Archive for November, 2012

Arianna Huffington to the World: Calm Down!

We all know Arianna Huffington is a big believer in the power of sleep and naps. Now she’s building on that belief by dictating that a new editorial mission for HuffPost will be to help readers de-stress.

Ms. Huffington introduced the mission in a post on the site Thursday, where she explained that all 13 of HuffPost’s lifestyle sections will run at least one post daily — whether it be a blog post from an outside expert or an original piece of reporting — that aims to help readers decrease their stress levels.

Toward that end the Divorce section this week ran a slideshow titled “34 Ways to Relieve Stress During Divorce,” consisting of advice people gave on Twitter. (The answer on the first slide: “Great sex with other people… and wine.”) Other content areas will also be asked to align with the mission, but not necessarily as frequently as the Lifestyle sections.

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Noob Guide to Marketing by Unbounce

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The Power of Words and Storytelling

I’m not advocating handouts, yet this story shares the remarkable power of words.

The Power of Words from Purplefeather on Vimeo.

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BSMi’s 2012 Global Influencer Survey: Top 100 influencers in digital, social media and marketing

I can’t lie, every time I see a list of top social media or digital “influencers” pop up in my stream, I cringe a little. Why? Because 99% of the time, Top 10/25/50/100 lists are nothing more than linkbait and bullshit. Here’s how it usually works:

Agency/consultancy XYZ feels that it isn’t getting enough attention anymore. Their white papers or “content” aren’t all that great this quarter, traffic and lead gen are down, so they need to think of something to do to salvage their waning relevance. The quickest way to do that is to spend an hour or two creating an ass-kissing list that awards some measure of recognition to a predetermined list of social media gurus. It’s easy enough to do. Most of these lists are essentially clones of each other. If you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all. The names are always the same and you know what they are. The process is as follows:

1. Google “Social Media, Influencer, Top, List.”

2. Cut and paste social media guru names from any of those lists. Make sure that you don’t include companies or organizations as it will defeat the purpose of the exercise. You’ll understand why in a minute.

3. Cut and paste the reason why they were selected by the person whose list you just ripped off, but change a few words so it isn’t technically plagiarism.

4. Come up with a really cool title.

5. Publish the list on your blog.

6. Ping every single social media guru on the list. Do this every hour until they respond and share your post with their entire network.

7. Remind them to do it again the next day and engage in small talk with them on Twitter and Facebook… err… Google Plus.

8. Enjoy free traffic to your blog for months.

Sometimes, gurus create lists like these themselves. It’s… well, you know. It’s done so much that I don’t even bother getting excited when I see a list of top influencers, top experts, top gurus, whatever, anymore. For the most part, they’re just copies of copies of copies. They provide zero insight into why these folks are experts or even valuable in their fields. They are the product of a lazy, cynical, unoriginal exercise in derivative self-promotion by proxy.


Sometimes, someone takes the time to actually do it right. They take a careful look at an industry, research who does what and how, dig into their track records, weigh their actual influence rather than just their Klout score and the size of their network, and… well, sometimes, they put in the work.

This week, when I ran into BSMi’s 2012 Global Influencer Survey, I expected it to be another clone of top influencer/social media guru lists of Christmases past, but instead discovered a thorough, well-researched report that analyzes in detail what the top experts in three particular fields (social media, marketing and digital) have done this year, and explains why they are the best among us. This one really is different. When you browse through it, you’ll understand why. Clever way of presenting it too.

Just really great work all around from BSMi, as always. Click here or on the image below to check it out. (UK readers, click here.)

From now on, every time a “top” influencer list comes out, I want you to think about what you learned here today. ;)



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PS: I also blog over at Tickr now, so go check out my posts there. (And take a few minutes to test-drive Tickr’s monitoring platform. Big stuff coming from these guys in the next few months, but shhhhh… I can’t talk about it yet.)

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And if you’re as tired of the bullshit as I am, pick up a copy of Social Media ROI – Managing and Measuring Social Media Efforts in your Organization. It was written to teach managers and executives how to build and manage social media friendly business programs and incorporate social technologies and networks into everyday business operations. The book is divided into four parts: social media program strategy & development, social media program operationalization, social media program management, and best practices in measurement and reporting. If your boss doesn’t yet have a copy, time to fix that. If everyone on your team doesn’t yet have their own copy, fix that too. No bullshit. Just solid methodology and insights. It makes for a great desk reference.

(Now available in several languages including German, Korean, Japanese and Spanish.)

CEO-Read  –  –  –  Barnes & Noble  –  Que

Filed under: acts of rebellion Tagged: brandbuilder, digital, facebook, global, influencer, klout, kred, list, marketing, olivier blanchard, report, social business, social media, survey, Top 100, top influencer, twitter

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Outbrain Expects 25% Revenue Hit As It Cuts Off Spammy Content Marketers

Content-recommendation engine Outbrain is banning some of its biggest customers from buying web traffic through its service in a move that could eliminate up to 25% of its revenue, but which it hopes will build more trust with readers long-term.

Backed with $64 million in venture funding, Outbrain is probably the most well-known company that makes content-recommendation engines, with sites such as, and using its technology to display recommended links to articles on their own sites and others’.

The company’s publisher partners use Outbrain’s technology in two ways. Some pay Outbrain on a per-click basis to place links to their articles next to articles on other sites. On the other side, you have publishers who get a cut of that revenue by allowing links to other publishers’ stories to reside on their sites.

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