Tag - media

Social & You: my presentation at SOHO Vancouver

Here’s the slide deck from my presentation today at SOHO Vancouver:

I talked about the evolution of data from the spoken words to the Facebook timeline, and how that impacts business and branding. There are also four simple steps for businesses to take when starting out in social media.

It was a ton of fun … there were a lot of great people there. Smart business people all, with many of them already doing more than just dabbling in social media for their companies and their brands.

Facebook sharing tools suck – here's how to fix 'em

Ever counted the number of clicks it takes to upload a pic or a clip to Facebook? Way too many!

Here’s how to make it much better:

It’s between 6 and 8 clicks, depending on how you go about it, and here’s the process:

  1. Click “Photo” in the Share bar
  2. Read the options, decide I’m uploading, and click “Upload a Photo”
  3. Click “Choose File”
  4. Hunt for my file in the file dialog that appears
  5. Click my file, and then click “Choose” (or doubleclick the image file)
  6. Click in the text area to add a note about the pic
  7. Click “Share” (assuming I’m not changing any privacy preferences)

That’s a LOT of clicks when 2 decades of computing has taught us to drag and drop files when we want to move them from one place to another.

It didn’t happen right away on the web, for a lot of good reasons, but Google Docs has been doing it since 2010. And there are toolsets available to make it happen easily.

So, Facebook: put a couple of smart engineers on it and lets see what you can do!

Whoa. Just tried to upload photos in Google+ and guess what … drag and drop is here:

Before the drag:

After the drop:

Immediately obvious features:

  • Drag & drop (duh)
  • Individual image upload progress reporting
  • Live image updating as images are uploaded

Very, very slick.

Social media marketing in 3 words: DO SOMETHING INTERESTING!

Here’s a perfect example of social media marketing:

An IKEA in England decided to let 100 cats roam the store overnight. And then they filmed it … and the results are astonishing:

The whole key: do something interesting! Do something different! Do something remarkable … literally remark-able! Do something that no-one else is doing.

If you’re boring … no-one cares, and you can’t do any effective social media marketing. In fact, you’ll be hard pressed to do any effective marketing at all.

War is peace, love is hate, and Verizon/Google's "net neutrality" is open internet

I’m not sure if Big Brother’s peering out at us right now through our LCD monitors. Or maybe it’s just Little Brother, but when it’s Google and Verizon … it’s big enough.

Net neutrality is a core concept underpinning the foundations of the entire internet. Everything that goes through the “pipes” is treated equally: data packets to route to a destination.

Google has always been in favor of net neutrality … mostly out of fear that big ISPs with ties to media companies would slow down traffic to a bandwidth hog like YouTube while preferentially passing packets from, let’s say, CBC’s online TV offerings.

Now Google and Verizon are talking about net neutrality as if they are maintaining it … but are in fact talking about building new services over or above the existing open internet. To those who think this sounds familiar, this is precisely the kind of “embrace and extend” strategy for destruction that we have grown very familiar with from Redmond, WA.

Soon, the apps and services that are built on this new layer could get so compelling that people will want to, or would maybe even almost be forced to use it. At that moment, you’ve killed the internet and you’re back to AOL in the 90s.

A link you send to me may not work. Or, it maybe access a resource so slowly as to make little difference. An app or slice of media meant for some will not be accessible for others.

We already have enough of this trouble with geo-location and the transference of archaic locale-based TV broadcast rules onto the existing internet. We don’t need another entire layer disrupting this web we all live in.

Google, remember your unofficial motto: don’t be evil.

Google: how many enemies can you afford?

I was wondering this morning: how many enemies can Google afford?

There’s of course Apple, which Google poked with a stick when they brought out Android, their OS for mobile communication devices (or: smartphones). Apple is less concerned about Chromium and Google Apps (see below) … but any other operating systems and productivity apps are inherent competitors.

Microsoft is an enemy not only due to Android but also due to Chromium, another Google OS for not-quite-so-mobile devices (or: tablets). And, of course, Microsoft just loves Google for Google Apps, which threaten to someday replace Office.

Not least of all, Microsoft, which has been trying for a decade to win on the web, is fighting Google for mind and marketshare in search with Bing.

Facebook is emerging as a major competitor for Google for two reasons: sheer scale in terms of audience and pageviews, which diverts users’ time and attention away from Google … and the fact that Facebook controls what Google sees of all that fascinating and mine-able and rich user action and interaction.

Facebook, of course, is really happy that Google’s Orkut is big in Brazil and India …

Twitter, FourSquare, etc.
The whole social world that is exploding in Facebook and on Twitter/FourSquare and many other similar sites watches in dismay as Google experiments with Buzz. It’s abundantly apparent that Orkut notwithstanding Google isn’t really getting social right now, but the giant with deep pockets cannot be ignored. Even its accidental footsteps kill many trees.

Hmmm … Google really knows how to pick ’em. As much as we may admire Google for its principled stance on freedom and censorship, fighting with the more-or-less totalitarian government of the most populous nation with the fastest-growing economy on earth is a bit sobering.

Old media, Magazines, Newspapers, Publishing, Rupert Murdoch, New York
As much as we may laugh at Rupert Murdoch’s understandings of links, traffic, and value … there’s no doubt that aggregation and search have sucked huge amounts of value out of traditional media. And they don’t like one little bit of it … and are searching furiously for ways to re-monetize their content. (Maybe the iPad will save them? Don’t hold your breath.)

. . .
. . .

Who else? From a certain perspective, almost EVERY company on the internet competes with Google, at least somewhat.

So the question becomes … at what point does Google’s insistence on poking their nose into everyone else’s business model – which they can only afford to do because of a de facto monopoly on search revenue – start to damage Google?

One would have to imagine sometime soon. You can only fight so many Lilliputians (and behemoths) at once.

The rise and fall of MySpace

It was also becoming clear that, unlike many other internet sensations, MySpace could earn its keep. Within 15 months of the acquisition, revenues had leapt from about $1m a month to $50m a month: half came from advertising sold by the new sales team that News Corp had installed, the rest from the Google deal. As advertisers rushed to target the site’s rapidly expanding audience, offices were opened in Japan, South Korea, China, while a free music service was launched at considerable expense.

But by the beginning of 2008, things began to sour. Facebook, a rival social network that was simpler and easier to use, was gaining momentum and starting to grow more quickly than MySpace. Murdoch confidently told the world that MySpace would make $1bn in advertising revenues in 2008 – but the company missed its target. Users began to desert the site, which had become cluttered with unappealing ads for teeth straightening and weight-loss products. News Corp executives could hardly hide their displeasure, and in April this year, DeWolfe left, closely followed by most of his senior management team.

via FT.com / Reportage – The rise and fall of MySpace.

For The Future Of The Media Industry, Look In The App Store

How to make money in media when copying is easy and digital transmission is essentially free:

If you are a media exec and you look at your product and at the end of the day it’s a digital file that can be copied, then you have a serious problem with your format. Think of your product like a pie chart of the value you are giving the consumer. If 100% of the value is in that file, it is not a sound approach for defending the future of your business. However, if a portion of the experience is derived thorough an integration with a Web component that will yield additional value in functionality or social elements, then it will be more sustainable. There are many such examples emerging in the app store (I am T-Pain, TapTap and many more). Applications that let consumers interact with the media. Create things and share them with their friends. These will not only make the consumer the one who markets your product, but also create an unprecedented level of engagement. That level of engagement will directly map to reduction in piracy as consumers will pay for this experience and wont be able to copy it. Sell access and experiences, not media files.

via For The Future Of The Media Industry, Look In The App Store.

Media barons demanding to be lied to

OK, here’s the definitive quote of the day:

“When someone demands to know how we are going to replace newspapers, they are really demanding to be told that we are not living through a revolution. They are demanding to be told that old systems won’t break before new systems are in place. They are demanding to be told that ancient social bargains aren’t in peril, that core institutions will be spared, that new methods of spreading information will improve previous practice rather than upending it. They are demanding to be lied to.”

The source is Clay Shirky, Newspapers and Thinking the Unthinkable.

This is particularly relevant to me now, having just participated in a new media round table on journalism, papers, and the web: New Media Round Table.

Marshall McLuhan's 4 laws of Media

In all probability Marshal McLuhan’s most famous sentence is: “the medium is the message,” referring to the fact that what media you use influences the way you communicate.

But McLuhan’s 4 laws of media are probably much less well known. I recently ran across them, and was struck by how meaningful they are.

McLuhan said that when you introduce new media, 4 things inevitably happen: the new media enhance, reverse, retrieve, and obsolesce.

  1. Enhance
    The new media enhances, makes possible, or accelerates some things. Example:

  2. Reverse
    When pushed to the limits, the new media will reverse it’s original characteristics.

  3. Retrieve
    The new media brings back some features of earlier media.

  4. Obsolesce
    The new media obsolesces some old media.

There are some great examples of this exact process happening. Sometimes it also applies for technologies that are not, precisely, media.

For example, a car makes it possible for you to travel faster. Too many of them reverses that effect as you get trapped in traffic jams. The car retrieves the era of knighthood or even cowboy culture … have horse will travel … and obsolesced the horse and buggy.

Shout-out: advertiser thank-you

Just wanted to give a big shout-out and thank-you-very-much to my advertisers and supporters:

Thanks! You help pay the bills, and it’s much appreciated.

Brand protection, marketing, and responsiveness in a new media world

Consumer-generated Media has a nice breakdown of Steve Jobs open letter to early iPhone adopters who hit the roof when Apple recently announced the $200 price break.Excerpt:

What an incredible year to watch and learn from CEO-level behavior in times of crisis and difficulty. First we had Jet Blue, faced with an impossibly difficult situation, take to the airwaves on YouTube, apologize profusely, and announce a new passenger bill of rights. While Menu Foods practically hid their CEO during the pet recall issue, Mattel put their CEO, Bob Eckert, on the website video airwaves to nurture trust and confidence in the wake of the toy recall (a still-in-progress case study). Now we have Steve Jobs, who just wrote and posted the most remarkable letter in response to concerns about iPhone’s recent price decrease. He coupled an apology with a $100 Apple credit for all early-buyers of the iPhone. This is classic Defensive Branding. I predict it will be one of the most discussed, debated, and linked-to letters of the year, and so far I’ve already counted over 800 unique blog postings referencing his letter since 6 PM last night.

A full breakdown of the letter follows …

Don’t bother me with the facts

“People do not care about facts, they care about stories.”

Was just reading Eric Enge’s interview with Seth Godin, and that little tidbit resonates. It resonates strong.

It explains a lot about media and their stories, it explains a lot about successful and unsuccessful marketing, and it explains a lot about good presentations versus bad presentations.

The challenge: deliver the facts you need others to need wrapped in a story that is too compelling to tune out.

[tags] seth godin, interview, eric enge, john koetsier, marketing, facts, stories [/tags]