Posts Tagged ‘Social Media’

A New Language Requires New Thinking

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

1440504644When Jennifer Powell-Lunder Psy. D. and Barbara Greenberg Ph. D. first decided to write a book together they knew the topic they chose - and the way it would need to be introduced - would require a lot of different thinking.

As clinical psychologists they considered themselves students of adolescent language and behavior and the book they chose to write - Teenage as a Second Language - aims to help parents and kids bridge the communicate gas that often develops in the teenage years.

Jen and Barbara knew they wanted to do more than write a book or a new language however - they wanted to build a community of parents and teens that would share its collective wisdom as well as promote the book. And so they engaged Idea-ware to help them do it.

We set to work building a brand identity centered around Jen and Barbara themselves with a custom illustrated logo  that talking-teenage1captured their personality and energy. Then we designed and deployed a comprehensive website (on a content management system that they can administer) called giving them not only a platform for promoting the book but also a place for the community of parents and teens to gather, engage with the authors, share information, and participate in discussions. Finally, Idea-ware provided expertise and guidance on how to leverage Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to build awareness of the site and the book.

We launched the site this month, well in advance of the book’s availability this fall, generating important buzz and awareness among influential teens and parents in the blogosphere. And already there are hundreds of subscribers on the website engaging is discussions and building viral awareness for Jen and Barbara.

“The book is just an initial step for us,” said Jennifer. “We believe that the website and the community itself will ultimately eclipse our book in terms of building awareness for this new approach to communications between parents and teens.  We expect it will be the foundation of a transformative business. Idea-ware provided the perfect compliment of creative energy and technical expertise to allow us to pull this off quickly and cost effectively. We couldn’t have done it without them!”

Update: November 2010
The book has been on sale at Amazon and other locations for several weeks now!  The site is thriving with hundreds of visitors a day. The TalkingTeenage Twitter channel has almost 3500 followers and over 10,000 tweets.  And the Talking Teenage Facebook Fan Page has almost 200 followers.   Jennifer and Barbara are holding book signings at Barnes & Noble and are appear on local and national TV as well!  All this in just a few short months since launching the site!

Thought Leadership Marketing: Leading Your Audience to the Thoughts That Matter!

Tuesday, March 23rd, 2010

screen-shot-2010-04-21-at-92542-amMany companies like to say they are “thought leaders” in their particular market and they spend an inordinate amount of money and time trying to prove it with white papers, analyst

briefings, etc.  More often than not, the effort falls short as their white paper or analyst quote is lost in the seas of information overload.

We believe the answer to thought leadership lies not in a periodic sighting in those seas - it is to BE the sea.  Or better yet - a filtered version of it.  Take any hot topic area and there are thousands of news sources about it. Your audience can’t keep up with all the information.  Give them a way to do so and you have just become their “thought leader”.

In the past the only way to do that was to build an online portal that aggregated information from multiple sources and presented it in a clean concise fashion.  But for most companies that was an endeavor beyond their reach requiring lots of RSS feeds, significant editing time, and the cost of building and maintaining a fully administrable website.  Until today…

screen-shot-2010-04-21-at-101725-am2HiveFire is a Cambridge MA start-up that is changing the game of Thought-Leadership marketing or what they call “Content Curation Marketing”  Their hosted, SaaS model service allows anyone to create and administer a robust thought leadership portal in just a few minutes a day.  It uses RSS feed sources and SEO-like keyword filtering to narrow down a newsfeed to several dozen of the most relevant articles per day.  You log in and flags the articles you want to keep, discard or feature on your portal.  The system then automatically drops them into sections you pre-determine - e.g new product announcements, press releases, opinion pieces - and auto creates an email newsletter that goes to your distribution list once a day.  You can add and highlight your own blog entries or news items and put them at the top.  The net result is a news hub related to your topic that contains only the most relevant news and information on your particular area topic and allows you to feature or highlight your own news - making you the perceived leader in that space.  And it takes just a few minutes a day!

screen-shot-2010-04-21-at-101752-am1For an example of how this looks check out This portal was set up by Lisa Rhodes, VP of Sales and Marketing at Verne Global - a green Data Center located in Iceland. Verne wanted to become the defacto thought leader in the Green Data Center space and used HiveFire to do it.  The site has not only raised Verne’s profile tremendously, it’s become a heavily trafficked source for industry folks and Lisa now has vendors and competitors emailing her their press releases and product launches to profile on the site.  Now THAT’s being a thought leader.

Idea-ware has become big fans of HiveFire and we’re are working with several customers to implement the system.  If  you are interested in developing your own thought leadership marketing effort - give us a call.


Stanley Milgram - Father Of Social Networking Theory?

Friday, April 10th, 2009

As a marketeer, I am obviously fascinated by the potential influence of social media on marketing trends and we experiment with ways to integrate these tools into campaigns. But I also find myself drawn to a deeper analysis of why people join social networks in the first place. Why they pick one over another and why some ignore the trend entirely.

It was in exploring this psychology of social networking that I recently discovered the work of Stanley Milgram - a social psychologist who conducted two famous experiments in the 1960s. Both were experiments I had heard of separately. What I had no idea was that the same guy was responsible for them both! And so I think that could qualify Milgram as the “Father of Social Networking Theory”.


Milgram’s first experiment, called Obedience, involved two subjects - a “learner” and a “tester”. The learner would be asked a series of questions and with each answer they got wrong, the tester would apply an electric shock of increasing strength - from 15 volts to a leathal potentially 450 volts! In reality the test was rigged. The “learner” was an actor who faked the wrong answers, faked screams of agony, and pleaded for the tester to stop the experiment. The point was to find out how many testers - average people off the street - would obey the authority of the scientist in charge and continue shocking the learner despite knowing it was wrong and cruel. The result itself was shocking - over 65% of the testers would go on shocking the learners despite their perceived agony.

Milgram was in search of some deeper explanation of social obedience and in particular - its dark side - which can lead to normally rational, well-intentioned people, allowing the seemingly unthinkable (like the Holocoust) to take place and indeed even willingly participating in it. The experiments and various videos of it like this one range from disturbing to oddly humorous. But they do seem to illustrate the role that simple “peer pressure” plays in how we act socially and that very few people can fight it.

It’s a Small World After All…
The other experiment Milgram conducted was called the “Small World Phenomenon”.

In the experiment, Milgram sent several packages to 160 random people living in Omaha, Nebraska, asking them to forward the package to a friend or acquaintance whom they thought would bring the package closer to a final individual, a stockbroker from Boston, Massachusetts. The letter included this specific condition: “If you do not know the target person on a personal basis, do not try to contact him directly. Instead, mail this folder to a personal acquaintance who is more likely than you to know the target person.”

Milgram found that it usually took just six mailings for the package to reach the stockbroker in Boston allowing him to theorize that on average any two people in the United States were just separated by just six acquaintances. That led, of course, to the now popular phrase “six degrees of separation”.

Milgram’s Law?
So what does it all mean? Well, Milgram died in 1984 (Obedience? Orwell? Irony?) long before we had Facebook, MySpace or even the Internet. But had he lived another 10-15 years I suspect he might have predicted that the natural phenomenon of “social obediance” and a world made even smaller by technology would have led to this. And he might have developed a Milgram’s Law that states something like networking technology + small world + obedience = the rapid rise and fall (anyone remember Friedster?) of social media networks.


Testing the new iPhone BlogPress app

Monday, February 9th, 2009

This is a test of the new app I just down loaded to my phone to do remote blogging. How remote, you ask? Well see for yourself…

I downloaded, installed, configured the app and typed this entry while walking to Kevin’s house to let the dogs out! Sweet…

Now there is no excuse not to bang out a post when I see something that inspires me!

– posted from my iPhone

Doghouse - Sheer Genius

Sunday, December 7th, 2008

Talk about innovative long-form advertising!  This probably cost JC Penny $250K to produce and they will get millions of dollars of free advertising and viral expose as a result.  Hollywood may be struggling, advertising may be down, the economy may be sinking, but as long as their is broadband and some damn good creativity out there, at least we’ll have this kind of stuff to look forward to…

Even better, they built whole interactive site around it too…