Talking slides…

A great presentation is a combination of a good story, told by a great storyteller and using a medium that reinforces the story. All the discussions about whether presentations made in Keynote are automatically better than anything made in Powerpoint are totally missing the point if you ask me. Don’t get me wrong, I think Keynote is a great product, but doesn’t bring more real value.

Why this point? I noticed today that Slideshare is organizing the World’s Best Presentation Contest. Nice initiative, but I’m very curious to the outcome though. I would love to learn from great presentations, but as said, that includes so much more than a few slides (if you even need them). It’s not like Dick Hardt’s OSCON slides will stand a chance here… although it’s still one of the best presentations I’ve ever seen.

Creating a good presentation is a tough job and it’s too bad many people don’t take the time needed to make your presentation worth listening to. I guess you can think of at least 1 colleague that had to do a presentation recently which he/she created an hour before the presentation. And that’s a shame, if you get a slot to present your story to an audience of listeners you better make sure it’s worth it.

By the way, the Slideshare of videos – aka Youtube (or was it the other way round) – is also doing it’s awards thing. Looks like having your own awards is the way to go now ;)

New media? Yes. New marketing? Nah.

For me the whole power around new media is that it allows brands to spend more time with their consumers than ever before, in a much easier fashion. It allows consumers to be a lot more vocal which makes it easier to listen and to learn – if you care (which you should obviously). Every day more companies start using new media and this way experiencing a totally new consumer engagement.

This said, using new media doesn’t always mean a company ‘got it’. Sometimes brands approach this in a very traditional way, probably happy with themselves for doing something new and cool…. when there’s nothing new and cool to it. The reason why I’m writing this is because of this:

While Gizmodo reports on their ‘lonely’ Second Life visit to to the virtual CEBIT area of Sony Ericcson, it’s not the people-empty space that I found stunning. Of course it’s no use to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars for an empty house, what bothers me is that the approach Sony Ericcson takes here is no different from a classic billboard. This is not about building relationships, joining conversations, … this is about creating a temporary place for you to come and listen to them. Until CEBIT is over. This is exactly what I mean with traditional marketing in the new media space. Sony Ericcson, you can do better than that.

Does any of you have more examples of new media being used in a very traditional way? I’d love to hear about it.

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Twingly: blogosphere in 3D

Even though I can’t seem to run it properly on my machine yet (I keep on trying) I wanted to show you this. This screensaver gives a truly cool view on the blogosphere: Twingly.

“Twingly screensaver is visualizing the global blog activity in real time. Forget RSS readers where you see only what you’re interested in. With Twingly screensaver you get a 24/7 stream of all (viewer discretion advised) blog activity, straight to your screen.”

So, you might wonder why I’m so excited about this since I it didn’t work on my PC yet? Just take a look at this video, you got to admit that this looks cool:

One question to Primelabs: why a screensaver? I want to be able to run this as a normal application. Can this be done?

[Via Upstream]

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A campaign without internet is not an option

This was the title of an article (analysis really) that I read in De Standaard (Belgian newspaper) yesterday. Journalist Wim Winckelmans shares his opinion about the importance of the internet for the upcoming elections. Reason for the article was the recently launched MRTV by the political party MR (and CDH-TV is rumored to be next).

Wim makes some good points, looking at the efficiency of MRTV (and related). It misses the credibility of television news, the credibility is very low and it just smells like a commercial. Who is going to go there to watch this? Not many people he thinks, and I would say the same.

At one point, Carl Devos (political specialist) is quoted in the article about the power of the internet as medium. Carl says (and I tried to translate as literal as possible):

“The internet can only play a supporting role in a campaign. One interview on tv or in the newspaper has a far greater impact than all efforts done using the internet. The best that can happen to a politician, is that he gets invited for an interview on television because of his efforts on the web.”

I think it’s time someone informs Carl about the real power of the internet here.

The influence of word of mouth

Ben McConnell at Church of the Customer blog points out the some research of BigResearch on word of mouth. Here it is:

Now that’s not new to many of us and if you ask me (sorry in advance for repeating myself) this cartoon brings the same message, but don’t you think it’s that more powerful?

powerofwom.jpg

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How influential are you? (2)

Many people around me know that this question intrigues me a lot. I’m still waiting on a service, tool, algorithm that measures real influence. Related to this, here’s an interesting thought which I found on Market IQ. They talk about measuring the impact of blogs and basically their key point here is that you need to look further than just how many people link to someone:

“Over a 3-month period last year, Jeff Jarvis’ BuzzMachine and Heather Armstrong’s Dooce received incoming links from similar numbers of sources. However, the sources linking to BuzzMachine received more than twice as many distinct links as the sources linking to Dooce, implying greater impact.”

This absolutely makes sense, but how far do you go with this? It reminds me a bit of how LinkedIn measures your network. What do you think, do we only need to look at second degree, or do we need to look even further?

[Via Buzzmachine]

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Sphere of influence

Still thinking about what I wrote yesterday on influence, I wanted to add something David Armano wrote recently. In an interesting post about influencing influencers, it’s the diagram that I found most interesting.

Ripples2_1

If there’s one thing I always missed during the demos of Buzzlogic, Attentio and the lot, than it’s situated around this concept. All these services track brand buzz, with a lot of options and graphs, and they do a good job at it. Buzzlogic even does some mapping, but it will always be related to the brand you’re tracking and the content.

This diagram on top just shows what I’ve actually been looking for, the mapping of ‘spheres of influence’. And that for the brands I want to track. Anybody?

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How influential are you?

This is a question that intrigues me a lot lately. And no, not so much about my own influence (if that even exists), but more about finding out how big other people’s influence can be when talking about brands. Especially in the blogosphere. Is this something that you can define using the tools out there, or does it all come down to reading the blogs yourself to get a clear picture? I’ve had some interesting conversations around this with a few people like Ine, BVLG, Simon & Ashley to name a few but the question still stands. More recently we also had a good discussion about this in MarketingProf’s Book Club as well.

There are many ways to list blog valuations out there. In Belgium for instance, Bruno (BVLG) has been busy listing Belgian blogs according to their value, using a wide range of tools: Blogshares, Technorati, Bloginfluence, Blogrolling, Alexa, the blog value calculator found at the Business Opportunities weblog and more. But what does that really say about these blogs’ influence for your brand?

I also see numerous tools being released that start doing more than just ‘some basic’ buzztracking but try to get some more analytics applied to all this. Think about Buzzlogic, Attentio, … where you can get an idea of favorability of the buzz and things like that.

To my own experience though it’s really tough to find out about interests & influence unless you read the blogs yourself. Personally I don’t care doing so honestly, I enjoy reading most of them. I reckon that this asks for a lot of work, and that this might not be the solution for all marketers. Still it’s the best advice I could give you: read, read, read… if you don’t bother to read the bloggers you want to engage with, don’t even start. I think the tools mentioned before are very good to find out about the buzz around your brand, and they might give additional data on influence once you’ve defined who you want to engage with. But the reading comes first.

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