People Companies Advertise Archives Contact Us Jason Dowdell

Marketing Home » Archives » 2009 » June » Week 3

June 2009, Week 3 Marketing Archives

Friday, June 19, 2009

Clay Shirky Explains How Twitter & Facebook Have Changed Geopolitics

20 years after the Berlin Wall fell in Germany,barriers are falling in Iran and China, only this time, it's not a concrete wall collapsing, it's a firewall.

Social Media expert Clay Shirky offered this great piece of insight during his presentation at the TED conference, How cellphones, Twitter and Facebook can make history.During his 17-minute speech, Shirky made this bold claim:

We're starting to see a media landscape in which innovation is happening everywhere, and moving from one spot to another. That is a huge transformation. Not to put to fine a point on it, but the moment we're living through, is the largest increase in expressive capability in human history.

At the time, Shirky's statement may have seemed a bit extreme, but as videos of Iran protests pour into Youtube each day, the rest of the world gets a glimpse into a society that's normally isolated from mainstream media.

iran protestsWe shouldn't be surprised by the public's ability to circumvent an oppresive regime, because we saw a similar phenomona during China's earthquake last summer. The first reports came from citizens on Twitter, rather than China's state news agency. Within hours, nine of the top 10 URLs on Twitter linked to citizen news reports,including videos and pictures.

You may recall the China Youtube Ban, so how did the Red Dragon fall prey to the power of social media? Because the censors were focused on blocking outside media,rather than removing internal media, which is very similar to the movement we're witnessing in Iran, as supporters of MirHussein Mousavi  use Twitter to protest the Ahmadinejad regime. Shirky pointed out the following areas where China's government failed:

China's government assumed:

  1. Media is produced by professionals and mostly comes from the outside world.
  2. Media comes in relatively sparce chunks comes in relatively slowly.

Shirky explains how China's assumptions caused them to overlook the threat from within-user generated content.

The great firewall was facing in the wrong direction for this challenge, because not one of those things was four things was true in this environmen tproduced by amateuers, produced locally and produced at such an incredible abundance that there was no way to filter it as it appeared.

Shirky points to four periods in the last 500 years where media has changed enough to qualify for revolution.

  1. Movable type printing press:Made printing possible in mid 1400s.
  2. Telegraph and telephone, 200 years ago: Conversational media. Enabled two-way communication.
  3. Photos,sound and movies recorded media other than print,  encoded in physical objects arrived 150 years ago.
  4. Radio and TV- sending sound and images through the air.

The difference between the past revolutions and this revolution?

The internet is the first medium in history that has native support for groups and conversationS at the same time. In other words, the phone gave us one-to-one communication pattern, TV,radio magazines and books gave us the one to many pattern, and the internet gave us the first many-to-many pattern, while acting as an access point to all other media.

Shirky points out the limitations of the four prior media revolutions.

  • The (old) media that's good at creating conversations, is no good at creating groups, and the media that's good at creating groups, is no good at creating conversations.
  • If you want to have a conversation, you have it with one other person.
  • If you want to address a group, you get the same message and you give it everyone in the group, whether you're doing that with a broadcasting tower or a printing press, that was the media as we had it in the 20th century.

Other key insights I gained from watching Shirky's presentation:

  • Tools don't get socially interesting until they get technologically boring.It isn't when the shiny new tools show up that their new uses start permeating society, it's when everybody is able to take them for granted.
  • In the case of social media, the tech transfer goes in the opposite direction that we think the tech transfer should go, from the developed world, to the developing world,
  • Because media is increasingly social, innovation can happen anywhere that people can take for  granted the idea that we're all in this together.
  • Media is less and less about crafting a single message to be consumed by individuals, and is more and more often a way of creating an envioronment for convening and supporting groups.
  • Media is increasingly a site of coordination, because groups that see or hear or watch or listen to something can now gather around and talk to each other as well
  • Members of the former audience can also be producers and not consumers.

As Shirky says, the question we all face now is, "How can we make best use of this media, even though it means changing the way we've always done it?"

Clay Shirky Explains How Twitter & Facebook Have Changed Geopolitics By Matt O'Hern at 04:16 PM
Comments (1)

Citizen Reports of Iran Protests Show Social Media's Power Over Ahmadinejad

twitter vs. ahmadinejadCould Hitler have been stopped if Twitter existed in the WW2 era?
In wake of the Iranian uprising against Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, it's a question worth pondering.

 Enraged by the controversial re-election, supporters of candidate MirHussein Mousavi are displaying their outrage, and revealing Iran's brutal police tactics to the world. This isn't the first example of social media impacting politics. Barak Obama's rise to the U.S. Presidency also opened the world's eyes to the power of social connectivity.
iranelection on twitter
Iranian protests impressed the U.S. State Department to the point it persuaded Twitter to postpone a scheduled maintenance in order to allow the Iranians to continue their Tweets.
Washington Post reporter Mike Musgrove's article: Twitter Is a Player In Iran's Drama, took a closer look at the movement to determine if the Tweets were legit, since Twitter does not support the use of Farsior. According to a source in Musgrove's article, a group of Iranian students are relaying their info to a group outside of Iran.An Iranian-American activist in Washington said that tweets have been coming from a group of students relaying the news to contacts outside of Iran. An excerpt from the article reads:


A lot of people are coining what is happening in Iran as a Twitter revolution.... Many users, logging on from outside Iran, said they changed their account's location listing to Tehran, in a move to confuse government censors who might be trying to shut down communications from Iran.

Thomas P.M. Barnett , author of Great Powers and the former Senior Strategic Research officer for the Navy, offered his take on the social media revolution brewing in Iran. Barnett considers it a great example of  "Individual-level global connectivity thumping government efforts at repressing protest by--in part--cutting off its media oxygen." Barnett added:

While it's relatively easy to round up the mainstream media, it's much harder to corral the peer-to-peer stuff--again connectivity trumping Orwell.

PBS talk show host Charlie Rose interviewed a panel of social media experts, including Chris Kelly, the chief privacy officer for Facebook. Rose asked Kelly: "Will we look back and say this was a turning point somehow, that technology became as much of an institution, as institutions have served so much in the past?

Kelly called the presence of the proxy servers and the social media response an "incredibly powerful symbol of resistance against the regime.

We’ve thought for quite some time that technology can play a powerful force in politics.  That it had a great effect in this past presidential election.  In the U.S. here and with one of our founders Chris Hughes going off and working with the Obama campaign.  And it continues toaffect the organizing for social change around the world.

I tend to agree with internet tech expert Clay Shirky and his declaration that social networking has become the largest increase in expressive capability in human history. My next post will breakdown Shirky's presentation at the TED conference: How cellphones, Twitter and Facebook can make history. I'll break down his presentation in my next post.

Citizen Reports of Iran Protests Show Social Media's Power Over Ahmadinejad By Matt O'Hern at 11:48 AM
Comments (1)

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Review of iPhone3.0 Update: Apple Adds the Essentials, Nothing Exciting

text steve jobs Pardon my tardy review on the iPhone 3.0 update, but thanks to Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and AT&T's slow 3G Network, I was unable to install the new software yesterday.

 iphone copy pasteWith that complaint out of the way, here's my take on the update from Steve Jobs and Co.Here's my take on some of the notable "enhancements"

  • Copy and Paste: Adding this function greatly improves the browsing and emailing experience for each user. This is an essential function for any smartphone, and was long overdue.
  • Widescreen texting: Palm Pre slideout keyboards are the new rage, but now that the iPhone's touchscreen version is available in wide format, I'll avoid many of the frustrating typos and send messages much faster.itunes shake shuffle
  • Shake to Shuffle iTunes:With the time devoted for research and development of this feature, Apple could have utilized that time and energy on revolutionary tool.
  • Voice recorder: An app that's long overdue and was available in the store before it became a standard feature.

Overall, Apple doesn't appear to be breaking any new ground within its research department, but at least they're providing us a free upgrade to our existing products. What's your take on the iPhone update? Were you satisfied with the improvements, or were you expecting more?

Review of iPhone3.0 Update: Apple Adds the Essentials, Nothing Exciting By Matt O'Hern at 03:05 PM
Comments (1)

Wendy's Promotes Fathers Day Weekend Frosties @

Wendy's marketing team  created a unique site to celebrate Father's Day and benefit a great charity : The Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption

 At, you can personalized Father's day card and select from various themes  backgrounds,borders and icons. wendys facebook pageFor each unique card created, .25 cents is donated to the DTFA, and for every frosty purchased, 50 cents will be donated.
An announcement for the event is placed front-and-center on, and they also created an Frosty Weekend event page on Facebook.

Wendy's founder Dave Thomas was adopted, and as a fellow adoptee, I have an incredible amount of respect for foundations such as DTFA,which finds  loving homes for 150,000 children waiting in Foster Care.  I visited and created a card that depicts a priceless memory of dad.

dave thomas foundation for adoptionDuring a family vacation in the Caribbean, my father, or Ranger Rick as we sometimes call him, was nearly carried out to sea after he jumped overboard to save a $10 umbrella that we rented.. He refused to let go and nearly drowned in the process. To this day, we still haze him about it, and we can all sit back and laugh. Thanks to the efforts of Wendys and DTFA, thousands of children will be laughing around the dinnertable with their family and sharing the same unforgettable stories the rest of their life.

Wendy's Promotes Fathers Day Weekend Frosties @ By Matt O'Hern at 12:34 PM
Comments (1)

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Apple Can't Handle iPhone 3.0 Update


Today marks the highly anticipated release of the iPhone 3.0 update, but if you're lucky enough to be an owner, don't get your hopes up.

I just received this notification after I waited 20 mins for my update to install:

iphone 3.0 fail

This marks the second consecutive summer Apple (NYSE: AAPL)  failed to support its customer base with a reliable network. Personally, it doesn't bother me, because there's no feature exciting enough to wory about in the upgrade (such as  Adobe flash player), but it's going to leave a sour taste in the mouth of many new customers, particularly the ones who just purchased the 3GS iphone.

Apple Can't Handle iPhone 3.0 Update By Matt O'Hern at 03:42 PM
Comments (4)

Owen Van Natta: Creative Profiles Distinguish MySpace From Facebook

myspace logoMySpace CEO Owen Van Natta must feel like Karl Malone at the end of his NBA career. Both left the small market for the bright lights of L.A., only to see an underdog rise to the challenge and knock them off their throne. For Malone, it was the Detroit Pistons, but or Van Natta,it's Facebook, his former employer.

Within the year, MySpace's U.S. user base has slowed to a near crawl, while its nemesis continues to lure tens of thousands of new users.While Facebook still trails MySpace in Ad revenue ($605 millionm compared to $205 million), analysts expect MySpace revenue to shrink next year .Worst of all, Facebook has as many U.S. users, after surpassing MySpace in global users.
  Such figures were alarming enough to prompt News Corporation executives to layoff 30% of MySpace's staff.

This quote from an AP article provided these insightful stats:

Until now, MySpace still had the edge among U.S. users. But numbers from comScore show that in May, MySpace and Facebook both had about 70 million users apiece in the United States.

How will MySpace right the ship? According to Van Natta, the top priority for MySpace is to pitch its  strenght in the area of customization and creativity for each user, with thousands of choices for artistic backgrounds and integrated playlists featuring streaming songs from major bands that signed with MySpace Music.

MySpace's identity crisis reveals a paradox for social networks: Should user profiles adhere to a consistently structured and near uniform format, or do most users crave a blank canvas to showcase their talents and share their interests?

Owen Van Natta: Creative Profiles Distinguish MySpace From Facebook By Matt O'Hern at 10:15 AM
Comments (1)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Slump In Video Games Sales Bruises Best Buy Profit

best buy video gamesWith millions of Americans cutting cost at every corner, it's easy to assume In-home entertainment items, particularly video games and movies, would enjoy a nice bump in sales.

For months, the video game industry thrived , to the delight of electronic retailers such as Best Buy (NYSE:BBY) and GameStop (NYSE:GME) reaped the rewards of the trend. Some analysts expected Circuit City liquidation to drive more customers to Best Buy, but evidently, the shift couldn't compensate for the end of the sales streak.

According to an article in today's Wall Street Journal, video games are one of several culprits for Best Buy's shrinking profit, including digital cameras and appliances.Its Stock shares are down 43 cents compared to the same fiscal quarter last year.An excerpt reads:


Best Buy has seen some benefit in the form of customers gained from the bankruptcy and subsequent liquidation of Circuit City Stores Inc. But it said customer traffic in U.S. stores was lower than a year earlier and its average sales ticket was flat, hurt by decreases in video games, appliances, digital cameras and movies.

With more kids spending more time at home during summer break, perhaps Best Buy will enjoy its own Christmas in July. Bored kids inevitably turn to electronic entertainment , the only question is: Will they be content to play the same games they've had for months, or will they spend some of their hard-earned allowance on the latest game for Sony PS3 or XBox 360? Electronic retailers are hoping it's the latter of the two.

Slump In Video Games Sales Bruises Best Buy Profit By Matt O'Hern at 01:00 PM
Comments (0)

Flash Player Isn't Coming, What Do You Want from iPhone 3.0 Update?

apple logoApple (NASDAQ:AAPL)and Adobe have already told us that a Flash Player for iPhone is still far from reality.

Copy/paste and  spotlight search are among the improvements coming on Thursday. Personally, I wish a talking GPS for Iphone or voice-recognition software similar to the version on Samsung Instinct , was forthcoming, but there's no indication I'll be so lucky.

Since that great feature isn't coming anytime soon, what are some enhancements you'd like to see in the upcoming iPhone update? Hopefully it's not as disappointing as the iPhone 2.2

Flash Player Isn't Coming, What Do You Want from iPhone 3.0 Update? By Matt O'Hern at 06:32 AM
Comments (4)

Monday, June 15, 2009

Facebook Usernames Unavailable to New Members

facebook sucksTo the disappointment of thousands of newly registered users on the world' s most famous social network, Facebook usernames aren't available to members who registered prior to June 9.New members attempting to create a username saw this rejection alert as a response:

At this time, only users who have registered for Facebook before June 9th,2009 are eligible to obtain a username. All others will be allowed to register a username in the near future. We apologize for any inconvenience.

In my opinion, Facebook limitation indicates Mark Zuckerberg and his staff anticipated a mass influx of new users pouring through the floodgates that was too large to manage. Facebook also appeased its loyal users, by giving them first dibs on the first names available.

facebook usernames

Essentially, tenured users were recognized for their seniority, which marks the first time in several years since a network "enhancement" was implemented at a pace in favor of the older members, but I wonder if the older members even appreciate it. As you may recall from my post last week, one of the appealing aspects  Facebook had with its first base of users was its unique traits that distinguished it from the popular alternative- MySpace.

Facebook Usernames Unavailable to New Members By Matt O'Hern at 02:16 PM
Comments (1)

Ken Butler III & NASCAR Nationwide Journal: Stitches Sportswear Joins KB3's Crew

hilary duff nascar pics

Our favorite NASCAR Nationwide Series driver, Ken Butler III, was at it again this past weekend at Kentucky Speedway,in Sparta, Ky,And it would be tough for the results to have been any better.


 It was a good opportunity and KB3 moved up the track in a hurry. Butler's familiarity with the course proved to be an advantage for the young driver, as he finished 17th and welcomed a new sponsor to the team.

I was so glad to be back at a track where I had success early in my career.  The team had done a really great job getting everything ready for the week. We brought a new apparel sponsor to the race.  I’m so excited to have Chris Howell and Stitches Sportswear on board.  The way they treated my team was truly first class.

Stitches Sportswear
started a few years back and have been waiting for an opportunity to jump into the NASCAR scene. Howell got more than he bargained for with the weekend as well.  The pit crew needed someone to catch tires and get them back over the wall. 

It was a great experience.  I thought I was just coming to take in a race and grow my company.  To get put to work was something I never dreamed I would get realize.

The afternoon was exciting for the team as a charity event with Hilary Duff in the afternoon.  After that it was all business. Aaron’s and R3 Motorsports brought a really great car to the track this week.  I just wish I could have qualified better” said Ken.After the race started The Aaron’s Dream Machine was the recipient of the Lucky Dog. The coveted prize given to the first car listed to be a lap down.  This car gets to move back to the lead lap.  And it made all the difference.  Butler had his car all the way up to 14th position before settling in and finishing in 17th place ahead of accomplished and beloved Carl Edwards. 

The finish ties the personal best for the rookie driver.  I was really proud of everyone involved.  We have had some sorry luck in Dover so I was really happy for the great.  I felt I drove a great race.  But the guys behind the scenes did an even better job.  It was a really happy day for us. 

KB3 will be in action this Saturday night on ESPN2 at 7:30.  Tune in as this is sure to be a show.

Ken Butler III & NASCAR Nationwide Journal: Stitches Sportswear Joins KB3's Crew By Matt O'Hern at 11:54 AM
Comments (0)

« June 2009 Week 2 June 2009 Week 4 »

  • Week 1 (11 entries) June 1-6
  • Week 2 (10 entries) June 7-13
  • Week 3 (10 entries) June 14-20
  • Week 4 (11 entries) June 21-27
  • Week 5 (3 entries) June 28-30

Flash Player Isn't Coming, What Do You Want from iPhone 3.0 Update?
I love the iPhone, BUT if Adobe flash player isn&a...
by Sharon
Flash Player Isn't Coming, What Do You Want from iPhone 3.0 Update?
I would like to know why there is no adobe flash p...
by Lyn Silvernail
Facebook Usernames Unavailable to New Members
hi im dorothy gray i was before member so can i ch...
by dorothy
Clay Shirky Explains How Twitter & Facebook Have Changed Geopolitics
Very interesting and informative video on the Tran...
by Richard Bejah
Citizen Reports of Iran Protests Show Social Media's Power Over Ahmadinejad
The mullahs may have long feared that change would...
by James Raider

Subscribe to Marketing Shift PostsSubscribe to The MarketingShift Feed