What Google+ Means for You

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iCrossing Live Media Studio: On Google+

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via The Content Lab

Google has created more than a social media destination with Google+ – but also an opportunity for marketers to enjoy stronger synergy between search and social media.

In the video featured here, iCrossing thought leaders Tarah Feinberg, Matthew Gagen, and Alisa Leonard discuss how marketers will be able to use Google Plus to learn more about their customers with highly refined insights and then improve their search marketing campaigns.

Google Plus is not yet formally open to brands – but as Tarah Feinberg states, it’s important that marketers start learning from Google+ now.

“Understand what’s going on with this platform,” he asserts. “Everything on a personal level can be transferred to a professional level.”

This video is the first in new iCrossing thought leadership series known as iCrossing Real-Time Insights. Through Real-Time Insights, iCrossing provides advice on topical issues to help chief marketing officers build connected brands and businesses. Real-Time Insights are created by the iCrossing Live Media Studio.

— David Deal, Vice President of Marketing, iCrossing

Google+ & +1: Connecting The Digital Dots

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google+1
I recently spent a few days at Google and with the Google+ folks, and as a marketer, it got me very excited.

What stands out about Google’s approach is that it is clear they are not out to build another destination social network (thank goodness).

Rather, they seem to be out to build the social OS— a social data layer that underpins everything, creating a more significant and measurable relationship between a brand’s website, paid media, natural search and social engagement. They are doing what Facebook should have done. +Pages, Google+ for businesses, are not slated to launch until early fall.

Here’s what’s exciting
The relationship between +Pages and +1 means that the social graph will be connected with actions across natural search, paid media and website content. It means big opportunities for marketers to create strategically integrated, connected digital programs across bought, earned and owned media.

Consider the impact of a connected program
A paid media program utilizing +1 could extend its targeting through social re-targeting (if I +1 an ad, it is served to my social graph and takes priority over other ads), and at the same time capture those audiences in a social database for ongoing messaging & engagement beyond the paid campaign (when I +1 an ad I am given the option of joining the brand’s +Page right there)— and, that brand messaging (content) shared through the +Page in turn creates visibility in natural search, yet another high value brand touch point.

Additionally, If I add +1 to my site content, say at the product category level or even product level, and that content receives a lot of +1′s, that action can have a positive impact in two ways:

1) Customers that +1 the product will be asked to join the brand’s +Page circles (site interaction to CRM!)
2) Your site content benefits from improved search visibility from social signals

Google: The Future of Marketing is ZMOT

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When we see that content scarcity has given way to content overload, fixed channels of communication have dissolved into a myriad of complex networks, and once-captive audiences have now become active participants in conversation– it begs us to re-think how we do marketing.

The future of marketing–it’s about content, conversation, continuity and commerce. It’s about real-time and context.

The Future!

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Because it’s time to make another declarative about THE FUTURE OF MARKETING…….RAH!

content marketing

content marketing

Introducing iCrossing’s Live Media Studio

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Thrilled to have launched the iCrossing Live Media Studio, “the industry’s first-ever resource dedicated to real-time marketing through content and community.”

It’s time to evolve beyond social media marketing, the focus of the Studio is on using data-driven insights to create real-time brand experiences through content, community building and digital dialogue as part of integrated marketing programs—entirely focused on measurable results.

Keep up to date on Studio happenings via The Content Lab….and catch some of the things we’ve got up our sleeves :)

Content is King: A Framework for Editorial Strategy

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Marketers are all abuzz about content marketing. Indeed, it seems to be the hottest marketing topic right now, and everyone is taking a serious look at how to evolve digital programs to align to a content-centric approach. In many aspects, this renewed focus on content is an extension of the social media marketing evolution, and the recognition that in order to succeed in a real-time, always-on social web, content – as it always has been for search – is king. As the sounding bell for content grows louder, there are many questions that arise when talking about content strategy:

How does a content strategy fit into an overarching digital approach? What processes or frameworks should we have in place to get started?

First, its key to think of content as core to your digital strategy, that it is embedded into every brand touch point and fuels bought, earned, and owned channels. Another key point is to think of content strategy as editorial strategy. It might sound like a subtle difference, but thinking about content in terms of editorial strategy means focusing on audience-centric, top-down brand narrative development as well as bottoms-up, channel-specific content needs that fold into one cohesive marketing program. This approach allows for an overarching approach to be customized even at local levels while maintaining strategic integrity.

When developing a content marketing strategy, consider the five P’s framework:

Prep: Content should be informed by insights. Consider the inputs you will need to answer strategic questions including: who is the audience and what objectives are you trying to achieve? What does the content ultimately need to say and how should it come to life? Crafting your content programs based on key insights is crucial to success.

Program: Rather than developing a strategy once and executing, content marketing requires adaptability. It can be helpful to think of your content marketing in terms of living programs, as captured in editorial and engagement calendars, that are assessed, analyzed, and optimized on an ongoing basis. Much like paid media, your content strategy should adapt quickly based on what’s working – and what’s not.

Produce: Producing content is perhaps a brand’s biggest challenge. High-quality, multi-platform content is key to driving true engagement and results. Considering the content spectrum below, content can come from many sources and can create a variety of both evergreen and topical content opportunities. Keep in mind that when producing content, all assets should be sharable (social-friendly), accessible (mobile-friendly), and visible (search-friendly).
content strategy via The Content Lab

Publish: Content should be multi-purpose and multi-platform. Content is published through owned media channels like the website, branded social spaces, and email. You can also think of your content as being “published” through paid media, as in the case of Google Media Ads, video ads, or Facebook Sponsored Stories.

Propagate: Beyond publishing, develop a plan that ensures content will move through networks. This is where content and community go hand-in-hand. Embedding your audience engagement and SEO strategy into your content program is key to ensuring that your content will propagate across networks, creating earned media and increasing reach and effectiveness – ultimately driving performance success.

Creating content for content’s sake will not help marketers. A thoughtful, structured editorial framework that speaks to all of your audiences is the key to success.

Originally written for ClickZ:

Evaluating Social Media ROI

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social media ROI

social media ROI

The ROI of social media should be evaluated by 3 key performance categories:

- Impact of individual channel performance on marketing goals

- Impact of social engagement on other marketing channels (e.g. optimizations gained in paid media)

- Impact of social engagement on cost centers (i.e. call centers, R&D, HR, etc)

Real-time, Connected Brands: iCrossing POV

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#SXSWing

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My panel at SXSW! March 13, 4:45PM

Facial Expression Analysis Future of Content Strategy?

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New from an MIT Media Lab team– facial expression analysis based on viewing web content. Affectiva is an MIT spin-out creating cloud-based tools to collect and communicate emotion data — check it out here.

The potential uses for such data could be as far reaching as informing ABA or Playtime therapy approaches for those with autism to of course more commercial endeavors such as marketing, content programming, etc.

The Content Lab

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Hi all, I am now blogging over at The Content Lab, an initiative to explore through dialog the future of content. Come join! (I will still be blogging here too).

12 Types of Social Media Expert…

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12 Types of Social Media Experts
View more presentations from JESS3.

Ted Talk: Johanna Blakley: Social Media & The End of Gender

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Pink Ponies: A Case Study

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Perfection

Is Your Earned Media All That it Can Be?

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earned media, social media, ROI

Social Media Marketing Redux: The Manifesto

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The Web is Social, The Web is Real-Time

We Are All Cyborgs Now

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Love this. Thoughts?

We Are All The Database

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the web is social

Quick Bit: DIKW Hierarchy Applied to Visual Understanding

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My colleagues and I often discuss and apply the DIKW hierarchy to what we do as digital strategists– this is a nice thought-starter piece for applying the same hierarchy to perhaps experience planners and visual designers.

via Information is Beautiful

Gap Want: I “LIKE” Goods for Good

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alisa leonard

It is no secret I am an unabashed techno-optimist and web evangelist. Indeed, I spend most of my personal and professional time evangelizing how the web, social media in particular, can foster community, collaboration, learning, connection and inspiration. I firmly believe that there is much power for good in social media, that it can be a key agent for progress and change—particularly in developing communities and impoverished regions.

However, while the web indeed has the power to enlighten, educate and be a powerful tool for good, it is still limited in very real ways. Of course, there will always be a need for tangible goods to improve communities and developing regions– commodities that we often take for granted.

Goods for Good is an organization dedicated to bettering the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in developing areas by collecting and delivering surplus goods to children in need, “turning excess into success.”

I was thrilled to participate in the recent Gap Holiday campaign in support of Goods for Good. For every “Like” my video receives on Facebook, Gap will donate $1 to Goods for Good!

Please help with support this fantastic organization by clicking here, watching the video and pressing that “Like” button! Also, please visit Goods4good.org to learn more!

And yes, that is seriously one epic hat…love it! I think @JaclynRJohnson at Some Notes on Napkins would approve! ☺

alisa leonard

The Web is Social, The Web is Real-Time

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Social Landscaping & Idea Design, #FTW

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Love this guy. Also keenly aware I am guilty as charged :)

Facebook “Download Your Info” is NOT Data Portability

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Many of you perhaps just watched the live Facebook announcement, and may be wondering what it all means. To tell you the truth, I am still trying to figure that out— there are three main things to think about:

1) The ability to download your Facebook data

2) The ability to monitoring your data usage through an apps dashboard

3) The creation of Facebook groups.

For now, I wanted to issue a quick response about item #1.

Already I have seen across the Twittersphere references to Facebook now allowing “data portability.” Data portability is the idea that users are, and should be, in control of their data, how its used, and have access to it at any time. Beyond this, data portability inherently implies data interoperability— the ability for your identity and social graph data to be used across any site or service, as controlled by the end user, and therefore requires the use of open web standards. Facebook’s “Download Your Info” is NOT data portability. It is data accessibility.

Why is this important?

It is important to first understand that true data portability puts the ultimate power of data control in the hands of the user, not the web application using that data. Facebook has long fallen under scrutiny for having immense control over end user data. The development of Facebook Connect and the Open Graph API have been steps in the direction of data portability, but ultimately, Facebook continues to maintain, under their TOS, the last word on your data usage through an all-encompassing license to do what they wish with your data (including sub-license it to other entities).

What matters is that while they now allow more access to your data through the download feature, the Facebook TOS has not changed— meaning your data is still on their server and while you can download, you cannot remove your data entirely (if you wished to do so). This is data accessibility, not data portability.

I would love to see Facebook adopt the DataPortability Project’s Portability Policy. This proposed policy is a twist on the familiar web standard of a Privacy Policy, which has historically articulated what a site can and can’t do with your data. The Portability Policy aims to create transparency between applications/sites and end users when it comes to how end user data can be used, and how users may be able to access and ultimately “port” their data across any site or service. Adoption of a Portability Policy is the first true step towards data portability, transparency and end user control.

Disclosure:
Please note Alisa Leonard is Chair of Communications for the DataPortability Project

Social Media Marketing Redux

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Twitter Wine = Literacy for Children Worldwide

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I’m into this

The Web Evolves Around You

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the web is social, the web is identity

meta monday

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Why Every Site Needs a Data Portability Policy

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The following was written by

Elias Bizannes of the DataPortability Project.

Why Did We Do This?

The software industry is still figuring out the right balance between open and closed, but we at the DataPortability Project believe that communication is the first step.

Tell your visitors what they can expect from you and what you expect from them in return. Your Portability Policy explains the ways that your customers can use the digital “stuff” they’ve entered into your product, including pictures, settings, messages, sounds, lists, or anything else your product manipulates. Can they bring things in? Can they get them out? Can other products use things in-place, or do they need to make copies? Can your product work with stuff that’s hosted someplace else?

What is a Portability Policy?

Your Portability Policy is a plain-language document that tells your visitors what they can easily bring in and take out. Steve Greenberg, chair of the working group that developed the idea, describes it like this: “In the same way that your Privacy Policy tells visitors what you can do with information they provide, your product’s Portability Policy tells visitors what they can do with it. It should be clear enough that an average user can understand, and short enough that people can actually read it.” The new site, PortabilityPolicy.org, contains a series of questions that will help guide you in creating a Portability Policy as well as several samples.

“We need a Creative Commons for EULAs”

Greenberg and his team started with the idea that the existing ToS (terms of service) and EULA (end user licensing agreement) model was broken, and something new was needed.

The model we use for agreements between people and products comes from a time when the average person didn’t need to deal with very many of them. Developing software was complex and expensive so there weren’t that many choices. The cost of networking to move the our digital data around was enormous. The practical outcome was that you didn’t need agreements with many companies, and your data wasn’t moving around very much anyway. Until four or five years ago this was good enough, but it no longer matches how we use our computers today.

Cheap broadband and a new generation of software development tools changed everything. Today you, the user, have a host of choices for pretty much anything you want to do.There’s no more reason why you need one product to provide everything you do online, like you need one grocery store to provide everything you eat.

The long-term goal of the Portability Policy group is to create a range of standard portability terms and license clauses that improve communication between people and service providers. What we are announcing today is a set of questions that sites can answer to explain how people can bring data in and take it out. Our intention is to expand this set of questions through ongoing industry conversation—along with machine-readable text and simplified iconography—so people can determine at a glance whether the product meets their needs, and product owners can be confident that customers really understand and agree to the terms.

The DataPortability Project wants to open and simplify communication so people make informed choices, enabling market forces to help products meet demand more effectively. In the same way the capital markets have a taxonomy and standard form of communciation when companies disclose their financial results, the DataPortability Project advocates a new specificity in the service agreement language. One that enables full understanding of how personal data can be used in the digital age by companies and their websites.

An applied example: Twitter

There are three important things to note about the questions that make up the Portability Policy: there is no right or wrong answer to the questions nor are they binding; a company doesn’t have to answer all of the questions; and a company can respond to each question as much as it wants, as long as it provides the minimum answers required.

So what would it look like if Twitter had a Portability Policy? If they were to be lazy, a bare-bones Portability Policy might look like this:

…and that’s it. All the above answers can be selected from the page with the questions at http://portabilitypolicy.org/questions.html

If Twitter wanted to say more—for whatever reason—they could write more. For example, they might want to expand on what API’s they provide, or discuss the reasons behind their decision to not allow you to reuse your identify from other sites. This is where the design of the Portability Policy shows its value—it’s easy to implement and hurts no company by answering the bare minimum; and at their discretion, they can expand to provide context on their decisions or add additional transparency, in a comparable way to other similar services.

Why Data Portability matters to companies and users

People should have control over their personal information because it will unlock value in their online experiences. But it’s not a zero-sum equation.

Site owners have an economic interest to support the portability of people’s data. For example, imagine you are a social network and your revenue model relies on targeted advertising. What value is there in locking in a user’s data, if the data is wrong? Possession may be nine-tenths of the law, but being a walled garden is not a competitive advantage; sites need ongoing access to—not storage of—a person’s data, as it changes. (I’ve written about this before.)

In fact, a lot more economic value could be created if sites realized the opportunity of an Internet whose sites do not put borders around people’s data. (You can read more about this in my theory about the information value chain.)

Our belief is that Data Portability is a more complex problem culturally than technically. The Portability Policy attempts to help change that culture through better communication.

So how does the Portability Policy help with the goal of giving users more control over their data? We believe sites and their users have a relationship, and the relationship is stronger if the user can trust the website to protect their domain over their data. The more freedom the user has to move data, the more likely the user is to share it. And as users become more knowledgeable about how sites might control their data without their knowledge, the websites that are transparent about data use will stand in the best stead with the public.

What’s next

Among the future work the workgroup will be looking at:

1. Evolving the questions. What else should we be asking companies to disclose?

2. Developing icons. How can we communicate the messages more simply?

3. Machine readable. How can we create more value in the interpretation of the questions by computers?

We are launching the questions today, and we’ve explored uses cases with the machine readable questions like a status bar when you visit a site. Our icons are also being developed, with an example of the direction below.

This is the beginning of the dialogue between portability advocates, companies and users. As websites adopt the Portability Policy, we will evolve the standard questions. For example, our new credit card potability working group is raising awareness on an important issue—but it’s a business-to-business issue and not one relevant to sites that don’t take credit cards. We will incorporate questions that cater to that workgroup’s suggestions in addition to other issues the community brings up. (The Credit Card group previously was an independent effort, and they decided to come under our umbrella to support our broader goals.)

Recommended practices in answering questions will emerge, enabling us to assess websites on an equal basis, comparing them on the key issues that matter for data portability. We believe this is something all companies can easily support with minimal cost, as they gain greater visibility into user expectations and find common ground for communicating with their users.

To help websites adopt a Portability Policy, we are releasing a basic generator that help companies pre-fill a Portability Policy. We’ve also worked with a select few companies as we announce this today to show the diversity of applications. For example, Topguest.com launched the other week and filled out their Policy with minimal effort. Beyond the web, we can point to the .tel domain registry that has implemented a portability policy, and in entertainment we can point to Tubefilter.

This is the start of a conversation and we look forward to hearing how people can help us grow this initiative. For services interested, feel free to contact me or write a message on our community mailing list

Data Experiences: The Alpha Pragmatic/Synaptic Web

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Well, I have been saying for a while now we will begin to see real identity-based experiences develop that go beyond the “identity”-based experiences we have now (read: beyond cookies). The hypothesis I offered to Mashable a few years ago, appears to be on its way. What, you say? We will begin to see more dynamic content experiences (read: inclusive of new real-identity, socially contextualized “advertising” models) based on user identity, contextualized by one’s social meta-data (including relationship and behavioral trend modeling).

First Amazon and now the NYTimes are taking a more serious approach to the value of Facebook user data, incorporating it into perhaps their very business model (which, of course poses a whole swath of new questions / challenges / debates). Who’s next?

I’ve already blogged about this til, I’m blue in the face, so I’ll let someone else do it. Just glad its finally happening so I stop getting blank stares. And yes, I’m kind of cranky today.

SXSW PanelPicker! Poked, Liked & Re-Tweeted: A Google Love Story

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Hey all, I have a panel submission up for the 2011 SXSW Interactive PanelPicker….Details of the panel below, would much appreciate a vote for it and would love to hear feedback / questions you would want to see answered / addressed should the panel get picked for SXSW!

Click here to vote….hugs!

Title: Poked, Liked & Re-Tweeted: A Google Love Story
Organizer : Alisa Leonard, iCrossing

Description
For too long SEO and social pundits have battled it out – “social media creates links and visibility in search!” …..”social is about conversation and engagement, screw search!” Will there ever be a true synergy between these two? The engines certainly think so and now more than ever search really does need social and social impacts search more than ever. How? Why? How do you do it, and do it right, without violating the tenants of engagement and the almighty Conversation? Alisa Leonard and Rob Garner of iCrossing present a compelling narrative and case studies that illustrate just how the long awaited synergy between search and social is real and how it can be leveraged to drive performance and results. For real this time, we promise.

Questions Answered
- How has search changed and why does it matter?
- Why does social matters for search more than ever?
- How do you actually use social to impact search — beyond spreading links?
- What’s an example of how you measure success? (Billboard case study)
- What changes are coming that creators need to be prepared for?

Level Intermediate
Category Social Networking
Tags integrated campaigns, search media
Type Panel
Event Interactive 2011

Facebook + Skype

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Facebook, ever marching forward to become the OS for the social web. I call them the social “Intel” inside the web. Catch the FB + Skype Livestream announcement:

The Knock

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Since all of my usual blogging thoughts have been going into client decks lately, I thought I would break the absence with this pretty awesome video. The Knock! Enjoy: