Sunday, March 29, 2009

Everything Communicates

As I have mentioned before, being laid off gives me great opportunity to talk to a lot of people and also to crystallize my own thoughts on a variety of topics.

I have been thinking a lot about social media; what it is exactly, how it fits in, how people use it, etc. What's apparent to me, is that social media is not an end, but a means. Its also very apparent that social media is not some online phenomenon, but online has developed the set of tools that make conversations easier and louder. One could argue that a conversation in class, at a bar, at work is a form of social media, but now those conversations can get very wide distribution through online tools.

The other thing that has become more obvious, is that with the advent of the online tools, EVERYTHING becomes marketing. Customer service is now as much of a marketing tool as advertising. A bad customer experience, can lead to a Tweet, FB Status, blog post, YouTube video etc about the experience.

So, EVANGELISM should now be a key objective, and the one that potentially drives social media use. In my opinion, ROI is nice from social media, but the value of it is the ability to "Democratize Your Distribution" and create brand evangelists with loud voices and broadcasting capabilities. The attribution (latency) period might be longer, but in the end, its more valuable.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Just joined a great organization for Marketing execs, MENG. Its made up of 2000 people who were a VP or above and made a good salary. The organization is great for job hunting, networking (whoever thought I would be a "networker"), knowledge sharing and meeting people with like interests.

Its not cheap to join, but seems to be well worth it.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Twitter and Cable TV - 500 Channels and There's Nothing On (Thanks Bruce)

I have been using and following on Twitter for a while and there are some things I love to follow and am impressed with:
  • CEO of Zappos
  • Onward Search
  • Hang in There Jack
But, as Twitter gains in popularity and usage, my lists of Tweets are becoming unwieldy. Sure, I have TweetDeck that helps to organize the tweets, but still, everytime I look at TweetDeck do I want to invest 30 minutes to catch up? and the more cool people I find to follow, the more unwieldy and unusable it gets. What happens when every brand I love, every friend I have, every company I want to work for are all tweeting? I am a big offender, but do I need to read everytime someone sees a movie or eats something? Isn't it just too much?

It might end up that there is so much, its just easier to ignore all of it. I am not there yet, but I am a little at a loss on what to follow, how to read it, and when to care! I will continue to work on this one. Maybe there is a business that allows for real filtering of tweets with notifications?

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Social Media Diagrams

I was going through TweetDeck and checking out today's crop of tweets from friends, pundits, corporations, job people and came across a Tweet from Tech Crunch with a link to the Future Lab blog that offers a number of great diagrams illustrating the social media universe.

Check them out. Its very helpful to be able to see everything laid out in a visual form.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Attack of the Buzzwords

One thing you learn as you search for jobs in the new world is that there is a serious proliferation of BS marketing/social media/interactive terms.

The people who use them seem to be the pundits. The people who interpret them seem to be the ones who are successful either on their own or on behalf of others.

The BS Bingo game board on the left is a classic. Enjoy it!

Monday, March 2, 2009

All About Me -- Social Media

I have extensive experience leveraging social media on behalf of brands.

While at Starwood I led the development of the first hotel travel blog dedicated to travel content (as opposed to program content), I developed and authored the vision and development of, built on user generated content and the first major brand to bet its success on its users (other brands used micro-sites). I was heavily involved in the measurement strategy around UGC on to determine the impact of social media on hotel bookings. I have led numerous initiatives involving blogs, FaceBook, distributed content, guest and member engagement and research efforts to better understand how SPG members engage with social media. I furthered direct conversations with SPG members through a variety of means including webinars, phone calls, and a 3rd party frequent traveler site, www.flyertalk.

One of my last projects, although small, was a labor of love that highlighted all of the cool work we did at Starwood with a number of social media apps and other innovative platforms,

In addition to efforts on behalf of Starwood and others, I author two blogs, Tweet, am on FaceBook (friend me!), LinkedIn, Flickr, YouTube and others.

So enough about you, what do you think of me?

Being unemployed and "networking" (a term I don't like, not sure why) has been fun. I am meeting a lot of people and learning something new from everyone I speak to. One of the interesting suggestions I received lately is to put some narrative together on topics that would be of interest to potential employers and to showcase thoughts, examples of work, etc. So, I have started.

As time goes by, I might begin to intersperse some of those paragraphs within this blog. Just wanted to explain what "all about me" means when you see it as a post!