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TechCrunch, Texting While Driving, Are Hatchbacks Back?: Fresh Ground Podcast #23

The Fresh Ground Podcast will return to its regularly scheduled Mondays (hopefully) next week, but in the meantime, please enjoy Todd’s guest appearance on another great podcast that has resumed after an even longer break than our summer one: PRobecast. Launched under Doug Haslam’s watch at Topaz Partners, Tech PR Gems grew to become a well respected podcast before suffering from “I have a day job” syndrome, as many podcasts do.

PRobecast episode #91 featured special guest Todd Van Hoosear along with Topazers Alison Raymond, Joanna DiTrapano, Tony Sapienza and Evan Siff talking about the recent purchase AOL made, content curation, texting while driving, hatchbacks, etc. Here are the issues we covered:

Has Social Network Content Creation Plateaued – Research from Forrester is saying that while social media use is on the rise, social media content creation has shown no measureable growth over the past year. Are you a creator or a curator?

When it’s the Case of TMI, Curation is Key – Paul Gillin recently had an article in B2B Magazine talking about the importance of not just creation, but curation. There is almost too much information out there – and to find the important things, you must find ways to sort through all the information coming in.

AOL’s New Purchase: TechCrunch – AOL bought TechCrunch for around 40 million dollars. What does this mean for the future of TechCrunch. Can they really be unbiased when owned by a public company?

Bye, Bye Texting While Driving – There has been a lot of discussion over the texting ban. 30 states and the District of Columbia have banned it. However, research has been finding that since the ban, crash rates rose as people where trying to go “under the radar” while still texting. Living in a society that is always connected, what do you think of these bans?

Can RIM’s PlayBook Run Up Against the iPad? – RIM recently announced a new tablet called the PlayBook. This seems to be the most similar competitor to the iPad. Do you think the PlayBook has a chance against the giant that is Apple?

Are Hatchbacks Cool? – Ford has reported that 60-percent buyers are opting for the new Ford Fiesta hatchback, stating that just over 8-percent of cars last year were hatchbacks. Is the hatchback a new trend?

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The Promise of Social CRM: Fresh Ground Podcast #22

The Fresh Ground Podcast is back after our extended Summer Break. Here is an excerpt from the first part of Todd’s presentation on the promise of social CRM at PodCamp Boston 5, along with the slides from his session.

Todd spoke on a number of issues facing businesses looking to get a unified view of their customer across email, CRM and social media. It's a dream that is not too far off according to many analysts and professionals watching the social CRM space.

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Chuck Hester on LinkedIn for Media Relations: Fresh Ground #19

In this second part of a recording of Chuck Hester’s presentation on LinkedIn success secrets from Newcomm Forum 2010, Chuck shares some great tips on using LinkedIn for media relations, among other great tips. Chuck Hester is a LinkedIn power user with over 10,000 connections on the business networking site and the author of “Linking in to Pay it Forward: Changing the Value Proposition in Social Media.” He serves as director of communications at email marketing firm iContact.

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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Francesca Karpel on Bridging Employees and Customers: Fresh Ground #17

Francesca Karpel heads up internal communications at NetApp, a company that has twice been named the #1 Great Place to Work. She connected up with Fresh Ground principal Todd Van Hoosear at the 2010 NewComm Forum to talk about social media and corporate culture.

Some highlights of the conversation:

“Our vision for online community was to … flatten the company if you will, so that it didn’t matter where you were in the world, what function you were in, what level of the organization you were in — that you would have equal access to other people in the company to ask or answer questions, to really transcend so many of the barriers that create silos.”

“As I started to look at [flattening the organization], I discovered that there were a number of pilots going on within the company testing social media, community, blogging, [and how we could help partners and customers. I] asked those folks if they would like to be part of my initiative to find a platform that we could use internally, with a common hope that we could find a platform that would work internally and externally, but no promises.”

“We launched both our internal communities and our external communities at the same time as we launched our [new] brand back in March of 2008…. What this allowed us to do is to offer both our customers and our employees a functionality that they didn’t have before of immediately asking and getting questions answered.”

“Most of our communities are actually public communities, so whether or not you're a part of, say, our services team, if a conversation, if content in that area interests you, you can search for it…. We really only have private communities when there is a business reason for that community to be private — where there’s a need for confidentiality.”

“We’ve created [an] environment which leans to being very open. Actually, the very first employee who commented in our NetApp Live … internal community was someone from Singapore. And what we found with other initiatives is that people who are from outside the U.S. are some of the early commentors.”

“I completely respect the concept and the practicality of a firewall to protect data that needs to be protected. But not all information needs to be protected.”

“We’re using the Jive Software platform, and their most recent upgrade includes a concept of ‘bridging’ [both external and internal communities while respecting confidentiality]. The bridging would allow an employee to see public content … with the same search that they would use … in the internal community.”

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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Reagan Gray on the Advertising Shift: Fresh Ground #11

For over 20 years Reagan Gray has worked in the advertising industry, helping businesses of all types find and talk to the right target audiences. Prior to moving to Boston a few years ago, Reagan owned an ad agency in southern California that is still thriving. Now, she’s bringing her creative thinking and integrated viewpoint to the region.

Fresh Ground Principal Chuck Tanowitz had a chance to speak with Reagan about her current projects and perspective on the shift going on in the advertising industry today.

Some of the more interesting excerpts:

“Clients are seeing … social media as this great way to get into the marketplace, but they’re doing it … haphazardly and we think they’re really missing an opportunity to extend their brand….”

“[Social] media [is] advertising…. You can control [it], to a certain extent, and you can make it work for you … just as hard as your offline or paid media.”

“Your … creative people [need to ensure that your social media] brand matches and complements … the website.”

“The reason why SuperBowl ads are still expensive is because they work.”

“[Broadcast] ads have to work a little harder. Ads don’t just create top-of-mind awareness…. They’re becoming much more interactive….”

“You shouldn’t buy anything unless you’ve got a great creative direction.”

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.

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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Steve Wildstrom on the New Journalism: Fresh Ground #10

Steve Wildstrom wrote BusinessWeek’s “Technology & You” column from its creation in 1994 until BusinessWeek’s acquisition by Bloomberg in December, 2009. Fresh Ground Principal Chuck Tanowitz caught up with him at DEMO Spring 2010 where they discussed his current projects and thoughts on the future of journalism (not to mention a few business models that might work for newly independent journalists).

Some of the more interesting excerpts:

“Journalistic freelancing is very very difficult these days because, basically, pricing has gone to hell. You’ve got thousands of people out there willing to do something — I can’t say it’s really the same thing that professional journalists do, but it seems to be good enough for a lot of people — and they’re doing it for nothing.”

“It’s kind of an ethical wasteland… It’s very situational. You have to figure out the rules as you go along. One thing I have been doing is some blogging for [a company] — what amount to feature pieces… I’m not writing specifically about [their] products, but I’m writing about a field that’s of interest to them.”

“I [thought] I’d get a lot of pushback from my journalistic colleagues. I didn’t.”

“I’m also writing product reviews … that would not be published anywhere, so they can anticipate what they can expect to see when they launch.”

“I think it’s becoming important for companies to promote themselves in new ways. [Sam Whitmore] has been promoting this idea for some time: that companies, because of the changes in journalism, can’t really count on journalists to cover their products in the way they used to, and they have to get more sophisticated about basically doing internal journalism to promote their own products.”

“I am not looking to build an empire at this point in my career. I’m not looking to retire either….”

“I think that Om [Malik] has done a fabulous job [with] GigaOm Pro…. Basically he’s providing analyst-type reports really competitive with what Gartner and Forrester [do] at substantially lower prices.”

“The fact is what analysts do and what journalists do is not particularly different, they just do it for different audiences.”

“In my years with BusinessWeek, I don’t think I ever quoted an analyst…. I found quoting an analyst was a lot like quoting another journalist, which … I wouldn’t do.”

“I wish I had a copy editor [as a blogger]. Good copy editors are invaluable [and] hard to find. It drives me crazy every time I get a blog comment pointing out a grammar error, a spelling error…. I’d be a lot happier if that editing got done before it got posted.”

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.

Listen Now:

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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Renee Hopkins on Innovation: Fresh Ground #9

Renee Hopkins is the editor of Strategy & Innovation and the lead editor of Innosight’s InnoBlog. She sat down with Todd Van Hoosear to discuss a challenge facing many organizations: how do you create a business culture that both encourages and captures innovation? Creative thinking, which is one of the essential components of innovation, does not like to be constrained by business processes. Renee helps us tackle how you can reconcile these two very different dynamics and build a structure for capitalizing on innovation.

Some of the more interesting excerpts:

“Innovation is something new that’s been created … that is providing some value…. It’s not just a dream, there’s something active about it.”

“I’m probably one of the few people who can say that a blog actually directly brought them to a job…. The blog sealed the deal, otherwise I would’ve been nobody to them.”

“We help companies grow by helping them understand how they can make innovation repeatable.”

“Innovation starts with … solving a job that the customer has to get done.”

“We don’t want to come out of the box. That’s such a nasty cliche, but what you really want to do is clearly define the box, and then ideate your butt off all the way inside that box so that you’re coming up with ideas very deeply in this space….”

“It’s not the technology that disrupts, it’s the business model.”

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.

Listen Now:

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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David Dahl on "Your Town": Fresh Ground #6

In episode 6 of the Fresh Ground Podcast, Chuck Tanowitz talks with David Dahl, editor of the zoned editions of the Boston Globe.

Chuck and David discuss the Boston Globe’s “Your Town”, how the editorial process works, how community bloggers can participate, the impact of layoffs, the accelerating speed of change in the industry and who their competition is (and isn’t).

Some of the more interesting excerpts:

“[Our] model is to link to [other sites] and in most cases, those bloggers are delighted to get the attention and get the links in Boston.com.”

“[Boston’s] Universal Hub [website] is a really clever, energetic aggregation site and I think Adam [Gaffin] is doing a really good job… but is he a competitor? In this environment, it’s difficult to define somebody as a competitor when, in a lot of these cases, we’re all linking to one another.”

“Boston.com… is one of the most successful websites in the country, one of the top ten regional newspaper websites in the country [with] really quite a loyal following.”

“There are discussion groups. [Readers have the] ability to sign on and become a registered user on Boston.com and create your own blog. There’s a terrific mom site that has created its own community. There’s another terrific site called Raw that has created its own community of amateur photographers.”

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.

Listen Now:

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Subscribe to our podcast using our
RSS feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FreshGroundPodcast.

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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Lee Sherman on Distributed Communities: Fresh Ground #5

In episode 5 of the Fresh Ground Podcast, Chuck Tanowitz talks with Lee Sherman, who runs the MintLife Blog. Lee brings over 20 years of editorial experience to Mint, including stints at Quicken.com and Worth magazine.

Chuck and Lee discuss how to create a content-driven marketing strategy, as well as the and differences and similarities between journalism and marketing. Lee shares some key numbers around Mint’s content-driven marketing strategy, and how to avoid thinking in terms of technological silos.

Some of the more interesting excerpts:

“I think that having a journalistic mindset has allowed us to create content that is compelling, and that leads to traffic, and traffic leads to conversions…”

“[At] the end of the day, we’re a software company, and we’re trying to get people to sign up and use a personal finance application… [You] always have to [keep] that in mind, but … building an audience through compelling content was key to our strategy….”

“[While] we’re very careful about protecting people’s privacy … we know a lot about how people are spending their money, and we’ve produced a number of infographics which illustrate trends in consumer spending, and those things tend to get picked up by other publications.”

“We would not have a publication called ‘MintLife’ if it didn’t actually bring in users.”

“[We] initially were thinking of building a community into the blog, but one of the learnings that came out of our discovery process … [was the] notion of distributed community…. Because of how people navigate to our content, the truth is that the conversation about our content is really taking place outside of Mint.com. [It’s] really taking place on Digg, on Facebook, on Twitter.”

“[We] embraced the notion of distributed community, and started to look at ways to bring the conversation into the blog. We haven’t fully gone down this road yet, but it’s a direction that we’re going to continue to go to, and there are tools like Backtype [and] Facebook Connect [to make this possible].”

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.

Listen Now:

icon for podbean Standard Podcasts: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download | Embeddable Player | Hits (0)

Subscribe to our podcast using our
RSS feed at http://feeds.feedburner.com/FreshGroundPodcast.

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Our opening music is "D.I.Y." by A Band Called Quinn from the album "Sun Moon Stars" and is available from Music Alley, the Podsafe Music Network.

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