Sunday, March 28, 2010
"Next week a startup is launching that’s effectively Yelp for people (look for our coverage in a few days). If someone has something good or bad to say about you, they’ll be able to do it anonymously and with very little potential legal or social fallout. Something tells me this new service, or some other one, might succeed where the others have failed. We’re primed and ready now and have lots of experience publishing all those random opinions about people and things on Twitter, Yelp and Facebook already. It’s time for a centralized, well organized place for anonymous mass defamation on the Internet. Scary? Yes. But it’s coming nonetheless."
But, of course, with most provocative Tech Crunch posts, the comments provide better illumination. One guy writes "Juicy Campus had a similar concept except nobody posted anything favorable about people on the site. Basically, people posted anonymous rumors about people that they hated on the site, and eventually it shut down. Another claims a site like the one described above is already out there - Talkburst.
I'm not in favor of anonymous people defamation. If you can't say something to someone's face, then it's probably safe to say you shouldn't throw it out there online anonymously. But since most of the news world runs on rumor, speculation, gossip and innuendo, it's likely that an online collection of anonymous rants may appeal to a certain minority of people.
Guess we'll just wait later this week to see what startup Arrington is talking about and then judge of ourselves if there's a chance for 'anonymous mass defamation of the Internet'. Meanwhile, check another perspective on reputation management from noted Internet VC Fred Wilson is his post at Business Insider titled "How to Defend Your Reputation".
On the other hand, you just might not care...
Wednesday, March 24, 2010
From the blurb:
"This popular TiE AZ flagship event features:
* All the organized angel groups in Arizona
* An expert panel update on the state of angel investing in Arizona
* 20 rapid-fire pitches by local entrepreneurs
* A competition to present at angel group events (top presentation selections gain entry for more detailed presentation to exclusive screening panels of organized angel groups)
5:30-6:00pm Registration and Reception
6:00-7:00pm Dinner & Networking (Foyer)
7:00-8:55pm "Pitch-Fest" featuring early-stage pitches and panel discussion (Main Theatre)
Looks like a fun, fast event all around. Speed is crucial, efficiency is necessary, warbling is unnecessary.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
The BI article writes:
"Citi analyst Mark Mahaney reports that during last week's 2010 Media Summit, eBay said that Zynga was PayPal's the second largest merchant, following only eBay. eBay said that PayPal, which processes 50% of all virtual goods payments on Facebook, had $500 million in virtual goods revenues in 2009 -- up 200% from 2008. Mark says this number should grow by 50% in 2010. Back on the rumors front, we've heard from sources that Zynga is doing well over $1 million of revenue a day. One source told us Zynga's current revenue run-rate is around $600 million."
Whoever said farming is a loss business should be gunned down by the Cosa Nostra. :-)
Read more at SAI on the reasons why Zynga's raking in the fish, er, dollars.
Here's an image below from a new collection of White House photos that shows some major edits on a speech prepared for President Obama. Happens to the best of 'em!
The caption for the photo seen in the collection of "never-before-seen photos from President Barack Obama's year-long fight to pass health reform" reads:
"President Barack Obama and Jon Favreau, head speechwriter, edit a speech on health care in the Oval Office, Sept. 9, 2009, in preparation for the President's address to a joint session of Congress. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)"
Remember these copyediting marks next time you're working on that next client copy.
Monday, March 22, 2010
Where can you learn about social media for 24 days straight, without leaving the comfort of your kitchen table or office?
Social Media Examiner is hosting a fully online Social Media Success Summit from May 4th - May 25th with daily live online lessons from some of the biggest social media influencers and teachers out there (including local good guy JayBaer and others).
From the blurbs:
"Are you using social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, but not getting the results you hoped for? Could you use some guidance and fresh ideas?
Yes, the promise of social media is strong: Direct contact with customers (and prospects) who were previously unreachable. This means greater exposure and more business opportunity—all without costly advertisements or middlemen.
And given this economy, who wouldn't want more business! But if you're like me, you're looking to choose your social media activities wisely, without getting consumed by all the options. You simply want to know what works best.
I'm happy to announce an online event designed to help marketers and business owners quickly achieve social media success—Social Media Success Summit 2010. Twenty-four of the world's most respected social media experts have come together to share their strategies (see the great line-up on the right). They'll reveal all the latest techniques and proven business-building tactics you need to know to immediately benefit from social media."
Register here for up to 50% off list price involvement. It's worth your time and money.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
There is much discussion online about how to measure return on investment into your online social media marketing strategies. For example, you can read and listen to a Hubspot exec's ideas of driving ROI, or read Web smart guy Brian Solis' article at Mashable on how "executives are demanding scrutiny, evaluation, and interpretation. Even though new media is transforming organizations from the inside out, what is constant is the need to apply performance indicators to our work."
Business publication Portfolio Magazine has a fine feature today on how Dunkin'Donuts is dedicated to using its Twitter channel for marketing promotions, with the goal to turn followers into customers. Here's how the piece describes DD's work:
"Dunkin’ Donuts has started to track dollars flowing from Twitter by tallying the number of people who click through from a “Win Free Coffee for a Year Offer” on Twitter. Users who enroll in the “DD Perks” program are entered into a company database. The company has a quantitative value for database members, although it will not disclose that number or the Twitter click-through rate.
Yet while Dunkin’ has become a dominant brand on Twitter with over 46,000 followers, most firms are in the early stages of puzzling out how best to monetize a website whose passionate users crank out an average of 50 million tweets each day."
Small businesses are catching up and working it. Anyone who spends time on Twitter sees businesses in its communities reaching out to potential customers. One small business owner mentioned in the article, Somerville, Massachusetts-based Kickasscupcakes owner Sara Ross, has over 800 followers and posts videos of cupcake making action to drive traffic.
Companies are catching up - Forrester Research estimated last year that business-to-business firms will up social media spend to $3 billion by 2014, from $716 million in 2009. Strategies are being formulated, plans are being laid, and tactical action is being taken. Be part of the revolution.
Monday, March 15, 2010
"If you are a PR practitioner today, you will be increasingly called upon to become versed in the language of your industry and the technical knowledge necessary to create content on behalf of your company or client. The more you can gain insights into the inner workings of the industry you operate in and the challenges it helps solve, the more effective you become in media outreach."
And I ask, "....increasingly called upon"? If you're not there already, catch up! Learn the tools, know what reporters are using to find info for stories, make relationships and get smarter and faster about everything.
Here's Valerie's checklist for using PR In New Media - all great points, worth burning into your brain cells when you just wanna 'pitch something'....
* find the bloggers in your content/industry niche and observe what they do, who they connect with, how they grow their platform;
* instead of pitching them your product, give them access to learning more about the benefits to the end user;
* build your knowledge of the new media ecosystem around the product/service/industry of the business you support;
* learn about search engine optimization, not word stuffing
* understand multimedia communications
Friday, March 12, 2010
Another quarter, and another report on inactive Twitter users. Or are they active users? I'm so confused...
Barracuda Networks' new report on "Twitterability activeness" (I made that up) analyzed "...more than 19 million Twitter accounts, both legitimate and malicious, for frequency and content of tweets, user-to-user interactions, and each account’s overall activity level."
CNN covered this report and writes: "The follow-only trend exploded when celebrities helped push the microblogging site into the mainstream during a six-month period that Barracuda calls Twitter's "red carpet era."
Here are some of Barracuda's key findings from the report:
* Only 21 percent of Twitter users are actual True Twitter Users.
* Overall, users are becoming more active on Twitter.
* 49 percent of Twitter users, and 48 of the top 100 most followed Twitter users, joined during the Twitter Red Carpet Era2, indicating the significant impact celebrities have on the social networking landscape as they bring their real-world fans over to Twitter.
* The Twitter growth rate spiked at 21.17 percent in April 2009 due to the Twitter Red Carpet Era.
* During the Twitter Red Carpet Era, the Twitter Crime Rate3 increased 66 percent, and continued to escalate reaching 12 percent in October 2009, indicating one in eight accounts created was deemed to be malicious, suspicious or otherwise misused and subsequently suspended.
You can download Barracuda Networks' PDF report here.
Breaking News: Some Bullshit Happening Somewhere
Monday, March 8, 2010
I love media news. I don't care if it's the latest Rupert Murdoch-content provider squabble, I try to read as much as I can get. So I'm ready for Mediagazer. We all seems to get news from everywhere these days, but a concise approach for media news may work for many people. I like the idea of that. This info below comes from its blog page:
"The media business is in tumult: from the production side to the distribution side, new technologies are upending the industry. What do news organizations need to do to survive? Will books become extinct? When will an audience pay for content? Can video bring television and the internet together? Will the iPad save us all? Keeping up with these changes is time-consuming, as essential media coverage is scattered across numerous web sites at any given moment.
Mediagazer simplifies this task by organizing the key coverage in one place. We’ve combined sophisticated automated aggregation technologies with direct editorial input from knowledgeable human editors to present the one indispensible narrative of an industry in transition. We collect relevant takes on an issue and package them together in a comprehensive group of links. That way, you not only get the lead opinion on an issue, but you can easily find the supporting, opposing, smart, controversial, notable, and previously unseen viewpoints. You get the big picture.
We make it easy for you to get your media news fix. If you want to share the latest media news with your Facebook friends or Twitter followers, you can use the easy “share” button next to the headline title. (See more here.) If you’re on the go, you can easily access Mediagazer on your smartphone by viewing mediagazer.com/m in your mobile browser, though mediagazer.com will redirect there on iPhone and Android devices. If you have a simpler phone, mediagazer.com/mini will bring you the same information in a simpler display."
Try it out and see how you like it - drop comments below. I'd appreciate that.
Phoenix-based Avnet hosts a Business Marketing Association seminar on "The Strategic Value of Community Relations." The seminar will be held on Tuesday, March 9th (tomorrow!) at 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm at Avnet HQ (2211 South 47th Street, Phoenix).
Speaking on the topic will be Teri Radosevich, VP-Community Relations for Avnet, Inc. and Shelly M. Esque, Intel Corp.'s VP-Legal and Corporate Affairs, as well as Director of the Corporate Affairs Group.
From the blurb:
"Join us as we tap into the expertise of two local and very accomplished executives from Fortune 200 companies that work to represent community outreach and corporate responsibility for their firms. Learn about the strategy behind the service, the expected and unexpected outcomes of execution, and how you can integrate simple but effective ways to improve your employee engagement and brand… all while making a difference in the community."
Click here to register. $10 for members, $25 for non-members.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
PR Newser had a fine piece about veteran PR industry newsletter O'Dwyer's Public Relations News seeking to gain some fees from large PR agencies, or risk being dropped from its rankings of PR firms.
It seems that O'Dwyer wants $2,000 for agencies with $2M in fees, $3,000 for those with $5M-$10M in fees, and $5,000 for those with $10M and more. Founder Jack O'Dwyer himself goes on in PR Newswer's comments about his rationale - some of it makes sense, and some of it sounds like sour grapes. Here's part of what he wrote below - Click over to PR Newser for the full rant.
"Wagged (Waggener Edstrom) likes being No. 2 on our list but only wants to have one $295 subscription for their 840 employees. No wonder media are going out of business right and left. Despite attempts to smear us as "charging for ads," what I'm charging for is website access for firms with scores and even hundreds of employees who want to get by with one subscription. I'm not going to rank them if they treat us in this unfair manner. PR firms are cooperative and even-handed with the press. They don't play favorites. Firms who act like the penny-pinching ones we're going to toss from our rankings are not PR firms and don't belong on our rankings."
This might be too inside baseball, major-city PR stuff for any readers of this blog, but having been there before earlier in my life, I can see the shitstorm that's being kicked up. On one hand, O'Dwyer's is a PR industry publisher, surely PO'd about the major players buying one lousy subscription to pass around the office. On the other hand, perhaps O' Dwyer's industry insights and rankings don't play as large a role in clients and companies choosing PR firms as they used to. And the agencies are themselves getting less in fees than they used to, so they cut corners where they can. Ah PR times, they are a-changing.
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
And Yelp is expanding here in the Phoenix Valley, seeking sales people to reach out to the Valley's business establishments. And the startup continues to throw fun soirees for its loyal members. As a user, I've been fortunate to be invited to several cool Yelp events over the past 18 months.
But I'm not a business owner who has a listing on Yelp. (Though if you are, here are some great tips to supercharge your Yelp listings). Some business owners are stirring up the pot a bit. Last week, Yelp was hit with a lawsuit calling it out for alleged unfair business practices.
TechCrunch wrote: "The plaintiff in the suit, a veterinary hospital in Long Beach, CA, is said to have requested that Yelp remove a negative review from the website, which was allegedly refused by the San Francisco startup, after which its sales representatives repeatedly contacted the hospital demanding payments of roughly $300 per month in exchange for hiding or deleting the review."
The smart kids at KBuzz recently wrote about Yelp's sales situation and how allegations of negative reviews being buried have surfaced. And the The Wall Street Journal blog covered Yelp's CEO Jeremy Stoppelman's blog post in which he wrote about the company's “weird” automated system. From the WSJ:
"So if Yelp is doing nothing wrong, why do these accusations keeping surfacing?
"In Stoppelman’s eyes, it’s partly because of the company’s “weird” automated system that often removes reviews from business pages in order to filter out spam. “Because this is a difficult task, sometimes that results in legitimate reviews being suppressed from business pages,” writes Stoppelman."
At his blog post on Monday, Stoppelman laid out a point for point rebuttal of the claims in Yep's business dealings with advertisers. He wrote:
"Myth #1: Yelp offers to remove or reorder reviews in exchange for money.
Truth: Yelp Sales Representatives sell sponsored search results, enhanced listings and targeted advertisements. Period."
"Myth #2: Yelp's sales department has the ability to suppress and/or add reviews (and this ability is somehow used to coerce would-be advertisers or punish businesses that decline to advertise)
Truth: Our entire sales department is prohibited from creating any review content on the site. No member of the sales department has the administrative capability to remove reviews."
[Yelp even goes to lengths on its site to dispel the myths about its listing procedures and business operations.]
CEO Stoppelman concluded in his post with: "As I've said, many might say we're weird, but we have nothing to hide. We're doing things differently, but we have never and will never extort businesses; the accusation is beyond ludicrous. In fact, it's deeply ironic that the very mechanisms and processes we've created to preserve Yelp's integrity generate these accusations that we have no integrity. Millions of people rely on Yelp each week to figure out where to spend their hard-earned money and thousands of business owners benefit from the word-of-mouth Yelpers provide. We know this case is without merit, and we will continue to fight these false claims aggressively, as well as fight the guys who are actually being shady with reviews."
My hope is that Yelp can overcome these allegations. Plenty of new business get hit with lawsuits. Google,Microsoft, Facebook - they've all been the recipient of lawsuits about business practices. Heck, even the team behind the Farmville game (Zynga) has been hit with class action suits. Maybe it's a rite of passage for our next emerging corporate titans. Time will tell.