Catchin’ Up with Social Computing Tenents

Encapsulating the essence of why social media tools are evermore meaningful to more people — young and old — these are some highlights from Forrester Research’s April 2007 report on social computing trends by Charlene Li:
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Individuals increasingly take cues from one another rather than from institutional sources like corporations, media outlets, religions, and political bodies. To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists.
The exponential growth of processing power and storage capacity puts unprecedented computing power into the hands of users.
The social impact: The mainstream populace, not just the wealthy or educated, can tap into technology’s power to change social mores
Social Computing: 1) innovation will shift from top-down to bottom-up; 2) value will shift from ownership to experience; and 3) power will shift from institutions to communities
multiple email addresses, and thousand-member networks will be the norm — even as these youth settle down, have families, and pursue careers.
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Blog, Feed & Socialize

I just read a nifty report released on February 6 by Forrester’s social computing wise Charlene Li — “How Consumers Find Web Sites: Social Tools Play A Significant Role For Youth.”
Often we “know” what we ought to do today to build for tomorrow, but seeing results of surveys and hearing recommendations based on those findings gives us fodder we need to influence people and convince them to support our efforts.
Here are some things from Charlene’s report that I’m seeing happen already inside Intel…things that we are working to refine and disperse as best practices to other groups as they become more active with their online audiences/communities.
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Blogs help with search rankings in several ways: Comments on blogs provide more content to index; frequent updates mean that the search engine’s Web crawlers come more often; and inbound links from other blogs and sites mean higher relevancy scores in algorithms.
Services like FeedBurners’ FeedFlare and Bazaarvoice’s ShareThis automatically insert links into blog posts, content pages, and product pages, making it simple to tag or share on sites like Facebook, Digg, and
Investments in and Facebook will reach not only a quarter of the online youth population, but also support natural word of mouth and email, which are top sources of site referrals for youth. The key is tracking where traffic originates — for example, from a note posted on Facebook — as well as the channel, be it from a blog, email, or word of mouth. Use services from providers like Hitwise and Compete to map traffic patterns of your target customers.
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Find Social Media Jobs & Make Connections

Jeremiah Owyang not only helps show us how to use new communications tools and how to measure social media, he let’s us know who’s movin’ and shakin’ in this blog post.
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How to Connect with others:
Submit an annoucement
If you know folks that are moving up in the social media industry, leave a comment below, or if you’re feeling shy (it’s cool to self-nominate) send me an email.

Seeking Social Media Professionals?
If you’re seeking to connect with community advocates and community managers there are few resources

  • Start with my community manager group in Facebook
  • Check out Jake McKee’s community portal for jobs
  • See Chris Heuer’s Social Media Jobs
  • SimplyHired aggregates job listings, as does Indeed
  • Hiring? Leave a commentt
    If you’re seeking candidates in the social media industry, many of them are within arms reach, feel free to leave a link to a job description (but not the whole job description, or I’ll delete it.

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    Connected Agencies & Corporate Marketing Change Agents

    I just skimmed Forrester Research’s report “The Connected Agency” from their Interactive Marketing Professional team. This is great stuff I’m going to read again and map out how I feel and where I fit in their scheme of things.
    UPDATE: I got a nice call from Forrester this morning (2/11/08). Here is how you can access the full report:

    The link we discussed ( now directs visitors to the main report page, where Forrester clients can log in and download the report, or non-clients can purchase a copy for $279.

    As an corporate communications dude, I see how things are changing inside. Silos are coming down. People with skills are connecting with people on different teams to get advice, maximize resources and share learnings.I see agencies and vendors evolving quickly too. They’re racing to capture talented people, participate in key communities (for their industry and for the benefit of their clients) and they’re mastering new tools.There is an healthy pull pulling both corporate communications/marketing and agencies/vendors up to new heights, faster and faster. And along the way more people from both sides are participating online, testing and improving new Web 2.0 tools. We’re also learning a lot and getting better at making sense of data and sharing it quickly, broadly. Those abilities will improve in 2008.One thing I’d like is to start pulling in what Forester pegs to happen in 2013 “the agency is part of the community.” I believe we’re actually seeing “the agency promotes the community” in some cases right now. But I do think Forester has it right here:

    * 2008 to 2009: The agency involves the community. Even in 2007, agencies and marketers began to reach out to consumers: Chanel worked with viral agency BuzzParadise to tap select bloggers for participation in special events and to receive insider brand news; Publicis launched a blogger advertising network, with the twist that amateurs create the ads. Agencies need to keep consumers involved consistently and begin to build a specialization in specific target markets or with communities based on the brands with which they are working. Where’s the money? Brands will pay a premium for the high conversion rates that the agency can guarantee based on its community insights.

    * 2010 to 2012: The agency promotes the community. Agencies focus dedicated teams on creating direct relationships with tightly defined communities. At shops like Leo Burnett, job titles shift from account manager to community animator. Media fragmentation, communities embodying multiple personas, and niche brands offer a rich opportunity for agencies to compile distinct portfolios of closely knit consumers, uncovered by disparate data sources. Much like a talent or sports agent, the community animator will begin promoting its own communities to compatible brands, rather than the reverse. Agencies will take the place of gatekeeper to those communities, and brands will need to pay to get in. By 2010, brands like BMW will have realized that mass marketing is over and that access to influencers is the way forward.

    * 2013 on: The agency is part of the community. Agency staff will draw closer to the communities they interact with and ultimately become part of the community itself. Fast-forward to the future: The successful agency has intimate involvement with community members as an external mouthpiece and internal catalyst. This bond allows the agency team to “age” with its community, brokering relationships with new brands as the community’s needs change. Large groups like JWT will scale by managing a kaleidoscope of different consumer groups, introducing and handing off appropriate brands as communities evolve. Advertisers will consolidate business with agencies that can adeptly accompany brands throughout their life cycle within diverse consumer communities.

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    The Connected Agency
    Marketers: Partner With An Agency That Listens Instead Of Shouts
    Mary Beth Kemp, Peter Kim

    Today’s agencies fail to help marketers engage with consumers, who, as a result, are becoming less brand-loyal and more trusting of each other.
    A new definition of “mass media” is emerging. Content Creators comprise 13% of the US adult online population and 11% of online Europeans.(see endnote 8) Communities can now find and consume media that speaks directly to niche interests, published by other community members. The new mass media is made up of a collection of communities. While many consumers are involved, each individual community is small, fragmenting the market further. As more consumers become involved in Social Computing, these platforms will grow and eclipse today’s mainstream media.
    New players compensate for left-brain deficiencies.
    Pull dominates push; quality trumps quantity.
    Creative talent resides inside and outside the firm
    The agency promotes the community
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    Behavior Trending Back to Einstein Aphorisms

    Great stuff from Max Kalehoff’s blog Online Spin.   The human behavior trend pendulum swings back to Einsteinian inspiration.

    1.      “Imagination is more important than knowledge.” So why not cultivate imagination? Why not seek it out when screening new hires, or emphasize it in professional development, or cherish it when problem-olving?

     2.      “A perfection of means, and confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem.” What really are you trying to achieve? How well is your mission defined? Perfection of everything else is meaningless if you and your organization don’t know where you’re headed. This is where leadership begins.

    3.      “Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.” This is an ideology of humbleness, selflessness and authenticity. Embodying this ideology creates longer-term, competitive advantage. Value to customer is what really matters, not whether you’re successful. You’ll end up successful if you create value.

    4.      “Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” In an increasingly quant-driven marketplace, it’s easy to obsess on what you can count and disregard the rest. This paradox contributes to the confusion of aims mentioned above. To be successful, it’s critical to find alternative means of codifying and leveraging the important things you can’t count.


    5.      “Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius — and a lot of courage — to move in the opposite direction.” Perhaps violence is less relevant in most businesses, but size and complexity are major problems. For reasons I can’t explain, marketers too often get obsessed with size and complexity — as if they’re desirable. The fact is they’re the opposite, and they’re offensive jabs at our most precious assets: time and attention. Marketers may not see this, but customers do. Customers delight in simplicity and efficient use of space and time.

     6.      “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.” This is true for internal employee communications, as well as customer communications. Master your subject matter so you can confidently pick the language, concepts and style that communicate with the greatest ease and efficiency.

    7.      “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.” Mistakes and losses should actually be rewarded. Fear and low tolerance for mistakes breads stagnant cultures and boring products.

    8.      “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” When you enable passion, you drive focus, cultivate mastery, leverage spontaneity, foster creativity, build intuition and live toward mission. The dots connect, clarity emerges.

    9.      “Whoever is careless with the truth in small matters cannot be trusted with important matters.” Truth is paramount, but carelessness with what is small is a window into how one may handle anything large. The small stuff matters.

    10.  “Most people say that is it is the intellect which makes a great scientist. They are wrong: it is character.” Same for marketing and business in general. Need I say more?

    BookStack to Excercize Some Brain Cells

    I loved the post by my friend Douglas Pollei back in November…the one he called BookStack, where he shared a pile of books he was diving into. By the way, he just did a cool post about how today’s marketers need whole-brain, strategic thinking skills to stay on top of their game.

    Here is the pile I got through in 2007. I typically have four books going at one time, so it takes me a while to finish.

    From the bottom to the top:
    1) Your Inner CEO, Allan Cox (also find him doing great things on Facebook)

    This is an inspiring, hands and mind-on book that lets you redefine who you want to be. Allan blends modern psychology and his CEO training experience. He’s really doing a great job connecting with people, getting people involved and showing how to use social media. Bravo!

    2) The New Influencers, Paul Gillin

    A must read that is quick, filled with mistakes and good things people and companies have done using social media. This book can help many marketers and communications pros get up to speed and off and running with social media.

    3) Quantum Leap Thinking, James J. Mapes

    I really enjoyed this book. It’s nice to stop and think about how you look at things, how your mind consumes the world. This can help open up perspectives by redefining limits with quick, meaningful leap ahead thinking.

    4) We are Smarter than Me, Barry Libert & Jon Spector and Thousands of Contributors
    The wisdom of crowds is tightly described in this nifty book. This is one of those huge concepts (like long tale) that are at the core of social media, social networking and how people are communicating better, faster and more openly than ever.

    5) The Cluetrain Manifesto, Rick Levine, Christopher Locke, Doc Searls, David Weinberger
    Many of my friends read this years ago, but it light me up and made me laugh out loud through several plane rides. Most of all, it got me fired up about getting to what matters by being real and honest. Irreverent. Timeless yet of our times.

    6) Blink, Malcolm Gladwell
    This is mind boggling. It might be telling us all what we already know, subconsciously…pre-reflexively. Think statics is tough? You actually bust our elementary functions, statics and algebra in a blink of the eye whenever you make a snap judgment or life-saving move.

    7) Purple Cow, Seth Godin
    I finally got to this book several years after it came out, but its as fresh as a warm latte. Seth is a succint storyteller who took off his rose colored glasses long ago and his truly helping marketing and communications pros cut the crap and focus on doing wonderful things. This is about breaking the status quo. It’s about the need for focusing on smaller, more meaningful audiences with something truly valuable. Cookie cutter won’t cut it for everyone anymore. I read this while visiting small towns in Calabria, southern Italy this winter. I believe that each little town is living what Seth is talking about. Each town is getting back to their heritage, their dialect, their crafts and celebrating their specialty foods and songs. It makes them special, and stand out from other neighboring towns.

    8) Meatball Sundae, Seth Godin (standing, left)
    Picked this up in Berkeley at Cody’s Bookstore and it’s yummy. I’m still flipping through it, but this is Seth Godin taking ideamaking to the next level — what not to do, so that you can see how to free yourself to make the right combinations. To use the right combination of traits from the left AND right sides of your brain.

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    Traditional vs. New Media with CNET’s Rafe Needleman at CES BlogHaus 2008

    Jennifer Jones’ “Marketing Voices” caught CNET’s Rafe Needleman at the PodTech BlogHaus at CES 2008. Needleman tells how CNET’s doin’ their thing and shares his views on “traditional” versus new media. Jones and Needleman discuss the frustration of journalists who wish many of the bloggers had more academic training and knowledge.

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    Conversation Targeting: Getting To The Heart Of Blogs And Social Media

    Blogging from my blackberry while spending the holidays in Italy. BuzzLogic has been on my wish list for almost six months now. Their approach is something I believe could be built into a foundation for communication efforts. Jennifer Jones gets another great interview for “Marketing Voices.”

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