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).


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.

Its okay to let people leave your website.  Seriously, they’ll find their way back via search, bookmarks, or links if you have anything at worthwhile to offer.  Link out to other useful/entertaining sites, news articles, social media profiles, or what have you, and trust that your customers are capable of remembering your brand and returning of their own free will.

To people who think of their audience as sheep who must be herded into purchasing, I’d like to ask you a question.  Do you seriously have that low of an opinion about your customers?  Common usability considerations aside, why are you catering to the lowest common denominator?

There are a host of reasons why people leave websites, but most of them boil down too is that they can’t figure out what the site is all about (communication fail), that something doesn’t work (usability fail), or that they are bored (engagement fail).  The first two are simple to avoid with proper design, communication, and optimization.  The last one is a little bit trickier.

Hat tip to Hugh MacLeod and this cartoon.

Everyone who doubts the power/usefulness of social media should read Andrew Sullivan’s post, “The Revolution Will Be Twittered“, and then check out the #iranelection hashtag on Twitter.

The key force behind this is the next generation, the Millennials, who elected Obama in America and may oust Ahmadinejad in Iran. They want freedom; they are sick of lies; they enjoy life and know hope.

This generation will determine if the world can avoid the apocalypse that will come if the fear-ridden establishments continue to dominate global politics, motivated by terror, armed with nukes, and playing old but now far too dangerous games. This generation will not bypass existing institutions and methods: look at the record turnout in Iran and the massive mobilization of the young and minority vote in the US. But they will use technology to displace old modes and orders. Maybe this revolt will be crushed. But even if it is, the genie has escaped this Islamist bottle.

I think the days of CNN breaking the news are over – people will share their stories themselves, bypassing the mass media conduit if necessary, and the role of the media will be to verify, organize, track, and curate the information reported via liveblogs, Twitter, etc.  The Huffington Post is doing a great job of that right now with their page on the Iran elections and subsequent fallout.

Shannon Paul’s latest post discusses how not to behave on social media sites incredibly well – in fact, I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Check it out: Don’t Be That (Social Media) Guy.

The Knight News Challenge, which I wrote about way back in September 2007, recently announced the winners ($5.5. million was awarded to sixteen projects around the world). 

Check out the winners here.

Congratulations to them all!

Read Write Web has a breakdown of the best times (of the day and of the week) to publish new posts.

If you’re a blogger, you might find this very useful:

Want That Post to Go Popular? Here’s the Best and Worst Times to Post It.

This actually does corroborate with my own experiences as a blogger – on both of my blogs (and on other sites I’ve written for/worked on and had access to traffic stats), Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday afternoons are the busiest times in terms of traffic, and Saturday is always the slowest day. It makes sense – people are away from their computers on weekends; and during the week they probably read blogs as a quick break from their actual work or during lunch.

If you have a blog, do these stats match up with yours?

Calling Shenanigans

February 22, 2008

I thoroughly enjoyed this post on Steve Rubel’s blog: SEO Shenanigans Pose a Clear and Present Danger to Social Media, because I do think that SEO can be used for evil – and some topics are so thoroughly SEO’ed that google is fairly useless (try searching for anything travel related and see how many of the top search results are truly relevant, for instance).  Using SEO for nefarious purposes, such as optimizing your site for popular search terms that aren’t related to the content or hiding links (a.k.a. black hat SEO) is obnoxious.

That said, I do recognize that there are valid reasons to use SEO, and there are plenty of white hat SEO professionals who do excellent, useful work.  However, there are also tons of sites/blogs/businesses that just want to be listed at the top of the search results without adding value in any other way – it is the search engine equivalent of the people who make irrelevant comments on popular blogs just to drop their link.  Like I’ve said before, focus on adding value or creating something interesting first – because it doesn’t matter how many pageviews you collect if you can’t get anyone to stick around and come back for more – or buy your product/services, if that is the point of your site.