Monday, March 31, 2008

Short Takes: 3.31.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
  • Ian Schafer is CEO of Deep Focus, an agency that has launched its own social media division. He has some insightful things to say on the subject of social media. He defines it as, "Involvement. Passion. Influence. Connectivity. Collaboration." He notes, "Social media is a difficult-to-control participatory media, which makes it an environment that makes advertisers uncomfortable. And you know what? Good. Advertisers that can accept that they are in an uncomfortable relationship with their customers (and want to improve those relationships) are the ones that are most ready for a foray into Social Media.” And finally, Ian notes, "But they have to stop thinking about Social Media efforts as ‘campaigns’. Campaigns have a beginning and an end. Relationships can go on forever if you respect and cultivate them." Check out more of Ian's perceptions and ideas on Agency Spy.

  • How do you make a billboard experiential? Some OOH companies seem to think that going digital makes billboards more attention-getting. I think the sharp, glowing billboards will attract eyes a bit more than printed billboards for a short while, but soon they'll fade into background noise. But here's some creativity out of Idaho: Billboards for Paramount, a home builder, not only attract attention but communicate something a bit more personal through the use of mannequins.

  • You've learned what Deep Focus thinks of Social Media; now hear what Strawberry Frog has to say. (They're the folks behind the ScionSpeak site that we wrote about last week.) AdPulp has a worthwhile White Paper from the agency that includes thoughts such as, "Social Media Marketing... (is) a failed concept because brands are limited in their approach to social media marketing; they engage in practices that are alienating to users, and do not provide useful services for consumers. Marketing + Communications is no longer a 'broadcast' or 'mass media' model. Consumers expect a dialogue with marketers, and reward those companies that subscribe to this philosophy." Strawberry Frog shares dos and don'ts for social media and predicts the future of Facebook--check it out.

  • Wikipedia recently hit a milestone--10 million articles. A little over two million of those articles are in English, with a total of 253 languages represented on the site. The 10 millionth article was a Hungarian biography of 16th century painter Nicholas Hilliard. Wikipedia can seem like such a natural use of the Internet that one forgets what a revolutionary experiment in social media it is. Founded in 2001, the site offered a way for Internet users to help build and maintain a public encyclopedia. It took three and a half years for Wikipedia to hit one million articles, and three and a half years after that the site crossed the 10 million mark. It's future is never quite clear, and the Wikimedia foundation is turning into the 21st Century version of PBS with frequent pledge drives; it is now considering how advertising might finance future growth without compromising the site's integrity.

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