Monday, October 29, 2007

The Second Bubble? Go ahead, burst it.

I was talking with a friend of mine last week about my concern for the second bubble. All this hype, all this over-evaluation - it reminds me of 2000. It depresses me a little, because I know the utility is here, the tipping point has passed and this isn't just buzz - it's here to stay.

And we are smarter, less impatient, less risky...we've learned from the last go 'round, right?!

Then I read Steve Rubel's twitter a few moments ago:

Rant: The Web 2.0 World is Skunk Drunk on its Own Kool Aid

And at first, that ugh! feeling in the pit of my stomach started...but I kept with his thoughts - thankfully. His post helped get my hopeful back on.

The quick buck folks will come and go - they flock to socnet sites today, mash-up opportunities tomorrow, but there are some sustaining stars that continue to make the web a better place, regardless of cashflow potential - thankfully.

The passionistas are a constant and you know what?

It's gonna be all right.

10/30 UPDATE
More Bubble talk New York Magazine fashion from John Heilemann.

Social Networking 101

Ok, as I try to explain social networking to my offline friends, it's easier to just show them with something they are interested in that's on a socnet site - then it clicks for them.

However, I always start with showing them Lee LeFever's "Social Networking in Plain English" easy-to-understand quick video:

All of LeFever's social media videos on YouTube are very informative, quick and stand up to his claim - Explanations in Plain English. Lee and Sachi have crafted an amazing company called Common Craft and their blog is worth subscribing to - plum full of great brain food.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Socnet @ It's Finest - Twitter, Blogs & Facebook help send Cambodian Girl to College

Beth Kanter's personal non-profit fundraising campaign, for me, is one of those wonderful socnet phenomenons that I feel honored to be a part of. Using twitter, blogs and facebook, Beth raised most of the campaign's funding in 2 hours.

I found out about Beth's efforts through Chris Brogan. He sent the following tweet:

I clicked the tiny URL and immediately wanted to help out. The price was right - ten bucks - that's lunch out or a trip to Starbuck's. I could manage that especially for a great cause!

And 57 other socnet souls thought the same thing. Below is the list of the people, who through socnet actions, chipped in to help out Leng this semester. Kudos, everyone!

And it's not to late to get your "feel good" on...
Your $10 Can Send Champhearom to College & A Big Thank You to the Other Contributors!

Thank You to These Great People Who Have Already Contributed to Beth's Campaign:

Shirley Williams
Michael David Pick
Preetam Rai
Wiebke Herding
Peter Cranstone
Polly Thompson
Nicholas Booth
Fernanda Ibarra
Britt Bravo
Kelley-sue LeBlanc
Laura Whitehead
Allyson Lazar
Andrew Carothers
John Powers
Neesha Rahim
Anal Bhattacharya
Steve Bridger
Lloyd Davis
Donna Callejon
Chris Brogan
Joyce Bettencourt
Erin Vest
Philip C Campbell
Jane E Quigley
Steve Spalding
Amanda Mooney
Ann Miller
Donna Papacosta
Christopher Lester
Zena Weist
Connie Reece
Mary Reagan
michael dunn
Anne Boccio
S Michelle Wolverton
Israel Rosencrantz
Clint Smith
Stephen Keaveny
Scott Schablow
Justin Kownacki
Neha Yellurkar
Amie Gillingham
David Beaudouin
Edwin S Coyle III
Liz Perry
Haystack in A Needle
Ian Wilker

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Seth's wikipedia post

See Seth Godin's post and interesting discussion re: students using wikipedia and other online sites for homework references.

My thoughts...
Using Wikipedia to begin your fact finding mission is great, citing it is even better, but you need to use it in parallel with other resources to validate your findings. Crowd sourcing is good, but digging a little deeper can only help validate your point is accurate. Multi-sourcing is the key point here.

Found this excellent wikipedia classroom assignment article through Steve Rubel.

Twitter - helpful posts, definitions, stats

This is going to be an organic roll, as my friends and I find articles, blog posts, stats on Twitter, I'll be adding to this post. If you want something added and don't want to comment, twitter me at

In the Technosailor blog, Aaron Brazell's The Golden Rule of Twitter Marketing is an excellent fundamental on two key twitter points: transparency and authenticity. It's a quick "here's what works and stay away from this stuff."

UPDATE on Forrester Microblogging discussion:
From Jeremiah Owyang
Peter Kim of Forrester (colleague) responds to Robert Scoble (former colleague)

10/23 UPDATE on California fires:
More Twitter utility re: CA fires...see
Community Tweets in the SoCal Fires
or go directly to twitterers nateritter, ginatrapani or kpbsnews.

Sheila Scarborough's excellent twitter post jam packed with useful Twitter insights.

10/29 UPDATE Chris Brogan on Twitter:
Brogan's Twitter starter pack. This article on Guy Kawasaki's blog is full of twitter insight.

11/8 UPDATE Steve Spalding on Twitter:
Spalding's cliff notes of Caroline Middlebrook's robust Twitter How-to. Spalding's quick read shows business and personal uses. Both blogs are excellent reads.

11/21 UPDATE Twitter as a Marketing & PR tool:
Lee Odden's comprehensive post on Twitter and how to use it as a social/play and social/communicate tool.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

A Vision of Students Today

KSU student video on consuming media in a multi-tasking, multi-user, multi-influencer way.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Twitter Utility - yes, there is real value in this app

If you don't have any idea what Twitter is all about, Wikipedia's definition and this quick Twitter 101 video from Nick Danforth should get you up-to-speed.

Ok, I have to admit the first time I checked Twitter out I couldn't make heads or tails of it. What was all the buzz about? It looked random and a little self absorbing. Really, who cares what I'm doing in 140 characters or less????

Then an online savvy friend, Melinda, who is a usability guru told me her twitter hooked story - the twitter event that made Melinda a tweet lover.

She followed a close friend from the first pangs of labor through child birth. This friend was across the country, and Melinda received updates instantaneously on the labor and birth event. Melinda was overjoyed to virtually hold her friend's hand through labor. And her friend has the history of her labor, in her own words - one 140 character message at a time.

This hook made sense to me.

I could stay up-to-date with friends that I didn't keep in daily or weekly touch with by following them on twitter. So I thought I'd give it a shot.

I hit an immediate roadblock. None of my friends, even my online friends, n o n e of them were using twitter, except for Melinda, who is always 3 steps ahead of trend :). I felt bleeding edge and a little scared. It reminded me of when I bought Broadvision stock back in '95. What the hell was I doing?

So, as I had done with BVSN, I went looking for business friends. In this case instead of stock counsel, I was looking for business-related friends that might be twittering.

They were easy to facebook counterparts and socnet savvy thought leaders were out there twittering away such as Seth Godin, Chris Broganand Jeremiah Owyang. These master bloggers whom I gleam extremely valuable cutting edge information from daily - were of course all twittering.

With twitter, I immediately started getting 140 character golden nuggets - cliff notes of their blogs or random bouts of knowledge. These business-related tweets made twitter an instant utility for me and a multi-checkpoint daily ritual.

Then came my twitter hook. My mom was diagnosed with brain cancer a couple of weeks ago. This wasn't too much of a shock as she had survived stage 4 non-small cell lung cancer 6 years ago. My siblings, father, mother and I were headed to Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis to tackle this tumor (which ended up being a 3x4 mass) with the cancer team.

I knew once I got to Barnes, I wouldn't have time to check work, home email nor text all my extended family, friends, and co-workers regarding status. You would think we'd have plenty of time, but we had been through this before and the Barnes staff swarms. There is NO downtime and we knew that 24/7 resolution was what we were in for.

So I sent out a few mass emails (work, friends, fb friends) and notified people via a few blogs. I let everyone know to follow me on twitter/zenaweist or go to my fb profile to view my latest twitter update.

I was surprised at how many not online savvy folks just winged it, signing up to follow me without issue, and how a few online zealots didn't take me up on my twitter request.

Anyway, I started twittering Sunday night before we left for STL. I kept updating my tweets through the entire week of testing, testing, seeing 25 drs and residents in 48 hours, testing, surgery, ICU, recovery - YES,

The tweets helped keep me calm through the whole, stressful ordeal. Having to post in 140 characters or less, it helped me to focus, not be hysterical. Just knowing 20 or so people were following me and my family, giving Mom their support - it was powerful. Knowing those 20 were updating countless other people, it took the update burden off my family.

People sent us words of encouragement through twittering back, calling, posting on my fb wall, and emails. This circle of followers kept my family positive. Being positive helped me, my family, and especially my mom.

And I'll continue with updates as "Miracle Mom" heads into radiation next week.

And news on the followers that signed up to get updates from me, they aren't just lurking. They are creating their own hooks as well. This is a fantastic app with utility. My hook is just 1 of 1000s that happen everyday.

Share your twitter hook with me, I'd love to read about it.

UPDATE: Here's Jeremiah Owyang's insightful Twitter post.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

I get a lot of facebook golden nuggets from the facebook observer. One of my favorites is a quick summary of some of the fb business apps @

Tracking Influencers

Excellent conversation pulse (tracking influencers) info from PR 2.0's Brian Solis @

Also, if you haven't seen Dove's Daughter of Evolution video, it's Onslaught.