Archives for posts with tag: wikipedia


There is no ultimate definition of “Social Media”. Heidi Cohen has collected 30 of them. Let’s go with Wikipedia:

“The term Social Media refers to the use of web-based and mobile technologies to turn communication into an interactive dialogue.”

For the last few years, most brands have focused on “the use of web-based and mobile technologies”. This focus has led to the advent of data technologies/analytics, metrics and new definitions of influencers. Brands are now measuring Facebook “likes”, number of Twitter followers, the amount of people that circled their presence on Google+ and the check-ins on Foursquare.

Why? Are you trying to sell Facebook “likes” or your product?

Most brands have forgotten the second part of the definition: “…turn communication into an interactive dialogue”.

“Likes” and followers have nothing to do with your brand, the interactive dialogue is all about your brand and its customers.

Brands need to focus less on technologies and platforms, and encourage interactive dialogue: Reviews, discussions, recommendation and debates.

The paradox: Hard metrics are less valuable than soft metrics.

Hard metrics are quantifiable but they often have no implied quality. Qualitative metrics should be the focus of your future marketing efforts. When you ask people to “like” you or follow you on Twitter, you generate one interaction. When you develop shareable content, you generate a flood of interactions. A discount on Foursquare generates one engagement (if you’re lucky), but it ends right there. A contest on Facebook asking customers to write the most creative review that will be featured in your store (Screen at register, Menu, Receipt) creates an interactive dialogue.

An Instagram contest for your store.

A poetry contest on Twitter.

Launch a campaign to crown the newest Foursquare mayor with an inauguration party.

Let your creativity go wild and make it extremely relevant to your business.

Don’t fall in the trap to adjust your marketing to the platform. Interactive dialogue happens outside of platforms; don’t forget print, OOH or in-store displays to encourage interaction. Some things can be blasted out through email or social channels. Most people cherish things more when the content is more personal and intimate.

Adjust the platforms to your marketing.


Over the weekend I read a truly frightening article, entitled “Quality time, redefined.”

A few excerpts:

One family. One room. Four screens. Four realities, basically. While it may look like some domestic version of “The Matrix” — families sharing a common space, but plugged into entirely separate planes of existence through technology — a scene like this has become an increasingly familiar evening ritual. As a result, the American living room in 2011 can often seem less like an oasis for shared activity, even if that just means watching television together, than an entangled intersection of data traffic — everyone huddled in a cyber-cocoon.

Call it what you will, it is a wholly different form of quality time.”

“The transformation of the American living room into a multiscreen communication and entertainment hub” promises to “change our domestic sphere,” said Lutz Koepnick, a media professor at Washington University in St. Louis who studies digital culture. “Individual family members might find themselves contently connected to parallel worlds almost all the time.”

Indeed, Brad Kahn, an environmental consultant in Seattle, said he often communicates with his wife, Erin, by e-mail even when they are seated a few feet apart on the sofa with their laptops. He will cut her off if she starts instructing him orally about what he calls his “honey-do” list of weekend chores, he said, and ask her to send it electronically.”

So, that’s our future? Our kids being parented by electronic babysitters while the adults are busy avoiding any human contact? I’ve seen it many times in restaurants: Teenage kids totally focused on their Nintendo on a family night out. Are we re-defining friendships and family as being in the vicinity of someone?

This attitude is very common in the advertising industry

When you walk the floors of a your typical agency, you see the majority of people hiding behind their monitors. You don’t see real human interaction or lively discussions. Everybody reads the same studies, the same papers, the same newsletters. And when everybody reads the same thing, we all start to think the same way and become part of the problem. Not the solution.

Now, it’s tough to change a company culture by yourself. But, you can do a  lot of things just for yourself to get more oxygen in your brain and work out that amazing muscle. Here are things I do:

Go to a bookshop (As long as they’re still around)

Don’t head to the business book section. Check out children books, get a pile of magazines and leaf through them. Read some poems. And buy one book that makes you uncomfortable. Something you would normally never buy. And read that book. It can be commercial junk. Or a book that frightens you. It’s not up to you to judge what other people read. It’s up to you to understand why people read it and what they get out of it.

Make new acquaintances and friends

Talk to the security guard in your building. Spend a few minutes with the parking lot attendant. Chat with the waiter. Get their side of the story. Our industry encourages us to stay within a small group of people. The same people that show up at Conference A will also be at Conference B. And Party C as well as Happy Hour D. Get out of the cult. And expand your horizon.

Be a news junkie

Stay away from reading just one opinion. Read varied opinions. Go to wingnuts blogs that make your blood boil. Go to the fringe, to the edges. And read the mainstream stuff. The news are affecting people each and every day. A nation’s spirit was liften when Bin Laden’t death was announced. A city feels better about itself when the local team wins a playoff game.

Open your eyes. And ears.

Go outside. Take a long walk. Or go for a long run. Don’t put the headphones on and be a human cog. Immerse yourself in the environment. Don’t visit a place, experience a whole neighborhood.

Last but not least: Go to Wikipedia and look for a random article

When you have 10 minutes to spare, hit Wikipedia and click on Random article. Drill down as far as you can. You might learn more than you ever imagined.

Pardon me, but I need to explore the term Critical load for the next 10 minutes.