Articles tagged with: Social Media

Interview with John C. Havens

Had a great interview today with John C. Havens. on

John and Shel Holtz recently released their new book Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand (where yours truly is quoted). Check it out.

>>> Editors Note: I am an idiot and got my “Shel”s mixed up, originally posting John’s co-author as Shel Israel, and not Shel Holtz, who IS the co-author of Tactical Transparency. My sincerest apologies to John and Shel, and thanks to Shel Israel who pointed out my error. I have corrected it above.

Corporates and Comments

Another mind-bomb from the desk of Chris Brogan concerns Comment policies for corporations. Its a solid piece of experience and sharing – comments aren’t scary, users aren’t all looking to “dis” you, but you have to plan and have principles and rules to follow.

You might say, “let the chips fall where they may.” But the thing is this: the audience who’s chosen to engage with the blog isn’t there with carte blanche to do what they wish. This is a chosen engagement. This is a relationship point. It’s NOT the right place for every interaction with an organization. It’s a place.

Before moderation and defining which (sometimes poor) soul is going to have to read all the comments, a discussion around what is and is not acceptable needs to happen within the corp and between the corp and its agencies. Legal needs to be brought in EARLY AND OFTEN to give them context for the who/what/when/why and most importantly HOW of comments. Getting the legal team and the PR team and the Marketing kids all on the same page is critical. The Corporation has to identify where the “third rails” are: what opening up conversations actually means to the people who work there (morale is a currency), the industry press (comments can be valuable as well as fodder), and the users who will never comment, but who will read EACH AND EVERY ONE.

Once the context around comments is set, once legal completely understands and appreciates and is engaged (continuously, not consulted and then ignored), and the communications twins (Marketing and PR) are on-board, then you can set the rules and principles. Rules are hard and fast – no cussing, no racist stuff, no lies. Principles are guidelines that for keeping things moving and flowing: act like an adult, this is OUR space not YOUR space, don’t post in all-caps, Funny is better than funny and mean, let the thread die.

Part of this Rules/Principles exercise is to set what the community standards are for the space. This is what we will not allow. Everything else, these are the guidelines and standards of behavior.

The result of this needs to be the “rules of the sandbox” – for moderators AND the users. And it needs to be made clear to the users that comment, clear to the users that are old members of the community and CLEAR TO THE MODERATORS. And not in a EULA or TOS that will be checkboxed and ignored, but in some way that the users SEE what you BELIEVE. This sets the levels for all users of the commenting system. Keeps it clean and aboveboard, and most of all, lets users know where they stand, what will be permitted and why things are/were removed.

So turn comments on, moderate them, but first, clearly define your rules and principles, live by them, and apply them consistently.

The users (all of them) will appreciate it.

Brilliant – Rules for Media Networking

I first met Terry at Gnomedex years ago. Great guy, really understand the broadcast business and how to get users involved.

This post is awesome:

My favorite:

4. Give before you get. As soon as I meet someone new I’m immediately thinking about whether I can help them, not because I want to trade a favor (I may not need anything from them), but because this is how I would like to be treated by them.

Do Experts Matter?

Great post from Phill Baumann on experts, the value they may bring and Social Media experts in general. My favorite:

For example, Social Media experts are everywhere. When they’re everywhere, they’re nowhere. In other words, they don’t matter.

So if you want to tout your expertise then you better possess a passion for making other people’s lives better, not yours. And you better do what you love in a way that sets you apart from the experts.

I have been pitched by “Social Media Experts” that don’t blog, that dont twitter, that dont videoblog, that don’t stay on top of the more social trends on the web (my least favorite excuse is the one about the shoemakers children).

When I work with clients on these types of projects my main goal is to get them to become the experts. They need to believe this is something different. They need to commit. They need to do the work, make the effort, reach out to the users in real authentic ways. If we are trying to be more real and more authentic, why would we let an agency do it for us?

The Social Media Expert should be a catalyst, an evangelist (sorry @DAHOWLETT !), someone who is looking at the landscape, helping their clients understand what this is about, work together to build the program and advising them over time to tune and tweak and enhance their program and how they communicate. I think there may be something inauthentic about hiring an agency to communicate in a real voice to your users/customers/fans. Part of this thing of ours is about becoming more transparent, removing the “press release barrier”, dropping the the corp speak and taking off some of the armor that companies build to “protect” themselves from their users.

Whats really important?

Salaam Garage – Amazing idea, story, presentation & effort

Gnomedex is my FAVORITE conference, and I will keep attending as long as Chris and Ponzi keep throwing this party. This year had the usual eclectic cast of speakers: entrepreneurs, technologists, creatives and media makers. Chris and Ponzi go out of their way to make sure everyone has a great time and this year was no exception. I usually liveblog or shoot video at the event but this year…

My trip to Seattle this year for Gnomedex was interrupted by mild food poisoning, so I missed all of day 1. The Gnomedex team streams each of the sessions/panels/speakers on UStream which then archive the videos. So between the great experience and incredible conversations in the hallways and mixers, you get to relive or share the best of whats onstage.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been watching the videos of what I missed and recently came across Amanda Koster’s presentation on her project, Salaam Garage. An amazing project, Amanda works with NGOs (non-governmental organizations) inside specific countries to develop projects where traveller/media makers can work with the NGOs to tell real, important stories and share them with their communities and favorite digital spaces (Flickr, Facebook, etc.). I guess you might say it would fall under the “documentary tourism” category of adventure travel. Amanda tells the story of her background, how she came up with the idea and how it is going:

Live video by Ustream

I think this is amazing (both the work, the idea and the kind of work they are doing. Amanda also has a book coming out here:

The video is about 40 minutes long, and is the kind of thing you would expect from TED, but we have become used to after years of gnomedex

I am so glad Chris and Ponzi shared this with us (and am TICKED I missed it live).

New Marketing?

Originally intended to leave a comment… but kept writing and decided to post 🙂

Chris asks

What’s next? What do you think marketers on the web need to know more about? What do you think are the services that the new generation of marketing firms have to have, now that traditional marketing isn’t always getting the job done?

In the old days, clients would choose an agency because:
1. they had great creative – “we want the guy who did the Apple commercials”

2. their ability/experience with a market segment – “gosh, they did great work for Pepsi, that experience can be used for our new energy drink”

3. The size of their network, strength of their media planning and buying – “i want the guy who knows the guy who got the placement on that hit ABC show before it was a hit AND can get my daughter tickets to the MTV Upfront party!”

New Media Marketing companies have to keep a number of chainsaws in the air:

1. Context – belief and experience in Social Media and the cred/rep/war stories/and results to go with it – just because you build websites doesnt mean you “get” blogging or twitter or any other parts of the medium. Authority isn’t popularity. Telling stories that sound suspiciously like press releases = EPIC FAIL

2. Strategic Thinking & Integration – need to see the forest from the trees and the big picture for the Brand, product, business and space in both the communication space AND the other things a client is doing. A big part of working with clients is seeing the whole map and selling through the idea that Social Media can work in lots of places outside of just the blog or wiki… having an understanding (not controlling or running, but keeping an eye on the radar and ears open) of the big picture can improve the results/performance/relationships you are building, over time. In the same way that you need to have a high degree of empathy for the users, you also need to keep in touch with the other teams – otherwise social media is a campaign and not an effort (and this is as important for clients as it is for the agencies). Long term I see PR and Marketing coming more closely together BECAUSE of Social Media and its ability to connect more deeply with users.

3. Specialization – Would I hire a New Media Marketing Co. to help me connect with Moms and Mommybloggers and the people in their spheres of attention if they only work with the Digg/Slashdot/Gamer crowd??? Just because you “get” social media in general and for one community doesn’t mean you are effective with every community/tribe/family/affinity group/audience. New Media Marketing companies need to differentiate themselves by investing and embedding themselves in these spaces, commit themselves to being a good neighbor and making their day-to-day as user-centric as the conversations they are having on behalf of their clients. That deep understanding of a community doesn’t happen during a 2-week discovery phase – you need to live it. Small, focused, real and intimate. There is a big difference between being a strategic partner (which any large or small agency wants) and being a production shop (who the hell wants to work in a blog mill?)

4. Transformation – We aren’t replacing anything – we are growing something new. While traditional marketing is becoming less effective, that doesn’t mean it is going away any time soon or a major client will suddenly drop its TV budget for videoblogging or wikis – these people have targets, and numbers and share points to reach in order to get their bonus. Clients will still use agencies and as in the 90s, they will add social media to their overall communications mix the same way they added digital media. SOcial Media efforts, as effectiveness and ROI continue to be proven will become more and more prevalent and get more and more share of budget.

5. Flexibility – basically a keen eye on the landscape and trends and the ability to translate that into value for their clients. IWOOT (I Want One Of Those) is a problem regardless of sector or industry and a large role these New Media Marketing companies must take is that of teacher/sherpa – this is a new, scary world for them, challenging for us and downright boring for digital natives.

Energy (marketing) can’t be destroyed, it just changes form – and we collectively need to make sure our intentions (that this is something different) don’t get co-opted by business as usual.