I never met Trey Pennington. I wish I had.
Many people close to him have written moving tributes to him in the last few days.
Others have tried to rationalise Trey's passing, the illness he suffered from and the helplessness of social media in his death.
I won't go there. Trey touched many people's lives. He struck a chord with me.
Of the many people highly active in social media, he always struck me as someone who was naturally at ease with the true human socialising that his profession brought him, those moments where he would get together with other Like Minds without the barriers of technology inbetween human relationships.
Sure he would like to document so many of these moments incessantly with any sort of cam, but you really got the impression the guy relished true interactions with people.
Like many people I did wonder how the one hundred thousand plus followers made any sense and how his prolific and relentless output was possible.
Maybe I'm mistaken but Trey would have met you all in person given the chance.
When people have queried me what social media really meant in terms of a mindset, I would often cite him and express a sentiment along the lines of "look you have to be totally selfless in a karmic kind of way if you're prepared to do this..."
I feel as if that came naturally to Trey.
People's affection towards him seems heartfelt. In the British parlance, the man was surely a great bloke if any person stood up to that description.
He made a massive contribution to social media and I trust a celebration of his life today and in the future will recognise that.
I contend there's enough wisdom in his archive to merit a Trey Day.
However if there is one video, one tip, one piece of sound heartfelt advice that would most resonate about him and his thinking it may well be this video with Zig Ziglar.
Would less have been more?
Trey's thoughts, podcasts, blogs, published material, tweets and interactions made for compelling content in the last few years although recent months his output did change.
I don't do Facebook so I don't pretend to know all of facets of his life, but some time ago I did think, what if he could produce more.
What if his tweets were more repeatable by shortening his Twitter id. Could he produce more Trey Pennington content by allowing more content to fit in his tweets?
So about a year ago I had this email exchange with Trey.
The gist of it was this: Trey, go shorten your Twitter name, it's possible here you could have this username.
After all Trey, you are one of the biggest names in social media, literally. You are 10% of every tweet!
After these emails followed a series of Direct Messages on Twitter (which unfortunately I can no longer access or reproduce) and @ replies that have forever withered away.
About this time on Twitter it was possible to recuperate dormant accounts of usernames, I had done it before and Trey could have owned @treyp had he so wished.
I opened a support ticket on Twitter, sometimes exchanged cryptic @ replies with him and sent him DM's along the lines of :
Trey, lose the ennington and get yourself a five letter Twitter name, you can do it - you'll become six and two thirds per cent more interesting.
Trey did ponder it, perhaps he may have been minded to do it had we met at the Like Minds event in the UK in 2010 but alas I wasn't able to make it in time despite being in London at another marketing event.
Perhaps he would have remained Trey Pennington.
- in 2011, 57% of over-16s in the UK are using the internet for social networking, as opposed to 43% in 2010
- Internet access from mobile devices is increasing substantially – 45% of UK adults accessing the Internet from mobile devices, up from 31% in 2010
- 91% of 16-24 year olds use social media. Usage is high for the 25-34 year old (76%) and 35-44 year olds (58%)
- User experience
- Customer experience management
- Voice of the customer
- Mobile app vs. mobile web
- Mobile as the ‘glue’ connecting channels
- Mobile commerce
- Measuring the value of social media
- Social CRM
- Attribution management
- Social for search engine optimization
- Social commerce
- Social media management
- From bought media to earned media
- From impression to expression
- Enriched content: video, games, apps, metadata etc.
First off, I don't have the answer. Maybe you do.
Familiar with this message?
If you are a Google Apps user and have tried to access Google Plus, or use the +1 button, that image will have haunted you a plenty.
There are great deal of benefits from being a Google Apps user. It's essentially like having Gmail acount and more but instead of @gmail.com having @mycompany.com
However for many months now, the gap has been widening between the Google services available to Gmail users versus Apps users.
The reason the new Google + and the +1 button is unavailable is because those services are dependant on creating a Google Profile and as Apps users and Admins know, Google Profiles are not yet available.
There is a Google blog post from March 2011, that hinted the functionality would be enabled for Apps users 'soon'. Alas the comments steadily grow.
Since the launch of Google + and +1 button the clamour on other networks from Apps Users has been getting louder:
And the demand is only going to continue.
So why the delay?
The truth is no-one really knows or is not openly saying.
Here is a thread on Quora Why aren't Google Profiles available for Google Apps users? that hint at the extra challenges of Profiles for Apps users and some high profile bloggers have enquired why but don't shed light on the motive for the delay other than caution from Mountain View.
Too important to fail
So Google have a proud record of products that never really exited beta, technologies that we never quite liked (Sidewiki) or understood (Wave) or embraced (Buzz) and the tradition will long continue.
Except this time around, the revised efforts at cracking social for Google are possibly just too important to fail.
Generally speaking the reception to Google+ has been pretty positive and almost universally understood by those who have meddled with it. That bodes well for Google.
The invites window period was brief enough to recruit an enthusiastic army of testers that will implicitly supply enough feedback for Google and publicly appraise or berate the service so it can be refined.
Buzz me not
In contast when Buzz was launched it was quickly exposed at having shortcomings that despite being rectified, created a wave of antipathy against it and a provoked a legal and regulatory headache for Mountain View.
A Federal Trade Commission settlement and compliance for Google has now resulted in a comprehensive privacy program that will be audited for 20 years.
Basically dogfooding Buzz at Google was insufficient to detect the risk that manifested itself in the early public phase.
And this is where I can understand the cautious approach winning at Mountain View over the prevalent Silicon Valley tendency to fail fast and iterate.
Apps users are different
So Apps users are not a homogeneous bunch. From vanity domain personal users to small businesses upto major organisations, corporates with many thousand of users and multinationals, the only aspect that really unites them is not being an individual gmail user.
Not all Apps users pay, but those that do, pay because they earn, and if their earnings can be affected by Google mistakes in their adventures in social, then Google and the rest of the world will soon know about it.
Individual Gmail users engaging in lawsuits against Google because of an obscure loophole in their new social suite? I doubt it.
A corporate or an organisation doing the same with all the reputation consequences? Possibly.
Early adopter dogfooding
So only hours after the window of Google invites is now closed, we already see a frenzy of activity about Google+.
The critical acclaim has been generally good.
People seem to latch on how it works quickly, at least there is not the initial bemusement akin to the welcome of Wave, although bizarrely enough +1's don't display within Google+ as Search Engine Land observed.
More importantly, already there is a sufficient army of testers who can implicitly through their usage, and publically through their blogging and tweeting, supply enough feedback for Google to refine matters.
And refinements are sure to happen.
This early phase testing is a protective period for Google as much as it is for Apps organisations.
Because the risk of getting it wrong this time around or not quite getting it absolutely right for Google is just too high.
Ask any Google employee, their salary is now tied to the social success of Google.
The challenges of Profiles for Apps Users
The background to Profiles for Apps Users and other Google services was the legacy around the different infrastructures in place at Google. If you had a Google Profile before setup with an Apps email and now cannot access it, you may have been be one of those who Google has earmarked as having a conflicted account.
You might be waiting and wondering what to do next. Wait for Apps to get Profiles and start +1 content out there on the web under that identity? Or succumb to opening a Gmail account to use Google+ instead?
And what happens when Apps Users finally get onboard? Will they have a Profile used in Gmail and another one with their Apps email just add to the confusion.
More importantly will there be some portability function to allow migration of account information between a Gmail and an Apps account including that all valuable digital footprint. What if I join company XYZ and then move on, can I haz my data?
The greater the delay between the launch of Profiles for Apps and now, the more socially messy things will become.
There are probably a lot more issues at stake for Profiles for Apps users. Preventing +1 abuse from same domains or IP ranges so to quash efforts to manipulate computing of SERPs? Surely that's on the agenda.
I'm sure there are more reasons, let me know.
Why do you think Apps Users cannot access Google+ or +1?
Receive Notification of Profiles for Apps
You can receive notice formally from Google once Profiles is launched for Apps users and thus know when your organisation can use Google+ via this official form: https://spreadsheets4.google.com/spreadsheet/viewform?formkey=dEc2TjBVanQ4ckNVZGJsTHJYWjBTUWc6MQ&ifq
I don't remember a time when I never wondered: How does that work?
Equally I cannot recall a moment when I have not wondered: and what if?
I fondly recall, how avidly as an eleven year old, I read through my first hardback, proudly bought with my own pocket money, entitled 1000 questions and 1000 answers.
Except I was never really satisfied that the answers were the whole story because invariably more queries would arise from tales of science, history, fables of the reconstruction, and assorted factoids.
I've often found the downside to a curious mind is dissatisfaction at the endless pursuit of knowledge because the more you know, the more you know that you don't quite know.
The upside to being mentally wrestless are those times when you can actually exercise your imagination, experiment with stuff, be it physical or virtual and enjoy the results like the admen above or the band below.
So if I rewind back to the time that I was preparing for my final degree exams when the album cover of Green adored my bedroom, I devised a set of weights and pulleys, connected to rope and various pieces of windsurf kit, a kettle, the record player, the duvet and the curtains, that were all wired and set for the daily call of the maid alarm.
The Maid Alarm
Every morning without fail, the maid would knock hard on the door of every student in the dormitory.
Normally I would ignore the loud knock at the door, emit a murmur, continue asleep and typically be late for a lecture, but in an effort to awaken for exam week my convoluted dorm setup worthy of applause by Rube Goldberg, was sensitively set so that the mere stroke of a welsh knuckle at the door would set off a frenzy of interconnected wires, rope and weights that would immediately begin the begin:
- slam open the door
- lift the duvet off me at it's four corners to the ceiling
- start the record player at What's the Frequencey Kenneth at max volume
- whoosh open the curtains for a full blaze of Gower sun
- drop a brick onto a switch to boil the kettle at full steam
It was a system, that according to my engineering dorm mates was technically described as "effing brilliant" - I did not major in engineering - but one which my philosophy friends just queried with a dismissive "why effing bother?"
Well, if I had a photo of the contraption now, it might fit somewhere more at home in the pages of the delightful blog post that goes to the soul of the service called IFTTT. Sadly I don't so I'll shamelessly display the modern classic of Cog by Honda. If you like that you'll also like The Making of Cog.
IFTTT to put the internet to work
If this then that, IFTTT is a joyfully created service that allows you to meddle like a mad student in an informational internet kind of way that helps you do stuff.
If IFTTT had a object hero it might probably be a straight bit of wire, bent into a shape that binds paper together - aka the paperclip. (Is it paper clip or paperclip?)
I work with programmers, infact I'm sometimes guiltly of programming myself and often I find they, programming minds, revel when you can articulate what you need to happen when such a such thing is entered, or done here, to make that stuff get sent there and so on.
Be it with a whiteboard stuffed with arrows, an ugly mockup, a set of sentences or a load of yellow posticks on a huge sheet of paper the great thing about working with software developers is not developing the software but developing the ideas that power it.
You see software is not always just task driven steps to addressing functional needs, it should be fun, like this:
IFTTT is a service that allows you to control the input and the output.
Similar to Yahoo Pipes, but with an even more unambivalent interface and simplicity to boot, IFTTT really is Automatic for the People.
IFTTT can really be part of your internet filter. You're only limited by your imagination ma boy.
Want something to happen for you when something else happens on the internet? Yep, step this way.
So maybe that sounds vague? Well how about if you - the decisive non programmer - define the something and the happen?
Want your Dropbox to Tweet you when someone shares or amends a file? You can do that.
Get a text message when it comment is left on a blog you moderate? Yep.
There's a tonne of cool IFTTT ideas out there, some are listed here.
You just start imaging and think out aloud as you point click and paste your wishes on the pigeon step simple web page of IFTTT.com
Given how unfashionable and how repeatedly dead RSS is declared to be, with IFTTT you'll defintely redevelop an orange crush on the sites that sport it because RSS really allows you to weave all sorts of magic together.
And with RSS you don't always need any old monkey to help you, but it can be useful.
You can sign up to use IFTTT by invite only at the moment but as I have a few spare you won't have to lose your religion to get one.
How do I get an IFTTT invite?
Just tell me which musical titles of what band are referenced in this blog post.
I'm all ears. Comments or tweets welcome.
And if you're still not feeling inspired....
Last week I attended the brilliant SEO seminar about Link Building by Distilled otherwise known by #linklove among the 300 or so attendees in London.
Many a blog has already effused and poured over the topics and professional speakers who shared their experiences and expertise.
And since the event, the reaction has been very positive. On the whole.
However there continues to be people who misunderstand SEO.
So allow me to introduce you this video. It propelled my career interest in advertising and open thinking from an early age, and like all timeless communication, it's still relevant now.
More than one hundred of the seminar attendees are unofficially listed on Twitter here http://bit.ly/linklovers.
If you're in the USA you can still attend the imminent New Orleans Link Building Seminar on 25th March or buy the video of the London event. I highly recommend it.
Some people may know that I am a regional organiser of The Monday Reading Club for Murcia in Spain.
Each first Monday of every month, in around ten to to twelve cities in Spain, people with an interest in marketing, get together typically at the local bookstore for an informal presentation by an invited guest to talk about the theme of a book that has been selected nationally among the organisers.
The idea of The Monday Reading Club (TMRC) was the brainchild of Tristán Elósegui back in 2009 and each edition has brought together all sorts of people to discuss wonderful modern marketing classics.
Why was this TMRC the most successful to date?
Well in a gracious karmic exchange that took a turn of it's own, I reached out to the affable Avinash, who generates a great deal of goodwill among his fans (as you can gather from his growing Flickr photo fan set), and we agreed that attendees of the forthcoming TMRC event could exclusively register their email to be granted access to Avinash's very own Analytics account.
For past editions of TMRC, some members including myself, had occasionally courted authors to participate somehow, but without much success. Video requests were, understandbly politely declined, and too often the demands amounted to little more than trite attention seeking acknowledgements that were worthless to each party.
But with AK, things were wholly different. The Monday Reading Club wanted to boost attendance nationally, reward attendees and stimulate action after the event. Avinash has a natural infectious passion for data that has earnt him the chief Analytics Evangelist of Google in a roving ambassador role and was totally up for it.
Before each host gave their presentation during the simultaneous ten city TMRC event, attendees were prompted to, register their email (using the fine Chimpadeedoo App from MailChimp that prevented viral list leakage!), pose for group photo and were reminded to visit the author's blog and book webpages.
Exclusive access granted to Avinash's Analytics
This last point was particularly important, as the motive for attendees to do so, was that they themselves with access granted to the Analytics account, would be able to use the data and ascertain which of the ten cities had demonstrated the highest interest in the site during the event period. A fun contest with an important learning.
The event spawned some fantastic presentations from hosts across Spain, such as Gemma Muñoz's in Madrid on SlideShare (Gemma is arguably a devotee to AK of groupie like proportions with a fine Analytics blog entitled as "Where's Avinash when you need him?") in Valencia, Miguel López's presentation, Joseba López Hervella's presentation in Seville, Ricardo Tayar's presentation in Zaragoza, Felipe Maggi's presentation in Alicante, Christian Oliveira's presentation in Salamanca and more. Speakers included the chief web analyst of the leading publication El País, Adrián Segovia, who spoke in Málaga and all host cities reported a record turnout.
Subsequentley, hundreds of attendees who registered their email, have now been granted exclusive access to the Analytics accounts of Avinash's blog and book
and the hope is that a new generation of ninjas and squirrels will flourish, with the end result that data based decisions will strengthen their business success.
Y not necessary
I'm still elated at the wonderful response from Avinash that has enabled unprecedented mass access to his Analytics data. It's real honour that I trust TMRC attendees will cherish and revel in, and I wish to publically thank Avinash for the kind gesture.
And yet if you contemplate this action, it is totally in keeping with the philosophy of liberating data for the benefit of the community. It's part of the same sentiment that was behind making Analytics a free to use powerful product that we too often take for granted and arguably the greatest embodiment of this blog's title was that grandaddy release of all APIs that was Google Maps back in its day.
So next time you, as a beholder of data are pondering what to do with it, have a think what others have done and contemplate that the greatest action to take with Your data is to remove Y.
If you also #lovedata today, go tell the world why or feel welcome to leave a comment below.
If as an attendee you signed up with your email during the TMRC event on 7th February, you accepted the terms of access by email within 72 hours, and you have not recieved a notice by email, please contact Paul. On the 23rd February at Tucamon Murcia, Paul will be speaking about A/B testing.
La mayor acción que puedes hacer con tus datos es liberarlos
Algunos sabran que soy co-organizador regional del The Monday Reading Club en Murcia.
Cada primer lunes del mes, en unos diez o doce ciudades de españa, gente con interés en marketing se suelen reunir en alguna librería local para recibir una presentación informal de un invitado y charlar de la temática de un libro que ha sido perviamente seleccionado por los organizadores nacionales.
La idea del The Monday Reading Club (TMRC) fue la creación de Tristán Elósegui en el 2009 y cada evento ha reunido todo típo de personas para tratar de maravillosos textos de marketing.
Este mes el texto seleccionado fue Web Analítica 2.0 de un heroe digital mío, Avinash Kaushik, y el evento fue uno de lo más exitosos hasta la fecha.
¿Porque fue este TMRC el más exitoso hasta la fecha?
Pues en un intercambio de karma que se me fue de las manos, contacté con el simpático Avinash, quien genera un gran dosis de buena voluntad entre sus aficionados (podrás averiguarlo viendo la colección en de sus grupos en Flickr) y acordamos que los asistentes del siguiente evento TMRC podrían registrarse de forma exclusiva para poder acceder a la propia cuenta de Analytics de Avinash.
Para eventos anteriores, algunos miembros de TMRC, incluso yo, hemos a veces intentado hacer que autores participasen de alguna forma, pero realmente eran esfuerzos sin éxito. Peticiones de videos fueron, cordialmente rechazados y demasiadas veces las solicitudes de ayuda no eran más que gestos inútiles entre ambos.
Pero con AK, las cosas fueron absolutamente diferentes. El Monday Reading Club quería incrementar el aforo a nivel nacional, recompensa los asistentes y provocar alguna acción después del evento. Avinash tiene una pasión contagiosa para datos, se ha ganado el papel de Evangelista principal de Google Analytics y estaba completamente dispuesto a echarnos un cable.
Antes de que cada ponente hiciera su presentación durante el evento sincronizado en diez ciudades, los asistentes fueron dirigidos a; registrar su correo electrónico (usando el esplendido Chimpadeedoo App de Mailchimp que limitio la posible viralización de un formulario online!); posar para una foto en grupo, y se les recordio a todos de visitar las web del libro y del autor.
Acceso exclusivo otorgado a las cuentas Analíticas de Avinash
Este último punto fue muy importante, porque el motivo para que los asistentes lo visitasen, fue para que ellos mismos pudieran, con el acceso a Analytics otorgado, indagar con los datos y averiguar cual de las diez ciudades había mostrado más interés durante el periodo del evento. Un concurso divertido pero con un fin importante.
El evento genero unas presentaciones fantásticas de ponentes por toda españa, como la de Gemma Muñoz en Madrid SlideShare (Gemma quizas sea la más fan de todos con un tremendo blog analítica titulada ¿Dónde está Avinash cuando se le necesita?), en Valencia; la presentación de Miguel López, en Sevilla la presentación de Joseba López Hervella, la presentación de Ricardo Tayar en Zaragoza, la presentación de Felipe Maggi de Alicante, la presentación de Christian Oliveira de Salamanca y mas. Ponentes incluyeron el principal web analista de la publicación de El Páis, Adrián Segovia, quien hablo en Málaga como invitado, y todas las ciudades registrarón un aforo máximo.
Posteriomente, cientos de asistentes quienes registrarón su correo, ya disponen de acceso exclusivo a la cuenta de Analytics del blog y del libro de Avinash.
y la esperanza es que una nueva generación de ninjas y ardillas vayan a florecer con el resultado final que decisiones basadas en los datos fortalecen sus éxitos empresariales.
Aún estoy ilusionado con la respuesta encantador de Avinash quien habilito de forma masiva el acceso a los datos de su cuenta de Analytics. Es un verdadero honor, que confío que los asistentes del TMRC vayan a saborear, de disponer de ese acceso y quiero agradecerle públicamente a Avinash por el gesto.
Sin embargo si contemplas está acción, es totalmente en linea con la filosofía de liberalizar los datos para el beneficio de la comunidad. Forma parte del mismo sentimiento que estaba detrás de lanzar Analytics de forma gratuita que ya tan a menudo lo damos por sentado, y quizás el mayor ejemplo de liberalización de datos mediante un API en este sentido, sea el mítico lanzamiento de Google Maps en su día.
Por lo tanto, la próxima vez que, como un propetario de una base de datos estes pensando que hacer con ella, piensa lo que han hechos otros tantos y proponte que la mayor acción que puedas hacer con tus datos es liberarlos.
Si tu también estás enloquecido por los datos cuéntalo al mundo hoy mediante #lovedata o deja un comentario aquí.
Si como asistente el día 7 de febrero te registrastes durante el evento TMRC, acceptastes las condiciones de acceso en un plazo de 72 horas, y aún no has recibido un aviso por correo, contacta con Paul. El próximo día 23 de febrero Paul hablará en Tucamon Murcia sobre A/B Testing.
Contrary to reports in Spanish that I'm disillusioned about Quora - La Gran Decepción de Quora - note, that decepción in Spanish does not mean deception in English!, infact I personally think it's superb, here's a quick and easy screencast showing you how to embed your Quora activity on your Wordpress blog.
Have a Wordpress blog and wish to display your Quora activity automagically?
Remember this is suitable if your blog is a self hosted Wordpress one and you have a theme which allows Widgets, and you have access to the Plugins options as an administrator of the WordPress site.
If the screencast below is too blurry, view the High Definition version at Screenr.
For your reference, the sample HTML code I used in this screencast, that is placed above the Quora feed, which displays a graphic like this
I'm sure in time official plugins and others will appear that will make this even easier.
With Quora having enjoyed hockey stick like growth in the last month, I'm now detecting a love/hate sentiment towards Quora.
Are you decepcionado with Quora, how do you feel about it?