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Archive for: September, 2007

Converseon had the pleasure of receiving the OMMA Award on Tuesday night for the “Best Use of Virtual Worlds.” Hosted by our building brethren Mediapost, the event recognized the best and most breakthrough creative in online advertising and media.

Our Second Chance Trees project beat out some formidable competition, specifically Coca-Cola’s Virtual Thirst Project and Pontiac’s Motorati island. I admire both of those programs because they begin to tap into what we see as the real value of current virtual worlds — an open source platform to allow users to experiment, co-create and innovate in collaboration with brands.

The Second Chance Trees project was a bit more modest in scope (and likely budget), but fully dipped into what we see as among the most fertile areas for breakthrough innovation in social media – utilizing virtual worlds to impact the real world, and vice versa. In our view, virtual worlds are not meant to exist in isolation, but as an extension of our own world, albeit in a dimension where we can poke through to innovate, experiment and experience with tools and environments that extend beyond our mortal powers. We intend to dig more deeply into exploring the virtual-to-real world potential and, of course, continuing to utilize SCT to promote tree reforestation around the world. So more to come on that over time.

OMMA Award Best Use of Virtual Worlds

We would, of course, like to thank all our avatar and RL friends who have supported the effort including Andy Beal, Lee Odden, Peter Himler, Stephen Davies, Lee Hopkins, Luke Armour and Amalthea Blanc.

If you would like to learn more about the Second Chance Trees project and our approach to virtual worlds, please take a listen to the attached audio file of a presentation I delivered at WOMMA’s Learn It, Do It event in New York city last week. As always, your comments and questions are welcome.

icon for podpress  WOMMA NYC Second Chance Trees Presentation (Rob Key) [19:12m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download
Categories: Converseon News

A selection of some of this weeks best from our diverse team. Please leave a comment after you’ve read an article and feel free to leave a link yourself.

Conversational Marketing

Recap of the Federated Media’s conference discussing Conversational Marketing. This post discusses the various aspects of conversational marketing and how it stands to change the future of brand management.

Dark blogs: a bad idea for crisis communication

Shel Holtz on why “dark blogs” (ready to be activated during a crisis) are not such a good idea.

Semantic Web: Difficulties with the classical approach

This article considers why the semantic web has remained as an academic property instead of transforming the way we use the web and considers how the concept can be moved forward.

Unfamiliar with the semantic web?

“The semantic web is a vision pioneered by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, in which information is expressed in a language understood by computers. In essence, it is a layer on top of the current web that describes concepts and relationships, following strict rules of logic.

The purpose of the semantic web is to enable computers to “understand” semantics the way humans do. Equipped with this “understanding,” computers will theoretically be able solve problems that are out of reach today.”

Web 2.0: Big App on Campus

Universities are seeing Web 2.0 as a way to engage students and maybe even get them to choose one school over another. In theory, a social-networking environment will get students comfortable with a school well before they start and keep them engaged in their education, while the application of social media tools can extend their education.

50-Kanye Web Marketing

Did the Web Help Kanye Outsell 50 Cent? You have to love the online buzz (drama) around which rappers will outsell the other. When news got out that 50 Cent said he’d stop recording if Kanye West outsold him, fans took their love of music, not to the streets, but to the computer. (PS: Go Kanye)

Every Friday we’ll be posting a list of links that the Converseon team have found to be the most insightful from the past week. Enjoy!

What Evolutionary Psychology Says About Social Networking

This column sparked a lot of deep thinking and discussion in the office. The author analyzes some evolutionary psychology research that looks at how early humans communicated and interacted with each other for clues about how we communicate today.

Dunbar begins with the premise that back when our Paleolithic ancestors were still more monkey than human, understanding one’s place in the group hierarchy was exceedingly important. Compared to other creatures, primates are unusually social animals. And thus knowledge about relationships — who’s mating with whom, who became allies, who just had a fight — was crucial for primates to maintain or advance their place in the pack. It was, Dunbar suggests, the birth of gossip.

Show Series To Originate on MySpace

An interesting article about how TV producers are launching a series to be shown on MySpace. Producers are looking to generate story lines and even find actors online. Working online also allows them to take advantage of union agreements that allow actors and writers to work on terms more favorable to producers than those governing network programs.

Fifty Most Influential Bloggers

A new list of the 50 ‘most influential’ bloggers. This could possibly be more valuable than many of the ranking formats out there because of its qualitative focus. The ‘who’ and ‘what’ behind the blog are more important than the numbers.

Deconstructing the Incredibly Weak Mobile Web Experience

This year 115 million smartphones will be shipped and that number is expected to rise to 410 million by 2012. This article looks towards the future of mobile web browsing.

Crowdsourcing Site

It’s likely we’ll see more of these sites popping up, it is important to keep track of them and monitor them for your brand. Brands should also consider setting up their own open forums for discussion about their products and services, of course, rather than let third parties control the platform.

Selling Postcards from the Hanging: Reflections on CJU

A look at the changes occurring in affiliate marketing, especially how smaller affiliates will find it harder to continue in the affiliate space.

We often say that we’re in a post marketing discipline definition world where the lines between direct marketing, advertising and PR have blurred. The new agency of the future is indeed a mashup that brings together the best of those disciplines, skills and people. Converseon has grown in part because of the alchemy that occurs when bringing together search, public relations, computer scientists, direct marketing experts, independent film makers, and more.

Finding the best and brightest from diverse areas has been a core focus of ours. While our team may come from far flung places, cultures and backgrounds, the one consistent and essential element we all share is passion.

At Converseon, we believe in the power of social media to bring people together, no matter where they are, through their passion. And in the world of social media, those with passion self-identify through engagement. They raise their hand through their actions and rise to the top. The proliferation of social media has changed the way we find and hire talent. And it’s one of the reasons we continue to bring in the best and the brightest.

In a world united by social media an organization can cast a much wider net in its search for the most talented employees. Every organization wants to work with highly skilled employees who are truly passionate about what they do. Social media allows you to find these passionate individuals, form a relationship and get to know them on a personal basis. The days of a quick scan of a resume and a brief job interview ahead of a hire are coming to an end. As such, I’m pleased to announce that Christin Eubanks has joined Converseon as an Account Executive.

Christin is one of those who have expressed their passion through social media (and it’s how we found her). She comes to us from Auburn University, Alabama, where she was one of the star students of their PR program, including the highly regarded social media class taught by Robert French. Christin visited our New York headquarters after we got to know her through her various online efforts. Her intelligence and passion for social media shine through online – and even more so in person.

Our team at Converseon is continually expanding and social media is leading us to passionate, talented people from completely disparate backgrounds. We’re lucky to have found a supremely talented group of people throughout the USA and the world. Christin is just the latest example of our own mission to assemble an innovative, flexible and highly skilled team sourced from the global conversation.

Good news today as we learned that our Second Chance Trees project has been selected as one of three finalists in the ‘Virtual Worlds’ category of the 2007 OMMA Awards.

OMMA describe their Awards thus:

The OMMA Awards honor the brand marketers, agencies and content providers who continue to push the potential of online advertising creative. The OMMA Awards celebrate the year’s most innovative and brilliant creative work in 20 categories.

The online medium is the most fertile canvas for innovation and creativity, and the OMMA Awards will salute the stars that shine brilliantly among us.

The goal of the OMMA Awards is to offer insight and vision on what is truly possible using the online arena and to illuminate those who continue to stretch the boundaries of online advertising creative. The OMMA Awards will set the gold standard for creative excellence in the interactive industry.

It’s great to see further recognition for the project on top of its selection as the only social media project among the American Express Members Project finalists and other success to date. We’re in good company alongside Pontiac’s Motorati Island and Coke’s Virtual Thirst; we’ll find out if we are adjudged the best entry at the OMMA Awards Reception on September 25.

Categories: Converseon News