Looking for Something?
Browsing Category

New Media News

Can Tablets Take the Place of Teachers? [Infographic]


Although there’s more technology use in developed countries, those who live in third-world nations are quick to learn how devices work when given the opportunity. The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) organization recently gave tablets to children in Ethiopia to see if kids could learn without the benefit of an actual teacher. Here’s what happened:

Can Tablets Take the Place of Teachers?

Infographic courtesy of BachelorsDegreeOnline.com

The “Art” of Storytelling


Most don’t have it; a fortunate few do. Only a handful of very talented “naturals” have the ability to engage an audience through their brilliantly-crafted stories. Not only are they able to use their charisma and emotional intelligence to captivate and charm, they’re able to ignite and convince their audience to take action through the use of their story. These are the people you love being around. They enthuse, entertain and inspire!

The practice of using stories to motivate is an extremely effective leadership tool and has been used throughout history. Think of some of the great biblical leaders and how they leveraged parables and narratives to inspire their audience. Look at how George Washington, Henry Ford and Martin Luther King and many other thought leaders incorporated stories into their speeches.

Stories in business


“Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal, just three stories.” – Steve Jobs

The leaders that employees follow and admire most are those that tell meaningful stories rather than reciting boring and useless statistics. Consider the now famous speech that Steve Jobs gave at Stanford graduation. Within the first 30 seconds of his address, he says “Today, I want to tell you three stories from my life. That’s it. No big deal, just three stories.” He immediately engaged his audience and then goes on to deliver one of the most inspiring commencement speeches in history through the effective use of his stories.

In Telling Tales, Stephen Denning writes, “Analysis might excite the mind, but it hardly offers a route to the heart. And the heart is where we must go if we want to not only motivate people to take action, but do so with energy and enthusiasm. Even the most logical arguments or well-crafted PowerPoint slide deck won’t do the trick. Story telling can translate those dry and abstract numbers into compelling pictures of leaders’ goals.”

The heart is where we must go in marketing! This is especially true in content marketing. However, the challenge of reaching the heart through text heavy content lies in the lack of emotional hooks a writer can place as they convey their message. Without being able to see, gauge and interpret the audience, only the most talented writers capture their reader’s attention. In addition, readers today are inundated with information and if an emotional hook isn’t set within the first few seconds, the reader is gone.

A better way to tell your story

This is where the data visualization can more effectively tell your story and “translate those dry and abstract numbers into compelling pictures.” With the right infographic, a writer is still able to tell their story, but the likelihood of setting an emotional hook and catering to the reader’s attention span increases significantly.

Imagine that it’s Monday morning and you’ve just jumped online to read about the release of Apple’s iPhone 5. As usual, you’re pressed for time and are looking for some quick content before you make your buying decision. You come across two “stories” that are essentially the same thing; a breakdown of what it will cost to own the new device. The only difference is one is an infographic and the other is an article. Which are you most likely to spend your time on?

If you’re like majority, you’ll favor the graphic over the written. The reasons:

  • You’re visual
  • You’re short on time
  • You’re accustomed to “dashboards” and want the story quick and concise

Avalaunch Media‘s Favorite Stories Using Infographics

Why Utah Has the Greatest Snow on Earth - SkiUtah.com The True Cost of an iPhone 5 - Mashable.com The Life of a Salvaged Tree From Forest to Tree - NationalGeographic.com History of Marketing Channels - AvalaunchMedia.com History of Mickey Mouse - Goin2Travel.com

“The Merger”

This is where the two worlds collide. You put the art in the story and your audience engages on two levels; with the story AND the visualization. For this reason, infographics have become a quintessential marketing tool that:

  • Increase brand awareness, authority, trust and credibility
  • Increase social proof and signals that are important for optimization
  • Build critical links from legitimate sites that boosts SEO
  • Generate new forms of traffic flow to your domain

An infographic that’s well designed and promoted through the right channels can tell a story in such a compelling way that it’ll inspire your audience to take action. Stories told visually should be considered a key component of any corporate communication and marketing strategy.

Making Quality Writing Count in New Media


Paraphrasing a very wise SNL character: “If it ain’t one thing, it’s another.”

A decade ago, a pair of twenty-somethings at a party asked what I thought about the future of traditional journalism with online media and communication gaining speed, strength and reach.

“The Internet,” I said, as if I had half a clue, “is a double-edged sword. On one side you have this world-shaking, powerful technology that allows anyone to have a voice, to publish what they have to say, a privilege once reserved for those with power and money.”

And the other side of the sword, they asked.

“Not everyone has something to say.”

These days, there’s still a double edge, but it’s on a different sword. There are plenty of people who, through the power of online self-publishing have discovered that, yes, they do actually have something to say.

And the other side of the sword?

Most are not very good at saying it.

It sounds like an uber-snooty remark but, truthfully, there really is an Everest-size difference between saying something and telling a story, between a compelling narrative and a rehash of a diary, between informing and regurgitating, between writing and, well, just typing. There’s a similarly sized difference between getting readers to open your blog and getting them to come back.

Responding to a LinkedIn question I posted about the importance of quality writing in blogs, nearly every poster said yes, they prefer sites that are well written. While the reasons varied, the one that jumped out at me was painfully simple:

“Readers want to feel like they’re having a discussion with somebody smarter than they are. Poor writing, no matter how well informed, won’t get that done.”

Are we talking about Steinbeck? No. Solid writing has less to do with prose and fancy phrasing than it has to do with 3 steps: Having a point, knowing what that point is, and writing to that point. Sounds simple, but a quick cruise through the blogosphere (and, frankly, a lot of legacy media outlets) shows that the importance of a point is, at best, underestimated.

That said, it’s not difficult to, with a few basic tips, make writing significantly better. Really.

Are there bloggers who are wildly successful without great writing skills? Of course. They have to work harder or rely more on their other tools – photography, videography, research, self-promotion, SEO – to not just gain new readers, but to keep them.

Can you rely entirely on great writing to be wildly successful? No. You still have to have something to say.

“If it ain’t one thing …”

Editor’s Note: If you’d like to learn how to turn your writing into powerful storytelling, be sure to check out Spud Hilton‘s session at NMX in January, entitled “Road map to storytelling: Writing that turns visitors into loyal readers.”


Did These Top Five 2012 New Media Predictions Come True?


As 2012 comes to a close, I think we can call the biggest prediction (that the world would end) a bust. But what about predictions about blogging, social networking, and other parts of the new media world? Let’s take a look at 2012 predictions and whether or not they came true.

Prediction #1: Photo and video social networks will blossom

Who said it? Jay Baer (who will be speaking at NMX 2013)

Where he said it: this post from Social Media Examiner

Did it come true: Yes

I think we can all agree that Jay was right on the money with this prediction. During 2012, both Pinterest and Instagram grew rapidly, and more and more people started experimenting with creating videos to publish online. Even on established social networks like Facebook, we saw a boost in people using images and video.

The post on Social Media Examiner contains a number of 2012 predictions, as well; some right on the money and others a little off the mark.

Prediction #2: Social television converging with traditional television

Who said it: Elise Moreau

Where she said it: an About.com blog post

Did it come true: Somewhat

While some of her other predictions definitely came true, I think this one is a little farther from what really happened. Social television is still lagging a bit, though it is definitely growing. What we are seeing are apps and websites like Get Glue expanding rapidly, but we still aren’t seeing widespread adoption of smart TVs. Second screen apps like those offered by AMC are also growing, and according to reports, more people are using tablets, computers, and smartphones to browse while watching TV.

So, I’ll say that this prediction came true…somewhat. But I think we still have a pretty far way to go when it comes to social television.

Prediction #3: Google+ becoming a force in 2012

Who said it: Content Marketing Institute

Where it was said: their 2012 predictions slide show

Did it come true: No

It’s not like nobody uses Google+. In fact, lots of people use Google+. But a force? No way. There’s little mainstream adoption; people have stuck to Facebook for the most part. But having a Google+ profile does have other benefits. Namely, Google has remained a search engine powerhouse, so Google+ posts regularly show up in search results. The information you provide also helps Google connect the dots to figure out who you are.

You can definitely be successful on Google+, though. Amanda Blain is going to speak at NMX 2013 about this very topic, in fact. It’s quite a stretch to call this network a force, though.

Prediction #4: Every brand becoming social

Who said it: Eric Wheeler

Where he said it: a blog post for Venture Beat

Did it come true? Yes (for the most part)

While there might be a few holdouts, it’s rare to find a brand that doesn’t have at least one social profile (usually Facebook), and many are on several networks. One of the other points he makes is that social data will become more important to brands, and I definitely think this has come true. While in the past, companies were using social media just because they “had” to, the question today on everyone’s mind is, “Why?” Brands want to see ROI, and without data, it’s impossible to show that.

Prediction #5: Social sharing options everywhere

Who said it: David Armano

Where he said it: a blog post for Harvard Business Review

Did it come true: Yes

It seems like I can’t do anything online without an option popping up inviting me to share. Buy this product? Share it. Sign up for an account? Share it. I’m waiting for the days when they start asking us to share that we’ve just shared something!

But all joking aside, I like it that the Internet is becoming more social. Writes David, “We probably don’t know what we are willing to share until we see the option to do it.” How true is that? I find social sharing notices helpful as reminders to share my activities when they might interest others.

Did you make any social media predictions for 2012? Did they come true or were you surprised? Leave a comment below!

2012 Social Sharing Trends [Infographic]


With each passing year, we share more, invest in new tech toys, and the way we get the news of the day evolves. Information is everywhere and all of us are a part of shaping the social sphere around us. As we get ready to wrap up 2012, what will the year be known for? Who was the most talked about athlete this year? What country had the biggest growth in social? What was the most shared event? See what AddThis has to say about the trends from 2012 in this infographic.



Our Best Information Source? UFC’s Dana White Says Social Media


“Overall, I think it’s going to keep becoming a bigger and bigger part of what everyone does. As big as it is already, more and more people will just keep getting on board. Ever since I’ve been on Twitter, my number of followers has kept going up and up. Social media is just the best way to give and receive information today. “

This past week, BusinessNext keynoter and Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White was featured in an interview with Mashable. With over 2.3 million Twitter followers, as well as active presences on other social networks like YouTube, Dana is a social media leader in the sports industry. In fact, the success of the UFC in recent years is due in part to the activity of the organization and and its athletes on social networks.

So is Dana correct? Is social media now the best way to share information?

In some cases, I think the answer is yes. I often hear of a breaking news story on Twitter before I see it on television or even on an online news outlet. And when I want information, it is usually pretty easy to ask my followers.

But I think social media as a source of information has challenges as well. Online, people are often more concerned with being first than they are with being correct. The spread of misinformation is a problem.

I also think that while many (okay most) of us who are part of the NMX community live and breathe social media, the general public is adopting more slowly. Many of my non-work friends only check Facebook a few times a week and most do not have active Twitter, LinkedIn, or YouTube accounts.

Still, I think any organization or company leader who is not opening social media with welcome arms, as Dana is doing, is in denial about the powerful tool this has become. And, as Dana states, I do believe it will only become a bigger and bigger part of our everyday lives.

Check out the rest of Dana’s interview with Mashable, and don’t forget to snag a ticket to BusinessNext (presented by NMX) this January to see Dana speak live about social media.

What do Agencies (and Brands) Look for in a Blogger?


If you are gearing up for this January’s New Media Expo/BlogWorld event then you’re probably interested in promoting your brand and blog. Since hundreds of agencies and large brands use our product (GroupHigh) to identify bloggers, research analytics, and manage blogger outreach campaigns, I thought it would be great to share what our clients think makes a great partner blogger.

In the past, outreach lists were built using an Excel spreadsheet, Google Blog Search, and a good amount of manual labor. The arduous task of finding and qualifying blogs for a campaign stood in the way of efficiently reaching out to bloggers. More importantly, this process didn’t help decipher which blog outlets were a proper fit for a given campaign. Today, there are many shortcuts and knowing how agencies and brands look for blogs is critical if you want to be included.

Searching Twitter Bios

There are many tools that make searching Twitter bios quick and easy, but Follower Wonk is probably the best. There is still a lot of hunting and pecking for bloggers, but Twitter specific metrics such as follower count help focus research on higher-quality outlets.

What this means for bloggers:  A Twitter Profile That Links to Your Blog Is A Must!

If agencies and brands are finding blogs by searching on Twitter it only makes sense that you ensure that your or your blog’s Twitter identity is clearly linked to your blog’s homepage. It is also a good idea to build your follower count, as followers is quickly becoming a leading factor in blog selection for outreach.

Blog Marketing Platforms

Tools like GroupHigh allow firms to search for and filter bloggers by almost any metric and content imaginable. Firms can easily find blogs by the content they write about most often, as well as how open they are to common marketing tactics such as guest posting, sponsored posting, contests, and product reviews.

What this means for bloggers:  Ensure that your blog’s content reflects your ambition!

If you are open to running contests on your blog, start today! Grab the PunchTab Giveaway App and run a small contest. If you are an aspiring fashion blogger, make sure that the title of your blog post denotes that you are reviewing a product. For example:

  • Product Review: Levi’s 501 Demin Jeans
  • First Thoughts: Levi’s 501 Demin Jeans
  • Just Purchased: Levi’s 501 Demin Jeans

Being obvious about what your content contains will help brands and agencies find you and pitch you more accurately.

Extra Tip: Many firms are beginning to target bloggers via Pinterest and Instagram. This is especially true for campaigns that involve rich media elements such as pictures and video. If you want to be considered for these campaigns make sure you have Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube channels clearly listed on your blog. Less than 2% of active bloggers list these modern social networks, but they are increasingly being used to target bloggers. It also won’t hurt to have followers and subscribers, as most firms seek blogs with over 1,000 followers/subscribers.

Blogger Networks

While blog networks initially existed to consolidate advertising across blogs of similar topics, they are also a common resource for firms that don’t want to spend a lot of time researching and building personal relationships. Firms that use a blog network typically pay for access and are guaranteed a certain reach, similar to the way banner ads are sold. Though this saves the firm time, the downside to this approach is that the authentic relationship between the firm and blogger is immediately compromised. It is then based on pay-to-play rather than a mutually beneficial relationship.

What this means for bloggers:  Join a network? Maybe?

There are many pros and cons to joining a blogger network. If you want to get involved with blogger networks that deal in sponsored posts, check out IZEA or BlogFrog. Additional information on blog networks can be found below:

In addition to looking for blogs in the aforementioned locations, firms also review a variety of metrics when deciding which blogs to build relationships with. Based on several of our highest-quality users, here is what we’ve seen over the past three months.

Firms are looking for:

  1. The ability to amplify a message socially. So make sure to list social profiles prominently on your site.
  2. A solid base of traffic and pageviews. While never completely accurate, most firms rely on Compete.com traffic data to make decisions. Once you begin building a relationship, don’t be offended if they ask for proof of your traffic from Google Analytics, this is commonplace especially among larger brands and agencies.
  3. Twitter Followers. The more the better. While 10 years ago firms would use Google’s PageRank as a quick barometer of your blog’s quality, today Twitter followers is the number one quality metric we see firms using to select blogs.  Most firms look for bloggers with a minimum of 500-1,000 followers.
  4. Google PageRank. Despite its aging status, many firms still rely on this statistic to include/exclude blogs from campaigns.
  5. Facebook Likes. While not as widely used as Twitter followers, Likes is often included in a custom score.

How are these numbers used?

Rather than rely on a debatable ranking or score, most firms take some combination of the above key metrics and create a custom metric in Excel. This could be something termed Social Reach, which could be a combination of Twitter followers and Facebook Likes. Other times it could be a total campaign reach, which would include followers, Likes, and traffic numbers. The highest rated blogs get included based on metrics like this very often.

In any event, I hope this post sheds a bit of insight into what the best agencies and brands are looking for in bloggers. Best of luck building your brand and I look forward to seeing you at NMX/BlogWorld in January.

Nerdist’s Chris Hardwick is Coming to NMX in Las Vegas!


True story: I’m so excited about this NMX announcement that I can barely write this post. So I’ll just get right down to the big news: NMX is proud to welcome Chris Hardwick from The Nerdist Podcast and The Talking Dead as a keynoter to our 2013 show in Las Vegas this January!

Chris has built a new media empire – or as he so fondly calls it, a “nerd media empire.” He started his nerd website and podcast in 2008. Along with co-hosts Jonah Ray and Matt Mira, the podcast features guests ranging from Mythbusters‘ Adam Savage to Larry King to the cast of Doctor Who.

Since it’s inception, Chris has partnered with Peter Levin (GeekChicDaily) to form Nerdist Industries, and what started as a single podcast has since turned into an entire network of podcasts, a YouTube channel filled with premium content, the Nerdist News newsletter, and even a TV show on BBC America.

Nerdist Industries is now the digital division of Legendary Entertainments, where Chris and Peter serve as co-presidents.

You also might know Chris as the host of The Talking Dead on AMC, a weekly talk show-style program that airs after The Walking Dead every week. The show, which he recently announced would being expanded to a full 60 minutes instead of having the previous 30-minute time slot when returning in February, features fans’ quotes and questions via social media, an online poll to go with the episode every week, and continues online for 15-20 minutes after the television program ends. So, it’s combining the online and offline world in a way that few other programs do.

Oh, and Chris is also a writer for Wired Magazine. And hosts events like Course of the Force, an annual Comic-Con lightsaber relay. And filmed a Comedy Central special, Chris Hardwick: Mandroid. Really, what doesn’t this guy do?

I might have a little nerd crush, in case that wasn’t obvious!

You definitely don’t want to miss Chris’ fireside chat with Leo Laporte at 4 PM on January 7, 2013 at NMX! If you haven’t purchased tickets yet, you can register right now at the NMX event site. Register by Friday, December 14 to save up to $200 on your ticket!


Note from Rick Calvert, NMX Founder: I am a HUGE WALKING DEAD FAN and love watching The Talking Dead after the show every week. I am guessing a lot of you are fans, as well. I can’t wait to see if Chris can share any inside news on the show’s return in February. Maybe even bring us a sneak preview?

Favorite line from the last show (which was a tweet from a fan) “If you put Merle, The Governor and Hershel together you have an actual Pirate.” I almost fell out of my chair. What is your favorite line or scene from the show this season?

The Top 20 Most Social CMOs in the Fortune 100


This fall, Mark Fidelman, our Conference Director of BusinessNext Social, set out to find the most socially active group of CMOs in the Fortune 100.  Surprisingly, the group is overall not on the early adopter end of the social media spectrum. Only one in five CMOs or top-level marketing / communications executives from the Fortune 100 list have an active public presence on social networks. In our experience, having a large digital network is a significant advantage for anyone in positions where communication and influence are key ingredients to success.

The study revealed that the following individuals have social influence which distinguishes them from their peers. Mark said, “These visionaries have demonstrated their ability to sustain an adaptive social business by implementing new strategies, embracing cutting-edge mobile and social technologies and developing engaging content.”


Note: Only the highest ranking marketing executives were considered in each of the companies.


While CMOs may apply different methodologies for engaging digital communities on an array of social platforms, these few rank highly on a formula pioneered by Mark Fidelman that considers metrics such as Twitter followers, retweet frequency, social engagement frequency, social mentions, KRED scores, and Klout scores. Weights are assigned to each factor to determine the final rankings of each CMO’s social impact.

Why Is This Important?

There is obviously a major discrepancy between the low social rankings of most CMOs and the significant focus placed on the impact of social media in business and the evolving role that marketers are taking in social media activities. A recent CMOSurvey.org study predicts that social media spending as a percent of rising marketing budgets is expected to increase from 7.6 to 18.8 percent over the next 5 years, while Gartner Research predicts the CMO will spend more on IT than the CIO by 2017.

Ironically, these 100 CMOs are charged with leading social initiatives for the world’s largest enterprises, yet our analysis shows that the majority have relatively little experience building influencer communities. “That is a major stumbling block,” says Mark.  “The consensus among the people who top our list is that CMOs need first-hand experience building online communities to connect with customers and foster loyalty, trust and engagements.”

“An adaptive business is the only business that will survive the new challenges ahead, challenges caused by a massive shift of power from corporations and traditional media to customers and influencers. Companies that don’t make the transition to adaptive, social business will face overwhelming challenges that they are ill-prepared to overcome. Too often, we’ve witnessed organizations fail to understand and act on these shifts, and surrender to their competitors and creditors.

 We want to change that. 

 At BusinessNext Social, we’re giving business leaders the opportunity to learn how the most successful companies remain relevant, sustainable and profitable. What’s the secret? Combining new social and mobile technologies with smart content. When produced in the right culture, this creates a powerful growth machine that can automatically adjust to changes in market conditions.” 

– Mark Fidelman, Conference Director, BusinessNext Social

If Mark’s vision for social business sounds too good to be true, then we have to recognize that the transition to social business is incredibly difficult.  And, effective change needs to start at the top.  Only by “walking the talk’’ can CMOs and other C-level executives demonstrate credibility and set the example for fellow workers.  Clearly, some CMOs already “get it.” Dozens will be speaking at the upcoming conference and hundreds more will join. But what about Fortune 100 executives leading some of the most prominent brands that touch our everyday lives? How many of them are leveraging the power of social as a best business practice?

What do you think? Does the future belong to those who know how to grow and influence their own digital networks?  Are CMOs and other C-level executives equipped to drive social inside the organization and out?

Social Media Crisis Management [Infographic]


Although teen and young adult students are some of the most entrenched in social media, it’s ironic that more colleges aren’t taping into social trends when it comes to crisis communication. The following infographic from OnlineColleges.net shows some interesting stats (and missed opportunities!) for today’s institutes of higher education. Although, truth be told, many businesses outside of academia are all too slow to embrace social media and implement it into their crisis communications plans, as well.

Social Media Crisis Management
Brought to you by: OnlineColleges.net

To learn how to incorporate social media into your business strategies, be sure to register for our BusinessNext Social conference which takes place in Las Vegas, January 6-8, 2013.

Learn About NMX


Recent Comments