In the SXSW 2009 session "How to Protect Your Brand Without Being a Jerk," panelists cautioned brands to police trademark violation while still protecting PR by practicing flexibility and communication when it comes to new media law.
As the world’s biggest brands hustle to keep pace with the consumer rush to mobile, several clear trends are emerging.
What do a publishing giant, a women's lingerie retailer, a kid-centric commerce subscription service and a nonprofit organization for the 50+ set have in common? They are all social businesses.
Are we jaded? Is SXSW too crowded to anyone to stand out?
Buying someone a drink in person is a nice gesture, but buying someone a drink via Twitter is, well, not something you do often. Online networking app Tweet-A-Beer hopes to change that and make paying for other Twitter users’ drinks more of a habit.
With familiar and storied brands like Saturn, Pontiac, Hummer and Mercury recently heading for the automotive graveyard, the idea of bringing back Italian brand Fiat to U.S. showrooms this month after a 27-year hiatus may seem like fool's errand. But don't tell that to Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne, who is also CEO of Chrysler.
There is an art and a science to word of mouth marketing. The art is the creative and innovative ways companies spark conversations with customers. The science explains why and how companies can use word of mouth marketing to achieve business results.
I didn’t write about the big location war at SXSW (between location-based apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, Loopt, Brightkite, Whrrl, and others). Why not? Because, well, MG Siegler at Techcrunch has been. But I did participate, and took notes and now I’m looking at what’s next.
The idea of branded utility is nothing new. In fact, it’s an idea that has cycled in and out of popular conversations for almost a decade, and yet there is still debate on exactly what it means and whether or not brands can truly provide branded utility in a way that makes a relevant connection to the brand.
Last Monday night in Austin, about 200 people were milling around the bar at the Driskill Hotel, an unofficial headquarters for the name-badge-infested horde attending the South by Southwest Music and Media Conference. And just after midnight, about 70 people in different parts of the gorgeous relic of a bar stood up and began moving quickly toward the exit. Where were we all going? To the CollegeHumor party around the corner. How did we know it was time to go there? Because our smartphones told us so.
So, how was your week? Mine's been interesting. In case you haven't heard, I interviewed Twitter CEO Evan Williams at the keynote at this year's South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Conference on Monday in Austin, Texas. In short, the Twitterati in the audience thought our hour-long chat was about as interesting as watching a pair of grandmothers play Canasta. I'll be the first to admit to being a bit green as an interviewer, and entirely new to SXSW. Maybe, in hindsight, I should have monitored Twitter on my laptop from the stage so I could have adjusted our conversation... especially in front of a raucous audience not known for leniency. In any case, I apologize to the SXSW community that our conversation didn't live up to the significant pre-event hype. But let's get beyond the hype.
Everywhere you look at the South by Southwest conference this week, you see QR codes. The square "quick response" codes turn URLs, vCards, or any kind of text into a jumble of pixels that you can scan onto your smartphone instantaneously, no typing required. At SXSW, QR codes appeared on flyers, postcards, business cards, t-shirts, stickers, and swag. Organizers of the Austin gathering for film, music, and Web geeks even included a QR code on every registrant's badge to cut down on paper waste and manual data entry.
Check out the panels or exhibitors at this year's SXSW and you'll see how many longstanding social media and web app challenges now have compelling, or at least viable, solutions. Staying on top of the latest social media news? Check. Coordinating the 5 different computers to you need to manage your life online? Check and check. Finding your online friends onto the real world so that you can have a beer together? Check, check, and check. With so many solutions on display, the still-unsolved problems are all the more conspicuous. Here are five of the toughest problems that social media and web applications still haven't successfully addressed.
Twitter has announced technology that it hopes will further embed the service into the fabric of the web. @anywhere, as it is known, will allow people using websites such as Amazon or the New York Times to follow new users or share media directly from the page. It was unveiled at the South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas.
I was asked to give this talk to invite you to think deeply. For those who don’t know me… I'm an ethnographer. I study how social media has become a part of daily life. I'm also an activist, driven to making the world a better place through the production and dissemination of knowledge. And I'm also a geek and a blogger. I've been blogging for 13 years, determined to communicate to the world what I've had the privilege of witnessing. I love technology but I also love to be critical of technology. What keeps me up at night is trying to make sense of how social media transforms society and, more importantly, what it helps make visible about humanity. Technophobes love to talk about how technology is ruining everything and technophiles obsess over how everything is radically different. I like to wade through the extremes to see the subtle inflection points. Reality is always in the details. My goal today is to invite you to step back and ask: what hath we wrought?
The only thing more challenging than deciphering the names of all the social-minded Web sites battling for attention at the South by Southwest technology conference here — Brizzly, Vicarious.ly, Stalqer, Quora and so forth — would be the chore of signing up for each one individually. But a growing number of start-up companies are getting around this problem by, in essence, outsourcing the sign-up process. They are making use of a Facebook service that lets users log into new sites using their Facebook credentials. The free service, Facebook Connect, can help nascent Web services recruit a healthy crowd of users in a hurry, and help the users find their friends on those sites. At the same time, the service reinforces Facebook’s role as the central hub of the social networking world.
Here's the rub: We've got too much sizzle in the system right now. Social media garnishes every marcom conference and discussion, and I'm already bolting myself in my chair before the unstoppable tweet tsunami from the SXSW crowd over the next 10 days. We're obsessed. Join the conversation! Engage the conversation! Hell, spike the conversation!
Chevrolet, which has signed as exclusive automotive sponsor of SXSW music, film and interactive festival for the next three years, will use its freshman presence there this week to tout such vehicles as the Camaro, Volt and Cruze, and to get ideas on best practices and emerging technologies in social media from the intelligentsia who attend. Chevrolet is also using the Austin, Tex. show to test three social-media applications. One is a mobile location app from Austin-based Gowalla that tells a cell phone user's contacts where he or she is. When Gowalla users check in at various locations in Austin, they will get text messages with offers from Chevrolet and SXSW, such as a free ride in a new Equinox for those who use Gowalla when they get to the airport.
Social media is going to change the health care industry just as radically as it changed entertainment, finance, and publishing. I know this to be true not because of any insider info or the research backing Chuck Salter's Doctor of the Future story in this month's issue. I know it's true because out of all the panels and conferences I've attended in the last two years, the session with the most passionate, activated and engaged participants in it was titled "Social Media and Health Care."