Nature Calls: Social Media Explained (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, Quora)

LinkedIn = I pee well.

Twitter = I need to pee.

Facebook = I peed!

Foursquare = I’m peeing here.

Quora = Why am I peeing?

Update March 19, 2001

G4Tv came out with this rendering of the evolving meme that was Nature Calls.


My answer to the client that asks “can you make this video viral?”

Updated with my ‘VIRAL’ submission for the Onion Sports Network One-Second Chance Super Bowl Contest2,500 views in under two weeks

How many times has a client approached you with a video on YouTube that has gone “viral” asking you to magically trend their content to the stratosphere.  Sadly, the answer is more often than not.  The problem is that viral is not a strategy, viral is an outcome.

Videos don’t go viral, promos don’t go viral, stories that touch the human psyche, those go viral.  The problem is the human psyche is one complex element that we have spent 1,000s of years trying to comprehend and still don’t.  So I shake my head whenever people who can’t even understand the behaviour of their own pets think they can magically make something go viral.

Fundamentally that is the problem with business today.  Everyone is looking for the magic bullet for success.  The problem is they need to first take a look why things backfire in the first place.  Sadly most people have no interest in doing the research and even less interest in doing the work it takes to change to align with the target they seek.

But what do I know 😉


My thanks to Trey Pennington for the inspiration to put my thoughts to words on this matter via our facebook chat today.

Today someone also asked me to provide my views on the entire Goldman Sachs Facebook Bubble issue. Here was my response.

Matt just pinged me to add my insight into this. Sadly, it would take forever for me to outlay my thoughts textually. I will however try to summarize it and will probably get sniped from all sides as I am skimming the surface on my insights on the subject.

However, here goes before I head back into the editing suite tonight to work on my latest podcast video.

1) Ad Revenue – there is actually quite a lot of money that changes hands here. However, most of that advertising revenue is one sided. In that Facebook is making money on them, but it truly doesn’t generate much sales to those posting the ads. We simply have gotten to a point where banner ads are being ignored and the click through rates are not indicative of actual hard money being exchanged between the consumers and vendors. So point for FB and Google for generating a cash inflow via the model, but not a real value proposition for a company doing a simply ad placement. What drives engagement and sales is a great story based campaign and the link needs to draw people to take vs. a me, me, me, buy, buy, buy page.

2) Semantic Data – this is an overly complex topic and honestly I am too tired right now to go into details. But simply stated, the Social Graph and the Semantic Data that goes with it is the basis for sooooo much down the road decision making from product development to statistical research to consumer insight to fundamentally all aspects of an economic model. As I told Matt, the easiest way to state this is look at what 6,000 people in Canada provide towards mapping out the viewing and listening patterns for radio and tv in Canada. Simply put, 6,000 people are statiscally expressed to represent 36 million Canadians and this drives the entire Radio and TV Economy that drives a Billion with a capital B industry. In addition, take something as simple as the census and what it drives from a governmental economy. Now FB has a population of 600 million right now. That is larger than 90% of the countries out there. So when you think about all of the economical, research and political implications involved with running a country, companies are heavily interested in that insight to drive similar economical models. This is were the real value of Google and FB lies.

3) Bubble – YES ’nuff said. Not because of the economical and statistical value of the database but because a bubble is driven by the ignorant and greedy…

K gotta get back to work.

On a side note, here are some elements that might be useful to gain a sense of all of this from a blog entry from today. Highly recommend listening to the podcast I was a guest on last week as well as watching the video on Three Gears of Social Media.

Rob / @RLavigne42

Today I got a call from a recruiter looking for a “2.0 guy”. Needless to say my reply shocked and surprised him.

Today I got a call from a recruiter that I know and respect.  I was however surprised to hear what company/position he was pitching to me.  You see I had previously applied to that company shortly before becoming a “2.0 guy” (Life@42: 2010/11/18/hello-world/).

When listening to what they were looking for (apart from a “2.0 guy”), I was shocked and saddened to hear that the role was more or less a carbon copy of the role they tried to fill over a year and a half ago.

I know what I have been able to achieve in that same timeframe by embracing the core social business elements of transparency, engagement and collaboration (#TDGv Collaboration).

I know how much I have progressed in the same timeframe by  understanding the real value of being a knowledge worker within a social business (My Thoughts Enclosed…).

I know what can be achieved in a short timeframe when you start incorporating communities, crowdsourcing and corporate alignment.

So I struggled to understand how this heavily funded organization could literally still be at the starting gate given the parallel timeframe we both shared.

You see not only had I applied for the role way back then, but I also know one of the consultants that used to work for that organization.  Between that inside knowledge and the obvious lack of forward momentum on their corporate goals, I issued many challenging questions before even considering sitting down for a potential interview.

There is a strong difference between hiring a “2.0 guy” and becoming a “2.0 organization”.  So instead of simply saying no thank you, I attempted to shed some light as to what the organization would actually have to do if they really wanted to not waste another year and a half of their time and someone else’s investment.

When all was said and done, I shared the following e-mail with him that I would like to share with you as well.  The e-mail contains artifacts that to me best exemplify the lessons that I have learned about what it means to be a “2.0 organization”.  I would hope that you all would take the time to listen and read these before thinking of hiring a “2.0 guy” to attempt to become a social business (and as such not #FAIL in your goals).

I am happy that you understood the difference between arrogance and a company being able to “handle the truth” as you put it. To me I would be simply taking a position for the money if there was not a real alignment and that would not serve either parties properly.

The following are great artifacts that will help you a) better understand my position, b) better align my value proposition and c) provide information that is much better than a resume for your clients. All that and provide you with some great social business guidance for you and your own brand.

Here is a recent podcast I was a guest on. There is a little promo message at the beginning, so just ignore that (either that or download it via iTunes)

Here is also a key blog entry that has been getting some good traction (with accompanying video that I did).

Finally here is an interview I did with an Iraqi blogger that targets GenY and Project Managers.

Brand Conversation with Robert Lavigne

Brand Conversation with Robert Lavigne

Which brings up the big question. How many of your candidates have been a guest on a successful BlogTalkRadio/iTunes Podcast, highlighted by a major community for his views on the use of Social Media, and featured in an entry in Iraq 😉

And to answer your question, how do you sell me (and make a cut). How about looking at your entire client base and ask the question “who would benefit from hearing this information?” Would be more than happy to keynote some sessions for your client base on the content that is outlined in the podcast and blog entries.

Take Care and Happy 2011.


Robert Lavigne (@RLavigne42) featured tonight on the Customer Experience Show (BlogTalkRadio)

Tonight I am the featured guest on Customer Experiencerss, a Blog Talk Radio Show.

The message is coming loud and clear. Customers want more! More respect, more choice, and more help! And they also want less! Less hassle, fewer procedures, less aggravation. They want a better experience every time they deal with you. Please join us to learn how to deliver that “more” and that “less” to your customers. Each week, trailblazing experts in Customer Experience will share what’s new, what’s exciting and what you can do to transform how your customers perceive you and your company. Interactive, provocative, test out new ideas, remember classic wisdom. Hear and be heard.

Among the questions that might be asked tonight are the following.  If you want to hear my answers, please tune in tonight Sunday, January 2, 2011 at 9pm ET.

Question 1:

Robert, tell us how you got into the social media scene, especially given you are of an age where you did not grow up with it.

Question 2:

As we get started, let’s define in two minutes or less, what you mean by “Social Media” and “Social Media Strategy”.

Question 3:

There are a lot of charlatans out there, claiming to know how to work social media for business. How do you tell those who actually know what they’re doing from those who claim they do?

Question 4:

Give me three good examples of how companies are using Social Media in practical day to day business of building exceptional Customer Experiences?

Question 5:

Can you also give some examples of what they are doing wrong?

Question 6:

Everyone wants to put the tag “Social” on everything.  Is Social CRM just another gimmick?  What does it really do to enhance Customer Relationships?

Question 7:

In your tag line you make reference to GenX and GenY.   What are the differences in expectations of Customer Experience by both groups?   What do companies need to know to serve these groups?   Can you give us some examples?

Question 8:

Surely not every company needs to use Social Media.  How does a company know if it should be looking at Social Media.  More important perhaps, what are the signs that a company really doesn’t need to pay that much attention to Social Media?

Question 9:

If a company could only do one thing in Social Media, what should it be?

Question 10:

What is the number one mistake they need to avoid?  Give some examples if you can.

Question 11:

If a company is just starting out, what are the top things that they should do to get started?

Question 12:

If it took you 2 years and 10,000 hrs to learn how to effectvely leverage social media, how is a company going to accomplish this?