Five in the Morning 010809

Real-time. Chris Brogan today talks about real-time coverage of events, using as an example his live-tweeting of a press conference last night. What do you think – how much of a game-changer is this? Frankly, I think that the convergence of the tools (cameras, smartphones, etc.) and the platforms (blogging, Twitter, etc.) has already fundamentally changed the game. Immediacy is now here, and we’re just realizing it. Latency is….well, a thing of the past.

2009 – The Year of Going Social. From the blog of Laura Fitton (Pistachio). “The bad news for business? You’re late. The good news? You’re not too late…”

Is Social Media the same as Marketing? Beth Harte‘s asking – what do you think? I’m guessing most of us have had this discussion, at least in our own heads. “…a good communicator does not always make a good marketer nor does a good marketer always make a good communicator. They are two different disciplines.”

Want a nice daily summary of some Social Networking headlines? Here’s one of my secrets. Business Week‘s Business Exchange. Worth a daily visit.

Jeremiah Owyang provides a nice summary blog post of Social Networking news each week. Well worth subscribing to. Here’s the latest.

PLUS – What’s Cramberry? A cool spin on an old technique. Too neat-o to pass up a link. From ReadWriteWeb. And, just because the headline is so imaginative: The Art of One Butt Cheek Blogging (from Copyblogger).

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Five in the Morning 010709

Customers. Where would we be without customers? Talk is cheap, so let’s invest a little time thinking about the people that really count…

That West Coast Diva of Customer Stuff, Becky Carroll, unveils her Top 3 picks for Customer Rock Stars of 2008. Check out these, plus the runners-up, listed on Becky’s Customers Rock! blog.

Meanwhile, back East, Doug Meacham on his NextUp blog (focusing on customer experience) does a riff on Guitar (Hero) Marketing. On that post, you will find my new favorite term. If you’re not following Doug on Twitter (@dougmeacham), you should, and if you miss the opportunity to have him chauffeur you all over Richmond with a belly full of BBQ ribs on your next trip to that fair city – well, you ain’t lived. Bring napkins.

Introducing Casey Hibbard’s book on customer case studies. Stories that Sell.

David Polinchock gets a “Five” mention 2 days in a row. I think that’s a first. But he deserves it, for this thoughtful post on how customer experience interacts with declines in retail stores.  “As we wrote in a piece for the Retail Advertising Conference last year, our walk through the luxury domain of the upper East Side showed that many of the stores up there were just ‘soulless, glorified, two-dimensional web sites; products are presented passively to consumers with no retail-as-theater.’ Who wants to spend time — and money — in a retail environment like that?”

Frank Martin over at Marketing Magic has Three Things you can do Right Now to Jump-start your Marketing. Well, there’s more than three, actually – Frank cheats by using sub-points! But he gets a pass, since this is a good reminder of the basics of taking care of ALL your customers.

Hey, a late entry. David “The Hat” Armano just posted this little blurb about a well-designed blog effort by a bank, making it easy for user interaction. I’m kinda real picky about on-line user design, and it’s nice to see a well-executed setup like this. And while we’re going late entries, we may as well add Drew McLellan‘s just-published post on MarketingProfs Daily Fix, about Dancing with the One who Brought You (talk to your customers!)

And, just for fun, a quick video laugh from Dave Taylor over at Brandgym. This is the top-rated YouTube video in the UK (and in the Top 5 globally) – who’da thunk it??

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Five in the Morning 010509

elevator5Five in the Morning returns for 2009! I hope all of you had a restful holiday season – now it’s time to tackle new goals, embrace new opportunities, let the creative sap flow, and learn new things from our peers and mentors (and customers!). To that end…

Drew McLellan starts us off with a challenge to Grow or Die. I like the notion of seeking to grow better, not just bigger. He links to a helpful post by Jay Ehret (who, btw, also has a nice summary blog post here of his greatest hits from 2008). And, if you want still more Drew, plus 99 others, here’s a link to a free eBook on 100 Best Marketing Secrets.

One of these days I’ll actually have the happy privilege of meeting Kevin Dugan face-to-face, seeing how I’ve corresponded with him on-line since right about the time I started blogging here at StickyFigure. Anyway, he offers up some juicy summary insights from a Pete Blackshaw book on customer satisfaction (or dissatisfaction). “This book is designed to help marketers get what they’ve wanted all these years — a better relationship with their customers…”

Is Innovation dead? Paul McEnany points us to a thoughtful article on the subject with a provocative paragraph on his blog. Mini-quote: “To them, “design” is something their wives do with curtains, not a methodology or philosophy to deal with life in constant beta—life in 2009.”

Josh Peters on the long-haul commitment of social media. Amen to that. Once people understand that “social media” (I’m starting to prefer the moniker “Community Networking”) is not a mere matter of technology and messaging, but is centered on relationship-building, the mindset can be changed).

Jennifer Leggio (@mediaphyter) has a thoughtful piece from way back in 2008 (OK, it was only a few days ago) about how Twitter popularity does not equal business acumen. Good discussion here, including some interaction with thoughts from Mack Collier (who, by the way, put up a post on Jan 1 about “Know Thy Traffic” which was quite interesting).

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Five in the New Year

ny-eve-nyIt’s 2009 (and a beautiful morning here in Boonton, NJ)! And, I’m convinced, it’s a year when many are going to seize the future, thumb their noses at all the bad economic news, and create new careers for themselves.

With that in mind, I thought I’d pull together the year’s first Five in the Morning post with a handful of my posts from 2008 encouraging the networking and entrepreneurial spirit. So….

Do you have an Opportunity Network? (from MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog) – The old corporate safety net is gone. But the new safety network, and the new opportunity network, is here for all of us to weave ourselves into. My faith has grown the longer I’ve participated, that “If we build it, (opportunity) will come”…

Personal Branding – What’s your value-add? (from MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog) – You don’t have a brand worth a nickel unless you are clear in what value you have to offer. That’s true of personal branding, corporate branding, political branding, and whatever other type of branding du jour we’d like to dream up…

You – Projected (from my StickyFigure blog) – My feeling is that if a concept is valid, we should be able to distill it down to a very few words that capture it well. So, with personal branding, here is my take. Two words. You – Projected

I’m Pursuing (Niche) Domination (from MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog)  - What is niche domination? It’s creating, or moving into, a market cavity narrow enough that you can become the big fish, and expansive (or expand-able) enough that you can make a living dominating it…

Be Prepared – Like, Right Now (from my Impactiviti pharma blog) – Your future is in your hands, and you need to be prepared to take the reins at any time. In fact, even if you are gainfully employed, you need to take the reins right now. Let me suggest one simple word for each of us…

But what were my most popular posts of 2008? The StickyFigure Spoofs, of course! And, to launch 2009, here is the latest (or earliest): Social Media Maven named new Head Coach of Detroit Lions.

BONUS – If you haven’t tuned into Rick Liebling‘s Smart People / Smart Ideas series, it’s a good one. Here’s the recap from 2008. You can follow Rick on Twitter @eyecube

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Shannon Paul, Social Media Maven, Named new Head Coach of Detroit Lions

shannon-paulIn a startling move that has taken the blogsphere by storm, Shannon Paul, Chief Social Media Goddess of the Detroit Red Wings, has just been named head coach of the floundering Detroit Lions football franchise.

William Clay Ford, owner of the team and descendant of iconic Henry Ford, decided on Ms. Paul after witnessing the spectacular success of Scott Monty, recently-appointed social media guru of Ford Motor Company.

“Scott single-handedly kept us from from bankruptcy, from taking the poison pill of federal bailout money; and he also crowd-designed all of our new hybird vehicles right from his blog-thingie. He Twitterized us out of a death spiral by creative use of these new-fangled socialized media gadgets. I figured if one social medium expert could turn around Ford, surely another could take on the greater challenge of making the Lions competitive.”

It was also revealed that Ms. Paul was found after being “friended” on Facebook by unnamed Lions front-office staff, who also vetted her qualifications using Google and StumbleUpon.

Ms. Paul wasted no time assembling a top-notch support staff, including hiring Geoff Livingston, renowned for offensive prowess, and luring away “Big” Jim Connolly as head of trackbacks. Gary Vaynerchuk will be leaving the Wine Library to be Chief Sideline Libation Engineer, as part of his training for eventually taking over the NY Jets. Connie Reece has agreed to come on board as chief archivist for the Lions Championship Museum, currently housed in a corner of Ken Burbary‘s closet. She also began immediate negotiations with fans and the UAW, both groups of which had threatened a permanent boycott of the Lions.

Local Detroit blogger Karen Swim was initially non-commital about the news, having been bypassed in favor of her cross-town rival Ms. Paul, until being unexpectedly named head coach of the Detroit Pistons. “My goodness!” said Ms. Swim, “I figured I might have a shot at the Tigers, but the Pistons have actually won a few things! That’s a slam dunk FTW on you, Paul Shannon!”

“What I’m really looking forward to is the upcoming blogger draft,” exclaimed Ms. Paul. “We’re going for 140 top characters! I’ve had my eye on some serious talent, like “PR” Sarah Evans for Eighthback,  Jason Falls for Tight End or Wide Receiver (depends on Twit2fit progress off-season), and Barefoot Exec for Punter. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re losing Steve Olenski to the Colts, who traded Peyton Manning and two FriendFeed accounts to be named later to get him.”

Reaction around the NFL was mixed. Apparently, Chris Brogan has been approached by the startup Boston Pirates franchise to serve as their new head of operations, but he replied with 15 Reasons Never to Hire a Freshly-Shorn Blogger. The New York Jets are in secret discussions with 5-year veteran blogger Paul Chaney, who is robo-twittering negotiation progress from Brett Favre’s living room.

Meanwhile, Guy Kawasaki, who first broke the news on Truemors, capitalized on the trend by launching SocMedCoaches.Alltop.com, a news item promptly re-tweeted by 21,544 of his devoted disciples.

The ROI of hiring social media mavens for positions of leadership with sports teams is yet unproven, as is the ROI for just about anything social media related. Your mileage may vary. However, we have it on good authority that those with the most followers are the most important and authoritative, and so should provide the best bang-for-the-blog when making hiring decisions.

Oh, and I have to mention Ann Handley, of course. Just because…

Happy 2009 to all!

(Previous StickyFigure spoofs)

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Five in the Morning 121108

John Moore (Brand Autopsy) begins a series sharing thoughts from Inside Drucker’s Brain (IDB Project). Intro here, first post here.

27 Practical Ideas that will Transform Every Organization. Distilled wisdom from Tom Peters.

The Catchup Lady breaks up with UmbrellaToday.com. Why? Well, you just gotta deliver the goods…

Kirsten Wright shares the ABCs of creativity. Well, 25 of them. Can anyone help her with “x”?

Blogger’s Choice winners for Open Web Awards. Actually, that post isn’t terribly interesting, now that I look at it. So why not visit Olivier Blanchard‘s rant on business cards?

PLUS – Are these folks just amazingly creative, or do they simply have too much time on their hands? Either way, it’s cute, and worth 1 minute and 20 seconds of your time! And while we’re at strange on-line holiday celebrations, have some fun Destroying a Fruitcake.

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Five in the Morning 121008

Lists, lists, lists. It’s that time of year – lots of Top 10s. Louis Gray has a nice summary of Top 2008 web services (and their prognosis for 2009). Meanwhile, Rick Turoczy at ReadWriteWeb sums up the Top 10 Consumer web apps of 2008 (quite diff list from Louis’). And then, of course, there’s Time.com‘s Top 10 Everything of 2008. Plan on spending some time here…

Should bloggers/social media types self-promote? Mack Collier started up this discussion. I also chimed in, as did Lisa Hoffmann. Read the posts and the comments – what do you think?

Matt Dickman with some thoughts on HR in the age of Social Media.

Not Everyone likes Coffee. Consider your audience and their tastes as you serve “your stuff” up. Good thoughts from Jon Swanson over at Levite Chronicles. (Jon – strong! Cream and a little sugar…).

The Only Important Thing is….what??? You’ll have to let Doug Meacham tell you!

PLUS – Sarah sold me on Opera – sorta. How one voice can bring you into a new genre. AND – this Spouse 2.0 concept is just bizarre. Really. Don’t do it!

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“Why Don’t They Get It/Me/Us?”

Mack Collier has started a good discussion on his blog (The Viral Garden) about the use, or non-use, of self-promotion among social media types.

Now I’m against blatant, obnoxious, noisy self-promotion by any person or company. Hate it. But I’m all for prominent, “sticky”, clear, and repeated communications by any person or company about what they do. Because most of us are in business, and new business doesn’t happen if people don’t have a clear grasp of what you have to offer.

I’m going to use Mack as an example, because he’s a good sport, and by putting up this post, he’s “asking for it!” It takes 3 fairly involved clicks on Mack’s blog to get a grasp of what he does for his living, and even when you reach the post where he explains his social media consulting, it’s really not clear what types of companies he is aiming for, and what exact and tangible deliverables he has in mind.

Let’s just say (I’m making this up) that Mack was aiming to be the top social media we’ll-get-you-started-in-this-brave-new-world for, let’s say, retail organizations (I do believe in having a defined focus and niche whenever possible). Then it would be great if, prominent right on the sidebar as you come onto the Viral Garden, there was a summary paragraph such as: “Mack Collier helps retail organizations navigate the uncharted waters of social media by applying community-building strategies that lead to higher sales.” Or something like that. And then had it on his footer on blog posts. And on e-mails.

You see, it’s not enough to say you’re a _______ consultant. I’m a pharmaceutical consultant, but that could mean a lot of things. In particular, I have developed a unique network to help pharmaceutical training organizations find optimal suppliers for outsourced training development needs. But here is the ironic thing – though I have blogged about this for 2.5 years, sent out a weekly e-newsletter, sought to explain the business model numerous times through words, graphics, video, analogies (“I’m the living eHarmony of pharma training… I’m a matchmaker/broker…” etc.) …people STILL often don’t get it! I regularly have to explain it “live” before the light goes on. Why??

It’s because what I do doesn’t really matter to them, until it does. Our limited attention bandwidth is totally absorbed with the immediate and day-to-day. My business model is irrelevant to people 99.9% of the time. However, if I have self-promoted (or, if you prefer, self-explained) effectively, regularly, and added value without being obnoxious, enough of the message sinks through for that critical phone call, e-mail, or referral, when the time is ripe. We HAVE to promote ourselves effectively and winsomely in a very noisy market, and explain over and over again what we do and how we do it, if we want to gain business.

Of course, I’d be happy to refer Mack, or a bunch of the rest of you talented folks I’ve met via Twitter and blogging (my entire business is built on referrals) – but I can only do so if I have a clear grasp of what you do, so that if the need arose with one of my clients, your “metadata” is stored in my noggin. That’s effective marketing 101. That’s self-promotion. And it’s more than OK. It’s absolutely necessary!

Also see Lisa Hoffmann’s take here.

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Five in the Morning 120908

Negative PR in advertising travels fast! Just ask Dr. Pepper (from USA Today – hat tip to @prsarahevans)

Will MLM kill Twitter? What do you think so? I doubt it, but some interesting points made nonetheless. From Karl Long.

Fun - Superlist of what NOT to do in Social Media. Courtesy of Robin Broitman at IIG. On the flip side, Lee Odden shares 26 tips on being Social Media Smart.

Thank you very much for the link, Mike Sansone. Now THIS is how to search for that perfect image in Flickr!!!

How do you compare with other Twitter users? Jeremiah Owyang brings out some very interesting stats from HP Lab’s research on Twitter use.

BONUS – As a rule I don’t watch long videos on the web, in particular not 15-minute ones. Yet, very late one night, when unable to fall back asleep, I stumbled across this one on Cheryl Smith‘s site, and it captured my attention. The message continues to resonate in my mind and heart. It may seem hokey the first few minutes, but stick with it. You may need, as I did, a reminder about the importance of Validation.

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Five in the Morning 120808

green5Upgrade your brainstorming! Paul Williams over at MarketingProfs Daily Fix shows us how.

Does your brand pass the CUB test? From the good folks at Brand Aid.

Right on, Target. One smart little move by Target makes a better shopping experience – and earns them more cash.

Buyology. Ivana Taylor reviews an interesting-sounding book on why we buy.

You’re read about the Zappos (shoe retailer) social media success story. Now, take a pictorial tour of HQ, courtesy of Guy Kawasaki. Never seen nothin’ like this before!!

OVERDOSE ON WOODRUFF BONUS – if you missed it at the end of the last week, the latest StickyFigure spoof: Social Media Museum has Bloggers All A-Twitter. Plus, on my personal blog (Steve’s Leaves), a Sunday Muse: Finding Grace. (And, Ann Handley just told me that my new MarketingProfs Daily Fix post is up: I’M PURSUING (niche) DOMINATION! This is probably the only time you’ll have a “Five in the Morning” trifecta – Woodruff links on three different blogs…)

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Five in the Morning 120508

The Brand Chef is a Jerk! Hey, I didn’t say it, Andrew Clark did – and he’s the Brand Chef! Making the best of an awkward networking reach-out…

When 2 companies merge that have disparate brands, does it make sense to smoosh them into one? Or is there a middle ground, preserving 2 brands within a company? The NameWire guys are wondering about Qantas and British Airways. My take – keep the two identities, but create a subtle “flag” identity that overarches both (“part of the Imperialistic Empire Airline Group…”)

Straight from the mind of Armano (sounds like an ad for and Italian suit designer, I know…). The Paradox of Please. Take 45 seconds and absorb. Brilliant.

As promised, CB Whittemore has launched a series on Bridging the Old and the New with Social Media. First up: Mack Collier. Having met both of these individuals, I wholeheartedly recommend that you follow them on their blogs and via Twitter. Good people.

Lead Yourself. Valeria Maltoni on Dr. Srikumar Rao, with video included. And you know what I said above about CB and Mack? Same for Valeria. Good people.

The guys from Heath (Chip and Dan) take on sloganeering in Fast Company. Are your taglines and slogans made to stick, or made to stink??

Ever wonder if you really belong in your role? My personal confession: I am not a Salesman.

OK, time for a little Friday fun. Happy skies, part 1, part 2Really bad timingTemplar University (great for enhancing your personal brand!)

Don’t forget to Be Happy today (look at the collateral effects!)

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Five in the Morning 120408

If you Twitter, you’re probably wondering about some of the potentially “corrupting” trends. Here, Paul Chaney opens up a discussion about Twitter automation – as you’ll see in the comments, I am not in entire agreement. What do you think?? (btw, if you’re not following Paul, you should be: @pchaney)

Want to do free press releases? Dana Willhoit has the list of sites that do just that for you!

Tom Peters recommends two books on Design.

Robert Lesser talks us through Lead Generation using Web 2.0 approaches. From MarketingProfs Daily Fix blog.

Demogirl – now this is a cool service, pointed out by Greg Verdino. Quick, distilled “how-to” screencasts. Good, basic, useful implementation.

Extras – today only! Click before midnight and get 2 links for the price of 1!!!

Say – what does Steve Woodruff/@swoodruff/StickyFigure actually sound like? Find out! Four bloggers share in the latest AOC2 podcast.Thanks to Jay Ehret, @themarketingguy!

Hot off the blog presses – 40 Ways to Deliver Killer Blog Content. From Chris Brogan. Here’s my #41 – Aggregate Information that People Want.

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Five in the Morning 120308

Me Me Me Me Me Me Me. Maybe it should be called Social Usdia. Read a good one by Gennefer Snowfield. Then have a chuckle with Ike Pigott (who is one of my favorite tweeters of keen insight mixed with humor).

Yet another top marketing blogs list – but this one has some pretty neat-o caricatures, so well worth a scan!

Who are your yacht buyers? Interesting thoughts for difficult times, from the fun and friendly Steve Roesler (guest-posting on Drew McLellan’s blog). Oh, and if you missed it, some good stuff from Jason Falls on using social media for listening. Please, nobody tell Drew that while he’s been gone on vacation and having guests post, that THEY’re getting all the Five in the Morning traction…

Your Customer Really is King. From Inside-the-big-enterprise-company blogger Kelly Feller.

Dissing blogging – worth a thought-provoking read. However, this author has such a narrow view of the value of blogging (equating it with journalism), and such a lack of understanding of the connection-building power of blogging as a component of the various forms of social media, that I think it’s safe to say that he MISSES THE POINT. What think you? And, if dissing blogging isn’t enough for today, Valleywag disses Twitter (company and platform). Actually, some valid points are made here. We who are in the microblogging community have to be careful not to have an overly-inflated view of what we’re doing, and seek to avoid patting ourselves (and each other) on the back so much that we forget to add value to others…but here’s a brief business success story as counterbalance. And read about this upcoming series from fellow North Jersey blogger CB Whittemore, on bridging the New and the Old with Social Media.

FUN BONUS – Top 10 People to Unfollow on Twitter. From someone I’ve followed for a long time (and wouldn’t consider unfollowing unless he morphed into one of these clowns), Shannon Whitley.

And finally, a question for you readers. What are the blogs/sites you find most helpful, that perhaps would be Five-worthy? – and specifically, I’m thinking business/entrepreneur/inspirational sites that aren’t necessary known much inside our social media “bubble.” Would like to continue to expand our universe of worthy and helpful voices…(leave a comment with suggestions – thanks!)

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Five in the Morning 120208

Growing your Twitter audience. How Jim Conolly did it. What do you think of that big number and the rapid pace? Realistic for most people? (I don’t think so. I’m at 700 with a steady, organic process after about 9 months, and wouldn’t want to go faster…). And, branching off on that theme, what do you think of the “popularity contest” aspect of social media (from Jenn Schooley)?

The Uncertain Future of Blogging? I’m not buying some of the premises here. What do you think?

Twitter 201 – Lessons recently learned from more intense Twittering during Mumbai crisis. From Connie Reece.

If you followed my series a while back on the MetaMee concept, this article on federation/aggregation of web/social media services will make a lot of sense to you. And so will this iPhone app.

Fun: The BrandFlakesforBreakfast gift guide. Get some creative ideas here! From those Plaid folks.

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Five in the Morning 112608

(Five in the Morning will take a break for Thanksgiving…be back on Monday!)

Geoff Livingston with some pithy lessons learned after 10K tweets on Twitter. Good stuff here. Geoff calls it likes he sees it.

Sticking with a Twitter theme, Pistachio‘s blog on Twitter means Business (with brief case studies).

Louis Gray makes the case that sharing and self-promotion in social media are a 2-way street. Good perspectives here. Plus a link to his earlier post on 35 tips to get started with social media.

Common Mistakes in Starting a Blog. From that recent transplant from the great Northeast to the wilds of South Carolina, Matt J McDonald.

An interesting customer service (or lawsuit avoidance, or…) initiative by Infiniti, from Jason Baer. Would you resist this bribe? Quite a story…

PLUS – So you suffer from Idea Heartburn? -from Jeff Pulver. And, a feeble attempt at a one-sentence summary of the financial meltdown (strange things come to mind when you awake in the middle of the night, I know!)

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Five in the Morning 112508

From Jennifer Laycock – the influence of Twitter links to grow blog conversations. Twitter is like that outgoing guy or gal at a party who draws others into the convo… (btw, Jennifer’s blog posts about Twitter finally got me off my duff and into Twitter. I owe her.)

WebSuccess Diva (Maria Reyes-McDavis) gives us 10 Sinfully Good Social Media Marketing Diva blogs. Ah, but then Toby (Diva Marketing) Bloomberg spotlights 31 Social Media Marketing Communities for Women. It’s a diva y diva link fest, and everyone wins! Gender fairness would lead us to the conclusion that we need 15 Smash-mouth Marketing Maelstroms for keyboard-pounding Men – but I haven’t seen it yet…

Jim says: 37 Marketing Ideas in 140 characters. You tweeted it, Jim Connolly collected it.

The “Re-Tweet” and WOM marketing, from the always-thoughtful Jeremiah Owyang. One reason I re-tweet – I do not assume that all my subscribers are following everyone I follow. It’s a very time-effective way to expose your network to different voices.

Laura Fitton, aka Pistachio, is assembling Twitter for Dummies. And you can help!

PLUS – are you way geeky? Like, you really want to know what strange and hard-to-pronounce techie stuff is on the 2009 horizon? I thought so. This is for you.

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Five in the Morning 112408

5-dotHow NOT to: Build your Twitter community. Good tips from Sarah Evans. Oh, and the other side of the coin – How TO.

Growing through delegation/outsourcing – valuable thoughts here from Chaitanya Sagar. I’ve walked this same path and probably have other decisions to make in the future…and I agree that outsourcing (rather than do-it-all-yourself or hiring) is a very valuable and important strategy. There is potential business strength and growth on both sides of this equation.

Drew McLellan on the Best Way to Grow your Business. You might be surprised at his answer – but then again, I hope you’re not. Plus, this poignant remembrance of an effective leader.

42 Content-building ways to Attract and Retain Customers. From Joe Pulizzi over at Junta 42 blog.

Building your Brand through Networking. Walter Akana interviews Liz Lynch, author of just-released book Smart Networking: Attract a Following in Person an Online.

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Five in the Morning 112108

Well, I’m back from a 2-day trip to Chicago, and it looks like my little experiment in time-queued blog posts and tweets for Five in the Morning worked OK (yes, the last 2 days had been prepared in advance on Tuesday). I know, I know, this is hardly a cutting-edge technology advance, but I’m of a generation that still marvels a bit when stuff like that actually works!

So, without further ado, some fresh posts for your Friday:

I have lived in New Jersey for many years (still cannot bring myself to say I’m “from NJ” – sorry, but I’m from Connecticut). Anyway, there’s a lot that happens in this state that can make a resident grind his/her teeth into gnashing nubs, but Spike Jones points out this fabulous – and creative – and really helpful – promotion by the New Jersey Nets. Wow – now that’s how to take care of your fans!

The AdverGirl (Leigh Householder) has a series going on How Companies are using Social Media. A number of posts are already up – this link is to the first one. Tune it!

Legendary customer experience marketer and wanna-be rock star Doug Meacham has begun his own series on the Transaction vs. the Customer Experience (in retail). Here’s the first entry.

Seek criticism. From the creative David Airey. Sound counter-intuitive? Not if you want to keep improving!

Mack Collier writes a helpful post about GE’s initial foray into blogging/Twitter. What I want to point out here is Mack’s tone of helpfulness and his call for patience. After the Motrin fiasco of the past week, I think we all need to take a deep breath and be sure not to crucify companies that dip their toes in the social media water. Mistakes will be made, initial forays will be incomplete or askew. Let’s follow Mack’s example and be helpful, instead of battering newcomers and scaring them off. It’s a supportive tone of understanding and support (which has always marked our community) that will grow utilization. We all stumbled our way into this not many months/years ago, right…?

PLUS: Every blogger will understand why this is funny! Do not sip coffee before reading lest you snort it all out on your keyboard…

Oh…and did you know that you’re owed a free Dr. Pepper?

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Five in the Morning 112008

Has your company’s social media cat meow’ed yet? The glass-half-full guy, Terry Starbucker, has some valuable thoughts on this.

Is There a Hierarchy in Social Media? (as in: where should you start?). Nice overview of the basics from Jeff Paro, over at Small Business Branding blog.

Seth Godin has a free download for you – the Tribes Q&A book.

Brian Clark over at Copyblogger talks about strategic collaboration. I include this because I think it is the most important emerging business model for talented entrepreneurs to tap into. Many new businesses, and business models, are waiting to happen…

Socially fatigued? Interesting thoughts (that we can all relate to!) from Karen Swim.

PLUS – Andy Nulman having a little fun priming the market for his upcoming “Pow! Right Between the Eyes!” book.

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Five in the Morning 111308

The headline is lying today. WAY too much good stuff this morning to restrict it to 5 posts. Enjoy!

Comments are not ads. A good reminder from Shannon Paul.

Jim Kukral goes live with his new business model and branding. Plus video launch.

C.C. Chapman‘s interesting take on the recent Pepsi new logo social media campaign.

The Catchup Lady on lessons from Mars Rover on Twitter.

Doug Karr asks – and attempts to answer – how many words per post is “right”? The answer(s) may surprise you.

Chris Wilson wants you tell him: Who was listening in 2008?

So you’ve decided to follow me on Twitter? My Twitter Full Disclosure.

What’s in your Marketing Arsenal? Which tools? Toys? Tell Jay Ehret!

Big Changes for Microsoft Livenow a social network! Plus, a great photo sharing service launched.

PLUS: 15 stunning images using blur. Yahoo testing new front page (and – new Yahoo Deals). A little fun from Todd And: PNG vs. JPG. One graphic tells all!

BONUS: Check out the new BusinessWeek on-line app, Business Exchange. I did a search on Social Media Marketing. Here are the results.

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Five in the Morning 111208

More Twitter followers? Forget about it! Good tips from Lisa Hoffman.

50 ways to increase your blog subscribers. Wow – I need a 53-week year!! From Daniel Scocco.

David Meerman Scott on that pesky ROI-of-social-media question from the boss.

From those Duct Tape Marketing folks – a fine (free!) download. The beginner’s guide to Using Twitter for Business. Thanks, John Jantsch! Plus, here’s an article from ComputerWorld on tapping Twitter for business use.

Are you keeping up on the unfolding series of podcasts with Age of Conversation 2 authors? Here’s the spot to go for these meaty audio nuggets!

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Five in the Morning 110608

Income Security” – an interesting thought from Jason Alba (he of Jibber Jobber fame). What do you think? Oh, and part 2 is now up, with a bunch of good input from the clowd. (the virtual crowd, the cloud, get it? Never mind…)

You DO know about Mack Collier’s “Viral Garden Top 25 Marketing and Social Media Blogs” – right? If you don’t, go there NOW and find out where lots of the cool blog readers hang out.

Facebook, and Obama’s success. Some numbers shared by Louis Gray.

Into Logo design? The you probably want to check out LogoDesignLove. Just sayin’…

Interested in SMR (Social Media Releases)? Of course you are! And so is Todd Defren. So find out from him if they work

BONUS – Way to LIght up Your Booth. What was the most creative booth promotion I saw at Ad-Tech this week? You might be very surprised…

PLUS – Want an insanely complete start page portal? Check this beastie out!

HEY! Have you found – or written – a Five-worthy post? Feel free to suggest entries for the next day’s Five in the Morning (stevew at stickyfigure dot com) or DM me via Twitter (@swoodruff)

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Five in the Morning After, 110508

It’s over. And I’ll bet a lot of folks aren’t getting up anywhere close to 5 in the morning!

Truth be told, I wasn’t up then either. Closer to 6 am. But here are your 5 fresh posts to start the day…

MarketingShift brings us two interesting lessons. British Airways finds out about the power of social networking (and not in a good way). And, by seeking to “do good” with free election day giveaways, did some companies “do wrong”? Didn’t see this one coming…(I did get a free cup of Starbucks yesterday…does that make me and a few million others accessories to a felony?)

Rohit Bhargava gives us a nice visual on how one Obama branding strategy was quite effective. I agree with him, though I am usually more of a branding/logo “purist” – what do you think?

Rick Turoczy drinks some Juice. Have you tried it yet? I plan to!

Seth Godin summarizes some interesting marketing lessons (yes, with “tribe” angles) from the U.S. election.

The speed of Twitter. An interesting example from Mack Collier, along with a link to a good post from Mike Sansone.

PLUS: The power of a simple graphic. Really neat. From Todd And’s blog.

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Ad-Tech NY Tues. Morning

CNN’s Jonathan Klein delivers first keynote. The Future of News in the Digital Universe

- Showing examples of how they are weaving user-generate content (polling, videos, etc.) into news. Getting traction among 18-34 year olds.

- Twitter now being used in one show.

- Political Ticker

- New anchors, new approaches, going with multi-platform approaches (on-line plus telecasts plus social platforms)

- iReport – people submitting their own video stories

- People can tell “us” just as much as “we” (CNN) can tell them now. Earthquake news appeared on Twitter in 30 seconds, as opposed to a 6-min news break on network.

- CNN more like eBay now than CBS? Now the info is spread out all over (CNN becoming a consolidator?)

[SW - Very brief, engaging, interesting overview. No earth-shaking information, but clearly demonstrates that CNN "gets" where information is now coming from, and is creatively seeking to tap in. Developing more immediate and personal relationship with users/viewers.]

——-

Jeff RamseyState of the Industry Roundtable intro

-Capitalism is not dead. Consumers will continue to consume. Marketers, therefore, will need to still market.

- Lots of projected numbers on media spend in the downward direction.

- Surveys showing budgets for marketing cut (Marketing Sherpa, Marketing Profs, Epsilon)

- Where will be growth? On-line

- Stripping out the bulls and the bears, still looking at double digit growth in eMarketing (10-14% ish)

- Example of Special K cereal – better ROI from on-line than broadcast

- Choice – fear, same old/same old, or innovate. There is hope! Free downloadable report at eMarketer.

State of the Industry Roundtable intro

Moderator-Randall Rothenberg, IAB

Tina Sharkey, BabyCenter LLC

Rob Master, Unilever

Rob Norman, Group M Interaction

David Morris, CBS Interactive

- How will this election change the way marketing is done? Lessons? Tina S – Brilliant use of new media (both candidates, but esp. Obama) as a creative means to engage. Rob N – Must keep eye on geography, technology, and value of integrity. Fusing these in one campaign, with lots of micro-activation opportunities, very effective.  David M – Campaign has been great media driver, including late night, etc. The scrutiny, however, has been immense. Have to deal with missteps, etc. immediately via the web. Brands can learn from this. Rob M – global example of how things have changed. Media use HAS evolved. Fragmentation has happened, and user engagement is in.

- “Fair share” issue – will the growing digitial engagement lead to a more balanced spend? Rob M – we’re going to follow the consumer. If people continue to expand in digital, then we will also. Rob N – “fair share” issue is phony. Receptivity in areas of digital involvement is high or low depending on specific activities (for instance, not receptive to advertising when doing on-line banking).

- Consumption of “short-form” media – changing the way you market? Tina S – e-mail and newsletter still working (more direct and targeted). Customized media in digest format. David M – great time, and immensely challenging time, for creating and deploying media. Choices are legion. Have to have a trusted destination, then people will engage with whatever form of media. Rob M – New opportunities to “tell the story” of the brand.

- Upcoming stronger regulatory environment, including privacy issues on on-line advertising – your thoughts? David M – clear, up-front disclosure. Let people know what will happen with personal information. Need to self-regulate. Rob N – better track record of self-regulation than, say, financial services! Not everyone in the value chain is aligned. Tina S – bad actors tend to get pushed out by the good, need to keep gov’t from regulating. Self-regulate as a community.

- High-touch more personalized/targeted approaches vs. broad-scale media – how think through these universes? Rob M -Now to have look at all of these approaches in their context. David M – have to monetize all CPM approaches – premium and less-premium inventory [SW - panelists not liking the "remnant" inventory term!]

- Let’s talk metrics. Rob M -Now going way beyond banner clicks, etc. What are the best proxies to show purchase intent? Tina S – more broad and complex metrics now talked about with marketers.

- Video strategy will not be optional on websites any more.

- In this economy, there will be a major shakeout of providers – dog-eat-dog climate.

[SW - much of this is surface-level "keen grasp of the obvious" material. For instance, it's easy to talk about the need for self-regulation. How about some very tangible examples, approaches, stories? Who is doing this well, and how? Yes, people need to look at multi-channel approaches - but it would be better to point to specific companies and initiatives that were ground-breaking examples of effectiveness.]

Five in the Morning 110408

Hadn’t thought about it for a while, but Stan Lee is right – for a newbie, leaving a comment ain’t easy.

Another free e-book, this one from Greg Verdino – go here to get the blurb and the download! And, here are 10 tips on writing an e-book, from Amber Naslund.

Darren Rowse ((Problogger) soft-launches a new blog, TwiTip.

iPhone users – having a hard time keeping up with all the new apps? Yeah, me too. So now, there’s FreshApps, to keep us up-to-date,

How Twitter has taught me to value your time. From Technotheory.

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