10 bloggers who inspire Hard Knox Life

October 29, 2008

At last count, I read around 150 blogs every day through my RSS.  Of course this includes the A-Listers like Seth Godin, Mashable, Jeremiah Owyang, Guy Kawasaki and ReadWriteWeb.  But it also includes several others who I find to be real inspiration for what I write on Hard Knox Life.  If you are looking for some great new reads, you should check these guys out (in no particular order):

Pete Blackshaw – Consumer Generated Media: I’m lucky enough to call Pete a good friend and mentor.  But he is also one of the best voices in Social Media today.  This guy is bursting with energy and it shows with his writing.  Cincinnati is lucky to have him as an adopted son.

Alan Wolk – The Toad Stool: I think Alan has managed to be one of the most referenced people here on Hard Knox Life thanks to his terming of “NASCAR Blindness.”  He is self-described “tradigitalist”– an advertising creative director and social media consultant with the rare ability to speak Web 2.0 and TV 101 – often in the same sentence.

Bob Gilbreath – Marketing with Meaning and The Challenge Dividend: Bob is another guy doing Cincinnati proud with his writing.  As Chief Marketing Strategist for Bridge Worldwide, Bob is a P&G Brand guy who made the switch to the agency world.  He’s been writing The Challenge Dividend since 2006 but just started Marketing with Meaning as a platform for some of the work he is leading at Bridge.

Ian Schafer: Ian is the CEO of Deep Focus, a digital shop who is doing some of the most amazing work I have seen (just check out their latest with Entourage).  Ian is always willing to push the envelope.  For instance, a couple of months ago he auctioned off the sponsorship of his Twitter profile to anyone willing to bid.  Keep an eye on what he is going to do next.

Peter Kim – Being Peter Kim: Former Forrester Analyst and current Commissioner of the Social Media Fantasy Football League, Peter is a guy that just gets it.  When he was at Forrester, he wrote several reports on the future of Marketing that are dead on.  I’m talking stuff that could shake up the industry if we are brave enough to follow his advice.  I can’t wait to see what he does in his newest venture.

Kevin Dugan – Strategic Public Relations: The 3rd Cincinnati resident on the list, Kevin is a guy who is really making things happen in our city.  He’s been blogging since 2002 and is one of the driving forces behind the Cincinnati Social Media Breakfast.  In his most recent post, he says he is feeling a little burned out…let’s hope that passes quickly.

Paul Isakson: Paul’s day job is Senior Strategic Planner for space 150 and he puts together some of my favorite presenations on marketing.  My only knock against Paul is that he doesn’t blog enough.  His site has the tagline of “Provoke, Prod, Inspire – Building a better future for brands” and he does just that every time he writes.

Darren Herman: I first came across Darren when I picked up his book “Coloring Outside the Lines: Confession of a Digital Native.”  He’s a guy that walks the talk, having founded IGA Worldwide, where BusinessWeek named him one of the top entrepreneurs under 25.

Matt Dickman – Techno//Marketer: Matt is a VP, Digital Marketing at Fleishman-Hillard in Cleveland.  Though he isn’t exactly based in a city that is a technology hotbed, I would argue he is more in tune with where technology and the consumer will meet than any Silicon Valley/Alley based blogger.

David Armano – Logic + Emotion: Armano nearly makes the “A-List” classificaton but I decided to keep him humble.  I have been following Dave’s writing for awhile and have been fortunate enough to get to know him over the past several months since his agency (Critical Mass) works with P&G.  Dave is a true visual thinking and he is able to use pictures to simple get across concepts that most of us need hundreds of words to explain.

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Digital Hub Initiative brings a “non-conference” conference to Cincinnati

October 23, 2008

Last week, I came across an interesting effort from the AdClub Cincinnati called the Digital Hub Initiative.  The Digital Hub Initiative (DHI) is an independent organization whose goal is to promote Cincinnati’s digital community on all levels.  With my new role at P&G and my personal passion about the potential of Cincinnati, I was really excited to see this program.  Cincinnati played a tremendous role in advertising in the 20th Century and I think we can play that same role for Digital Marketing in the 21st Century.  Doing so will start with initiatives like DHI.

The Digital Hub Initiative is kicking off their work with a “Non-Conference” conference on November 14 – 15 at the Hyatt Regency in downtown Cincinnati.  I think the idea is brilliant as they are aiming to combine top-notch speakers with a dose of real social networking (otherwise known as a Friday night bar crawl).  Speakers include Pete Blackshaw from Nielsen Online, Benjamin Palmer from Barbarian Group and Tim Schigel from Cincinnati based Share This.

I’m really pulling for the Digital Hub Initiative to build some momentum.  This conference should be a great start to establishing Cincinati as a digital hot spot for the future.

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How do you measure Social Media?

March 24, 2008

Ian Schafer points us to a great article/discussion over at Adweek on the metrics of Social Media.  In my opinion, this is one of the biggest issues facing the industry right now.  The largest advertisers (like P&G) have embraced the traditional aspects of social media, putting up banner ads on MySpace, etc.  We are experimenting in order to figure out how to fully embrace social media but measures are the struggle in order to get total buy-in.  As the article points out:

That makes it hard to compare data from social media with other measures, said Marcel Lebrun, CEO of Radian6, a social media tracking firm. “The online ad world has page views, impressions and clicks,” he said. “That kind of thing doesn’t exist yet” in social media. 

I highly encourage you to read the full article here.  Also, I would love to hear your thoughts on how the industry should think about social media metrics?  How can we overcome the hurdle?