Corgan versus Bourdain: Two Social Media Perspectives

March 20, 2012 § Leave a comment

March 20. 2011. After taking a couple of days to recover from the craziness that is SXSW, I am finally getting some thoughts down on the experience. As a starter, I watned to talk about two of the keynote session I was able to attend:

Individually each keynote brought an interesting perspective on how today’s digital consumer drives change. From Billy’s perspective, the change was not all positive. For example, musicians and labels are struggling to find a business model that works despite the fact that people still love music. Furthermore, social networks and other digital interactions (i.e. ratings and reviews, blogs, etc) provide more opportunity for artists to be criticized. As it relates to Smashing Pumpkins, this has given Billy reason to think hard about what happens in his live concerts. « Read the rest of this entry »


My SXSW 2012 Schedule

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

February 29, 2012. With just over a week to go before making the interactive pilgrimage to Austin for SXSW I am very pleased that I have a rough schedule in place. What I learned from my last experience is the importance of a plan and to have multiple options for each time slot. Often events are too packed to get in or simply too far away to make it in time.

I am excited to attend events on the use of marketing data, customer experience, responsive design, social media, and more. I am also excited that one of the after parties has Miike Snow playing live.

For anyone that is planning on attending, here is where you can find me. I will also be posting updates here and on Twitter (@newcomer).

Sunday, March 11

3:30 PM
3:45 PM
Texas Ballroom 4-7
4:15 PM
Texas Ballroom 4-7
4:30 PM
Texas Ballroom 4-7
5:00 PM
Capitol View North

My 2011 Technology Year-in-Review

December 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

December 19, 2011. This year has been a fun one for technology. Some in and some out, but overall new technology played a role in my life in 2011. Here are some of the memorable moves:

  • Upgraded from iPhone 3G to 4: I only had the 3G for a short time, but was very happy with the 4. Slimmer feel, better screen, lower profile, etc. Definitely a good move.
  • Upgraded to IOS5: Overrated, but the homepage notifications are very cool. Getting the cloud features set up are a bit confusing.
  • Upgraded Macbook from Snow Leopard to Lion: I just did this over the weekend and so far so good. Will have to do a little tinkering to get used to, but did have to switch the scrolling direction back to the old style. Not entirely sure why Apple reversed it. On a positive note…the upgrade was beyond easy.
  • Retired the iPod: I really should say it retired itself, but when it turned off and never back on again I just put it down. I used to still use it for running and just other random uses – like not wanting to use my phone to play music on the stereo. However, I have given up the IPod (for now…I just won a shuffle so this conversation might be moot).
  • Signed up for Neflix Streaming: I have turned my Netflix account on and off about 10 times in the last 7 years. Back in the DVD days, sometimes it was convenient and other times not. As On Demand got better…ordering DVDs just seemed a pain. However, I now use Netflix to stream old TV shows like Friday Night Lights and Mad Men while traveling. Also, great on the xBox as there is a good library of movies for kids (I have two of them).
  • Signed up for Spotify: Got on the list early and fell in love with Spotify almost immediately. Upgraded to Premium shortly thereafter and enjoy Spotify on all devices. Have it hooked up to Facebook, which people either love or hate, but what I am listening to always makes for interesting conversation now.
  • Stopped using Pandora,, and “other” applications: See above.
  • Stopped Daily Coupon Sites: Loved em at first, just sick of them now. However, I still won’t take myself of the mailing list…not sure why. Something makes me feel like I would miss something.
  • Dropped Logitec / GoogleTV: A big disappointment. In several places I have written about Google TV and its promise. I still believe SmartTV is on its way, but the least Google could have done was make what promised to be a good experience minimally viable. Beyond the clumsiness of the user interface, my Logitech box stopped working.
  • Got Flipboard: Very cool app for news.  Flipping is much better than scrolling.
  • Got Instagram: I only wish I could do what some other folks do (taking multiple applications to create an instagram – otherwise called instababs?). Seen really cool stuff from others and have had some fun myself.
  • IMDB: Have had the app for a while now, but outside of banking, email, and other functional apps, IMDB is possibly my most used app. I love when someone asks “who is that actor?”
  • Joined Google+: Got on board, but don’t really use it. We will see about next year.
  • Joined Diaspora: Same as above, but with less enthusiasm.
  • Wait listed for Bank Simple and I suppose these will both be part of the story in 2012.

I think this covers my big technology moves for 2011. I am sure I forgot some, but this is at least what I can remember in 15 minutes. Would love to hear about technology moves in 2011 from anyone else.

A True Social Business Index

December 14, 2011 § Leave a comment

December 14, 2011 Over the last couple of months Dachis Group has been busy launching the Social Business Index. Obviously many more months went into its conception and development, but essentially the Social Business Index aggregates terabytes of data about organizations and their brand’s social presence from a variety of social signals that can be picked up (i.e. employees on social networks, how the market is talking about a brand, how many brands have presence on social networks, etc). For a quick peek see below:
Dachis Group Social Business Index Image

What is significant about this is that it covers more than 25,000 companies and more than 25,000 brands. That alone is incredibly impressive. More so is that the index is refreshed with new data every 15 minutes. It is built on Big Data technology, complex analytics, a custom scoring algorithm, and includes a tool kit for companies that are tracked to communicate internally about their social presence.

« Read the rest of this entry »

Wealth Management and Social Media: Insights from BDI Event in NYC

November 16, 2011 § 1 Comment

November 16, 2011. For the last couple of months, I have spent a lot of time thinking about the role of social media in wealth management, especially in firms that go-to-market with an advisor-led business model.

Here is the skinny, exploration and experimentation are the words of the day and most firms fit squarely into one bucket or the other. Here is how I think of them:

  • Social Exploration:  This is more of less the term being used for “we are looking at it.” This also typically means that corporate marketing is playing around with social networks like Facebook and Twitter as a PR channel and a few folks are trying to figure out what might be involved with enabling advisors (and meeting resistance – budget, priorities, loose business case, etc).
  • Social Experimentation: This can be characterized as limited pilots – both in terms of the amount of advisors able to use social channels, scope of use, and incorporation within the overall business.  Some firms are moving past initial experimentation into broader experimentation, which means advisors outside of the pilot group, but I would still call this experimentation. Experimenters are also using some forms of social within the firm as well.

The next bucket  is Social at Scale and I don’t know of any single firm that can claim this (if you do…please tell me). This next bucket pushes social media into the DNA of the firm. It allows social media touch points and techniques to be considered part of the relationship process versus a fringe activity. It becomes a standard communication media, a source of insight, inputs into CRM, a part of meaningful relationship building, and most simply – a set of activities that allow advisors to do their job. This will not happen overnight, but that is what the vision should be.

So I skipped over insight from the BDI event, but if you read my words above you get a sense of what I walked away thinking. Also, I would like to give a shout out to:

  • Greg Weiss (AVP for Social Media at New York Like): Outstanding job talking about social media in life insurance. Your words were inspirational and I would bet that you achieve scale faster than most for New York Life. You can follow a heavy hitter any day.
  • Frank Eliason (SVP of Social Media at Citibank): As usual, Frank tells a compelling story based on his experience. Thanks for giving everyone your candid thoughts and a reminder – social media does not fix problems, but can help…if a firm has the courage to act. Thanks also for words and not slides.
  • Nathan Bricklin (SVP and Head of Social Strategy – Wells Fargo): First of all, Nathan’s entire presentation was driven from his own comments in Twitter. Each comment he made in Twitter was a result of an article or thought that led his team to some success or insight that would lead to action. In addition to providing practical advice…Nathan helped us see the world though his eyes and not his PowerPoint. I am also left with the thought that despite how we might think folks will use social media tools, we need to give them some freedom to create their own use cases.

Lastly, for a sense of the conversation around wealth management and financial services, check out  #BDI1 on Twitter, the sponsor of today’s session in NYC. For event details, go here: Financial Services Social Communications.

As usual any and all opinions are welcome and thanks to BDI for a pulling together a great event.

Digital Strategy Inspired by Gordon Ramsay

November 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

November 9, 2011. I recently watched an episode of Kitchen Nightmares, a show that airs on Fox and stars celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. I imagine a warning bell is going off by now. Something along the lines of what does a chef have to do with digital strategy. I promise to hit the punchline quickly.

So…Gordon walks into a kitchen, meets the folks, tries the food, checks out the kitchen, watches the restaurant operate and then completely implodes. I have only seen a couple of episodes, but that is his general approach. The anger is derived from extreme displeasure of the restaurant on all fronts. By the way…if you watch a couple shows, you might be angry too.

However, Gordon channels this into his mission – turning the place around to create a better dining experience . What does this mean…better food, better service, better operations. « Read the rest of this entry »

Simple Interactive Agency Operating Model

October 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

October 4, 2011. Earlier today I got a copy of the eMarketing Textbook from Quirk, an interactive agency based in Cape Town, South Africa. The text book is an extensive overview of digital marketing practices and currently on its fourth edition. I got wind of it from a source I trust in the industry so I plan to work my way through it over the next couple of weeks.

As I began reading though the introduction by Rob Stokes – CEO of Quirk, I became stuck on the operating model he introduced for the agency about a year ago. Essentially, the agency began organizing around four core functional areas with discrete, but interrelated responsibilities:

  • Think: research, plan and develop strategy
  • Create: build digital assets – web, email, mobile, social properties
  • Engage: driving traffic to assets
  • Optimize: make assets work better « Read the rest of this entry »