Because I thought it was fitting to re-launch my blog with a shorter reprise of my earlier “100 Things” posts:

1. I am so pleased that SEO has actually become about creating quality content and providing useful information – especially I started in the days where keyword stuffing actually did work.

2. However, the sheer amount of link-building and SEO-centric content is still disappointing – I know everyone wants to get traffic, pageviews, and therefore those sweet advertising dollars and new client prospects. But don’t sacrifice quality. One original article that tells your story is worth a thousand or more crappy re-spun posts.

3. As much as I would like to pretend I am above the typical internet circle jerk sites that all repeat each others’ content, much of which is sourced from Reddit and other forums (sorry not sorry for the language – see what I did there?), I have some respect for them, and occasionally get sucked in by the catchy titles and funny combinations of gifs.

4. That said, I think Reddit might be one of the most valuable sources for inspiration and market research, especially if you look beyond the front page.

5. The fact that “Wasting Time On The Internet” is an actually Ivy League course will never cease to amuse me.

6. So many blogs and even companies try to copy each others’ marketing formulas – more so than ever. Looking at the “Best In Class” sites (however you define that) can be an inspiration, but it definitely doesn’t equal success.

7. The sheer number of ways to curate your experience and the content you receive amazes me – the web has basically become one big “choose your own adventure” game. But the number of users who take advantage of these is still relatively low – perhaps the amount of options are overwhelming and therefore it leads to mental inertia?

8. Pandora tops the mobile listings in regard to user interaction, and it is probably not that far behind for desktop as well. After all, listening to music is a relatively passive activity compared to posting on social media or similar ways to engage on mobile. We’ve come a long way from the days of Napster (yes, I remember and loved using Napster).

9. So many companies either neglect or make a big deal out of the simple things, like claiming all their listings and brand names on various sites, social media and otherwise. Don’t ignore it but don’t make the process overly complex, either.

10. Content discovery can be one of the most valuable aspects of the web in general, but it seems that the majority of people stick to the sites they know and trust.

11. The democratization of not only knowledge but access as well may be how the internet has truly changed the world. Almost anyone, anywhere can make themselves heard with nothing more than a mobile phone.

12. When you find yourself wishing that you could use emojis or gifs in an actual live conversation with another person, perhaps it is time to step away from technology for a bit. Use your words!

13. That said, a properly deployed meme can sometimes say more than words ever could.

14. This isn’t new, but it is underrated. The ability to reference virtually anything in a conversation or article and link right to the source might be my favorite element of the web – it is essentially real time citations on steroids (sans the academic regulations).

 

Now I”ll open it up to comments – what has changed about the web in the past 10 years for you?

Officially re-starting my blog – or maybe I never left, considering how many other places I’ve published since then (Google Jacqueline Zenn) for the run-down; if you count digital marketing and even ghost-writing, my work has accomplished even more.

Looking forward to engaging with new readers!

Everyone wants to leave their mark on the world in some way, shape, or form.

That’s why many of us got into the tech and digital space, after all. We want to create something that matters.

And no matter how long the hours are, or how tough the problems are to solve, we’re optimistic.

On NBC News in Chicago

September 27, 2011

If you’ve ever wanted to see me on video, here you go. I was recently on NBC’s The Talk with Marion Brooks discussing social media marketing and the launch of Socialogic, a new agency in Chicago (to point out the obvious – I work for them).

Ah, sweet validation from mainstream media.

My post on finding the right social media team members was published in Crain’s Chicago’s Small Biz Blog today.

Six years ago I was a fresh college graduate just getting started in the online marketing world. The average person didn’t know what a blog was, Facebook was restricted to university students in the U.S., and Twitter had yet to be invented. And the web was just starting to be respected and understood by mainstream marketing firms and teams.

Today, bloggers appear in commercials and social media is a key part of the marketing mix for brands both large and small. Finally, some respect! That said, I still see companies struggling with the connectivity, the immediacy, and the transparency of the web, and how it is all integrated into their organization. It’s an interesting problem, and one that I’ll continue to write more about on this blog.

Unrelated and relevant only to fellow Chicagoans – my agency is hosting an event at Social Media Week on social engagement and content creation – RSVP! It will be a great chance to gain some expertise, network with your fellow members of the media, and generally have a fabulous time.

“I was a revolutionary who lost his ideals in heroin, a philosopher who lost his integrity in crime, and a poet who lost his soul in a maximum security prison. When I escaped from that prison, over the front wall, between two gun towers, I became my country’s most wanted man. Luck ran with me and flew with me to India, where I joined the Bombay mafia. I worked as a gunrunner, a smuggler, and a counterfeiter. I was chained on three continents, beaten, stabbed and starved. I went to war. I ran into the enemy guns. And I survived, while other men around me died. They were better men than I am, most of them; better men whose lives were crunched up in mistakes, and thrown away by the wrong second of someone else’s hate, or love, or indifference. And I buried them, too many of those men, and grieved their stories and their lives into my own.”

Some books are like an exquisite meal, meant for indulgence and slow enjoyment.  Shantaram is one of those – written by Gregory David Roberts, the book tells the story of his escape from a New Zealand prison, his subsequent arrival in Mumbai, a visit to village India, and his life in the Middle Asian underworld.  Although some of the events are based on the author’s life, it is technically classified as fiction since he merged different events and characters for narrative flow.

My favorite books are the ones that immediately draw you into their world and make you care about the characters, and this one accomplishes that marvelously.  A few more choice quotes:

“The past reflects eternally between two mirrors -the bright mirror of words and deeds, and the dark one, full of things we didn’t do or say”

“Astounding and puzzling images from the city tumbled and turned in my mind like leaves on a wave of wind, and my blood so thrilled with hope and possibility that I couldn’t suppress a smile, lying there in the dark…In that moment, in those shadows, I was almost safe”

This book makes me want to jump on a plane to Mumbai and embrace the chaos and energy of the city myself.  Highly recommend it.

From the Greek philosophical tradition:

Telos: All things have a purpose. Translated as “the purpose” or “the objective”.

Techne: The way this purpose is served, the abilities and actions required to accomplish said purpose. Translated as “the skill”.

Phronesis: The intuitive understanding of what the purpose of something is and why it is so. Usually translated as “practical wisdom”, Aristotle considered it the ability to determine a particular goal, decide how best to achieve it, and completely understand the effect that accomplishing that goal will have on your overall existence.

Applied to interactive marketing:

Telos – page #1 rankings for the long tail

Techne – a creative, well written, consistently updated blog.

Phronesis – a tool to harness the long tail, which is where the conversions are.

Telos – page #1 for competitive keywords

Techne – high quality backlinks

Phronesis – link aquisition done with focus on high quality, high PR, websites.

Telos – word of mouth buzz

Techne – clever video or blog

Phronesis – people talking about you and sharing your content without your direct involvement is one of the most powerful forms of marketing.

Telos – authentic communication with your market

Techne – social media presence

Phronesis – people want to interact with fellow humans online. people buy from people they have relationships with.

Telos – a permission marketing campaign

Techne – useful or entertaining newsletters and a website with a clear opt-in funnel

Phronesis – permission marketing is powerful and effective tool with a high ROI.

Telos – repeat traffic

Techne – constantly updated authority/entertaining/controversial content, consistent marketing message spread throughout the web (PPC/banners)

Phronesis – people who repeatedly visit a website are more likely to convert, so give your users reasons to come back

Telos – a good reputation and a particular image

Techne – PR and media relations

Phronesis – people work with and buy from people and brands they trust

Telos – a website that positively reflects your brand and drives conversions

Techne – a carefully designed, elegant website that makes people feel relaxed, comfortable, and even catered to

Phronesis – the human response to positive visual stimuli will ensure that your users do what you want them to do

Telos – reach a target demographic

Techne – creative banner ads on sites your target audience frequents

Phronesis – your message is communicated to your targets through appearing on places they already go online, and sparking their interest

And so it goes – it can be applied to every aspect of interactive marketing (it can really be applied to all of life if you want to get seriously philosophical). For every element of a campaign, we can determine on an objective(telos), isolate the skill/actions required to accomplish it (techne), and understand how it will benefit and how it fits into the overall campaign (phronesis).

In other news, I am a huge nerd.

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