|Monday, October 08, 2007|
This is my last post on this blog. Radio Userland has served me well since I started blogging in 2003. I will post more details on the transition, at my new blog - for now I just wanted to make this announcement, and provide the new url and feeds.
My old blog will be archived at its old url (http://radio.weblogs.com/0121664/) and I will keep the archives going. Stuart, who has worked out the platform for Conversations with Dina on Wordpress has done some neato hacks - one that I love a lot is that the search function will not just search the new blog archives, but also my old Radio blog archives. And he has managed to transfer some of my posts over too. That's so cool!!! Lots more needs doing there ... and that will emerge I'm sure.
12:26:59 PM comment  trackback 
|Thursday, August 30, 2007|
Its been quiet here too long ....... the result of many many shifts. A new home, getting things to work smoothly, much travelling, transferring from a PC to a Mac, not being able to figure out how to get my Radio blog easily onto a Mac (Paolo has very graciously offered to help after I left a comment at his blog)....
"Much happens today by chance. Things also emerge and we find ways to jump on them and adapt. Over the years Dina and I have enjoyed telling parts of our story. We first met in an online forum. I set her up blogging “Conversations with Dina” with install instructions over an IM chat session, long before voice and video connections were possible. Skype also helped to revolutionize our collaboration and connectivity. Open channels between India and the US made collaboration around Learning Journeys, research, and just links and interests possible. Working in India for most of the last year, attending some conferences together around the world and we knew we were at the point where where 1+1 makes more than two.
Mosoci is the platform of our collaboratory around the interests we love, are passionate about and to reinforce the direction and learning we need to go in. We won’t be successful without our network and our community and the power of social media. Blogs, wikis, forums, twitter, bookmarking have enabled who we are today."You may ask, what does Mosoci do? Simply put, a) we immerse ourselves in research and deep dives, b) we facilitate change and help re-frame value for organizations. The time and opportunity to conduct and deliver research and strategies in new ways is here. We constantly push the boundaries with emerging social tools (blogs, wikis, SMS, RSS, social networks, beta communities), with clients when and as appropriate. We want to take this practice, this method of working, along with others who are doing some excellent work in this field, to the whole world.
Let's create that map together, in the hope that the map will bring forth the features of the territory. We want your comments, perspectives, and just plain old honest help and advice to make this a success. We are open to suggestion and really don’t want to stop at just a few of us.
It would be great if you would jump in on the conversation at Mosoci and add Mosoci Feed to your reader. We'd love your feedback and suggestions.
10:29:31 PM comment  trackback 
|Wednesday, July 11, 2007|
I will be in the US from July 18th to 27th - am attending meetings in Cambridge MA on the 19th and 23rd. Have some free time over the weekend July 21-22nd. Am meeting up with Yazad who touched base with me on Facebook when I mentioned I was going - and looking forward to meeting him on Sunday. Would love to meet up with bloggers and other folks in the Boston area who are interested in the social media scene or in qualitative research and ethnography or just want to hangout and yak!I will also be in London for a few days on my way back - July 29-31st where I am going to hangout with friends. Again, would love to meet anyone who's free on those days.
Do drop in a comment here or send me email to dina(dot)mehta(at)gmail(dot)com if you'd like to meet up.
11:58:59 PM comment  trackback 
Had an interesting interaction with an FMCG Client for whom we are setting up some presentations and workshops around how they can take their brands into the social media realm. I sent a client a detailed note on what we could provide, and she forwarded it to one of the marketing guys who felt it is exciting, but perhaps too focussed on blogging and not enough on youtube!
11:49:46 PM comment  trackback 
|Friday, June 29, 2007|
Bloggy thought three. Something I was mulling over for a while, even shared in a completely inarticulate manner with Rajesh yesterday, who by the way awarded me with the Thinking Blogger Award. He shared with me some links that report on the recent IAMAI Web2.0 conference, with the comment - "am getting a bit restless with marketers"! Then I got a call from a journalist, who wanted to discuss 'unconferences' - and I took off on her a little and told her how I dislike the term - any activity that is prefaced with an 'un' makes me feel not-so-nice about it. Anyways, it also reminded me about another phrase or term in the social media realm that I generally dislike ---- user-generated content and I started my rant on her!
I dislike it, especially when, in the background, I hear their minds ticking away the rupees they can generate, behind all this buzz and excitement around the term. When they have not really embraced it themselves.
I dislike it when they distance themselves from it - it's something other people -- oops users do. How many of them have actually generated content themselves?
I am happy with adopting the term when I am talking about content that is created by users of a service - so there is user-generated content on Youtube, or on blogging platforms, or on wikis. But I dislike it when marketers, PR agencies talk about the 'potential' in harnessing user-generated content for their brands, products and services through advertising messages on the user-generated content spaces or sites, and then believe they are really using social media in their strategies. Am not knocking advertising based strategies - I just feel they are skimming the surface of the true potential in participating in the conversations, co-creation, community and collaboration that occurs when there is user-generated content.
I simply loved Toby Bloomberg's rant at Unilever which so well illustrates what I am trying so hard to articulate!
"So I really want to see that ad. I really Need to see that ad. What do I do? Do I search for Lux? Do I go to the Unilever website? Nope. I head for YouTube and sure enough here it is! It's a must watch. Oh and the Unilever Lux site? Good I didn't head that way, my coffee would have turned cold looking for any mention of the campaign. Anyone for integrated marketing?
Diva Marketing Thoughts
While there were quite a few Neon Girl videos on YouTube, I didn't notice a Unilever Neo Girl YouTube Channel. Unilever you missed an opportunity. Actually you missed several. Never too late to get into the game. Would be a good idea to consider especially if a sequel is in the works. Work it right and you might have the next Lonely Girl."
Bonus link: Here's Jon Udell on why he dislikes the term per se.
5:00:52 PM comment  trackback 
Bloggy thought two. It's not worth it, if it's not searchable. Robert Scoble and Steve Rubel seem to feel so. Am actually feeling the contrary only because of my recent experiences with Facebook and Twitter. The other day, I was chatting with a young friend who is 18, and he told me a few things around Facebook. His dashboard and homepage is Facebook - all his social interactions happen around it, along with a few IM clients. He doesn't really use email very much. And most pertinent to this post, was his comment that he was disturbed that his whole family including aunts and grand-aunts could 'peep' into his entire life. In fact, it was so funny when he related a story about how an aunt actually sent his grandma some pictures of girls who wanted to 'marry' him. He's now got most of his family on 'limited' profile -- but his friends have full access to him!
I still believe that what you write or say or show on the web is there for everyone to see, read or hear, and I like that openness and transparency of the web. Still I am enjoying the levels of privacy that Facebook offers me. When I blog, I do sometimes (not when I am feeling particularly ranty) wonder whether what I write will come back to bite me some day or how people will view me as a result of what I write. I do feel more 'responsible' about what views I share on my blog - perhaps this happens when you have been blogging since 2003 and when your blog becomes your single-point public profile, for the whole world to see - family, friends, clients, potential clients etc.
But on spaces like Facebook and Twitter, I feel so much more comfort - I can rant, I can be silly, throw some food at a friend, hug someone else, share when I am upset or ecstatic. I don't ever 'think' too much when I am on Facebook - my mode is a more feely one. It's more about me and who I am. And less about my thoughts on a particular subject and less of the 'Dina' I want to project or promote or share around what I do.
"As Steve points out above, there are advantages to having a walled garden. In real life, I have a public and private life, but because of Google and the general openness of the web, the balance between public and private online is out of whack. The existing "private web" (IMs, email) has been largely static for the last half decade, but if it chooses to be, Facebook could be the next evolution of the private web. Facebook isn't just a walled garden, it is MY walled garden."
3:31:29 PM comment  trackback 
I was driving back from a meeting when I had a few bloggy thoughts ... long drives in traffic and beating rain tend to do that to me! It was a good meeting - regular (I actually said that!!!) qualitative research project among IT students and professionals to understand motivations that drive them to join certain sorts of organizations in a highly competitive field, to figure out a strategy to draw them to my Client's organization. As we were discussing the research, I suddenly felt - wow - this is the perfect case for a social media / new media strategy ---- you have young professionals, in the IT industry, probably heavy users of the internet, a captive target audience that must be familiar with blogs, social networking sites, youtube and the like! When you think of motivations and drivers for this segment, how can you not think of The Influentials, who help them frame their opinions. Am waiting eagerly for my copy which is winging its way here currently. It would be neat to figure out who or what they are in the project I am doing. So somewhere midway in discussing sample definitions, I broke away and asked my client - do you have a social media or blogging strategy - you need one! She was interested I think, particularly since one of her marketing objectives is to build a powerful corporate identity in order to attract the best talent.
2:13:54 PM comment  trackback 
|Monday, June 11, 2007|
3:11:52 PM comment  trackback 
|Saturday, June 09, 2007|
Refuses to block Orkut under political pressure!
7:54:38 PM comment  trackback 
"But after receiving a follow-up threat from my daughter ("unfriend paige right now. im serious. i dont care if they request you. say no. i will be soo mad if you dont unfriend paige right now. actually"), I started worrying that allowing parents in would backfire on Facebook."
While I wonder about how the younger generation will react as more of us 'oldies' go in there, I must say I am really having a blast at facebook. After a long time, a social networking site has really drawn me in. Along with a few others, I thought I had reached the limit way back in 2003, when there was this mad scramble to invite all your friends to every new social networking site that came about. This time, when I got my own Facebook, I find myself behaving differently. I find I am not inviting all my friends in there, or sending out one of those blanket join me at facebook sort of message to everyone. I find a lot of my family, old and young, in India and abroad, are in there and we're having fun peeking into each others' lives and reconnecting in ways we haven't done via email or even chat. Many of my close blogging buddies are in there too - and I am enjoying learning about so many new facets of their lives with applications like Trip, Last.fm, Ask a question, books, movies, photos etc.
Facebook also lets me feel I own my own page there - something Ryze lost a long while ago with its new UI. Stuart had expressed this feeling so eloquently then:
no sense of art in a place where artisans play
"The new stuff? Says RYZE first --- ME second. What was the brief? Oh probably make the community more professional looking. You have any recommendations? Is there a strategy? Is there a business model? Ryze could have had it all."
Facebook today offers me that sense of art where artisans play, that sense of personality, that canvas for me and my friends to colour on, that sense of my space (pun intended!). And its all happening in my time at ease, without that pressure to be really active on it that there was while many of us were indulging in some Serious Play at other networks.
Tags: Facebook, social networking, social networks, social media
7:42:42 PM comment  trackback 
|Monday, June 04, 2007|
Google is not merely moving towards "owning" the internet, its also beginning to "own" me.I had a friend over this weekend, and I was setting up a blog for her on Blogger. I had to sign out of my Blogger account to set her up. During the process, I wanted to check my mail, and clicked on my Gmail tab in my browser - and I was shocked to see that it opened up her Gmail account instead. Should have expected it - its logical - but it disturbed me. It's convenient, it's quick - but I want the controls and the ability to decide which ones I want auto signins for and which ones not.
Say, if I have Google Reader running - and I have signed out of Gmail -- if someone else tries to log into their Gmail account - they can read my mail. Or if they want to check their scraps on Orkut - they get to see mine instead. Google Maps can show pictures of your front door and look through your window
- very cool - yes - but it makes me uncomfortable too. Although I need
not worry as I live in a city where its going to be very difficult to
get everything 'on a map' as there is so much chaos in the planning.
In countries like India however, where for the large part, computers are shared at work and home - this could become a problem. Not everyone has the know-how or the presence of mind to set up different logins and user accounts at boot up.
Eric Schmidt , Google's CEO was quoted in FT. Do I really want my computer to tell me what I should do tomorrow, or what job I should take?
"Asked how Google might look in five years' time, Mr Schmidt said: "We are very early in the total information we have within Google. The algorithms will get better and we will get better at personalisation. The goal is to enable Google users to be able to ask the question such as 'What shall I do tomorrow?' and 'What job shall I take?'"
See this video, although a little dated - it looks forward to a Google world in 2014 - EPIC. Robin Good has a transcript:
"On Sunday, March 9 2014, Googlezon unleashes EPIC.
Welcome to our world.
The 'Evolving Personalized Information Construct' is the system by which our sprawling, chaotic mediascape is filtered, ordered and delivered. Everyone contributes now - from blog entries, to phone-cam images, to video reports, to full investigations. Many people get paid too - a tiny cut of Googlezon's immense advertising revenue, proportional to the popularity of their contributions.
EPIC produces a custom contents package for each user, using his choices, his consumption habits, his interests, his demographics, his social network - to shape the product. A new generation of freelance editors has sprung up, people who sell their ability to connect, filter and prioritize the contents of EPIC.
We all subscribe to many Editors; EPIC allows us to mix and match their choices however we like. At its best, edited for the savviest readers, EPIC is a summary of the world - deeper, broader and more nuanced than anything ever available before."With the recent acquisition of Feedburner, Google just bought over access to not just us, but our readers as well. They even acquire the internet in year 2017!!
Google has my past, and it's rapidly 'taking over' my future. My actions today, in the present, are building the tracks for that future. A dystopian Brave New World, or Utopia?
Should I really care? Does it bother you at all?
12:04:55 PM comment  trackback 
|Wednesday, May 30, 2007|
So everyone is talking of Facebook. My Twitter is abuzz with it. My aggregator is bursting with blog posts around it. The social media blogworld is freaking out in it. Even my 79 year old aunt who sent me an add as friend invite! Reminds me of the old days when we all moved from one social networking site to another. This one's different of course - its more than small pieces loosely joined and the potential is immense with the opening up of their platform. Widgets and plugins around VOIP, presence, twitter, music, video being created with a frenzy. A great platform play. I like this play - although I haven't done much with it yet.
8:16:46 PM comment  trackback 
|Friday, May 04, 2007|
I'm going live on CNN-IBN in half an hour, at 8.30 pm. They're doing a show on how a community on Orkut is helping in collecting aid for an ailing lyricist. They've asked me to comment on the positive aspects of social networking. I hope we don't go thru the usual pros and cons of social networks, an angle most channels approach the issue from.
8:09:19 PM comment  trackback 
|Wednesday, May 02, 2007|
I've been using Twitter a lot again recently. And yesterday, when Jace wondered
"Twitter. Jaiku. Twitter. Jaiku. What to use?" I found myself thinking about why I tend to be in Twitter more than Jaiku. I know Jaiku is better 'loaded' but I feel I lose the real flow in conversation there as the updates are all jumbled up with updates from blogs, flickr accounts, bookmarks and newsreaders. I feel comfort with Twitter that I don't with Jaiku. Difficult to express why - just that there is comfort in its simplicity. A cappella versus symphony. Sandwich and coffee versus a full-course meal (how often do we have the latter!). Dal-chawal versus biryani.
8:53:14 PM comment  trackback 
|Friday, April 27, 2007|
Here's an excerpt from an article I did for Tehelka's special on youth and the internet, on much urging from Shivam, who put an apt title to it - The Mirror of Change - This is Who We are Becoming.
"For those completely immersed in virtual worlds such as Second Life, the seduction of intimacy combined with anonymity does not mean they do not share the joys and sorrows of their real worlds. My bet is that they do. "Pet", a very close friend and a colleague who worked with a team of online volunteers when the tsunami struck in December 2004, got me looking at Second Life with new eyes. He had been feeling trapped in his body for a long time, and when he got onto Second Life, it helped him become more comfortable with his feelings that he was a woman trapped in a man's body. The beauty is that Second Life was a tool for "Pet"to figure out who she really is and how to work it out for real. Today, she has friends not only in Second Life, but also in her physical world with whom she can be herself. "Pet" has shared so much of her period of transition and angst with me, that I feel I know her intimately. Being a geek, she also helps me with my websites. I trust her as she trusts me. I know she is very real - there is nothing 'virtual' about her, even though I have never met her.
While I may never have seen or met "Pet", there is depth in our friendship, and solidity. I know, for some people, that is hard to accept. I'm often asked questions like, how can you feel connected to someone you've never met? How can you trust someone you've never seen? These concerns are understandable given the newness of this medium and the flow that determines these sorts of relationships. Oh there are dangers too - the pretence borne out of anonymity, the addictions, the spam and scams, the paedophiles, the pornography. And still, when I meet up with blog buddies all over the world, how can I explain the amazing level of comfort I feel!
I single out blogs here as throwing up a whole different social system than do virtual worlds and social networking sites. Detractors say, online you can be whoever you want to be and nobody cares. That may be correct, yet, if you try and fake things too hard, you most always are found out, and can be verbally beaten. My belief is that people tend to act more like themselves online than they like to admit. It is much more difficult to hide away who you are when you are blogging. I've found myself revealing things on my blog about myself that I would find difficult to talk about face-to-face. Ugly things too.
And yet, I found myself trusting myself as I began trusting people I met through this medium. There is a fine line between the public, private and secret self, and the boundaries blur sometimes. At others there is a conscious effort to keep them apart. In a physical world, our lives are compartmentalized, you have different sets of friends for different needs, and meet in different physical spaces as a result. My blog is one space where I connect with friends, potential clients, strangers, acquaintances, even spammers and trolls. It is entirely up to me what I want to share of me and when, at my blog. And, I have found, the more I share, the more others do. It's just an extension of basic human needs for connection and community."This issue is carrying a special on youth and the internet. I see some bloggers I know like Dilip, Rashmi, Neha, Patrix and Shivam of course, who have made some neat contributions there - and as I glanced through the articles, I felt Shivam's done a good job of getting a mix that does not perpetuate stereotypes the media usually portrays netizens to be.
7:45:25 PM comment  trackback 
MapMyName is a project started by a couple of students, who are aiming to assess how many people use the internet all over the world. They hope to achieve this within a month by spreading the mapmyname meme. Brave attempt!!
Spread the word by clicking here to map your name! Link via Euan who tweeted about it on Twitter.
12:53:31 PM comment  trackback 
|Wednesday, April 25, 2007|
Sachi and Lee LeFever are doing a series of "paperworks" educational videos. From Lee's email:
"In my opinion,
RSS has been too geeky for too long. I have friends who use the web as much as I do and have no clue about RSS. It's a minor travesty. To help remedy this situation, Sachi and I created a video called "RSS in Plain English" that is
aimed at turning-on the non-geeks of the world. It's in a format we
call "paperwork" - I think you'll see what that means. We're just
getting started and hoping that you can help spread the word (it just
went live couple of hours ago). Obviously, there is room for
improvement - any feedback is welcome. We're planning to do more
paperwork videos as part of The Common Craft Show."
And it is! Even my mum would get it. Watch it here.
I'd love to see something similar on ROI of blogging - its a concept I find most difficult to communicate to organizations and I do believe a Paperworks demo will be great!
9:53:21 AM comment  trackback 
|Tuesday, April 17, 2007|
According to a report by Accenture, the media and entertainment industry feels user-generated content is the top threat to their businesses:
"NEW YORK; April 16, 2007 -Media and entertainment executives see the growing ability and eagerness of individuals to create their own content as one of the biggest threats to their business, according to results of a survey released today by Accenture (NYSE: ACN).
In its annual survey of senior executives in the media and entertainment industry, Accenture examined the growth strategies of companies across the landscape of advertising, film, music, publishing, radio, the Internet, videogames and television.
More than half (57 percent) of the respondents identified the rapid growth of user-generated content - which includes amateur digital videos, podcasts, mobile phone photography, wikis and social-media blogs -- as one of the top three challenges they face today. In addition, more than two-thirds (70 percent) of respondents said they believe that social media, one of the largest segments of user-generated content, will continue to grow, compared with only 3 percent of respondents who said they view social media as a fad.
"This is just the beginning for a rapidly changing landscape where the media content environment grows more fractious and the user gains more control and power," said Gavin Mann, digital media lead for Accenture’s Media & Entertainment practice. "Traditional, established content providers will have to adapt and develop new business and monetization models in order to keep revenue streams flowing. The key to success will be identifying new forms of content that can complement their traditional strengths."
The new landscape offers opportunities as well as challenges, according to the study, as two-thirds (68 percent) of the respondents said they believe that within three years their businesses will be making money on user-generated content. Sixty-two percent said they believe their companies will make money through advertising and sponsorships of social media. Other sources of profits cited were subscriptions (21 percent) and pay-per-play offerings (18 percent). However, a quarter (24 percent) of respondents said they do not yet know how their businesses will profit from user-generated content.
The study included interviews with industry giants like Roger Faxon, chief executive of EMI Music Publishing; Leslie Moonves, chief executive of CBS; Doug Neil, senior vice president of digital marketing for Universal Studios; and Sir Martin Sorrell, chief executive of WPP Group PLC."
8:32:20 AM comment  trackback 
|Monday, April 02, 2007|
Heh .. Johnnie .. I'm with you in feeling ranty! As a response to this, a stopcyberbullying community is nice, comments policies and guidelines are ok if you believe you need them, but a Bloggers Code of Conduct???
Bloggers code of conduct, freedom of speech
1:52:24 AM comment  trackback 
|Monday, March 26, 2007|
Maggie Fox has a neat post on How Social Media is Changing Everything
Blogs in particular and social media in general can offer incredible insight for a relatively small investment (your time is another matter!). When I speak to clients about investigating a corporate blogging strategy, I often refer to it as "low cost market research", something I’m sure we’d all like to see a little more of!"Belonging to the qualitative research industry, this resonates big time with me. Blog Influentials, in July 2005 had called blogs the 'market research of the future'. Again, way back in 2005 I had said:
While nothing beats face-to-face contact, blogs can be a great space to have conversations with customers - Scoble does it every day. In other cases, customers are the ones encouraging marketers to engage in conversation - SkypeJournal is a great example of heavy users of Skype providing constructive feedback both positive and negative, observations and ideas. They're even writing poetry in the form of a Skypku :)
Are marketers listening and engaging in dialogue? Maybe. Maybe not. Are marketing departments afraid of this? I think they are.
Blogs may be one such tool available to us - there are so many more that can reveal and understand the motives and the process of emergence in conversations as they manifest in conversations between marketers and users. I met Jim McGee in Chicago last year and we had a lovely discussion about how blogs might change the nature of market research and how the notion of oral culture in organizations might help explain the relatively slow take up of blogs in the firewall. From his post after our meeting :
Almost a year ago, I had recruited participants for some usability testing focus groups through my blog. Am now working with some clients, where we are building news aggregators of target audience blogs. And involved currently in a project where we are evolving a sms-blog research interface as a research tool for participants, in the Twitter convention. And we even have proof of concept now .. a recent article in the Economic Times talks of how blogs are boosting sales of bikes. Keeping track of blog conversations replacing traditional market research survey methods! Giving rise to a new breed of blogo-pologists and the field of netnography!
"What started as platforms to share passions and frustrations of bikers are now being tracked by corporates to fine-tune their offerings. Instead of tedious market surveys and data crunching, companies now get reviews within hours of product launch, courtesy blogs. “The first review of our latest Pulsar was on our table within three hours of its launch in Chennai thanks to bloggers,” Bajaj Auto VP (marketing-two wheelers) S Sridhar told ET. A dedicated team at Bajaj Auto now regularly tracks discussion-boards and review section of blogs and online biking groups and provides feedback to company’s marketing and product development group."
Much better than having professional respondents in a conventional focus group or unwieldy questionnaires which are filled up so superficially isn't it?
Tags: market research, marketing research, qualitative research, ethnography,social media,blogs,blogging,focus groups
11:01:03 AM comment  trackback 
|Thursday, March 22, 2007|
"Will we see more written about what will probably come to be called Management 2.0 ? No doubt. Will there be massive struggles with this new set of conditions and ongoing resistance to coming to terms with these dynamics ? No doubt. Will resisting and ignoring and denying work? Maybe for the short term, but these new conditions are not going away ... and I posit that the issues engendered by linked interconnected bottom-up activities will necessitate significant amount of unlearning and re-learning, notably in the enterprise setting." Jon HusbandAnd Lee, building on Euan and Dion Hinchcliffe's recent posts on Enterprise 2.0 writes:
Related to these, is this neat post by Hugh Macleod on Corporate Blogging calling for "humanification" and "smarter conversations". And Britt Blaser, always sharp, talks about the People Law trumping the Power Law - I see this relevant to the conversation as well, as enterprise needs to realize the value in People Power.
On the technical level, the integration challenges are non-trivial:
But the integration of people, practise and (dare I say) process is even harder, with challenges such as:
I'd like to add another dimension to this conversation, which was triggered by presentations and comments I heard at the IAMAI Digital Marketing Summit last week in Mumbai. All pointing to the fact that there is immense potential for web 2.0 or social media (call it by whatever name you wish) in Marketing. In particular, I liked what Ajit Balakrishnan of Rediff had to say - here's the gist ... I may have missed a few words:
"Bloggers are our new gatekeepers of information. Journalists are hesitant to write up stories, unless bloggers are already talking about it. We get real news from the bloggers -- everything else is a press release. Smart marketers need them"
Rajiv Dhingra, who it was a pleasure to meet, summarizes the summit:
"The conclusion was similar to all the previous discussions and in fact this is to be noted - Marketers are now asking other media and medium what is the ROI!
...and thus concluded the IAMAI Digital Media Conference 2007.
I wish there were more marketers and especially FMCG product brand managers who had attended this conference because it’s the offline world which needs to know that it is time to start switching online."It's encouraging to hear marketers talk of blogs and social networking and building communities online, however, like Rajiv, I heard many unspoken doubts on Return On Investment (ROI) from such engagements. Its a question I raised at the summit. Is the industry doing anything to develop metrics to measure impact? Are they talking to bloggers about it? Simple answer - NO.
I know ROI is an obsession with marketers, and we would fail in our jobs as consultants in this area, if we did not address them. We've done the first part of our jobs by getting the words 'blog' and 'online communities' into the lexicon of marketers. They have some sense of what these can do. We can talk of benefits of corporate blogging, evangelism, influence on brand perceptions, using these tools to empower your customers to become your marketers. We can hold their hands on how to set these up for their companies. There's been some good thinking by Charlene Li at Forrester in October 2006 on ROI of blogging.
But do we have a model in place yet? Are we giving them more tangible, quantifiable metrics, the equivalent of or alternatives to GRPs and cost-per-clicks? Are we doing enough, in the area of showing them ways to manage risks involved ? How are we helping them 'market' social media internally to their VPs and CEOs who often tend to be older, more rigid, more in fear of giving up control.
Leaps of faith aren't always easy to achieve from organizations without any estimation of how it can affect bottomline. Bottom-up or top-down, as much as we want 'them' to speak our language, 'we' need to speak their's too. I was chatting with Veer and Rajiv at the summit, and I do believe it is time to get bloggers and advertisers/marketers together into a discussion on how this can come about. This isn't just an India issue, I know many of my blog buddies in other parts of the world are grappling with these concerns too.
Any takers? Suggestions?
Update: [link via Dave Winer - Nicholas Carr talks about two studies that provide some data on adoption of six prominent Web 2.0 tools - blogs, wikis, podcasts, RSS, social networking, and content tagging. "Although Forrester didn't break out adoption rates by tool, it did say that CIOs saw relatively high business value in RSS, wikis, and tagging and relatively low value in social networking and blogging." Read more at Nicholas Carr's blog.]
12:55:08 PM comment  trackback 
|Wednesday, March 21, 2007|
Oh in my earlier ranting, I forgot to mention, go on to the 50 million missing
page at Flickr if you don't mind having to go through the process of
logging in using your Yahoo id. Its a neat way to share your empathy
with and register your protest against this human injustice.
"About 50 million women are currently missing from India's population. Through rampant feticide, infanticide, and the murder of young women by their husbands and inlaws for dowry, India has managed to invert its population ratio from 10:9, women to men, as is normal for any population, to 9:10. Further more India has also warped the gender ratio for 1/5 of the entire human population.
It is the HOPE of this website to have as many possible of the 50 million missing represented by a photograph. These can be of Indian women or girls, of any age, and community represented as portraits or shown as engaged in various activities -- which is life. It would help very much if there is a small personal commentary with the photo about the girl or woman so we can reverse the process of dehumanizing Indian women. This is India's silent genocide -- and it is time for it to stop."
12:41:43 PM comment  trackback 
I got a pointer to this Flickr Group .."About 50 million missing (photos only of Indian women and girls)" from Peter this morning, and when I went to Flickr, I was asked to sign in using my Yahoo ID. That's a huge pain. I have many different Yahoo IDs and most are defunct. Ever since I started using Skype and Gmail, Yahoo IM has taken a real backseat. Because I love Flickr, I forced myself to get a new ID .. and I found dina.mehta available and grabbed it.
I looked through my much under-used newsreader for others' views on this and found this gem of a post from Suw Charman, who so succinctly spells out all the issues around this. Now Suw got a letter from them .. which for some reason I didn't or missed entirely. And although I'm not a heavy Flickr user, I do go there off and on, and have never seen the notice from Yahoo to switch to Yahoo IDs as login. Thats really poor design, poor customer management, and it upsets me as a user. When I got onto Flickr and bought myself a FlickrPro account .. I signed up for Flickr and not Yahoo. I don't want to give Yahoo more access to me - it violates my privacy.
So Yahoo and Google owns all of us now. One more corporate crack at the vision of a seamless semantic web. We know well enough what happens once a brand starts evoking negative perceptions - users can be an unforgiving lot!
12:35:47 PM comment  trackback 
|Monday, March 19, 2007|
I was invited to be a part of the Social Media Collective, but I've been a lurker for a bit and not blogged there yet. Then I haven't been blogging much here either :(. The google group for the collective has lots of good conversations going. Note to self .. wake up Dina!
1:37:45 PM comment  trackback 
Social discovery, presence, "party-line", RSS for people with not much to say, potential for use in saving lives during disasters, publish on the go, ambient intimacy (link found in a comment at Ross Mayfield's post on Moodgeist, Skype and Twitter IM Overlay], the future of presence, push technology, keeping track of yourself and friends, a false sense of "I'm connected", microblogging and Twitter-only blogging, group or public IM system, swarming and smart mobbing, blogging on 'crack' ..... these are some of the words I've been seeing associated with Twitter in many blogs.
Om Malik links to WebWorkerDaily which has come up with a list of eight ways Twitter can be useful professionally. More mashups and applications such as Twittervision and Twittersearch would be useful. Here's a wiki on Twitter with a listing of comments and views, user stories, mashups and applications, complaints and wish lists too.
I'd love to know, what areas or applications you feel it would be useful for?
11:38:57 AM comment  trackback 
|Monday, January 29, 2007|
I've been quiet here, but have been blogging a lot at the Asia Source II blog. Its been fun facilitating the Open Publishing sessions - I've learnt so much myself! We've had huge challenges with connectivity - 120 of us sharing a 256 kbps modem; trying to get Plone then Drupal working and finally resorting to Wordpress for the live blog! Rather than writing it entirely, I've got lots of folks from different countries and tracks sharing their perspectives. Lazy me :)
There are four learning tracks for the morning sessions. Three of the four groups are working in military tents, fitted with 8-10 computers. The uber geeks have a classroom, where they can lock up all their cool gizmos like wireless transmitters.
Here's what Track 1 on Open Publishing had as their objective for the Camp Blog they are running as one of their projects:
- to create a lasting online documentation of the camp
- to capture the 'spirit' of Asia Source
Go over to the blog and join the conversations there!
2:20:02 PM comment  trackback 
|Thursday, January 18, 2007|
I'll be in Sukabumi, Indonesia for the next ten days, at AsiaSource II. It really is going to be a camp, and am excited to be living fairly in dormitory style - takes me back to my college years! Its also an opportunity to meet an entire new set (for me) of folks doing some excellent work in the social media area in South Asia and South East Asia, as this is the first time I'm attending a conference in the Asian region.
There are four main learning tracks:
When Sunil, who I met at the Global Voices Summit in Delhi, invited me to be a facilitator for the Open Publishing and Broadcasting track, my first response was how will I help - I'm not a geek. He then assured me that he was looking for someone who is a user .. and for someone who can help people explore benefits of the social and community aspects of this media. Apart from all the geeky stuff I am looking forward to immerse myself in, some of the conversations I'd like to encourage in this track are around:
I hope to blog my experiences while there!
Technorati tag: AsiaSource II
7:54:04 PM comment  trackback 
|Monday, January 08, 2007|
Everyone seems to be talking about it. Nice to see these perspectives in the context of brands and products. I read this at Brandchannel today:
"What if anything and everything you owned, knew, thought, created or used was negotiable at any point in time? What if you could sell off your junk, get compensated for your opinions, or lend, borrow and bet without the need for banks or governments? What if your creative product had a larger audience than corporate networks? What if your lone dissident voice couldn’t be silenced even by the rich and powerful?"And here's another paper found at Brandchannel from Dec 2006 - How To Crash The Consumer-Controlled Party. And Not Get Thrown Out .... (pdf file)
"At first, it may seem strange to think that you could be on the same level playing field as a multinational corporation, but just consider how business and customers co-exist in networked spaces. As of now, we both get our basic queries and network trend data from the same place. Pending the Net Neutrality power struggle and censorship issues of the moment, the deeper resources of the Internet will likely become available to everyone as well. Given the probability of that reality and the other factors previously mentioned what do we do to use this shift to our advantage both as individuals and as companies?
Enable the empowered. Marketing is no longer about messages. It’s about motivation. If you want to motivate the new sovereignty, reach them by the tools they will use to refine their participation power. That means be available as choices for personalization on start-page like environments where choosing your brand of service is a self-defining action. For example, if you deliver travel services, then the new sovereign citizen is both your traveler and your travel agent. If you sell art then the new sovereign citizen is your art promoter, using your art in experiential ways to define their personal spaces."
1:06:21 PM comment  trackback 
What should marketers be looking at in 2007?
TRANSUMERS from GENERATION C(ASH) living transient, connected, participative lifestyles, showing off their STATUS SKILLS, experiencing TRYVERTISING, masters of their YOUNIVERSE, indulging in TWINSUMER ventures, within the TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY of the GLOBAL BRAIN moving ever closer to CROWD CLOUT.
(Images from the trendwatching website). Go there to find out more on status, transparency and consumer power, the online revolution, more adventurous consumption, and a shift from consumption to participation.
"GENERATION C(ONTENT) is joining GENERATION C(ASH). If consumers produce the content, if they are the content, and that content brings in money for aggregating brands, then revenue and profit-sharing is going to be one of 2007's main themes in the online space. It's not like brands will have a choice: talented consumers are going to be too sought after to remain satisfied with thank you notes. Get ready for an avalanche of revenue sharing deals, reward schemes and sumptuous gifts aimed at luring creative consumers."
"TRANSUMERS are consumers driven by experiences instead of the 'fixed', by entertainment, by discovery, by fighting boredom, who increasingly live a transient lifestyle, freeing themselves from the hassles of permanent ownership and possessions. The fixed is replaced by an obsession with the here and now, an ever-shorter satisfaction span, and a lust to collect as many experiences and stories as possible.* Hey, the past is, well, over, and the future is uncertain, so all that remains is the present, living for the 'now'."
"(Oh, and just wait for TRANSUMERS to be amongst the first to accept if not desire virtual goods. After all, the more time they spend online, the less need they have for expensive, fixed, hardly ever used physical goods. But we're getting carried away here...)"
"emerging TWINSUMER trend: consumers looking for the best of the best, the first of the first, the most relevant of the relevant increasingly don't connect to 'just any other consumer' anymore, they are hooking up with (and listening to) their taste 'twins'; fellow consumers somewhere in the world who think, react, enjoy and consume the way they do."
"Now, through an onslaught of new collaborative filtering software, millions of new personal profiles, exclusive communities and what have you, the TWINSUMER phenomenon is turning millions of reviews, ratings and recommendations into truly valuable results fitting one person's very particular preferences or even lifestyle. Whether it's a one-off TWINSUMER union or an ongoing relationship. TWINSUMER therefore isn't about access to reviewings or ratings or even trust in general (those are fast becoming hygiene), but about relevance."
"At the core of all consumer trends is the new consumer, who creates his or her own playground, own comfort zone, own universe. It's the 'empowered' and 'better informed' and 'switched on' consumer combined into something profound, something we've dubbed MASTER OF THE YOUNIVERSE. At the core is control: psychologists don't agree on much, except for the belief that human beings want to be in charge of their own destiny. Or at least have the illusion of being in charge.
"And because they can now get this control in entirely new ways, aided by an online, low cost, creativity-hugging revolution that's still in its infancy, young and old (but particularly young) consumers now weave webs of unrivaled connectivity and relish instant knowledge gratification. They exercise total control over creative collections, including their own creative assets, assume different identities in cyberspace at a whim, wallow in DIY / Customization / Personalization / Co-Creation to make companies deliver whatever and whenever, on their own terms".
"Remember the promises of flawless matching of supply and demand, and limitless consumer power, when the web burst onto the scene a dozen years ago? While the last few years didn't disappoint (consumers are already enjoying near-full transparency of prices and, in categories like travel and music, near-full transparency of opinions as well), 2007 could be the year in which TRANSPARENCY TYRANNY really starts scaring the shit out of non-performing brands."
11:30:37 AM comment  trackback 
Copyright 2007 Dina Mehta