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.

3685260 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 – 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


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

A day later respectfully declined my application.


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 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 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.

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:

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 Sunday March 22, 2009 I read a blog post (via Twitter) about an extraordinary person named Jamie Varon (@jamievaron). Jamie started a website called 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 or – it’ll change your life.

This site is going to change mine.

Take a Look

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 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  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


I need an assistant.

Prerequisites for the position:

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

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.


Facebook Notification

December 7, 2008

Yesterday I received an email from Facebook indicating that a video I’d posted to my profile was being removed due to Alleged Copywright Violations.  A few years ago I received a similar notification from Youtube regarding a video I posted of Prince performing during the halftime show at the Super Bowl in Miami.  I wholly understood Youtube’s request, and happily removed the video.  But this is different.

Facebook seems to have implemented some sort of automated system to determine if there may be copywrite violations occurring – because the video in question is footage of my wife Laura, my daughter Talia, and myself pumpkin picking.  Odd.

I’ll certainly push to have the video placed back on my profile page again as soon as possible, but in the interim I’ll post the video here.  You decide – copywrite infringement or fun family video caught in a crawling algorithm incorrectly by the facebook team?

Facebook receives one big bad review from me on this one.  I’m sure they’ll fix it – but thought I’d share and see if anyone else experience the same thing?

Here’s the email they sent to my attention:


We have removed your video entitled “Talia goes Apple/Pumpkin picking” uploaded at 8:46pm October 16th, 2008. We did this because we learned that your video might include copyrighted material owned by a third party, such as a video clip or background audio.

If you are the copyright owner, or have permission from the rights holder to upload and distribute this material on Facebook, you may file a counter notice of alleged infringement by following the link below. 

Please note that if you re-upload this video without filing a counter notice, or if you upload another video that infringes on the rights of a third party, our system will again remove the content. This could cause your access to the Facebook Video application to be disabled, or your Facebook account to be disabled.

To file a counter notice:
File a Counter Notification

For any other questions, view our Help page.

The Facebook Team