Lori Danelle's profile page from the Uncommon Good's Catalog

Who are the people that power your brand?

How can you introduce your audience to the people that make your products possible? How can you create a personal relationship between your brand, your employees and the customers you serve? You need to ask yourself if there’s a disconnect between what you say you do and what you ACTUALLY do. You need to introduce your audience to the people that power your brand.

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VanCleefAndArpelsElleMagazine

Is the Elle and Van Cleef & Arpels campaign one to remember?

Presented as an attempt to recreate the magic felt when falling in love, The Van Cleef & Arpels Love Stories campaign doesn’t evoke a modern day love affair feel. I am lost within it’s beautiful scapes and models but wonder what would make a young urban female (audience as defined for this campaign effort) to share the video with friends. By rethinking luxury marketing and opening up the campaign to a wider content creation and brand distribution approach, both Van Cleef & Arpels and Elle Magazine may have garnered a larger return.

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AV Club's One Track Mind

“One Track Mind”: Diverge the track for greater return

The traditional one advertiser, one media publisher relationship can hinder a campaign both from a content and distribution standpoint. Brands and publishers must think bigger about the content they create in a way that garners engagement, audience, and ultimately, results. Think about how creating ancillary campaign content created by the sponsoring brands as well as partnering with more than one advertiser, can bring drive interest and untapped eyeballs.

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JCK Rockstars

A gem of an idea: JCK Rock Star

As a former marketing director at a New England based jewelry retail chain and as an avid watcher of Project Runway, I was smitten with JCK’s Rock Star series from the start. I think JCK is pioneering what journalism is becoming – which is certainly part entertainment, part talent scout, part branded content. As JCK starts to think about a second season of this show, I wanted to suggest some ways in which the distribution approach and the brand inclusion could evolve.

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cardmunch

3 Apps that Bridge the Gap

In order to get ready for that next generation of capabilities, start experimenting with some of the programs that are already breaking down the barriers between online and offline.

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thehartford

Attaching Your Brand to a Good Cause

One of best way to get that core message across to your audience is by aligning your brand with a cause that people already do or should support. By building messaging and online properties and aligning with the right cause you can actually help raise awareness, drive action, and inspire people while strengthening your brand’s online presence.

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Prezi's Bubble Menu

10 Tips to Help Master Prezi

Last week, I spent two days teaching Prezi at the Langley Center for New Media. As the event came to a close, a few attendees asked if I could sum up more than 16 hours of teaching in a top 10 list. Well, here’s my first stab at 10 things that should help you become a better Prezi presenter and publisher.

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Andrew Davis Speaking at ABM’s Annual Conference

Each year American Business Media brings together some of the most powerful b-to-b media industry leaders for their annual conference. Next week, in Charleston, South Carolina, luminaries from organizations like McGraw Hill, the U.S. House of Representatives, Omnicom and Ziff Davis (among others) will spend three days sharing, discussing and debating how business media is evolving.

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Discovering The Next Celebrity Chef at a Studio in Boston?

From her home in Cambridge, Julia Child recorded the first episode of her television show The French Chef. Julia was not the first television chef, but she’s arguably one of the most widely seen. What many don’t know is that Julia’s local roots and sustained success created a community of television production staff right here in Boston that is still thriving today.

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New Studios Answer Brands’ Need for a New Kind of Agency

Ad agencies, PR firms and interactive shops are all scrambling to extend their offerings to include more social media services. They’re hiring social media experts and community managers while they try to create compelling content to broaden their traditional campaigns.

Meanwhile, some unlikely players in the digital cinema space are quietly encroaching on the services traditionally reserved for some of the biggest players in the game. Custom publisher, McMurry, based in Phoenix, recently announced the acquisition of Spark Productions and, in a similar brand extension, Tippingpoint Labs today

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Studio Increases Content Possibilities

The opening of the Tippingpoint Labs studio marks an immediate enhancement to the services TPL can offer its clients in the multimedia realm.

The studio is well suited to execute on an array of production techniques, ranging from long form digital cinema to traditional multi-camera switched events. Clients like Breville, Putnam Investments, and Long’s Jewelers have already taken advantage of TPL’s studio production and post capabilities.

The Studio is designed to give companies all the tools they need to create branded content that’s on par with what’s being created by Madison Avenue. Recent productions have included super high definition shoots involving the Red One camera and high-speed photography using a Phantom Cam.

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Why Panel Discussions Suck…

I went to SxSW this year and attended half a dozen panel discussions. I also just returned from the Custom Content Conference in Nashville, where I attended one panel. Quite frankly they all sucked. Don’t get me wrong, they all had extremely high caliber talent sitting on the stage. Every panel had huge potential for real discussion with powerful market leaders. And every panel fell short! Way short.

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Why Magento should be your eCommerce Platform

I’m here to tell you that Magento ROCKS! I’ve been in the ecommerce trenches for many years and have had the opportunity to explore many open and closed source ecommerce platforms. Here at Tippingpoint Labs we highly recommend Magento for all your ecommerce needs and here’s why:

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Using Scrum Company-wide

I’ve been an advocate of Agile Development and SCRUM for a long time. SCRUM is all about iterative development and maintaining forward momentum. I’ve also found that it keeps everyone involved, and on the same-page in the least intrusive way possible.

Here at Tippingpoint Labs, we’ve embraced SCRUM for both engineering and non-engineering projects alike. We are working on a hybrid model that best matches our abilities and resource while doing our best not to get bogged down with process issues.

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Catalogs, Context and Media Modality

After speaking at the New England Mail Order Association Spring Conference and having conversations over lunch and dinner with talented marketers from brands like Sony, Hyatt, Gardeners Supply, Home Shopping Network Interactive, Stony Creek and L.L. Bean, I pondered the future of the printed catalog. Print catalogs will not die, but they must evolve.

Media Modality

We’ve been working on a concept called ‘media modality.’ Our hypothesis is basically this: people consume content in a variety of modes often defined by the medium used to deliver the media. So, if you use the right medium with the right kind of content you’ll capture the consumer (audience.)

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2010: Marketing is not Marketing

In the age of transparency, marketing is not about crafting artificial or half-true brand stories for consumer audiences. Marketing is about uncovering, fostering, sharing, and engaging with employees and consumers around the true stories that make your brand unique. Let’s take a look at how a few of the departments in your organization are the real marketing departments.

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The Pitfalls of Traditional Content Syndication Online

The word ‘syndication’ in the media world is a loaded term. If you’re in traditional broadcasting you understand syndication to be the licensing of programming for broadcast in your market. If you’re in the newspaper business you might refer to syndication in a similar way – as in a syndicated columnist (where the full body of content is reprinted as part of a licensing deal exclusively to newspapers around the world.)

On the web, you’ve got to embrace the fact that syndicating content (using these traditional models) isn’t a great idea. That’s why even Wikipedia distinguishes between broadcast, print and web syndication. They are entirely different.

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Your Site is a Startup

The first step in product-tizing your website is a site audit. Ask yourself what you want your users to do. Do you want them to come away with a feel for your corporate culture? Do you want them to buy something? Do you want them to create content? Boil it down to one sentence, then ask yourself if your site accommodates that now. If not, it’s time for a re-do.

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So Much Content, So Little Time

It’s hard to believe that it’s been 18 years since Bruce Springsteen lamented that there were “57 channels and nothing on.” Back in 1992 when the song was released, such a huge cable lineup was unfathomable, and the frustration he experienced trying to navigate the sudden increase of content caused the Boss to write that he bought a .44 magnum to blow away his television– Elvis style.

Today, when you consider the explosion of content online, 57 channels seem as limiting as choosing between french fries or mashed potatoes. Consider the statistics offered by social media think tank, Socialnomics.

* You Tube hosts more than 100 million videos.
* Users post 153 articles to Wikipedia per hour.
* There are over 200 million blogs and more than 54% of bloggers post new content or tweet daily.
* Hulu went from 63 million streams to 373 million total streams in one year.
* Facebook users share more than 1.5 million pieces of content every day.

That’s a lot of content, too much to navigate on your own. So how will one navigate content online? The same way we do offline world– we’ll get referrals.

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2010: The Year of Common Sense User Experience

Nothing like a good dose of history repeating itself, because it’s nothing new. Before there was the AJAX libraries of Web 2.0, there was Flash sliding interfaces, pop-up dialogues and multiple clicks. Seems like we’ve landed right back on the same old Flash paradigms of the turn-of-the-century. No need to have history repeat itself, let’s make 2010 the year of common sense user experience.

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A Fluid 3-Punch Combination is Required for Today’s Digital Success

A more strategic approach to digital marketing is required this year – but often a firm’s ability to acknowledge this necessary change occurs only after months of failure, pain, and anguish. To the exhausted and bloodied, there is indeed a better way. And to the ones just getting into the ring, learn from those who have fought before you …

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In an Ever-Changing Landscape, Prepare for Everything

2010 will see the idea of tactical engagement and “I need to get on [INSERT SOCIAL NETWORKING SITE DU JOUR HERE] now!” change into higher-level and thoughtful questions like, “What can I provide to new media channels?” This kind of thought makes your web marketing more future proof. When Twitter falls from favor, but all of your social media “experts” turn out to be “Twitter experts,” those with strategies defined by clear goals will be ready and able to distribute and promote the right kind of content on any platform to any audience.

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Vying for the Ring

If clients are more inclined to “date their agencies” throughout the life of the relationship, at what point should the agency start hinting at a ring? Do project based arrangements have any benefit to clients or agencies.

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2010: RIP RFPs

Madison Avenue is infamous for generating expensive, overwrought creative presentations that hijack agency resources and time for days (if not weeks). Under this model, when responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP) generated by the potential client, agencies compete and the winner is rewarded with a long-term retainer that justifies the energy expended on the pitch.

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Apples to Oranges: The Food Thinkers Platform

The best way to start any platform discussion is with the baseline features. What does this platform need to accomplish? At its core, Food Thinkers had to have the ability to create stories that were categorized by the features that our content calendar laid out and it had to engage the reader by allowing them to comment on the stories.

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The Food Thinkers Themselves, Part 2

In Part 1, I talked about the type of content appropriate to the Food Thinkers platform in its current state and the types of contributors we look for. Today, I discuss how we find contributors and create the content. As … Continued

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The Food Thinkers Themselves, Part 1

The Food Thinkers platform is not merely a blog in the singular sense. It is meant to be a site with a growing number of contributors and content targets. “FoodThinkers is an online stream of simple moments of brilliance from … Continued

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Google Wave Feels Like a Chat Client, But is it?

I don’t know how many people have received Google Wave invites. In September, we were told 100,000 users would be invited to participate. I opened my Gmail account last weekend to find my invitation awaiting my attention and with great excitement I clicked through to start my Google Wave experience. I am ready to change the way I communicate online. There’s only one problem: with so few early adopters invited to participate I don’t have anyone to communicate with.

That being said, I’ve had my first valuable interaction on Google Wave and feel confident in telling you what I think about my initial experience.

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Why We See More Micro-Apps Every Day

Last week, I spent some time analyzing a new channel I happened on called TheHotList.com. In my analysis, I attempted to coin a new phrase to describe the channel – micro-apps. As I’ve watched new channels emerge, even just over the course of the last week, I’ve found more and more applications that fit the definition of a micro-app so I thought it might help to better define my new term:

A micro-app is an application the sources very specific content from at least one external source and manipulates the information to display it in a new or inventive way.

Here’s a great new example of a micro-app called Social Great.

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Be Careful When it Comes to Contests

A good contest is going to be transparent and, hopefully, beneficial to the community as a whole. But beware the quid pro quo and focus on the channel benefit, not on simply boosting follower/fan counts.

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Podcast: The New World / Thanksgiving

Today on the Tipping Point we’re getting out our trans-temporal spyglass-microscope hybrid and take a look at the future as it stands right now. Inbound marketing will never be the same.

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Google Insights for Search 101

One of our driving philosophies here at the Tippingpoint Labs is that, for brands, your website is not the center of your web universe anymore. Conventional (read: outdated) thinking holds that your homepage should be the starting and ending point … Continued

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FourSquare and My Personal What-Now Factor

I’ve been using FourSquare for months now. I can’t recall where I heard about it, but I immediately signed up and started using it on my iPhone. If I was pitching FourSquare as a television show I’d pitch it like this:

FourSquare is Facebook meets Twitter meets Google Maps meets Yelp meets the Boy Scouts.

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Paint a Better Picture by Using Offline Connotations

This morning I happened on TubeRadio.fm. To be blunt, TubeRadio is awesome! Basically,TubeRadio uses YouTube to deliver music videos in an iTunes-like interface on your web browser. TubeRadio is an evolution in the delivery of music to your desktop, built by the team at Last.fm. TubeRadio calls itself “YouTube for music.” But is it?

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Social Media Outreach is More Than Saying “I’m Sorry”

Qwest has a dedicated team at socialmedia.qwest.com — not at TalktoQwest.com where it should at least also be — whose mission, according to the CEO is “Listening to and understanding our customers so completely that we deliver a total customer experience that exceeds expectations.”
What does this crack team of social media experts do? They listen and understand.

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Micro-Apps Emerge as Immersive, Connected Experiences

Okay, so I just made up a new term “micro-app.” That’s the only way I can describe TheHotlist.com — it’s a micro-app. Basically, TheHotlist uses Facebook Connect to deliver a rich interface for your Facebook events. The interface is intriguing, delivering you a map and a calendar and showing you who’s attending what, where. It’s interesting and it may highlight something we’re going to see more of: deeper web applications built as massive mash-ups using networks like LinkedIn or Facebook as their core.

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Podcast: So Sorry.

This week on The Tipping Point: Online Apologies JetBlue, Amazon, and thousands of other companies have been forced to issue apologies for product or service issues. Some of them have used online distribution channels effectively to say “I’m sorry.” We … Continued

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Under Pressure: Don’t get too caught up in your users’ feedback

As you launch your new online product or service I’m sure you’re excited to get some real-world feedback. Perhaps you’re launching a private beta, or maybe you’re going full bore and opening up the floodgates to the whole world. No matter what you do, don’t give those initial users too much credit.

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There’s Hope for Hyundai Think Tank

Hyundai Think Tank is a gated customer outreach community that attempts to bring customers and potential customers together and give them an opportunity to participate with the brand on a deeper level. It seems to accomplish, in theory, the goal of being more participatory as a brand. If you look at the Google trends for the automotive vertical, you can clearly see that brand interaction is a plateau. Hyundai is right to try and engage customers more deeply.

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Got Elevation?

Successful web content doesn’t promote your brand or product. It promotes the themes and subjects that surround them. It prompts discussion or adds to it.

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Podcast: Halloween Post Mortem

The Tipping Point Podcast Subscribe in iTunes or you can enjoy the podcasts at Blubrry.com Each podcast journeys into the world wide web, exploring various aspects of what makes people successful on the internet. We’ll cover almost anything. We’ve learned … Continued

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Amiando Makes Event Creation and Management Easy

Conferences, seminars, mixers, even fund-raising event management On September 10, 2009, all around the world, thousands of people gathered at restaurants and bars to support a local charity. All of these events were coordinated locally and attended internationally. Of course, … Continued

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Overexposed: Too Early, Too Far, Too Fast

I am a frequent early adopter, and any invitation like this is really intriguing. Pinyadda looks promising (take a look when you have a second), but something I noticed early in my interaction on the new platform highlights one of the major concerns I have with early-phase new media channels: the integration of features that increase reach too fast, too early.

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Avoid Social Media One-Night Stands

TGI Friday’s fell victim to a social media one-night stand with their Fan Woody campaign. Promising free hamburgers is no way to build a lasting, valuable relationship with consumers.

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Soapboxes for Everybody!

Doesn’t it feel good to live in the age of the empowered consumer? No, we can’t force our planes to take off on time. But sometimes, if you use the right channels, you can get some money taken off your … Continued

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Podcast: Of-the-Month Clubs — Building a Relationship

Building a relationship with a consumer or a partner can be difficult. Today, there are business models based on exactly this premise – deliver a quality product each and every month and meet or exceed your customer’s expectation. Content creation is no different.

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Docstoc enters the Adoption Phase of its New Media Life Cycle

Professional document-sharing site Docstoc has a very robust functionality that has driven it past Experimentation and into the Adoption Phase of its New Media Life Cycle. However, ridding the channel of spam and illegal content, in addition to attracting more valuable content, will be hurdles it needs to overcome to get to Gestation and beyond.

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Podcast: The Future of Search — Search Overload

Act One: Search Overload and the user experience. The search engine wars have begun.

We explore what leading experts say about the problems with search today — including Bernie Borges, author and SEO expert, Gabriel Weinberg, founder of Duck Duck Go, and Anand Rajaramand, founder of Kosmix.

We tackle the problem of Google, frustrations that users face, and some of the new approaches making search more friendly.

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Tumblr Meets its Match in Posterous

Blog site Posterous is drawing attention and traffic by offering a dead simple email and publish interface. No signup, no login. Any email will do. But can they build a quality channel?

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Blogs Can Monetize Through Connection

A blog has the potential to be so much more than just a diary of the day’s events or another channel for repurposing your company’s press releases in a slightly more digestible format. A blog is where you need to open up, be human, and earn trust.

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3 Ways to Get Some Action and Give Satisfaction

Telling a great story does you little good if people don’t read it, watch it, or listen to it. Make your content more reader-friendly and get more action on your content.

Satisfying your audience’s appetite for your content can be as simple as following these three basic guidelines:

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MySpace Struggles in Monetization

While its days as the #1 destination of young people may never return, MySpace can still prove to be an outstanding and valuable web channel. This may entail a refocus of efforts away from the personal branding elements that they pioneered and on to the higher-quality content areas of their site.

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Ning Might Outpace LinkedIn in Gestation Phase

Ning is a social networking site that is definitely learning a lot in the Gestation phase of its New Media Life Cycle, and perhaps its more moderate and measured growth demonstrates that it’s taking a long-term growth strategy that will ultimately prove to be more successful than LinkedIn.

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Narrowcasting: Solid Gold

Which audience is more valuable to you? A) The larger one that ignores or casually notices your content? B) The smaller one that is happily engaging with and consuming your content? If you selected A, you should report to a … Continued

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Avoid the Black Hole of Foreverism

Foreverism gives the impression of being present equally in all times at once and lasting without decay in perpetuity. The former is impossible and the latter is contrary to reasonable expectations. It’s another way of saying, if you’re a marketer, never sleep.

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Chris Brogan and Mike Lewis eBook Success

Successful content can propel brands to the forefont of an industy. To engage audiences meaningfully with content requires knowing them and giving them what they need and want. Case in Point: Chris Brogan and Mike Lewis achieved this kind of … Continued

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Has Twitter Missed Their Monetization Boat?

While Twitter and Time Magazine hail Twitter as the next big thing in social media, I think that not only is this premature, it might be just plain wrong. There are already signs that attrition is on the rise at Twitter as users struggle to find value in the content.

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RSS is the New Direct Marketing

If you haven’t built an RSS strategy into your overall content marketing efforts, start. Now. Otherwise, you’re missing out on one of the most effective mediums of direct communication the web has to offer.

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Custom Media Day a Wonderful Success

It was a pleasure to speak at Custom Media Day in Manhattan last week. And in an effort to add valuable content, I thought I should deliver on some of the requests I received after speaking.

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Keep it Current

Be ready to react quickly to breaking news. Make sure your content creation process is nimble enough roll with a timely idea — without a lot of barriers.

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Twitter is Done. Tumblr is Next.

In the past couple of weeks I’ve started to see evidence that Twitter might be entering its Trough of Disillusionment. The evidence you ask? A quick search on Google Trends for the phrase “Twitter Sucks” shows a HUGE spike starting … Continued

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Think About Your Scope of Influence on Twitter or LinkedIn

I was intrigued by an article I found on HackerNews this morning. The article, entitled The Size of Social Networks; Primates on Facebook, was published in The Economist online and it accentuates something I’ve been discussing in the office for a couple of weeks: focusing on the quantity of ‘followers’ (on Twitter) or ‘friends’ (on Facebook) is misguided and inherently denegrates the relevance of the distribution of your content. Let me explain.

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Finding Value in the Distributed Content Model

As a strategist at an online content marketing agency I’m constantly asked to recommend the most effective online distribution channels. Unfortunately, there’s been no easy way to answer this question. However, over the next couple of posts, I hope to … Continued

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Creating Valuable Content: Three Keys To Success

As part of Tippingpoint’s Online Content Marketing strategy, we’ve keyed in on defining valuable content. For each distribution channel (YouTube.com or Flickr.com) or web platform (blog, photostream, e-zine, email newsletter), we define valuable content as the creation and distribution of … Continued

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The Social Media Paradox

Everyday, clients and friends are asking me how they can leverage social media platforms to engage customers or prospects in valuable dialogues that lead to a sale.

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