In episode 3 of the Fresh Ground Podcast, Chuck Tanowitz talks with Eunice Feller, owner of Bread and Chocolate Bakery in Newton, Mass. Eunice founded Bread and Chocolate three years ago and has since gained a loyal following of locals. She’s not just attracting neighborhood attention, however: she’s also been named to the coveted Best of Boston list and has seen her confections featured on the cover of the Boston Globe Magazine.
The bakery is a labor of love, and while Eunice has plenty of passion, there is plenty of work. Chuck and Eunice talk about how, despite the glamor put on food prep by the Food Network, it is still very much a physical, blue-collar job. They talk about the tough decisions she needs to make so her passion comes to life and even how she crowdsourced a babka.
Some of the more interesting excerpts:
“Marketing here is everything that interacts with people, and that encompasses customers, employees and vendors.”
“Every facet works toward the brand and if Bread and Chocolate is a brand, the million details we try to pay attention to works toward who we are and what we want to be.”
“I want [my customers] to know my name so if they need a baked good or if they need a dinner because they are having a baby… a ride to the hospital. I want them to feel comfortable enough with us so they feel they can call us to do that.”
About the Fresh Ground Podcast:
Each week, we feature 10 minutes of insights from people driving change in today’s competitive business and media landscape. We talk about the evolving worlds of media, public relations, marketing and business, with a special focus on creating more social organizations.
As promised, however late, here are my predictions for 2010:
Twitter still won’t show that it can make money. Twitter doesn’t want to show that it can make money: all the better for valuation, according to many. Sure, there will be more deals, including some form of Twitter Pro account I would guess, but I predict you’ll find Twitter (and Facebook for that matter, although they’ve monetized quite nicely) with its ear to the ground for technology and competitive developments in 2010, waiting for sunnier pastures before exiting. What will that exit look like, and when? Ain’t nobody saying.
It’s all about the RT. No, I’m not talking about Twitter’s “re-tweets” here: I’m talking about the real-time web. The money that Twitter did get in 2009 came because it has its finger on the Zeitgeist of the web: the day-to-day, minute-by-minute trends and interests that content producers and attention whores alike want to get their hands on. Any technology that can help companies (or governments) put their fingers on the pulse of the public will be a prime target for money in 2010, both from private as well as semi-private and public coffers.
The PDA will be reborn alongside the intention web. The “personal digital assistant” was a really cool idea, but nobody wants to carry around even two devices, let alone three, four or five (e.g., phone, PDA, camera, iPod, ebook reader, etc.). The next generation of the PDA is being incubated inside your smart phone, with umbilical ties to all of your online services, from calendaring to movie preferences to shopping lists. Jeremiah Owyang calls this “beyond real-time” wave of innovation the “intention web” (see graphic below), and your smart phone will be the nexus for it:
The newspaper industry deathwatch will lose steam. Speaking of death, the newspaper industry will also stay afloat, thanks to technological and business innovation. Dan Kennedy put it best:
At a moment when the newspaper business is hanging by a thread, it seems strange to suggest that maybe things aren’t that bad. After all, as the Newsosaur, Alan Mutter, points out, 142 American newspapers shut their doors in 2009, and nearly 15,000 jobs at US newspapers have disappeared during the past year.
Yet if you had believed the headlines, you would have expected the mediascape to look a lot worse for print.
Most daily newspapers, in fact, operate in the black but massive debt accumulated during multiple rounds of consolidation earlier this decade were threatening their existence. The threat is still there, but it looks like there was more fat in newspaper operating budgets than many observers had believed. Washington Post publisher Katharine Weymouth has pointed out that her paper employs twice as many journalists as it did during the Watergate years, even after multiple rounds of cutbacks.
Augmented reality will be a reality, sans the cool shades or half-blind pedestrians. Yes, we’ll get a few pedestrian accidents as people try out phone-based augmented reality apps like Layar (below). But the real usefulness of AR aren’t quite AR apps yet, but transitional steps toward AR. These include apps like Google Goggles, which does photo-based mobile searches (although it’s far from ready for prime time); and the many barcode scanning apps that are starting to tie into price check databases and shopping apps.
The PR lines will continue to blur. Speaking of PR, it’s clear that the lines between paid and unpaid media are rapidly blurring, and the consequences are disturbing. While some pros are optimistic about this trend, I share Mark Story’s and Shel Holtz’s concerns about the trend, as exemplified most recently by the Huffington Post’s decision to offer sponsored posts and tweets. As Shel points out, will this prevent companies from participating in conversations about their company online, simply because they don’t want to pay to play?
[LATE ADD] We’ll find something more interesting to measure. With all the talk about measurement and ROI this year, I couldn’t resist adding one more prediction: we’ll finally find something both interesting and useful to measure when it comes to PR and social media success. It certainly won’t be ad equivalency or followers, and it probably won’t even be ROI. Will it be engagement? No, that’s just a fancy way of describing followers. I’d like to hear your thoughts…
[LATE ADD (29 DEC 2009)]: Amazon will have much more to worry about than the Nook. Rumors abound that Apple will take a stab at a portable tablet device taking aim at eReaders and netbooks both. Will Apple try to get into the book business like it’s done with the music business? They’ll have a much tougher go at it, but it seems like a logical step.
Okay, that’s all I have for you. Let’s see how I do. Have a very happy new year, everyone!
Welcome back to the Fresh Ground Podcast. Each week, we feature 10 minutes of insights from people driving change in today’s competitive business and media landscape. We talk about the evolving worlds of media, public relations, marketing and business, with a special focus on creating more social organizations.
In today’s episode #2, Chuck Tanowitz, principal at Fresh Ground Communications, talks with Sree Sreenivasan, professor of journalism and dean of student affairs at the Columbia Journalism School. Sree is among AdAge’s 25 media people to follow on Twitter and one of 22 professors named to the “Top 100 Twitterers in Academia” by OnlineSchools.org.
Sree and Chuck talk about the weakening divide between journalism and the corporate world, and specifically about the influence that corporate owners may have on the journalism process and the skills that newly minted journalism school grads need to leave with.
Some of the more interesting excerpts from Sree:
“Even today, any time there’s a light bulb story or anything else connected to GE, [NBC afilliates] make the disclaimer.”
“I presume any time a company owns you, the forces that are at work are much more subtle, and maybe even unspoken and unsaid… When I worked at WABC, we were owned by the Walt Disney Company, and we used get letters saying ‘dear fellow cast members’ from Michael Eisner.”
“I teach reporting, and reporting is something that you can use in a variety of fields. While most of our graduates still go into journalism today, there has been for decades people who’ve gone on to other fields…”
“We can either spend our time being orthodox about what should work and what doesn’t…, or we say ‘look, as long as someone like Saul Hansell is comfortable with the decisions he makes and the stories he tells and the contacts he makes, his ethics are far higher than most people’s, so I don’t worry about it.’”
“Every student must leave here with a new media mindset and a new media skill set.”
“[We use] a term called a ‘tradigital journalist‘ … that Sig Gissler, the administrator of the Pulitzer prizes, [coined that means] ‘a traditional journalist with a digital overlay.’ So we absolutely teach the eternal, if you think about it: truth, ethics, getting the story right, doing it in a timely manner, and then you put this digital overlay over the that traditional stuff.”
Here are five things you need to know about the new privacy and security settings on Facebook:
Under the new regime, Facebook treats that information — along with your name, profile picture, current city, gender, networks, and the pages that you are a “fan” of — as “publicly available information” or “PAI.” Before, users were allowed to restrict access to much of that information. Now, however, those privacy options have been eliminated.
Visit All Five of the Privacy Settings Pages
Visit all five of the privacy setting pages. There are settings buried in all of these pages, so make sure you take a few minutes to peruse all of them to make sure.
Keep your friends close and your pages closer. You’ve heard of the Facebook “gaydar” project, right? People can tell a lot from who you friend. While sharing who your friends are can help you get more friends, it may reveal more information than you know. The EFF again:
[A]lthough you used to have the ability to prevent everyone but your friends from seeing your friends list, that old privacy setting … has now been removed completely from the privacy settings page.
You can now tweak who can see your friend list by going to your profile and clicking on the pencil on the top right corner of your friends box. What you still cannot change is who can see the pages you are a fan of — there is simply no way to remove that information from your public, searchable profile unless you make your profile not searchable by anyone, a rather harsh setting that will significantly limit your ability to grow your friends network. If you’re a little embarrassed by your fan pages, delete them.
Create a dummy test account to test all your settings. While the “Preview My Profile” button is helpful, the interaction between the various complicated settings is sometimes surprising and the best way to test all possible settings is to create a temporary fake account. This is relatively easy to do, and last I checked, doesn’t even require a valid email account to accomplish. Use it to test how viewable and searchable your profile is. For instance, it’s not completely obvious how to turn off your Wall to non-friends, but this can be adjusted in the “Posts by Me” section” (which I was surprised to see defaulted to “Friends and Networks” — umm, no, thank you).
CUCme? Remember playing that game with a child young enough not to realize that if they cannot see you, you may still be able to see them? The same holds true in Facebook — there is no reciprocal privacy on Facebook, so just because you can’t find somebody else doesn’t mean that they cannot find you. If other people have their search privacy settings more constricted than you, they will be able to find you while you may not be able to find them. The most problematic effect of this could have to do with banning other profiles — in order to find the person you want to ban, they have to be searchable by you, so banning only effectively works while you’re still friends with someone. This seems strange, because — not that I’m in the practice of banning lots of people — banning is typically an afterthought that occurs to Facebook users after they unfriend someone.
A former client of mine was bought recently. Great news for them as they all worked hard and earned the buyout. I’m sure the company buying them knows that they picked up a great technology and a smart team.
But when I read the release I almost did a spit-take of my coffee–and what a waste of good coffee that would have been! The release had the typical corporate stuff such as the “leading provider” language and the platitudes of two corporate executives doing a new dance.
But the quote from my former client was… how can I say this lightly… horrible.
I know people have been trashing the poor press release for quite a while and the social media release is at least an attempt at something different. But even that release comes with its own set of canned quotes for reporters, bloggers and other content creators to use at will. So quotes remain an important part of any release process.
However, if any Account Executive handed a quote to me with the opening line of “We’re pleased…” and later threw in some “excitement” I’d send it back with the demand that they do some more work.
Of course these executives are pleased and excited. If they weren’t why would they be putting out a release? What journalist in their right mind would ever pick up such an inane and lifeless quote? It doesn’t say anything. If you’re going to write a quote for an executive at least make an effort to have it add some color to the story. Provide a little insight or at least some colorful language.
I know I’m not the only one who believes this, but I know the fight against over-exuberant “excitement” will go on and on and on and on…..