On June 7, 2011 I’ll be in New York City on a panel as part of Internet Week called Crowdsourcing Ad Biz along with this excellent list of conspirators:
Mike Martoccia will moderate and, with this many panelists, I don’t envy his job.
I expect a spirited discussion, with lots of specifics about how crowdsourcing works (in its many forms), what each of us has learned in putting crowdsourcing into practice and some of the wins and failures we’ve each experienced.
If you’re in the New York area, I’d love for you to come to the event and say, ‘Hi!’ to me. We’ve connected with tons of folks over the years in NYC and just don’t get there often enough.
Here are the details you need to make that meetup happen.
Tickets: Available through Eventbrite for $65 now.
Location: THE GREENE SPACE @ New York Public Radio — 44 Charlton Street.
Bonus: All attendees will receive a copy of Simon Mainwaring‘s intriguing new book We First.]]>
The talk is worth every minute to watch, especially the history of Coney Island Mike uses to frame his own story. So here it is.
In case you didn’t get the outline, here are Mike’s 5 rules for creating transmedia stories:
Although I confess to a bias against the dressed-up term ‘transmedia storytelling,’ the lessons are dynamite.
Whether you’re a rock back like Iron Maiden, a film like the Blair Witch Project or a game like Pokemon, creating meaning for people means creating meaning with people. And creating meaning means creating stories.
So get started — what’s your story?
(Thanks too to Griffin Farley for sharing his ideas around propogation planning and for first posting the video above.)]]>
A beauty Westfalia, a banjo, some incredible settings that rekindle my love for the Pacific Northwest and scenes that make me long for summer sun — what more could you ask for from a beer ad that’s more a short film than a beer ad?
Deschutes Brewery has created a dynamite little showcase of its beers and a beautiful story.
And be sure to stick around to the end when you might catch a glimpse of something remarkable.]]>
For the holidays this year we wanted to present some of the most popular Christmas carols in a new and useful way — as an infographic.
So if you find yourself seeking the right carols to sing with non-denominational kids delivering gluten-free treats or you’re writing an essay on how Jewish songwriters penned popular songs and created our secular notions of Christmas, you’re prepared.
Who knows what use this infographic may come to?
Download the full infographic of Christmas carols
(PDF file, 42 KB)
See the full Christmas carols infographic with legend of song titles.
See you in 2011.]]>
This morning we awoke to a brilliant clear, crisp winter morning. The sun rose over the English Bay and fresh snow dusted the mountains.
We saw pink mountaintops and I was reminded of this short story from David Foster Wallace:
There are these two young fish swimming along and they happen to meet an older fish swimming the other way, who nods at them and says “Morning, boys. How’s the water?” And the two young fish swim on for a bit, and then eventually one of them looks over at the other and goes “What the hell is water?”
This is a standard requirement of US commencement speeches, the deployment of didactic little parable-ish stories. The story ["thing"] turns out to be one of the better, less bullshitty conventions of the genre, but if you’re worried that I plan to present myself here as the wise, older fish explaining what water is to you younger fish, please don’t be. I am not the wise old fish. The point of the fish story is merely that the most obvious, important realities are often the ones that are hardest to see and talk about. Stated as an English sentence, of course, this is just a banal platitude, but the fact is that in the day to day trenches of adult existence, banal platitudes can have a life or death importance, or so I wish to suggest to you on this dry and lovely morning.
— David Foster Wallace
Kenyon College commencement speech
And because busyness happens so easily I wanted to share the story. To remind you, just as I reminded myself, to taste the water through this holiday season.
We’ll see you in 2011 with big ideas and aspirations.]]>
At the top of our holiday gift list this year for both giving and receiving is a book by Steven Johnson called Where Good Ideas Come From: the Natural History of Innovation.
Here’s an outstanding 4-minute introductory video of the book’s thesis.
And here’s the longer 18-minute TED Talk by Steven.
The ideas in these videos provide a better explanation that we can on why we do AdHack Labs — to think out loud in public, to learn to do by doing, to invite connections through search, discovery, sharing and serendipity.
As John Hagel says:
“I think the rationale for the firm of the 21st century is an institutional platform to accelerate talent development. The firms that were very good at economizing on transactions are not very good at accelerating talent development. We need to figure out the institutional arrangements that will allow us to accelerate talent development.”
— ~5:00 into his speech at Supernova ’09
And that’s what we’re working to do.
Thanks to Ben Malbon for the link to the shorter video.]]>
Welcome to another edition of The Creative Buyer. We had a small break between issues. Now we’re back packed with action.
In this issue you’ll find:
Whoa and whoa. Let’s go!
The Social Activation Platform is one dashboard for marketers to profitably manage the flood of digital media in real time.
We built the Social Activation Platform because we had to. Other competitive platforms focused on monitoring. This wasn’t enough for us.
We needed a centre of action to manage outreach and participate in social media — to really blow up earned media in real time.
We also wanted a platform organized around the people and teams using it, with no limits on keywords or team size.
So that’s what we built. We call it the Social Activation Platform. It’s a responsive tool for starting and stoking wildfires of participation.
Your analytics tool (like Google Analytics) tells you what’s happening with your brand on your website.
The Social Activation Platform tells you what’s happening with your brand everywhere else.
Social Activation Platform in Action
“Great!” you say. “Can I see in action?”
Sure thing. Contact us.
Add in just a few words to help us understand the context (what brand? agency? industry?). We’ll rock it and set you up a demo account.
Then it’s goodbye words and hello action. That means you: in action.
How to Buy the Social Activation Platform
“This sounds awesome!” you say next. “How do I buy it?”
You can’t. Not just yet.
We aren’t selling the Social Activation Platform to you today.
Instead, we’re asking for you to use it for free.
We have 30 slots for trials. That’s about all we can handle and provide excellent service.
11 19 are already spoken for by existing clients.
So don’t delay, as they say.
Why try the Social Activation Platform for free?
To recap, 5 reasons to believe:
Hit reply, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +1-877-477-5697 to talk.
Are you now planning for 2011?
Most folks we know are. They’ve got ideas.
They’re seeing good results already and want to turn those into great results next year.
And we want to help.
So invite us in to help. Because we’re aces on execution and we can provide the details you need for your plan.
Like these answers we’ve already provided clients for their 2011 planning:
We’re having all the above conversations with agency and brand clients today.
So what are your problems for 2011?
Share with us and win. Not a prize. Something better — strategic help from the execution end of the process. Real plans for real results.
To find out what we can do for you in 2011, you know what to do.
Hit reply, email email@example.com or call +1-877-477-5697 to talk.
Opportunities wait for no one. Let’s get started!
I’m growing a moustache. I’ve never grown a moustache before. It’s not pretty and it’s not going to get prettier.
It’s Movember, the month formerly known as November.
Movember is a fundraising event for prostate cancer. My grandfather has prostate cancer. It’s not serious or debilitating but it also isn’t a good diagnosis.
So I want to do what I can. Embarassing myself with a mangy upper lip seems like a small price to pay.
Read more: 4 ways my moustache saves lives in Movember
Sorry! The recipe is only available to subscribers.
So (ahem!) subscribe your good self below.
About a month ago we launched Recotype a recommendation engine built on Twitter.
Our goal with Recotype was to make it dead simple for people to get recommendations from their followers on Twitter — Just add #reco to any tweet and we do the rest.
We could see 2 things that inspired us to build Recotype: people using Twitter for recommendations and shortening ‘recommendation’ to ‘reco.’
So we took a leap of faith to see if we could do create something interesting with those 2 observations.
We built a quick application and started to get real feedback on the key assumptions behind the Recotype model:
And since launching we’ve had some incredible responses, feedback and usage of #reco. It’s been awesome.
We’re really thankful for all the cool people who have picked up the #reco and run with it.
Our first 30 days provided a ton of the lessons we wanted them to provide.
And since so much of the success of Recotype relies on people using it, we want to share those lessons.
So here goes — our lessons from the first 30 days of Recotype.
When it comes to recommendations, the location of the recommendation is almost always important.
We don’t have hard data to share on the percentage of recommendation specific to a location, but I’d guess about 75% of #recos are specific to a place.
That place is most often where the person seeking the #reco lives. But it’s also often associated with travel or a new place they don’t know well.
We also noticed people started to add airport codes as additional has tags to their #recos to mark them as specific to a place.
Reviewing the #recos of the past 30 days, we see some key patterns emerge.
These are the big 4:
We also see another kind of #reco pattern that deserves its own section.
It’s so explosive, we try to describe it below in the section Networks Explode #Recos.
We originally thought that speed was going to be the key factor in whether a #reco thread was a success.
And we were right, sometimes. Some #recos are time sensitive and only answers within a few minutes or hours are valuable.
But many more are not too time sensitive. They’re middle sensitive. They need input in a few days but not in a few minutes.
We found that many #reco threads stay active for a few days at a time. New people chime in, new replies are added and conversations continue.
And a few #reco threads go dormant then revive after a period of time.
So speed isn’t necessarily the key factor.
As an addition to the assumption above that speed was a key factor, we originally thought #reco threads would flare up and burn out quickly.
Old threads would be good archival materials but static. We were wrong.
What we learned is that #reco threads can stay alive in a few different scenarios:
So far the application we’ve built is really limited in how you can search past #reco threads, how you can discover #reco threads, how you can add to #reco threads and how you can add to #reco threads with the new information, context or people.
We have to change this. We’re working on ways to do so.
We’ve found that recommendations blend along the lines of how people using Recotype have their networks mingling.
For instance, many of the folks on Recotype combine personal and professional interaction in their Twitter account.
One moment they’re seeking a #reco for a course of action for when a client domain expires before being noticed and gets scooped by a porn site?
The next they’re seeking a #reco for a manufacturer of quality sportswear not covered in crappy logos? I hate logos (ironic, I know…).
So we’re just letting that all blend together.
In addition, many of the folks on Recotype have their Twitter account hooked up to their Facebook account.
So when they ask for a #reco both their Twitter followers and Facebook friends see the request. They get some responses on each network but we’ve only hooked up Twitter so far, so they only see those responses on Recotype.
Lastly, many of the folks on Recotype get both public and private responses to requests for #recos.
So we’re challenged.
On the one hand, we want to pull together the disparate fragments of information into a comprehensive #reco thread — to make it simpler and easier to get help and the right answer.
On the other hand, we want to preserve the mode and settings of the communications channels — ensure private communications remain private, keep Facebook feedback distinguishable from Twitter.
And if we add on more professional-oriented networks like LinkedIn the challenge doesn’t get smaller.
We’ll use the principals above to guide our decisions but we’ll still have to make good, interesting, challenging decisions.
The most interesting and unexpected lesson we’ve learned since launching Recotype is that networks can explode the value of recommendations.
What do we mean?
Megan posts Need best ever earbuds for running, no over-the-head kind – Suggestions pls. #reco.
I see her request but don’t know the answer. What I do know is that my friend Corey has some earbud-style headphones he raves about. So I loop Corey into the #reco thread.
In 2 simple steps, Megan has a personal recommendation from someone with expertise and experience in the area of earbud-style headphones.
But maybe your question is more technical, like is it wise to serve JS code off of github or should I serve it off my own server?
Brian gets connected into the thread and has the right answer, (your own CDN).
And there’s something really interesting in that dynamic — matching the right person to give a recommendation to the request for a recommendation.
That simple action of bridging the #reco request and singling out a specific expert creates a ton of value.
So how do we encourage people to make those connections and bridge the recommendation to the right person?
Sounds like another good challenge — one of the top ones we’re working on right now.
Last up, we want to know what you think of the first 30 days of recommendations.
Have your tried out the #reco tag?
Do you have questions about how it all works?
Are we missing anything that we need to know about?
Tell us. Comments below for public action.
Email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Hit the AdHack contact page. Tweet us @recotype
And if you like Recotype, please make it one of your #recos!]]>
Friends, Romans, countrymen. Lend me your eyes!
I have a cause I bring to you: My moustache.
I am growing a moustache for Movember.
What is Movember? It’s the month formerly known as Novemer.
Men grow moustaches and raise money for prostate cancer because 1 in 6 men in Canada will get prostate cancer in their lives.
I don’t like that and my moustache and I are doing something about it.
Here’s how you can help.
Yup. The big purpose here it raise cash money for prostate cancer.
The deal is — I keep growing my moustache for the cash.
Stache for cash, if you like.
To donate, hit this webpage and donate now.
The big gold button above my handsome hairy face that says DONATE TO ME?
That’s the button you want to hit.
In a few quick steps you can charge up the pot for my moustache.
All the money goes to prostate cancer, so get your donating hat on and start clicking.
Whether you’re in for the cash money or not (and please, be in!), you can share my embarassment all over the Internet.
Email is excellent. Open your address book and start sending this message on. The button you want is marked Forward. Hit it and don’t quit.
Because we also have Facebook and Twitter. Yes and yes. And any other social networks too. The cost of digital replication is $0. I can afford it.
And my moustache is a bit of a fame whore. So indulge him and share him around.
Because we’re dumb boys we started another fun website called My Father’s Moustache.
It is just what is says — a collection of photos of our father’s moustaches. Vintage moustaches. Handbars from yesterdays gone past.
Did your father have a moustache? I bet he did.
Please, dig out a photo and share it. There’s a link at the top of the website that makes it simple to submit.
Your father’s moustache (and your father) could be Internet famous(ish).
I am committed to documenting in photos my 30 days of Movember odyssey.
And because no photos = it didn’t happen, I am posting the photos on the internet here:
30 Days of Movember.
Sure, laugh. Now you know why I need the donations.
Something got to make me feel better with that mange on my lip.
Now are you ready to donate?
Big hugs! (Little scratches!)