Archive for the Social Media Course Category

Response Post #12 – 2012 Election

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , on April 20, 2009 by Dave T


I cannot believe I’m blogging about 2012 already…but I’m sure it will be here before we know it!  I will refrain from asserting my political views in this blog, but rather discuss what, in my opinion, will be needed (digitally) to win the race.  With that said, I will mention that the picture above is NO indication of who I would potentially be lobbying to win…I simply thought it was comical given last election’s antics.

As I mentioned in a previous blog, Barack Obama’s playbook for social media during the 2008 campaign was historical, and nothing short of amazing.  Nevermind the arsenal of a 13M member email list that Obama’s campaign possessed, but his campaign website traffic doubled the size of McCain’s, quadrupled the number of YouTube viewers, had 5x the amount of Facebook friends, and had 10x the number of online staff than John McCain. 

However, in 2012, things will no doubt be different for Obama – and his chief opponents.  Obama, having 3 and some change years of the Presidency under his belt, will have a record of performance to bolster during the 2012 Campaign.  Given his extensive knowledge of digital media and social media, he will no doubt have an increased arsenal of tech-savvy allies – similar to those during his presidential bid – willing to launch his re-election digital campaign.  If he finds success during his first four years, he should have no problem attracting the creme of the crop to his camp.

His opponent, however, will have a steep hill to climb.  Obama did not stop after the campaign was over.  Obama launched his site as well as a re-vamped White House blog to hold true to his campaign promise of transparency.  His original campaign team, led by David Plouffe, continued their email barrage to his constituents to keep them abreast of his Presidency.  Obama’s opponent will have to come up with more cutting edge tactics digitally to combat Obama’s already-seismic technology shift in politics. 

Not only will Obama and his opponent need to scour the digital world for the most up-to-date and “chic” tech services available in 2011, but they will also have to capitalize on the tools Obama used in his first campaign – email, blogs, podcasts, Facebook, mySpace, etc.  They will undoubtedly have to capitalize on that – with the likes of Twitter, Delicious, Digg, etc. and the newest technology at that time.  I hate to say it, the aforementioned services may possibly be out-dated by 2011. 

Whatever the case may be, the digitally historic campaign of 2008 will surely pale in comparison to that of the 2012 Campaign.  This is a given since Obama undoubtedly won his Presidency based on his tech-savvy team.

Extra Post #3 – “What’s Up with Starbucks?”

Posted in Extra Posts, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 14, 2009 by Dave T


I will admit that I’m addicted to Starbucks.  Well, I was addicted to the once-upon-a-time Wall Street darling.  Starbucks, at one point, was one of America’s great growth stories from the late 90’s to as recently as the early 2000’s.   In less than 20 years, Starbucks grew from 100 coffee shops to over 12,000, and a record 2,000 stores opening in 2006 alone.  At one point, Starbucks had the brand equity most companies would die for. 

Typically, a company’s growth is a good thing.  However, many in the business community have quietly implied it was this explosive growth that has led to Starbucks’ demise.  Even the company’s CEO, Howard Schultz, himself admitted in a leaked internal document that for Starbucks, there are limits to growth.  Schultz pointed out that the company’s own growth strategy had posed problems.

“Stores no longer have the soul of the past and reflect a chain of stores vs. the warm feeling of a neighborhood store.”  – Howard Schultz

My, have times changed.  It seems the wheels started to fall off around the time of Schultz’ comments in 2007, following closely by the company’s announcement in mid-2008 that it was closing 600 stores and cutting 7% of its workforce.   Given its sales slump, Starbucks attempted countless efforts to diversify beyond the coffee cup – in an effort to lure new customers with ideas of grandeur.  Starbucks launched initiatives into pop culture, breakfast options, and most recently, VIA instant coffee.  Excuse me…instant coffee?  What happened to the “Starbucks Experience,” Mr. Schultz?

Which leads me to my final point – the customer service.  I remember around the time when my infatuation with Starbucks began in 2003, the customer service, or “experience” was impeccable.  Today, I’m greeted by grumpy “barista’s” who act as if they’re doing ME a favor, long lines with no sense of urgency from the barista, and my personal favorite – running out of coffee.  A coffee shop running out of coffee?  And, I’m not talking about running out during peak business hours!  And, I’m also not talking about this happening every once in awhile, but multiple times in 1 week.  This isn’t how the “Starbucks Experience” used to be…

Recognizing this, Starbucks closed all stores nationwide for several hours in 2008 to “re-train” their staff to guarantee complete customer satisfaction.   What a great marketing ploy that was, since in my opinion, they will need more of these “training sessions” to fix the broken business model.  If Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonalds or Caribou don’t give Starbucks its death sentence, Starbucks itself will with this “improved” customer service just might. 

I’m not quite at the point to sign up for the “I Hate Starbucks” blog, but I am a regular of this nifty little website giving me non-Starbucks alternativesChris Anderson would certainly love this site – the mom and pop’s not hoping for the big hit, but rather working to thrive in a niche market.  Certainly, not the strategy of Starbucks.

Extra Post #2 – Obama Overload?

Posted in Extra Posts with tags , on April 11, 2009 by Dave T
Barack Obama

Barack Obama

If you GoogleObama Overload,” you will come up with over 957,000 links.  Wow….are that many people tired of hearing from our Commander-in-Chief?  I will reiterate – “tired of hearing from our Commander-in-Chief.”  Let me get on the soapbox for a minute and remind everyone that not more than 6 months ago, everyone was complaining our former president was too quiet.  Let me also remind everyone, that regardless of your political affiliation, this country – our country – is in the midst of a war against people who want to do our country harm, and is in the middle of the worst financial crisis in decades.  So, yes, as far as I’m concerned, I do want to hear from my president. 

From websites, to Twitter, to Facebook, to news conferences, to email, Obama has been seen in every technology medium in his first 100 days as President.  Not surprising, since after launching the most technologically-savvy presidential campaign in history, it is widely believed that the technology and social networking skills of the new president and his staff played a large part in his capturing the presidency.  Obama had an ornate ability of collecting millions from his supporters, as well as keeping those supports abreast of the most recent events of his campaign. 

Still, after becoming President, technology still prevails with our 44th Commander-in-Chief.  President Obama launched the first-ever Whitehouse Blog, in an attempt to keep the momentum alive with his campaign promises of transparency.  The Obama Administration also launched “Your Seat at the Table” website, in an effort to solicit constituent feedback and publish all documents from meetings with outside organizations.  Some may argue that he’s too transparent, with his comments “I inhaled frequently.  That was the point.”  Very interesting if I remember correctly, a few other of Obama’s predecessors didn’t quite offer this type of “transparency” and was criticized for that, too, one of which led us to a war.  Which do you want, America?  In my opinion, I like the Obama definition of transparency…

As I eluded to in my blog on the 2012 Election, Obama’s emergence as a “tech-y” within the political landscape will certainly bode well for him in the next election – that is, if his sky-high approval ratings remain.  He will undoubtedly remain transparent digitally throughout his administration, and will utilize these efficiencies into the 2012’s, giving him a leg-up on his opponent(s).  I expect to see the same amount, if not more, of our President…and will be enjoying every minute of it!

Response Post #10 – Dominican Republic “Global Voice”

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , on April 7, 2009 by Dave T


A website that sums up all of the “conversation” from various parts of the world?  Ingenious…

Global Voices Online’s mission is to “aggregate, curate, and amplify the global conversations online – shining light on places and people other media often ignore.”  I find it very enjoyable that a website is able to summarize blogs, articles, etc. from countries around the world and put them into a little handy website for all to read.   Seems simple enough…

I chose Dominican Republican to blog about.  It’s interesting that if someone is to Google “Dominican Republic”, everything that comes up are websites about the country’s tourism industry with trip information, picturesque images of white sand beaches and turquoise water, and “great deals on Dominican getaways.”  However, on the mainpage of the country’s Global Voices Online site, the “featured stories” list two – one about Hurricane Gustav and the Government Providing Incentives for Conservation, posted September 2, 2008 and July 7th, 2008, respectively.    Not exactly sites selling the country’s tourism, is it?  “Shining light on places and people other media often ignore…” is an understatement.

The examples set forth for the Dominican on Global Voices further emphasizes the gathering of conversations throughout different countries.  It seems the stories and blogs posted are not that of biased media, or tourism websites, but of regular everyday people with stories to tell.  The blogs posted include articles that relate to sports, weather, environment, and Arts & Culture, to name a few. 

I don’t believe this is a website I would frequent often, unless there was a special interest I had as it related to a specific country.  I firmly believe the website would prove very beneficial for people who don’t currently reside in their home country, and use the website as an easy mean to get quick information about their home country in one central location.  I also believe I (may) use it should I be traveling to a foreign country and utilizing Global Voices to educate myself on current events. 

All in all, a very useful website for a specific need.  Would I abuse it like I do FB or Twitter?  No.

Extra Post #1 – Domestic Violence Response

Posted in Social Media Course, Uncategorized with tags , , on April 1, 2009 by Dave T

Response post to Sassing Me’s “Domestic Violence” post.  From a man’s perspective:

Hilary, I couldn’t agree more.  Remember the old adage “if he does it once, he’ll do it again”?  In Rihanna and Chris Brown’s case, this is allegedly true.   So sad that two mega stars, one a beautiful grammy-award winning Pop icon, the other a rising R&B star, could be entagled in such devastating fiasco – both equally at risk of losing their star power.

Why both of them?  Rihanna has become an icon – looked up to by girls of all ages because of her rise to fame and sheer beauty.  A girl who was visibly beaten by her love interest (allegedly), yet still decided to reunite with Brown.  What type of example is she setting for youth around the world – that’s is perfectly acceptable to be beaten by “the one you love”?  Seriously…

And, Chris Brown, if the charges turn out to be true, is at severe risk of losing his star power simply because he is below scum of the Earth.  Anyone that would raise a hand to a woman is worth nothing at all. 

According to an AtHealth survey, 2 out of 3 females in this population have been attacked by a family member or a person with which they are acquainted.  And, over 45% of battered women routinely take back them men who have assaulted them in the past – however, women who leave their batterers are at a 75% greater risk of being killed by the batterer than those who stay.  And, a woman in the United States is beaten every 7.4 seconds.  What startling statistics…

I cannot fathom for the life of me how a man can say “I do it because I love you.”  Mostly, according the Domestic Violence Fact Sheet, male abusers typically follow a “Cycle of Domestic Violence” behavior wheel.  It begins with tension building, then violence, then seduction.  Women, too, go through their own cycle – Love, Hope and Fear.

Take it from a man’s perspective.  Any man with any worth, would never lay a hand on a woman.

Response #9 – Wikipedia (Part Dos)

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , on March 31, 2009 by Dave T

(Sigh).  As I mentioned in my last Wikipedia post, the website is an interesting addition to the Internet.  As I’ve attempted to navigate throughout the website and add my own edits, I’ve come to realize that there really is a “team of natzi’s” as I refer to them, scouring every edit every minute of the day.  I tried – unsuccessfully – to add edits to the  Toyota Venza page, the all-new vehicle introduced by Toyota in late 2008.   

When I started out, I was fairly certain that I had a clear understanding of the website’s “rules and regulations,” of Wikipedia, including NPOV and such.  Apparently not.  I attempted to make two different edits, to no avail.  I was quite simply stating the facts of the new Venza, including statistics easily referenced from the Toyota website. 

I can NOT emphasize this enough. There seems to be a terrible bias among some editors that some sort of random speculative ‘I heard it somewhere’ pseudo information is to be tagged with a ‘needs a cite’ tag. Wrong. It should be removed, aggressively, unless it can be sourced. This is true of all information, but it is particularly true of negative information about living persons.

Jimmy Wales

As Jimmy stated, all unsubstantiated information shall be aggressively removed from the website.  That’s an understatement.  I found it very frustrating to edit any information on Wikipedia – even when conforming to the website’s rules.   Apparently Wikipedia’s webmasters took it personally when the validity of Wikipedia came into question. 

But, given my experience currently with Wikipedia, I assume the validity of the information set forth in Wikipedia is accurate.  Afterall, when they deny factual information that has accurate citations, it must be truthful.  I truly think that quickly perusing Wikipedia for a general idea of topic or person would prove useful, but for in-depth reserach?  I plan on doing it myself! 

But I’m not bitter… 🙂 



Response #8 – Post

Posted in Social Media Course with tags , , , on March 24, 2009 by Dave T

mmm…Delicious.  I’ve always loved the name of that website…and now love it for more than its name since I actually began using it and realizing all of its capabilities!  This week, I will be commenting on one of the class articles posted, “Marketers Moving to Social Media.”

This article is very indicative of the times we’re in – not only technologically, but also economically.  If the new generational obsession with social media wasn’t enough, companies across the globe are scrutinizing every facet of their marketing budgets trying to cut any discretionary expenses due to plummeting revenue.  The combination of economy/consumer shift seems to be the catalyst for most companies’ trend toward social media. 

According to the Aberdeen Group, 21% of Best-in-Class companies plan on increasing their social media spending 25% or more in 2009, and at the low end – 26% of companies plan on increasing their social media spending by 1- 10%.  According to the article, 2008 social media spending was $2B (up 46% from prior year), and 2009 is estimated to be $2.35B, capping out at $3.5B in 2013- a whopping 43% increase over a 5-year period. 

However, the marketing ambiguity still exists.  One of the largest obstacles in marketing is measuring a campaign’s effectiveness, or Return on Investment (ROI).  The social media funnel does not erase that obstacle, but it does offer much more customer information to the company – i.e. names/pages of Twitter or Facebook followers, for example.  In the instance of Twitter, a company can use its search function to find all of the “tweets” on their firm, and enable them to see what’s being said about the company – an advantage mainstream marketing does not offer.  In my opinion with social media, it’s much easier for a company to measure its brand health than with typical marketing, by engaging customers in dialogue. 

If you search the class Delicious page, you will see that the term “marketing” has 20 tags – not far from social networking’s 25.  There is a huge correlation between the two, and also social media.  Social Media has become integrated in a large portion of the population’s life (as the above video suggests), and companies are beginning to realize this – or, maybe they’re still trying to trim those marketing budgets….