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January 2014

How the Cloud Pulse May Become "Proof of Life"

In an article on Mashable, Adario Strange introduced me to the word "cloud pulse." (He may have invented it.) Updating your activities in social media is not just a method for connecting or promoting yourself. In a strange way, it's a way of demonstrating that you are alive... as in, 'I have a cloud pulse.' Tq140131cd

Mashable: Why 'Her' Is the Best Movie Ever Made About the Singularity, 2014-Jan-15 by Adario Strange

If you are reading this, then you are probably already a part of the cloud pulse, the invisible real-time fabric of people-powered data facilitated by social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Through these networks, the habit of continuous partial attention has been transformed from a rude vice to a badge of cultural aptitude that tells the world you are connected, informed and alive.

...most are expected swim upstream and evolve to accept that the cloud pulse is a new muscle broadening our awareness and not the intimacy-hindering nuisance some believe it to be.


The Discovery of a New Ally in Fighting the Misunderstanding of EMail

I've grown accustomed to 'mass misunderstanding' when it comes to email. Both business professionals and others have all sorts of unfounded and irrational beliefs about it. Tq140129cdIt's compounded by the fact that email isn't just one thing, and it doesn't stand still. It's constantly evolving and branching off. I suspect one cause of the misunderstanding is the extremely personal nature of email. Our own experience and inconveniences loom larger in our mind than all the mountains of statistics that are available.

Fortunately, some of us enjoy studying the reality of this infinitely measureable form of marketing. I've recently discovered an agency that shares my commitment: Alchemy Worx. They even cemented my respect by hiring email guru Jeanne Jennings. Here's a sample of their wisdom. Below that is the amazing infographic that led to my discovery of them.

The Lab: 2013 Email round-up, 2014-Jan-9 by Alchemy Worx

Big Data can of course be utilised to improve marketing programmes, but ultimately it’s always going to come down to the quality of the data and how it’s used, rather than the size of the data. It will never be a fail-safe and good marketers with little data will always beat poor marketers with lots of data.

Marketing Profs: Seven Myths of Email Marketing, 2013


Framing innovation as a choice

Enjoying innovation and making a living off innovation are two very different things. It's too easy to be a spectator and a speculator. Tq140128sdFor business, the only innovation that matters is one that users can embrace. And before they use it... they have to choose it.

Choosing something new and untested is risky, and usually happens when the status quo is unacceptable. People choose risk when all they have are bad options, and especially when they are losing assets. So if you want to drive innovation forward, go someplace unpleasant!

The Discipline of Innovation: Here's Why You Need to Build Your Innovation Capability, 2013-May-23 by Tim Kastelle, quoting Rita McGrath, quoting someone at Sagentia

We can only live off something that our clients have decided to do.


Are you waiting for the perfect moment to connect?

If you frantically chase your contacts, you'll annoy them—and make an impression. If you pull back and keep the parts that work, you'll be ahead of everyone else. Tq140122hd2

Blue Penguin Development: Solo Professionals, Start Your Engines, 2014-Jan-10 by Michael Katz

It’s not so much the fine-tuning that yields the biggest benefits, it’s the act of doing something – even if it’s not perfect.

Which means that:

  • If you believe in the value of staying in touch with your existing contacts (and if you don’t, you’re reading the wrong newsletter), then stay in touch with them. Even if the way you do it is unsystematic, sloppy and incomplete.

    Sure, it’s better to have a system in place that works perfectly – I’ve become a big fan of Contactually (affiliate link) in this regard – but don’t let not having it perfect prevent you from keeping your network alive.

  • If you believe in the value of creating and sharing content, then write something and put it out there … even if it’s not the best thing you’ve ever done.

    Waiting six months (or forever) to launch your newsletter, blog or free giveaway because it’s not yet perfect, on the other hand, is a losing strategy. Here as well, the biggest gains come when you move from publishing nothing to publishing something – not from improving on what you’re already doing.


Seeing the cultural 'gotcha'

We frequently hear sweeping and inaccurate comments about a company's culture. Tq140121ddThe entire article by Justin Fox (linked below) is highly recommended to suggest the nuances. Anytime a company becomes large, it also becomes culturally complex, and it becomes more and more difficult to find consistency. Fox recommends a book I had not encountered before, From Counterculture to Cyberculture, which sounds very informative. I also recommend the analysis of Best Buy culture in First, Break all the Rules.

HBR Blogs: How Silicon Valley Became The Man, 2014-Jan-9 by Justin Fox

Google treats its engineers extremely well, offers extremely flexible work spaces, has built essentially a culture of collaboration and creativity that looks very communal and very wonderful, even as around those engineers it has cafeteria workers who are making something very close to minimum wage, and often lack the ability to get proper health insurance. That’s the kind of old communal mindset right there, where you bring together a kind of elite, give them a shared mindset, all the resources they need to live in that mindset, and yet surround them with folks who are relatively impoverished...


Sponsorship Versus Advertising

Over the years I've come to see sponsorship as better than advertising. Tq140115fdChoose some charity or program you believe in, that's congruent with your business, then promote two for one. Seth Godin explains five reasons to sponsor... I've excerpted a couple below.

Seth's blog: Understanding Sponsorship, 2014-Jan-10 by Seth Godin

2. It might be a bragging rights thing. This means that the sponsor isn't focused on tonnage, but instead wants the affiliation that they can mention to others. Sort of a reverse endorsement. The thing being sponsored isn't a media outlet, then, but a license by affiliation. An example of this might be sponsoring a speaker coming to town. Clearly, the 500 people in the audience don't constitute a useful CPM, but the fact that you did it gains you authority with those that notice what you did.

3. It might be a chance to influence the organization being sponsored. This would explain why big corporations are willing to sponsor political conventions.