Monthly Archives: December 2007

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: iJustine, iJustine.TV”

“ShareaSale & The Conversation Group Party: Blogworld Expo, iJustine” by Brian SolisIt’s the last Thursday before Christmas. If you aren’t out shopping, join us for another installment of “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min.”

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

Today, socialTNT is celebrating the shortest day of the year by offering you 3Q’s in One Minute with Social Media Diva, iJustine. That’s right: In one minute, iJustine is going to peer into the videostream of time to tell us what she thinks will be hot in 2008!

For those of you not familiar with the queen of the new Web Celebrity set, iJustine jumped into mainstream with her video about the insane bill she received from AT&T after buying her iPhone. The video made national news and prompted AT&T to reconsider e-bills for their data plans. She also has an amazing blog, Tasty Blog Snack.

Her facebook’s “About Me” simply states: I am the Internet. Since you can catch her on Facebook, MySpace, flickr, twitter, Revver, YouTube, and every other social network, I’m gonna say that could be true. Oh, and when she’s not saving trees from telco giants, iJustine is busy streamcasting her life.

Although not employed by Apple (yet), she SHOULD be the social media/community evangelist for the trendy tech giant. Even though she says Steve Jobs got up and walked out of a trendy Mountain View cafe after seeing her sitting next to him, iJustine claims that Steve Jobs is in love with her–and how could he resist: She has an apple tattoo on her shoulder blade.

In today’s “End of the Year” edition of “3Q’s in 3Min,” iJustine tells us her prediction on the biggest trend in social media in 2008, expresses her love of Twitter, and weighs in on the GOOG vs Facebook battle to dominate your social graph data!

Check it out:

I agree with iJustine, video is gonna be HUGE in ’08; you’ll certainly see more of it on socialTNT in 2008. I also want Wiki’s to gain momentum for Enterprise use.

What do YOU think will be the big trend in 2008?

This is the last “3Q’s in 3Min” for the year, as socialTNT is closing down for the break. We’ve got some great interviews lined up for 2008, so add us to your RSS reader, or sign up for our email, and you’ll never miss a post!

If you liked this post, check out the other video’s in our weekly Thursday series “3Q’s in 3Min.” Also, check out my review of Apple’s current social media PR/marketing strategy.

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[The above photo, “ShareaSale & The Conversation Group Party: Blogworld Expo, iJustine” by Brian Solis, is used under Creative Commons]



Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Citizen Reporter, Enterprise Public Relations, Future of Media, New Media, Social Media, Social Networking, Video, Video Interview

“Brand of Brothers: A Social Media Chorus”

“No. 59″ by racatumba on flickrOver the last couple of days, many people are asking the question: Can brands be social? The vision of social media relations, to me, sees consumers interacting and conversing with a brand. So the question becomes, what is a brand?

Way back in the day, a brand was a symbol burnt into the hide of an animal to symbolize ownership. Modern day branding burns a stream of messages into consumers’ minds to reinforce the image or idea a company wants. A brand can also be identified by its logo or trademark, but traditionally a brand symbolizes a promise or experience a company aligns with a product or service through consolidated messaging.

Over the last couple of years, the notion of “brand” itself has been changing. With social media, consumers now have the ability to publish and spread their own messages about a brand through forums, blogs, Facebook groups, etc. This can create a sort of schizophrenic branding: Corporate messaging vs Consumer perception/messaging–also known as “reality”–clashing for the loudest voice. As Dell proved, modern brands have to step up to the plate and accept, interact and engage with the consumer, or they come across as being abstract and aloof from reality.

But consumer voices aren’t the only ones vying to be heard in the modern brand. In many companies, you have employees who blog. The new media tools allow all the voices within the company to have a chance to be heard, unseating the talking-head spouting corporate values/messaging from the ivory tower. As the blogosphere grows, I think these voices will become more splintered, but still add to the discussion and image of the brand. For example: Not that I would consider Todd Defren the ivory tower, but his blog combined with my blog, the SHIFT employee blog Unspun and Marie Williams’ Flackette blog help shape the brand image at SHIFT Communications. People looking for our services can find these voices and get a sense of what we are about as a firm.

The Twitterverse will be progressing more like the blogosphere. Since Twitter requires less effort than blogging, pretty soon you will have several people from a company Tweeting. For example, there are several of us that use Twitter at SHIFT. We engage with each other and our followers in a series of small conversations. As more tools come into play to harness the power, people will be able to follow our team (a micro-community), creating another extension of SHIFT Communications’ brand.

Since the new brand, to me, is the conversation that the corporation, its employees and its consumers are having, the new, evolved brand will need to get social, embrace social media or get passed by.

What do you think the modern brand is? Which came first, social media or the splintered/schizophrenic brand?

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[Above photo, “No. 59” by racatumba on flickr, used under Creative Commons]


Filed under Future of Media, It's A Conversation, Marketing, New Media, Social Media, Social Networking

“Search Wars: The Fight For the Third Page”

Get ready to add another marketing buzzword to your list.

“Boxing Gloves” by Addictive Picasso on flickrLast week’s announcement of Google Knol launched the first bout in the struggle to control the third page. While not as electrifying as the Third Rail, not grabbing control of the third page could be equally threatening to GOOG’s quest for world-domination.

For those of you wondering what the third page is: According to Josh Bernoff, an analyst at Forrester Research, “The first page is the main page of a portal; the second page is where the search results are; the third page is what you click on when you decide where to go. Google already owns the first and second page, but since they don’t own content, they have no control over the third page.”

If we strip out social networking sites, search engines and retail sites, the Alexa Top 100 shows Wikipedia and Yahoo as the dominant Third Page sites. This is followed by (home of ABC, ESPN and Disney), then , IMDB, CNN, GameFAQs, About, New York Times, IGN (home of Rotten Tomatoes), GameSpot,, and CNET.

Take a look how this translates, in terms of traffic:

Wikipedia, alone, takes about 55 Million visitors. The majority of the other sites listed above add an additional 20 Million each. Those are a lot of eyes that could be converted to Google Ad dollars; a good reason why they would want to dominate 1st, 2nd and 3rd pages. Will the algorithm stay unbiased so that non-Google articles make it to the top?

The big question for me, however, is why would GOOG want to start with such a web 1.0 endeavor? Wikipedia is open to editing by members of the internet community. Google’s Knol will contain articles written by experts and community members. During beta–and perhaps beyond–Knol will remain closed to editing. Wikipedia (and wiki’s) are highly social, which helps ensure accuracy; if one person writes something that isn’t accurate, someone else will come along and fix it. Mashable suggests the information will be organized like a Mega-blog, but, to me, Knol doesn’t seem too different from, Encarta, or any other web 1.0 experts/answers pages. With social search sites like Eurekster and Mahalo, trying to control content will (hopefully) lose to the content people find most informative.

[Above photo, “Boxing Gloves” by Addictive Picasso on flickr, used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under New Media, Search, Social Media

“From socialTNT To You With Love: A Personal Post”

“Heart no. 2″ by bymanu on flickrIf you’ve read my blog long enough, you know two of my tenets for social media marketing and PR campaigns are: “Sharing is Caring” and “It’s A Conversation.” Since so many of you shared very personal stories with me through email and Twitter for “Stick It To The Man” week, I wanted to share a little bit more about myself than you can get from facebook, LinkedIn, or my “About Me.”

Last week, the New York Times told the world my age, so I don’t mind telling you guys that yesterday, I turned 31. Moving in to my 30’s has caused me to examine where I’ve been, where I’m at now, and where I’m going.

Two years ago, I moved to San Francisco from Berlin, Germany, with nothing but a suitcase of clothes and a box of books. My younger brother, Mike, was going through a lot of rough times after doing a very courageous thing and needed some emotional support. He offered me a computer and a roof if I moved out to live with him. In tough times, all we have is family; I couldn’t refuse, plus I was having my own patch of bad luck.

Berlin is an amazing city. Besides Barcelona, there is no other city in the world, to me, that has such an amazing art and music scene. As a musician/performance artist/graphic designer/photographer/writer, I was knee-deep in the scene. I had a great job at an Entertainment and Event firm, some musical partners, and a monthly party.

In the winter of 2005, everything changed when I returned from vacation to find everything in my life gone. Someone I’d been helping get back on their feet took everything I owned. In addition to clothes and everything else normally found in an apartment, other things stolen include: DVDs, four years of journals, my laptop, recording equipment, backups/originals of my digital photography and writings. Even though I had a nice job, there would have been no way for me to save money and buy replacements for any of those things. I didn’t have means to create my art. And, worse than anything else, it felt like all my children had been kidnapped. After six months of sinking ever deeper into depression, I accepted my brother’s offer, packed my bag and moved to SF the week before Halloween 2005.

Two years later, I’m happy and healthy. My brother is engaged to an amazing woman. We no longer live together, but I do live with an incredible group of people. I also work at one of the most kick-a firms in the healthiest work environment I’ve ever experienced.

It’s been such an amazing ride over the last two years. Every day feels like a blessing, and some thanks are in order:

  • My parents for raising me and kicking my butt.
  • My grandparents for instilling a work ethic and sense of spirituality. Also for making me realize I can “create my own world.”
  • My brother for his support. He’s my sounding board.
  • My aunts, uncles and super-star cousins for making me smile.
  • My BFF’s around the world. You know who you are. You know what you do.
  • My housemates for creating a peaceful living space and for putting up with my silliness.
  • SHIFT and all the SHIFTers, especially my team plus Todd Defren and my mentor, Parry Headrick, for embracing and bolstering my creativity.
  • Mad props to Lindsay Olson at Paradigm Staffing for pairing me with the right firm. She seriously is the most amazing PR recruiter I have met. Also, I’ve gotta thank all my references 🙂
  • TO ALL THE “3Q’s in 3 Min” GUESTS: You guys are awesome! Thanks for the pleasure of an interview.
  • TO EVERYONE ON MY BLOGROLL: Thanks for bringing me a social media utopia when I was working at a place where I couldn’t experiment.
  • TO ALL MY READERS: Thank you SOOO much. You make socialTNT possible. You inspire me daily. You are the reason I do this. (And if you haven’t done so, please subscribe to my feed. ;-))

I can’t wait to see what this next year will offer. Hopefully, you will stick around and experience it with me.

Happy Friday, everyone!

[Photo above, “Heart no. 2” by bymanu on flickr, used under Creative Commons]


Filed under Just For Fun

“3sday’s 3Q’s in 3 Min: Jeremy Pepper, POP! PR Jots”

Jeremy Pepper” By Brian Solis

It’s cold outside. Why not warm yourself with today’s inflammatory “Stick It To The Man” edition of “3Q’s in 3 Min?”

Every Thursday, socialTNT channels the spirit of citizen journalism by putting bloggers, reporters, PR pro’s or anyone with something to say about social media in front of the camera for a short, three minute interview. The videos are meant to encourage dialog between reporters, PR/communications practitioners and marketers on the future of media.

This Thursday, socialTNT meets with Jeremy Pepper, PR Blogger and Director of Communications for The Point. As a notorious contrarian blogger, Jeremy is the perfect fit for “Stick It To The Man” week. In today’s “3Q’s in 3 Min,” Jeremy plays hardball with the Social Media News Release and offers a little advice to the Blog Council.

Jeremy Pepper is not new to social media; he’s been blogging for four and a half years. The New PR Blogger Timeline places Jeremy’s POP! PR Jots as the 16th PR blog on record. Some of his recent posts include: “PR Will Lose Social Media to Advertising Because of Sex” and “It’s a Shame,” a passionate post about blogger/media relations. Before you start firing your guns, you aspiring restless contrarian bloggers should check out Jeremy’s post on libel.

Fun Facts about Jeremy

Watch as Jeremy tells us his thoughts on the SMNR and advises the Blog Council to open up a little bit.

Is the Social Media News Release just another choice? Or does it have advantages and benefits not found in a traditional release?

Should the Blog Council pow-wow with PR peeps? Or do big corps really need privacy from the outside? Love to hear your response.

Once again, thanks Jeremy for your interview!

[The above picture of Jeremy, “Worlds Collide Hosted By Tim Ferriss: Jeremy Pepper,” taken by Brian Solis and used under Creative Commons.]

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Filed under 3sdays 3qs In 3 Min, Blogger Relations, Citizen Reporter, Marketing, New Media, Public Relations 2.0, SMNR, Social Media, Stick It To the Man, Video Interview

“Small Biz Social Media Spotlight: Trula Breckenridge”

“fist” by frankh“Stick It To The Man” week marches on, showing those big wigs at the Blog Council that real people use social media everyday. It’s also good for those of us in PR and Marketing to step back and see how those outside our industry use the tools we take for granted. This week, socialTNT highlights every day folk who use social media for marketing purposes.

If you don’t follow me on twitter: I’ve been issuing Tweets looking for examples of small businesses or individuals who use social media. Not a big surprise, there are tons of renaissance women and men on the Internet who integrate new media tools into the full spectrum of self promotion. All of the individuals who submitted were really amazing, but one woman really knew how to work emerging media into her full brand image–and she’s not in tech!

Trula Breckenridge (check out her crazy MySpace-style “about me” survey) is a craft maven running a media empire (MSPmedia) from her living room. Her twitter profile says she is a writer and positivity enthusiast, but just one look at her website, and you’ll see she is so much more than that. Her collection of books covers everything from child rearing, poetry, self-help, vegetarian cooking/lifestyle to children’s stories.

On the social media front, Trula maintains twelve blogs with topics spanning from style and fitness to science fiction and black parenting. But it doesn’t stop there. She also uses one of her blogs and flickr to promote her upcycled and handmade fashions. In a twitter/email interview, Trula says that since she started using flickr, her sales have really started taking off. Twitter has also driven more traffic to her site, leading to increased sales of crafts and books, while also helping generate more revenue from ads.

Most importantly, social media has introduced Trula to a community of like-minded individuals who have inspired her to do things she had never before thought possible.

“Because of flickr I have encountered other people interested in upcycle, reconstructed fashion…I doubt I would have ever considered my sewing as another income stream, either to sell, blog about, or write a book about, all of which I am now doing. Because of twitter I doubt I would have ever considered turning my little zine into a full-fledged magazine with distribution, which I now am in the process of doing.”

Trula, you rock! Not only do you send positive messages out to the world through your writings, but your business model is an inspiration for others on how to utilize social media.

I also want to give a special shout-out to Jeremiah Owyang for becoming an unofficial Twitter Community Manager. Had it not been for your post this week, I would have never met Trula. You have created a much-needed community on Twitter and introduced me to hundreds of interesting people. Readers: If you haven’t had the chance to read his post, GO NOW, and meet other amazing Twitterers!

I’m still looking for more small businesses and individuals who use social media to promote themselves. Send me an email or a tweet!

“Stick It To The Man” week continues tomorrow with an exciting guest for “3sday’s 3Q’s in 3Min” video interview.

[Above photo, “fist” by frankh (on flickr) used under Creative Commons license.]

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Filed under Best Practices, How To, Marketing, New Media, Small Business Social Media, Social Media, Stick It To the Man

“Stick It To The Man: Choice Shirts, California Cosmetics, Technomic Asia”

// the rest of the blogosphere debates Enterprise marketing, we at socialTNT want to bring it back to the people. Big corporations meet behind closed doors to figure out social media, while thousands of people are trying out new ideas every day. This week, socialTNT is gonna “Stick It To The Man” by showcasing small businesses and individuals experimenting with new media as promotional tools.

Choice Shirts is a t-shirt site where visitors can browse, purchase and create graphic t-shirts. I know, there a literally tons of online t-shirt purveyors, but how many of them use Twitter? Choice sends out daily special tweets with discount information. There are only 20-something followers right now, but this could increase if they promoted their Twitter-stream on the site.

California Cosmetics, mentioned in my post on rethinking online video strategy, is the product of a 20 year old girl named Lauren, a certified cosmetologist working her way through college. She uses YouTube to give video tutorials on achieving certain looks. Since starting on October 29th of this year, Lauren has more than 570 subscribers and is the 16th most subscribed director in the “guru” channel. Many of her posts come from requests and questions she receives from her fan-base. By listing upcoming posts, Lauren keeps her viewers coming back.

Technomic Asia is a strategic consulting firm for businesses moving into the Asian market. The firm has approximately 25 employees. Their (mostly) weekly podcast includes tips for executives visiting China or special news relevant to companies doing business in that market. According to feedburner, their podcast has about 550 subscribers. With most episodes rack up to 2000 downloads, Technomic Asia places itself in a good position to establish thought leadership.

By looking at these three examples, how can you reach your customers directly and in real time? Do you have special knowledge or skills that you can offer your customers? What’s holding you back!

How are you using social media to promote your small business? I’d love to hear from you. Send me an email or hit me up on Twitter. We will be showcasing unique angles all week!

[Above photo by Mika Hiironneimi under Creative Commons]


Filed under How To, New Media, Product Review, Small Business Social Media, Social Media, Stick It To the Man