Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

Opportunity as a Double Edged Sword…

December 3, 2011

“Marketing in a social media world means you are trying to have your message spread while competing with a billion other channels for attention. At any given time, you don’t know where your potential customers are or what they might see.” Jeremy Epstein

Everybody’s Gonna Get Wet

August 24, 2011

While the economic numbers bandied about in the media vary
in the absolute, a common theme, whether you are reading BBC news, the NY Times
or the Charlotte Observer, is essentially that growth, while present, is
sluggish. Additionally, they all confirm that growth in the US is below a level
needed to match the growth needs of the economy.

As reported in the news today, the economic consensus seems
to be a good news/bad news scenario: The good news being that a double dip
recession is believed to be unlikely. The bad news is that the consensus among
economists is this stagnant economy is now expected to persist for years,
possibly even through the next decade.

But this is not intended to be a pessimistic post, and I would
like to point out a possible silver lining. For as Keynes once pointed out, “In
the long run, we are all dead”.  Why act
all gloomy now while we are still here.

One positive is that now may be a great time to invest,
while prices are depressed. This thinking applies to individuals, but is even
more true for companies. In recessions of the past, companies that invested
more heavily in branding and recognition than their competitors achieved great
benefit more quickly and to a higher degree when the economic tide once again

I believe this stance could be even more relevant today.
People are more invested than ever before in communicating. Sociologically,
there are a number of reasons for this. One that is important here is that
social media represents an escape for consumers, and is a relatively
inexpensive pursuit.

From a company perspective, investment in social media
presence is also a less expensive investment than other media choices and many
promotions. Many digital media options can be tested on a highly defined and tightly
limited basis. While your product may not have a favorably elastic demand, and therefore
may not fly off the shelves today, a brand building opportunity at bargain
basement prices may be present for those who can sustain themselves through
this current storm.

So test; have a little fun. It will take your mind off of
unmet sales projections 🙂


Just because…

July 17, 2011

Not sure why…just love this shot from lava360:

Isn’t the internet great!? Amazing access to information, news, pictures, and thoughts is a capability that should not be taken for granted….

Some things you just can’t fake…

June 22, 2011

“Don’t worry; skills are cheap, passion is priceless. If you’re passionate about your content and you know it and do it better than anyone else, even with few formal business skills you have the potential to create a million-dollar business.” – Gary Vee, Author of Crush It

Photo from

Be Who You Are…

June 18, 2011

“You as a brand have to be completely confident about your position, because you will get criticism. You will have a negative reaction. If you didn’t get a negative reaction, that means you’re standing neutral and you have no point of view. Who wants to participate in that?” – Frank Cooper, Pepsico

Of course to be confident in your position, you need to have one….

The times have certainly changed….

June 16, 2011

“Businesses used to have a small suggestion box near the door that mostly housed dust bunnies and an occasional piece of gum. Rarely would someone get back to you. But people can now make a post from an iPhone or a BlackBerry while they’re sitting in your restaurant.” – Charles Nelson, President of Sprinkles Cupcakes president

Stunned to Silence

February 24, 2011

I watch what is happening in the world right now, and am amazed. Pics from Egypt, pics from Libya, recent events in Tunisia, stirrings in Iran and Zimbabwe… We are probably seeing a series of world events that will rival and exceed the impact of the reunification of Germany, the fall of the USSR, the impact of Tiananmen Square …

Yet for now I just watch, and read,  as I’m too stunned to even write about it (except maybe a little tweeting 🙂 I find it amazing that we may look back, and a battle partially fought in the social media will have changed the face of an entire sector of the world.

Another year bites the dust….

December 31, 2010

As John Lennon penned a few years ago,

….And what have we done        

Another year over            

And a new one just begun     

The end of another year…

This past year I wrote regularly for awhile….and then I didn’t…

For me, it has been a long and complicated year, but that is not really an excuse. After all,  there were lots of topics to write about: Facebook changed their privacy settings and other account setup about 37 times (or so it seemed), the iPad and other tablets hit the street, Groupon made the decision it is worth way more than $6 billion, and we all got another year older… The point is that the list of occurrence to write about was virtually endless, and yet I didn’t.

I also don’t think it was pure laziness on my part, as I did become more proficient in using social media, taught myself a little more about several  languages, completed a few more graduate classes, and developed numerous on line and off line friends.

I think rather it had more to do with human natural tendency to truncating our communications, a driving force that has been accentuated by technology, but has always been a part of human communication.  And with all that I have had going on, I have been seduced by the brevity of social media.

As way of example, when I was in college, our fraternity engaged in a form of this, both in written and spoken communications. We developed several highly abbreviated phrases that held significant meaning to us. One example was: “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”. This phrase eventually worked its way down to just the word “door”, and took on all types of meanings based on inflection and context. I’m sure outsiders thought we were crazy…

We thought ourselves pretty cool, but I have since seen that this is a common happening within groups that have some type of affinity relationship. This trait of human communication is responsible for contractions, overall degradation of languages over time, formation of dialects, etc. It is also a force that, in conjunction with technology, has completely revolutionized the way we communicate. So in addition to the shortened phrase structure/abbreviations developed for texting and IMs, we have seen the move from Email to IM, and Article posting to blogging to micro blogging

While the age group often referred to as “The Backpack Generation” has largely driven this, all of us who attempt to work in the mainstream channels today have participated. Just the sheer breadth of participation has enabled the wide acceptance of this change. So while the Millennials may know it best, and feel most comfortable, this spiraling brevity of communication is employed by all: businesspeople in Paris, grandmothers in Duluth, and GenXers in London.

The point that I am actually wandering toward is that this blog hasn’t historically been the place where I post short thoughts or observations, and I think that that has led to its recent neglect. While that emphasis may or may not change in 2011, I do resolve, however, to be more consistently active and to use this site to work through some of the current issues I am grappling to make sense of. So, in addition to speculating briefly on SM sites, about the state of war between Apple and Google for example, I will also make a point to work through my thoughts in more depth here.

 So for now, I’d just like to wish everyone Happy New Year…

Glückliches neues Jahr….

Joyeux Nouvel An ….

Yeni Yılınız Kutlu Olsun ….

Feliz Año Nuevo

It Ain’t Over ‘til It’s Over: Boomers in Cyberspace

May 22, 2010

We all know that emerging media belongs to those under 30 digital natives, the Millennials, right? And that while Gen Y participates and adds value to this space, there is almost an invisible “Do Not Trespass” sign up for anyone older…

Apparently, this is only partly true. According to, “a new report from Forrester Research revealed some surprising information: apparently Baby Boomers aren’t exactly the technology Luddites that people think they are. In fact, more than 60 percent of those in this generational group actively consume socially created content like blogs, videos, podcasts, and forums.”

Notice the term above “actively consume”. The truth is that most Boomer age types are not as vocal when online as their younger cyberspace neighbors. Check the stats, one of Facebook’s biggest chunks of users are boomers or those on the cusp of being boomers (Direct Marketing Observations). I know myself that I probably absorb as opposed to spew on about a 5:1 ratio (not necessarily a bad thing, btw, and one that helps me figure out what’s unfolding before my eyes.)

However, other sources confirm that many Boomers do also actively respond and generate content. This is generally members of this group that often  1) have a passion for a specific topic, cause, philosophy, etc and 2) feel inclined to develop enough chops to compete and make themselves heard on the web and in social media.

One example is Ron Tannebaum, co-founder of “In the Rooms” (, which is the number one social network for those in recovery from addiction, seeking help and their families and friends, according to Start Up Nation. He and his partner made a concentrated effort to seek out the best minds in social networking, and then used their passion and knowledge of the recovery community to drive an internet presence with over 80,000 members in 50 countries.

You don’t have to poke around too far on a given social media site to find active users with some gray in their hair. And many of these are active using these sites to build or support businesses. It’s going to be an interesting decade.

Author’s Note: Those of you who have visited me on Twitter or Facebook may have surmised that I live in amazement over Yogi Berra and his pearls of wisdom. The headline quote is from him, for those of you who thought I might have been appropriating Lenny Kravitz lyrics. 🙂

Welcome to the Twit-e-que

April 17, 2010

Several online sources have compared Twitter to a cocktail party. In my estimation, Twitter is not a cocktail party, but more like a very large backyard barbeque or a neighborhood block party. When you open up your page and are greeted by the gang already there, you can spend time just taking it all in, engage someone if you want, shout out your latest news, or just walk away and get a hamburger.

After all, Twitter is far from formal (although some twitterers do bring a sense of formality to their presence). But mostly, it is just relaxed, in tone, social mores, and attendance requirements. People expect you to come and go. And it can be very spontaneous.

Now I know my take on this platform may be different from yours, because it’s very likely that my twitter experience is different from yours. And in many ways, that is the beauty of twitter. Mostly, my experience has been seeking out people to read. I have done this through all sorts of ways:

  • Clicking onto pages of some of the people I follow and who follow me, and
  • Clicking on “following” of someone’s profile I am currently reading
  • Twitter site generated suggestions

My thread of tweets has become long enough, and I check infrequently enough (usually only once a day), that undertaking the first step is the only way I can find to catch up with some of the really interesting people online.

So what, in my estimation, constitutes interesting? That is hard to say because what I want to read at any given time is both eclectic and mercurial. I want to learn, and I want to engage. I tend to follow:

  • People who are funny (as defined by me)
  • People who provide interesting links in the areas of world events, music, social media, marketing and business practices. Of course, what defines interesting is again based on my acid test, and the topics seem to broaden all the time. I have read tweets (and follow) people from all over the world, from all walks of life, and from the entire spectrum of age groups.
  • People who may bring an irreverence to what they tweet, but still provide some depth (again, my opinion… are you sensing a theme here?).

And like any neighborhood, there are the residents worth avoiding. I am NOT really interested in finding ways to build a business on Twitter (although usage of Twitter by businesses fascinates me), and unless it is very unusual, I am not really concerned about what you had for breakfast, what time you had it, or who you ate it with. There are enough captivating viewpoints out there, that spammers and the self absorbed need not appear on my radar. (Although the irreverent quality listed above can make up for some levels of self-absorption.)

So like a block party, I bob and weave through the crowd, settling in for a while with a comfortable friend, taking the time to catch up on their latest news, and then move onto someone new. What an amazing space. I know I’ll be back for more, but for now, I need to go find that burger…