With the November 2012 elections reaching near-fever pitch, everybody (including tech/social giants Google, Facebook, & Twitter) is trying to capitalize…even greeting card companies are jumping on the political bandwagon—above is an example of a birthday card(!) which has innards with a promise for a guaranteed happy birthday should you vote for the right candidate.
Funny, so I thought I’d share with you how a WWII-era British poster (and now meme) was re-purposed for a new piece of propaganda. 
Propaganda a topic that interests me greatly because it’s:
one of the earliest form of mass marketing/pr
has been used to sway millions
reminiscent of Soviet Russia, my birthplace,
typically very catchy creative (both copy and art), and 
oftentimes becomes a cultural meme
What has been your favorite, most creative and/or comical elections marketing piece you’ve seen in 2011-2012? Post below…
Please note my blog is not a good place to discuss politics, however all things digital marketing are a fair game so long as the “discussion” is not politically charged. Above picture is not an endorsement and cards appear in no particular order.
September 3, 2012 VIEW POST
I knew there was a lot of data being mined, but I didn’t realize the extent. Take a second to internalize this data…I know it’s a lot.
Are you surprised? Can you imagine the persona profile you could build will all this digital goodness? Post your thoughts below…
July 22, 2012 VIEW POST
December 16, 2011 VIEW POST
November 15, 2011 VIEW POST
Click here to interact with the above social lbs overlay Social Networks in OpenStreetMap.

via TNW via roomthily
November 2, 2011 VIEW POST
Drew Hawkins, a fellow Atlanta marketer and community manager with Engauge’s Digital Innovation Group recently guest posted on Vitrue’s blog regarding Google Plus’ potential uses for B2B marketing. The post was a fresh way to look at social networking—digital space typically reserved for consumer-facing brands.
Drew later followed up with additional thoughts on the “good and bad” of Google Plus (see reblog below) and solicited some feedback. Here are my thoughts. 
I think the future success of Google Plus will largely depend on:
More aggressive integration of G+ into the Google ecosystem, particularly the tablet and mobile space (considering the rapid adoption of Android devices). IMHO, G+ and not Gmail should be the gateway to the Google experience.
Brands’ use of G+ that will: 1) drive Google’s revenue (via ads…oh yes they’re coming, assuming G+ brand pages ever launch—what happened to "they’re coming in 2 weeks?"); 2) drive Google’s innovation and development of a better and more innovative feature-set. 3) Allow G+ to coat-tail market its platform (e.g. Brand says, “Here’s our product…find us on plus.google.com/ourbrandname”) which will ultimately attract non-techies and late-adopters adding to the user/content growth and diversity of the network.
International presence: we must not forget that non-Americans use social networking and the larger brands cater to an international audience. G+ must build an international presence in BRIC, and other developing + democratically/capitalistically inclined nations to become a truly global social network. While Facebook will most likely take the acquisition route, Google has a significant first-mover advantage to market G+ internationally. Did you know that Google controls 80%+ of the planet’s search? 
In theory, G+ could outflank Facebook and other dominant social networks in the US and internationally—becoming a global social network. However, leadership at Googleplex will need to become less HP and more Apple (the Jobs years).
I use G+ because it’s free, easy, and (so far) uncluttered. G+ is well integrated into my digital and social experience with unique features that I find useful (e.g. circles, hangouts, huddles, etc.).  
I also use Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr. While I like these platforms—with their set of inherently valuable features—I’d like to see the major players compete. When individuals and the companies they work for compete, the marketplace wins.
As always, constructive discussion is welcome. Do you think Google Plus has a different future than what I envision? Would you add any success factors to my list? Respond below or on my Google Plus stream. 
Hat tip to Drew for spurring this discussion.

Google+: Over-hyped…Maybe. But Not Dead 
by Drew Hawkins | Brain Wads
Remember Google Plus? That was a cool time right?
Back in July, in Plus’ glory days, it was all the rage with tech nerds and marketer types. It seemed that after many failed attempts at entering the social world, Google had finally found something. There were Circles, Hangouts, and Huddles for the mobile application. It was cleaner, less junky, and overall less noise. Google Plus gave everyone with crowded streams and way too many connections a second chance for a cleaner, less overwhelming online social life.
July was a good time to be a “Plusser.” The bad news is that growth and time on the site peaked in mid-July according to this Mashable report.  Looks like Google+ is on a downward spiral right? Not necessarily.
The Good of Google+
If you were to get on Plus now, you would see tumbleweeds in comparison to the flurry of activity there was in July. The postings are sparse at this point. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The posts are few but the comment sections are richer. I have great conversations on Twitter but the threaded discussions on G+ have been richer. I feel like now that if I have a genuine curiosity about something (mainly tech related), I can get more from my G+ circles.
There are also numerous opportunities for G+ to be a heavy hitter digitally. I guest posted on Vitrue’s blog yesterday about how Google+ could be a powerhouse in the B2B marketing sphere…something Facebook hasn’t lended itself as well to IMHO. Hangouts are a gateway for more meaningful customer service interactions, more efficient quick and dirty focus groups, and other ‘thought leadership’ style discussions. If G+ throws in more seamless Docs integration like they do with YouTube (or what Salesforce does with documents in Chatter), it could have a much heavier hand.
The Bad of Google+
One thing hurting Google+ is that it looks and acts a lot like Facebook. There isn’t a heck of a lot in the way of product differentiators between the two services outside the black bar on the top of my Gmail and Docs screens that give me G+ notifications. But that could be a good thing since G+ is set up in a way that people are used to connecting with each other on a social network.
For now, the biggest thing hurting Google+ is the lack of updates.  There hasn’t been a lot in the way of impactful changes outside of the +1 button since it rolled out. They still haven’t given out brand pages, haven’t opened up their API and still have it in invite-only. Activity peaked on the site in July because nothing new was happening in August (and now September). Most people got tired of G+ and migrated back to what they were most comfortable: Facebook. After all, that’s where all their friends were.
For me, I still personally get a lot of value out of Google+. I like the smaller niche conversations happening on it right now. Where it will be six months from now is anybody’s guess. For anyone outside of the Googleplex, all we have at this point is educated speculation.
What do you think the future holds for Google Plus?
On a side note, if you want to connect with me on Google Plus, click here for my profile link.
September 8, 2011 VIEW POST
via Tom Anderson (of myspace).
Do you agree or disagree with this infographic? 
July 27, 2011 VIEW POST
Click here to watch this tweetcast / videocast live! 
Hosted by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey. More background on the 1st ever Townhall via Twitter click here.
July 6, 2011 VIEW POST

Who stole all the myspace traffic?

Click on the graph to see more trend data + interact with the graph after the jump. You must be logged into Compete to see all 5 trendlines.

June 28, 2011 VIEW POST

The Dangers of Unmoderated Social Pluggins

Social plugin fail...

Dear businesses and organizations, 

Here’s what happens when your hashtag: first, get’s innocently used somewhere half-way accross the globe, then appears on your unfettered website’s social plugin stream, then gets flat-out hijacked by some smart-asses (follow latest developments here), and then blogged, reblogged, tweeted, retweeted, etc. and basically out of hand: 

via @tonykinard

Twitter hashtag translate flash mob game?

Apparently, we may have invented a new game utilizing Google translator and any website with an unmoderated Twitter hashtag stream.  All you need is your Google toolbar translator to decode.

So here is what happened.  I noticed today that the Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association has anunmoderated Twitter feed based on the hashtag #AIMA.   Pretty much front and center on the website.  

However I also noticed a curious occurance:  all the tweets displayed were in a foreign language and has apparently nothing to do with the organization or it’s website.  Apparently, some people in Indonesia are also using the #AIMA hashtag for their own, unrelated conversations. 

I thought it was quite humorous and shared this with my buddy Vlad (@VladGorenshteyn) who immediately had the ingenious idea of having our own conversation using the same hashtag, but in Indonesian – using the Google Translator – to be featured front and center on AiMA’s website.  Of course, I had to bring Drew (@DrewHaskins) into the fold on it as well.  Ohhhh…. too funny. 

Commence with the movie quotes… in Indonesian on AiMA’s website…

Screen captures (before and after using your secret Google Translator decoder ring)

As normally displayed on AiMA’s site:

After: (Using your Google Translate button)

May develop this later.  This has the makings of some sort of online flash mob game.  Hmmmm…

June 14, 2011 VIEW POST
June 7, 2011 VIEW POST

What will happen when America is no-longer enough for Facebook?

BRIC Puzzle

I was recently reading an article by Rick Millenthal and I thought he made a good point. Directly below are my thoughts in response to his post about international social marketing (see original post at the bottom).

I love America and simply blessed to have been taken in with open arms from an anti-Semitic Soviet Block, however, as Americans we sometimes get it completely wrong. 

Often-times we act as if we live in the baby-booming era of post-WWII America…when the worldwide community thought it was cool to own products that were “Made in America” and products actually were made in America. Things are different now and we tend to get trapped in vacuum-thinking of “we invented cool” and perhaps we did…many times over, however, the BRIC nations are alive, well, and far-outpacing our growth (by many parameters). [BRIC = Brazil, Russia, India, China]

BRICs are cunning, smart, speak English, let America borrow money, and hold 42% of their world population. BRICs innovate very well…sometimes by duplicating almost verbatim…sometimes by creating the next generation of technology….and sometimes by creating something novel altogether. 

As BRIC censorship loosens, their burgeoning lower class penetrates middle class, mobile/social technology becomes more commoditized, and BRIC citizens adopt it at alarming rates, the Qzones, Orkuts, doubans, Odnoklassnikis, Renrens, Biggadas and Vkontaktes of the world (see semi-comprehensive list of SNS here: http://goo.gl/TJjWg) will undoubtedly boom…far outpacing Facebook and Twitter growth—combined. I think these two social networks will find themselves not only making alliances but competing with some social networks they haven’t even heard of. As Facebook hits critical mass in America, we’ll see a couple of high-profile, international SNS acquisitions, because building brand-equity from scratch or competing with the local heavyweights is just too many puzzle pieces to put together.

Where do you think Facebook fits in the global SNS scene? Have you ever spoken to anybody from a BRIC other country that doesn’t even know who Facebook is? Are you building an international social media and/or mobile campaign for a client and have come to similar conclusion? Please share your thoughts… 

Why Facebook is not the only worldwide network

Posted on  by Rick Milenthal

Conventional wisdom is that Facebook is the total worldwide network.  And they certainly have a great start on everyone else.  This spring’s facebook and twitter driven uprisings in the Mideast only confirmed the power of these networks.  But other sites founded in other countries are growing especially in China.  I just returned from Beijing and Shanghai meeting with social networks there to discuss our desire to build international campaigns for our clients.  Here is a diagram showing the different China sites compared to American sites provided by our friends at China based WeMarketing:  china social media chart

Of course the development of China based networks is somewhat artifical with the exclusion of Facebook in China due to tensions over censorship.  But, we are going to see growing indigenous networks from other countries as there is more innovation in growing economies like Brazil and China. Get ready to see some action in worldwide acquisitions and alliances by Facebook so they can keep up.

June 2, 2011 VIEW POST

(Almost) everything you ever wanted to know about Twitter.

Twitter inforgraphic May 2011

Click above to enlarge the infographic to full-size.

Thank you @guykawasaki via Column Five for BuySellAds.

May 27, 2011 VIEW POST

If You’re Chasing Twitter Followers, Here Are 5 Ways You Can Get More of Them, Today!

wan't more twitter follower's?

Read More ...

May 4, 2011 VIEW POST