Friday, May 27, 2011

10 Thoughts Before You Hire For Social Media

Expert, guru or hack.  IS there even such a thing?  By the fruits of their labor thou shalt know but really, does brilliance really care about titles? 

Not Guru Nor Expert But Ignore Social Media at your Own Peril

10 Thoughts Before You Hire for your Social Media

1.  Social media by itself will not take the place of Marketing.  Anybody who says so or tries to sell you the idea is a HACK.

2.  You can consult metrics and dollars ROI but there's more to measuring social media effectivity. It's honest to goodness brand-building that involves more giving than getting which can be very frustrating.  (But costlier to altogether ignore)

3.  Social networks are social media but social media isn't just social networks.  Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn are like rooms in a very big online mansion.  That's where most people are and that's great for marketers.  But we're sure not everybody on facebook are your right targets and seriously, not even a few are on twitter to be sold at.

4.  Marketing's intent is to sell and social media, ultimately, wants to do the same.  If you are aware of the difference then congratulations, you're ready for social media.  If not, you'd be better of reviewing the marketing plan, make sure you have a very deep pocket and a can't miss, awesome product - like a proven height increase product in 5 days, if there's one.

5.  Social media supports marketing but way better if the whole company supports social media.  Not just for purely selfish and commercial reasons  and not because it won't work but it may take a tortuous route if your employees will see through the hypocrisy.  It will be better if you treat your employees with respect that they come up with great product and provide good service that social media will come naturally from within.

6. Social media is not too different with CSR so do not try to demonize social media marketing efforts.  Celebrate dollar deals you obtain with social media but more than that, treasure relationships.  Easier said than done.

7.  In the event you can find one who admits that he is one, hire that innovation expert and he'd probably drive you nuts with his demands for a whole lot of changes that you will only pay lip service to because without the sales, everyone is bound to dismiss him as a fraud.  Same with social media expert but instead of demanding changes, be prepared for a whole lot of data monitoring, listening and participating.  What happens next is a lot of work for the Marketing experts. 

8.  What do you think of lottery?  Do you still buy tickets even if you think odds are higher of being hit by lightning than winning?  Do you look at it as getting yourself an opportunity to win instead of  skipping thus you'd have no real chance at all.  At least you save  a couple of dollars instead of a losing ticket.  Getting social media, more like the same.

9. Observe and look around, compare buying trends.  See anything different or similar?  More than going online or digital, social media is not just some set of tools, service or fail-proof magic formula.  Honestly, I look at it as effective marketing evolving and doing it's homework in the new platform/marketplace.

10.  The real reason you should never hire a social media expert is that there isn't one.  Many will claim to be one for adding thousands of "likes" and followers to your brands fan page but they're no different from a celebrity endorsement - your 15 minutes worth of fame.  If you value something longer than that then you'd simply have to think it through and become the real expert - through learning, yourself.


Need a Social Media Strategy? Start Thinking Community… | Social Media Today 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Friday, May 20, 2011

Failure in Innovation is a Price Worth Paying

In 2007, Mario Capecchi was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine for this work on mouse genes.  But as Tim Hartford narrates, it required stubbornness to beat a system designed to minimizing losses and maximizing gains.

The US National Institutes of Health is responsible for disbursing grants using government money to fund potentially life-saving research.  It involves huge sums, thankfully and with this comes the NIH's expert-led, results-based, rational evaluation of projects which is a sensible way to produce a steady stream of high-quality, can't-go-wrong scientific research. 

On the other hand, this is a system that was designed to stop Mario Capecchi on his ground-breaking research on mouse genes way back in 1980 that involved applying targeted change to DNA.  Quite simply, at that time, this was a ridiculous idea.

You would have to read the whole article to find out how he beat the system and got it funded resulting in him getting the Nobel prize.  What is interesting though is figuring out how to make it easier for many of the other geniuses who do not have the same defiant character to be stubborn like Mr Capecchi so as not to lose precious scientific or technological advances.

What the NIH system does is sound and speaks of responsibility of using taxpayer's money.  We can all agree to that.  In fact, in these time, it is quite laudible.


Tim writes, "But it is exactly the wrong way to fund lottery-ticket projects that offer a small probability of a revolutionary breakthrough. It is a funding system designed to avoid risksone that puts more emphasis on forestalling failure than achieving success. Such an attitude to funding is understandable in any organization, especially one funded by taxpayers. But it takes too few risks. It isn't right to expect a Mario Capecchi to risk his career on a life-saving idea because the rest of us don't want to take a chance. "

Comparing the NIH way to a different HMMI program that pushes through with uncertainty and higher probability of failures, researchers found evidence that qualifications being almost similar to between the 2 systems, HMMI researchers were more likely to produce highly cited research articles and win awards.

More from Tim:

"The HHMI researchers also produced more failures; a higher proportion of their research papers were cited by nobody at all. No wonder: The NIH program was designed to avoid failure, while the HHMI program embraced it. And in the quest for truly original research, some failure is inevitable.

Here's the thing about failure in innovation: It's a price worth paying. We don't expect every lottery ticket to pay a prize, but if we want any chance of winning that prize, then we buy a ticket. In the statistical jargon, the pattern of innovative returns is heavily skewed to the upside; that means a lot of small failures and a few gigantic successes. The NIH's more risk-averse approach misses out on many ideas that matter."

So how does this idea sound to you?  

Innovation requires a great amount of courage.  Hopefully, it is something we can supply from our side so that the genius would not have to wrestle much with continuing or not.  Thus, he rewards us with a gift that we can only comprehend once he fails multiple times then succeeds even if just once.

Read complete Slate article here.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Malcolm Gladwell to Steve Job-Wannabes: "Forget Being First"

Steve Jobs sees a mouse at Xerox and begins climb to being top cat.

It has been awhile since we've read something new from Malcolm Gladwell.  Fortunately for us, all it takes is a paid subscription of the May 16 issue of the The New Yorker to read The Creation Myth.   Yes, it begins with story of the mouse, of how a 24 year old Steve Jobs struck lightning after given a product tour of Xerox-Parc, then the top dog in Silicon Valley.  But again, in true Gladwell-ian fashion, he leads us to deconstruct the creative myth and asks us to re-examine not just innovation, but the more importantly, process that goes with it.

We didn't start the fire!

You don't want to be first.  Innovation process requires refinements
Gladwell argues that there is misplaced devotion to being first as if one invention is enough to cascade and create a powerful revolution.  He argues that essentially it takes a bunch of inventions, not just one, to create massive movement and see it come to fruition.  We think of creative innovators as people with original ideas. But Malcolm makes a distinction.  A true innovator may not be the one with a new idea but one that has a new take on an old idea.

Add constraints.  
Xerox had a $300 mouse.  Jobs wanted it sturdier, without clickable buttons and one that would retail for $15.  Now, how hard was that?
Think of constraints not as roadblocks.  What more constraints actually does is force you to be creative and come up with more practical (and more commercial) ideas.  

Invention is great  but innovation makes it work.  Don't be disheartened if somebody beat you to an invention, because to innovate is to persevere and to find angles which may or may not be different to what was the prevailing thought.  This would probably entail a lot of disappointments and even ridicule which you should leave by the wayside for every quality idea that emerges is a product of the volume of the failed ones. 

PARC responds and adds to the enlightenment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

With Amazon's Public Cloud Reign Intact, Private Cloud Innovators Prepare For War

Private cloud market proves more appealing than playing public cloud runner-up.

HP, Cisco and Brocade all came up with product offerings aimed at carving out a private cloud market niche of their own in the last 7 days. To make things more appealing, all three are throwing networking architecture caveats that will allow enterprises to leverage virtualization, mobility and cloud computing much more flexibly.

Game of (Cloud) Thrones

This doesn't mean that cloud computing on it's own lacks pizzazz. This just confirms the fact that besides the numbers, Amazon rules public cloud and there's not a lot of thing companies can do to surpass it. Maybe a couple more outages, perhaps.

Still, the private cloud market is no small fry as reported recently by Forrester. In fact, it should prove profitable -- yet also not cheap. Companies looking to salvage as much existing infrastructure like data centers would do well to capitalize on these private cloud offers to continue to gain a measure of profitability against the cloud onslaught.

Perhaps, shopping around, they need not lose hope of finding affordable cloud solutions to help transition into a cloud business.

Posted via email from friarminor's posterous

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Cloud computing: More Than Another Amazon Cloud Outage, Fear Complacency

Success hides problems and truth is, Amazon didn't know what hit 'em. Sure there was a man-made error to start with but who would've thought that a self-healing feature actually made things worse. Right out of a movie script if you ask me.

Plan for failure is good reasonable advice but certainly doesn't cover everything and vague for most to truly appreciate and apply. Important to remember that at this stage, there will be trickles about specifics before the fact. But then, this shouldn't stop you with cloud plans.

Be vigilant instead and continue working to get small wins. Much as we know a lot about the cloud, the things we're unaware of - problems that remain out of sight, actually hold the more valuable answers.


To freeze and stop with cloud computing now is the real disaster.

Here are excellent blog posts covering the outage to get you moving in the right cloud direction from hereon:

Posted via email from friarminor's posterous