About Gianni Catalfamo

Gianni is European Director for Digital & Social Media; a nuclear engineer by background (I know!) he started in tech (IBM, Olivetti, Lotus) before moving to the dark side remaining however an hopeless geek and gadget freak. His personal hero is Nobel prize winner Richard P Feynman, perhaps the best science divulgator who ever existed, which explains Gianni's love for speaking and lecturing. Married and father of three he loves reading and movies as well as living in the countryside with three cats, two dogs and a horse. Catch up with him also on his personal blog

Author Archive | Gianni Catalfamo

I Measure, Therefore I Am!

The engineer speaking: “What you cannot measure does not exist.”

It’s hard enough when someone else is telling you this, imagine how hard it is for me, having my marketeer brain argue with my engineer brain (half of each, don’t worry)! However, the marketeer halfbrain is doomed, once SoMe exit the fog of experimental pilot projects, a metric for success is needed, if nothing else to justify the investment that will be pouring into it.

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The Perfect Chief Social Media Officer

Chief social media officer, as in “who should be put in charge of social media in an organization”?

When Forbes chimes in, it means this is no idle question. With budgets increasingly shifting from the more traditional areas into digital and social media, it’s not a mere question of job title, but rather of who’s going to call the shots in marketing and communications.

When I look at the corporations I know, I don’t really get the picture of a prevailing organizational solution, but rather of work in progress.

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Are You a Social Networks Pro?

Royal Pingdom found 29 social networks with more than one million visitors per day. The data is as of February 2011, but I think it still testifies the fact that I am not the pro I thought I was.

Take a look at the list of social networks below and see how many you are familiar with.

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Five Email Career-Damaging Moves and Four Email Do’s to Remember

In my Lotus days, CDM was lingo for “career-damaging move” and sparked endless humorous office literature about this or that mistake costing dearly to its author.

We all have had more years of experience using email than any other computer application, so in a way, we’re all experts. It’s therefore remarkable how easy it is for many of us to inadvertently make major mistakes when using such a familiar instrument.

CBS Money Watch recently featured a rather boisterously titled article — “5 career-destroying email blunders” — offering these insights:

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Facebook and Brands in the EU

Facebook and Brands in the EU

I have already made a reference to the excellent Socialbakers.com site for Facebook stats. Perusing this for a client project, I made up this nice table I haven’t seen anywhere else, focusing on what the relationship is between the Facebook presence and brands. When comparing the top-five most “liked” brands in each of the countries, I found the situation described in this chart:

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Die, Content Spam, Die!

My Twitter Stream is full of people praising or doubting Google’s recent algorithm changes in its latest effort to curb rising content spam. In fact, we all have received fake comments on our blogs or e-mails linking back to dumb pages full of keywords whose only purpose is to clock traffic numbers to drive up ad revenue.  I wish there were a way to make companies more aware of how ingeniously spammers are trying to game the Google algorithm and, by extension, Bing’s and any other search engine. Computer logic still has difficulty grasping what the human mind deals with easily on a regular basis without difficulty. Ontologies, which I have discussed previously, are effective constructs that the mind uses to represent fuzzy concepts. “Happiness,” “peace,” “fun” are difficult to define precisely. However, while we can have heated discussions over, for example, “What is happiness?” the purpose of such discussions is usually limited to philosophical speculation. The fact that we CANNOT PRECISELY DEFINE what is happiness does not prevent us from pursuing it, from making it such an important part of our life, and to recognize when we do not have it.In other words, we can USE the “happiness” concept, even though we cannot DEFINE it.

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The Death of the Browser

At the LeWeb conference in Paris recently, the Mozilla Foundation discussed how to make the Web experience more “personal.”I think the heart of this discussion is the unmistakable trend, initiated by Apple, but happily followed by Google and Nokia, to constrain Web content into the tightly controlled channels represented by apps.I sometimes marvel at how technology can reinvent the same stuff a thousand times, and EACH TIME claim it’s some spanking-new revolutionary this-or-that.

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Five Suggestions for Truly "New" Media

Maybe I am under the influence of one of Italy’s top tech trade shows that was recently in full swing. Or maybe it’s the barrage of iPad apps that every publisher is putting out. Or maybe I’m just becoming old and ill-tempered. But that’s why you have a blog, right? Innocuous venting.  If I see one more triumphant announcement about “new,” I swear I’ll puke. And instead of taking pot shots at recently announced “new” media (Wired, lavitanòva, New York Times or others) I thought it would be more constructive to explain why I am dissatisfied with ALL of them and why I will probably never use them much.  What makes new media “new”?Novelty in my honest opinion is not in the slickness of the interface, but in a different relationship between publisher and reader. In other words, the first and foremost change is in recognizing that your reader has a more active role than before. Without this, the “new” media is nothing but the stale old in a shiny new package.  Request #1: Give me a newspaper-like container like Pulse or Flipboard.Let’s start with that — the new package. What was wrong with the old one? Where are the studies proving that the newspaper format, known and familiar to almost half a billion users worldwide (that’s circulation, the number of actual readers is probably five or six times that) needed a change? Show me someone, even if barely literate, anywhere in the world who DOES NOT KNOW how to read a newspaper. I will concede the headache those mosaic interfaces give me is probably age-related, but the smartest “new” interfaces I have seen are essentially evolutionary vs. the newspaper rather than revolutionary.

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Facebook's Privacy Changes

The changes that Facebook has just made in its privacy policies and settings have opened up a host of intriguing questions for individual users as well as for companies and brands. And recently, I was asked what opportunities are created by these privacy changes, what these changes mean for consumers, and what opportunity this means for clients. Check out my thoughts on these questions here in a video produced by the Ketchum Global Technology Practice’s Techphoria TV channel.

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Ontologies, Football, Social Media and My Grandma

I have many fond memories of my grandmother. When she passed away at the ripe old age of 92, she was still pretty lucid and had the sharpest tongue I ever found anywhere — not unusual for the Florentine she was (although she’d whack me for this, as she was actually from the posh suburb of Fiesole, which is very close to Florence, but a whole world of difference to her).  Since I was her first grandson to enter the world of business, she was always curious to know what kind of job I managed to land, and unfortunately my job descriptions were always sort of vague — systems engineer, marketing executive, business development manager and the like — leaving her a bit frustrated because all her friends nephews were doctors or lawyers or bankers.   Yesterday, I had lunch with some of our social media people, and we were discussing a similar situation. So, perhaps inspired by the smell of a margherita I had in front of me, I told Marco: “You should be proud of explicating implicit ontologies”. Needless to say, there were quite a number of repressed smirks, so I felt I had to expand a little.

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