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“Softly, softly to catch a monkey” – We are connecting

In brief: Likemind group asks global question. Complied answers from around the world shows that we (global humans) are feeling more similar about our cities than we realize. NYT article challenges that all of us ‘young online folks’ (people without gray hair) are not participating enough in today’s politics to make a difference. But maybe we are bonding, developing on a different level in a different way…and that our potential for change is brewing.


The quote from above is from some play I was loosely involved with in college. Supposedly it is an old Eastern European saying that in order to catch something it is best to move quietly. I’m not sure if it is an Eastern European saying…but I’ve always liked it.

For the last 6-8 months I’ve been co-hosting a group called Likemind with the wonderful Sarah Saline from Fallon. This group gets together every 3rd Friday to have a little coffee chat. In the beginning there was no agenda to the chats. Just show up, have a cup of coffee and talk about whatever. Because most of us were of the Likemind from the ad world the conversations usually centered around trends, social media, ad talk. But in the last meeting the global Likemind tried an experiment. All the Likemind groups around the world would ask the same question to their respective groups and then we would compile all the answers together. Kind of a giant focus group.

The question from last was:

“If you were to rebuild your city from scratch, how would you build it differently and what would you keep the same?”

Here is a slide show from the global complied answers. To read Minneapolis summary of the questions, jump here.

Hopefully embed slideshare to come shortly (hint, hint).

What I take away from it is that…we, a global sample, are feeling very similar to how we should construct our cities. Less cars, more people interaction. Let neighborhoods develop. Forced commerce creates artificial cityscape which in the long run kills a city. We need to grow green.

After reading it I really felt like we were of, well, likemind. Then I stumbled across this NYT article over at the Dailykos about how we are ‘Generation Q – Generation Quiet‘. A quote from the article:

“It’s for all these reasons that I’ve been calling them “Generation Q” — the Quiet Americans, in the best sense of that term, quietly pursuing their idealism, at home and abroad.

But Generation Q may be too quiet, too online, for its own good, and for the country’s own good. “

Now the Dailykos does a good job picking a part this article and its narrow view of what is going on. And I’m not going to asking that likemind becomes a political force for change. But we did tackle an interesting global problem problem. And we did have a decent global sample… I mean brands have validated billion dollar ad campaigns on less attend, less focused, and a lot less active participation in the focus group than what the likemind focus group accomplished. And I think we have some solid answers.

So now what?

Will we do anything with the with the thoughts and ideas gathered? Were we meant to? I don’t know.

While I do agree with the idea that maybe we could use a little more profile to help nudge some of our thoughts along. It was because we came together without motive but to participate, without judgment, or without an agenda to gain that we have some solid ideas on how to help cities – from the human point of view. I find it interesting how we have quietly come together through the intergalactic social networks (offline/online networks to all show up for likemind). And that others are doing the same. That maybe through the humility of openly expressing ourselves across the networks that we are finding solutions before beating our chests. That sharing across the internet forces you to listen as much as talk.

And maybe one of these days some of us will rise up to orchestrate the quietness that is swelling. That the foundation that is being built is one of human interaction for humans, not a dollar amount.

I don’t know, maybe I just drank my preachy freedom coffee this morning instead of normal. Still, gives me hope.


Search the Social Media blogosphere with this handy custom search

So I saw this idea on the Account Planning Social Network that Michael Johnston of Things do not change, we change made two custom Google searches for Trends and Research. He got the idea from MisEntropy who created a search for the plannersphere blogs. And because I really needed to procrastinate at work right now…I made one for the Social Media blogosphere. I used the 103 blogs contributors from the book The Age of Conversation plus adding a few like Techno//Marketer, Influential Marketing Blog
and Noah.

I’m posting the code in the comments section so you can add the search to your site. If you know of other blogs that should be in the search list, post in comments and I’ll get them in. I’ve uploaded the code to a txt file, I can’t figure out how to post the code – socialmediasearch.txt. Actually, go here to get the code.

Update: Or, better yet…how about a custom search for the Top 150 Ad Age blogs (as of 10.23.07). You can go here to get the code for this search.

Update #2: I made a twitter one just for giggles…I’m sure someone will find a use for it. I know you can do this in google already…but a nice box makes things easier. Get code here.

Social Media Blog Search

Ad Age Top 150 (All 475)

Twitter search


Mess of thoughts on effective mass brand communication using social media (kind of)

I’ve just been wanting to get some of this out –

Catching up on a couple of my daily read blogs that I hadn’t been reading daily came across a post of Rohit’s which lead me to his personal Facebook for his work and upcoming book (I think having his own group was clever). Clicking through his group came across the discussion ‘Brands are now defined as the sum of all conversations? hosted by David Alston of Radian6. I think it is a good definition thought I would argue that brands have always been defined by the conversation, just not recently. But I’m not sure its just conversations.

Another brand definition I have spent some time thinking about is ‘A brand is a collective perception in the minds of consumers’ by Faris. How we each perceive and reflect the brand creates the intangible result. I’m currently reading Herd and really digging into the idea that we define a brand (and ourselves) through others.

If I combine the two, it is through conversations we are able to construct the idea of the brand. So why something is being said to define a brand is just as important as what is being said. So while it is the some of all conversations, it is also the reason why all those conversations are being said.

Another piece that will have a reflective property on what and why will be who it is being said to. I’ve been looking into The Strength of Weak Ties and this post that discusses ‘Weak Ties and Diversity in Social Networks‘. I have been pondering both the effect of weak vs. strong ties and the language we use within the ties have on defining the perception of a brand. Social Media and the Social Graph are adding some interesting behavior against week/strong ties. For example, who has more recommendation pull and why – the Facebook group for board game geeks vs my local social friends.

So where does this all lead? I think that for mass reach advertising to still be effective in enhancing the brand effectiveness on consumer purchase behavior the advertising has to communicate an understanding and language that aids people in constructing recommendation conversation across both their weak or strong ties. More musing on this is a bit…

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