September 28, 2010
Blogging Lessons Learned From Arrington
In a classy well articulated post by ReadWriteWeb's Marshall Kirkpatrick, he summarizes what he learned from Mike Arrington when he worked at TechCrunch. The post is in response to AOL's acquisition of TechCrunch announced today on the TechCrunch Disrupt stage in San Francisco. Points below:
- A great blogger is always on. Looking back over my emails while working for TechCrunch, many of them are apologies for not having anything posted by 10am, or explaining why I am stopping work on a Friday evening.
- It's important to be first, but if you're not first - it's important to link to whoever you learned about something from. The blogosphere is a trail of links, and status is built by earning links from others.
- It's good to stir the pot, to challenge people who need challenging, but it's also important to give people the respect they deserve.
- Details matter in your writing. Unclear, imprecise language is important to avoid.
- The background of company founders is important. It should influence who you chase down to write about and it should be included in any write-up of a startup.
- Conference sessions are boring and pointless, it's usually better to work the halls for stories.
- Even a big, career advancing scoop is not worth ruining someone else's career to get.
August 05, 2010
BlogHer10 Kicks Off in New York
BlogHer kicked off today in New York City. Tonight's closing keynote was entitled Being a Social Media Champion. The Focus: integrated social media strategies are slowly becoming the rule, rather than the exception at Fortune 500 companies. The companies that are charging ahead tend to have a couple of things in common: an executive level internal champion, willing to be a social media champion in the C-Suite and the Board Room, and a consultative evangelist who helps them make the case.
Carol Hymowitz, Editor-in-Chief of ForbesWoman, moderated the conversation with Leslie Dance, VP Brand Marketing and Communications at Kodak; Jory Des Jardins, co-founder of BlogHer; Diane Hessan, CEO of Communispace; and Lesley Pinckney, General Manager of Essence.com.
Day One Agenda:
Day Two Agenda:
July 26, 2010
Getting Creative with B2B
A few weeks ago, Marketing Magazine published an article exploring the challenges in B2B marketing today. It was a well-intentioned article with some valid points (agreed – relationships are the heart of B2B) but the gist of it expounded that B2B marketing just wasn’t creative enough.
Then I wrote a post on Omobono's blog (and shared it here) about the game-changing Old Spice campaign and the validity of a fish hitting a piñata in business-to-business.
In the same spirit, I thought it would be worth looking at three examples, both for recognition of and inspiration in the creative forces of B2B. And, I should note: none of these case studies are our own – this post is about the industry as whole.
First, 10 Downing Street. Taking a cue from Barack Obama’s groundbreaking campaign, the team at Number 10 have developed a digital campaign, including social media and mobile, that is engaging, informative and integrated across platforms. PM Cameron even worked with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Number 10’s newest initiative: The Treasury Spending Challenge.
Next up: Cisco. From the rapping intern to Pass the Ball, Cisco has earned a reputation for pushing the envelope to offer both an entertaining and enlightening digital experience. Their Pass the Ball initiative is an ‘idea warehouse’ for collaborative creativity. Each time a user submits, comments on or rates an idea (using Cisco’s WebEx service), Cisco commits to a donation to Teachers Without Boarders. Brilliant way to promote an online meeting service (of which there are many) and increase goodwill around the brand.
And, of course, there’s the ever-famous Will It Blend? campaign from BlendTec, suppliers of commercial blending equipment (whose customer list includes Nestle, Ocean Spray and Starbucks). Blending anything from marbles to an iPhone, and even a vuvuzela, BlendTec proved the quality and reliability of their product with incredible creativity that was almost instantly viral and has boosted their sales 5-fold.
Each of these campaigns is engaging, relevant and accessible without losing the plot of what the business is about (this is, afterall, business). Perhaps most importantly, each of these campaigns use digital to create a user experience – there’s value for you as a customer to connect with the brand in their digital space. Give value, get value.
That’s how we see it and, like these brands, that’s what we do. Do you?
Any other examples we should add to the list?
July 24, 2010
The Travel Blogger Show
The Travel Blogger Show is coming up on September 12-14, 2010 in Orlando, Florida.
They'll cover everything from the basics, as well as approaches bloggers take and don't take. For example, some travel bloggers depend on publicists for access to travel information and experiences to write about, and value their news tips. Other bloggers dismiss publicists and marketers as time-wasting spammers.
Also on the agenda are the do's and don'ts, how to keep the content fresh if you're only covering one subject.
July 16, 2010
Asian Bloggers & Social Media ConferenceIn Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on July 28-29, 2010, the Asian Bloggers and Social Media Conference 2010 will bring together top prominent speakers from the Asia region to introduce and educate individuals and business on how to adopt and effectively take advantage of social media. The event will also introduce the concepts and tools of social media and how they can assists individuals and business to gain profit. Keynote address will be delivered by Tun Dr. Mahathir Mohamad, the 4th Prime Minister of Malaysia.
A few of the notable guest speakers include: Dato’ Sri Tony Fernandes (CEO of Air Asia), Thomas Crampton (Asia Pacific Director, Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide) and Paul Moss (General Manager of Alt Media). For a 10% discount, please use the code ABSM-MAS at registration.
NetShelter Gathers a Great CrowdNetShelter Technology Media, had a networking bash at San Francisco's ROE on Howard Street last night. NetShelter pioneered the concept of the vertical media network and has passed CNET to become the #1 tech news web property online. They now reach 18 percent of the total U.S. online audience, have 37 million U.S. unique visitors and 108 million monthly unique visitors globally, according to comScore.
Pat Houston, Dana Oshiro
June 20, 2010
Bookmarking Obsolete: New Needs & ApproachesMike Elgan's Computerworld post entitled Why Bookmarking is Obsolete brings up several useful and forward thinking points.
He writes about the web's growth since 1991 and says, "even after all these years, the way we find, navigate and save content on the Web works pretty much like it always did. Here's a page with text. Some of the words are hyperlinked, so when you click on them, you open another page. If you want to save something, there's a wide variety of tools that help you do so, but most people use the bookmarking feature built into their browsers, or social bookmarking sites."
The way we discover, find, curate and then access that content for reference later on is changing and needs to change if search and organization of content important to us is going to be truly useful. Enter human curation at its best. Elgan writes about social curation tool Pearltrees, a French-based start-up I consult to.
He explains its differentiation. "If you're a casual Web surfer looking for general content, Google, Bing Yahoo or Wikipedia are probably your best options for finding content. If you care mostly about what your friends think, then Facebook or Twitter or any number of the new social content-sharing tools might satisfy you. But for deep, savvy content, Pearltrees might be the best resource out there. It offers an easy way to find a large number of people who are very passionate about a variety of subjects and who have collected the kind of online content that true aficionados are seeking."
Photo credit: Media Futurist
June 08, 2010
Pearling the Best of D8: All Things Digital ConferenceOne of great things about Pearltrees is the ability to develop a compelling story or series of stories through the pearls you create around an event. There was so much noise and media and blog buzz following the D Conference (D: All Things Digital) last week, that having a series of links just wasn't as useful as gathering all of them into a Pearltree so I could view them later at ease, not to mention in a more visually interesting way.
Below is a Pearltree I created on D8 Blog coverage. And, of course I could have created whatever categories I wanted and displayed them in any way I chose.
Below is a Pearltree I created on D8 Media buzz.
Lastly, I created a Pearltree of the video coverage from the interviews with the D8 speakers.
May 15, 2010
Sustaining Happiness: Part III (Don't chase the paper, chase the dream)Below is Part III of the video I shot of Zappos' Tony Hsieh's talk on sustainable happiness in San Francisco earlier this week. Part I of the video here and Part II can be found here.
May 11, 2010
Pearling Your Way to the Best StoriesSteve Rosenbaum's recent article: "Why Content Curation is Here to Stay" really resonated with me, not surprising given how much time I have been spending organizing and curating content in the past couple of months. This has largely been to three factors: information overload is killing me, I can't keep up with the increased content I receive daily in multiple inboxes (I include social media platforms here) and the fact that I've been doing some work with Pearltrees, an online curation tool.
He writes, "the debate pits creators against curators, asking big questions about the rules and ethical questions around content aggregation."
And then quotes Clay Shirky: “Curation comes up when search stops working. Curation comes up when people realize that it isn’t just about information seeking, it’s also about synchronizing a community. Part of the reason that human curation is so critical is simply the vast number of people who are now making and sharing media. Everyone is a media outlet. The point of everyone being a media outlet is really not at all complicated. It just means that we can all put things out in the public view now."
Frankly, search rarely works well for me unless I'm looking up a particular restaurant, hotel or phrase or reference on Google and for the latter, invariably I'm brought to Wikipedia or Answers.com.
Natural web curators are people who spend time online regularly - they're educators doing research on topics, marketers monitoring trends, journalists working on stories and fact checking references, bloggers linking to other people's work and ideas, content creators and type-a personalities who are anal at staying organized.
Everyone loves to organize 'something,' whether it's a teenager who loves to organize their room, a college student who spends time organizing their iTunes playlists, an avid reader who organizes their book collection or a geek who organizes the latest gadgets & tools from multiple sources on the web.
Bookmarking can only take you so far and while a lot of my colleagues are avid users of delicious, it doesn't work for me. My brain doesn't think like 'delicious,' yet I have played around with it and other popular tools so I'm aware of how they work and can learn what a particularly sub-set of people want from an organization and productivity tool.
Human curation provides tremendous value for those who do it and want to access that data later and for those who tap into their wealth of connections and links they've filtered. The way a set of links is displayed can make or break an experience however.
I've been playing with the Pearltrees' (who I advise) new super embed feature in the past week and the AHA moment I'm having as a right brain thinker who loves visual displays and learning through graphics and images is that pearling converts human curation into a unique and compelling story.
It's easy to get 'hooked' on curating when its visually interesting and fun, even moreso when your curation tells a story that hooks others. For example, in about ten minutes, I created two interesting Pearltrees, one entitled the World of Ben Parr (from Mashable) and another one entitled Ben Parr on Mobile (articles, videos and more about mobile from his perspective).
You can navigate from pearl to pearl without ever leaving my blog and I was able to extract only the data I DECIDED to extract from the web about Ben's world and about his thoughts on mobile. It's a beautiful thing: I, as the human creator decides, not Google.
Below is a much smaller Pearltree on Rafe Needleman & Journalism, which took me about a minute to create. I could have expanded to include past articles, videos, interviews and tweets that included content and perspectives from Rafe on journalism, but in this case, I decided -- as the human curator -- to give my audience just a taste.
Below I grabbed the sections of CNET Webware that I find most valuable and left the categories that don't interest me as much. This Pearltree presents my selection, which I can edit over time. Future edits could be the addition of a Pearltree that Robert Scoble or David Pogue created, one that might be related to a particular topic or held a perspective that was aligned in some way.
Here's what else is cool: I can grab someone else's Pearltree from their blog or within Pearltrees to embed in my site or blog. For example, below is a Pearltree IDC's Michael Fauscette created on SmartDataCollective. He used a Pearltree to highlight content on Social Business. The Pearltree tells its own unique story and I can jump from reference to reference, all while staying within his blog -- much faster and more unified than jumping off the site and then from one web page to another. You can also imagine how powerful it can be for a blogger or journalist to embed a Pearltree showing references and resources that led up to their final conclusion.
Another interesting way to use curation in a visual way is to have a series of pearls representing comments on Twitter or a blog post about a particular band or politician, or feedback from video, podcasts, Digg, Twitter, blogs and more following a Steve Jobs keynote or what about positive sentiment about your brand? Below is a quick snapshot of Web 2.0 Expo's San Francisco event from one person's perspective, which you could add to your own.
Below a Pearltree showing clients from a web & social media management consultancy for the music industry.
* We’re living in an era of content abundance.
* Even prolific creators are going to end up mixing their created content with a mix of curated sources.
* Creators, distributors, aggregators, and curators are all economically essential parts of the value chain.
* Advertisers will embrace trusted ‘places’ over trusted sources — large curated collections will achieve higher CPMs.
Hear hear and that's my point. Content overload is killing us.....help me filter please. Even the smartest aggregators can't replace human ones from sources you trust or share similar interests. And, advertisers and others will think the same way since the value will be that much higher. After all, value and quality is what we're ultimately after, not just high numbers.