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Book processes, Cluetrain theses, Twitter handles, Oh my!

29 June 2009

Candid thoughts about the book creation:

After speaking with Kathy and Margery about possible book topics, I thought about how greatly topics of research range in resources. For example, a number of highly visible retail outlets use Twitter and have produced well-publicized retail campaigns that we can document. However, other industries like education or medicine have produced fewer examples that we can refer to. Thus, considering our short time frame, I’m concerned about people being relatively underwhelmed or overwhelmed by resources for their respective topics. This really becomes an issue when looking at the book in its entirety. I don’t want chapters to be unbalanced. While we may all be able to use some of the same quantitative research and methodology, certain topics may simply have fewer resources to draw from.

To circumvent this potential imbalance, I propose that we divide chapters by practices, such as customer service, marketing, public relations, etc., and then look at best practices by industry. For example, a chapter on marketing could look at best practices from industries such as education, tourism and retail. Another chapter on customer service could look at retail, wireless and gaming. We would then, as a group, need to decide if we’d want to divide and conquer according to subjects or industries.

Cluetrain Manifesto’s 95 Theses update:

14. Corporations do not speak in the same voice as these new networked conversations. To their intended online audiences, companies sound hollow, flat, literally inhuman.

This thesis encourages us to use personal voices rather than brand voices on Twitter. So true! The best Twitter practices by organization that I’ve seen are by those where an identified individual in the company is using his/her own voice!

19. Companies can now communicate with their markets directly. If they blow it, it could be their last chance.

I don’t know if this will be companies’ last chance, but I agree that now is the time for companies to engage markets. With more and more companies using Twitter and other social media, even conservative companies can feel safe to take the plunge.

40. Companies that do not belong to a community of discourse will die.

This is absolutely true. Any successful business has a target audience, whether B2B or B2C, and that audience is talking about it whether or not the company is in the conversation, too. Companies ought to join the discourse, if only to listen!

53. There are two conversations going on. One inside the company. One with the market.

Now with tools like Twitter, those conversations can have more overlap.

62. Markets do not want to talk to flacks and hucksters. They want to participate in the conversations going on behind the corporate firewall.

This is not an easy thing for many companies to do, but companies need to give up some ground so that markets feel like they can have meaningful, influential conversations with their employees.

Twitter handles:
Twitter can be a powerful tool for sports teams, coaches and athletes to engage fans who want updates and news in real time. Here are some examples of sports teams and individuals using Twitter effectively.

Chicago Bulls – @chicagobulls
Detroit Pistons – @DETpistons
Portland Trailblazers – @pdxtrailblazers
San Diego Chargers – @chargers
Seattle Sounders – @soundersnews

USC football head coach Pete Carroll – @petecarroll
Shaquille O’Neal – @the_real_shaq
Lance Armstrong – @lancearmstrong
Serena Williams – @serenajwilliams
Tony Hawk – @tonyhawk


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