Archive for April, 2007

Is The World Flat?

April 25, 2007

Over the past couple of days I’ve been reading an interesting book, titled “The World is Flat”, written by Thomas L Friedman. The book as the title suggests is about the “flattening” of the world, or how it has gotten smaller and faster, in a considerable shorter time span than it has to this point. Friedman feels that his research shows a “flattening” or leveling of the global supply chain for services and manufacturing, creating new players, in the global economy.

Friedman writes that the convergence of technology has allowed India and China to become part of the global supply chain, creating an explosion of wealth in the middle classes of two of the world largest nations, and should alert the United States to some potential economic threats, and the likely continued increase in foreign outsourcing. Posing the question “What does this mean to countries, communities, and individuals”

I don’t know the answer yet, as I’m only a chapter or two into the book, but so far it’s been an enlightening look into how the world’s other countries are responding to technology leveling the playing field, and what that means to us.

Did you know that China is becoming the country that develops the largest number of university graduates? I didn’t. They aren’t screwing around. They are trying to become THE economic powerhouse of the world. Who can blame them? They have the resources and the man power, now they are developing their technology and intellectual resources at an incredible pace.

I’ll keep reading and let you know how it turns out, at least in the book. Time will tell how it will turn out in real life.

Social Media is hopping, we’ve been busy with our clients, and are excited to be apart of this incredible wave of marketing change.

Thanks for your read this week!

Power to the People…Social Media

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Social Media Report

April 10, 2007

Social Media reports are starting to show significant awarness and adoption rates by Corporate America. Forresters lastest report on Social Media, and this one by University of Massachusetts, researchers Eric Mattson and Nora Ganim Barnes show very positive Social Media growth, in all Social Media areas.

The following summary of this report is copied from the website of The Content Wrangler, a good blog for Social Media information and news. Thank you to The Content Wrangler for this report run-down.

The Hype is Real: Social Media Invades the Inc. 500

The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth’s Center for Marketing Research conducted a nationwide telephone survey of those companies named by Inc. Magazine to the Inc. 500 list for 2006 under the direction of blog researchers Eric Mattson and Nora Ganim Barnes. Nearly one quarter (121) of the Inc. 500 participated. The Inc. 500 is a list of the nation’s fastest-growing private companies announced in the September issue of Inc. Magazine.

Given that previous research shows only 8% of the Fortune 500 currently having a public blog, this research was undertaken to see if there was a difference in the knowledge and usage of social media in companies selected by growth rate rather than revenue. This research proves conclusively that social media is coming to the business world at a faster rate than many anticipated. It also indicates that corporate familiarity and usage of social media is racing far ahead of what many have predicted.

The respondents are diverse in industry, size and location. They include 4 of the top 10, 7 of the top 25, and 22 of the top 100 companies from the Inc. 500 list. The 121 companies who responded were asked detailed questions concerning their usage and measurement of social media. Questions probed familiarity of respondents with prominent social media (blogging, podcasting, online video, social networking, wikis). Given the frequently uncertain definitions of these media, common understanding of each form was achieved by providing definitions from Wikipedia at the time of the survey.

The social media that is most familiar to the Inc. 500 is social networking with 42% of respondents claiming to be “very familiar with it.” Familiarity is related to usage. It is interesting to note, however, that even those forms of social media less familiar to the participants are still used by at least 11% of them. Over one quarter of the Inc. 500 studied report social media is very important to their business/marketing strategy.

Executive Summary

The hype is real.

The social media revolution is coming to the business world. Already there have been signs; from Google’s acquisition of video juggernaut YouTube for $1.65 Billion to MySpace‘s 120 million users to the 63 million blogs that Technorati tracks. But, the question has been, when, and even if, business will start to embrace the powerful technologies of social media?

The 121 companies who responded were asked detailed questions concerning their usage and measurement of social media. Their responses are surprising and will likely shock even the most fervent believer in social media. They indicate that corporate familiarity and usage of social media is racing far ahead of what many have predicted. The research results presented here are statistically valid at +/- 3%.

Respondents were asked to rank their familiarity with each technology from “very familiar” to “very unfamiliar.” The social media that was most familiar to the Inc. 500 is social networking with 42% of respondents claiming to be “very familiar with it.” However, as the graph below shows, across the board a significant percentage of the companies are “very familiar” with each of these technologies. The bottom line is that the Inc. 500 knows far more about social media than one might predict.

From familiarity, the survey moved into the companies’ actual usage of social media. The companies were asked if they were using the six social media discussed above and, if yes, for how long they had been using them. Again, the results are surprising. While familiarity is related to adoption, even the least familiar media of wikis has 17% adoption. All six forms of social media are far more widespread than anticipated.

Not only is this widespread adoption being driven by strong familiarity but also from the recognized critical role of social media to a company’s future success in today’s online world. When queried on the importance of social media, 26% of respondents felt that social media is “very important” to their business and marketing strategy.

From familiarity to usage to importance, social media is far more prevalent in the Inc. 500 than previous research would predict. And where these fast-growing, innovative companies lead certainly the corporate world will follow.

The social media revolution is here. The hype is real.

Keeping track of social media research
A more thorough analysis of the research into social media adoption by the Inc. 500 will be published in several journals throughout 2007. To be added to an email distribution list so that you can stay abreast of the most recent research and writings on this subject, email Eric Mattson or Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D..

Thanks for your read this week,

Power to the People…Social Media

Developing a Corporate Podcast

April 5, 2007

With Social Media as our blog topic, and Social Media as my main business, I thought it would be interesting to describe where we are in the process of developing a video podcast for one of our clients.

Britton New Media is currently working on the developmental stages of a video podcast for the Sebring Clinic, a natural health, medical practice and nutrition center, located in the beautiful Texas Hill Country. Dr Lane Sebring is an amazing man and Doctor, with a successful practice and clinic in Wimberley, TX, his natural health message will revolutionize peoples health, and be one of the most exciting life changing health oriented productions of any kind. You can tell we’re excited to be involved.

We’ve gone through the stages of Social Media education, where the client has developed an understanding of the uses and benefits of New Media, and have moved into the areas of content creation, expressing my vision for the client’s podcast, deciding on foundational topics, developing those into segments, creating a production style that suits the content and the client, and even shooting the B-roll for the opening and closing segments.

While Britton Audio works on the music, voice-over, and sound production, our video production department, headed by Christian Carpenter, is in the early stages of editing the newly acquired video footage. After the video is completed, I’ll add the music and my voice-over, and when it comes out the other side, it will be a creative video piece to open and close the show.

Where is the Social part of this media production? Well, up to this point the description I’ve given could describe a common traditional media production, however there is a big difference. It’s all in the presentation and content. The Social Media components that seemed to apply in this business context are:

(1) Interaction. People having a chance to ask questions, and interact. Let viewers be a part of the show. It’s their health after all.
(2) Direct, un-hyped health information
(3) Access to natural health experts, beyond Dr Sebring and his Health Team
(4) Practical applications. How to affect your health now. What you can do

We believe strongly that a corporate podcast needs to be a blend of traditional media disciplines, with a strong Social Media understanding and presentation. We also feel that there are two types of corporate podcasts, as far as content, direct and indirect. The indirect approach is a great way for a corporation to associate its brand with a podcast that agrees with its values, interests, and relates to its market segment, but has nothing directly to do with pushing its products.

The podcast we are producing has needed information; content that can change the way we look at health. We won’t beat around the bush, so to speak, to get this great content out to the public. It will be a direct external podcast.

Still a ways to go before we will have our first episodes, distributed and promoted, but we are getting there, day by day. We’ll talk about the journey along the way. Please respond if you have any disagreements, questions or other comments. We appreciate your read this week.

Power to the People…Social Media