Posts Tagged 'new media'

Stickybits Meets Avi Buffalo at SXSW

Has my focus changed so drastically in the last year? Or has SXSW become more about indie software developers than indie music? (sorry, I hate labels too). And the subtext is that this year it’s all about the “Location Wars”. Not a battle of the bands, but more of a land battle of sorts. Everyone is fighting for geospace. All the “big” players will be out in force. Foursquare, Gowalla, Google, Facebook and Twitter will be posting their claim to know where you are and when. And naturally sell that information to the highest bidder. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Our recent recessionary economy has stimulated enormously creative ideas in marketing. And this is just the beginning. But just as established bands (meaning they’ve been around more than just 5 years) play SXSW alongside bands just looking for an audience, so too are the young upstarts in social media looking for their groupies! And just as with the bands, we’ll be hearing people tell us that they were in Austin in 2010 and saw the introduction of, say Stickybits.

Many of you have not yet heard of Stickybits. In fact, I had not until today. But trust me you will. The startup founded by Billy Chasen (Chartbeat) and Seth Goldstein ( introduces its seemingly quirky but potentially groundbreaking location based service.

The concept is simple. With the advent of barcode scanning in hand-held phones, consumers have a wealth of information at their fingertips. With Stickybits, you can attach digital data to any barcode. And when someone scans that barcode with their phone, that digital data is then fed to their device. Let’s say you as a young band playing at SXSW is giving away CD singles with a barcode on the sleeve. That barcode could be linked to a video of your band along with a link to your website. Or maybe your product has a distinctively low carbon footprint and your customer is interested in how the product got to the marketplace. Fine, attach a link to your website or a video that traces it’s journey.

There are no limits to how these little gems can be utilized. And no doubt this week at SXSW there will be a lot of creative and hilarious applications. Free adhesive Stickybits will be handed out to many of this years’ 12,000 attendees. These barcodes can be followed, so if your girlfriend slaps you on the ass when she heads back to the hotel, be sure and have your buddy check to see that she didn’t leave any Stickybits behind.

As for me? Well to be honest, I’d probably just assume see Avi Buffalo in their first SXSW appearance. I mean, I saw their first gig in a vegan restaurant in Long Beach!


Definitely Not My Last Communion

I spent the entire day today, save for a brief walk in the fresh snow with my dog, in communion. And this blog post is but a continuation of that communion. There are of course different definitions of the word, but my favorite is this: communion as the interchange or sharing of thoughts or emotions; intimate communication.

There are many detractors to social media. There are those that say that we are becoming more disconnected everyday even though through our social channels we are sharing so much, with so many. But if, when we engage those in our communities, we are being thoughtful and honest, how could this be?

Today I read probably 2 dozen blog posts, countless web pages, Facebook links and emails, mostly driven by those juicy 140 character kernels in my Twitter feed. Just about anyone who takes the time to write a blog, or create content of any type, wants to share his/her thoughts and or emotions. The great thing is that these are the people who I have chosen to commune with. A congregation of sorts.

Tomorrow I’ll probably spend the lion’s share of my day continuing to interview with potential employers, following up on emails etc. But for today, it was all about you. Thanks for taking your time to commune with me.

In Search of Thoughtful Media

Last week while up in Northwestern Maine without a computer, I still got up to the minute “news” via my phone. For days after Kevin Smith ranted on his Twitter site about his experience at the hands of Southwest Airlines the twittersphere was inundated with everyone’s instant opinions on the matter. Links, blog posts and videos instantly spreading the story. And over that period the story kept changing.

These are the times we live in. But in a world where traditional broadcast media’s 24/7 isn’t immediate enough, do we want to model this medium in the same way? Is the need to be first in social media trumping the need to be thoughtful?

Sure, newspapers and networks have adopted the mea culpa fallback when things go awry. But usually, a well researched and thoughtful analysis of information prior to broadcasting is more beneficial for everyone. It builds trust through reliability. In our businesses, we don’t just shout out loud or repeat every idea or message to everyone within hearing distance. At home we are sure to get the whole story (both sides) before meting discipline. So why the rush?

In the end, if one steps back and considers the issue, researches the sources and takes a deep breath, many times, their contribution will be of more value. Sometimes the best way to receiving recognition is by not being the first to seek it. Think about that.

Not My Post on Politicians Who Tweet

As I continue on my journey through the world of social media / communications, I find myself somewhat overwhelmed by the wealth of information available to me. Great minds offering the latest opinions and tools. or even something that was just uttered at a conference.

I have been planning on putting together a blog post about politicians who tweet (and I will), but have been buried in the morass of research material that I have gathered. Thank you all. But I thought it important to include this post about how difficult it is to research a subject thoroughly enough to feel confident about writing something, while at the same time, keeping up with all the great tweets that lead to great blogs that lead to, well you know.

Just the other day I had a conversation with my 58-year old (sorry sis) sister about my recent forays into social media and what I have learned. I told her that I ended my 30 year run as a subscriber to the LA Times, and how that, yes I miss the way that the news presented itself to me in newsprint. Her fear is that those who seek information solely through the internet, are only going to be exposed to thoughts/opinions that they are already aligned with. My response was that it has always been that way depending on which news source landed on your stoop in the morning. By the way, you would not believe how many phone calls I have received from said LA Times offering me great deals to re-up my subscription. But I am trying to see the way the world presents itself to those who never read a paper.

My kids, both attending the University of California have never been regular newspaper readers like most of their contemporaries. Nor do they buy magazines. And if they choose to watch television, it’s on their terms, either on a DVR or on their computers. So what’s a marketer to do? Listen.

Listen to the fact that that this generation will not accept brands being force fed to them. They want to engage their brands on their terms. And so that means Facebook, MySpace and the internet for their entertainment and information. I do find it interesting that neither my 18-year old nor my 20-year old, bother much with Twitter at this point. They think that their old man is kind of odd. They might be right, but as I told my daughter who is studying communications in college, if you don’t get involved soon, you will miss the boat when it comes to future opportunities.

There’s one thing for sure, I am not going to let this stuff pass me by.

As Bill Tweets

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