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At Issue } essential reading

Most Corporate Social Media Efforts Will Fail

Liana Evans
Apr 13, 2009

Last October, Gartner unveiled a study that stated that by 2010, 60 percent of the Fortune 1000 companies with a web site will be involved in some form of online community that is utilized for customer relationship purposes. What the research also goes on to state is that 50 percent of those that set out and establish or become involved in these communities will fail in their efforts. That's about 300 Fortune 1000 companies that will fail at social media: a striking number, especially in light of recent economic pitfalls.

The Case for Customer Communities

Valeria Maltoni
Apr 13, 2009

You're probably familiar with the concept of Dunbar's number. The Wikipedia entry defines it as a theoretical cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is, and how each person relates to every other person. This number is set at 150 connections.

Do I Really Have To Join Twitter?

Farhad Manjoo
Apr 13, 2009

What to do if you're just not that into microblogging but don't want to be left behind.

Unilever's CMO Throws Down the Social-Media Gauntlet

Jack Neff
Apr 13, 2009

Brands aren't simply brands anymore. They are the center of a maelstrom of social and political dialogue made possible by digital media, said Unilever Chief Marketing Officer Simon Clift, who warned that marketers who do not recognize that -- and adapt their marketing -- are in grave peril.

Enough With the Value Messages Already

Todd Wasserman
Apr 12, 2009

Perhaps no word in the marketing lexicon has been abused as much in the past six months or so as “value.” Marketing messages of this stripe are one strategy for addressing the fact that consumers are loath to open their wallets these days. But they’re also only one alternative to cutting prices. It seems like marketers aren’t exploring others.

Zen and the Art of Twittering

Mark Wnek
Apr 12, 2009

Many people are intimidated by the abundance the digital world offers. There are all kinds of ways of categorizing these people, age and occupation being the two most common. While I think this is wrong, there is a spooky echo of my grandparents' contempt for long hair on men and color TV, my parents' contempt for rock music and flared trousers, my big sister's contempt for punk rock and piercings, in most boomers' (often very subtle, often subconscious) resistance to the new world. It all comes down to how you were educated.

U.S. Department of Blogging

Christopher Beam
Apr 10, 2009

The Transportation Security Administration might be America's least favorite federal agency. For every discarded 4-ounce bottle, dropped laptop, or missed flight, a furious traveler stands ready to heap abuse on the next TSA employee he sees. And it is the job of Bob Burns, official TSA blogger, to take it.

Bucking Trend: The Utility Brand

Gabe Goldman and Glenn Geisendorfer
Apr 10, 2009

We've written much on what we know will be virtues of a successful 21st-century brand: trustworthiness, durability and accessibility, distinct from the core values (or motivators) they ultimately support. For instance, a brand may value Independence (Harley-Davidson, say), and exercise its virtues of Trustworthiness, Durability and Accessibility to ensure that its core value is understood, and motivating, at every turn. We as a practice don't assign values to brands; we simply apply these virtues to brands in when designing for their values, whatever they may be.

The Branding Of Language

Steve Rivkin
Apr 10, 2009

"Do you Yahoo?" "Did you Xerox the report?" "Did you FedEx it?" "Did you see the messenger Rollerblading?" It's the branding of language. Once upon a time, using a brand name as a verb was anathema. It was behavior that would drive a trademark lawyer crazy. But more and more marketers are deciding that the grand slam of branding is to become part of the language - in effect, having your trademark substitute in everyday usage for the type of action or service that your mark identifies. Could there be, they argue, any clearer expression of a leadership position?

Barack Obama: How Content Management and Web 2.0 Helped Win the White House

Garrett M. Graff
Apr 9, 2009

Obama for America wasn’t just the most successful online political campaign; it was arguably the most successful Web 2.0 deployment to date. Here’s the inside story of how it all worked.

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