Posts filed under ‘Clay’

DR. WHAW? – February 8, 2010

Hey everyone!  Hope you had a great weekend and enjoyed the Super Bowl Holiday.  I was stuck in meetings all day today, so it was a relief to sit down tonight and catch up on some reading.  Here’s what I enjoyed when I got a break tonight, what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work:

DR. WHAW? – February 8, 2010

  1. Beware of Vanity Metrics — This excerpt from Eric Ries’ new post on Harvard Business Review is an important read for anyone who ever touches metrics.  It’s so easy to get caught up in positive numbers and not pay attention to the fact if these numbers, even though they’re positive, are really the ones you should be watching.  A classic case that I always see is when people brag about great Click Through Rates (CTRs).  While in some campaigns, this can be a valuable metric, the much more important number is the Conversion Rate.  How many of those clicks actually turned into a conversion, whatever that conversion may be.  If you’re not turning your Clicks into Conversions, then a high CTR just means your spending much more than you need to be.  Love Eric’s three A’s of metrics: actionable, accessible, and auditable.
  2. Google Set to Make Gmail Social — I know that this one is one from of the “big guys” (Mashable), however, it’s too important to not include.  Gmail is about to roll in social updates.  As the Mashable title says, this is HUGE.  It makes Gmail infinitely more sticky and turns the Google product into an even more complete hub for online activity.  The article raises some good questions about whether Facebook and Twitter will be initially included?  Also, I know that the majority of the folks in my Gmail chat list are clients that I email with, I don’t necessarily want them to see pictures from Friday night that my friends’ tag — what kind of privacy settings will be enabled?  If Google takes it too far, they may actually lose users. Look forward to seeing this rolled out and how it will really function.
  3. For the life between buildings – some notes on the iPad — I was unfamiliar with this blog, City of Sound, but I’m definitely going to subscribe.  Before you click over to this post, let me say that it’s very long…unnecessarily long.  However, the first quarter is really great and that’s what I recommend you read.  I know it seems silly to include a post that only has 25% of solid stuff, but that’s just how *solid* that 25% actually is.  The post is relating the iPad to architecture and urban planning, two favorite topics of mine, and making the argument that it’s the perfect device for “in-between places”: cafes, meeting rooms, bars, planes, cabs, etc.  In other words, it’s the ideal device for cities.  The argument is a cool one and I’ve never seen one made for software in this manner, so I definitely recommend you check it out!
  4. Telling Stories With Interfaces — I eschewed the urge to put a typical “Super Bowl Sunday Ad Recap” post in this list, however, this post is inspired by one of the ads.  Perhaps my favorite from the night — Google’s Parisian Love.  It was such a great, simple, and touching ad.  Anyway, Robin writes about how this ad is typical of an entire genre, Telling Stories With Interfaces.  She shares some of her favorite other “ads” that do the same.  It’s a really cool genre and got me thinking about how we could maybe employ this technique at my business.  If for nothing else, visit this one to watch some other really cool stories.
  5. PR Ethical Dilemmas of Ghost Commenting — For as many opportunities bore by social media, there are just as many “traps.”  Many companies out there think they can game the system or pay someone to worry about the “problem” for them.  Todd Defren runs an impressive agency, SHIFT, and has had a series of interesting posts talking through different social media/pr ethical dilemmas.  This one gets into ghost commenting and whether an agency should comment on behalf of their clients.  Todd takes two stances in the post and I agree 100% with him on both.  Check it out and see what you think.
  6. Big Think Interview with Jason Fried — OK, I know that the “R” in DR WHAW stands for “Read,” but I had to throw this video in here.  Maybe listen to it in the background while you read one of the other posts.  This is a good 30 minute interview with Jason Fried, founder of 37signals.  Jason’s signature “thing” is to be blunt and very opinionated.  He rarely disappoints, and that holds true in this interview.  However, there’s no denying that he has been uber successful and is an extremely smart designer, entrepreneur, and person.  Check out this interview and try to gleam some good advice for your business or your clients’.
Well, those are my DR WHAW.  I know I’m one short, but I’ve been swamped all day, and it’s the day after the Super Bowl, so can I just claim I’m hungover?  Hope you enjoy them, let me know what you think!

February 8, 2010 at 8:37 PM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – Week-ending February 7, 2010

Hello y’all! I am so thrilled with the first week of DR. WHAW? contributors! I hope that y’all appreciate having this daily feature as an actual daily feature (I know, I was falling down on the job before), and I’m so excited to keep bringing you what we Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!). Without further ado, here’s this week’s digest.

DR. WHAW? – Week-ending February 7, 2010

1. Notes From a Conversation With Y Combinator’s Paul Graham by Om Malik — Paul Graham is an accomplished entrepreneur, essayist, and venture capitalist (through his Y Combinator program).  I always enjoy reading things he writes and watching interviews with him.  I thought these notes were kind of the Paul Graham CliffsNotes, as it gives a nice, quick 30,000 view of his overall philosophies on entrepreneurship.  If you enjoy this, I definitely recommend you delve into some of his writing on his site.

2. Is Real-Time Search Good for Businesses? by Michael Brito – This article discusses the impact real-time search results will have on your business – timeliness. You/your clients have to be ready to respond! Also see the post from ZDNet’s Jennifer Leggio: Google real-time search + Twitter = a wake-up call for brands.

3. The Taboo (But Critical) Community Skill by Amber Naslund – While social media is about community and building relationships, we need to keep in mind that it’s also about sales. I’ve been asked before about providing ROI for the activities we suggest to our clients. They want to know that they’ll be getting something ($$) out of the time they’re investing. Be sure to read the comments as well for additional nuggets of info!

4. How Is PR Changing? by Jeremy Porter – Everything changes, we know that. Porter makes a good point: PR itself isn’t really changing; however, our audience now has a voice. We also need to think about technology and its impact, new skills we need to possess to stay marketable in the workforce and different ways to effectively measure results.

5. Facebook Develops Conversation Tracking Tool: What’s A Fan Worth? by Laurie Sullivan — Facebook has developed a tool that will allow users and companies to track conversations on the social network. I was excited to hear about this because other tracking tools do not always track Facebook posts quite well. I wonder if it’s useful or how it compares, has anyone had a chance to try it?

6. Google Analytics Releases Mobile Search Tracking by Paul Teitelman — I am so pumped to see this! I was just wondering a few weeks ago how to measure the new mobile craze. Can someone please try this out? Tell me how it is? While this doesn’t measure all aspects of mobile that I would like to explore, it is definitely a start.

7. Do the Old Timing Rules Still Apply for Media Relations? by Dave Fleet — I read MarketingProf’s Daily Fix quite often. I love its practical, straight-forward advice for how to do communications well. In this post Dave Fleet asserts that the old rules for when you should pitch to journalists are outdated.

What a great first week, y’all! I can’t wait to bring you more, and I can’t wait for you to better get to know the three new DR. WHAW rockstars!

February 7, 2010 at 8:51 PM Leave a comment

DR. WHAW? – February 5, 2010

Happy weekend!  I hope your weeks went well and that our reading material helped out a little.

I realized that unlike the other DR WHAW? contributors, I didn’t really introduce myself.  My name is Clay Schossow and I run a web design and development company, New Media Campaigns, in North Carolina.  We work with all types of awesome organizations across the world and have built more than 400 websites in the past 3.5 years.  About half of our work is as the interactive partner for agencies.
OK, enough about me and now onto the good stuff!  Let’s roll into the weekend with a good stack of reading material I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!):
DR. WHAW? – February 5, 2010
1. Getting Started Publishing on Google News – If you ask me, SEOmoz is the ultimate authority on all things SEO.  Their advice is always practical and helpful.  This article does a great job of explaining how to capitalize on an extremely valuable resource: Google News.  Read through this step by step guide and learn how to get premium coverage for your writing.
2.  Bartle Bogle Implements New Management Model – It’s no secret that the recession and explosion of digital have turned just about every industry on their heads, especially the ad industry.  I’m always interested in how firms are restructuring and handling new models of business (more digital, more pay days tied to results, etc.), and this new model by BBH is really interesting.  Tying top talent to top accounts.  Makes sense to me.
3.  Zappos: Social Media Marketing Example #26 – Just about everyone knows that Zappos did a great job of serving customers, first.  Even more people know that Zappos’ strategy led to a near-billion dollar acquisition by Amazon.  And the entire universe knows that these things were mainly driven through the web and social media.  However, do you know every little detail of the company’s online history?  I can admit that I’ve cited Zappos as a case dozens of times, but I really only knew the broad strokes.  This case by Ignite Social Media delves into every possible specific you can imagine.
4. Startup Advice In Exactly Three Words – Dharmesh Shah is an incredibly brilliant guy who has started several successful companies.  His blog OnStartups is required reading for entrepreneurs in the tech-o-sphere.  He recently offered 50 pieces of solid advice in “triplets” — three words.  This one is easy to read and really makes you think about if you’re doing these things in your business.
5. 10 Ways to Build Social Media Expertise Using Personal Projects — Great, quick piece from Harvard Business Review about how practice makes perfect and how you can practice on yourself before paying clients.  I *really* like the last one about working late at night or early in the mornings so you aren’t affecting large audiences with your changes.
6. Chanel Learns to Think Like a Media Company – Cool piece from Business of Fashion (rockin’ site!) on how Chanel is playing more and more like a media company in the digital space.  From creating web videos to breaking news online, the company has really embraced the digital space.  Article shows that the strategy of inbound marketing and creating content works for even the most entrenched brands and helps them reach new audiences.
7. How to Manage Virtually – This one is pretty self-serving, but I was so pumped that I couldn’t hold it back.  Inc. featured me and my company the other day in a post about how to manage employees who work virtually.  The author articulated my points in a much more coherent manner than I ever could, so I thought I would share.
OK, it’s sushi and sake time for me, but I hope these pieces start your weekend off right!

February 5, 2010 at 7:28 PM Leave a comment

Three rockstars and now DR. WHAW? Contributors

I have incredibly exciting news! DR. WHAW is officially back and here to stay! With my crazy and unpredictable schedule, it’s sometimes too hard to keep up with this daily blog feature, but I know it is something that many of you have come to love. So I found the perfect way to keep the good doctor around without pulling out all my hair and feeling guilty when I miss a post.

I found three absolute rockstars to help me keep DR WHAW a daily feature! I have added a page to my blog to highlight these three, but I wanted to share a bit about them with you here, too. I am so grateful to these three for throwing their hat in the ring when this is still such a young blog. And I cannot wait to start working with all of them!

Caleb — Caleb Gardner is someone I met at a Social Media Club event in Chicago in December, and I could tell from the beginning that he was a unique and insightful guy. I was so happy when he volunteered to contribute, and I honestly cannot wait to see what he’ll come up with.

Clay Clay Schossow is a fellow Tar Heel, and someone I wish I could have met while still at UNC. Clay brings an incredible entrepreneurial spirit to the team, and I am really excited to get more of his perspective. I only hope that one day we can meet in person!

Melissa — When Melissa Cafiero and I first chatted on Twitter, I was struck by her intelligence and to this day her opinion is one I value quite highly. Even though we have never met in person, I am so thrilled to have Melissa join the team and put in her two cents.

Please read more about these three on the new DR. WHAW? Contributors page, and look out for great content every single day!

February 1, 2010 at 10:05 PM 3 comments

DR. WHAW? – February 1, 2010

This post was written by Clay Schossow, one of three new contributors to DR. WHAW?, which will be a daily feature moving forward. A big thanks to Clay and the other two for their help, and look for a post about these three rockstars tomorrow!

Hey everyone!  I’m Clay and I’m going to be helping Rebecca keep DR. WHAW? updated by posting twice per week (Mondays and Fridays).  I’m really happy to work with her for a few reasons:

  1. I think DR. WHAW? is a great concept and I’m excited to be involved.
  2. She’s cultivated a really great community on this blog and I’m happy to become a part of the conversation.
  3. She’s a fellow Tar Heel and feels my pain about this basketball season.

I run a web design, development and marketing start-up, so my posts will tend to be more about entrepreneurship, business and marketing.  Rebecca was cool with this direction, as we both believe variety is the spice of life.  This post is my first in the DR. WHAW? series, so please let me know in the comments what you think of the content I post, as my goal is to provide the most interesting and thought-provoking articles I can.  Feel free to offer up criticism, I promise I won’t take it personally.  And I promise that I’ll keep getting better as I post more.

So, without further ado, here’s what I Didn’t Read While Hard At Work (but wanted to!).

DR. WHAW? – February 1, 2010

  1. Why do we take ourselves so seriously? — This is a great, short piece from a few days ago that I just got to read today on the Brains on Fire blog.  In a world where so many people  and companies take themselves alarmingly seriously, this post was a refreshing breath of fresh air.  It’s always nice to be reminded that people like to interact and work with folks that can laugh at themselves and have a good time. These laughs and fun moments will likely translate into trust and a positive experience.
  2. The Present Value of Future Cash Flows — Don’t let the title intimidate you; this post is a really easy read about a basic tenet of investing.  More than the individual post, I’m excited about this series by Fred Wilson, MBA Mondays.  Fred is one of the better known and more successful VC’s out there, and he’s going to start a weekly post giving a basic MBA lesson in layman’s terms.  For those of us who focus on the business side of things but don’t have an MBA, I imagine this series will be very helpful and enlightening.
  3. Are You a C.E.O. of Something? — Great NY Times interview of Zynga CEO Mark Pincus.  Sheds some light into how he organizes his business, delegates responsibility, and keeps a positive corporate culture.
  4. Notes From a Conversation With Y Combinator’s Paul GrahamPaul Graham is an accomplished entrepreneur, essayist, and venture capitalist (through his Y Combinator program).  I always enjoy reading things he writes and watching interviews with him.  I thought these notes were kind of the Paul Graham CliffsNotes, as it gives a nice, quick 30,000 view of his overall philosophies on entrepreneurship.  If you enjoy this, I definitely recommend you delve into some of his writing on his site.
  5. Trail of Breadcrumbs — A new study says 89% of journalists turn to blogs for research and 65% use social media.  Some convincingly high numbers of why organizations should be engaging in these media.  These numbers rang true for me, as a reporter from Nebraska called me a few weeks ago to discuss some of the political articles on our blog; they ended up spinning our posts into the backbone of their story, which was really cool.  Also, love Todd’s analogy of social media and blog content to breadcrumbs.

Well, those are my first five articles.  I know Rebecca usually posts seven, but she still has a leg up in the experience category.  Seven will be something to which I will aspire.  Let me know your thoughts on this inaugural post and I’ll work to keep getting better.  Looking forward to the conversation!

February 1, 2010 at 9:26 PM 3 comments

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