Oscars + Twitter = Lots of Fun

March 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Just wanted to write a quick post today.

Last night, I watched the Oscars with boat loads of other people. How did I know this? We all live-tweeted the event together…and it was greatness.

Not only did it give the Oscars a bit more hmmmph that it could not provide on its own, it most definitely provided me with such a huge sense of community. The Oscars is not just about who wins — it is also about people paying attention to who wins…if there is no one to witness it, does it really hold that much significance? Does it really stand as the “great” Oscars? Or is it just another awards show without the audience?

Which got me to thinking about the attempt by the 82nd Annual Academy Award show to integrate younger viewers into the fold. I thought their use of Miley Cyrus, Taylor Lautner, Zac Efron and some others was an attempt but not as great an attempt as they are going to have to do next year. Either they are going to keep sprinkling in the young crowd — who by the way really have got to stop slouching in their dresses and hacking on stage, lol — OR they are going to have to integrate the world of digital media in order to garner more audience viewership (young and old). What about turning their forum board on Oscars.com into a space for all of us who were live-tweeting last night? Or maybe highlighting more that there is a Facebook page for the Oscars and they would love to hear people’s feedback on how they can make the show better for next year?

Or maybe the Academy doesn’t need all of that quite yet? Maybe it is just better for all of us in the audience to make our side remarks without the Academy infringing upon our “privacy”? Who knows? All I know is — Twitter made watching the Oscars a lot more fun for me. And maybe…just maybe, I am not the only who feels this way.   😉

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Community Is Important For Your Customers AND Your Employees

March 7, 2010 1 comment

I think I have been hammering on about this for sometime now…in this blog, in conversations with friends and family and just to myself sometimes, lol. And before you go any further…here is what spurred this current blog post — this wonderful “Cluetrain Manifesto”.

But now I am going to write about this as much as I do about digital communications, passion and music — why? Because all of them are inherently bond to each other…each of them is bound in the concept of community. That wonderful entity that I love so much — I actually think the word community was made for people like me…people who love to connect with people, who love authenticity and who love helping people…but I digress, lol.

Too many companies fail to understand the vital role that a community plays in the company’s future success. Not your success three years down the line but a decade from now and even further into the future. Marketing as people understand it now will, frankly, no longer exist. Marketing will be essentially community management. Yes, I said it. Marketing as community management will be what consumers and employees demand in less than five years.

Community gives your consumers a sense of purpose and does not leave them feeling as if you just used them for their money – I mean, who actually enjoys feeling used? I don’t care if people look at it as a part of life…no one like how it feels, not really. And your consumers are fed up with feeling used — trust me, they most definitely are fed up. And now they have the means to ignore you, switch teams and leave you in the dust. So giving your consumers more than just your stale and vacant messages is now required of you. But who will build these communities with you and with the consumer?

Yep…you guessed it. Your beloved employees will be building these communities with the consumer.

And I mean beloved. You had better get used to looking at your employees in that manner because they are fed up of being used — not being acknowledged nor encouraged to grow and learn. And they will leave you as well if you continue to ignore the beauty and necessity of community. Not a good scenario for future growth, is it?

Some of you may already understand the importance of building a community and now are wondering how one goes about building a community — check out Jono Bacon’s “Art Of Community” book. I have this book and it is great…it really is. Jono understands approaching people as people — not as cogs for you (the company) to just use for your benefit.

But for all of you who are still resisting this idea of community, especially community between your employees and consumers…I am urging you to STOP.

Just as everyone thought music would solely exist in the hands of the record companies, that passion was something that people should do in only a small portion of their lives and that the Internet would not be able to stand on its own two legs — those people were wrong then just as you are wrong now. So…let it go and recognize that it is okay to be wrong sometimes. Just let go of your old ideas and at least take a peek at what is not coming around the bend but what is already here. And it is better for you to be proactive and focus on building a community for your engaged consumers and employees — instead of being reactive and struggling to earn the trust of your remaining employees and consumers to gain a space in their communities. It is becoming increasingly hard to earn people’s trust…so let your employees and consumers converse with each other and actually build a community now, huh?

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Gamers Love Finding Solutions…at least this gamer does, lol

March 1, 2010 Leave a comment

As I look up from my recent download of “Virtual Villagers 3, The Secret City, I think I have to admit to myself — I am definitely a gamer.

Now, I am not a gamer as in I do it all of the time, every second of my day…there is no way I could, simply because I am at work for most of my days, lol. But I do love a good storytelling/simulation game — I really, really do.

My utmost favorite game of all time? The whole Sims series from EA. I just find it so fascinating and enthralling to build these stories, to simulate the lives of these Sims, to direct and see how it all plays out. With Virtual Villagers, I can do the same thing — although it more limited to solving the puzzles on the island.

Then of course, there are my Diner Dash games — that whole series always has me hooked because I love the challenge in trying to beat the level threshold and to rebuild the restaurants, hotels, etc..

Lastly, I just like Sudoku and brain teasers (sometimes) because they help me see how far I can go with the puzzles — I have always loved puzzles and trying to bring all of the pieces together.

Wait…I think I just had an epiphany, lol. I have always loved storytelling, puzzles, finding solutions and determining strategies to win (and all gamers love doing that too, on various levels)….hmmm…I def believe I am in the right space as a marketer, just gotta see how far I can push this envelope so I can do all of these things and have fun every single day. Until then, I’m gonna keep playing my Virtual Villagers 3. Ciao!  🙂

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Now on to the geeky stuff, lol…OpenID and email marketing

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I had to get a lot of the other writing out of my system…and it felt good…haven’t done it in a while…but now, with this post, I am ready to address some thoughts I have been brewing on for the past few weeks in regards to my beloved world of digital communications…

So, lately, I have been really focusing on the evolution of Open ID and what it means for email marketing. I think many in the world of email marketing are still trying to wrap their minds around social media, which is sometimes frustrating seeing as technological advances are happening faster and faster everyday. However, with something like OpenID, its ease and simplicity, all marketers are going to have to catch up and fast.

Before we go into the why, let’s determine OpenID is anyways.

Open ID (also, check out this link for more info) is basically a method for people to log in to a multitude of different trusted sites with the same trusted login — thereby lessening the amount of times you have to login to multiple sites and the amount of username/password combinations you have to remember. Does it sound awesome? Yes…especially since I like the idea of having one login to use wherever I go.

On the flip side, would I be lying if I said that it doesn’t worry me just a tad that all of my information, all of my data, all of my keystrokes can be tracked back to one ID specific to me? Yes, I would be lying. But you know what? I am sure that all of that information is available to someone already, if they cared to really look for it. Scary? Yep. Life as it currently exists? Yep.

Anyways, what does this all mean for email marketing? Or the space of marketing overall? Frankly, I cannot decide if it gives marketers a headache or it solves alot of data problems. If the user has an OpenID and decides exactly what information is shared whenever they login into a site, what if they decide not to share anything at all, including their email address? What if the user decides that they do not trust your site (or that they do not trust OpenID on your site) and the user decides not to entrust your site with any of her personal information? You have just now lost out on the opportunity to gain any further insight into who the user is or worse, she left your site without any further interaction and you completely lost out on a potential customer.

Ooooorrrr…you could use OpenID to your benefit. If you add OpenID to your site, which could very well allow you access to a myriad of user data (of course with the user’s permission), you would then have a higher likelihood of sending more relevant messages to users. As for email marketing, OpenID would definitely make it so much easier for email marketers to get clear, correct information attached to a specific email address, which is always extreemely valuable. So, I guess, in the end, OpenID is an overall win for email marketing.

At the very end though, the user just might win since she ultimately controls how/what portions of her data are shared and with whom. Yay for the user!

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Where the hell is Matt?

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I cannot believe I have never seen this full video until just now but it brought tears to my eyes and made me smile such a huge smile.

I think this guy Matt is pretty brilliant actually and I absolutely love what he did and how Stridegum.com helped him out.

Where the hell is Matt?

As I thought about his video, I thought about the value of inspiration and touching human lives. I thought about the deep importance of all of us connecting with each other, sharing with each other and learning from each other. I thought about the beauty of all of this and the deep value of inspiration — and how inspiration motivates people to be their authentic selves and contribute their full selves to the world. I mean, just look at the effect that Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture has had upon people everywhere. This man was talking about fulfilling your childhood dreams…and when are most like our full selves besides when we are children????

And I realized that if companies could understand this – they would never fail. If companies focused on helping people to fulfill their dreams, their passions, and their good intentions, they would literally be facilitators for inspiration. Literally. Am I demanding a tall order of companies? Yes, yes I am. But at this point in the world’s history, at this point where more and more people are way too aware of the possibility of being sold or scammed — doing the hard work and fulfilling this tall order is all that is left for companies. It is not impossible…it’s just hard.

So where the hell is Matt? Spreading inspiration and connecting with people everywhere….he is somewhere being authentically human.

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I am singing…in public!!!

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I am finally singing in public 🙂

I am not sure if I told you all, but I made a pledge to myself at the beginning of 2010.

I promised myself that I would do everything that excites and terrifies me.

And you know what has always absolutely terrified and excited me?

Singing in public and singing loudly (ie: from my diaphragm). And the thought of doing those two things scared the utter crap out of me all the while exciting me of what it could feel like to actually do it. Soooooo, I signed myself up in January for a weekend workshop which basically throws the participants into picking a song, practicing (out loud!) in front of the other participants, being open to their feedback and then performing the next night your song choice in front of a crowd of strangers (and hopefully some of your friends and family).

So, I signed myself up because I knew it was the only way I was going to force myself to face these fears. And I have to say that the workshop (it is called Take 2! with Jerry Fishman) was absolutely phenomenal and by far one of the best choices of my life (and a definite great way to kick off my pledge to myself). Above is the video of me singing out loud and in public one of my all time favorite songs…”Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Bryan Adams.

It feels really great to be able to look at your fear and recognize that it really has  been telling you lies all of this time and to sit with it, understand that it is freaking out and then calmly move through it to do what you wanted to do all along. I encourage all of us to do it…it feels awesome.    🙂

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I’m baaaaccckkk!

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I’m baaaaccckkk! lol

I have so very much to share…and it has been a bit difficult for me to figure out where to begin…so here goes…

For the past month, I have been debating in what direction I should take this blog – should I use it as a platform for all of my digital marketing/communications geeky insights and ideas? Should I keep it as a place just to put all of my feelings, ideas, etc.? Should I merge both concepts? And if I do, will it make sense…will whoever is reading this understand that I have a passions for singing/writing/dancing/thoroughly expressing myself, motivating people and for finding solutions for people within the digital space? Would people get it all?

So, I have been hesistant to write or send my blog in the wrong direction…and I think I have figured things out, lol. I am going to leave it as it is. It continues to be a hodgepodge space for all of my passions, ideas, ups and downs because I need it to be that. I need it to be a space for me to be me, regardless of whether or not people get it. This space is where I lay myself out and find a space to fully and wholeheartedly express myself. So I figure, I will just keep it as it is and see what happens.

Besides, I think there is common thread in all of my passions – I like to help people. Be it by being a space for others to take steps towards their own dreams and passions or just that I am able to help someone better utilize the digital space…I am motivating people to be more, dream bigger and actually head down the path to manifest their dreams, ideas and passions. Do I sound like a fairy godmother or a naive, young woman? Maybe I do…but hey, its what works for me and what brings the ultimate level of joy to my heart.

So I toast this blog and my focus to press on with what resonates the most to me…and I am glad that I am finally back after my mini identity crisis, lol. Muah!