Trends, commentary, and insightful rants from the bleeding edge of advertising, content & branding.

Sailing and the Art of Social Media

Man Overboard

Man Overboard

Let’s say you want to take sailing lessons. You go down to the pier, and pick up two brochures: one that’s glossy and slick, explaining how fun sailing is, with pictures of smiling sailors drinking champagne at sunset, put out by a well-known shipping company. The second one is obviously made on someone’s Macintosh, by two guys who live by the ocean, and tells you the nuts and bolts of what you’re going to learn.

Which company do you choose? Replace “sailing” with “social media” in the above paragraph, and it’s likely you’ll take the glossy brochure. Because they’re professional shippers, right? They know the ocean. They’ve been there before. The problem is, they have no idea how to actually get in the boat and push off the dock.

This is the trouble with PR firms right now. Their traditional media world is disintegrating around them, and they’re flinging themselves into social media like it’s water and they’re on fire. Because as Public Relations becomes less about newspapers (dying), magazines (gasping), broadcast (fragmenting) and blogs (moving to Twitter), the only thing they can see that makes sense as a future business model has an F at the beginning and a K at the end and has “aceboo” in the middle.

But PR companies are shipping companies: they are built to deliver big messages along traditional lines to create “news” and “events.” They are not built to scale. It’s likely that they got interested in social media about the same time you did, and are about the same place on the learning curve. It is also likely that they do not use social media.

This point bears repeating: while they know what social media is, and how it works, and who else is on there, if they don’t use it, they’re useless to you.

In social media, fluency is everything. Literally: everything. It changes so quickly that by the time most learn about a trend, the trend has played itself out: see “25 Random Things.” It’s not enough to be ahead of the curve. You need to be the curve. You don’t need PR. You need to know where social media will be tomorrow.

Creating and sustaining conversations with consumers, users, people requires a skill set built around engagement and participatory storytelling. Frankly, if the engine of online today is conversation then the fuel is content.  To keep the conversation going, to keep the dialogue moving requires more than just words in the air, it requires the ability to develop social tools (apps, widgets, etc.) and useful content (video, games, etc.) and cede some control to your consumers.  Sure, we (agency/brand/whomever) need to participate in those conversations but it starts with a strategic understanding of the sandbox we want to create and the technical capacity to create the right pails and shovels to go in that sandbox.

And not to toot our own horn – or, screw it, that’s exactly what we’re doing. If you’re at all serious about social media, you need people like us. Geeks with ideas. Plugged-in members of the technorati with a marketing background. We’re rare. We’re effective. And most importantly, we know how to sail.

Filed under: social media, , , , , , ,

Pinch Media Data Shows The Average Shelf Life Of An iPhone App Is Less Than 30 Days

sadiphone1Pinch Media Data Shows The Average Shelf Life Of An iPhone App Is Less Than 30 Days

You mean “iFart” isn’t an indispensable part of your iPhone usage? Two words, people: BE USEFUL.

Posted using ShareThis

Filed under: Uncategorized

CoTweet: The Twitter CRM Tool of Choice for BestBuy, JetBlue, and Ford


CoTweet: The Twitter CRM Tool of Choice for BestBuy, JetBlue, and Ford

Is Twitter finally about to start getting some respect? As the user base nears (already past?) 10 million this tweet thing is looking like it might hang around a while.  Still, IMHO, a best bet only for the brave, committed corporation/brand.

Posted using ShareThis

Filed under: Uncategorized

Sometimes you just appreciate a nice music video (remember those?)…

…..”Happy Up Here” courtesy of Royksopp (thanks.) “Space Invaders,” anyone?

Filed under: Uncategorized, , , ,

Super Genius ‘house band’ helping save Mr. Beef

“Supra Genius” (the Super Genius house band – see what we did there with the spelling) is lending a hand to beloved Chicago food icon Mr. Beef. On Friday March 6th, Supra Genius will holding a  benefit concert – dubbed Beef Aid – at the Beat Kitchen (2100 w. belmont @ 10pm.)  This event is in concert (ha!) with the “Keep Mr. Beef Alive” grassroots movement started by Chicago do-gooder and beef-loving adman Mark DiPietro.  “Keep Mr. Beef Alive” has been getting some good pub locally, and just did a star turn on the local FOX newscast and in the pages of the Chicago Tribune. For those of you unfamiliar with the drama, here’s the cliff notes…

“When Mark DiPietro of ad agency Jacobson Rost read that the banks had called
for MR BEEF to pay his $650,000 loan in full, a switch went off.
“I am new to Chicago, just moved from Detroit where the recession has been
in full swing for some time.  When I would tell people that I work at Erie
and Orleans they inevitably say, yeah, that’s by MR BEEF Jay Leno’s favorite
restaurant in Chicago.” “Mr BEEF is a landmark, a neighbor, and selfishly I
enjoy their wet, sloppy old school beefs.”

So Mark decided to do something about it starting a “Keep Mr. Beef Alive”
page on facebook that has spawned a number of related groups rallying to
support MR BEEF. This Thursday March 5th at 12:30, Mark will give FREE BEEFS
for the first 50 people to line up at Mr. Beef 666 N. Orleans. Go to
facebook for details, or just show support by heading to MR BEEF. Whether
coincidence or just good karma, local TNT show “Trust Me”, written by former
Chicagoans Hunt Baldwin and John Coveney, mentioned MR BEEF numerous times
in last nights episode. Seems the Chicago creative community is fueled by
MR. Beef sandwiches.”

Filed under: rock and roll, , , , ,


Super Genius LLC is a digital media and creative incubator that excels at bringing fresh, new thinking to existing strategy as well as blank-page strategic development. Our mission is to open up unique and exciting ways of connecting brands and consumers.

"The future is here, it's just not evenly distributed yet." William Gibson

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