Creating your online experience: Don’t be the capsule hotel


When you’re creating the online experience for your organization, brand or even yourself, keep this simple advice in mind: Don’t be the capsule hotel, be the dinner party. It may sounds somewhat strange, but when I stumbled upon these two images I couldn’t help using them to illustrate this point: A shared online experience is always better than a solitary one.

Don’t be the capsule hotel, where people are isolated and by themselves. They may be technologically advanced and offer cool features, but they offer a solitary experience:

Luxury Capsule by Flickr user madrigation Image: Luxury Capsule by Flickr user madrigation

Be the dinner party. Everybody’s chatting away happily, and your friends are invited too:

Friday Night Dinner Party by Flickr user Angelo Image: Friday Night Dinner Party by Flickr user Angelo

Even if it’s more crowded and maybe not as perfect as the capsule hotel experience, it’s more fun, more interesting, more social. You’d prefer sharing dinner with friends to a night in the capsule hotel anytime, wouldn’t you? Well, the same goes for online communities. Take all steps necessary to make sure you offer the most social, shared experience possible. It starts with simple, small steps: Let your guests talk to each other by enabling comments, and make it easy to get in touch by opening up contact channels. See what works for you and what doesn’t, but please, say goodbye to the idea of having a controlled user experience if that means cutting out social aspects.

Traditional media goes mobile streaming: Gannett & Mogulus?


Mogulus logoAs Techcrunch announced today, video streaming service Mogulus just got a big of extra cash ($10 million). What interesting here is who that money is coming from: Gannett, a major U.S. based publisher and very much a traditional media outlet:

[Garnett] publishes 85 daily newspapers, including USA TODAY, and nearly 900 non-daily publications. (…) The company is the largest newspaper publisher in the U.S.

Neither Mogulus nor Gannett mention anything on their blogs, websites or in their press releases (yet), so handle Techcrunch’s info with care. But if this is true, then Gannett’s investing in a video streaming service like Mogulus is a good indicator of how media is evolving. And indeed, giving your readers, users or citizen journalists the tools to capture their own news would make a lot of sense particularly for traditional outlets. So it should be interesting to see how this plays out.

Update: Both companies confirmed the deal: Gannett’s press release, Mogulus’ press release, Mogulus’ blog post. Please note that neither company discloses the amount of the investment.

Slideshow: Free Traffic. Social Media Marketing 101


At Web 2.0 Expo San Francisco, Muhammad Saleem gave this great presentation on Social Media Marketing. It covers the basics as well as some advanced background info, like about the Digg algorithm.

For further reading make sure to check out the references he kindly provided.

(via Matthias Henze)

Liveblogging from next08


next08Tomorrow I’ll be blogging live from next conference in Hamburg, Germany. next08 is is one of Germany’s top web conferences and I was thrilled that SinnerSchrader asked me to be one of four livebloggers at their conference. (Thanks a lot, Martin!)

This year’s theme is get realtime:

The main theme will be get realtime. We want to take care of the challenge that customers are communicating in real-time but companies do not. What does it take to implement, how can brands solve this challenge?

We’ll cover the conference sessions in German and English, my part will be the English blogging. You’ll find the (bi-lingual) coverage on fischmarkt.de. Also, there’s an official conference Twitter account next08, and we’ll twitter individually, too: Steffen Büffel, Volker Agüeras Gäng and myself.

This should be fun. If you’re at next, make sure to say hi!

Chinese Anti-CNN Campaign


Note: I won’t touch the politics behind this campaign in this post. If you were looking for any political opinion on this subject, feel free to skip this post.

Over the last couple of days, I’ve been getting increasing amounts of propaganda material spam (pardon: information) related to China’s campaign against the CNN.

(When I say “China”, I’m referring not necessarily to the government, although I suspect it’s a driving force here, but to the origin of the messages. Same goes for CNN: The news channel is just a name for Western media, both in said campaign and in this post. End of disclaimer.)

Just to name a few pieces I found noteworthy:

Anti-Riot and Anti-CNN shirts: Anti-Riot shirts (I have to admit, I kind of like the slightly oddly translated slogan “Anti-Riot & Explore The Truth”.)

A Twitter account called Jack Cafferty, supposedly by the CNN anchor. The profile links to Anti-CNN.com where you can find the real deal, like campaign propaganda videos suggesting that the situation in Iraq and U.S. involvement there has relevance to what’s going on in Tibet. (Err. Ok. No politics, right?)

Twitter Anti-CNN hasn’t said a lot yet, but follows a motley crew of folks including: Putin, Mao, Jack Cafferty, Jiang Zemin, and – oddly enough – Jeremiah Owyang.*

One thing all of them have in common: The words truth and lies are used rather inflationary, and usually in upper case. Always a good sign, right?

Apart from that, I do find it interesting how quickly social media are deployed in this campaign. And I can’t help but wonder: Is this a centralized, orchestrated campaign or some kind of decentralized, bottom-up movement?

Have you experienced any elements of the Anti-CNN campaign? What did you think?

  • Update: As Jeremiah notes correctly, it’s not strange that folks are following him (many do, he’s a thought leader in social media), and it doesn’t indicate his endorsement of his followers. However, when I checked Anti-CNN’s Twitter account, they were following only (or to a large extent) fake profiles of dictators, political leaders, media figures. It’s that not-being-fake part that made Jeremiah stand out. Sorry for the misunderstanding, J.!

Re:publica 08 #4 (Wrap-up)


So re:publica 08 is over, it’s the week after and things are back to normal. I’m only posting this just now since my weekend pretty much went into moving to a new apartment, but now that I’ve settled in, I’m back on a more regular schedule after after a trip to New York and San Francisco and visiting the blogger conference.

To quickly wrap things up, re:publica was fun, and again very well organized. A big thanks to Newthinking and Spreeblick!

One thing that struck me as noteworthy was how many attendees used Twitter. Twitter was all over the place, much more than last year, when the odd (and oddly addictive) messaging service/social network hit mainstream at SXSW. (If you’re on Twitter, say hi.) Probably this was the highest Twitter density ever reached in Germany. Twitter was so ubiquitous that it pretty much made obsolete the SMS wall behind the main panel, so we had several layers of meta discussion at all times: While in the background text messages (and the occasional tweet) were projected, there was a much more lively backchannel via Twitter. Also, this made it pretty clear how much of an echo chamber Twitter still is, with mostly Social Media folks using it while the outside world hasn’t even noticed.

Speaking of echo chambers, Alana Taylor did a fun, brief video poll among students around NYU, asking them about Facebook, Flickr and Twitter:

(Admittedly, I was surprised how few folks were familiar with Flickr, which I always had down as quite mainstream..?)

The whole event was, of course, not just about content, but also about meeting folks, so networking was high on the agenda. The location, called Kalkscheune, is a great venue in that respect, as it has smaller workshop rooms, a big panel room, a coffeeshop-style lobby as well as a nice backyard, and it’s located very centrally in Berlin Mitte.

Someone (who, by the way?) also tried to facilitate networking by printing out Twitter follower stickers, so you could tag, or rather: follow, your fellow attendees Twitter-style with neat little stickers. Of course, this didn’t help the infamous conference-chat, which consists of not locking into people’s faces but at their name tags, but lots of stickers were seen, so obviously the concept resonated.

I had the chance to meet a whole bunch of folks, but since I couldn’t be there all the time, I’m sure I’ve also missed quite a few. If you had planned to get in touch, please do, via email, Twitter or what you prefer.