Monday, July 27, 2009

Ranking the Straight to the Point Podcasts

Last week when I was scheduling a show with BlogTalkRadio (the one with Matt Langan, the Editor in Chief of GotGeoint?), I got curious and checked to see how many views the last show received on that service. I was pleased to see that 208 people have listened to my interview with Jennie Olson, the Director of Marketing at GovDelivery. That got me thinking, "what are the most popular shows I've done?" Well, here they are, in order...

Jean Foster, formerly of BT Americas, now with NeuStar- 239 views (August 21, 2009)
In my most popular audio podcast to date, I learned how Jean Foster, then VP Marketing for BT, used social media creatively to gain market share and effectively compete with Verizon and AT&T using smaller budgets and less staff.

Jennie Olson, Director of Marketing, GovDelivery- 208 views (June 26, 2009)
I interviewed Jennie Olson, Director of Marketing for GovDelivery, the world's leading provider of government-to-citizen communication solutions. GovDelivery's Email and Digital Subscription Management solution is a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform that provides organizations a fully-automated, on-demand public communication system.

Sumir Gulati, Vice President of Marketing at Appian - 152 views (August 15, 2007)
Sumir was generous enough to share his insights on how he markets a SaaS solution to the small and medium sized business market (SMB).

Charles Gold, Vice President of Worldwide Marketing at DataDirect- 132 views (May 8, 2007)
In my first BlogTalkRadio podcast, I was lucky to hear Charles tell me how he addresses the challenges that come from marketing DataDirect Technologies, the world leader in data connectivity and mainframe integration, offering the most comprehensive line of software for connecting the world's most critical applications to data and services, running on any platform, using proven and emerging standards

Oscar Fuster, Vice President of Marketing, ePok- 112 views (October 2, 2008)
I had a great conversation with Oscar Fuster, VP of Marketing at ePok, a software company that securely and efficiently extends Microsoft SharePoint’s value to the extranet; enabling public and private sector organizations to achieve new levels of business agility, while enhancing their security and information compliance posture.

Steve Lunceford, now with Deloitte, then with BearingPoint- 101 views (February 13, 2009)
I sat down with innovative marketer, Steve Lunceford, to learn first hand how he is integrating social media into his successful government marketing program.

Ed Bursk, now with Nokia Siemens Networks- 72 views (March 19, 2009)
This was a wide ranging interview with Ed Bursk, the man behind the marketing campaigns at KORE Telematics, Nortel Networks, Alcatel/Lucent and other technology companies.

What do you think of these podcasts? Are the valuable? Should I continue doing them? Change the pocasting service? Make them live shows? Are they too tame? Not substantive enough?

Is there anyone I should interview?

Please share any and all comments, suggestions...

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Covering DOD and Intel Social Media with Matt Langan: A New Straight to the Point Podcast

This month, I'm pleased that Matt Langan agreed to spend some time with me for my Straight to the Point podcast series. Matt is the Editor in Chief of GotGeoInt?, a social network for the geospatial intelligence community, founded and funded by The United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation. Matt has deep firsthand experience in setting up, growing and managing a community social network.

Matt's main points:
- The intelligence community was one of the early adopters of social media and there is deep penetration throughout intelligence and defense organizations
- A blog should be the central hub around which all other social media tools are arrayed for the purpose of promoting and distributing the content
- Content is king- without educational, engaging and entertaining content, any social media strategy is doomed to failure

Here is a link to the podcast hosted on BlogTalkRadio:

What do think? Should community managers run their social networks like Matt does? Is your industry already developing social networks like GotGeoInt?

Friday, July 17, 2009

This is not a blog post, it's some links to social media best practices

I read a lot of blog posts on business, social media, PR and technology. Some I read and never see again. Some make it into my bookmarks. Here is a selection of some of the more recent posts I found compelling. What do you think of them? Do you have any posts/sites/books you think I should read?

My alma mater, American University, has opened a social media center, apparently:

Chris Baggott's Guide to Blogging
focuses mostly on the SEO aspect of social media, specifically revolving around blogs. A bit narrow, given all the other applications for social media, but there is a ton of white papers talking about SEO with a strong emphasis on business results and ROI.

Social Media Today is a user generated social network that focuses, you guessed it, on social media. I've posted several of my blog posts there with good engagement. Definitely check this one out.

Publishers and journalists have been struggling with the impact of the web and social media for a while now. The blog, Publishing 2.0, is not only a good resource for professionals but has great advice for prosumer and amateur content creators too. Here is post on "Best Practices for Journalists".

If you are on Twitter as much as I am, the the whole trinity of add ons you should have are TweetDeck, TweetMeme and BigTweet. I can't get through a single day without them. Oh, and Tiny Twitter for my Windows Pocket PC.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

What's going on in the Wireless industry?

The times they are a'changing. The structure of the mobile industry has been fairly static for a long time. The last big earth shattering events- the Sprint/Nextel merger and the rollout of 3G networks. There have been fad phones that have been super popular for a time, and there has been a definite shift in preference to smartphones, like the iPhone. But the basic structure has remained the same- big wireless companies offering limited phone choice, long term contracts and maximizing ARPU.

However, I'm now starting to see some datapoints that don't support this historical norm. Most of these are driven by customers that want more options and less costs, but some are being driven by technological change. And now rides in our friendly government regulators. Here is the story from Amol Sharma at the WSJ:

The Department of Justice has begun looking into whether large U.S. telecommunications companies such as AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) are abusing the market power they have amassed in recent years, according to people familiar with the matter.

The review, while in its early stages, is an indication of the Obama administration's aggressive stance on antitrust enforcement. The Justice Department's antitrust chief, Christine Varney, has said she wants to reassert the government's role in policing monopolistic and anticompetitive practices by powerful companies.

The law that covers such behavior, the Sherman Antitrust Act, has been used in the past against giants ranging from Standard Oil to Microsoft Corp. It lay essentially dormant during the Bush years, with the agency bringing no major case. The telecom industry is among several sectors now coming under scrutiny. Others include health care and agriculture.

The Justice Department is already cracking down on certain agreements. It recently filed an objection to plans by airlines in the global Star Alliance to cooperate more closely on international routes and fares. It has targeted payments large pharmaceutical producers sometimes make to generic-drug makers to delay cheap copies of medicines. In addition, Ms. Varney is investigating Google Inc.'s settlement with authors and publishers over its Book Search product.

The telecom review isn't a formal investigation of any specific company, and it isn't clear it will ever become one. The review is expected to cover all areas from land-line voice and broadband service to wireless.

One area that might be explored is whether big wireless carriers are hurting smaller rivals by locking up popular phones through exclusive agreements with handset makers. Lawmakers and regulators have raised questions about deals such as AT&T's exclusive right to provide service for Apple Inc.'s iPhone in the U.S. Big carriers say limiting exclusive deals would hurt innovation.

The department also may review whether telecom carriers are unduly restricting the types of services other companies can offer on their networks, one person familiar with the situation said. Public-interest groups have complained when carriers limit access to Internet calling services such as Skype.

Second, Apple is talks with Verizon about creating a CDMA iPhone. Verizon turned down the iPhone a couple of years ago. There is lots of speculation as to why. Now,

It cannot have escaped Verizon's notice that AT&T proclaimed in a widely circulated memo that the recent launch of the iPhone 3GS was the "largest order day in history" and the "best ever sales day in our retail stores." AT&T sold a million of the new iPhones in 3 days. It took 74 days to sell a million iPhones when they were first launched in 2007.

With AT&T's exclusivity agreement due to expire in the next year, pressure is mounting amongst Verizon customers and shareholders for Verizon to come to some sort of agreement with Apple to offer the iPhone on their network.

Pressure is also coming from current AT&T iPhone users for Verizon to offer the device, as dissatisfaction with AT&T's coverage, and especially their DaVinci Code-ish billing practices continues to grow.

Third, the DC Metro is going offer wireless service to more than one carrier? I missed this news when it first came out in March, but I think it's so significant that I'm going to list it here anyway. As many of you know, the one mobile service that operated inside the Metro is Verizon, working off of a Bell Atlantic contract they first won back in 1993. Sprint was allowed to roam there recently, but a lot of DC people wouldn't switch away from Verizon because of the lack of service in the Metro (where a lot of suits spend a lot of time). As Rob Pergoraro says in a WaPo Faster Forward blog post:

I'm pleased and amazed by the news... although I'm not exactly an unbiased observer of this situation. I take Metro to work and to many non-work occasions, and being able to use my phone at those times -- to let my wife know that I'm on my way home, to answer a quick call from the copy desk, to scan through the latest updates on Twitter or Facebook, to check my e-mail, to look up the score of the Nats game -- is a major convenience.
And it looks like the rollout of the network will happen reasonably fast, according to WMATA's press release:
Twenty of the busiest underground rail stations will have expanded cell phone service by the end of this year and the entire rail system will be equipped by 2012.
I'm not sure what this all means but it feels like the the glaciers are starting to crack and shift. What do you think?