I apologize for this massive post – you may want to take a day or two to digest it. Here’s everything that’s fit to blog from the last few weeks and beyond…

Wednesday:
1. The fancy new Social Media Collective site has gone live – please stop by for a visit!

Tuesday
1. Nortel has launched it’s first corporate blog. It’s written by John Roese, Chief Technology Officer.

2. There were discussions about CEOs contributing to the official blog at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, which prompted reminders that leaping in with a CEO blog may not be the best way to start. All that aside, I think it’s a validation of the seismic shifts that are taking place in society. The organizers of the forum must agree; this year’s theme was “The Shifting Power Equation”.

3. There’s a new thing called MySpam, and if you do it (like this guy did) MySpace will sue you.

4. A very cool new thing was released called the push me/pull me widget which actually pulls the necessary code from social bookmarking sites to your blog, rather than redirecting users to the individual sites. I must investigate! (can you still track the outclicks, I wonder?)

Monday:
1. IBM has released Lotus Connections, which bundles the ability to create profiles, communities, activities, bookmarks and blogs into one tidy package for the enterprise.

2. Anheuser-Busch is getting social. According to this story, they’ve partnered with MingleNow, a “social media site” created by Blue Lithium, an ad network

Dedicated to challenging the legacy ways of doing business to help marketers achieve extraordinary results.

Do you think the members of MingleNow know that they’re really just fodder for the latest Bud campaign? Am I alone in thinking that there’s something a little off about this?

Last Friday
1. Everyone’s up in arms about the social media press release. Seems Stowe Boyd feels that many of us out here are getting social media all wrong, that we shouldn’t use terms like “audience” (sorry Stowe, not with you on that one) and that, instead of SMPR, PR agencies should simply use blogs instead (they have all the same bells and whistles). So then there were calls to kill the SMPR altogether.

Naturally, Social Media Club co-founder Chris Heuer (popularizer of the SMPR – Shift Communications actually came up with the idea in May 2006) was not pleased, and spent a tremendous amount of time explaining and defending the group’s notion of what the SMPR was supposed to be. The discussion even spilled over into the Social Media Collective discussion group.

In the end? I say, “Who cares”. If the SMPR is of use, it will be adopted. If not, oh well. And social media will continue to evolve. I don’t think anyone has the right or ability to define it or tell us what language we’re allowed to use when discussing it. It’s mine, too, remember? You can listen to a podcast of the panel discussion that started the whole thing here.

2. Jennifer Jones of the Marketing Voices podcast has compiled her list of the Top 10 Marketing Podcasts.

3. Lots of talk about social media measurement after a webinar given by Charlene Li. I expect a lot more of it this year, but also think it’s important to remember that, in many cases, it’s as simple as “use=ROI” (if use=engagement).

Last Wednesday:
1. Hollywood looooves social media. According to this article in AdWeek, Universal has added a raft of complimentary social media events (I want to say “channels”, I think it still works as a descriptor) to promote the film Smokin’ Aces, including a Second Life game (you could win L$1,000,000 – now that’s clever) a Director’s blog and a nice viral widget-y thing that lets you add the trailer to your “website”. The campaign has also has featured some of the most confusing trailers I have ever seen. It opens Friday.

Last Tuesday:
1. Edelman PR released their third annual New Frontiers in Employee Communications study showing some new numbers on the social media adoption frontier in the U.S.:

  • 32 percent of organizations author, support or host a blog
  • 35 percent use podcasts
  • 11 percent operate a wiki
  • Which is all well and good – but I’m a little curious about their sample and exactly what the numbers are supposed to indicate. Here’s another quote:

    [the study authors] surveyed senior corporate communicators at 75 Fortune 500 companies and dozens of global organizations

    Because, of course, the numbers don’t dovetail with those contained in any other research I’ve ever seen, the most recent being that UMASSD study of the Inc. 500.

    December

    1. Unrestricted corporate blogging by employees can be very, very good for the enterprise – according to this story about a recent study conducted by Microsoft (though, of course, would they have told us if it had been any other way?)

    One particular finding of the study was that the public weblogs of employees often led to unexpected discoveries, both among other employees, as well as from outside the organisation.

    In addition, the researchers concluded that too many restrictions would potentially nullify the benefits – trust in your employees is key to success. (h/t to Justin Patten at e-consultancy)

    2. MySpace completely dominates the social networking universe at the moment, but it will not always be this way. Anticipating future (and current) need for services targetted to different groups, there are a number of new bilingual sites popping up targetting Latinos in particular. The latest, LatinosConnected, was founded by Veronica Alvarez, a former product manager at Yahoo!. Press release may be digested here.

    Have a great rest of the week!

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