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made me go hmm

Rethinking your digital experience strategy. Is it irrational enough?


Rethinking your digital experience strategy. Is it irrational enough?

Amy holds a block. She joins it to another block. And then another, and another. But she’s not playing with blocks. She’s building a castle. And she’s building a kingdom. Her kingdom. She and her friends are connecting one kingdom to another, bridged by train tracks split in two by a magical redwood tree. Two sheep wait in the tree’s branches. One schemes to prevent visitors from proceeding to the other side. The other waits to hear the secret password – a message hidden back along the tracks can help them figure it out. Someone is piling sheep wool underneath the tracks because once visitors say the right thing, the good sheep will tell them to jump. A soft landing and more instructions await.

Amy and her friends are playing in the imaginary world of Minecraft.


watch this space


watch this space

Is pay to play the new way? We might be headed in that direction. 2013 will be the year of locked feeds, pay as you go distributed content, and more “subcompact” publishing than you can shake a stick at. Pretty exciting times. I for one am watching Pheed. It seems like it could be the most “bite sized” of the entrants.



bring on the internet of things

The more real world objects pop up that connect to the Internet, the more demand there is for network infrastructure like sensors and routers. 

Cisco has designed an infographic that offers a simple example of how Internet of Things will affect you in your everyday life. It also states that by 2020, there will be 50 billion ‘things’ connected to the Internet - everything from your body, car, alarm clock and even cows.

The number of things connected to the Internet has already exceeded the number of people on earth. So this is a big trend - and big business for Cisco and other technology companies.

via readwriteweb




social networking meets the union.

Thanks to the power of people and the internet, the unemployed now have their own union, and it’s catching on quickly.

The idea is that if millions of jobless join together and act as an organization, they are more likely to get Congress and the White House to provide the jobs that are urgently needed. They can also apply pressure for health insurance coverage, unemployment insurance and COBRA benefits and food stamps. An unemployed worker is virtually helpless if he or she has to act alone.

You can follow UCubed on twitter, and joining a Cube is at is as simple as it is important:

  • Six people who live in the same zip code address can form a Ucube.
  • Nine such UCubes make a neighborhood.
  • Three neighborhood UCubes form a power block that cntains 162 activists.
  • Politicians cannot easily ignore a multitude of power blocks, nor can merchants avoid them.

from the site:

You lost your job. You’re not alone. 31 million Americans face the same challenges. You want your job back. You want your life back. But you can’t do it alone. Neither can anyone else. You all need each other. That’s what UCubed is here to do: Help you and 31 million other Americans organize, work together and get back to work. Let UCubed help you connect. Form a cube, and multipy your political and economic power by 6. Then by 36. Eventually, by 31 million. Take Control.



everything (most people) need to know about cloud computing

Psst! Hey! You! (Yeah you!) The one that keeps hearing the term “cloud computing” come up in meetings recenty. Yes, you — the one that nods his head, pretending he knows what it is. Right, YOU!


I just found a great explanation of it online. It’s everything you need to know about “the cloud” but were afraid to ask. And now I’m posting it here for you. Go ahead. Print it out. Take it with you. Whatever you want. Just uh, next time ASK when you don’t understand something, OK? Geez.



the twitter gold-rush, direct marketing and Twitterhawk

I found this posting this AM from Guy Kawasaki on a new service called Twitterhawk. Basically an app that turns The Tweet into direct marketing on steroids. I for one am not a fan of the Twitter Ad-douche gold-rush, but I must say - there are some compelling points in here. What say you?

from the Twitterhawk site:

TwitterHawk is a real time targeted marketing engine…with true CPC link tracking…that will find people talking on twitter now by your chosen topic and location, allowing you to really hit your target mid conversation with ease. It will periodically search twitter for you and either auto-reply or generate a list of matches for you to respond toor reject from your twitterhawk account.

from Guy’s article:

Twitterhawk is a “real-time, targeted-marketing tool”—or the ultimate spam machine. First, let me tell you why I’m telling you about it: Because it can help you use Twitter as a marketing tool. Second, let me tell you how it works. You create keyword searches like what you can do at

For example:

Then you compose up to five responses to the tweets that it finds for each search condition and schedule the search intervals. An Audi dealer in Palo Alto, for example, can use this to find sales or maintenance prospects on Twitter. Twitterhawk will then tweet your responses for when it finds the right keywords in the right area.

Essentially this is a way to monitor public conversations for keywords without being the NSA while Dick Cheney was running things. In other words, this is as good as it gets for targeted marketing. The closet analogy I can think of is how Gmail searches your email and inserts ads based on the words it finds in your messages.

This is when the panic ensues: “Holy kaw, if many people started using Twitterhawk, it would mean the death of Twitter as a means of social networking and communication!” Let me tell you why this isn’t true:

1.  Twitterhawk charges $.05 for each tweet that it sends. What spammer can afford to pay $.05/tweet in order to ask you to help get money out of Nigeria or to sell you penis-enlargement products? By the way, Twitterhawk tracks how many times people clicked on the link, so that you can determine your per click cost.

2.  There is a blacklist of terms that Twitterhawk will not respond to. I don’t know what’s on the list, but I suspect words like “the” are probably on it to prevent too many matches.

3.  There is a limit of twelve fully-automatic tweets per day per search. At this rate, it will take a long time to find someone to help get money out of Nigeria or a man who wants to get his aforementioned penis enlarged.

4.  You cannot send the same person more than one tweet based on the same search. This means that the Audi dealer cannot send you a tweet every time you mention the word “Audi.” The dealer gets one shot at you.

5.  You can edit each outgoing tweet when you set Twitterhawk to manual approval. This means that you can use Twittehawk to find tweets to respond to and queue them up for individual answers. (The reason to manually approve each tweet is that you wouldn’t want to send a tweet such as “We’re an Audi dealer located in Palo Alto. We’d love your business,” in response to a tweet like, “I’m so glad I just sold my 1970 Audi. It’s given me nothing but trouble.”

At this price and at this rate, Twitterhawk is hardly a spam tool. It is, however, a very powerful marketing tool if you use it sparingly and precisely. The Audi dealer, for example, might find that it sent out 100 tweets at a total cost of $5 and got one oil change customer out of it. That’s probably worth it—particularly if the customer returns for more expensive work or buys a car.

Looking at it another way: How else can you find people within driving distance of your dealership who are interested in Audis? Radio, TV, and newspaper advertising? Don’t make me laugh. It’s certainly worth trying—although, in truth, you can try Twitter targeted-direct marketing without Twitterhawk by simply using Twitter’s search capability or most Twitter clients anyway.

I close with an interesting story. When I first heard of Twitterhawk, I went nuts and set up searches for mentions of text like “Fashionweek” which resulted in automatic tweets to visit Fashion.alltop. After sending a few thousand tweets like this (perhaps TwitterHawk created the twelve/day limit in my honor!), my @alltop account was suspended, so I’ve cooled it. Clearly, there is some danger in pushing the edge of marketing, and I’m figuring that out too.

See Guy’s original article on OpenForum here.



Virgin, Branson and Pitch TV

Here’s the first episode of Richard Branson’s PitchTV, which is airing onboard Virgin Atlantic planes during June.

Do you want to a chance to be featured on PitchTV and get your business idea seen by thousands business professionals from all over the world? If so, just upload your short video to PitchTV.

Here’s Richard Branson’s introduction to PitchTV:

“As part of it’s 25th Anniversary celebrations, Virgin Atlantic is launching a new show, PitchTV, which will air onboard and will also be available online here.

We’re now inviting entrepreneurs in search of investment and exposure for their business ideas to upload short video pitches.

The community here will vote for their favourite video pitches and each month, the winning videos will feature as part of Virgin Atlantic’s PitchTV show which will air on their inflight entertainment system – gaining exposure to the hundreds of business professionals who regularly fly Virgin Atlantic. Anyone interested in hearing more about the most popular entrepreneurs’ business ideas will then be able to get in contact and maybe help take their ideas further.”



one man's trash...

One man’s trash is… well, another man’s trash that he keeps in a clear plastic cube. New York City, perhaps the most interesting city in the world, undoubtedly has some interesting trash. One artist decided why not box it up and sell it all over the world to people who want a unique and fitting piece of the city. Justin Gignac of NYC Garbage artistically arranges soda cans, receipts, club flyers, parking tickets and other junk and signs and dates each cube of trash. Get your own here.



social media the Obama way


Hey. You. Yeah, You. The one who’s still trying to be a lil’ more social with your branding efforts…

(Hi!) I have a secret for you. Steal from Mr. Obama.

(“The Social Pulpit” is a very interesting analysis of how the Barack Obama campaign used social media. The folks at Edelman compiled this report, and there are many lessons that businesses can also apply, so check it out.)

Oh and while you’re at it, read this too.





Neato. Just discovered Webmynd and I really like it. From the site:

Personalize your search — Visualize your browsing. WebMynd helps you find and keep track of information from the sources that you most value. Personalize the right-hand side of Google with sources such as Wikipedia, YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Amazon, and your WebMynd visual browsing history. Record your browsing like a DVR for the web with easy privacy configuration.
See images, reviews and download for Firefox here.



get rich quick with the new platform fund. ok, not really. but kinda...

It is getting mixed reviews, but I think this is fantastic. Want to make something geeky but need an extra 3k to do it? Ask these guys.

Consulting firm Herman Blackbook launched a new micro-fund for application developers who want to build stuff on top of “Twitter, Boxee, AppNexus, Trulia, iPhone, etc” called the New Platforms Fund.

You give up a little bit of IP…and they are only investing in “up to 10 cutting edge ideas.”

Whatcha think? Get on it!



(even more) awesome uses of Twitter

With all the political uptake of Twitter in recent months, it was only a matter of time before these kinds of services popped up. As you know, I am a pretty big fan of Twitter, and these properties clearly shows why Twitter’s simplicity and versatility makes it the swiss knife of communication platforms. Not into Politics? (you fucking should be) but if you’re not - you’ll still be able to appreciate the idea and the implementation.

Tweetminster, simply put, follows the UK political scene through Twitter. It helps you find all the UK politicians that are active on Twitter, but it also organizes these tweets in a wonderfully useful way. You can check out which political party is the most active on Twitter, you can sort tweeters by constituency, and - if a politician is not active on Twitter - you can contact them directly from the site and try to convince them they should join the fun.

There is a huge opportunity here that is starting to be exposed. The same principle could be used on almost any subject matter. Imagine a service for organizing celebrity to celebrity gossip, or sports commentary, different types of musicians, scientists, the list goes on!

The service is inspired by a similar US-based service called Tweet Congress, and it’s perhaps even better, with a map of United States, fancy graphs and statistics for Twitter using US politicians. Hopefully, we’ll see more and more similar services based on Twitter as it permeates the social landscape.



an amazing world, isn't it?

Hey Gang. Sorry I’ve been MIA for a few. I have been out celebrating the birth of my newborn son, Gino! Yay. Gino has been brought into a pretty amazing world, wouldn’t you agree? Nothing says that louder for me than this “Did You Know?” video. Enjoy. (Oh and I’ll be back in action in about a week. Hang tight!)



The future of social media —Part 2

Hey gang. Great comments yesterday. User participation is really picking up - glad to see it. Keep it up!

As you probably know by now, I try limit how much I focus on statistics on this site. I am a creative strategist by nature and there are always ways to get data to tell the story you want it to - and while I focus on strategy and technographics, this site in particular isn’t about “numbers.” But I think the future of social media will be dramatically affected by one more thing: age.

We at POKE are often asked about how demographics and particularly AGE affect campaign performace or internet usage. Clearly there has always been a drop off in age - but having focused recently on a project aimed at Baby Boomers, I can tell you the drop off point has moved signifigantly. People interested in social media marketing often ask me how age impacts Internet usage particuary when it comes to UGC type of web properties (as opposed to brand sites, etc). New data from Pew Internet & American Life Project and eMarketer shows this drop off clearly.

As you might have expected GX and GY top the charts. They are digital natives and use the web to find, connect, entertain, archive, the list goes on. But what is really fascinating is that the numbers stay strong through several generations until you get to age 71, when Internet usage starts to drop. (Sorry Mom and Dad, I guess you weren’t interviewed by fine folks at Pew.

All the other data I’ve seen shows that numbers across the board continue to climb, and even if you’re targeting older Americans, there are sites such as Eons and Third Age that do a great job targeting older people for social media marketing.

I happen to be in the middle of a few projects right now that aim to engage people beyond GX and GY. I am seeing more of those type of engagements showing up quite often actually.

I have a prediction:

The “Age” technographic/demographic is facing extiction. I read these numbers as the gap closing - fast. Competitve marketers will need to focus on more exact means of splicing customer data - personality, interests, time spent, the list goes on. But age? I think our parents (and their parents?) are trying to tell us someing: “We’re here too. How brand _ will you engage me?”



What is the future of Social Media?

The following is a response to a posting I found today:

my response:

2008 is the beginning of the “Curation” process. There is a quality revolution taking place in social media - video’s, blogs, photos, microblogs, etc will get more specific and more focused. Content will be much more focused on “how good it is” not on “how many people have seen it”.

excerpt from the posting:

Looking back at Social Media, we have had a significant advance (a ‘this year’s big thing’) every year since 2004.

In 2004
- blogs started to really take off
In 2005
- audio podcasts started to take off
In 2006
- video podcasts started to take off
In 2007
- microblogging (Twitter, etc) started to take off
In 2008
- ???

We are in November now of 2008 and I still don’t see any big transformative Social Media technology which has occurred this year.

Has it stalled? What am I missing?

What do you think?



an acid trip of an experiment

I stumbled upon this online today. It was titled “Drawings under the influence of LSD” and only carried this description:

The artist was given a dose of LSD and free access to an activity box full of crayons and pencils.
I’ll be honest, there’s a side to me that wonders if this is real and another that is inspired by it, so I thought I’d share. See the original post here. It’s long so give it a second to load…