Google Wave vs Twitter at conferences


Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Twitter has quickly become the must-have channel for conference back-chat. Reading what other people tweet during a speech provides an extra dimension as you get a sense of what the audience is thinking. And just like passing notes in class, it’s also a lot more fun than simply sitting and listening. (and empowering - remember that Facebook interview from SXSW’08?)

Twitter is also a great way to attend a conference without actually being there - just follow a conference hashtag (e.g. #smib09 or #figarodigital) and find out all the gossip and the key points from the comfort of your desk.

But watch out Twitter. Google Wave is going to take this digitally-enabled conference back-channel a step further.

At the recent Ecomm conference delegates were provided with Google Wave accounts. What resulted was a fantastic showcase of collaboration and crowd-sourcing. Sprinkeled with a good dose of integrated offline and online real-time social media.   <- way too many social media buzzwords.

Here’s what happened: an audience member would create a Google Wave and others in the audience would edit the wave during the presentation. The result would be a crowd-sourced write-up of the presentation: a transcript of key points and a record of audience comments.
Here’s an example:

1. Audience member starts a Wave

google wave edits

2. Others join and edit the wave as the speaker talks

google wave edit1

3. By the end of the talk there are lots of people using the Wave (their photos are along the top) and the Wave became a complete record of the key points plus audience commnets below.

google wave finished
For this conference the organisers created a Wave directory so that you could find what was said in each presentation.

google wave conference schedule

The organisers also added waves so that the audience could give feedabck about the conference in general and ideas for next year.

google wave conference feedback

It’s worth pointing out that Twitter is still an early-adopter phenomenon, and Google Wave even more so. As a result, whilst I am a complete junkie for following conference tweets, I suspect it’s going to take a couple of years before this goes mainstream. But it will. And the impact on conference organisers and speakers is significant.

And just in case you are new to social media, make sure you check out the other excelent social media platform for conference notes: Slideshare. This is always the best place to find presentations from conferences.

Have you tried following conference tweets? Or waves? If so, have you found them useful? and will augmented reality will be the next major influence?

Why Twitter is a Ponzi Scheme


Image by wonderferretTwitter is a Giant Ponzi Scheme” according to Joseph Jaffe.

Thinking there might be something in that I headed over to Slideshare to take a second look at a PowerPoint walkthrough of Ponzi schemes. Apparently this ppt was used to help a jury understand how Ponzi Schemes work.

Would a few minor changes show Twitter to be nothing but a giant Ponzi scheme?

See what you think…

Why Twitter Is A Ponzi Scheme
View more presentations from freshnetworks.

Online communities as engagement tools at the Marketing 2.0 conference in Paris


Last year we reported on the 2008 Marketing 2.0 conference in Paris, this year we’re returning to Paris for the 2009 conference and this year we’re speaking. The Marketing 2.0 conference is a high-paced two days discussing the latest developments, case studies and thinking in social media and word of mouth marketing.

I will be speaking about using online communities specifically as engagement tools. Presenting some examples of how we have helped brands to engage their customers (or their target customers) and concentrating on ways in which you can leverage the expertise and knowledge that sits inside any brand to build this type of engagement. Sharing this expertise with your customers and using it to

  1. engage them in a way you haven’t before and make them feel part of the company
  2. position the brand as thought-leaders in their space
  3. reward customers for their loyalty

Online communities are a great way to engage customers, and they let you extend the brand experience that they have. You may just manufacture an FMCG product, but by leveraging the expertise inside your firm and offering this to your customers using online communities you are offering them a real service. It’s not about marketing to them it’s about engaging them.

More on this in Paris later this month.

Marketing 2.0 Conference, Paris, March 30-31

Alongside FreshNetworks, a wealth of great speakers are on the agenda for the conference,  including:

  • International brands with great stories to tell, including Lego, Virgin, Nokia, Ford, Nike and L’Oréal
  • Social media players, including Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Ebay, MySpace, Netvibes, SlideShare, Dailymotion, JustinTV, SixAppart and Slide
  • And analysts from firms, including Forrester, Crispin Porter + Bogusky, Critical Mass, Edelman and pourquoitucours

For more information about the conference click here.

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  • The Most Innovative Companies in Advertising & Marketing (
  • Une conférence sur le Marketing 2.0 le 30 mars prochain à Paris
  • Marketing 2.0
  • Marketing 2.0 et réseaux sociaux

Co-creation and innovation – the ‘we’ experience


Over the next few days I’m going to be posting some great examples of co-creation that we’ve come across at FreshNetworks and some thoughts on what makes for good co-creation: Co-creation Series:

The real prompt for this is that we’ve been talking a lot about ‘we’ at FreshNetworks over the last few weeks. Across the team we seem to be helping quite a few client with co-creation and innovation at the moment - getting their customers to input into or lead innovations in everything from the position and marketing of a B2B telecommunications product to improving and tailoring experiences for a leisure client.

The concept of ‘we’ is one that intrigues me. There is an undoubted power to ‘I’. People like hearing personal stories and experiences, and we see in our online communities that such stories can get better reactions and greater responses. However, the power of ‘we’ is greater - people collaborating on an idea or innovation, working with each other to further improve and advance the previous thought.

Iterating and refining an idea is one of the best ways of bring in different view-points and peer reviewing the concept as it develops. We find that getting brands involved in this process can be illuminating - for the consumer, the brand and the idea. Good innovation and co-creation comes from getting people with different skills, experiences and understanding of the product or brand together. They each add something to the process and can bring their expertise and experience to the subject.

One of the best introductions to the ‘we’ experience that I’ve seen comes from Marieke Schoenmaker. The slides below are a great introduction to the subject, and the case studies at the end of the deck (including Nike+ and Zopa) are world-leading examples of the power of we.

  • Ignore the Consumer?
  • So How Do You Measure ROI of Online Communities?
  • Nike’s Branded Storytelling Showcases Innovation
  • Social Media + Company = Are you ready to innovate?