2011…Learning that the only Constant is Change

2011 A year of searching, great change, conviction and our ability to face what’s next with collective compassion.

Original…MINI USA Gets The Message Right

One of our key emerging trends is the idea of original.

The idea of original begins with an emotion, an independent thought, or a very different approach. Original can also be empowering and reflect a very personal journey, a hope to inspire or a need to connect.

Appreciate original and the need to be social… Everything else will naturally fall into place

Learning to trust people with the brand’s image…

Enabling people in the process of defining a new feature and certainly co-creating the next message can be a bit of a challenge, but MINI USA seems to have found a way.

Only an “ORIGINAL” idea could offer MINI USA the crazy mix of genius substance needed to create a new MINI Coupe message. With this in mind, MINI USA challenged everyone to share six words that express The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.

After receiving thousands of suggestions, Mathew Foster’s brilliantly nonsensical description was selected as the #1 in The Best Test Drive Ever. Period.

Mathew’s six word entry: STEWARDESS, SALT FLATS, PARATROOPERS, SUSHI, FALCONER

Within social media we find that many people are defining their personal worth by what they create, discover and are willing to share. Original content seems to have an advantage, as the social explorer also becomes the social discoverer and then…the hero.  This is only the beginning.

For more information about The Best Test Drive Ever. Period!

To learn more about the new MINI Coupe, visit MINI USA

What Social Media Should Be…Original

Weather Gets Social…!

Article first published as Weather Gets Social! on Technorati

You may love the weather today and hate the weather tomorrow. Either way we are always compelled to share our perception. Weather has always been one of the most social of topics. Everyone has their own way for predicting the weather, and of course, an opinion about what lies ahead. However, our ideal source of information is no longer limited to traditional news channels.   People are curious, and want to know what the rest of the world is thinking…and especially during weather-related events. Everyone is equally keen to learn from local accounts and individual experiences.

Enter Metwit…

Metwit is a real-time collective weather source. A great place to explore and discover real-time weather conditions, from real people. People tag, tweet or post weather conditions and the information is immediately displayed on Google maps via text and amusing icons.

Metwit is being developed during a three-month start-up acceleration program by SeedStartup, a member of the Techstars network. The iPhone application and the beta website are live. The smart platform also offers features that are as ever-changing as the weather.  The passionate developers are committed to innovation, continuously enhancing Metwit.  Users are able to personalize their expression of the weather through new icon sets.  Icons are created by professional artists and amateur illustrators so that everyone can personalize their weather experience. The result, a collection of jovial and witty icons that will definitely reflect your weather personality.

Today, even traditional weather forecasters are looking for original sources. A local perspective of weather is critical during severe weather occasions and Metwit is becoming the go-to place for “original” accounts of all things weather related. Through local content, forecasters are able to create a better narrative and more precise recommendations.

When weather stories are co-created, they also become considerably more effective within social media. For instance, when breaking weather news occurs, people immediately turn to traditional channels, but alongside is another trusted source…each other.

Social weather can fill a need for real-time, no-nonsense information…

Example: During a crisis, people want to help, not feel helpless. During the Tōhoku earthquake and Tsunami in March 2011, Twitter became one of the most important real-time destinations for those needing to stay in touch with people in Japan. Worldwide, Twitter personally connected people wanting to understand the events with those experiencing the catastrophic weather in real-time.

The collective process of Metwit naturally creates opportunities for making weather more reliable, more relevant and more exciting.  Metwit was designed for helping those active in outdoor sports and activities.  The idea was to create a place where climbers can understand current conditions, prepare for a day of climbing and also to connect with other climbers.  The ability to understand specific and important weather conditions as it relates to climbing is essential to this sport, and only other climbers can define these conditions. For instance, climbers can pinpoint the best location according to those already on site.

Metwit will also act as a connector of like-minded enthusiasts.  Users will be able to select activities that interest them. Metwit will then enable users to view others with similar interests, sharing vantage points and interesting information about specific locations. The developers continue the idea of co-creation through crowd-sourced design challenges as they look for creative new icons.   The team will consistently use social media tools to help Metwit become a fun and useful resource.

Misery loves company…

Metwit is perfect for those who are feeling blue about the weather.  Metwit users share your misery and often, with the help of others, can cheer-you-up with funny thoughts.  Weather updates and photos have always been attention-grabbing. So, your spring-break vacation images are even more fun to share with those back home.

“Love complaining about the weather? Try Metwit”                           Michele Ruini Co-Founder, Metwit

Brand’s new role…Enable a Cycle-Of-Courtesy

Metwit weather updates are also becoming a resource for brands. Rather than inactive messages that have little value, brands will be able to offer social weather as a service, connecting with people through the advantages of one of the most social topics…weather.  Metwit extends brand experiences by creating mobile occasions. Brands are able to actively involve people through weather related content and current conditions.

Don’t forget your umbrella…

How often do you wish that you knew a storm was on the way?  Hyper-local weather is ideal for travelers. Metwit helps you prepare for the weather conditions where you’re headed.   Now Airlines can use Metwit to create weather alerts that are informative, visual and fun!

Note| I have been fortunate to spend some time helping these clever developers with strategy and positioning in recent weeks.  Honestly, I believe that Metwit is now, and will continue to be,  one of the most imaginative and useful social platforms available.

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Preview: TNS’ Digital Life 2011

TNS Digital Life 2011|The report reflects the Digital Life of 72,000 people across 60 countries and the findings are extraordinary.

TNS will help you to really understand people, their adoption of technology and how “digital” fits into daily life.

A few things to consider when reading this report…

  • Engage is only the first step
  • Sustainable connections need “more”
  • Positioning unique and original content
  • Brands new role – enabling people in the process

For more thoughts| So, We Don’t Want To Engage with Brands  via Social Media

The ROI of Social Media and “Tebowing”

With so much talk about the ROI of Social Media, we think it is important to remind everyone that ROI may not have to be entirely based on immediate revenue.  The goal of social media…should not be thought of exclusively as a marketing strategy. Social media should be thought of as means for creating an ecosystem.  Functional marketing nurtures knowledge, stimuli and supports co-creation. Our approach suggests that messages and content must be authentic, filled with conviction and extremely flexible within all surroundings.  If integrated properly, everything else will naturally fall into place.

How Social is Sports?

We talk about social media in sports as the ultimate opportunity for connecting. Enabling fans via social, mobile and location supports fans’ emotional attachment, moving the experience from a “THE Game” to an “OUR Game” occasion.

Tim Tebow is making an impact on the football field for the Denver Broncos, of the National Football League.  However, an even larger impact is his influence in social media through “Tebowing”.  Tebowing is Tim’s humbling gesture, kneeling on one knee as evidence to his faith.  The act of Tebowing has compelled a strong reaction through social media. On 12, December, the Global Language Monitor officially accepted the term within the English language.  Just months after the phrase was created following a miracle win in October.

With Authenticity, Conviction and Flexibility, Tim Tebow has the world’s attention…

Tebowing: The act of ‘taking a knee’ in prayerful reflection oblivious to your surroundings

A completely crowdsourced Tumblr blog has been created to enable people to share their personal interpretation of Tebowing.  Fans are able to purchase items with proceeds supporting local Denver Charities.  The site has daily submissions of touching images from around the world.  @Tebowing has almost 3,000 followers and each of the Facebook pages associated with Tim Tebow continue to grow.

The Denver Broncos have an opportunity to do more than simply engage within social media. Adopting an approach that moves beyond marketing.  By enabling the fan’s natural connection to Tebowing, the Broncos can create awareness and inspire emotional connections, at the same time, supporting donations for local charities and forming true connections.

The difference between engage and connect is in how you – Listen – Prepare –Respond and then Adapt

Perhaps the ideal return of social media is collaborative dialogues, the co-creation of messages (earned media for you traditional folks), content and strategy for what is now, and what may be next.

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