Archives for posts with tag: quora


What brand built the first island on Second Life? What brand marketed itself first on Twitter? Quora? MySpace? Napster?

Who cares?

It’s good to be the first on the moon. It’s great to introduce the first touch-screen tablet. It’s an advantage to feature the first hybrid car.

Nobody cares if you’re the first to market yourself on a new platform.

Let me rephrase that: Nobody of your prospective customers cares if you’re the first to market yourself on a new platform.

Your agency might care. It’s good PR and communicates they’re an innovative marketer.

Your communication department might care. They get featured in trade magazines and invited to speak at conferences.

And your customer? They are busy living their lives.

It can cost you a pretty dime to be the first mover.

Remember the iAd? The first movers had to pay $1 million just to get in. Within a few months, the price dropped to $300,000.

Think about it.

The user base was very small in the beginning and Apple charged a million.

Now, millions are using the tablet and the price dropped dramatically.

It’s the premium you pay when you are the first mover.

The next Gold Rush: Google+

Google+ launched a few weeks ago. Apparently, it has a lot of traction. Social Media experts are falling all over themselves to squeeze money out of that new platform by marketing webinars how to make money from Google+. Brands and agencies are anxious to get in on the deal. Ford is already in.

Good for Ford.

Did they sell any more cars because of their Google+ presence? Did they change anybody’s mind about the brand because they “hung out” with 14 people?

Of course not.

Look, I like what Ford and Scott Monty is doing. They utilize Social Marketing in very innovative ways. They got a lot of PR and applause from the echo chamber for their Google+ initiative.

You’re not Ford.

You have a lot of time. Take that time and explore what others are doing. Only geeks and nerds are on Google+ right now. No reason to rush into it. Understand the landscape, participate as an individual to understand how people are using it. Make a business case and dive into the platform with a Direct Marketing approach: Start small, test, layer and, once you found something that works, expand.

Don’t think of yourself as a teenager that missed a party: The world is not coming to an end. You’re an adult now. There will be many more parties.


The brief about a viral video. The request for a LinkedIn strategy. The need to be on Twitter. POV’s about location-based marketing. What about Quora? What’s the strategy for the iPhone app? Are you done with the iPad strategy?

Brands and agencies: We’re all guilty

Marketing and advertising should be about making the product/service we’re trying to sell look good. The lightning fast speed of technology change has led to this bizarre reality that we’re trying to fit our product/service to the technology. To make the technology look good.

Brands and agencies are trying to top the competition all the time. That’s their job. We’re all tasked to come up with new and innovative ideas. But, somehow, everybody just focuses on the “new and innovative” part. And we have forgotten the idea part.

We chase the newest and innovative platform and tool because “new and innovative” equals technology. The latest garage venture, the latest tool that has some traction because you need to be first. Whoever is first on the platform gets all the PR, the calls from Ad Age and NY Times, the brownie points.Deep inside we know that our definition of “new and innovative” is too incremental to make a real dent. To move the needle. Since everybody is doing the same thing, because that little early adopter advantage disappears in a heartbeat. Chasing technology has become our idea.

That’s why Foursquare is now littered with useless promotions. Facebook with pages nobody cares about. Twitter with feeds nobody reads. YouTube with videos nobody every watched. Second Life, well…

Let’s stop building “The Homer”.

“The Homer” has two bubble domes; one in the front, while the one in the back is for quarreling kids, and comes with optional restraints and muzzles. The engine sound causes people to think “the world’s coming to an end.” There are three horns, as Homer claims that “you can never find a horn when you’re mad.” The three horns play the song “La Cucaracha.” Last but not least, the car features shag carpeting, tailfins and a metal bowler as a hood ornament.

Homer had no clue what he was doing. He just came up with a list of features, things he would like to have. Because he always wanted to have them. Or because nobody had them yet. Just like the kitchen sink brief you received yesterday. Or the kitchen sink memo that you’re preparing for your employees tight now.

The technology looks so bright and shiny because our ideas are often so stale and superficial. That’s why people can distinguish between platforms. But they have no clue which product or service ran an ad/campaign or initiative. Because the ideas are meant to fit the technology. It needs to be the other way around.


It was Second Life at one point. Foursquare. The newest object is Quora. 2011 will deliver more bright, shiny objects. And many of us will lament the marketers attraction to them.

Marketers love bright, shiny objects because it’s easy. It’s hard to come up with a landing page that stands out. It’s hard to develop a Facebook strategy that is more signal than noise. It’s hard to develop an innovative SEM strategy. You’re fighting for the attention with thousands and thousands of other brands and people trying to do the same. And it’s harder to succeed with proven marketing tactics.

Bright, shiny objects are much more forgiving. It’s easier to stand out, it’s easier to get recognition in the marketing echo chamber and nobody faults you when you fail. (Just ask all the agencies that developed Second Life islands.)

Nothing against trying new things, exploring new tactics. But it should be based on solid insights and ROI. Not because it was easy.

That’s the real


Ok, let’s get this out of the way: I was a big proponent of niche networks and thought they would become more important than Facebook/Twitter and all the other global platforms.

I was wrong.

I still believe niche networks are the future but there’s a major underlying problem.

It’s another thing we have to take care of.

The last few weeks I’ve experienced an amazing uptick in Quora participation, I get too many emails each and every day letting me know someone new is following me. There is Path. I love Goodreads. And, this endless list of hundreds of new platforms. Too much. Everybody wants me to contribute. Add content. Participate. While I work, have a family, share content on Facebook and Twitter.

Enough is enough.

We don’t need more platforms, sites, log-in forms and passwords. What we need is a better way to share our information. That was the idea behind Facebook Groups. But it went nowhere. Because nobody saw the benefit of investing a lot of time in developing and curating your own groups. More settings, more hassle, more hard work.

What we need is ownership of our own data

I want to build my own experience where I can share the favorite moments of my life just with my kid. A scrapbook of her fathers’ life. I want to be able to create a network on the fly that enables me to share very personal experiences with a limited amount of friends. It can be 4. It can 60. It’s up to me, not Path’s limitation of 50 friends. I want to share my running experiences with my running friends. My concert experiences with my concert friends. My wine experiences with my fellow winos. But, the last thing I want to do is to sign-up for another platform. Learn another UI. Remember new passwords.

There’s only one solution: data portability. As I’ve written in a few posts before, we need to own our own data. Control our own destiny. And  share this data on our terms. This will allow us to develop new, personal platforms that enable each one of us to build micro-networks of shared interests. Create my own destinations, completely independent from anyone.

Let’s face it: That’s a huge problem for Silicon Valley. They rather focus on incremental innovation. Put lipstick on the pig of data exploitation (Ahem, Foursquare, anyone) and continue to make money off all of our data. And they will continue to push the agenda of creating thin value by adding more features and ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’.

But, that’s the past. The future lies in giving all of us control of our data. And release the real power of innovation.


This post appeared first on Jack Myers’ MediaBizBlogger site.

1. No more “This is the year of mobile.” 2010 was the year of mobile.

2. Privacy is not dead. People might not care that much about privacy. But Washington does. Just like the banks, we weren’t able to regulate ourselves or trim at least the excesses.

3. The noise is deafening. We need more signals.

4. It’s not about what you know. It’s about what you share.

5. Location at its current state is overhyped. Future location platforms/tools are under hyped.

6. Own your own domain. Don’t buy into the notion that being on Facebook is more important than developing your own content on your own platform.

7. Most people that recommend bright, shiny objects (Groupon, Foursquare, etc.) never used the platform/tools and just hype it because everybody else hypes it.

8. Media people are just like the rest of the population: They never click on banners.

9. Quora is powerful. Explore it.

10. Getting out of the advertising echo chamber is essential to understand the future of media and marketing.

11. Ever heard of VRM? You should. It’s just a Google query away.

12. I’m an idiot. That’s a perfect place to start from. When I’m open to the fact that there’s much to be learned. That my first answer is not the right answer. And, definitely not the best one.

13. You are what you consume. That goes for food, good wine and cheap blogs. Make sure to digest only the best. It will make you a better person.

13 ½. The Dodgers suck (Well, I knew that since they never delivered a World Series since I moved to Los Angeles in 1996)

13 ¾ Travel is under-rated. I knew that, too. But I wanted to put this on the list in case I’m ever tempted to say no to a trip.