Online communities also follow Newton’s Third Law

Newton’s Third Law of Motion contends that for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. I’ve been observing for some time this paradox: The more networked we become, the more we rebel against impersonality. We yearn for ways to connect in the physical space. The latest example is from the shrewd publicity efforts behind Moby’s latest album. New York Magazine reports the following:

He promoted his latest, Wait for Me, by booking a spa so that journalists [including some extremely tech-savvy writers], could listen while getting massages.

How ironic that the way to these journalists’ hearts should be through unkinked necks and loosened shoulders. Not that such novel — and decidedly low-tech — promotions of new albums are particularly new. You may recall the impact that Trent Reznor (a.k.a., Nine Inch Nails) had when he leaked new songs to a pre-release albums through MP3s loaded on USB sticks left in the restrooms of nightclubs. That was more than two years ago. (Here’s an account of that promotion, on MediaPost. Registration is required.)

My take on Moby’s high tech / high touch ploy is simple: If you’re trying to break through the drone of network buzz and isolating keyboarding, look to its extreme opposite.

Want to know how you’ll be working in two years? Watch this video

I’m finding how we’ll be working in a progressively networked future a fascinating topic. Online collaboration has always been difficult. Computing — a decidedly solitary activity — isn’t easily turned into a communal experience. But after watching this video I see a glimmer of a long-distance working community that’s truly more productive than one sitting in adjoining cubicles. It’s a preview of the open source Google Wave.

Google describes a wave as, “Equal parts conversation and document, where users can almost instantly communicate and work together with richly formatted text, photos, videos, maps, and more.” Here’s the video:

This video is a full hour long, so let me help you with a couple pivotal features.

The developers who will be taking and running with this new system will be setting the limits for how we all work together in the next decade. Just as apropos to Online Community Month, they’ll be doing this development in a spirit of true collaboration: open source and forever free to be tweaked and refined.

Is datamining Twitter conversations worth it?

What started with a piece by David Berkowitz on MediaPost (registration required), on Ten Ways To Decide If Your Business Should Tweet, has turned into an interesting conversation about using Twitter to support a brand, and especially about measuring those efforts. This conversation has been primarily through this lengthy post from earlier today by Marshall Sponder.

Marshall makes some excellent points (he’s not @WebMetricsGuru for nothing!), including this one: “Social Media isn’t really designed, at this time, to analyze Acquisition or Retention but Web Analytics, is — and I maintain this is one of the strongest arguments to merge the two, in a formal way, rather than in an informal way.”

Datamining and CRM

How do you begin merging these data in a “formal” way? Tools are emerging to allow for the mining of conversations, and linking them where possible to a CRM database. Here’s Marshall’s take on this process:

David Berkowitz talks about Target Audiences, but you’d first have to figure out what your Target Audience is for your Brand or for a particular product or promotion of your Brand – then do CRM datamining using house database lists, or the Social Media CRM outreach to collect names and classify them according to Target Audience Segmentation — best done with data analytics.   Let’s say, that for the purposes of this post, my article on on Learn to Measure Your Web Presence using Unbound Technology or Rapleaf, is the way to go.

If you’re a mom-and-pop shop, you’d do nothing as elaborate, more just Twitter research, much as I’ve shown above, but if you’re Zappos, or Dell, well … that’s another story — the story I tell in Learn to Measure Your Web Presence and others, like it.

Of course, a big brand can make a lot of money whereas the mom and pop shop, probably won’t — so a big brand can afford to spend a lot of money on data mining — and it’s well worth doing because of the potential money and value that can come from it.

Scarcity of Resources

The biggest constraint in doing this sort of work isn’t technology. It’s time. Even properly guided, the process takes many people-hours, and that is a resource in short supply for most businesses today. I see a major challenge in the linkage between prospects / customers and Twitter profiles. (Ack!, I can hear you yell. Yet another datapoint to capture in our CRM databases: The client’s Twitter handle!)

But it is becoming clear that this is an area where a business should focus some of its energies — assuming the business passes David Berkowitz’s Ten Ways test.

Years ago, Don E. Schultz co-wrote Measuring Brand Communication ROI. In this marketing chestnut, he and his co-authors built a surprisingly relevant model for tracking spending and estimated returns for each brand communication (How old is this book? The included Excel file was loaded on a 5.25″ magnetic diskette). A huge category — and ROI black hole — was customer service.

Twitter is a communication channel more than a marketing tactic, and this channel has more to do with customer satisfaction and brand education than driving sales. It’s another touchpoint and nothing more.

But like email and other important touchpoints, it should be measured. Conversations like the one taking place today will help determine how this measurement takes place and to what end.

OMMA presents the vanguard of online metrics and measurement

I’ve recently disparaged the Kabuki dance of trade conferences. But even I admit they have their place. In fact, today I find myself especially sorry I won’t be able to make next week’s OMMA Metrics and Measurement Conference in New York’s Yale Club. In one day those attending it will hear from some of the industry’s leaders, and I frankly cannot find a single presentation where I’d find an excuse to duck out. That’s quite a feat.

One Day Event, Tuesday, Jun 09, 2009
9:00 AM

Welcome & Opening Remarks

Jodi McDermott,
Director, Data Strategy,

Clearspring Technologies

9:15 AM

Keynote- The State of the Union for the Metrics Industry

We are well past the first 100 days of 2009 and a lot has changed, yet nothing has changed.  New technologies and social media have invaded the online channels that we’ve become accustomed to. Yet the foundatiolid.   Jeffrey Eisenberg, CEO of FutureNow, will walk us through a report card of the online measurement industry and address what’s next and what we need to do better as marketers, practitioners and vendors in order to support the shift of ad dollars from offline to online.
Jeffrey Eisenberg,
Co-founder & CEO,

FutureNow, Inc.

9:45 AM

Audience Measurement

How is the role of the audience measurement firm evolving? We’ve got panel, direct measurement and hybrid approaches to address today’s industry challenges. Who’s on top? Which approaches should advertisers and markw the approaches differ and the impact differences make on the numbers we are trying to study. We will also touch on the new IAB industry guidelines and what they mean to the standardization of reporting on audience metrics.
Joe Laszlo,
Director of Research,

Interactive Advertising Bureau

Josh Chasin,
Chief Research Officer,


Adam Gerber,
Chief Marketing Officer,


Yaakov Kimelfeld,
SVP, Director, Digital Research & Analytics,


Mainak Mazumdar,
SVP, Global Measurement Science, Emerging Media,

The Nielsen Company

10:30 AM

Coffee Break

10:45 AM

The Analytics Food Chain

How do you use audience measurement, campaign analysis tools and web analytics to plan and measure the efficacy of your marketing campaigns? With standards set by various organizations and new technologies providindecisions from. This panel will focus on understanding the differences and synergies of panel and census data from the various parts of the analytics food chain – what to use and when.
Jodi McDermott,
Director, Data Strategy,

Clearspring Technologies

Andy Fisher,
VP, Analytics,


Dennis Mortensen,
Director of Data Insights,


Judah Phillips,
Senior Director, Global Site Analytics,

Monster Worldwide

Greg Smith,
Chief Operating Officer,


Bill Tancer,
General Manager of Global Research,


11:30 AM

Measuring Video and Virality

The video market is exploding with numerous vendors, business models and technology. What are the metrics and how do they fit into measuring user engagement and advertising models within video? This panel will exploity, and tying the stream back to site activity and customer conversion.
Tania Yuki,
Director, Product Management,


Scott Ferber,
Chairman & Chief Executive Officer,


Jayant Kadambi,
President and Co-Founder,


Matt Langie,
Senior Director, Product Marketing,

Omniture Inc.

Keith Richman,

Break Media

Brian Shin,

Visible Measures

12:15 PM


1:30 PM

Keynote: Measuring Madison Avenue

Campaigns have moved well beyond the impression and click in today’s distributed and fragmented world of online advertising.  Interactive campaigns that include the ability for users to share, respond and mashug dollars. Curt Hecht, President of the VivaKi Nerve Center, will  take attendees through the measurement challenges that are facing agencies as they introduce new methods and new media for reaching their client’s target audience.
Curt Hecht,

VivaKi Nerve Center

2:00 PM

Campaign Attribution

If the click is dead, how do I know how to attribute success to my campaign? Should it be on the first impression view, the click or the viewthrough? As debate continues in the industry over how to gauge campaign sends are emerging and if there is a solution to the question that has been plaguing the industry for years.
Joe Mandese,
Editor in Chief,


Michael Brunick,
VP Media Technology,


Ari Buchalter,
Chief Operating Officer,


Adam Goldberg,
Co-Founder and Chief Innovation Officer,


Katrin Ribant,
Director of Product Development,

Artemis, Havas Digital

Esco Strong,
Senior Group Manager, Atlas Institute,


2:45 PM

When The Numbers Speak For Themselves

Do you know when to pull the plug on a campaign that is performing poorly? Or how to take action on the data once you have the results? Taking the metrics and turning them into actions is often a forgotten or weaknd optimization in meeting the goals of your marketing initiatives.
Joshua Koran,
VP, Targeting and Optimization,


Srishti Gupta,
Senior Partner, Insights & Analytics Director,

MediaCom Interaction

Ben Seslija,
Senior Director, Acquisition and Analytics,


Mark Wachen,
Managing Director,

Autonomy Optimost

3:30 PM

Coffee Break

3:45 PM

Integrating Online and Offline Data

Tying the shelf or online purchase to the campaign data that you collect is a great concept, but not easy to implement in reality. This panel will expose you to companies who have e stronger relationship with their customers and control costs.
Doug McFarland,

Dimestore Media

Joe Apprendi,

Collective Media

Jarvis Bowers,
VP, Research and Analytics,


Roman Bukary,
VP, Marketing & Business Development,

Truviso Corporation

Ryan Christensen,
VP, Media Operations,

Jason Harper,
Group Director, Marketing Intelligence,

Organic, Inc.

4:30 PM

The “Ins and Outs” of Measuring Social Media

Are your customers on Twitter, Facebook and MySpace? You are naïve if you say “no”. People of all demographics are engaging with each other and brands online like never before. Marketers trying to reach this audien this panel we will cover topics such as application installs, engagement, widgets, blogs, corporate Twittering and more.
Nick O’Neill,

Social Times Inc.

Maurice Boissiere,
Vice President, Client Solutions,

Clearspring Technologies

Sarah Hofstetter,
Vice President, Emerging Media & Client Strategy,


Ed McLoughlin,
Managing Director,


Jerry Needel,
Senior Vice President, BuzzMetrics Product Leadership,

Nielsen Online

Jason Richman,
Director, Digital Product Strategy,

NBC Universal

Are you attending? If so, please contact me and let me know your thoughts on this first-ever event. But don’t go on too much about how terrific it was. That will just break my heart.

Why likemind? The people you’ve yet to meet hold the keys to your future

Last week I heard it again. A new business contact, at the end of a problem-solving session, said, “I never would have guessed I’d get the answers I needed from someone of your background, but now it seems obvious where you fit.” Ironically, I say things to that effect to others just as often as I hear them. Do they sound familiar in your own recent dealings?

If they don’t, you’re not getting out enough.

By that I mean, we’re in a time when organizational and categorical “silos” must come down. The reasons why at least two of those silos should come down are presented well in this post by Augie Ray of Milwaukee’s own Fullhouse Interactive. Augie’s post focuses on the divisions between finance and marketing. But there are many others, including, most notably, the walls separating marketing and technology.

The reason for much of this lack of communication and collaboration is conflicting priorities within the organization. And depending on the organization, one department’s priorities supersede the other’s.

The lion and the lamb shall lie down together… but the lamb won’t get much sleep.
–  Woody Allen

Where does this power imbalance leave marketing, and specifically, CMOs? Augie’s post includes as an illustration this survey of CMOs. It is used as evidence that current business’s emphasis on short-term profits invariably favors finance:

Let’s call to the stand CMOs themselves to testify as to their place in the corporate world. The CMO Club recently polled its own members about who has the most credibility to the CEO. The results? Of the CMOs surveyed, 31% said the CFO, 24% said Head of Sales, and just 13.8% felt the CMO was most credible.

Placed as a family dynamic, the CEO (i.e., “the parent”) favors one sibling over another. Sorry, Marketing. You’re usually not that Golden Child.

Breaking down silos requires leadership from above. So the CEO has a key role in knocking heads and telling the kids to grow up and play nice.

But there is plenty of blame to go around. So what can you do to start removing a few bricks from the walls that hinder your future success? Do what our parents told us to do on the first day of kindergarten. Mingle. And treat others the way you’d like to be treated.

Un-networking is smart. It can also be fun. Case in point: likemind

I co-host Milwaukee’s likemind because I recognize that I need to get out and mingle. But I don’t want to do it in the echo chamber of yet another trade organization or rigid networking event (although each have their value).

Instead, I embraced the “un-networking” concept of likemind. Its diversity and lowered expectations suit me well. I also like drinking coffee, which is important.

If you are in the Milwaukee area, read about likemind, then come see for yourself at one of the monthly meeting. If you’re not, find something similar in your community. Then, talk to someone you’d never otherwise dream of approaching. You might be surprised with the results.