Future Case

Crossmedia, Social, Mobile, Business Modeling, Marketing, Research and insights

Archive for November 2007


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Training back to Amsterdam, the evening sun filled the sky with perfect orange, reflected in the greys, blues and whites of the Dutch autumn clouds. A perfect picture. I returned from Utrecht, the city where I teach stuff. I had attended a workshop organized by SurfNet on social tagging. Can we tag the sun? What’s the use?

Earlier that day, the organizers asked the group of soulfully engaged cross-media innovators to come up with a creative idea on how to use social tagging. Harry van Vliet, my lector, and I came up with a pretty nice idea. We called it “Tagtopia”. Here it is.

We are with the Research Center Cross-media Content at the university of applied sciences in Utrecht. We study topics like social tagging and many others, as long as these topics fit into the domain of cross-media. Our school has an intranet (Sharepoint). There’s a lot of criticism about this Sharepoint and for us, the main point of interest is building an e-learning environment, momentarily not supported by that intranet. We will build a tag-engine that will give the user, in this case students, all contents related to a subject, person and activities (in relation to that specific subject). Simple and efficient. And, probably, useful.

What’s the use of tagging? We live in a world in which we want to know. Public annotation is a big thing. The Internet is our door to knowledge. It provides us with all we always wanted to know but never were able to find. At least, we are able to find information easily and rapidly. But being informed is not the same as knowing.

Clouds and the sun always enlighten me. They remind me of Utopia, the perfect state (or status). Combine that with curiosity and what do you get? Hunger for information. And I believe that tagging things help.

During the workshop, Harry remarked that there is no such thing as social tagging. Tagging is typically a-social. That’s a good point. Social implies an activity done to serve more than one. It is me giving something to somebody else. Tagging is something you do for yourself. Social tagging is a tool to recall; I want to find back what interested me yesterday and quite franckly, I don’t really care wether others are helped with my tags or not. Social tagging is not about sharing. It can be used as such but what you tag depends on your own private semantics and ontologies. Therefor, in the pure sence of the word, there is no social tagging. There’s just tagging.

It’s like me tagging the sun. I got fasinated by the brilliance of the momentum and tried to describe it; orange, blue, grey, white. And also Dutch, perfect. Others may have enjoyed the scene as well but they have seen it from their prespective. They are not me and I am not theme. Phisically, even the angles of approach were different. So they have actually seen something else at the same moment in time. So they must have tagged the moment differently. Interesting.

Written by Kees Winkel

November 25, 2007 at 17:01

Brand to community by using hubs in social networks

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The days marketers could target audiences through planning, developing products and executing advertising campaigns and smart media strategies are coming to an end. More and more this marketer must share his market control with global production networks, powerful retailers and the Crossmedia industry. And above all, he must share his market control with the empowered consumer who influences his peer group and social network, the so called hub. Hubs provide social networks content, advice, news, opinion and entertainment through social media like Twitter, Myspace, YouTube, Second Life and many others. According to Forrester Research, these social media double their impact and reach every six months. Innovative brands like Dove, Adidas and Tampax have been offering, and will continue increasingly, engaged and influential consumers tailored propositions and images online.Brands increasingly mix user generated content with professional content thus creating integrated platforms where brands and consumers meet. The question for marketers raises how to do this right. Perhaps the solution is publish control. This is the marketer’s control over what is published. This way, the brand becomes a facilitator, not a dictator. Support hubs and reward them through social network tailored reward systems.Also support the development of so called Rapid Response Methods for the value web of the brand, retailers, manufacturers, Crossmedia organisations and other actors in what was formerly known as the value chain. Have these actors participate actively and interactively with all, including of course the consumers.Also develop customer care programs (these are more than CRM) and crossmedial interaction models based on trust and transparency by means of personalized experience possibilities. Traditional marketing tools like reach and frequency and traditional target audience segmentation models (social and wealth classes, gender, geo market profiles, etc.) are becoming less relevant. Consumers are tormented by the overkill of information and will not be dictated any more. Along side, consumers claim more and more power in the process of question and demand. The innovative marketer will have to come up with new measuring tools like share of voice measurements and rankings in social networks (how many times is your brand mentioned and with what sentiment?), NetPromotor and Buzz tracking to measure the effect of marketing investments in social networks. These monitoring systems provide possibilities for all actors to hook into the communication of all actors in order to actualize and keep the relationship alive.  One main issue of attention in this is the mentality of the consumers; what their attitude (philosophy) towards life is in general and the brand specifically. It is in fact the kernel of the marketer’s investment in such value webs. This raises some questions that need further research.

  1. What is the change in consumer behavior and mentality regarding brands, content and interaction?
  2. How have innovative brands tapped in social networks and their dynamics?
  3. What are the dynamics and communication patterns in social networks and how do we tap in?
  4. Under which conditions are consumers prepared to have a social media facilitated relationship with a brand?
  5. What are examples of the mix of UGC and brand content and what is their impact on the behavior of the actors?
  6. How do we develop innovative target audience segmentation models to successfully tap in with social networks?
  7. What are the innovative Crossmedia interaction models and formats (that need to be developed)?
  8. How can we identify hubs in social networks?
  9. What are the requirements in developing interactive Crossmedia platforms?

 I’d apreciate input on these issue.


Written by Kees Winkel

November 19, 2007 at 12:51

Posted in Uncategorized

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