The awful truth about Blogout09

February 24th, 2009
Filed under: Social Media,SocialCorp,Speaking — joel @ 12:59 am

I’ll be participating in Blogout09 in Singapore on March 6, giving my Communications Inside Out (see below) talk, which is based loosely on the last chapter of my book, SocialCorp: Social Media Goes Corporate. I’ll be in the esteemed company of Yongfook, the Ashton Kutcher of the Singapore social media scene, and Melvin Yuan, who is referred to by Kevin Lim (aka @brainopera) as “a ridiculously thoughtful public relations gentleman in Singapore.”

In commemoration of my visit to Singapore, Kevin has created this stunning photo montage:

Note that Yongfook is cited for his good looks, Melvin for his intelligence, and me for giving away copies of my book. This is how I want to be remembered! On the other hand, can either of them drive a Zamboni? I think not! My picture is a composite and the hand with the book doesn’t even belong to me! I appear to be grimacing after eating a bug or something.

Here are a few things you might not know about me:

  • I came up with the original concept for Blogout in 1992, but since there was no such thing as blogging then, I had a hard time selling the idea
  • The internet IS a series of tubes, and I will prove this scientifically during my presentation
  • If you send me $500 by PayPal, I will disclose my great secret of making millions by blogging.

Hope to see you in Singapore!

Communications Inside Out

Now that the social media “dust” has settled, many companies feel like they’ve made the transition to a stable, predictable, Web 2.0 world. Not so fast! I’m going to lead a conversation about a second wave of changes underway or rapidly approaching. Communications Inside Out, based on the final chapter of my book, is loosely structured around five key shifts in perceptions about what social media is, and how it behaves:

  • Speed–>Brevity
  • Managed Participation–>Chaos
  • Letting Go–>Taking Back
  • Engagement–>Doing Business
  • Wild Wild West–>Civilized World

For example, the attention span of the average person online has grown shorter and shorter, and with it, the length and duration of online content has similarly been reduced. Online videos, once considered “short” at three minutes, are now less than a minute, or even a few seconds in length. Entire “blog posts” have been reduced to 140 characters on sites like Twitter. In other words, while the emphasis in social media was on speed, it is now on brevity. Similar shifts have taken place elsewhere. My presentation will take a random walk through a handful of such shifts, helping participants better understand the nature and role of social media in the future.

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Can You Control Your Brand, or Just Share It?

January 20th, 2009

New Riders, the publishers of my SocialCorp book, have made available Chapter 4, Can You Control Your Brand, or Just Share It?, on its web site. This chapter looks at a contemporary definition of brand, who “owns” your company’s brand, how to establish corporate identity in a Web 2.0 world, and other issues facing marketers and communicators. Here’s a brief excerpt:

“Any discussion of social media implications to the corporate brand must begin with a definition of brand, and some agreement as to just whether the company can control its brand, manage it, share it, or must give it over to the whims of consumers.

Merriam Webster defines brand as

  • a class of goods identified by name as the product of a single firm or manufacturer.

True, but not very useful for this discussion. David Ogilvy, often called the father of advertising, defined a brand as

  • the intangible sum of a product’s attributes: its name, packaging, and price, its history, its reputation, and the way it’s advertised.

I define a brand as the sum total of our experiences with a company, its products, services, and employees, and the way those experiences shape our perception of the company.”

I hope you’ll take a moment to look at the entire chapter and join the discussion by leaving a comment on the Peachpit (parent of New Riders) site or here. Thanks!

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SocialCorp Shelf Life Contest

January 5th, 2009
Filed under: Social Media,SocialCorp — joel @ 5:59 pm

My good friend Yoshi Maisami was the first one to spot SocialCorp on a bookstore shelf, and snapped this photo at Borders Books in Cambridge, MA:

This made me really curious about how many stores the book was in, whether it was facing spine out or cover out, what section it was displayed in, and so on. I came up with the idea of turning to my network of social media friends for help.

To enter the SocialCorp Shelf-Life Contest to win a free, signed copy of the book:

  • Visit your local Borders, Barnes and Noble, or other bookstore and determine whether SocialCorp is in stock
  • Find the book and take a picture of it with your cell phone, and e-mail it, with the name and location of the store, and what section you found the book in, to

The contest ends midnight, January 31.

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Presenting “Twitter: Zero to business in under an hour” January 9 in Peachpit Macworld SF booth

December 25th, 2008

Peachpit, publisher of my new book SocialCorp, has kindly invited me to join them in their booth at Macworld San Francisco to talk about Twitter business basics and to sign copies of the book (available in the booth #S-1026). I will be there Friday, January 9, 2009, at 2 P.M. My chat will cover both a general introduction to Twitter as well as a discussion of how businesses are using it. If you’re in the Bay Area, I hope to see you there!

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SocialCorp included in “Three recommended ‘must-read’ social business books”

December 16th, 2008
Filed under: Book Review,Social Media,SocialCorp — joel @ 11:39 am

SocialCorp and two other ‘must-read’ books on social media for business are included in a nice review posted by Jennifer Leggio this morning on ZDNet. Jennifer writes:

“I’m about three-quarters of the way through the book and I am having trouble putting it down. Postman sees social media for what it is — a complementing strategy for companies to help them achieve their already established business objectives. He writes about specific considerations that both private and public companies should make before introducing social media programs. And he understands the risks. He also included one of the most comprehensive social media glossaries I’ve ever seen. I can’t wait to finish it.”

As Jennifer mentions in her review, she won the book in a karaoke contest held at last week’s Silicon Valley Tweetup, at the British Banker’s Club in Menlo Park. I had offered a copy of the book as a prize for the contest, and Jeremiah Owyang, who organized the event, decided I could also judge the contest.

I was also happy to see SocialCorp in the esteemed company of “Twitter Means Business” by Julio Ojeda-Zapata and “Personality Not Included” by Rohit Bhargava.

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