Smart People / Smart Ideas Round-up August 2009

They say August is a slow news month, but there was a lot of really great content I found that was worth sharing. As always, you can get the Smart People / Smart Ideas series by following me on Twitter.

August 2009

Smart People / Smart Ideas #184 @mitchjoel on the importance of learning:

Smart People / Smart Ideas #185 @malbonster on online serendipity:

Really Smart People / Smart Ideas #186 @peterkim @jowyang @charleneli on “Why Social Media Marketing Fails” [h/t @d2k]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #187 @LisaBarone on using SocMed as a weapon: [hat tip: @arikhanson via @amymengel]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #188 @Britopian guest Post on @briansolis: Active Listening on the Social Web; It’s Overrated

Smart People / Smart Ideas #189 @codybrown [h/t @BBHLabs via @madebymany]: Social Network Identity crisis

Smart People / Smart Ideas #190 – @peterkim on who gets paid for SocMed participation  [h/t @Armano]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #191 @JasonFalls on PR pros being SocMed ready [h/t @OwenGreaves]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #192 – @ischafer on Why Facebook Acquired FriendFeed

Smart People / Smart Ideas #193 @agencynil crowdsources for new biz opps (via @BBHLabs)  –

Smart People / Smart ideas #194 @dberkowitz on “The Social Graph Ad Targeting Buyer’s Guide” [h/t @jowyang]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #195 @rohitbhargava on Why your brand may WANT to be anti-social online:

Smart People / Smart Ideas #196 @TomMartin on consiglieres: [hat tip to former consigliere @scottmonty]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #197 @michelletripp on Facebook and IP, your IP,

Smart People / Smart Ideas #198 @GeoffLiving breaks down the LIVESTRONG brand

Smart People / Smart Ideas #199 @zephoria on the usefulness of Twitter: [hat tip @mikearauz]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #200 (!) @mitchjoel on your legacy in the Digital Age:

Smart People / Smart Ideas #201 @jowyang on kick starting your communities

Smart People / Smart Ideas #202 @jaffejuice on how change happens (slowly).

Smart People / Smart Ideas #203 @mikearauz on becoming a Social Brand

Smart People / Smart Ideas #204 @LenKendall drops some @ knowledge on Mental Floss [hat tip @armano]

Smart People/Smart Ideas #205 .@AmberCadabra on writing a release that sounds human [h/t @MarketerBlog]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #206 @jaffejuice reminds us not to get too far ahead of the consumer on JaffeJuiceTV:

Smart People / Smart Ideas #207 @congbo talks web visitor quality v. quantity [hat tip @mikearauz]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #208 @jaredgruner asks if we need ‘digital’ strategists: [hat tip @NakedNY]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #209 @tomasacker on the nature of brands [h/t @jaredgruner]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #210 @dmscott looks at the relationship between personal & corporate brands

Smart People / Smart Ideas #211 @juntajoe has The Three Rules to Marketing Reset – Spreadable. Ultra-Niche. Consistent.

Smart People / Smart Ideas #212 @mleis lays out a Participation Framework for Social Media  [hat tip @MarketerBlog]

Smart People / Smart Ideas #213 @mitchjoel says your company is a media company. Deal with it.

Smart People / Smart Ideas # 214 @katenieder on Marking your social media territory [h/t @warrenss via @Armano] 

Insanely Smart People / Smart Ideas #215 @henryjenkins gets all transmedia with District9 [h/t @BBHLabs]

Marketers Grapple With The Idea Of The Big Idea

Over at BBH Labs there having a brilliant discussion on the subject of “The Big Idea” and wheter or not it is dead, or perhaps just deserves to die.  The level of thought and intelligence, on both sides of the argument, is staggering. Just about everything worth saying on the subject is said, either in the post or in the fantastic comments, but I would like to add my two cents.

My interpretation of a Big Idea is one that facilitates the creation of a Deeply Immersive Narrative Universe (DINU). Here’s what I mean by that: Does the idea create an environment where other people, both professional and consumers, want to – and have the ability to – build upon the existing concept, making it richer?

This can take many forms. Star Wars is a big idea. It started as a movie, but has become the Star Wars Universe with books, cartoons, video games and fan groups.  At this point George Lucas is responsible for a mere fraction of the Star Wars-related content that is out there.  His creation has taken on a life of its own and will more than likely outlive him.

As a brand, Barack Obama became a big idea. The video, the Shepard Fairy poster – these were created outside the official Obama campaign but came to represent not only what he stood for, but for the man himself.

A DINU creates a landscape where the idea generators (writers, marketers, artists, etc.) intentionally leave space for consumers to play an active role in the life of the idea. I think by its very nature a Big Idea today has to be one that allows for a DINU to take shape. The truth of the matter is, a good idea will be grabbed by consumers, the tools are too readily available. If you recognize this in advance, plan for it and even assist consumers, you’ll have an excellent chance of having your good idea become a Big Idea.

To blog, or not to blog. That is the question.

Fellow WordPress Marketing Blogger Matt Hames writes about the pressure to blog, and blog well and consistently, in response to this post from Michael Gass. While I agree that Gass might be giving short shrift to the challenges of blogging, I think there is another issue here as well. 

Matt is correct, maintaining a blog, which is oftentimes a major vehicle for brand exposure, should be done properly and that requires forethought, planning, dedication, intelligence and a whole lot more. But you can be too careful as well. Don’t be paralysed by the thought: “What if I post something that people don’t agree with?” Sure, you don’t want to write something really stupid, but let’s assume you weren’t going to do that anyway. Blogging is a very organic exercise. You may contradict yourself over time. I believe it’s more important to get your thoughts out there, even if they aren’t perfect, than to wait until they are. Because if you do that, you’ll never write anything.

The idea, when it’s in your mind, will always seem better than the actual thought on the page. And if you don’t actually publish, but just think about publishing your thoughts will always be genius because that’s how you imagine them. When you put something out there and it gets challenged, that’s when you really grow. Get involved in a conversation and defend your ideas, or acknowledge that someone else has a better take, that’s ok too. I don’t think any PR firm, ad agency or marketing consultant has a lock on great ideas – or is immune from having some stinkers. I’d rather work with somebody who has the occasional bad idea than somebody who has no ideas at all.

Ideas, Insight & Innovation

Two recent articles that are worth tracking down:

In Sunday’s NYT Business Section there is an article that highlights the delicate dance between inventor and investor. Doug Hall, CEO of Eureka Ranch Technology, is developing a database, to be launched in 2009, that will help connect inventors with businesses looking for innovations.

You might also want to check out the May 12 issue of The New Yorker. Gladwell takes one of his trademark looks, this time into how conventional wisdom assumes ideas are generated. It’s become fashionable in 2008 to bash Gladwell a bit; first there was the Fast Company story about Duncan Watts and his challenge to Gladwell’s “Influentials.” Then, Slate gave Gladwell a poke for some truthiness regarding tales of his time at the Washington Post. But when Gladwell is on his game, as he is with this piece, he really is a pleasure to read. He can make seemingly dry topics come to life and provide a human insight that is truly illuminating.

Monocle – Epitomizing the Eyecube mentality

The Eyecube concept (Innovation, Insight & Ideas) came to me in early 2002. I say this to cover myself because otherwise it could be easily construed that I derived the idea from Monocle, the supersmart global media operation that produces a gorgeous and always surprising magazine, as well as a very sharp website. The editorial is always smart and filled with intriguing and challenging articles. In a nutshell, these guys cover innovation, insight and ideas on a global scale, with a focus on business, culture and design.

Monocle, Issue 13Stories range from the latest in the travel and automotive industries, to retail, hotel and food trends. One recent video segment highlighted the frighteningly sophisticated world of video games in South Korea.

If your work inolves travel, or just collaborating with colleagues and partners from foreign lands, Monocle is a must. If your gig is strictly domestic, Monocle will show you what is likely to be hot here in the States in the not too distant future.