Category Archives: 2.0

Weekly Round-Up 5/02/11

Shameless Plug

  • For more about Social/Local/Mobile, see us at the Social-Loco Conference—I’ll be speaking on the “Big Brand” money panel.


  • Wrap your mind around this:  Escher’s Waterfall has our mind boggling!
  • Check out Little Thor, a miniature hero who gives this year’s favorite Super Bowl character, Little Vader from the Volkswagen commercial, a run for his money.
  • Will Turnage, VP, Technology & Invention for R/GA, shows off a shirt he hacked for a South by Southwest session.  This shirt not only flashes when he taps his phone through a Bluetooth control, but also lights up when someone tweets his twitter handle.


  • AppNation brought the growing consumer application trend to the forefront of the minds of all those who were fortunate enough to attend.
  • Drew Ianni, Chairman of AppNation, joined us at Anthem Worldwide in San Francisco to share his view-from-the-top of the Apps Ecosystem.


Will Apps Disrupt Every Trad Media While Establishing a New One?

Perhaps the title question is too narrow and should focus on industries Apps will disrupt beyond Media, and my prediction is that Apps will disrupt nearly everything from the way we consume and engage with brands and media to how we transact, visualize, congregate and curate our daily lives and loves. With that thunderous prediction let me offer a couple of windows into the Apps EcoSystem which Gartner predicts will become $58 Billion in a few years and conclude with some thoughts informing these predictions:

  • AppNation Conference in San Francisco this Wednesday and Thursday, April 27-28, promises to deliver the “State of the Art” view of the EcoSystem. Register to attend in person and catch full-benefit of networking with founders and leaders in this emerging space or follow the hashtag on twitter: #appnationconf 
  • Spend an hour with Drew Ianni, AppNation Chairman and Founder, presenting his view from the top of the Apps Ecosystem. Former Wall Street and Jupiter Analyst as well as top guy at ad:tech, Drew created AppNation to provide the best and biggest conference for the space. You can catch his Briefing at Anthem San Francisco here:

  • And, here are the companion slides to the video:

Some additional thoughts to complement my prediction that Apps will disrupt nearly every business and consumer interaction:

As Drew points out the value chain is shifting from the hardware–although the most elegant hardware can win massive share as we’ve seen with the iPad and iPhone–to the software or Apps on these devices. This content spans devices and channels jumping from Social/Web to Mobile and PC/Tablets and eventually connected TVs. This shift has been swift and taken the most immediately associated/impacted industries by storm and surprise. PC veteran, Michael Dell, admitted yesterday that he didn’t see Tablets coming and PC-maker Acer reported 24% drop in sales as a result of tablet disruption.  The primary utility for Tablets? Apps.

As a result of this consumer draw, we can anticipate new, creative business models and entertainment forms to emerge and become as large a part of popular culture as anything Hollywood has ever produced. And, of course, Hollywood may spawn and will appropriate these new entertain forms.

As we’ve seen with Social Media, consumer adoption and new behaviors will inspire enterprise adoption as well. So, my prediction started in the title with Media, the most obvious place for disruption as we see media transformed with superior features, connectivity and transaction abilities to change how we think about distribution and engagement with Print, Radio, TV and even the Internet media that came before Apps. In establishing a new medium and channel it’s important to emphasize this is about disruption not replacing or destroying. Incombent business models will have to evolve and embrace the new medium to survive and thrive in the disruption.

Will Apps have their own mass-events like the Oscars, Grammy’s, Cannes or Tony’s? They already have their own conference. Hope to catch you at AppNation this week and every year going forward. Cheers!

Weekly Round-Up 4/25/11

Apps and Tablets

  • AppNation Conference hits San Francisco this week, April 27-28 at the Moscone center. Register now at Here’s a preview & taste of why this is such a big deal:

  • Like the smart phone, tablets are slowly but surely being integrated into everyday life.  We use them to watch movies, read books, and order a meal?  Massachusetts Institute of Technology dropout, Rajat Suri thinks that with his E La Carte we will all be doing just that.

Social Media

Global Social Gaming Overview

Two weeks ago, at AdTech, we presented a comprehensive overview of Social Gaming in the US.  The presentation was featured as a “Presentation of the Day” and Tim Chang of Norwest Venture Partners believes this may be the most current and comprehensive snapshot of the industry available today. You can also view the slides synchronized with the AdTech audio on Youtube.

Change Everything

This post presents the content and discusses the process in my journey to create the “This Can Change Everything” presentation for iMedia Breakthrough Summit on March 21, 2011. It was a 30-45 minute discussion where I covered So|Lo|Mo, Gamification, Maker-movement and Social CRM/Caring after a hat-tip to Moore’s & Metcalfe’s laws combined with the “People” coefficient. With an extra 15-minutes allowance, I may have added connected TVs as a potential “return to the Family Room” theme. Regardless, these themes are ones that I believe can change everything in the coming years.
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How are you planning your SXSW calendar? (Work in Progress)

Working on card-sorting SXSW interactive events is a bit of an art. In attempt to put some more science as well as to crowd-source some of the places I should be, I’ve turned to a couple of cloud-based tools. Plancast is a great social event tool that will likely be a breakout at SXSW this year in part due to its relevance for event-goers. It’s incredibly useful and plays nice with all your desktop, enterprise and mobile calendars. You can subscribe to my plans and see what plans my friends have as a way of prioritizing and planning connections. It’s discovery, serendipity and choice-meets-chance in an app.

I’ve also married plans that seem interesting with a Google calendar to see how over committed I am along with what events I’ll prioritize when I bounce from one to another. Here’s a handy peek at that Google calendar which should link to a live version of my plans:


Google Calendar of Plancast Schedule

Google Calendar of SXSW Plans, Agenda Format

Are you going or have had to organize similar complexity at an event with overlapping tracks. Have you found a better way to organize, prioritize and curate?

Look forward to your thoughts in the comments below.

Weekly Round-Up 10/04/10

Social Media


AOL Acquisitions


  • 5min media video acquired for $65mm
  • AOL acquires Thing Labs founded by Jason Shellen — Congratulations to Jason and team as he continues his winning streak building great value and bringing it into a larger platform (past wins include Google Reader, greenlighting FeedBurner at Google and Blogger with Biz & Ev).


Weekly Round-Up 9/20/10

appnationApps/Mobile: Perhaps in honor of Drew Ianni’s successfully launching the AppNation Conference/Empire September 13-14 in San Francisco, it seems like most of the round-up is flavored with Mobile/Apps news, even in those that relate to Acquisitions, Apple and Facebook. Here are some App-related news inspired by the event:

Faux FB Phoney Facebook:


Social Media

Killer Apps:

Don’t Freakout when Granny Friends You

Social Spectrum Visual

Social Spectrum Visual

Your privacy is in your control. In other words, you can worry a little less about who friends you and if you have “to quit them” or not.

I’ve had quite a few conversations with clients and friends that hail back to a previous post where I proposed a Social Spectrum.  The post was in reaction to technical shortcomings for filtering and creating dynamic privacy–the situational rules you create for “you on display”–on SocialNetworks. Better tools are emerging, but they remain largely hidden and “opt-in” by nature. You have to actively place rules on your media SocialMedia, but it can be done.

The premise behind the original post was that everyone enters SocialMedia from different perspectives and experiences, around a variety of media and interests, with different expectations and comfort-levels about revealing parts of themselves to others and, ultimately, to the search cloud.  There are cultural, gender and age divisions that inform how active and open you might be as you approach and develop SocialMedia competencies.

For the purpose of addressing my closest colleague’s concerns, I divided the range of SocialMedia into an axis for private and public as well as one for personal and professional. This spectrum has remained relevant as I’ve discussed SocialNetworking connections with new clients, partners and vendors at all levels of seniority in their organization. Here’s a recent paraphrased example:

Me: I realized after friending several people in the organization that not everyone’s comfortable with connecting on Facebook. Most prefer LinkedIn for professional connects.

Her: Yeah, you’re still sitting in my pending list. I’m expecting a lecture.

Me: The lecture is mine. I should ask if there’s an interest in connecting in the invitiation message. Go ahead and delete. We’ll find other ways to share that you’re more comfortable with.

Some senior-level newbies to SocialNets are concerned by the appearance of intimacy and access beyond what they would allow in real life (IRL). Some, fresh out of college, are used to friending quickly but think twice when a tagged photo hits their socialgraph from a college friend. They haven’t had to modulate between friends and colleagues before. Some opt-out, ignore or block access to their socialgraph risking professional embarrassment of a lesser nature. Redefining their Social Spectrum becomes an active effort.

For myself, I follow the same rules I would IRL: I have appropriate and clear boundaries. I don’t accept friends or associates that I wouldn’t run into IRL through one of my many interests. I block when someone or something becomes inappropriate as you would expect. 

Unlike IRL, I don’t have to listen to an overly chatty person (which some have accused me of being based on an active twitterstream, btw). The great news is that technology offers you the ability to filter content and even people. Twitter reader/management applications like TweetDeck and DestroyTwitter allow you to group the people you want to hear from most. Facebook has added a “like” link on each item that shows up in your SocialGraph which will eventually optimize people and topics you like to see most from you friends. And, with a little work, you can also tune your Facebook settings to hear the right signal-to-noise for anyone or thing. As Facebook connect becomes more widespread you’ll be able to take these same privacy settings with you out in the wild of the web.

Below is a great tutorial on the subject. Enjoy and let us know what else you use for filtering in the comments.

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Too Many In-Boxes

more mail less fun

"Something came whizzing down the kitchen chimney as he spoke and caught him sharply on the back of the head. Next moment, thirty or forty letters came pelting out of the fireplace like bullets. The Dursleys ducked, but Harry leapt into the air trying to catch one."

There’s a b-plan in your inboxes, or specifically in their consolidation and management, and the key may be SocialMedia.

I’m reading the first Harry Potter book to my kids at bedtime. Remember the scene where the letters wanted so badly to get to Harry that they came shooting through every open space in the house? It’s a good visual for the flood of information we have coming into our inbox, the contempt many have for it and the joy someone can experience getting just the right message created expressly for them.

Your home mailbox–the one that’s got your Netflix red envelope in it–is rarely bringing you anything personal except during special events/holidays. Your office inbox rarely empties of those declining rags still distributed in print in spite of  the economic realites. If your Outlook email inbox is like mine, it’s full of disappointments for lower-priority senders (sorry) whose bold-faced salutations remind me they have not been read. My phone buzzes to let me know a direct message arrived from Twitter. And the SMS/Message app has a lengthy inbox–at least these have been read. My Facebook mailbox, once an uncluttered, pure environment of friendly connections and smiles, now buries threaded conversations pages deep as the volume grows.

Sometimes I forget which inbox I received a message and it takes time to cycle through the services–email, txt, twitter, fb and a growing number of small, function or topic-specific socialnets–to discover and recover the interaction.

Armano Visualizes Social Filters

David Armano has content coming through the context of our crowds, not just an editor's selection process.

If email applications were transportation, we’d be driving off the road with intent. It’s a bad user experience made only slightly better by search. Not as dangerous as driving a poorly designed automobile, but hazardous to our health all the same. I’ve been reproached about my email management, as though it were my fault the tool didn’t work better.  “If I just put more effort and commitment,” the logic goes, “I could get my inbox to zero.”

To illustrate my point further, did someone have to show you how to use Google? The iPod album flipper? Even this blog platform from which we’re engaging is intuitive enough to execute frequent saves as I write the post so I don’t lose my content/flow if the browser decides to crash (which it did).

The first time I saw a Mac in 1984 I smiled–it got me out of command-line navigation and green type for something that looked intuitively like the real world. Same with the browser in 1993, iPhone and any number of other innovations that recognized me as a human with better things to do than to serve it. Each of these got us further from code and more into interaction. They blurred the lines between real world type, content and now physics.

I’m convinced a better solution is near. As Clay Shirky, author of “Here Comes Everybody,” says, “there is no such thing as information overload, there’s only filter failure.” I believe in the stronger filters. Already more robust algorythmic filters have gotten rid of much of my SPAM email. But there are also human filters to content: I follow hundreds of people on Twitter and friend even more in Facebook. In my twitterstream and socialgraph they’ve broken news more quickly than any other medium. My “crowd” also has better taste in selecting rore relevant articles in greater quantities for me than any issue of newspaper or trade can offer. This doesn’t completely solve the issues from “too many inboxes,” but it starts to prune the activity in my main channels.

The key may lie in initiatives we’ve heard announced and seen coming out of Yahoo! and Facebook lately, allowing SocialNets into their email platform and other “inboxes” to bring in SocialNets through their “Connect” program respectively. Built into their social platforms are features around what they call “Dynamic Privacy.” That means the system is aware or can become more aware about who you value more in your connections and how. With whom do you share or tag photos? To whom do you forward interesting content and do the click or pass it along? Is that a professional, university or family contact? Do you share common interests? These can become powerful enablers and filters in the context of the in-box.

Facebook, Yahoo, Google, MySpace and others have all announced and are rolling out some version of their “Connect” programs. Many in the Valley have talked about this as a “single-user login” benefit for the consumer and owning the login or attention currency equivalent of “wallet.” It’s like not having to get carded everywhere you go, nor populate more accounts. I believe the single-user login benefit is huge, and I think that it may also be secondary in the long run to helping clear inbox proliferation.

Note: quick word of caution navigating the waters of people-filtered inboxes. The other day I pinged a professional associate who quickly informed me that they weren’t available in Facebook for connecting professionally. You have to respect the boundaries of how people want to use their inboxes, when and with whom.

Will close with this letter for my most bloated inbox: 

Dear email inbox, I’m not trying to be difficult, but you really don’t get me. And I think it’s time we take a little break. We’ve tried it your way for many years with pretty much the same result, now it’s time we try it my way. As of today, I’m taking a break from you. I need some space to redefine our relationship. I’m packing up my closest peeps and taking them with me over to the socialnets; that’s where you can find me if you need something. I’m going to throw away all the news articles, press clippings and stuff you’ve got stashed everywhere, so round-up what you need quickly and store it somewhere safe. 

It’s been a blast. I mean literraly. Most marketers still call you their “email blast.” They carpet bomb inboxes on time with an interesting item at best or with the randomness and relevance of an unwanted advance at worse. You’ve been loyally shielding me from the worst offenders, but my crowd gets me better.

If it makes you feel better, it’s not about you. It’s all me. I mean, you haven’t changed a bit. But I have. I found better, more interesting and related things from my crowd. I’ve grown to trust them and they helped me realize how far we’ve grown apart. I hope we can stay friends or at least professional. We still have all the business affairs we need to deal with. I think with time you’ll find this was really the right decision for both of us. Maybe with time you’ll slim down some, get active and grow in new directions. That would be really interesting for both of us. Here’s looking at you, kid.

From the Twitterstream this week: “Filing a cease and desist… against my inbox.” Chris Sacca.

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When Every Little Bit Really Does Count

The Good Cause

The Good Cause

Tonight at 9:12pm David created a blog post for a friend in need. Daniela, with her three youngsters, made the courageous decision to exit a physically abusive marriage. Now homeless and far from home and support, her friends came to her aid. David posted a picture, an entreaty for donations and included a widget from ChipIn–a PayPal enabled payment system–to raise money that would provide Daniela the means to rent a small apartment for her family. His target was $5,000 and within two hours it easily passed $7,000 in donations.

To be fair, David is just any guy. He’s David Armano,  or @Armano on Twitter where you may already be one of his 8000+ followers. I am. You should. He puts great thinking and creativity into the SocialSphere everyday through his Logic+Emotion blog, twitterstream, twitpics, flickr visualizations, slideshare decks, bookmarks and more.  David populates and prolifically fills his SocialMap with an abundance of original thought, discoveries and insights. So, when he finally asked for something in return, the community answered his call. When he posted to his blog, he also asked in addition to giving that people help him spread the word by “retweeting” his link. They did and the response was immediate.

The widget allows you to track progress and it’s clear by the decimal point movement that people were making payments of all sizes, including very small, but meaningful ones. Because with The Long Tail and micropayments, a little can add up to a lot. In this case, a families dreams of a better life. Currently 218 donors have raised $7,099.31 or $32.56 per person on average.

To bluntly and awkwardly bring this back to the business of digital marketing and Real Branding, here are some lessons David delivered tonight:

  • Brands that create value have the right to make the ask on occasion and their fans will respond
  • Micro is the new black. Sure widgets have been around for at least three years when RockYou put its code up on MySpace and started tearing at the walled gardens creating a distribution and value-creating revolution. But now they’re getting people elected, or into their new home
  • Blog post alone isn’t the solution as Forrester’s Jermiah Owyang has recently discovered; need to add viral and urgency through twitter. Add a twitter url and hashtag for your followers to use, making it easier to promote, track, aggregate through search and measure
  • We digital folks never fail to be amazed when our magic works for us–and it does

Thanks David and family for the lessons from the heart. Every little bit counts. You can help the cause by clicking over and making your donation now (I don’t know how to embed widgets in WordPress otherwise you would be able to do it right here; don’t tell anyone :-). Be Great.