Answering questions in Turkish on the future of digital marketing


One of the best parts of my work as a keynote speaker is visiting places I have never been before. As such I’m delighted to be doing the opening keynote at IPZ2009, the digital marketing summit in Istanbul, on October 21. I haven’t yet had the opportunity to visit Turkey so I’m very much looking forward to it.

In the lead-up to the event the prominent Turkish online site Buzla is running a virtual interview with me. People can ask questions in Turkish and vote on the questions, with the most popular questions asked to me in a video interview. The deadline for questions is September 11, and the interview will be up on September 14. Click here to ask questions (in Turkish only) and for more information.

For those who don’t read Turkish, you might enjoy the fairly psychedelic promotional video on the site, which seems to associate me with teddy bears drinking hard liquor (though I might be mistaken :-) ).


Measuring people’s clout: what matters


In the wake of Future of Influence Summit last week, Seth Godin has done a short post titled Clout that neatly sums up one of the key themes of the event, and an issue that I and many others think is enormously relevant today. This subject is coming to the fore, as I suggested iin the second of Five key trends in how influence is transforming society.

I don’t think Seth will mind if I put the full post here, as it doesn’t really bear excerpting (as long as I include a solid plug for his awesome blog!)


The web knows something, but it’s not telling us, at least not yet.

The web knows how many followers you have on Twitter, how many friends you have on Facebook, how many people read your blog.

It also knows how often those people retweet, amplify and spread your ideas.

It also knows how many followers your followers have…

So, what if, Google-style, someone took all this data and figured out who has clout. Which of your readers is the one capable of making an idea break through the noise and spread? Bloggers don’t have impact because they have a lot of readers, they have a lot of impact because of who their readers are (my readers, of course, are the most sophisticated and cloutful on the entire web).

If you knew which of your followers had clout, you could invest more time and energy in personal attention. If we knew where big ideas were starting, that would be neat, and even more useful would be understanding who the key people were in bringing those new ideas to the rest of the world.

Back in the old days, we had no idea, so we defaulted to big newspapers, or magazines or the TV networks. But now we know. We just need to surface the data in a way that is useful.

I’ll be writing a lot more on this topic and how this can best be done in coming weeks and months.

Measuring influence on Twitter: the state of the art progresses step by step


Influence is the topic of the moment (as well as the next decade). In the wake of our very successful Future of Influence Summit earlier this week, not one but two significant studies of influence on Twitter were released today.

An extensive study titled The Influentials: New Approaches for Analyzing Influence on Twitter, created measures for relative influence, tracking in detail 12 popular users. Commentary on this further down in this post, and a nice visual showing response density to these users below.


Rapleaf, whose CEO Auren Hoffman spoke at Future of Influence Summit, released a quite different report showing the change in the structure of the Twitter ecosystem in the period late-March to mid-June of this year, during which time Twitter usage grew 60%. Rapleaf, in the course of doing a study to identify influencers in one of their clients’ customer community, came up with some interesting statistic in the dynamics of the most prominent Twitter users.


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Quick review: Social media coverage of Future of Influence Summit


I was very happy to be able to sleep in this morning after Future of Influence Summit. While I haven’t had a full debrief from the Sydney side of the event yet, it was a fantastic event on the San Francisco side, and I’ve had great feedback so far on what happened in Sydney.

Influence and reputation are now key issues on the agenda for any organization. At the Summit, we began to tease out the many issues that will be critical moving forward. I will spend some time digesting what was discussed and pull together some structured thoughts in the next little while.

We will also post videos of a couple of the sessions soon.

For now, it’s worth reviewing what attendees at the event captured on social media during the event – together these provide a great overview of the Summit.

Twitter stream for #foi09

Blog posts: (In no particular order – more coming soon I believe):

Mick Liubinskas: Live from Future of Influence Summit

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Five key trends in how influence is transforming society


I just got off an interview on the future of influence on 2SM radio which lasted almost 15 minutes – close to a record for my interviews on live AM radio, which tends to do 3-5 minute segments. The talk show host was clearly fascinated by the issues of how influence is shifting away from people like him, and towards the unwashed masses.

In the interview, done in the lead-up to Future of Influence Summit which is on next week in Sydney and San Francisco, I discussed the social transformation wrought by the changing influence landscape, and pointed to key five trends driving this change:

1. Influence is democratized

It used to be that people were influential by virtue of their position, such as CEO, journalist, or politician. In a world of blogging, Twitter, and social media anyone can become highly influential, shaping how we think, behave, and spend. Companies can ignore no-one. As many more become heard, a truer democracy will emerge.

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What are the business models for influence and reputation – today and in the future?


One of the most exciting topics of Future of Influence Summit next week is exploring the business models for influence and reputation.

This is an issue which is better addressed in San Francisco/ Silicon Valley than anywhere else, and we have an extraordinary panel lined up to address the topic of Business Models for Influence and Reputation at 2:20 – 3:10pm Pacific Time.

Some of the questions I see include:

* Will there be new mechanisms for individuals to monetize their influence?

* What products or services will advertisers and marketers spend money on in seeking to tap influence?

* Will advertising spending be driven primarily by influence?

* What are models for monetizing the measurement of influence and reputation?

* Who will take the bulk of the value? Will it be the influencers themselves, or intermediaries in the emerging ecosystem?

Let’s take a very quick glance at the people speaking on the panel and what they’re doing – absolutely a star-laden cast.

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Brian Solis at Future of Influence Summit: Putting the Public Back in Public Relations!


When we started organizing Future of Influence Summit, our minds turned immediately to Brian Solis, who is himself one of the most central influencers and thought leaders in this rapidly emerging space.

So it’s awesome that Brian is speaking at the Summit, providing his insights on Influence at the Center of Marketing and Advertising.

Brian’s blog PR 2.0 is essential reading on the topic, and he also often guest blogs for TechCrunch. Just a few of his prominent posts that are particularly relevant to the future of influence include:

Full Disclosure: Sponsored Conversations on Twitter Raise Concerns, Prompt Standards (Great post, will write more about later)

Identifying and Connecting with Influencers

Real-Time Conversations Gain in Influence, Hasten Social CRM

Unveiling the New Influencers

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Marshall McLuhan’s view on the “social media expert”


I was just asked “what is a social media expert”?

Marshall McLuhan is still the oracle. Here is one of my favorite quotes from the master.

“Professionalism merges the individual into patterns of total environment. Amateurism seeks the development of the total awareness of the individual and the critical awareness of the groundrules of society. The amateur can afford to lose. The professional tends to classify and specialise, to accept uncritically the groundrules of the environment. The groundrules provided by the mass response of his colleagues serve as a pervasive environment of which he is contentedly unaware. The ‘expert’ is the man who stays put.”

– Marshall McLuhan

In other words, a “social media expert” is an oxymoron – it cannot exist. The true trailblazers who forge new paths for the rest are the amateurs, the ones who are continually trying new things because they do NOT know. Anyone who truly understands social media would never pretend otherwise.

I wrote down this quote a dozen years ago because it so accurately reflected the way I felt about ‘professionals’ and ‘amateurs’. Amidst today’s extraordinary pace of change this outlook is in fact far more relevant than it ever has been before.

Celebrate the amateur!

A futurists’ dinner: the future of content and remote engagement


Last night media futurist Gerd Leonhard , Richard Watson, author of Future Files: A History of the Next 50 Years, and I caught up for dinner. Gerd is in Sydney for the first time for a couple of events, including The Insight Exchange’s Creating Value With Content on Tuesday (see the event review), and Richard happens to be in Sydney amidst a hectic global speaking schedule.


We had a fascinating discussion, largely on the future of content, and in particular how to leverage our own content. As futurists (I will write a blog post soon on ‘why I am happy to be called a futurist’ – that’s another story) what we sell is content in a variety of formats.

The most prominent monetizable channels we have are speaking, consulting (which can take a variety of forms), and books and reports (which now also can be packaged and sold in multitude of ways). Of course we all throw out plenty of free content on the web as part of the mix.

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Insights and notes from Creating Value With Content event


The Insight Exchange’s Creating Value With Content event on Tuesday was a fantastic success. As so many of the attendees observed, this topic is at the heart of many businesses today. While content in the broadest sense is more and more central to the economy, there are many challenges, not least with pricing and distribution, whether the content is music, film, books, news, advertising, or simply the flow of communication that sustains human and business relationships.

Gerd Leonhard and I have been trying to do something together for a few years now, so it was great The Insight Exchange was able to take advantage of his first visit to Australia to run this event. In addition to Gerd’s far-reaching insights and global perspective the event brought together top-level views on the world of content from Agency, Brand, and Publisher perspectives.

Below are my rough notes taken during the event. In addition definitely read Gerd Leonhard’s blog post Creating value with Content: The Future of Marketing and Advertising (my Sydney presentation), and see his presentation slides here.

We’ll shortly add links to the other presentations made at the event.


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