It’s prettier – but we’ll see….

I’m a sucker for design – so the new CUIL search engine is definitely attractive to my “aesthete”. But will it really be better?  After having a customized “my yahoo” page for almost 9 years it’s hard to transfer over to google’s home page – i did it for about 6 months and finally returned to yahoo…now google alerts?  love them.  so CUIL….let’s see what you got other than a pretty home page!  

guess what? it’s ALL social media!

I’m very fascinated with the “hype” around social media right now. very very fascinated. this morning’s adweek newsletter headline delivered the message “why brands need a new kind of leader” – truns out this was an article on ford’s appointment of a social media “guru” to evangelize social media throughout the organization. a smart move to say the least – but i do wonder how many employees at ford might already be participating? how many assistants have their own blogs already? photostreams? etc…

My mind was a whirl with the thought that people feel like this is “new” – that “new media” is now “social media” (which wikipedia defines as an umbrella term that ecompasses ALOT) Similar to how new media was considered something out of the ordinary – is social media now the new “ghetto dept”? understaffed, trying to do it all, other departments unwilling to “change the course” of their old ways…just when we get PR to update the website with the latest “on message” statement now we want them to actually converse with the consumer? egads!

All this thinking led me to Howard Rheingold’s website…who i consider to be the godfather of social media. His book Smart Mobs changed my thinking – dramatically. Howard is teaching a class at UC Berkley on Social Media and Virtual Communities – I spent the next few moments gathering the reading list, watching his vlog interview with a city planner of melbourne who created a wiki to come up with the future melbourne (how’s that for a community hearing!) much to read – and yes – students are assigned to keep a blog.

But i ended HERE. It is a really great account of social media history. It is fantastic – because it really does hit you – it’s ALL social media. People just want to interact with other people around ideas that interest them. Very simple. It’s about time that brand land open it’s eyes to the ability for that to be continuous. It doesn’t have to be a 12 month market research study – it can be a 12 minute video post or a 12 line blog entry. The best quote for me?

“The evolution of the Social Web was driven by fear, desire (to be with others), and fandom. By no means exclusively an American story, it shows instances in which users succeeded when striving for open access, jointly negotiating with corporate platform-providers.”

As any good entertainment marketer will tell you…It’s all about the fans…always has been…always will be….

my new favorite source of food for my brain

cover15.jpg I recently stumbled upon Monacle I know that I am not the “average” consumer; but wow. This is some engaging content! My first visit had me on the site for over 45 minutes. It’s sort of Wallpaper Magazine mashed with the BBC. It’s brilliant. The video content is well produced and interesting and just long enough for surfing around; the tags are done well to lead you into other areas.

The entire site is well designed, the content strategy well branded – and so much so that I signed up for the paper version of Monacle as well. I know that we live in a digital world – but as I head into the woods for the long weekend, I carry with me a stack of magazines for the hammock under a tree. There is still something about touching and looking at a glossy photo on the printed page that is so satisfying. I can’t see that going away.