no not the Mouse but Media. This closing panel is discussing the Future of Media. Moderator is colleague David Card, Annis Lyles, VP Media of Coca Cola, Greg Clayman, EVP of MTV, and David Verklin CEO of Canoe Ventures. David’s not taking any prisoners and is intending to make this a pretty tough panel, rightfully so, media is undergoing some serious changes.

David starts out showing that newspapers is struggling, from NYT, Rocky Mountain, and SFgate. First let’s start with the client side. Coke recalls the day when there were only three major media networks –now there are many. She focuses her strategy on consumers, and first starts with her kids. David, from Canoe has a focus on TV, and says “TV is getting back in the game”. How? to bring interactivity to the TV. He’s extremely optimistic saying that “TV is a platform”, and says he’s going to launch a new product in three weeks. I’m a bit hesitant to his optimism, but hey, I’m open to a briefing.

Annis from Coke brings us back to reality, but suggesting we should first collect information from our consumers. David suggests that we can use data to only show TV ads about dog supplies to dog owners. The panel debated over how to get this data, from a variety of sources, such as panels, existing data sources. I certainly hope they read my upcoming report on the Future of the Social Web, some of the answers are in there. David suggests that “the Internet has really raised our game”, and nods to how the benefits of search, and it’s ability to measure. Yet, he suggests that the accuracy and relevancy of internet ads are very low.

Moderator David Card fires a blow to the panel and says “What happens when consumers skip through advertisements on TV” The panels spins, rebalanced and comes back. David says that we’ve had ad skipping technology for years, called the “clicker”, nice counter. I didn’t hear any epiphanies out of the panel, not sure if they have a strong idea of the future of media, but hey, this is a very difficult topic.

A question from audience: “Why is new interactive ads on TV relevant? It’s still push, interruptive advertising” David suggests that interactive TV will provide new engagements for segments. Cooking shows are entertainment, and chefs are taking notes, instead, they’ll need new experiences to get recipes.

The final question from the audience? When does TV and Internet combine. Coke says “all media will merge” and says “it’s now”. Good answer. David from Canoe says 2011, “in next five years content will come across 3 screens” nice bold statement. Greg suggests 3-5 years.

David Berkowitz, who I’ve known for years, a top marketing blogger and practitioner is live blogging, see what he wrote. David always has to outdo me and has not 1, but 4 pictures.

I’m updating this post live

People on the Move in the Social Media Industry: April 23, 2009



Despite there being many layoffs in the startup space. I’ve started this post series (see archives) to recognize and congratulate folks who get promoted, move, or accept new exciting positions. Please help me congratulate the following folks:

  • Get Satisfaction gets new CEO, Wendy Lea who has a former background in enterprise software. Co-founder Thor steps down although remains active in CTO role, this is common for companies who are undergoing growth.
  • Tac Anderson leaves HP social media efforts and joins Waggener Edstrom to focus on Studio D (digital), having gotten to know Tac, this is a big win for WE.
  • Neighborhood America announces that Tom Edwards has joined the company’s executive team as Vice President of Sales and Marketing, joining from Telligent
  • Jamie Beckland, who began at White Horse as a project manager in September 2008, has been promoted and has accepted the position of Emerging Media Specialist
  • David Armano leaves Critical Mass to join Dachis Corporation to focus on social business design. Congrats.

  • 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

    List of Enterprise Social Media Professionals
    This list, which started with just 8 names continues to grow as folks submit to it. List of Social Computing Strategists and Community Managers for Enterprise Corporations 2008 –Social Media Professionals.

  • See Web Strategy Jobs powered by Job o Matic (Post a job there and be seen by these blog readers, these affiliate fees pay for my hosting)
  • Learn from those that were recently hired, read these survey results
  • Read Write Web also has job announcements in Jobwire, although at a broader scope than my announcements
  • Connect with others in the community manager group in Facebook
  • Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • ForumOne Jobs for Social Media and Community
  • Teresa has a few jobs, some around community
  • New Media hire has an extensive job database
  • Social Media Headhunter
  • Social media jobs
  • Jobs in social media
  • Altimeter Group’s list of social media consultants and agencies
  • 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!

    Social Media Marketing Storyboard #2: The Social Reef, an Industry Perspective


    The last time I did a storyboard, it received positive reviews, so I’ve decided to do it again.  Often, I have a hard time describing to others what I do for a living –just exactly how do you explain to your parents that you’re an industry analyst for the social web?  As a result, I’ve created this slidedeck that goes well with my fishing theme on what I see as an industry analyst.

    This is likely the fastest moving industry in the world –for the last few years, I work many hours during the weekdays and a few during the weekends to keep up.  While in it’s formative years now, I expect –and hope– it’ll slow down as it reaches maturity over the next few years. 

    I really see this space like a reef, a complex ecosystem that has so many variables and changes, each day is different.

    I hope you enjoy this storyboard, and if you did, please tweet it, or embed it on your own blog.

    Acquisitions, Culture, and the Social Web


    I don’t cover the enterprise space, but my colleague Ray Wang says that the Sun acquisition will be successful for Oracle, check out his blog post to read his highlights.  

    While I’ll leave the specifics of the product and company integration to him, I want to focus on the cultures, and how it impacts their social programs.  Anyone reading this blog knows this is important as it’s essentially how they’ll communicate with customers and employees.

    Sun has a long history of being open, through their technology, executives that blog, and the thousands of employees that participate in one way or another in the social web.  On the other hand, Oracle, which I observe to have a culture of top down management has been slower to embrace the social web.  To their credit, in the last few years, they’ve hosted a Lunch 2.0, launched an innovation piece, a social network called Mix, and have a thriving community in OTN.  It goes beyond just technology though, true transparency from Sun is rare, and difficult for many companies to achieve.

    What happens next is what’s interesting.  Will Oracle adopt some of the open Sun culture, will Larry start to participate in the direct conversations with the market? Will the Sun culture simply be wrapped under the red banners? Or will it end up like Peoplesoft, those that integrate well shuffle in line.  

    In reality, we’ll see a little bit of both.  Because of Sun’s strong hardware focus (where Oracle doesn’t yet play), those existing customers have come to expect that same type of open discussion to occur.  Where we may see a bit of lean towards Oracle culture, is likely where the software products are.  

    Key takeaways

    • We know that culture is the biggest driver or detractor when it comes to companies adopting social technologies.
    • How companies deploy social programs is often a direct mirror of how the company is managed from the top down.
    • As mergers occur, expect the social programs to morph, expect some of Sun’s openness to reduce, and some of Oracle’s culture to continue to open up.

    How Much Should We Share?


    There’s a lot of forces that factor into what I do online, from my day job, expectations from the market, personal relationships and client relationships. In fact, I have some specific rules about how I blog, and even how I tweet. This last glorious weekend of sun and surf, I gave up just talking about web strategy, and extended the discussion to my personal life.

    What’s interesting is that people react differently to me when I share my personal life (I am an individual, despite that I’ve dedicated most of my life to my career and family). I like Rex’s take, who had enough, and was thoughtful enough to say he didn’t want to hear about my personal life on Twitter. What’s important to me, may not be important to him, and I get that.

    There’s a couple of potential solutions:

    1) Do what I want, and tweet about what’s important to me during work, and what’s important to me after work. Battlestar Galactica and @goodboyrumba and all.
    2) Just make my Twitter account for business and create a separate one for personal (more and more of my family is joining Twitter)
    3) Wait for Twitter to offer permission based tweets around our different facets of our persona (work vs personal vs public).

    It’s quite the conundrum. When I asked folks on Twitter, how much personal should I share, it was pretty even split. Some want to know more about the man behind web strategy, some just want all web strategy signal. On the other hand, we teach companies to show a bit of their human side to the market –but no one cares about what you ate for lunch.

    I’m going to throw this one back to you, the readers, and do be honest. How much of my personal life do you care to hear from folks you’ve come to rely on for business information? Perhaps the bigger question is, how much of our personal lives should we share with our work? Is there a difference?

    Update: Rex has a new blog post, All work makes Jack a dull boy, he’s read many of the comments on my post and his, for the most part we’re in agreement: mixture is needed, but better tools could help those filter content.