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...]

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...]

Visualizing the Disruptive Power of ICTs

Here's a graphic showing why information and communications technologies (ICTs) represent the power to influence behavior and affect large-scale change at a reasonable price for the first time. The graphic's four cells show how ICTs represent a disruptive technological shift to public communications: Cell 1: Until recently, most traditional advertising and public communications campaigns used the approach shown in Cell 1. Because stakeholder groups were … [Read more...]

3 Ways ICTs Remove ‘Classic’ Barriers to Action

Using public communications to get people to change their behaviors and routines can be hard. If it were not hard, there would be no smokers, drunk drivers, overweight people, new HIV/AIDS infections, etc. But thanks to information and communications technologies (ICTs), some of the barriers classic communications theories pointed to as repressing behavior change are today smaller or, in some cases, eliminated. Here are three ways ICTs make affecting change a … [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...]

Crowdsourcing USAID Monitoring and Evaluation

Crowdsourcing! Big Data! International Development! A recent Washington Post article on future U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) monitoring and evaluation (M&E) activities in Afghanistan piqued many of my interests. According to the article, after coalition forces withdraw from Afghanistan next year, only 20 percent of U.S.-funded reconstruction projects worth billions of dollars will be in areas safe enough for U.S. officials to visit and … [Read more...]

Castrating Hate-Fueled Leaderless Web 2.0 Swarms?

A low-budget Islamophobic video translated into Arabic and crafted to provoke, offend, and evoke outrage near the anniversary of 9/11 is the latest example of how almost anyone can incite powerful leaderless social media swarms. The scary thing is a tech savvy but disturbed high school or college student could pull a similar stunt. It turns out the producer of "Innocence of Muslims"—which mocks Muslims and the prophet Muhammad and incited mob protests against … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Free Mobile Books for Africa

I first heard about nonprofit Worldreader—which gives Kindles to students with little access to printed books in rural sub-Saharan Africa—last January on the Build It Kenny They Will Come Blog....  The following line in the post really wowed me: "Imagine, all the books a child would ever need to see them through their basic education, all packed into a ~$100 device." It turns out WorldReader is taking its idea of bringing free digital books to the developing world … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Women Who Tech Promo

I apologize to my regular readers for the lack of posts the last few weeks. I've been busy visiting my family out of state for Easter, had some unexpected Internet connectivity problems, and then was busy with client catchup. So my monthly video clip of the month post, usually posted around the first of the month, is way, way overdue. So without futher ado, here's my April 2012 video clip of the month: a video excerpt from the Women Who Tech TeleSummit after … [Read more...]

The Klout Fallacy from Its Marketing Manager Herself

I hit the Klout jackpot this week. No, my Klout score of 40 isn't suddenly up. Klout's Marketing Manager Megan Berry personally left an incredibly insightful comment on my blog. Her comment isn't gold to me because of the ego boost (O.K., maybe a little). It's gold because it plainly illustrates the fallacy of Klout's claim to be "the standard for influence." Here's how Berry summarized how Klout scores work: "1. Influence isn’t about you, it’s about your audience. … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Branding Prof Eats Klout Crow

A thought-provoking exchange in the comments on Danny Brown's marketing blog recently caught my eye, inspiring my pick for November 2011 video clip of the month. From Brown: "@RichBecker Sweet Lord, seriously, mate? A professor grades based on Klout? How screwed up is that? "You nailed it with the dehumanization of the online (and, to a degree, offline) populace, mate. By encouraging people to only connect with "influencers", as decreed by Klout and their screwy … [Read more...]

A Wonderland of Unintended SEO Benefits

Every now and then one of my posts hits the search engine jackpot. To my dismay, my first post to garner a large amount of search engine traffic was about Twitter and pornography. Because a lot of people typing the keywords "Twitter" and "pornography into search engines arrived at that post, it quickly became one of the top 10 most popular posts of all time on my website. It maintained this ranking for months despite getting minimal views and tweets from my … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Booker, Social Media & Irene

A tweet about diapers caught my eye during my frantic Twitter searches last weekend to find information on Hurricane Irene's impact on Long Beach Island. It read "If u have problems finding diapers please DM me your # so we can talk. @darkangel1321" and was from the "verified" account of Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker (@CoryBooker on Twitter). I took a couple of seconds to read the mayor's Twitter stream and found he was doing more than help moms find diapers. … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Drought & Filter Bubbles

With East Africa facing its worst drought in 60 years, I wince more than ever at a quote by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg: “A squirrel dying in your front yard may be more relevant to your interests right now than people dying in Africa.” What Zuckerberg's assertion means on a societal level—such as during a regional famine overseas—is the topic of my August 2011 video clip of the month. It features Eli Pariser, author of The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is … [Read more...]