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Is Facebook killing online advertising?

by Nick Faber
Thursday, May 26th, 2011

Oil Painting by A. Fudyma-Powers

The Facebook “Like” is having a great year. After pushing the “share” function into oblivion, the ubiquitous verb-turned-noun-turned-baby name has become a coveted honor badge for brands. Why? Quick and easy word of mouth. “Like” a post using Facebook’s social plug-in, your friends see it in their news feed, and more free traffic heads to the post. Same with pages, which also give brands easy access to your own stream. Facebook’s Page Discovery browser let’s you see which pages are most liked by your friends, and which brand wouldn’t want to show up there?

So is all of this “Liking” more valuable than advertising? In AdWeek’s coverage of the eG8, Michael Wolff quoted an exchange between Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and Publicis head Maurice Levy:

“If you think about advertising, what’s going to be more effective than any advertising you show is something your friend says they like,” says Zuckerberg.

To which Levy, in the business of showing, rushes to say, “I agree that recommendation and endorsement from a friend is sometimes more powerful than the greatest ad.”

Was Levi conceding the point? Probably not. As commenter Mark Rukman points out, word-of-mouth and advertising are old friends:

advertising/marketing/organizations create brands. brands create a short cut for meaning or perception. we hope for meaning, we usually only attain perception. perception in turn influences word of mouth. i don’t see that as long as most rationale c-level decision makers believe in game theory, advertising is going anywhere anytime soon. digital is what the world is becoming, but advertising with every successive new medium, has adapted and grown.

We can’t discount the impact Mark Z’s company has had on the life of brands, but in this case, we tend to agree with Mark R.

Denny’s: SUXOR No More

by Nick Faber
Friday, March 25th, 2011

Last month, the SUXORZ panel had some fun with Denny’s at Social Media Week. Denny’s, trying to get into the “Social Media” game, had printed the wrong Twitter address on its menus, sending customers to the page of a random guy in Tawain named Dennys.


It was an honest mistake. After all, Denny’s owns “Dennys” on Facebook and YouTube, and Dennys.com, so why wouldn’t they own the Twitter handle?

This year, Denny’s has turned a corner on the social web, making great strides towards ROXOR status. Their actual twitter account has almost 40x the followers of the guy in Taiwain, and this month has seen the launch of the awesome new web series “Always Open with David Koechner.”

In the videos, SNL alum David Koechner has extremely casual conversations with his comedian friends at a real-life Denny’s in L.A. The first two episodes have featured Sarah Silverman and Jason Bateman, whose production company, DumbDumb, co-created the series with Electus and NY agency Gotham. The spots really emphasize the comfort you feel in America’s Diner, where you can sit with a friend and be completely open — all night.

Distributed via College Humor, as well as Denny’s own social media pages, the spots, which are set to feature Will Arnett, Amy Poehler, and more, are getting lots of admiration from the ad industry.

And is it just me, or do these videos remind anyone else of the diner scenes in Seinfeld? To this day, tourists see that Upper West Side diner and say, “Hey, this is where George and Jerry ate!” Maybe kids will start showing up at this Denny’s in LA saying, “Hey, this is where Sarah Silverman made Dave Koechner uncomfortable! Let’s get some eggs!”

8 Ways to Fail Your Twitter Bio

by Nick Faber
Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Here’s a list of overused words in Twitter bios that fail by telling rather than showing.

Expert or Maven (33,209)
It’s up to your peers, not you, to declare you an expert. Too often, seeing “expert” in a bio sends us running in the opposite direction. Kinda like being a self-described “winner.”

Guru(14,309)
Nothing shouts “leader of a cult with one member” more than a self-titled “guru.” Unless you’re a yogi or a certified leader of Eastern religion, leave the Guru-ing to, you know, Gurus.

Social Media (44,518)
If you’re a “social media” strategist, chances are that your intended audience is full of other “social media” types. And they don’t call it social media, they just call it “work.”

Enthusiast, (39,237)
Enthusiast sounds sweeter and less pompous than guru or expert. It’s just that, well, lots of other people are enthusiastic about being an enthusiast. How about “fan?” Or, if you’re just trying to say it with more syllables, try “aficionado.”

Nerd (31,052)
Back in the day, “nerd” was an inflammatory word that conjured up images of taped-together glasses and greasy hair. Today, “nerd” can be synonymous with “enthusiast,” both in meaning and frequency of use on the internet.

Geek (68,754)
The debate has raged over the differences between nerds and geeks since Sputnik. This venn diagram indicates a geek is a nerd with social skills. There are a lot of networked nerds out there.

Human or Person (128,109)
It may feel sensitive to finish off your bio with “human” or “person.” But your writing should prove you’re not a robot.  If your bio says “father, skateboarder, guitarist, social media guru, cyborg,” THEN we’re excited.

2.0 (13,711), Interactive (12,179), and Online (103,349)
Do you add “Earth” to your mailing address?

Don’t despair if you’re using some of these words or phrases.  But if you’re using two at once — for example Social Media Enthusiasts (2791) or Expert Gurus (470) — do some pruning.

And if you’re using three — Online Mavens of Geekdom — hire a human.

Bonus: There are 8901 ninjas on twitter. Who’s minding the dojo?

For more fun with buzzword (ab)use, check out LinkedIn’s most overused profile buzzwords.

See also @scottgould‘s post about Twitter bio uniqueness.

RIP blogging?

by henrycopeland
Sunday, February 27th, 2011

A lot of pixels have been sprayed since the New York Times story headlined “Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter.”

The essential data: “The Internet and American Life Project at the Pew Research Center found that from 2006 to 2009, blogging among children ages 12 to 17 fell by half; now 14 percent of children those ages who use the Internet have blogs. Among 18-to-33-year-olds, the project said in a report last year, blogging dropped two percentage points in 2010 from two years earlier.”

Does this spell the end of blogging? In fact, the decline in blogs as a place for random musings and trivia is wonderful news for blogs and their readers. We already had WAY too much noise. Now with Twitter and Facebook siphoning off the trivia and momentary mind-burps, blogs are increasingly the safe-harbor for deeper dives into a topic, whether that topic is books or gossip or politics.

Clive Thompson captured the new blogging ecosystem perfectly a few weeks back in Wired:

When something newsworthy happens today — Brett Favre losing to the Jets, news of a new iPhone, a Brazilian election runoff — you get a sudden blizzard of status updates. These are just short takes, and they’re often half-baked or gossipy and may not even be entirely true. But that’s OK; they’re not intended to be carefully constructed. Society is just chewing over what happened, forming a quick impression of What It All Means.

The long take is the opposite: It’s a deeply considered report and analysis, and it often takes weeks, months, or years to produce. It used to be that only traditional media, like magazines or documentaries or books, delivered the long take. But now, some of the most in-depth stuff I read comes from academics or businesspeople penning big blog essays, Dexter fans writing 5,000-word exegeses of the show, and nonprofits like the Pew Charitable Trusts producing exhaustively researched reports on American life.

And Matt Mullenweg of Wordpress also noted that the data isn’t actually that dire. Fewer people may be blogging, but the number of people reading blogs is growing.

The title was probably written by an editor, not the author, because as soon as the article gets past the two token teenagers who tumble and Facebook instead of blogging, the stats show all the major blogging services growing — even Blogger whose global “unique visitors rose 9 percent, to 323 million,” meaning it grew about 6 Foursquares last year alone. (In the same timeframe WordPress.com grew about 80 million uniques according to Quantcast.)

Four Authors Discuss How Social Media is Changing Reading and Writing

by Nick Faber
Monday, February 21st, 2011


Join Clive Thompson, Lenore Skenazy, Steven B. Johnson, and Maud Newton as they discuss how social media is transforming the experience of writing and reading books — and what the changes may mean for authors, readers and publishers.

From Social Media Week 2011.

SOCIAL READING
0:16 – Clive describes the primal “social book”
1:37 – Will Maud respond to comments within the text of her book?
2:35 – Steven reacts to Kindle’s “Popular Highlights”
4:51 – Clive watches the “margins of the unpopular”
6:19 – Steven describes Findings.com, his new social reading project

SOCIAL WRITING
8:38 – Clive discusses blogging and the writing process
9:26 – Lenore uses her blog for source material
10:14 – Steven maintains a private relationship with the reader

INTERACTING
11:08 – Maud creates new connections on Twitter
12:27 – Steven on responding to criticism online
13:15 – Can Lenore turn comments into a book?

THE FUTURE
13:50 – Clive: we can’t imagine books ten years from now

SUXORZ11: Round-up of coverage

by Nick Faber
Tuesday, February 15th, 2011
Photo via JellybeanBoom.com

Photo via JellyBeanBoom.com

The reviews are in.  Blogads’ SUXORZ panel — with panelists Brian Clark, BL Ochman, Jessica Amason, Brian Morrissey, moderator (Blogads CEO) Henry Copeland and Social Media DJ Jon Accarino — last Thursday night was an unFAIL.

Rebecca Leib, AdAge:

New York’s Social Media Week featured wall-to-wall sessions on how marketers can do social media right, but nothing can hold a candle to the sheer Schdenfreude of watching the brands and agencies that are doing it wrong. Horribly, horribly wrong.

Rachel Conforti, definition6:

Last night at the SUXORZ awards, we celebrated schadenfreude at its best, taking a look back at poorly executed social media initiatives.

Jesse Stanchak, SmartBlog on Social Media:

We must punish failure as well as praise excellence. Or, at least, that was the mood at the fourth annual Suxorz Awards event at Social Media Week on Thursday night.

Bea Villamor, Cake New York:

I try not to take myself too seriously, so it’s nice to do the same with the work that we do (PR, not ER!).

Amanda McCormick, Jellybean Boom:

Total irreverence was enjoyed by all last night at the #Suxorz panel at the Gershwin Hotel (pictured above), where we parsed the delicacies of the year’s most flat-footed and tone deaf social media campaigns.

Ron Casalotti, Bottom of the Food Chain:

Just because your PR team makes you do social media doesn’t mean you get it.

Esther Surden, NYConvergence:

Of the week’s events, this one was the one that pointed out what good social media practitioners should not do.

Already got ideas for next year’s SUXORZ? Log your nominees here.

Preview: Blogads at Social Media Week #SMWNYC 2011

by Nick Faber
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

rsz_social-media-weekWe’re hosting two panels next week during Social Media Week NYC:

1. Social Books: How Social Media is Changing the Writing, Reading and Promotion of Books

#SOCIALBOOKS

Books are everything social media is not: composed and consumed in solitude, written and read at leisure, conceived and bought as blocks. Yet readers and writers are increasingly connecting to each other with tweets, apps, and book-based social networks.

Join four authors as they discuss how social media is transforming the experience of writing, reading and promoting books — and what the changes may mean for authors, readers and publishers.

Panelists:

Steven B. Johnson, author of Where Good Ideas Come From (@stevenbjohnson)
Maud Newton, book pundit and nascent novelist (@maudnewton)
Lenore Skenazi, author of Free Range Kids (@freerangekids)
Clive Thompson, New York Times Magazine writer and Wired columnist with book in progress (@pomeranian99)
Henry Copeland, moderator, Blogads.com (@hc)

The hashtag for this event will be #socialbooks. Register here.

2. SUXORZ: The Worst Social Media Advertising of 2010

#SUXORZ11

Amid tales of genius and triumph during #SMWNYC, the #SUXORZ11 panel will be the Greek chorus.  We’ll dissect the twelve worst social media campaigns of 2010, and then throw them to our drunken audience for comments and voting. It’s like what we’ve done in past years at SXSW… with the lubrication of complimentary beer and wine. Who will be crowned this year’s SUXORZ champion?

Panelists:

Jessica Amason, Mother NY, ThisIsWhyYoureFat (@jessamanson)
Brian Clark, GMDstudios (@gmdclark)
Brian Morrissey, Ad Week (@bmorrissey)
BL Ochman, Proof Digital Media (@whatsnext)
Henry Copeland, Blogads.com (@hc) moderator

The hashtag for this event will be #suxorz11. To get in the spirit, feel free to submit SUXORZ candidates to http://on.fb.me/suxorz. Register here.

Tickets are going fast, so make sure to sign up now. Follow @blogads or catch us here: www.facebook.com/blogads to keep up with event updates. We also have notes from last year’s panels.

See you next week!

SMWNYC panel notes

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 11th, 2010

This is a compilation of notes taken by Blogads team members at panels during Social Media Week NYC, Feb. 1-5.

The Oldest Media Goes Social: from books to blogs at Booz & Company with author AJ Jacobs, blogger Levi Asher, Wiley marketeer Natalie Lin, publicist Meryl Moss and moderator Henry Copeland.

* 20 years ago, book publicists pitched to ~300 newspapers, now it’s down to ~25 physical papers and the online components of a few dozen more.
* TV and radio shows remain the “big book movers,” but new media is an important complement.
* While publishers and publicists encourage authors to establish and maintain an online community fewer than 50% stick with it.
* A grassroots approach is ideal- to ask for feedback while you’re writing makes your fans feel more connected to your work. Authors who get online only when their book is published can feel spammy.
* Plenty of attempts to “viralize” a Youtube video for a book fail miserably.
* With all the noise, ads can help penetrate the haze, help the community realize that the author/publisher takes it seriously.
* Social media can soak up a huge amount of time for a dedicated author.

What’s Your Social Media Currency at No Longer Empty with Questlove, Andrew Katz and Marisa Bangash.
* Brands are cutting out the middle men (labels, agencies) to align themselves directly with artists. Think Santigold for EA Games and Julian Casablancas for Converse.
* Artists need more than just musical talent- they must be able to blog, tweet and interact online.
* Blogs are well-respected content providers for reviews and inside information… it’s not uncommon for traditional pubs to lift blog content in lieu of writing their own reviews.
* For those anti-SM folks longing for “what’s next”- focusing on the tools is a losing battle. You must focus on the changing consumer behavior- the why not the what.

Crowdsourcery Potions 101 at JWT with John Winsor, Faris Yakob, Saheel Radia, Michael Lebowitz, Ty Montague

* Most of us work in an environment where we are paid even if our ideas aren’t selected. Some say that crowdsourcing is a waste of resources. You have 1,000 people designing a logo. 999 don’t get paid for their work; that’s a huge waste of resources.
* Solution: Crowdsourcing doesn’t have to be a “winner takes all” model. Some consider it to be the new internship – allows inexperienced people to find a place to put their skills to work and try ideas.
* “Coopetition” — when competing teams come together to benefit from each team’s specific skills. The more collaborative a group is, the less control you have.
* Effective crowdsourcing requires good management or good editors or good curators to select team members that can be trusted. You build a community or marketplace of ideas. Good example: iPhone App Store.

Digital Cocktails at Gotham Ventures with panelists Adam Penenberg, Paul Kontonis, Katy Kelley, Matt Heindl, Jessica Amason

* Brands should get genuinely involved in social media instead of working through an agency.
* Things go viral based on collective curation– we decide what’s good and then we want to share it, not because we’re told.
* If you have a product with an Achille’s heel, don’t open it up to user-generated content. Example: The GM Tahoe “create our ad” campaign.
* If you build a microsite, you need to drive an audience there and guarantee personality and conversation. FB provides great niche-targeted ads for this purpose.
* Hornitos Facebook page is a good example of a brand existing within social media because it has a dedicated editor-in-chief, someone who understands the voice of the brand. They post interesting, novel content that is interesting to their consumer. It also had an activation budget.

And don’t miss our write-up of the SUXORZ panel here.

(Thank you to Kaley Krause and Nicole Bogas for their panel recollections!)

SUXORZ recap and preview

by henrycopeland
Thursday, February 4th, 2010

Thank you for rocking the SUXORZ last night at the Roger Smith Hotel as part of Social Media Week NYC!

For those of you who didn’t make it, you can rewind the tape here: http://search.twitter.com/search?q=suxorz.

Here’s the deck with all the examples of terrible social media advertising.

Here’s the current map of the SUXORZ mob, attendees, panelists and alumni. The house was packed from screen to bar, and I apologize to folks in the back for the early amplification problems.

Thank you BL Ochman, Steve Hall, Ian Schafer and Caroline McCarthy for presenting so eloquently. And thank you Jon Accarrino for powering the deck.

To recap: By a landslide, the winner of last night’s SUXORZ was Ian’s “unmoderated Tweets” nominee. Winners of individual rounds were: BL’s nominee “Old Spice’s Crusty armpit” (I’m still traumatized), Steve’s “Ryan Air’s abusive response to customer feedback” and BL’s “TimeWarnerUnCares.”

Comparing last night with the SUXORZ we did in ’08 and ’09 at the wonderful SXSW festival in Austin, I think everyone’s expectations for the industry went up this year. Surreptitiously paying bloggers to flatter your brand, a major theme in past SUXORZ, has either stopped or gone underground. But fully disclosed stupidity still abounds, as we saw with Charmin, InsidetheBCS, Old Spice, Habitat, Ricola and Mars Candy. We saw that a social media campaign isn’t a date, it’s a marriage, when Agent Provacateur got dinged for its campaign hiatus. And we saw that experimentation can bring acclaim — Ford City Keys — or concerted kvetching, as with Gawker BloodCopy, PETA and Current TV’s twitter bid. We agreed, yet again, that you should NEVER underestimate the social media urge to f*ck you if your back is turned, as demonstrated by the profanely Tweeting billboard and NFL livetweets.

Most importantly, we saw last night that social media is now understood by any sentient media professional to be an essential part of any company’s relationship with its customers. In prior years, we focused on sins of commission. Now sins of omission in social media — Toyota, Comcast — can earn major SUXORZ. As Ian put it, “how is Toyota putting a full page ad in the New York Times ‘talking with your customers?’”

Looking through the lens of this year’s SUXORZ panel, I think 2009 was the year that social media advertising and marketing grew up. Or at least stopped wetting the bed.

Don’t let the dream die. Our mission never sleeps. SUXORZ are being perpetrated around us daily. While the average bozo dozes, we must remain vigilant. A young professional in the next cubicle over is right NOW scheming to screw up a profoundly beautiful social experience (aka the social web) with some $150,000 scheme to pay 250 tweeps to wear pantyhose while swimming in Lake Erie and drinking your client’s grape juice.

Walk over to that cubicle and say “SUXORZ 2011!” Then ask: how can we celebrate people’s interactions rather than polluting them?

Meanwhile, it’s your duty to chronicle travesties you witness in the SUXORZ Facebook group.

front row suxorz 10

(A nice visual summation of the evening: an even mix of learning, laughing and libating.)

From the archives: Scott Monty’s take on SUXORZ March 2008.

Update: At Brandfreak, Todd Wasserman adds good color and illustrations from the evening.

Obama’s twittering accelerates

by henrycopeland
Thursday, June 11th, 2009

We’ve seen two tweets from @BarackObama in the last 12 hours.

That follows one tweet yesterday and two tweets last week. Obama tweeted seven times in May, twice in April, once in March, not at all in February and twice in January.

Before that, the last time Obama tweeted was November fifth.

The last time Obama tweeted twice in one day? Election day.


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