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...]

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...]

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...]

Using #SMEM Lessons Learned for Public Diplomacy

What do natural disasters and social media swarm-fueled diplomatic disasters, such as the recent anti-Islam film riots, have in common? One hundred percent certainty that they will occur regularly, albeit unpredictably. Now that one third of the world's population has Internet access and 79 percent of people in the developing world have a mobile phone (more than the percentage with access to electricity), anything anybody writes on social media, no matter how … [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...]

Web 2.0 Suicide, Not Armageddon, Komen’s Problem

Breast cancer is personal for me. My own grandmother survived breast cancer. Three of my coworkers had breast cancer and one died, leaving two young children. Another friend of mine also survived breast cancer. For that reason, when I received a direct message from Beth Kanter on Twitter asking me to post tweets with #takebackthepink and #supercure during the SuperBowl I did. I supported Beth's efforts to make women's health care accessible to everyone. Every … [Read more...]

Conversation, not Context or Content, is King

What do you think you would need most to harness the Internet to transform Facebook’s privacy policy in Europe? Great storytelling (a.k.a. content)? Opinion leaders or household names driving traffic to your killer web presence and its top-notch user experience (a.k.a. context)? Or an easy way for people to act to support your efforts and spread the word to their friends? (a.k.a. conversation)? Tough one! What turned out to be the answer for Max Schrems, a … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Teenager’s Snipe Goes Viral

A teenager's snarky, potty-mouthed tweet about Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback contains important Web 2.0 lessons for us all: Anything you write on social media, no matter how small your audience, has the potential to go viral. Trying to control your message behind the scenes is not only futile, it could backfire in a big way. Check out the CNN video below, my pick for December 2011 video clip of the month, on the latest most-famous tweet in the United States. To … [Read more...]

Video Clip of the Month: Context, Not Content, is King

My July 2011 video clip of the month takes on the Web 2.0 cliché that “content is king.” It features Ben Watson, Adobe principal customer experience strategist, explaining that content is not king, context is. By context Watson means a brand's ability to connect with customers and filter information for them in a way they find useful and enjoyable. I picked the video because it illustrates an important point. Today, context drives relevancy, efficacy, and … [Read more...]

Could Clinton Win Presidency in ‘Fifth Estate’ Age

If Governor Clinton had been up to his shenanigans in the "Fifth Estate" age, do you think he could still win the U.S. presidency? Or would the citizen media's ability to document indiscretions and spread them virally have squelched his political ambitions? It's hard to say for sure. But without a doubt his successful message control strategies wouldn't work today. As Geoff Livingston, Zoetica cofounder, emphasizes in his new book, Welcome to the Fifth … [Read more...]