Getting Social Media

February 22, 2008

I was on a panel at the Cornell Entrepreneur Network event yesterday, asked to speak on the marketing potential of social media to a (smart) group of “Web 2.0” neophytes. The assignment led to some Cornellreflection on my part, and the following (hopefully) insights:

  1. People under 30 – the typical target for marketers interested in social media – don’t want online dialog for it’s own sake. Dialog is a means to multiple ends which they care about a great deal: Authenticity, Understanding, and Validation.
  2. Because of this, you have to understand social networking as a user before you have a prayer of using it effectively as a marketer. Rather than spending your lunchtime listening to paper gurus, go create a blog yourself and see what happens.
  3. After you’ve done that, don’t expect the world to beat a path to your door. Check where the people interested in what your interested in hang out today. Lurk quietly for a while, like you would wandering into a conversation at a cocktail party. Then try and make a worthwhile contribution.
  4. If you really have something great to add, post it on your own blog with references to appropriate posts in more established blogs. This will create traffic, and begin to build your social networking equity.
  5. Whenever possible, move the conversation to the real world. Blog away, but throw on some lipgloss once in a while and go shake some hands, will ya?

Did you attend the forum? Feel free to comment and post a link to your blog.


Surfing The Net With Dory

December 28, 2007

My monthly column on Adotas, the lead story in the mag. Cool!

Adotas » Surfing The Net With Dory – The Absent-Minded Online Service


More thoughts on facebook…

November 29, 2007

Published an article in ADOTAS today, looks like this will be a recurring column.adotas logo

It’s been an interesting couple of weeks in the mediasphere. On the one hand, we’ve had Facebook asking advertisers to belly up to the buffet of targeting data made available through their new ad initiative. On the other, we’ve seen the behavioral targeting crowd launch a “Do Not Track List,” which would clearly take some of the tastier goodies off the online ad targeting table. So what’s it all mean? Should responsible advertisers start salivating over the pictures on the menu? Or should they re-commit to their diets just as the all-you-can-eat cruise ship leaves port?

Comments welcome.

Barack Obama

November 8, 2007

Speaking for myself alone, after considerable reflection, I think he’s my guy.

It started with his book, but this article started me over the cliff, and this one finished it. A particularly potent excerpt:

Hillary makes far more sense if you believe that times are actually pretty good. If you believe that America’s current crisis is not a deep one, if you think that pragmatism alone will be enough to navigate a world on the verge of even more religious warfare, if you believe that today’s ideological polarization is not dangerous, and that what appears dark today is an illusion fostered by the lingering trauma of the Bush presidency, then the argument for Obama is not that strong. Clinton will do. And a Clinton-Giuliani race could be as invigorating as it is utterly predictable.

But if you sense, as I do, that greater danger lies ahead, and that our divisions and recent history have combined to make the American polity and constitutional order increasingly vulnerable, then the calculus of risk changes. Sometimes, when the world is changing rapidly, the greater risk is caution. Close-up in this election campaign, Obama is unlikely. From a distance, he is necessary. At a time when America’s estrangement from the world risks tipping into dangerous imbalance, when a country at war with lethal enemies is also increasingly at war with itself, when humankind’s spiritual yearnings veer between an excess of certainty and an inability to believe anything at all, and when sectarian and racial divides seem as intractable as ever, a man who is a bridge between these worlds may be indispensable.

On a more emotional level, the man has something special. See for yourself:

Yep. That’s my guy.

“You work with good people, you win.”

April 19, 2007

I had breakfast with Robert and Jonathan Kraft today, and at the risk of seeming a name-dropper or a sniveling kiss @ss, spending time with them is like a lesson in the values that contribute so much to the success or failure of a business. Among Robert’s most often sited maxims, reinforced at every opportunity, is the importance of working with “good people.”

What does he mean by this? Of course “good people” means competent people, people who are good at what they do. But he means more than that. He means people of high moral character. He means people who are decent, sensitive, smart, ethical, and loyal. “Mensches” who not only do their jobs well, but who make doing yours that much more enjoyable.

It can be a trivial thing to say this. It’s almost a truism – you hear it all the time from parents, teachers, coaches, and CEOs… I mean who’s out there looking for the really bad people?

It is a decCharacter 2×2idedly non-trivial, and altogether more rare thing, to stick to this value when put to the Tyrant test.

Tyrants are people with high job performance and low character, the upper left folks in the matrix. We’ve all seen them – the high-performing sales guy who abuses the delivery team; the departmental superstar despised by his peers and subordinates; the external media darling who puts style over substance. There are more than a few archetypes in this quadrant, sad to say. All of them can seem invaluable to a business in the near term, which leads managers to overlook their “personal issues.” Tyrants interpret this as reinforcement of their own power, which engenders further bad behavior, and the cycle continues. Value is destroyed in the enterprise – friction is created, and good people leave.

Only leaders with the conviction to dump the Tyrant without hesitation hold “good people” as a value rather than a slogan. This is the Patriot Way, and it will be ours as well.

A Canon of Modern Understanding

April 6, 2007

I finished Tom Friedman’s excellent The World is Flat last weekend, and got started on Linked soon thereafter. It struck me that books like these are more than interesting, they’re important to people who want to understand the world we live in.

This got me thinking about what books I’d give my kids to help them navigate the world they’ll live in. Much has been written about the set of books that teach fundamental concepts of western culture, and this list is a pretty good one for any American trying to grasp the big picture. That said, the rate of change today is such that no list of dusty classics could ever illuminate the world fully. A new list is required, a kind of canon of modern understanding that grows and changes with the times in which we live.

Here’s my first cut, obviously too business centric and incomplete, but I welcome your comments: