We all speak English. I just happen to do it for a living.

Facebook as Your Company Intranet

Posted: October 6th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: management, social media | No Comments »

A year or two ago, I did a newsletter for my then-employer, Webtrends. I took all our news and put it into a Facebook-like format then emailed it out. Several people asked, “Is this our new intranet? What’s my login?” I laughed at them until a few months ago.

My unofficial bike team (the Muddy Iguanas) talks on Facebook. A LOT. And since our wives and girlfriends sometimes also see that stuff, we took the conversation into a “group,” and we made it “secret” so that it doesn’t clog up other people’s notifications and emails. But since then, it’s become a little bit of a clubhouse where we can talk about spending stupid amounts of money on hand-made sew-up tires, sharing videos of awful crashes, linking to photos from the previous night’s race, and sharing how-to articles. The Muddy Iguanas are now fully 90% of my Facebook experience.

So it occurs to me that if I needed a company intranet, I would use a “secret” Facebook group. You get all the power of Facebook — it’s in your feed, photos, videos, status updates, links, commenting, updating via email — except it’s kept away from everyone else’s Facebook stream.

I’m sure that someone nefarious could hack it. Or someone wily could figure out what you’re doing by targeting ads at you or something. But is it any less secure than whatever other cloud-based intranet tool you’re using? Plus, it dumps any work posts into your normal Facebook stream, so you see work-stuff while you’re screwing around on Facebook!

I dunno. Seems like the perfect tool to me. And honestly, having used Jive and 37 Signals, they’re pale imitations on the social level. (Basecamp is still awesome for project mgmt, though.)


Webtrends: The Great Bike Fiasco of 2009 Research Report

Posted: March 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: editing, interactive marketing, management, online copywriting, portfolio, social media, webtrends | No Comments »

In a way, I started on this project before I even joined Webtrends, when I wrote a blog post titled: “Portland Bike and Marketing Freak Out.” It’s a good description of what happened when Webtrends bought an ad on the side of a TriMet train asking, “should cyclists pay a road tax?”  I stand by that analysis of the campaign today — a near miss. Read the rest of this entry »

Webtrends: A Facebook Contest for Nerds

Posted: March 17th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: copywriting tips, facebook, interactive marketing, management, online copywriting, portfolio, social media, webtrends | No Comments »

Click to giganticize the Webtrends Great Data Giveaway screenshot

Early on at Webtrends, we decided to run a Facebook contest. That was pretty much the direction: let’s run a contest to see how it works.

So we wondered: what would make Webtrends’ faithful excited? And I came up with this idea of embracing the data nerd element. “Fly your nerd flag high” was an ad headline I remember.

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I Swore I Would Never Write about Mad Men.

Posted: August 17th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: interactive marketing, management, social media | No Comments »

It burns me to write this, but dammit, this Mad Men scene is such an epic argument about data vs. creativity. Data that looks backwards vs. ideas that lean forward. “You can’t tell how people are going to behave based on how they have behaved.”

As a marketer and a company, you sometimes have to decide that the data won’t guide you. Today, it’s both easier and harder to take a creative leap.

Testing an idea — creating an ad, buying some targeted placements, measuring the results — is relatively easy. It’s never been easier to produce amazing, compelling stories. It’s easy to test them in a controlled metro area.

However, when you make a really big creative leap, it IS harder than ever to keep them quiet. Especially if you’re a big brand. Social media, YouTube, email, whatever. We’re connected like never before. The new NIKE World Cup video got a few hundred thousand hits on YouTube before NIKE launched any other support for it. People found it and shared it.

Ending Interruptions in the Office

Posted: August 1st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: copywriting tips, interactive marketing, management, social media | No Comments »

Cross-posted from my Pop Art blog.

There are Two Types of People in the World: Makers and Managers

There are two types of people in your office, Makers and Managers. And scheduling a meeting with Maker can kill that person’s effectiveness for the day, according to Paul Graham.

I find one meeting can sometimes affect a whole day. A meeting commonly blows at least half a day, by breaking up a morning or afternoon. But in addition there’s sometimes a cascading effect. If I know the afternoon is going to be broken up, I’m slightly less likely to start something ambitious in the morning.

Makers Need Uninterrupted Time

Makers do the work — at Pop Art, our Makers are designers, developers, programmers, writers, designers and media planners. These people create the work that ends up online. Here’s how Graham describes the conundrum Makers face.

They generally prefer to use time in units of half a day at least. You can’t write or program well in units of an hour. That’s barely enough time to get started.

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Ad Testing: Use Facebook CPC Instead of Polling

Posted: July 6th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: facebook, interactive marketing, management, posted via iPhone, social media | 1 Comment »

How do you test an awareness campaign with traditional and online display media? What if you ran a Facebook cost-per-click campaign that tested all your messages and offers across your demographics?

By doing minimal targeting — regions, for example. Or another variable not expected to influence results — then you could compare the percentage of impressions to the percentage of clicks to tell how varying demographics respond to your messages and offers.

In other words, instead of paying an ad testing company to poll customers, you can use Facebook to extend your campaigns for similar actionable data and yet more impressions. Ad testing can extend your campaign, rather than merely being an added cost.

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A Dozen Doozies: My Favorite Pop Art Blog Posts

Posted: June 21st, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: copywriting tips, creative, interactive advertising, interactive marketing, management, online copywriting, social media | No Comments »
This cracks me up to no end.

This cracks me up to no end.

Hard to believe I’ve been blogging and working at Pop Art for more than two-and-a-half years now. In that time, I’ve tried to write posts that other writers will find useful, and maybe even demonstrate that we know what we’re doing.

Lately, my blogging has fallen off since I’ve taken on our media planning and buying department. But I thought it’d be a good time to look back.

  1. The fake layout above comes from one of the funniest jokes ever made at Pop Art. Well, it was funny to me, anyway.
  2. At some early point at Pop Art, we moved a lot of the SEO responsibility over to editorial. Here’s why. Read the rest of this entry »

WebVisions Recap on Twitter, 2009

Posted: May 22nd, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: interactive marketing, online copywriting, social media, twitter | Tags: , , | No Comments »

Here’s the link to all the WebVisions chatter on Twitter, using just the #wv09 tag. I’ve been going through and reading it to see what people were commenting on — an excellent reminder about how a hashtag can unify and aggregate people’s experiences at an event. And it makes great notes to crib from later…

My Two Favorite Slides from WebVisions

  1. First day, @bikehugger‘s slide about how to be interesting online: “Do Epic Shit.”
  2. Each one of @erictpeterson‘s slides had his twitter handle and the (wrong) hash tag in the footer. Super convenient.

I’ll keep reading the #wv09 hashtag comments and see what other interesting tidbits I can pull out. I know @texagonian (Kevin Platt) had some good comments and nuggets, as well as at least one laugh-out-loud putdown. As you might expect if you know him.

Ambient Awareness, Social Media and Customer Service

Posted: April 19th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: customer service, social media, twitter | Tags: , | No Comments »

I really can’t stop thinking about pushing clients into this idea of having proactive customer support by using the ambient awareness provided by social media. (No one’s biting, of course, because clients’ purse strings have been double-knotted.) More below about how you can use Microsoft Dynamics CRM to create ambient awareness for all your customers.

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Qwest Launches Social Media for Customer Service

Posted: April 18th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: customer service, interactive marketing, social media, twitter | Tags: , , , , | No Comments »

Qwest began using social media for customer service recently, according to the Phoenix Business Journal. It’s remarkably nimble for a large, bureaucracy-laden, unionized labor force. I mean that as a positive — clearly, this is their social media prototype. They have not rolled social media out to their entire customer service group, but rather have just seven people tweeting.

Visit Qwest at http://socialmedia.qwest.com

Visit Qwest at http://socialmedia.qwest.com

Start Social Media Small, and Learn from It

For a large company like Qwest, starting with a small dedicated group with a motto of “Be Smart” will allow them to find what works and what doesn’t.

For example, Read the rest of this entry »