Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Get Your Jingle Mingle On!

Ho ho ho Social Media Club!

See you at the Jingle Mingle for CASA - bring a toy, get a raffle ticket!

In your rush to get your holiday shopping done, don’t forget about tonight’s Jingle Mingle for CASA holiday fundraising party – and while you’re in the stores, be sure to pick up a toy for CASA’s toy drive! Everyone who donates a toy will get a super special bonus – a raffle ticket for the snazzy “regift” basket valued at more than $250!

See you at The Brink Lounge tonight at 6 PM – and bring your friends, parents, aunts – you name it – the more the merrier! There will be drink specials, special drink specials (no redundancy here!) and more holiday cheer than you can shake a stick at – and that’s a heck of a lot of holiday cheer!

If you haven’t registered yet – do it now. C’mon, it’s a Tuesday night – you’ve got nothing going on. And Glee is a rerun!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Madison Marketing Communications» Madison Marketing Communications Cause Marketing Social Media Facebook Like

Want to do some good for others this holiday season (in a really easy way!!) and get some great content/information as well?

If so, I need you to please help me do 2 things that will in turn help a Madison, WI-based charity (I’ll explain in just a moment!). 

All you have to do is:
(1) like my company’s Facebook page – Madison Marketing Communications (MMC), which provides some insightful articles and information about communications – and
(2) help spread the word so more people can also join in. (I’ll be you can think of ways!! Twitter, FB, a blog, even an email….)

For each Facebook fan the MMC page has by 12/31/10, MMC will donate $1 to a yet-to-be determined charity (but discussion will take place to decide on the MMC Facebook page).  This is an opportunity for you to get some great marketing- and communications-related content via your FB feed, and as a bonus you will be helping someone else who needs help.

Why am I doing this? Frankly, I am #1 looking for ways to increase the reach of MMC’s Facebook page and its social media reach, and #2 I am actively looking for ways to help others this holiday season.  My family is sponsoring a family this holiday season, and I wanted to figure out some way to that my company could also do some good. This seemed like something cool to try.

BUT….for it to work I need help in spreading the word. (And I thank you in advance for this.)

So please check out the MMC Facebook page by clicking here – “like” MMC and then join the discussion about posts and ideas that are put forth. I hope we can all enjoy some great dialogue moving forward in 2011!

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Filed under: Branding, Cause Marketing, Marketing Campaigns, Nonprofit, Social Media, Word of Mouth on December 9th, 2010

This is a great example of a couple things:

1. Cause marketing in action
2. In action, with outcome TBD.

Many people (and the businesses they work for/with) feel they need to have the entire project laid out, start to finish, before they start. It's more important to just go - do - and keep moving, with communications. We're a nimble society, and the social media tools at hand give us the ability to assess, pivot, adjust where necessary.

Go - do. Thanks, Laurel, for this fine example.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Salesforce’s Database.com: Fat SaaS Here We Come!

Salesforce’s Database.com: Fat SaaS Here We Come!

Posted by smoothspan on December 7, 2010

Salesforce is skating to where the puck will be ahead of the other players once again–there’s a reason they’re so much bigger than the rest of the SaaS players.  This time it’s all about their latest development in the hotly contested PaaS (Platform as a Service) market.  They’ve introduced a fascinating new offering called “database.com” (what do you suppose they paid for that domain?). 

What is this database.com offering?

Larry Dignan pegged it best, among the various posts I read.  He says it’s a full frontal assault on the incumbents like Oracle, and that Salesforce is building out a stack, only the stack is delivered as a service that lives in the Cloud.  That’s exactly what’s happening.  Imagine writing software that talks to your database server via an API.  That part isn’t hard, because that’s how it already works.  Now imagine that you don’t own the database server; it lives in the Salesforce Cloud and you rent.  They take care of it and promise to use all the tricks they learned scaling Salesforce.com to make your database scale like crazy too.  Pretty cool!

The initial responses from the rest of the blogging world are also interesting:

- Phil Wainewright says they’ve squashed all the little PaaS players.

- Klint Finley reports that Progress software is building out drivers (ODBC, etc.) so your apps can directly call Database.com as their DB.

Sam Diaz and many others are focused on the Oracle rivalry.  Can this be good for Oracle’s share price?  Will their database hegemony finally start to crack?  And what does it mean to the budding NoSQL world?

Obviously there is a lot of crystal ball work to be done here, and a lot of study of the available information.  Most of all, we’ll have to wait to get our hands on Database.com before we can really understand what it means.  But I did want to finish this post by talking about Database.com’s relationship to what I’ve been calling “Fat SaaS”.

We’re moving beyond the debate about SaaS versus On-premises.  On-prem isn’t dead, but it sure isn’t getting any stronger, while the SaaS world keeps gaining momentum.  The truth is that it is a superior model.  There used to be a lot of feeling that IT was afraid of it, and that this is what was holding it back.  But we’re starting to see considerable evidence IT not only doesn’t fear it, but that they’re embracing it wholeheartedly.  More importantly, we’re seeing the SaaS world start to move beyond simple questions (to multitenant or not to multitenant is actually a pretty simple question) and onto how to evolve to the next level.

Fat SaaS is a model that pushes as much business logic into the client as possible and leaves the server-side largely acting as a data store.  Given the availability of rich User Experience tools like Adobe Flex with AIR (for creating desktop apps), as well as the onset of the mobile app phenomenon, together with the difficulties of scaling in a multicore world, it’s a logical development.  After all, if you survey an Enterprise, do they have more cpu’s tied up in client devices, or in servers?  Which cpu’s are more over worked and which ones have more bandwidth available?

I’ve written about the Fat SaaS idea before, and I think it’s one of the logical next developments we’ll start seeing like crazy.  Database.com just opened the door to making it even more logical, because what else would talk to such a thing but a Fat SaaS application?  Doing a bunch of centralized number crunching won’t be nearly as happy as a Fat SaaS app with the inevitable latency that comes with having your database in a different Cloud than the software that’s consuming the data.  The client is already used to that being the norm.

Now, getting back to Phil Wainewright’s proposition that it has squashed the other players, I don’t think so.  It may be hard on the little players, or it may not.  Remember, Benioff is trying to out-Oracle Oracle.  But even Oracle hasn’t succeeded in squashing the Open Source DB movement, not even after acquiring MySQL.   It’s more popular than ever.  In the end, neither Salesforce nor Oracle have to squash these littles guys.  They’re after the higher end anyway. 

What I want to see is competition.  Who will be the first to put up a service on Amazon AWS that delivers exactly the same function using MySQL and for a lot less money?  You see, Salesforce’s initial pricing on the thing is their Achille’s heel.  I won’t even delve into their by-the-transaction and by-the-record pricing.  $10 a month to autheticate the user is a deal killer.  How can I afford to give up that much of my monthly SaaS billing just to authenticate?  The answer is I won’t, but Salesforce won’t care, because they want bigger fish who will.  I suspect their newfound Freemium interest for Chatter is just their discovery that they can’t get a per seat price for everything, or at least certainly not one as expensive as they’ve tried in the past.

I’ll be watching to see whether the prices come down and whether competition develops.  I fully expect both will be underway before we know it.  Meanwhile, Bravo Salesforce–you’re showing the rest of the world how it’s done!

This entry was posted on December 7, 2010 at 9:08 pm and is filed under business, cloud, saas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


I'm sitting in my dining room. It's been pretty much converted to my home office, and while it's not the ideal home office situation there's a lot going for it.

I work next to a window that overlooks our quiet little neighborhood.

I can work with background music, or the constant nattering of CNN. Recently, the random crackling of the wood burning in the fireplace has been a most pleasant companion. It's visually inspiring, physically warm, smells wonderful, and has the added bonus of helping cut down on the gas bill.

My morning routine before was waking up really early to drive really far and work for a company I really couldn't stand*.

Now Lola plays with my phone while I mutter about getting up. She dresses herself while I get coffee. I brush her hair, she picks a Lola-show to watch. She eats breakfast while I check email. We saddle up (bundle up, really), get Stich on-leash, and walk down the street to Kathy's house.

She told me today she doesn't like to walk fast, because then we'll get there and she likes walking so let's take our time. *melt*

I drop Stitch's leash around the post at the end of the sitter's driveway, and walk in with Lola. Hugs kisses etc., grab Stitch, and we walk back home.

I'm at my desk reading and blogging and generally working by 9, 9:30. I (happily) go until I have somewhere to be or it's time to pick up Lola. Stitch literally sleeps next to me the entire work day.

I'll add back in things like going to the gym and a routine for errands but for now I'm settling into this new rhythm and loving every minute of it.

*As a nation we carry too much credit card debt and helping a company make money with credit didn't sit well with me, is all.

Three-quarters of marketing chiefs say in-house PR should not ...

David Woods, prweek.com, 07 December 2010, 9:08am


3 article comments.

Marketing directors do not rate the role of PR in managing social media, with less than one-third thinking the PR department should oversee social media in their business, according to new research.

Canvassed: 250 marketing chiefs
Canvassed: 250 marketing chiefs

The survey of 250 marketing directors and heads of marketing by Wildfire PR even found that one in five marketing chiefs believe the IT department should have control of a firm’s blogging and tweeting.

Some PROs expressed shock at Wildfire’s findings.

Rob Dyson, PR manager at children’s charity Whizz-Kidz, said: ‘Clearly a number of marketers believe social media are technical tools or an extension of the company website that IT should manage. But it is not just a bit of software and needs to be run by a part of an organisation that is personable.

‘Twitter is not just about putting out ads, it is about building relationships. There needs to be a clear PR strategy behind it and someone in the business needs to have the inclination to use it for conversation regularly, or not use it at all.’

Pete Goold, MD of tech PR agency Punch Communications, said: ‘Marketing directors who do not involve PR because of a personal dislike of Twitter are less able to do their jobs than they were five years ago.’

The study found that only 27 per cent thought the in-house PR team should manage company social media policy including Twitter and Facebook profiles. Only two per cent believed this should be the responsibility of an external PR agency. Twenty-nine per cent of respondents said they planned to invest more in social media during the next year, but while almost half of the businesses polled have adopted social media, ten per cent claimed they did so only because their rivals had.



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All Comments


ROSS FURLONG - 07 December 2010

Does 27% make PR depts top of the list of depts that they think could handle PR though? 10% say IT department - guffaw, wait while I pick myself up of the carpet. Rob is spot on when he says Twitter needs to be backed by PR - it's probably the most important element of a social media campaign. Classic misunderstanding that technical know how should qualify a dept to carry out a comms strategy.

Alastair MacDonald - 07 December 2010

I think we have many talented marketers in the UK, so am amazed that even one of them would want to entrust a key stakeholder relations activity to IT. IT is essentially the enabler of the social media delivery channel, not its controller - just as printers are the enablers of the printed channel. Good channel enablers can, of course, make a difference between success and failure, but their role is not to manage the overall comms activity.

Simon Francis

Simon Francis - 07 December 2010

This sounds too ridiculous to be true! What questions were Wildfire asking the marketing directors?

Social media has an intrinsic link to corporate reputation and consumer engagement. Handing this role to non-marketing professionals is dangerous, if not negligent.

Sit it in PR, marketing, digital or customer relations in house or at an agency \(or a combination of these), each client will be different, just surely not the IT crowd.

It'd be like leaving your marketing team in charge of your IT system!


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010


I'm transitioning back to solo PR practitioner, having spent the last almost six months as in-house social media analyst for several catalog brands. While taking the gig seemed smart at the time, it was pretty clear pretty quickly it was far from an ideal match. More on that at another time. For now, it's about getting my freelance-legs back under me.

The good news is that I haven't lost any ground. While I haven't actively done PR for a few months, I'm deeper into social media than I've ever been. I've maintained (some what argue that, I'm sure) my various groups/organizations/boards, and am genuinely looking forward to stepping up those efforts. Where I've blazed trails though is on the tech and integration side of social media, channel development, and lead generation and nurturing through social media. I'm feeling confident about my knowledge of this space, and excited to continue developing those skills.

As I started my final drive home (an hour and 15 minutes), I literally did a little chair-dance in my mom-van, so relieved to be rid of that commute. But the thrill and rush wasn't just in that moment, for what I leave behind, but for what lies ahead. I love what I do, and am in the best position I've ever been in my life to forge ahead and do it well.

I can't wait.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ask the Wise Guy: Facebook Fan Page or Website? : The World :: American Express OPEN Forum

Just as there are only two kinds of people on Twitter (those who want more followers and those who are lying), there are only two kinds of companies with Facebook fan pages: Those who want more fans and those who are lying.

I get this question a lot: website or Facebook? This is wholly readable break-down of pros vs. cons.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

recap of week that's not even over yet

It's Thursday. Noon-ish, Thursday, to be precise. Plenty of crazy left in the week yet.

But we already have for THIS WEEK alone:

Pink eye (under control)
Lola and Autumn on the local news (obviously a 'first time ever' if not 'only time ever')
House down the street gets hit by SUV, causing gas leak, evacuations and street closure. No, really.

Starting my second-to-last week at work (gave my notice last week, a post for another day) while closing one freelance prospect and bidding on two more. But that's boring compared to the rest of it.

Moral of the story: Get life insurance (not through an employer). (Done!)

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


Urgent please to my Facebook friends: Jeff and I are planning to have Lola baptised up in Three Lakes next week (while almost everyone on both sides of our family are there). The churches we've contacted all require us to be members and/or have gone through their classes ( a rant for another day, why does organized religion make this so hard??). Anyhoo, we're looking for a simple yet meaningful service that acknowledges Lola on the planet and those that have agreed to take care of her should anything happen to me and Jeff. If anyone has any leads I'd be forever grateful. Thanks!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pediatric whatnot

So...I take Lola in for her 4 y/o check-up a couple weeks ago. She's fine (I categorically refute "she's on track to being overweight" - what is wrong with doctors these days?) but I did ask about the health of her nails and nailbeds. Her nails seem thicker, bumpy almost.

The Dr. checked, noticed what I did but thought they were fine. Then the same Dr. called back this week, she wants to re-check based on her research.

So she and one other MD poked Lola's fingers, did a pulse-ox (which was fine) and are referring us to a pediatric pulmonologist. Something to do with oxygen, lungs, but she's most likely fine, we just want to rule out Cystic Fibrosis or other genetic issues.

So...yah. Can't make the appt until the referral is processed, so yet more 'here's slightly off-putting news that you can't do anything with" nonsense.

Fun. Oh, and the krazees came home last night and...actually, I don't want to talk about it. Suffice to say others in the house EXERCISING with LOLA at 1am and PASSING OUT ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR are not the activities that lead to a restful night prior to an early seminar. At least, not for this loser.