Archive for 'twitter'

Obamas Propaganda Machine?

ObamawithblackberryPresident elect Obama has been heralded before on HouseBlogger for his net savvy ability to get the grassroots to come out and vote. Now, politics is always a polarizing issue so please put away any bias you may have and please come with me as we appreciate his marketing ability. Because thats really what matters is the marketing and how we can mimmick superior online marketing of others for our purposes.

Obama took his original website and changed it to http://change.gov in an attempt to keep the buzz happening. The site recently released a new application that to me kind of shows the limits and also the manipulations that are possible with social media.

The newer system is a Digg.com like system whereby visitors can vote and deny commentary.  I will let Politico.com explain what has happened:

President-elect Barack Obama’s Transition today launched "Open for Questions," a Digg-style feature allowing citizens to submit questions, and to vote on one another’s questions, bringing favored inquiries to the top of the list.

It was suggested when it launched that the tool would bring uncomfortable questions to the fore, but the results so far are the opposite: Obama’s supporters appear to be using — and abusing — a tool allowing them to "flag" questions as "inappropriate" to remove all questions mentioning Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich from the main pages of Obama’s website.

The Blagojevich questions — many of them polite and reasonable — can be found only by searching words in them, like "Blagojevich," which produces 35 questions missing from the main page of the site.

"Given the current corruption charges involving Blagojevich, will ‘serious’ campaign finance reform that takes money completely out of politics through publicly funded elections be a priority in the first term?" asked Metteyya of Santa Cruz, California.

"This submission was removed because people believe it is inappropriate," reads the text underneath it….

…. Community reporting systems like this are often vulnerable to abuse from committed partisans — YouTube has wrestled with a parallel problem — and the only solution is conscious efforts to remedy it.

Some call user generated content and the new media the Democratization of the web. Maybe, but it also can be a giant propaganda machine. Intended or otherwise.

Other interesting articles:
The Webs Influence and Social Web: A New Thing?
Pat Kitano on Social Media Podcast
Social Distortion
Interview With a Social Media Pioneer
Twitter
The Obfuscation of the truth…….& The Orgy of Free:The CIA owns part of Facebook?

Small gestures can yield lasting results

A few months ago, Guy Kawasaki tweeted (made a short announcement on Twitter, the micro-blogging site) that he was done with his next book’s manuscript and was looking for a few people to proofread it and give him feedback.

I was what I assume was a pretty large group of people who raised their hands.  Who doesn’t want to read Guy’s book before it gets published?  Anyway…read it, proofed it, critiqued it and sent it back.

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Fast forward to a couple weeks ago.  I got a package and voila, it was Guy’s new book, Reality Check (released October 30th).  I thought sending it ahead of the release was a nice gesture.  But when I opened it, Guy had also taken the time to write a personal note to me inside.

Class act.

You have to figure quite a few people (like Valeria Maltoni who mentioned she got one too, although for the life of me, I can’t find her reference now.) offered to proof his book.  So it was probably no small task to get handwritten notes into each copy before sending them off.  A very nice gesture but even more than that….smart marketing.

Guy knows how few handwritten notes and cards are used today.  He knows it feels personal and that it makes a connection.

The book is a great read – very irreverent and practical. And the author – a great marketer.

P.S.  If you find any typos….I swear, I told him about it! :)

How about you?  What small gesture could you make to create a connection with your prospect, customer or employee?

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Personal Branding is its own reward

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Each year, Dan Schawbel’s organization recognizes some of the standout brands with Personal Brand Awards. Last year, Rohit Bhargava won the gold award, and this year Jeremiah Owyang was presented the 2008 gold award. An esteemed panel of judges made the selection and people were graded based on a few factors, such as value proposition, differentiation, and marketability.

I’m humbled to tell you that I was one of the 6 people honored with recognition.  It’s quite an honor and even more so, when you see the other recipients.  I’d like to take a minute and introduce you to each of the honorees (well, except me…you know me!)

Gold Award:  Jeremiah Owyang

Jeremiah is probably one of the most trusted and sought after experts in the social media space.  As a researcher for Forrester following media trends is his day job.  He’s very generous with his time and knowledge and the judges wisely selected him unanimously.

Silver Awards:  Daniel Scocco and Laura Fitton

Daniel is certainly a go-to-guy for blogging, people trust him and he constantly rewards his community.  He offers up tips and strategies on blogging and currently holds the #29 spot in terms of popular blogs (according to Technorati).

Laura’s focus is on social media consulting, specifically "microsharing" which is all about harnessing the power of tools like Twitter, Pownce, Plurk and Jaiku.  She’s often quoted on and offline about where the world of social media is headed.

Bronze Awards:  Jim Kukral, Wendy Piersall, and little old me

Jim’s thing is all things affiliate marketing,
social media and internet marketing each and every day. He communicates
his brand through both video and written entries and is a common face
at industry events.

Wendy introduced herself to us as eMoms at Home which has now evolved into SparkPlugCEO.  Wendy’s message is about the power and possibilities of working for yourself and from home.  Her personal story inspires many to take the leap.

Me.  Enough said.  If you want to read what Dan and the judges said…(this link is for you, Mom and Dad!)

Congrats to all the recipients.  As you can imagine, it’s heady stuff to be among them.

If you’re wondering who made the call, the judges were:

 

Read more about the award in the most recent edition of Personal Branding Magazine.

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This is a guest post courtesy of maxyRO

Romania

In America, we’re in the midst of the elections.  It’s a time where the political landscape is changing and everyone is trying to grab a slice of the pie. We, as social media users, have paid a good share of attention to the US elections, sometimes unwillingly.

It goes without saying that social media is a big part of the online campaigns that are helping candidates reach out to its younger audience. But it’s not just the US candidates that have taken up social media and started using it as a political tool.

Countries overseas are also getting into the social media landscape.  Romania has the first Prime Minister in the European Union to get both a twitter and a facebook account along with the launch of his new website. (more…)

BlogRush: RIP

ImageChef.com - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Here is an email that I (and a lot of other people) received from BlogRush John Reese:

After careful consideration, we have decided to shutdown the BlogRush service.  If you have the widget code on your blog you will need to remove it.

When BlogRush launched in late-2007 it spread like wildfire all over the Web.  Thousands of bloggers were talking about it and the service exploded to become one of the fastest growing free services in the history of the Web.  During the first year of the service it successfully served 3.4 Billion blog post headlines and the BlogRush widget could be found on blogs all over the world; even up until the moment we closed down the service.

BlogRush didn’t grow without its fair share of problems — from security issues to abusive users trying to ‘game’ the system to much lower click-rates than expected.  We also had some problems with trying to fairly control the quality of the network, and in the process made many mistakes in deciding what blogs should stay or go.  All of these issues, ultimately, limited the service’s full potential.

Our team worked very hard to try and build a service that would truly help bloggers of all sizes get free traffic to their blogs.  This was our primary focus.  Not once did we ever try to monetize the service with ads or anything else.  BlogRush never made a single penny in revenue.  We wanted to be able to help our users FIRST and then worry about monetizing the service later.  Unfortunately, the service didn’t work out like we had hoped.  (It happens.)

I want to say “Thank You” to all of the great bloggers that at least gave BlogRush a test to see if it would work for them.  We sincerely appreciate you giving the service a try.

We have received several offers & inquiries about acquiring BlogRush, but we are choosing not to go that route.  While many might think this is crazy, we truly feel it’s the ‘right’ thing to do for our users.  Believe it or not, it’s not always about the money.  In fact, BlogRush will have lost a small fortune when it’s all said and done, and it was by choice.  There were many things we could have done to monetize the service but we wanted to make sure it was going to benefit our users first.

Last but not least I want to say that I hope the failure of this service doesn’t in any way discourage other entrepreneurs from coming up with crazy ideas at 4AM (like I did with this one) and from “going for it” to just try and see if something will work.  Without trying there can be no success.  And as we all know, ideas are worthless without action.  The Web wouldn’t be what it is today without entrepreneurs trying all sorts of crazy ideas.

On behalf of the entire BlogRush team, we wish the best of luck to everyone with their own blogs, ideas, and crazy ventures.

Sincerely,

John Reese
http://twitter.com/johnreese

RIP (more…)

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