Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/08/09

Open Source FundingThe Mark Cuban Stimulus Plan – Open Source Funding
This first pick strays a bit from the social media, PR and marketing space that I typically draw from, but its certainly relevant in these tough economic times. Mark Cuban shares his idea for “Open Source Funding” and invites businesses to present their plans directly on his blog! Startups that have been finding it hard to attract VC funding might benefit from this alternative route. Just be sure that your business meets the rules stated in the post!

Making Social Media Work (for your business to business marketing)
David Libby from the Inspiring Dialogue blog shares 5 tips to help B2B companies start getting their social media efforts working better for them.

Leading by Example
Scott Monty (head of Social Media at Ford) shares two stories that show how some simple gestures from CEO Alan Mulally have gone a long way to help build long-lasting relationships with a few customers.

Video – Participation Marketing, Social Media and Teams
Sports Marketer, Jason Peck shares the basics of Alan Rosenpan’s take on “Participation Marketing” and why it matters to pro sports teams and other businesses alike.

Feedly Mini Updated: Now with More Twitter and FriendFeed Interaction
If you’ve taken the plunge into social networking and are an active user of Twitter, FriendFeed and Google Reader, then you might be interested in taking a look at Feedly. Its a nifty little plugin for Firefox that not only allows you to more easily share blog posts back out more easily, but also allows you to see how many other people have shared it in Google Reader or Digg. It even tellls you how many people have had conversations about the post on FriendFeed – neat! This post from Sarah Perez on ReadWriteWeb gives a great overview.

Writer Kristen Nicole — Quiet Rebel and Social Aficionado

Kristen NicoleIn this week’s installment of our journalist interview series, we catch up with Kristen Nicole, editor/writer at AllFacebook & The Social Times, and co-author of the Twitter Survival Guide. In addition to her passion for technology and writing, Kristen lets us in on how social media has changed her world, the importance of her family and friends, and her interest in quantum mechanics. A self-proclaimed quiet rebel, Kristen is a true renaissance woman who may have been a social revolutionary in a past life…

PPR: How did you get into writing?
KN: The story of how I got into writing is a little indirect, as I studied bio-psychology in undergrad at the University of Michigan. But let me tell you, there are a lot of papers you have to write when your studies revolve around research and the subsequent findings. After working in clinical research after college, I later found myself helping my friend Emile Cambry Jr. research features needed for his web-based startup Soceeo.com. Reading blogs like TechCrunch helped a great deal in my research, and I wanted to do something similar for the city of Chicago in regards to blogging about the local web-based startups in my own town. In my spare time I began blogging, and eventually started doing interviews with the CEOs of various web-based startups. From there I went on to contribute to larger online publications like CenterNetworks and Mashable. After Mashable founder Pete Cashmore offered me a full-time job, I officially transitioned into the writing profession.

PPR: In your current role as a contributing writer, what angles attract you the most?
KN: I’m actually contributing to AllFacebook and SocialTimes now. Taking that into consideration, anything Facebook-related is an attractive angle for AllFacebook. :) All jokes aside, for AllFacebook we like to see stories that affect everyday users, brands leveraging Facebook’s Platform and Facebook Connect, and those turning to Facebook for organic social graph marketing. We’re also interested in the larger social and political implications that Facebook has on our online and offline culture.
For SocialTimes, we take a broader approach to our coverage, branching out to social networks and media spaces outside of Facebook.

PPR: What else do you like to write about besides technology?
KN: It’s hard to find time to write about things outside of technology, and when I do have a chance to “unplug” I’m often too tired to think about writing at all! But I very much enjoy writing about my own personal experiences, or writing letters to friends and family members, which can be a therapeutic and artistic form of communication in and of itself.

PPR: How do keep up with emerging trends and new technology?
KN: Stay online all the time! Even if I’m hanging out with friends, I’m constantly checking up on technology news via my mobile phone. Google Reader is a huge help, and having RSS delivery options through SMS also helps me stay updated to trends. I also attend as many conferences and events as possible, so I can see what the new companies and products are, as well as meet the people behind them. I find that personal relationships are the best way in which to stay abreast of trends and new technology, as immersing in conversation with others can be an enlightening experience.

PPR: What do you feel are the hottest trends in technology for 2009?
KN: I think mobile social networking is really starting to take off, because the applications we’re seeing on mobile devices like the iPhone are better designed for easy access and content delivery, without having to fully engage in a mobile web experience. I also think we’ll see a lot more for large social networks’ platforms creating an economy around their platforms for enabling direct transactions between end users, themselves and third parties. This could have large implications for social networks as they rely less on ad revenue, as they have been able to in the past. This also leads to another trend for 2009, which is more creative, engaging and integrated advertising in the online realm. I don’t think there will be any radical changes, but the bar has definitely been raised in terms of the necessity to find better ways in which to engage with consumers while still being budget-conscious. Much of this we’ll see from third party advertising and reporting companies, and I imagine as the economy stabilizes and the social networks themselves find better ways in which to create an industry around user data, we’ll see more robust (and expensive) options coming directly from these networks.

PPR: How has social media changed your world?
KN: Honestly the biggest way in which social media has changed my world is in enabling me to have a career that’s both different and fulfilling. For something that was a bit of a haven in high school, growing up in a rather protected environment where online social networks became a viable outlet for me, my early and ongoing interaction with online social networks has lent me first hand experience that translated quite well into becoming a social media expert. Social media has allowed me to publish myself in ways I never would have thought possible, providing a way to build my own credibility and become a participating member of the never-ending discussions that take place around the very social media industry I’m lucky enough to be member to.

PPR: What tech gadget could you not live without?
KN: My Nokia N95. It’s the coolest phone I’ve ever had. It lets me do just about anything I want in regards to media and media sharing. I love that I can stream video live to the web, add applications that make media sharing an automated service, and overall turning me into a distribution launch pad for anything I’d like to share on the web. It’s a mini computer, really. I love it.

PPR: What do you do for fun when you aren’t working?
KN: Is there such a thing? To be honest, I love watching old movies. I read books on quantum mechanics and peruse Google videos for BBC documentaries nearly every Saturday evening. I’m not a complete recluse, though! I love to go out to see indie films with my best friends, go to art shows, live performances and lounges as well.

PPR: What type of music do you listen to when you want to unwind?
KN: I’m still a big fan of neo-soul. Amel Larioux is one of my favorite artists. Stevie Wonder is my all time favorite, though he’s more rock. And I’m not sure what genre this would be, but I’ve really been into music from artists like Adele, Alice Smith and Santegold lately. Would that be considered rock of some sort? i wouldn’t even know.

PPR: Who has been the most influential person in your life and why?
KN: My parents. The two of them are so extreme in their personalities that I’ve been able to learn from the best of both their worlds and strive for a happy medium in terms of being career driven and remaining a genuine person. My business partner Emile Cambry is also one of the most influential people in my life, because he’s been a supportive and catalyzing factor in my career decisions. Working with someone like that can really keep me moving forward.

PPR: What did you do in a past life?
KN: Ha! I think I was a social revolutionary of some sort, even if I only influenced a handful of people. I tend to be a quiet rebel at times, and I suppose that comes from my revolutionary mentality from my past life. :)

Persuasive Picks for the week of 02/01/09

MC Hammer TransitionHow MC Hammer went from caricature to human being – the social media story
Jim Tobin from IgniteSocial.com shares a few simple lessons for corporate marketers citing how MC Hammer has leveraged social media to help build his business and reputation with social media marketing.

ROI (Results on Insights) of Online Communities
Beth Kanter consistently offers up excellent information on her social media blog for non-profits. This post includes several perspectives and great links to additional supporting posts around the topic of ROI and Online Communities.

8 Questions to Ask Your “Social Media Expert”
Using a product or service doesn’t instantly make you an expert. How do you differentiate between the knowledgeable folks and the snake-oil salesmen in the social media space? Dave Fleet offers up 8 questions to ask any “Social Media Experts” you might be considering doing business with. Be sure to browse the comments for additional advice and opinions.

The Importance of a Social Media Support System
Are you the sole evangelist for deploying a social media strategy in your organization? Have you given much thought to how much support you’ll get from the rest of the organization? This post from marketer Jacob Morgan provides some food for thought in that area.

B2B Social Media Marketing: Why should you start?
Kate Brodock from the Other Side Group highlights last week’s post B2B social media marketing post from MarketingProfs and expand on it in the areas of brand outreach and thought leadership.

Charissa Cowart of FOX News is One Very Busy Journalist

And you thought journalists were just journalists. Charissa Cowart, media personality and trendspotter from WALA-TV “FOX10″ News in Alabama, proves once again that journalists are people too. From reporting to fashion design, blogging to gaming, she is one busy – and interesting – person. And she has some good advice about wings vs. legs…

PPR:  What is your main beat at FOX News in Alabama?
CC: I report on anything Internet-related, from sex offenders on social networking sites, to the coolest tech gadgets, fun websites or Steve Jobs’ fake obituaries. I have a segment called the Daily Dot Com and literally, everyday is something different for me to report on. In addition, I am the web producer so I do everything to keep our website up and running with fresh content when I’m not on the air.

PPR:  You started the Web site FashionTrendSpotting.com – what is this and how did you get started?
CC:  Fashion Trend Spotting is a new idea I built in my brain and finally released in the form of a blog. Basically it is the idea that I can spot trends in everyday people. I want to make everyday people part of the “fashion industry” instead of the few “big names” who tell us what is “in” this season. I know that there are very fashionable people out in the world who have a keen eye for fashion in their own way but have never had the chance to show that. So, in the future I will be traveling across the globe to spot these people and use their fashion as inspiration to design my own clothing line. On each article of clothing you will see a tag with information about me and Fashion Trend Spotting along with information about the person who the inspiration came from. In short, the fashion industry is YOU and ME.

PPR:  You also write for StartupsLive.tv – why did you decide to do this among your already busy schedule?
CC:  Well, first of all I LOVE to stay busy. I am at my happiest when I am immersed in “stuff.” Rather than written text like a blog, Lucky Startups is a company that interviews any and all startups across the globe. I am a correspondent and I interview CEO’s of startup companies Live online using Skype. It gives them a Free avenue to get their company or website out to the world.

PPR:  What do you most like about Twitter?
CC:  Connections, Connections, Connections!! I love meeting new people, but with my busy schedule there isn’t much time for relaxed socializing. With Twitter I can meet and connect, network with so many very intelligent and creative people while writing my blog, or preparing for a Lucky Startups interview or feeding my dog (I use the iPhone there). It’s just a great way to connect and network with so many brilliant, fun, and humorous people on the web.

PPR:  What is your one fashion “must have”?
CC:  Just one?!? Ok, ok, if I have to pick just one I would say high heels. I think so often it’s the shoes that make the outfit!

PPR:  Beyond fashion which we know you love, what are some of your personal hobbies?
CC:  I love playing Nintendo Wii – yes I’m a gamer, I might not look or sound like one, but I am. I also love to play board games with my friends, dance (Salsa and Swing), sing at the top of my lungs in the car, twirl – yes I said twirl. Wow, I can’t believe I’m telling you this, but when I’m at home in my socks I like to pick up my dog (Sam) and twirl on the kitchen tile. It makes me feel like a little girl again – even if it’s just for a few seconds. I think every female should do something, anything that allows her to feel like a little girl again, try it, you’ll love it! I also love, love, love to eat pizza and watch Gilmore Girls re-runs. I recently got engaged (about a week ago) so now my newest hobby is planning the wedding of my dreams. Oh and I love to play on Twitter, edit videos, take pictures…

PPR:  If you were not a journalist, what would you be?
CC:  A professional Figure Skater. I trained in figure skating for almost 10 years throughout middle school and high school. I loved every minute of it and was planning to go to the Olympics, but when I got to college and became involved in the school’s news program, that took up all of my time and my plans soon changed, which isn’t a bad thing. If not a figure skater, then I would be a Wedding Planner or a Chef – the only problem is I don’t know how to cook!

PPR:  Where do you want to take your next vacation?
CC:  Fiji, no wait – Italy, or how about snow skiing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming! I would go ANYWHERE right now for a vacation as long as I could relax away from stress. Honestly, right now Tweeting feels like a vacation – that’s how crazy life gets sometimes in the news business.

PPR:  Did you make any New Year’s resolutions?
CC:  I did! ….. Oh you want to know what they were? My first is to chase my dreams as if I have wings and not legs. The other is not to forget about my resolution.

PPR:  What change are you hoping to see in 2009?
CC:  I guess I can speak for everyone by saying I pray our economic instability becomes stable in the U.S.