What’s Mine is Yours – Collaborative Consumption

If you’re connected, you’ve seen the symptoms. Reputations are being built on the good will, personal standing and generosity exhibited by individuals, not because they want something, but because they have something TO GIVE. To share. And as these people come together – for a cause, for a moment or to make a lasting impact – they are at the same time, transforming the notion of collectivity. Gone are the happy-hippy communities of the 60s. These uber-connected communities are imaginatively grappling with the very notion of economics, of consumption – and innovation.

These communities are forming almost moment-by-moment, sustaining themselves on principles not rules. They say much about where we belong. And who we belong WITH.

In the coming months, you’ll be hearing a whole lot about collaborative consumption – the new book by Rachel Botsman and Roo Rogers. In What's Mine Is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, the two authors track the rise of personal reputation and the way that trust between strangers is enabling new forms of commerce, consumption and collaboration.

Check out the video below for a taste of what’s to come. Maybe you’ve seen it already. Maybe you’re part of it. But without a doubt, you’ll want to read it and find out more.

Collaborative Consumption Groundswell Video from rachel botsman on Vimeo.

Age of Conversation 3: From Social Media Theory to Social Media Practice

We have seen an incredible shift in the role of social media over the past three years. It has moved from an outlier in the marketing mix to one of the strategic pillars of any corporate marketing or branding exercise: 
— Drew McLellan.


Three years ago, I began a conversation with Drew McLellan on the topic of social media and crowdsourcing. Thousands of book sales and downloads, two editions and hundreds of collaborators later, we are pleased to announce that the Age of Conversation 3 is now available.

It all started when Drew blogged about a similar collaborative book effort and I suggested we get a few fellow bloggers to produce a marketing book in the same vain. Three emails later, and we had named the book and set what we thought would be an impossible goal: 100 bloggers. Within seven days we had commitments from 103 authors from over a dozen countries.

Back then, the marketing industry was abuzz about how citizen marketers were changing the landscape, whereas the second two editions have revolved primarily around the growing field of social media and how its methodologies have affected marketing as a whole. What all three books have in common is that they each capture a uniquely global vantage point.

The first Age of Conversation raised nearly $15,000 for Variety, the international children's charity, and the Age of Conversation 2 raised a further $10,000 for Variety. This year’s proceeds will be donated to an international children’s charity of the authors’ choosing.

It’s available in a sexy hardcover, softcover and even a Kindle version.

As the many authors of this new book explain, the focus may be on conversation, but you can’t participate in a conversation from the sidelines. It’s all about participation. And this book provides you with 171 lessons in this new art.

Get the inside running on how you turn social media theory into practice with the Age of Conversation 3 – it’s essential reading.

Introducing the Age of Conversation 3 Authors

AoC3 It has taken some time to come together, but the new book, Age of Conversation 3: It’s time to get busy!, is in its final stages. Very soon you will be able to purchase it directly from Amazon or a number of other online book stores. The new cover, as you can see on the left, was designed by Chris Wilson. And our new site, was designed and built by Craig Wilson and the hard working team at Sticky Advertising.

We’re excited to be at this stage of the process. The quality of thinking throughout the book is of the highest calibre – as would be expected from such an illustrious group. The authors who have contributed to this year’s edition are:

Adam Joseph Priyanka Sachar Mark Earls
Cory Coley-Christakos Stefan Erschwendner Paul Hebert
Jeff De Cagna Thomas Clifford Phil Gerbyshak
Jon Burg Toby Bloomberg Shambhu Neil Vineberg
Joseph Jaffe Uwe Hook Steve Roesler
Michael E. Rubin anibal casso Steve Woodruff
Steve Sponder Becky Carroll Tim Tyler
Chris Wilson Beth Harte Tinu Abayomi-Paul
Dan Schawbel Carol Bodensteiner Trey Pennington
David Weinfeld Dan Sitter Vanessa DiMauro
Ed Brenegar David Zinger Brett T. T. Macfarlane
Efrain Mendicuti Deb Brown Brian Reich
Gaurav Mishra Dennis Deery C.B. Whittemore
Gordon Whitehead Heather Rast Cam Beck
Hajj E. Flemings Joan Endicott Cathryn Hrudicka
Jeroen Verkroost Karen D. Swim Christopher Morris
Joe Pulizzi Leah Otto Corentin Monot
Karalee Evans Leigh Durst David Berkowitz
Kevin Jessop Lesley Lambert Duane Brown
Peter Korchnak Mark Price Dustin Jacobsen
Piet Wulleman Mike Maddaloni Ernie Mosteller
Scott Townsend Nick Burcher Frank Stiefler
Steve Olenski Rich Nadworny John Rosen
Tim Jackson Suzanne Hull Len Kendall
Amber Naslund Wayne Buckhanan Mark McGuinness
Caroline Melberg Andy Drish Oleksandr Skorokhod
Claire Grinton Angela Maiers Paul Williams
Gary Cohen Armando Alves Sam Ismail
Gautam Ramdurai B.J. Smith Tamera Kremer
Eaon Pritchard Brendan Tripp Adelino de Almeida
Jacob Morgan Casey Hibbard Andy Hunter
Julian Cole Debra Helwig Anjali Ramachandran
Jye Smith Drew McLellan Craig Wilson
Karin Hermans Emily Reed David Petherick
Katie Harris Gavin Heaton Dennis Price
Mark Levy George Jenkins Doug Mitchell
Mark W. Schaefer Helge Tenno Douglas Hanna
Marshall Sponder James Stevens Ian Lurie
Ryan Hanser Jenny Meade Jeff Larche
Sacha Tueni and Katherine Maher David Svet Jessica Hagy
Simon Payn Joanne Austin-Olsen Mark Avnet
Stanley Johnson Marilyn Pratt Mark Hancock
Steve Kellogg Michelle Beckham-Corbin Michelle Chmielewski
Amy Mengel Veronique Rabuteau Peter Komendowski
Andrea Vascellari Timothy L Johnson Phil Osborne
Beth Wampler Amy Jussel Rick Liebling
Eric Brody Arun Rajagopal Dr Letitia Wright
Hugh de Winton David Koopmans Aki Spicer
Jeff Wallace Don Frederiksen Charles Sipe
Katie McIntyre James G Lindberg & Sandra Renshaw David Reich
Lynae Johnson Jasmin Tragas Deborah Chaddock Brown
Mike O’Toole Jeanne Dininni Iqbal Mohammed
Morriss M. Partee Katie Chatfield Jeff Cutler
Pete Jones Riku Vassinen Jeff Garrison
Kevin Dugan Tiphereth Gloria Mike Sansone
Lori Magno Valerie Simon Nettie Hartsock
Mark Goren Peter Salvitti

A Perfect Gift from Blurb

Self publishing is one of the amazing developments of the “social web”. Not only can we simply and easily share insights, analysis, stories, poems, movies, music or any other types of creative work – thanks to applications like Blurb.com, we can also turn these into publications – books, calendars and so on.

I have been involved in a number of collaborations that bridge the digital and offline worlds. There has been the marketing focused Age of Conversation books, my own self publishing efforts around blogging, and most recently, The Perfect Gift for a Man.

The Perfect Gift for a Man was a book that Mark Pollard and I edited and published through Blurb. But when it came to promoting the book, there was nothing that made it easy for us to share the book across the web (we ended up creating our own image based widget). Now, Blurb is trialling a new widget that allows you to embed, share, preview and buy books directly from your blog. I think it’s a huge and much needed improvement. Here it is below:

The New Rules of Marketing & PR – Version 2

dmscott-at-smcsyd For those of you lucky enough to have seen David Meerman Scott in action during his recent Australian visit, you will know he is a force to be reckoned with. His sharp thinking and experience comes through in everything he says, his charm disarms the most strident critic and his enthusiasm sweeps you along. It also helps that he is armed with story after story of how marketers big and small have used social media to transform their businesses.

If you are, however, still to be convinced of the opportunities now available through the empowering social media technologies, then look no further than David’s new edition of The New Rules of Marketing and PR: How to Use Social Media, Blogs, News Releases, Online Video, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly. It builds on the first edition (which has been translated into 24 languages) – with new stories, additional anecdotes and interviews. Personally, I am keen to see whether Jonathan Crossfield’s sharing of the Cotton On story made it into the new edition.

But no matter what level of experience you have with marketing, PR or social media, you will take away plenty of useful information, case studies and approaches from David’s book. It is, dare I say it, required reading.

Books On My Bedside Table

There is always a long list of things that I want to read. Sometimes they are new, sometimes they are old friends that I need to reacquaint myself with – and sometimes they are unknown frontiers – random arrivals that I hope will tempt me into their brave new worlds.

While I constantly read, I am frightfully bad at actually writing proper reviews. Not that I am not interested – it’s just that reviews often get pushed down my list of publishing priorities, and by the time I get around to reviewing a book, it’s past its launch period. This year I am going to try to be a little more consistent with book reviews – sharing what I am reading AS I am reading it, as well as later reviews and impressions.

Over the last month or so – with the benefit of a little time off – I have indulged in some great reading. I have revisited:

  • Herd by the fabulous Mark Earls – a must for any serious marketer seeking to understand the patterns in consumer behaviour
  • The Brand Innovation Manifesto – John Grant’s excellent, practical guide to out-thinking yourself and your competitors in the world of marketing
  • The Rocks – Grace Karskens’ detailed analysis of Sydney’s earliest white settlement
  • Open Wallets – Stephen Saunders’ great unveiling of the secrets to retail sales success

New arrivals on the bedside table include:

  • Death of a River Guide – Richard Flanagan always reminds me that we do have great Australian writers
  • Stillwater Creek by Alison Booth – new book, new author and plenty to chew on
  • Wanting – Another great Richard Flanagan novel set in colonial Tasmania – documenting our simultaneous capacity for love and inhumanity
  • Celebrity Leverage – Jordan McAuley’s insider’s view on celebrity endorsement
  • The Buyersphere Project by Gord Hotchkiss – a deep dive into the ecosystem of B2B marketing

But what about you – what did you read this holidays? What do you PLAN to read over the coming months?

Holidays Are a Time for Free eBooks

August 29, 2009Around this time of year we often see the announcement of new books being published, new music being released and new films arriving in the cinemas – all in time for the holiday season. It’s the marketer’s year end rush – our attempt to stake our claim for your attention and your wallet. But this year, there are some differences – with a number of free alternatives bypassing their claim over our hard-earned income, hoping instead to capture our imagination.

Top of my reading list this holiday season are:

Valeria Maltoni is also pulling together a year-end, crowdsourced collection just in time for the holidays. Keep your eyes out for this – it’s due any day now!

With publishing tools now readily available, I am surprised that more brands don’t pull together some sort of publication for their customers at year end. Agencies too. It is a GREAT alternative to the staid Christmas card. And while I know that the last weeks of December are fraught with activity, going that extra step to provide your business stakeholders with an unexpected, branded gift such as an eBook shows that you understand that the new currency is not FREE but all about VALUE.

The Word on Word of Mouth

When Andy Sernovitz initiated me into the Secret and Mysterious Order of Word of Mouth, I was surprised by the bacon bits that came along with the book. Far from leaving a bad taste in my mouth, the revised version of Word of Mouth Marketing, with its updated case studies, worksheets and frank, business focused style was more than a meal.

Andy kicks off the book explaining the four rules of word of mouth marketing:

  1. Be interesting
  2. Make it easy
  3. Make people happy
  4. Earn trust and respect

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Sure, there is a lot here that most marketers will know and understand. But word of mouth is not a campaign. It’s a transformation in the way that brands go about their business. It means, for me at least, placing storytelling and experience at the heart of your interactions with your business stakeholders (from customers to employees and partners to suppliers).

For marketers, the hard work of systematising and operationalising your word of mouth efforts is the challenge. What are the tasks (and resources) required to turn the idea of a “story” into something tangible for your agency or your team? What are the additional line items required to support and amplify word of mouth across your business? For at least some of these questions, Andy provides a range of templates and thought-starter charts. You will love, for example, the Creating Your Action Plan checklist.

Check also Drew McLellan’s review of the book – and take advantage of the discount code for Andy’s upcoming Word of Mouth Supergenius workshops being held in Chicago next week.

Want My Copy of Trust Agents?

Trust.When I started reading Chris Brogan and Julien Smith’s book, Trust Agents: Using the Web to Build Influence, Improve Reputation, and Earn Trust , I planned to jot notes, tweet summaries and scribble in the margins. But I must admit that I did none of these things. You see, these two write so engagingly that once you are IN the book, you forget about everything else. Normally this only happens to me with novels, but there are some great storytelling elements in Trust Agents – and with every chapter my mind was whirring – in agreement or thinking through how an idea could be put into action.

What I liked about this book is that it focuses on YOU – the person who participates in the world of social networks. It shows you how to begin to build profitable relationships with these “trust agents” – “digitally savvy people who use the Web to humanize businesses using transparency, honesty and genuine relationships”. It also shows you how you too, can become a trust agent.

One of the suggestions in the last chapter was to give your book away. Now, I love collecting books, but I like this idea. There is a great deal of value in this book for anyone interested in the online space. So, while I would encourage you to BUY a copy of the book – you have a small chance to get a copy FREE. It’s in excellent condition – no margin notes, no marks – and it smells like new. If you want it, leave me a comment telling me why YOU should be trusted with this book. You only have until the end of the week.

Oh, and I will mail it to you anywhere in the world.

So tell me, should you be trusted?

Blogging for Small Business

Convience StoreI am often asked whether the strategies, ideas and approaches discussed here on my blog can be applied to small business. The answer, in the best marketing speak, is “yes” and “no”.

For while it is easy to get caught in the endless repetition of strategic planning, creating a continuous digital strategy can be quite fast. If you know what you are doing, you can knock it over in a lazy afternoon. Unfortunately, you can also easily fall into the state of “analysis paralysis” – where you are unable to shift beyond one part of a process due to the volume of information you are trying to assimilate. My advice is to start as SMALL as you possibly can.

DialupGuideToBlogging However, if you really are a small business and you want to get started with blogging – AND you want to do it in a way that is SCALABLE, can help you GROW your business and delivers RESULTS, then my advice would be to check out The Dialup Guide to Blogging.

I wrote this short (43pp), easy-to-read guide to blogging with the individual in mind – but the lessons and approaches apply equally to the small business. No matter whether your brand is personal or business, there is plenty to learn, and the book covers all the bases of digital strategy as well as the all important DOING IT part:

The book takes you through the practical steps of establishing your blogging objectives, creating domain names, signing up for a blog, creating your online "footprint" and writing your first posts. It is a must for anyone wondering HOW to get started.

And the best part – you can get it as a soft cover for those who are interested in “digital” but prefer non-digital books. Oh, and there is a downloadable eBook version too – for those too impatient to wait for delivery.