Friday, July 30, 2010

Just for Fun: Social Networking Site Logos That Look Like Yoga Poses

I'm sitting in yoga class and enjoying the benefits of the Cow Face pose. The person in front of me gets up and excuses herself from class for a few minutes. I can see myself in the mirror now and a random thought rushes through my head: this pose look like the letter "i". Even though I'm supposed to empty my mind and focus on my breathing, I decide to make the rest of the class an experiment: How many yoga poses look like the logos of today's popular social networking sites? Weird, I know. Regardless, I had a ton of fun with it during and after class. Those of you, social media fans out there with an appreciation for yoga might find this post amusing...and feel free to add more examples!

Cow face pose and wheel pose (source:

Flying bow pose (source:

Boat pose (source:

Bridge pose (source:

Side bend (source:

Extended hand-to-big toe pose (source:

Bow pose (source:

Headstand (source: yogalifestyle)

Bikram series (source: 

Scorpion pose (source:
This may require some explanation. I've picked this pose because it reminds me of the curves found in the letters "S" and "U"  in the logo.

Full one-legged king pigeon pose (source:

And what else is similar? Yoga can be just as addictive as social media. Hope you enjoyed this little experiment.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Ten Intriguing Twitter Moments: From Funny to Bizarre

Unless you live under a rock, you'll admit that whether or not you are a fan, Twitter has a huge impact on how we communicate and share information today. Yesterday's news about the passing of 104-old Ivy Bean, the world's oldest person on Twitter, has sparked a series of questions in my head. We have all seen stats on the size and growth of social networking sites, Facebook, Twitter and the like, but I thought it would be fun to look at how else Twitter is shaping our lives. So I started experimenting with some random words to find out what connection (if any) they have to Twitter. Here is my top 10 PG-rated list of funny, interesting or weird Twitter use cases - on and off the web.

10. Twitterize your pet
I'm not surprised to see all the gear mentioning Twitter. Shirts, hats, shoes and aprons (I mean, really?), bags, mugs, buttons, the whole nine yards. I must admit some of the T-shirts are flat out hilarious. Zazzle offers a wide range of clothing items and office and home supplies but nothing beats their pet clothing. Seriously? A Twitter shirt for your dog? Not my cup of tea but if it's something you fancy, hey, more power to you...and to your dog.

9. Twitter cats with more followers than you
Ouch! That hurts. Check out the cats on Twitter that have a bigger following than you. I'll be sure to borrow some tips from them.

8. Come on baby, let's do the Tweet
It was just a matter of time before Twitter songs started popping up on YouTube. My favorite Twitter anthem is "I'm Tweeting". I'm a die-hard ballroom dancer so anything with a good beat will captivate me. You can't go wrong with updating a classic song with super creative lyrics so kudos to iJustine, you rock! The other one that has captured my attention is the one by Chris Thompson. Awesome man! But what's up with that Twitter dance? I certainly hope that the choreographers on Dancing with the Stars or So You Think You Can Dance will not be borrowing these moves for their next dance routines...

7. Tweet My Bumper
According to Rich Whittle's blog post, "Tweet My Bumper helps Twitterers recruit new followers by targeting one of life’s few remaining captive audiences: drivers in traffic." Go to the Tweet My Bumper website, enter your Twitter ID and some other basic information, and Tweet My Bumper will send you a bumper sticker with your Twitter ID and the "Follow me in traffic. Follow me on Twitter" tag line.

6. Tweet and Drive? Not so much
Remember the Nate Robinson case? He was live tweeting after he got pulled over. Not such a good idea. While it was a PR nightmare, at least he wasn't tweeting while driving. Actually, tweeting and driving may not be as far away as you may think. Earlier this month, the New York Times reported that the 2011 Ford Fiesta had been modified to be able to send tweets as it drives. I'm curious to see how this strategy is going to work for them. Best wishes to Ford!

5. Tweet and burn calories?
I'm waiting for the day that somebody proves that tweeting can help lose weight. Well, adding a Twitter spiel would definitely bring pizzazz to today's late night weightloss commercials. Just kidding. For now, however, we may just need to try TweetCalories, an application that counts how many calories you may burn by tweeting.

4. Live tweeting while...
I'm a big fan of live tweeting but there are some real-life situations that I think should stay exactly where they happen: offline. I can't wrap my head around why anybody would want to live tweet a funeral or an abortion. It's simply beyond what I can fathom but if it works for them...

There are some other eyebrow-raising circumstances I wonder about. Is tweeting really the most important thing they can think of at THAT moment? Apparently so. We've heard about the couple that updated their Facebook status while at the altar, but have you heard about the people that got engaged and married on Twitter? Live tweeting while giving birth seems to be on the rise since Erykah Badu gave up-to-the-minute reports on the birth of her daughter in early 2009. But the example that really caught my eye was the article on surgeons sending tweets from the operating room. I get the concept, it's cool...I just would not want to be the patient on that operating table. I'd really like to have my surgeon and nurses pay attention to me rather than the Twitter updates. But that's just me.

3. World's first street named after a Twitter account
This may sound bizarre at first but when you read the entire story, it is really inspiring. The street name "@arjanelfassed tweetstreet" can be found in a Palestinian refuge camp and was bought for $140 by Arjan El Fassed, a Dutch-Palestinian gentleman. Proceeds were donated to support cultural after-school programs for children in the camp.

2. Do you know your best man?
This can be a funny or embarrassing story, depending on whose side you're on. I'm not going to elaborate on how one British best man got back at his friend, just read this post. The conclusion: make sure you REALLY know your best man or don't do anything stupid to tick him off.

1. Somebody help! It's an emergency
And that's exactly what happened in Japan when a man got stuck in a public restroom without any toilet paper. So he sent out a tweet to the universe and 20 minutes later, he was a happy camper again. Wow, Twitter does work!

And that's how we roll with Twitter today (no pun intended).

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Facebook Questions: A Gold Mine for BtoB Marketers?

Can the introduction of Facebook Questions become the catalyst for a shift toward more business engagements? From what I've seen, many still use Facebook primarily for personal reasons and it's been a challenge for BtoB companies to create high-quality engagements on Facebook. Typically, we see lots of "Likes", some fun posts and from time to time, we see more serious comments, but I'm yet to see a BtoB page on Facebook that can show the existence of on-going and deep conversations (if you know of one, please do share!). Note the emphasis on the words "on-going", "deep" and "conversations". Now, LinkedIn, Twitter, Quora or your own community platform can become more like that today if used properly.

I'm not saying we should pull the plug and leave Facebook alltogether. No, that's not the point. Facebook has a place and a purpose in BtoB marketing. But the recent announcement by Facebook Questions might make BtoB marketers wonder if this feature will have the power to infuse more high-quality business engagements into Facebook. The company did state that this feature was not intended for advertising or self promotion so for now, let's put that question aside.

Where I can see this feature having an impact is on community engagement. Companies should look at their community strategy on 2 levels:
1. Participating in your own community
2. Plugging into applicable "guest" communities (i.e., communities you don't own or manage)

Depending on how Facebook Questions is set up, this might just provide another avenue for BtoB marketers to engage in Community conversations. Why should they (at least) consider this as an option? Because they could...
1. Get exposure to and get exposed to people with similar interests (potential leads or partners, or brand advocates anyone?)
2. Help increase brand image and perception as a thought leader
3. Learn real-time about what's going on, what the pain points are and/or where the confusion is (can you smell the potential for ideation, new features, functionality and/or business models?)

However, there's always 2 sides to every story. I suspect that once widely available, "Facebookers" will experiment with this feature. And it is possible that as more users and marketers engage, the nature and depth of conversations could reach new levels. But for now, we just need to sit tight. I can't wait to see what it will look like, how it will work and how it will help enhance business engagements over time (because I'd like to think that it will have the potential to do so).

While we figure this out, I'm going to put another challenge on the table.
A 2010 B2B Customer Engagement Study by SPSS, an IBM Company, and summarized by reported that about half of the interviewed companies said they were poor or very poor at mining insights from social media and only 19% thought they were good or very good at it. Translation: we, BtoB marketers, need to get better at this, otherwise Facebook Questions will remain just another thing to check.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Behind-the-Scenes at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics: NBC and Cisco Team Up to Show the Power of Collaboration and Social Media

Recently I had the pleasure of working with Zoya Fallah, Social Media Marketing Manager at Cisco, on a case study that shows the partnership between NBC and Cisco at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.

Zoya, the one-person powerhouse behind Cisco's social media engagement for the Games, shared two pieces of good advice when I interviewed her. "COLLABORATION is key. SOCIAL is key. You cannot do one without the other. The more social channels that you can leverage, the better reach you will have. I truly believe that companies will benefit by understanding the importance of leveraging internal social media channels and other companies’ social media channels", she said.

Then she went on to explain how the collaboration between the 2 companies was born and what it entailed.

What were the key components of your event strategy?
We wanted to share behind-the-scenes footage from fans, journalists, and athletes with the public so that they could have an opportunity to experience the games virtually and to really get to know the athletes on a more personal level. The public wants “real” footage and not highly produced footage anymore. NBC distributing Flip cameras to US athletes, journalists, etc. created a perfect opportunity to obtain user-generated content while reducing that production time and cost.

What were the challenges you were trying to solve?
We wanted to extend the reach of the 2010 Winter Games beyond as well as help speed up the delivery of online video content while reducing production cost.

Focusing on the social media aspects, what did you do to promote the Winter Games and what worked or didn’t work?
Cisco and NBC collaborated and leveraged each other’s social media channels. NBC displayed a Twitter Tracker on to share these tweets with the public. The Flip footage was distributed via social channels with direct links. Without the use of NBC and Cisco social media promotions, the public would have to search for Flip footage on

Did you have any big surprises, or a-ha moments? If so, what were those?
Besides all of the amazing footage that we received from athletes, Brad Blanks captured Queen Latifah via Flip at the Games. It was very exciting to live the Games online and really be able to get to know the athletes personally.

If you'd like to learn more about this program or find out the 7 things we would do differently next time, take a look at this SlideShare presentation.

Congrats to Zoya and her counterparts at NBC on a social media program well done!