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June 25, 2008
One Step At a Time

Last week I talked about the importance of doing and embracing the mediums, tools, and applications that our clients and brand’s audience’s are. This week I’ll give you some thoughts and concrete recommendations on how to do this.

Let’s start with Social Networking Service. With any social networking site you get as good as you give, this means once you get started keep going. Every site has a News Feed, Network Update, etc. that shows what your friends are up to, that means they can also see what you are up to. If you just sit on the sidelines and don’t do anything you’re effectively sitting in the corner by yourself, so take action or as I wrote about last week, do! Build out your profile, and connect/friend with friends and associates. Try a new application as part of your social networking site or join a new group. Sure you can be a lurker but I want you to participate so that you can better ideate for your brand or clients.
*note I’m assuming you are already on these sites if you aren’t put Join as your first step

Complete your profile
Add three more associates or friends
Write at least two recommendations for your connections
Complete your profile
Add three more associates or friends
Add at least two applications and use them

Now you’ve got your base in social networking but we’re going to ratchet it up a little bit by expanding the way you connect with others. Ways of being socially connected that Adler back in the early 1900’s couldn’t have envisioned.  A lot has been written about micro-blogging or it’s Kleenex posterchild, Twitter. In the short time that Twitter has been around it’s gone from just “what are you doing” to very informative short notes, conversations and information. Two other similar sites worth looking at are Pownce and Plurk, the former having been around for much longer.  There’s also Jaiku but you need an invite to join Typical etiquette is to start posting for a bit and then begin to follow other users, they are more likely to reciprocate and follow you if you page looks interesting. However I want you to start getting a great learning experience, so:

Join and add the following people
Guy Kawasaki
Jeremiah Owyang
Robert Scoble

These three twitterati are pretty well known outside of twitter as well. Their three feeds range from information you need now to the more sublime, either way check your twitter stream early and often and add in your own Tweets/comments. Oh, and follow some of your friends or encourage them to join in as well.

Building on ways to communicate I’ll also recommend Instant Messaging (IM), yep good ole’ AIM, Google Talk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN Messenger, Skype, etc. This has been around for years yet I’m amazed at how many people don’t use IM. As in inbox zero follower, I find IM can be used to answer a large part of emails that just need a simple answer or a quick back and forth. Not to mention, using iChat on a mac (with a built in or external video camera) and Leopard OSX your video chat can be a screen share as well.
Best bet here is to get your office mates going or ask around I bet some are already on IM. And use it to replace that short email you were about to send.

Join and start using
Learn from others.

One of the great things about the internet space has been the quick and easy way to share knowledge and learn from others. Social discovery and sharing sites like Twine, Digg, and Del.icio.us as Spinal Tap says "go to 11." While it’s great to join, and for Twine you’ll have to join to use the services, but just start taking a look at Digg and Del.icio.us on a daily or more often basis.


Social Discovery
Add Digg and Del.icio.us to your RSS feed or daily bookmarks
Better yet join Digg and Del.icio.us and start contributing
Join Twine and start trying the Semantic web (or what might lead to Web 3.0)

What I’m bullish on:
I’m an avid reader of Forrester Research and highly recommend their analysts and white papers, I never go on a trip without a stack to read. Make sure you follow Jeremiah Owyang (Twitter) and pick up a copy of Ground Swell from Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff.  Location based social networking. It would take another article to cover these but whether standalone or integrated as apps I’m very interested in where Dopplr, Brightkite, Loopt and others are going.
Mobile applications, see location based above but add in geo tagging on Flickr or Car Finder on the blackberry. Chumby – Also one for a longer story or if you are wondering what is Chumby.


Lastly, aggregators like Friend Feed let you bring all of your content streams together but get started with the sites individually first then make the jump to this site.

And that’s just the start, as you use these sites and tools on a regular basis you’ll find they lead to knowledge and skills you didn’t have before. Add them to your marketing arsenal and keep on participating and learning.

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For more than 15 years, Chris Mller has created, built and led businesses in the digital marketing space. He is a regular speaker at agency conferences and forums and is a recipient of numerous awards including agency of the year by Revolution Magazine, Cannes Cyber-Lion, One Show, Addy’s and Gold Effie. Currently he is the SVP, Group Managing Director, Interactive at Draftfcb and is actively involved with the majority of Draftfcb’s clients.
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