Interview with David Saranga, Israel Consulate: A Twitter Press Conference

03/05/2009

Israeli Consulate logo In December 2008, the New York Israel Consulate held the first government press conference on Twitter and in doing so public diplomacy took one more step into social media.

The purpose of the 2-hour open conversation in 140 characters was to engage and provide the public with a platform where citizens' questions about the Gaza situation could be addressed directly by @DavidSaranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the consulate General in New York. In addition to the running tweets from the press conference, updates were posted on the Consul's MySpace, Facebook, and YouTube pages.

With a few weeks distance behind him, I asked Mr. Saranga if he would look back on the experience and in retrospective share some of the marketing/PR lessons learned. My thanks to him and to the staff of the Department of Media and Public Affairs who kindly responded to my request. A special shout out to Noam.

Note: Diva Marketing is not a political blog but one focused on social media marketing and branding. My questions and Mr. Saranaga's responses reflect that positioning.

The Office of the Consul General in New York serves as the focal point of the Consulate. While it oversees all departments within the Consulate, the Lishka (bureau) primarily functions as the liaison between the State of Israel and the various centers of power and influence that encompass the New York Metro area such as national and local organizations, the offices of public officials and business alliances.

The role of the Consul General is to promote the positive image of Israel in the media and the surrounding communities by keeping them abreast of the most updated information on Israeli prominent personalities and developments.

David_saranga_Israeli Consulate David Saranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs at the consulate General in New York.

Prior to joining the Consulate in New York, Consul Saranga served as Deputy Spokesperson at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Israel, and was responsible for contact with the foreign media. He was a Manager of the Direct Marketing Department, Visa-Israel Credit Cards and worked as National Sales Executive at Kidum Ltd. Consul Saranga has been engaged as an academic since 1989, when he worked as a Teaching Assistant at the Hebrew University. Subsequent work has included one year as Director of Studies and Lecturer in Marketing Management at the Open University in Israel.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Using Twitter as a media conference forum was innovative and brave. Why did you choose to go in that direction?

David Saranga: We have been involved in online work for some time, through our blogs (isRraelli and IsraelPolitik) and our presence on MySpace and Facebook.  After reading about Twitter, we felt that the tool held a lot of potential for communicating with people online. 

Firstly, we can “focus” on one person, but many people can tune in as well. This way, even when we are answering one person, other people are still taking part. 

Secondly, Twitter is a site where people are increasingly going to talk, so we wanted to join the conversation where it was happening.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How did you achieve buy-in from the consulate and other stake holders?

David Saranga: The diplomatic staff here has really come to understand the value of web-based content and of social media. We told them how important a presence on Twitter could be, and they were hooked.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What were their main concerns? What were yours?

David Saranga: We were all mainly concerned with how many people would ask questions and whether we would be taken seriously.  When we first joined Twitter and mentioned the “Press Conference” idea, we started hearing opinions that we might not answer so-called “hard” questions.  So we needed to make sure that we answered as many questions as we could, even and especially the “hard” ones. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: Where did most of the engagement come from?

David Saranga: While our Twitter following has been quite varied, we seem to have attracted people interested in learning more about the Middle East and people who work in new media, public diplomacy or both. It was quite interesting to see the range of people with whom we have had very rewarding interactions through Twitter and/or as a result of such efforts.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What lessons did you learn from the first Twitter press conference?

David Saranga:

  • Our biggest lesson was the importance of making ourselves available to people through a medium they understand. 

We are aware that this issue raises a lot of emotions, and we wanted to give people the opportunity to talk with us in an unmediated fashion. Many of the questions we received were thoughtful and inquisitive, and we were happy to share our point of view on what can be touchy subjects.  Israeli Consulate Tweeting

It was also important for us that we could expand answers on our blog. While we could give only short answers online (due to constraints imposed by Twitter and by the sheer number of questions*), we did want people to know that we cared about their questions and wanted to give them the full attention they deserved.

*Note: Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet.

Photo of staff of the Department of Media and Public Affairs tweeting at the press conference.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What was your biggest surprise?

David Saranga: We were really surprised by the amount of interest we generated. We started this whole project figuring we would get a few people to tune in. When our “followers” count began to rise precipitously, we realized we were on to something much larger.

Many more people than we anticipated were interested in having us take part in this conversation. The mainstream media got involved, too. We got coverage in the New York Times, Le Figaro, the Guardian, and other news outlets around the world. We were truly astounded.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What would you do differently next time (will there be a next time)?

David Saranga: We’re still evaluating the lessons of the first time, so we’ll have to evaluate whether we’ll do this again. We all felt this was an extremely positive experience, and we’re grateful for all the attention and ongoing relationships that resulted. 

Our biggest problem was trying to respond to a flood of questions in an organized fashion, so fixing that issue would be a necessary step before organizing another press conference. That said, we’ve really been having an ongoing press conference since late December, as we are active on Twitter. 

The next thing we hope to arrange is a TweetUp (i.e. meeting Twitter followers face-to-face) in the next few weeks to bring our followers together and help them see other facets of Israel with which they may not be so familiar. We’ve thought of a bunch of ideas (music, art, film, etc.) but want to see what our followers are interested in, too.

Toby/Diva Marketing
: What lessons can you pass on to others who are thinking of using Twitter for their press conferences?

David Saranga:The best lesson we can offer is that you should not be afraid to answer the hard questions that come at you.

  • The best thing to do is to be as transparent as possible and just be sincere in your answers.

Toby/Diva Marketing:  To wrap it up … your thoughts on social media ..

David Saranga: It’s clear that social media is not just a passing trend, but rather an effective way to communicate. It is important for us to maximize the capabilities these tools offer and use them to help us in talking to as many people as possible.

Israel Consulate in Social Media

YouTubeFacebook

MySpace

Blogs: Israel Politk isRraelli.org

First Israeli Tweet-up in the making!

Twitter

Facebook

When Bad Times Make Good Marketers

01/09/2009

Today I noticed an article in the Wall Street Journal title, "When Bad Times Make Good Movies" and thought that is exactly what is occurring today in the marketing community. Bad times are making us better marketers.

Tool box pink It's back to marketing basics but with new strategies in our tool box that may sound strange like wiki and blog and twitter. In addition we are told that what was once for family fun like videos and photos can be leveraged to give your brand a competitive advantage. I ask you girlfriend, has the world gone mad?

Perhaps. But then again, perhaps not. If bad times are making us good marketers .. the question that begs to be asked is was there something during the good times that made us bad marketers? So what is marketing anyway? Many years ago I heard someone ask that question to Philip Kotler. His response put so simply and elegantly -

Marketing is meeting the needs of your customers at a profit. Philip Kotler

When I listen to marketers, especially those in the c-suite, talk about their concerns regarding consumer generated media and rationalize why social media is inappropriate for their organization, I can't help but think of that quote from Philip Kotler and wonder .. how can you meet the needs of your customers if you don't know what they are?

Traditional research provides answers to many of your questions but why would you discount the answers you might hear to the questions you have not asked? Did we become complacent and loose touch with our customers and is that the reason we are now fearful to hear their unfiltered conversations? 

Yes, the world is changing. Through the funny sounding tactics like wikis, blogs, twitter and social networks our customers are talking to us. All the time. What is as amazing is people in those companies (not the brand or the company but people) are taking brave steps to talk with their customers. Sure it can be messy. It certainly can be scary. It takes courage to develop trusted relationships .. especially in public. But that was how business began and from my perspective it is certainly nice to see people once again building corner grocery store relationships.

My friends at the American Marketing Association call this the New Marketsphere.

"Whether you like it or not, we are all part of it. It's a borderless planet of seismic changes occurring at warp speed, throwing a dizzying array of challenges at marketers." Mplantet website

To help us maneuver in this mad mad mad marketing world they have created Mplanet the marketing conference that will help us make sense of it all. The conference is build around four themes. I think I just addressed #2 Connecting with empowered consumers. 

1. Brand Building in a digital world
2. Connecting with empowered consumers
3. Marketing mix in a fragmented world
4. Global marketing on a borderless planet

I'm honored to be speaking at the Digital Marketing Lab pre-conference along with: Stephanie Diamond, Digital Media Works, Julie Fleischer, DIGITAS, Brian Johnson, Microsoft, Russell Buckley, Mobile Marketing Association, Jim Novo, The Drilling Down Project, Jim Sterne, Web Analytics Association and  Greg Verdino, crayon.

C.B. Whittemore, Flooring the Consumer, had a terrific recap of posts from around the blogosphere about the conference themes.

What-When-Where- Diva Marketing Discount Details

AMA Mplanet Conference. /January 26-28, 09. /Orlando, FL. As a speaker AMA has extended a courtesy discount to me to pass along to my closest friends and relatives you among them. shh.. don't tell anyone .. $995 from $1,995 - non member // $1,495 - member; DM me for details or drop a comment.

Starting where we began .. at the movies .. In Joe Morganstein's WSJ article film director Andrew Stanton told him,  "In times like these you really understand the benefit of moviegoing, of sitting in a large dark room with strangers and feeling the collective reaction to the truths of life presented to you via humor, observation and the thrill of action. Movie going is not a panacea, but it's a hell of a multivitamin. Whatever the movies do should be geared toward bringing people together. Don't let them stew in their private darkness."

Put into marketing terms - Marketing can no longer simply sproutMovies meaningless messages that people ignore. Marketing must bring customers together with products and services that meet their needs at a proft. Don't let your marketing strategies die in your private darkness of the fears because you refused to acknowledge this new wonderful mad mad mad marketing world! 

Digital Relationships

12/01/2008

Road-trip This week Dana VanDen Heuvel, Bill Flitter and I will be on the road to Seattle for the last stop of our mini road trip for the American Marketing Association Hot Topic Workshop -  Digital-Centered Marketing.

It seems like kismet to me, for you see, it was almost 4-years to the day that Dana, Bill and I we were in Seattle for the very first national program on how marketers could use blogs - which was also sponsored by AMA. At that session we were joined by Robert Scoble, Ben McConnell and Dave Williams. Almost all of the speakers had met through some aspect of social media/blogs and most had never met in-person. It was a program build on digital relationships about digital relationships.

We learned a lot from those early days when social media, Facebook, Twitter and social networks were not even part of the vernacular. We were taught our first lessons in blogger relations by TDavid. What begin as a rather sticky situation ended up in a better program and a new friend. I'm thrilled that TDavid will be joining us on Friday. Lessons Learned from TDavid


One blogger can be the snowflake that can start an avalanche. There is risk and reward in a blogged economy. - TDavid


>Bloggers are people who want to connect. They want to know that they are being heard. Bloggers care.

>With the easy use of blogs, micro blogs, podcasts, vlogs and other social media tools marketers can not control how customers will reposition a carefully crafted message.

>You can not control customers’ conversations. The secret is you never could. However, you can manage those conversations by listening, participating, and caring.

Blogger social Collage_MARCH_5_Low 

Which has me thinking more about the challenges of building trusted digital     relationships using social media. It seems there are two aspects: the digital/web-based and the personal.

Although developed for traditional websites Stanford's Guidelines for Web Credibility provides some guidance on the first.

1. Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site.

You can build web site credibility by providing third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present, especially if you link to this evidence. Even if people don't follow these links, you've shown confidence in your material.

2. Show that there's a real organization behind your site.

Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organization will boost the site's credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce.

3. Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide.

Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear. Conversely, don't link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association.

4. Show that honest and trustworthy people stand behind your site.

The first part of this guideline is to show there are real people behind the site and in the organization. Next, find a way to convey their trustworthiness through images or text. For example, some sites post employee bios that tell about family or hobbies.

5. Make it easy to contact you.

A simple way to boost your site's credibility is by making your contact information clear: phone number, physical address, and email address.

6. Design your site so it looks professional (or is appropriate for your purpose).

We find that people quickly evaluate a site by visual design alone. When designing your site, pay attention to layout, typography, images, consistency issues, and more. Of course, not all sites gain credibility by looking like IBM.com. The visual design should match the site's purpose.

7. Make your site easy to use -- and useful.

We're squeezing two guidelines into one here. Our research shows that sites win credibility points by being both easy to use and useful. Some site operators forget about users when they cater to their own company's ego or try to show the dazzling things they can do with web technology.

8. Update your site's content often (at least show it's been reviewed recently).

People assign more credibility to sites that show they have been recently updated or reviewed.

9. Use restraint with any promotional content (e.g., ads, offers).

If possible, avoid having ads on your site. If you must have ads, clearly distinguish the sponsored content from your own. Avoid pop-up ads, unless you don't mind annoying users and losing credibility. As for writing style, try to be clear, direct, and sincere.

10. Avoid errors of all types, no matter how small they seem.

Typographical errors and broken links hurt a site's credibility more than most people imagine. It's also important to keep your site up and running.

Person-to-person
. - Need your help .. let's build this one together. Please share your One Secret on how you build trusted digital relationships using social media. I've set a brief survey in Survey Monkey to collect responses. I'll let it run for about a week .. analyze the responses and post to Diva Marketing. Click Here to take survey

For Someone ..

10/25/2008

Recently Someone said to me, "Whatcha been doing these days?" "Pretty much the same stuff .. social media events, playing with Maxie, planting a few pansies, seeing a few plays, dinners with friends, on a quest to find great under $15/bottle wines .. just the usual." said I.

"Why don't you post it on your blog?" said Someone. "Diva Marketing is a business blog I mostly talk about social media marketing and branding .. that sort of stuff." said I.

"Oh, well .. can you at least let me know where you'll be speaking? Just in case we're in the same city at the same time?" said Someone. "You won't think I'm being too well .. promotional?" said I.

"That's crazy." said Someone. "Would you also want to see the presentation that I developed for the Georgia Chapter of PRSA this week?" said I.  "Def." said Someone.

For Someone .. Chicago in Oct, New York in Nov, Seattle in Dec and Orlando in Jan. On the road details here.

Thanks Geoff Livingston for - Network Solutions All Stars, Lance Weatherby - for Brown Bag ATDC and Julie Squires - for PRSA Independent Agency SIG enjoyed the opportunities to talk social this week without getting on a plane .. all in Atlanta.

For Someone ..

I had access to the emails of the the Atlanta PRSA Independent Agency members and asked them what they wanted to discuss in our session. Their issues were different than the direction I had begun so I scrapped the deck and built to address their questions. The result .. deeper involvement, better learnings, more fun for all.

Links from PPT: GeekMommy, JNJ BTW, i am bossy, Goodwill of Greater Washington, Frozen Pea Fund, Shel Israel, Darren Rowse, Zappos - Twitter, Hugh MacLeod -gapingvoid, Donna Tocci

Social Media Conference In Your PJs

10/25/2008

Netsol_solutionstars Livingston Communications and Network Solutions have teamed to create a unique online event - Solution Stars Video Conference on Wed October 29th starting at 1p. Last month at BlogWorld,  your virtual hosts - Geoff Livingston, author of Now Is Gone and Social Media Swami, Shashi Bellamkonda - interviewed 32 industry leaders about how social media can be used to support small business owners' marketing strategies. They edited the videos into a documentary style video covering 8 topics:

  • Building Web Presence
  • The Social Opportunit
  • Start with Listening
  • Strategy Drives Outreach
  • You Need Social Networks
  • To Blog or Not to Blog
  • Visibility Through Search
  • Rising Above the Noise
  • Time Demands

Participants: author Tim Ferriss, Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh, All-Top Guy Kawasaki,
Darren Rowse - ProBlogger, Chris Brogan - CrossTech Media, Rohit Bhargava, author of Personality Not Included, Wendy Piersall - Sparkplugging.com,, Lionel Menchaca - Dell, Brian Solis, author of PR 2.0/FutureWorks, Steve Hall, Ad Rants, Scott Monty - Ford Motor Company, Liz Strauss - Successful Blog, Lee Odden - TopRankMarketing, ason Billingsly - ElasticPath, Robyn Tippins - Yahoo! Developer Network, Brett Tabke - WebMaster World, David Alston - Radian6, Jason Falls - Social Media Explorer, Mari Smith - Relationship Marketing Specialist, Jennifer Openshaw - WeSeed.com, Matt Dickman - Fleishman-Hillard, David Berkowitz - 360i, Ryan Anderson - Overlay.TV, Becky McCray - author SmallBizSurvival.com, Warren Whitlock - BestSellerAuthors.com, Chris Baggott - Compendium Software, Lorelle VanFossen - author, Blogging Tips: What Bloggers Won’t Tell You About Blogging, Dave Taylor - Intuitive Systems, Paul Chaney - International Blogging and New Media Association, Linda Bustos - ElasticPath, Jay Berkowitz - Ten Golden Rules and me (!) Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing. 

Read More

Geoff Livingston's series highlighting each topic . Facebook . Yahoo Event

Interview with David J. Neff - Nonprofit Tweet-up

08/19/2008

David_j_neff In his role as Director of Web, Film and Interactive Strategies for the American Cancer Society's High Plains Division David J. Neff has worked with ACS in some exciting social media intitiaves. One of the most successful has been Sharinghope.tv  the non profit world's first total user generated content site.

The other side of David J. Neff is .. he is an author, speaker and social media maven. He's also a guy with a big heart. Skipping along Twitter a couple of weeks ago I caught tweets about a Tweet-up. Following the teeny bread crumb trail I learned that David was part of the Tweet-up team. Sounded like a Diva Interview to me and David agreed.

Toby/Diva Marketing: So David, what is a Tweet-up?

David J. Neff:  A Tweet-up is the same thing as what used to be called a meet-up. From the meet-up.com days. It’s a bunch of people who know each other online meeting in real-life. Usually to enjoy some Tex-Mex and Adult Beverages if it’s an Austin tweet-up ; -)

Toby/Diva Marketing: What was the ACS Tweet-up about? How many people signed up?

David J. Neff:  Well Toby we didn’t have a ACS Tweet Up. We had a Blood Drive Tweetup to benefit the Central Texas Blood and Tissue Center. The American Cancer Society was not involved at all. We had 45 to 50 people sign up and we had 45 people show up.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Let’s put a little traditional perspective around that number. In a typical Blood Drive out reach what would be your average response?

David J. Neff:  We doubled their traffic for that day!

Toby/Diva Marketing: Did you have any expectations?  What did you “hope” would happen?

Austinblooddrivetweetupstickerbfw David J. Neff: I hope I would get to meet a lot of the Central Texas/Austin commuity and talk to them about giving blood and even our newest Web Community www.sharinghope.tv. Luckily we did a lot more than that!

Toby/Diva Marketing: As with most social media initiatives the “oomph!” comes from relations build with a community .. with Twitter it's the “Followers.” This is sort of a chicken and egg question. Do you first have to build a base of Followers before you can have a successful Tweet-up?  How do you do that?

David J. Neff:  Good question. I don’t have a third of the followers you do Toby (add me at @daveiam) so that was not an option for us. But what did happen was people spread the word on twitter and email! Michelle Greer my awesome co-partner on this did the same thing and soon we had the whole Austin Twitter Community interested in the Blood Drive. It went viral since it was such a good cause.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Twitter has a unique challenge. As the tweets (or posts) continue to increase exponentially based on the number of people you follow you can easily miss a tweet. How did you compensate for that?

David J. Neff:  Michelle Greer and I talked the heck out of it. We also partnered with two local groups to get the message out. The 501 Tech Club of Austin and the Austin Social Media Club. They were a big help!

Toby/Diva Marketing: From a marketing view .. congrats! on integrating other social tactics such as the YouTube video and @Twitter  messages .. which is how I found out.  Please talk a little about that part of your strategy.

David J. Neff:  That was just the summary.

If you are going to have an event around your non-profit be sure to Blog about it, Video tape people and take photos. It’s all you can do to spread the word!

Toby/Diva Marketing: What are a few of the Lessons Learned? Would you do it again?

David J. Neff: Whew! We learned a lot. The most important thing is that people really do care nowdays. You just have to break through the clutter and get them to notice your event. In this case the community on twitter really helped us do that!  We do plan to do it again very soon for another non-profit here in town.

Toby/Diva Marketing
: What would you tell non profits and profits who are exploring micro blogging/Twitter as part of their communication out reach?

David J. Neff:

Make it happen. You need to experiment. Watch this video and follow some of my tips.

Follow David on Twitter! FI Space - blog about innovation for non profits.

 

Friday Fun: Social Media Conferences Live via Tweets & Streams

06/13/2008

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Blog_potomic_2008 Toss of a pink boa to Geoff Livingston and Debbie Weil for walking the social media talk when it comes to Blog Potomac. Can't be in Falls Church, VA today or are bummed that you procrastinated and Blog Potomac was sold out .. watch the Live stream or at Buzz Bin via ooVoo

Or pop by for 140 characters of live Tweets from:
Maggie Fox
John Terril
Josh Hallett
Rohit Bhargava
Adam Brazell - Technosailer
Jeremiah 
Geoff Livingston

Blog Potomac

Blog Potomic Photos - courtesy of Josh Hallett

Toss of a pink boa to Stephanie Stadler for the tweet about John.

Sidebar: Does anyone live blog anymore?

Bloggers Take New York, New York

03/30/2008

New York New York .. it's a helluva town the Bronx is Up and the bloggers are all over the town!

I'm Speaking at BlogHer Business 08

Blogger_social_new_yorker

Hope to share an appletini or two with some of the nicest divas and divos this week.

BlogHer Business '08
Blogger Social

Blogger Socialite: Steve Woodruff .. This One's For You!

03/02/2008

Social Media Marketing continues to gain in acceptance and respect as a credible strategy. Benefits run from increased awareness, to strategic listening, to direct customer feedback, to search engine lift and the list goes on. Yes, Girlfriend, I admit it .. I have taken a few sips of the social media kool aid (smile).

Do you want to know the secret sauce of Social Media Marketing? It goes back to the early days when Jeneane Sessum, Chris Locke, TDavid, Robert Scoble and a handful of other people were chatting back and forth on these odd little websites called web logs. These pioneers were making friends which often led to business relationships.

Girlfriend, here's the secret sauce: business is still about the relationship even if you are a mega brand with millions of global customers.

CK (Kerley) and Drew McLellan had a thought that perhaps bloggers might want, as RichardatDell said to me, "Love making online offline." In early April almost 90 bloggers from Italy to India to Boston and Belgium will meet in the city that never sleeps .. Manhattan ..  NY, NY .. the home of Carrie - Sex in the City .. Broadway Babies  .. for the first Blogger Social.

To help people get acquainted, Steve Woodruff is kindly writing a snapshot review of every single blogger .. me included .. thanks Steve! I thought hmm .. who is doing this for Steve so Steve Woodruff .. this one is for you!

Steve_woodruff Steve Woodruff

" Steve is an unusual hybrid of conceptualizer, strategist, analyst, wordsmith, semi-techie, and ... all-around nice guy." Except when there’s bad coffee or lousy wine." That's what Steve's online bio says. I don't know about the wine and coffee bit but I can attest that Steve is one of the nicest and kindest divos I've had the privilege of meeting - online or off.

Steve is the founder and president of Impactivti, a firm that focuses on pharmaceutical sales training. The company includes a consulting arm to small and midsize business - Sticky Figures - that provides creative branding, identity, and market strategy services.

In the world of business blogging Steve has several "homes." His main dig is at Sticky Figures but you can also find him hanging out at Small Business Branding and the BrandingWire. He is also the author or Page Flakes a portal of marketing, PR and advertising blogs. Well worth a click or three! 

Sticky Figures explores marketing including an posts about pharmaceutical industry. Steve's writing is engaging and always smart. Not to be missed is his review series of Pharma websites. Steve's creativity and playful outlook is best seen in the innovative promotion for the Age of Conversation (He is a contributing author) where he sent Curious George on a round the world tour to promote the book.

Steve .. toss of a Pink_boapink boa to you.I'm looking forward to sharing a Great Cabernet in NYC!

Friday Fun: Age of Conversation Meets Blogger Social!

01/25/2008

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Question: What do you get when 103 bloggers from all over the globe collaborate on a book?

Answer: Age_of_conversation_george_2 Innovation, Fun, Mind Candy .. and New Friendships! The back-story of how a guy from the farm lands of America and a guy from "down under" inspired a global partnership among people from 24 states and 10 countries. What could have turned into a Tower of Bable is a cohesive and important book about the changing ways business must communication in this digital age. All of the  profits are being donated to the Variety Children's Charity.

The master minds behind Age of Conversation, Drew McLellan

 and Gavin Heaton, are challenging bloggers once more to work together to create Part II. They want our input on the content direction of the book - even if you don't want to participate as an author- add your vote on what you would like to read. Deadline for voting is Jan 31, 2008.

  • Marketing Manifesto  -or-
  • Why Don't People Get It?  -or-
  • My Marketing Tragedy (and what I learned)

For all the details about how to join the rag tag group of ultra cool folks (you don't have to write a blog or podcast or vlog or even a twit to play along) and the link to the survey go visit Drew!

I'm in! Are You?

Sidebar: I have just one question. Where is Curious "Age of Conversation" George?  When last seen Steve and C.B. and C.K. were showing him Manhattan.

Blogger_social_2008 All work and no play makes for a dull diva and divo! After working in the virtual wouldn't it be swell to toast an appletini or a Scotch or even a cup of the old java in the non digital world? CK thought so too. She's hosting the biggest non conference, or perhaps it's the first Blogger Social for her social media friends in NYC. We're going to skip the streets of Manhattan with people we've come to know through 140 character tweets and blogs vlogs and podcasts and of course blogs.

Deadline to sign up and run that plastic through the works is February 15th. For the nitty gritty details visit CK. Thanks to Mario Vellandi for the poster and to Mark Goren for the video .. I love them both!

I'm in! Are You?

P.s. Drew was a mastermind behind the social too.