Thursday, March 29, 2012

A night with Randi Zuckerberg

I was lucky enough to attend the first annual Innovator in Residence presentation last Thursday night 3/22/12 at Millersville University's (my alma mater) Ware Center here in downtown Lancaster. Randi Zuckerberg, older sister of THE Mark Zuckerberg, co-founder of Facebook, was the Innovator. She ran marketing at Facebook for 6 years and is a Harvard grad. In August of 2011, she left Facebook to start R to Z media and launch a new type of media platform. Here's a nice write up of her visit in The Snapper (I can't believe it's still called that!), the weekly newspaper of MU.

There was a social hour before her talk where I had an opportunity to meet Randi and have a fan girl photo op with her. She was very personable and down to earth. My coworker, Rhonda Kleiman, Economic Development Manager, was kind enough to introduce me to the benefactors of the Innovator in Residence program, Dr. Jane Hannigan and Dr. Kay Vandergrift. They were both professors in Library Science - Dr Vandergrift at Rutgers University and Dr. Hannigan at Columbia University. These are two of the most amazing women I have ever met. I really felt like I was rubbing elbows with a lot of intelligence that night!

The title of Randi's presentation was “Mastering Social Media & Creating a Culture of Innovation.” Here are my notes from her talk:

-In it's early days, Facebook used a demand-lead marketing approach. By only inviting colleges to join when there was enough deman and buzz for the site, they created a sense of scarcity that guaranteed success once a school was added.

-By pooling it's own users as translators, the site was translated into many languages in just 24 hours.

-The Facebook workplace operates under a culture of fun. Each year they have a hackathon where employees stay up all night creating something outside of their job. A good idea can come from anywhere.

-Facebook's Culinary Team Page has over 27,000 fans, but only 4000 people work there. So the other 23,000 people are just checking in to see what they are serving up daily. There are some amazing menus on there... This is the right way to do marketing.

-Randi's 10 Trends in Social Media (though I ended up with 12?)

  1. The Sharing Economy - examples are:
    -airbnb - rent a home when they are out of town or rent a bedroom in someone's home
    -renttherunway - rent a designer $1000 dress for a night - live a luxurious life on a budget -suitedeal - fly on a private jet when it's not in use by it's owners

  2. People as Platforms and Media Brands
    -each one of us is a brand/media company
    -Con - the Internet allows cutomers to complain with a digital microphone
    -Pro: good experiences can also be shared

  3. Crowd-Sourcing
    -people want to participate in the creation of their favorite products
    -also can be philanthropic - ex. Target had $5 million to allocate to charities. It put up the list of charities they would contribute to on Facebook and let their fans choose where to allocate the money. So their customers and the charities did their marketing for them.
    -kickstarter is a site anyone can donate money to towards art projects. At the last Sundance film festival, 70% of the films were funded by this site. This site bave a bigger donation than the National Endowment of the Arts!

  4. Mobile First
    -some businesses skip the traditional Website alltogether. Go straight to an App for the user experience - ex. Foodspotting App - recommend the best dishes within a restaurant, not just the restaurant itself.
    -Starbucks has an iPhone App that lets you pay with your Starbucks Card right from the app
    -Banks have apps that let you take a photo of a check and deposit it into your account (I personally have used my scanner at home to deposit checks for the last few years).

  5. People as Curators
    -Be an expert by gathering others content and curating it. Pinterest is a great example of this. Though she didn't talk about it, we in libraryland know that LibGuides is great for this too. She showed her sister, Donna Zuckerberg's, Pinterest boards all about food. She's quite the foodie.

  6. Fitness and Health Communities
    -a way to be accountable to your fitness goals
    -can map your workout and diet data against your friends
    -a personal example for me is Cafewell. My health insurance company allowed me to get a free digital pedometer through the company that tracks all of my steps via a USB connection to my computer. The community just recently completed our walk from the earth to the moon!

  7. Facebook's Interest Lists
    -this is new in the last few weeks on Facebook. You can now create a filtered news feed (much like a Twitter list) and follow the news you really want to see. Read about it at techcrunch and mashable.

  8. Facebook's Timeline for Brands
    -starting on 3/30 (that's about 15 minutes from me typing this), Timeline will go live for Facebook Brand Pages. This will give fans a rich visual experience. Read about it here and here.

  9. Incentive Advertising within Games
    -Usually pushed at the moment of 'leveling-up' - I can vouch for this one. Has caused me to pay the .99 or 1.99 for certain games my 5 year old loves to play on my iPod (you know, Angry Birds, Fruit Ninja, etc.) to avoid all of the adds.

  10. Subscription Shopping
    -think of the old wine of the month clubs or CD of the month clubs. This is a huge boom right now. People are looking for a voice in the noise. Example is Birchbox - have a beauty box delivered to your door. Someone else picks out samples you can try out for $10/month to cut through all of the possibilities. Let someone else do your filtering. Thinking about this, I would LOVE to have someone listen to all of the information noise online related to what I do and present me with an executive summary once/week that I could just read to stay up on everything without having to do all of the filtering myself. I'm sure people are making careers out of doing just that. Hey, that would be a pretty cool job. If that's all I had to do all day, I would love it. My problem is I have to do that AND do my job!

  11. Video and Livestreaming
    -This will be the main focus of her new company. Example are the press conferences she did in Facebook during her time there. She launched the live streaming industry with her media partnerships around the US Presidential Inauguration and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011 for her innovative TV/online coverage of the 2010 mid-term elections.

  12. Gamification of Everything
    -Gympact - declare how many times/wk you are going to go to the gym and check in while you are there. Do it enough and you will get paid to go to the gym.
    -Withings - for the VERY brave, a digital scale that tweets out your weight!

What a whirlwind tour of our digital reality these days. I thoroughly enjoyed Randi's talk and look forward to seeing great things from R to Z Media!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A Day in the Life of the Internet

Check out this infographic from Mashable to get a feel for how much 'stuff' happens in just one day on the Internet!