Saturday, May 22, 2010

Why I heart Kickstarter

I've heard lots about Kickstarter, although I never used it until a few minutes ago when I wanted to support a friend of mine who is distributing his movie.

I was committed to doing this, and I knew I was probably going to have to create a profile, enter my credit card, blah, blah, blah. You know the feeling--the little sigh you make when you realize you're going to lose five minutes of your life.

But Kickstarter is different, and I was pleasantly surprised. I put in my bid amount, then I had the option to sign in with Facebook, and then .... wait for it ... I got to check out with Amazon! I think it took 30 seconds total, not to mention that it seriously made me smile. More sites should pay attention to this type of user experience, it's definitely best in class.

Easy peasy, which on a sunny Saturday afternoon is just what I needed.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Most social media experts are fakes

There. I said it. And I don't regret it.

Mind you, I know a few really brilliant social media experts who I totally respect. That said, the majority of "experts" I have met seriously don't know what they are talking about.

Social Media Club Seattle is hosting an event on May 18 to help folks figure this out. I have a few thoughts on the topic myself which I wanted to share. Here are three quick ways to decipher the real deal.

Step 1
Look three years back at a person's resume. If they were a) not working in the Internet industry; or b) in school, they are probably not an official expert in the space. Social media is more than 30 years old, if a so-called expert "discovered" social media three years ago, be suspect.

Step 2
Ask your expert who in the social space inspires them. There is a very active academic and professional community of true experts. If your expert can't name anyone or hesitates to respond, be leery. I can name 10 people in 30 second. Ask me if your interested and I would be happy to tell you more.

Step 3
Find out what your expert thinks is on the horizon. What excites them about the next 3 to 5 years? There's so much happening in the ever-evolving Internet realm. Did you know there is an open EEG movement? Have you heard about the Internet of Things? Maybe you haven't, but your expert should have.

So who owns social media if not the so-called experts? I'm writing about that for the Microsoft MIX blog. Stay tuned and I'll let you know when that's published.