Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Study Reports 96% Success Rate of Web 2.0 Technologies

Awareness Networks released study, "Trends in Adopting Web 2.0 for the Enterprise in 2007," based on 112 participants and here are the highlights:

  • More than half of enterprise-size organizations utilize Web 2.0 technologies (54 percent), as do 74 percent of companies with less than 500 employees.
  • The majority of respondents using Web 2.0 technologies employ a combination of internal- and external-facing tools (64 percent).
  • Blogs are the most used Web 2.0 technology (selected by 87 percent of respondents), followed by communities, wikis, RSS feeds and social networking.
  • Of companies that use Web 2.0 technology 37 percent are allowed to use social networking sites for business purposes at work.
  • The most successful uses of Web 2.0 technologies in their organizations are blogs (44 percent), communities (42 percent) and wikis (39 percent).
  • Ninety-six percent report that all Web 2.0 technologies they’ve used have been successful, with 83 percent reporting no clear failures.
  • Two-thirds of respondents say limited internal resources to deploy the technology is the biggest obstacle in adopting Web 2.0 technologies. 53 percent say they don't know what social media can do for their company including 73 percent of senior executives - and 23 percent (or nearly one in four) of HR decision makers are unfamiliar with Web 2.0 technologies.
  • Looking for proof of success? 91 percent of respondents report that internal-facing online social media will improve communication and collaboration and 47 percent of respondents plan to deploy an internal-facing community in 2008 or 2009.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Inside Scoop to Creating a Facebook Group

Richie Fitz commented in my earlier post Cisco got Facebooked asking about the set-up process and tips - here's what I can offer:
  • Set-up was easy. What we did was we set the group to 'private' initially so we could get it ready before the initial public launch (kinda like working in a staging environment). Everything but the title can be edited so make sure you choose your title carefully because it's final!
  • Grassroots start. Because we decided against using one of Facebook's sponsored groups, marketing and promotion was up to us. We started by having the core group of administrators invite their 'friends' to join - then the viral nature of Facebook kicked in as people joined and their networks were notified. We also referenced the Facebook group to people who register for the March 4th event on the uber user site.
  • Have a plan. We have a plan to update the group every week for at least the next 3-months. In week one we introduced Cupid along with a number of discussion topics, week two we introduced a new character, the Stork - complete with pictures and videos and we have more planned in the coming weeks (stay tuned).
  • Be social and be open. If you're going to create a group on a social media site you have to be willing to open Pandora's box and allow users to participate. We created a top 20 "Internet Addicts" list that encourages users to generate ideas and get recognized if their idea is selected. Also be ready to respond back to users when appropriate - don't be a deaf ear.

Join the group to see for yourself!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Cisco got Facebooked!

I'm excited to announce that I was part of a team that launched a new Facebook group for Cisco Systems: Cisco Support Group for Internet Addicts. It's a fun group playing off the recent Über User campaign to promote - well - that's sort of a secret until March 4th so for now it's to promote the big event that announce how "life on the network will be better for everyone."

I know there are other marketers who occasionally read this blog - I'd be interested in any feedback (or suggestions) good or bad on the campaign and the set-up of the Facebook group. Also I hope that you'll join the group and participate in some of the discussions.

Lastly, in the light of the Valentine's Day (even though I'm a day late), I'd like to introduce Cupid, the Infatuation Specialist - enjoy!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Life in Real Time

Ryan Kuder twittered his last day at Yahoo! as they gave him the boot. You get a play-by-play update of this day from getting the news to backing up his files to getting his phone confiscated.

What's interesting about this is how real-time every aspect of our lives can be. Every meeting, every event, every conversation could be documented in seconds with the quick movement of one's thumbs across the keyboard on their phones. A private conversation with a customer or a meeting with an analyst can be 'Twittered' at anytime and posted for the world to see. This illustrates yet another way Web 2.0 is changing the way we communicate.

For marketing professionals the only thing scarier than someone twittering something negative about one of our campaigns is no one twittering anything at all.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Yahoo & Microsoft Deal is a Non Starter

Think Yahoo is worth more than 44B? Well, they think so which is why they will be officially rejecting Microsoft's offer tomorrow. I think this is a blessing in disguise for Microsoft because I don't see how two struggling companies equal a stronger one and Yahoo comes with a lot of baggage. As for Yahoo I think this may be the best offer they get as their downward spiral is not going to increase their market share with time.

The Dog & Pony Show is Over

Cluetrain Rule #16: Already, companies that speak in the language of the pitch, the dog-and-pony show, are no longer speaking to anyone.

Unfortunately, at least in my experience this is a rule that many marketers often break. It goes against everything we've learned in school - we've been trained to spin, position and drop plenty of buzzwords. Now it's time to unlearn these skills. I know it's easier said than done but if you're looking for ways to hint to your marketers that this no longer works and you think little humor will work try sending them this IBM video:

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Pulse on the Blogosphere

StumbleUpon Takes the Social Bookmarking Lead
I can't say I'm surprised but StumbleUpon wins the ProBlogger popularity contest with 40% of the vote, had 21% and Digg had 19%. Are you still trying to figure out how to get 'stumbled'? Read The Guide.

Blogger Tips - How to Get Noticed
Whether your a new blogger or an old timer this quick post with three main tips is worth a read. If you looking for more ideas to gain popularity check out this top 50 list. Once you start putting these tips to work you'll want to measure your success right? Well check out this post for a good framework for for success.

Adobe Wants You to Share
Sharing, collaborating and doing it online is the trend of the decade and Adobe surely can't be left out in the cold. Their new web service - Adobe Share - allows you to share docs online. Check out this post for a product review and product comparison.

MySpace Follows in Facebook's Footprints
On Tuesday MySpace launched it's own developer site allowing anyone to build apps onto their platform. Is it too little too late? I don't think so but we'll just have to wait and see...

Reputation Marketing
What a great post by Paul Dunay - this one liner sums it up "A reputation that took decades to build can be threatened by a single event." Read his post for a three-step approach to that could save your reputation.

Can You Handle the Truth?
Matt Dickman doesn't think so and I have to agree - the biggest challenge corporations have with Social Media is letting go because they are afraid this "truth" will surface. What they fail to realize is that they are already surfaced. Ok, let me stop before I get on a rant - check out Matt's post for suggestions on how to get your social media feet wet.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Web 2.0 Expo - Session Summaries Part 2

In my last post I only gave a summary for 2 of the 5 sessions I attended. Here I will provide key takeaways from the following sessions: Social Advertising and Social Media, Widgetizing the Web and Designing the Mobile Web.

Social Advertising and Social Media

Moderated by Barbara Coll, Founder and Search Specialist at WebMama with the following panelists: Cam Balzer, Vice President of Emerging Media at Doubleclick Performics, Rajiv Parikh, CEO of Position2 and Kent Lindstrom, President of Friendster.

Cam was a big promoter of advertising on social media sites where 20% of the internet visits reside. He specifically used Facebook as an example where he touted the ability to target your ads based on demographics and geography as well as keywords based on profile content. You can run target counts from the Facebook site without having to pay any ad costs here.

Rajiv promoted TubeMogul where from one site you can have your videos posted to multiple sites including YouTube, MySpace, Google, Yahoo!, MetaCafe, and Revver. Rajiv also provided some obvious and useful tips when it comes to advertising:

  1. Know your target audience
  2. Develop content and apps that appeal to the audience
  3. Reward helpful and valuable users (ie. those who contribute)
  4. Be consistent
  5. Continually optimize

Kent talked about Friendsters popularity with 10B page views/month with an average engagement of 220 minutes/month however he took the opposing view of Cam and questioned the ability to effectively advertise to this audience for the following reasons:

  • The state that users are in - the are not there to buy
  • Ability to create inventory
  • Quality of targeting - "we know a lot but it's not always valuable"

Widgetizing the Web

Named moderator was Neil Patel, Internet Marketing Consultant and PronetAdvertising however he didn't play that role and instead just took up a seat on stage. Panel speakers included Hooman Radfar, CEO of Clearspring, Pradeep Javangula, CTO of Tumri and Gary Baker, CEO of ClipBlast!.

Unfortunately this session was a waste of time. It had no structure and even the panelists bored and uninterested - at one point is looked like the moderator was dozing off. I ended up taking this time to catch up on a few emails...

Designing the Mobile Web

Moderated by Julie Ask, Vice President & Research Director of Jupiter Research. The panelists included Barbara Ballard, Founder & President of Little Springs Design, Ain Indermitte, Senior Developer Relations Manager of Forum Nokia and Brand Lassey of Mozilla.

I thought Julie did a great job moderating this session although I heard others say she was a bit combative towards the panelists. I found it entertaining and she kept the session on topic and didn't let the panelists dance around a question.

> Why go mobile?

Brad shares the growth of mobile access by telling us know that more first time internet connections came from a phone as opposed to a PC and argued that since this is their first experience with the internet it's worth the investment to ensure it's a good one. He also mentioned that Barnes & Nobel and Amazon have been mobile since 1999 (I thought that was interesting). Although on the flip side he pointed out that less than 5% of phones in the US offer a browser experience.

Barbara says it only makes sense for the "head" (not the long tail) and it just depends on who and where your users are. She also made the point that if your targeting India the answer is a definite 'yes.'

Ain talked about Nokia's mobile offering and says that there are now phones that retail for under $100 that offer internet browsing. This will surely effect that 5% number that Brad mentions within the next few years. He also talked about the enhanced web experience that can come from a mobile phone based on location services and the fact that users are voice and camera enabled.

> How many mobile users are looking for specific information vs.. surfing the web?

Brad - Users want to get information and they want to get it fast.

Barbara agreed which is why it's important to optimize the site upfront for mobile users but at the same time, she warns not to lock users out of the full site and to offer links for more information.

> How much should people allocate to building a mobile web?

This ended up being a repeat to the first question and the answer boils down to 'it depends' - if your users are mobile that you should definitely have a mobile site but if they are not then it probably doesn't make sense. There is also some degree of strategy and how having a mobile site will effect your brand.

> What does a 'smaller' mobile site need?

Here are a few tips from the panelists: Less is better and make sure to put your key messages at the top. Design for 'blind users.' Barbara recommended Little Springs Design. There was a small debate on the use of apps but my conclusion is that most phones aren't ready for them yet so don't waste your time/money but it's a space worth following especially if your users are mobile.

The most important point - don't just shrink your site, you need to build from scratch.

> What does Mozilla's mobile browser and roadmap look like?

  • The engineering effort has been launched
  • There will be a new look and user interface
  • Integrate with desktop Firefox with added ' send to phone' options
  • Fully support AJAX and trying to work with Adobe for Flash support

That pretty much sums up this event. Although I am a big fan of WebGuild I have to admit I wasn't impressed by the overall schedule and organization. Next time I hope they'll take things a little deeper rather than trying to pack the day with 45-minute sessions that just scratched the surface.