Archive for September, 2010

September 30th, 2010

The value of an idea in the era of Social Media (ESCP Europe / mmk2)

by Laurent François

Citizens!

I had the chance last night to meet the brilliant people from Master in Marketing & Creativity (ESCP Europe) in order to talk about the value of an idea in the era of Social Media. Wide & wild question, when we face the millions of initiatives that are launched every week all over the world. At the end, what makes an idea succeed whereas others collapse?

We dived into new paradigms, like liquid modernity or attention economy. We discussed about methodology to transform ideas into IdeAlS (Ogilvy’s Big Ideal). We raised some issues about change management or measuring success…The students are now working on 2 case studies: Architurn & Arteest, 2 fantastic projects that have been recently launched. Here’s the deck:

September 25th, 2010

Tweet your MEP! towards open democracy at a European level?

by Laurent François

The EU activists Toute l’Europe.eu has launched, on Sept. 22nd, a new democracy tool between Citizen and Members of European Parliament: TweetYourMEP (TyMEP for short in Social Media like twitter). Basically, once you’ve selected the MEP you want to outreach, you can shout him/her a message.

This platform is great:

  • it allows EU citizens to interact with MEP on diverse Social Media
  • it’s a first step to break the language issue in Europe (we don’t all speak English)
  • it’s a tool that can be used both by regular citizens & activists
  • it’s a way to keep data and to get a history of what were MEP asked
  • it’s a great tool to make some lobbying at the EU level instead of the very local one
  • it’s a way to create fantastic digital influence strategy against or pro MEP

Congrats and if you American guys feel like giving us some advice, we’re in!

September 17th, 2010

Why Diaspora project could work

by Laurent François

Citizens! I had a conversation this week around net neutrality and some French entrepreneurs around the table did not believe at all that Diaspora could defeat the “big” Facebook. Well, big, if you think twice, you can easily remember it’s a younger network than my own studies period, so as “evidences of relevance” are not so…evident.

Moreoever, I like the MySpace example and the Facebook one. In the early ages of Facebook, no one could think there’d be a massive translation from a network to another. It was in a sense pretty easy in the MySpace to Facebook in France, as MySpace was mostly perceived as an entertainment platform for us against a “friend management system” for Facebook. Different usages, so as a market gap that was filled. Something absolutely different in the US where MySpace was an interpersonal network, a true Social Network on your whole life. And it finally happened: people moved to Facebook, or added Facebook to their digital identity. And Facebook & MySpace can now be synchronized.

For Diaspora, the challenge is big: be able to mobilize general public to move to is platform, against the Facebook one. Something complicated as every mobile device providers pre-install Facebook or Twitter.

But.

There’s been a wide PR coverage about new Facebook competitor. Every single news magazine diffused interviews, opinions, articles, about this new player. There’s been a great mobilization online, from diverse communities: the founders are not just “geek” people, they’re also like us: citizens, fed up with Facebook Califorinia laws. Fed up with this Teddy Boy called Mark Zuckerberg who wants to control our social graph.

There’s obviously an explicit expectation. And when it comes to social networks, explicit networks play a great role. For instance, if Viadeo, the French professional network, worked so well, it’s because during the summer of its launch, the salesmen & founders called their C+ friends to join the platform. For explicit reasons. They transferred their whole address books. Then they added or made implicit networks play the prescription mechanism on its own. On a daily basis, anytime I meet an interesting professional contact, based on my experience, I can decide to explicitely add someone.

On Diaspora, there’s both an explicit reason to join, and an implicit mechanism which can lead to a massive interest from the general public.

  • there’s been an engagement program towards the traditional Key opinion leaders & towards disruptive ones like bloggers
  • there’s a clear value proposition: a Facebook without Facebook Manichean attitude
  • there’s a tricky tactics: not directly opposing Facebook to Diaspora (either join us either leave us) but progressively demonstrating why it’d be better

There are strong business opportunities for developers to join Diaspora model, as Diaspora released today its source:

  • you can be freed from Apple or Facebook constraints
  • you can also get enough audience to make your great service worth
  • you can go directly to your relevant public
  • you can avoid legal issues therefore money waste on privacy questions

For me, as a citizen-consumer, I see many interests:

  • I don’t lose my social capital if I move to Diaspora
  • I can probably get great applications & services, and to be fair, I don’t give a shit if it’s on Facebook or else, if it works on my smartphone and if I can get access to all the resources I need
  • It’s a manifesto for a more fair market. And I like fair & true view principles

Maybe I’m too Android-minded. Maybe.

September 10th, 2010

Is Social Media changing the world or is the world generating Social Media?

by Laurent François

Citizens!

According to eMarketer, “40% of brand representatives around the world felt social media posed new challenges to the integrity of their brand. More than a third said that social networking sites affected brands significantly enough to bring about changes in marketing strategy” . Interesting statements; but I guess that the following conclusions are not enough: “But with 500 million consumers reachable on Facebook, and a host of other networking sites, services like Twitter and the rest of the social web, the challenges may be worth it. More than half of brand representatives told MiresBall and KRC that social media gave them an opportunity to reach new customers

It’s like if marketers were missing a level: it’s not Twitter nor Facebook that are at stake, it’s more generally the way people lead their daily life, the way they talk to one another, the way they priorize things. At the end, we don’t really care Facebook nor Twitter (for instance, in South Korean, NO ONE cares).

Focusing on 2 trending networks cannot be a good attitude: it lacks strategic implications. For instance, if I were Uniqlo, I would probably try to see which channels can be interesting, true. But I’d start with a simple objective: why do I communicate? Once I’ve found my reasons, what’s the value proposition? And only then I’m gonna ask which supports can propagate this value proposition. Supports and not channels: because for instance, supports can also be a limited edition, a flashcode, a media partnership.

Focusing too much on Social Media is the same mistake than focusing too much on advertising or retail: all these practices are part of a same effort. It’s because the world’s changing than Social Media is changing the world.