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October 2008

Jon the Marketer (w video)

  • SimpleJoe the Plumber.
  • Bob the Builder.
  • Steve the Comedian.
  • *Name* the *Occupation*

I'm Jon the Marketer.  I'm a number on a spreadsheet.  I'm a demographic to be spoken to.

The everyman is an everyman, not a someone.  Right?

And the everyman relates to the everyman, because we have something in common, we're all numbers on the same spreadsheet, right?  Skew the math properly and we're really all the same, right?

To quote John McCain (see video below), "You're all Joe the Plumber".  Ouch.

We'll find out in 5 days.

But are we any better?  Are we as ad men/women, communicators, PR people, really any better?  Are we speaking to/with people or numbers?  Are we connecting or are we yelling?  What are we doing to transform not just our own agencies and teams, but the industry at large? 

What is OUR plan for change?
photo credit here

censorship - is it always evil?

Blindfold I don't mind that my children cannot view pornography in a library.

I wouldn't mind the US Government shutting down a terrorist website - via proper legal channels.

I would however, be deeply disturbed to learn that my government or ISP was filtering my access to information.

  • What would they have to fear? 
  • What would the government gain by limiting my access to this information? 
  • Why isn't the option to view and trust information left at my discretion as a democratic citizen?

I'm all for staying safe, but doesn't even an the most excessive of measures - censorship, demand transparency?

Don't all democratic citizens have a right to know when their natural Gd-given rights are being tampered with?

Sure, the Australian Government has told their citizenry about their plans for censorship.  But they have not told their citizens quite how or why (though some suggest this will be a filter against porn - particularly child pornography - and gambling, I'd be interested to see how effective and accurate this solution would be).  We need to keep our children safe, we need to keep child pornography out of our homes, protect children and prosecute the monsters creating this content - but this is not the solution.  This is not a screen, or a transparent safety mechanism.  It's a dumb wall, blocking mass amounts of information, killing industry and crippling the internet infrastructure in Australia. 

I don't live in Australia, but I think this is something we need to discuss across all democratic nations around the world.

Knowing that you don't know what you're missing, that may be the scariest fear of all.

For some real Australian sentiment check out Gavin's post, and Get Shouty's future husband Angry Aussie's thoughts in the video below (not safe for work).

photo credit here

AOC2 - Buy it, Learn, Share, Give Back

aoc1The internets are all abuzz. And for a good reason. We've done something productive, collavorative, insightful and charitable.  And you too can jon in the fun Wednesday, October 28th at 8am.  How?

Buy AOC2

For the full story on AOC2, you can check out the site at The Age Of Conversation

Below are a list of the contributing authors.  Some of these faces may be new to you, some may be old friends.  Click around, discover, share, join our movement on Facebook, Twitter, the authot Podcast or just check out our bios.  I cannot say I've met everyone listed below, but I can tell you that we all have one thing in common - something to say.  So check 'em out, click around, and GO BUY THAT BOOK!

Adrian HoAki SpicerAlex HenaultAmy JusselAndrew OdomAndy NulmanAndy SernovitzAndy WhitlockAngela MaiersAnn HandleyAnna FarmeryArmando AlvesArun RajagopalAsi SharabiBecky CarrollBecky McCrayBernie SchefflerBill Gammell,Bob LeDrewBrad ShorrBrandon MurphyBranislav PericBrent DixonBrett MacfarlaneBrian ReichC.C. ChapmanCam Beck,Casper Willer, Cathleen RittereiserCathryn HrudickaCedric Giorgi,Charles SipeChris KieffChris CreeChris WilsonChristina Kerley(CK)C.B. WhittemoreChris BrownConnie BensenConnie Reece,Corentin MonotCraig WilsonDaniel HonigmanDan SchawbelDan SitterDaria Radota RasmussenDarren HermanDave Davison,David ArmanoDavid BerkowitzDavid KoopmansDavid Meerman ScottDavid PetherickDavid ReichDavid WeinfeldDavid ZingerDeanna GernertDeborah BrownDennis PriceDerrick KwaDino DemopoulosDoug HaslamDoug MeachamDoug MitchellDouglas HannaDouglas KarrDrew McLellanDuane BrownDustin JacobsenDylan VinerEd Brenegar, Ed CottonEfrain Mendicuti,Ellen WeberEric PetersonEric NehrlichErnie MostellerFaris YakobFernanda RomanoFrancis AndersonGareth KayGary CohenGaurav MishraGavin HeatonGeert DesagerGeorge JenkinsG.L. HoffmanGianandrea FacchiniGordon WhiteheadGreg VerdinoGretel Going & Kathryn FlemingHillel CoopermanHugh WeberJ. Erik PotterJames Gordon-MacintoshJamey ShielsJasmin TragasJason OkeJay EhretJeanne DininniJeff De CagnaJeff Gwynne & Todd CabralJeff NobleJeff WallaceJennifer WarwickJenny MeadeJeremy FuksaJeremy HeilpernJeroen Verkroost, Jessica HagyJoanna YoungJoe PulizziJohn Herrington,John MooreJohn RosenJohn TodorJon BurgJon SwansonJonathan TrennJordan BehanJulie FleischerJustin FosterKarl TurleyKate TrgovacKatie ChatfieldKatie KonrathKenny LauerKeri WillenborgKevin JessopKristin GorskiLewis GreenLois KellyLori Magno, Louise ManningLuc DebaisieuxMario VellandiMark BlairMark EarlsMark GorenMark HancockMark LewisMark McGuinnessMatt DickmanMatt J. McDonaldMatt MooreMichael KarnjanaprakornMichelle LamarMike ArauzMike McAllenMike SansoneMitch JoelNeil PerkinNettie HartsockNick RiceOleksandr SkorokhodOzgur AlazPaul ChaneyPaul HebertPaul IsaksonPaul McEnanyPaul TedescoPaul WilliamsPet Campbell,Pete DeutschmanPeter CorbettPhil GerbyshakPhil LewisPhil SodenPiet WullemanRachel SteinerSreeraj MenonReginald AdkinsRichard HuntingtonRishi DesaiRobert HruzekRoberta RosenbergRobyn McMasterRoger von OechRohit BhargavaRon ShevlinRyan BarrettRyan KarpelesRyan RasmussenSam Huleatt,Sandy Renshaw, Scott GoodsonScott MontyScott TownsendScott WhiteSean HowardSean ScottSeni ThomasSeth GaffneyShama HyderSheila ScarboroughSheryl SteadmanSimon PaynSonia SimoneSpike JonesStanley JohnsonStephen CollinsStephen LandauStephen SmithSteve BannisterSteve HardySteve PortigalSteve RoeslerSteven VerbruggenSteve WoodruffSue EdworthySusan BirdSusan GuneliusSusan HeywoodTammy LenskiTerrell MeekThomas CliffordThomas KnollTim BrunelleTim Connor,Tim JacksonTim MannveilleTim TylerTimothy JohnsonTinu Abayomi-PaulToby BloombergTodd AndrlikTroy RutterTroy WormanUwe HookValeria MaltoniVandana AhujaVanessa DiMauroVeronique RabuteauWayne BuckhananWilliam AzaroffYves Van Landeghem

blogging isn't dead & twitter is not a challenger

22842835_03936ec905_o The value of twitter:

  • Twitter is great for short form conversation. 
  • Twitter enables instant, almost live interactivity. 
  • Twitter's short form, multi-platform, poorly threaded yet incredibly addicting conversations drive it's growing popularity.
  • And perhaps must importantly to the Twitter dynamic, it gives users an active window into one anothers' social circles, bringing diversity to our social experience while expanding our window into the collective consciousness.
But the rise of Twitter doesn't negate the value of blogging.

Nor does the rise of the professional blog, the magazine-like blog, or the near-live reporting blog (all of which generally dominate the Technorati rankings) decry the end of blogging.

40059195_eb90e8b53a_o Because blogging is not about the raw numbers, but about the value of the connectivity, the democratization of content, the forum, the voice of the little guy and in my case, the value of having a homepage all my own.  This is my forum for sharing my perspectives.  That is not something I can do on Twitter.   Twitter regularly inspires my blogging while all too often distracting me from blogging as well.  One is not mutually exclusive from the other.

Ask yourself, why am I blogging?  What am I seeking to gain?  Do I want to become the next Michael Arrington?  I'll tell you why I blog -

  • Putting my thoughts into words creates clarity in my outlook and vision
  • Community feedback makes me sound and look smarter in the workplace.
  • Participating in the blogging/social media meta-community drives my knowledge, brand and experience.
  • It's great for professional advancement. 
  • It's great for personal brand SEO.
  • It introduces me to new and exciting people.
  • I enjoy the self expression.
  • Being part of building something new is fun and exciting.

Blogging isn't dead and Twitter is a tool.  These are two pieces of the same pie - communications.  Whether we're on Twitter, Plurk, FriendFeed or some other platform is irrelevant - so long as we have a means of hosting our own thoughts and communicating with others, it's all rock and roll to me.

Kudos to Lauren Feldman for posting the video below (after the jump) of his speech at Blog 08. 
Heads Up: Language may be somewhat NSFW (not safe for work) so put on some headphones and enjoy!

photo credit here and here

growing younger everyday - marketering 101

Young at heart When you were young you could do anything.  Tomorrow held limitless potential.  Your mind was the world's best playground and a cardboard box the worlds best toy.  The world was yours for the taking.

Take my niece Channa for example.  Because as anyone who knows Channa will tell you, everyday she grows younger.

  • When she was 2, Channa tried pouring her own water, missed her cup and brushed it off saying "I'm pishing on the table and I don't even care"
  • When she was 3 she told us she was going to grow up and become a real monkey.
  • When she was 4 she turned around in the supermarket and started yelling at the ceiling "Enough already, stop talking to me!" (at the PA system)

Every year she learned more about the world around her, she learned new things and fresh lessons.  But she never stopped viewing the world through the uniquely off-center lens that is her perception, her world view.

Time does not make you old, laziness does. 

Laziness makes you believe that the world is what it is.  That change comes from chasing the low hanging fruit and that time will heal all.  That tried and true has always worked, and will always work.

Youth is not an age, it is a frame of mind.  My grandmother regularly challenges herself, visiting her grandchildren in college overseas, pushing herself to walk farther, do more, have new experiences, to live better. 

Youth is not an age, it's a decision to think differently, to bring a fresh perspective to everything you see, to live young.  Young people learn new things everyday.  Young people are open to new experiences and ideas.  Young people view life as an experience, as a journey, as a canvas to be painted, not as an extension of yesterday.

To ignore the facts on the ground is to run blind, but to see inspiration in everything around you, to live fresh, to live new, to live now is to live young.  And to pursue this life, is to grow younger everyday.

Now think about "New Media", about social communications, PR and the this rapidly changing landscape.

  • Does new mean that everyone is on a level of the playing field, regardless of age?
  • Does new mean that experience is no longer a relevant factor in hiring a new employee?
  • Or does new just mean that practitioners have to constantly be growing younger everyday?
photo credit here

how much do you really care?

Charity Everyone cares about something.

But do you care enough to...

  • sign a petition?
  • wear a button?
  • raise your hand?
  • attend a rally?
  • circulate a petition?
  • start a movement?
  • give of your time?
  • give of your money?
  • give of your life?
  • to vote?

Which of the above is the most influential?  Why would you do one and not the other?

How much do you care?

Say you're a vegetarian for animal right's reasons - would you pay a farmer the amount they would would get on the beef market in order to keep their livestock living? 

  • What does this say about you?

Say you're against offshore drilling - would you lease or purchase the rights to drill so that others couldn't drill and potentially harm the environment? 

  • Does this mean that you are only charitable with other people's resources?

Say you're pro-life - would you offer assistance, funding, adoption, medical help etc? 

  • Would you adopt their unborn child?  What does this say about your commitment to your cause?

Say you're pro-Obama - would you travel to a swing state to drive voters to voting centers?

  • It's amazing how many people rally for Obama in NY, but wouldn't they serve a better purpose in Ohio?  How much do these people really care?

We all like to be charitable, we all like to give back

But why don't we fulfill when these causes begin to demand something in return?

Case Study - EFRAT

EFRAT is an Israeli pro-life group.  Rather than telling women what to do with their bodies, they support those who make the choice to carry their fetuses to term, providing medical, financial, and emotional support start to finish, from early pregnancy through post-delivery adoption and support.  They don't yell or protest, they support in whatever manner they can.  This strikes me as real, as authentic.  Whether or not you agree with their cause, they stand for something AND they stand behind it.  I can see why this organization will be successful.  Not only do they want it, but they really mean it.

Why wouldn't PETA follow suit?
photo credit here

wsj on twitter - swing and a... groundball up the line

Twitter wsj This morning The Wall Street Journal ran a piece on Twitter

Kudos to Alan Wolk (aka tangerine toad) for sharing this piece; where else, on Twitter!

  • INSIGHT #1 - Twitter is a social portal to the outside web.

And while it is great to see the business/mainstream press catching up to, and covering Twitter, I have a real fear regarding their explanation of this tool/ecosystem.

  • INSIGHT #2 - Covering a topic doesn't mean that you have covered it, it means that you have spoken about it.

When it comes to new digital dynamics, the press often tends to miss the point,  oversimplifying tools that deliver new or fresh digital dynamics.  For example, Second Life - the mainstream press missed the point, didn't understand that it was a virtual extension of a real life ecosystem, containing it's own experience dynamic, and therefor over-hyped and misrepresented the powerful dynamic that is the virtual world environment.  And now people roll their eyes at any mention of Second Life... all because of the misunderstanding that fueled the hype in the first place.

  • INSIGHT #3 - New environments require an understanding of the environment rather than the interactivity within it.  You cannot "cover" Second Life as a video game or as a 3D environment without speaking to the driving forces and social fabric driving it's success.  My car is not a tire hanging rack, it's an automobile that holds tires. Describing a few aspects does not equal "covering" and environment.

So How Would You Grade The WSJ?

Firstly, kudos to the team over at WSJ for covering Twitter.  Any movement forward is good movement, if a bit off the mark.

The WSJ article starts out simple enough, explaining the absolute basics of Twitter (what are you doing now?), but fails to make Twitter understandable or relatable to the uninitiated.  While there are many well written posts, not to mention well produced videos and podcasts on this subject, the article ignores all of them, instead focusing on instant shake and bake use cases and tactics - pointing to both success and failure.

What Did The WSJ Miss?
Sure, an introductory article is essential to raising awareness around a growing platform.  And as a hardcore fan of this platform, I would expect a deeper explanation, one that would could prove difficult to the uninitiated.

Nevertheless, The WSJ missed the social aspect of Twitter - the fundamental tenet that makes it work.  Had The WSJ truly been "covering" Twitter, they would have explained the "personally defined chatroom" environment, the cross platform ecosystem, the way the community interacts with one another.  This is a rich environment.  I didn't get that from this peice.

What COULD The WSJ Have Done Better?

  • They could have used this peice as an opportunity to truly get social, inviting prospects and paid subscribers to share their Twitter story with an #twtwsj hashtag gathering all the data and then sharing this feed on 
  • They could have referenced or linked to social content, like the fantastic twitter 101 vidoes and posts floating all around the net.  This would have been far more social than the traditional broadcast blogs most newspaper sites feature.
  • They could have included an @twittername for the reporter so that the Twitter community could engage regarding this and future articles.
  • They could have given relatable analogies that explained the deep social dynamic, bringing it to light for the uninitiated.

Nevertheless, it's great to see some real press coverage of this incredible community. 

That being said, I'm looking forward to the urgent calls from friends, co-workers or clients asking how they can "buy" twitter for a campaign.  Because while there aren't any ads on Twitter, this is a dynamic I understand, and therefor a service I can sell.  What a way to start the week!

more is less - lessons learned

Progress Things we don't need

  1. More
  2. More
  3. More
  4. More
  5. More

Things we want

  1. Access to More
  2. Better
  3. Easier
  4. Natural
  5. Convenient


  • Regularly refresh your creative - Lenovo ran the same handful of 30 second spots countless times as the sole sponsor of Vista's Olympic video coverage.  It was cute once.  It was funny twice.  By the 20th time, we were sick of the creative.
  • Don't add buttons, add presence - Putting a button on a page doesn't make it social. Becoming a valued member of the community makes you social.
  • Don't create without insight - more content doesn't equal more engagment. Ten good blog posts over three weeks are more valuable than one hundred poor blog posts.
  • Think value, not technology - lots of flash doesn't equal lots of value.
  • Think equity, not presence - branding is an art and a science, but it doesn't generate equity without generating value
  • Think success, not innovation - it's not about what's new, it's about what's right. Just because phones can send text messages, doesn't mean that you should put a shortcode on a NYC subway ad (there is no mobile access on the subway)
  • Solutions solve problems - your business will not succeed if it doesn't work for your target. An offer doesn't constitute define a solution. Usage does.
  • New Success is based on Old Marketing - forget the shortcuts and bad habits learned over the past hundred years. Success in the new media world is not about BIG, it's about the tenets of small business some time ago - relationships, human connections, convenience and most importantly, REAL value.
photo credit here