Back 2 Back 2.0 Conferences

I will be in San Fransisco the first two weeks in September attending back to back conferences.

Office 2.0

My first stop will be the Office 2.0 conference, Wed. Sept 5th-7th. They’re running two tracks, one geared towards the next gen web based office tools and one geared towards the ever buzz worthy Enterprise 2.0.

I’m always interested in these technologies. I’m very excited to see all the cool startups and the apps they’re developing.

I’m flying in a day early for meetings. So if you’re also going to SanFran or reside there and want to meet up ping me.


FedratedMedia’s Conversational Marketing Summit is the following week. Tues Sept 11th and 12th. HP is the Diamond sponsor for the event so I was able to score one our sponsor tickets (thanks Daina).

FM has a great line up of speakersthat include both bloggers and large corporations. (How different do you think James Rose’s presentation will be from Kevin Rose’s?)

Once again, I’m flying in a day early to do some networking, so ping me if you want to meet up.

Look for on the road updates of both events. I probably won’t be live blogging (maybe live twitter) but I will definitley try and post some updates at night.

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Is This Really Advertising?

I know I’ve been a little quiet. Things at HP have been very busy. Busy good though. Look for some really cool marketing to come out of HP at the end of the month.

Like a lot of big companies HP has been moving a lot of ad dollars online. One thing that HP has also been doing that I think more companies could take note of is Value Added Advertising.

Value Added Advertising is just what it sounds like. How can your company ad value to an online community through it’s ad spend?

Jared Katzman over at FederatedMedia pointed me to a great example of something that HP has done on the OhGizmo! site with the introduction of their newest iPaq phone.

Here’s the original ‘voice post‘. David’s comment really got me thinking though:

“Chas man, I’m glad you like it. I have to agree, this thing rocks. It’s funny that an ad campaign could be this much fun.”

Is this really advertising? Technically yes. The better answer is that this is the way new media advertising *should* be done.

It leverages ad dollars to bring additional value to a community that is not interruptive. I don’t know who on the HP side came up with this but I think it’s great.

Here’s all of their voice posts.

Update: has a post back in July, when they first rolled out this campaign and links to other sites that also participated.

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The Death of Wrist Watches and Voice Messages

This post is for all you trend spotters out there.

Wrist Watches: Why bother?

I was at my brothers bachelor party a few months back when I asked everyone that was around the poker table what time it was. Not a single person knew. Now my brother is 10 years younger than I am and I’m pretty sure this is a generational thing. No one was wearing a watch. When I asked everyone about it, the answer was all the same: “I have a cell phone.”

I did some research recently and found out that wrist watch sales have been suffering since 2001. (Haven’t cell phone sales been skyrocketing that whole time?) I know people who have 2 cell phones and don’t wear a watch. High end watch sales still do well but the youth market is dragging the rest of the industry down. Watch makers are trying to stay relevant, but like all things of late, they are forced to focus on the niches like, scuba watches, athletic watches, etc.

Voice Mail: Don’t Bother!

I was in a meeting the other day with Chris and Wyatt of Pronetos, when Chris got a call on his cell that he ignored. When the caller left a message Chris was annoyed. “Don’t leave me a voice message, text me or IM me.”

At first this struck me as odd, then I realized I had the same preferences. Chris went on to explain that if they texted him he could respond back a lot easier than taking the time to listen to the message then call back. We probably all know those people that don’t bother listening to that well thought out message you left and instead just call you when they realize they missed your call.

With so many communication channels available to us I think voice mail is loosing favor. Most people I know are so busy they hate taking the time to wade through multiple voice messages. Of course voice mail will never go away. Most people seem to use it when it’s really important the recipient call them back.

I think we’re finally getting to a point where the channel used will depend on the nature of the message and the relationship between the sender and receiver.

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Bioterrorism in SecondLife

This is a little off topic from my usual posts but I thought this was really cool. The Idaho Bioterrorism and Preparedness Program out at ISU is using SecondLife for virtual training.

Play2Train will provide opportunities for training through interactive role playing and will be the foundation for our emergency preparedness educational machinima. This site will document activities and developments in this part of the SecondLife virtual world. This project implements one of the distance learning methodologies proposed by the IBAPP project.

I think that this is a great example of the value that 3D/virtual worlds bring to businesses and organization. Most businesses have used SecondLife strictly for the media attention that it has brought.
Read more »

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Capitalism as a Metaphor

This post is being revised as a page - The Book: Social Media Trifecta
[Update: This has now been expanded to a new wiki-blog site.]

This is a thought I’ve been chewing on for a while. I often get a variation of the same question: “How do you monetize new media/Web 2.0?” or “How do you measure the ROI of new media/Web 2.0?”

Every business manager in America should ask this question. After all we are all (most likely) Capitalists. To answer the above question I’d like to expand your thinking about Capitalism.

Capitalism is the belief that the more freely you distribute capital the more capital is created.

While this isn’t the official definition of Capitalism, I have cleared it with several economic professors. It works for my analogy.

Now I would like you to think about a few variables as they relate to new media. I call these the “New Media Trifecta.”

Trust - New media is a great way to build trust with your stakeholders (however you wish to define them). One of the biggest objections I hear to using new media is one concerning trust. “How do we know customers won’t leave a bad comment?” “How do we know our employees won’t say the wrong thing?” These are issues of trust.

Ultimately if a company wants their customers and employees to trust them, they first have to demonstrate trust in their employees and customers.

Just like Capitalism, you have to spend capital to make capital.

Knowledge - Most companies interested in the uses of new media are considering it in conjunction with their knowledge workers: marketers, managers, engineers etc. So I believe it is safe to say that most companies would like to see better use of the knowledge inside of their company.

As one manager said to me, “I don’t care about what’s in their reports, I want to know how they came to their conclusions.”

That’s the real knowledge you want to share in your organization. How do you do that in today’s environment with employees scattered around the globe in various job functions? Once again new media can greatly assist this process.

It usually takes a cultural change to properly use these tools. It requires people to do a “brain dump” at the end of the day, or after a meeting. It requires people to take a short amount of time to become familiar with the tools.

What you are trying to do is create a learning organization. You want employees to freely share their knowledge with each other. Applying the Capitalism metaphor here; the more knowledge distributed around your organization the more knowledge is created.

Innovation/Collaboration - Finally in my third example; collaboration is the currency spent, innovation is the capital created.

I don’t want to delve into the vast array of research surrounding innovation, but I do want to pull out one common thread:

Increased collaboration will result in increased innovation.

The more you allow your employees to collaborate with co-workers in other departments, counter parts in partnering companies or even customers (gasp) the more innovation will be created in your organization.

How do you do this without taxing your existing knowledge workers time and resources? Web 2.0 technologies are cheap to deploy and allow for time shifted collaboration. Who says all collaboration has to happen face to face or at the same time? Setting up internal blogs, forums and wikis allow people to collaborate when it’s convenient for them.

So I’d like to turn around the ROI question now. How do you measure increased Trust, Knowledge and Innovation? Can it be measured in dollars? Should it be?

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Indie sell out

In November of 2004, Death Cab for Cutie signed a “long-term worldwide deal�? with Atlantic Records, leaving their long-time label Barsuk Records. Gibbard stated on the official website that nothing would change. This was a marked change from Gibbard’s earlier views on major-label relations. (From their Wikipedia entry)

I have been a long time fan of Death Cab and when they switched from Barsuk Records to Atlantic Records, I like most fans, was afraid that their music would change, that they had sold out. Especially when Ben Gibbard, the founding member of the band had been so out spoken against major labels. In the end Death Cab’s sound has only gotten better and they have been able to reach a much larger audience.

For the last 6 months I have been trying to land HP as a client. (What consultant isn’t?) To my surprise, just when I thought I was making progress, they flipped the tables on me and offered me a job. This was very surprising and the last thing on my mind.

I just turned 35 last week and have never worked in a cubicle in my life. I have been on my own to some degree or another for the last 6 years. This was a very scary proposition for me.

It’s no secret that I have a great love for all things Web 2.0. I chose this as a career field 2 years ago when most people thought I was crazy. A lot has changed over the past 2 years. Companies big and small are rapidly adopting Web 2.0 and using it to their advantage.

HP is aggressively moving into the Web 2.0 space and the opportunity to work on projects from the inside, especially for such a strong brand like HP, is incredibly appealing. In addition to that I will be walking into a welcome environment and working with a smart group of people who already “get it.” For this and many other reasons the opportunity to be the LaserJet Business Web 2.0 product manager for HP was way to tempting.

This move may come as a big surprise to many of you (it did to me).

Much like when Death Cab for Cutie signed with Atlantic, I’ll still be making the same noise music, I’ll just be doing it on a bigger stage, with the ability to help not just HP but their customers as well.

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What does it mean to be a blogger?

Every blogger has their own reasons for blogging.  Like the content that fills our blogs, we are unique.  When you say “I blogged about this the other day” what are you saying about yourself?  Why do we pull out your Moleskine (or other inferior note book) to write down a blog idea?  What compels us?

We are part of a community.  We are part of an ongoing conversation.  We are citizen of the democratized nation called the Blogosphere.

With that citizenship comes it’s own rules.  When some one breaks those rules the blogosphere is quick to punish.  Fortunately we are also quick to forgive.  We disagree, we argue, but usually we are all trying to come to a better understanding of the world around us.

We hope that we are making the world a better place.  We believe that blogging makes us better.  We become neighbors and friends.

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