June 17, 2011
ReadWriteWeb 2 Way Summit: LBS, Gamification, Kidgenuity & More
RWW2Way, an event by ReadWriteWeb at Columbia University this week, combined keynotes (Fred Wilson, Betaworks' John Borthwick) with one-off hour long presentations from folks like Dr. Jeffrey Jaffe of the World Wide Web Consortium, dana Boyd, Chris Dixon from Hunch, Flipboard's Mike McCue and a team of folks from The Onion, which seemed to amuse and entertain the audience.
Comedian Baratunde Thurston has tried to push the envelope of web platforms. Whether personifying The Swine Flu on Twitter or treating a Foursquare mayor battle as legitimate politics or live-blogging his experience clearing an exit ramp on Lakeshore Drive during Chicago's epic blizzard of 2011, he's found ways to do more than post photos and beg for followers. He shared this with humor to the RRW2Way crowd.
Other topics included gamification, location-based services, teen sexting and its impact on business (boyd), productivity tools for collaboration and sharing and building in more sharing and openness into the Enterprise. For example, will future employee recognition on collaborative platforms take the shape of badges, ratings, and leaderboards?
There was a session entitled: Kidgenuity - what we can learn from kids in business and how to apply it to building technology tools that get us out of our traditional (and linear ways) of thinking.
Foursquare’s head of products Alex Rainert and ABC News Radio’s Dan Patterson talked about the present and future place in the location game. Whenever I talk about check-ins or any of the players in the geo-loco space with anyone outside the technology industry, 95% of them give me a blank face. Others who have heard of it on the business side remind me how small the numbers are as a “real business,” yet these are the numbers that Facebook and Twitter started with too.
While checking in isn’t interesting in itself, and frankly for my generation, badges aren’t all that compelling either, new value-adds that brands and venues can offer may change the game within months not years. Their addition of leadership board and tips while you check in offer a little more value than the service did six months ago, particularly when you see where you sit among your friends on the leadership board. People love score cards – it’s something that motivates sales guys vis a vis each other and it’s the reason why tools like Klout are so popular among the early adopters. Game mechanics and location will continue to work together in more compelling ways to engage people with brands.
Speaking of gaming and other "popular apps," the ReadWriteWeb crew chose companies to participate in a Speed Geeking session where developers, creators and founders gave 5 minute pitches at tables and you rotated quickly over the course of an hour to get the scoop on each of them.
Social games are growing and there were at least two free apps I personally saw that have aspects of social gaming, social sharing and social viewing. PeopleHunt is an interactive people discovery game. The goal is to meet and bump phones with as many players as possible, to win points for some awesome prizes and to have interesting conversations with amazing people.
They then calculate your cartoon persona based on the a custom-built algorithms that measure the psychological traits of conscientiousness, agreeableness, openness, extraversion and stability.
Soup founder Christopher Clay showed us a demo of their latest “app,” still not quite ready for launch, but they expect to have something to show in more depth within a few weeks.
Storytelling is the Future: (it’s also our past)
Storify co-founder Xavier Damman showed a demo of their latest and game examples of how people are uniquely curating digital-rich stories in other parts of the world.
Enterprise Gamification isn’t a Fad:
Salesforce.com Chief Scientist JP Rangaswami says Enterprise gamification isn’t a fad and it’s not going away anytime soon. It will continue to increase with more integrations in multiple industries, bringing us out of our outdated lateral thinking and managing.
Social Media for Middle East News Coverage:
In the midst of political uprisings in the Middle East over the last several months, seasoned journalist and social media maven Andy Carvin has transformed himself into a near superhuman newswire, providing online audiences with a Twitter-fueled, real-time and harrowing glimpse into the heart of revolution.
Carvin's curatorial approach to real-time reporting is helping to transform how other news organizations report disruptive world events. Columbia University Director of the Tow Center for Digital Journalism Emily Bell interviewed him on day one.
It was a great event and a welcome retreat to meet up with New Yorkers and other east coasters making things happen outside Silicon Valley. Kudos to Richard, Marshall, Shamus and the ReadWriteWeb team for pulling it together.
March 29, 2011
Web 2.0 Expo: Conversations on Technology Business Models & Beyond
The event showcases the latest Web 2.0 business models, development paradigms, products, and design strategies for the builders of the next-generation Web. They also do a similar event in New York every year, where they feature influential keynotes and speakers, detailed workshops, a Startup Showcase, and an Expo show floor with booths.
To give you a taste of some of the sessions and workshops, take a look at their entire schedule or a glimpse below:
March 29, 2011 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Innovation, On Search, On Social CRM, On Technology, San Francisco, Social Media, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
March 24, 2011
Nimble Outlines Vision For Social CRM
On the heals of their launch at DEMO, Nimble is getting some buzz on their new Social CRM service, the basic product of which is free. While there is a free version, Nimble's goal is to serve the SMB and Enterprise markets, both of which suffer from information overload, disparate systems that don't talk to each other and outdated contact management systems which are overpriced and act as silos.
Nimble Contacts unifies communications streams such as email, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Google Calendar in a Web-based dashboard for sales and customer service people. InformationWeek's David F. Carr recently did an interview with CEO Jon Ferrara and I chose two questions to republish below. The interview in its entirety can be found here and it's definitely worth a read.
Carr: Where does this product fit in the market for enterprise social media?
Ferrara: It's hard to manage your communication by going to all the tabs in your browser. If I see an interesting tweet from someone, I need to be able to jump to the contact record and see who that person is. The idea of Nimble is give people the ability to listen and engage. Today, people use things like [Salesforce.com's] Chatter and Yammer to build internal collaboration.
Carr: What other sorts of applications do you want to integrate with?
Ferrara: We don't want to be all things to all people. I'd rather be the WordPress of CRM than the Microsoft Office of CRM. So we're going to invite in third-party developers and enable them to share and sell their extensions in our app store.
In my mind, in the perfect world, we would love to embrace the existing platforms people have invested in. That's why Gmail and your Google Calendar activities are integrated into Nimble. And you can see that if I've read a message here in Nimble, it's marked read in Gmail.
Disclosure: I helped the team with their launch and was a consultant to the company.
March 01, 2011
Nimble's Jon Ferrara Shows What Social CRM SHOULD BeNimble's CEO Jon Ferrara on the DEMO stage in Palm Desert this week. He shows Nimble's new Social CRM application in the video below.
Note: I consult to the company.
Note: I consult to the company.
February 28, 2011
New Social CRM Platform Nimble Transforms the Way People Manage Relationships
Nimble Contact, the Social CRM platform that combines relationship management and social engagement into an easy-to-use and integrated solution, unveiled its public beta at the DEMO Spring 2011 Conference today.
Nimble Contact integrates LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Google, email contacts and conversations into one seamless, intuitive environment, empowering small businesses in today’s socially connected world to attract and retain the right customers.
Combining the “4 Cs” -- contacts, calendar, communications and collaboration -- professionals can now more easily and efficiently manage the way they see, hear and connect with their company's most important asset: their business contacts, all under one roof.
Nimble Contact is the next evolution in relationship management – a social relationship manager that makes it fun and easy to nurture personal and business relationships.
Below: A screen grab of the Activities Record
Nimble Contact’s core benefit lies in its ability to unify email, calendar activities and social channels, and automatically link all three to business contacts. This allows businesses to easily see all of the communications they and their teams have had with their contacts, no matter where those conversations take place, and without having to jump from window to window, tab to tab, network to network, or application to application.
Below is a Social Stream View:
One Unified Solution – Nimble connects contacts to calendars, communications, tasks and social conversations -- all in one easy-to-use interface.
Social Listening – Nimble lets companies monitor the most popular social networks – LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook – from one screen.
Social Engagement – Nimble's unified inbox helps companies respond to conversations and engage prospects more quickly via email or social media networks.
Works with Existing Tools - Nimble synchronizes with Google Apps, including email and calendars, so users can continue to use their familiar tools.
Easy to Use – Unlike more traditional CRM systems, Nimble’s sleek interface reveals the information companies need to see and hides the rest.
Web-Based & Secure – As a web-based solution, Nimble requires no set-up or maintenance, making it far easier to get up and running. Nimble Contact’s encrypted security and redundant servers are built to keep information safe.
Even before being out of the 'public gate,' Nimble was recently named to “The CRM Watchlist 2011” by Social CRM expert and best-selling author, Paul Greenberg. Published by ZDNet, Nimble was one of only seven companies selected for the “Social Mainstream” category from a field of nearly 130 companies.
The standalone product, Nimble Contact, is free and available online at www.nimble.com. More functionality to be added for businesses as they start to grow in the coming months.
Note: I'm a consultant to Nimble.
February 27, 2011
Launch.Forum Hopes to Transform Online ForumsLaunch.Forum is a new software currently in private beta that was on the LAUNCH11 floor in San Francisco this past week. Brought to you by Viral Age, their new platform will be a quick and easy way to build a forum on the fly, which will include other key components that companies, associations and non-profits alike can tap into, such as discussion threads, a blog and integration of social media discussions. You can sign up here to be alerted when the site goes live. In the video below, Ilia Muriente and Robert Kennedy tell us a bit more about their platform in a demo on the show floor.
February 01, 2011
Business MUSTS: Social Relevancy, Online Reputation Management and Measurement
Look at Dell as an example. They're focusing more attention on Twitter because they realize that people only buy a PC/laptop once every year or once every two years, so they need a social 'tool' to keep their fans engaged all the time.
In doing so, it's important to not just identify but consistently use that 'organizational voice.' Zappos is a great example of a company who consistently brings that corporate culture into every aspect of their work and play. They integrate play into their work in a way that works.
Online Reputation Management: people will check out your reputation online before they will consider doing a deal with you or working with you. Here are some great examples worth reading about.
- Pepsi: bad ad goes nuts and then the negative tweets started going nuts, but they responded right away and said, yeah, you're right, this isn't appropriate, we agree and we’ll take it down right away.
- FTD.com responded badly to comments about flowers not being delivering on Mother’s Day and did so btw, through a traditional press release that didn't really address or respond to people's concerns, and in the process only made it worse. Perception is reality my friends. Know when the 'game is on.'
- Taco Bell – Taco Hell: Rodent Video Signals New Era in PR Crises. Again, they poorly responded through a traditional press release. It doesn't mean they can't respond that way, it means that it can't be the only way they respond and the only outlet. It's critical that your offenders and/or customers/fans in each case, feel understood and heard.
- Sears Killed My Dog: see story about how Sears backed up & killed a family dog and how it was 'eventually' handled.
- United Broke My Guitar: the music around this got 9+ million reviews. (Harvard case study says that it cost United $180 million lost in shareholder value)
Some social measurement tools to monitor your online reputation include:
- SocialMention.com – run social mention on you and your company
- Google Alerts
- Radian6 – paid subscription service
- SM2 – paid subscription services
- Viral Heat – paid subscription service
- Angies List
- Rate my doctor
- Rate my teacher
- Speaker Rating
If you're not running 'listening campaigns' on your name, your company name, product names and your competitor company and product names, how can you know what you don't know and respond effectively?
By listening and engaging, you can more effectively respond when you see or hear something negative on you or your competition.
Measurement is also key when you run listening and engagement campaigns. A key question is this: what is the sentiment ratio? Once you identify what it is, keep measuring it. Monitor, measure, change strategy if needed (and perhaps even messaging) and then monitor and measure again.
It's an ongoing process. If you don't have this in place, you are not in the game. Don't be driven by someone else already in the game, please lead. Don't you want to be more than just a step ahead of your competition?
Photo credit: Erasseo.
November 22, 2010
TWTRCON San Francisco: Biz Strategies in Real-Time
I've been meaning to attend TWTRCON since its first one now over a year ago, so was thrilled to discover I'd be in San Francisco when their second one hit the west coast last week.
TWTRCON is entirely focused on the business use of the real-time web with social media tools like Twitter a core part of the conversation.
They highlight case studies from leading brands, workshops led by social media practitioners and mini tutorials about real-time tools. They also collect and publish social media business case studies, statistics and videos on their site.
What I loved most about their event is how well it combined great networking and high quality speakers and sessions with "fun." They had beach balls on the tables and introduced a game at the start of the day as a way to meet others and tweet out a little love about the person you just met.
As a non-morning person, I was shocked that I managed to make it there for Laura Fitton's (aka @pistachio) early morning keynote which kicked off the day.
Her message focused around relevance - in other words, don't just go for numbers, go for engagement. And after you kick that into gear and are part of the conversation, remember to use the right analytics tools: links, click throughs, conversations AND context. All are important.
Kara Swisher interviewed Adam Bain on revenue models, digging for more data on how Twitter will make money. It's clearer that revenue is coming - what's the ole saying? Build an audience first and the money will follow and it's not as if they can't tout numbers - real numbers.
Adam says they plan to focus on the product plan in the next year and product growth will be key over revenue, at least in the next twelve months.
On future revenue models, he reminds the audience that with traditional display advertising, .5% engagement is considered a win and with Twitter, they're seeing single and double digit percentages in engagement.
Tons of major brands are already using Twitter and setting up campaigns to increase engagement and get customers on board - it's an organic movement that is only growing, not shrinking. Small businesses are seeing a tremendous benefit as well.
Then, Google's Avinash Kaushik talked analytics. Full of energy and passion, he zipped from left to right across the stage emphasizing all of his key points - with humor.....a lot of humor.
He talked about the whole notion of HITS and tracking hits alone, which he says stands for: (HITS = How Idiots Track Success). He referred to it as a glorious datapuke.
He reminded the audience not to get caught up in straight hits or simple analytics around positive, negative and neutral. Sentiment analysis is key - focusing on people's emotions and how they're feeling and thinking when they retweet or make a comment. It's important to understand the behavior behind tweets purchases and data links, he says.
"In social media, your reward is YOUR reward," she says. In other words, focus on what you care about and talk about that on Twitter and elsewhere on the web.
It can be as simple as helping ten kids out and having an impact on two of their lives in a way that can not only be life changing for them but for you in the journey you take along the way.
They had an interesting small business panel which included Nic Adler from The Roxy Theatre, Andrew Israel from AspenSpin, Akash Kapoor from Curry Up Now, and musician Zoe Keating.
Below, HootSuite's Ryan Holmes, Maksim Ovsyannikov from Zendesk, Sprinklr's Ragy Thomas, and Gigya's David Yovanno talked about real-time strategies and tools now and what's next.
Ford's Scott Monty showed up in a bow-tie and raised the bar for the local geeks who dressed in t-shirts, jeans and sneakers. He shared a few case studies and talked about some of the lessons he has learned through implementing social media campaigns over the last few years.
At the end of the day, people still care about the same things they have always cared about, he says. "People don't change, they want you to think and feel and be just like them." Globally, trust is down year after year and less than 40% of people trust ads. "Who people trust are third party experts and people like themselves," he says.
Transparency and authenticity are key when you're dealing with human emotions and rather than use robotic language that won't have an impact on people's emotions, "we're training people to talk like humans again." He also emphasized the importance of relevance.
Below are a few random shots.....I'd love to see them turn this into a two day event in the future. Kudos to Tonia Ries and her team for an incredibly well-executed event.
Above: Tonia Ries, Fusicology's Zsa-Zsa Rensch and James Bowyer
Thomson Reuters' Alastair Goldfisher, Marie Domingo, Harry McCracken, Renee Blodgett
Above - Marylene Delbourg-Delphis and Rachel Polish (taken by Harry McCracken)
And, unlike a lot of conferences, the sponsors actually made sense and were very relevant for the 'conversation.' You didn't feel pitched and the companies that showed up all had a solution for putting together real-time strategies and solutions in small businesses and corporations.
The "relevant" companies included folks like CoTweet, HootSuite, Objective Marketer, ThreadMarketing, tap 11, Foursquare, Sprinklr, ZenDesk, TweetReach, Fliptop and others.
November 22, 2010 in America The Free, Conference Highlights, Events, On Blogging, On Branding, On Social CRM, On Technology, PR & Marketing, San Francisco, Social Media, Videos, WBTW, Web 2.0 | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
November 09, 2010
DataHug on Social CRM
DataHug's Connor Murphy (right) tells me about their service over drinks one night in Dublin last week.
DataHug, which just won an IntertradeIreland award earlier this month in Dublin, has developed technology that indexes corporate email systems and generates insight about the everyday connections between people.
While there are several email filters and indexers, none of them really take the pain out of dealing with information overflow and making sense of it in a meaningful way. Enter the growing need for Social CRM that works.
Currently in beta, DataHug analyzes emails coming in and out of a company to build a rich and dynamic picture of ‘who knows who’ and ‘how well they know them’. DataHug sells their service online to businesses that rely on relationships to succeed and are currently trialling the technology with a number of customers.
November 08, 2010
Defrag Explores Tools & Technologies around the Data Deluge
This year's Defrag is all about the "data deluge" and the technologies the industry is building to leverage that situation at the individual, group and organizational level.
Sitting at the intersection of BI, Social Media, Enterprise 2.0, Big Data and the Semantic Web, Defrag is a unique conference that combines a mixture of traditional panel discussions and speakers with an un-conference informal feel in the middle of the Colorado mountains (the venue is nestled off Interlocken in Broomfield, not far from Denver).Keynote speakers for this year's conference include:
- Alex Wright (author of Glut)
- Vivek Wadwha (Duke, Harvard and UC-Berkeley)
- Esther Dyson
- Dion Hincliffe (Dachis Group)
- Jeff Ma (inspiration for the movie, "21")
- David Weinberger (The Cluetrain Manifesto)
- Paul Kedrosky
- Jeff Jonas (Chief Scientist, IBM)
- JP Rangaswami
To register, take advantage of this special 15% discount: click here and enter VIP1.