Inspiration for Social Media

I read many blog posts during the week from a wide range of sources, and there’s always a few which really stand out. This past Memorial Day weekend, in between cook-outs, get-togethers, and catching up on a novel for the book group I belong to– I found a couple of things particularly inspirational.

As a follow-up to the post I wrote last week about being a student of Social Media and Sarah Perez’s post entitled “Social Media U: Take a Class in Social Media“, I re-watched the YouTube video students at Kansas State University made which summarizes how students learn today. It’s really worth taking a few minutes to watch. Kind of eye opening!

I’ve also been looking forward to digging my teeth into the new book Groundswell: Winning in a World Transformed by Social Technologies by Charline Li and Josh Bernoff which arrived a few days ago. I’ve read many great reviews and readers comments about the book–I think after watching this short video with the renown Forrester Research VPs, you’ll get the Groundswell fever, too.

I’ll be writing more about it over the next couple of weeks. If you’ve been reading the book, we’re interested in hearing about what you’ve learning, and how you hope to apply it to your business’ marketing efforts.

Yesteryears in a Day of Social Media

Underwood typewriterI’m not usually drawn to stores overflowing with bric-a-brac, but yesterday I was on an adventure with a friend who I hadn’t seen in a long time, so I was happy to go along. Perched on a table in a corner of the dusty antique shop I came across an Underwood typewriter.

I have enough clutter in my life and since there’s little storage space in this old house, I have to give a lot of thought to what comes in and what goes out. But as I came around the bend, and saw her sitting there, her all too familiar keys–qwerty, asdfgh, zscvb; I was intrigued by that old clunker, drawn to her innocence and pure simplicity.

Typewriter 1.0 vs. the Social Media Persona

The Underwood wouldn’t require passwords I can’t remember. She wouldn’t drop hyperlinks across the page like breadcrumbs, leading me to places which devour hours of time, and beg for more. She wouldn’t continuously challenge me to learn– more, more, more. She wouldn’t force me to be social, telling me incessantly to go and play nicely with the kids at LinkedIn or Facebook.

As I stood over her contemplating whether to make my home hers– her past haunted me. Who bought her new and shiny? Were they trying to write the Great American Novel or love poems? Or was she locked away in a third floor walk-up office in downtown Boston or maybe Chicago, slogging through long days of business correspondence?

As much as I wanted to honor her history, the “first totally reliable typewriter” and that she “set the standard for typewriter design for decades to come”– there wasn’t room for her in my life. So instead, I came home empty-handed. I read blog posts, watched short videos, listened to podcasts, downloaded and uploaded music.

Blissfully, I surfed here, there and everywhere, across the country and far away lands, conversing with people I’d otherwise never get to know– awash with the imprints of yesteryears.

Social Media State of Mind

(Sung to the tune of New York State of Mind by Billy Joel)

It was so easy living day by day
Out of touch with the rhythm and blues
But now I ne
ed a little give and take
Social Networking or Blogging News

It comes down to reality
And it’s fine with me ’cause I’ve let it slide
Don’t care if it’s Linked In or my Facebook side
I don’t have any reasons
I’ve left them all behind
I’m in a Social Media State of Mind

I’m just searching on Technorati and Google Alerts
‘Cause I’m in a
Social Media State of Mind

Marketing with Social Media

I had one of those experiences this week when a tune pops into your head and it won’t go away. It happened after I read Carol Krol’s story in B to B magazine entitled “Social media demands interaction, relevant content.” More specifically it was the section where she quoted Paul Dunay, director of interactive marketing at BearingPoint. Dunay said,

“There is no ‘campaign’ in social media.: It’s a state of being your company has to take on, and marketing has to lead the charge for that. You can’t be social this week and decide to be antisocial next week. It’s an ongoing process.”

Albeit a bit of a stretch from “state of being” to “state of mind” but nevertheless his message rang true for me and well, prompted the songwriting above. Here’s the thing, I agree marketing needs to lead the way. Some of you may have been hoping Social Media would be an IT thing. Or what about those customer service folks, they talk to people, don’t they?

Marketing may solicit assistance from other departments but the fact of the matter is they still need to lead the way. That’s the way it was for Web 1.0, and even though a decade or so has passed, marketing still plays a vital role. So, at the risk of hitting you with another cliché — if you can’t beat them, join them.

This is about the point when the excuses may begin to surface–something like, where will I find the time, I don’t know where to begin, it’s a passing phase isn’t it? So I’m going to make it real easy for you, break it down into bite-size pieces. Give you a plan. Remember I didn’t say it wouldn’t take any time, it will– but not as much as you’ve feared.

Be a Student of Social Media
Consider the Social Media State of Mind to be a learning process. A little give and take. If you make some time over the next couple of months– you’ll discover you’ve learned a lot, and before you know it, you’ll be ready to take the lead. The learning process won’t stop there, it’s something that needs to keep going, as in being a lifelong learner.

Five Steps for Adopting a Social Media State of Mind

  1. Read at least three blogs per week of your choosing related to marketing, and your specific industry if there are folks who are speaking your language. I subscribe to many by RSS feeds, but also love discovering new posts and bloggers everyday. One good resource for finding blogs is through setting up a Google Alert
  2. Develop a reading list of books. A good place to start is with David Meerman Scott’s book, The New Rules of Marketing and PR. Make a point of noticing the marketing books other people are talking about and add them to your list. Last week for example, I read about a new book by Sarah Boxer, Ultimate Blogs: Masterworks from the Wild Web in a magazine article and the Sunday, Boston Globe. It’s now sitting in my growing pile of books!
  3. Choose one to two professional journals a week, and make a point of reading and highlighting the sections on marketing and social media. Personally I think there’s a lot of great material in B to B. Another great resource is Marketing Sherpa.
  4. Register for and participate in an hour long webinar. There are a lot of great free ones out there, Hubspot has been doing some excellent ones. (The day after the webinar they send you a link to the slides, so you can really concentrate during the conference and not worry about taking notes, etc.) Better yet, if your company has a budget for attending live conferences in your city or they can send you out of state to attend one, GO. Next month in Boston there will be the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, which looks like a great line-up. Hubspot is also hosting the Inbound Marketing Summit. There’s nothing like the experience of immersing yourself in the subject matter.
  5. Watch a few short instructional videos related to social media every week. Search for them directly on youtube or search technorati. If you’re not sure what technorati is or how to navigate it, watch this short video.

We’ll continue to talk more about cultivating the social media state of mind. You can subscribe to the Impressions through Media RSS feed. Also, we have a list of good articles we’ve come across on

Do you have any favorite books, journals, videos to recommend? Or know about some upcoming webinars or conferences? Tell us some of your recommendations for how to stay informed, work and live in the social media state of mind.

Enterprise 2.0: Required Communications for Today’s Business Success

WinnerLast week we asked readers to write and submit their reasons why Enterprise 2.0 mattered to them—in only six words! Jon Whitlock, VP of Marketing for CBE Technologies, summed it up beautifully in his six word story, “Required communications for today’s business success.”

The folks here at Impressions through Media blog wholeheartedly agree with Jon. We also believe Enterprise 2.0 is a necessary component, and a requirement for businesses who not only want to compete in today’s marketplace, but more importantly, who want to thrive.

It’s our pleasure to award Jon Whitlock with a Platinum Pass to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, June 9-12, 2008.

Thank you to everyone who submitted their six word stories. We hope you’ll keep reading our blog, and telling us your thoughts about Social Media and Enterprise 2.0.

Homage to Bloggers

Thank YouIt’s true. I spend more and more time reading RSS feeds, results from Google Alerts, posts I’ve discovered as a result of searching around Sphinn and Stumbleupon, then I do reading the daily newspaper. Mind you, I am in no way suggesting or devaluing the newspaper…some days it doesn’t feel like there are enough hours in the day to read everything I want.

What I love about reading blog posts is coming across a piece of information that effects the way I do my work, provides an insight into something I’ve been wondering about. Or better yet, something completely new, different, and exciting.

Sometimes it’s only the big name bloggers who receive recognition, but the beauty of the blogosphere is it’s a place where everyone can be heard, whether they have a readership of 5,000 or 50. This is my first installment of five thank-you’s to bloggers and a particular post which had an impact–a special impression through media.

The posts I’ve highlighted here focus on writing a blog, workflow for creating a post, processes for content creation, and what you need to know to get started with a few social networking sites.

  1. My Blog Posting Work Flow by Darren Rowse
  2. Social Media Content Creation Process by Geoff Livingston
  3. Want That Post to Go Popular? Here’s The Best and Worst Times to Post It by Marshall Kirkpatrick
  4. My Greatest Hits by Liz Davis
  5. Killer Flagship Content – Free Ebook To Download by Chris Garrett

Thank you Darren, Geoff, Marshall, Liz and Chris!

Is there something you’ve come across recently which has made a special impact on you? We’d love to hear about it.

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Your Enterprise 2.0 Story in Six Words– and a chance to win a Platinum Pass to Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston

Enterprise 2.0 Conference

Legend has it that Hemingway was once challenged to write a story in only six words. His response? “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.” Last year, SMITH Magazine re-ignited the recountre by asking their readers for their own six-word memoirs.

Now we are taking it a step further. Interested? Read on>

What’s Your Six-Word Enterprise 2.0 Story?

Many people have a desire to learn how to leverage new social tools and technologies, and reinvent the way work is done. When you get right down to it, many people have a reason why Enterprise 2.0 matters to them.

Can you tell yours in six words? Submit your story by using the comment link at the end of the post to be considered for a Platinum Pass to the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston, June 9-12, 2008.

Whether you are leading the effort or exploring your options, the Enterprise 2.0 Conference brings the newest trends and practical information together in one place.

Entries must be received by Tuesday, May 13th, 5 pm (EST). The winner will be announced Thursday, May 14th and awarded a Platinum Pass to the Conference. This special pass includes access to all tutorials and conference sessions across all 4 days!

Go ahead, tell us in six words why Enterprise 2.0 matters to you.

Webby Awards and Webby People's Voice Winners Announced

logo_webbyawards_md.pngThe 12th Annual Webby Awards winners were announced today. The Webby Awards, referred to as the “Oscars of the Internet” by the New York Times, is the leading international award honoring excellence on the Internet. The Webbys are presented by The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, a 550-member body of leading Web experts, business figures, luminaries, visionaries and creative celebrities.

This year there were three categories of Blogs- Business, Cultural/Personal, and Political. The winners in these categories are:


Webby Award and People’s Voice Winner: Alphaville


Webby Award & People’s Voice Winner: PostSecret


Webby Award & People’s Voice Winner: The Huffington Post

Congratulations to all of the Webby and People’s Voice Winners. You’re an inspiration to us all. Check out the complete list of outstanding work in nearly 70 categories of websites!

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The Place Where Web 2.0 and 21st Century Literacy Come Together

kids and computersLast week, 7,000 people converged on San Francisco to attend the Web 2.0 Expo, and since then there’s been a lot of talk about it across the blogosphere. With that kind of turn-out I was thinking, Web 2.0 really is a hot topic. But then the new Forrester Report, Global Enterprise Web 2.0 Market Forecast: 2007 To 2013, threw a monkey wrench into the picture.

As you review Forrester’s report, keep in mind the findings are primarily focused on Enterprise Web 2.0 applications for big companies. “In 2008, firms with 1000 employees or more will spend $764 million on Web 2.0 tools and technologies. Over the next five years, that expenditure will grow at a compound annual rate of 43%.”

Forrester’s forecast indicates less then 68% of small businesses have any intentions of implementing Web 2.0. into their businesses. Forrester also points out that their analysis of Enterprise Web 2.0 doesn’t include consumer services like Blogger, Facebook, Netvibes, and Twitter. Sarah Perez writes on Read Write Web, “Large software vendors, are integrating Web 2.0 into their offerings with features such as wikis, blogs, RSS technologies, social networking and mashup tools, by 2013, few buyers will seek out and purchase Web 2.0 tools specifically.”

Web 2.0 Tool Kit

Forrester says much of the Web 2.0 tool kit will simply “fade into the fabric of enterprise collaboration suites, and that by 2013, few buyers will seek out and purchase Web 2.0 tools specifically, Web 2.0 will become a feature, not a product.

Ah, suite software. Sound familiar? You’re probably thinking been there done that–end of story. But wait, this is where I think the report get really interesting.

Right now it’s reported, “people between the ages of 12 and 17 are the more avid consumers of social computing technology, with one-third of them acting as content creators. By 2011, Forrester believes users of Web 2.0 tools will mirror users of the web at large. Over the next three years, millions of baby boomers will retire and the younger workers brought in to fill the void will not only want, but will expect similar tools in the office as those they use at home in their personal lives.”

Ah hah, younger workers will expect similar tools! And why would that be?

21st Century Literacy

According to the 21st Century Workforce Commission National Alliance of Business, “The current and future health of America’s 21st Century Economy depends directly on how broadly and deeply Americans reach a new level of literacy-‘21st Century Literacy’ that includes strong academic skills, thinking, reasoning, teamwork skills, and proficiency in using technology.”

What is 21st century literacy? The report from The 21st Century Literacy Summit defines it this way:

“21st century literacy is the set of abilities and skills where aural, visual and digital literacy overlap. These include the ability to understand the power of images and sounds, to recognize and use that power, to manipulate and trans­form digital media, to distribute them perva­sively, and to easily adapt them to new forms.”

The Partnership for 21st Century Skills has called for schools to adopt a 21st century curriculum that blends thinking and innovation skills; information, media, and Information and Communications Technologies (ICT) literacy.

Every generation has its skeptics, the ones who don’t believe in making changes in the way we work, live and communicate. But while they’re busy debating it, our youth are out there increasing their literacy in information and communication technologies.

Will you be ready to work with new younger colleagues? Will your company be able to compete in the global economy? If not now, then when?

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