HOW TO: Mobilize Viral Swarms via Network Mapping

Relationships are the heart of many successful social media outreach efforts. They help fuel viral success (second only to exceptional content) and serve as a catalyst for self-organizing online swarms. You need to be able to visualize connections and influence, however, before you can strategically leverage relationships to reach and inspire target audiences. That's where network mapping comes in. Depending on your objectives, you can map social media … [Read more...]

‘Disruptive’ Mobile Plays Well with ‘Older’ Radio

Many of us in developed countries find it annoying when somebody calls and hangs up before you can answer. But in developing countries, "missed calls" are becoming an extremely cost-effective cue for transmitting and obtaining information—without incurring fees for voice calls or text messages. In India, for example, small businesses call vendors and hang up to indicate they need deliveries, fishermen use a "missed call" to inform buyers they are on the way back … [Read more...]

Why Half Your Audience Won’t Listen to You

"If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The strugge between 'for' and 'against' is the mind's worst disease." —Sent-ts'an, c. 700 C.E. Who is your target audience? The first question you need to ask before starting a communications project can come down to analyzing one key motivator for your target audience. Values. Before you can unite an idea with an emotion to inspire action, you have to understand why your target … [Read more...]

Storytelling Success = Emotion + Drama + Visuals

People love stories. They warm hearts and bring content to life in a way dry data and left-brained arguments cannot. The Web 2.0 stories they love most unite a positive emotion with dramatic narrative and strong visuals, encouraging people to share and act: Positive emotion: Many people make decisions emotionally, so even the best logic-based arguments often fail to motivate people. When stories trigger a positive emotion, they stimulate good will, right-brain … [Read more...]

ICT Success = People First and Technologies Last

Does my recent rave review about xPotomac's innovations mean I think all conferences should feature mind maps and tweets instead of PowerPoints? I hope it goes without saying "of course not!" Why? Due to POST, which I've written about before briefly. POST is a useful acronym coined by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, the authors of Groundswell. It stands for People, Objectives, Strategy, and Technologies. The acronym is a reminder to always start information … [Read more...]

xPotomac, the Next ‘Big Thing’ and Behavior Change

Yesterday I attended xPotomac, a conference on the most influential media technologies most likely to impact businesses and marketers in the immediate future. Both the conference's content and its organization showcased disrupted shifts in recognizing and harnessing change. Its organization you ask? What I found interesting was the fact that none of the speakers used extemporaneous PowerPoints. Instead, they used handhelds with colorful mind maps to … [Read more...]

Crowd Accelerated Innovation and the War of Ideas

One of my posts from 2010 was about a TED video on “Crowd Accelerated Innovation.” The video is about how the Internet is connecting people all around the world, enabling people who otherwise would never meet to share ideas and fuel and perfect innovation. I recently connected with David Bailey of The Military Social Media Blog after writing my recent series of posts about the lack of sound communications strategy plaguing the U.S. military in the very places … [Read more...]

Channeling Sun Tzu, Not Orwell’s 1984

Sadness. Shock. Disbelief. These are the emotions I felt reading a recent report by the Strategic Studies Institute of the U.S. Army War College indicating the U.S. military's information operations (IO) and strategic communication efforts were bungled in the very places they were needed most to curb Islamist extremism. As I've blogged about before, it's mindboggling that the suggested reason is large contractors hoping to make an easy buck … [Read more...]

Facebook’s ‘Simplistic’ Analytics Failing Marketers?

Claiming "Facebook is failing marketers," a report by research firm Forrester unleashed a social media firestorm this week. The report documented the results of a survey of 395 marketers in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. The marketers were asked to rank the business value derived from digital marketing opportunities from Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to onsite ratings and reviews to branded communities and blogs. They rated Facebook dead … [Read more...]

Taking a Break from Blogging

As many readers of this blog may have noticed, I am taking a break for a while. There are two reasons for this. I've been really busy—work and family comes before blogging (and the level of social media engagement necessary to promote a blog). More importantly, however, it's time to adjust eVentures in Cyberland's focus. Many of the things I started blogging about back in 2009, such as social media messages going viral, are hardly news any more. Other emerging … [Read more...]

Top 3 Disruptive Trends to Track in 2013

Rapidly changing technologies continue to keep the field of communications in flux. Communications practitioners are under pressure to keep pace with the changing ways people use technology and adapt their communications models to a world where information flows in real time. Besides social media (old news at this point), here are three of the biggest disruptive trends to track in 2013. Mobile Mobile Mobile This year mobile devices will pass PCs as the most … [Read more...]

The 10 Most Popular Blog Posts for 2012

eVentures in Cyberland: Through the Web 2.0 Looking Glass, and What Communicators Found There! turned 3 years old this fall, and 2012 was my blog's best year. Even though I post less often now that I've returned to semi-full-time work, the blog on average attracted some 2,000 unique visitors a month this year. That's up from a dismal low of 50 unique visitors a month when I first started out in 2009 and an average of 500 unique visitors a month in 2010 and 1,400 … [Read more...]

8 Ways to Stop Misinformation in Its Tracks

Editor's Note: I usually refrain from discussing politics. Last week's U.S. Senate theatrics, however, were way too Animal Farmish to resist addressing. The truth will not always set you free when Web 2.0 unleashes scary boogeymen. That sounds harsh but sadly illustrating my point is last week's U.S. Senate vote killing U.S. ratification of a United Nations treaty aimed at bringing the rest of the world in line with U.S. standards on how to treat the … [Read more...]

Can Social Media Build Peace and Understanding?

My compassion turned to shock after reading the caption of a photo of mourners at the funeral of a child killed in an Israeli attack in Gaza earlier this month. The caption indicated the photo's main subject, an elderly woman wearing a bright blue leopard print head scarf, was making the victory sign as women grieved in the background. When I first saw the photo I assumed she was making the peace sign, perhaps to signal her frustration with the fighting between … [Read more...]

HOW TO: Craft Calls to Action that Overcome Barriers

Why would people ignore your call to action even when you effectively grabbed  their attention and engaged them emotionally? Most often, your messaging failed to provide solutions to barriers stopping them from taking action. There are six common barriers to action: 1. Hard. Your call to action must be perceived as easy to do—either immediately (e.g., "give $15 now without leaving Facebook" versus making people click off to another site to support your … [Read more...]