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Can Mountain Dew Make You Smarter than Pinot Noir?

When can a Mountain Dew make you smarter than a glass of a nice Pinot Noir? Well, beyond the short-term cognitive boost from the caffeine-rich soft drink, being seen holding a glass of wine can reduce your intelligence – not in real terms, but in the eyes of others. As I posted on Forbes.com the other day in Proof: Alcohol Makes You (Look) Dumb, even a stone-cold sober person holding a glass of wine suffers an apparent IQ drop. […]

By |August 1st, 2012|

Why Business is Different Now

People toss around the terms "thought leader" and "social media expert" lightly these days, but Brian Solis is one of the few people who actually lives up to those names. In The End of Business as Usual, Solis shows how the widespread use of social media is fundamentally changing the business environment.

By |June 6th, 2012|

Our Brains Make Facebook Worth $90 Billion

Those of us involved in social media know that people love to talk about themselves. They seemingly enjoy sharing the trivial, the personal, and occasionally the weird, details of their lives. Sometimes they overshare – as a longtime online community builder, I’ve found that “poster’s remorse” is common – people post something too personal and later regret doing so. So why do people share so much? New research from Harvard shows, in simple terms, that talking about yourself makes your brain feel good. […]

By |May 10th, 2012|

What Guy Kawasaki Knows About Google+, and You Don’t

Book Review: What the Plus! Google+ for the Rest of Us by Guy Kawasaki

Google+ seemed to get off to a running start, but more recently has been termed a “ghost town” by some pundits. Experience with the service suggests less than robust usage by consumers, despite the large number of registered users. When my Why Jersey Shore Drops the National IQ post went mildly viral last week, it quickly garnered more than a thousand Facebook likes, but a mere five +1s. Does this mean Google+ is headed the way of Friendster and MySpace? […]

By |March 26th, 2012|

Forget Evil, Don’t Be Creepy!

Three Ways to Avoid Creepiness

Marketers are being offered unprecedented new capabilities to target consumers by interests and behavior. There’s growing evidence, though, that consumers are finding these personalized pitches off-putting. A new survey of UK social media users showed that nearly half “don’t like having ads targeted to them based on information included in their social media profiles, including activities, interests, and other personal data.” While Google’s motto has been, “Don’t Be Evil,” perhaps a more appropriate one would be, “Don’t Be Creepy!” […]

By |February 21st, 2012|

Zarrella’s Hierarchy of Contagiousness

Book Review: Zarrella’s Hiearchy of Contagiousness: The Science, Design, and Engineering of Contagious Ideas by Dan Zarrella

I like Dan Zarrella’s approach to social media. Amidst a horde of social media gurus, experts, mavens, and missionaries, Zarrella relies on crunching numbers to create his insights. Instead of thinking up “10 Ways to Get Retweets,” he analyzes millions of actual retweets to find out what works. (Oddly, putting “please RT” in your tweet actually does work.) Hierarchy is a bite-size book from Domino. With the same small form factor as Seth Godin’s Poke the Box, this book can be read in an hour. The length may be an advantage. Zarrella could no doubt have filled hundreds of pages with data and insights from his social media research. Instead, he presents a modest number of concepts that are readily digested and implemented. […]

By |November 7th, 2011|

Person of Interest Billboard Interacts, Adds Social Media

How do you create buzz for a new show about citizen surveillance, CBS’s Person of Interest? How about a billboard that homes in on a pedestrian face, snaps a photo, displays it, and then provides a number to send a text message to. If the person does that, they can access their “classified file” and post the photo to Facebook or Twitter. Here’s a video of the billboard in action: […]

By |September 13th, 2011|

Smells Like Social Media

We’ve seen some unusual fragrance concepts, but how about a scent “Made for Social Media?” The new unisex fragrance, suggestively named Erox, comes from online community operator Crowdgather (CRWG). The scent incorporates synthetic human pheromones, and, according to the announcement, it has been “proven to increase feelings of arousal, excitement, social warmth and friendliness in both female and male users.” […]

By |June 29th, 2011|