Friday, 25 February 2011

The Feedreader Continuum

When the New York Times implied that blogging was dead, Mathew disagreed. He instead rightly pointed out that it has evolved to a continuum of publishing. In his words:

What’s really happening, as Toni Schneider of Automattic — the corporate parent of the WordPress publishing platform (see disclosure below) — noted in the NYT piece, is that what blogging represented even four or five years ago has evolved into much more of a continuum of publishing.
It was interesting because Scott asked me yesterday if i had any new blogs that I love for creative brain food. My reply to him was that I've started to use as my content aggregator. I subscribe to many Twitter key word's as well as a few nicely curated newspapers on subject matters that I find interesting.

The challenge of sifting through the gazillions of links, blogs and general smart user generated content is only becoming a harder daily mountain to climb and I'm always looking for newer better ways to solve that particular problem.

So would i say that the feedreader is dead? Well if we consider a feedreader as Bloglines or Google Reader then it kinda is from my perspective. But if we see feedreaders as a "continuum of aggregation" models then I say we've only just begun.

Friday, 18 February 2011

All "LIKES" Are NOT Created Equal

I was speaking to a friend who has recently resigned from a well known PR firm here in Toronto. They feel that their industry is being transformed by Social Media but not necessarily in the best way. It's become a tactical world of promo driven conversations that are selling snake oil to clients who are only too willing to buy it. Ultimately, we were talking about the marketing crisis of "LIKE".

What does that mean?

You know what I'm talking about.

Build my Social Media [fill in the blank] presence.
We need conversation generation about [really anything].
We need more .... dare we say it -- "LIKES"!

I get it.

-Lots of companies are not using their own URLs anymore and instead have Facebook URLs.
-Traditional advertising is loosing its affect with some key demographics.
-Marketers are being judged by their peers as to their KLOUT score or Facebook Fans.
-The few successful Social Campaigns are consistently paraded out by everyone at the strategy meetings as what we "must do" to be successful in the coming calendar year

The list of reasons are plenty.

But see here's the problem. Let's take Faceobok as the example.

Facebook is not traditional media.

It's actually a social network.
It's my network.
In fact, it's my media.

So what does that mean for marketers?
I think it means many "important ignore at your own peril" things.

You have to understand the underlying dynamics of networks.
You have to consider why people are spending their time there in the first place.
You have to understand the difference between PAID media and EARNED media.
You have to consider that those who feel that this is their media don't want YOU to co-opt it for marketing purposes.

Buying LIKES through contests, coupons, promos is not the same as building community.

It's not the same as having passionate advocates.
It's not building engagement with your brand.
It doesn't create a shared belief system between you and your customers.

There is no smart marketer in the world who i know who would put an entire marketing plan around how to get people to join a contest or use their coupons. So people, if that's what your Facebook plan looks like, I say it's time to get a new approach.

The dynamics of this new era of social enabled networks presents a world of opportunity to become meaningful to the culture, the people and the world around you. Don't waste it on buying yourself some Facebook LIKES.

You will find very shortly that all LIKES are simply not created equal.

Saturday, 5 February 2011

Social Meania - In Defense of Kenneth Cole

Whenever someone uses the term #boycott I pay pretty close attention. So when I saw the #boycottkennethcole hashtag the other day I immediate wondered what was going on and clicked through.

What was I going to find? What kind of tweet could get people’s ire up so dramatically? I clicked through to see this:

Millions are in an uproar in Cairo. Rumor is they heard our new spring collection is now available online at x URL
hum. Ok. A silly comment about a very serious issue….yes. Weird for the Kenneth Cole brand…yes . Inappropriate? Sure. But they posted an apology only 23 min later both on their Twitter and Facebook account and seemed genuinely regretful (As I am sure they are) about the misstep.

Having been a watcher of the tech sector for a while now, I’m used to seeing blogosphere pile ons. People get their ire up and next thing you know, it’s flame posts all over the place. It’s just that it’s usually the angry mean boy tech bloggers and honestly I have no patience with it.


As marketers we tell brands to risk being in Social Spaces. Be more current.


Well guess what. When you are twittering every day all day long, at some point you are going to make a HUMAN mistake.

If we want an environment of experimentation to exist, we have to have compassion when a mistake is made verses being a pack of wild vicious dogs really to pounce.

Maybe it’s because we don’t have to have the poor community manager right there in front of us teary eyed and apologetic. Maybe it’s the protective cloak of technology that allows us to throw rocks from behind a wall with a group of our friends.

Maybe that is the mean of Social Media where we bring out the worst in ourselves – if it is I say, shame on us.

And Kenneth Cole ….about your apology… I for one accept it.

update: one thing i will say - smarter posts are criticizing KC for the #hashtag and trying to join the #Egypt conversation from a reach perspective. Let's hope more than not saying something stupid in future, that KC never does that again bc that is far more unforgivable

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