Friday, July 23, 2010

PR2.0: Facebook Connects 500 Million People: Defines a New Era of Digital Society

On July 22nd 2010, Facebook officially announced that it had surpassed 500 million users around the world. This significant achievement represents a significant milestone for Zuckerberg and Co. as well as for social networking and more importantly for global societies overall.

To celebrate this achievement, Facebook released Facebook Stories, a new service to spotlight user stories from around the world and the impact Facebook has had on their lives... please read full article @ PR2.0

Collective Conversation Feed: Social Media in the Past Five Years

Facebook reached a milestone 500 million users this week. Both YouTube and Mashable turned 5 this year and FourSquare announced they’ve had 100 million checkins. It’s clear that social media is growing rapidly, and it is even more impressive how this new phenomenon has changed the way we communicate with our friends, family, and colleagues. To honor their five-year anniversary, Mashable posted a very interesting reflection on the past five years in social media. Check out “A Look Back at the Last 5 Years in Social Media” as well as my insights into social media trends below.

Facebook is still relatively young, and it’s hard to determine whether or not it will have this level of success and popularity years from now. I believe there are a variety of reasons why Facebook has a emerged as a leader in the social media world. Mashable attributes much of the success of Facebook with the introduction of the Newsfeed. While the introduction of the Newsfeed may have increased Facebook’s popularity, I think establishing themselves first with a college audience helped to start a word-of-mouth campaign about Facebook’s capabilities. It would not have been able to do this successfully without the exclusivity Facebook had in the beginning, as a network only college students could join. Another factor that helped was simply good timing. MySpace was the only similar forum at the time, which introduced the public to the idea of social media. Facebook was positioned as a different medium exposed to a controlled audience and had easier tools to navigate others’ pages. Additionally, the timing of the emergence of other social media outlets was perfect for establishing Facebook as a leader.

In July 2006, YouTube was at 100 million video views a day. Today, 100 million YouTube videos are viewed on smartphones. Mashable’s article notes the social media trend that YouTube really exemplifies, how anyone with an internet connection can claim their “15 minutes” of fame. With the growth of reality TV and the rise of the celebrity, this was just the next way to make sure everyone has an opportunity in the spotlight. Facebook and Twitter serve some of the same function, and it is undeniable that this is part of what makes social media work.

Who would have predicted that social media tools that were used for recreational use would now be key tools for business professionals? What do you think are the most likely next steps in the social media world? Why do you think Facebook, YouTube and the rest of the social media universe have become such a large part of our everyday lives?

By Sara Hiller (Tech Intern) - Collective Conversation Feed

Hard Knox Life: Never underestimate the power of design and brand for a start-up (Flipboard)

“One of the easiest things to do to make yourself standout within the digital world is to hit a homerun with the design and experience. If you invest significantly in this area, then you are going to standout from all the rest.” – Darren Herman

Darren is the Chief Digital Media Office at Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal + Partners and one of those guys that just plain “gets it.” He wrote the above quote when talking about why Flipboard is suddenly the hot start-up of the week in the media world. Ironically it is a sentiment that I was just discussing yesterday with a VC in NYC as it relates to the power of branding in the digital media.

Not enough companies in the digital world invest behind design, branding and experience. In many ways, Google won the search war because its simplistic design made it stand out from crowded search portals. The same goes for Facebook, a company that spends a disproportionate focus on user experience.
Hard Knox Life by Dave Knox

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good Morning! Here's the most important tech news of the day:

* Microsoft blew out earnings on the back of strong Windows sales.

* Amazon had a huge miss on earnings, sending the stock spiraling after hours.

* Disney is about to acquire social gaming company Playdom.

* The long awaited HP Slate will come in the fall as an enterprise focused tablet.

* Dell is paying $100 million to settle its case with the SEC. Michael Dell is paying $4 million personally.

* Is hot iPad reader startup Flipboard legal?, asks Gizmodo.

* None of the major handset makers or wireless carriers would fess up to Slate about calls dropped on each handset.

* Google TV isn't even on the market, and it's already making Hollywood a little bit nervous.

* Apple is starting to process bumper refunds for iPhone 4, and it should be starting its free bumper program today, so keep an eye out.

* Droid X users are eating up 5X the usual amount of data from Verizo

Read more: Business Insider

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Six Pixels of Separation - By Mitch Joel at Twist Image: Thank Social Media For The Next Phase In Human Evolution

What do you do with your down time?

The average Canadian watches more than 25 hours of television every week (depending on which survey or research report you believe). On top of that, the average Canadian is also watching close to 12 hours of online video every month. Comparatively, the average American is watching close to 40 hours of television every week and about four to 12 hours of online video (the difference is probably related to both connectivity and culture). As busy as your life may seem, imagine what you could do with all of that free time? Let's agree that no one is ever going to ditch television (or watching YouTube videos) completely. What would happen if you suddenly had half of that time - which would be close to 60 hours every month? Would you watch more episodes of America's Got Talent or The Bachelorette?

We have to be able to recognize that television culture has done a lot more to us - as a civilization - than simply to entertain and (sometimes) educate the mass populous.

Television has changed who we are. We sit in front of this box as a way to kill time and as a way to relax (although we should be hard pressed to see how anyone could relax watching the news on Fox or Lock-Up). In its primal form, TV is probably a lot closer to what Paleolithic man did after eating and in between hunts -which is waiting to die (sorry for being so morbid, but it's true).

The act of actually creating something vs. sitting around and consuming content is one of the pivotal components that make the Internet and Web culture such a huge shift in the media landscape and who we are as a people.

That is the crux and main thrust behind the newly published business book, Cognitive Surplus - Creativity and generosity in a connected age, by Clay Shirky (Penguin Press, June 2010). In Cognitive Surplus, Shirky argues that now, instead of just sitting idly by and watching TV, this (fairly) new technology mixed in with Social Media can put our "untapped resources of talent and goodwill to use at last." Basically, television was (and still is) the main driver that is sucking this cognitive surplus out of humanity. The book isn't about turning off the boob tube to become an activist, but it is about the potential for human beings to see, do and create a whole lot more. Much like Shirky's first book, Here Comes Everybody - The power of organizing without organizations (Penguin Press, 2008), Cognitive Surplus is not only a pleasure to read because of Shirky's writing style, but it is a much needed, deeper look into what is happening now online.

Social Media and the advancement of things like the iPad, smartphones and more places us - as a civilization - in the middle of a new renaissance period.

And, it's hard to know that we're in the middle of a new renaissance period until after it is over and we have had the time to sit back, review the results and reflect on these many changes. No one will argue that business, technology and media have changed dramatically in the past two decades because of the Internet, but the question now becomes: what are we going to do with our free time now that we don't have to simply be a passive audience (or as NYU professor and media pundit Jay Rosen defines us, "the people formerly known as the audience")?

A glaringly obvious example of how to harness this cognitive surplus is Wikipedia (love it or hate it).

Suddenly, it is not incumbent on a group of PhDs and peer review to decide what constitutes the collection of knowledge and information that human beings have discovered. And suddenly, we can all contribute, edit, add, revise and yes, debate not only the content, but its accuracy. Shirky explains that Wikipedia took about 100 million hours of cumulative thought to build when compared to the reality that on average Americans watch about 200 billion hours of television every year. "That represents about 2,000 Wikipedia projects worth of free time annually," the book argues. "Even tiny subsets of this time are enormous: we spend roughly 100 million hours every weekend just watching commercials."

It turns out that even a massive project like Wikipedia takes up only a small amount of our cognitive surplus when broken down.

Now, we can do even more amazing things, projects and initiatives because of our connectivity and the publishing platforms that the Internet affords us. The question becomes this: are human beings naturally lazy or are we naturally hungry to replace our primal hunting instincts with a new hunt for information, content curation, creativity and publishing? As Shirky points out so eloquently in Cognitive Surplus, "Access to cheap, flexible tools removes many of the barriers to trying new things. You don't need fancy computers to harness cognitive surplus; simple phones are enough. But one of the most important lessons is this: once you've figured out how to tap the surplus in a way that people care about, others can replicate your technique, over and over, around the world."

This could well be the next phase of human evolution...

How we use our time to connect, share and build things (ideas, movements, social change, businesses, political change, helping those in need, etc.) in an era where everyone is connected and we push toward the last mile of connecting even those who are not in the developed world.

What are you going to do with all of this free time? What do you make of Clay Shirky and his concept of Cognitive Surplus? Please view this article in full @ Six Pixels of Separation - Marketing and Communications Insights - By Mitch Joel at Twist Image

FreshNetworks Blog: Why is Facebook such a success?

Our last post looked at Facebook’s announcement yesterday that it had reached 500 million users. A huge number but it should not be mistaken as proof that Facebook is now ubiquitous. However, Facebook’s growth is impressive both because of the size the social network and the way it has grown when alternative social networks have been less explosive.

Yesterday, I appeared on BBC News talking about exactly this issue. Amongst the many reasons why Facebook is a success (and I’m sure that an element of luck and good timing is, of course, in that mix), I explain why I think two things have made a real difference:

1. Having some really good products that have helped people and change the way they connect with people online. Most notably the photos product – by allowing an easy way for people to share photos and associate people with the photos they are in (through tags) they have created a powerful tool that many people use. In many ways Facebook is to photos what YouTube is to videos.
2. Making it really easy for people to set up their own groups. For individual users this means that their experience of Facebook is often made up of their connections and the groups of these that they are part of. It is a huge social network made up of lots of little groups. This second point is great for user created groups but adds to the reasons why Facebook is a difficult place to play for brands and is not always the answer to their social media strategy.

Below is the BBC News piece from yesterday that I am interviewed for, we’d love your thoughts on this and why you think that Facebook is such a success.
FreshNetworks Blog by Matt Rhodes

Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association: Golden Rules of Blogging: Part 1 of 239

I challenge you to find me a less captive audience than the one you find on the Internet. Tell me where I can find people in a comparable state of temptation fueled by an endless sea of customized possibility. It's impossible - there's just too many options online. Too many cool sites. Too many Facebook photos to creep. Too much damn stuff to do. And herein lies the challenge of blogging, that is, creating content that pulls your reader in deeply enough that they wont jump ship in the middle of a post.

So, what are the keys to creating blog content that is sticky, interesting and, most importantly, looks tastier than any of the dangling carrots that the world wide web puts in front of your readers?

1. Save the keg for college Micro-sized content rules. If I'm interested in a lengthy thesis, I'll pick up a book. But here on the Internet - the land of free music, porn, and cute videos of seals holding hands - my attention span is firmly set to minimal. Think in terms of offering your readers a beer, instead of forcing them to do a 23 minute keg-stand. Give me quick points, intriguing information, and good links in case I'm so inclined as to go further down the rabbit hole.

2.Sequels are for movies Nothing makes me cringe like reading an introductory sentence that sounds something like this: "In this, the first post in my 9-part examination into report-appropriate sans serif fonts of the B2B sector......" Oh. My. God. Blogs are supposed to be efficient and intriguing. Being concise is in your best interest. If you can't explain it in one post, then it probably isn't worth listening to. The mere thought of having to look at several subsequent pieces in order to fully understand your idea turns me off of reading even the first one.

3. Personality rules It's been said a kajillion times, but it still holds true that the best bloggers write the way they talk. Blogging is built around personal commentary, and yet so many people are terrified to show their bias and state their own opinions. This is the biggest difference between traditional journalism and online thought-sharing. People can find raw, objective data in any number of places; they read your blog because they are looking for insight. You must strike a balance between the two. So go ahead - take a stand, make a point, pick a side! This ain't CNN, folks. Compelling information + an intriguing stance = a great blog.

4. Don't suck. Be something. Most important thing to remember is this: nobody HAS to read anyone's blog. Readers follow them as an extra curricular function, and only when they enjoy doing so. As the author, it is your obligation to provide content that entertains and enlightens. It goes without saying, but a polished product is always the first step to success. Be funny. Be smart. Be something. Have you been on Technorati lately? There's no shortage of competition in the blogosphere, so you better have something incredible to offer. Stand out and make sure you're not adding to the clutter. Canadian Marketing Blog - Canadian Marketing Association by CMA on behalf of Brook Johnston

Edelman Digital: In Twitter Interview, Edelman CEO Says Agency Will Remain Independent ‘Now and Forever’

Originally posted on PRNewser by Joe Ciarallo.

Edelman CEO Richard Edelman is a relatively new user of Twitter, so we reached out to him to conduct PRNewser’s first ever Twitter interview, which took place this morning.

When asked in the interview if there have been any serious offers to buy Edelman this year, the CEO responded, “The big holding companies know our story–the Pirate King–independent now and forever.”

Edelman also said that “social engagement” is a big factor for the agency when looking at potential new hires. “Beyond Facebook and Twitter too,” he said. “[We want them to have involvement in community by donating time and PR expertise.”...view full conversation @Edelman Digital

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Great morning! Here's the news:

* Walt Mossberg really liked the new Samsung Android-based phones, calling them "worthy competitors" to the iPhone.

* Nokia reported a 27% drop in earnings per share, which is in line with consensus.

* Microsoft reports earnings today after the close. Bloomberg speculates the company could raise its dividend since the stock has been flagging and the company has a lot of cash.

* Amazon is also reporting earnings today.

* Big time NYC VC Fred Wilson says Apple is Evil, Facebook is just a photo sharing site, and it's tough for Gowalla to be second-fiddle to Foursquare.

* We have less than one year until the internet runs out of addresses thanks to the smart grid, mobile expansion, RFID, and other Internet connected devices. We need a new Internet Protocol.

* Microsoft will give out Windows Phone 7 units to all employees.

* Twitter is opening its own data center to deal with its surging user base.

* Motorola is accusing Chinese mobile rival Huawei of stealing trade secrets.

* Google hired a superstar music deal lawyer to handle the opening of Google Music.

Read more: Business Insider

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Partners and Edell Blog: Superior customer service? So what.

In the differentiation game, customers need to see and believe that your organization is unique. And that your uniqueness is relevant to them.

This is an elementary marketing rule. Ironically, many financial services advertisers continue to play variations of the same “unique” tune about superior customer service. Admittedly, some ads are definitely more entertaining than others like this spot from ANZ in Australia.

But do customers actually believe service is a differentiator? Where’s the beef? The fact that Canada Trust was open 8 till 8 put a huge stake in the ground and became emblematic of how a small trust company tries harder.

Service differentiation in many industries can be hugely disruptive. Porter has become famous for the way they treat travelers. While kudos to Porter for delivering on service it was not difficult to improve on the competition. Porter has done a superb job of branding the experience from check-in to boarding.

A brand is a promise kept. So don’t just tell customers you’re different – show them how you’re different and then tell them how you’re different. Deliver on your promise over and over again. This translates into superior customer service and a brand that is both talked about and trusted.Please view here: Partners & Edell Blog by Dennis First look at “revolutionary” social news iPad app: Flipboard

You’ve seen Twitter clients like TweetDeck or Seesmic, but you’ve never seen one like this.
You’ve seen news readers like NewsGator, Google Reader, or, even, newer ones for iPad like Pulse, but you’ve never seen one like this.
You’ve seen news aggregators like Techmeme, Google News, Skygrid, Yahoo News, Hacker News, or Huffington Post, but you’ve never seen one like this.

What is “this?” It’s Flipboard.

It’s from a new company you’ve never heard from before. Embedded here is an exclusive interview with CEO Mike McCue. You might have heard of Mike before. He sold a company, TellMe, to Microsoft for about $800 million dollars. Flipboard, the company, has already had one round of funding from Kleiner Perkins and today is announcing a new round of funding along with an acquisition of the Ellerdale Project (

What is Flipboard? It turns your Facebook and Twitter account into something that looks like a magazine. It also lets you build a custom magazine, either by choosing from Flipboard’s pre-built curated “boards” or by importing Twitter lists. This is a very powerful and engaging way to read Twitter. You can also turn a single person’s Twitter account, or a single brand’s Twitter account, into a Flipboard. For instance, you can follow Techcrunch on Twitter with it and it will turn Techcrunch into a beautiful magazine-like interface that’s easier to read than any other reader.

The differentiator for Flipboard is the design. Lots of touches that make it engaging:

1. Touch an article and it “zooms” to reveal more.
2. Touch a video and it plays inline.
3. Turn your iPad and everything reconfigures, even photos switch from vertical to horizontal formats.
4. Touch “read more on Web” on longer articles and instantly be transported to the original website that was the originator of the information discussed in the tweet.
5. When you bring in your Facebook friends your friends’ photos, status messages, will all be laid out in attractive pages.
6. You can touch to share, favorite, like, or retweet, depending on what you are reading.

To get a sense of how dramatically different Flipboard is from any other Facebook or Twitter client, you should watch the video we filmed with McCue where he demoed the app for our cameras. In the interview he covered the philosophy of this interesting new company, demoed the product for us, and talked about where the company is going.

So, why is this disruptive, or even, revolutionary? Revolutionary isn’t our word, either, but is what actor/entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher said when we showed him the app to get a feeling for how it would affect the content businesses he’s involved in. He’s not the only one, either. We showed it to Wolfram Alpha’s CEO, Barak Berkowitz and he said “it’s one of the most awesome iPad apps I’ve ever seen.”

Techcrunch has covered that in a second post about why Flipboard is a killer app that — on first look — appears very disruptive to Twitter client producers, news readers, and news aggregator/publishing companies. In that second article we’ve also laid out why Twitter and the iPad have set in place the ingredients for a real media revolution — one that goes way beyond other publishing systems and one that further moves our reading behavior away from RSS aggregators.

But here let’s discuss how it works.

You add in your Twitter and Facebook accounts. It builds tiles, or “sections” out of your accounts. If you are an advanced user you can add in other people’s Twitter accounts, Twitter lists, or choose from a pre-done set of custom boards to choose from. More on those in a minute.

You then click on the section it builds after you flip past a “cover” that is made from photos that it finds from your friends and people you’re following on Twitter. The cover itself is pretty interesting, but the meat is inside, so we’ll focus on that.

Click on “Facebook,” for instance, and you’ll see your friends’ photos, tweets, status messages, articles, and videos. Just drag your finger through page after page, er, board after board, of these things. This is your Facebook news feed, but in a way you’ve never seen it before — all laid out like a newspaper. Click on any item and you can see the originating status message and all comments. You can “like” the item, or comment on it too.

How did Flipboard find these things? After all, I have 1,800 friends on Facebook and am following 19,000 people on Twitter and it filters out most of the noise I see on other Twitter and Facebook readers. Well, it has a set of algorithms that are looking for highly engaged items. You know, items that have lots of comments, likes, or retweets. It also has an algorithm that senses photography that’s been linked to from Facebook status messages and it lays those photos out.

When you reopen Flipboard it re-paginates the whole set of boards (you can only display nine sections at a time, which is a major limitation of the first version, but more on limitations in a second.

Along the bottom is a timeline that you can run your finger across to see a menu of all items. If you get to the end of the timeline and want to see more, just flip the last board over and it will go and get more pages for you to view.


This is quite remarkable, and addictive to play with, but there are lots of things we’d like to see Flipboard add. More section tiles, for instance, is desperately needed. I have 25 different Twitter lists of just my own, for instance, and if you go to Listorious you can find thousands of lists on all sorts of different topics, all of which make good Flipboard sections.

Some might wonder why RSS isn’t used. That will be a limitation for some people, especially if you are trying to follow a blogger who doesn’t yet put their stuff into Twitter (naughty!) In reality, though, there is so much that IS on Twitter or Facebook that this limitation isn’t that big a deal. If you find some cool blog you can Tweet it and then it’ll show up in Flipboard anyway.

After playing with this I wanted to have Flipboard on my Android and iPhones. Unfortunately the team has chosen to focus solely on iPads for right now but are considering other devices for the future.

There’s no advertising, which leaves us guessing as to what the business model will be in the future. Mike McCue told me they are looking at new, design-centric, advertising that could possibly fill a page or a portion of a page.

A major limitation is that this is a reading and commenting app, not one where you can build your own tweets or Facebook status messages. I found myself often wanting to tweet from inside the app as I was reading.

It also doesn’t use LinkedIn or Google Buzz, both social networks I’d like to turn into Flipboards.


Flipboard got a LOT right. It shows how you can enter a crowded space of Twitter clients with something that’s beautiful. The interaction design is beyond anything I’ve seen from a startup since Siri came on the scene earlier this year (and was almost instantly purchased by Apple).

They are totally right to bet on Facebook and Twitter. These are the default information sharing systems for most people now and are both mature enough to serve as news sources. I have a Twitter list of world news brands, for instance, that is awesome in Twitter. Lots of people haven’t seen the power of lists like these, but now they will, and they’ll also understand that Twitter isn’t just about telling people what you’re doing.


There is a lot missing from Flipboard. First, the #1 thing we need is more tiles, or what they call “sections.” Nine is simply not enough.

Second, we need a far better “store” from which to find new sections, er, Twitter lists. Yes, you can eventually figure out that you can search for people, lists, etc, but we need a better way to do that. I wish there were a stronger tie between Listorious, which I find has a very nice way to find lists, and Flipboard, which makes it somewhat difficult to find new lists to make into Flipboard sections.

Third, as a content producer, I’m very worried that this takes too much of the brand and advertising dollars away from the content producers. If I share a Techcrunch article, for instance, I get more credit than Techcrunch does inside Flipboard. That’s not good. Also, they need a better way for content producers to tell Flipboard just how much of the text they are using. Right now Flipboard looks for an RSS feed from a content producer to see if they’ve set full text, or partial text, or headline only, to figure out the syndication rules but there needs to be a way inside Flipboard for publishers to communicate their wishes since I’m sure lots of publishers won’t like what they see inside Flipboard. From a user standpoint, though, I find this reading experience to be unparalleled, so media producers should work with Flipboard instead of flipping out, as I expect some of them like Rupert Murdoch to do.

There are still some bugs. I often see duplication of articles, especially in my lists that follow larger numbers of people (Flipboard’s own curated lists have small numbers of sources to keep them cleaner). I also occasionally see bad text or bad headlines that were pulled in. But those are minor problems for a 1.0 beta and will be fixed, the team says.


The acquisition of the Ellerdale Project, this morning, gives Flipboard lots of new “trending” features to build as well as some strong algorithms to further reduce the noise and pull out great items for us to read, no matter what the list is we’re aiming Flipboard at.

Overall this is an extraordinary iPad app and one that will shake the media world for quite some time.


Every once in a while I get an early look at a “killer app.” I still remember the day I first saw Pagemaker (back then from a company named Aldus, which later sold to Adobe). That app, along with a $5,000 laser printer from Apple, was a “killer app” for the Macintosh. Why? Because if you wanted to do a new form of publishing you needed to buy a Macintosh, a laser printer (back then $5,000) and Aldus’ Pagemaker.

I’ve been using my iPad since the very first day and have been looking for that “killer app” that would give me a reason to tell you why you must get an iPad. In other words, an app that would justify buying an iPad for a large number of people.

We’ve seen other companies get close. Last month Techcrunch wrote about Pulse, a news reader for the iPad. I downloaded it, but it wasn’t revolutionary, just a nicer done RSS news reader. Earlier this week another nice news app, Apollo, was announced in Techcrunch, but I quickly answered back on Twitter that I had already been beta testing something that went far beyond what they were offering.

“So, Scoble, spill the beans already!”

The app I’ve been using? Flipboard. See the news article elsewhere on Techcrunch for more details, since Flipboard also announced new funding and an acquisition too.

It does something very simple: it turns your Twitter and Facebook into something that looks like a magazine.

But, don’t miss what’s happening here, because there’s a news revolution that has been born due to Twitter. First, you must see that Twitter has moved from being just for a way to follow your friends to a way you can follow news brands. Techcrunch, for instance, has a Twitter feed that I follow in Flipboard and other Twitter readers like Seesmic, Tweetdeck, and Twitterrific. But go further, I have a list of 216 news brands like the BBC, CNN, New York Times, etc at You add that into Flipboard and you have the most complete newspaper-style media you’ve ever seen. You can follow just the BBC, or just the New York Times, or just your local newspaper on Twitter.

The problem is that when you see the New York Times on it looks boring. You don’t see the great photography that the New York Times provides. You don’t have an easy-to-read layout. And if you try to read the New York Times along with my list of news journalists or if you want to follow Techcrunch’s staff writers on Twitter you’ll see them all mixed together with all the noise that comes with that. If MG Siegler posts what he’s drinking on Friday night, as he did last week, it is weighted the same as a New York Times article of international importance.

This makes reading Twitter far less useful than it could be and it lays out why Flipboard is a publishing revolution. Oh, don’t take my word for it. I showed actor/entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher Flipboard and he turned to me and said “this is revolutionary.” Then he asked me for an introduction to Flipboard so he could invest in the company (which he did). Nearly every person I gave a sneak peak to Flipboard said the same thing after playing with it.

It’s disruptive to several groups: those who publish media, especially news organizations; those who produce Twitter clients; and those who produce news aggregators.

“One of the most awesome iPad apps I’ve ever seen,” is what Barak Berkowitz, CEO of Wolfram Alpha, told me after he saw it. “It brings to life the real capabilities of social media.”

“It takes a lot of the stuff from nerddom to mainstream,” Gary Lauder, VC at Lauder Partners, and TED speaker. “My mother is not going to read tweets, but she will read Flipboard.”

But it isn’t just the app that makes this a significant new company.

It also is backed by an interesting team, starting with co-founder Mike McCue who started TellMe, which was acquired by Microsoft in 2007 for $800 million. < << >>>

It also has already made an interesting acquisition, of Ellerdale < << >>> which has been building algorithms using semantic technology that filters the real-time stream by topics, instead of keyword strings. Basically, this means that Flipboard has some cool trending topics features and noise control that will come in future versions.

It also has a list of impressive venture capitalists, including Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, Google investor Ron Conway, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, The Chernin Group founded by Peter Chernin, Alfred Lin, Peter Currie, Quincy Smith, actor/entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher, and major investors Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, and Index Ventures.

But that’s not why I view this as disruptive. It just is plain fun to use. I’ve spent more than 50 hours on it so far and love that it removes most noise from my Twitter feed, makes me much more productive in finding interesting items, and is plain addictive to use. It also makes me feel like I’m reading an old-time newspaper with beautiful design that helps me find important items to my life. Not every Twitter item is interesting and Flipboard focuses on that.

What do you think? If you have an iPad already do you agree that this is a “killer app?” If you don’t have an iPad does this push you over the purchasing decision line?

Social Media Explorer: Forrester Report Offers Analyst Look at Social Media ROI

Forrester Research has produced another interesting report, this one focusing on perhaps the hottest topic of the social media world over the past year: The ROI of Social Media Marketing. The piece, primarily authored by Forrester analyst and friend Augie Ray, offers what Forrester calls a balanced scorecard for measuring the ROI of social media, complete with expected Forrester graphics and interview-based insights.
Please continue reading here: Social Media Explorer by Jason Falls

PSFK: A Creative Brief To Guide Social Media Efforts

We were inspired by Griffin Farley’s collaborative brief to help planners (and the brands they work with) arrive at strategic social media efforts. Some of the questions that Farley and his collaborators propose be asked prior to developing and activating their social media strategy include:

* What are the campaign goals and/or communication tasks? A very clear outline of communication tasks, and how they will be measured. This could include CRM, conversions, sales goals, awareness or good will for the brand/product.
* What is remarkable about the Brand, Product or Service?
* Who is the target audience? Which audience will actually deliver on the brand’s business objectives? What is the desired action? Think of this audience as your aspirational audience.
* Is there another group of people that has more persuasion over the target audience? This group of people might be more likely to engage with the creative assets or act on the creative to influence the real target audience. Think of this audience as your inspirational audience.
* How does the creative foster a social experience? Is the creative designed to entertain, or to act as a branded utility? To challenge participants to submit and share responses? To spawn user generated content, etc.
* Why would someone want to pass something like this to others? This is an area to reference social theories (i.e. custom or personalized, gift economy, peer production, random acts of kindness, pay it forward, etc.) to inform why this creative might be shared and passed along among friends.
* What are the existing creative assets (if any)? List the creative assets that already exist, and allow room for them to be used in new ways. Do new assets need to be created to help extend the narrative?
* How long do we have before the paid media begins? This is a timing question that references how to use Owned, Earned and Paid media appropriately.
* What are the benchmarks and metrics will we be following? Are there platforms the client feels are most important to measure success (acquisitions, Facebook or Twitter followers, video views, etc.)? If not, identify the metrics that you will follow including impressions, reach, interaction and most importantly sentiment.

Propagation Planning: “Revised Propagation Planning Brief”

PSFK Go Map Yourself

I’m not much of a user of the current location-based social applications, things like Foursquare or Gowalla. When I started thinking about why, the answers were mostly business-related. If I point out where I am, it might give something away (if I’m in Memphis, am I with FedEx? If I’m in St. Louis, am I visiting Build-A-Bear?). If I point out where I am, it means you might want to meet (which is sometimes great, and sometimes not entirely possible). I just haven’t found the business value of telling everyone where I am.

I don’t want to be the mayor of things in Foursquare. I want to be the mayor of things in real life. In my little town, when I walk into my restaurant of choice, they know me from my frequency. They give me excellent service. They let me order off the menu. That’s much more fun than being the “mayor.”

Now, the missing ingredient? If there were context. I’d gladly tell everyone in LinkedIn where I am. Why? Because there’s at least a glimmer of possibility that we’ll have a business reason to connect instead of a serendipitous social reason. (Don’t get me wrong: serendipity is awesome. I’m just not always keen on decloaking for social-only reasons.)

So for now, feel free to go map yourself. Me? I’ll just let people know when it seems appropriate.

What’s your take?

iMedia Connection: The 10 commandments of content marketing

Article Highlights:

* Content shall be collaborative -- let your consumers play
* Content shall invite comment -- tap into all available feedback
* Content shall be forever -- so create marketing that can endure

Defining a new era

It's only a matter of time before some marketing pundit boldly declares this to be the Era of the Boldly Declared Era. Our attempts to make sense of the rapid changes in consumer media consumption have spawned such era-defining labels as "Web 2.0," "Emerging Media," "Generation Facebook," "The Death of Print," and most recently, "The Splinternet."

Historically, a mania for naming has been a sure sign of cultural anxiety, and in our industry, it's a sure sign that marketers are still percolating over the big questions: Will social media take over the world? Will streaming content kill broadcast? Will someone eventually click on a banner ad? Will society finally grind to a halt when there's nothing left to tweet about besides Twitter?
As an industry, we're struggling with these questions because we're stuck in outdated categories. We still think advertising is advertising and social media is something else. In fact, advertising and social media are the same thing: They're content. We can find answers to the vexing questions of our time the moment we realize that all marketing is content. And at the risk of adding yet another era-defining label to the mix, I want to suggest that the new approach demanded by these rapid changes is something White Horse calls content marketing.

Content marketing is already occurring; it's all around us. Marketers that do it well might not even know that they're doing it because they weren't burdened by the old way of thinking in the first place. Fortunately, it's possible to bring a stone tablet down from that mountain and share what works about content marketing. Its 10 commandments are as follows. Please click here-iMedia Connection to continue reading

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning, here's the big news:

* Apple delivered blowout earnings, with strong sales of Macs, iPads, and iPods. iPhones were good but lighter than expected.

* Yahoo's earnings were mediocre. It beat EPS by a penny, but missed on revenue because it couldn't monetize search.

* HP's Slate WILL run on Windows, according to specs leaked on HP's website.

* Some Droid X screens are flickering. If that happens to you, just return it.

* Verizon is rumored to have two e-readers/tablets available in the fall.

* Facebook's lawyer is "unsure" if Mark Zuckerberg signed an agreement with the man claiming to own 84% of Facebook.

* Message board 4Chan has been trying to attack Gawker the last few days.

* eBay reports earnings today after the close.

* Adobe is trying to create a peer to peer mobile video chat service called "FlashTime."

* Skype is trying out a new ad unit called pay per call. It will put a phone number on websites, and you can call the number using Skype.

Read more: Business Insider

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

TAXI - BLOG: How contagious is your Twitter network?

It turns out having a large network may not be as good for you as you think. The quality of the network can greatly influence your happiness.

Recent research from the Proceedings of the Royal Society showed that happiness and sadness spread in patterns similar to disease. Contact with someone who is either happy or sad can mean you are more likely to exhibit the same emotion. The not-so-good news is that discontent is much more contagious. Misery loves company.
Please continue reading here: TAXI - BLOG The Challenge – And Risk – Of Ad Agencies’ Growing Interest In Social Media

Too much has already been written about the recent Old Spice foray into social media. However, one aspect of the campaign has escaped most commentary – the firm – Wieden + Kennedy – is an ad agency. Not a PR agency, or a social media agency. An ad agency.

On Sunday, the Wall Street Journal ran an interesting story on the growing interest of ad agencies in the social media space. As they put it,

“As more and more advertising dollars flow into social media, some Madison Avenue firms are seeking to grab a piece of the action.”

The story cites several examples of ad agencies who are making a move to grow this side of their business. As they do so, they are moving into direct competition with the PR firms and social media agencies who, until recently, they have partnered with on client projects.

Many public relations folks have harped on the idea that PR agencies are best placed to serve clients’ social media needs because of their focus on relationships and conversations as part of their core business. If nothing else, Isaiah Mustafah’s wonderful social media tour de force last week proved that ad agencies can get it right online, with a combination of creativity, comedy and captivating two-way interaction. Meanwhile, however, the pragmatists among us have been observing the blurring of the lines for quite some time. I’ve argued, for example, that PR agencies can learn a lot from ad agencies including:

1. How to better scale programs;
2. How to plan and execute more creatively;
3. That measurement is critical;
4. How to effectively target their key audiences;
5. How to better target messages.

Four challenges to PR firms from ad agencies
Please continue reading here:

The BuzzBubble: E07 Pt 3 Andy Azula Talks Social Media, We Choose the Moon and more on the buzzbubble

In part 4 Andy and Kevin get into digital executions and integration of teams, social media projects like The Kennedy Space Museum, and great viral social marketing campaign, “We Choose the Moon”. We talk about our next guest CEO – Mike Hughes and some fun facts about Mike. Some Fun facts about Andy and a rare bit of magic from “The Great Azula”. We get advice for young creatives and dealing with the rejection of getting creative killed, while remembering the feeling of that spark when a great idea gets through.
In closing, as Andy says, “Find the button, press repeatedly”. Thanks man! – KK
The BuzzBubble - Interviewing advertising icons

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good Morning! News:

* Nokia is hunting for a new CEO.

* Asus is dumping Windows for Android on its EEE Pad EP101TC.

* A bunch of tech and media companies are inching closer to a big cloud based media operation called UltraViolet.

* Amazon says Kindle sales were up 3X in the first half of the year, and Amazon is dominating e-book sales.

* Steve Jobs wanted to ditch AT&T half a dozen times, according to a great feature in Wired.

* Yahoo is looking at buying url shortener

* Apple reports earnings today after the close. Tune in for coverage, in the meanwhile, here's 12 stocks that move based on Apple.

* Want another search engine? You got it. Here's Blekko.

* Sales of this year's Tiger Woods video game fell by 32%.

* The FCC seems to be approving a new Apple Magic track pad. It's like a laptop track pad, but designed for the desktop instead of a mouse.

Read more: Business Insider

Monday, July 19, 2010

McCann_NY: Amazon says ebooks outsell hardcover books. Classic tipping point in our cultural history.

McCann NY - NY Times

Tribble Ad Agency : The Advertising Agency of Record: Advertising Recession – More Ad Agencies reporting slowdown

IN the past 3 months some advertising agencies have been reporting a decrease in spends, and client wins are becoming smaller (on average).

It appears that based on these reports alone many are bracing for a double dip recession.

“Billables though the same client are down at least 25%” one agency executive stated.

Another agency in a differing part of the country stated “I don’t understand why many of our clients are opting for the smaller spends rather than the bigger campaigns, they all have a sense of fear that things are going to get worse, not better”

Generally speaking when business sediment is that things are going to get worse, the businesses spend less on advertising. It appears that the reports we are seeing, ad agencies are seeing smaller client spends in the first and second quarter of 2010.

This is going to get ugly people...Tribble Ad Agency : The Advertising Agency of Record

Alex Bogusky: Warren Berger is a mind reader. Or maybe a warlock. A marketing warlock! Burn him!

Please read story here:

PSFK: This Week In Brand Strategy & Advertising

Here is a look at some standout brand-building and advertising communications stories that have been catching our attention p lease click here to read:PSFK

JWT AnxietyIndex: A surprising message from J.R. Ewing: ‘Shine, baby, shine’

Larry Hagman, best known as oilman J.R. Ewing in the hit 1980s television show Dallas, is now the face of SolarWorld, a German solar energy company. Long a solar energy enthusiast, Hagman recently told The New York Times he was motivated by the BP spill in the Gulf of Mexico to speak out. He added: “Since Sarah Palin is saying, ‘Drill, baby, drill,’ I’m saying, ‘Shine, baby, shine.’”

That’s just what the actor says, with his trademark cackle, in a spot for SolarWorld’s new advertising campaign. We see J.R. looking disapprovingly at a portrait of his younger self in an oil field while a background TV screen gurgles with oil-spill images. He walks out of his house and we see a roof lined with solar panels. SolarWorld does an interesting thing here: It’s not only tapping into anxieties around the Gulf spill and the target consumers’ likely aversion to the “Drill, baby, drill” mind-set but is also showing how perspectives can change, even if J.R. is fictional.
JWT AnxietyIndex: Brand Answers for an Anxious World by Christine Miranda - New York

COFFEE AND DONUTS WITH JWT PLANNING: Cannes 2010 - Winning Case Studies from JWT

With more posts to come , here are two winning campaigns by JWT Italia and Capetown.

Heiniken - Auditorium by JWT Italia

Taking Consumer Engagement to the next level , the campaign idea by JWT Italia truly did made its Target Audience spend quality time with their favourite beer - Heiniken.

My First Book by JWT Capetown

The campaign not only instills the importance of ‘going green’ but it also contributed to the education of many underprivileged kids around the world.


brandflakesforbreakfast: Mad Men Style: You can read every outfit.

Ever watch those responsible for clothes on a set fret about the wardrobe? Ever see a grown art director cry at the "wrong wallpaper" on a set? Details are important. The wrong item can cause havoc, like when Dunkin' Donuts were accused of supporting terrorists due to a scarf.

As we wait for the next season of Mad Men, lets relive the excellent choices of clothes for each character. When Joan wears purple, she is wearing her heart on her sleeve. Delve into the Mad Men Style pages by the fabulous and opinioated Tom and Lorenzo. Every scarf and brooch is dissected as a reflection of what the character is going through. It's fantastic...brandflakesforbreakfast

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning! Here is your news:

* Microsoft shipped a few early previews of Windows Phone 7. Engadget says it's "a little scary" how many technical issues need to be ironed out before the phone hits the market.

* Google will stop selling the Nexus One after it clears out of its most recent shipment of Nexus One phones.

* Now that Facebook has 500 million users, it has to figure out what to do when one of them dies.

* A Chinese glass manufacturer is holding up the production of white iPhone 4s.

* Verizon is ceasing sales of the Kin and shipping its inventory back to Microsoft.

* Motorola is selling off its networking wireless business for $1.2 billion.

* HTC and Samsung are disputing Apple's antenna claims.

* Mark Cuban is wildly bullish on facial recognition as the next form of check-in apps.

* Quicken appears set to screw over its customers, as it transitions to

Read more: Business Insider

Friday, July 9, 2010

WPP Marketing Insights: Our Top Ten Thinkers For Researchers by Tom Ewing, Kantar

Explaining people's behaviour is the basis of our industry. But that's not to say we don't appreciate a push in the right direction. Since the publication - and more importantly the runaway success - of Malcolm Gladwell's The Tipping Point, we've seen a boom in "idea books" looking to uncover organising principles behind behaviour and decision-making. We've also seen a revival of interest in the idea of the individual - a public intellectual - who can explain these things. Go to any research conference and half the speeches will cite at least one book or writer with the scoop on why people act how they do. Thinkers are in.

But which thinkers? Not only is there a glut of thought for researchers to choose from - drawing on disciplines from economics to physics to anthropology - there's also a huge role for fashion. Sometimes an idea is so successful that it enters general business vocabulary - the "long tail" and the "wisdom of crowds", for instance. Other times writers fall from grace: despite giving his new book the research-friendly title Outliers, Gladwell himself has hardly been mentioned at conferences this year.

This article is a - wholly unscientific - survey of who researchers' current top ten thinkers are, based on names dropped at the MRS, WARC and ARF conferences this past March. Anyone actually speaking at the conferences was disqualified - so the worthy likes of Mark Earls (Herd) and Charles Leadbeter (We-Think) miss out. We hope you find the list enlightening - whether as a pointer to summer reading, or a bluffer's guide for the next industry bunfight.

To continue reading, please visit, and navigate to What's New > Inspirations.
WPP Marketing Insights Blog: Happy birthday, Walter (great 60's video)

Those of us who work at Landor know that our founder and namesake, Walter Landor, loved a strong cocktail and a good party. So during the week of his birthday (July 9), we at Landor, in all our offices around the world, take a day to celebrate together.

Born on 9 July 1913, Walter would have been 97 years old today, and the firm that he founded in 1941 with his wife Josephine is now in its 69th year of existence. A pioneer in the field of branding and design, he is also famous for throwing celebrity-attended parties on one of the most unusual and memorable offices around: the Klamath ferryboat.

We recently unearthed and digitized a promotional film, The Decanter. Filmed in the late 1960s, it shows the start-to-finish process of several of Landor's designs for Old Fitzgerald whiskey. Narrated by Walter himself, the film depicts creative teams illustrating and critiquing designs, industrial designers fabricating models, and research teams conducting focus groups and testing in Landor's supermarket laboratory. And the whole thing takes place on the famed Klamath ferryboat, docked at San Francisco's Pier 5, which housed Landor's offices for some twenty years from the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s. It's a great snapshot of the origins of our firm and the elegance and stature of our

Design story: The Decanter from Landor Associates on Vimeo.

1000heads: The Word of Mouth People: 10 amazing WOM thought leaders

This week, our 10th birthday celebrations focus on saying thank you to the industry: that eclectic global community of social innovators, word of mouth practitioners, consumer champions and just downright interesting human beings who push us all to think differently, and do better.

So we’ve decided to profile ten of the WOM thought leaders who have really inspired us as a company, and asked them:

How do you feel WOM has evolved in the past ten years?

These are a tiny selection from a vast number of people we love, but they’re a great start for anyone looking at WOM. So, in no particular order…

1. Emanuel Rosen
Emanuel wrote his bible of WOM, The Anatomy of Buzz, back in 2000 to international acclaim, and we love his down to earth, challenging style. His emphasis on offline as well as online triggers and the accessibility of his explanations and case studies make him a must-read. In fact, come listen; he’s speaking at WOM UK in a couple of weeks.

“As consumers, we not only have more opportunities to hear and read what our friends have to say, but also to observe what they do. This will become even more important in the future. Marketers can no longer ignore word of mouth because so much of it is visible online (although most of it still happens offline).”

2. John Bell
We first met John, Managing Director of Ogilvy’s 360° Digital Influence team, as President of WOMMA. We were quickly impressed with his ability to link WOM to the realities of business, talking about how companies can harness this brave new world in a way that practically works with their processes and capabilities.

“While any communications expert will quickly acknowledge that “word of mouth” – peer recommendations of one sort or another – has been around since the dawn of man & woman, the power of WOM to build or level brands has been amplified exponentially by digital communications over the past ten years. Ask any true social media expert with experience why marketers are so fascinated by the strength and potential to use social media and the answer is always “to activate word of mouth.” Simply put, word of mouth marketing is the answer why any brand would want to use social media at all.

Looking forward? Big brands will launch large, multi-million-dollar marketing programs this year with word of mouth marketing firmly at the center. Their purpose will be to authentically activate word of mouth towards the goal of selling product and sustaining the health of their brand.”

3. Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore
Joe Pine and Jim Gilmore made a huge splash in 1999 with their fantastically original book ‘The Experience Economy’ and now ‘Authenticity: What Consumers Want’ brings us fresh perspective yet again. Packed full of case studies and practical models, it gives a fresh perspective on thinking how to connect with consumers in broad and deep ways - by thinking about how they want to feel. A must-read.

“There are two huge changes in word-of-mouth over the past decade. One, the recognition that the best way to create WOM is not through advertising and traditional marketing. Instead, more and more companies recognize that the experience IS the marketing — the best way to generate demand is through engaging experiences that generate word-of-mouth (and spend-of-wallet). Two, with authenticity becoming the new consumer sensibility, consumers increasingly purchase based on conformance to self-image; they will not spread the word on offerings that do not match their own identity.”

4. Joanne Jacobs
Unforgettable to anyone who has seen her present, consultant and educator Jo has unerring ability to cut through the crap and challenge assumptions, always finding the human perspective in any discussion about technology and tools. She believes in people, and it shows.

“This was, and continues to be, the revolution in marketing. Ironically, it’s the embodiment of the original emergence of marketing as a discipline - effective communication of authentic information about products, be these goods or services.

WOM is a shift in the way marketers and business generally need to engage the socially connected citizen.

The past decade has seen the rise of opportunities for mass adoption of platforms for social communication, and WOM as a subset of those social connections. It has seen the emergence of rich media capture - images, sound and video - via mobile devices, and the opportunity to publish and share these media at the touch of a button. But most of all, it has seen a shift in power over the reputation of brands from the domain of marketers to the experience of user/consumers. WOM hasn’t just been the instrument of that change; it has been the weapon of user/consumers against marketing spin. For me, this is such an exciting development. The rise in the power of the user/consumer, not just as an informed citizen, but also as a producer of content and resources, is partly a realisation of a long-promised global village. And at the end the past decade of social media development, I see ahead an even richer landscape of user-led advocacy and filters for timely, geolocated and compelling information and experiences. But understanding WOM is going to be utterly crucial to competitive advantage in that environment. And firms that fail to engage in the age and stage of WOM will soon find themselves shunned.”

5. Barak Libai
Barak is Marketing Professor at Recanati Graduate School of Business, Tel Aviv University, and an award-winning researcher on the economics of WOM, and his multi-discipline approach looks at WOM from every angle possible. Using biological models to simulate social networks, and harnessing vast data pools, Barak is helming the development of WOM ROI and social CRM.

6. Chris Brogan
President and founder of New Marketing Labs, Chris Brogan’s work is a must read for anyone trying to find their way in WOM, Social and New Media. Author of two books, Trust Agents and Social Media 101, Chris is constantly looking for new ways to humanise business communications through improving what he calls ‘The Guest Experience‘. Add him to your RSS.

7. Scott Gould
We first heard about Scott through a chance meeting with his Like Minds co-founder Drew Ellis (at the Finnish Ambassadorial Residence no less!). Since then he (and his cohorts) have wowed us with their Like Minded thinking, their ambition and their vision; to educate, discover and ultimately give something back through social learning, media and charity. Like Minds is a great event. You should go.

“Word of Mouth, as every marketeer knows, is the holy grail. And despite Social Media (digital word of mouth) growing exponentially, Word of Mouth still stands as the strongest - by far - way that ideas are shared and brands are recommended.

You’d think that every brand and organisation out there would be doing their upmost to generate word of mouth, but the understanding and relational ability that is required to create this is rare - not to mention the risk that many are just unwilling to take in creating campaigns and engagement that are so innovative.

What impresses me about 1000heads and their approach is not only the creativity, the deep relational building that is carried out every day, and their well executed plans, but their measurement and reporting on their activities. It isn’t all just fun and play - 1000heads *really* know what is going on and put most agencies to shame when it comes to measurement and analysis.

They are celebrating their tenth birthday, so as we watched them innovate through Web 1, Web 2 and now through Social Media, I’m confidently watching what they do next to see how I can learn from them, and follow.”

8. Darryl Ohrt
Brandflakes for Breakfast is one of our favourite blogs. It’s the official blog presence of Humongo, a Connecticut-based agency who specialise in creating digital wonderness (and then making it huge).

As you can tell, there’s a fair amount of synergy. Darryl is the curator of said blog is at the centre of all the news, ideas, design, branding and gossip that comes their way. Sounds easy, right? Wrong. Every day, without fail, we find something inspiring in his Brandflakes. Be it awesome innovation, or just plain every day awesomes. If it’s a one-stop shop place for new thinking you’re after, Darryl is your man. He gives good quotes too.

9. Griffin Farley
We ask a lot of questions here at 1000heads; how do we do this offline? What’s the human story? How do we make it better, work harder? How do we create true opportunities to experience? It’s this last element that first got us thinking about Griffin Farley. Anjali Ramachandran from Made by Many wrote about Propagation Planning, one of Griffin’s ideals that really speaks to our hearts: “Plan not for the people that you reach, but the people that they reach”. Griffin is Strategy Director at BBH New York and we like his thinking. A lot.

“40 years ago account planning was developed to inspire consumer-centric creative. 10 years ago connection planning was developed to inspire better media engagement. Today propagation planning is being developed to think about a new target audience: those that hear or see your message through word of mouth. Word of Mouth builds credibility while Advertising builds mass awareness.” On Brands: “I’m excited for the day that brand managers are replaced by community managers. Brands that are not inherently social will not be trusted.” Griffin on innovation: “What I love about social media behavior is at some point people will complain about something. If you listen closely that complaint creates the most fertile ground for innovation when you fix the problem.”

10. Mark Earls
The Herdmeister, Mark Earls, is an anthropologist of the highest calibre. The power of herd thinking, the merit of social objects, the pointlessness of (marketing to) social networks and alike are all opinions that Mark willingly projects out into the industry and, in doing so, constantly un-picks and questions the traditional marketing and advertising practices that have kept the industry from moving forward for so long. For that, we salute you.

“From the moment we are born til the day we die, we are shaped by our interaction with others; for good or ill, we are made who we are by other people - happy or sad, intelligent or otherwise, rich or not. We seem designed specifically to interact with others - our bodies and our brains are those of the ultimate social primate, the Super Social Ape.

Social networks are not channels for advertisers or for the adverts/memes you, your clients or any of your so-called “influentials” create, social networks are for all of the people who participate in the network. “

That’s who we love, what about you? Who inspires you, and why? 1000heads: The Word of Mouth People

Ogilvy Public Relations: Asia Digital Map: Asia Social Media Stats: The Video!

This video on Social Media in APAC created for a recent internal meeting of our regional Digital Influence team. Enjoy!
Please view here: Ogilvy Public Relations: Asia Digital Map

BrandDigital | BrandSimple: The Blog: TV advertising is still hot, if it follows the right recipe

Come on, admit it. Every once in a while you see a television advertising spot that makes you chuckle. Maybe you even spend a few moments chatting about it with colleagues at the water cooler. Perhaps you’ve even been known to send an ad link to friends and family in order to share the laughs. The fact of the matter is that good television advertising still exists, and people still pay attention to it, despite the cluttered digital environment. Notice I said “good television advertising.” While lots of it deserves to be Tivo-ed out of the picture, the spots that succeed do so as a result of following an age-old advertising recipe: Great insight about the category, a simple and compelling idea, and brilliant storytelling. In my recent column in Forbes Online I write about the winners of the 57th International Advertising Festival in Cannes and, specifically, what made them winners – with the judges and consumers. While the digital age has certainly created challenges for television branding, those who follow the tried and always true recipe for success, still keep us tuned in.
BrandDigital | BrandSimple: The Blog Why Facebook Killed A $100 Million Baby

This evening Facebook announced that they will officially kill the company’s gift shop on August 1st of this year. Currently generating tens of millions of dollars for the company a year, one has to wonder why the company would take such dramatic steps. Facebook regularly touts how few developers run each segment of their business, but even if the company was generating tens of millions on a couple of developers, apparently more can be generated with the small gifts team working on other projects. So what does this really mean?
A $100 Million Business, Gone

We are to assume that Facebook’s gift shop has been growing since they were projected to have a $35 million annual run rate back in 2008, there’s no doubt that the company could easily be selling tens of millions of dollars in gifts each year, at a minimum. However the rise of FarmVille and the social gaming ecosystem on Facebook has driven virtual goods transactions away from Facebook’s core gift shop. The result is that Facebook’s virtual goods business may have been somewhat damaged.

If you had been offered to purchase all the revenue of Facebook’s gift shop going forward in 2008, you may have been willing to pay a pretty penny, if the company was really generating $35 million a year from the shop. While $100 million may be pushing the limits on the value of future virtual goods cash flows, it’s not an unreasonable number. However now the gift shop has become filled with damaged goods that no longer stand out from the numerous other gifts.
A Virtual Goods Ecosystem Rises

As Facebook prepares to wind down the company’s virtual goods store front, the company is also pushing full-force into the Credits business. While the distribution of those goods are currently taking place within games, one has to wonder what future integration points Facebook has planned. The gift shop as it exists today is not a robust platform. While multiple developers had access to the gift shop as a distribution channel, it was still limited in scope.
A Bigger Marketplace

Regardless of the growth or decline of Facebook’s gift-shop, the marketplace for virtual goods is expanding. Projected to reach $10 billion globally, this year, Facebook is aiming to take a big chunk of the marketplace through their Credits service. Additionally, one has to wonder if Facebook is planning on opening up a broader virtual goods marketplace. Given that Facebook believes the future resides off-site, there’s no guarantee that there will be any new distribution points of virtual goods within Facebook aside from the stream and profile tabs.

While we believe Facebook could open up a massive marketplace, there is a greater opportunity in play and Facebook doesn’t want to miss the momentum they are building as the virtual goods market explodes.
HTML5 Presents New Opportunities

One of the largest competitors to Facebook in the Credits space is Apple. Apple is selling applications across their platforms and now offer in-app purchases as well. These in-app purchases account for the majority of virtual goods transactions and while Apple has a monopoly on apps distributed through iTunes, the web will once reign again as the leading Platform. With this in mind, Facebook is ramping up their efforts to provide integration with mobile applications.

We recently saw the beginning of these efforts with the MyTown app promotion, however we would only expect that to continue. Facebook’s acquisition today of nextstop highlights not only Facebook’s interest in location, but also an investment in the future of HTML 5 on mobile devices (as effectively articulated in this interview with Robert Scoble). If all goes well, the $10 billion global virtual goods market, could grow 1,000% and Facebook could be standing as the primary intermediary in the market.

If Facebook can capture only 10 percent of a $100 billion virtual goods market, with the current revenue share of 70/30 with developers (70 percent going to developers, 30 percent to Facebook), Facebook could end up with a cool $3 billion per year. Granted, these are optimistic projections, however Facebook is well positioned to capture a large portion of this marketplace and become the virtual currency standard. Looking at things from this perspective however illustrates why it may make sense to kill the gift shop, even if tens of millions of dollars a year was providing great

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning, here's the news. No LeBron mentions!

* Google says China has renewed Google's web page license.

* Google founder Sergey Brin still uses Friendster.

* Facebook is shuttering its virtual goods store, which generated tens of millions in sales.

* Facebook acquired travel startup Nextstop to gain access to two former Google engineers.

* Apple wants to be able to push $0.99 rentals through the next version of Apple TV.

* Gerson Lehrman Group says, "It is highly likely that after the KIN fiasco, Microsoft will exit the mobile OS space within the next year." We don't think that happens, but this is a pretty harsh assessment of Microsoft's mobile prospects.

* Social gaming company Playdom bought Metaplace, a smaller, different sort of social gaming company.

* Yahoo farmed out its real estate listings to Zillow.

* Apple is an underdog in China says the NYT.

* MobiTV has streamed 88 million minutes worth of World Cup footage on mobile phones
. That's impressive since most people haven't historically watched TV on their phones.

Read more: Business Insider

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Media Decoder: MDC Again Combines Two Agencies

MDC Partners, the Toronto-based agency holding company, has made a name for itself with several spates of acquisitions. Such buying sprees are often followed by phases of digestion, absorption and consolidation, and that is what is now taking place with MDC — and, as is typically the case, not without some bumpy patches.

MDC said on Thursday that it would combine Zig, an agency based in Toronto, with Crispin Porter & Bogusky, the MDC powerhouse that has offices in Miami and Boulder, Colo. Zig will become the Toronto office of Crispin Porter & Bogusky, which will be known as Crispin Porter & Bogusky Canada — perhaps in case the agency opens an office in Moose Jaw.

However, a second office of Zig, in Chicago, is not going to be absorbed by its larger sibling and will be closed in the coming months. The office has eight employees and, according to Katie Kempner, a spokeswoman for MDC, efforts are being made “to find places where we can for them at CPB or somewhere else within MDC.”

The Chicago office is being closed, because it is “geographically redundant” with the operations of Crispin Porter & Bogusky in the United States, MDC said in a statement. In addition to its dual headquarters in this country, Crispin Porter & Bogusky has an office in Los Angeles; overseas, it has offices in London and Gothenburg, Sweden.

Zig began operations in 1999 and MDC bought a stake in the agency in 2004. Zig and Crispin Porter & Bogusky share a client, Best Buy, and the consolidation adds to the client roster of Crispin Porter & Bogusky companies like Clorox, Molson Coors, Pfizer and Unilever.

Zig has also been the agency for the Canadian operations of Ikea, and Crispin Porter & Bogusky will take over that assignment, too, but there is a bit of back story there.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky had created campaigns for the Ikea operations in the United States from early 2002 until late 2004, when Ikea and the agency parted ways. Not long before that, Crispin Porter & Bogusky lost the assignment to create Ikea campaigns in Canada to — yes, Zig.

How Ikea will feel about having Crispin Porter & Bogusky back on its agency roster remains to be seen.

The combination of the agencies is the second made by MDC this year. In March, an agency in Atlanta, Fletcher Martin, became the Atlanta office of an MDC agency based in New York, Kirshenbaum Bond Senecal & Partners.

Some similar moves made by MDC in the past have not worked. In 2005, MDC merged a New York boutique agency named Powell with a larger New York agency, Margeotes Fertitta & Partners to create Margeotes Fertitta Powell.

But less than two years later, after the merged agency lost significant accounts, it was closed. Some remaining clients were transferred to Kirshenbaum Bond and others were moved to a new agency, called We Are Gigantic, which was subsequently shut.

Other clients of Crispin Porter & Bogusky include Burger King, the Coca-Cola Company, Domino’s Pizza and Kraft.

Crispin Porter & Bogusky Canada will be run by Shelley Brown, who had been president of Zig. Andy Macaulay, chairman of Zig, is becoming chairman for Crispin Porter & Bogusky Canada, where he will serve in what is being called an advisory capacity.

And Aaron Starkman, chief creative office at Zig, is becoming executive creative director of Crispin Porter & Bogusky Canada.

The news involving the expansion of Crispin Porter & Bogusky to Canada is coming a week after a former senior leader of the agency, Alex Bogusky, who joined MDC early this year, said he would leave MDC effective immediately.

The Canadian trade publication Marketing Magazine reported on Thursday that the merger of Zig into Crispin Porter & Bogusky had been “discussed seriously” a few months ago. There had been rumors for some time that the larger agency was interested in opening a Canadian office, according to Marketing Magazine...Media Decoder

Richard Edelman - 6 A.M: Media Strikes Back

At Edelman’s fourth Annual New Media Academic Summit, we convened a superb group of senior media executives who offered insights into the future of the sector. They included Raju Narisetti, managing editor of the Washington Post; Greg Coleman, president of Huffington Post; Gerard Baker, deputy editor in chief of the Wall Street Journal; Jonah Bloom, CEO and editor in chief of Breaking Media; Mark Lukasiewicz, VP of NBC Digital Media; Mike Oreskes, senior managing editor of the Associated Press; David Carey who has just joined Hearst as President of the Magazine Unit; and Jon Miller, CEO of Digital Media at News Corp.

These media leaders are addressing challenges head-on, and are optimistic about their future. Here are a few of the most important insights:

1. New Readers & Channels—David Carey, Conde Nast group president cited the incremental revenue and readers for its relaunched Gourmet food magazine and Wired’s completely reimaged iPad app. (they sold 95,000 digital copies at $4.99 each in June)., as only the beginning as people are willing to pay for mobility and engagement. Baker described the iPad as a potential game changer, noting that the WSJ has sold many subscriptions at $208 per year for this platform, and the Washington Post charges $1.99 for iPhone application for a year.

# New Revenue Options—Bloom believes Media will integrate eCommerce directly into content so “media will sell stuff directly.” So, right beside a book review will be the option to buy the book. Access to the archives, conferences and direct access to journalists via email are also being considered viable premium paid options.

# The Pay Wall—Narisetti offered a strong defense of the Washington Post policy on free access to content. “Subscription revenue has always been a tiny part of the newspaper business model. We have 30 million unique visitors each month to our site.” Baker went the other direction describing the Wall Street Journal pay model, “In the beginning of the web, there was optimism that we could focus advertising so ad revenues would suffice. Now it is clear that we need other revenue streams.” News Corporation is bringing in paywalls for its British newspapers and Miller emphasized that will keep investing in quality content to get people to pay.

# Trust in Content—Baker noted that the decline in trust in establishment institutions (business, government) extends to mainstream media. “We often fail to properly represent the views of the majority of our readers.” He quoted Oscar Wilde, “The parts that were original were not true and that which was true was not original.” Jonah Bloom noted that “there is not enough originality in stories being tackled.” Lukasiewicz said that “transparency is the new objectivity. We will have a point of view in stories.” Oreskes took a strong position on “Journalism being distinguished by its higher standards for quality, not by ownership of the printing press.”

# Narrow-casting—Narisetti wants to get away from the single “front page approach” so that a reader can focus only on specific more narrow interest (politics or sports). “We need multiple front doors to the house, such as,,” He said that “we link to other sites on stories they break (Politico as example)—we need to offer everything that is relevant.”

# Value from Conversation—Coleman said that the Huffington Post gets three million comments from its users each month. “Our content model envisages 1/3 from each of bloggers, original reporting and aggregation.” Narisetti added, “Comments may reflect the market’s view but those who comment represent a narrow slice of readers—but we keep comments as open as possible because these are the most engaged readers.”

# New Measurement for Reporters—Narisetti said, “Newsrooms have never wanted to measure how they are performing—specifically how many readers look at each article. We now do a daily report to 120 editors, with page views, time spent, unique visitors, which photos are preferred—metrics that are key to the business.” He said that his reporters must use meta-data to be sure they use words that “help readers to find your story…people search for Republican Party, not GOP, so use that term in stories.” Bloom added that reporters must be able to market their stories via Twitter and Facebook.

# Power of Visuals—Oreskes noted that while the AP may have 50 reporters on the coverage of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the most powerful content has been visual. “People remember the pelican photo or the AP photographer donning scuba gear to get unique video.” He quoted Walter Lippmann, media pundit, “The world outside, the pictures in our head.” At our dinner, key note speaker, Tom Cibrowski, Good Morning America Executive Producer, ABC, also mentioned they are rapidly adopted new hi-def video cameras to reporters to report more quickly and cheaply with video.

# Importance of Local Market Dominance—The Washington Post reaches 45% of Washington area households. You need 30 ads on local TV or 60 ads on cable TV to achieve the same reach as one ad in the Washington Post. Of the 18-34 year olds in the area, 62% use the Washington Post on-line. This is group most easily monetized in advertising. Note that 86% of the Washington Post web traffic comes from outside of the DC area.

Those of us in PR would be wise to adapt our business model to reflect the new demands of immediacy, visualization, conversation and localization.

You can watch the discussion by going here.

Richard Edelman - 6 A.M.

OgilvyWW: With 80 million views Shakira video for World Cup created by O&M's Antonio Navas scores big

Please view here: OgilvyWW

JWT AnxietyIndex: Colombia among least anxious countries

The latest installment of AnxietyIndex found that Colombia registers among the least anxious nations JWT has surveyed, with only 58 percent of respondents reporting feelings of nervousness or anxiety.

Our January 2010 survey of 1,253 Colombians aged 25-plus revealed that the primary drivers of anxiety in Colombia are crime, corruption, the state of the economy and the impact of global warming. With high rates of urban violence and theft, it’s not surprising that two-thirds report concern about crime in their neighborhood. And nearly 80 percent feel Columbian politicians are out of touch with how the global economic downturn is affecting the average person; about three-quarters fear the downturn is widening the economic gap between the rich and the poor in Colombia.

Still, Columbians are slightly more optimistic than the global average about near-term prospects of positive change, and most think Colombia has fared about the same or better in the recession than other Latin American countries. Almost six in 10 say Colombia has been less affected than “wealthier” countries.

For more on the drivers and levels of anxiety in Colombia, click here to download the report from our Trends and Research page.

JWT AnxietyIndex: Brand Answers for an Anxious World

DDBCanada: Digital storescapes reveal what’s happening in Canada

Interactive Twitter-Based Murals in the U.S. Promote Canada
Click here to view: DDBCanada

WPP Reading Room: Twitter Ads: An Opportunity for Brands?, Mindshare

In a departure from its previous proclamations that it wished to avoid taking on a ‘traditional web advertising model’, Twitter has announced the launch of a new advertising product, Promoted Tweets. This will allow brands to place their tweets at the top of relevant results on Twitter’s search platform.

Mindshare predicted this move back in September of 2009 when we said:

If Twitter can learn to rank results based on relevance… it then creates a space where brands might be able to see real results (from advertising). So if Twitter wants to make serious money from advertising, it may need to learn from Google’s ability to rank content and its ability to monetize those results.

Since then, the algorithms of the major search engines have been radically updated with Bing & Google now pulling in content from Twitter (a move which raised significant revenue for the micro-blogging service): in contrast to this, Twitter’s search algorithm has failed to evolve, and the result of this can be seen in the growth of traffic to in comparison to the traffic to the search function is essentially flat.

Read Promoted Tweets: Mindshare POV in full (Slideshare)
WPP Reading Room

Business Insider: 10 Things You Need To Know This Morning

Good morning! Here's some news:

* Microsoft was rumored to have sold just 503 KIN phones, but Pocket Now weighs in with a pretty definitive answer of 8,810 based on the Kin Facebook page.

* Forget the mobile woes, Microsoft's Xbox Live probably did over $1 billion in revenue.

* Microsoft cut hundreds of jobs yesterday around the world.

* Here's what the PC market would look like if iPads were included. And by the way, Bernstein analyst Toni Sacconaghi says Apple
could sell 25 million iPads next year.

* Foursquare is absolutely pounding Gowalla.

* MySpace mulls a subscription service for its music offerings.

* YouTube revamped its mobile site, making the YouTube app on the iPhone obsolete.

* Facebook is partnering with Asian company MOL Global to sell Facebook credits. MOL has 500,000 outlets throughout Asia according to the release.

* A blogger wound up with a prototype of a Nokia phone and now it wants the police to help get it back. (Sounds like the Gizmodo/Apple story, except without any intrigue.)

* T-Mobile's roadmap for the rest of the year has leaked. Get ready for 5 more Android phones.

Read more: Business Insider

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Mod TV: Making It: Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 Ad Campaign Video

Go backstage with designer Marc Jacobs on set of the Louis Vuitton Fall 2010 advertising campaign for Fall 2010. Shot by Steven Meisel, the campaign features supermodels Christy Turlington, Karen Elson and Natalia Vodianova and like the designer’s fashion show, is “a celebration of women and the joy and art of living“.
Mod TV

Yahoo Advertising Blog: Creativity Is Magic, but Scale Gives It Impact: Video: Andrew Roberts, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide

Video: Andrew Roberts, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, talks Science + Art + Scale at Cannes Lions Advertising Festival with Yahoo’s Shane Steele.

Andrew Roberts, president and CEO of BBDO Worldwide, explains why it’s valuable for him to attend Cannes Lions every year. In addition to connecting and reconnecting with colleagues from all over the world, he appreciates the “constant surprise of where ideas come from” and that “there is a magic here that we call creativity,” but adds that scale is needed for even the best ads to have impact. (Apologies for the poor sound quality, but it does add to the beachside ambiance!)Yahoo! Advertising Blog