“Slammin” Sam takes Photon to a new level

If you haven’t seen “Slammin” Sam Kekovich announcing the Photon Group Annual Report 2008, then you’re probably missing a breakthrough moment in corporate engagement.

The design, delivery and humour of Sam and Photon’s execution has created a successful viral video of an Annual Report – what? Yes! Imagine sending good financial results around in a humorous viral video to maximise the confidence in your organization in these dark days. Not to mention the whole delivery encapsulating your brand values, positioning and philosophy.

Yesterday, I watched Mark Pesce discuss how, as a community of users, we have spent many years working out how to maximise the functionality of the internet. Many tools have been available for over a decade (for example, wikis) but have not had their inherent value understood until recently. As Pesce points out, the big move to web 2.0 came when we made the shift from thinking about the web as a publishing environment to a communications environment.

Pesce also talks about hyperconnectivity. With the grey matter of our human brains we can only handle around 150 contacts – Dunbar’s Number (maybe a few more according to other anthropologists such as Bernard and Killworth), however, with the aid of electronic equipment and social networking tools many humans have hundreds and, often, thousands of “friends” in their networks. Forget targeting those A-type influencers, nearly everyone feeds into a massive network of hyperconnectivity. I watched another presentation, also by Mark Pesce, yesterday (it was one of those catch up on Mark’s blog days) and saw 1200 twitter avatars race through at superspeed – it’s amazing how many faces, including my own, I recognised. I purposely keep my network tight so I can follow the stream of tweets coming through (another issue Pesce talks about), but I realised, regardless of my pathetic number, that if I sent out an important message on twitter, it would very quickly spread into the hyperconnected internet at lightening speed. It’s this velocity that internet tools such as twitter (and many others) allow; this speed  feeds this hyperconnectivity and creates a new paradigm of information transferal. People are happy to buy into connection because they know that it leads to timely knowledge.

Viral marketing is all about capturing this community of hypeconnectivity and velocity of information spread. So, how can we use the internet more effectively in managing financial reporting? Here is Photon and Sam for a laugh and your thoughts.

Sam Kekovich on Photon's site

Sam Kekovich on Photon

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Do politicians understand behavioral targeting?

Josh Gordon from Knotice and the The Lunch Pail left me an update to his comment on my Politics of Behavioral Targeting post. He summarizes a round table entitled “Privacy and Behavioral Targeting: A Capitol Hill Perspective” that took place at the Shop.org Annual Summit 2008 last week in Las Vegas.

It gives an excellent run down of the current issues for Behavioral Targeting in the wake of NebuAd (Josh’s link). And outlines some of the industry’s attitudes to the politicians and players. Josh points out:

Here’s a scary tidbit. No one at the table (insiders and all) believed Senators, members of Congress, or any of their staffers actually know what they’re talking about when it comes to defining private information online or how the technology works. The quote from Martino is, “Senators and staffers are devoid of understanding the marketplace.” Yikes.

But, before I’ve scared anyone off, there’s hope for some forms of targeting. The ire of the consumer groups is focused primarily on affiliate and ISP level targeting, not at all on domain or onsite level targeting. It doesn’t appear that onsite targeting will enter the conversation because it’s hard to quantify legally. It’s no different than going into a physical store and seeing conditioner next to shampoo on a shelf because it’s a complementary product. Once you’ve walked into a store, you’ve effectively “opted-in,” just as once you’ve entered a website to shop, you’ve also “opted-in.” The debate becomes obviously silly if onsite targeting ever comes under attack.

and, hits the nail on the head with,

Before I leave you contemplate all of this, I’ll reiterate a point I’ve made on this blog before. I can’t help but wonder if this debate would have happened if a public relations firm had stepped in and articulated the reality we live in by saying, “You know what, industry? Behavioral Targeting is a bad, bad name for this stuff. Consumers don’t want to feel targeted, like Big Brother is following them around trying to get them to spend more money. Instead of Behavioral Targeting, let’s call it Marketing to Un-Authenticated Site Visitors.” Though it’s far less catchy, it’s more descriptive and less likely to be the bamboo under consumer advocacy groups’ collective finger nails.