Got Social Media Conference – 2 More Days!

Two more days until the Got Social Media conference in Houston. Whoooooop! And of course as a speaker I am biased, but I hope to see y’all there!

I'm Attending the Got Social Media Conference

Also – a huge shout out to Erica and Kelsey for all of their work planning the conference. Job well done y’all!

The details:

Got Social Media: A Conference about communication. on Thu 24-Jan-08 9:00 AM

At the Houston Technology Center

Houston Technology Center
410 Pierce St.
Houston, TX 77002

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Two Examples of Micro Fundraising Today

Two great examples of micro-fundraising today. First Andrew Hyde and the folks from StartupWeekend had a goal of $500 to cover dinner for Startup Weekend Boston. Using Crowdfunder he is at $550 with a $200 anonymous donation. For dinner. This is a fund raiser for dinner. Interesting.

Crowdfunding Startup Weekend Boston

So now we can all use our iPhones and chip in for dinner.

On a far loftier scale, we have Beth Kanter’s personal fundraising campaign to send a girl to college.

Twitter, Facebook, Chris Brogan and 52 other people send Cambodian girl to college!

From a tech perspective and a social perspective, both of these are wonderful occurrences. Fun with money.

The Profit of Diversity and The Wisdom of Crowds

I firmly believe that the reason you should be diverse is it makes you smarter. Diversity makes a business more profitable. There is a bottom line positive impact in business that can be achieved by surrounding yourself with people who do NOT agree with you. Yes look for shared values in hiring people, but also be sure to look for diversity of opinion and thought and backgrounds. Diversity is the most profitable thing to do.

On this topic, there is a great post on O’Reilly about the Wisdom of Crowds. Three points emphasized below, although you really should read the entire post, are (note – emphasis added on all three excerpts by me).

One of James Surowiecki’s key observations in his book of that name was that a diverse collection of independently-acting individuals produce the wisdom of crowds effect. To the extent that those individuals reinforce each other’s opinions rather than preserving independent decision making, they tend to undermine that group intelligence.


The problem: everyone was in more or less the same stocks, with the same offsets, so this strategy, a winner when only a few people were using it, became exposed to much more systemic risk merely because the technique had become so widespread.


In thinking about the future of collective intelligence, we need to make sure that we not only think about systems that lead to convergence of opinion, but also ones that ensure divergence, and fresh inputs. The surest way I know to get this is not to pay attention to the breaking news in your own pond, but to find the next community over, and to create new cross connections. Once the connections are well established, move on.

Continue reading “The Profit of Diversity and The Wisdom of Crowds”

Stretching Out of my Comfort Zone on Social Media Programs

  Originally uploaded by eschipul

An ongoing debate I have with our PR team revolves around the topic of "social media programs"
(I hate the use of the word "program" in this context BTW). And of
course we see a lot of companies announcing "social media consulting
services" and even entire new agencies focused on the topic of just
social media.

To me this is much like Nike and advertising. We all want to be Nike, but we are not ready to grow like Nike, which started in 1962 but did not begin advertising until 1980! From wikipedia:

By 1980, Nike had reached a 50% market share in the United States
athletic shoe market. Its growth was due largely to word of mouth
advertisement, rather than television or print adverts, which Knight
and others in the industry found distasteful.

Perhaps the biggest challenge comparing advertising and social media
is that a company CAN throw money at advertising. "Here is some money –
go buy me some ads." Perhaps they can even throw money at Public
Relations as an outside PR agency can and should come up with creative
ways to get people talking. Perhaps something as simple as a PR stunt. (or perhaps using cutesy chipmunk pictures on your blog. cough) It works.

Social Media on the other hand is different. In a draft article (activated a bit early due to the feature I admit) we compare social media as a four step process:

  1. Consulting – defining objectives, LISTENING, measuring baseline, willingness assessments, etc.
  2. Training – knowledge transfer starts with student selection and teacher (you!) capabilities
  3. Recruiting – recruiting students with baseline knowledge is crucial to success in a complicated field
  4. Promotion – it IS ok to promote within reason and with disclosure

This article on social media
is still a draft in process. What are your thoughts? (hint – post a
comment people! I’ll love you for it. Or if this were a line in a movie
it would be called "you had me at submit")

Continue reading “Stretching Out of my Comfort Zone on Social Media Programs”

VOTE! We Heart You, and the iPhone and Netsquared and Visualization

This is a blatant self promotion plug. But hey, this is my blog and not our company site so I can do that. Right? Transparency and alll. So if you have 5 minutes – please consider voting for these panels for SXSW 2008?

We Heart You!! — Growing Your Business From Within (vote)
Your employees are your company’s heart and soul — do they know how much you love them? Our discussion will give you some insights on how to improve the lives and brains of your greatest assets, giving you a strong competitive edge and a win-win environment for your company, your employees and your clients. Panelists proposed are:

Kelsey Ruger, Director of Technology and Creative Services at Pop Labs, his blog is the moleskin
Phil Morabito, CEO and founder, Pierpont Communications
Erica O’Grady, Project Manager/People Connector, The Method Agency, blog
Ann Iverson, Advertising Visionary

iPhone in the Enterprise

The iPhone hit the cell phone market by storm in mid 2007. A phone to solve your every need. And one heck of a new user interface paradigm focused on your fingers as an input device. No more windows, only view ports. The Safari browser and Webkit became relevant again. We’re giving away an actual iPhone at this panel, so come ready with questions and ideas. Panelists are:

Whurley – who now works for the man (just kidding) and blogs at

Pimp My Non Profit
Non profit groups struggle with funding and public support issues on a daily basis. Yet many have overcome the odds and Kung_fu_netsquared_photo_by_eschi_2
made a splash online and offline by using the latest Web technologies — for pennies on the dollar. This discussion will center around the stories, strategies, triumphs and challenges of innovative non profits with a passion for change and the cajones to rock it out online.

Beth Kanter,
Rachel Weidinger, Strategy for Social Entrepreneurs and on Netsquared here.
Seth Mazow, formerly of Interplast and blogging on Netsquared.
Erin Denny, Senior Product Manager, YouthNoise Initiatives

The "Pimp my non profit" panel is really based on the awesome work of Netsquared and TechSoup, two organizations I am involved with out of California. So go visit Netsquared regardless of if you vote!

The Art of Visual Thinking

Kelsey’s panel – Visual Thinking is the art of using pictures to solve problems, think through issues and communicate messages clearly. Visual communication has long been used by indigenous cultures in art, storytelling and history. This has helped shape languages and communication styles around the world. Find out how to present ideas visually, cut through the clutter to help explain things in a more concise and understandable manner.

Kelsey Ruger, Director of Technology and Creative Services at Pop Labs, his blog is the moleskin
This one is Kelsey’s. I am a proposed panelist. My blog is … well you are reading it.

Also note the panel picker closes on September 21 2007. So go VOTE NOW!

Communities and Technologies Conference

  Rob Malda & Jeff Bates 
  Originally uploaded by eschipul

This week I am in Michigan for the 3rd International Communities and Technologies conference. In some ways I am definitely a fish out of water as this is an almost 100% academic crowd. In other ways I am learning.a.lot!

Hopefully lots of information transformed into articles on our main site or as blog posts here in the following weeks. For now, back to the sessions.

The photo is of Rob Malda & Jeff Bates, two of the original slashdotters. They presented on meta-moderation.

iPhone. No, this post has nothing to do with it, but EVERY other blogger is posting about the iPhone today and I wanted to sort-of-imitate the cool kids. Heh.