Sunday, December 20, 2009

Avatar, took movies to a new level

Avatar was exciting, compelling, challenging, a new dimension in the movie world. The most well balanced movies I've ever seen. To me it also was one - if not the - most impressive movies I've seen in my live. I loved Star Wars, it was just overwhelming (back in the 70's), but Avatar was the most complete movie of all. A science fiction that had nothing that couldn't be true, nothing too crazy, nothing too silly, nothing too bloody, nothing too brutal, nothing too... To me Avatar had the perfect balance - and it was all about balance.

I will see it again. I believe I only saw "New Hope" twice in the movie theater. I will see Avatar now in an iMax, then with my kids again and.... Screw the box office numbers. This will hopefully be another one billion dollar move - just because I want to see Avatar II. And if not, most of the GREAT movies were less successful then the average shot.

James Cameron, you did an absolutely out standing (literally) job! Nothing more to say.


Friday, December 18, 2009

The Channel Never Dies

Whenever people thinking of eliminating the middleman something magically happens and that middleman takes center stage.

Imagine you want to create a social media initiative and you kind of get frustrated that all you have is about 50 of your 500 employees who would really be helpful. Then you have an epiphany and think "What about my 2,800 partners and their teams"?

Now we are talking

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Why I no longer tweet every day

I started Twitter early 2007 see my first tweets. Like many I had no clue - stopped using it for a few weeks, came back, liked it a lot and people laughed at me "Axel, are you out of your mind".
In the coming two years I followed probably 20,000 people on and off and got to 53,000 something follower over all - now down to about 5,000 after I did some twitter hygiene.

I used Twitter to converse, get news, chat, inform, provoke...

Twitter is evolving. It is going to be the world's most important NEWS platform. Twitter already became the leading publishing company - without being a publishing company.
And as such I will continue to tweet, but not about how my sailing trip was or that I have lunch with another CEO (well maybe once in a while) - but rather changes that may be of interest to more people just than my inner circle.

Like many things in our social media industry is evolving. People who hate change, don;t want change, will be disappointed - others will sour with the evolution. "Fly with the eagles or scratch with the chickens."

That's why in 2010 you will no longer see me tweeting every day.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

SRM Best Practices with XeeSM

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

My Bio Cloud

Andrew Baker, a fellow XeeSM user inspired me to do that. I thought it's interesting enough to share it:

Wordle: Axel's Bio Cloud


Friday, September 18, 2009

The End Of Email

I blogged about it a few weeks ago in a different context. But I'd like to shed more light on the dieing email technology. Yes, yes, yes, It will live on for a long time - but it's the end of it's relevance - and therefor eventually die.

My email account receives on average 36,000 emails a month. About 30,000+ are filtered by the server based spam filter. I don't even notice those 30,000 - other than in a mail server log file saying - deleted 31,074 spam emails.
From the remaining 6,000 email about 5,000 get filtered by my local spam filter. So I end up with about 35 emails per day of which 50% I still care less, 15 - 20 may be informative and 5-10 are real important.
In other words 0.5% of the email volume is important.
Or: 99.5% of emails are a waste of bandwidth, wast of money as I need to buy and maintain spam filters. It's a sad illusion for customers who trust marketers that they can "deliver the message".
OK - I get more than 5-10 important messages a day - much more but I get them through different ways. People contact me via Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter direct messages, text me, skype me and so forth. Only 20% of what is relevant to me comes through email - and steadily declining. Friends, customers and peers know - if something is REALLY important they skype me.

Now - you may say but if 5-10 are very important you can't throw it over board. Right ! But it tells me that there will (hopefully soon) somebody come up with a cool new idea to get those 10 important messages to me without all the overhead of spam and filters.

I look forward to the day I can announce that I no longer use email - which I predict will happen within the next 18 month.


Saturday, September 05, 2009

All social sites on your blog

It's been messy to put all your social sites on your blog, your website, your email signature and worst of all - your business card. If you have a twitter account, you have only one URL to tell your friends where else they can connect with you. On your blog the same.

Check out you see it here on my blog as an embedded script. You see it on my website as an embedded script, you see it on my email signature and many more places.

Change one - changed all others
The neat thing is: If I add or remove a site, like I recently added imeem, it appears on all sites and anywhere I use my XeeSM automatically. Check the XeeSM fan page, quite some more cool blog posts from other users.

A natural connection booster
The most surprising effect however was that so many of my friends and contacts connect on other places simply because they just didn't know I have a presence there too. And that drove their friends to connect with me too.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Last release before XeeSM's public Beta

Last night the team updated XeeSM one more time prior to public Beta next week. Here is what's new:
- Blogger, Wordpress, Website ... gadget
- Allow XeeSM owner to tweet about himself
- Provide URL suggestions (ajax suggest)
- Let your friends know where you are
- Make it a #FollowFriday feature

- Blogger, Wordpress, Website ... gadget

You can embed XeeSM in your blog or website. Go to "My Profile" and click on "Show XeeSM embed code". The code is based on your profile and you can cut and paste and add to your site. Let us know if you need any help. Like you see it here.

- Allow XeeSM owner to tweet about himself

Once you have your XeeSM or update your profile, you can Tweet about it right from the profile manager page.

- Provide URL suggestions (ajax suggest)
The most asked for request was to add a way to suggest the URL format when you add a site. At your command. Here it is.

- Let your friends know where you are
Share your social site directory with friends, customers and other contacts. Click on "Share it" and upload your email list from Outlook or similar address books. We will send your XeeSM to everybody you put into the list. This may help you to become more approachable.

- Make it a #FollowFriday feature
Each XeeSM has a new Tweet text to introduce the person to others on Twitter. But on Friday it automatically has a #FollowFriday hash tag included.

Please do us a favor and comment on our Facebook FAN Page.

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Why most small / medium businesses struggle with social media.

Where is the expected added business?
Social media appears to be a new marketing tool. It looks like a new way to get closer to customers, win some more deals, creating a new communication channel. But where is the new business?

How can I turn it into an $800 Million business?
It was just a little bit too simple. And like anywhere else, there is no free lunch. But social media has a huge potential. It wasn't just for fun that Zappos, an online shoe retailer was acquired for $800 Million dollar by Amazon. So what is it that makes social media work for some and not for others?

It is actually only one tiny difference:
For some social media is a new marketing channel, get done with it and go on with business as usual. Honestly, how could that work? For others social media is a whole new way of doing business with existing customers, partners and the rest of the market across all departments. Yes, it needs some thinking - but again, there is no free lunch. The latter ones are the winner.

Customers across all industries complain that the vendors, channels and suppliers they deal with provide a mediocre to lousy service, the companies are not approachable and nobody seem to listen. Businesses are so busy with themselves fighting the "business climate" that they seem to oversee that the most important aspect of getting business up are happy customers. Obviously even the coolest social media campaign won't help at all - if the rest of the company does business as usual. If Customers complain about approachability social media can help to get the team more approachable. If service is a weakness, social relationships between service team and customer would be a great deal of improvement. If products lack functionality requested by users, social media is a great way to connect product management with the market. Interestingly enough, in none of the above scenarios a "cool social media marketing campaign" is the weakness or even required to engage.

How to solve the problem:
1) Understand that social media is a cross functional engagement
2) Don't hire an external social media team but create a social culture internally
3) Keep sales in charge of customer relationships - but in a more social way
4) Make product development more approachable and listen to the market by being part of the social web
5) Ask marketing to help gather data and reports from the social web and escalate alerts inside the organization
6) Develop a strategy based on a thorough social media assessment
7) Engage in the social web with the goal to increase customer advocacy
8) Have a small team well educated and professionally execute the strategy

The Social Media Academy conducts a complimentary webinar this Friday Aug 14, with further details on the topic.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Sorry - I unfollowed you

Since I started Twitter in 2007 I followed all kinds of people and over 25,000 followed and unfollowed me over time. I used other tools to get through the noise and a few weeks ago I started to unfollow. I am down at around 1,500 right now. Why 1,500? See further down - let me first say who and how.

Who did I unfollow?
1) People who have "I make you rich" or "follow me I follow you" in their bio.
2) People who still today have no photo up
3) People who have their dog or cat instead of their own photo. I understand you love your dog - but I'm not tweeting with your dog
4) People with over 10,000 followers and still follow more than they have followers. People collect all kinds of things, stamps, photos tinker toys - and today: Connections. Not my cup of tea.
5) If you didn't tweet in the last 90 days - tell me when you are back - happy to re-follow if it's interesting
6) People who basically RT all day long to stay in the game, I check carefully - some are actually very nice - others I just don't care.
7) Random noise & Bandwidth eater. Now if you read so far, please read this carefully: I don't follow if it is all about walking your dog. I LOVE people talking about there personal life as well - what they had for dinner and so forth but only if that is not ALL I read. I like the complexity of business, family, fun, personal, and what ever constitutes you. We humans are complex anumals and can assemble a social picture in seconds - challenge my ability to do that.

How did I grind through thousands of connections? I used a cool tool called It does it all. You can filter and slice and dice and then mass unfollow.

Who should NOT do this?
If you are follower collector, you shouldn't do that because your followers will go down right away. Many who auto follow (that's how you get many followers in the first place) have their tools also do auto un-follow - so you would loose all those who followed you automatically. In other words if Twitter is your follower game platform - it ruins your game ;-)

Now why down to 1,500?.
In accordance to Dunbar, an average human being is limited to about 150 social relationships as a meaningfull number. The limitation is our neocortex. But just a few hundred years ago we couldn't fly, we couldnet lift much more than our own body weight and had many other limitations. What the industrial revolution did to our physical productivity - the social revolution does to our social productivity - So my "Axel-Factor" is to be able to socialize with 10 times as many as Dunbar's number is - or about 1,500 people thanks to the social tools we have.

(XeeSM is my approachability utility)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Developing a social media strategy - prevent flops

The best way to prevent social media flops is to create a sound strategy in the first place. It sounds a lot of work and too much for many small businesses but this model has proven to work even in small organizations:

Social Media Assessment (4 quadrant assessment model) find out where your customers are, where they hang out and what is on their mind. Takes you a week or two to make it right. But you learn more than ever before. If you feel you know already - this is your first red flag to a social media flop. Check your customers presence, research how your brand is seen in the market, research your partners and your competitors.

The assessment leads you to a good ol' SWOT analysis. You will find out what your (brand, product, service) strengths and weaknesses are from a market point of view - develop your opportunity and threat profile. You do that in a few hours.


Now since you know more about your market from a social connection and conversation point of view develop your strategy: Goals objectives, value to the market, major activities to achieve your goals, resources, budgets. Develop a strategy team that includes some of your customers (the X-Team) - that is the most magic difference to old world strategies. May take a few days and online conference calls. But if you do it without your customers - you flop - guaranteed.


Once the strategy is sealed, you construct and execute your programs together with your X-Team. Instead of the old model of blowing something into the market you work with the market. May take a week or two to develop. The key to successful programs is PARTICIPATION and CONTRIBUTION. Each program need to be designed that your eco system contributes and other participates. Otherwise it is just yet another marketing splash - random noise. But your X-Team will prevent you from that type of campaigns anyway.

The key like in any other business project: Measure, Model and Tune your activities until they are truly successful. Select the right tools and monitor your activities daily - some in real time.

So all in all it may take a few weeks - but you have a wonder weapon - versus yet another boring marketing campaign nobody is listening to.

Make a difference WITH your market!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Social Media 2.0 - The Next Generation

Organizing Social Media Across Departments

Where most businesses start:

When companies begin to engage in social media they typically start in the marketing department with some rather tactical marketing campaigns. In those early models a large company either hired some social media "experts" to do the campaign or found some engaged people internally. The rest of the organization does "business as usual". The problem quickly surfaces in sales "What are these guys talking to my customers", on the service side "what are they promising to our clients", and the product management team still doesn't get any feedback how to better launch the next generation products. While it is obvious that social media is a key method to create a better customer experience, a better way to listen to the market, a faster way to react to needs and a less expensive way to become part of the market, the "social media marketing campaigns" alone can't do the job. An isolated "campaign" is often counter productive and it would be better to just not engage at all.

What did we learn:
Learning from the early experiences we developed a holistic approach, a cross functional organization model that is able to carry out a social media strategy. The so called ComStar model integrates all departments that have a touch point with the market into the social engagement strategy. Only a small core of social media trained and experienced people is necessary to help steer even large global enterprises into a new direction. An internal social media strategy and it's leverage effect makes it possible.

The Principle:
At it's core, the ComStar Model has one principle:
- Develop a social media service team (SMST) that supports all departments in the organization
The SMST members do not necessarily tweet, blog, comment themselves instead empowers others to do so.
Similar to IT team, finance support or HR that services an entire company, the SMST functions the same way.

How it works:
With the ComStar Model, the SMST (Social Media Service Team) is the guardian angel of the social media strategy. The main objective is to inspire, motivate and service the strategy relevant departments such as marketing, sales, service, product management, HR and other. The departments in turn engage with the customer base, prospects and the market in a whole. In this model the SMST is the cordial spine for the engagement, while sales keeps the control and the relationship to their customers (even so in a different more social manner), marketing keeps being the creative part in the new engagement model “not pushing the message” but fueling the conversation, product managers get the tools and methods to better listen to needs of the market and service teams get the support to be better integrated in customer issues.

Behavioral changes, in particular with "the old guard" on the sales side, are as painful as necessary. Change has never been an easy task. But also change has never been more important and has never shown more successful results like today. Creating some fan pages and a few tweets don't create a better customer experience - nor does it generate the often promised millions of additional revenue. But a great and ongoing trust building relationship with the market does, as we can see in cases like Zappos.

We will present the model in greater detail on
Fri, Aug 14, 2009 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT
Leasdership Series Webinar

- Social media impact to our business operations
- ComStar, an organization model for social media strategies
- Comparing structural differences
- Implementation challenges
- Job description, work flow and responsibilities
- Motivation and compensation considerations
- Cross functional reporting models
- A holistic view to corporate social media


Social Media Evolution

ComStar, a Cross Functional Organization Model and Strategy for Social Media engagement

When companies begin to engage in social media they typically start in the marketing department with some rather tactical marketing campaigns. In those early models a large company either hired some social media "experts" to do the campaign or found some engaged people internally. The rest of the organization does "business as usual". The problem quickly surfaces in sales "What are these guys talking to my customers", on the service side "what are they promising to our clients", and the product management team still doesn't get any feedback how to better launch the next generation products. While it is obvious that social media is a key method to create a better customer experience, a better way to listen to the market, a faster way to react to needs and a less expensive way to become part of the market, the "social media marketing campaigns" alone can't do the job. An isolated "campaign" is often counter productive and it would be better to just not engage at all.

Learning from the early experiences we developed a holistic approach, a cross functional organization model that is able to carry out a social media strategy. The so called ComStar model integrates all departments that have a touch point with the market into the social engagement strategy. Only a small core of social media trained and experienced people is necessary to help steer even large global enterprises into a new direction. An internal social media strategy and it's leverage effect makes it possible.

At it's core, the ComStar Model has one principle:
- Develop a social media service team (SMST) that supports all departments in the organization
The SMST members do not necessarily tweet, blog, comment themselves instead empowers others to do so.
Similar to IT team, finance support or HR that services an entire company, the SMST functions the same way.

With the ComStar Model, the SMST (Social Media Service Team) is the guardian angel of the social media strategy. The main objective is to inspire, motivate and service the strategy relevant departments such as marketing, sales, service, product management, HR and other. The departments in turn engage with the customer base, prospects and the market in a whole. In this model the SMST is the cordial spine for the engagement, while sales keeps the control and the relationship to their customers (even so in a different more social manner), marketing keeps being the creative part in the new engagement model “not pushing the message” but fueling the conversation, product managers get the tools and methods to better listen to needs of the market and service teams get the support to be better integrated in customer issues.

Behavioral changes of "the old guard" in particular on the sales side are as painful as necessary. Change has never been an easy task. But also change has never been more important and has never shown more successful results like today. Creating some fan pages and a few tweets don't create a better customer experience - nor does it generate the often promised millions of additional revenue. But a great and ongoing trust building relationship with the market does, as we can see in cases like Zappos.

We will present the model in greater detail on
Fri, Aug 14, 2009 9:00 AM - 10:00 AM PDT
Leasdership Series Webinar

- Social media impact to our business operations
- ComStar, an organization model for social media strategies
- Comparing structural differences
- Implementation challenges
- Job description, work flow and responsibilities
- Motivation and compensation considerations
- Cross functional reporting models
- A holistic view to corporate social media


Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Webinar Q+A Assessment Case Study July/22

Q: I recently put my business on Twitter. I work for a hotel and the Brand in general does not have a page but individual properties do. Yesterday I received tons of messages and tweets about how angry this customer was at a different property but because we have the same brand name we were guilty by association. How do we address this?
A: I suggest you introduce that customer to the respective manager of the hotel and at the same time explain how the business is structured. You help the customer get to a person and the rest of the community to understand the connection. Offer your help if the customer needs it regardless of the responsibilities - like you said "Guilty by association".

Q: How did you select the tools, did you conduct any thorough testing? Are there any other tools you suggest?
A: To be honest, we selected the tools based on how easy and well the companies responded. The market is in a very early stage. It was more important that the vendors are "social" as well not just a bunch of hackers with no connection to the outside world. Please check our Tools Week page on our website for more tool.

Q: How much of the assessment effort happened via the tools and how much was an additional manual effort?
A: Tools always run in a short period of time and the "brain work" is the lion share of the work. If you'd ask how much time was the ratio without tools, I'd say 80% data research and 20% intelligent analytics work. Now it is 2% system and 98% brain work.

Q: Can you make some rough price indications?
A: It may range from $2,500 to over $100,000 is that enough indication? The cost is pretty linear to the size of your eco system - mainly equates to company size as well. You may find people doing it for $295 - and as always you get what you pay for.

Q: Do you offer a class specifically for conducting assessments?
A: Interesting question. Not really. After thinking a bit more about your question: Even so the assessment is only the first step in a series, you need to see the whole picture. In the class the assessment sessions actually start rather late as we need to make sure students get the full picture rather than just a facet.

Q: We are a marketing focused consultant but don't do those types of assessment, do you think we can work with your consultants or is there a potential conflict?
A: I'd definitely get in touch with them. The risk that you two compete is rather limited. The opportunity to do more successful joint project much more attractive.

Q: We sell exclusively through distribution channels and don't have access to customer data. Any suggestion?
A: You still have end customers - even so you don't know them. So there are a few strategic questions to explore like: Is there a conflict if you try to get in touch with your market? Will partners helpful or not? Is the market potentially interested in a dialog with you? What would the purpose of an engagement be (get market data or actually having a conversation)? So0 more questions - no answer, sorry. But contact any of us for a deeper discussion.

Q: All I hear about social media is "free". Who invests in those expensive assessments?
A: For instance if you allocate 10 people from a 500 people organization, you most likely invest $1-2 Million in salary, overhead and other cost. Not much to create a better customer experience - still enough to make sure you invest it right. The assessment cost is a tiny fraction of the cost you are going to spend - so you better make sure you start in the right direction - the assessment is giving you this assurance.

Q: Can we get the link to the presentation?
A: This Link

We had a few very company specific questions, and suggest you get in touch with any of the presenter or academy and explore ways to answer them.

Thanks again for participating. Let us know how we did, by tweeting about it.

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Spoken Word

Silicon Valley Offline Social Get Together - July 21

Please join our friend Julie, who runs an awesome restaurant called Neumanalia in a less so obvious place for a great restaurant: Hayward, CA.
Next week Tuesday - July 21, 2009 | 7:30 - 10:00 PM
French / American Cuisine
Spoken Word
spotlightNeed a chance to express yourself?
Want to hear what others are doing, seeing, thinking?

What is Spoken Word?

Spoken Word is a form of literary art or artistic performance in which lyrics, poetry or stories are spoken rather than sung. "open mike"

Join us for an evening of fun and companionship in a great setting.
Special Bar Menu !!!
Wine $7.00
Premium Beer $4.00

742 B Street
Hayward, California 94541

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

PayPal Case Study - Social Media Ignorance

Paypal was one of the first online payment services and had a great start but over time lost the edge. The company seems to struggle with their internal administration and adjusting their business processes to meet customer needs.

Company Background
Paypal has 160 million customers
Their support centers work shifts and deal with approximately 60,000 support cases every day.
Over 1,000 support people handle on average 60 calls per day.
You cannot email or use other ways of communication than phone, fax or post.

Support team
To deal all day long with frustrated customers is not a very pleasant job, so fluctuation is rather high and the level of competency very low. It takes on average three calls to find a competent person. Some customers suggest you don't use a case number as you don't want to get back to the same person.
Most of the support calls are very low level issues with routine answers, nothing special, simply based on lack of user help and a pretty confusing system administration (a user voice nails it: "This is done by a bunch of engineers and never reviewed by business people"). Many functions are even unclear to the internal teams. Support staff admits it is not very intuitive if it is anything other than pushing the pay now button. Everybody can read that in great detail in thousands on public complains.

Customer Experience
People still really like the product. Some even donated a website like This Link Lots of discussions with thousands of valuable inputs that - as it appears- non of the paypal people ever read. Paypal instituted a feedback form that customers are asked to fill out after each and every support case. Even so many people probably are too angry to even bother, some do, I did. But that source of customer feedback evaporates in the dysfunctional organization.

More Market Research?
Now the latest hit was that I received an invitation to participate in a survey - yet I have to be "elected" to join. However I get $200 if I participate after I am elected. But it looks like I have to drive to Mountain View to do the in person interview. A "market research institute" actually is doing the gigg. I don't want to know what that cost in total.

So here is a company that has free feedback from millions of users and thousands of cases but just doesn't bother to care - instead pays a research institute to create yet another source of feedback?

Paypals Social Web Presence
There is a paypal account on twitter, mainly tweeting "please follow us so we can DM you" - 63 updates, following 123 people
There are hundreds of paypal groups on Facebook from paypal fans to paypal frustrated customers
There are 18 groups focusing on paypal on LinkedIn with over 3,000 members
There are paypal customers on MySpace and many other sites, the feedback is priceless.
Yet paypal seem just not to care.

Even internally people know what the issues are: A support person inside paypal (very nice and very professional) "...I know, we asked numerous times to fix those issues but nobody seem to listen".

How to actually fix the problem
Social Media for Paypal could become a life saver. Not as a marketing gigg but to improve and fix a dysfunctional operation.
1) At first a company team would aggregate and distill the customer feedback using established assessment methods and available reporting tools.
2) Then develop a customer supported advisory board and rigorously execute - fixing the top issues.
3) Tackle more problems and just grind through the list from top to bottom.
4) Ask the folks from "paypal sucks" groups and sites to HELP.
5) Using the, by then established, processes to figure out how new features need to be developed (co-creation)
6) Get feedback in a structured way through groups and networks rather than through useless questionnaires
7) Create forums where customers help customers, supported by maybe even less but better educated paypal support people

Non of the above has anything to do with sales or marketing - just building a better company.

Who Is Responsible?
Is this the responsibility of Dickson Chu Vice President of Global Product and Experience? Or is it Ryan D. Downs Senior Vice President, Worldwide Operations? Or is it Scott Guilfoyle Senior Vice President, Platform Services? Or Barry Herstein Chief Marketing Officer? Philipp Justus Senior Vice President, Global Markets, responsible for growing the company? Everybody has his/her fair share.

But No, Scott Thompson, the President is the one who need to engage his executive team in a cross functional initiative to fix the dysfunctional organization.

Social media is not a cool marketing gigg - it is a strategic engagement to react to the major changes in our society reflected by changing customer behavior and an ever more demanding market.

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM
Social Media Academy

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

How to start in social media?

I get more and more of the very same question: "Axel, I finally decided to get into the social media thing, do you have some advice?"

OK - too long ago I started from scratch, so everybody please chime in and add to it.

1) Give your engagement a purpose (other than just trying it out or selling something). For instance: You may want to learn more about your customers, you may want to help others in an area of your expertise, you may want to know more about your partners, you may want to learn what issues your customers have, you may want to learn from others about an area where you feel you are rather weak... Again don't sell and don't be as boring as "expand my network".

2) Start on two places: let's say LinkedIn and Facebook. Create your profile by:
- Adding a picture of yours, don't make it too special amongst the 6 billion you are unique enough as you are
- Add your real name, your real background. No need to hide anything - it is out there anyway.
- Be open, the more information you provide the approachable you appear.

3) Social networking is about connections, conversations, exchanging experience... Invite all your friends from your address book to join you in your engagement. Don't select only 5 or 10 - don't be shy, you may be surprised who else is already there for years. So invite them all. If you are not comfortable to invite 1,000 - they only get an invitation from one - YOU. Don't embarrass any of your friends, contacts or alliances by not connecting with them.

4) In the next few days you may be busy with confirming invitations, thanking them that they connect and asking them for their experience. They may have good tips for you as well. Keep the dialog over the next few weeks - make sure you leverage the connection for conversations - not just as yet another address book.

5) Now look for some groups with interesting topics or interesting people. Don't forget your purpose by selecting the groups. Sign up with 2 or three, get familiar with the conversations. If you like it chime in, if not you may as well just leave the group. Once in the group: Don't sell but just develop your skills and help others develop their skills with what ever expertise you may have. You will see others trying to sell something - don't imitate (we'll get to that later).

6) You are now a few weeks into it. You may wonder how much time you spend with no results. If that is the case: Your conversations or your network may have not been in line with your purpose. Or you may wonder how many wonderful and helpful people you met in such a short period of time - great - you are right on track.

7) The selling and doing business with those people almost reach the melting point. When can you go out and do business, sell something take orders....? Give it some more time. The social web is like a secret society you don't get to the secret in the first few levels.

8) By now you may feel good about exploring other places and spaces. You may want to signup with Twitter and follow conversations that are in line with your purpose. Search for specific terms and check the people out. Also here, invite the people who are relevant to you and your purpose and follow them. Forget all the hype around getting thousands of followers. You are here for a reason - people who collected stamps in the past collect followers now - I guess you are not one of them.

9) Other places may be of interest: Create a little clip on your laptop and post it on YouTube, upload your presentations on SlideShare, store your bookmarks on Digg. You may find a few other interesting tools based on recommendations from friends. By now you do a lot of things and use a lot of tools based on recommendations from friends.

10) You are getting into the upper levels of the secret society. You learned a lot based on recommendations. You started tell others about your experience and recommend the tools to others. You retweet, write it to others on their wall... YOU NOTICE BY NOW: You never saw an advertising from LinkedIn or Twitter, you never received a cold call from any of the tools vendors you use. Nobody ever sold you something but you may already pay for some of the extras or reporting tools that help you follow your purpose. You may recognize: All it takes is recommendations. If somebody would have called you at home to use "Friends-or-Follower" you may have dropped it because thats the last thing you want.

11) As you join more groups you recognize the guys who ask hundreds of questions, answer the question right away and put a URL you should visit. Thousands of SEO and outsourcer try to sell you that way - and I'm sure like anybody else you just hate it. You reached an important point of understanding. Selling and advertising in the social web just doesn't work. But you have this wonderful group of people who helped you and you helped them. And while you still want to do business, introduce your solutions and make a living you learned by now RECOMMENDATION is the currency in the business web. Recommendation = conversation, conducted by others. And maybe you experienced it already - other people recommend you and maybe even your business or products because what you produce or sell is helpful to somebody else.

12) You look back - probably 6 or more month passed by. You are proud that you made it through the maze of valuable and stupid information, through people you met and others you have known for many years. Your initial goals may be achieved and you feel good about the social web. Now you may take it to a whole new level - take your company and help the entire team to make sense out of all this. Make your team and your business partners a helpful hand to your customer base and your industry. Work with your customers and make them so happy that they RECOMMEND you. They can do that much better than you ever will in your life. When all the connections of all your team mates and partners recommend your products and services because they are helpful to others you become one of the top successful business person - without selling a thing.

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Shocking report - How Teenagers Consume Media

How Teenagers Consume Media
the report that shook the City | Business |" ( This Link )

What is shocking to me: What pretty much everybody is talking about finally shook the British Guardian.

More shocking: There is no way to comment on this report. It is electronically "printed" with no way to interact. I have to admit I haven't been on a news paper site for quite a long time and recognized that this seems still to be the standard.

At the New York Times you have to sign in to "recommend" an article. But also wait until all adds are loaded.

However on SF Chronicle you can provide a comment on pretty much everything. So why spend $200 Million on a new printing press?


Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Monday, July 13, 2009

Your Twitter Profile Sucks

Too many people wonder why their followership doesn't work too well, get unfollowed or not followed in the first place. Starting with a good profile seems to be essential:

1) Give your account your real name

2) Have a photo up - any photo as long as it is YOU

3) Point people to your main URL (check

4) Mix your profile well (not your resume, not some funky info - just what is your main concern

5) Custom wallpaper is nice but definitely the last thing I improve

6) Your location is more than a courtesy - people look for others in their vicinity

7) Don't "protect" your profile - protected means "don't touch me" and many including me just never even ask to get in touch.

8) Understand that 3 values are part of your profile: Followers, Following, Updates

9) UPDATES is a big influencer of your profile - some people check older tweets as well. Tweet what you think makes sense to your network - mix personal and business aspects in a healthy way.

10) Let pretty much everybody know that you are on Twitter - trust me it helps a lot.. Thought I share this with the group.


Friday, July 10, 2009

Webinar Q+A "Customer Experience Development"

Thanks again for the great participation in today's webinar "Social Media - A new Customer Experience Model".
Here are the answers to the questions from all participants:

Q: It's important to be able to respond quickly, honestly and openly in SM environments. Is this affected by the SM team acting as a service entity? Does this slow down the process and make you appear less transparent?
A: It may slow down the process by only a few minutes. The processes you institute are similar to support escalation processes. The ST will escalate findings to the respective people. The advantage for the customer is to get to the right person right away. But don't think too much in complicated service escalation. The trick is to create a social escalation process.

Q: Do you offer special classes for sales teams or marketing teams, or only leadership classes?
A: We plan functional specific classes in fall - but recommend those only for businesses that have already a strategy.

Q: What are the social media maturity levels in the various geographies around the world?
A: There are several studies in the Internet. The net of it is that developed countries are almost equal in maturity. There is no big difference between the US, Brazil, UK, Germany, Australia, Argentina, Spain, Poland... The much bigger concern is the cultural differences that lead to different behaviors and even different use of tools. India for instance uses Orkut much more than facebook, Germany still uses nick names more than real names, Sweden is way more adoptive than the US...

Q: Are you planning an East Coast location for the Academy?
All classes are Online. But we are going local for various reasons. We started in Australia and currently run the first leadership class there. We start in the UK in September and plan other countries. But all classes remain to be online.

Q: How many students are typically in a class?
A: The first classes grew from 7 to 15 and we accept 25 as max. There is a lot of interaction and collaboration so we have to cap it.

Q: The Consulting services you offer, who are the consultants?
A: The Academy Certified Consultants are the ones we involve and recommend. The number is growing every quarter. Very large projects I lead myself and work with the graduates or other members of the faculty.

Q: Do you have a case study where the business is very confidential - like medical doctors?
A: Let me say this: We should not get slaves of an attractive development and try to squeeze every business into the social web. Think about it this way: If there are people out there discussing a certain product, service or technology, you should be part of that conversation. If not - than just don't. Computers are in every household but we still cook great dinner without it ;-)

Q: Should SMM strategy be different for Small Office or Home Office than what you presented today - which is more adapted for biggest companies - having their brand known on the market ?
A: Social Media strategies are no different for smaller than for bigger companies. Our focus on bigger companies is because they are typically leading a market and the smaller companies are followers. But there is ZERO difference. The scope is different but everything we teach, from assessment through strategy to execution can be applied to a 5 people startup and to a multi billion $ global enterprise. Why? Because the customer may be the same person in either case.

Q: Very interesting, do you offer a class specifically to customer experience management?
A: I believe a successful customer experience strategy can only work in concert with an over all strategy. So the Leadership Class at the end does that.

Q: Can we hire you to work with our management team?
A: Yes, but not before 2010

Q: Do you plan to do off line / classroom classes?
A: There are no plans to do that. Social media is all about online engagement and we practice that from the second session on. Our curriculum is build in a way that it wouldn't even work off line because of all the information to digest and exercises to perform.

Q: Do you offer company discounts?
A: Yes we will for more than 5 attendees

Q: Is there any deadline for registration?
A: Not really. But we have over 500 prospects and only 25 seats each class. So the morning class will be booked pretty soon. The next class will start January 2010.

Q: Do you provide some guidance what to check when hiring a consultant?
A: We have an open wiki where both, consultants and customers helped building a catalog of questions:
This Link

Q: Can I become a trainer at the SMA?
A: Generally speaking yes. We offer all graduates to teach either their own or part of the core classes. Laureen Earnest and John Todor will offer their own classes in fall this year.

Q: Can we switch between evening and morning classes?
A: We ask you not to. We are doing a lot of group exercises and that would not work if you switch. Only if you have to miss a session, then you can.

Q: Do you offer company specific classes?
A: Yes we do.

Q: Do you hire?
A: No we don't. All instructors and faculty are active practitioners of the social web with their own business and every day experience in the real world.

Q: Not sure I trust any certification. What do you certify?
A: I fully understand the concern. Here is what we certify and why we believe it is important: This Link

Q: Do you provide your consultants with leads and business opportunities?
A: Don't put this into considerations. View the education as a foundation for your business and don't rely on others, neither the Academy nor anybody else promising you business. I suggest you chat with former students about that.

Q: (Summarized) several questions about registration, entrance exam requirements...
A: Please visit the website for more details:
Leadership Class details: This Link
Requirements and entrance exam: This Link
Class registration: This Link
European classes: This Link

Q: Can we get the presentation?
A: Yes. you will find it here on the blog.

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Xeequa Version 2.4 Released

Navigation and Feature selection
Communities that do not plan to use any of the main features such as Events, Discussions, Videos or Blogs can turn the feature of by checking the box in the community settings. Only admins (Board) will still see buttons.

The Blogger API is expanded so that a community can syndicate content with a Blogger based blog. This feature is only available to Gold programs and up. Each post on the community blog will be posted on the connected blog and include the authors photo and name. If the author has a XeeSM, it will also post the XeeSM. (see Social Media Academy Blog) This Link or on our revitalized Xeequa blog at This Link

XeeSM Integration
XeeSM is fully integrated with Xeequa now. So if you have a SeeSM setup the social sites will be visible in the Xeequa settings and vice versa. Also the connection in Xeequa are synchronized with the "favorites" in XeeSM. CHeck it out if you don't have already This Link

Axel Schultze Axel Schultze MyXeeSM

Last Call - July 10 Event

Social Media based customer experience model
This Link

Monday, July 06, 2009

Social Media based Customer Experience Strategy

The real underlying power in Social Media is a new customer experience model. Too many hip "social media campaigns" failed because it was just old ideas blasted into a new world. Too much money was invested in fan pages or online community that became dormant after just 3 or 6 month - or worst - was never adopted.

"Anybody experience with..."
Social media is about the most often asked question: "Anybody experience with...". Customers asking for help from real users, real customers - names they would never get from the respective business. Over 160,000 Toyota driver, 65,000 John Deere customers, 50,000 IBM customer, 25,000 SAP customers, 10,000 Dow Chemical customers... customers in all industries for all types of products asked those questions and most found answers. You are right - this is not 100% of their respective customer base - but these are the most vocal and therefor most influential people. Neither business processes automation, nor the next generation CRM, or a marketing campaign or yet another survey can help. If you and your team are not part of the conversation - your influence is ZERO.

"The new customer experience model"
Social Media in a business world is NOT having a LinkedIn profile, is NOT listening to tweets of somebody walking their dog and is NOT browsing through facebook pages. Social media in business is first and foremost "The New Customer Experience Model". Based on a thorough social media assessment of your ecosystem you create a good old SWOT analysis and create a strategy that leverages your team, your partners, your customers, vendors and others to become part of the conversation - not the old "message blasting one way street" - no - a meaningful and mutually beneficial conversation with your customers, your prospects and the rest of the market.

The Social Media Academy is running a complementary webinar this week July 10th. This Link which is all about the new customer experience model, case studies, methods, frameworks, reporting tools and ways to make it happen.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Citrix / Webex - A social media case study

The Social Media Academy students of the Leadership Class conducted an exciting exercise where they performed a full social media assessment reviewing Citric' Online business by applying the four quadrant assessment methodology. The Assessment is done to better understand a corporations social presence in the market. The four elements concern Customers, Brand, Partners and Competitors.

Process, tools and results will be presented July 22 in an online presentation. Please check details and register here: Social Media Case Study

Monday, June 29, 2009

Social Site Manager

We are starting a new service today:

Share all your social network locations through a single URL. Try it for free: Http:// Get a low user ID

Did you ever had these issues:
- Like to get more than one URL into Twitter?
- Wonder how many places to list on your email signature?
- Need to decide what to list on your business card?
- Need to make a change and update 25 different places?

You only need one URL:

In XeeSM you have all your most current social networks, blog, communities. Such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, SlideShare, Blog, Website, Wiki... And if you have to change something, you do it one time in XeeSM and don't need to update all the other places.

Please check it out and let us know what you think


Monday, June 22, 2009

Social Media Rock Star or Social Media Business Consultant?

The social web has been explored and rapidly taken over by the business world. What was limited to a social marketing campaign just a year ago to make some cool noise for coffee, skittles or a new blender is today strategically dissected.

The social media rock stars who do a few campaign masterpieces are finding new competition from business process savvy consultants who take social media way beyond the campaign level on the marketing side.

Social Media in product marketing and product design plays a wildly important role. Co-creation is the known buzzword, listening to customers and building the right next-generation product the executable part of it. Social media empowered support organizations leverage engaged users and support the "user support user" paradigm through social media in a whole new way.

Logistics and procurement departments conquer old supply chain problems such as customer buying trends and customer purchase behavior with social media where social web analytics serve as a much more precise early warning systems than anything we had in the past.

While LinkedIn is the prototype for job hunters and recruiters - HR or better said HT (Human Talents) has gone way beyond search techniques and use social media for skill identification beyond the profile, team communication, project qualification and much more.

The social media marketing campaign is only one piece of the cross functional social media puzzle. And today it is actually one of the last pieces to be put in place. Even before developing a social media strategy a comprehensive assessment - assessing customers, brand, partners and competitors - is typically the starting point. Following a traditional SWOT analysis, a social media strategy is developed based on components such as Purpose, Objectives, Benefits Actions, and a sound reporting framework. Resource allocation management and funds allocation including ROI calculations are standard elements in a professional social media tool box.

Now - to do all that - professionally trained business consultants may join the "Social media rock stars" with their 100,000 Twitter followers. In my experience - if all you want to do is a cool social media campaign and get a ton of followers - you are not much further along than the ones who hope to get 100 Million eye balls through sponsored links - no matter what the value of those are. But if you honestly care about your customers and try to develop a profoundly better customer experience – then think beyond the "cool" and start building a holistic cross-functional strategy - so that service, support, product design and sales are a homogeneous force and the customer experience is something your customer recognizes.
Some of the consultants who are working more strategically may be less visible in the social web - but does that mean they are less effective in their work? Are the pros working in the background the ones who really spin the web - way beyond the "cool"?


Social Media Academy

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Oracle - Yahoo Deal

Yahoo is up for sale. Microsoft has a tradition: You mess with them twice they never talk to you a third time. Would Google buy Yahoo? No. Who else? SAP? Not a fit, not happening. Oracle? Hmmmm - let's think about that one.

Oracle just bought Sun and turning Sun into a cloud computing power house. Probably rearrange the software part, integrating professional services, shutting down MySQL, and decommissioning the hardware box sales over time.

Now - Oracle is thinking Social-CRM, they have a cool online community, they are very much SaaS and Web 2.0 aware (even if they don't produce yet). While maintaining their existing enterprise business, they will migrate carefully into the networked world - built from ground up on: yes, their own cloud.

The first meaningful application: Search. A search server farm is a cloud on its own. So here is a fit too. Oracle is bold and crazy enough to pull this off.

Oracle could even become the SaaS, Search, Social Web cloud provider for their own acquisitions plus the rest who is out there.

The benefit for the users? Huge. Oracle is the last company that would build an advertising based business model. Hence search may become a whole new user experience.

Search is over 10 years old and there was zero progress for the user - only for the advertiser. We still struggle with 10,000,000,000 search results generated in 0.0007 seconds. We still have no structured search, we still have no geo based search, we still have no social search, we still have no crowed search, we still have no ranking, selection or filter based search, we still have no.... - Simply there is zero evolution in the single most used software application on the planet. Right?

I would even pay 10$ per year for a search that does a good job. With a billion users that is $10 Billion per year.

And that is just the obvious beginning....

Strike - done - we will see.

Axel Schultze

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live

How Twitter Will Change the Way We Live

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Partner Empowerment - Social Media Community Network

We are conducting a project to empower partners to participate in social media. The funding is done through MDF. The details are here:

Social media is a place where customers hang out and converse over products, best practices, service tips and more. The purpose to get partners involved in those conversations is a) to intensify or win back customer relationships and b) connect with new potential customers who are discussing and dealing with the same topics.

The benefit to the dealers and reseller to engage is an obvious business benefit in increasing sales and gaining back market share.

A) Channel partners have neither a good plan, nor the resources nor the education to launch such a social media engagement. It is not so much an investment in tools or equipment but in knowledge and time. More so channel partners don't have the content they want like attractive video clips, white papers, ongoing new blog posts and more.
B) Channel partners are scared to death to expose any customer data. So what we needed to do is build a technology that allows partners to have a private customer community (with no access for vendors, unless wanted) but still provide vendors with relevant meta data to see that the communities are actually active and growing.

Vendors "sponsor" the partners social media engagement including three components:
a) The base education for the partners
b) Some vendor side resource allocation to feed content to the partners
c) An online community system that allows the partner to build their own social community, which in turn is connected to the vendors who feed content straight into all the connected partner communities (in our case 3,500 connected partner communities)

The whole project is funded through MDF - and it cost less than the typical but less effective local marketing events. The initial funds allocation is $800 per partner for training, a few dollars for the online community and more but only if successful for community engagement (see below)

Reporting and justification
The MDF funds per partner grow with the activities and engagement in the communities. In other words if a partner does not engage with their market - no more money. If the partner engages and their community grows - additional money. If a partner is REALLY active constantly grows the ecosystem and develops a vibrant community - even more MDF cash. The reporting system provides activity level that in turn controls the MDF flow.

So at the end of the day - social media and its transparency provides an even deeper insight into the effectiveness of the partner activities. Probably a bid hard to explain in words but once you see it you will get the idea.

It is a multi million dollar project but simply because the channel is a global channel. Cost is less than 0.5% of the revenue through the channel.

However the concept is scalable and will work with channels as small as 100 partners for around $25,000 to start with.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Who wants to kill Twitter?

March 09: A faked Harward professor Martin Schmeldon accused Twitter to be responsible for our economic down turn. OK it was so stupid that an average educated human being was just smiling. It created still some noise but also some negative impact.

June 09: Harward again. A few uninformed students publish a "research" with a similar stupid title: "Men follow men and nobody tweets".

June 09: Just recently the rumor went around that Twitter user number is declining.

Is somebody trying to slotter the bird?

An interesting case of Social Competition. If indeed some competitor tries to damage the image of Twitter, "that somebody" got quite agressive and professional. Interesting also as it demonstrates the vulnerabilty of any business wether it is part of the social web or not. Social media pros obviously know how to defend themselfes - or at least believe they can but how about the rest of the business world that has no clue what is going on.

In case of Twitter - I'm sure they have a good defense strategy - like just let the community figure it out and defend their brand, that would be smart. But in any case it is a situation we can all learn from and so I'd like to ask you "How would you defend your brand"?

Please comment and let us know - at this stage of the game - no idea is stupid enough to laugh about. Share it.


Social Media Education for Managers

Why is this important?
You probably heard so much about social media and maybe still confused.
- Fact is that close to 400 Million people are part of this phenomenon in some way.
- Fact is that winning the attention of your customers and prospects is easier, less costly and more effective through social media than doing mail shots, cold calls, or advertising. If you want to grow your business, you need to catch your customers in the social web, not with a boring promotion.

But you need to KNOW what to do there, what to expect and you need to KNOW the limitations. You also need to KNOW the places and tools that are out there.

You can figure this out yourself. It may take a few month and some try and error. Or you may take a professional class and actually explore the space from a professional point of view together with others.

What do you actually learn?
You probably already have an account on LinkedIn and/or Facebook. You probably have a some connections and check it out once in a while. Now lets get down to business.

1) You learn to understand that probably none of your customers is using social media yet - most of your customers are "in it" since years. So what do you make out of this?
Understand how customers - in particular economic buyers, decision makers and buying consumers use the social web. Learn how strategic you may want to get and leverage the media for you AND your customers.

2) You learn to look beyond your own profile but how to get active with your customers through group engagements and how to build your own groups to get closer with your market. How to deal with groups to not only use it for customers but as a lead generating
tools where you catch two birds with one stone get new contacts and be so helpful that they actually find you new members.

3) Learn to look at the "professional networks" versus "personal networks" not from your point of view but from a business point of view. There is much to learn from professional networker and how Facebook may become your most important source of information.
Learn to create a buzz around your groups and fan pages that will create more contacts than a spam filer can filter your mail shots.

4) Learn to understand Twitter from a business perspective. If you think Twitter is stupid and you have no time to follow conversations about somebodies lunch or walking the dog - it only indicates that you follow the wrong conversations. Learn how some leading companies like Comcast, IBM or Ford use Twitter for all kinds of customer interaction.

What our Social Media Certificate includes
You learned to:
- create a holistic point of view when it comes to social media for business
- take social media as a cross functional solution for a better customer experience
- understand the key aspects of a social media strategy
- create a consistent profile across social media platforms as a person as well as a company
- leverage groups in LinkedIn to use it for business conversation
- how to create successful business conversations in LiunkedIn groups
- how to create your own group and make it successful
- how to bridge to confusion between busines and personal networks
- how to leverage facebook to learn more about your customers
- leverage facebook groups and fan pages for business interactions
- how to establish your own groups and fan pages and making them attractive
- when and why to use twitter for your business conversations
- how to select the right people and conversations
- what leverage twitter has to offer beyond just tweeting around
- how to use reporting tools report progress and success

Check it out at Social Media Academy

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Social Media Academy goes international

Social media is a global phenomenon. Approximately 1 Million new people joining every month. The demand for education how to leverage social media professionally in business or for a person's skill and career development is accordingly growing fast. The instant success of the Academy in the US is now replicated in Australia and the UK. The Academy is currently exploring other countries and locations to expand.

In order to be able to scale with the growing demand new locations will be opened in a franchise type model. As such the models, methods and frameworks developed by the Social Media Academy will be available on a worldwide basis.

The first Leadership Class in Australia is scheduled for June 3rd. The first Leadership Class in UK is scheduled for September 09. For both regions complementary introductory webinars are help from mid of May on. This Link

Friday, May 08, 2009

Major Blog Enhancement

The latest update on the Xeequa communities include an interesting and very important Blog Syndication system. If you are blogging from within any of the Xeequa communities that have a public portal and allow content to go public, you can syndicate those posts with your own blog. The first blog we support is Google's blogger.

Here is how it works:
1) You go to your profile and add your blog to your "Social Networks"
2) You go into any community and create a new post
3) You will see a check box that says "public". check it if you want this blog also appear on your own blog
4) The post will be posted in the community but also on your own blog.
5) Now you will get comments possibly on either blog, inside the community or on your own blog. This is where the real power comes in: The comments will be aggregated no matter where they come from and visible on both blogs. Comments from Xeequa to blogger will be transmitted instantly - comments from Blogger to Xeequa will be retrieved in a 30 minute interval.
6) Posting a post on Blogger however will not go back to any of the communities you are subscribed to. So please post from the community - to feed your blog too.

Give it a try.

FriendFeed grows

There is an interesting dynamic at friendfeed. I joined the service about a year ago. And used it as feeds aggregator. That was helpful so I could track less people than I have in my various networks but all together.

Now FriendFeed has grown - big time. I can now use it as Microblog and get the posts back to Twitter. I can aggregate more services and actually consolidate multiple identities such as my uwn and my company's.

But what is most interesting is the stability and speed. While Twitter engineers have a hard time to keep up with their super simple tool, FriendFeed has a much richer system with way less technical issues.

So all in all I highly recommend checking it out.

Here is what you do:
1) Go to this URL to register:
2) Get to friend recommendation and add all your friends that may be on Twitter, Facebook etc.
3) Complete your profile (photo, bio, you know the drill)
4) start posting...

This may come in particulart handy when Twitter is slow, down, maintenace one other reasons.

See your feeds....

Monday, May 04, 2009

Social Media Academy goes Australia

The Social Media Academy is going to open an office in Melbourn Australia to serve the Australian market. The first introductory webinar will be Friday May 15, 10am Sydney time. The first leadership class will start June 3rd. More information and webinar registration is at : This Link

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Working on new blog feater

This is the first test blogging from Xeequa to blogger

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Social Media - moving from playful to strategic

Cisco, IBM, Walmart, Wholefoods, Starbucks and others invest millions in their social web presence. The investment is more on the human resource side than on systems. They don't advertise what they are doing but they are moving fast.

The Social Media Academy provides some insight in this week's complimentary webinar

- The impact of social media on businesses across all industries

- Identifying the largest pool of business opportunities

- Assessment of a company's social ecosystem

- Developing a comprehensive social media strategy

- Creating a social media plan

- Reporting and analytics in social media - over 100 reporting tools

- ROI, resources and budget considerations

- Social media as a cross functional business accelerator

- Competing for mind, - and market share

- Building a successful social media practice

This Friday 4/24 - 9:00AM (PDT) Online conference (no charge)

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Enabling XeeURL Community

XeeURL community is now having a public portal page and blogs can be posted to a blogger blog. In order to get a post to a blog on blogspot, the post must be made "public" and the respective blog need to be entered into the "social networks page under setting and my profile.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Technology, Not War, Is the Solution to Publishing

As sad as it is, industrial media killed itself. It is NOT the Internet or technology for that matter that killed publishers it is the change of their business model from independent content circulation to advertising distribution.

A publisher used to make money by providing a given audience latest news, well researched and easy to consume. Readers paid for the news and publishers made a profit by balancing cost of news gathering and distribution with newspaper revenue. Rather simple model.

I explaind the shift in process here a few weeks ago:

About Newspapers
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

Monday, March 30, 2009

Facebook Pages

We started a new Facebook page for Social Media Academy. Introducing webinars and educational events. Please join the groups and become fan.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Quo Vadis Facebook?

The social networking company is looking for money – lots of money. How many do they really need and what then?

2007 estimated headcount 450

2008 estimated headcount 800
2008 estimated cash flow negative $150MM
Above numbers reported by TechCrunch

2009 estimated headcount 1,200
That translates to a cost structure of roughly $200,000,000 (200MM)
With revenues (I don’t see more than 100MM) this is $100MM under.
Now add the enormous cost of data centers that need to stream the videos, the photos and the rest of the application.

The clock is ticking. So what options has Facebook?
1) Cut Cost / Layoff
Either cut staff in half to get to break even
That’s possible but hard to do. But better saving 50% than losing all.
It would also mean the company is getting profitable and may do an IPO in a year or two.
2) Double revenue
But with advertising? That’s so much harder when even advertising machine Google admits that ad revenue is flat – meaning it’s probably going down. After all, the world is beginning to realize that the advertising model is not a business model after all.
3) Additional Funding
Get $500 Million to survive 5 more years, freeze hiring and use the time to develop a product/service value based business model – probably the hardest but still possible. In MHO the only way to keep current investors happy. Remember Jack Walsh: "Shareholder value is the dumbest thing in the world:"
4) Sell
OK then there is the option to sell the whole package - better now than never. Maybe for a billion or two - again remember Jack Welsh.

Then there is competition (possible acquirer):
1) Google with $16B cash in the bank has some nice little wiggle room
2) Less aggressive but more stable LinkedIn could weak up (I know hard to believe) and with just a few smart tactical moves get really dangerous.
3) MySpace – don’t underestimate those guys. They are less strategic more like a news paper driven network – but they have 3 things: a) Huge momentum, b) Financial backing c) the option to break into business (they are just a bid sleepy in that regard)
4) Microsoft? Not really. No vision, totally a-social DNA, no momentum… just money and then we could list any other company with money.
5) The SAP / Oracle world. Hmm interesting. Unlike Microsoft, they haven’t burned their name in social media yet. Just two massive companies but may become an interesting contender in the game in the next two years.

Disclosure: The above numbers are just rough estimates.
But you get the idea


The king is dead - long live the king

After focusing my blogging on Xeequa and lately on Social Media Academy I decided to to do some personal blogging one in a while. And as such I revitalize this blog here at Blogger.