Uttercast: Happy Thanksgiving


I love vacations and days off, but while I can rest, I know the rest of the world is still going full-tilt while I’m off.

Holidays are different. The whole world – or enough of my world in the U.S. – stops for the Thanksgiving long weekend.

Those of you also celebrating Thanksgiving. Enjoy the break.

That box in the picture? The New Paris Bakery in Brookline, Massachusetts makes the best eclairs. Not sure if we,re having any on Thanksgiving this year, but one can hope.

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Uttercast: What Will Change in Obama Presidency?


I got meme-tagged by Susan Getgood (http://getgood.com/roadmaps), asking me to weigh in on what change Obama will bring.

Change? I am tempted to snort that a politician is a politician, and we are in for our usual 4-8 years of partisan wrangling and gridlock, despite an orgy of Democratic majorities.

However, I do see some real opportunity for change, solely because we are at a stage where a new regime is coming in and people
are excited.

Change lies not with a single person but the feelings he or she inspires. I feel that people voted for Obama because he was able to rally them and get them excited- on top of an extreme hangover from eight years of Bush. The atmosphere now feels a bit like 1992, to be honest.

So, change? I look not to Obama himself but to the many people energized by his campaign and victory. Real change, I think, will come from outside the government.

Here are my five people to tag:

Todd Van Hoosear (http://morethanmarketing.net/)

Aaron Strout (http://blog.stroutmeister.com/)

Bryan Person (http://bryanperson.com/)

Kevin Whalen – not an Obama supporter by any means, so I would really be interested in seeing what you do with this – (http://www.punditreview.com/)

Adam Zand (http://www.utterli.com/AdamZand)

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Uttercast: Disappearing Ink


PC Magazine is the latest publication to announce that it is stopping its regular print edition to concentrate on the Web. In public relations, we worry- as print publications decrease, will there be anything left to pitch? The answer, of course, is "I refuse to answer such an ill-considered question."

While there are certainly economic reasons attached to the wave of disappearing ink, there is still plenty of editorial out there. Online is the future, merely exacerbated by the economy.

We asked these same questions during the rise of the Internet when online e-zines sprouted,and during the bubble burst, when magazines folded at an alarming rate. There’s still plenty to read.

I had the pleasure of leading PR efforts for the Christian Science Monitor’s announcement that the daily print edition is moving online. They also know there is still a print audience to serve, so they will start a weekly magazine in April.

I’m just sad because I never missed a print issue of PC Mag ;)

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Uttercast: Discoverers & Discoverees


I often notice two types in online (ok, social media- but really it’s not just about that) interactions: Discoverers and Discoverees. I try to follow as many Discoverers as I can, as that is where I get the shared links, interesting articles, and information. I guess that makes me a Discoveree; one who seeks out this knowledge and absorbs it.

But wait, what if, aside from simply reading links and info from smart people, I actively ask around for answers? Does that make me a Discoverer? Then, what if I share that info with the community? The quiet ones share more than you think, and the "Discoverers" have to get their info from somewhere.

Clear enough? That’s what I get for trying to assign labels.

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Uttercast: Mindset


Look at the patch in this picture. 1981 seems like another era, but I was actually a teenager when I attended the event indicated on this gaudy piece of embroidery.

Why this photo? I have been thinking of mindset lately. Mindset, as in Beloit College’s "Mindset List" at http://www.beloit.edu/mindset, designed to remind teachers of the worldview of incoming Freshmen. What is the worldview of someone born after I got this patch? We’re both adults, but we both grew up in different worlds.

I’m not just talking about growing up with technology either. I have lived through three recessions. Recalling the last one, I remember folks a little younger than I had little concept of what was happening.

How do you relate to other generations? Do you consider "mindset?"

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Social Media Top 5: SMB10, SNCR, and Never You (Social)Mind(er)

A bunch of social media events and topics have caught my eye in the past week. Not least of which, I have been busy attending Social Media Breakfast 10 in Cambridge MA, and the annual Society of New Communications Research symposium in Boston.

I posted briefly on the breakfast
the other day. But for more, the full video of the event:

As of this writing, the SNCR symposium is still too fresh to digest fully, but topics like social media adoption by the Inc. 500 (why not watch more nimble small businesses for lessons on what the rest of the slower enterprise world could do?) and an overview social media in the election (co-presented by Albert Maruggi), among others. While a full day of presentations is mind-numbing, the ability of this organization to put numbers behind ideas is valuable. Next step: what you all– what are we– doing with this data?

Silly Social Media Tools: A lot of Web sites and tools allowing you to play with your blog or Twitter, “analyzing” the sites, ranking people, etc., exist for our amusement. Lately, a couple have ticked people off:

SocialMinder: Remember Quechup? That social network spammed your mailing list with invites without your permission. Almost as bad, SocialMinder requires you to invite at least 15 people before allowing you to try the full alpha. How about letting me try the alpha, then when you wow me tell me I should invite friends? How about trusting me to be an evangelist? Don’t turn people like B.L. Ochman against you.

Twitterank: Give this site (right, not linking- Google it) your Twitter username and password, get a random number for your “Twitter Rank.” Ok, I admit I did that for amusement, and quickly changed my password. Then, click a button to Tweet the result and show the world you fell for it.

GenderAnalyzer: Another silly tool, this one harmless, unless you are sensitive about your masculinity (what’s wrong with being 54% man?). There are some gender confusion issues, apparently:

Scott Monty in Genderanalyzer.com

Bonus: The Onion nails the problem with YouTube:

YouTube Contest Challenges Users To Make A ‘Good’ Video

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Uttercast: Obscure References


I love to make obscure pop culture references. I suppose it makes me feel smart to know useless stuff, but also, when someone else gets the reference, you can make instant connections.

What if you’re trying to reach a larger audience? Do you know how to walk the line between cool and obscure? I think people who don’t know the 1979 Steve Martin film "The Jerk" will be very confused by this car dealer ad. I got it, I thought it was funny. My wife thought Ernie Boch was, well, a jerk.

To quote the 1984 film "This is Spinal Tap" (come on, you know that one) : "There’s a fine line between clever and stupid."

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Uttercast: Measurement, ROI & Other Scary Words


Yesterday’s Social Media Breakfast in Boston (SMB10- have we really had 10 already?) bore the topic "Social Media ROI." The speakers, Brian Halligan of Hubspot, Matt Cutler of Visible Measures, and Andrew McAfee of Harvard Business School, all weighed in on a topic that clearly they need to think about every day.

What did I come away with? A mixture of pragmatism and hopelessness. Pragmatism
in the phrase "measure what you can measure." We often try to get our minds around measuring things that are a bit abstract. This is especially true in public relations, where our efforts are often a couple of steps removed from business results, or our ends are concepts like "branding" and awareness." Hopelessness? That our bosses and clients still want measurement and justification for the abstract. Don’t think we have the silver bullet – yet.

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