THIS BLOG HAS MOVED

June 14, 2009

I’m thrilled to say that my blog has been updated and moved to http://www.christopherdessi.com

Please bookmark it, and come visit!


Entrepreneurs can change the world

June 1, 2009

Your Brand has an Application on Facebook, now what?

May 29, 2009

Your VP just ran to you in a panic after reading that Facebook had hit 200 million users “We NEED to develop an application and get on Facebook”!  As a good employee and student of the Social Media world, you went out, hired someone to develop the application.  The application is launched and everyone is happy. You send the application to your boss on Facebook, he shares it with his friends, and everyone is happy, right?

Well, sort of. After a few weeks your boss asks you “how’s the application doing?  You say “what do you mean”?  The application is…well the application right?  We followed the rules; we’re interacting with our consumers on Facebook. We GET Social Media….WRONG.

tips

Relevant actions that your consumer can take within your application to gage success:

  • Contest/Sweeps Entries – Perfect for companies like Bluefly, Coke (my coke rewards), Publishers Clearing house etc.
  • Coupons Downloaded/redeemed
  • Games played
  • Videos Viewed
  • Uploads (e.g. images, videos)
  • Poll Votes
  • Messages sent (*e.g bulletins, Updates, Emails, Alerts)
  • Invites sent
  • Newsfeed items posted
  • Comments Posted
  • Friends Reached
  • Topics/forums created
  • Number of Group Members or Fans
  • Reposts *”Shares”

The Application has become the new Ad Unit

May 28, 2009

The job of a brand right now, when interacting in the Social Media eco-system is to get the most effective ad unit in front of an ever elusive group of consumers.  Currently the only way that this can occur in a cost effective manner is via an appropriately designed and implemented application. 

Think of it this way: if you pay for development of an application at Buddy Media the media buy is strictly performance based, once you pay for the initial installation of the app, you no longer pay a fee. Meaning that if consumer #1 installs, then passes you appropriately viral application to their friends and family (consumers #2 -#30), you don’t pay a red cent beyond consumer #1.  Suddenly the ground swells. You start to leverage the power, and see the value.  A guaranteed media buy within the most engaged attentive ecosystem of educated, consumers…ever. Keep in mind that the largest growing group of facebook users is 35+. Now we start to see the truly viral nature of the social web.

Social brand loyalty results in trial or adoption of a page, education of the brand features and benefits, extended reach to a broader demographic target (remember my post regarding the network neighbor).  Rapid lift in awareness of the brand.  Applications are the most powerful Ad Unit online today.

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Buddy Media Continues to Experience Record Growth; Adds Industry Veterans to Expanding Sales Team

May 27, 2009

This entry was posted by Buddy Media on May 27, 2009

New hires to help meet tremendous market demand for Social Media Applications & Strategy.

Buddy Media, the leading media company for social media campaigns and branded app-vertisements, today announced it has experienced record growth and has undergone a significant expansion with several new appointments to its sales team. The company has run programs for more than 100 clients and is on track to post a 300% increase in revenue in 2009 compared to 2008.

The new hires include Andrew Goldberg and Chris Dessi who join the company as Directors of Sales for the East and Mark Sarsha as Director of Sales, West Coast. All three bring relevant media and advertising sales experience to help Buddy Media meet increasing market demand for smart social media strategies and app-vertisements that help bring brands and social networkers together in meaningful ways.

Andrew Goldberg has more than 15 years of experience in media sales and joins Buddy Media from XM Satellite Radio, where he was Director of Advertising Sales and was responsible for building XM’s Northeast ad sales team.

Chris Dessi brings more than a dozen years of experience to Buddy Media, having previously held the positions of Vice President of Sales and Business Development at Miva (NASDAQ:MIVA) and Zanox, Inc., a Berlin, Germany based multinational ad network. Dessi has also served as Director of National Ad Sales for Epic Advertising (formerly AzoogleAds, Inc).

Mark Sarsha joins Buddy Media from OK! Magazine, where he served as Western Sales Director and built a team that grew sales volume by more than $3 million during his tenure. Prior to OK!, Mark was the Western Advertising Sales Director at USA WEEKEND magazine and usaweekend.com.

“We continue to grow by leaps and bounds because brands see the value in engaging the hundreds of millions of people on social networks wherever they exist,” said Buddy Media Chairman and CEO Mike Lazerow. “Chris, Andrew and Mark bring exactly the kind of experience and track records that we look for in Buddy Media employees. All three will be invaluable to driving our success and that of our clients.”

About Buddy Media

In today’s social media world, every brand needs a Buddy. Buddy Media, the leading media company for social media strategies and branded app-vertisements, offers proprietary technology solutions – including Builder, BuddyBrain and the Social Page Management System – to help brands engage their audiences by extending their advertising campaigns into the social world. Some of the world’s largest brands, including FedEx, New Balance, Time Inc. & Microsoft work with Buddy Media to create social brand loyalty and social brand advocates. Based in NYC, Buddy Media is a privately held company backed by Softbank, European Founders Fund and GreyCroft partners amongst other investors.


The Total Facebook Makeover for Brands

May 27, 2009

“Facebook marketing requires communicating, not advertising” Forrester Research, Inc

Facebook users are aging.  Over 35 may not be the largest group that is interacting on Facebook, but they’re the ones that are growing the most.  What worked for your brand on Facebook yesterday will not work on Facebook tomorrow.  What does that mean for your brand? You need to hire professionals.  Don’t always look for the silly hook. Sometimes slow and steady wins the race. Just do it. Get engaged, and get into the Social Media sphere. If you work with a partner, your applications and pages will evolve with your brand.  Ads on Facebook are horrible, and don’t convert.  Ads that are INSIDE applications are powerful.  Sponsorship deals will continue to grow. 4-26% CTR for Sponsored feed stories.  Read and respond to comments.  Enable discussion by leveraging your pages, and a page management system.  Be transparent about your role and perspective. 

Finally, create useful apps that model what friends do naturally – share info, experiences, and laughs

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How to Ensure Your Facebook Application & Page will Crush it! 3 Tips for Advertisers

May 27, 2009

Freshness and relevance is appropriate regarding anything in social media, but are especially important for brand pages, and applications.  Even though Social Media offers a unique manner of communication with your consumer, that’s not to say it’s easy to engage said users.  Pages must have a dedicated page manager to update posts, and content.  Content management by a third partly is also strongly recommended. Full Disclosure – I work at Buddy Media which provides these services.  I fully feel they are essential if you’re to engage with your users appropriately.  Management, and tracking of these activities will place your Brand ahead of the game.

Consider this: Branded Social Media Applications or App-Vertising campaigns, deliver six times the number of impressions that traditional banner display campaigns.  SIX TIMES!  Essentially what you get as an advertiser is an accelorator.  Applications surpass banner placement on social networks.  When utilizing an appropriately designed, well thoughtout and appropriately implemented application a brand is paying almost 80% less for each engaged user than if they were to purchase display advertising on a social media network.  

1. Applications should have a fresh “hook” to them to facilitate viral growth

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2. Don’t reinvent the wheel – if your current UI is loved by your users, request that your application developers replicate the look and feel

3. Give the users a reason to re-visit the application. Anything where they may be competing against friends always works. 

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Why Facebook has a $10billion dollar valuation – Network Neighbors

May 26, 2009

Brands leveraging only demographic, geographic and psychographic information about a consumer is dead. This type of information is certainly powerful to gain insight into your consumer, but my belief is that this is only the tip of the proverbial ice berg. spaceball

While studying direct marketing at NYU in the late 90’s this information was the holy grail of marketing.  Today, it’s no longer the case.  As social media has become ubiquitous the manner in which people interact with each-other is now available.  This information is certainly more powerful, and more telling to a large brand regarding the consumers likes, dislikes and potential purchasing habits.

handsI’d argue that the more compelling information that’s available to a brand is who are Network Neighbors.  These network neighbors are consumers linked to a prior consumer. They adopt a service at a rate 3-5 times greater than baseline groups selected by the best practices of the firm’s marketing team. Analyzing the network allows the firm to acquire new customers who otherwise would have fallen through the cracks, because they would have not been identified based on traditional attributes. – Statistical models, built with geo demo and prior purchase data are significantly and substantially improved by including network information. More sophisticated network information allows the ranking of the network neighbors so as to permit the selection of small sets of individuals. with very high probabilities of adoption. As a traditional direct marketer within the Social Media world, this is very exciting.  This is why every brand needs to be engaging with their consumers in Social Media.


Rich Page, Poor Page – Not every Facebook Page is created Equal

May 26, 2009

Pages are becoming more and more an essential part of major brand’s Social Media Arsonal. Facebook has recently allowed brands to increase the breadth and depth of information available on said pages. Essentially these pages (if developed and tracked properly) can become micro-sites assisting in all marketing efforts for a brand. They’re easily modified, appropriately engaging, and at times can become the central hub of information or PR for major brands. AtmosphereBBDO

Because you cannot track how many “fans” you have on your page, brands should look to alternate ways to track success of a page.  Firstly, ALL brands should have a page presense. If you don’t I can almost guarantee that one of your customers has already taken the liberty of starting a fan page, and or (worst case) and negative page about your brand.  Once your page has been launched, your message and voice conveyed appropriately you must of course have a media dollars to help support the page. If you build it, unfortunatly they don’t always come. 

  • Number of Fans
  • Active Users – Total users that interact with your page over a specfic time frame, usually per day, week, month. 
  • Fan Profile – mining the information about the fans of your page can offer optics into a consumer base you may have never tapped into before.
  • Unique user reach – percentage of those users that have become a fan among the total social media audience (or calculated as active page users per audience)
  • Growth – Average numer of users within a specific time frame
  • Influence – Average number of friends among each “fan” of your page
  • Number of pages your fans are also fans of

Tweetliers – Why Twitter Has Already Changed Marketing

May 19, 2009

Yesterday Will Akerlof posted an article on MediaPost titled “Twits: Why Twitter Won’t Change Marketing” I thought perhaps the title was a bombastic contrarian comment to suck the reader in. I was wrong. Mark feels that in a couple of years we’ll look at Twitter as

another online flash in the pan that the press and digerati got all excited about until they found the next new thing.

 Finally he compares Twitter to a Ponzi Scheme Stating:

One could argue that social networks operate like Ponzi schemes. They require rapid growth to maintain interest and draw more users. There is inevitably a point where growth is limited by the size of the potential audience and the appeal of the service. When growth slows and the shine of newness fades, the network begins to wither and die

deadbird02xHere’s my comment I posted

While twitter may not be the final iteration of the micro-blogging/social media sensation, the power of twitter lies in the “changing of the game”. Those that are participating in Twitter realize that they can leverage, and influence large numbers of like minded people. Ask Gary Vaynerchuk – (350,000+ followers). He owns a wine store in New Jersey, and rates wine on his online Vlog. He has the wine industry shaking, and is leveraging the power of Twitter. This type of influence is hugely impactful for marketers. To say that Twitter may be gone in a few years is possibly true, but that’s not to say that this type of social interaction will be gone along with it. This is word of mouth on steroids. If you look at it as if we were growing in the social sphere along the same line as in Maslow’s hierarchy, we have yet to come to self actualization. Twitter may take us there (obviously currently they are not), but what they are allowing people to do is to become experts, and receive esteem from their peers and to contribute in a community. Your post is well written, and obviously well thought out, but I’d recommend perhaps getting more involved in Twitter before passing judgment. I personally didn’t see the point until I fully immersed myself. Yesterday I found a solution from my followers regarding how to remove a stain from a marble counter, shared images from a car wreck on the Saw Mill Parkway to warn other travelers, and passed on a great vacation deal that lasted only 48 hours. Twitter works…for now. Ponzi schemes offer perceived reward. Twitter has already given back with human interaction and information sharing. Final thought – you should follow me @cdessi

here is Mr. Akerlof’s reply

Christopher: I appreciate the argument that I really just need to know Twitter better before I understand the value. I’ve only been using Twitter for a couple of months. I did go over to @garyvee on Twitter and in the first 3 pages of his tweets, don’t see any about Wine. It’s all random comments and a thread about his book on marketing. I think this proves my point about Twitter being an echo chamber. If the proof of Twitter’s success is that there is a man who has had success selling a book on having success using Twitter. I believe you, but I am not convinced it’s a new marketing paradigm.

I appreciate Mr. Akerlof’s contrarian view, and I commend him for sticking to his guns and offering a thoughtful, and gracious response to my comment.  I still disagree with him.  Again, I’ll state that Twitter may not be the savior here, but what it has done is shine a light on the fact that the game is changing and that marketers must evolve or die.  This instead of saying this isn’t your father’s marketing: it’s more like – this isn’t the marketing you did 2 years ago. The world has changed, Twitter is the Tipping Point.


What’s the Difference Between Widgets and Social Media Applications?

May 12, 2009

I keep hearing this question, so I thought I’d attempt to offer some brief insight:

Applications are platform-specific. (facebook or myspace). Widgets can function on any site that accepts external content. This includes social networks, blog platforms, start pages, desktop platforms personal web sites –

Widgets can function differently on different platforms. So for example a widget may not fully integrate with a specific social network, or deliver varying degrees of integration with a social network like accessing an using certain social data. The benefits of Widgets are that they encourage connectivity, self-expression or collaboration think – GAMES – TOOLS – INTERACTIVE CONTENT

Applications tap into sharing and data via a social network like facebook or myspace via friends, locations etc.

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Brands and Social Media: Top 3 Reasons Why Every Brand Must get Involved

May 10, 2009

Brands continue to hedge regarding involvement in Social Media. Lack of control, a lack of knowledge regarding where to start, what to measure, and how to measure push brands into an inactive catatonic state of empathy regarding the whole of Social Media.  Dismissing Social Media is a mistake – ESPECIALLY if you’re a large brand.
get-noticed
Here’s why:

1. Social Media is the richest ecosystem of data that brands can leverage today. Firms make marketing decisions based on what they know about their customers and potential customers. Knowing how well a consumer is linked to existing customers is a powerful characteristic on which to base direct marketing decisions.

2. This is only the beginning – As more consumers create interlinked blogs, and have the opportunity to participate and create content, this is just the first iteration of a consumer based ecosystem of data that brands can have access to if they decide to participate.

3. Demographic, Geographic and Psychographic information is dead. Social media offers brands insight into communication between people. This communication is a better indicator of deep similiarity than any demographic or geographic attributes. Homophily or word of mouth is the best indicator of brand loyalty that has ever been available. Period


The Power of Small: How Little Gestures can Make Your Brands Social Community a Hit

April 23, 2009

As more and  more brands take the leap into Social Media we continue to hear  horror stories.  Some brands think that they should jump on the Social Media Bandwagon, create a community  – set it, and forget it.  BIG mistake. 2945559128_53078d246b2

While attending the Web 2.0 Expo in San Francisco  I sat in on a session regarding something that I didn’t even know existed before  – Community Managers. The title of the session was What would the Community Manager Do?  Micki Krimmel @mickipedia presented ideas that are worth restating there, and are certainly appropriate consider all of the brands jumping on the Social Media Bandwagon.

The 4 Tenants of the Community Manager:

  1. Creators
  2. Empathizers
  3. Pattern recognizers
  4. Meaning makers

Community Advocate – Listening to what the community wants – solving customer needs

Brand Evangelist – PR Events and Panels, participate, vision and personality – admit mistakes

Flexible – Can’t just be a megaphone for the PR company

Communication – Shape editorial, new media tools, responsive, 2 way street

Gathers Input – Actively seek input, build relationships, ask questions, report feedback

How do you hire a community manager?

The person you hire for this role MUST reflect your brands core values.  Micki shared a job offer she received from Tesla car company. She knew instinctively that this was not the appropriate role for her because she isn’t passionate about cars.  If you’re a brand looking for a community manager you must hire your biggest fan.

How do you fit this role into your company?  The community manager must be offered 4 “luxuries” in order to be successful for your brand.

  1. Autonomy
  2. Authority
  3. Agency
  4. Accountability

Your Brand can’t have a “build it and they will come” attitude. Your brand must focus on the little gestures. The conversations, interaction and nuances of your community. Hire the appropriate person in this role, and gain commitment from the whole company/brand to be advocates.

images-3Case Study:
Zappos –

A woman purchased a wallet via Zappos.  She didn’t like the wallet purchase so she returned the wallet and mistakenly left $150 in the wallet. The person that recieved the returned item sent back the $150 to the woman.

You’re successful when EVERYONE is a community manager


Master your Tweetabolism: How to Trim your Follow Fat

April 23, 2009

3161674958_049ed716ab_m2As I continue to immerse myself in Twitter I find there are some problems that have started to rear their ugly head. I’ve been lucky thus far in so much as I’ve been able to resolve said problems relatively quickly.  Currently and issue I’m encountering is how do I figure out who was really worthy of a Follow, and who’s been a lame duck, er..tweeter?

Tweetdeck has been great at letting me see the bigger picture of what’s occurring throughout the day on Twitter, tracking and monitoring certain topics that I’m interested in. For example, search for “social media” and you can view a stream of anyone that mentions Social Media in their Tweets.  I’ll check out someones profile, see if I have interest in following them, make a decision and go for it. This has worked pretty well so far, but what I’m finding is that now I’m following almost 1500 people, and I can’t really keep track of who I want to follow?

There’s a service called Tweepular that’s been a big help with “bulk un-follows”.  It’s perfect to sift through the “get rich quick” guys you may have given a knee-jerk “follow”, and want to remove from your Twitter stream.  You can check them out here: Tweepular

Happy Trimming!


More Candy Talk: I promise No More Skittles – What do Reeses Peanut Butter Cups Have to do with Semantic Search and Email?

April 18, 2009

Remember in the 80’s when some unsuspecting  guy enjoying a large bucket of peanut butter would be happily walking down the street when out of nowhere some guy enjoying a huge chunk of chocolate would collide – than you’d hear “you got your peanut butter in my chocolate” from one guy, than the other would reply “you got your chocolate in my peanut butter”!  Than they’d both realize the wonderful marriage of chocolate and peanut butter – BAM – Peanut Butter Cups are born!  Oh Joy!

images-22Yesterday I thought of a similar marriage of technologies that I think will be very powerful.

Email + Semantic Search.

Now, I know that I can’t be the first person to think of this, so if you know of any companies doing it, and doing it well. Please comment, and link to said company. I want to invest. Here’s why:

Financial Times just invested a large chunk of money into Semantic Search Engine Newssift. These guys have their act together, and they have some very powerful tools for Business to Business Research tools.  They can determine the Sentiment of certain news stories that they index. I think this is fascinating, and certainly applicable for research, even identify protection, Public Relations etc. What if the same technology were applied to Email? What if you were able to tell between the urgent email from your boss and the totally innocuous one from said boss about Thursday’s lunch meeting?  Wouldn’t this be a much more powerful way to sift through your email?  Perhaps you’d need to keep track of any new business opportunities that hit your in box.  Currently if you have no idea who the sender is, this important note may end up in the trash.

newssift

Well, I just thought I’d put it out there.  Who knows maybe Newssift will team up with a Email Service provider and offer the service for free.  I’d use it, wouldn’t you?


1000 Twitter Followers: How Social Media is Changing the Game

April 17, 2009

Today I hit a major milestone in the life of an avid Twitterfile. I surpassed 1000 followers.  To those that don’t use Twitter this may not seem like many. They may read about such Twitterati celebrities like @aplusk, @BarackObama, @jimmyfallon, @lancearmstrong, @iamdiddy – but let’s get serious, these people were in the public eye to begin with. To hear that they have hundreds of thousands of people following them shouldn’t come as any surprise. They’re intriguing, talented people that are changing the world, entertaining the world, and breaking records.  picture-6

The reason why my 1000 landmark is monumental is because I’ve never been in the public eye.  I’ve never been a guest on a talk show. I’ve never run a country, starred in a movie , cut a rap album, played in an all-star game or crushed the Tour De France.  That’s specifically why Twitter is exploding.  I have a following. Chris Dessi, father of Talia, married to Laura, son to Patricia and Adrian.  I live in a townhouse in a sleepy little town.  I have a good education, from good schools. I’m a good guy, with good values, and a good family.  I’ve never broken a record, let a alone made one.  But for this moment, I have 1000 people that are interested in what I have to say. Now, of course this is in a micro format (only 140 characters), and I fully understand that not all of my Tweets are read by my loyal flock. What I can tell you is that I get a thrill when I find something fascinating online, Tweet it, and see people Re-Tweet it.  WOW – the power of spreading information, and passing on the good.  I even decided to start #feelgoodfriday – where you can pass on stories that make you feel good.  I tweeted it, and saw people pass on a sweet video I found on youtube.com that documented a unique wedding proposal.  This is fascinating. This is powerful. This is also.. ALMOST the pinnacle of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Self actualization will come – with the next iteration of Twitter (who knows what that company will be called). Twitter offers us the ability to fulfill this aspect of our needy little personalities. Today I’m happy that I have 1000 people listening to me. After all isn’t that what we all crave in the end? To be recognized? To be acknowledged? I see you, I’ll follow you, I’ll listen to you.  Twitter is a blast, and can be a powerful business tool. The popularity will not wane, only grow. We’re tapping into some very primal human desires in the interim.  Cool.-


Why Your Business has to be on Twitter; Demographics Aren’t what you think

April 16, 2009

icon_aRecently I’ve been going a little Twitter crazy. There are a few factors involved, not the least of which is that I’m unemployed and learning about Social Media as much as I possibly can. The Twitterverse is bubbling with interesting links, updates, Tweets, and tools to grow your business online using Social Media techniques etc.  What I previously thought Twitter was all about has turned out to not be the case at all. I assumed that this would be a teen environment, and I’d be the goofy dad embarrassing his daughter while tweeting about Yankee Opening Day.  After conducting some research my hunch regarding the demographic has been confirmed.  It seems that the largest demographic according to Quantcast on Twitter is 18-34 year olds.  I think this has to do with the idea that entrepreneurs can build a community via Twitter for FREE. They don’t have to bit on Google Key Words, they don’t have to pay per click on a PPC Network. Just generate killer content, have a voice, and people will follow you. there is a strong sentiment on Twitter of shared ideas, and good behavior. Rarely do you see anyone ranting. Take a look at these numbers – I’m sure they’ll change your opinion if your still on the fence about getting your business involved with Twitter.

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Linkedin Wordle

April 16, 2009
Wordle

Wordle

This morning while reviewing my Linkedin Profile, I decided to take a look at some of the generous, often humbling recommendations I’ve received from colleagues over the years.  Curious to see if there were any common themes that would come from it, I decided to drop the copy into a Wordle. Take a look. Very cool.


The Internet is the Truth Machine

April 10, 2009

About 10 years ago, my Uncle recommended a book to me called the Truth Machine
 by James Halprin.

The book is science fiction and truthfully, I wasn’t so intrigued.  The book was published in 1996.  The cover reads: It Could be the Greatest Blessing or The Most Terrible Curse.  The premise of the book is that in the not so distant future a “Truth Machine” is invented.  Over the course of generations borders are secured, individuals become more intelligent because they can no longer cheat, and the reality of life is brought to light in a glaring manner.  The “base line” of truth is brought to the forefront of society. Politicians must tell the truth – wow, what a world.

Last week I attended the Web 2.0 conference in San Fran, and it hit me….the Internet has become the Truth Machine!

Let me explain: for the past however many years, brands have been been doing well online selling goods, building brand awareness etc, but we all know that CPM is dead.  Brands can no longer just broadcast online and hope to win new/loyal customers.  Facebook, Youtube. MySpace, Twitter, Digg, Stubleupon, Yelp, are dominating the interactive landscape and brands need to rethink their strategy.  Listening, engaging, and cultivating a relationship with their customer is the only manner in which brands can communicate now. If not, the ecosystem of Social Media will flesh out the “posers” cough *Skittles* cough…and make sure the brands that aren’t doing it properly are burnt at the stake in the center square.  web2_logos

What Social Media has effectively created (for Brands) is a Truth Machine.  

So why are so many brands panicking, and why are guys like Gary Vaynerchuk flourishing?  Yesterday I met with my good friend Alex Baydin CEO of Performline and we both agreed, that nomatter what business a guy like Gary Vaynerchuk is in, he will be successful.  Why?  Because he is genuine.  I was lucky enough to meet Gary in person and after fawning over him for the first few minutes of our meeting I commented “I love what your about” to which Gary replied “It was good parenting”….WOW.  When was the last time you heard that?

Brands need to get back to zero, start to listen to their consumer, and actually care. They need to understand that whatever they put out there will be read commented on, blogged about, Tweeted, and Re-tweeted, digested, and then either evangelized, or destroyed. 

The Internet is the ULTIMATE Truth Machine


EXCITED TO SAY THAT FACEBOOKSHOULDHIREME.COM WAS MENTIONED IN FORTUNE.COM

April 5, 2009

This past week Jamie Varon of “Twittershouldhireme.com” fame was featured in Fortune Magazine.  While Jamie and I have spoken before (considering I’ve shamelessly copied her wonderful idea to appeal to Twitter directly for employment), I only learned of the news from one of her ecstatic “tweets” regarding the coverage.  I was obviously super excited to see that my copy cat site “Facebookshoulhireme.com” was mentioned in the article as well.   Who would have thought that I’d have to be unemployed to get a mention in Fortune.  Outstanding! Oh yeah, if you’re reading this – follow me on Twitter!  @cdessi

What Varon did next made her feel a little crazy. But then, it’s a crazy time to be looking for a job. She created a website called twittershouldhireme.com, including her resume, recommendations, and a blog tracking her quest. Within 24 hours the company contacted her. She had a lunch meeting set up at Twitter, and in the meantime got two job offers from tech companies that had noticed her site, which has even spawned imitators: googleshouldhireme.com and facebookshouldhireme.com.

Check out the full article HERE – or just click on Jamie’s image:

jamie_varon


“The Internet is the Ultimate Bullshit Meter” Bob Buch Vice President of Business Development at Digg

April 2, 2009

According to Bob Buch, vice president of business development at Digg, baking chocolate chip cookies is the perfect Metaphor for web publishers to better integrate social media.  I don’t really think it’s the best metaphor, but Bob gave away free cookies at the end of his talk, and for that, and that alone I decided to follow him on Twitter @bobbuch , kidding.  However,  I’m not kidding about the metaphor.  So I’m just going to share the hugely useful tips and tricks he offered throughout his dynamic talk instead of working off his suggested Cookie metaphor.  Forgive my poetic license. digg-logo-heart-lg1

SHARING–  Buch started off by saying that the best advice for a publisher with high quality content is “if you love something, set it free”. Just get it out there, people will come back to your site 100 fold.  He went on to describe that a homepage story on Digg that your reader loves  will send from 20,000 to 200,000 clicks.   A big mistake that a lot of publishers make is that they offer too many options to share the publishers content, so Buch advises that “Less is more”  don’t overdo the sharing options.

img_0048INTEGRATION – Not every publisher can be great at everything so Buch advices to integrate using social sites like Facebook. Leverage their platform for profile photos if that’s not your core competency. Using Facebook Connect Digg publishers have seen registration rise 30-100%,  and engagement up 15-80%

Time Magazine’s Digg widget outperforming their own “top story” selection. People seem to be drawn in by other opinions and feel that the title stories for Time may have some bias due to larger font, and placement in the publication.

PEOPLE– Buch advised that publishers hire someone who is familiar with social media and can decipher the following ROFLCopter, LMAO, PWND, Noob.  If you can’t, than apparently you’re a Noop.  I have to confess I didn’t know what a ROFLCopter was until Buch offered.  He likened this type of reaching out to bringing your people in out from the cold. Listen to your community and don’t only communicate about self serving things. Offer insight about what may effect what you write about. The example of a company doing this well is NPR.  Facebook offers the opportunity for NPR to have a “Public Profiles”. NPR has 330,000 fans, and growing because they let reporters upload photos from the field that maybe won’t get published. To the users this feels authentic, and feels “insider” to the group members.  NPR is leveraging what they’re best at.

AUTHENTICITY – Stay true to your core competency.  Figure out what you do best and be true to that.

I particularly enjoyed that Mr. Buch didn’t dismiss publishers, and emphasized that sites like Digg rely on high quality content. Suffice to say I dug what the guy from Digg was talking about.  Couldn’t resist, sorry.

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Tekzilla Live at the Web 2.0 Conference in San Francisco

April 2, 2009

Veronica Belmont and Patrick Norton treated the crowd at the Web 2.0 conference to a live taping of the super popular Tekzilla show.  Before the taping the two offered some interesting behind the scene tidbits regarding TV (apparently clapping fast and higher up on your body than normal sound better on TV), who knew?

Evan Williams founder of Twitter dropped by, and offered two memorable gems. when Veronica inquired “What advice do you have img_0061for startups” Evan with tongue firmly inserted in his cheek offered the sage advice “Do something awesome.” The answer, however dry recieved a nice chuckle from the audience.

Throughout the show, and while reviewing different product (photo printers etc), the hosts took video questions sent in by viewers and kept track of a lucky attendee’s site redesign in real time by web designers headquartered in New  York. This aspect of the show was a bit of a dud considering by shows end the site was really not very impressive and received the appropriate reaction from the live audience.

All in all it was a great experience, and fun to watch the “behind the scenes” action for the taping. It was impressive to see just how knowledgeable they both are. They’ve certainly done their homework for each product they review, and you can feel that passion in Patrick’s answers. This guys loves what he does, and that’s contagious.images-2


Effective Twitter for Communication & Product Integration

April 1, 2009

I attended a great session hosted by Sarah Milstein this morning at the Web 2.0 conference in San Fran regarding how businesses can utilize Twitter as a powerful tool to communicate online. Milstein is a Web 2.0 strategist and co-founder of 20slides.com, a site for lively, work-related workshops. During her presentation she also announced that she has co-authored a book with Tim O’Reilly called The Twitter Book (reserve a copy here)

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This session had so much great/relevant content. Here are some highlights:

SOME BASICS:
When you want to categorize messages on Twitter use the # Hash tag – so for example, if I tweet about the Web 2.0 Conference I can say: “having a great time in San Fran” and than put #w2e at the end of the message that’s relevant to the expo.

When speaking to someone start with the “@” symbol – so a message to me on Twitter would start @cdessi “#####”

TWITTER STRATEGY

Interact with your community and show the human side of your company.  The Chicago Bulls were cited as a great example following the game as their followers do- communicating similar interests and passion for the Bulls.  Allowing your Twitter followers to connect with the people in the company was a driving theme.  Don’t push out to the users, engage them and share. Someone posted a question to Jetblue regarding places to visit in DC. Jetblue ReTweeted to the community and they helped the person.

LISTENING TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES

Leverage the tools to find out who’s talking about your company, or who has similar interests and may be a new customer. Most interesting tools cited:

Search.twitter.com

Advanced Search on search.twitter.com for Words, People, Places, Dates, Attitudes, and other to search to see if there are people that are happy, unhappy or sharing links.  Recommended to grab the RSS feed of yous saved search, or get the results emailed to you via Tweetbeep.com. Sarah shared a story in which the Crowdvine CEO did a search and found a user that wasn’t happy with the product. It turned out to be a bug that was resolved. A CEO of a competitor had reached out to the same person – lesson? You HAVE to engage the user on Twitter or your competition will.

Some additional resources:

Twist.com

Twirl.com

Hootsuite.com

Twellow.com

FINDING FOLLOWERS

The first point that Sarah made is that you don’t need a million followers. What you need are a small number of passionate engaged followers.  She offered some tips:

1. Start with content.

2. Post great stuff and people will listen.

3. Make them want to follow you.

4. Start a conversation by using @ replies.

Some tools:

Mrtweet.com

Wefollow.com

SMART INTEGRATION

Allowing the user to integrate the Twitter account into the service you offer.  Example: Wesabe – users can direct message their expenses to them.  Salesforce.com has recently integrated Twitter which will launch this Summer.  You can respond to your users leveraging Salesforce.com tools.  She feels that this really adds legitimacy for Twitter.  Companies are finding that people complain on Twitter before they call customer service. So they can predict issues by being engaged in this community.

Quote of the session from this dynamic young woman Twitter is the  “Canary in the Coal Mine” for brands.

A question from the audience and answer from Sarah during the session:


Web 2.0 Conference Review #1 Real Branding, “Building a Social Media Strategy Using SocialMap”

March 31, 2009

Twittershouldhireme.com and the controversy thereof

March 26, 2009

Last Monday I was let go from my position as Vice President of Sales and Business Development at a publicly traded company. Tuesday I woke up and decided that I would put the wheels into motion to follow my heart instead of my wallet while looking for my next position.

I wanted to be a part of the web 2.0 social marketing community and began to seek sales roles at companies that fit the description. Where better to start my journey than the kings of social – Facebook.com? I love Facebook and saw that they were hiring. I applied for a Sales Director role.

Enthralled by Social Marketing I began to test my knowledge and see if I could leverage the medium to help my search. I dove headfirst into Twitter and began scanning for like minded individuals. I quickly discoverd @jamievaron and her site www.twittershouldhireme.com.

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I was amazed by her ingenuity. I immediately decided that I would start a “copy cat” site called www.facebookshouldhireme.com. I purchased the URL and implemented via Godaddy.com. I was thrilled. I shared the link with my friends and family via Facebook.com (where else).

A day later Facebook.com respectfully declined my application.

Ouch.

Well, not so fast. Personally, I think the whole experience was phenomenal, I also think Jamie is fantastic.  That’s mainly why I’m writing this post = I’m a bit disheartened to have read the following article today titled:

Why TwitterShouldHireMe.com is a bad idea

By Heather Huhman

The author notes 6 reasons why. I’d like to defend my position as well as Jamie’s and respond to each point.

1. She’s pigeonholded herself.

Regarding @jamievaron I disagree.  The only companies she may have alienated are most likely companies that she wouldn’t like to work for.  I’m sure the guys at Digg think she’s creative and interesting.

Regarding@cdessi I really disagree. I have a masters degree in Marketing, and I’ve been in online sales for 11 years.  I’m not supposed to be able to produce a site like www.facebookshouldhireme.com. As I attempt to make the jump into the social marketing space this can only help.

2. She’s coming off desperate.

@jameivaron – I think she comes off as articulate, creative and passionate.  She’s asking for the job of her dreams. I don’t think that’s desperate at all. I admire her for it.  She’s young. It takes some people a lifetime to articulate what it is that they’d love to do.

@cdessi I was🙂 (sort of)  The economy is horrible, and I need a J O B.  Why not work someplace I love and get there in a creative way? After 7 days being unemployed, luckily I’ve already been given an offer. I’ve been boring my entire career – what the heck. I have a home, a wife, and a baby girl to provide for, I’m sure nobody will fault me for trying.  My personal brand has already been damaged by two lay-offs due to economic conditions in one year.  I have nothing to lose and everything to gain by the exposure.

3. She’s stereotypical Generation Y

@jamievaron – No way. No way at all.  The stereotype does exist, and I’ve experienced in some of the team members I’ve managed.  This young lady has initiative, creativity and a passion.  The stereotype smacks of entitlement.  An entitled stereotypical Generation Y would have been offered a job at Twitter and then would complain to anyone that would listen when Twitter announces they can no longer offer free breakfast because of the economy.  Her site is an omage to Twitter. Not to her.  She’s pledging her undying love and affection for a company that has become a part of her life.  I’d hire a young woman like her in a second.

@cdessi – Hmmm..I’m generation X – I wonder what this says about me?  Maybe that the game has changed, and the normal procedure doesn’t apply?

4. She’s unprofessional

@jamievaron – I’m 34 and I’ve reported to 28 year old millionaires that show up at work in jeans and an Ed Hardy T-shirt. They negotiate million dollar deals via IM.  Professional has been redefined in the Web2.0 world.  If she walked in with a suit on and a brief case she wouldn’t fit into the culture at Twitter. The site is designed for  Micro Bloggin. It isn’t GE.  She’s being appropriately and refreshingly herself.

@cdessi – see above.

5. She’s controversial, and therefore a risk.

@jamevaron She’s part of a generation that has been posting personal photos of themselves on Myspace, facebook, friendster and the like since they were in their teens.  Their whole lives have unfolded online and shared with their entire world.  Considering the people she’s appealing to are her contemporaries I hardly think they’ll find this site controversial.

@cdessi For me – a 34 year  – perhaps this could be a dangerous move.  Again I’ll reference my two lay-offs in less than a year as a liability as well, but sometimes the contrarian is the guy that’s most innovative in the board room.  I’ll take that risk.

6. It’s been done.

@jamievaron – This is way off.  Facebook wasn’t the first social site.  Twitter may be the first micro blogging site, but I’m certain it’s not the last.  To say that @jamievaron’s “angle” is never going to be reproduced is silly.  I’m sure you’ll see even better iterations on her idea. Done with more flare, perhaps to an even more controversial effect.

@cdessi – I’m sure this idea will be replicated (hopefully with better results than mine) :-)  I’ve seen stories on executives standing on street scorners.  This will be replicated and built upon as the economy continues to worsen and people need to find more creative ways to distinguish themselves.


What’s a Tweetup and Who is Gary Vaynerchuk?

March 26, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk has me FIRED UP!!

March 24, 2009

Gary Vaynerchuk showing everyone at WineLibrary’s Tweetup the Jet’s Sweater his Mother MADE for him – AWESOME

March 24, 2009

Facebook Should Hire Me DOT Com

March 22, 2009

Chris is: shamelessly self promoting to land a job at Facebook!

This afternoon I launched a new website that I want to share with you guys. It’s an interesting twist for me. Recently I was let go, and currently I’m interviewing. I thought it was about time that I took my destiny into my own hands.

Here’s the copy on my home page at: http://www.facebookshouldhireme.com

Thanks for visiting! I’m amazed by the viral nature of the internet. You may enjoy my story:

Thursday March 12, 2009 the company I worked for was bought by a competitor. Monday March 16, 2009 I was let go. Friday March 20, 2009 I applied for a Sales Director position at Facebook.com. Sunday March 22, 2009 I read a blog post (via Twitter) about an extraordinary person named Jamie Varon (@jamievaron). Jamie started a website called www.twittershouldhireme.com. Inspired, I decided to start this site. Thank you Jamie! Twitter should hire you immediately!

Jamie started a job search revolution with one brilliant idea. She’s extraordinary. The folks over at Facebook are extraordinary as well.

After spending too much time pursuing jobs that offer good monetary compensation, and fancy titles, I’ve had it. I’m 34 years old, married and have a gorgeous daughter to provide for, but my focus has shifted. I can’t continue working at soul crushing companies and seeking only monetary reward. I need to find a place where I can be surrounded by like minded, positive and inspired people.

I know nothing about programming, software development and the like. I am a sales/marketing guy, but I’m a student of the internet. I’m obsessive about new technology and I love to blog about my family, the newest gadget I covet or which companies I think will change the world. I’m thirsty for knowledge, and I’m scrappy. I may not have attended an Ivy League school, but what I lack in intellect, I make up for with passion, intensity and a desire to excel. I’ll be the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night. I never cut corners, and I never play political games. I’m truthful, authentic and can communicate well. Being let go twice in one year (after leaving a job I loved to pursue money and a title) has shaken me to the core. I’m humbled and ready to learn.

I’m ready to be passionate about my work again.

Mark Zuckerberg is changing the way we interact with other human beings. I want to be around people that have passion, are changing the world for the better and as Gary Vaynerchuk (@garyvee) would say “Bring the Thunder”. Check out http://www.winelibrary.tv or www.garyvaynerchuk.com – it’ll change your life.

This site is going to change mine.

Take a Look


Financial Times Group Launches Newssift.com Beta

March 20, 2009
 

A Unique Search Tool for Business Professionals

 

NEW YORK, March 18 /PRNewswire/ — The Financial Times Group announced today the BETA launch of Newssift.com, a next generation search tool for business professionals. With the ability to search thousands of global business news sources, Newssift offers comprehensive, meaning-based results that contextualize the trends, opinions, and qualitative events that shape business decisions and impact corporate reputations. Newssift is a free-standing entity within the Financial Times Group.

 

As the media landscape continues to evolve, more people are using the Internet as their primary news source. Newssift allows you to look for up-to-date news and analysis online to know before you go, streamlining the process of search and search refinement for business decision makers. Newssift delivers precise and more relevant qualitative business news, moving beyond traditional key word search.

 

“Unlike traditional search, Newssift was developed to enable users to string together a query that can provide insight into the relationship between people, organizations, geography, and business theme, which ultimately facilitates more informed business decisions,” said Robin Johnson, Chief Executive Officer, FT Search, the creators of Newssift.com. “There are only a few search engines that employ relationship-based or semantic algorithms, and to date there is no other that accomplishes refinement using a business point of view.”

 

Much research has shown that many of today’s business users are dissatisfied with current search tools, finding traditional key word search technologies difficult to use and unable to comprehend contextual relationships. Newssift was launched to respond to this void — creating a user-friendly and meaning-based search that easily locates and compares qualitative business news across thousands of reputable sources. Each day, thousands of news sources are aggregated and annotated to ensure the most relevant and deep analysis of current global business news. Newssift then searches data based on meaning and relationships, cutting out the commercial clutter found in traditional key word search.

 

“Today, we’re introducing a resource for business that offers capabilities not available on any other search site,” saidJohn Greenleaf, Chief Marketing Officer of FT Search. “Newssift thinks the way business people think and interacts directly with the user, offering results that are meaningful, relevant and ultimately pertinent to important metrics like stock price valuation and corporate reputation.”

 

Similar to the way one would search and compare merchandise on retail websites, Newssift ultimately analyzes the relationship between people, organizations, geographies, and business themes. An example that highlights the Newssift.com difference and demonstrates how the tool works is that while traditional search results can help you to find a local florist in Florida for your mother’s birthday, Newssift can enable you to analyze the state of the floral industry in Florida.

 

 

About Newssift

Newssift is a unique search tool for business professionals indexing millions of articles from thousands of global news sources. A next generation vertical search tool, Newssift.com searches are based on meaning, topic relationships and business themes, moving beyond traditional keyword search towards refinement. Newssift was created by FT Search Inc., an independent entity within the Financial Times Group.

 

    Media Contact
    Amy Grabowski
    203.564.1501 / Amy.Grabowski@newssift.com

    Danielle DeVoren
    212.445.8188 / ddevoren@webershandwick.com


We Can Only Appreciate the Good After We’ve been Faced with Bad

March 20, 2009

I just returned from a head clearing heart pounding 6mile run.  It’s amazing how much clearer your thinking becomes when you’re challenging your body.  I’m in the middle of day 4 after losing my job, and I’m already making some big moves.  It’s fascinating to step back and be witness to the emotional rollercoaster of job loss.  That coupled with our lovely little recession we’re experiencing hasn’t exactly helped my spirits, but it hasn’t gotten me so down either.

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I’ve been really down before.  I’ve faced some minimal adversity in my life, and I’m thankful every day for that.  I know in my heart that I wouldn’t appreciate the good things in my life if I were never faced with the “percieved bad”.    I say “perceived bad” because I mean really, how bad is it?  Nobody is dying here.  :-)

Take inventory today. I’m mean really, seriously take inventory.  While I was running I thought of the many things I can be thankful for:

1. I’m able to run 6miles!

2. The seasons are changing and you can almost smell the baseball in the air – GO YANKS!

3. My daughter’s birthday is on April 14th!  

 

If a guy on day 4 of joblessness in the midst of a sh*tty recession can be grateful, than you really have no excuse to complain today!


Top 5 Ways to Cope with Getting Let Go

March 19, 2009

There a few ways you can react to getting let go: 

You can: 

1. Wallow in self pity

2. Drink yourself into oblivion 

3. Wallow while drinking

4. Say f- it and head to Figi for a month, and then wallow and drink.

5. Pick yourself up by your bootstraps and get to work…then maybe have a nice glass of Gary Vaynerchuk recommended vino.

At this point in my life and since I have the responsibilities  of a perfect little girl and a mortgage to pay – I really can only pick option – #5.

That said this week has been a whirlwind of meetings, phone calls and ideas.  Ideas that I’ve been thinking about for months but never really had the time to see to fruition.  I’m saying screw getting down – screw wallowing in self pity. This is opportunity time.  I’m so energized and pumped for these ideas!!

So here they are in no particular order:

I’ve registered two company LLC’s 

1. LookUpInteractive LLC – An idea that I had about two years ago to start my own consulting business.  I just launched the site – and while still VERY bare bones – I’m pumped.  Check it out:

http://www.lookupinteractive.com

2. Dadzilla LLC – I purchased the url http://www.dadzillatv.com – and I’ve hired a great team of freelancer to help me build the site on evenings and on weekends. It’s not ready to launch but I think it will hit a demo that gets neglected – DADS – I see tons and TONS of parenting advice and there’s really nothing for Dads.  My idea is to host a weekly show that will interview people that can offer advice for Dads – everything from the type of mortgage you should look for to the type of crib you should be getting for the new little addition.  I’ve been blessed to have a phenomenal family that loves and supports me, and I realize that not everyone has that type of support system.  So we need to educate the new Dads out there. They need to keep their new little ones safe and secure.  They also need to know what stuff is a rip off and what stuff they really need – ie, ditch the frills and invest in a gate so your baby doesn’t take a spill down the steps! logo

There are a lot more where these came from – so let me hear your feedback?  Kill me with constructive feedback guys I want these ideas to take off and I need your help – what do you think?


A New Beginning

March 18, 2009

Thursday Miva was acquired by AdKnowledge, Inc. This is phenomenal news for the talented folks running Miva Direct.  Robert Roe and Mark Ribaudo have a vision for the Miva Direct team that I’m excited to see come to fruition in the coming weeks.  I won’t be a part of that vision because this Monday I was let go.  This is the best thing to happen for me.  This is an opportunity for growth, learning and expansion.  I worked very hard in the months that I spent at Miva Direct and I hope that the team experiences nothing but success.  They all deserve the best.  Now, I must start the journey to look for my next challenge.  

Today, I’m bursting with ideas, happiness, and a feeling that everything happens for a reason.  I’ve decided that I will take some time to be with my family and decide the best opportunity for us. A hasty decision is dangerous, and I want to ensure that I make a decision to move from a pure place, and not a place that is based in financial concern.  

There is so much opportunity in front of me, and I’m excited that this is an opportunity for me to “practice what I preach”.  I have posted on here before regarding the recession, and our perception of the world around us when we’re in the midst of a recession.   Some responded saying that my outlook was unreasonable and much too positive.  I disagree.  Life is not an enemy.  I don’t want war.  I want peace, love and a non hostile environment.  My relationship with the present moment is not a means to an end.  I see my present moment as the only thing that I have.  Life is inseparable from the now.  Now, life is abundant.

  • Now, I have the love of a phenomenal woman.  
  • Now, I have a daughter that is celebrating her first birthday next month, and brings pure joy to my life.2416575556_74337bb7cf_m1
  • Now, I have a family and friends that have reached out to me with love, support and encouragement.  

How lucky am I?

I see the disfunction in grasping for the future, of reacting to the panick of unemployment.  This will not support a smooth transition into a new role. This will only support decision making that is fear based. This won’t help me find a role that is a fulfilling career move.  I may find a “job”, but not an environment where I can be surrounded by like minded positive people.  Life’s much too short for me to seek only financial success.  I’ve seen the danger of this mentality. My actions today are empowered by my intention to do good, act for the good of the people I encounter in my life, and the refusal to feel bitter, rejected, or down.   Too many of us are unaware that we have an inner wisdom of intuition that guides us.  Today is a day I’ve never lived before, and I’m glad to be alive today.  I give to life what I expect life to give to me. I love life.  

Out of this situation, only good will come.


From Attitude to Gratitude

March 4, 2009

This morning something fascinating happened. 

During my commute in on the train I read an article so timely and so appropriate in the  Wall Street Journal:  that I made copies and passed it out to our team.  I was feeling so positive today, so convinced that our team was pulling itself out of the muck and mire of complaining and feeling the negative effects of the recession etc, and turning a corner to producing.  I shared it to be a point of positivity, to spread a feeling of good will and general warm feeling about what we’ve been through and are accomplishing.  I felt they would appreciate the timeliness of the note, smile and file it away under “nice article”…

Most did.

An anonymous someone apparently did not, and left the article crumpled in a ball outside my office door. 

Fascinating. 

The article’s title is “From Attitude to Gratitude: This is No Time for Complaints” by Jeffrey Zaslow. What could have been so offensive to warrant a response of that nature?

Well, the general”zeitgeist” of the article is that when recession hits people tend to complainn less, and realize just how lucky they are to be gainfully employed etc.  Zaslow cites that

“Job satisfaction is actually up according to a December 2008 survey by Yahoo! HotJobs.”  People are more grateful for what they have an hesitant to wine and complain. 

pj-ao565_pjmove_dv_20090302210456

Jeffrey goes on to quote Dr. McHenry

“A lot of young people grumble due to entitlement” Dr. McHenry encourages us to write down three things we’re grateful for every day – no matter how simple they might seem. “Some days, ” she says, “the list might be as basic as oxygen, food and shelter”

This final quote inspired me to even add this as my status on facebook this morning:

Chris is wondering what are 3 things that you’re grateful for today? – 1.My Family 2.My Job 3. The recent development of a sports page in the WSJ are mine🙂

So what could have triggered this person to crumple up the article and leave it outside my office?  I guess I’ll never know.  Perhaps as my mother says “A guilty conscience needs no accuser”

But I’ll tell you one thing – I’m certainly not going to complain about it😉


Why Skittles Rule

March 3, 2009

This morning while reading the Journal there was a huge story covering Skittles.  Apparently they have some super savvy people working over there at Mars Snackfood because the team has leveraged the heck out of social media, and they’re reaping the rewards – Skittle style.  When asked for a quote regarding the brand, their Agency Strategist offered one of the most delightful fun descriptions of a brand I’ve ever heard:unicorn

Ben Weisman, a strategist at Iris-New York, said the move paints Skittles as a “daring, out-of-the-box, unicorn-riding, candy-loving, fantasy-meets-reality, rainbow-tasting” brand.

I wish the world had more brands with “Unicorn-riding” in the description.

Mission accomplished Iris.


MIVA DIRECT ADDS LIVE COMMUNITY FEATURES TO ALOT FOLLOWING SIGNING OF MEEBO AGREEMENT

February 19, 2009

NEW YORK – February 19, 2009. MIVA Direct, Inc., the toolbar, homepage and content division of digital media and advertising company, MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA), today announced the roll out of live community features across its ALOT Toolbar and Homepage products following the signing of a new agreement with Meebo, one of the Web’s fastest growing social media companies.

Under the terms of the agreement, MIVA Direct is using Meebo’s technology to facilitate real-time social interactions between users via chat rooms that are promoted across ALOT Toolbar and ALOT Home. Meebo is serving social ads into the technology and MIVA Direct will earn a share of the revenue generated from these ad units.

In addition to the expected revenue it will generate, the functionality is also designed to extend ALOT’s mission of ‘Making the Internet Easy’ by delivering further value to the brand’s existing vertical audiences. Chris Dessi, MIVA Direct’s VP of Sales and Business Development, explains:

“Since launching ALOT we’ve been building up users across a broad range of different verticals – our ALOT Toolbar for Recipes, for example, currently has over 335,000 live users[1]. We believe there are significant potential benefits in offering vertically focused chat rooms that enable these like-minded users to communicate directly with each other, and believe that Meebo is a great application to help us kick-start this process.”

Added Stephanie Quay, Meebo’s Director of Business Development: “The scale and vertical focus of ALOT’s customer base makes them a great fit for Meebo. We look forward to working with them to roll out and monetize our solution.”

http://www.alot.com

http://www.miva.com

http://www.meebo.com

-ends-

About MIVA®, Inc.

MIVA, Inc. (NASDAQ:MIVA) is a global digital media company with a mission to deliver valuable digital audiences to advertisers. MIVA has two focuses to its business: owning and operating toolbar, homepage and desktop products, through its MIVA Direct division; and running a third-party contextual Pay-Per-Click ad network through its MIVA Media division. MIVA, Inc. operates across North America and Europe.

About Meebo, Inc.

With over 40 million people sharing over 5 billion messages and 75 million links every month, Meebo is one of the Web’s fastest growing social media companies. Founded in September 2005, Meebo enables real-time social interactions with instant messaging and group chat at meebo.com and on partner sites across the Web. Meebo is headquartered in Mountain View, CA. Visit meebo.com to connect with friends live on the Web.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains certain forward-looking statements that are based upon current expectations and involve certain risks and uncertainties within the meaning of the U.S. Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Words or expressions such as “anticipate” , “plan,” “will,” “intend,” “believe” or “expect'” or variations of such words and similar expressions are intended to identify such forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and are subject to risks, uncertainties, and other factors, some of which are beyond our control and difficult to predict and could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or forecasted in the forward-looking statements, including (1) our ability to successfully execute upon our corporate strategies, (2) our ability to develop and successfully market new products and services, and (3) the potential acceptance of new products in the market. Additional key risks are described in MIVA’s reports filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including the Form 10-K for fiscal 2007 and our most recently filed Form 10-Q.

®Registered trademark

MIVA Contact:

Alex Vlasto

(212) 736-9151

Alex.Vlasto@miva.com


[1] Source: Internal statistics: 2/8/09


Top 5 Birthdays (so far)

February 18, 2009

Yesterday was my 34th birthday, and I have to say it was one of my best.  More on that later.  Sunday night I was laying in bed thinking about how lucky I am to have such a great family when I started to think about past great birthdays.  So here’s a fun recap of some of my best, and why:

10 – While it may not seem obvious why becoming 10 is the coolest thing ever – let me share why I was so pumped.  Two words – Double Digits. Plus I received the best gift – a boom box from my parents. I went nuts when I opened the gift, believe it or not I still have it (well my Dad does), he keeps it in his garage.  It was the beginning of my love affair with music – first tape? boom-boxHuey Lewis and the News.  Not the best way to start, but c’mon – I was 10. Good times – Back to the double digits… I remember bounding down the hallway whooping and hollering DOUBLE DIGITS!! I’m not sure I’m really proud of that, nor am I really sure why I was so excited (maybe it’s because Alyssa Milano was 10 and I now felt comfortable enough as a sage young man of 10 to write to her fan club and let her know once and for all “who’s the boss”..) but I digress.

13 – At 13 I was the same height I am now (which isn’t really saying much) but I was a full head taller than everyone. I’m convinced it’s where I get my confidence.  For some reason when you’re bigger than everyone there’s an odd unspoken reverence for said large person.  I never grew another inch, but that one year – I was a God (at least I thought I was). I was captain of my wrestling team, I shaved for the first time, and my parents threw me a surprise party at my house. It was the coolest.  We had a lip sync contest and the grand finale was a full party rendition of Paradise City by GNR.  There were girls at the party too and that played well into the  serge of hormones coursing through my lanky 5 foot 9 inch body.  That ruled.  On a less exciting note – I spent 3 months of that year grounded whilst dealing with said serge of hormones…..once again….I digress…

21 – I’d already been drinking legally for a few months because I was living in Leuven Belgium for a year long study abroad program.  For those of you that aren’t familiar with Leuven, it’s in the Guinness Book of World Records for most pubs per square meter – a great place to study.  30,000 students from all over the world and lots of Belgian Beer.  That weekend I knew my Mother, brother Mark and cousin Trish were coming to visit. What I didn’t know was that my Father was joining them. I remember waiting at the airport for them to land (they were delayed due to a huge snow storm back home in New York). I was lying down on a row of chairs when I said to my good friend leuvenSteve Rossi “I wonder when they’ll get in”. My Dad answered the question as he stood over me.   I was bewildered, and thrilled at the same time.  Everyone arrived safely and the “kids” decided to hit the bars that first night in Belgium. I’d been bragging to my brother and cousin that I had a great tolerance for Beer now because I’d been drinking legally and that there was no way I’d get sick.  Big mistake.  I remember running to the bathroom after a round of shots. I calmed myself and felt the urge to throw up pass. That’s when Paulo Antonio Ribeiro Montero walked in (I swear that’s the kids name, odd that I remember, but really, could you ever forget a name like that?).  When he came into the bathroom he had a pint glass of soda. I asked him for a sip because I was on the verge of projectile vomiting and I needed to settle my stomach.  He happily obliged me.  I chugged, chugged….then spit out the straight Jack Daniels.  Bummer.  Commence Vomiting.  I ran home screaming “I’m 21” at the top of my lungs.  Not sure I’ll ever brag to my cousin and brother again about much anything let alone being able to drink them under the table.  But man, it was fun.

30 – This was the biggest mind blower of all time.  While at the mall with my wife Laura one evening, we were set to leave and invite my brother and his wife out for dinner with us.  When we called my brother was stand-off ish, and not interested in leaving the house. I tried to persuade him to no avail. I hung up and told my wife Laura (then my girlfriend) that they were in for the night and not interested.  We started to drive a bit when Laura suggested we call him and tell him we’ll visit them and bring over some pizza. I called back and my brother hesitated a bit, but then said fine, just get some pizza and come over.  When we walked into the house it was packed with friends and family.  I was seriously so confused when I walked in. I thought I’d invited myself over, not the other way around. I was played, and had the best surprise ever.  This was one of the many  “she’s a keeper” events that Laura pulled off over the years.

34 Sunday the whole family came over to celebrate, and it was a fantastic time.  My cousins Trish and MK joined in the fun, and the my nieces and daughter made it a total blast.  Thanks guys!fam


An Open Love Letter to My Wife

February 13, 2009

I was 5 when I first met her, 29 when I first kissed her and 30 when she accepted my proposal to be my wife.   At 33 she gave me a perfect baby girl.  I’m blessed.  I have the love of an amazing woman.

I thought I knew about life, Laura taught me how to live.  I thought I knew how to treat people,  she shows me daily how to give more.l1

Laura Jean Guiglotto, or LJ as we used to call her when she was a little girl is the love of my life.  I’d just returned from living in London for a year when we went on our first real date.  I told her I’d marry her two weeks into our new relationship.  I’d never been so sure of anything before in my life.

I always knew she’d be a great mother; I get choked up when I see her holding our daughter Talia.  She makes me laugh, and we laugh together.  We play together. We learn together. We experience life together.funny

When I first started dating her I felt I was well rounded. I had done some traveling and I thought I could show her the world. Instead she opened my eyes to a new world of beauty and understanding that I didn’t think existed.

When we went to Europe together I could actually see her thirst for knowledge about every place we visited.  She approaches new things with child like wonder.

She teaches me how to trust. She shows me how to give love unconditionally.  Did I mention she makes me laugh? I mean REALLY laugh that laugh that makes you lose your breath.  That’s pure. That’s love.  Oh yeah, plus she bakes too.  Her brownies will make your toes curl in ecstasy.  She’s my friend.  She’s got my back.  She laughs at my bad jokes. She tells me how smart she thinks I am, and then makes fun of me and tells me I’m too cocky.  She’s perfect, for me.

I love to surprise her because she never expects anything from me.  I love to make a fuss over her because nobody every did. I love to rub her feet for her (seriously, I’m not sure why but I actually enjoy rubbing her feet….odd, I know).

She treats her family like gold. She honors her Grandfather with respect that I admire.  She thinks of everyone before she thinks of herself, and I love that we have a child together.

I love that Talia has her gentle big brown eyes. I love that my baby girl has Laura as her role model. I love that my wife has a masters degree. I love that she cries every year on the last day of school (she’s a school teacher).  I love how much she cares about her students.  I love that she decorates the house in accordance to any appropriate holiday she can think of, and that she has place mats to match (actually I don’t love that, I just think it’s funny).  Finally, she’s an amazing kisser and she looks phenomenal in a bikini.🙂laura1

Happy Valentines Day!


9/11 Widow Killed in Plane crash near Buffalo MSNBC Reports

February 13, 2009

A few weeks ago when Sully landed in the Hudson river we all had our moment to “go there”.  We imagined what we would do, how we would react. My wife Laura and I cringed at the thought of having to deal with a situation like that with our 10 month old along with us.  We watched in relieve as each passenger was pulled from the plane safely.  60 Minutes did a phenomenal follow up story that I watched earlier this week. During the show we met a passenger who had lost a brother in the 9/11 attacks.  He said that as the plane was decending to crash land in the Hudson he thought that his family couldn’t handle the loss.  He tearfully thanked Captain Sully.  It was chilling, and moving. Today that scenario has horribly come true in the loss of Beverly Eckert.  Ekhert lost her husband in the Attacks on the World Trade Center and was among those who perished Thursday.  I pray for her family.  MSNBC Reports the following:

A widow of a victim of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the World Trade Center was among those killed in a plane crash near Buffalo, N.Y., late Thursday, her sister told a local newspaper.

Eckert’s husband, Sean Rooney, was a native of Buffalo, th090213-eckert-vmed-245awidece newspaper said. Eckert was flying to Buffalo for celebrations with relatives marking the 58th birthday of her late husband, the paper said.

“We know she was on that plane and now she’s with him,” Beverly Eckert’s sister Sue Borque told The Buffalo News.

Beverly Eckert, left, shown here with fellow 9/11 widow Mary Fetchet outside the U.S. Congress in 2004, was among those killed in the crash of Flight 3407, her sister said.


FTC Crackdown on Behavioral Targeting

February 13, 2009

FTC in the News:

Federal Trade Commission staff today issued a report describing its ongoing examination of online behavioral advertising and setting forth revisions to proposed principles to govern self-regulatory efforts in this area. The key issue concerns how online advertisers can best protect consumers’ privacy while collecting information about their online activities.

The FTC is on the hunt again. This time it’s behavioral targeting. I’m sure heads will roll and companies will be put out of business, but really for what?  Consider when a user is targeted properly by an advertiser the ad that they see is based upon their past interests, and surfing 1history.  This should be a good thing, right? I delight when I see a well place ad from ESPN, because their ad agency has done some research and understood how to best communicate with me. I understand there needs to be regulation, and I support the FTC’s efforts regarding most endeavors, but are they upholding their tag line of “Protecting Americas Consumers” on this one?

What do you think?


See the Genius in Yourself

February 10, 2009

This evening while listening to a TED Talks Podcast from Elizabeth Gilbert – the author of Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia I was inspired. During her talk, Elizabeth spans hundreds of years speaking about the idea that ancient man didn’t necessarily credit himself for the creative work he would do. Gilbert goes on to even side with this idea – citing that Socrates famously claimed to have a “damon” or spirit that was with him at all times. This magical devine entity would be with him and assist in his creative endeavors. The Romans called this spirit genius.

Elizabeth supports that we as a modern society should shift to thinking this way (perhaps not in a wholly literal sense), but rather in the sense that we should at least acknowledge that this creative force, this light, creativity inside us isn’t wholly of us.

She speaks of the ancient Moors who while dancing would recognize when one of them would dance so elegantly, so perfectly, and with such ease and grace that the would recognize it in the tribe by chanting Allah, Allah, Allah (God, God, God). 2442095861_c6c39926d3_mWhen the Moors later invaded southern Spain you can hear their influence when the Spanish see something done well and chant Oley Oley Oley – a Glimpse of God.

Today – be creative – look for God in yourself. Love yourself enough to keep showing up and see that glimpse of what the Romans called Genius.  See the Genius in yourself.


Performance trumps everything

February 10, 2009

As our economy worsens and belts continue to tighten online advertisers are even better off.  The reason? ROI – Return on Investment.  There is no other medium where the advertiser knows exactly where ads will run, and can track performance.  There is certainly value in brand advertising, but in order to fully see the power of online advertising, one must only offer a CPA, or CPC and watch the magic happen. Certainly there are risks involved as there are regarding any advertising.  You’ll be well suited to investigate the pitfalls – ie, chargebacks or deductions, click fraud but rest assured if you need to advertise -and you DO, then make it performance based.   teamworkThe worst feeling in the world is spending dollars and you cannot quantify where there went, or the purpose regarding your spend. When you have a paying customer that just paid you $30, and you paid an affiliate $15 to generate that sale, I can guarantee  you’ll migrate your spend to performance driven.


The Power of the Quick Win

February 5, 2009

Since I started here at Miva Direct, we’ve been pushing our team internally to execute in the most expeditious manner possible.  All hands on deck brainstorming sessions, long hours and full commitment from everyone involved. The results have been better than anyone could have expected with this down economy.  Here’s why;

Quick Wins

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The executive team spend a full day at an offsite meeting outlining the quickest way to generate our desired results (revenue) in the most efficient manner using all resources we have at our fingertips (ie, no new hires). It worked well, and we’re reaping the rewards as we approach mid-Q1

Here’s how we did it

1.      Made people believers not bystanders – we engaged the help of everyone from Account Managers to Directors and VP’s.  Everyone has had a hand in this success, and taken ownership.

2.      Understood uncertainty – Moving forward in this manner, we didn’t sugar coat things with the team. They understand the implications of this economy and understand they can have a hand in their own destiny.

3.      Show humility – The executive team has had to ask for help. Ideas that may not have been touched on during the meeting were add

4.      Learn about your team – We’ve had to ask people to take on roles and responsibilities that may not have been in their job description and this has been a huge success.  Our team is so talented. I’m surprised and impressed by them daily. We’ve given them the opportunity to shine.

 

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What we didn’t do – that could have destroyed our efforts: boss

1. Focus too heavily on details – we used the theory of Occam’s razor – or the Law of Economy.

2. Reacting negatively to criticism – We understood that we needed to improve. We put our heads down and did.

3. Intimidating others – We didn’t used idle threats to motivate. We enlisted the help of our teammates, and empowered them to move.

4. Jumping to conclusions – We stayed open to suggestions and guidance from the team, and didn’t assume anything.

5. Micromanaging – We trusted our people to execute.

Go get some quick wins!

We did..


Beer Goggles for Email?

February 4, 2009

If you didn’t think the folks over at Google were geniuses before, think again.  I just came across an article on Reuters indicating that Google is offering a Gmail feature called “Mail Goggles”

logo“Mail Goggles” helps users avoid sending regrettable email or Gchat messages, an instant messaging system, by making them pass a simple math test before sending.

A MATH TEST!!!

Genius…pure, simple genius.  Great ideas are the ones that seem so obvious that you slap your forehead when someone else releases them.  I’m sure this has been thought of before (I remember sitting around in college dreaming about phones with breathalyzer tests after having made one too many drunken calls to an ex). 

I’m sure this handy little application will save a few jobs (breathe and try to solve a math problem before you rip off that ticked off email to your boss, or high maintenance client).  I’m also certain it’ll save more than a few relationships (hasty break up messages, or even inappropriate notes to exes will be hindered).  Alcoholics of the world rejoice…2934569828_36bc079b36_m

Google – not being evil, and helping you keep your reputation intact. 

Outstanding.


Facebook turns 5

February 4, 2009

Today CNN’s Simon Hooper discussed Facebook’s 5th birthday.  Facebook has become such a part of our every day vernacular sometimes it’s difficult to imagine what we did without it (sort of like cell phones). I’d argue that Mr. Hooper’s article is missing something.  The main point of discussion is if Facebook can survive. I say yes. He covers numerous points that are worth discussing when it comes to a juggernaut like Facebook for sure.  But debating whether or not Facebook can generate the ad revenue that MySpace.com is generating I think may be irrelevant.

Let me explain why Facebook will survive and why non of the points Mr. Hopper touched on are the reasons why: 2759246811_651081c17b_m

I challenge Hooper to take a closer look at the bigger picture.  Guys like Zuckerberg, while a celebrity in his own right and of course an excessively successful person is changing the internet for the better.  Places like Facebook and Craigslist aren’t allowing Madison Avenue to dictate the content, or development of their sites.  They’re churning out great content – or in this case great tools so that a user can have the best experience when connecting with former classmates, friends etc.

“The culture of the Internet has also changed pretty dramatically over the past five years. Before, most people wouldn’t consider sharing their real identities online,” Zuckerberg said. “But Facebook has offered a safe and trusted environment for people to interact online, which has made millions of people comfortable expressing more about themselves.”

What I find most fascinating about Facebook isn’t the money making potential – although I’ll admit, I wouldn’t turn down a job with Mr. Zuckerberg. What fascinates me is the way we (as a society) are using this tool to communicate. 

It’s the first time the internet is delivering on its promise of “bringing us together”.  

My experience with Facebook has been nothing short of a perfect Brand Experience rivaled only by Google.  Every time I log into my account I come across a new friend or colleague I’ve lost touch with.  I love reading my friends statuses. I love learning about my friends in even greater detail than I had previously known, and I love that I can share with them the joy of being a new father without being obtrusive.  We live in a world that moves at the speed of light, and Facebook is my only outlet to stoke the formerly dwindling embers of friendships that I’ve valued for years. I thank Facebook for living up to its potential.  I praise them for not becoming the sexually charged bombast of Myspace.com.  I admire them for asking my opinion when they serve an (albeit relatively unobtrusive ad).

Facebook is 5, will it survive?….yep.


5 Reasons why I need an Assistant to manage my Social Networks

February 2, 2009

Help.

I need an assistant.

Prerequisites for the position:

1. Remembering – Must be able to keep all of my passwords, names of former colleagues for Linkedin.com, former high school classmates for facebook.com, and anyone I’ve met at a Web2.0 conference for Twitter.com

2. Pretending – to Be nice to my friends  when they send me a message on Facebook – Actually, my assistant needs to pretend to like me, because I’m the one hitting up all of my old high school friends – what can I say I’m addicted…

3.  Tracking – Keep an eye out for me on Twitter to see if anyone I’m following is actually saying anything worth reading, or GASP re-tweeting

4. Writing. You must enjoy doing lots of it. Which means you must be witty and a good speler (get it)… – ie, facebook updates can’t be mundane –

Chris Dessi is: on my way home from work  = BAD

Chris Dessi is: enjoying speaking about himself in the third person=BETTER

You get the idea…

5. Gushing – Must be able to ramble on and on about how wonderful my daughter is.  This is my most predominant running theme in all of my online social endeavors, and I just can’t keep up.   Take pic, upload pic, tag friends in pics….repeat.

I need a nap.

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Cool new Gadget that I Covet

January 29, 2009

Today I stumbled up a cool little gadget that I’ve seen before, but never really gave much thought about – the Flip MinoHD.  The first time I saw one in action was on New Years Eve at my cousin Stephanie’s wedding.  A close friend of her husband was walking around with (what looked to me) like his cell phone.  As I held onto my trusty Camcorder, I snickered – “what kind of quality can he possibly get out of that video”….I love when I’m proved wrong. Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Black) is one of the coolest new products I’ve seen on the market – and I just begged my wife to buy it for me for my birthday. Considering we have a 9 camera_mino_black1month old – the options are endless.  I hope this baby will live up to the claims regarding quality.  If the images are good, I can see myself ditching my trusty camcorder and making a full migration to the Flip Video MinoHD Camcorder, 60 Minutes (Black)  It can hold up to 60 minutes of video (just like my camcorder), and it’s a fraction of the size. Great for a new dad that’s loaded down with diaper bags and the like.

If anyone has one, I’d love to learn more about he quality of the images you’ve shot?  Thanks!


The Power of a Smile

January 27, 2009

This afternoon I had a great lunch meeting with my good friend and former colleague Alex Baydin.  Al’s the CEO of Performline.  He and his team are having a great start to their year, and we had a great “catch up” lunch.  I was in the best mood after I left our meeting.  It always gets me fired up to see good people doing big things-  kudos to the Performline team.

On my way back downtown to the office, I was feeling energized. I called my wife and then hopped onto the 1 train back down to Houston Street from 23rd.  When I sat down I saw an older, somewhat downtrodden black gentleman sitting directly across from me.  He had slumped shoulders and was looking down at the ground.  I had a smile on my face, and when he picked up his head and made eye contact with me – of course I offered this gentlemen a smile.  He immediately sat up straight, smiled back and pulled out a pad and pencil – and began to sketch me.

A few people sitting around us realized what was happening and started to smile.  I looked at them and said “I guess I should keep smiling”…they laughed and the gentleman continued to sketch.  We stopped at 18th, then 14th, – the person who had been sitting next to me got off and smiled at us both.  A new person got on at 14th and sat next to me – when she realized what was happening she smiled and we both chuckled a bit.  When we got to Christopher street you could see his 

img00034-20090127-1909drawing come together – I was getting off at the next stop so I stood up next to the gentleman and placed my hand on his shoulder .  I held my hand on him, leaned down and said “that looks great”…a woman next to me prepared to get off at the same stop said “is that supposed to be you”?  I said ” I believe so” and with that the man signed the sketch, ripped it off his clipboard and handed it to me over his shoulder with a smile.  I took it, said thank you smiled back – and got off the train.

Behold the power of a Smile.  You gotta love New York City – and you gotta love life.

Check it out:


5 Things I’m grateful for

January 26, 2009

1. My wife Laura – I paid her $50 if she could last 1/2 hour without talking last night (seriously, she won and I was a happy man to pay up)…but I love that woman.  Plus we laugh together….all the time..

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2. My daughter Talia

– Feel the touch of a 9 month olds open hand on your cheek and feel the hand of God.

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3. My home – I worked my buns off to provide a home for my family, and although it’s no palace, it’s a great place, and I feel like I enter the “no stress zone” every time I come home at night.

4. My family – I actually CHOSE to live in the same town as my brother.  Crazy right? Wrong.  He and his gorgeous family rule.  We all dig spending our Sundays together, and we even invite my PARENTS! For my Mother’s 60th Birthday we’re sending my parents to Sciacca, Sicily – the town of origin for my Mother’s family.  Family is EVERYTHING. We surprised her.  Priceless..

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5. My job – I work with some of the smartest people in the online world, and they’re nice to me.  Not sure what I did to deserve that?   

Life is good people.  take a minute to list your top 5…I promise, you’ll feel great afteward!


Recession? What Recession?

January 26, 2009

Recently I saw an interview with Rush Limbaugh.  I know, I know but hear me out.  Throughout the course of the interview Rush was his normal cuddly, narrow minded fool blabbering on about some gibberish that I was just about to turn off when he made a statement that got me.  He said (now I’m paraphrasing here)_….”I know there’s a recession, I just don’t choose to participate”…..and I have to say that this may be the first time I can ever say  – I AGREE WITH OUR BOY RUSH.  Amen!  Let’s not participate. 

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I’m sure Rush didn’t mean it the way I’m going to interpret here – but I don’t really care.  I choose not to participate in the gloom and doom.  I choose to see the silver lining. I choose to be happy.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.  I’m grateful for my lovely wife Laura, my perfect baby girl Talia, for my friends, my family and my job.  There is a light at the end of the tunnel.

I don’t chose to participate.  

You shouldn’t either.  Smile, you’ll live longer.  I promise.


Social Media Pundit Quotes

June 9, 2009

“This is clearly the direction where social media campaigns are headed – going beyond simply having a presence on key social sites and also doing something creative that engages customers with your brand.”

Adam Ostrow, Mashable

“Consumers base their buying decisions on reputation, repeat exposure to the brand and being able to relate to the brand. And that’s what this app does. It allows the consumer to go beyond the 30-second television commercial and interact with brand itself.”

– Joe Couceiro, Busch Entertainment Exec VP CMO

“…US ad spending on widgets and applications is projected to reach $70 million, up 75% from 2008.”

– Debra Aho Willimson, eMarketer

“A downturn opens up rare opportunities to outmaneuver rivals.”

“Companies that injudiciously slash marketing spending often find that they later must spend far more in order to recover.”

– David Rhodes and Daniel Selter, Harvard Business Review

“Basically, in a recession, the consideration phase is more important than awareness — and that’s where advertising flops and social applications succeed.”

– Josh Bernoff, Forrester Research

“Social networks are where consumers feel comfortable expressing their feelings—good or bad—about companies, products and services. Marketers, retailers and social networks have an opportunity to tap into this stream of information-sharing.”

– Debra Aho Williamson, eMarketer

“Social media is perhaps the most powerful communications platform of the future. Making it viable is more than a VivaKi priority: it is an industry imperative.”

– David Kenny and Jack Klues, VivaKi managing directors
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Killer Categories for Social Media Applications

May 28, 2009

The IAB recently issued “Social Media Ad Metrics Definitions” May 2009. Included are the following categories they feel are common and appropriate for Social Media engagement with consumers: If you feel like your brands’ application may appropriately fit into these categories, you should have a well thought out Social Media strategy either in place, or in development.  Common dedicated brand application categories include but are not limited to:

Alerts

Business

Chat

Classified

Competitions

Dating

Education

Events

Fashion

File Sharing

Food and Drink

Games

Fun

Messaging

Mobile

Money

Music

Pets

Photos

Politics

Quizzes

Sports

Travel

Utility

Video