Friday, May 07, 2010

"Influencer Relations" On My Mind

I blog in spurts. How often I blog is a reflection of not only how busy I am, but how excited I am about something that is happening in the technology space. Two, three years ago, I was really into a concept that I called knowledge networking. I now find myself spending a lot of time thinking about the notion of "influencer relations". You can also think of it as "analyst relations 2.0".

Through the PR function, technology start-ups spend a good amount of time and resources developing relationships with press and industry analysts. Historically, the number of press and industry analysts that had influence over a market segment was relatively small so the interactions were small in number and quite structured (i.e., scheduled calls/meetings).

Now, however, due to social mediums like blogs and Twitter, anybody with a following can have an impact on a market segment so the notion of influence has been democratized. This has led to an "influencer ecosystem" that is large in number and real-time (with Twitter, in particular). In addition to the top-tier press and analyst community that everybody focuses on, many market segments have hundreds of other people that blog and tweet and who have hundreds, if not thousands, of followers.

The process of evaluating the influencer ecosystem for a market segment and then engaging with a market's influencers in online conversations is what I call "influencer relations". Engaging effectively with market influencers is not easy but it can be a cost-effective and powerful way to increase the awareness of a brand and to generate traffic to a website.

So "influencer relations" is what I am thinking a lot about these days (pretty sad life, huh?). More to come.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Facebook as a Leading News Reader - I Told You So

I haven't been blogging for a while but I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pat myself on the back. Last March, I did a post, "RSS for the Masses", where I said...
If you take the new version of what used to be called Pages and combine that with the new real-time nature of News Feed, you have an RSS-like capability for the masses. Now, media organizations, like CNN and NY Times, will have their own mini-feed and they will be constantly making status updates with their latest headlines. So if users "friend" these organizations, they will be able to see the headlines stream through their News Feed in real time.
Today, ReadWriteWeb posted an article, "Facebook Could Become World's Leading News Reader (Sorry Google)", where they say...
Is Google Reader better than Facebook for reading feeds? Maybe. There are RSS readers that are better than Google Reader, too. But in terms of change-the-world feed-reading mass adoption - it's most likely to be Facebook that gets millions of mainstream users on board.
Yes, if you saw me right now, you would see a cocky grin on my face :)