Liberate Media blends online PR with offline PR expertise to form a uniquely positioned social media agency.

Posts Tagged ‘Brian Solis’

iPad 3 marks Apple IPO anniversary and points to tablet mobile futures

March 16th, 2012

Apple marked the 32nd anniversary of its Initial Public Offering this week with the launch of iPad 3. Actually, the IPO was on March 16th 1980, four years after Steve Jobs and Bill Wozniak founded the company.

The iPad 3 release from captivity was definitive marketing; Apple pure. The hints, rumours, the company silence, the aficionado queues at Apple stores around the world (apart from China) and the exquisite care with which it chose the media titles to test and review pre-release devices followed the Apple tactical campaign blueprint that has helped to make the company the biggest, by market cap.

Interesting to note, then, that the Apple stock price in March 2000 was 22.07. Today (March 16th), the stock rose above 600 before settling back to 585.57.

It seems that CEO Tim Cook will hang on to his job for a little longer, despite the analyst snipers on the roof and that the company will continue to dominate the tablet market that it defined, despite the best efforts of earlier pioneers such as HP. Just think, we could have been calling them slates rather than pads.

While we wait for the cultural shift where ‘pad’ becomes ‘tab’, there is time to query iPad 3’s locus in the mobile ecosphere. What is the iPad good for? It is a highly receptive device and custom-built for content delivery.

The virtual keyboard makes communication problematic and in an online world where text is still king, that will continue to be an obstacle. Flash remains a locked door but for a price, iPad owners can access Flash format through OnLive as Mark Pubate explains:

With OnLive and HTML 5.0, maybe the Flash question will go away, but not for some time and there are good tabs in the market that do Flash and much more, chief among them the Asus Eee Pad Slider and the Samsung Galaxy Tab. Windows 8 is built for tab and mobile, and Google does mobile first before it thinks of other devices.

We should see new Android tabs this year that offer clear advantages over iPad because they are more attuned to the dominant mobile culture we are rapidly creating. Whether they have the ergonomic, design or marketing genius of Apple is yet to be tested.

Windows 8 should release tab developers and because it is likely to major on integration will appeal to gamers and enterprises alike. Anytime, anywhere, any (Windows) device moves closer.

Nokia is also planning great things in the tab market and it still holds strong share of the global mobile market. It has been a long time since the company has astounded consumers and business but I hope it does this year.

Samsung is an integral part of iPad 3 and despite the ongoing lawsuits between it and Apple, appears to see the commercial benefit of building the tab market.

Now, whether the iPad 3’s better screen and faster processors will stand the test of time in the tab market mid-term is moot. The price point for the low-end device is keen at £399, and given the disgraceful state of both 3G/4G network coverage/speed in the UK, many buyers will go for the wifi- only base option.

The snail’s pace of fast, anytime, anywhere connectivity in the UK and in other mature markets like the US is obviously not the fault of Apple or any other tab maker but it is a short to medium-term obstacle to the rapid development of a true mobile culture in these territories.

But the tab is an important component in the engine that will deliver the precise, fluid and effective mobile culture we crave. For a tab to have an effect in that culture, it will need to be open, always connected (at speed), shiny-shiny (designed to perfection), and allow the owner to dominate every form of data communication.

That’s why the apps makers are central to mobile culture because they will provide the means to control and manage data, and their intelligent designs will transform the tab and other mobile devices.

Brian Solis has led the discussion on content creation and Robert Marcus is defining the next phase in mobile culture. They come to the challenge of mobile from different points but their twin perspectives are very useful as we move forward with cultural mobility.

read more

Content curation means Quality through the essential human touch

April 27th, 2011

Content curation ha been a constant discussion at Liberate Media since we first saw its expression through Brian Solis in April 2009. To be frank, the position Brian described then was inchoate.

We’ve followed and engaged in the online content curation discussions since then without feeling that we had found that unique moment when everything is revealed and made pristine.

We’ve worked with any number of online free and commercial tools over the past five years that have first measured, dissected and then sought to provide the marketing answers around online content creation and curation that businesses crave.

Wikipedia is not much help in our struggle to understand precisely the commercial goals and processes. The world of the mind, in this instance, gives little guidance but is worth a reference:

“Digital curation is the selection, preservation, maintenance, collection and archiving of digital assets. Digital curation is the process of establishing and developing long term repositories of digital assets for current and future reference by researchers, scientists, and historians, and scholars generally.” link

Many commercial contributors feel, like Pete Codella that: “The challenge is to think of what you share online as storytelling. What story do you want to tell? What are the key messages to be conveyed? What’s the best way to tell that story, and how do you do it in such a way as to encourage others to voluntarily share your story?

“This is where the whole concept of content curation has come from. It’s like a museum curator preparing an exhibit. Careful thought and planning go into every detail from the room’s lighting and colour to the arrangement of the artwork to exhibit publicity.

“Coupled with the strategy of effective storytelling is understanding search optimisation. It’s incumbent upon business communicators (not just web developers) to understand how things like page titles, meta data, description, keyword, header and ALT tags, and RSS feeds impact search placement. Not only is developing content a strategic exercise, strategy is front-and-centre for how that content is packaged for the Web.”

Discussion with our academic and commercial partners over the past week has convinced me, finally, that online content curation equates with Quality in the commercial sphere. And the only way to add quality to content currently is through human intervention.

Curation = human intervention

In my view (and this is open space for discussion) the human touch is, and will be for some time, the crucial difference that adds social and economic worth to any online social object.

The current dominant model for content curation is: “Organising and sharing the most relevant content on a finite subject.”

Right there is the definitive problem, for me. No subject is finite, by nature. The definition fails, not only because it is, of itself, contradictory, but also because the online medium in which it sits does not recognise “finite”.

Finite is, for me, commercial shorthand for automation. The only reason for making a form of online content finite is to appease the needs of measurement companies that seek to contain the parameters for their work, to produce quantifiable results, through code, with a froth topping of human analysis.

Curation = quality. Spread is no longer a useful metric. Quality of content curation will deliver connections that are far more useful, relevant and so commercially beneficial. The only way to fulfil the equation is to have people, experienced, savvy and fully engaged who can develop these connections, reshape the content for specific audiences, monitor and respond and so maintain the social objects they curate.

If a social object curation agency delivers 10 rock-solid leads to a brand each week, then it is a winner. It has harnessed the best automated measurement processes, interpreted by humans, who also drive the engagement, conversion and delivery processes.

The human touch = lead quality.

This equation means that brands that are serious about gaining a competitive edge need to understand that full automation, and so cost reduction, is no longer available in the medium-term, if ever.

Serious brands need to allocate the cash that will give them the results they want. Humans are more expensive than robots. They are also absolutely essential.

Quality in this form is measurable and so worth the money. The other qualitative outcomes from the human touch are immeasurable.

read more

Brian Solis and Chris Beck define the future of being social

August 27th, 2010

I’ve been following the series of video conversations between Brian Solis and Chris Beck, which are extraordinary in their breadth and depth. They are ‘must see’ for anyone involved with social media PR and indeed for anyone who is interested in the future of online communication.

What strikes me is the clarity of thought, the strategic minds at work here. These guys inhabit ‘social’ but also understand the commercial imperatives that underlie many online conversations. My favourite is the discussion on privacy and what constitutes the ‘online self’.

At a time when some commentators are questioning the existence and value of social networks, Brian and Chris offer a positive, inspiring view of the possibilities. Is social media dead? No. Does it present problems? Yes. Can we rise to the challenge? Take a look at these videos and make up your own mind. Personally, I’d say that with people like Brian and Chris leading the discussion, we’re in very safe hands.

You can see the complete series on Brian’s website

Here’s my favourite:

read more

Social Media Optimization Is The New SEO With Brian Solis

April 15th, 2010

Brian Solis: Social Media Optimisation is the new SEO

Last night, I joined in the Hubspot webinar on “Social Media is the New SEO” with Brian Solis and took away enough ideas to last through the rest of this year at least.

Brian engages with diamond-like clarity and precision; and he doesn’t waste words so, likewise, I’ll keep this short.

You can see Brian’s presentation on Slideshare. http://www.slideshare.net/HubSpot/social-media-optimization-is-the-new-seo

Main takeaways:

  1. Social media conversations currently are “Blah Blah Blah!”
  2. The next level for marketing/brand professionals is to cut through
  3. Do this by accepting that we are all publishers now
  4. Create and curate Social Objects that extend depth and range of your conversations
  5. Social Media Objects, managed correctly, automate your social media work
  6. This is Word of Mouth automated, not just “going viral”
  7. Social Media will have its own budget in companies next year
  8. Maybe every savvy company will have a Chief Editorial Officer
  9. That Officer will direct quality, calibre and frequency of content (Social Objects)
  10. The new “CEOs” will help to connect the dots in Search.
  11. With Social Objects you will be found and be useful, relevant, authoritative.
  12. Social Media Optimisation is more than a conversation, more than manipulation
  13. Empathy is the key.

You know, there was so much more in that hour – The buzz around the webinar and Brian’s book, Engage, is continuing through the #engage hashtag if you want to joiun the conversation.

You can also out more about Social Media Optimisation on Brian’s blogsite http://www.briansolis.com/2010/02/social-media-optimization-smo-is-the-new-seo-part-1/

read more

Social media news release (SMNR) gathers pace

March 3rd, 2009

It’s great to see Brian Solis, a SMNR evangelist and fellow PR consultant, team up with Jason Kintzler over at Pitch Engine. I believe this partnership strengthens my belief that the social media news release will finally gain the attention it rightly deserves.

The Social Media Release modernized an aging 100-year-old tool and adapted it for the social web, making the foundation for a new type of press release relevant again. But, perhaps most importantly, the Social Media Release was our chance to not only invigorate the traditional press release, it provided visionaries and evangelists with the ability to embrace new tools, mediums, and narrative voices to tell stories more convincingly to those seeking information, their way.

Brian then goes on to talk about Pitch Engine not being a wire service.

It is a social platform to quickly and easily create, host, and share visually rich and dynamic social media releases.

This is the model we have based our own SMNR service on. Pressitt follows the Pitch engine model and sits comfortably beside it.

So with the Pressitt service now in private beta and Pitch Engine coming to prominence in PR circles, things are looking good for the SMNR. With the open channels of conversation, sharing of ideas and groups such as the Social Media Release Workgroup, we can all work together and collaborate to improve the SMNR offering.

If you have an interest in the SMNR format, please register your interest over at Pressitt, we are currently looking for Beta testers. Also go check out Pitch Engine, it’s a great site.

read more

"I found a higher degree of contacts and enthusiasm and then something far more interesting. They listened, challenged and questioned with a focus and knowledge that I've never experienced before."