Recent Facebook Changes Are Good (F8 2011)

September 23, 2011 § Leave a comment

September 23, 2011. In my opinion, the new Facebook changes are positive. Think about it, people were starting to get a little bored with Facebook, Google+ made some waves over the summer, and other networks like Diaspora, are getting ready to launch.

So sure…this puts pressure on Facebook to stay up to date with features and functions and they have to work hard to remain relevant. That is what this last effort was geared towards. In a nutshell, what did they do: « Read the rest of this entry »


What is Diaspora?

September 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

September 22, 2011,

Over the last year or two, Diaspora has been telling the world it is coming and making a lot of big promises. They have also spent some time claiming that new features in places like Facebook and Google+ are inspired by their work (based on what people in the know might have shared).

While I love the concepts they espouse, I am curious to see if they can actually do this in such a way that is more compelling than the current options out there. Also, this sounds to me a little like  MySpace – “we give you the tools and you design the experience.” This was an interesting experiment, but had a big impact on why MySpace did not succeed.

Therefore, I ask the question…what is the point of too much control for people to have over their own experience. This might just be the next experiment to answer that question.

If you are curious about Diaspora….below is the latest email to people on the beta list, which offers a fairly good explanation about what Diaspora is.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Spotify and The US Digital Music Landscape

September 12, 2011 § 3 Comments

September 12, 2011. Over the last decade, like many things, the music landscape has changed dramatically. However, I think we are finally at a point of emerging stasis. There are several digital distribution ecosystems that seem stable (i.e. iTunes, Spotify, Pandora, etc), digital music adoption is incredibly high (by 2012, according to Yankee Group/Internet Retailer, more music will be sold digitally than in stores) and the supporting technologies are everywhere (i.e. any device that can play or stream music. which is just about everything these days).

In thinking about my experience over the last decade…here is what I recall, where I think we will end up, and my thoughts on the disruption I expect Spotify to cause:

« Read the rest of this entry »

How BzzAgent is Reinvigorating its BzzAgents

September 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

9.7.11. I have to open up this post with the fact that I am hoping to join the the BzzAgent campaign for the Kindle 3. However, for a company that does word-of-mouth marketing, they seem to have found another nifty way to create buzz – earning your way in.

Let’s start at the beginning, for those of you that don’t know BzzAgent, they are a word-of-mouth marketing organization. They have a database of BzzAgents, who are everyday consumers, but ones with a penchant for talking about the brands they use. To be a BzzAgent you simply sign up to the site, take some surveys to develop a baseline of preferences, and start providing opinions on products and concepts being tested within the BzzAgent world. Once you complete these activities you become eligible to be invited to campaigns.

This is where the other side of the business comes in. The BzzAgent campaign managers work with brands trying to learn what people like (or don’t) in their products, while trying to create buzz at the same time. The campaigns are pushed out to individuals based on likelihood to  use a product, and if they sign up, they are given access to the product (mostly free or heavily discounted), along with some direction on what to do (host a party, share samples, etc). In doing all of this BzzAgents create social interactions and impressions that influence awareness, sales, product development, etc.

However, BzzAgent just decided to change the game a little. Instead of BzzAgents passively waiting for an invitation, BzzAgent will now be promoting upcoming campaigns and asking people to earn a spot through creating content, sharing a video, etc. If this campaign is good enough…will people do it? I say yes…using this as a case and point.

So…let’s replay the last 25 minutes:

  • I see the link on Facebook and its explanation to WOW them (and “like” it).
  • I follow the link and sign-up for consideration
  • I check out for more details on the Kindle 3
  • I write this post
  • I post to Twitter with a hashtag (imabzzagent)

As for the so-what…this campaign approach is creating great buzz well before the campaign hits the ground. I think it is an inventive way to get people excited about a campaign, insure you get the right people involved, and stretch the limits of when word-of-mouth gets started.

Nice job BzzAgent and Amazon on creating great buzz and stirring the BzzAgent community to act early, and socially, to win a spot.

Now…pick me too!


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