It’s time to get busy – #AOC3

Age of Conversation 3

I’ve been out of the loop. I have tons of posts almost ready to be released but zero time to publish. Busy, busy, busy…This period is so intense for me. With iTive we started to work on some new projects so I’ve been drowning into a countless number of meetings with my team and with our clients. But no worries I’ll be back to my normal blogging schedule soon.

To make this period even busier comes the upcoming launch of the book I signed a contract for last year. I’m one of the ‘Age of Conversation 3’ authors. A special thanks goes to Gavin Heaton and Drew McLellan for inviting me to join this amazing project.

What’s the book about? Conversational branding, measurement, influence, trust, identity, corporate conversations, social media, innovation, execution and more…

Who I wrote it with? Some of the sharpest minds in the industry 😉

The book is due to be released no later than mid-April. Stay tuned via RSS, I’ll keep you posted once it will be out!

Cheers,

Andrea

3 Tips For Better Online Business by Erno Hannink

Episode: VMC #222 – 3 Tips For Better Online Business by Erno Hannink

I’m happy to announce that Erno Hannink is the winner of my birthday caption contest!

He won a guest appearance on VMC – my media channel, so today we set in front of our webcams and recorded a nice chat together. Since many of you often ask me to bring you thoughts from other communicators I took the chance to ask Erno to share some ‘online tips’ that entrepreneurs can use to do better business. Find out more in the video…

So here we go, ladies & gentlemen… Erno Hannink!

Andrea

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Show Notes & Credits: Erno Hannink , @ErnoHannink

Do it Yourself – What do you want me to say?

April 16-17 I’ll be speaking at SHiFT in Lisbon (Portugal). The theme for the event is ‘Do it Yourself’.

What will I talk about? Well I want to give to the audience what they want and pay for so I thought to crowdsource the topic of my presentation. I’ve already done this in the past and it worked really well.

  • What are the challenges you are facing and what do you need help with?
  • Are you a small entrepreneur or working in a large organization, what do you want or have to do yourself and you struggling with?
  • What do you want me to share with you? Tips? Personal experience? Best practices? Other?
  • Any other idea?

Please share what you think and what you need. Here’s why:

  • If you are not coming to the event: I’ll try to record my presentation and release it after the event here on my blog and media channel. So your questions will find answers.
  • If you are coming to the event: …you get anything you want! My presentation + I’ll be happy to sit down with you after my session and help you with more specific question of challenges you are facing.

My suggestion is: If you can, come to Lisbon and join us. Yes, there’s value in attending events like SHiFT. You’ll find out about new inspiring ideas from other speakers too and you’ll have a chance to grow your network of contacts with new potential partners and clients (you don’t need me to remind you this right? 😉 ).

Let your ideas, questions and requests flow here in the comments or via twitter @vascellari (remember to link back to this post in your tweets so it will be easier to track/manage the conversation. Thanks.)

Andrea

Disclosure: iTive (my company) is official partner of the event.

Better Video For Your Business – 3 Tips by Steve Garfield

Episode: VMC #221 – Better Video For Your Business – # Tips by Steve Garfield

When I think about video Steve Garfield is one of the first names that comes to my mind. He is a pioneer, I’ve been following him for years and I finally met him in New York during social media week NY. Steve gave me also a copy of his new book Get Seen (thanks Steve!). He didn’t ask for it but I’ll review it. If you are thinking about it the answer is ‘No, this is not a sponsored post’, he really knows what he’s talking about and as usual I’m happy to share it with you.

We had a nice chat about the book and we recorded this episode in which he also shared 3 tips on how organizations can use video to better promote their business.

Click, play, enjoy!

Andrea

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Thoughts from Joseph Jaffe

Episode: VMC #220 – Thoughts from Joseph Jaffe

Joseph is one of the few special and authentic persons I know in this industry.

I recorded this video last week in New York at launching of his new book. If you don’t know Joseph make sure you click this link.

Andrea

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Flip the Funnel – Book Launch

Episode: VMC #219 – Flip the Funnel – Book Launch

“Retention can become the new acquisition” Joseph Jaffe

Last week Joseph Jaffe officially launched his new book ‘Flip The Funnel‘ at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York. I had the chance of having a glass of wine with Joseph a few days before, during social media week. We had a nice chat and he gave me a few insights and a copy of the book with a special note… (Thank you Joseph).

Nope, this is not a sponsored post. I chose to blog about it because I’m more than happy to share with you the inspiring thoughts of a great marketer and a good friend. I’ll review the book so stay tuned.

Andrea

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Super Bowl XLIV on Rocketboom

Rocketboom.com is a daily international news program based in New York City that covers and creates a wide range of information and commentary from top news stories to contemporary internet culture.

Earlier this week Leah D’Emilio (Director/Producer at Rocketboom.com) and Rocketboom host @mememolly recorded a Super Bowl episode with Ryan Hunter from Poykpac (http://youtube.com/poykpac) and guess what… they had an extra role for me as an ‘American’ watching the game. It was great working with everyone to make this episode! + It was really nice to meet Neal Bledsoe with whom I had really nice chat on the evolution of traditional media.

This Sunday I’ll be in New York and of course I won’t miss the New Orleans Saints VS Indianapolis Colts for Super Bowl XLIV so let me know if you are in for it and we’ll meet up! (drop a comment or reach me via twitter @vascellari).

Andrea

UPDATE: all backstage photos here!

Molly goes to her first Super Bowl party. This week’s Casual Friday was written, directed, and edited by Ryan Hunter. MemeMollyJenn Lyon, Taige JensenNeal BledsoeBrett Haley, and Andrea Vascellari.

How Does the Internet See You

Episode: VMC #218 – How Does the Internet See You [right click to download ‘Save the link as…’, video-player available below]

Personas scours the web for information and attempts to characterize the person – to fit them to a predetermined set of categories that an algorithmic process created from a massive corpus of data. The computational process is visualized with each stage of the analysis, finally resulting in the presentation of a seemingly authoritative personal profile”.

How to use it?

Run ‘Personas‘ before and after a campaign, product launch, news realease, etc. and you’ll notice how the digital portrait will change. This is a great tool that can help you in defining how a brand, or personal brand, is/can be perceived online and whether your communications plan got the right message across or not. Remember: this is a complement, not a substitute to your strategic communications plan.

I mentioned Personas in my report last year in August 2009 and I kept playing around with it for the last 6 months. It’s a valuable tool and I’m still using it so I thought to show it in action with this video. Enjoy it!

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Show Notes & Credits: Personas, Music by Dennis Logan

All this is nothing without a plan! Please keep it in mind.
The focus of this post is more at tactical level. Don’t forget your strategy. Your analysis must support, focus and be related to your overall strategy. If you have no idea of what I’m talking about I suggest you to have a look at a couple of other posts I wrote and that you might find interesting:
Communications Planning Guide: A step by step road map that will help in crafting your plans at strategic and tactical level.
Communications Plan – Strategy & Tactics: Helps you in understanding the difference between strategy and tactics. Way to many people still confuse or mix the two.
7 New Marketing Tips for your Organization: What new marketing does and why it works. List of basic tips that you can take into action in your business/organization.

Had a look at Personas? Got some inspiration, ideas, suggestions? Go on! Share them in the comments or via twitter @vascellari (in order to help me and other readers to monitor the conversation please remember to link back to this post!).

Andrea

2010 Blueprint

This is a blueprint of what I’m planning to share on my blog in 2010. I created it few days ago during my flight to New York keeping in mind who you are and what you need (remember Tag Yourself?).

The tool I used is mindnode and as you can see it’s still a draft that I intentionally left incomplete because I wanted to hear your thoughts about it. The aim is to ultimately add value to what you’ll read/watch here on my my blog in 2010.

What would you add or change?

Andrea

UPDATES:

  • draft #1 here.
  • draft #2 here.
  • the one you see now is the 3rd version and it’s based on the ideas & feedback you gave so far. If you still feel to add something feel free to share.

click on the pict to enlarge

How to Analyze a Brand Using Twitter Lists [Guide]

I wrote this post for ‘non-geek’ people/teams. The following data can be extracted also using Twitter API etc. Not every team/organization is lucky enough to have great developers on board and sometimes there’s no time to find/outsource/hire some. So my aim was to give the possibility to ‘average’ managers to get relevant data to use in their analysis by using free and easy to use tools. Your contributions are more than welcome so if you want to share in the comments how to do it with API, other scripts etc. go ahead! In this post I’ll keep it simple for everyone.

The Twitter Lists feature is a way to organize the people, brands or whoever else you are following on twitter. What’s interesting about Twitter Lists is that they represent something more than a simple tool to organize contacts. In Twitter Lists we can find a huge amount of data that can be analyzed to understand how people identify with a specific brand.

How can we analyze this data? We could do this in several different ways using the Twitter API etc. but keeping in mind that probably not everybody has professional web development skills in this post I’ll show you how you can do this by simply using:

  • free/open-source tools/software
  • some utilities on your Mac (if you are a PC user, go ahead and share in the comments similar tools that can be used on PCs!)

So no problem, you’ll be able to complete this tutorial without specific programming skills 🙂 .
In this post I’ll use as an example BlackBerry (RIM), a brand that I follow and that I’m interested in. If you don’t have/know which brand to analyze, try with your own twitter account and analyze your ‘personal brand’!

Don’t get scared by the length of this post. The process to extract data for our analysis is quite fast. This post is really detailled to simply help you and make it faster 😉

Time required

  • To complete this tutorial: Between 15 and 30 min. It depends about the level of confidence you have with the listed tools and about the number of lists you have to process.
  • To repeat and perform again this process after the tutorial: For me it took 15 min. to process 1446 Twitter Lists. You can get it done faster with less lists.

Before starting:

1) Download and install Skim. It’s free and you can get it here http://skim-app.sourceforge.net.

Skim is a PDF viewer. It’s scriptable and it also features an AppleScript command to extract the text from certain PDF pages, that’s why we need it.

2) Open AppleScript Editor (you’ll find it in Applications > Utilities > AppleScript Editor)

Screen shot bb

With AppleScript, we can write a script (which is essentially a set of instructions) to perform tasks within the existing applications on your Mac or within the operating system itself.

Once you opened AppleScript choose from the top menu ‘Window’ and then 1) Click on ‘Library’ 2) Make sure Skim is on the list. If Skim is not on the list you may need to add it by clicking the ‘+’ button

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Ok now we can start so…here we go:

Extract the data from Twitter

Visit the twitter account of the brand you want to analyze. I’m my case http://twitter.com/BlackBerry (but it could be http://twitter.com/vascellari if I wanted to analyze my ‘personal brand’). Go to the Lists that are following your brand.

1) Click on ‘View all’ on you sidebar (under Lists)

2) Click on ‘Lists following YOUR BRAND’ You should get to a page similar to the one on the screen-shot below. In my case is http://twitter.com/BlackBerry/lists/memberships

click to enlarge the screen-shots

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Extract the data from the page by selecting and copying all the lists on the page.

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Remember: If the brand you are analyzing is followed by a big number of lists (like in my case), before selecting and copying (as mentioned above) you might want to click on the ‘More’ button at the bottom of the page. Keep clicking till when the page will display the entire/desired number of lists. I this example I analyze 1446 lists (72 clicks to display them all. No worries, you can do that in a couple of minutes 😉 ).

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Reorder the data

You can do this by pasting the data you copied from the twitter page on a Microsoft Word or a TextEdit document (TextEdit is a free text editor software that comes with your Mac. PCs have similar tools too). Important: make sure you maintain the blod fonts when you paste!

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Save the document as a PDF. On Macs you can do this by selecting form the top menu ‘File’ > ‘Print’ > and then ‘Save as PDF’

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Extract the lists

So now we have a PDF file that contains all the data we got from the Twitter Lists. Good but certainly not enough. What we want to do next is to extract from that PDF only the name of the lists. That’s what’s relevant for our analysis. Why? Because the name of the lists are a good and direct indicator of how people identify with our brand.

You probably noticed that the name of each list is blod. What we are going to do now is extracting the blod text from our PDF file.

  • Open with Skim (Skim: remember the application you installed at the beginning of this tutorial? 🙂 ) the PDF file that contains our twitter lists data (Then leave Skim open and move to the next point).
  • Open AppleScript Editor (you’ll find it in Applications > Utilities > AppleScript Editor)

Screen shot bb

Then

1) Copy the following script that I already prepared for you and paste it into the AppleScript Editor.

2) Click on the ‘run’ button (check screen-shot below)

script:


tell application "Skim"
	tell document 1
		set bold_Word_list to words of every page whose its font contains "Bold"
	end tell
end tell

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Select and copy the results

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Save your script so you’ll be able to use it again in future. It will show up among your applications in your Mac.

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Process the extracted Lists

Ok now that we have a massive cloud of data, we need process it and make it easier to read and analyze. Also in this case we could use several different tools to process it but to keep it easy and simple I’ll use wordle.net

Wordle is a tool for generating “word clouds” from text that you provide. The clouds give greater prominence to words that appear more frequently in the source text.

If you want a more detailed statistical analysis like the frequency of individual words, number of unique words, average number of words, etc. you can use any text content analyzer. Here’s a free one.

Indeed, if you are a wizard of Visual Basic or a master of Marcos… please go ahead and share your tips in the comments or on your blog! Just don’t forget to link back to this post or letting me know about it 🙂 Other people might find it useful!).

So now visit Wordle.net and…

1) Click on ‘create’

2) Paste the results we copied from AppleScript

3) Click on ‘Go’

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Tadaaan…Look at our cloud (below). definitely more digestible, isn’t it?! 🙂

click on the pict to view it in full size (9000 x 6500 pixels)

cloud1bb

Re-pitch (optional)

This tutorial guide would end here if you processed just few hundreds keywords but in my case I had 1446 lists to take care of so the result I got is good but I definitely have to pitch it more to get the best out of it. The main problem, that I’m sure many of you already spotted, is that probably lots of people saved BlackBerry’s twitter account in their lists as ‘BlackBerry’…hehh well I agree this is not surprising, but we have to deal with it.

– The good side of it: We understand that lost of people identify with BlackBerry. This is positive. If the most prominent keyword in our cloud was ‘Phones’ or some other general one, this would probably mean that people see BlackBerry as simply one of the many devices they can get.

– The bad side of it: The size of the results tagged as ‘BlackBerry’ is quite big so it doesn’t let us understand how the rest of the people identify, how do they see or what do they feel for this brand. Taking into exame such a big number of tags of a well know brand like BlackBerry (RIM) can lead to problems like this, processing lists related to your ‘personal brand’ would probably give us a different end result. So…

How to get rid of most prominent/obvious results? (Like in my case ‘BlackBerry’)

It’s simple. Repeat the previous steps but before creating the PDF find the most prominent list/data you want to exclude and replace it with a number. (To find a specific keyword in your text editor on Mac, click CMD+F or from the menu ‘Edit’>’Find’).

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Then when you process the data in Wordle make sure to ‘Remove numbers’ (you find this option on the menu on top of your tag cloud, under ‘Language’)

2010-01-01_1239

The result is much different than the previous one. You can see that other elements start to emerge from our cloud giving us more inputs to analyze.

click on the pict to view it in full size (9000 x 6500 pixels)

cloud2bb

Analyze

At this point you just have to analyze your results. I’m sure you’ll find something interesting in your analysis. I certainly didn’t know people could identify and tag BlackBerry with ‘shopping’! 😉

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Remember: Again, I used BlackBerry as an example and I certainly didn’t go deep into analyzing our results. Every communicator knows that the real work starts from this point on. Analysis change from brand to brand and most importantly are usually related to your strategic communications plan.

I hope you found this post interesting and I hope it will help you and your teams in doing a better job by  having an ‘active’ social media approach rather then a ‘passive’ use.

All this is nothing without a plan! Please keep it in mind.
The focus of this post is more at tactical level. Don’t forget your strategy. Your analysis must support, focus and be related to your overall strategy. If you have no idea of what I’m talking about I suggest you to have a look at a couple of other posts I wrote and that you might find interesting:
Communications Planning Guide: A step by step road map that will help in crafting your plans at strategic and tactical level.
Communications Plan: Strategy & Tactics: Helps you in understanding the difference between strategy and tactics. Way to many people still confuse or mix the two.
7 New Marketing Tips for your Organization: What new marketing does and why it works. List of basic tips that you can take into action in your business/organization.

What would would you add to this guide? Share your experience, suggestions and tips! As usual via Twitter (@vascellari), Friendfeed, or other channels too, just remember to link back to this post!

Andrea