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:
clipped from
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.
  blog it

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.
clipped from
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.
  blog it

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.

clipped from
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
  blog it

Prophet Talking at the Speed of Business

I’m checking out what people shared about their experience Monday evening at the Social Media Club, Silicon Valley hosted at Intel headquarters. I’ll write up another post this week when I have a little more time to reflect. But first, this…Someone in Facebook described Jeremiah Owyang, strolling up to the podium with think black book in this hand….he looked like a prophet. Aptly put, any which way you think about it…he’s a prophet sparing time, insights, always a helping hand with a finger pointing forward, move ahead, avante!

Jeremiah let’s fly brimstone, bleeding edge wisdom and can zero in on specifics backed by examples or data. Sometimes both. Here’s another helpful list to train our eyes on. Enterprises might watch for these potential ills as more marketers speed to add new tools that help companies and people connect with clients and audiences. The list, followed by Jeremiah’s business “fix.”

* Disparate user experiences to customers and employees
* Information spread off the firewall, some potentially sensitive
* Risk of enterprise 2.0 vendors being acquired by a competitor
* Real time information being spread at the “edges” of the company, where there was one before corporate communications
* Multiple login systems
* Multiple identity systems spread from system to systems
* Systems that may not talk to each other, now or in the future.
* Business program managers that leave the company or position, orphaning any technology deployment deployed at the business level
* Business groups paying for web programs in different locations, different budgets
* Lack of a cohesive web strategy

clipped from

The fix? IT moving at the speed of business

Business units, IT groups, and Enterprise 2.0 vendors need to work closely together to deploy programs across the enterprise. I, we, you, would love to see IT to rise to the occassion and get ahead of the demand curve. Get aware of what’s happening, build connections internally. Get educated, attend enterprise 2.0 conferences and events. Initiate a dialogue with business units fast and early. Your business analysts can stay close to the groups, gather information and help drive a real strategy. Experiment with new technology (give time and resources to those wide eyed employees in IT you see who may adopt these tools) and deploy quickly. Be flexible as business and technology changes over time. Sure, there are going to be changes at the speed of business, but that’s far better than doing nothing.

  blog it

One other cool thing from Jeremiah’s blog was this interesting, but not quite there video. It’s about MediaSnackers. This is a great premise — young people are the new www = getting info and entertainment whenever, wherever and whatever. But JO argues it’s not just young people. There are pleanty of us almost middle aged MediaSnackers. But the point is, are people acknowledging and respecting this short, random media consumption trend? Two-minuteTV on phones, 100MB or 10-minute video file limits on YouTube, mash-ups….but I’d say it’s not quite a mega-trend. But people are consuming and doing more, so where’s the time go/come from? Maybe by building in efficiency into stories we share.

Understanding the Importance of Facebook for Marketers

There he is! No, he’s over there. He’s in your RSS feeder, links inside others’ blogs, on UStream.TV, in Hong Kong in Silicon Valley…he’s everywhere, but now working at Forrester Research. Jeremiah Owyang is showing and sharing how we can all connect and communicate better. Call it strategic, I call it smart. If you like interesting people and are interested in people, social media is for you.

[podtech content=]