Personal passion point: building agile cultures for clients
The Arab Spring| Digital Media in the Egyptian Revolution: Descriptive Analysis from the Tahrir Data Set
HAPPY TO BE ALIVE IN AN ERA WHERE TECHNOLOGY ENABLES THE POWER TO DISRUPT
“LA TAXE GOOGLE”: FRANCE CAN’T SEEM TO VIVE LA REVOLUTION
Not so much a question of IP as a question of perception is France’s insistence that Google reach an agreement with French press syndicates (SPQN et IPG) to pay a “Taxe Google” for linking to their articles. As detailed in this Le Monde article, yesterday’s announcement by President Hollande that he would take legislative action to enforce such a tax indicates an inability to perceive a world where technology and “l’informatique” has the power to disrupt. The country that instilled the principles of revolution is unable to perceive that one is happening all around it. Information traveling freely is a droit humain.
FACEBOOK’S SHARE PRICE DIPS BELOW $30 AFTER SOCIAL GRAPH SEARCH ANNOUNCEMENT. WHY THAT’S A GOOD THING.
Some of us were tingly from yesterday’s FB announcement because it is the clearest demonstration yet of big data’s ability to provide relevant information to us as individuals. That implies an enhanced ability to make better decisions. Easier decisions. Happier decisions. And logically, better outcomes.
In one fell swoop, Facebook did an end run around Google by letting you search for things filtered through the interests, preferences and locations of friends….by far the most influential factor in terms of delivering information with deep personal relevance. FB’s social graph search results will present you friend-validated options, not just links.
This capability – still in Beta stage at the moment – is the most recent manifestation of Facebook’s commitment to innovation. It’s in FB’s DNA to continuously push boundaries to enhance the user experience.
But why the drop in share price? Dipping below $30 per share was the line Facebook didn’t want to cross.
Investors can’t seem to relate to FB’s long-term strategy which, in part, is this: never stop making the user experience better….and the money will follow. The ability to monetize social graph search to its fullest extent will come later when marketers are able to focus in, laser-like, on their exact targets. A tool like social graph search will make the seemingly impossible chore of practicing “mass micro marketing” a reality.
As TechCrunch stated so simply, “Facebook does not shy away from introducing radical changes to its products…Yet, investors have different needs in mind. They like conservative choices, security and stability.”
In that context, the dipping share price is a great indicator that FB is sticking fast to its commitment to innovation….and its long-term plan for creating new value.
Massive Open Online Classes (MOOC) democratize learning. As one of the first to sign up for the massively popular, massively subscribed Human Computer Interaction class from Stanford University via Coursera.org, I can attest to the thrill of learning that’s been turbo-charged by technology, great professors and a diverse global student body. Far from diluting or cannibalizing Stanford’s reputation, it spreads knowledge (and good) in expansive new ways that reinforce the purpose and identity of Stanford’s innovation brand.
But today’s New York Times asks when profits will come to online learning MOOC pioneers such as Coursera, Udacity and edX. (“Students Rush to Web Classes, but Profits May Be Much Later,” Jan 6, 2012) In order to keep classes free, many believe monetization will come via licensing fees paid by community colleges, for example, for using such courses in their own curriculum. But in the real spirit of open learning/open market, I propose sponsorships from brands that align to the class on offer. For example, the alignment between Microsoft and the Univeristy of Washington’s “Scientific Computing” MOOC is a no brainer…or Rice University’s “Principles of Electrical Engineering” MOOC being sponsored by GE…or Stanford’s “Game Theory” MOOC being brought to you by The U.S. Army or Electronic Arts…an “Introduction to Operations Management” from Univ of Pennsylvania being sponsored by a deep pockets strategy consulting firm or Ohio State’s “Intro to Pharmacy” class being sponsored by a Pfizer, Merck or Novartis.
One of the most pressing challenges companies face is securing great talent, so it only makes sense for them to sponsor the classes that develop the resources their organizations need to do business in the next decade. And in the same way early tv shows were literally underwritten by household products that became iconic because of their sponsorships, these alignments would build both “brands.” From a corporate social responsibility perspective, such sponsorships would be a great way to give a consumer or corporate brands the warm glow of massive community involvement – the community of learning.
LITTLE PEBBLE. BIG RIPPLES.
Can the e-paper watch that really tells you what time it is also be the world’s most personal ad space yet?
Yes, it’s the darling of crowdfunding, having snagged a total of $10.27 million from 68,929 individual investors on Kickstarter, making it the most crowdfunded start-up ever in dollar terms. But could Pebble also be the very best vehicle yet to fulfill all the promises of SoMoLo marketing?
Pebble’s Silicon Valley creators have launched it with basic functionalities that already address the SoMoLo realm (FB & Twitter notifications, weather alerts, etc). And, big sidenote, they’ve very presciently allowed for customization, even customization via coding for the truly geek-ish:
“Want your watch to tell you when your next bus is leaving? Maybe you’re jonesing to see your compile status or recent github commits.. Think push notifications, directly to your watch using the data connection on your phone. Want to check-in on your watch, or create an app that can monitor your sleep? Pebble can send data from the accelerometer and buttons back up to the internet.
Pebble can receive simple alerts and notifications from if this then that (ifttt.com) or our web-facing RESTful endpoint. More adventurous developers can use the Pebble SDK, with its Arduino-like abstractions and simple C structure, to gain full control of the watch. Multiple apps can run on Pebble, along side watchfaces and regular notifications.”
But back to the point of this posting, since the Pebble gets all its info from the smartphone it’s linked to, GPS capabilities should allow marketers to do everything from rewarding a patron on the spot for posting a positive review on Yelp, to awarding extra loyalty points to shoppers who visit brick and mortar stores during slow periods to recognizing wearers for achieving fitness goals as they happen to sending up-to-the-microsecond snow conditions/alerts on ski trails (then give boarders a coupon for a free beer at the end of their run when trails have turned slushy). Yes, many of these CRM activities can be achieved via smartphone alone, but the physical proximity of the Pebble on the wrist is as close as it gets to personalized “sudden” marketing.
A NEW TWIST ON SOUND DESIGN: Makerbot > Metropolitan Museum of Art > Thingiverse > Digital Artists
What does this have to do with marketing, promotion and business transformation? Because it’s rad. In a time when every mash up between digital, art and sound aims for cool, this pushes the boundary into radical territory. It demonstrates what’s possible when an institution as stolid as the Met enters a cage match with a beautifully free mind like this designer, Plummer-Fernandez. For us as marketers, it provides a new means of expression. One that hasn’t yet been co-opted by a million other brands. (Although Nike, Reebok and Selfridges have already tapped into this creative technologist’s talent for discreet projects — window installations and interactive athletic trophies.) Imagine the possibilities of using a variation on this tech/art/sound swirl for the right project and the right client to address the right branding or promotion problem. Can’t wait. (And props to Plummer-Fernandez for lacing in the sweet James Blake track.)
In the words of this digital artist: “This video titled ‘We Met Heads On’ is a remix of the 3D scan hackathon at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NY organised by Makerbot. The public was invited to scan artifacts to then modify and turn into 3D print derivatives. The files ended up on Thingiverse, giving me access to the scans, in particular ‘decimation study - met heads’ by scotta3d which is a derivative from another thingiverse user tbuser. To continue the lineage of derivatives, I have placed the low-polygon heads from scotta3d into a processing sketch that distorts the meshes in realtime in response to sound and outputs the modified stl objects. The soundwave is analysed from the streaming audio and used to force the mesh to twist to the strength of the soundwave. Performed and recorded in real-time.”
SOCIAL LISTENING BECOMES MEDICAL LISTENING
A recent PwC Health Industries survey of 1,000 US adults found that a third of them had shared health information or solicited advice through social media, including Facebook and Twitter. A third said they would even be willing to have social media messages monitored if it would “identify ways to improve their health or better coordinate care.” Et voila, social listening now evolves into what I’m tagging “medical listening.”
With medical listening, brands can influence the online health ecosystem in truly expansive ways…..ways that can influence their overall business strategies. The ultimate trademark of a great company is the ability to “shape the conversation” in its sector. The statistic above means healthcare companies now have the permission of consumers to explicitly shape the conversation. Imagine how healthcare organizations can leverage medical listening to influence consumer (and other stakeholder) thinking around everything from healthier behaviors to healthcare legislation.
A healthcare business lives or dies by its reputation. Since relevancy and reputation are cornerstones of a great social business strategy, healthcare is perfectly poised to tap into the power of online conversations to improve healthcare….and ultimately burnish their word of mouth reputation.
CONSUMING AND CREATING CONTENT AT THE SAME TIME…THE OUROBOUROS THAT IS SOCIAL TV.
The Ouroboros represents self-reflexivity or cyclicality, especially in the sense of something constantly transforming itself, the eternal return…cycles that begin anew as soon as they end. It can also represent the idea of primordial unity related to something existing in or persisting from the beginning with such force or qualities it cannot be extinguished. In the Jungian psychological model, the Ouroboros depicts the undifferentiated experience of both mankind and the individual. And all of these interpretations of this powerful symbol apply equally to the powerful phenomenon that is second (or social) tv.
In this photo* taken by a University of Washington professor of his son and friends watching the Super Bowl, not only were they communicating with their pals, they were recording and sharing video of their own play-by-play of the game. The image demonstrates the possibilities of omnichannel marketing around social tv at a glance. It drives home the reality of what it means to evolve at the speed of technology.
Of the top 15 most tweeted moments in history, half of them (the top half) revolved around live televised broadcasts. The top tweet rate per second in Twitter history occurred as the result of a re-airing of a 1986 anime film. If marketing is now about sparking conversations, television is the genesis of a very big dialogue (or megalogue). How and where we direct this natural behavior of sharing and talking about TV is where the fun begins. And this inexorable migration to a new mediums takes measurement and attribution to exponential new levels of complexity.
On the most basic level, brands can no longer simply view the program being broadcast as the medium to their consumer. They must look at the larger cross-channel experience in order to maximize their brand’s impact in an ever-distracted world. The core of social TV starts with the backchannel that is comprised of millions of public conversations that sometimes begin even before the broadcast….and can continue long after. Brands that can find ways to align themselves with these conversations—or help create the conversations by being involved with the broadcast from the get go—reach a new audience with whom to engage.
*From: Lost Remote, a site dedicated to social TV.
WHAT SPORTS CAN TEACH US ABOUT MARKETING
Before the November 2011 LSU vs. Alabama throwdown, ESPN the Magazine spewed a lot of ink predicting winners. For a sport that decides who plays in the BCS National Championship game based on what a computer spits out, ESPN finally decided the best way to answer the question would be to consult the same technology. They asked AccuScore, the sports prediction site, to run 10,000 game simulations of LSU at Bama, one play at a time, to produce a projected final score plus game stats. They even threw in wrinkles to see how the “unpredictable” might influence the game (I.e., if Jarrett Lee started as Tigers QB instead of Jordan Jefferson).
What does this have to do with marketing? Think “Moneyball” — leveraging statistics to help shape the outcome of games….games that affect careers, sponsorships, fan base…profits.
Now think brands — and how the outcome of marketing campaigns affect ROI. Then imagine the 10,000 simulations you’d like to run before you launch your next campaign. Analytics and predictive modeling can protect a marketer’s blind side.