Follow Me Along Revolutionary Road

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To: My friends in the Blogosphere

From: Shari Weiss @sharisax on Twitter

Date: ThursdaySharisax is Out There, April 23, 2009

Re: My First Ten Things Memo Blog Post

FOLLOW ME . . . ALONG REVOLUTIONARY ROAD: Ten of the 1000’s of things I’ve learned in two months studying the Social Media Revolution/Evolution

How does one tell a story from the middle of a raging river [i.e., in medias res]? You just jump in the boat, I suspect, and start paddling.

As a journalist for more than thirty years and a marketing instructor for more than a decade, I’ve had a variety of valuable experiences learning to write, to sell, and to teach. But nothing has so excited and energized me as what is happening TODAY in what I refer to as the Social Media Revolution/Evolution.

The following is merely a place to start:

1. Social Media: After two months of talking about this social media phenomenon in my classes, one student was brave enough to ask, “So what is this thing, Social Media, that we’ve been spending so much time discussing?” Of course, anyone can go look up the phrase on Wikipedia and learn the consumer-generated definitions that are shaping how many of us are understanding the world.

My simplistic, starting-place answer is to take the word “media,” i.e., the vehicles we use to send a message from a sender to a receiver AND combine it with “social,” i.e., the environment in which people are living and working together. This is a New phrase/label, so what I believe we are talking about includes the New Methods being used and developed to have enhanced conversations with one another via enhanced technology, most specifically the Internet. Examples would include Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, Digg, StumbledUpon, Flickr, Yelp, and a whole host of others. Check out Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism:

2. Web 2.0 vs. Web 1.0: The term Web 2.0 was coined to describe all those extensions and further uses we have found for our technological connections via our computers. Where Web 1.0 allowed us to search for information and begin communicating via email, Web 2.0 has become a platform for community building and business growth. Web 2.0 marks the start of Social Media. So what will Web 3.0 look like?

3. Blogging: According to recent statistics, Technorati [Internet search engine for blogs], tracks 133 million blogs, and more are being produced each second – just as I’m doing here. Blogging has flattened the communication landscape. No longer do a few publishers, editors, and journalists control the flow of information to the public. Any one with an Internet connection can post his or her thoughts, opinions, and activities “out there” for everyone to read and comment upon.

4. Bloggers: Bloggers are the new influencers . . . or they can be. Many online writers simply post diary narratives on the Web for a host of reasons, which likely include the human need to be acknowledged. But hundreds, if not thousands, of bloggers are posting online content that gets read and spread – and what they say matters. Business organizations, both profit and nonprofit, have recognized the power of bloggers to market messages about products and services.

5. Micro-blogging and Twitter: Twitter has changed my life. Two months ago, a business acquaintance asked me to follow him on Twitter. Initially I didn’t get it. What did I care about what someone had for breakfast or what the traffic was like on the freeway. Then I discovered that “there are no rules” and that Twitter can be a host of different experiences, depending on how one chooses to use the technology.

During my first fumblings, I decided to use Twitter as a platform for my English students to send me substantive messages in only 140 characters – to teach lessons of clarity and conciseness. I was soon pleased to see a link to 100 Tips, Apps, and Resources for Teachers on Twitter:

Where did I find that link? On Twitter, of course, after I learned to use Twitter in a way that works well for me: I follow “Tweeple” [i.e. people with Twitter accounts] who are interested in topics of interest to me, e.g., future of marketing, future of PR, future of journalism, future of advertising, etc. My husband now calls me Tweetie Bird, since I’m so often online reading the blogs that offer more indepth facts, observations, and opinions on these subjects and more.

6. The New Rules of Marketing: It was on Twitter, of course, that I first learned of David Meerman Scott’s book The New Rules of Marketing & PR. As a marketing lecturer at San Francisco State University, I have felt compelled to address, acknowledge, and learn about Why? there need to be New Rules and Why? The Old Ones do not work any more.

One quote from DMS’s book: “Marketers must shift their thinking from the short head of mainstream marketing to the masses to a strategy targeting vast numbers of underserved audiences via the Web.” Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge expand on this in their recent book Putting the Public Back in Public Relations: “PR has begun to look less like a typical broadcast machine and more like a living, breathing entity capable of also participating in conversations with publics.”

7. The Future of Advertising: The death knell for newspapers has been sounded; young people don’t read them, and advertisers are pulling away. And that is only one medium suffering. Selling radio spots is not getting easier although radio listenership may be expanding because of Internet and satellite radio. The biggest changes are likely to be on Network TV. There is no longer a need for “mass marketing” on a “mass medium.” Large advertisers like Pepsi have admitted to misspending hundreds of millions of marketing dollars, and that probably indicates too much expense for TV commercials that are zapped via channel changing or TIVO fast-forwarding. Traditional forms of advertising will still be necessary to reach the large numbers of people who aren’t yet online [or not online very often], but figuring out how to successfully advertise online is where future strategies must be aimed.

8. Reverse-Engineering: This is a fascinating process to contemplate. Think about your goal and work backwards to make it happen. I’m reminded of the Silicon Valley slogan of the ‘90s: “You imagine it and we will build it.” I read a recent post by noted blogger Seth Godin whose paragraph for the day was titled “Imminent” and he began with this quote: “The one thing that will allow your business to get funded, or to get a business to business buyer to buy from you or a college to admit you is the sense that your success is imminent.” This is my understanding of the theory of “intention” in which you focus on the result you want – and it will come about.

9. Creativity: Amidst sea tides of change, the need for creative thinking remains constant. That requires recognizing that new ideas are healthy and need to be encouraged and embraced, not feared and dismissed. What has worked in the past can be twisted and turned and looked at in new ways, while brainstormers stay open to totally different thoughts that emerge and can provide exciting new solutions. Picasso said, “I am always doing that which I do not know how to do in order to learn how to do it.”

10. We do not go out to find ourselves; rather, we go out creating ourselves: Why am I starting this blog? Let me count the ways. First of all, I have learned so much in the last few months that I am compelled to share that knowledge and hear what others have to say. Second, I believe in the power of the individual to make significant contributions to the betterment of society. And third, as I’ve told some of my students and my new blogging buddies, my “intention” is to join the A-list bloggers.

Next post: Future of marketing

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Posted by Shari Weiss   @   23 April 2009
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Apr 23, 2009
9:15 am
#1 Les Ross :

Way to jump in there Shari!

Congratulations. I look foward to sharing your excitement and your discoveries on social marketing.


Apr 23, 2009
9:23 am

Thanks, Les. I followed your advice and just “jumped in” without finishing WordPress for Dummies. So — until I learn more — people who access the page on Internet Explorer don’t get as clean a page as on Firefox. HELP!!!

Apr 23, 2009
9:24 am

Curious to read all your upcoming travelogues on this bumpy road of Social Media. But…..the journey is the reward.

Apr 23, 2009
10:21 am

Hi, Shari:

Great piece–I have 2 clients to whom I’m forwarding this–we’ve had recent discussions and your comments lay it out so clearly!

Congratulations on your inaugural post…well done!


Apr 23, 2009
4:54 pm
#5 sharisax :

Just don’t call me “late for dinner” at your home. You guys are both wonderful cooks. Back to the blog, though, this opportunity to open up conversations about what’s happening in marketing is extraordinary . . . and very satisfying.

Apr 24, 2009
11:12 am
#6 sharisax :

John, and blog readers, “Road Trip – Day 2” will be posted today and will feature just a fraction of what my class and I learned on Thursday. Thanks, again, John, Dean, and Pat. See you “Out There.” PS I loved my hallway interview even though you took me by complete surprise. It’s very interesting for a journalist [myself] to be the subject, not the interviewer. COOL!

Apr 24, 2009
5:49 pm
#7 sharisax :

Theresa, not only do I agree that Twitter, itself, will be expanding from here on, but we will be expanding as well . . . and expanding in many ways, especially in our ability to form sound relationships by listening to one another and acting on what we hear.

Apr 24, 2009
6:35 pm
#8 sharisax :

Kristina, and everyone else “out there,” I truly believe that at no other time in my lifetime have we all — each and every one of us — had such an opportunity to help mold the future while carving out a really unique place in the world for ourselves.

Apr 23, 2009
10:25 am
#9 sharisax :

Hey, Janine, the World should know that we met on Twitter. This is what the Social Media Revolution/Evolution is all about. Good luck with the clients.

Apr 23, 2009
12:01 pm
#10 Howard :


Should we start to cal you blogo?

It sounds a bit like the former Gov. Of Illinois.

8 – ))

Apr 23, 2009
1:49 pm
#11 Theresa Rix :

In response to your post on “the new rules of marketing”.
My believe (which I probably share with all of you) is that companies need to put down effort to build and maintain (no, not reputation) but networks! It’s no longer marketers that influence us, but rather our trustworthy friends.
Way more connections means way more conversations and in order to catch all the gains of the upcoming PR 3.0 we have to learn to communicate in a fast paced and concise manner. Our brains need to switch from detailed news releases to 140 character breakdowns in order to get attention from our networks. Let’s make PR and marketing accessible for all!

Apr 23, 2009
3:54 pm
#12 Jenny Shue :

Thank you Shari for posting such an informative post! I have to agree social media is getting so popular that my mother even asked me about it. I have participate and use many social media tools such as twitter, facebook, yelp, etc., to connect with people, connect in real time, try to build relationship with people and follow whoever that is insightful to me. Social media changes the way we live and work. And I find not only I can stay on top of things happening around me but to be able to share my part of knowledge and be acknowledge about it. It is the New Method being used to enhance conversation with one another by technology. When the internet just came to life, I thought it is the Newest Method but now I have to say we have not yet seem the Newest Method. Maybe in the near future, there will be another enhance technology that will further connect us with more insightful people like Brian Solis.


Apr 24, 2009
10:50 am
#13 john harper :

Shari – thanks for inviting Pat, Dean and me to speak to your two classes. It was a lot of fun.

Here’s the link to my post:

Apr 24, 2009
10:59 am
#14 Tom Gehrig :

Shari: The blog is great! Just give it to me straight!…that’s what’s happening.
That media pie has so many more slices these days.
I’ll be checking in from time to time…

Apr 24, 2009
5:30 pm
#15 Theresa Trinh :

To respond to your section on “Micro-blogging and Twitter”, I would have to say that I was on the very same boat as you in the beginning. When I first heard about Twitter, I questioned myself as to why would I want to read about what others are eating for breakfast or what they’re doing next?

It wasn’t until I was in my PR class that I learned about all the important aspects of social media. Twitter is definitely rising and has become very popular within the past few months. Not only is it an effective social marketing tool, but it helps you become a better writer by being concise and to the point and stay in contact with others.

I can only see Twitter expanding from here on!

Apr 24, 2009
6:01 pm
#16 kristina davison :

I get inspired when I read any of your posts. As a student it is easy to feel unsure of the future, especially in an economy like this. But now I have realized this is a tremendous opportunity for growth. The world of social networking is so new and untouched. It is more important than ever to discover new ways for communication. This recession is going to kill off a lot of traditional adverting…I know I lost my job in the field. Companies will be searching for new ways to reach consumers. Of course consumers are changing too. I can’t imagine a better time t start a small business. It has always been my goal. Thank you for pushing us to get involved and see the opportunities that lay ahead.

Kistina 😉

Apr 24, 2009
9:45 pm
#17 Cyril Renaud :

Hi Shari, this first post is pretty complete, hope the following ones will just be the same (haven’t read the 2nd post yet). Nevertheless I have a question. You say in the 3rd section about blogging: ‘Any one with an Internet connection can post his or her thoughts, opinions, and activities “out there” for everyone to read and comment upon.’
I agree on the fact that anyone can post something on a the internet, but how do you get read? I have added link to my blog on my Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and I have put a widget so people can share the entry on different social networks (with that: to attract more people. But I don’t have your 30 years of experience nor your credibility, so what else can I do to increase my ‘web visibility’. Just keep on writing?

Have a good weekend. 🙂

Apr 25, 2009
1:44 pm
#18 Rebecca Hickerson :

I did not know you had only been on Twitter for 2 months, I thought it was much longer than that. You have taught us in class how we can use these social media platforms to get some much more information that we even thought was out there. You have really mastered this new era.
The other day I was having a conversation with my Mom would mentioned to me about how she thought it was “stupid” all the big CNN channels were focussing on this whole Ashton vs CNN drama. But she did not even know what twitter was… she thought it was just like a new myspace… but I informed her it was much more than that. I passed on all the great knowledge I have learned from you onto her. And now that I have read your blog… I will continue to spread the word via the internet by emailing her this link.
Thanks for all the great info and keeping up with all the current relevent information this world has to offer us…and sharing it all with your classes.
Rebecca =)

Apr 25, 2009
6:48 am
#19 sharisax :

Cyril, interestingly enough, by doing exactly what you are doing, i.e. commenting on a post, you are taking one very productive step towards getting your own blog read.
You all know that I, too, even with 30+ years experience, am just a newbie at this method of converation, so another piece of advice is to follow suggestions of experts who are writing about Writing Blogs. The best blog on writing blogs that I have so far found is Darren Rowse’s PROBLOGGER.NET. Incidentally, today’s post is on writing comments. Darren offers a ton of ways to get your blog read — try some and let me know what happens. Good luck and keep blogging.

Apr 25, 2009
9:25 pm
#20 sharisax :

# Krista M. Says:
April 23, 2009 at 1:58 pm | Reply edit

I often find myself laughing at change, and whenever it comes to computers and networking I am almost always hiding under the bed. I know! Change is good and computers are staying, now all I have to do is jump on this evolving roller coaster. It is imperative that we as society, marketers, PR people acknowledge and embrace these changes, instead of running in fear. Either we change and do, or get lost in the growth and fail. Twitter and many of the other social networking programs are open to ideas, no one is there to criticize, barriers do not exist. We are being given a great opportunity to learn from others, and develop social networking and blogging skills that will soon be worth as much as gold to companies. We can all take great advice from our professor Shari, to grow and change, as well as use these tools to develop our knowledge from others. We are humans, we must continue to evolve.

* sharisax Says:
April 23, 2009 at 4:39 pm | Reply edit

I love the way you closed your comment: “As humans, we must continue to evolve.” That is so so scary to many people, but what happens when we don’t change, i.e., evolve? We stagnate. We don’t grow. We die. How many individual business and broad categories are dying because they continued to “hide under the bed”?

Apr 26, 2009
11:41 pm
#21 Zahid :

Congrats Shari… I was going wondering when you will start blogging…

Welcome to the Blogosphere 🙂

Apr 27, 2009
12:31 am
#22 sharisax :

Hey, Zaid . . . you may just have to read my third post, all about How To Comment 🙂

Apr 25, 2009
3:26 pm
#23 sharisax :

Rebecca, don’t be too hard on your mom.
It was only three months ago that I told a friend of mine that spending 2-1/2 hours on Facebook was a complete waste of his time. How WRONG I was. This is a great example of “eating my words.” I just read something in a blog that quoted Arthur Schopenauer, who talked about the Three Stages of Truth: First it is Ridiculed. Then it is violently opposed. Finally it is accepted as Self-Evident. So you can see there are plenty of people ridiculing. Many who are opposed. But the enlightened ones are grasping this huge change in the world. I’m happy that you “get it” and that you’ll be helping others “get it” as well. After all, that is the wonder of Social Media.

Apr 25, 2009
6:49 am
#24 sharisax :

One further note, Cyril, we can’t forget that people find you [if they don’t already know about you] when they are SEARCHING. That’s why we talk so much about using the right key words, especially in your headings so that Google and other Search Engines will find you and list your blog.

Jun 11, 2009
2:30 pm
#25 sharisax :

Nicole, I’m with you on the whole TV commerical aspect of marketing. More and more large companies are having to admit that the huge sums of money spent on TV spots just aren’t worth it. When many of our automakers, beer producers, and other large companies accept this “fact of life/business,” we’ll be seeing lots of other changes in all our media.

Apr 27, 2009
4:42 pm
#26 Sara :

In response to your comments about bloggers and blogging, I have known about blogging for a few years now and for the longest time I thought it was an online journal. I know some people still use it in this way today but I just can’t believe how many people write blogs and on how many different websites they use. I want to know how to filter through the bs blogs and go to what I want to talk about and learn about. I think I finally learned it can more easily be done than I expected. You can use Twitter or as Brian Solis told us there are websites like Digg and Delicious where you can find your favorite web pages. I was hesitant about blogging and Twitter but all I have learned over the past few weeks of studying blogs and Twitter; blogging isn’t as difficult as it first appeared. One must just DO IT.

Apr 27, 2009
4:44 pm
#27 Sara Peterson :

In response to your comments about bloggers and blogging, I have known about blogging for a few years now and for the longest time I thought it was an online journal. I know some people still use it in this way today but I just can’t believe how many people write blogs and on how many different websites they use. I want to know how to filter through the bs blogs and go to what I want to talk about and learn about. I think I finally learned it can more easily be done than I expected. You can use Twitter or as Brian Solis told us there are websites like Digg and Delicious where you can find your favorite web pages. I was hesitant about blogging and Twitter but all I have learned over the past few weeks of studying blogs and Twitter; blogging isn’t as difficult as it first appeared. One must stop talking about it and just DO IT.

Apr 29, 2009
8:24 pm
#28 Krista M. :

Thank you for re-posting my comment for me, and for your kind reply back as well.
Best wishes to a great professor.

Apr 27, 2009
4:55 pm
#29 sharisax :

It feels good to “get it,” doesn’t it Sara. I know how excited I am to finally be getting it as well. There are lots of tools out there to help all of us find the people who are BLOGGING and TWEETING about subjects we want to learn more about.

And, then, we can begin to comment [see post #3]and join the conversation.

Apr 27, 2009
11:00 pm
#30 Stephen Giusti :

I’d like to comment on #7 of your blog. I agree with the sentiment that newspapers are going to become extinct. However, I still think there is a need to focus on innovations for radio and television. True, niche marketing seems to be the most effective and efficient way of advertising these days, but the need to mass market to the public will never go away. Certain messages and ideas need to be on a platform of a global essence. I think that goes hand in hand with globalization. There are just too many segments and niches world-wide to focus on hundreds of thousands of individual consumer groups to deliver global ideas and messages such as the need for peace, or if there is a global catastrophe, in which one message would effectively reach all markets. Granted, I think niche marketing hits various small segments more effectively than mass marketing; however, I think there will always be a need for some form of mass marketing due to globalization.

Jun 11, 2009
12:49 pm

Since I was young I have always been amazed at how fast technology advances. Indeed new concepts arise that can alter your patterns in life. When i first started business school, I saw myself similar to a doctor-always having to update myself with new information.The internet and social media sites are incredibly addicting! It would be great if TV advertising would shift 🙂 I’m excited for this class
Nicole Clancy@sharisax(SFSU BUS 360)

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