Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Why The Wisdom of Crowds Is Not Always Wise

It may shock you to hear this but sometimes I make comments on things I know bugger all about.

Sometimes I make comments in the media on things I know bugger all about but I say it with authority and concerned eyebrows so that's the main thing.

Today, I met a dude that worked on a thing that I commented on and told him what I said.

He said, “well actually that's not right but it was too hard to explain to the public so we just let people think that. You actually came to the right conclusion off the information you had.”

An interesting idea.

So he set out to explain the real reason that the thing that I commented on happened. With many diagrams and hand gestures and some very good explaining, I still didn't really get it and there was commercially sensitive stuff and personalities at play to ensure it was really messy.

There were legal issues and regulations and stakeholder management conflicts and inherited issues from legacy systems and the moon being out of alignment.

I kind of saw his point. Media people want all the information in thirty seconds and companies run the risk of having issues oversimplified and misrepresented if they don't provide a soundbite response. So the company saw a popular theme coming through in blogs and forums and let the idea stick rather then correcting it. Politicians do it all the time e.g. War on Terror but is it evil spin doctoring or is it sensible communications management? The company wasn't trying to misrepresent anything they just had a gut feeling that the whole thing was too complicated without all the pieces of the puzzle and the pieces were in themselves, complicated. He was quite open and happy to sit down and explain everything to me properly when he had more time and could paint the full picture.

So maybe the wisdom of crowds isn't so wise after all?

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

Friday, August 20, 2010

Courtney's Friday Dating Advice

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Why Most Clout Measures Are Bullshit

I have no time for your metrics based on follower numbers and facebook friends. 

Here's why. 

If you were given the keys to a new Toyota Corolla to test drive and blog a review then you would have some authority. People with large follower numbers can retweet but it doesn't mean anything if the community has no engagement and clout. 

What if Jeremy Clarkson turned up and commented on your post?

He could have no followers on Twitter and no friends on Facebook. 

He is probably the most influential person in car marketing. 

Your metrics won't see this. 

You need to understand the complete media landscape and not rely on a computer. It can give you some pointers but can never show you true influence. 

You must understand the full media mix. 

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

If I hear going viral one more time...wisdom from Brian Solis

 In my experience, the social objects created solely with the goal of “going viral” will consistently underperform and reduce the likelihood for earning relevance and resonance. Those objects incentivized by thoughtfulness, value, and perhaps even empathy, will gain traction and encourage response and sharing, transitioning from relevance to resonance. And, the ingredients for resonance are readily available for those businesses that pay close attention to the recurring themes in customer conversations, actions, and reactions.

Brian Solis

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

Thursday, August 12, 2010

VID Steven Slater JetBlue Asian News CGI

I especially like the bedroom scene.

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Power Of Pointing

In the random things I learned this week file, the oddest thing that has stuck with me came from a Time article on animal intelligence and communication.

It seems there are only a few species that point to draw attention to things. Dogs inherently know how to point from hunting in packs and humans are big pointers. Great apes, although one of the most communicative species, don't naturally get pointing but those raised in captivity by humans soon figure it out.

By learning how to point, Kanzi the 'talking ape' now has hundreds of words in his vocab he can use to make sentences based on a chart of symbols. My favourite is his word for cabbage: 'lettuce' symbol + 'slow' symbol. 'Slow lettuce' because it takes him longer to chew. Genius!

It's a bizarre concept that we take take for granted and yet it's probably one of the most powerful tools in human communication.

People often get very confused when I try to explain the practical side of the social web and the difference between hosting and sharing information.

For example, if you film a little video, you can upload it to somewhere like YouTube where it will be hosted. You then share the link to the YouTube video out across other networks such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or your company website.

Sharing is pointing.

Pointing is getting attention.

You are pointing people back to your information and saying 'look at this'.

Picture yourself for a moment as an African Wild Dog out hunting in the Sahara. If you pointed out a dude with a gun to your pack so they didn't get shot then that would be useful pointing and people would want to listen to you more. If you keep pointing out inane stuff like 'wow look sand!' then the other African Wild Dogs would think you were stupid and irritating and stop listening to you.

You also need to make room for other people to point out their stuff and get attention. They also want you to listen and look at their stuff like videos, blogs, websites or boring holiday photos.

I love this earlier quote from Kanzi's human friend Bill Fields:

Kanzi was raised among humans, he has a powerful desire to communicate with the humans in his world He wants to share, he wants to do things with people. He wants people to know how smart he is. He wants people to know what he can do. And occasionally he'd like to be able to tell people to do things for him that he can't do for himself, like go down to the Dairy Queen and get him an ice cream with chocolate on it."

Seems we're all pretty much the same. 

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous

Thursday, August 5, 2010

5 Tips For Setting Up Company Branded Social Media Accounts

More fun then untangling iPod headphones, company social media account lock outs are hours of fun for all the family. 

The usual cause is a well meaning, over-excited punter that has a rush of blood to the head during a social media workshop and charges off to be super helpful and configure (see also take control over) all the accounts. 
Leadership in the company need to make it VERY clear that any branded accounts are controlled by the organisation and need to be setup accordingly. You need a centralised point where all the accounts sit and can be administered. No renegade accounts for sub-brands and dinky blog concepts until the bones are in place. 

Five ways to make it easier:

1. Create a new company email address for all social media accounts e.g. socialmedia@widgetinc.com

2. Agree on a naming structure and make sure it's consistent and available across the applications you want. e.g. http://twitter.com/widgetinc, http://youtube.com/widgetinc. Use http://namechk.com to make sure. 

3. Delegate a social media administrator for the company and one or two other senior people to oversee your new socialmedia@widgetinc.com email address. That's it! More people can be added later but keep it tight at the start until the strategy is setup. For example, the Managing Director and one or two others. Think long-term as individuals come and go. 

4. Register the accounts to the socialmedia@widgetinc.com email address using standard naming conventions and standard passwords. Keep it simple. 

5. Have a spreadsheet with all the accounts and passwords and enter all the details as you go to create a master list. Make the list read-only and publish it in a really obvious place on a shared drive or an intranet so if someone is sick or leaves, you won't get locked out. 

It's no fun sitting on the doorstep and having lot's of junk accounts coming up against your brand in search. Keep it simple, standard and centralised. 

Posted via email from cjlambert's posterous