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Showing posts from May, 2008

Book Notes; Groundswell

I just finished Groundswell: "Winning in a world transformed by social technologies." Groundswell is a much reviewed and commented on book, so instead of my normal book notes, I figured I'd provide some links for you to follow.

The core premise of the book is that much of what's happening in marketing today revolves around creating "conversation" or "social spaces" where brands (er, brand managers) can have conversations with their customers. There's been tons and tons written about this in the past few years, but Groundswell provides a terrific framework that really helps clarify a lot of what many of us haven't been able to articulate to date.

In addition to the framework, the authors have also created a profile tool which allows you to profile your customers to see how likely it is that they are partiicpating in the new world of marketing and online conversations.

As you'd expect, there is also a discussion board where you can jump in …

Marketing Posts Coming Soon.. but Little Brother for now

With all my recent travels, I've had a chance to read some great stuff lately including "Sea of Monsters," "Infected" by the sick and twisted Scott Siglar and most recently, "Little Brother" by the astoundingly terrific Cory Doctorow.

I was prompted to post about Little Brother after reading a book review on Sci-fi.com who gave the book an A-. It's also got 4 stars on Amazon (23 reviews). I'd give it a solid A- as well, the imagination and use of current technologies really blew me away. I also have to throw in the fact that Doctorow uses the XBox as main character and plot device (I work at Microsoft) which I found hysterical, and totally plausible.

If you are a geek, this book will have you nodding all the way through - from the ARG references and the fact that the characters end up LARPing their way to a terrific ending. If you aren't a geek (or if you are older than 30 and are curious), you'll be amazed at how emerging tech can (and …

R.I.P. Pa

My grandfather died yesterday at 2 PM. He was a stunningly important figure in my life, even as we spent less and less time together. I've been in a fog since I heard yesterday and I wanted to write down some lessons I learned from him and post them here as a way to memorialize my relationship with him. As the now eldest male on my side of the family (both grandfathers and my dad have all passed), the world ahead looks strange. It's a perspective I think better left for later in life. But as with all things, I'll find a way through it all.

My grandfather, known as "Pa" (not pawwww, I'm from NY, not Tennessee) was a pretty amazing guy in many ways. Pa had a great sense of humor and loved to laugh. He had a slicing, mean streak in him too and his sense of humor could be biting for sure. I always appreciated it for what it was - a true ability to see something and then laugh at it. It is still something I want to be able to do more readily.

Pa was a salesman in bo…

Clay Shirky: Where Do They Find The Time?

This video is stunningly good and thoughtful. Enjoy.

Anyone who seriously and academically claims that the sitcom is social lubricant under which the the wheels came off the enterprise (i.e. society) must be reposted as much as possible.

Makes me feel better for being such a d0rk.


UPDATED: How Does "Social Technology" Affect Business?

I was going to leave myself a comment, but instead opted to update this post (updated 5/21/08)

The panel went really well - but I changed some of the content as I was taking the train down to the city from Bridgeport. I ended up going with 4 broad trends or factors that are driving the use of social networking and tools within the enterprise.

1. Consumers technology is invading the enterprise
2. Employees have an insatiable need for data, self-service tools and the ability to collaborate
3. Technology is fundamentally driving innovation
4. Generational shift

I think it went well and I hope to re-post video once it is available.

Here's the original, unchanged post:

As I mentioned in my previous post and on Twitter, I'm doing a panel this Friday at NYU. I'm on what looks to be a terrific panel titled "The Digital Future: What Social Networking and Marketing Tools Mean for Businesses and Entrepreneurs."

I'm guessing that my take will be slightly different than my fellow …

Panel Time..."A Look to the Future"

I'm doing a panel this Friday in NYC - my first as an official Microsoft employee. It should be interesting. Learn more about the event here and the speakers here.

Following the great success of NYU Stern’s Florence 2007: Global Alumni Conference, we are pleased to present our first campus-based conference, New York 2008: Alumni Business Conference – A Look to the Future. Join fellow alumni and guests to hear from industry leaders and scholars on current market issues on financial risk, investing, entrepreneurship, marketing, digital media, and social networking. Dean Thomas F. Cooley and Aswath Damodaran, Professor of Finance, will provide keynote remarks, while Ed Altman, Max L. Heine Professor of Finance, and Mark Tercek, Adjunct Professor at NYU Stern and Director of Goldman Sachs' Environmental Markets Initiative, among others, offer their expertise in the breakout sessions.

Social Technographics

Groundswell
Originally uploaded by msirkin I'm reading a great new book called "Groundswell" that is really helping me frame out what's next for the CIO Network I'm trying to build out. This chart clearly shows that if we lean on "creators," those that create unique content within the site we're going to have issues. Instead, we're focusing on how to drive spectators up the ladder, perhaps with polls, and other "frictionless" ways to rate content and participate on the site.

It's interesting to play with their profile tool and map out different ages and locations to see how different strategic approaches might work (or not work).

Rare Example of Great Marketing

Great marketing can seem so simple at times. Turning mistakes into big wins seems to me to be the easiest way to impress customers these days (not that you want to make mistakes in the first place).

I got Guitar Hero for the Wii a few months ago - and found out that the disc needed to be replaced because the original didn't have the proper sound capabilities. I filled out a web form and received a self-mailer that had shipping already paid. The note from Activision said a disc replacement would come in 4-6 weeks. Just before we went on vacation, I dropped the disc into the mail and hoped that it wouldn't disappear forever.

About 3 weeks later, I got an automated e-mail telling me that they had received the disc and were processing it. 2 days later, I got a note that it had shipped. Exactly 5 weeks from the day I dropped the disc in the mail, I had a replacement disc, as promised.

A week later, while I was away on a business trip my wife called and told me I had a box from "R…

Twitter Is Killing My Will to Blog

I'm so used to posting short snippets on twitter here and here, that I just can't find the strength to write a blog post with any substance.

I'm knee deep in building out my new project and getting acclimated to Microsoft. What an amazing company. It's great to be up to my ears in community building again. Much better than what I was doing before, that's for sure.

There seems to be a fire hose of marketing blogs, Facebook analysis and stuff lately flowing at me - I'm about to declare RSS bankruptcy!

Seriously though, doesn't any of this Web 2.0 stuff feel like a retread, just a little? The hype-o-meter is seriously pegged as high as it can go right now. Wasn't it just a year or so ago when virtual worlds was all the hype? Go on - comment away about how this is sooooo different. I dare ya.

Headed to Seattle next week for another week in Redmond, and after that I'm back in CT for a bit until heading to Boston, then Ft. Lauderdale for some CIO conferences …