In this week's Times Magazine, Clive Thompson (or @pomeranian99 on Twitter) described in his "I'm So Totally, Digitally Close to You" article how "incessant online contact" encouraged by tools like Facebook's Newsfeed and microblogging platforms like Twitter, has created "ambient awareness." Whether we tweet in 140 or less, post on each other's wall or upload photos, videos or Utterz, we're creating and curating a public record of who we are, what we like, dislike, what sparks our interests and what we care about.
This article left my head buzzing with the implications of this new "ambient awareness" and in particular, what it means for brands.
For those of us who live our lives online with a collection of Twitter, Facebook, Pownce, Flickr, Second Life and Linked In accounts, this new Unplug Your Friends effort from Meetup says we need to overcome out addition to the screen and rejoin the real world. A commercial in which a closeted geek discovers there's a world beyond his collection of screens and online friends supports the effort.
It's trippy and surreal but it makes a powerful point. There's a world out there that isn't digital and it can be a very friendly place. The creative comes from freelance CD team of Julie Lamb and Phil Gable. Curious Pictures in New York produced the work which was directed by former agency creative-turned animation director Rohitash Rao.
- Blogger Meggie Poo unsubscribes to a random retail e-newsletter ... and its CAPTCHA calls her a whore. O_o
- Some members of the maverick Mad Men twitterati are affiliated with We Are Sterling Cooper, which "[catalogues] the conversation around AMC's Mad Men and its fanbase across the social web." Thanks @AmandaMooney.
- Speaking of fake Twitter characters, meet @S.A.R.A.H., an artificially intelligent house from the Sci Fi Channel's Eureka. Created by Fallon.
- Cops in Scottsdale, Arizona use Twitter to keep the community abreast of what's happening in the city: closed roads, active crime scenes and the like.
- Google cozies up to agencies with evangelism missions and SWAG. Don't be fooled by all those friendly faces! John Battelle isn't.
- Ramadan's got brands in a tizzy. Coke released special packaging; Starbucks is showcasing Arabian blends and Ramadan-inspired pastries at its stores in the Middle East. Observers of Ramadan, which fast! until! sunset!, will undoubtedly be thrilled. (I love SBUX, but after a food-free day it's the last place I'd go. Who says "I'm starving! A tart and some coffee would do me good"?!)
- Bill Clinton received a warm...and appropriate...welcome message from a local Denver strip club during the Democratic National Convention.
- Want to quit your job in style" Check out Droga5's Quit in Style site they created for the YoungGuns Award.
- Pingdom examined traffic for ten social media sites over the last year. Digg still tops the list but the piece points to some interesting trends.
- Agency GCI Group and game developer Launchfire Interactive have created several online games to help promote the Dell Latitude E-Family line of computers.
- Damn Receipt aims to achieve brand love by hooking up people and brands. The site allows people to upload a copy of a shopping receipt. Marketers can visit the site and pay the person.
AMC didn't take too kindly to the onslaught of Mad Men characters appearing on Twitter and sent a Digital Millenium Copyright Act take down notice asking Twitter to remove @Don_Draper and @PeggyOlsen. The accounts are currently suspended. There are other accounts on Twitter for the Mad Men characters Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell, Joan Holloway, Paul Kinsey, Sal Romano, Bertram Cooper and Bobbie Barrett. Many are still active though @joan_halloway has recently been suspended as well.
AMC was not behind the appearance of the characters on Twitter but its legal maneuverings may go down as the single worst use (misuse?) of social media. One of the characters, @paul_kinsey, was created by Mario Parise. When he created the account, he immediately contacted AMC to tell them what he was doing and if they had any problem, he'd immediately cancel the account. AMC never contacted him; it chose instead to take the legal route.
MediaBuys, LLC has launched a web destination called Greedy People, where, according to the Flash intro, "People will do just about anything for MONEY." Think of it as Bragster with a desperate twang, or Digital Panhandler 2.0.
Users can earn cash for just about anything, and I mean anything. There's a dude on here apparently willing to pay somebody $25 to buy tampons for his "crazy feminist girlfriend." And another guy who'll pay $250 for somebody to talk to his dead relatives. (No prior experience necessary.)
Hell, the economy's weak; here's one more space that's raining money. See print ads here. (Down the right-hand side of the pressie.)
Jennifer Jones has produced a brief, helpful tutorial, How to Build a Social Media Campaign, to guide markers considering swimming in the social media pond. She offers the names of tools marketers can use to track existing conversations about their brands. She suggests brands identify or create interesting stories surrounding the brand that will be of interest to the target audience and then provide a means for those stories to be shared.
In terms of things to avoid, Jones is adamant that marketers be transparent in their efforts and identify their involvement with any effort. The tutorial doesn't answer every question marketers will have about social media but it will provide an initial frame work from which to begin.
While Dell's Digital Nomads site has been up for a few weeks, it's only just beginning to receive press. The site is a social media offering for the increasing number of people for whom location has become irrelevant when it comes to work and online life.
Digital Nomads is a blog, a Facebook page, a LinkedIn page, a Twitter identity and a YouTube page. While it's been unclear whether or not Enfatico was involved in the creation of the work, an email to Dell Digital Nomad Enterprise Evangelist Bruce Anderson confirmed the agency's involvement. Anderson tells us Enfatico was "involved in the overall layout, design and social-media integration for the site."
With Dell's Richard at Dell having previously made mention to Adrants of work already done by Enfatico, it would seem that knowledge combined with the launch of Digital Nomads, would call for the retirement of that Enfatico countdown clock.
Wait. What? Don Draper, the head dude on AMC's Mad Men has a Twitter account? And is following me? Huh? Time warp?
Oh I get it. It's not Don Draper. It's some dude over at AMC or their agency. Or...someone impersonating a person at AMC or their agency. Damn, why didn't I think of that? Oh who cares!!! Twit this, Draper!