A Tangy Slice of Web 2.0

A Random Walk Through Web 2.0 and Online Marketing

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  • We’ve Moved

    Posted by fmdays on June 23, 2008

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    30 Days: Social Media Odyssey

    Posted by fmdays on June 23, 2008

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    There is a social media site for virtually anything you can imagine. After a recent conversation with limeduck about staking claim to your digital brand, I decided to test his premise Morgan Spurlock style. For the next 30 days, I will explore the impact of living the social media dream.

    Here are my rules of engagement:

    1. Sign up for as many social media sites as possible.

    2. Register for each as Tangyslice, a middle aged man desperately seeking social media coolness.

    3. Place a link or badge on my personal blog for each new site I join.

    4. Solicit site suggestions from friends and colleagues. I can be reached at tangy [at] tangyslice dot com (or @tangyslice if you prefer Twitter) if you have any suggestions.

    5. Blog frequently about the experience.

    To make this more than just another inane attempt at online greatness, I will be raising money for my kids’ elementary school through the Brackett School PTA in Arlington MA. I am personally pledging $1 for every registration and hope that others will support my cause on my online fundraising page. I am setting my goal for 100 sites.

    Wish me luck.

    Posted in Social Media Innovation | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

    Confessions of a Social Media Junkie

    Posted by fmdays on June 21, 2008

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    Alright, I have a confession to make. I recently traded an online poker hobby (an addiction according to my wife) for a quest for the perfect social media experience. This is my story.

    My first “taste” of social media started innocently enough about seven years ago when I signed up for Plaxo. You remember Plaxo – that simple website that allowed you to sync your Outlook contacts online. It was a godsend when I changed jobs that year and didn’t want to get caught in Outlook/spreadsheet formatting/exporting/importing hell. After I solved that problem, I promptly forgot about them. I know there’s PlaxoPulse but it looks like its going end up a bridesmaid.

    About 18 months later, I started to see my first connection requests for LinkedIn. They came from some quality people so I had to join. Fast forward five years and a couple of hundred LinkedIn contacts later, I have a pretty nice virtual Rolodex complete with downloadable Vcards. Feeling pretty good about this, the MIT InfiniteConnection and sundry email accounts, I didn’t feel the need to go shopping for any new tools to “manage” my friends.

    Boom. Enter the Web 2.0 explosion. “You have to be on Facebook” says one friend. “No, it’s Twitter where the really important people hang out”, says another. “You need FriendFeed to make sense of it all”, the Twitterati scream.

    In this process, I have discovered that 2008 in the Web 2.0 world (do people still use this term?) is analogous to 1900 in the auto industry. We are witnessing an era of incredible innovation with social media companies forming for every imaginable niche interest group. As a student of technology evolution, it will be fascinating to see that magic moment when the dominant design emerges (or maybe it already has?) and we see the obvious winners and losers.

    Until then, I am going to keep on signing up for new sites and staking claim to my online persona (who is this @tangyslice guy anyways?) in as many channels as possible. Who knows, the next winner is likely to be the one with a funny sounding 5 letter name who figures out that I just want an easy way to connect with the people important to me and colleagues interested in following my path in life. Sounds simple right? We’ll see…

    Posted in Social Media Innovation | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Selecting a Web 2.0 PR Agency (Part III): The Final Pitch

    Posted by fmdays on June 17, 2008

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    “The Final Pitch” can be the most entertaining and frustrating part of the selection process. We started with goals of understanding the strategic strengths of the principals and quality of the proposed team for our account. Both Limeduck and I have experienced the classic agency “bait and switch” (ie the killer pitch from the partner only to get stuck with a team full of underwhelming fresh grads learning the ropes). Since we already had at least one phone call and one in-person meeting with each team, we were focused on getting to know the people who would ultimately do the work.

    The real first test was when we asked that the proposed account team deliver the final pitch. After the initial shock of this request subsided, each of the finalists found a way to trust its people. While the pitches tended to follow the scripts, we eventually got authentic responses from the individuals and a clear view of the team dynamics.

    Things we looking for:

    • How comfortable was the principal in keeping quiet while we probed for original thought?
    • How fresh were the ideas?
    • Did these people really understand and use social media?
    • What members of the team had relevant experience with Web 2.0 clients?
    • Did they really understand what we did and viewed us as more than just another account?

    Many intangible measures come out during “The Final Pitch”. We were looking for signs of learning. For example, how did the team refine its initial ideas from the first meeting to the final pitch? We also believe that Firstgiving is doing something truly different so were expecting a unique pitch that reflected this belief. And finally, we were looking for how the team worked together as this is a reasonable proxy for how they would work with our team.

    Stay tuned for more details about how put it all together.

    Posted in Web 2.0 PR | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

    Stuck at the Airport? Social Media to the Rescue

    Posted by fmdays on June 11, 2008

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    Having spent the better part of Sunday traveling and looking for ways to kill time that dreadful “two hours before an international flight”, I came across this interesting article on Mashable.

    Many are obvious but all are great time killers.

    Posted in Random Thoughts | 1 Comment »

    Selecting a Web 2.0 PR Agency (Part II)

    Posted by fmdays on June 9, 2008

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    Based on the criteria from my previous post, we made the following short list of candidates:

    • PerkettPR (referral from friend at ConstantContact)
    • KEL and Partners (found them Googling)
    • Topaz (Limeduck worked with them before and raved about working with @DougH)
    • Version 2 Communications (Got recent LinkedIn connection from old colleague Rob Halpin who is working for Maura FitzGerald’s new agency)
    • Waggener Edstrom (family friend Jon Bornstein just landed there)

    Here are some of the other well known Boston PR firms that we knew about but didn’t consider:

    • Schwartz Communications
    • PAN Communications
    • Shift Communications

    These were under the category of “old school firms I have worked with in the past or knew their reputation”.

    Stay tuned for more info about how we evaluated each firm.

    Posted in Web 2.0 PR | Tagged: , | 9 Comments »

    Selecting a Boston Web 2.0 PR Agency (Part I)

    Posted by fmdays on June 4, 2008

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    It has been over two years since I last searched for a PR agency in Boston and a lot has changed since then. With all the new social media channels exploding we needed to find an organization with proven Web 2.0 chops to support Firstgiving (an online community that connects people with the causes important to them).

    Before I started building my Web 2.0 PR agency short list, I put together a plan for outreach:

    1. They must possess tangible Web 2.0 experience. This is more than understanding how to optimize a press release for organic search. This means current clients in the Web 2.0 space with funny sounding names and real success stories.

    2. They need to be active in multiple online communities. How many Twitter followers do they have? How many Facebook Friends or LinkedIn Links do they have? How active are they in these communities?

    3. How connected are they with me? I have over 200 Linked contacts in Boston so I wanted to find someone with mutual friends for vetting purposes.

    4. Talk with my CMO friends for recommendations.

    5. Remove “old school” firms I have worked with in the past or I know their “reputation”.

    My process started with some simple research by Googling things like “Web 2.0 PR in Boston”. After that I reached out to each of them through a social media channel. Bonus points for quick replies through site to set-up initial calls.

    So, who made the short list? Stay tuned…

    Posted in Web 2.0 PR | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »

    Social Media and Microblogging: Twitter

    Posted by fmdays on May 20, 2008

    Did I tell you I love Twitter?

    Who knew 140 character random musings could bring so much pleasure.

    Did I tell you I love Twitter?

    I already have 14 people following me including Obama, Clinton and MC Hammer!

    Did I tell you I love Twitter?

    Who knew my Firstgiving colleagues from the UK also enjoy late afternoon chocolate breaks?

    Did I tell you I love Twitter?

    Or that my short attention span syndrome can be treated with microblogging?

    Did I tell you I love Twitter?

    Either way, everyone who’s anyone is Twittering. Why aren’t you?

    http://www.twitter.com

    Posted in Social Media Innovation | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Microsoft, Still the Bridesmaid?

    Posted by fmdays on May 19, 2008

    With all the noise about the potential “deal” with Microsoft and Yahoo, it’s easy to forget that the combined company would have around 50% of the total search traffic of Google. While a Microhoo “merger” would provide wider distribution for Yahoo paid search (if you are like Mr. Tangy who is currently ignoring Microsoft’s paid seach), it would still remain a distant second. According to recent comScore data, search traffic appears to be flattening in the US. Does this mean the battle for Web supremacy is over and Microsoft has lost? I know Mr. Ballmer is not one to give up.

    Proactive moves with Facebook will certainly increase Microhoo’s (Yasoft’s?) reach into the Web 2.0 arena but in the end of the day the titans of Redmond WA continue make most of their profits from desktop and enterprise software. While tinkering with file formats in Office will squeeze a few more dollars out of their legacy Windows platform, one has to wonder if they are still thinking it is 1999 and they can still win the search wars (when the real battles are elsewhere)?

    Posted in Search Engine Marketing | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

    Happy Podcampers Converge on Boston

    Posted by David Karp on October 19, 2007

    podcamplogo.pngNext week will be a real test of the Team Tangy’s Web 2.0 cred as we join the Boston podcasting community (the poderati?) at the second annual podcamp Boston. We take some local pride that Boston seems to have been first with podcamp. Even though Tangy Slice is so far silent, we do enjoy our podcasts once in a while.

    If you love podcasting, you should go. If you have no idea what podcasting is, you still might want to go. It’s free and you can soak up some cool tunes. Frank and I are hoping to connect with the business end of the poderati and hear about some real B2B applications. Perhaps we’ll see you there.

    Posted in Social Media Innovation | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »