Becoming Professional: A Blog

Archive for February 2011

The book DigiMarketingThis book is a great introductory book on digital marketing. It’s a bit out of date, but the principles are still good. It’s actually a bit amusing and educational to see how the authors predicted the world would look a few years ago and compare it to what it actually looks like.

I would expect this good work from a book with Ogilvy’s name plastered on the front cover. The authors, Kent Wertime (from Ogilvy) and Ian Fenwick (from Sasin 25), certainly know what they are talking about and go in-depth on the subjects. And they cover a lot of subjects. This book is rather thick. Wertime and Fenwick cover the various digital channels that are making their way into marketing meetings. My favorite section was “Games: The New Hollywood,” but they also cover things like Television and IPTV. From there it is on to how to use all these channels. Here, Wertime and Fenwick do not go channel by channel. Instead, they, correctly, emphasize using channels together. They provide a step by step guide on how to do this.

It’s a very thorough book, but if you are looking for an in depth advanced read, look elsewhere. As their inclusion of a step-by-step guide on building a digital marketing plan might suggest, they are aiming for beginners. The authors take the tone of talking to newcomers who don’t know anything. They describe everything from the ground up. They do go into pretty good detail but you will probably know most of it already if you are already familiar with digital marketing.

But even an advanced practitioner can walk away satisfied. The authors provide a very interesting way of looking at digital channels and organize everything very nicely into trends and principles so that you can easily grasp the highlights and how that information all fits together. Even if you already knew the information, this is worthwhile. This is true both for their discussion on digital channels and their “How-To” section.

I also enjoyed the writing style. Regardless of the break out case studies in little boxes, a personal pet peeve of mine, it was quite easy to read. The conversational tone and the use of examples made it interesting.

So, I recommend this book. Again, it is a bit out of date, but as I’ve already stated, if you are already familiar with digital marketing, you’re reading this because of how they approach the structure. Be warned, though. It’s a bit hefty.

Image of a players avatar in Farmville

by RJ Bailey on Flickr

I used to play Restaurant City. I used to play a lot. For a while 12 hours a day. Of course I didn’t spend 12 hours sitting in front of my computer on Facebook. School, work, eating, bathing and all that. This is not a post about gamer addiction and hygiene problems.

So wait. How could I play the game 12 hours a day and yet have a life? This is actually more common then you’d think. Players tell a game “build a bridge,” “open my bakery,” “fight that enemy,” “grow a crop.” These actions take time, so while they are going on, the players go off and live their lives. This is part of why the games are “casual.” Players don’t have to constantly be there and devote all their attention to it in order to play. Don’t try this while playing World of Warcraft. You’ll spend the whole time wondering why you’re dead.

But this “casual” is a lie. The games are no less involving and no less addictive. That’s why people will always be there to water their Farmville crops. I once heard it suggested that if Zynga wanted to destroy productivity, they would change the watering cycle to once every 15 minutes. I was always right back on Restaurant City at the right time to get my bonus cash. We get rewarded for keeping our eyes on the clock and thinking about the game throughout the day.

And that’s why “ghost playing” is deceiving. It makes it seem like you can have fun and advance in the game without giving up your life, but, honestly, I prefer World of Warcraft. At least WoW is honest. Facebook games take over your life more subtly.

Our world is becoming game-ified. Games are occupying more of our time, even when we think we’re not playing. How do you think this will affect society? Multitasking is now much more than just what students do while surfing the net in class. It’s a part of work, and now fun.

Posted with WordPress for BlackBerry.

So Facebook did it again. They tweaked with the system and made people grumble. This time they changed how photos are displayed. As you can see, my picture of Fluff is now displayed in a window that looks a little like a slide-show program you mike have downloaded to your computer. Personally, I like the change. It looks sleek, the slide-show function is more prominent than before, and it doesn’t require pushing the back button when I want to get back to my news feed. I don’t even have to hit the “x” to close it. Apparently this was a frequently requested feature, but the reaction I’ve seen has been mixed.

Photograph displayed in Facebook

Really, though, is this anything to even grumble about? To be sure, I haven’t seen an uproar, but still. Why do we even care? One suggestion was that since we all use Facebook so frequently, when they change something it is like someone has rearranged our kitchen cupboards. I can see it. But honestly, this isn’t our kitchen. It’s not even our property. It’s Facebook’s. Yes, they seem to have a habit of changing things just to mess around (remember them changing the font size of our News Feeds? Yeah.) But that should make it all the more okay with us. We should be used to it. Yet we still have this, “What did you do?!” reaction.

We all feel like we own a bit of Facebook since we use it so often. But we don’t. Use does not convey ownership, particularly if the use is free.







by Horia Varlan

By now, I think we’ve all heard of Quora. Most of us, after hearing about it, asked, “What the heck is it?” The response: “The new Twitter,” or “It’s like Linked In Answers.”¬† I think those responses lead to false ideas of what Quora is, so after playing with the site for a week or so, here are 6 ways I have seen that Quora is actually quite unlike either Twitter or Linked In.

  1. Follow Answers Not Updates Quora¬† may be experiencing a whirl-wind popularity growth, but it doesn’t really resemble Twitter at all. The phrase, “The new Twitter” creates a link that’s not really there. On Quora, you only see what your contacts do in regards to the questions. Granted, you can “Post a Message to Your Followers,” but it is not a highlighted function by any means. Granted, the people who originally called it “The new Twitter” probably meant only the popularity growth, but misunderstandings happen.
  2. No Painful Lonely Stage Another way Quora is not Twitter is that it lacks that awkward “now what phase” all new Tweeters go through right after they sign up. They don’t know who to follow or what to Tweet. Quora, on the other hand, immediately asks if you want to follow the people you are following on Twitter. You can build off of all that work you’ve done on the older platform and avoid that painful lonely stage. If you’re not on Twitter, or just adventurous, you can follow categories you are interested in. In this way, Quora is actually more like one of my other favorite networks, Brazen Careerist. You see all questions tagged in that category. Example categories include “Advertising,” “Anime,” and “Neil Patrick Harris.”
  3. by betsyweber

    Relaxed Culture This brings me to how Quora is definitely not Linked In Answers. There’s not really anything professional in the “Anime” or “Neil Patrick Harris” categories. I suppose if you were a TV producer you would have some professional input, but in practice, that’s mostly a fan space. This extends even to the more “professional” categories. The Quora culture is just more relaxed and laid-back. With LI Answers, everyone is trying to show off and vie for the coveted Best Answer recognition. This makes Quora fun and not a task you do for your personal branding. Or whatever reason you have for using Linked In Answers.

  4. Conversations as well as Answers Another difference with Linked In Answers is that on Quora the questions can turn into conversations. In Linked In Answers, you can’t reply to your own question. As far as I can tell, you can in Quora. You can also reply multiple times to the same question, making a conversation possible. It’s a big plus for Quora and I hope they don’t get rid of it.
  5. Lots of Responses Another difference with Linked In Answers is that questions gather answers in multiples of 10. In Linked In Answers, people don’t seem to want to read other people’s responses. Not so in Quora. I happily read what other people had answered, and I’m sure I’m not alone. Of course questions on Linked In Answers can’t really rack up that many responses. They close after about a week. Questions on Quora can stay open forever.
  6. Very Thoughtful The reason why I happily read what others had posted is that the responses are interesting and more thought out than those on Linked In. Not saying the answers on Linked In aren’t good, it’s just that people tend to get more into them on Quora, providing responses that often resemble blog posts more than answers. For instance, one question I enjoyed, “What life lessons are unintuitive or go against common sense or wisdom?” has 41 responses, many quite interesting. The ability to bump good responses up in the list means that you don’t have to hunt for the gems, either, like Digg with web articles.

So in the end, Quora resembles other platforms, but mixes them together to make something new. I’m actually surprised it’s usually only compared to Linked In Answers when there are so many other cool techniques it’s taken from other websites. Of course, Quora will change and grow. It might even just change and fade. They may get rid of the “Post a Message to Your Followers” function or make it more important. But for right now, it is very different from Twitter and Linked In Answers.

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Who Am I?

I am a Digital Native who is trying to puzzle out what exactly that means. I share my thoughts on social media, digital business models, and PR here on this blog.

I am currently getting my Masters in Digital Marketing from Hult International Business School, having gotten my B.S. in Marketing from Arizona State University. Everything is on track and I am making headway towards my dream: World Domination... or being a productive, helpful citizen and marketer. Whichever comes first.

Don't hesitate to get in touch. I Tweet daily at @KateDavids and also have a science fiction and fantasy blog ( and Twitter (@Masked_Geek).

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