THE COLLECTED STORIES OF
b as told by b
S e t h J. G o l d s t e i n .
Are we talking about the next printing press or the next Web 2.0?
COMMUNICATIONS, MEDIA AND SOCIAL MEDIA OVER TIME
b b Twitter
Email b Facebook b
b b CraigsList b MySpace
eBay b Del.icio.us
b b AOL
Telegraph Printing Press
b b b
Newspapers b Radio b Cable b
0 b Magazines Television Google
0 500 1000 1500 2000
Learn to Let Go
[ or the hows and whys of letting your brand get away from you ]
“In videos posted on YouTube and
elsewhere this week, a Domino’s employee
in Conover, N.C. prepared sandwiches for
delivery while putting cheese up his nose,
nasal mucus on the sandwiches.quot;
NEW YORK TIMES, APRIL 16 2009
“Brands are now becoming conversation
factors where academics, celebrities,
experts and key opinion formers discuss
functional, emotional and, more
interestingly, social concerns.quot;
SIMON CLIFT, UNILEVER
fig. 41.38.6 (cont.)
Most companies are scared to use social media
because they fear losing control of their brand
And yet consumers become more invested in
brands that reward their participation.
[ from Buffet and Munger to Newmark and Buckmaster ]
The management philosophy of Jim Buckmaster, CEO of Craig’s List
• Listen to what users want. Try to make the site faster and better.
• Hire good people.
• No meetings, ever. quot;I find them stupefying and useless.quot;
• No management programmes and no MBAs.
• Forget the figures.
• Occasionally, give people quot;a very gentle nudgequot;. This can be done over
lunch or on the instant messaging boards.
• He doesn't reply to any of his 100 daily messages, most of which beg
Craigslist to do a deal. quot;I'm not real chatty on e-mail.quot;
• Put speed over perfection: quot;Get something out there. Do it, even if it
Stand Roughly There
[ or how the perfect is the enemy of the good ]
“If you are not embarrassed by what you
are releasing, you are taking too long.”
REID HOFFMAN, LINKEDIN
fig. 22.214.171.124 (cont.)
Why is it that services which seem perpetually
“unfinished” are those that usully last the longest?
For the same reason that an accurate picture of a fast
moving car needs to be blurry not sharp.
Plan Your Escape
[ in other words: how to build it, and then get out of the way ]
“The key is recognizing that no matter how convinced you are in the power of your own ideas. Sometimes,
ideas have ideas of their own. That's certainly true in terms of system design. I made the system self-sustaining
for one reason: Back when I launched eBay on Labor Day 1995, eBay wasn't my business—it was my hobby. I
had to build a system that was self-sustaining. Because I had a real job to go to every morning. I was working as
a software engineer from 10 to 7, and I wanted to have a life on the weekends. So I built a system that could
keep working—catching complaints and capturing feedback. If I had had a blank check from a big VC, and a big
staff running around—things might have gone much worse. I would have probably put together a very complex,
elaborate system—something that justified all the investment. But because I had to operate on a tight budget—
tight in terms of money and tight in terms of time—necessity focused me on simplicity: So I built a system
simple enough to sustain itself.”
PIERRE OMIDYAR, EBAY FOUNDER
Tufts Commencement Address, June 2002
(It’ll do you good.)
fig. 87.13.22 (cont.)
The art of Social Media is to provide the lightest
weight social context for exchanging information.
It’s like hosting a cocktail party where you need to
keep lots of conversations going on at the same time
without getting stuck in any one of them.
Open the Switchboard
[ or why lots of little conversations are better than one big speech ]
“Utility doesn’t have to be this big thing.
It can take place in smaller, more
MARK ZUCKERBERG, FACEBOOK
(It’s not very becoming.)
fig. 22.5.9 (cont.)
Conventional media wisdom is to tell a great big
story to as many people as possible
Social Media is all about enabling lots of little
stories to be created by lots of different people at
the same time
Avoid (Excessive) Verbosity
[ or why only 140 characters actually works ]
quot;Creativity comes from constraint.quot;
BIZ STONE, TWITTER
(They’re already listening, anyway.)
fig. 22.5.9 (cont.)
We assume that engagement scales with bandwidth
But low bandwidth social interactions seem to
resonate stronger than high bandwidth multimedia
[ Why ]
(in other words:)
“We’re getting paid to present you with the opportunity to
interact with a product socially. And, if you choose to do so and
we can display this interaction to your friends, then we’ve done
half our job. The other half is ensuring that the social experience
was well received by you and your friends. It’s a different type of
adverting that pulls from the core of the social graph in a
distributed manner that is neither invasive nor annoying.”
DAVE GENTZEL, SOCIALMEDIA.COM
fig. 22.5.9 (cont.)
Internet advertising is typically a message from a
company that attempts to distract a user from what
he is doing in order to get him to click on a link to
an advertiser web site.
Social advertising is typically a message from a
person who has been prompted by a company to say
something. It promotes brand equity without
requiring the user clicking away.
Measure Your Influence
[ basically, how to manage the ratio of information to attention ]
“influence = how likely people are to do what
you say, given who you are, not what you say.”
(I mean, really.)
fig. 14.26.3 (cont.)
Attention / Information =
ratio of attention one gets to information one produces
The popular person who says little (i.e. the Pope or Ben
Bernanke) is usually more influential than the popular person
who says a lot (i.e. Robert Scoble or Jason Calacanis).