Marketing Director

Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts
Showing posts with label social media. Show all posts

Speaking: The greatest audience is the toughest crowd

I love speaking. To any audience. Whether they love what I am saying or don't get it I learn an amazing amount about myself and about other people everytime I have the opportunity to speak in front of more than a few people. When different groups ask me to speak I am quick to accept which often makes for challenging times; both in regards to the availability of time and the time to prep for your audience.
This summer I was lucky enough to speak to a variety of different groups. Two audiences really stuck out for me this Summer. One was possibly the toughest audience I've spoken to and the other may have been the audience I was most nervous to speak with.

Nufloors and Social Media
View more presentations from Kemp Edmonds
The first was a talk on a Sunday morning at the end of Nufloors Canada's Conference in Courtney on a Golf Course. Perfect setting smart event. I was treated to arguable the most authentic stand up routine in all of Canada. The audience was franchisees of NuFloors flooring stores across Canada.
When I went into speak at the Disability Resources Network BC Conference at the Planetarium I was more nervous because I didn't know what to expect. The group was a bit of mystery to me, but through a few quick questions and a broad, diverse engaging presentation, I was able to deliver a great session. Attendees were given a chance to share their successes and best practices I only wish I had more facilitation power to ensure that everyone got a number of takeaways tailored to the session and not my prep(the presentation).
This is being published late, but I am fired up to deliver Fall highlights in a post soon. Leave me your feedback or queries always up for a good thought.

Sharing Information + Diverse Audiences

more presentations from kemp edmonds

I recently had the pleasure of presenting (slidedeck above) at a one-day conference in Calgary called Social Media Marketing Unplugged. The organizer Jonathan Chow was an awesome organizer and the other speakers were people who I admire personally for the work they do in their areas of focus. It was my lucky day as having recently started working a dream job of sorts with HootSuite, THE social media dashboard, managing their learning program I was invited to fill in for my community wrangler Dave Olson.

It was a joy to present outside of Vancouver and in another Canadian city. It was very different from Vancouver where the use of social media is more prominent. Ask anyone who speaks regularly to audiences about social media and you will find out that the greatest challenge we deal with is the diverse knowledge base of our audiences. Some are 'going to try Twitter soon' while others are tracking website visitors' every move using Custom URL parameters and Google Analytics. If you didn't understand that last part don't worry few do, but it's the kind of technique that is basis for successful online communications. Sharing knowledge is an amazing part of digital culture in fact it lives at the core of our culture.

Kris Krug, Open Everything, Pecha Kucha.

Without sharing knowledge and allowing others to build on it we would not be where we are as a civilization. We would be stuck in the past. I've been inspired on my mission to share the knowledge by two individuals who started out as my heros and long ago became my mentors, my peers and my friends. Kris Krug and Dave Olson speak the gospel of openness.

In this era when multi-national corporations own the intellectual property created by individuals it is more important than ever to share our knowledge to allow our ideas and thoughts to be built upon by others to advance our collective work. Corporations are working against that goal with patents on plants and ownership of rivers that belong to the people of planet not the shareholders of corporations. I love business and it's been an incredibly powerful tool for bringing our world into the 21st century, but like the majority of entities made up of 100s or 1000s of people, self-preservation and control rain supreme while responsibility and accountability are diffused into near nothingness.

Social Media in Law: A 2011 Report

This is part one of a multi-part series about the crossroads of technology and the law.

Messages we write down have been an integral part of the law since the beginning. The value of our digital trail is increasing daily. How we manage our online communications is key to steering clear of the newly formed legal pitfalls of the web.

This series of posts will focus on North America and will draw mostly on existing case law, some anecdotes and a few cases that cannot be discussed in detail due to existing NDAs. For the most part I will reference cases I have been following and how they are slowly drawing the lines in the sand around labour law, privacy and rights.

As the year progresses I will continue to keep you updated on the effects of social media on litigation both civil and criminal. I am currently working with some people who are experiencing the heavy cost of divorce in the age of digital connections by ghost writing their story. I will also explore existing intellectual property cases, discuss defamation and cover labour law in detail. I'll  root out where the lines are and where they are moving by drawing on cases that are happening now.

Today I'll be giving an overview of Defamation, Uttering Threats, Insurance, Divorce and Labour.

Defamation: Anonymity Unveiled

In August of 2009 Google was ordered by a New York court to hand over the identity of anonymous blogger accused of libel* a type of defamation* for comments they made on a website called NYC Skanks, that was hosted on Blogger, which is owned by Google. The judge in the case quoted a ruling by a Virginia court stating that "anonymous online taunters should be held accountable when their derision goes too far." -Full Story

In Vancouver in late 2010 a case regarding a beauty salon where they had to file court orders with both Craigslist and Shaw, an ISP, to find out who their anonymous online defamers were. Both Craigslist (handed over the IP addresses) and Shaw (handed over the customers names associated with those IP addresses) have complied with those court orders. -Anecdotal at this time.

Whether it's magicians in Vancouver, Courtney Love or two organizations trying to help dogs the age of internet defamation and the resulting lawsuits is upon us. Here's a great overview from a lawyer about how defamation works in the law. Remember legal claims of online defamation are on the rise.

Uttering Threats, Digitally

In January of 2010 Paul Chambers, 26, was supposed to fly out of Robin Hood Airport in the UK when his flight was canceled. He went to Twitter to vent his frustration about the closure of the local airport. He was headed to see his internet girlfriend in a tropical location when ash from a volcano in Iceland postponed his trip.
The tweet that cost $6000
His Twitter account was public so anyone could search it and a savvy airport personnel member spotted the tweet threatening to bomb the place and reported it to authorities who were obligated to act on this threat as if it had been phoned in. He was quickly arrested. Paul received some internet celebrity status and a $6000 bill for his indiscretion. He also lost his appeal.

Uttering threats on Facebook is dangerous business as one Montreal man found out in the Fall of 2010. He also showed that when uttering threats online it's best not to be doing other illegal things. In 2008 a Canadian student was charged with uttering threats for posts he made on an internet forum threatening violence against his school.

The lesson? Threats on social networks must be treated as legitimate by authorities. Hide your tweets by making them private or don't tweet threats. Most of the answers to how to avoid the pitfalls above is 'common sense'. The challenge is that many people aren't aware of those things. Worth studying.

Insurance Fraud?

Insurance lawyers are accessing Facebook photos more tenaciously than is imaginable and have been since before 2008. One of the most famous cases in Canada started in November 2009 and involves Nathalie Blanchard who had been out for a year-and-a-half on paid long-term sick leave (disability) following a diagnosis of severe depression. Then her insurance company, Manulife, got their hands on some photos she had posted to Facebook. The photos show her smiling while at a birthday party in a strip club and on a vacation on the beach. 

Manulife took these photos to mean that she was no longer depressed and able to work. Blanchard responded by saying that she was 'happy in the moment, but before and after I have the same problems'. The video below runs through the whole story if you'd like more details and some honest opinion.

A video of the same story with some opinion.

How did they see those photos when her profile settings were totally private? She had made them her profile pictures something that Facebook lets anyone on the internet see. More information: Depressed woman loses benefits -November 2009. Depressed woman fails first try to recoup benefits -December 2009. Related: Manulife posted $1.8 billion in profits for 2010.

According to the Telegraph using social networks could eventually raise your home insurance premiums in the UK by as much as 10%. This is because people who use these networks are seen as 'more at risk' to be broken into due to their posts. For example, if you checkin to FourSquare you most likely aren't at home.

I have searched for more stories about insurance, law and social media but haven't found much more. Although there is even more cases like this out there. Where are they? Please Tweet @KempEdmonds or leave the links in the comments, thanks!

Divorce in the Social Age

The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers responded in a recent survey that 81% of them have seen an increase in the number of cases where social networks are referenced in the last five years. This statistic has been widely misreported as 4 in 5 divorce lawyers say that their cases involve social networks by many major networks including MSNBC. I found this out after using the stat myself and then wondering if it was totally accurate. This misuse of statistics is a major pet peeve of mine, but that's for another time or another blog.

Facebook is a divorce lawyer's new best friend
Facebook doesn't cause divorce- spouses do
Divorce attorneys catching cheaters
Wife betrayed on Facebook: "Terrible beyond belief."
Facebook and divorce airing the dirty laundry

Most of the existing stories about the use of Facebook in divorce is around catching cheaters. This is a strong investigative use for lawyers in a bitter divorce battle. Divorce and separation online is a touchy and challenging new dynamic in our social structure. I can't begin to imagine factoring in children. When I dig more into divorce I am going to try and talk about it from a few different angles.

While I am covering divorce later on in this series it will be about the human story of creating intertwined lives and social networks and then going through a divorce. What do you do? Unfriend everyone? Don't post anything about your feelings during the divorce? There are no easy answers to this new challenge that faces those who are divorced in the age of Facebook.

Part two will be coming soon!

Meme of the Year Part II: What's in a Meme?

If you haven't read "Meme of the Year Part I: What's a Meme?" reading it first will help in understanding the origins of memes and what they mean to human communication. This year has been all about video memes. Video memes have aided in bringing memes to the mainstream, although the word isn't in common usage... yet. Internet memes are viral, but viral videos aren't necessarily memes.

Let's go back... Way back to 2007. Facebook only had 20 million users worldwide Sometimes it's the act of watching the particular video that is the meme. Today Rick Astley is famous because people are tricked into watching this. The action of tricking someone into watching the video was "Rick Rolling". Here is the origins story of this famous meme from 2007:

Have you ever wondered about the origins of FAIL, Owned or All Your Base are Belong to Us? Well wonder no longer. The following video from my favourite series on modern memes "Know Your Meme" will explain it all. Following this video are the two winners of Meme of the Year...

The first internet meme of the year for 2010 was Double Rainbow. Let's call it our first runner up. Now there are two winners: one from the Organic section and one from the Inorganic or manufactured section. Let's take a look at the Organic winner first...

This meme of the year was produced professionally by a news crew, but it was the video's star Antoine Dodson who has shot to stardom. Bed Intruder was introduced to me on the annual fishing trip I take with my brothers and my father to a fishing lodge where there is no cell coverage, television or internet. My younger brother kept telling to "Hide yer kids, hide yer wife, hide your husband they be raping everybody up in here." These is half of the phrase that made Antoine Dodson and international star. Below is the original news clip:

This video has 7.3+ million views while the second video of the meme based on the song created by remixing his statement has 68+ million views. Antoine Dodson went on to team up with two guys simple known as Autotune The News who took his voice and made a short 20 second sample to get his approval and gauge interest. This was quickly followed by a full length song which has gone on to sell 500+ copies. Here is the song:

Antoine used his cut of the money for the song (50%) to buy his mom a new home among other things. He has been offered a reality TV show, been asked to appear at parties for $20K and appeared on television programs all over the world and the internet. The local news and a guy 'climbing in your window snatching your people up' could lead to such fame. His 15 minutes were topped when he one the first award for Meme of the Year. Here is his acceptance speech.

The third meme is Old Spice guy. Old Spice guy falls into the category of a marketing meme created and then given validation by consumer response, think Super Bowl ads. BUD-WEIS-ER. I will let his video speak for itself and end with an infographic regarding how much of an impact the multi-million dollar social media and television campaign made.

Til next time!

Facebook Ad Rates are the Cheapest. Here's Why.

Thanks to one of my favourite e-newsletters. The Silicon Valley Insider Chart O' D' Day -or in less irish terms "of the". Today's chart confirm something I've suspected all along: Facebook might serve up more display ads than anyone else, but they are the cheapest. The next cheapest? Email.

Thanks to a chance phone call from Richard at the Goodline Group I was reminded of the power of permission marketing. Beyond permission marketing is a strong strategy for the customer focused businesses of the future. Today organizations are clamouring just to get people to see them in a world full of marketing and advertising.
photo by: Doug Wheller. Remixed under creative commons licence.
That means getting a chance to have eyeballs see your brand, product or services and hopefully click a few things can be costly. See the chart below to see the most expensive and least expensive types of sites to advertise on. The rates are in CPM or cost per thousand impressions. That means about 2000 eyeballs had the chance to see an ad. It doesn't even mean that they saw the ad. It may cost you significantly less on Facebook than on any other site to get the chance to be seen but low prices reflect users likelihood to ignore your advertisement.

The reasons for the differences in the costs of online display ads are complex and I don't pretend to know all about them, but after using Facebook ads over the last 2+ years I've learned a lot and watched as the average cost of a click has triple and quadrupled. Still it has the lowest cost of online ads because of the users habits and nature of Facebook ads.

Some users ignore them entirely. Some users click them all the time with no intention of taking any further action. Some users are playing games when they click an ad and really just want to back to their game. Some users are doing research on your use of the ads and where you direct them with that ad. Some users genuinely connect with your brand. It's challenging but at this time and when used right represents strong current and better future marketing value.
photo by: Penny Higgins. Remixed under creative commons licence.
On the bright side some users read ads and don't click, raising awareness. Using a strong brand image can help to build familiarity of that brand and cut through the generic ads. You get great metrics, but have to draw some of your own conclusions.

It was announced today during Zuckerberg's Web 2.0 interview that 250 million facebook users are daily users. 50% of users come back everyday. Last I hear the average user spends almost an hour on facebook each day. I like Facebook advertising and I advocate it for many reasons; especially targeting and related brand awareness. For more on this please see Facebook Advertising: Beyond the Click. Below I have embedded Zuckerberg's 60 minute 'interview' at web 2.0 today.

skip to 7 minutes for the 'confrontation'

Why I don't blog here these days

I am sure that everyone reading this is on edge ;) wondering if I've disappeared into the wilderness of the internet. Well the truth is I have. Most of my time is spent developing curriculum for courses and workshops at BCIT. I am currently teaching two classes and a workshop that runs two Mondays November 1st and 8th at BCIT's Downtown campus from 1pm to 5pm. There are still a few seats available and it's an incredible value. If your curious about the classes I am teaching here they are:

MDIA1045 - Intro to Social Networking - Course Blog - Starts again in January
MDIA2045 - Social Media for Web Dev - Course Blog - Currently available in the full-time program

I am volunteering with the The Violence Stops Here, a campaign engaging men to help stop violence. We need your help as we are currently attempting to secure funding from the Aviva Fund. We need you to vote today so please take a few moments to VOTE. Please know that you can vote each day so we need you to return daily after 9:01 PST and vote again. Together we CAN make things better.

Check back in November for some new content. Also watch for a new blog about Social Media Education I am writing with Capilano University's Jess Sloss: @thattallguy. I am also developing a podcast and radio show with @SmuttySteff of Blog fame for UBC's CiTR radio!

Now for a treat... This is my American Television debut! Can you spot me? HINT: It's early on.

Social Networking studies lack scientific diligence

While listening to CBC Radio this morning @JianGhomeshi of Q was talking about a recently released study that stated that Facebook users are narcissistic. The study was picked up by media all across Canada and the world including: The Globe and Mail, Mashable, the CBC and Yahoo to name a few.

This gets me thinking about the methodology and scientific validity of some studies around social technologies. I say some because data mining of online activities is different from subjective applications of archaic social psychology measurements on digital social technologies. This kind of study lacks the scientific diligence of something published so widely by so many voices of authority in media.

I don't want to take anything away from the author who I have a lot of respect for and know is going to be incredibly successful. Students should be encouraged to pursue innovative cyberpsychology studies.

Anything that receives as much press as this undergraduate study is an important thing in our digital culture. It is also important that as more and more studies begin to emerge about social networking we raise our level of analysis. The methodology and definitions used in studies around web technologies is often murky and can mislead people about the outcomes of those studies. This can be said of many studies.

Traditional media need to be more diligent about publishing the methodology of studies they discuss. The size of this study was only 100 voluntary participants. This sample is small and the fact they volunteered after being recruited on a University campus skews the results about social networks; a participatory and youth focused technology. How can we have a proper cross section of any group when only those on campus and willing to participate do?

As an example from higher education marketing a large institution in the US released a statistic that is much used by those advocating higher education marketing on social networks. That stat is:

99% of prospective students have a social networking profile.

I agree that social networks are the place for educational institutions to manage relationships with the next generations more effectively. 99% is a powerful stat so I dug into the methodology used by this large American Institution. There were a number of things that should have been published along with that stat.

Those who responded to the survey had already opted-in to participate in surveys via the internet with this institution. They were then sent an email inviting them to participate in an online survey. Those who participated clicked the link in the email and landed on a questionnaire asking them a number of questions about their use of social networks.

These steps all skewed the survey results. Much like the Canadian government intentions of changing the long form census from mandatory to voluntary the fact that people opt-in to take the surveys skews things immediately. In this case participants have to be technologically inclined and willing to take multiple actions with no obvious benefit to themselves: something most humans have little interest in [Disclosure: I fill out surveys all the time].

photo by: Kris Krug. remixed under creative commons license.
I don't know about you but I would think that 99% of people who took each of these participatory steps have an online social networking profile. It's this kind of methodology that hinders academic study of complex social technologies.
A new study saw participants singling out narcissists just by looking at their Facebook profiles. The study found that users with an abundance of friends, wall posts and attractive (usually sexual) photos often qualified as narcissists.
This sounds like something from the most recent study, right? This study was conducted by the University of Georgia in 2008. It states that people who have many pictures of themselves and lots of friends are narcissists. To me what makes these studies about Facebook users' narcissistic tendencies problematic is that they are putting the cart before the horse. Facebook doesn't make people narcissistic. It enables them to act out their narcissistic tendencies. It even encourages them to do so by its very nature. Even the average Facebook user doesn't need a survey to see this. It's plainly obvious and baked-in to the Facebook ecosystem and culture.

photo by: D'ashley Wilson. remixed under creative commons license.
In the most recent study [PDF] on Facebook narcissism and self-esteem the sample size was 100 individuals recruited from an Ontario university campus, aged between 18 and 25, 50% men, 50% women. The participants then had their Facebook pages 'rated' by the author of the study, a 22 year-old female undergraduate. Students were recruited on campus by being approached and asked to participate in a study exploring the use of Facebook. Wouldn't narcissistic Facebook users be more interested in participating than passive users or non-narcissistic users?

The study's author used the NPI or Narcissistic Personality Inventory metric to judge the levels of narcissism in the study's participants. The more comprehensive NPI measure, a 40-item forced-choice version, was passed over in favour of a "shorter unidimensional measure" the 16-item forced-choice questionnaire. Example items include 'I am more capable than other people' and 'There is a lot I can learn from other people'.

Although it was designed to measure these features in the general population the NPI measure is based on DSM-III (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) clinical criteria and was created in the late 1980s. This measure was not designed for use in a digital world. People who have high NPI scores are said to 'value material things and like looking at themselves in the mirror'. Back to the new study:

"Five features of the participants Facebook pages were coded for the extent to which they were self-promoting. Self -promotion was distinguished as any descriptive or visual information that appeared to attempt to persuade others about one's own positive qualities. For example, facial expression (e.g., striking a pose or making a face)... The use of positive adjectives (e.g., nice, sexy, funny)".
Seriously? Striking a pose or making a face in a Facebook photo is 'self-promoting'? It's self-promotional to call yourself nice, funny or sexy? It's a struggle to understand how the judgement of the rater a 22 year-old undergraduate student can be used to report scientific results. The model is anything but objective and that's the challenge here. Studies of social networks need to use statistical information as opposed to objective measurement. Most social networking studies want to compare the way people act in digital social spaces to the way we act in real life and draw direct correlations. Digital social spaces were designed to enable self promotional activities.

The results of this study were then used by news organizations across North America and the world. This is the embarrassing part for the media. At this time media are so enamored with social technologies that they aren't conducting the critical analysis necessary for high quality journalism. Something that will preserve journalism and remain one of great value to the world. The media's current fear is driving reporting on sup-par quality information and stories.

This was shown by the balloon boy incident and most recently the worldwide exposure given to a christian cleric from the southern US who intended to burn the Koran on September 11th but recently said he wouldn't. He should never have had worldwide exposure. Less than 50 people listen to him weekly but the media gave him the opportunity to reach billions with his vitriolic intentions.

The social digital cultural revolution is real and its different than our offline social and cultural lives in terms of tempo and medium but it is still a social and cultural revolution.

"Instead of  [being] revealing, I think it just gives us a chance to edit ourselves and, in that way, conceal the real self. Facebook profiles are about the persona more so than the person ... Narcissism and voyeurism feed off each other in this case." - Ms. Sarah Nicole Prickett, 25.

According to this thorough collection of studies and insights the narcissism isn't due to the tools, like Facebook, but more from the way we are raising children these days.

"We need to stop endlessly repeating 'You're special' and having children repeat that back," said Professor Jean Twenge, author of Generation: Me and Living in the Age of Entitlement: The Narcissism Epidemic. "Kids are self-centered enough already," says Twenge.

Twenge and co-author Keith Campbell describe their study as the largest ever of its type and say students' NPI (Narcissism Personality Index) scores have risen steadily since the current test was introduced in 1982. By 2006, they said, two-thirds of the students had above average NPI scores, 30 % more than in 1982.

With Glowing Hearts: The Social Release

Andrew & Jon
When I first met Andrew Lavigne and Jon Ornoy they were two guys with a dream to tell a story. At first it wasn’t clear what or who that story would be about. That was almost two years ago and now I know they have succeeded in telling a story that is full of hope, possibility and change. A true story about an amazing time in the history of humanity and Vancouver.

The shooting of the 30+ hours of film is complete but post-production is a very expensive process to get done right so it’s time that we turn this project inside out and that’s exactly what we intend to do with a social media campaign unlike any other.

The campaign turns to the community at-large to support the completion of these important stories. In a Tweet and Toonie ($2) Torch Relay we hope to raise the $10,000 necessary to complete post-production of the film. Some stories need to be heard and this is one of them. This is a story about communities, for communities and now with our efforts, toonies or tweets made by communities.

For just $2 you can become a producer: your name will appear in a word cloud much like this. A $2 donation will show your name in size one font while a $200 donation will show your name in size 100 font. All fonts are proportional to the largest contribution. An image will be posted of the cloud and made available as a poster.

Enter to win a producer credit and copy of the film with a tweet: You can also enter to win a weekly prize of a DVD or digital copy of the film and a $20 producer credit (size 10 font). Each tweet represents an entry. winner will be chosen at random. All you have to do to enter is tweet one of these messages:
  • I am a proud supporter and hopefully winner of a copy of the film #withglowinghearts and a producers credit!
  • Only $2 makes me a movie producer #withglowinghearts
  • I am entering to win a film credit and a copy of the film #withglowinghearts
  • Support local documentaries. Become a producer #withglowinghearts
    The film follows four different people who all work and live in Vancouver's downtown eastside (one of the poorest postal codes in Canada) and how social media acts a beacon for social change for each person in different ways.

    April Smith started out down and out, but through the power of social media and her drive to succeed she became an entrepreneur and community activist for a community in need of leaders like her. Her story is at the heart of the message in With Glowing Hearts.

    Garvin Snyder is a self-declared 'binner' who utilized empowering social media programs - Megaphone Mag and Hope in the Shadows Calendar and photo contest - to create positive change in his own life and leads those around him to see the power of real life social media.

    The True North Media House is a virtual space for media creators to join together for a variety of reasons. It was born during the lead up to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and began with an idea and a dream a group of passionate individuals. Dave Olson and Kris Krug spearheaded the project and are featured prominently in With Glowing Hearts.

    Irwin Oostindie is an advocate for social change who has been working for 6 years to bring to life a vision of something different, something called W2. W2 is an initiative born from social housing protests outside Vancouver's famous Woodwards building in 2002. W2 is now Vancouver's most impressive collaborative project in the mind of this lone blogger. W2 is what it is because of dedicated visionaries like Irwin.

    The Unfinished Press Release:

    Is this the end of Social Media?

    There have been a lot of posts by intelligent people lately regarding the perceived 'end' of social media or 'the social media bubble'. All I can do is laugh at our collectively myopic perspective. Participation in the social web is less than 20% of all Internet users based a number of recent studies which I should reference here. That is much less than 20% of the population of the globe. Social media is currently in the mid to late stages of the "Growth" phase of the product life cycle. The early majority is just starting to sniff at the potential of the social web.
    Yes according to Read, Write, Web social media as a search term - based on current trending - will peak in 2012, but really what does a search really mean. This is based on the logic that web 2.0 is already 'dead'. When in fact we know that the idea and concept are alive and well especially among those looking from the outside in. Sure the regulars stopped using the term ages ago but that's always what happens. The social web is now woven into the fabric of our human collective. It may not be called social media in the future but it's not going anywhere.
    The most interesting transformation will happen when the majority of the global population who have access use that access to collaborate, communicate and create. This is the epoch of social of sharing; of the people for the people by all of us. Businesses are now transforming themselves to take advantage of individuals innate interest in improving their world and the things they care about. Also note that based on the search volume for forum, blog, wiki and rss searches for these terms may not reflect the use of them. Blogs still dominate when compared with wikis. Is this a transformation of how we communicate (what words we use) or our actual use of the tools? This applies to the use of the term social media as well. Some food for thought.

    The social web may be causing some of us to spend much more time than we are used to socializing digitally and that may be the real source of the burnout on social media. As Erica Glasier so wisely put it maybe we are all just "Oversocializied: My face hurts from smiling". The following comment was found on one of the posts referenced above and does a great job of encompassing my feelings about this myopic chatter on the end of social media.
    "[The end of social media is a] very silly prediction IMHO. The buzzword, sure, will eventually fall out of fashion so that the pundits and conference-circuit "experts" have a newer, hotter term to bandy about and explain. But the concepts behind social media, social computing, whatever you want to call it, go back to the 60s, exploded in the early 70s, and will be around on the Net as long as there is a Net. I suspect ten years, twenty, fifty years from now, the applications that collectively comprise "social media" will have exploded beyond present-day imagination, although how they explode can be fairly well guessed at given an extrapolation of trends."
    - Brainstorms

    I would like to leave you with a video of a 100 year-old woman with her first computer, the iPad.

    Fuelling your Social Media body

    Photo: law_keven. Remixed under Creative Commons.
    I am a sedentary individual who loves food that tastes good and is bad for us. I have become increasingly unhealthy in the last 10 years. This has led me to have to climb a giant mountain that is my cheeseburger infused physique. That climb started a few weeks ago.
    As a member of the Vancouver Board of Trade I've had the opportunity to meet many different and interesting business professionals. When I met @CoryFry of @ThinkCOS it was a great connection. His company offers health and wellness services to large organizations as part their benefits packages. He invited me to a few bootcamps where I got my lazy butt kicked.
    Photo By: Amanda Slater. Remixed under Creative Commons.
    After falling off that train and neglecting my need to exercise, I was later contacted by the Principal at Think COS to discuss how I could contribute to his organization by consulting around technology. I met with Antonio at a coffee shop near my office one sunny afternoon. Antonio's business acumen, his sheer desire to succeed and his genuine interest in improving the health and wellness of everyone were inspiring. I recognized him from somewhere but couldn't remember where.

    I then realized that he was the trainer from the bootcamps. Not only does this guy work 12 hours a day on his business but he also runs the bootcamps to ensure that the exercise is quality and attendees are getting the most out of the experience. At the end of our talk he invited me to join him down at Kits beach Saturday mornings at 9am for a beach side bootcamp. It was that bond that began me on this road to a healthier lifestyle. Someone else was willing to go the extra mile for me and a complete stranger at that. I was floored and Saturday morning hurt but it's been great ever since.

    I didn't think about how important what I am eating is to this experience until I was watching this documentary about the making of a hollywood film in Kansas by a father and son team. The movie starts at the exact moment that got me to thinking. Even those who are in the best shape need to be conscious of what they put into their bodies.
    By: Paul Kelpe. Remixed under Creative Commons.
    What one puts into the machine is so important to determining what one gets out of the machine. The same is true for social media, networking and business in general. What you get out of it is all about what you put in. So what are you putting in your social media machine? Human communications, promotional messages, marketing? Consider what is working in the space. Companies that are putting positive intentions, positive messaging and a true concern for customers into their social media machine are enjoying success on social media. See @Starbucks (big), @GranvilleMag (small).

    How Social Media startups are hurting my friends

    Original By: bootload. Licensed under Creative Commons.
    There are lots of young people coming up with great skills. They are tenacious, technically savvy, willing to work for less than established people and highly aware of emerging trends. These individuals also possess a feeling that they can make a difference, change the world and be successful. These qualities make them the perfect candidates to help launch the newest social network or bookmarking tool that is going to take the world by storm and be the next Facebook or Digg.

    Sadly, there already is a Facebook and a Digg and hundreds of other variations. Unless you have big backers and/or a niche market that is in serious need of it's own social network your idea is extremely unlikely to succeed. The sheer number of 'companies' launching as social networking or bookmarking sites is reaching into the tens of thousands. How many will be successful? Maybe none, maybe one. Now I know that your social network is better, faster, cooler and more versatile than Facebook but that doesn't mean people will use it. The trend that I have been noticing lately is that people don't want to login to another site to access yet another network they have to put time into the benefit; people are already spread to thin.

    "Working at a startup is a valuable experience, and making mistakes earlier in your career will save you later on. Even if the social media startup fails miserably, you have learned valuable lessons that will make your future ventures more likely to succeed." -Anoop

    Anoop is so right on that and don't get me wrong start-ups are a good things especially when planned properly, not just around an idea but around a business model where revenue is a real thing, not something that will come. How are start-up leaders going to pay their employees? That's the problem; often they don't. Young people like the idea of equity but equity in something worth nothing is worth, well, nothing. Whether it's for equity or as an intern these newly minted technology and programmer masterminds are often being used as 'slave' labour.
    So how are these social media start-ups hurting my friends? Well by not paying them a real wage is one way. Another way is by locking them into a project which may result in them missing out on real opportunities to build their careers with companies who actually make more revenue that they have expenses. Selling my peers the dream of millions of dollars from your awesome startup is the same line that was fed to big Wall Street investors in the years before the original dot com bubble. I am happy to coin this new phenomenon "dot com bust 2.0". That is exactly what it is. There is good reason that VCs are now steering away from risky social media startups.

    If you are or know a talented young person drawn in by this new startup model be warned or warn those you know. Any startup without a marketing plan or an inkling of where revenue will come from should be avoided. Below is an image including a number of logos from recent startups in the technology space. The ones crossed with a pink X no longer exist and there are thousands more to come.

    What are your feelings on this? Do you have personal experience? Any good experiences? Please share.

    Social Media Success: An Interview with Marc Smith

    These days everyone wants to know how to be successful on social media. Most people are looking for a quick way to find ROI, revenue or sales. The bad news is that quick fixes rarely if ever mean long term success. Social Media is a return to more human communications. It's a return to a time when neighbors knew each other and went out of their way to help one another. The difference is this time you get to choose who your digital 'neighbors' are and what you do for them.
    What is the ROI of social media? Well if you are a giant company like Dell, IBM or Comcast you can measure that easily after spending hundreds of thousands of dollars and it's a good idea. Unfortunately, those ROI lessons rarely apply to small businesses who represent the majority of people trying to use social media to build business. Going to conference or a panel talk and listening to someone from a large company with a six figure marketing budget just for social media tell small business people how it's done is ludicrous. The space should move forward with applicable case studies that didn't require dedicated employees, custom solutions and boat loads of money.
    When people ask me what the ROI of social media is I am quick to ask them what the ROI of their first telephone was. It's not a perfect analogy but it works. Social media is not a marketing craze it's part of a complete digitization of our daily lives and culture based on what people want. In the free space top tools are chosen democratically by users.

    A large number of users are gaining great advantage personally, professionally and otherwise from their active use of social media tools to connect, share and learn. Marc Smith of Amuse Consulting is one of those people and I took some time to ask him about what's worked for him. Today is the 5th anniversary party of @amuseconsulting and Marc is throwing one hell of a party later this evening, but I got to ask him about what's worked for him before things got wild (UPDATE: The party was a great time and showcased the little touches that take a event from ordinary to extraordinary.

    Before using social media Marc used a strong arsenal of tools to promote his business including: personal networking, a website, word of mouth, monthly e-newsletters and joining associations like Business Network International. Marc has been using Facebook for almost five years but didn't really know what the benefits for his business were until friend and YouTube specialist @JoshRimer sold him on them. 

    He said that they were free tools and that they are just an extension of the relationship marketing that I was already doing. I was also enticed by the possibility to target categories and markets through social media versus going to networking events where it's often a 'crap shoot'. In Social media I could seek out my targets whereas at networking events I was relying on other people to come to those events where I would then have the opportunity to meet them. - Marc Smith on why social media is superior for him.
    I frequently use a story I heard about Marc as an example of what kind of things work for building connections and community. In the story Marc has a coffee everyday with someone new. Often those are people he met through social media. 

    ME: How did you come up with this idea? How has it helped your business and you?
    MARC: It's part of what I do. I used it to build my community personal, professional or any other. No one will hire me if they didn’t know who I am therefore the more people I met the more opportunities for business I would have. I used to work at Caper’s then struck out on my own. In the last year with the Social media explosion the real benefit has been that people are now calling me to have coffee with me to share their business with me. The roles have reversed. I always say yes because you never know what benefits those conversations can reveal for your business. It expands opportunities for business and it expands the products/services I can offer to clients because I know of their existence. Sometimes taking something new to event planning can be that competitive edge, IE mobile apps for events.

    I am an open source program. -Marc Smith

    What has the ROI been for you in using social media?
    It’s been a 300-500% on the investment of my time. Social media use has created opportunities for me to speak, to reach new customers, and it’s probably doubled my profile in the last year. A website or going to an event is a onetime thing whereas Twitter and Facebook allow me to interact with people on a regular basis to stay top of mind and create more business opportunities. It keeps me relevant.

    How has using social media enhanced your life beyond business?
    I’ve made some really interesting friends. It’s provided more opportunities to speak to young entrepreneurs. It’s allowed me give back to my community more by supporting charity and grassroots events.

    What is the most unexpected thing you have found since splashing into the social media world?
    How many people are social online and unsocial offline? It’s hard to tell what someone truly through a digital avatar is. I am as social offline as I am online and for others this may not be the same.

    Did you teach yourself everything you know about social media?
    It was all learned through social engagement. @ShaneGibson and @IanWatt were a few of the people I met in the early stages. Everyone along the way has given me bits and pieces. I try and explain the big picture to people. A lot of it was trial and error and also a lot of anecdotes. I think I followed the right people in the early stages and that quickly advanced my learning. Instead of spending a few minutes getting started I spent a few hours and began to find out how the services best work. Twitter has been the most successful for me. Although I use Facebook and LinkedIn as well.

    5 Rules for being an Entrepreneur - Marc Smith
    1. Be the right person for the business you’re going to be in.
    2. Be self aware. Know your strengths and weaknesses. What makes your day better or worse.
    3. Don’t do things that don’t make you money (outsource, outsource, outsource) All the things that I am not good at or are not my core strengths take a lot more mental time away from the things you are good at. It has a much higher ROI.
    4. You are never busy enough. You always have to leave time for networking, marketing, building sales or acquiring jobs. Relying on a single client can leave your business in the wind.
    5. Even solo entrepreneurs are never alone. Make sure you have a network of people who want you to succeed behind you. You need a shoulder to cry on and someone to bring you down to earth when you are doing really well. (This is most important). No one looks out for you more than your family and friends when you are starting a business.

    5 things every entrepreneur should know about social media