Check out this novel use of Twitter by Zappo's - it showcases flattering and not-so-flattering mentions of Zappo's in the twit-o-sphere, aggregates Zappo's employee tweets, and dedicates a stand-alone page to a visual gallery of tweeting Zappo's employees (pictured below), force-ranked by the total friends/followers they have.
That last twist means significant competition to be #1 - so Zappo's employees are effectively pressured (in a fun, socially competitive way) to spread the Zappo's marketing message and brand experience.
Now that's neat.
See PDX's own evilbackwards as well for gaming theory applied to blogging social inter-dynamicals :-)
Patagonian toothfish are sold under the name Chilean sea bass.
Rasphead Rockfish are sold as Pacific Red Snapper.
Hide your children.
And DON"T ORDER THE TILAIPIA, which could be a soft, gelatinous bottom dweller that feeds on waste matter. Or not. But I swear to god they served this treat to me in High School.
TIlaipia? Lumpfish? Mix it with mayo and slap it between two slices of Wonderbread and let your colon sort it out.
No sooner did I finish that last award-winning post than I got a note from Gaia (W+K's tweet-monitoring Walt Winchell) about Chris Brogan's eloquent slam of a spamming PR flack (freelance or whatever), generating a chorus of positive support. It's worth reading his post and the responses - let it suffice to say that spamming PR releases as part of a "360 marketing effort" in the hothouse of the blog-o-sphere can pretty well sink your boat before it's launched.
And that if you want to play in social media, understand the social contract it implies. Like...oooooooh...being social.
Was just reading Mashable (which I am liking again, btw). They cite a recent instance where Twitter-wareness led an actively listening company to quickly and effectively address what could have grown into an annoying PR hit. No shock here - if you have a brand, and an internet connection, and you AREN'T using Tweetscan or Summize,
you're just silly you could be missing out on some pretty blunt chat.
You can't control whether your brand gets lauded or lambasted out there, but you can be smart about keeping tabs, and both these apps fit the bill. And if you find someone crushing on you or slamming you, you can always dig 'em up on Quotably, and find out what else they said. And to whom. And what those folks said back.
Chris Devore at Crash Dev beat me down with Twitter's sub-1MM membership, its worth noting [Kris "IHT" Hanson] that users of Twitter are early adopters, geek rockstars, tech saavy blogger/tumblr/communicators. And they'll blast your business around the twit-o-sphere before you can say "please make the bad people stop hurting me". And then the blog-o-sphere will get it. And then tradtional media might finally get it, unless current TV has already popped your sorry tailfeathers as a "top ten Google search item". So it's worth tracking. Kris.
And in case you were waiting to see when someone would open up a can of "pretty" on the twit-perience, check out Twistori. Gaia dug up this FrankenTwapp (Yes, that's "Frankenstein's Twitter App") - Twitter + digg's BigSpy + WeFeelFine = hypnotic mundane meets deep personal. Sweeet.
I recently posted about companies using 'Google Alerts'-type apps to monitor activity around terms of particular interest to them. I did so in the context of my having slagged a company that in turn, responded too quickly and politely to have 'casually' come across my blog. So I assumed they were using alerts. I fleetingly referenced Hillary Clinton, as in
"...they could go Hillary-in-Pennsylvania on your "Bitter" self."
Then things got silly. If I'm too believe this post, Hillary herself, no doubt checking her RSS reader late last night, must have also 'casually' come across my blog, and felt compelled to respond:
You know, Hillary, I didn't say you were "bitter". In fact, I was commenting on the Obama comment fracas in Pennsylvania. But I find it interesting that YOU think I think you're bitter...
Ah! Ah! Ah! Stop it! get out of my head!!
This is crazy. So there are alerts and auto-responders and now government officials and their campaign staffs are monitoring our online communications and inserting themselves into the dialogue after misinterpreting comments. If she were a brand, and you can be damn sure she is, she's just become the "trendy vicar', "dad at the disco" type that all too often stumbles our way.
But to be fair, here's a test: I'l put a comment about each dem candidate and see who (auto) responds first:
- Barack Obama is a poor bowler and an even worse maker of Feta cheese.
- Hillary Clinton is poor astronaut and she spams me online in my comments section
Game on, candidates. Who'll correct me/mollify me first?
I've noticed that often when I ding a specific company here by name, I get a darn quick followup. This is in contrast to the soothing silence with which most other posts fall into the blogosphere and sink below leaving nary a ripple.
This tells me a couple of things:
1. Some companies are doing a pretty good job at monitoring online activity around their names and business interests (especially when they are one and the same). Now maybe that's just because they signed up for 'Google alerts', but it at least indicates they are listening.
2. Companies are starting to figure out how to engage in dialogue. And they are doing it. Quickly. By way of example, I "discussed" 'Strutta' and 'I Beat You' (two video competition sites), in a previous post, and in a nanosecond (I swear!) Jordan was back to me with this:
it was a long day.
PLEASE send me the WORST POWER POINT SLIDES you can. I'm not talking about visual design, though that's ok, too - I'm talking slides that are an insult to even be obligated to read. My favorite from recent memory was this:
Passion = Engagement
Yep. that was it. And they gave us plenty of time for it to sink in.
Don't worry, I won't let anyone know who it was that brought that one in and hung it out to reek.
What have you seen? Email me @ firstname.lastname@example.org.
"Anything you can do I can do better" video site "Strutta" has just launched with a crappy experience and a poor user interface, but even better, it's pre-loaded with video chum. Online video competitions have been going on in the YouTube "comments" section for a while, and the feel there is a hell of a lot more organic.
Look - video smackdown works for me conceptually, but "Strutta" feels like a crappy idea pitch to an advertiser or VC ('kids LOVE voting and online videos - we'll make a site and [fill in the blank big brand marketers] will knock down our door to get at our coveted advertising segment!"), not a compelling proposition for normal folks. This has "startup and cashout" written all over it. Meh.
Mashable popped this, and mentions "I Beat You" as another entrant in the field. The problem is, frankly, I don't see folks giving a flying hoot. Neither site motivates me to spend my time and effort to populate a content-empty wasteland for these jokers to sell ads against. Waa Waaaah. And btw, I remember when Mashable busted chops and took names - what's with the objective reporting of the latest crappy 2.0 me-too?
Jan Chipchase, the Indiana Jones of mobile anthropology, has been all over the place recently.
The NYT Sunday magazine ran an article yesterday entitled "Can the cellphone help end world poverty" - gives a ton of really interesting research on the impact of mobility on emerging markets/cultures. The report includes this chestnut about adoption: there are 3 B cellphones...it took 20 yrs to sell the first 1 B cell phones; The next billion sold in 4; The next in two.
Also mentioned in the article: Ken Banks, head of kiwanja.net, and creator of Frontline SMS, a text messaging tool for which W+K is building a new site...
Goodby's newest for Milk. Jack Black meets Spinal Tap, extolling the virtues of the product in lyrics and music videos. Seriously one ups the "Get the Glass".
And a sweet tour de force response to "Milk? Online? WTF?"
The first interactive music video kinda pissed me off with the "click-grab-shake" crap, but behold "Tame the White Tiger".
When the NYT said today that "Amazon accelerates its move to digital", I did a doubletake. Amazon, indie-book seller killer, digital poster child, is "accelerating" a move "to digital"? Isn't that a bit redundant?
First the web showed the music industry that they weren't actually in the "music business", they were in the manufacturing business: pressing CD's and distributing them/selling them to retailers WAS the business model. Then came Napster. BitTorrent. iTunes. Waaa waaaaah.
And now, with iTunes displacing Walmart as the largest seller of music in America, Amazon is no longer a digital company - it's a digital front end on an enormously sophisticated pick, pack and ship facility. Great front end, wonderful purchase matching/preference agorithms, but at the end of the day, they move vast quantities of physical product. And that's a liability.
When "digital" companies are put at risk by the pace of change, that's wild. And so cool.
Apple - wow. Friction free sales, no inventory. Damn. Someone's going to write a lame business book on this. Assuming the LHC doesn't convert everyone to strangelets, will anyone read the crap book on a Kindle?