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…)

(Image credit)

Subscribe to the StickyFigure blog

Follow Steve Woodruff on Twitter

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Five in the Morning 111908

You do know that Social Media is not a Fad – Right? From Dawud Miracle.

CMOs – Time to Evolve. From MarketingVox.

15 Rules for Business Bloggers. Good review of the basics, by Ian Lurie.

How to be the Social Media Champion at your Office. Good stuff by Jason Falls.

Toby the Diva asks: What would you do if you could Just Do It? And here are the answers.

PLUS – you know your brand is successful when…(you’ll chuckle at the pictures)

(Image credit)

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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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My Twitter “Full Disclosure”

twitter-logoSo you’ve decided to follow me on Twitter. Thanks for tuning in, and I look forward to tweeting with you!

I cannot provide you with all the answers to life, nor can I make all your relationships better or even guarantee improved hair control. Here, however, is what you’re in for:

:: WYSIWYG. Hopefully you’ll like what you see, warts and all. If not, feel free to unfollow. I won’t be hurt.

:: If you’re interested in pharma/healthcare, social media, branding, marketing, humor, and life, well, I do that.

:: I point to stuff on my blog(s) when I publish. If I didn’t have something to say, I wouldn’t be here.

:: I point to a LOT of other people’s stuff. Most of them are smarter than me.

:: I don’t auto-follow. If/when I do follow you, there’s a good reason for it. I think you’re interesting, funny, smart, engaging, a value-add, or some combination thereof. There’s a much higher likelihood that I’ll follow you if you @me with something directly.

:: Sometimes I’ll tweet or blog about things personal, philosophical, even political. And post pictures. See WYSIWYG.

:: At various times I may get a bit snarky, make puns, and engage in banter. Especially on Fridays. I even do spoofs at times, with some assurance that the victims have a thick skin. My followers deal with it; or better, enjoy it, and join right in. You might also get a wine recommendation or two, including pictures.

:: I do this because I like it, it’s a fulfilling creative outlet, I enjoy writing and sharing, and I’m seeking to build an opportunity network. I hope you feel the same way. We’re all evolving this space together, and it’s a lot of fun!

Oh, and if you haven’t yet followed me on Twitter, here’s where you can remedy that! If you want to know about my various footprints and networks on the web, it’s all at SteveWoodruff.com.

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Five in the Morning 110708

Hey! Do you think we’re stupid? Drew McLellan‘s just askin’…

Why Start a Blog and 25 Tips to make it work. From the esteemed Valeria Maltoni. Great stuff here!

Ann Handley takes off on 5 in the Morning, with a 9 in the Morning! And these are some great posts…check them out!

Straight from the Web Success Diva herself, Defining your Business Goals in Social Media. Ripe thoughts here – definitely see what Maria Reyes-McDavis has to say.

From the Idea Sandbox – Create Customer Excitement with Traditions.

FRIDAY BONUS: A quick and timely reminder, from the camera of David Armano (while you’re there, check out this lovely shot also).

Oh, and on a positive note – Lego provides a great customer service story. Close to home, for us. Way to go, Lego!

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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 102708

Gary Vaynerchuk, high-energy social media evanglist. From MarketingProfs Daily Fix.

It’s improved. Bigger. Better. Before there was Alltop, there was…The Marketing Bloggers portal. Now with more feeds. Check it out – and let me know if there are other worthies that should be included!

So…have you been to the Bathroom Blogfest? No, not a typo. This is real. I don’t get it…but C.B. Whittemore and gang can help you out here.

This is Katie Konrath‘s blog. Why am I linking to it? Because I love the tagline. Go see!

C. C. Chapman, a presentation on Making Media as Marketing. With Slideshare. From the recent MarketingProfs Digital Mixer.

PLUS: Eyes. I’ll say no more. You have to see it (with your own eyes) to believe it!

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Five in the Morning 102208

Jason Falls presents a very interesting case study about a holistic customer relationship approach (including social media tools) by a home builder. We need more like this!

What is LinkedIn good for? A LOT! Look at this list (with great links) assembled by Stephen Smith, from the SOBCON website!

From Aaron StroutTop Ten Lessons Learned using social media. Quick, simple, straightforward stuff here.

Showing Up – some good starting-up lessons about using social media from the personal branding guru, William Arruda.

High-Priced Hand-me-Downs. Some unknown long-tail blogger posted this one about luxury items that justify themselves as legacy inheritances.

PLUS – Whhhaattt? You’ve never visited Despair.com?? Surely you jest. Go there right now and laugh your head off!

BONUS Video – Beware the “Me Monster“! This 4.5 minute video by Brian Regan will Crack. You. Up.

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Five in the Morning 102108

Is new media marketing becoming “mainstreamed”? Check out what Paul Chaney has to say.

Re-branding…fish…with new names. Guess I hadn’t thought of that one. From the NameWire blog.

How can social media help with customer loyalty? Becky Carroll over at Customers Rock! begins a brief series this week, with quickie videos (at this link – a video from Jim Kukral). Anything Becky produces is worth your attention.

Why do we blog? Here’s what Darren Rowse (@problogger) found out when he asked his readers.

Ann Handley has Nine Questions for Guy Kawasaki. Read the Q&A here.

PLUS: Only Ann Handley could pull this off. From her blog A n n a r c h y: A Toast to Cancer.

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Five in the Morning 101708

Spike Jones asks – and answers – “When is it a Movement?” It starts with a passionate conversation. From the Brains on Fire blog.

What’s greater than sex? Scott Monty has the answer. Or so he says. I’m skeptical. (Good statistics here for your presentations…)

If you’re interested in the use of digital (and social media) approaches in pharma/life sciences, I did a series of live-blogged posts from the Digital Pharma conference this week on my Impactiviti blog. Go, scroll, and get 2 days worth of content in a few minutes! Also, you can see a number of tweets at twitter.com/swoodruff.

Ann Handley: When it’s time to turn off Twitter. Actually, there are lots of times. Like, say, ummmm, well…give me a few minutes to come up with it – oh! there’s another DM…

Why are the most memorable ads so far back in the past, asks Greg Verdino? Are we missing the mark?

Friday Bonus: The best Business Hours sign ever posted!

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Five in the Morning 101408

Guy Kawasaki on the Top 10 Ways to Tell if Things are Really Bad (tongue-in-cheek).

Here’s a bunch of ways you can use Twitter that you never thought of. All of these add-ons! Who’da thunk there’s a “timer” for tweeting yourself a reminder?

The 15 Dumbest Names for Web Startups – and, some helpful links to good naming articles by bloggers. Nice collection by Robin Wauters.

My latest MarketingProfs Daily Fix post is up – are you building a safety net? Or an Opportunity Net(work)?

How Dan Heath (of Made to Stick fame) became a Gonzaga fan.

And, congratulations to blogger Shannon Paul on her new gig with the Detroit Red Wings!

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Five in the Morning 100208

From ProBlogger4 quick and easy ways to increase page views on your blog. Good, simple, solid tips everyone (novice to pro) can use. PLUS: if you like lists of bloggers who can be found on other social platforms, check this out!

A blogger (Beth Harte) changes her mind about using Twitter.

Read blogs to improve your blog. A couple quick paragraphs from David Brazeal.

Think you know how to search online? Gavin Heaton thought so too

I love great marketing ideas. And Free Shirt Friday is just that. Very creative! (hat tip: Douglas Karr)

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Five in the Morning 093008

50 Scientifically Proven Ways to be Persuasive – looks like an interesting book!

Launching your next venture using Social Media – 5 Lessons Learned. From ProBlogger.

Valeria Maltoni on why branding matters in a tough economy. “Branding in a tough economy matters – maybe because we are in the “touch economy” now. We need to see, experience, interact with, and feel before we buy. One of the most important aspects of differentiation and success is developing a voice with that online presence…”

Chris Brogan shares some “Best of…” to help your blogging. Good stuff!

Warning: Do not Drink Water. Why?

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Facebook: Share and Connect

TechCrunch takes FaceBook to task for its newly-minted tagline, conjecturing that it is the product of too many marketing meetings.

The new phrase, “Facebook helps you connect and share with the people in your life” is actually quite accurate, and has a more “active” sense than the previous “Facebook is a social utility that connects you with the people around you.” I prefer the new tagline because it explains what Facebook allows you to do, as opposed to what it is (plus, the term “social utility” is not so easy to digest for the newcomer).

The new tagline isn’t particular sexy or memorable, granted. But I’ve seen far worse.

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Hi

Welcome to new readers of StickyFigure, a small-to-medium sized outpost here on the long tail of marketing blogs! Your tour guide is Steve Woodruff, marketer, consultant, entrepreneur, and reasonably nice person whose writings are generally brilliant and life-changing (note: your results may vary).

Stickyfigure is where I publish ramblings and resources about marketing, branding, social media, entrepreneurship, and life in the business world. My paying job is as a pharmaceutical consultant, and in that realm, I maintain a focused blog called Impactiviti. My personal blog, stevewoodruff.com, is where I park “other” non-business musings.

If you’d like a sample of some “Greatest Hits” (well, in my opinion anyway!), here are a few links:

Branding:

How to be Unremarkable

Brand Paul Potts

Personal Branding:

Your Personal Brand: Does it Matter?

Wax-free Bloggers

Social Media:

Your Marketing is Already Outsourced

One Interface to Rule them All

Marketing/Customer Experience:

How to Waste 100,000 Billboards

Lowe’s to Home Depot: Take 5! No, Take Fifty!

Entrepreneurship:

How I Became a Consultant

10 Lessons Learned from Starting a Small Business

So, feel free to browse through the blog. You’ll also find a few spoofs, and a number of posts about collaborative blogging efforts. And, if you’d like to connect, I can also be found on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Image credit: Coollogcabin.com

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One Interface to Rule them All (part 6) – the finale!

If only software could be designed and developed at the snap of a finger! Alas, great programs typically have to iterate their way to excellence and broad acceptance. However, it helps to have some big picture goals to shoot for, and that is the main purpose for this series of posts on the ideal web dashboard/interface. Hopefully, someone will take the ideas we’ve been discussing and create a new generation of portal functionality that will make our web experience better.

Speaking of ideas, what underlies this “MetaMee” concept is one big IDEAIntelligently Designed & Evolving Aggregation. Right now, we have fragmentation across many websites and platforms. Someone needs to take all the bits and pieces, apply intelligent design with user needs in mind first, and allow us to custom-aggregate in a flexible environment that will accomodate an evolving web and its evolving users.

If this final post is your first exposure to this IDEA, here is the background: part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4 and part 5.

In part 5, we began a discussion of one of the key concepts, layering/stratifying of information. Here, I’d like to introduce several other key concepts that would make the MetaMee platform uniquely useful.

First is the idea of pivoting. I will use the term this way: the ability to take one piece of information and view it from different angles of approach and richness. Let’s say, in my conversation stream, I see a tweet from Mack Collier, whom I had decided to follow. I find it interesting and want to know more. Right now, learning about Mack, or joining in on that conversation, might require me to go to Twitter, Plurk, Mack’s Viral Garden website, etc., etc. But what I’d really like to do is click on that message, see it in a threaded view (if it is part of a threaded conversation), initiate a private chat with Mack, see tweets with similar themes from similar folks, see a more complete bio of Mack (based on what he has revealed of himself in the “layers” of his MetaMee profile), see what other data streams he has available that I can subscribe to (pix, other sites, LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.), and have the ability to give Mack ratings and recommendations that other MetaMee users can use to form their view of Mack. All from one place.

Some of these ideas I spelled out in prior post a while back, about the ideal social media interface (that is the bite-sized version of this much larger endeavor, an ideal web interface!). The fact is, by aggregating all of this into one place, and being able to pivot around, I can much more intelligently make connections with those that provide value.

Aggregation, in fact, is the next concept. Your comments on other people’s blogs, your tweets, your posts, your purchases, your ratings – they’re all over the place, aren’t they? Your pictures, your contacts, your interests…wouldn’t it be nice to pull all that together and have it accessible from one dashboard? It’ll be a hard technical problem, granted. But the company/entrepreneur/team that pulls this off will find a ready audience.

We also need to be able to classify what comes in (we talked about classifying what goes out in part 5). I’d like to be able to take data streams, and people, and put them into buckets of my own making – you can do this with Google Reader, for instance. Being able to classify by topic, and/or importance, and/or whatever else I want, means I can intelligently aggregate and control. Crucial in the age of information overload. I also want to comment on and rate (think of Netflix and Amazon here) just about anything, which will lead to more intelligent recommendations by MetaMee, and also may help others if I choose to share those ratings and comments in my public persona.

Finally, let’s summarize this whole thing with some imagery to help make sense of it all. In the vast ocean of this networked world, I am a salmon hatchery on a little stream. I launch my little fish (my media) out there, joining other fish coming from their streams, mingling in larger rivers and out into the ocean wilderness of the internet. But my fish – and yours – are tagged. When people catch our fish (see our photos, read our tweets, subscribe to our blog, etc.) they tell others where the good fishing is, and they come to our stream. If the fish are unhealthy, few will cast in their lines, or wish to visit the hatchery. Natural selection at work.

On the other side of the coin, let’s say I have cable TV, with 468 channels available. That’s a lot of noise! But I only want 22 of those channels (I think). I should be able to pick and choose only what I want for my constant streams, and grab tastes of others as they seem interesting to me (it still grates on my nervest that cable providers don’t allow us to custom-create our own viewing packages. Hello??????). But the cable box is smart enough to know what I tend to watch, and even has a central hive mind that tracks what people who seem to be like me tend to watch. Then, when I power on, I can go to channel 23 for “Recommendations.” Bingo! Now this interface to the broadcast (and narrowcast) world is serving me, and making sense of the ocean of content, while allowing me full and flexible choice.

Idealistic? Sure! But why should we shoot for mediocrity? Add your comments and thoughts, and let’s find someone who wants to make us a MetaMee-type platform. To have such a thing to simplify our on-line lives would be…well, precious!

Links to the entire One Interface to Rule them All series:

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

plus…The Ideal Social Media Interface

Related post: Share Media vs. Tell Media

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TweetDeck – a Chirp in the Right Direction

I was excited this morning to test-drive TweetDeck, a new Adobe-Air based interface layer tying into Twitter.

It’s early days for this beta, but I like the general design concept. The key thing so far with TweetDeck is the ability to split up and customize the Twitter stream so that you can view it in “streams” of your own design. Also, it has an off-line component, so that you can write and queue up tweets when you are disconnected (or when Twitter is having a whale of a time being stressed out).

Plus, they have a nice little on-line forum for giving input/suggestions. I’ve already added several.

This app is one step closer to the ideal social media interface, an idea which I started exploring here. It also provides an impetus to start this week’s publication of a series of posts here on StickyFigure, where I’ll start to map out my ideas for the ideal EVERYTHING interface to the web!

Louis Gray has a nice review of TweetDeck here, with some more details, and ReadWriteWeb also gives a good overview. Doug Meacham also is liking the test-drive. Give them a read, then, if you can take having one more social media app, give it a download. I’m hoping that something like TweetDeck will provide the ideal, customizable interface to pull together all the various platform streams (Twitter, Plurk, identi.ca, FriendFeed, etc.) into one coherent location, so we can stop comparing services, and just converse more easily!

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Evolution of a Blogger

Evolution of a bloggerHello, world! I have so much pent up in my heart and mind, and I can’t believe I can just write it up and publish on a blog! Who cares if anyone reads…I just gotta express myself!

——-

Hello world! Wow, I’ve put up 5 posts so far, and a couple of people I never heard of actually left a comment on the latest one! How did they find me? I went on their blogs and left comments, too. There are some other folks out there who are pretty interesting…I think I’ll link to their stuff.

——-

Hello world! Do you realize how many great blogs there are! Look at all the cool ones I just put on my blogroll! Maybe they’ll put me on their blogroll too, and link back to my posts. Speaking of which, here’s my best post yet – 10 Steps to Accomplishing What you Want. Please read, comment, and link…I’m on my way up the ladder!

——-

Hello world and fellow bloggers! Did you know that I just got a comment from a blogging B-lister? I’ve been leaving comments on A-list blogs, hoping to get noticed and hit the big time. Someone told me about Technorati rankings and I don’t even seem to exist, but we’ll get there. Just have to do this blogging networking thing.

——-

Hello world and fellow bloggers! Wow, you guys are really friendly! I’ve been meeting some great folks on-line, and there’s even a Blogger Meetup coming up – w00t (bloggers are supposed to say “w00t” when excited, I’ve discovered). Hey, here’s my latest post – can you do me a favor and Digg/Stumble it, and enter it into all the sites where it’ll get noticed?

——-

Hello fellow bloggers! That was one great meetup last night! So many cool people, and we all share common interests (but what diversity)! I seriously think we’re going to change the world. Social media is the coming thing! And now there’s micro-blogging, where I can connect to even MORE people, and get more readers!

——-

Hey, fellow bloggers! Check out my Flickr pix, my Stumbles, and my bookmarks! And give me a follow on Twitter and Plurk and Friendfeed and MeMyself&I! Woo-hoo! Lifestreaming, baby! This is awesome!

——-

Morning Twitterati! I having a double-broccoli non-fat mocha twittichino, then off to a client meeting for a big preso. I hope Twitter stops stressing today, or I’ll be plurking (heh!). See you on the flip side, peeps!

——-

Man, I’m seeing all the same folks talking to one another on every social media site I go to. Looks like a big on-line high school, with everyone passing notes. Kinda cool, but…what’s the point?

——-

Why am I doing this?

——-

Hello, world! I have so much pent up in my heart and mind…

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Revenge or Recourse?

Vengeance is mine,” says the Lord.

I’m not a big fan of taking personal revenge – I figure that an all-knowing, sovereign, and just God is perfectly capable of dispensing due vengeance, and therefore I am free to move on without a need to “hurt ‘em back.”

Recourse, however, is something different. Recourse can be defined as, “the act of turning to someone or something for assistance, especially in obtaining redress,” and those of us who believe in social media also see that it is a powerful tool for recourse when we are wronged.

Companies are (or should be!) very sensitive to their reputation in the marketplace. Any good or bad actions that can impact a reputation are now exponentially magnified by those of us who share our experiences in a networked world. Sometimes, our only recourse is to expose the bad business experiences that we have in order to obtain redress, or to shame others into giving up their suicidal business practices.

And so, not as a matter of revenge, but rather of recourse, here is an experience we have had over the past year with a healthcare provider (hospital). I wrote this up on my Impactiviti blog, but it is relevant here on my marketing blog as well, because it is all about brand reputation and customer service. How to Fracture your Reputation – may it serve as a signpost for others not to be stupid or indifferent!

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Where is the Ideal Social Media Interface?

Well, let’s take a stab at it. Lots of discussion about Twitter, Friendfeed, and Plurk interfaces, all of which have particular strengths and weaknesses. Stuff has been brewing in the back of my head for many weeks about what would be ideal, so I’m finally going to commit some thoughts to…well, not paper. Blog. With really bad graphical (Powerpoint) design – please excuse the rapid prototyping!

Anyway, this is meant mainly to generate discussion. I’d like to see some company pull off the creation of a fabulous user interface that would truly provide an intuitive way to get started in social media (or share media), AND provide a comprehensive approach. Instead of using words to explain, I’m just going to throw out 3 graphics – if you don’t “get it” based on these alone, then I’ve done a bad job designing it.

Here’s my initial stab; feel free to add comments and create your own designs:

Main screen interface (above)

Chat view interface (above)

Threaded discussion view interface (above)

The rest you can pretty well visualize without any further graphics, I expect. What would you do different? How would you design the “ideal” UI for Social Media?

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So…What’s New with BrandingWire?

What if you could go to a site where great marketing ideas meet real-life challenges?

And everyone can participate and contribute?

Check out the evolution of the BrandingWire project

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