Popular Web 2.0 Tools for B2B Marketers?

This is a headline I read at marketinvox.com. And this is the info you get there:

B2B marketers have adopted blogs and RSS more than other Web 2.0 tools such as wikis, according to the report; moreover, smaller marketers – the Davids among the Goliaths – are at the forefront: Some three-quarters of surveyed marketers that have deployed Web 2.0 tools are in companies of 10,000 or fewer people.

Some other findings from „The B2B Web 2.0 Tools Report“:

  • Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of respondents use blogs, 58 percent use RSS feeds, followed by podcasts (54 percent), videocasts (43 percent), social networks and communities (42 percent) and wikis (19 percent).
  • The most frequently noted blogging services were WordPress (35 percent) and Blogger (30 percent), followed by TypePad (19 percent).
  • Users‘ favorite RSS readers are those offered by Mozilla Firefox (23 percent), MyYahoo (20 percent) and Bloglines (17 percent).

Fascinating news. So I went to the website of the tools report. On this site you get the results, and you can also participiate in the survey:

Tools are ranked according to the number of mentions by qualified B2B marketers. The number of ‘Votes’ is tallied in the second last column of the table.

If you sum up the votes, you can see that there are only 61 votes sofar. In my opinion this is hardly a solid number for issuing such a press release! Don’t get me wrong: the findings will be interesting, once there is a substantial number of participants. But don’t start with such a bold headline on such a small number of findings!

Regarding the statement „qualified B2B marketers“: the survey can be filled in by anyone. There are qualification questions, but you can fill in anything you want. I am sure there will be quite a few people filling in this survey in any random way, only because they are interested in receiving a full copy of the results.

Let’s wait and see what the results will be in a few weeks.

Individualism, echochambers or microcelebrities?

Two thoughts, similar conclusions, different causes.

Steve Rubel writes about the golden age of individulism:

The difference between then and now is that it’s easier than ever before to become a micro celebrity. It still takes talent and hard work, but really anyone can do it. […] Beyond „micro fame“ if you will, the rise of personal brands really reflects something deeper in society that’s changing. In American culture in particular we have always been proud of individualism and expression. Before Web 2.0 we might dress a certain way or do something to stand out. Nowadays, that happens online and it’s being driven in large part by the maturing of the Net Generation – Gen Y.

So Steve talks about the increased opportunities to live out individualism to create microcelebrities.

While Mitch Joel podcasts about „echo chambers“. He argues, that instead of the podosphere, the blogosphere and any other social media being an echochamber, we are merely creating celebrities.

These are two different angles for a similar thing. Steve says, it is all about individualism, supported by the web enabling self expression. Mitch argues we’re quoting&supporting each other to create our own celebrities among each other. Both results in more or less unknown individuals becoming (micro-) celebrities.

(At the end of the day, you should rather ask Paris Hilton, if you can afford the $1 Million for a personal branding seminar.)

What the Twitter?

Sometimes things hit you with several punches at once.

I was listening to an episode of the „six pixels of separation“ podcast by Mitch Joel, and just before I came home he praised twitter. Half an hour later, on his blog, I found a post about twitter, and then, later while going through my feeds, I found another post by Adpulp about twitter.

So what is it? As Mitch Joel writes, …

It’s being called a micro-Blogging platform. […] Simply put you can send a text message (SMS length) either through a website, instant messenger or mobile device to your own customized Twitter page.

There are many people now, who constantly update twitter (and with twitter-widgets, this also appears on their blogs). I am not sure why peole would do that. But Mitch has some thoughts on this:

As consumers take more control of the media, these individuals are building tremendous personal brands and the people who are connected to these personal brands want more connections and information. Twitter takes this idea and brings it down to the core: what is that person doing right now. Imagine how many millions of people buy magazines to read about their favorite celebrity. Now imagine if those celebrities were using Twitter. Micro-chunks of information that keeps everybody in their loop.

And then, again not much later, I find that Meish muses about twitter and classifies some profiles of twitterers (is that what they’re called?)

  • The Briefers, who provide only bulletins relating to current location or status. Example: Waiting for the bus. Cold.
  • The Detailers, who use Twitter to give an insight into what they’re thinking, eating, listening to, looking forward to, planning, and so on. Example: Wondering what to have for tea tonight. Pasta, maybe.
  • The Kitchen Sinkers, who use Twitter as a new form of blogging, recording thoughts and links and opinions and ideas, addressed to no-one in particular. Example: Traffic lights broken at the corner of high street. Phoned work and told them I’ll be late. That’s the fourth time this week. Sigh.
  • The Pongers, who respond publically to other users whose updates they are receiving via Twitter (so called because they return each IM ping with a pong). Example: @Jim: Hahaha! Yes!

But it’s not just for people. Technorati and Google News also have twitter channels.

As if blogs, MySpace profiles, videos on YouTube, podcasts and everything else is not enough already. Now we can let the whole world know what we’re doing – every minute of the day.

I like blogs, and I publish some of my photos on flickr. But that’s about as far as I would go. Not sure why I would want to tell everyone about my whereabouts all the time…

Why it pays for Cory Doctorow to give his books away for free.

Cory Doctorow, one of the Bloggers behind Boing Boing wrote an article in Forbes about Giving It Away

I’ve been giving away my books ever since my first novel came out, and boy has it ever made me a bunch of money.

An interesting philosophy, but it does make sense somehow. In this new digital age, ebooks form the basis for word of mouth for books. In the paper age, I would borrow a book from a friend, read it and if it was good I would probably buy a version to add to my collection.

Like Joe Jaffe said in one of his podcasts, it’s like buying the T-Shirt after a good rock concert. You want to have a souvenir, something to show to your friends.

ebooks don’t replace this kind of purchase, but they even help spread the news since it is much easier to email ebooks across the globe compared to books.
That he has been successful, even in perspective of his well experienced publisher, shows this quote:

There’s no empirical way to prove that giving away books sells more books–but I’ve done this with three novels and a short story collection (and I’ll be doing it with two more novels and another collection in the next year), and my books have consistently outperformed my publisher’s expectations. Comparing their sales to the numbers provided by colleagues suggests that they perform somewhat better than other books from similar writers at similar stages in their careers.

The web does require us to rethink certain things. There is a book called Free Culture (which I haven’t fully read, I admit), in which Lawrence Lessig describes how people needed to rethink land ownership, when the first planes flew over people’s land. Up until that point, people owned the land and the air above it. With the aviation industry arriving on the horizon, this needed rethinking and changing of laws.

Nowadays, information (and things like movies and music are nothing but information, from a digital standpoint) is so easy to share and remix, that the only added value really stays with the creator of the piece of information. And the fact, that he is the only one able to recreate a piece of information (music, film, essay) that will be equally sought after.

What I mean? In future, there will be a big shakeout in the whole value chain of all parties dealing with information. Any party sitting in the value chain that doesn’t really add value, will have a hard time justifiying their relevance (other than owning rights – which means enforcing „value“ through lawsuits).

This is no bad news for the content creators. Cory earns good money by many activities surrounding his writing, as he writes in that article in Forbes, which, in turn, has apparently been paid well, too. This works out fine, since people pay to see, hear or read stuff coming directly from a content creator. And in music, bands will always be able to earn money through concerts. It’s the big fat middle that will increasingly need to justify their contribution to the value chain.