October 27, 2007
This morning, I had the opportunity to give a presentation at PodCamp Boston 2. It was a full house, despite being the first session of the morning on a foggy, damp and grey morning in Boston.
Thank you to everyone who attended, asked questions - and most importantly, contributed to the conversation. I admitted that I clearly don't know everything about this field and that I rely on my communities to fill in my knowledge gaps. That's the beauty of the social media space.
My talk, Web 2.0 Tools You Can Use, focused on four web apps that can help you be more productive and get your life in order. I recommended four basic tools - certainly not a comprehensive list, but a basic set of productivity-enhancing apps that can help you keep sane amidst the clutter.
And the Web is cluttered. Some basic facts:
Facebook gets over 54 billion page views a month
Facebook accounts for 1% of all Web traffic
25% of people's free time is spent online
Technorati tracks 70 million blogs
Not to mention that every day, I have to check email, Twitter, Skype, and a boatload of RSS feeds
The question is, how productive can you possibly be amidst all of this? There has to be a way.
October 26, 2007
Last week, my post New Media Douchebag: Are You One? was a surprise hit. I'd like to think it's thanks to my wise choice of a headline, but I think everyone would agree that it was the entertaining nature of the video itself.
Well, not one to rest on my laurels, I've got another entry in the series. Before I queue it up though, I'd like to acknowledge Kommon Kraft, the creators of these amazingly funny and too-close-to-the-truth videos.
This series is a send-up of Lee LeFever's very successful Common Craft videos - particularly the "Plain English" series. But Kommon Kraft - with a logo suspiciously similar to Krispy Kreme (mmm....hot donuts now...) - is a creation of Kelly Stewart, who clearly is a very talented individual.
In this case, KK has hijacked the conversation and skewers my crayon colleague Joseph Jaffe (among others) in another hilarious video.
I wonder who the next (un)suspecting victim will be. Got any suggestions? I'm sure Kelly is listening.
This weekend, I'll be participating in PodCamp Boston 2. If you're there, please be sure to stop me and say hello if you see me.
I'll be giving the first presentation in the 2.0 track after Mitch Joel's keynote on Saturday morning. My session is titled Web 2.0 Tools That Are Actually Useful. I plan to post the links from the presentation here on the blog next week.
And if everything goes according to plan, I'll have a set of community-suggested links that my audience is going to recommend as well.
But that doesn't mean there wasn't still a bit of time for a few Social Media Takeaways:
My Apple Is a Lemon No, this isn't David Armano's way of trying to score some free bling for his blog (like some other people we know). It turns out this is David's 2nd Macbook Pro that's given him inexplicable trouble, so he decided to write about it.
SMT: Uh-oh. Apple should be concerned. First they fired 800 employees for taking a $100 voucher on their free iPhones, now they've got a prominent blogger who's pissed off. I hope they're listening. But I like what Matt Dickman had to say on twitter: @Armano: I bet Dell responds before Apple does ;-)
Quick, Fire That Customer It's not a good week to be a customer. Seth Godin and the Ad-Vocate both opine that the customer is not always right and call for certain customers to be fired. I like Seth's rejoinder to the phrase "the customer's always right": when they're wrong, they're not your customer any more.
SMT: Listen up. Get to know your customers well, through whatever space they inhabit. Find out what they're saying about you and join the conversation if you can. But realize when you'll never convert them and know when to let go.
Fa¢ebook At this point, Facebook is steering clear of Google and instead opting for the cold hard cash from our friends at Micro$oft - a cool $278 million, to be exact. This amount, a 1.6% stake in Facebook, entitles the software behemoth to be the exclusive U.S. and international advertiser with the social network through 2011.
SMT: A $15 billion valuation for Facebook? What-ever. If the ad revenue can continue to stream in - and with Facebook's ability to target different demographics, it's an attractive site for advertisers - then perhaps it's not totaly off-base. But with today's fickle youth, I wonder if Facebook isn't going to be old school before 2008 is out. The only hope is continuing to get the more mature generations involved. And I wouldn't rule out additional funding for Facebook from other sources...
October 18, 2007
If you haven't seen this video yet, you need to watch it. While it may be a little too close to the truth for some, I had a good laugh.
I guess the question is: does this really apply to you (or me)? I view my online activities as part research, part education, part self-marketing - all of which lead me to new discoveries, realizations and insights that I can then share with clients.
So while the online busy work may seem (and feel) like it's so much fluff, it's what you do with those findings, how you share them and how you impart your unique perspective that makes it time well spent.
But keeping in the spirit of the book, Joe is using new marketing to prove new marketing. This Sunday, October 21, he is going to bum rush the charts at Amazon. "Do what to the what?" I hear you asking. He's asking that everyone wait until Sunday to buy the book and then hit that purchase button at once, helping to drive his book up the Amazon rankings.
This only works when you purchase one book at a time, so if you're at all inclined to buy multiple copies, please be aware that if you buy 5 books together, it only counts as a single purchase for the rankings. Tip: if you do want more than one copy, bundle each one with another book you plan on purchasing, in order to get Amazon's free shipping.
So, please join me in purchasing the book (no, I don't get an employee discount) on Sunday and showing Amazon what the power of community can mean. .
So the question with the Pfizer announcement is: how did they figure out a way around the lawyers and regulators and create a social network? The answer lies in their audience. Recognizing that the direct-to-consumer model is laden with legal statements that require a two-page buy in print and a 60-second spot on television, pharma is now figuring out a way to improve on the model is seemingly invented: the sales call on the physician. They're moving back to their b-to-b roots.
Trying to secure a 2-minute appointment with an already time-crunched physician, only to bark out some data points and leave behind a handful of free pens and samples - that never appealed to me, either as a potential job or as the proper way to interact with a customer. This model doesn't allow for the salesperson to use one of the most valuable tools they have: their ears. And Sermo themselves listened to their community. According to Sermo's CEO, physicians on the site started asking for the industry to communicate with them in a medium more convenient than sending sales people to their offices.
With the Sermo partnership, Pfizer gets access to Sermo's 31,000 licensed physicians and can interact with them directly. While the users in the network remain anonymous, Pfizer doctors who ask and answer questions are identified as being from Pfizer. The upside? The Wisdom of Crowds comes into play and the community calls out a biased post or comes to the defense of a peer. And a large population of physicians gets the same message at the same time.
The one thing I'd be interested in tracking is how this plays out with the lawyers and regulators. Will the FDA demand (and be granted) access to the network? I don't think it's such an unreasonable request. They should probably be added as members who can observe, but not participate in these online discussions.
I applaud Pfizer and Sermo for creating a way to open the door to social media for the pharmaceutical industry. Let's see how this arrangement goes and see who's up next.
October 10, 2007
Busy week, this. The great topics started piling up on Monday -maybe it was that the Columbus Day holiday (for some) made a difference in the ability to crank out some top-notch blog posts, or that the news was especially slow. And then some big news from some major companies started pouring in on Tuesday. Santa Maria! We've got a nice lineup of topics this week.
Anyway, I wanted to get these to your attention before all of the newsy-ness wears off of them...
SMT: Great idea. I think it's high time this was instituted. I've always referred headhunters to my LinkedIn page when they ask for my resume, but they insist on the hard copy anyway (come to think of it, even crayon insisted on the old fashioned version).
Manhattan Sees a Mashup of Soup & Ice Cream For fans of Cold Stone Creamery and Soup Kitchen International (aka the Soup Nazi), you don't have to visit more than one store. An aspiring entrepreneur is combining both stores in one and promoting it with a contest that rewards two grand prizes: a cup of soup a day for life and a cup of ice cream a day for life.
SMT: The kicker is that they're not using traditional marketing. They tried "buying local advertising and radio spots, but didn't get much bang for [their] buck." So, the co-branded shop is going entirely with word of mouth marketing. How's that for hot & cold?
Google Acquires Jaiku Google buys Jaiku for an unspecified amount. A huge surprise, since Twitter seems to have the market share of users. But a brilliant strategic move from Google. And expect more soon - as Robert Scoble says, prepare yourself for November 5.
SMT: Rest assured that Google is assuming a take-no-prisoners approach with Facebook and Twitter. I think Google is getting more deeply rooted in the community space - and what's more, this clearly positions them for more mobile applications (can you say gPhone?). But will I still be able to stream Twitter through Jaiku?Neville Hobson recommends that we "refuse to choose" - use Twitku.
NBC Universal Acquires Oxygen Media NBC announced that it was paying $925 million for the female-focused network that streams into 74 million homes in America, padding their portfolio of properties that cater to the fair sex.
SMT: It's an interesting way to assemble more of a focused audience - well, as focused as mass media can be. But I think Chris Thilk hit it on the head when he Twittered:
Now it has 2 female-targeted properties it can fail to integrate efficiently. Awesome.
October 9, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, I was in New York to participate in a press conference for Firebrand, one of our clients at crayon.
I'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the features of Firebrand, as they've been covered by Joe and Greg, among others. Before I tell you about the event, here's a thumbnail sketch of Firebrand. Essentially, Firebrand offers Web, TV and mobile viewing of top-notch television commercials, but with a twist that sets it apart from other online video properties: they're all-commercials, all the time; and the site allows you to actually participate in contests, giveaways and offers from the very brands that you're watching.
While it may seem counterintuitive that crayon, the company whose founder bemoans the tired old 30-second spot, was involved, there was a method to our madness. You see, in this case, the ads are not interruptions of the feature program: they are the feature program. Commercials as content. And we can support entertainment and engagement.
Now let me tell you a little bit about the event itself. Firebrand planned a press conference for September 25, during Advertising Week - perfect timing, as lots of industry people would be in town and journalists would be in the mood to talk about marketing & advertising. Held at the Paley Center for Media (formerly the Museum of Television and Radio), it was the perfect spot for debuting a brand that is multimedia in nature.
In addition to a nod to the past and present, Firebrand also looked to the future, by virtue of the invitation list. There were probably about 75 people in attendance in the hall - mostly traditional journalists - and I was impressed with the turnout. But here's the interesting part: I was one of a handful of bloggers who were there as well (many more were invited, but unable to attend). When you consider that Firebrand's target audience is Millennials, having the news break on blogs is a natural move.
The bloggers - who were treated the same as the traditional press - were given press kits, including glossies and a traditional press release, as well as links to the social media news release for the event. The SMNR had links to pages on YouTube, Flickr and del.icio.us and even a Facebook group. Based on what I've seen from some prominentbloggers, the SMNR was widely used, as video links and quotes continue to pop up everywhere. And the Facebook group has already garnered over 500 members.
All this, and the site doesn't even go live until October 22! Not bad. Stay tuned for the beta release...
October 5, 2007
I get a lot of industry news in my RSS reader and my inbox. You probably do, too. Typically I parse through it with a eye for what would be interesting to share with you here.
Lately, there have been some great examples of Top 10 or Top 5 lists of what's going on in social media, which I'm enjoying following.
But rather than acting as an aggregator, my goal in posting newsy tidbits is to give you a bit of commentary and perspective on each item as it relates to social media, marketing, PR and advertising. I call them Social Media Takeaways (SMT). I hope you'll find it helpful.
SMT: With search becoming increasingly important, now's the time to consider how a corporate blog might fit into your search strategy. With timely and relevant posts, your content is indexed and searched so that additional traffic can be brought to your company's site. Blogging is a natural for SEO.
The MySpace Crowd Migrates to Facebook ComScore notes that Facebook attracted 69.3 million users in August, 33% more than in June. Visitors to MySpace declined 7.4% to 105.7 million. There are a number of reasons for the defection to Facebook, including more privacy, more functionality, less spam (you get bacn instead) and a cleaner look (via Bloomberg)
SMT: While there is a huge influx in Facebook traffic and we're seeing a boom in the resulting business uses of Facebook, don't count MySpace out yet. Steve Ballmer may think Facebook is just a fad, but you need to assess your marketing goals against where your audience is. And if they like sharing music on MySpace, then MySpace is still relevant for them. The bottom line is you should be aware of trends, demographics and new developments to make the most of them.
And that's all for this installment of Social Media Takeaways. What do you think of this new feature? Should I continue it? Do you have any news or insights that you can share from the past week?
As new sites and applications appear on a near-daily basis (think I'm kidding? Put TechCrunch in your RSS feed and see how many posts a day they crank out), you'll inevitably get shut out of sites with beta invites.
And with only so many friends in the social media space, what's a desperate beta tester to do? Until now, it was beg, plead and work your social networks. But there's a site that's got an answer.
Over at InviteShare, you can do just that - share your beta invitations with others, or ask for beta invitations from them. For example, when you sign up for GrandCentral, you get 10 beta invites. Maybe you've only given invitations to 4 people in your network - you can let people at InviteShare know that you have 6 invitations left. Similarly, you can put in requests for those hard-to-find beta site invitations, like Yahoo Mash, the aforementioned GrandCentral, Pownce, etc.
Now, don't expect the ultra-exclusive sites like aSmallWorld or Diamond Lounge to have any invitations there. Some social networks are too good for that.
October 2, 2007
It's that age-old conundrum. Quality vs. quantity.
Mitch Joel got me thinking - not an unusual result after reading his stuff. On Twitter, he opined:
"I am disappointed that most of my favourite Blogs have become receptacles for Twitter feeds and del.icio.us links. Come on people... Blog!"
I've gotta say - he has a point. It seems that the pervasiveness of SocNets like Twitter and Facebook have resulted in the trailing off of blog posts, to a certain degree. I can't say that it's affected my own frequency (work is more responsible for that), but I can see the attraction of spitting out short bursts of information rather than longer more cerebral pieces.
It takes a certain concerted effort to put together a well thought-out post that hits a variety of buttons - topical, emotional, etc. And that's not always easy to do in our everything-now fast-paced lives. You'll note that a number of my posts lately have been heavy lifting - which is a plus, because it's brought many of you here.
Why Not Quality AND Quantity? But at a certain point, I've got to mix quantity in with quality. But at the same time, I recognize that I can't go on for long with only one "real" post a week. So I'm taking Mitch up on his challenge and I will be hitting the blogging keys more frequently. That doesn't necessarily mean I'll do away with the del.icio.us links, though.
So I'll open it up to you. Do you find my del.icio.us bookmarks to be a reasonable complement to the other posts? Should I do away with them entirely? What value are you getting from my posts - the links or the longer pieces?
At Ford, Scott heads up the social media function and holds the title Global Digital &
Multimedia Communications Manager. He is a strategic advisor on all social media activities across the company, from blogger
relations to marketing support, customer service to internal communications and more, as social media is being integrated into many
facets of Ford business.
Prior to joining Ford, Scott served as Consigliere for crayon
and spent a number of years with PJA Advertising + Marketing, a
boutique BtoB agency specializing in health sciences & high tech.
In addition to his professional responsibilities, Scott is an active blogger and podcaster. He writes about the intersection of
advertising, marketing and PR at ScottMonty.com and
also writes The Baker Street Blog and cohosts I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere, two literary undertakings. Scott
has been featured in hundreds of news and business publications in print and on the web, in nearly dozens of books, and on a variety of
mainstream media, including NBC, NPR, CNN and The Wall Street Journal. Scott is a recognized thought leader in the social media industry and
frequently speaks at industry events.
Scott received his Master's in Medical Science from Boston University's School of Medicine concurrently with his MBA from BU's
Graduate School of Management. He lives in the greater Detroit area with his wife and two young sons, golfs all too infrequently, and
has a hidden talent for voice over work.
Scott speaks on social media at events, seminars and conferences around the world. His topic generally focuses on corporate use of social media, becoming an online spokesperson, and specifically on the progress that Ford has made in the recent past. If you're interested in booking Scott to speak at your event, please click here to submit a speaking request for Ford-related purposes or email me at speaking [AT] this site's URL (if you know what I mean) to send a general email request.. Scott's bio and headshot can be found in the "About Scott" tab above.
I'm Scott. I'm the global head of social media for Ford Motor Company. This is my personal blog, where I share my perspectives on business, technology, communications, marketing and the vast changes in the industry that impact leadership. This blog contains my personal views. My bio is available here and my headshots can be found here.