Social Media Wars

No, not blogga wars. I'm talking about the current battle right now on who will own the corporate social media strategy. PR lost the corporate website in the 90's to Marketing, a bitter loss that is still apparently a sore spot for some. Now, with the dawn of mainstream social media and emerging corporate strategies, again the battle has been resumed. But lets throw some other players into the field: we have digital marketing, PR, and content distribution/tech 2.0 companies.

My take:

Battle for the Corporate Media Strategy:

Corporate social media strategy will be execution against a formula of social media monitoring; community engagement by new social communicators adept both at communications and utilizing social technologies; creating a relevant, responsible dialogue with customers for the purpose of gaining insight, feedback and for converting customers into advocates online. This would be best executed within a comprehensive digital strategy-- executing in conjunction with SEO & SEM, digital asset development & distribution, with recommendations from the social media strategists for both earned and paid media.

Greener Gadgets Conference

For those in NYC...check out the Inhabitat, Marc Alt + Partners & Core77 sponsored Greener Gadgets Conference on February 1st:


More Drama!

If you haven't done so yet, catch up on the Drama 2.0 in the comments here before proceding.

Done? Good. Now, Drama has issued the following statement about our relationship/clash of ideologies when it comes to social media, marketing, and apparently parts of Europe.

As part of a series of email exchanges, I received the following:

Your blog posts are intriguing but we disagree on
quite a few things and thus I think you may have OAS (opposites
attract syndrome). I take it you haven't read:


I believe that most marketers still need to focus on the sell
whereas you think that most marketers need to become part of some
"conversation." We must debate this if our engagement is to ever
move ahead.

You do see the extreme urgency to debate this point--there is an engagement--2.0 style, hanging in the balance!

Ok, jokes aside, lets examine:

Alisa: Marketers must join the Conversation

Drama: Marketers must Sell

So that is the simplistic version of the two. Are they opposing? Does the "sell" work n social media? Does social media change marketing?

If marketing is attempting to engage consumers, are they not determining first the best possible way in which to do so?

Lest we forget, social media is predicated on the very well-being of the communities creating, participating, and supporting it.

Piss off the community-- poof! There goes the bloody neighborhood. Check: MySpace is a total cesspool (and has been ever since marketers decided that spamming and fake profiles and agenda pushing was cutting edge marketing)-- and look, its core community has long since left leaving it a breeding ground for trashy ads, spammy marketers, and creepy old dudes.

So, I ask you Drama, how do you sell to a community without alienating, pissing-off, or at best, being totally ignored by that community? I have a suggestion-- JOIN THE CONVERSATION.


Eye Candy

Sweet-A data visualizations...and some other cool stuff you can do with aggregated data from across the internets...


check out

lust watch

science + culture


heh heh...well done Cracked: "Internet Party: When Google's Parent's Leave Town...."


Drama 2.0 is fast becoming one of my favorite blogs-- good commentary and snark, but not too much snark...not annoying snark, you know.@centernetworks recently interviewed the elusive blogga behind the drama and excerpt is below:

Allen: Let's start with a brief bio.

Drama 2.0: I expected you to ask for something like this. The two questions I get most are "Who are you?" and "How old are you?"

Drama 2.0 is a highly-successful businessman and connoisseur. He’s basically Web 2.0’s Keyser Söze. Constantly traveling the globe in search of opportunity, he has a penchant for the finer things in life and the faster things in life.

The man behind Drama 2.0 is as charismatic and charming as his alter ego, but has a tighter grip on his indulgences. Right now, he is an entrepreneur running some sort of company that might or might not succeed. Through his extensive business dabblings over the years, voracious reading habit and graduate degree from the School of Hard Knocks, he has acquired the wisdom that he distributes to the world through Drama 2.0.

Since I know bloggers love an exclusive and I’ve been disappointed that some people apparently think I’m an old man, I will officially reveal my age on Center Networks: I am older than 25 and younger than 28.

Allen: What do you view as 3 trends that will be hot in 2008?

Drama 2.0: Besides Drama 2.0?

1. I think online video will continue to be hot. While I'm not convinced that the substance matches the hype and that the WGA strike is going to do for online video what some bloggers have predicted it will do, I am excited by the opportunities for professional original online video content and don't think there will be any shortage of activity in the space.

2. I anticipate that revenue will become a lot more important to startups as the economic situation gets tougher. In my opinion, a recession in the United States is inevitable. I've discussed the problems this poses for advertising-dependent businesses and therefore I think "revenue" is going to be fashionable again in 2008. When it comes to the type of things that can drive revenue for consumer Internet startups, I'm actually a fan of virtual goods. Over $2 billion/year is now spent on these items and while it seems silly on the surface, once you recognize that, for better or worse, an increasing number of people find that their online identities are just as important as their offline identities, you'll realize that the same psychology that drives the purchase of $1,000 hand bags and $700 jeans can drive the virtual goods market pretty far.

3. I like niches because I think far too many startups are attacking the mainstream market. There's a finite amount of room for winners there but I still see a lot of room for solid niche plays. It's important to note, however, that a solid niche play does not entail creating a generic MySpace clone for sci-fi lovers or a generic Digg clone for activists. Niches have to be done well by people who understand the niche.

Allen: Sum up the general state of the online advertising market.

Drama 2.0: Lots of hype, lots of potential, far less substance. The potential is real but I think publishers have to deliver more for advertisers if this potential is to be fully realized. Despite all of the hype, online advertising really isn't delivering knockout results for most advertisers. In fact, some of the results advertisers have reported on hyped properties like Facebook are quite atrocious.

On the startup side of this equation, the most dishonest part of the hype is that there's this huge and growing pie of advertiser cash up for grabs and that every Web 2.0 startup can get enough of it to build a great business. The truth is that a relatively small number of big properties and networks are getting most of that cash and the proportion they get is only likely to increase the bigger the pie gets.

Allen: What suggestions do you have for someone just getting started with their service or product online?

Drama 2.0: Well, before you even build a new service or product, I think it makes sense to have an honest dialog with yourself and/or your team. I see so many new ventures where it's clear that the people behind them really didn't put a whole lot of thought into answering the basics, such as:

* What is our target market and what's the real size of this market?
* What problem are we solving?
* How are we going to acquire users or customers?
* How are we eventually going to make enough money to create a self-sustaining business?
* How are we going to differentiate ourselves?
* How can we build something defensible?

Unfortunately, far too many ventures don't have answers to these questions or the answers they do have are not satisfactory. For instance, I do not believe that "viral marketing" and "word-of-mouth" are realistic marketing strategies for new ventures.

Every battle is won before it is ever fought and in the business world, this means that before you launch, you have given some serious thought to what you're doing and have some idea about how you need to execute.

Allen: What country do you make your residence in?

Drama 2.0: I don't know yet. I'll be sure to let everyone know when I decide. South America looks good right now, but the Mediterranean is tempting too.

Allen: 1945 Chateau d'Yquem or 1945 Chateau Mouton-Rothschild?

Drama 2.0:
d'Yquem hands down, although I’d honestly prefer the ’76.

Allen: Which feeds are you reading these days?

Drama 2.0:
I'm a closet luddite and I don't have a feed reader. The tech blogs that I load up manually in Netscape 7.0 on a regular basis are Center Networks (Allen Stern is the man), TechCrunch, Mashable, GigaOm and the best tech blog of all - The Drama 2.0 Show (damn that guy is good).


One Tag Cloud to Rule Them All

So if anyone follows my Twitter feed today I tweeted about a dreaming of a giant, pulsating tag cloud. That wasn't an exaggeration. I literally dreamt of one (no biggie, I've also dreamt about tweeting with Scoble weirdly enough, and once I dreamt of PHP script fall down a black screen). But basically the dream was exactly what it sounds like-- a giant tag cloud that was pulling tags from the entire internet and aggregating them into a beautiful fluffy tag cloud which updated in real time so that the tags expanded and shrunk.

The brain of the internets. Well, the subconscious of the internets?


Who wants to take a crack at it? Is this the Googlezon?

In the meantime, @fimoculous told me about WE FEEL FINE...its a mesmerizing and weirdly voyeuristic peek into the lives of others internet style. I've been playing with it for the past hour.

Also fun for killing time and for when you need those internet zen moments-- DIY marketplace Etsy's Colors page...


Careful the Widget Rabbit Hole

Jeremiah announced just now on Twitter that he (I assume "he" means "Forrester") will be hosting a widget roundtable tonight with Dave McClure (Facebook class at Stanford/Graphing Social Patterns) among others to discuss, label, and neatly categorize widgets, and essentially create a taxonomy of widgets that will "stand the test of time." WTF?? Really? Not only is this exercise more evidence of lexical masturbation in social media, but seems at once premature and outdated. I suppose I cannot rant too much yet, but my question is how is creating this system of widget categorization going to "stand the test of time?" I'm going to stop here because I'm going to see what they come up with before I go on any further.....

But some thoughts on my mind:

-How data portability & graph aggregation will affect the current hierarchy of container + widget

-RSS- Passive feeds (raw data from subscribing to various feeds, aggregated on your private, account facing side) vs. Filtered/edited/public feeds (edited & published-- and portable!-- versions of your passive/raw feeds)

-Attention data

Thoughts anyone?

Anyway, so here's what Jeremiah is promising:

What we’re going to do

Sadly, there’s no way to accurately describe widgets, measure them consistently, or categorize them. As a result, tonight, I’ll be hosting Dave McClure (who helps teach the Stanford Facebook class, and runs the Graphing Social Patterns conference), Justin Smith (of Inside Facebook), Rodney Rumford (of FaceReviews), and colleague Charlene Li over to Forrester in Foster City (picture of building) to have a discussion about the widget industry. We’re going to do a landscape segmentation of this growing industry, map it out, so we can better understand the market, and thereby help support/analyze it.

The goals of this exercise are to categorize widgets:

-Be completely self-containable with no overlap with each other
-Succinct and descriptive
-Every widget will cleanly fall into one of those (or more than)
-The labels will stand the test of time

Interested (and skeptical) as to what they come up with...



Roundup (Mostly FB)

Scrabulous Drama
The Media Business Model
Wake Up Marketers!
"The Internet Thrives on Generosity"
Facebook Frat Party Continues
Facebook Extended Profiles
MySpace Still Slapping Facebook..

I think the dominant story today was...Scrabulous


Denton IS "brilliantly genius" and this whole Facebook Facebook banning thing is a perfectly devised ploy to get, well, some hype for a flagging Gawker?

Jack's Notes on a Napkin: New Mac Book Air

My dearest Jackie, ever trolling the internets and dishing on fashion, music, and social media on her blog Some Notes on a Napkin has a hilarious take on the new Mac Book Air:

"....APPLE jumps on board the new year's diet craze and introduces a newer, thinner laptop...


An insider reports that despite it's new found thinness the laptop still feels lonely and self conscious and jealous of his friend with the fast metabolism."


alisa can blog?

So this is what happens when you juggle writing other people's blogs and client work (and your numerous online accounts...come on Data Portability WorkGroup...work faster)...I get into weeks where my own blogging falls flat. Sadly. Or I end up with cheap 3am ramblings... So lets see.

This week I've taken to checking out Next New Networks and their band of merry vloggers, including of course the luminary Nick "Valleywag" Douglas with Goggleburn...although watching all of the inane videos that surface across the interweb into viral glory sometimes makes me want to kill myself. But then I press play. again.

Also, you may have noticed changes to RCRD LBL which include easier nav from the homepage and much, much more content (more artists + labels...and more to come says the birdie) and something tells me there may be more to come? Everyone I have intro'd RCDLBL to loves it and kuddos to Pete for a) solving the world's digital music distress and b) making it look freaking good

And although I wouldn't call the new iPod touch software upgrades "major" I'm pretty stoked and yes, paying the 20 bucks for the upgrade (is that ridic?)...holla.

The Data Portability Video!

The Data Portability Workgroup and Smachcut media have created this handy data portability-explained video (for those times you get that blank stare when you start talking about it-- just show 'em the clip):

DataPortability - Connect, Control, Share, Remix from Smashcut Media on Vimeo.

CES: Blogosphere Themes on Fire

intelligence via Collective Intellect


Question: How Is Social Media Like My Pencil?

Social Media Marketing: The Interdisciplinary Discipline

There is bit of a conundrum when it comes to social media and promotion/marketing/strategy...whatever you want to call it (for now). On the one hand you have marketers and PR developing outreach and promotional programs based on old mentalities of "media is media" and that social media is just one more new medium.

I would argue that its not. Media is NOT all the same old media. Obviously. But more and more I see web strategy/social media programs being stratafied into PR mentalities, marketing methodologies, and inside-the-box-even-though-we-think-its-outside-the-box approaches.

Now this is more rant than prescriptive to be sure, but where its all going is consolidation: product development (interactive asset creation, web development), outreach (earned media, word of mouth), online marketing/advertising (paid media, SEM), community development (publishing/content) ...all living under one roof. There are too many layers and multidimensionality to the internet and to social media itself that it seems incomplete and fractional to keep the disciplines separate.

I foresee a time when social media programs are not the domain of PR or marketing-- but rather the domain of a new hybrid, multidisciplinary agency (which many are already forming, but seemingly out of the creative side of things ie: "interactive agencies") with all elements working in concert together.


Note to You Social Media Gurus

I'm in a bad mood today. Anyone who claims to be the "real deal" social media consultant is, well, full of crap. I'm getting a little tired of the self-promoting social media masturbation that all of you self-proclaimed "early adopter" marketing types engage in (oh crap! I'm on Twitter too...). Listen, the space is too spanking new ...and guess what? All of your "best practices" are well, again, CRAP. I was listening in on a here undisclosed conference call which was supposedly to be about marketing and measuring 2.0 style the other day that was so ridiculously basic I had to drop off. As someone who is at once in the "social media marketing" game, and someone who remembers "the summer of Friendster," when MySpace was for bands, and TheFacebook I find it disconcerting that so many of you disregard the native behaviors and phsyco-social moores of my generation who, dare I say, are the very reason you are the
Social Media Marketing God that you are. I mean, aren't the majority of say, Digg users under the age of 16? 16! And why people like me or my friends joined social networks in the first place is for very different reasons than marketers joined. The way we use and how we interact with these applications (and our network of friends within) is very different than how late adopters have begun to use them. The introduction of brands to these networks is nothing new-- and instead of running our heads into circles about "best practices" and what major brand has "adopted social media" take a look at the success of early no names companies that "got" social media before, well, we called it "social media."

Social media is your opportunity, brands' opportunity, to ask. Not impose messaging. Listening. Fostering. Almost coddling. Authenticity.

I recently argued with my friend in advertising (sidenote: my college years = AdBusters + art + journalism + that thing called Friendster...you get the idea) about how advertising will need (needs) to adapt its behavior...its not about being the cool kid on the block telling everyone else what is awesomely cool-- with social media and our online lives, its about being the kid on the block who asks everyone how their day is going and what do you think of my new pants? You see? Perhaps not, but brands online ought to know who is king-- the user (ahem, yes, user, not consumer) because after all, the brand is just a visitor here. Did I mention authenticity?

So lets all just take a big, deep breath and remember we don't know as much as we think we do.

Indignant comments welcome.


2008 Prediction Shaping Up

2008 Buzzword: Data Portablitly

...And it seems to be shaping up as such. This morning Duncan Riley tweeted up a storm hyping huge breaking news to come that would "change the face of everything." Ok, so it wasn't the Google is a woman, but it is that Facebook and Google joined the Data Portability Workgroup.

What does it mean? Well, while the gesture seems a step forward in a positive direction for reaching the now holy grail of the web-- an aggregated, portable social graph-- it will be interesting to see how this will all actually play out (my guess is we will be chasing this golden carrot for a few more years)...

But, no longer strapped by the conundrum of the "networks effects" theory of 2006, the Data Portability Workgroup is working towards establishing best practices for leveraging the tremendous potential of open standards which will bring us closer to the holy grail:

The DataPortability Workgroup is actively working to create the ‘DataPortability Reference Design’ to document the best practices for integrating existing open standards and protocols for maximum interoperability (and here’s the key area) to allow users to access their friends and media across all the applications, social networking sites and widgets that implement the design into their systems.
via TechCrunch

What this means for marketing should it gain traction and we see a massive movement towards aggregation and portability? Throw out your Facebook best practices :)

Tweet Teasing: Duncan Riley

Duncan Riley is tweeting up a storm this morning promising a huge story to break that will apparently "will change the face of what we know. It's that bloody big." What could it be?? I knew it! Google's a woman.


The Overly Simplified, Generalized and Probably Wrong Summary

Most Overused Buzzwords, a Look Back and Forward:

2006: Year of "Web 2.0"

2007: Year of "Facebook App" (Year of "Widget" came a close second)

2008: .....Year of "Data Portability"

...note: this is based on no actual measurement or much thought for that matter.