Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The next Heidi Slimane?

...or maybe I just have a crush on him.

This boy was caught on cam by fashion blogger Diane Pernet and then posted and favorited on Fader's blog. He may seem apropos of nothing when it comes to marketing, but to me his well adjusted, self confident demeanor suggests a lot about what it means to be edgy and young today. Are kids now comfortable with being less mainstream?

I mean I was a freaky little girl growing up in the 80's and 90's. Lots of time alone, wearing black, listening to The Smiths. But I wasn't all confident about being weird like this kid is. His blond 'do and wedge booties are DOs indeed. Maybe this means we can stop talking down to tweens and teens so much in ads and entertainment.

Watch and enjoy. *Sigh*

Friday, May 22, 2009

Will real time search turn marketing into customer service?

With the popularity of Twitter's real time search, and some Very Large companies like @Comcastcares, @Jetblue, @Wholefoods and @Ford being very vocal about the importance of maintaining a two-way dialogue with their consumers, it follows that the next stage of marketing may feature company reps reaching out via Twitter Search to real consumers and offering product deals, offers, or advice. 

This has already happened in some instances, but it hasn't happened on a grand scale...yet. Marketing as customer service seems the obvious next step in online marketing to me. But I haven't really heard many tech pundits kicking it around in convo or posts much. There was this post by my fave search expert, John Battelle, that sticks out in my mind. It was posted last year. 

The main idea of the post is that Google may feel to us like it's immediate, but it's really an archival system. Battelle writes, "Google represents a remarkable achievement: the ability to query the static web." What Google hasn't done yet is show us what query searches in real time. 

But guess who has done that? Twitter. Ahhhh...Twitter. The darling of the community sites just can't do anything wrong it seems. But it may have some competition lurking in Sunnyvale.

In a more recent post by Battelle, the omnipresence of real time search appears inevitable when Battelle quotes Google co-founder Larry Page as admitting that "People really want to do stuff in real time and they [Twitter] have done a great job about it...we will do a good job of things now that we have these examples."

So have we reached the moment when your search coughs up what people are saying about your query that very second? And if so, what does that mean to marketing? 

This is what's really interesting to me. And you better believe corporations and CMOs everywhere are similarly salivating over the idea of direct, one-to-one sales and marketing via real time queries. I mean, it's the ultimate opt-in, right? The consumer is actually requesting information and is probably near the end of the buying cycle. Plus, the corporation rep can snag that lead and convert it into a sale, immediately.

I can even visualize what the day-to-day job would require: some kind of marketing/customer service/account person hybrid, sitting in front of a multi-panel listening platform, where they monitor certain key word mentions online and entice influencers with micro blog outreach moments. Do you see it too? What do you see?

Monday, May 18, 2009

My pal smarts off on Ideas Project

A quick shout out to my friend Roland Smart, who is featured today on the intriguing video-based tech and influencers blog site, Ideas Project. True to its name, Ideas Project features thought leaders giving an encapsulated (read: BRIEF!) description of a Big Idea. I've posted one video of Roland above, in which he describes how Marketing 2.0 is all about bi-directional conversations with community, and how companies grow out of a community need. For more Roland, read the full posting.

Check it out. He makes a killer point in no time. What can I say, his last name ain't Smart for nothin'.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Radian6 SM monitoring and Dell's Social Media Strategy

I always fancied myself kind of a tough chick, but now that I moved from the centrally located Tendernob (Where the Loin meets Nob Hill) to the Outer Mission I'm realizing how much I've been relying on taxi cabs and how very little I've been utilizing my bike/public transit. 

I'm so freaked out about figuring HOW to get somewhere that I've basically bordering on being an agoraphobe at this point. I mean, I like to have certain things easily accessible to me--I need a grocery that is a step above a bodega, a pharmacy, a gym and maybe one decent thai take-out place. 

Right now, I have to bike a mile and a half to get outside of the residential area. This is definitely going to put a cramp in how late I go out and how much alcohol I imbibe. Navigating a bike while tipsy = BAD IDEA JEANS.

Anyway, in between learning the in's and out's of MUNI, BART and biking the crazy SF terrain, I've also been drawn to PowerShift, the blog at the Radian6 website. If you don't know much about Radian6, then take a look at what they're up to. They provide amazing social media monitoring and analysis platforms to corporations and businesses. You may be familiar with Dell's smart use of social media. Well, Dell is one of Radian6's biggest clients. If you aren't familiar with Ideastorm or other Dell SM tactics, check out this post's video, above.

Because I see Radian6 as a kind of Great Oz behind the SM curtain, I decided to contact Radian6 via @AmberCadabra, the uber on-top-of-it Director of Community for R6. I asked her for a demo of their product, and she got me in touch with one of their account managers (@CoryHartlen) who then walked me through a real time demo of the tricked-out platform. The Radian6 product can track search terms and influencers via a social media profile river, trending charts, and clouds. To me, it felt a little like what being omnipotent must feel like. If you're repping a brand that needs to become a part of the conversation, I highly recommend poking around the R6 site.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Where have I been all your life?!

I've been running around town lately doing Biz Dev for flavorpill, and therefore am neglecting you poor sweet readers. I'm sure you're all in a deep state of confusion about this and may have neglect issues creeping in. So let me just say hello to all. Hope the economy isn't breaking you, as it is downsizing me tremendously.  

Maybe that's the point. Maybe as Americans it's time to actually PAY ATTENTION to what and how you're spending and get a little bit more realistic about budgets and the value of a dollar. 

Personally, I'm looking at this time period (for about 3 months now, and prob for about another 7) as an opportunity for self improvement. If you have downtime too, think about what skills you want to learn and maybe even pick up a hobby. 

You could turn the economy's crap-tastic state into a personal development period. Maybe even start right now. A friend forward me the link to birdhive.net, a twitter like site just for posting and sharing creative projects. Got something to share? Put yourself out there. You never know what cool connection you may make just by posting a link.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Web 2.0 expo at the Moscone West

I went to the Web 2.0 expo today with a friend of mine. It kicked off on Wednesday the 31st, and will continue through tomorrow, April 2nd. The co-sponsors are O'Reilly Media and Techweb. I wasn't really sure what to expect from the conference, but it was in my hood and I really wanted to hear a few of the Keynote Speakers. So I decided to stop into today to hear Douglas Rushkoff speak on "How the Web Ate the Economy, and Why This is Good for Everyone" and listen in on a sponsored session on Social Media given by a Senior Marketer at Vignette, an integrated web content management provider. 

Both presos were fairly edifying, although Rushkoff only talked for 20 minutes or so, which sucked since I dragged my sleepy arse out of bed and to Moscone West at the crack of dawn this morning SOLELY because he was speaking so early. And yet I do worship his brain and will probably go and buy Life, Inc. as soon as possible. Yes, I'm a loyalist when it comes to brainiacs.

The Social Media preso from the Vignette peeps was a decent high level overview of what's happening in Social Media, and how to create a kind of sustainable, consistent brand presence by syndicating original content and engaging in the conversations around the content and brand. Yes, we've all heard this before. But no, this didn't annoy me--mainly because with the media industry changing on a daily basis these days, it's comforting to feel that there's at least a one recent media development that may actually endure for a substantial length of time.

The picture accompanying this post was taken in the the Expo Booth area during the Booth Crawl Happy Hour. Exhibitors pulled out crates of stouts and ales while they passed out their company literature and talked shop. The most popular booths at the expo seemed to be representing either enterprise-class social media community experience providers or cloud and utility computing services. I was pretty stoked to FINALLY have a clear understanding of what cloud computing is, and the value it brings to corporations.

A happy ending for me, and a day well spent. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

Blellow: A new microblog for freelancers and creatives

A new site called Blellow just launched at SXSW, and got many people digging on its Twitter-like micro networking functionality. I am one of the peeps digging. Blellows members answer the question "What are you working on?" and in doing so they organically engage in potential creative collaborations with groups or other members. Check out this video below for a good overview:

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Twitter phenom based on simplicity

In this insighful article, Mashable! makes the argument that it's Twitter's micro-sized feature set + good API that makes it such a word of mouth phenom. I completely agree. Think about it:  If Twitter had more fixed, robust features, there would be less impetus for developers to write applications, and for these developers/users to blog about it. Ultimately, the simplicity of Twitter is the basis for all its free PR and advertising. 

Taking this thought even one step further, I love how a social platform like Twitter actually helped prove the point that conversational and SM is the "it" form of marketing right now. I mean, there are a ton of other web services and micro platforms, but the conversation about Twitter (and it's good API) is really what make it stand out from the crowd.

Oh, and in case you haven't really been engaging with Twitter much because you don't feel like dealing with what all the hash symbols are all about, check out this wiki.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Zeroing in on your brand

I've had a lull in my postings lately because I've been in rebrand mode, for myself that is.  After becoming a 24-hour expert of just about any capability in the online marketing world, I finally just realized last week with the help of a friend (thanks Boni!) where my real interests lie.  I'm a brand communications expert, in every platform. 

You may be wondering HOW this applies to you. If at all...

I'm calling this out because I've noticed many people tweaking their titles to social media expert, and I'm just realizing that getting too far up in one platform may not be a good idea. I mean, if that's really what you do--if you actually ARE Chris Brogan or are implementing social campaigns with Federated Media's social tool kit or something, then you should claim expertise in SM. But personally, when I actually sat down to define my skillset, I realized that I had more than one niche capability. I've got experience in pitching traditional (print, TV, CRM) and new media (internet, social, mobile) communication campaigns. The overall goal across all these mediums is brand building. Hence, my new blog tagline: Brand Building by all Means Possible. 

So I found this little personal rebrand moment interesting because there is value in sitting down and rethinking your elevator pitch every now and then. If you need help in this process, check out Dan Schawbel's Personal Branding site. 

Also, on a sales and business dev level, this point is huge because in this new world of brand conversations, it doesn't make sense to initiate a conversation without a very clear understanding of the brand tenets. So in order to market a brand in the current ecosystem, you have to put the company/product before the customer. It will pay off in the long run when the conversations have a basis in a fundamental truth. 


Monday, February 23, 2009

Obsolete Model? The debate about the future of marketing rages on.

"I am an obsolete model..." T-101 (aka: Arnold Schwarzenegger in Terminator 3, Rise of the Machines)

Since I've been unemployed I've been able to see how new technologies (and let's be honest, the crap economy) are relegating some positions virtually obsolete. Historically this kind of displacement leads to a counter-effect of completely new positions opening up that relate specifically to the new innovation. I wonder: what will post digital agency be made of? Not sure, but here are some changes I've noticed.

Social media and conversational marketing are rendering more mainstream advertising less relevant (at least within the social network ecosystem). Mainly because clients and agencies have jumped on the user generated content bandwagon. For the most part, however, this creates some very insipid advertising in the end. But the impact on creative jobs is huge. This impacts me personally as a writer in that Copy/Content skills aren't as in demand right now within agencies/corporations.

Another change in the overall structure of marketing agencies is born from tech innovations in how/where content is served. Right now, platform is more important than ever. But does the emphasis on platform necessitate tearing the focus away from content? By that I mean, if clients are clamoring for Detach and Distribute tools (platform), their focus is less wrapped up in creative headlines or new design assets. In fact, maybe they don't need the assets at all, they just need to be partners with a content company of some sort who will allow video or text to be imported into a site/SMS/aggregator. That means more jobs opening up in media buying, search optimization, and development and very few jobs opening up for copy/content/design/creative production. 

For the most part, content is still coming from Mainstream sources like broadcast TV and news video. Indie blogger vids are gaining momentum, but generally only if the videographer is also the blogger or developer. I saw that BoingBoing.net got a video featured on Kanye's blog that they produced other day, and from the tweets by Xeni Jardin I read, the BoingBoingers were freakin STOKED that the vid got picked up. So my question is: if the BoingBoing people have such a tough time getting content distributed, where does that leave the rest of us indie bloggers? (Speaking of Kanye, if you haven't seen this viddy for "Pro Nails" by Kid Sister f. Kanye, you must watch now. It is for real.)

So I'm really hoping that once businesses adapt to the new conversational climate and the latest tech changes there will be new Next Gen marketing jobs available. Creative jobs that take strategy, search, and platform into consideration when creating a new media experience.

How about you? Where do you see creative marketing jobs popping up in the current ecosystem?

Monday, February 16, 2009

What's next in a Post-Advertising World

As a writer in advertising for 12 years now, there have been countless times that I've had to ask myself the question:  What story is this brand telling? Unfortunately, even when a writer does identify a killer brand story, by the time most ads are consumer-facing that story has been watered down to a few incoherent tags mocked up in font that abides by a pat style guide and some predictable product shots.  The end result leaves consumers (and truthfully, the client too) wondering what happened to the meat of the story. 

Where's the disconnect? Well, my opinion is that much of the problem lies in the traditional ad agency model and inherently dysfunctional agency/client dynamics. But I won't go too far with this topic, because that particular battle just isn't sexy to me right now. Instead, I offer hope for the future of ads in alternate business models and companies like Story Worldwide.

Story WorldWide is all about this post-advertising moment that we're currently in.  They see that the brands with the best stories right now are the brands that are winning, because people want to hear those stories. So by creating content and media that captivates audiences, Story Worldwide is bringing consumers and brands together by choice, instead of force.

That sounds so utopian to me, I'm in love. *Sigh* So Story WorldWide is one fresh business model for sure. They have the branded content thing down pat. But don't just take my word for it. Check out their blog called Post Advertising for more of their kick ass ethos and insights. 

I'm also into Federated Media and just John Battelle (FM's founder) in general. He's pretty much a genius. If you're in media, content, or marketing you need to subscribe to Battelle's blog if you haven't yet. You will not be disappointed. 

FM helps advertisers connect with a posse of the some of the best and most popular bloggers on the net (BoingBoing, Behance, and Ask a ninja are FM properties). So while it's not a content marketing agency like Story Worldwide is, it's similar in that FM is also bringing consumers together with content they like, to the benefit of both the advertiser and the blog author.

Send me some of your favorite new ad/marketing/media models too. I would love to see what your getting into.

And don't forget to check out my pal Matt Brand's latest joint, Relationship Retard. I'll be contributing to that site too.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

un-PC tweet gets dude in hot water

So many of you may have read this article about how James Andrews, a Ketchum PR employee, wrote a tweet that got into the hands of his FedEx client and eventually lost him and Ketchum some business. Here's what happened: James arrives in Memphis and tweets: "True confession but I'm in one of those towns where I scratch my head and say 'I would die if I had to live here!'"
Meanwhile, one of the biggest clients at Ketchum is straight outta Mempis, and did not find the tweet complimentary.

In fact, he was pissy. You can read the full response Andrews' slip up elicited from the FedEx client in a posting by Jeremiah Owyang, but suffice to say it wasn't pretty. The FedEx client had hometown pride, and just didn't see the need to use Andrews' services anymore.

When I've heard people talk about this incident, it seems that most feel that the moral of this story is BOLDFACED--Watch your words when you're tweeting. Someone might not like what you're about to say.

But I can't be fully comfortable with that take-away. I agree that it's never good to hurt someone's feelings (in-person or online); but is it actually purposely hurting someone's feelings to tweet about your lack of love for a particular city? I'm not sure.

I mean, maybe I'm being too subjective. I've only just recently come into my own enough as a grown-up and a writer to be open about my opinions. I remember when I was younger and would write lyrics or articles; they were just devoid of the rawness that I was attempting to convey with my words because I was so damn hyper-aware of my (eventual) audience. Now that I'm older and more experienced, I feel it would be false for me to hold back my true thoughts and feelings. And on a loftier note, I believe that living consciously means living truthfully.

I mean, I'm not saying that due to these personal beliefs I will use Twitter as my own personal Hater Portal. I'm just saying that if we're acting as the PC police, we have to be VERY CAREFUL to avoid fostering a world of disingenuous and fear-based posts/tweets. That's all...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sharing Playlists Experiment (v01)

I've been checking out 8tracks.com to try to share playlists conveniently via this here blog.
Problem is: it's kind of a bitch really. Yeah...
I mean, the search functionality is jacked because when I search by artist it barely ever retrieves (even if the artist may pop up later in a "by track name" search). I'm guessing the tagging was done poorly.
But the good news is that the tracks on this site are way underground. Lots of electronica, across all genres, across all continents.

Here's a very blip-y, speedy mix I'm so digging right now. Check it out and maybe share your own playlist with me if you get the inspiration.

After all, music is truth. Truth is music. *sigh*

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Good example of a Social Media slideshow

Whether it's for inspiration or information, check out this social media slideshow from pcmcreative. Very helpful in getting me prepared for talking to businesses about the best way to make social media work for them.

Social Media Mafia

Get "protection" online from the family that knows it best, the Social Media Mafia. Could possibly kick the Corleone fam's arse. They are good peeps and by signing up you'll get their newsletter that will help keep your ear to the ground on new social media news. Click here for Newsletter.

Posted using ShareThis

Thursday, January 15, 2009

ePR....The NEXT frontier

So you know I've been OVER straight-ahead marketing for a while now. Doesn't mean I won't do it for the right company (Venables...you listening?! I know you just got Intel!!!) But I like the new frontier of PR, forged by insightful people like Chris Abraham. It's all about going beyond the usual PR methods. Blogger outreach and fearless social networking are just the beginning when it comes to Next Gen PR and marketing. Getting a the word out for a brand can come quicker in the package of a 2-sentence tweet as it can from old school PR techniques. More on this to come from me. For now, click read more to get a little background info.

read more | digg story

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Eno speaks out against Israeli oppression

Love that Brian Eno has the balls to point out the irony of Israel in this YouTube viddy, so long oppressed themselves, acting as the oppressor in Gaza. The man is strong. And i love his jams. Just listening to his Here Come the Warm Jets album. Especially love the song called "The Paw Paw Negro Blowtorch". I guess I can forgive him for his Coldplay producing moment. (Still, wtf??)

read more | digg story

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Nit-picky updates to BitTorrent post

So in an earlier post I gave tips for downloading TV shows online. A brilliant and and anal-retentive friend of mine wrote me today with some edits. I'm indulging him here with the updates. So the basic essence of the whole process is the same. But here goes the remix, major updates are bolded:

If you ARE interested in downloading from the BitTorrent network, here are a few tips for mac users. First you'll need a cross-platform client like Transmission (for macs.). You can download Transmission here.

Then you can get a BitTorrent account and start searching for what you feel like watching. I just downloaded some of 30 Rock, for instance. As an aside, I also highly recommend Dexter and, of course, The Wire.

You can also search tracker sites to find torrents to download. Two good ones are mininova.org and thepiratebay.org. When you've found what you want, download to your desktop or downloads folder or whatevs, but remember to trash your old icons and folders because they'll take up a lot of space. The torrents can come in any kind of package. Mine came as a rar file, which was odd. So I had to get unrar to decompress those files. You may have to take similar steps, but for the most part they will be avi files. You'll also need the open-source codecs to watch the viddys with. This is easy, you can get them all by downloading Perian. And that's it really. At that point, you should have everything you need to start watching for free. I don't even have a TV anymore. I just watch everything on my computer.

NOTE: I wish there were a "Redo" button on life sometimes.

The End.

Get drunk for digital rights tonight at DNA Lounge

EFF is celebrating 18th years defending digital rights tonight. DJs include: DJ Spooky, mashup party pioneers Bootie, copyfighter and Surya Dub DJ Kid Kameleon, and EFF's Tones and Qubitsu. (Apparently there's ANOTHER copyfighter?) Time to rumble, mofos!

Bring it. Tonight at 8. DNA Lounge in SF.

read more | digg story

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Net neutrality (and getting shit for free PART II)

So my last post inspired some peeps to comment and remind me that some music - GOOD music - shouldn't be downloaded for free. The argument being: Truly good music is so hard to find that we need to respect and support artists who are bringing the real. I see that point and agree...to some extent. I mean, I'll continue to swap music with friends and I will probably keep scouring the net for good free new music indexes to swipe in one large download. But....I'll keep this post to just getting TV shows for free if that keeps my reputation as a non-jackass secure.
In any case, my morals have been considered questionable by quite a few (thousand?) people before. Ain't no thang. (I was also a total klepto while in my teens and early twenties, but we all know that adolescence comes packed with delinquent behavior, right?!)

No? Hmmm....well, I'll save that for another posting. I used to be obsessed with risk-taking behavior in teenage girls. But I digress....

Anyway, if you ARE interested in downloading from BitTorrent or Btjunkie here are a few tips for mac users. You need to be able to connect to the bittorrent network, so you'll need an app like Transmission. You can get it here.

Then you can check out the options for what you feel like watching. I just downloaded some of 30 Rock, for instance. As an aside, I also highly recommend Dexter and, of course, The Wire. Make your choice, and download to your desktop or downloads folder or whatevs, but remember to trash your old icons and folders because they'll take up a lot of space. The torrents can come in any kind of package. Mine came as a rar file, which was odd. So I had to get unrar to decompress those files. You may have to take similar steps, but for the most part they will be avi files. You'll also need the open-source codecs to watch the viddys with. This is easy, you can get them all by downloading Perian. And that's it really. At that point, you should have everything you need to start watching for free. I don't even have a TV anymore. I just watch everything on my computer.

Which brings me to the video I posted (above). You may be wondering why the hell I uploaded a net neutrality viddy to a post about getting shit for free. Well, the answer is: We may NOT be getting shit for free in the future if we don't keep our eyes and ears open to guard against "Internet Bundles". No, this doesn't exist yet. But I can see it in my minds eye. A two-fer package including all of Google's and Yahoo's networks for only $25/month.

You're probably pretty well informed about maintaining the internet as an open platform already; Obama spoke about his stance on this topic right here at Mountain View. Check out that video here. But if you haven't done due diligence yet in getting up to speed on this issue check out Savetheinternet.com or another site dedicated to net neutrality news and updates.

In the meantime, I'll keep using my right to my own site online. Right here, right now.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Getting shit for free. And EFF's night of righteousness and mayhem.

I still think Pitchfork is full of pretentious, privileged white kids and uninspired writers who are stuck in 90s indie rock, but they do have the best albums of 2008 article and (even better!) their picks for the best tracks of 2008 up and running on the site, complete with streaming mp3s. I recommend checking it out, even if this requires momentary self-loathing.

Anyway, I've seriously been buying BUNK music lately due to the fact that I'm not properly giving the tracks a trial run in my life. I'll just play a tiny sample, find that 10 second snippet somewhat interesting, and then download. It's just dumb. You need the entire track to really test its chops.

Even dumber is the fact that I'm BUYING anything at all. As an unemployed self-proclaimed copyfighter, I should be supplying you all with the tools to maneuver around superfluous marketing obstacles like $0.99 cent iTunes tracks, no???

Hence my upcoming post with tips on how to download from BitTorrent. You may have already been doing this for a while. But if you were just LAZY like I was, it's time to discipline yourself and evolve into a lean, mean, downloadin' machine.

Grrrr! We don't need no stinkin' corporation to charge us for our music and Dexter episodes, right?! Repeat after me: I am in control of what media I choose to listen/watch/play with, and I can access said media on the cheap. F mainstream media marketing! Regain your freedom!

Yes, I'm sounding like a spaz, but this is serious biz, friends. Just look at what happened to our government and realize that the same fuckers who are running the nation could also try to take over the online space. If you're in the SF Bay area and horrified at this thought, please join me and like-minded peeps in supporting digital rights at the Electronic Frontier Foundation's (EFF) 18th Birthday Party. EFF is the leading civil liberties group promoting freedom in the digital world, and they pretty much rule. Check them out. If you're interested in supporting them, come to the party on Wednesday, January 7th at the DNA Lounge. DJ Spooky and residents from the Bootie mash-up crew will be spinning. You can find all the party info and purchase tix online by clicking here.

I'll be there. Come play.