Saturday, August 29, 2009

Putting the Social in Social

Social Good, organized by Mashable, took place in New York this week. Beth Kanter, a social media guru who focuses on non-profits and civic action, was among the speakers. I'm sharing her presentation. (Or rather she's sharing and I'm passing it along in absolute WOM style.) Here's how to "Be A Generous Geek" I wasn't fortunate enough to listen to Beth's presentation, but two of her slides stood out to me: "modest amounts of money and small amounts of time add up" to create noteworthy change.

So, let's do our share to support the "Summer of Social Good" promoted by Mashable. You can donate, retweet, watch a video or take a survey and your actions will be matched in donations by corporate sponsors.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

charity:water Launches September Campaign

charity:water, one of my favorite organizations, is inviting all those born in September to consider making a donation to bring clean water to African populations in need. We get caught up in daily annoyances and don't always remember how lucky we are not to worry about the basics we need to survive. 1 in 6 people in the world do not have access to clean water. This is a multi-pronged problem. People cannot feed their families, children cannot reach their schools, they get sick, they put themselves in harm's way to get to clean water sources. So, instead of piling birthday gifts you may or may not get around to use, consider helping charity:water build wells in Africa. Ask your friends to donate here, whatever they can. (Maybe a dollar amount equal to your new age!)

charity:water has done an amazing job so far. It actively uses social media to bring awareness to the water issue, to rally the troops and to raise funds. Since its inception 2.5 years ago, the organization raised $8.5 million, and funded 1240 water projects in 14 countries. Those projects continue to serve more than 640,000 people with clean drinking water.

Your money will not go to waste. Guaranteed.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Do You Know Video?

Eyeview is a start-up based in Boston/Tel-Aviv. It provides end-to-end video solutions. The company's site is full of good information on what qualities in a video will convert viewers to buyers. I got a quiz from their VC this morning. You can check it out here and see how smart you are about understanding what works, what doesn't work for online videos.

I have a feeling that many of us would not score 8 out of 8 ;-)

I had fun and I learned a few things from the Eyeview quiz. My take aways were:

1- If you are creating visual content for a client, think from the user perspective. How are they able to see and understand?

2- Your message is important, but don't forget a call to action. Tell people what you want them to do. And better make that short and sweet.

3- Whatever is easy, whatever works. Don't make people click, scroll, take a left turn and click again. Give them a shortcut and break that shortcut into simple steps.

4- Put the viewer in the driver seat. Use smart design to get people to scroll and click, helping them discover content on their own.

For case studies from Eyeview, click here. eBay and Poker Professor are among clients!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

WOMMA Updates Ethics Code

After much deliberation, WOMMA has updated a critical phrase in its ethics code as follows:

"We stand against marketing practices whereby the marketer or its representatives provide goods, services or compensation to the consumer to make recommendations, reviews or endorsements without full, meaningful, and prominent disclosure."

A final version of the Code can be found here.

WOMMA is also encouraging all of its members and the larger WOMM community to contribute to the ongoing discussion about ethics. If you like, you can join the conversation here.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Traditional Media Faster Than Blogs?

A recent study by Cornell University studied the flow of news, particularly the process in which information transforms into news, draws audiences’ attention and disseminates. Using computer analysis, researchers reviewed repeated phrases and tracked mentions across 1.6 million mainstream media sites and blogs.

The study showed that most news flowed from traditional media to blogs. In addition, traditional news generation was faster. On average, blogs reported on news that appeared in traditional media 2.5 hours later. According to the study, only 3.5 percent of story lines that originated in blogs made their way to traditional media.

For further information on ‘Meme-tracking and the Dynamics of the News Cycle’ by Kleinberg, Leskovec, Backstrom, click here.

But here is a closer look at the top-level data authors provide here Researchers list some leading blogs and Web sites on this page with their respective lag time. You can see the time it takes for what these outlets publish to hit their peak and become news. According to this list, political blogs such as Talking Points Memo and Huffington Post are pretty damn fast. Their stories publish hours before the same headlines reach their peak in the news cycle (23 hours before for Talking Points and 18 hours before for Huffington Post.)

My take away is that there are many other blogs that pull down the average in such a vast sample of media outlets. We can still expect the leading influential blogs to contribute and drive the public agenda.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Invest in Turkey

You may have wondered why there was a bit of a pause on this blog. Especially when written by someone who constantly tells others to keep writing and posting at least once a week. Well, I was on vacation! It was the longest vacation office workers in the glorious nation of United States had seen: 18 consecutive days! (Jealous?) My time was well spent. I visited my family in Turkey and practiced word of mouth chatting with them.

In case you were wondering about Turkey. No, it's not in the Caribbean. It's not like the Caribbean. It is spread over Europe and Asia. It has a variety of seasons, depending on the region. Population is more than 70 million. 61 percent is under the age of 34!! It's a peninsula, surrounded by beautiful coast lines on the Aegean, Mediterranean and the Black Sea.

And here are some notes I grabbed from the Invest in Turkey brochure on the plane:

- Turkey is the world's 15th largest economy and the 6th largest economy compared to the 27 EU economies
- Between 2003 and 2008, Turkey's GDP increased 143%, reaching $742 billion
- During the same time, exports increased 179%, reaching $132 billion, foreign trade increased by 186%, exports to neighboring countries rose 278%

Despite its political ups and downs and its fair share of economic crises, Turkey commands a strong position in the international business arena. Turkish people follow and respond to the media. Facebook's largest following in Europe, as I had written here before, is from Turkey. Participating in online chats, spending hours per day playing games are not uncommon experiences for the Turkish youth. The social media and WOM space there is bubbling with very creative, targeted campaigns.

I'd say, look for more waves coming from Turkey.