Friday, August 29, 2008

Fixing Twitter

If you haven't already read my earlier post "Will the real Twitter please stand up?" you need to. But after reading that, there is a lesson that you (application developers) can learn. Twitter could learn plenty.

All one has to do is Google Twitter, and you will see that they are solely focused on fixing their scalability issues. I would argue that they should first put a "patch" on their usability issues. You only get one chance to impress, and I am certain that Twitter has likely lost over a million potential Twitter users who all voice the same thing; "I don't get it", "What do I do with it?" and "How would I use this?".

Unlike their scalability issue, this could be addressed easily, and quickly with a few introductory pages on their site. Tell the user the different ways they might benefit (remember, it's all about benefits, not features when marketing). Give them examples using different profiles ie - How a housewife might use it, How a blogger might use it, How a business might use it - Becasue especially with Twitter the user experience is differant for each.

Consider using screen shots in your tutorials, and even offering video. You can not do too much when it comes to first impressions, MAKE THEM COUNT!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Will the real Twitter please stand up?

Will the real Twitter please stand up?

OK, I know already – Twitter is a “micro-blogging” tool that allows you to post short 140 characters (or less) of text. There lies the problem. Twitter needs to do a better job of explaining that Twitter is a different experience for every user (both personal & business).

What Twitter is to me – I call Twitter an Operating System (OS), or if you do not want to be that generous, at least call it a platform. This is because Twitter is a child of the Open Source movement. OK, so it’s not truly open source, but they generously offer their API, which allows anyone to write applications that run on top of (or with) Twitter.

I also like to think of Twitter as allowing me to build my own social network on the fly. I use LinkedIn as my “business social network”. I use Facebook as my “family & friends” social network. There are hundreds of thousands of social networks. Their commonality is that they all revolve around a common interest. So for me, wanting a social network around my interest (Social Media), I used Summize (now owned by Twitter) , Twitterpack Wiki, and Twellow to search for terms related to my field i.e. – “social media,Web 2.0, Software, Marketing,etc”. I then reached out and followed all who showed up in that search. Bingo, I just built my own social network.

My Twitter social network does not necessarily have to be around a subject either. Perhaps I want to just see who is Tweeting in my vicinity, well now I can Twinkle and my social network consists of everyone within my geographical location.

I use third party tools such as Twitterfeed, so that anytime I post on my blog, my Twitter followers can be automatically notified (Here I think of Twitter as a much better form of RSS).

Sometimes I just use Twitter as my virtual water cooler. I listen to what other’s are Tweeting, and if something peeks my interest, I join in the Tweetersation.

When I am home, my family becomes my social network. I can simply send one Tweet, and both of my kids, and my wife know that “Dinners ready, come and eat”. When I coach basketball or little league, and want a quick, easy and painless method to communicate with the players and their parents I just Tweet them. The reason that this works better then any other platform (Instant Messaging, Email,Phone,SMS) is the ubiquity of Twitter. Think about that for a moment…With Twitter, my Twicipients can listen using THEIR choice phone, PC or Mobile. With past platforms it was usually one or the other. Using “next generation” tools like Phweet, I can even hold a VOIP conference call on top of the Twitter platform. So in this aforementioned example, I am using Twitter as an Event notification system.

When I am a salesman, Twitter allows me to datamine the Twittersphere and listen for opportunities. I can do a search using terms such as “cable sucks”. If I were selling FIOS service, this would offer me a great opportunity to be using Twitter as a lead generator.

I want to know who is the founder of Twitter…I use @cbbot and ask “who is the founder of Twitter”, and the Twitterbot replies “Biz Stone. So Twitter is a research tool. Other cool bots include;

@gcal ...Update your Google Calendar via a Tweet

@Timer ... Set reminders that then get Tweeted back to you at the correct time.

@Wordbot ... Unscramble Scrabble letters via tweet.

There are more being created every day.

I am a business…What better way to both put a human factor to my business then to communicate with my clients (and NEW clients) using a medium where they are? Zappos has over 400 employees using Twitter to communicate with their customers. How do you think interacting with these 400 people make you feel about their brand?

Why not let your customers interact with customer service via Tweets? Because Twitter is a distributed medium, your entire call center could be monitoring this for the quickest response times yet.

I have excess inventory, why not let users learn of special offers in real time – Tweet it to em!

I have a large knowledge base, using SPARQRL & the Twitter API anyone can now access that knowledge via Twitter. So for example, I might be shopping for a Nipon camera. I simply would send a Tweet to Shopzilla (or any shopping comparison service), and Shopzilla could reply with their list of prices and availability (keeping the retailer honest ☺ ). How about other knowledge bases (they ALL could benefit)…Flighttracker, could let me get updates about a flight via Tweets “American #4364” would return “American Flight #4364 landing LQA 4:30pm (on time).

Location Based Services (LBS) will make it even MORE interesting as more and more people enjoy GPS enabled phones. Ya, I know there’s already Twinkle, but LBS is around version .5 right now, not even 1.0. We will see realllly fun ways of interacting with the platform then. For personal use, I will be able to know who (from any of the many social networks I belong to in and out of the Twitterverse) is nearby me. I will be able to filter all of this; “Show me just my LinkedIn contacts, only those who are marketing executives, and only within 2 miles. How cool is that?

Businesses will benefit even more from LBS running on Twitter. Want to show me a coupon for a pizza as I walk by pizza hut? Go for it, I would welcome that (just make certain I can opt-in & out)!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Going Viral!

Anyone who has been reading my blog for a while might remember (before I got caught up and fascinated with Twitter) that my background is in consumer software marketing. So many of my older blog posts were tips on how to make your product viral, cross selling ,etc. Since this sort of thing is really my core competency, I will try to get back to more posts about social media marketing soon. Meanwhile, check out the awesome, non intrusive way these guys get YOU to spread their gospel and populate their product.

In the image below, notice (it even lets you opt out) the message that you automatically Tweet should you allow it.

In case the image is to small to read, the result is that Twiffid automatically sends a Tweet from you with phrases such as "Having fun at

Cool Twitter Tools

Phweet? Bot? For all the people who still don't get Twitter (this is Twitter's fault...shame on you for not having some cool example pages/videos for your new users). Developers are starting to do fun things with the Twitter Api. So while there may not yet be a lot of reasons for enterprise customers to take advantage of Twitter (See the always excellent and articulate Chris Brogan's post on using Twitter for business), there will be soon ...just as soon as you create one!

Here are just a handful:
My favorite Twitterbot is CBBOT. CBBOT grabs data from Crunchbase (Crunchbase contains a database of information about Web 2.0 start-ups) using Crunchbase's API - Then lets you search that data semantically using Twitter. So for example, to quickly find out who founded Twitter, just ask Twitterbot account @CBBOT "founder of Twitter" would return info. about Twitter and it's founder, Biz Stone.

@Tipr lets you send restaurant bills, and it will tell you how much to tip
@ Wordbot lets you send a string of scrabble letters (ZJFDIRFA), and it will return a list of words you can make.

I expect to see many Twitterbots as business finally learns what they can do... How about sending a Tweet to "American #3432", and getting updates about your flight...Shopzilla "Nipon Coolpix" and getting best prices for that cool camera your looking to buy. Your a business, why not create a bot to let customers mine your FAQ and knowledge base?

If you have ever used IM bots, expect to see all of them ported to the Twitter OS, in the mean time, there is a pretty good list of bots here .

Probably the most ambitious app yet is Phweet. Phweet lets you make VOIP calls over the Twitter network. The best example of this was when someone successfully made a call using Phweet from an airplane.

Want to paypal someone over the Twitter network, try Tipit.

New and cool is Mozilla's Ubiquity ... Ubiquity is much more then just Twitter, but in a nutshell

Another new (to me) one is Twiffid. Twiffid lets you (via Twitter) see what you Twitter friends are blogging about. Know of other good one's? Send me a Tweet

An important one (if you blog) is Twitterfeed. Every time you update your blog, Twitterfeed will automatically post to Twitter letting all your followers learn immediately of your new blog post.

Want the BIG list? Over 140 apps. are listed here

LinkedIn the new Ning

In an earlier post "The Verticalazation of Social Networks" I blogged about well...going more vertical. LinkedIn (as we said they would) has made yet another move closer to their vertical strategy. Look for them to offer more "Ning" like features over the next 12 months. For now they just announced that users of LinkedIn groups now have access to;

  • Discussion forums: Simple discussion spaces for you and your members. (You can turn discussions off in your management control panel if you like.)
  • Enhanced roster: Searchable list of group members.
  • Digest emails: Daily or weekly digests of new discussion topics which your members may choose to receive. (We will be turning digests on for all current group members soon, and prompting them to set to their own preference.)
  • Group home page: A private space for your members on LinkedIn.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

you DON't know Twitter

I took an off the cuff stab at trying to identify potential revenue streams (here and here)for Twitter as they garnish a large enough user base to monetize. It did not hit me till I had an Epiphany this morning over my morning coffee.

I have always preached that Twitter will be a big thing, a *next generation operating system (OS)*, and when you own an OS (think Microsoft) it is not a far reach to offer new services to your substantial user base.

So in a year from now, though you may not think of it as Twitter, when you read about Twitter's success it will be;

Twitter as the next (Job listing board)
Twitter as the next Craigslist (location aware Tweets will be a huge assistance to this)
Twitter as the next

See they have BOTH sides to an element of success, a large user base. And an ever growing large database. The ability to mine, and verticalize this database will give Twitter the opportunity to own any market they so desire (listings).

Want to see the first proof? ...and so it starts

Thursday, August 21, 2008

How to monetize a Tweet (update)

This post is an update to my previous posts regarding Twitter and Monetizing Twitter. I have been debating with Don Draper via the Marketing Pilgrim Blog (original blog post by Andy Beal) why I believe Twitter can successfully monetize, and validate their business model.

Don and I disagree, but to be fair we are looking at different metrics, and time frames. Don keeps referring to Twitter's having 3.8 million users. I am looking at Twitter's user base 2 years out, where I can envision them having 10's of millions of users (my guess is 75Million to be exact). Why such a high number? If we look at their current adoption rate unique traffic has gone from around 500,000 users in December of 2007, to an almost 3,000,000 today (August 08). So let's put that in perspective (conservatively) they have grown more then 500% in only 8 months!! You need to also appreciate though that sites like Compete are only counting unique visitors to Twitter. I believe that very few users ever even get to More often then not, Tweets are via IM, Mobile phones, and MANY third party's using the Twitter API. A quick glance at the Twitter Wiki shows no less then over 100 services (software) that have already taken advantage of the Twitter API. New services are popping up everyday, such as Phweet ...Phweet uses the Twitter API to allow you to have conversations, and conference calls with your Twitter friends. My point here is twofold;

1) To estimate that Twitter currently has 3.8M users is likely an underestimate.

2) Twitter has become an Ecosystem that as a result has 100's of other software vendors bringing them millions of additional users, and unbelievable HYPERGROWTH.

Don in his posts refers to stuff like "1% click through rates". I believe this is short sighted, and leads one to believe that Twitter will sell worthless run of site advertising attached to tweets. That is not the advertising value that I believe Twitter will bring to the table. Let's look at a few hypothetical advertising revenue models for Twitter. Keep in mind my assumption is based on Twitter's FUTURE user base, and my assumptions of what that number will be. This following set of numbers is believed to be factual, based on a source close to the company;

Based on Total Users: 1+ million
Total Active Users: 200,000 per week
Total Twitter Messages: 3 million/day

So when I multiply out those 3 million/day Tweets x 75 Million users, I get 225 Million Tweets per day or 82 Billion contextual blurbs in a database. Granted, these are only numbers but at some point the numbers become large enough to be significant. Suddenly Twitter has a MASSIVE database to send out highly target ted ads to. As a user, I would prefer ads that are highly target ted and not just random.

Revenue Source 1)

Let's pretend for a moment I manage the budget for Coca-Cola. What would be the value to me if I could datamine all those 82 billion Tweets for mentions of keywords I believe to be important to me ... As a few examples "thirsty,drink,diet", or competitors names such as "Sprite,7UP,"etc. What if I could then send out a Sponsor Tweet, perhaps the Tweet would be a redeemable coupon. Let us also assume that my keyword search terms turned up over 1 million Tweeters of these terms (again, I realize these are made up numbers but it is just to make a point).

I might be a concert promoter like LiveNation and for an upcoming concert by The Who, perhaps I want to reach out to people who Tweeted about "The Who,Rolling Stones,etc", but who also reside or our in a certain town (remember Twitter will become VERY location aware as more and more smartphones are shipped with GPS)... Wouldn't that be more valuable to me as an advertiser then a blind $1 CPM run of site buy? My point is this;

Large user base + being able to associate them with products/demographics/location/context = More then just a large random user base. This is true not only for Twitter, but any company that has a database of information about their users. The more info, the more you can target, the more you can target, the more you can charge...

In my exchange with Don, I mention that I believe there are 100,000's of verticals going on within Twitterland. For example, today my fellow Tweeterers consist of only people within the Social Media space (that is my vertical today). Last week, I went to the Police concert and at that given moment the Police became my vertical. As a result, Twitter for me is like having a social network I can join on the fly. If my interest one day is sailing, I need only do a search to locate everyone else who has Twittered on that subject. A few "follow" clicks latter, and I have built my own little Sailing social network on the fly. I don't know about you, but just from advertising alone it seems to me there is substantially more here then $3Million per year (from Don's estimate) in revenue.

Revenue Source 2)

A Subscription service sold to corporations that want to monitor the *buzz (good and bad) about their brand. Lets put a realistic price on this service of only a few hundred dollars per year. A VERY doable number. I do not have an actual total number of "brands", but if you use the metric of trademarks, there are well over 500,000 ACTIVE trademarks amongst over 150,000 registrars. Think that is not a 7-8 figure revenue opportunity?

Revenue Source 3)

Freemium... Offer different Twitter options to different users. Perhaps (as MANY other software companies do) give the basic version of Twitter free. Want to make your Twitter location aware? $29.00... Want to have more then 2000 followers (power users & corporations)? $69 ... (I can think of 100's of ala carte options here that users would likely pay for)... Yet another 7-8 figure revenue opportunity.

Revenue Source 4)

Because third party services let me easily form different groups to Tweet different things to...
"I've fallen and I can't get up!" ...partnership with lifealert. $$

Notification Tweets for Alarm companies...

Sell "911" and alert services to Government, Schools & Corporations...

Revenue Source 5)

Do revenue shares with your API partners (a royalty off monies they make from using the Twitter API).

Revenue Source 6)

Port the massive database of Tweet knowledge on top of Yahoo's "BOSS" (open source search), and enjoy a better more knowledgeable search engine and make money via paid search

Revenue Source 7)

Datamine the Twitterbase and provide market research reports to corporate America...again, smells like yet another large revenue opportunity.

Revenue Source 8)

If you look in the bottom right corner of your Tweets, you will notice a hyperlinked comment ie- "from Twitterfeed" ... These tell you what application was used to send the Tweet. Twitter could charge it's API partners to make this comment more prominent (ie - publish it in red). Twitter could also use the Google Adsense method of letting it's partners "bid" for screen real estate to promote their applications better.

Revenue Source 9)

Private label version of Twitter for internal (behind a firewall) secure communication. IBM built their own version of Twitter to use internally

In Summation, when it is about advertising, do not think of conventional current advertising. Location aware, knowledge base,reach and ability to micro-target make their advertising inventory much, much more valuable then what you think of as today's online ads. Their revenue streams do not need to rely solely on advertising, and the 7 or so I just rambled off the top of my head should exclaimate that fact.

Congratulations, your ad SUCKS!

CNET has a story about Facebook's new 'Engagement Ads". One of the more notable features of the new ad format is the ability for Facebook users to interact with these ads. Now interacting with ads is nothing new, but it is how the users will interact that makes this exciting. Users will be able to give these ads a "thumbs up", "thumbs down", and most importantly comment on what they liked or disliked about an ad.

In the past, brands have been able to A/B test different ads easily. This was enabled because many of the mature advertising networks automatically use your ad that performs the best to be shown the most. But this did not tell an advertiser why one particular ad performed better then another. That (why one performed better then another) was left open to speculation, and usually decided by a closed team (Marcom,creative group or agency), and not by the most important people...the consumers.

Advertisements...welcome to a Web 2.0 world...its about time. In case you have been living under a rock - from a brand perspective old school was all about marketing TO them. In the Web 2.0 world we keep moving closer to letting the consumer tell US what THEY want. After all, hasn't it always been about giving the consumer what they want?

Engagement ads will give you yet another tool to help you along this path if you let them. Embrace them, do not fight the trend. When you get the thumbs down on your crappy campaign, learn from it, correct it. Watch the successful ones, and learn what they are doing that you are not (do not get defensive). For a much more in depth analysis of Facebook Engagement Ads, I strongly suggest you read this post by Jeremiah Owyang.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monetizing Twitter

Via a Tweet, I just read an article about "The trouble with Twitter" (article tries to make a case for Twitter having very few methods of monetizing the service). I could not disagree with the author more. First there is the ridiculous comparison to Facebook valuation:

"...Compare that with Facebook, which has a perceived value of $300 a user—or at least it did last year, when Microsoft purchased its 1.6% stake for $240 million and the site had 50 million users..."

If your going to make a comparison, at least use "apples to apples". Microsoft's investment in Facebook was strategic... (kept competitor from buying Facebook, and allowed Microsoft a much needed advertising deal with Facebook). So to turn this investment into stating Facebook's value is $15 billion is rubbish.

The article goes on to imply that advertising is Twitter's best shot at revenue, and that even that will not monetize well. It continues to identify (and pan) 4 potential sources of revenue:

"Twitter could ask users to pay. It's been done before—competitor Pownce charges user fees for enhanced content—but is difficult to add fees once the service has been established as free."

Rubbish! When I came on board with RoboForm it was a freeware product (with a decent number of users). I successfully (and slowly) moved RoboForm to a freemium model from the previous freeware model (RoboForm PRO is currently $29.99). RoboForm today not only commands a whopping 90% share of the consumer password manager market - but it is likely the most loved product by its users with barely a whimper about users having to pay for what they previously had for free.

"• Twitter could get messages to pay. With millions of messages flying around, why not convince some to be "sold" as product placement? Blogger Steve Poland suggests that Twitter could insert text ads into every 10th or 50th tweet. But again, users would rebel."

To state that "users would rebel" is speculation, and the devil is in the details. I envision a Twitter where some Tweets are "paid tweets", and others not. This is no different then Google's paid search model. When you view a search result, some are organic, and others are paid for. In the future, companies who represent their brand on twitter will likely pay while non-commercial tweets would remain free. If there is a value to a brand in using Twitter (there is), they will pay.

"• Twitter could extract money from user data. Millions of people now share intimate thoughts via Twitter. Think of the market research potential. Companies are already mining these huge swarms of data. Dell has enlisted Visible Technologies to learn what users are tweeting about its products. But if Twitter itself tried to monitor user data, privacy concerns could quickly alienate users."

To invite the privacy Nazis to the party is equally ridiculous. Why should Twitter be thought of any differently to other companies that harness personal data (Facebook,Linkedin,etc). Again, the devil is in the details (users did revolt against Facebook's Beacon) however if down properly, and disclosed clearly in it's privacy agreements why not? The author does correctly point out that Twitter will end up containing swarms of data. You can be certain this will become a large revenue opportunity.

"• Twitter could sell ads. Twitter is already doing this in Japan.

Advertising is the most viable option, but the total potential pool is not huge. Social media sites are notorious for having low ad response rates, and advertisers will enter a new forum cautiously."

Yes, some social media sites have low response rates, however this will change over time (see my previous blog posts about Facebook and Going Vertical). The reality is much different though. Someone will "Tweet" about a great book they just read, and that Tweet will be tied to an Amazon affiliate link where others can purchase the book. Or perhaps the Tweet will be location aware - "Craving Pizza in NYC", and as GPS allows Twitter will attach ads from local pizza parlors in NYC.

I need to add that IMO, Twitter will be sold within the next 12 months, as Social Network Service Providers (most likely Cisco) recognize the true value of the Twitter communications platform.

So in summation, I believe that Twitter will enjoy multiple (and successful) revenue streams as its eco-system, and environment allows. This does not even include Twitter's potential for licensing their API in the future, syndicating there data, etc. When it comes to monetizing software the sky is the limit if you know what your doing.

*be sure to view my previous blog post regarding my vision of what Twitter will be in two years (It won me a Nokia tablet from Forrester's Web 2.0 guru, Jerimiah Owyang).

Monday, August 18, 2008

How many social networking strategists does it take to change a light bulb?

How many social networking strategists does it take to change a light bulb? ...I had promised earlier to post an updated list of answers...what's yours - let me know!

Original question had been posted on ...

Søren Sprogø


They'll post a question on LinkedIn asking "How do I change a light bulp?", and then wait for some helpful, naive soul to come around and do the work for them :-)

Scott Clark

I think around 5.

Person 1: I'm thinking the light bulb isle at Home Depot or Lowes might be a good start for finding true fans. Make a poster that has your photo, your favorite light bulb brands, a photo gallery of your current lighting fixtures and a scan of your electric bill. Stand to the side and hold your poster. Do not force yourself onto those discussing lighting, but chime in if someone asks a question. Post reviews of light bulbs online. Do a "unboxing" video about opening the bulb and how easy it is to use.

Person Two: The early engagements. You should 'fan' your electrician and the electric company. Also post comments on the "green-living" communities where bulbs are discussed. Learn who the authorities are and who is blogging in the A-list for this group. Do not ask for a link - just participate.

Person 3: Link to the wikipedia entry for Thomas Edison and Compact Florescents. Post tagged flickr images of the light needing changed, and connect to others who've posted photos of light bulbs of fixtures.

Person 4 - go over to NING and Fire up a community forum discussing things like voltage, green-lighting, compact fluorescents, and safety on ladders. Start some original posts about how you found the light bulb to be out, what you expect the challenges are, and what it feels like to be in the dark so much. Link to authority bloggers on off-the-grid living, home safety, and perhaps the story of Walden so that you get trackbacks from those blogs.

Person 5: Do a viral video showing hyper creative ways to change lightbulbs. Link to other creative lightbulb videos and set up groups on Flickr, Youtube and Viddler. Stumble your videos and start a viral spread.

Daniel Eizans

Who needs lightbulbs when you have the light of a laptop with a a browser window opened to Facebook, or a cell phone set to Tweet your need for a lightbulb.

Toby Marie Walker

Do they use lightbulbs?

Stephen Weinstein

Actually, the bulb never gets changed. The strategists spend all of their time devising ways in which to add more people to their network.

Robert Saric (

Nobody will really be able to change the lightbulb until somebody actually buys the ebook.

Joseph Shavit

none, a good social network strategist will find a way to mobilize his/her community to screw the bulb in themselves.

Ande Weinstein

Are you talking about a virtual light bulb?

Luisa Elena Mondora


the first one actually changes the light bulb, while the second one takes a pic and use it for a presentation about changing light bulbs as a metaphore of the bottom-up movement.

Gideon Roberts

One to submit it and another 250 to vote it up.

Eric Rauschenberg

Twitter - "I can't find the light bulb" -> Digg this twitter (click) -> vote on this digg rss this post to my blog -> sms this post -> User posts question -> What bulb?

Raquel Hirsch

Ask an expert.

Nancy Masse

ROTFLMAO! Most of these answers are priceless but the first one takes the cake!

The answer is (IMO) none;

Oh, they'll talk about changing that light bulb... and evangelize about it .... maybe hold a BulbCAMP or a tweetup or start a facebook page ... and somewhere along that line, someone somewhere will change that light bulb... and then tout themselves as the "bulb changing expert"

... and so on.

Stephen Gaither


They'll just wait for it to burn out and follow it on Twitter for the rest of their lives.

Beatriz AvitiaVargas, MBA


First to define the context of the light bulb

Second, find an expert in the field

Third, ask the question

Four, identify the labor

Five, negotiate the contract

Six, arrange for the light bulb and laborer meeting

Seven, to ensure proper procedure

Eight to monitor progress

Ninth to report in the findings in a blog.

Mary Lascelles

I sort of think they'll just work off the glow of their computer and never notice the lightbulb is out. Candle power is "just fine."

Matt Wasserman

Just one. But when the light still doesn't work after he's done he'll blame the darkness.

Brad Shorr

Zero. They are never in one place long enough to need a light bulb.

Michel Lefebvre

As many as can try. We have a dead light bulb here since months, stuck in the cieling as King Arthur's sword. First who succeeds will be hired as Chief Strategist for 1B$/year.

Greg Evans

Hopefully just one and the new bulb will be energy efficient!

Ahmed Mallah

Search for only those strategists that are capable to bring to Social Networkers' attention that:

1- There is a Light Bulb.

2- The bulb has to be changed for their sake.

3- Its important to tell others to watch their bulbs enlightened too.

Walter Reade (

"99% of the People Changing Light Bulbs are Doing it All Wrong! Learn How to Produce Fast Cash by Quickly Generating a Massive Crowd of Followers Who Give You Money When You Change Light Bulbs!"

Bill Green

And the art director went: “Does it have to be a light bulb?“

Wade Rockett

The nature of social media is such that we can no longer confidently apply traditional metrics such as 'changed' or 'not changed' to determine the success or failure of the bulb to provide light. We need to stop thinking of the bulb as a physical object altogether, and start thinking of it as a conversation.

Nedra Kline Weinreich

Just one, but then they have to tell all their friends about it and get them to install a light bulb too.

Igor Bissikalo

It depends on how many of them share an apartment.

Jose Castillo


One to change the light bulb.

One to talk about how cool light bulb 3.0 will be.

Michael Durwin

It's not a matter of how many, it's that none will give you a way to measure the success of said light bulb changing, they'll all disagree about how to do it, and several will refer to a ScottMonty case study why it should be changed.

Gary Unger

The one that has the Janitor in his network.

Montaha Hidefi

None. The social strategists are in the northern hemisphere, the light bulb in the suthern. They will mobilize some troups to engage in light bulb anihilation and replacement.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Web 2.0 New York - the "GoTo" guys

on an aside, at Web 2.0 New York yesterday every speaker payed homage to Jeff Pulver ( as if he is the God of Social Media. Congratulations to Jeff (he must have done an exceptional metamorphosis while I wasn't looking), when I last followed him he was the God of Telecom. I will have to start reading his blog and to see what all the buzz is about.

When they weren't praising Pulver...the buzz (overhead his name mentioned throughout multiple conversations in the audience) was all about Jeremiah Owyang (Forrester Web 2.0 analyst), whom I only recently discovered. Apparently I am the only one in the space who did NOT know about Jeremiah. If you want to know Web 2.0, I can not recommend Jeremiah strongly enough. His blog is here.

Web 2.0 New York - Greg Verdino

Greg Verdino of Crayon was the other speaker on my panel. The PR campaign he structured for Oovoo (this was the case study he used), was spot on. You can (and should) REALLY learn from this one. In summary, his case study was the way he pitched the blogosphere for Oovoo (Oovoo is video conferencing software). Instead of just pitching the blogosphere to try Oovoo out. He encouraged the blogosphere to instead, use Oovoo - The result was a much more viral campaign (and likely one more received by those being pitched as well). Instead of the bloggers simply trying out Oovoo, and then blogging about it, the bloggers engaged their readers to join in an Oovoo 'chat' with them.

The result? Instead of pitching 50 bloggers, having your software downloaded those 50 times, and blogged about. Each blogger became a sort of an eco-system for Oovoo, each generating hundreds (thousands?) of downloads of Oovoo. In the end (Greg showed a graph comparing blog traffic comparing mentions of Oovoo and Skype), during the outcome of the campaign, more people were buzzing about Oovoo then Skype.

Web 2.0 New York - Dr. Augustine Foo

Yesterday was my speaking engagement at Web 2.0 New York.

On my panel were Dr. Augistine Foo, SVP Digital Strategy at MRM Worldwide and Greg Verdino, Chief Strategy Office at Crayon. I liked being on a panel, where the other speakers both "got it", and were there to teach (and not just speak for the sake of speaking).

Augustine did a case study on what they had done with one of their clients (Intel). If you watched and listened, there was a lot to learn. The one interesting point (something I had not given thought to)that he made concerned the 'permanency of a Web 2.0 campaign). He was discussing their Intel campaign which involved interactive banners, where consumers could chat directly with Intel engineers. Now this by itself is something you should note. You should make your brand teams directly available to your customers whenever you can. What I had not thought about previously though that I found interesting... After the campaign ended, all the interaction remains live somewhere on the web. So among other benefits, the interactive chats can become some sort of a knowledge base, and reside on a landing page somewhere as part of future campaigns.

So what can you take away from this? In a Web 2.0 world, your content need not die, and can live eternally (on a social network, in the twittersphere,on a Wiki, etc). This I believe is an important point that you should consider at the stage of architecting your campaign how this will effect what you do (not after the fact).

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Every Business Can use Social Media

I am going to start (as I am able) blogging about specific social media strategies for specific verticals. Someone asked how you would implement social media strategy for a credit card, and so this will be the first business I will discuss.

When trying to apply a social media strategy for your business, the first thing you need to do is look at it from the eyes of your customer. As the holder of a credit card, what would I want to be able to do, that I can not using one of my other cards?

The first "Social Credit Card":

SocialCard can be used just like any other credit card in my wallet, however the SocialCard is much more unique. SocialCard send information about all of my purchases into a database that is the hub of the SocialCard's social network. Now because there are many users of the SocialCard, all of this data is aggregated and known within the social network.

This information can be what is purchased,product or service category, specific product,price,where purchased, when purchased,purchased with what,etc. Why is that information unique and helpful? Just as one example, wouldn't it be nice to know in real time, what gas station in my area has the cheapest gas? What e/retailers have the lowest price on an item I wish to purchase? What is the "in" restaurant lately?

The amount of studies and value one could receive from such a network is endless. Lets not stop there. How about applying the *power of crowds* to a reverse auction within the SocialCard network. In this example, one might be able to post their wish list. With the power of many who also want the same item, there is a value for retailers to then 'bid" for the business. So if I sell 42" Sanyo plasma TV's, I would be much more likely to give the best price when quoting 5000 units, and not just one. I would make my money up on volume, not margin. (I will add more to this post as time permits, but this should at least give you something to think about). What would you want your SocialCard to include? Send me an email...let me know.

Friday, August 01, 2008

How many social networking strategists does it take to change a light bulb?

I should probably start preparing something to say for my upcoming speaking engagement at Web 2.0 in New York next week. I saw someone had posted on their blog the question;

"How many social networking strategists does it take to change a light bulb?"

I thought, perfect this will be a great introduction to the topic of my speech which will focus on MY answer which is ...."1". I know, 1 is the antithesis of everything social but bare with me. If you are thinking about adding social networking (web 2.0) elements to your enterprise, you WILL need ONE person(Chief Social Media Officer) to manage it, one that reports directly to the CEO.

This is because social media can not, and does not encompass any one area of your business.
Your advertising lead will use it to advertise WITH your customers, and not at them.
Your HR department will use it to locate the best hires.
Your product development will discover new products not thought up on their own
Your logistics will use it to track & communicate with your fleet

The point being, that social networking best practices do not belong to any one area of your business, they will be integrated into every aspect of your business,your products,your customers,your employees....EVERYWHERE! So while your CMO might have their own ideas on how to incorporate aspects of Web 2.0, his focus is likely not on product development (as it should be in a corporate structure) it is more likely on marketing.

*truth be told, there is a social aspect to this post... I used LinkedIn answers to see what other answers might be out there (and as with most "power of the crowds" answers, I expect the best answer will emanate from there, not from me :-)