Steve Jobs dies at age 56

RIP Steve Jobs, a true visionary has passed away… his ideas revolutionized the technologies that shape our daily lives. He will truly be missed.

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Steve Jobs, Apple’s Visionary, Dies at 56

Steven P. Jobs introduced the iPhone 4 in San Francisco in 2010. More Photos »

Published: October 5, 2011

Steven P. Jobs, the visionary co-founder of Apple who helped usher in the era of personal computers and then led a cultural transformation in the way music, movies and mobile communications were experienced in the digital age, died Wednesday. He was 56.

The death was announced by Apple, the company Mr. Jobs and his high school friend Stephen Wozniak started in 1976 in a suburban California garage.

Mr. Jobs had waged a long and public struggle with cancer, remaining the face of the company even as he underwent treatment. He continued to introduce new products for a global market in his trademark blue jeans even as he grew gaunt and frail.

He underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in 2004, received a liver transplant in 2009 and took three medical leaves of absence as Apple’s chief executive before stepping down in August and turning over the helm to Timothy D. Cook, the chief operating officer. When he left, he was still engaged in the company’s affairs, negotiating with another Silicon Valley executive only weeks earlier.

“I have always said that if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s C.E.O., I would be the first to let you know,” Mr. Jobs said in a letter released by the company. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”

By then, having mastered digital technology and capitalized on his intuitive marketing sense, Mr. Jobs had largely come to define the personal computer industry and an array of digital consumer and entertainment businesses centered on the Internet. He had also become a very rich man, worth an estimated $8.3 billion.

Eight years after founding Apple, Mr. Jobs led the team that designed the Macintosh computer, a breakthrough in making personal computers easier to use. After a 12-year separation from the company, prompted by a bitter falling-out with his chief executive, John Sculley, he returned in 1997 to oversee the creation of one innovative digital device after another — the iPod, the iPhone and the iPad. These transformed not only product categories like music players and cellphones but also entire industries, like music and mobile communications.

During his years outside Apple, he bought a tiny computer graphics spinoff from the director George Lucas and built a team of computer scientists, artists and animators that became Pixar Animation Studios.

Starting with “Toy Story” in 1995, Pixar produced a string of hit movies, won several Academy Awards for artistic and technological excellence, and made the full-length computer-animated film a mainstream art form enjoyed by children and adults worldwide.

Mr. Jobs was neither a hardware engineer nor a software programmer, nor did he think of himself as a manager. He considered himself a technology leader, choosing the best people possible, encouraging and prodding them, and making the final call on product design.

It was an executive style that had evolved. In his early years at Apple, his meddling in tiny details maddened colleagues, and his criticism could be caustic and even humiliating. But he grew to elicit extraordinary loyalty.

“He was the most passionate leader one could hope for, a motivating force without parallel,” wrote Steven Levy, author of the 1994 book “Insanely Great,” which chronicles the creation of the Mac. “Tom Sawyer could have picked up tricks from Steve Jobs.”

“Toy Story,” for example, took four years to make while Pixar struggled, yet Mr. Jobs never let up on his colleagues. “‘You need a lot more than vision — you need a stubbornness, tenacity, belief and patience to stay the course,” said Edwin Catmull, a computer scientist and a co-founder of Pixar. “In Steve’s case, he pushes right to the edge, to try to make the next big step forward.”

To his understanding of technology he brought an immersion in popular culture. In his 20s, he dated Joan Baez; Ella Fitzgerald sang at his 30th birthday party. His worldview was shaped by the ’60s counterculture in the San Francisco Bay Area, where he had grown up, the adopted son of a Silicon Valley machinist. When he graduated from high school in Los Altos in 1972, he said, ”the very strong scent of the 1960s was still there.”

Mr. Jobs was the ultimate arbiter of Apple products, and his standards were exacting. Over the course of a year he tossed out two iPhone prototypes, for example, before approving the third, and began shipping it in June 2007.




The Rise of Social Networking in Latin America

The statistics are simply amazing!

In June 2011, 114.5 million people in Latin America visited a social networking site, representing 96.0 percent of the entire online population in the region. Social networking is not only big in Latin America, it is also growing — with the audience climbing 16 percent in the past year – comScore 2011

These are unprecedented levels of engagement… representing extremely high adoption rates for the entire region. Latin Americans are clearly active users of social media technologies. Read the full report from comScore to get the full scoop on overall trends, global, regional and market specific statistics, and overall summary of how social media impacts the overall fabric of digital media communications in the region.

Executive Summary:
Social networking is central to the online experience across Latin America, reaching millions of people and providing a level of engagement that is rarely matched by any other online activity. Tapping into people’s innate need to interact and communicate, social networking provides an opportunity for consumers to actively connect to one another while also creating a channel that brands can utilize to engage with consumers in a two-way relationship.

This report examines the state of Latin America’s dynamic social networking landscape, providing insights into trends at a global, regional and market level. The report also analyzes how social media has shaped the larger digital environment through its influence on other social web activities and its role in the dissemination of marketing messages. Several of the report’s key findings are summarized below:

In June 2011, 114.5 million people in Latin America visited a social networking site, representing 96.0 percent of the entire online population in the region. Social networking is not only big in Latin America, it is also growing — with the audience climbing 16 percent in the past year.

Latin Americans are strongly engaged with social networking. Half of the top 10 worldwide markets by time spent on social networking sites are in Latin America with Argentina leading the region at 10 hours per month in June 2011.

The Latin American social networking audience is nearly equal in its composition of males and females, but females account for a larger share of social networking time spent (53.6 percent) compared to males (46.4 percent). This trend was most significant in Brazil where females accounted for 58.7 percent of all social networking time spent. strongly led the social networking market in Latin America reaching more than 91 million visitors. Windows Live Profile ranked #2 with more than 35.5 million visitors in the region. Orkut held the #3 spot with 34.4 million visitors, largely driven by the site’s popularity in Brazil, while ranked #4 with 24.3 million visitors.

Five of the top 10 markets by reach are in Latin America. Facebook reached 90.9 percent of all online users in Chile, ranking as the most penetrated market in Latin America.

In Brazil, Orkut ranked as the most-visited social networking destination, reaching 35.7 million visitors, an increase of 20 percent from June 2010., which is the second largest social networking site in Brazil, witnessed strong growth increasing 192 percent to 24.5 million visitors.

For more details, please download the full comScore report below.

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The Rise of Social Networking in Latin America

Date: September 20, 2011

Speaker: comScore, Inc.

Event: comScore Whitepaper

Download Whitepaper

comScore presents The Rise of Social Networking in Latin America. The report examines the state of Latin America’s dynamic social networking landscape, providing insights into trends at a global, regional and individual market level.

The report reveals the role of social networking in Latin Americans’ digital experience:

  • How large is the social networking audience and what is the demographic composition of these users?
  • How much time are users spending social networking and what does this reveal about changes in online behaviors?
  • What are the top social networking brands in the region? How do audience preferences differ across markets?
  • How has social media shaped the larger digital environment through its influence on other social web activities?
  • What role does social media play in the dissemination of marketing messages?



The New Facebook… where is it all going?

The new Facebook was recently announced, featuring a new Timeline that will allow for enhanced presentation of our life’s experiences that we choose to share on facebook. The timeline will allow us to keep the stories that we feel are most important in telling our life story, it keeps a record of the big moments that fill our life and shape who we are. Right now, we all probably have hundreds if not thousands of “comments”, “shares” and “likes” on our profile, with a timeline we can decide what’s most important and we also have control of how much we want to share. With that premise in mind, I do like the evolution of the Social Network into a human experience platform that allows us to share life’s special moments. This evolution that is underway, is only the initial step that will lead to a bigger more enhanced and interactive experience to be shared online… let me explain.

Your Cover… Your Stories… Your Apps… where is this all going?
The new facebook is really the initial step of what’s really going to happen… the social network will eventually become a human experience platform that will allow for our “real life” experiences to be “lived” online. The end goal will be the ability to experience every day moments like going to the movies, watching a concert, going to the library, playing games, etc… all online. Think about it, right now facebook is adding apps to the timeline… with Netflix being one of the new apps that will soon be available. What will take that app sharing experience to the next level? well how about being able to watch a movie with your friends on facebook. That way not only are you “sharing” what you are doing, but you are actually living the experience within the social network and also sharing it with your friends. The next thing will be not only a “Netflix” app, but the Netflix movie theater! I can just see the day when we will start receiving invitations to watch a movie on facebook. Think about it, you can add it as an event, share the event with all your friends, put a link to the virtual movie theater (there will be a payment somewhere in here obviously) and then voila, all your friends can join in on the fun and post how great or how bad the movie was! Talk about online reviews and recommendations. This will change the game forever.

Now take that experience and multiply it by the multitude of personal interests, entertainment choices, educational centers, etc… each and every one of those experiences can be created and can be lived online. Each one of them with an app and a room where you can live the moment, experience it with all your friends, and share the news with your entire network. This is the conversion point of real life and your virtual life… where eventually one becomes the other, and together they form one.

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Fill this wide, open space with a unique image that represents you best. It’s the first thing people see when they visit your timeline.

Share and highlight your most memorable posts, photos and life events on your timeline. This is where you can tell your story from beginning, to middle, to now.

The movies you quote. The songs you have on repeat. The activities you love. Now there’s a new class of social apps that let you express who you are through all the things you do.



What’s the R.O.I.? A Framework for Social Analytics

“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted” Albert Einstein

What an awesome quote!!

Check out this great writeup by the SM master himself, Brian Solis. ROI is in the mind and in the objectives of every senior executive looking to implement and fund Social Media Campaigns. This article by Brian, presents a framework to be used in the process of determining ROI. Check it out and see what you think…

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“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.”
– Albert Einstein

Say hello to my little friends, R.O. & I.

Yes. Return on investment have become the bane of an entire new media industry. However, avoidance is not the answer.

This conversation is important as you are expected to answer it not just today, but and also over time.  The source of the question though, may also impede innovation and experimentation. Why?  The answer in of itself is as elusive as the question asked. As much as the previous sentence sounds like a riddle, it is a very real observation. Often it is asked without a clear understanding as to whether or not the answer will actually change the company vision or the current course of business. Sometimes it is genuinely asked to do just that, change the vision and the course of business toward relevance. Either way, this is an opportunity to show how new media enables desired business outcomes.

While the question of “what’s the R.O.I. of social media” is difficult to answer, it is necessary as it forces us to dig deeper. The result is maturity.

Before we tackle the question, let me share a quote with you. After hundreds of executive discussions, I’ve stitched together a recurring theme that I believe will help you…

“If you come to me with a request for budget and resources for social media, to make it a priority for our business, you will lose every time…If you tie social media to our business priorities and objectives and demonstrate how engagement will enable progress, you will win every time. Social media must be an enabler to our business, just show me how.”

– Your CEO

Your job is to connect the dots between the value of new media, the expectations of your customers, and the business roadmap the company is operating against.

So, when it comes to R.O.I. in social media, perhaps we’re asking the wrong question.

Again, the answer is difficult, but not impossible to answer. If I ask you, “how are you?” you will probably respond with “fine,” “ok,” “good,” or “great.” But if you take a moment to think about it, each of those answers begs a follow-up question to deepen the conversation, “why?” Or, “why do you say that?” Otherwise the question serves no real purpose other than to casually acknowledge another person or to run through the traditional ritual of easing into a conversation. The same is true for R.O.I.

If we are indeed to discover the “Return,” we need to tie it to more than the “Investment,” we need to understand the circumstances, intentions, and potential impact and outcomes business leaders need to see in order to understand new or foreign opportunities. Said another way, we need to define the “R” that defines tangible success and work out a formula that allows us to find the answers. Therefore, R.O.I is specific to an outcome or a goal, which means that there is no one answer.

To help, Susan Etlinger (@setlinger), my colleague at Altimeter Group, recently published an open research report, “A Framework for Social Analytics.”

The report opens puts ROI in context to help you focus on business value in your social media efforts:

“What is the ROI of social media?” This is one of the most frequently asked questions related to social strategy. While 48% of social strategists reported earlier this year that their primary internal focus is to develop ROI measurements,2 ROI is just one metric in the social business toolkit. Rather than focusing on social media as a monolithic entity, businesses should evaluate it based on its contribution to a range of business goals. Says Richard Binhammer, Strategic Corporate Communications, Social Media. and Corporate Reputation Management, Dell Inc., ‘There is no single ROI for social media.’”

As we see in the executive quote earlier in the post, tying social media to business objectives and metrics helps them see a clearer picture. We have to remember that executives most likely do not use social networks personally. It’s impossible for them to see what you see, therefore taking the extra time to connect the dots helps you make the case and in doing so, brings the R.O.I. answer into focus.

Susan also does a wonderful job of not only showing us how businesses should view R.O.I, but she also helps businesses identify how to develop analytics frameworks that define the “R” or the return for specific business objectives.

Prep work: Assess how your business is measuring R.O.I. on other fronts today

Step 1: Align your strategy with business objectives

Step 2: Determine how you will measure success and also define critical milestones

Step 3: Evaluate your organization’s readiness to measure social media and bridge the gaps

Step 4: Choose the right tools to measure progress and outcomes

Remember, there is no one way to measure R.O.I. There are many business pillars that stand on a solid foundation for growth. Susan introduces the Social Media Measurement Compass to guide businesses as they’re planning social media programs. Remember, social media doesn’t just belong in the marketing department, a social business is customer-centric and social media enables more effective engagement, learning, and adaptation. Therefore, it is the responsibility of other critical business functions to engage.

1. Innovation: Collaborating with customers to drive future products and services

2. Brand Health: A measure of attitudes, conversation ad behavior toward your brand

3. Marketing Optimization: Improving the effectiveness of marketing programs

4. Revenue Generation: Where and how your company generates revenue

5. Operational Efficiency: Where and how your company reduces expenses

6. Customer Experience: Improving your relationship with customers, and their experience with your brand

The three tenets of social business, Connected, Engaged, Adaptive create a transparent relationship with customers that opens the door to meaningful metrics to measure success and improve everything in between. In the end, understanding the relationship between business objectives and social media tactics will create a series of relevant strategies and critical links that in of themselves serve as opportunities for measurement and the establishment of R.O.I.

We cannot measure, what it is we do not know to value…

You can download Susan’s report here and also follow her on Twitter for more insights into metrics and analytics.



Mobile Marketing – Top 14 things marketers need to know about QR Codes

The online marketing evolution continues, and the next frontier is Mobile Marketing. These handy little QR Codes can be the bridge between the offline marketing and your online / digital marketing channels. They are great tools that are available for free, unless you want some of the fancy features.

Check out this great article for more how to’s and best practices for using 2D codes!

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Top 14 Things Marketers Need to Know About QR Codes

by Angie Schottmuller,
April 26, 2011

I recently spoke at SES New York on best practices for mobile marketing with QR codes. Here’s a follow-up crash course on tools, tactics, and best practices to confidently help you jumpstart a 2D barcode marketing campaign.

1. A QR Code is a 2D Barcode

QR codes are an encoded barcode image resembling a square-like maze. Unlike a 1-dimensional UPC code, a 2-dimensional barcode stores data in both directions and can be scanned vertically or horizontally to be decoded.

1D versus 2D Barcode Comparison
2. 2D Barcodes Can Store a Variety of Data

A traditional 1D barcode (UPC/EAN) stores up to 30 numbers, while a 2D barcode (QR) can store up to 7,089 numbers. The additional storage capacity accommodates a variety of data beyond numbers:

  • Hyperlink
  • Telephone number (Phone call)
  • SMS/MMS message
  • Email (Send message)
  • Contact entry (vCard or meCard)
  • Calendar entry (vCalendar)
  • Text

  • Hyperlink

  • Telephone number (Phone call)

  • SMS/MMS message

  • Email (Send message)

  • Contact entry (vCard or meCard)

  • Calendar entry (vCalendar)
  • Storing a hyperlink presents a myriad of possibilities beyond just loading a web page — play a video, download a mobile app, check-in on Foursquare, update a Twitter status, “Like” a Facebook page, display map directions, and more.

    3. Read/Decode a 2D Barcode by Scanning it With a Smartphone

    is required to decode the encoded data.)

    2D Barcode Scanning Process

    4. 2D Barcodes Can be Placed in and on Nearly Any Location

    Once the barcode image is created, it can be printed on nearly any surface and location — newspapers, TV ads, billboards, temporary tattoos, product packaging, clothing labels, cake frosting, and more. This enables you to drive traffic, interaction, and conversion from anywhere. 2D barcodes excel at bringing non-digital media to life.

    Note: Use caution placing barcodes online. They should always enhance the user experience. If a user could click a hyperlink, don’t make them scan a code to complete the same task.

    Bear in mind the location must be easily scannable. Plastic frames and packaging can reflect light. Lighting can cast shadows, and hillsides and subways can kill Wi-Fi access. Consider all contextual factors that could impact the scanning experience.



    3 Social Media Must Haves For Companies

    Another great writeup by Heidi Cohen!

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    3 Social Media Must Haves For Companies

    Always be preparedWhile social media continues to mature, it’s still a scary environment for many businesses since it means that prospects, customers and the public have the platforms and tools to amplify their voices with relative ease. Despite this easy access to publishing tools, the reality is that only 1% of the people involved in social media create new content while 90% lurk or consume content and 9% comment or make other minor contributions to existing content.  From a corporate perspective, it’s that 1-2% of interactions or comments to which brands and/or companies must respond.

    In today’s social media ecosystem, there are three elements that every company should have regardless of whether they’re active on social media networks or not. Given the velocity with which information is shared, it’s critical that your firm is prepared to react quickly and appropriately to changes in the conversation in order to protect your brand and reputation. Here are three recommendations.

    1. Have social media monitoring in place. This factor was high on marketers’ list of 2011 must haves. Social media monitoring can be an early warning system for your business. As part of your social media monitoring make sure that you’re also tracking words related to your competitors since their problems can quickly spread to your business.

    1. Implement social media guidelines. Surprisingly, research by SmartBrief for Social Media and Summus, which considers social media guidelines an indicator of social media adoption, found that only half of companies had social media guidelines after three years. This should be a no-brainer as it protects both your firm and your employees.

    1. Have a crisis management plan in place. Since social media firestorms can occur at any time without notice, it’s important to have a crisis management plan in place. This means more than just the name of a PR crisis management firm. It requires an organized plan with up-to-date names and phone numbers (including personal cellphones.) The reality is that something will occur at a time when no one’s minding the shop; at night, on the weekend or during a holiday. (Here’s a Real-time PR Checklist to help you.)

    As a business, are you ready for a PR crisis? Are you prepared if something happens to one of your employees, suppliers, distributors or competitors? Just as airlines repeat their instructions about evacuating the airplane at the beginning of every flight, it’s important for your business to ensure that your employees understand what’s expected of them in a social media emergency.

    Does your firm have these three elements in place? If not, what’s holding your firm back?

    Happy marketing,
    Heidi Cohen



    7 Social Media Trends for 2011

    Great Article by Heidy Cohen!

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    7 Social Media Trends for 2011

    2010 was a tipping point for social media: it changed how we market, as shown by Pepsi’s Refresh Campaign and Old Spice’s viral videos; connected us during crises, notably in the Haitian earthquake and BP oil spill; and it left every firm feeling vulnerable to a PR flare up, regardless of how broad their engagement. In terms of sheer size, 2010 was notable in that Facebook overtook Google in the number of site visitors.

    What does this mean for marketers as we enter 2011?

    Marketers and, more importantly, senior management need to take social media seriously and to integrate it across their enterprises. It’s critical to understand that social media networks are where consumers and the public spend their time and engage. This is real life where your audience decides if they like your product and how you’re behaving as a company. Be warned that if they don’t like what your firm is doing, they have the megaphones and connections to get the message out quickly to like-minded individuals.

    7 social media trends for 2011

    Here are seven predictions for social media’s evolution in 2011.

    1. Think social media boy scouts: Be prepared to respond to your customers and the public. Regardless of how active your company is on social media platforms, you must be ready for a social media flare up. In 2010, a significant crisis for BP turned worse when the CEO talked about getting back to his personal life. To this end, build your social media tribe early and have a crisis management plan in place. Further, update it regularly to ensure that you’re able to contact people when you have to. In today’s world, upset customers express themselves to a broad audience, often when you’re least prepared.

    1. Get senior management on board for social media activities. Many members of senior management haven’t bought into social media. Now’s the time to get your team trained and engaged. Have them participate on social media platforms before you have to overcome an escalating social media issue. Ford avoided a social media crisis by participating as an active member of the community not just blasting out one-way messages. Management buy-in is critical to drive your social media activities towards your corporate goals. Don’t overlook the need to educate your senior management and others within your organization.

    1. Not for marketing only! Expand social media usage across the enterprise. Social media can be leveraged to cost efficiently extend the effectiveness of your organization. For example, social media can extend your customer service, human resources and investor relations by allowing a broader group of people to participate.

    1. Protect your firm, your employees and your customers with corporate guidelines. Social media guidelines can be short and to the point. While this may sound like a nuisance, it supports your employees by telling them what’s acceptable and what’s not. It takes away the guesswork. By doing this, you can enable a broader base of employees to participate in social media on your firm’s behalf and enrich your content offering.

    1. Integrate social media marketing into your overall marketing plan. To enhance the effectiveness of your social media marketing, it’s critical to integrate it into your overall marketing strategies. Well-executed social media marketing requires more than a few tweets a day and a Facebook page. Remember, social media is a multi-directional communications tool. You need to leverage other forms of marketing to let your prospects, customers and the public know about your social media efforts. Often this requires marketing and PR support. Further, bear in mind that advertising on social media platforms, particularly Facebook and Twitter, will gain traction and leverage internal information to generate revenue.

    1. Acknowledge that social media isn’t free. While many social media platforms allow users to interact without fees, from a corporate perspective, social media marketing isn’t free. It requires budget (read: money) and resources (read: employees or consultants). While companies are starting to hire social media experts, the real change occurs when they add internal headcount to manage the process and begin messaging from the inside.