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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Bold Predictions for South by Southwest 2011

Bold Predictions for South by Southwest 2011

One of the most important digital events of the year, South By Southwest (SXSW), is less than a month away! Ketchum will be there in force with a number of colleagues participating and reporting back to the network and our clients on all the news and excitement that is sure to unfold. Before, during and after the conference, we’ll be sharing insights about the hot developments surrounding the event.  Today, we’re talking about five technologies that have the potential to be the next big thing and making bold predictions about how they could rock the digital landscape. Everyone’s favorite game in the weeks leading up to SXSW is predicting what technology is going to break through. In 2007, Twitter took SXSW by storm, and now nearly 90 million tweets are sent each day. In 2009, it was Foursquare, which now has 6.5 million users battling each other to become the mayor of their favorite spots. Last year, Wolfram Alpha won awards for best in show and technical achievement for its computational answer engine with 10 trillion pieces of data, which 600,000 people use every day to solve complex problems. Do any technologies have this potential in 2011?

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New Era of Marketing Integrates Online and Offline, Paid and Earned

Alex Cecala, Research Associate, and Gary Levison, Research Associate, from Ketchum’s Global Research Network also contributed to this post.  In the past week and a half, a lot of ink has been spilled over the magnitude of this year’s Super Bowl audience. However, despite all that’s been written about the game and ads alike, I still think there is one aspect of Super Bowl XLV that demands more attention. Super Bowl XLV didn’t just make media history – it made marketing history. It inaugurated a whole new strategic paradigm in which the old boundaries between online and offline as well as paid and earned no longer stand.  At the core of this new emerging paradigm is the leveraging of owned social media properties online to drive impressions of paid content offline, which are in turn configured to drive earned social media impressions online. Most brands executed this strategy in three phases. First, they released their ads prior to the game on YouTube. Second, they aired the ads in 30-second spots during the game. Third, they integrated Facebook profile URLs and Twitter hashtags in their TV ads. 

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Business Body Language 101: It's Not About What YOU Say, It's About Where YOU Sit

Business Body Language 101: It's Not About What YOU Say, It's About Where YOU Sit

“It has been well-established by researchers that those who can effectively read and interpret nonverbal communication, and manage how others perceive them, will enjoy greater success in life than individuals who lack this skill.” — Daniel Goleman, Emotional IntelligenceThere’s a lot to be said when it comes to observing the world around you. However, what you might not realize is that each and every time you sit down for a business meeting or on a job interview (or on a date) – you are, in fact, revealing something. Here are a few fun examples displaying different seating positions and what their hidden meanings are. The following information is from the international bestselling book The Definitive Book of Body Language by Allan and Barbara Pease. The Competitive/Defensive PositionFun Facts:

People tend to speak in shorter sentences from this position. People can recall less information from this position. People are more likely to argue from this position.

“In business scenarios, 56 percent saw the Competitive/Defensive Position as a competitive position, but in social situations, such as a restaurant, 35 percent saw it as conversational.” This works in the restaurant setting because this position allows for good eye contact. If Person B is trying to persuade Person A – this position is likely to reduce the probability of success, unless, of course, Person B wants to appear as a subordinate for strategy’s sake. “A.G. White conducted an experiment in doctors’ offices that showed that the presence or absence of a desk had a significant effect on whether a patient was at ease or not. Only 10 percent of patients were perceived to be at ease when the doctor’s desk was present and the doctor sat behind it. The figure increased to 55 percent when the desk was absent.”   The Cooperative PositionThis position occurs when two people are thinking on the same page. It’s a great position to build a connection and create a feeling of rapport. Fun Facts:

One of the best positions for presenting information and having the information accepted. Allows for great eye contact and the ability for light touch. Allows for body language mirroring and body language observation.

Key: You do not want to be seen as a threat (or creepy) when moving into this position. In Part 2 of “Body Language 101,” I’ll provide some insight on what facial expressions and what body language to look for to know whether it’s a go or it’s a no.  The Board RoomWho’s got the power?  According to body language experts Allan and Barbara Pease, Person B would be the most influential because he or she is at the head of the table and facing the door. A study was done by Strodtbeck and Hook and found that Person B was actually viewed as being from a high economic class as well. In addition, Person A and B are seen as being very task-oriented. On the power ladder, it goes A, B, D, C, and E.

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Egypt's Uprising Shows Us the "Global Village" Is Here: So What Does This Mean to Us as Communicators . . . and as Individuals?

Egypt's Uprising Shows Us the "Global Village" Is Here: So What Does This Mean to Us as Communicators . . . and as Individuals?

Marshall McLuhan’s prediction of nearly 50 years ago that we would be living in a Global Village — that the media will create common and shared experiences among everyone on the planet — was amazingly farsighted. We see clear evidence of this most every day now, with recent events in Tunisia, Egypt and now the broader Middle East as the latest — and certainly a most dramatic example of — McLuhan’s vision. But today with the proliferation of social media and its near worldwide presence and power, we also are seeing this relatively new media channel drive new behaviors, as well. In one moment, 6.8 billion of us seem to be riding the broad McLuhan media currents commonly shared by all but a few. In the next moment, we return to and spend time in smaller, highly defined communities or networks in which narrower bands of individuals from places throughout the world unite digitally and create, send, receive and react to information of specific interest — media tribalism, as McLuhan’s work suggested.

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The Courage of Our Convictions: U.S. Opportunity in Mideast, Africa Turmoil

The Courage of Our Convictions: U.S. Opportunity in Mideast, Africa Turmoil

If the United States has the courage of its democratic convictions – and patience — the revolutionary turmoil in the Middle East and Africa presents an epic opportunity for sharing our fundamental values.The core stimulus of these popular uprisings is the universal yearning for freedom, human rights, open and honest government, equal opportunity, and an improved standard of living and quality of life. It represents nothing less than a global generational inflection point: Although nationalism and ideology are certainly in the motivational mix, it is the liberal aspirations of “the young” that are dominant.We shouldn’t be surprised. There have been prophets.

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Egypt: A Revolution Made by Social Media

From Jon Higgins, Senior Partner and CEO, International, Ketchum:

As the protests in Egypt enter a third week, the world continues to be riveted while at the same time hoping for a peaceful resolution. During this crisis, Ramzi Raad, Chairman and CEO of TBWARAAD Middle East and Ketchum Raad Middle East in Dubai, has held a vantage point close to the eye of the storm. As one of the leaders of Ketchum Raad Middle East – a joint venture between Ketchum and TBWARAAD that includes over 60 people in offices in Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo, and more than 600 people through the TBWARAAD network of offices across the Middle East and North Africa – he offers a real-time case study of how social media has upended the one-way, agenda-setting communication model of a government and helped precipitate a spontaneous uprising by tens of thousands of citizens to demand a change in government leadership. Here Ramzi shares some observations. 

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Oversharing

“Hi, my name is Jonathan, and I am an oversharer.”

That’s probably how I’ll introduce myself when I call to order the inaugural meeting of Social Media Anonymous (“SMA”), the 12-step, self-help organization I plan need to launch for me and all the other location-obsessed citizens of the mobile/social Web.

What’s the issue? Where’s the concern? Why the intervention?

This notification I received from Foursquare says it all:

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What Would Walt Disney Do? (WWWDD)

“During Walt Disney’s first New York trip, when he was pushing Mickey and facing rejection, one distributor picked up a package of Life Saver candies. ‘The public knows Life Savers,’ he told Walt, ‘they don’t know you. They don’t know your mouse.’ That made an impression on Walt. As he recalled it years later, he said to himself, ‘From now on they’re going to know, if they liked the picture, they’re going to know what his name is.’ So on this trip he had decided to stage a full-scale assault on the animation industry and establish ‘Walt Disney’ as its undisputed leader — the Life Savers of animation.”At the beginning no effort to catapult Mickey Mouse into stardom was too small. Walt would even have friends call theaters asking what time the Mickey Mouse cartoon would show, and if they were told that there was no Mickey, Walt instructed them to ask why.”            — Walt Disney: The Triumph of the American Imagination, by Neal Gabler, pages 130 and 139 There are a lot of life lessons and communication lessons to take from this. I think to name three is playing it safe. The three lessons are these:

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Davos Dispatch IV: Captain Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger

This week, Ketchum President Rob Flaherty is attending the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum — which brings together 2,500 CEOs and government leaders in Davos, Switzerland — and is reporting his observations. On Jan. 31, he will host a special webinar open to the public, “Davos 2011: An Insider’s Guide to Key Insights,” in which he will recap his experiences.I can report that “Miracle on the Hudson” pilot Captain Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger has made as smooth a landing into the role of leadership guru as he did on New York’s icy river two years ago.Sullenberger in person is as reserved and disciplined as you’ve seen in interviews, but even more calm and dignified. The sense you get is that he knows he has unintentionally been thrust into the role of hero and role model, and now he has to live up to all of our rather high expectations for wisdom and integrity.

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