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Archive for March, 2008


by henrycopeland
Sunday, March 9th, 2008

I guess we should have taken the question mark in the title more seriously when considering the panel
“Social Marketing Strategies Metrics, Where Are They?” yesterday. Because we all left saying “indeed, where are they?”

It seems that lots of attendees expected to hear about metrics. After all “metrics” was in the title and one of the questions to be addressed was “what is the best metric to focus on to gauge success of a social media effort?”

But about 20 minutes in, it started to sink in that this panel wasn’t going to discuss any actual numbers, products, services or case studies. It was gonna be… talk. Theory. Impressions. Rohit did try to drag the conversation towards concrete information, but he was buried in other panelists’ mush.

The ennui first started to percolate in twitter and then leapt over into Meebo the chat room dedicated to discussing the panel. Here’s the full transcript. Many of the comments are real-time parodies or rebuttals to points being made so the full force of the
humor and vitriol may not be apparent.

At one point, up to 30 people were crowded into Meebo venting. It felt like Hungary circa 1988… you knew the wall was coming down, but the public space was monopolized and you had to resort to covert technologies and techniques — coughing, hand-raising — to express your dissent and solidarity with other dissenters.

As one Meebo put it, “How ironic is it that this panel of experts is being heckled in a chat room, but they don’t know because they’re luddites.”

In the end, the total experience — clueless panel and agitating audience — was a phenomenal experience.

I’m a passionate fan of SXSW and hope that this Meebo log, perhaps paired with a transcription of the panel’s podcast, can be used to motivate moderators and panelists to watch and listen closely to the audience (with Meebo open!) and not brush off the first impatient questioner — 30 minute in — who says “a bunch of people are talking on twitter and we’d like some specific data and metrics” with the answer, “we’ll get to that later.”

Because its always later than you think when it comes to social media metrics.

Perfect Porridge pegs me as “avenger.”

Update: more on twitter as a mechanism for angry audience venting.

Avenger and friends intrigue Wired.

Suxorz panel

by henrycopeland
Saturday, March 8th, 2008

We had fun with the Suxorz panel this morning. We were seeking to define the worst social media marketing and advertising campaigns in living memory. I hope to post some summary thoughts later, but for now want to get links and results up, since folks have been asking for them.

After three elimination rounds, the crowd voted for The Worst. HP took the ultimate Suxorz prize with Cisco coming in as the runner-up.

Here are a few links… with a few more to come later.

Jeff Jarvis nominated Hewlett Packard for paying people like this woman to talk up their cameras.

And Cisco’s attempt to spam the blogosphere and wikipedia with it’s meme “the human network” by paying bloggers to write about the phrase.

And Giuliani’s campaign for keeping a “private” Myspace page for most of the campaign.

Rebecca Leib argued that these beer ads were fantastic… but who the heck remembers Carlton?

And there was the famed Agency.com self-promotion in pitching Subway.

From Crackle: Going to Work for SUBWAY: Part 1

Charlotte Seles was incensed by Whole Food CEO Jim Mackey’s covert trashing of his competition for 7 years on Yahoo message boards. She attacked Molson’s campaign that gave “winning” college kids $8k for photos of themselves drinking. And she hated Sony PSP’s “all I want for Christmas is a PSP.”

Then there was SPS’s fake “I want a playstation blog.”

Steve Hall bashed Diet Coke for not totally jumping aboard the Mentos/Diet Coke fountain videos.

He bashed Target Rounders, the group Target created in Facebook to promote itself. Target told its Facefriends “‘Your mission: try not to let on in the Facebook group that you are a Rounder. We love your enthusiasm for the Rounders, and I know it can be hard not to want to sing it from the mountaintops (and the shower, and on the bus’). However, we want to get other members of the Facebook group excited about Target, too! And we don’t want the Rounders program to steal the show from the real star here: Target and Target’s rockin’ Facebook group! So keep it like a secret!’ http://www.kayesweetser.com/archives/58

I was thrilled to hear later that a Target staffer was in our audience, and was heard to be mumbling angrily throughout: “that wasn’t us, it was the agency.”

And he went after Walmart’s “Walmarting across America,” the bogus blog.


From the audience Jackie Huba kicked in with the story of Marie Digby, fake grungy musician without a label. (Turns out she’d been signed for 18 months.)

Ian Schafer of Deep-focus summed up the panel here. http://www.ianschafer.com/2008/03/08/from-sxsw-the-suxorz-the-worst-of-the-worst-social-marketing/

OMG! “Firms that actually pay bloggers (a bit)”

by henrycopeland
Friday, March 7th, 2008


Fortune magazine suddenly realizes that some bloggers can actually make money. It profiles a three year old firm that has sent some bloggers as much as… wait for it… $30. How does this merit a story, when there are bloggers making 10s of thousands of dollars a month in advertising?

Booker T. Jones and Maceo

by henrycopeland
Saturday, March 1st, 2008

Last night we went to see Booker T. Jones Now 63, he was the prodigy who started as a session musician at Stax records when he was 16 and has played with Otis Redding, Clapton, NYoung, WNelson, Dylan… the list could fill a blog. Before the show he gave a talk and tossed off this anecdote about composing “Born under a bad sign” for Albert King.

Producers at Stax had to write for their bands. We were sitting in my living room. It was 11 o’clock at night. My wife was mad at me. But you know there has to be something wrong for things to go right.

He also talked about his percussive left hand on the piano or organ, hitting the fifth hard.

“My 5 year old daughter was sitting at breakfast and the radio was on. She said “Mommy, that’s Daddy playing the piano.” My wife said, “no, that’s not your Daddy.” My daughter said, “I know how Daddy plays.” It turns out it was me.”

We got his autograph, heard Green Onions, Bad sign. Then Maceo Parker. A few weeks back we heard The Dixie Hummingbirds and King Solomon Burke. We’re loving Duke Performances.

More credit crunch…

by henrycopeland
Saturday, March 1st, 2008

The equation is simple: banks stop lending, so yield curve arbitrageurs melt. The latest puddle is Peleton, which has to sell $9 billion in high quality mortgage backs.
The FT reports:

In a letter to investors Thursday, Mr Beller and co-founder Geoff Grant said the ABS fund ‘has recently experienced difficulties in the challenging credit markets’ and seen ‘severe’ falls in value.

‘In addition, because of their own well-publicised issues, credit providers have been severely tightening terms without regard to the creditworthiness or track record of individual firms, which has compounded our difficulties and made it impossible to meet margin calls,’ they wrote.

According to people close to Peloton, the fund was 4-5 times leveraged, normal for a credit fund, with 14 banks owed money, including Goldman Sachs, UBS and Merrill Lynch. The banks are allowing Peloton to lead the sale.

Peleton, like Jerome Kerivel, is another synecdoche for the compound fantasy we’ve woven together… and are now unravelling.

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