Archive for social media

Andrea Baxter Launches Bratface

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , on July 6, 2009 by genennis

Bratface: [brat-feys] noun – a term of endearment used towards the people in your life that you love that just seem to drive you a little batty every now and then.

Urban Dictionary

Andrea Baxter

We first spoke with Andrea Baxter last year about the remarkable story of Smart Cookies, the first company that she co-founded.  Today, she’s back to talk about her latest business venture, Bratface Marketing.

Andrea knows the importance of investing in your story, brand and identity, and understands the exponential benefits of pulling a great team together to do so.  She is passionate about marketing as an outlet for her creativity and her ability to connect others.  Here, Andrea tells us about branching out on her own.
Bratface Marketing

Loaded Bow: How did Bratface come to be?

Andrea Baxter: Prior to Smart Cookies, I worked in marketing and I was painfully missing it.  It’s a real creative outlet for me.  Also, an important part of the Smart Cookies philosophy is about making more dough, so I thought what better way then to work in my area of expertise?  I still had contacts in the industry, and was doing projects here and there, so creating a marketing company just made sense.  I love working in a team, but it is also really exciting to be able to make decisions independently and one I can call all my own.

Inevitably, I’m asked about the name!  I wanted a name that would reflect my personality, my culture and my history.  Bratface is a term commonly used in Newfoundland where I was born.  It’s actually in the Newfoundland Dictionary (yes, we have our own dictionary)!  Bratface was one of the nicknames my father called me when I was being a bit cheeky.  That’s special to me because my father is not only my business mentor, but someone who I am very close with and have a great deal of respect for.  He was very successful by 28, but he was always very fair and very modest. Bratface was a good fit because it balanced being conservative, having fun and was true to my playful nature.  It adds just a touch of smartass as well!

LB: How will you market Bratface?

AB: It has been a very organic process.  My contacts have been a really valuable source, and I have been able to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing.  I am so thankful that I kept my foot in the door, while staying under the radar!  Networking continues to be really important.  And of course, it’s important to implement social media marketing initiatives through bloggingFacebook and Twitter. For any small business getting off the ground, these are great outlets to use where you can get access to so many business people.

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Thoughts on Social Technologies: Charlene Li, Co-Author of Groundswell

Posted in Tech Talk (Social Media for your Biz) with tags , , , , , on March 4, 2009 by genennis

My, oh, my.  How does one best introduce Charlene Li?

As one of the most influential women in technology?

As one of the most creative minds of 2008?

As one of the most influential people in Business IT?

As visionary of the year?

As the co-author of Groundswell, which has received equally impressive accolades?

As the thought leader behind the Altimeter Group?

And, just as importantly, as a mom and wife to Côme Laguë?

Needless to say, we are very happy to have Charlene take a time out to chat with us about social technologies and her experiences.  We are honoured!

Charlene Li

Charlene Li

Loaded Bow:  Can you tell us a little bit about how you entered the world of social and emerging technologies?

Charlene Li:  When I was the Internet Publisher with Community Newspaper Company (a group of weeklies and dailies in the Boston area), I started townonline.com, which included self-publishing by community groups and people. That was back in 1996, before there were even digital cameras! So I was an early believer and adopter of “social” technologies.

LB:  Why are you passionate about social technologies?

CL:  I’ve long believed that the real power of the Internet is the ability for each person to reach out and connect with each other. After all, we are social creatures and it’s in our nature. Social technologies like forums, blogs, and Twitter make it very easy to do this — all you need to do is fill out a form to connect. And it’s those connections that can be life changing, from staying in touch with friends and family to making new ones.

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Loaded Bow interviews Darlene Liebman of Howcast

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , on February 17, 2009 by genennis

Do you need to learn how to have great tent sex or grow grass in someone’s keyboard?  Then Howcast is your go-to site, providing the best online how-to videos and wikis.  It bridges user-generated content with professional quality video, and offers opportunities for emerging filmakers to gain exposure, experience and income. 

Howcast just celebrated its first birthday, and has achieved great credibility and visibility during its short life.  It has received ample praise from media heavy-weights such as Wall Street Journal and Fortune, and was one of TIME Magazine’s 50 Best Websites of 2008. Co-founder, Darlene Liebman, chats with Loaded Bow about her company and the impact it’s having in the world of social media.

Darlene Liebman

Darlene Liebman

Loaded Bow:  Can you tell us a little bit about how you made the transition from producing film and television to co-founding Howcast?

Darlene Liebman:  I was working at Viacom and my twin brother, Jason, was working at Google Video. He had an idea for a How-to Video site and asked me if I could help put together a budget and a game plan. It was really exciting to start something from the ground up and to work on something that hadn’t really been done before. Essentially I tried to just come up with a formula where we could make the most high-quality videos for the smallest amount of money – unlike a movie or a television show where you would go to a facility we would need to own everything and bring everything (shooting, editing, audio) in house.

LB:  You have bridged your background in production with social media. What’s the draw for you? Why are you passionate about social media?

DL:  The direction that Social Media is going really blows my mind. We have all watched it evolve from Friendster to MySpace to now Facebook, growing and becoming more robust. Video on the web is so exciting because it’s open to everyone !!!!

Web video used to only be in the hands of a few elite areas: Ad Agency’s, TV stations… these were the only people creating content for the masses. Now this power is in everyone’s hands. Anyone with a vision can finally own their own t cameras and editing equipment relatively cheaply.

This change of power also changes the entire face of production. You don’t need to spend 2 million dollars to make a commercial, the quality of cameras allow anyone to capture great looking video, and the availability of editing software allows anyone to manipulate it easily in post.

LB:  What is the value in entrepreneurs joining Howcast’s network?

DL:  Getting into the film/video world is tough. Even tougher if you want to be the creative person in charge. Howcast gives everyone the same exact oppourtunity to show off their stuff. It’s also a great way to learn how professionals work. Just like when you work for a TV production company, we provide people with a script, a voice over, graphics, music, and instructions how to put it all together. Everyone is on a level playing field and it lets the filmmakers creativity come out.

LB:  What is it like running Howcast’s studios? Can you tell us about building a community for emerging directors?

DL:  Howcast is a really fun place to work. We are surrounded at HC STudios by wonderful and creative people, plus you honestly learn something new everyday.

We also decided after our launch to extend this environment and production opportunity out to young aspiring filmmakers, to build the Howcast community and offer a way to educate new filmmakers. Our Emerging Filmmaker program is really inspiring because it shows how many talented, eager and dedicate people there are who want to get into production.

LB:  While Howcast provides us with heaps of helpful info, like How to Cow Tip, it is also much bigger than that. For example, in December Howcast organized the Alliance of Youth Movements Summit at Columbia Law School to look at how online tools can facilitate social change. Why is it important for Howcast to take a broad perspective on the applications on social media?

DL:  Howcast is an instructional place, a place to explore and give advice on everything from the less serious topics like How to Use Your Cell Phone as a Wingman to the serious, How to Start a Grass Roots Movement.

People have been protesting and wanting to have their voices heard forever, but no one had ever succesfully created change online. When we saw Oscar Morales and his One Million Voices Against the Farc Movement use Facebook as a catalyst to get 12 million people in the streets to protest a regime in one day, we were amazed. If 1 man could get 12 million people to the streets, showing how he did it effectively could help others. We know that online video is an important part in that effort, like the how Invisible Children showed the atrocities happening to children in Africa, so to use our site as a platform to explore how to effect change using social networks and video seemed only natural. I feel very proud that we create all types of How to videos – from the entertaining to the globally powerful.

LB:  Howcast has just celebrated its first birthday. How does it feel to have watched your company achieve so much in such a short amount of time?

DL:  Who doens’t love a birthday? It makes me very proud to see what we have accomplished in such a small span of time. Everyone here really give 150% everyday. The air here buzzes with electricity – always creating, always working on something new and exciting. It also is cool becuase we are really helping to mold the face of online video, with our custom player, our level of quality that we insist on in our videos and our innovative solutions to getting videos to everyone anywhere they might be (we distribute on web, tv broadband and mobile platforms). Sometimes I think the feel must be a similar environment to early television.

 

Thanks so much, Darlene, for sharing your time with us!  Congratulations on Howcast’s fantastic success and the impact you are having on the industry. 

gen+loadedbow

ProBlogger Interview

Posted in Man Month with tags , , , on December 11, 2008 by genennis

Man Month continues… just a tad longerProBlogger, Darren Rowse, took a time out to reflect on his own blogging career and to share some advice with us.  Thanks, Darren!

Loaded Bow: You have posted over 3500 articles on ProBlogger. That is an incredible amount of information! Do you have any favourite posts?

Darren Rowse:  There are a lot of posts that stand out in my mind. Here’s a few:

5 Things You Should Know about My Dad the ProBlogger

This post I wrote in the voice of my 1 year old son. It was a lot of fun to write and got a great response from readers.

18 Lessons I’ve Learned about Blogging

This was an early post that was one of my first to really go viral. It still gets referenced regularly by other sites.

Blogging for Beginners

This isn’t a post but is a series of posts that I wrote for beginner bloggers. It’s one of the most popular series I’ve ever done and was a lot of fun because it let me get back to basics.

LB: In your post Becoming a ProBlogger you make the important point that when you began advertising you did so on a blog that had several thousand readers a day. What do you feel are the minimum number of readers a blog should have before advertising should be sought out?

DR:  I’m not big on hard and fast numbers that should be achieved before doing certain things. While it did take until I had thousands of readers a day to land some decent sized advertisers what I didn’t really say in that post is that even with a few hundred readers a day I did land some smaller advertisers.

In my mind it’s never too early to start trying to monetize a blog. In the early days you’ll have more luck with ad networks like AdSense (which you can make money from with just a handful of readers) but as your blog grows keep asking potential advertisers – it will eventually happen!

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You’re So Sensitive… to Ads

Posted in Bended Bow with tags , , , , on November 29, 2008 by genennis

Man Month Continues:  Ad guru, Seth Gaffney, took a time out to support Loaded Bow during Movember.  Here he ponders sensitivity in adveritising… Thanks, Seth!

Recently a bunch of mommy bloggers successfully compelled Motrin to remove a video advertisement  it made from across the web, and to apologize on its website. The way this group united against the ad and company has now been well documented online, so if you hadn’t previously heard about Motrin Moms or Motrin’s Headache you can find it easily.  

Most of what you’ll find are posts about moms banding together and spreading their message by utilizing tools like Twitter and YouTube. Lots are about the importance of the always-on nature of the Internet and people’s control and expectations for speed-in this case, speed in responding to a “crisis.” 

Yet, I think there’s a different story and lesson to be learned. It’s about knowing your audience and knowing yourself (your company). If you don’t truly understand the people you want to talk with/engage/sell to, how are you going to say the right thing? And if you haven’t defined your voice as a company, how are you going to use the right tone? 

Motrin got the message, and the tone with which they communicated it wrong. It caused moms to react with, “That’s simply not true…and worse, it’s actually disrespectful.” 

But Motrin isn’t the first and it won’t be the last to offend its current or future customers. If you think title of this post is referring to moms or women, think again. When it comes to advertising, men have been (as of late, at least) much more vocal victims. In fact, we even have an organization, Fathers and Husbands, which was set up to fight the negative stereotypes of men in mass media. 

They have spoken out against, for example, this Kohler commercial, where a guy attempts to clog his toilet in order to warrant a visit from an attractive female plumber. To be honest, I’m cool with this showcasing of his one-track-mindedness and stupidity. It’s sometimes worth it to me to have more interesting and creative work. I’m cool with it until the final scene, which resolves to show his girlfriend or wife catching him in the act. Now, that’s where it crosses the line-that as a man I’d be so hung up on one thing that I’d disrespect my significant other. Wrong. 

This ad has not been pulled likely because Kohler has not received the pressure or media attention that Motrin did. This goes to show that informal groups can sometimes have more of an impact, more quickly than formal organizations. Fathers & Husbands most publicly brought its cause to the attention of Volvo while the car company was conducting a review to find a new ad agency. It cautioned Volvo not to pick Arnold because of the advertising it had done for Fidelity Investments, which mocked fathers.  

And can you guess what happened? Volvo went ahead and picked Arnold. They said, we understand your concern given one campaign from this agency but it was a different time and a different client. The past isn’t always an accurate predictor of what’s next, and we like the direction and ideas Arnold has shown us. As my friend, Noah, recently wrote, sometimes it makes sense to “respectfully ignore the feedback.” That’s what they did.  

There are lots sensitive people out there. But being easily hurt or otherwise affected is only one definition of sensitivity. Being aware, concerned, receptive, and responsive to people and culture is another. This is the type of sensitivity you need whether you’re a big company with history or small start-up or anything in between.  

Being confident that you know your audience and you’re being true to yourself makes it heck of a lot easier to communicate effectively.  

Oh, and by the way, you may be interested in advertising we (at W+K NY) recently did with ESPN and the AdCouncil to raise awareness about the importance of preventive health care for men. Take a look here. Happy Movember.

 

Seth Gaffney-or El Gaffney as he is known across the Internet-is a Brand Strategist at Adweek’s 2008 Global Advertising Agency of the Year, Wieden+Kennedy, where his primary client is ESPN. Previously he worked at Deutsch, Fallon Minneapolis and DiMassimo on companies ranging from Starwood Hotels to Olympus cameras, Travelers insurance to Nestlé Purina dog foods, Joseph Abboud fashion to Duvel beer. He even got to help position and create communications for The Islands Of The Bahamas’ Ministry of Tourism. Not too shabby for his five-years in the industry, considering he actually won his first job (yes, won) by working and sleeping at the office during a competition called Account Executive Survivor-picture The Apprentice with no budget.

Seth graduated cum laude from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business in 2003, where he played varsity tennis, club soccer, and interned at consultancy, Kotler Marketing Group. He has been a guest lecturer on advertising for MBAs at his alma mater and is also an Alumni Admissions Interviewer there, with which comes no actual power except to scare the living daylights out of prospective students who are smarter than he. Seth enjoys writing, public speaking and traveling (and is proficient in Spanish), is a pop culture (and reality TV) junkie and runner. As a native New Yorker, he is looking forward to running the NYC Marathon this November for Run MS.

DailySplice is Rian’s Business

Posted in Man Month with tags , , , , , , , on November 3, 2008 by zoepawlak

Rian Bowden is the CEO of DailySplice.com. He graduated from the BCom Entrepreneurship program at UVic in 2007. He is an expert in Web 2.0 business and online marketing. He has lead a number of award winning business teams. DailySplice has won nearly $30,000 in prizes so far!!!

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DailySplice.com allows businesses to create their own social media network that leverages the power of podcasting to build deeper relationships with their online audiences. Using their new software application, “Splice Stations”, broadcasting high quality multimedia through a website is easier than ever.

Loaded Bow: How did DailySplice come to be?
I spent a year in Shanghai on co-op working with a podcast company that taught Mandarin through podcasts. The company was growing really fast, and I saw some potential to innovate further with podcasts. When I came back to Canada to finish my BCom, I put together a business plan that focused on podcasting. Some other students and I took the plan to a competition and won some seed capital so we continued on.

 

rian-pic

 

LB: Can you describe DailySplice a little more in detail to us?
DailySplice.com makes podcasting more accessible. We’ve got a new piece of software that allows businesses to easily find, manage, and broadcast audio and video through their website. If you’ve ever visited the MSN or Yahoo! media centers, that’s kind of what our software does. Our software lets anyone set up their own media center in a matter of minutes.

LB: Congratulations on this year’s award with Enterprize. Were you still a student when you received second place for the Enterprize award? How did this help you/move your business forward?
I had just graduated, but my business partner, Lewis, was a master’s student at the time. Business plan competitions are a good way to meet people and get a bit of recognition. The cash is obviously a help, but you get advice and make contacts as well.

rian_grad_2

LB: What advice would you give to people looking to start their own businesses?
If you don’t have any experience, I’d recommend getting yourself associated with some people who others will recognize. It doesn’t matter how cool your idea is, or how brilliant you are, if you’re just starting out you probably don’t have much evidence that you’ll be able to pull it off. Having someone behind the idea who has been there and done it before, that will help establishing credibility when you’re out trying to build the relationships you need to push the business forward. The other advice, of course, is to just do it. Be prepared to ignore a few other opportunities, like a good interview with a big company, and just jump in.

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Why Women Kick Men’s Asses In Social Media

Posted in Man Month with tags , , , on November 2, 2008 by genennis

Man Month Continues:  Social Media guru, Jason Falls, took a time out to reflect on women and social media for Loaded Bow.  Here are his thoughts… Thanks, Jason!

Jason Falls
Jason Falls

 

 

At first I didn’t want to write a guest post for Loaded Bow because a dude walking into a dressing room full of women is a recipe for disaster. But it’s Movember and it’s not like we’re seeing each other naked, right? (Good. ‘Cause I’m a little self-conscious. About my knees. Long story.)

It’s also a little out of place for me to be here because the spirit of Movember is guys growing mustaches to raise money or bring about awareness for men’s health issues. I’ve worn a goatee for almost a decade so I’m not “growing” a mustache. Fitting though. Guys are self-absorbed and don’t play well with others, right?

Interestingly enough that’s part of the point of the message I think I can bring to the table for the female entrepreneur. I blog about social media. I also advise clients on how to use it in their businesses. The requisite philosophy for success in social media, in essence, is to be nice to people. This may be a simple way to look at it, but because that’s the necessary attitude for social media success, I think women are more ideally suited to be leaders in the social media movement.

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