October 29, 2010

Why isn’t law part of the social media conversation?

Christina Gagnier on the set of TechZulu Law at BlogWorld.

JD LasicaAt BlogWorld Expo earlier this month, I ran into attorney-podcaster Christina Gagnier (pictured above), and we got to talking about the law, since we met a few years ago after publication of my book Darknet: Hollywood’s War Against the Digital Generation.

Christina, who describes herself on her Twitter account as an “IP & Tech Lawyer, Online Strategist, Information Broker, Tech Policy Geek,” remarked that she was struck by the fact that BlogWorld had absolutely zero panels about the intersection of copyright law and grassroots media.

She then invited me to sit in as a guest on the new TechZulu Law show that she and co-host Lisa Borodkin launched earlier this month. Here’s a link to our discussion.

Here are some of the points I raised — or wanted to raise, because the segment flew by so fast. Issues of law and grassroots media extend well beyond copyright and intellectual property issues.

• As we all become citizen publishers with our blogs, shared videos, Facebook updates and tweets, we should keep in mind that there are not only rights but responsibilities when publishing to a global audience. Remember that bloggers and people using Twitter and Facebook have been hit with lawsuits in the past couple of years.

• Although many thousands do, it’s still disappointing that more blogs and citizen media efforts don’t take advantage of Creative Commons licenses, which turbo-charges online sharing by letting people fine-tune their copyright. Dan Gillmor’s upcoming second book will be published under a CC license as well as all of our contributors’ posts on Socialmedia.biz and Socialbrite.org. I’m also working on a new project, CommonsWire.org, that will soon showcase blogs using CC licenses.

• I’d like to see a future BlogWorld session on how to use the Freedom of Information Act. Here’s Dan Gillmor’s article on Freedom of information: It’s for everyone.

• What are your rights as a photographer when shooting in public places? See our guide to shooting photos in public.

street-artist• Do video producers or photographers need a model release form from the people they shoot? What about shooting people performing in public? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And you better know when the answer is yes. See the rules around capturing public performances and Do video producers need a publicity release waiver?

• Where can you find free images to include on your website and blog and in your newsletters, podcasts (intros, outros, bumpers), whitepapers and presentations? Where can you find video footage you can include in your own works without violating copyright law? See Socialbrite’s amazing directories of free photos, free music and free video footage.

• Let’s not forget that we need to be aware of the differences in Terms of Service at media hosting sites when uploading our content.

• See Socialbrite’s invaluable roundup of resources related to grassroots media and the law for more information — it’s one of the most thorough free set of articles and tutorials on the subject you’ll find on the Web. Also see bit.ly/mobilize for resources on how to mobilize your cause. Continue reading

October 28, 2010

4 experts on how to turn social media into sales

Photo by Zuberance


Advice for brands on interacting with your customers

JD LasicaOne of the enduring questions in the social media landscape is: Can we really use social tools to move the needle financially? That topic was met head on Tuesday evening at an event in San Francisco titled How to Turn Word of Mouth and Social Media into Sales.

Here’s the 48-minute audio of the session, compiled by David Spark:

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At the sold-out gathering, sponsored by Zuberance, a few folks asked me to post a blog entry about the panel, so here are some takeaways from the speakers’ remarks:


Becky Brown: Don’t outsource your listening

Who: Becky Brown, Director of Social Media Strategy, Intel

Comments: The brand advocacy program is a huge part of how we measure social media success at Intel. We listen to influencers who are talking about Intel. The company uses two main social media tools: Radian6 to measure sentiment and Objective Marketer to manage campaigns. “Be resourced,” Becky said. “Use employees and advocates and agencies.”

She said it was important to use listening tools “to find people who are not your brand advocates, who are negative advocates.” And take it on yourself. You cannot ask an agency to read all your posts for you. You cannot get college grads to handle your Twitter account. These are real customers talking about your brand, so engage with them directly. “I dream of a day when I have a team dedicated to positive and negative responses” on these networks.

(Disclosure: I’m a member of the Intel Insiders social media advisory group.)


Tony Lee: TiVo turns things upside down

Who: Tony Lee, Vice President of Marketing, TiVo

Comments: Summed up the credo of Silicon Valley well: “If you’re not failing quickly, you’re not doing an interesting enough experiment.” Take chances. Launch multiple programs and initiatives.

TiVo stands traditional marketing on its head with its decision to incentivize and reward its long-time customers over newcomers just coming into the showroom floor. “We now give our best deals to our best customers.” (Yay! I’ve had two TiVos since 2004 and wrote about the company in my book Darknet.)

“Your customers aren’t stupid. There are times when you need to listen. If a customer is screaming and rude, others will understand. It’s OK to ignore people who are rude.”


Rob Fugetta: Put in $1, get $10 back

Who: Rob Fuggetta, CEO, Zuberance

Comments: Rob cited a company that assayed customer loyalty with the “ultimate question”: “How likely are you to recommend our brand or product to a friend?” Customers responding 0-6 were considered a “detractor”; 7-8 a “passive”; 9-10 an “advocate.”

Great advice: Rob told brands to involve customers by inviting them to respond to questions and “make it easy for your advocates to engage with your brand.” He pointed to a campaign by HomeAway, a vacation rental site, and said that its success lay in interactions with their community — “we just gave them a way to connect” — rather than offering giveaways or free T-shirts.

He pointed to a lawsuit just brought against TripAdvisor, which was sued for defamation because, the litigants alleged, the hotel guests posted ‘inaccurate’ reviews. Audience reaction? Overwhelmingly on the side of TripAdvisor and the unfettered flow of opinions, right or wrong.

ClubOneHe talked about a $20,000 investment by ClubOne that led to a $180,000 return — 69 percent of participants in a 14-day free offer brought a form into ClubOne to try out a membership, and 15 percent of those people purchased memberships. You can measure with great specificity the results you get from social marketing.

Final words of wisdom? “Put in $1 and get $10 back” by launching a word of mouth campaign that stokes genuine conversations about a product or service. “This is earned media, not paid media,” where fabrication and marketingspeak hold forth. Continue reading

October 21, 2010

Highlights of BlogWorld Expo 2010

JD LasicaLast week’s BlogWorld & New Media Expo was one of the best social media gatherings I’ve attended in some time, and not just because of the Las Vegas nightlife. The conference is attracting an increasingly robust set of tracks that highlight leading thinkers from sectors like social health, nonprofits, travel, mobile and social media business. Plus, the networking was awesome.

I conducted a few video interviews, which I’ll post here and on our sister site, Socialbrite.org, in the next couple of weeks. Meantime, here are some of my takeaways and highlights from BlogWorld.

Social health, politics, case studies & photos

• Here’s my roundup of BlogWorld’s Social Health track, which I wrote over at our new site, Time for Nurses. I also wrote about the Registered Nurses Breakfast I attended.

• I didn’t bring my Nikon because I had way too much stuff to lug around, but managed to capture these 45 images with my Panasonic camcorder and a point-and-shoot digital camera. Here’s Mark Burnett, creator-producer of CBS’s “Survivor,” with Brian Solis:

Mark Burnett

• Democratic pollster Mark Penn: We are now approaching 40% of voters not affiliated with either major political party — the biggest change in politics over the past generation. “It busts the myth that this is a blue-red country.” Not sure I agree.

• More Penn: 54% of people in swing districts say the United States would be better off with a third party, according to a recent poll. My take: We have plenty of third parties but the way our elections are conducted is stacked against them.

• Karen Hughes, former adviser to President George W. Bush: In 2000 “we thought Al Gore was a little weird for using a BlackBerry and texting Tipper.” By 2004 “we couldn’t run a presidential election without” mobile devices.

• Hughes said she was concerned the brute force of anonymity on the Internet, saying it can debase political culture, make discussions more coarse, dehumanize people and lead to more misinformation. Completely agree.

• Panelist: “Twitter.com represents only 18% of all tweets” because majority of users use a Twitter app and referrals through those apps aren’t counted. But Twitter itself said last month that 78% of Twitter users use the website, not apps — see chart above. So can it really be that this minority of power users (less than 22%) account for 82% of all tweets? I’ve never seen any stats on that.

• The mobile search engine ChaCha now has 500,000 users. If you search using a mobile device and want real humans to help with your search, check out ChaCha.

• I was surprised in one of the sessions to see that only a handful of the 200 people in the room were using Klout, a cool service that tracks social media influence. Klout announced at the conference that it will soon be adding your LinkedIn presence to your Klout Score.

• I sat down for a TechZulu Law interview with the fabulous hosts Christina Gagnier and Lisa Borodkin and hope to do a separate post on that here soon. Continue reading

October 21, 2010

Web 3.0 demystified: An explanation in pictures

Socialmedia.biz contributor Deltina Hay now has a featured column on Technorati called You’ll Be Back: Search Optimization & Survival. The column focuses on search optimization as it applies to the entire Web: search engines, social search, mobile search, the semantic Web, etc. You can read the articles right here on Socialmedia.biz every week.

In this first series of articles, we discuss each of the fundamental elements that are moving us toward an application-driven, Web-based, mobile computing era, and how they will ultimately affect search optimization.

Deltina HayWeb 3.0 aims to make online content easier for machines to understand and opens up and links large sets of data in consistent ways.

Finding a definition for Web 3.0 is no easy task when most people are still trying to grasp Web 2.0. However, it is a necessary task since Web 3.0 technologies are encroaching on the Internet quickly. Perhaps the best way is to start at the beginning.

Web 1.0: The Internet in one dimension

In the beginning, the Internet was flat. Think of it as a collection of documents (Websites) lined up side by side. Though many of the sites may have linked to each other, those links simply took a user straight to the linked site, and maybe back again.

Each website was classified using metadata composed of meta-keywords, meta-descriptions, and meta-titles that described what the content of the website was about. At their simplest, search engines used established search algorithms to comb through all of the websites’ metadata to return what it considered relevant results based on your choice of keywords.

The inventor of the Web, Timothy Berners-Lee, refers to this phase of the Internet as a “Web of Documents.”

Web 1.0

Web 2.0: A two-dimensional Internet

This next generation of the Internet added another dimension: collaboration.

This added dimension means that websites were linked in a more collaborative way. Instead of sending a visitor away from a site to view related content, the content is actually drawn into the visited site from the related site using RSS feeds or widgets.

But it isn’t only the websites that are more collaborative, it is also the users of the websites’ content. Internet users tag and comment on content and collaborate and interact among themselves.

Search engines have a whole new layer to consider in their searches: user-tagged Web content and the relevant connections between the users themselves.

Berners-Lee named this Internet phase the “Web of Content.”

Web 2.0

Web 3.0: The third dimension

Even with the rich metadata, collaboration between websites and users, and user-generated relationships to draw from, machines are still machines, and they still find it difficult to discern actual meaning from human-generated content. The third evolutionary step of the Internet aims to fix that by adding the dimension of “semantics.”

The goal of this phase is to make the content of the Web more easily interpreted by machines. Web content is typically written for humans, which means that it is produced with aesthetics in mind — little attention is paid to consistency or relevancy of the content itself.

Tim Berners-Lee calls this phase — rather passionately — the “Web of Data.” Continue reading

October 19, 2010

Monitoring Social Media – San Francisco

JD LasicaIwas impressed by the last gathering put on in San Francisco by this team — Social Media Marketing 2010 — so I can heartily recommend Monitoring Social Media, a full day conference on Thursday followed by a half-day training bootcamp on Friday. Monitoring and tracking are among the least understood elements of brands’ social media campaigns and long-term efforts, so you should send a rep to soak in as many insights as possible.

There’s a meetup for the event tonight at 6:30 at Minna in San Francisco; check it out on the San Francisco Blog Club Meetup.com page.

Socialmedia.biz readers get a special discount of 10 percent when registering by using this discount code: Socialmediabiz10. Hurry, there are only a few tickets left!

Here are the details from event organizer and social media specialist Murray Newlands.

What: Monitoring Social Media – San Francisco

Where: The Box SF, 1069 Howard Street, San Francisco

When: Thursday, Oct. 21, from 8:30 am to 5 pm, followed by an optional half-day bootcamp Friday

Who: The sterling speaker lineup includes Marcel LeBrun, CEO of Radian6, Giles Palmer, founder of Brandwatch, Ben Straley, CEO of Meteor Solutions, Jennifer Zeszut, Chief Social Strategist of Lithium Technologies and many others.

Agenda: The conference will bring together leading brands, PR and marketing experts to discuss the latest ideas, trends and techniques in social media monitoring and measurement. Topics include:

  • Social Media Monitoring Tools and Services
  • Brand and Reputation Management
  • Sentiment Detection and Analysis
  • Data Quality and Filtering
  • Identifying and Connecting with Influencers
  • Beyond Listening: Measurement and ROI
  • The Future of Social Media Monitoring
  • Case studies and Best Practice

Who’s coming:

  • Marketing Strategists & Directors
  • PR & Communications Managers
  • Social Media Experts
  • Bloggers & Journalists

Register here. Ticket price includes lunch (optional), refreshments and a handbook and networking drinks at the end of the day. Continue reading