Nomadic Marketing Joburg One of the great things about UCT GSB is its location: historic buildings, walking distance to the Waterfront, and with epic mountain views. Hence it's very rare for an open-enrollment course to be hosted away from the home turf. This year, however, we've decided to try bring the highly successful Nomadic Marketing programme to Gauteng.

It's going to be happening a little sooner than I expected though, due to a very tight academic schedule this year: 17th - 19th February. Due to this, we're expecting a smaller class than normal, which will make the learning context more personal.

Nomadic Marketing is targeted at Media and Marketing execs who need to know how to integrate social media into their current campaigns and strategies. We approach the subject from three perspectives:

1. Tools and Technologies: Learning the basic technical components of new-media marketing and social-media communication

2. Management and Optimization: Ensuring that the tools and technologies are used effectively, managing and optimizing their performance
3. Strategy and Integration: How to integrate the Nomadic Marketing approach into traditional campaigns.

The lecturing faculty have been chosen based not only on their knowledge and experience in Social Media, but their ability to communicate their insights. Among the confirmed faculty are: Khaya Dlanga (transmedia storytelling); Arthur Goldstuck (the stats on social media); Melissa Attree (Social Media PR); Walter Pike (integrating Social Media into a holistic brand strategy); Mike Stopforth (explaining social media); Nic Haralambous (Publishing and Filtering); Jon Cherry (Experiential Social-Media); and Vincent Maher (Mobile Social Media); Gregor Rohrig (Avusa iLab case study); Ingrid Rubin (ORM); Scott Gray (BMW Case Study) and Jarred Cinman (Measurement and Tracking).

The course notes are drawn from leading experts from around the world, and include reference articles that are gathered up to the week prior to the programme running to ensure freshness and relevance of the content and informaton. Additionally, delegates all receive a prescribed textbook that covers the basics of e-marketing.

There will also be a number of case-studies from entrepreneurs, big-media players and corporates who have used social media.

Please mention the course to anyone who you think may be interested in it, as we need to have a certain amount of people signed up to go ahead with it. Also, feel free to contact me directly, or click through to the course website for more info. I will, of course, keep you posted with updates.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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eMarketing TextbookCongratulations to the Quirk team who have just released the first edition of their eMarketing textbook. Just before it was published I was sent a digital copy to review, and I found it to be thorough, well written and full of good examples and explanations.

Furthermore, the book has been published under the Creative Commons. This means that if you download or buy the book, you can copy, remix and share it with as many other people as you like (as long as you don't sell your copies).  I believe will go a long way in increasing the knowledge and expertise of eMarketing in South Africa.

All delegates on the upcoming Nomadic Marketing programme in October will get a copy of this book, and I think that it will help re-enforce all the fundamentals of eMarketing which are necessary in order to create truly extrodinary campaigns.

Checkout the book website, where you can download a free .pdf version of the textbook, or order your print version.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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Web 2.0

The term "Web 2.0" is derived from a naming convention in software, where upgrades that are released in the market get numbered (like Verstion 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 etc). This seems to suggest that the software of the internet has been upgraded, which isn't entirely correct. However, the term is still useful if you look at it as a massive shift in the way the web is being used. Essentially, "Web 2.0", refers to the functionality built into websites that allows people to more easily put their own information on them, to share it with others, and collaborate with them. These websites, then, shift from being simply "websites", to being tools or "applications".

The next "version" of the web (likely to be dubbed "Web 3.0) will allow these websites to integrate with each other even more effectively and naturally - so, for example, you will be able to incorporate many of the sites you regularly visit into one website, which also synchronizes your information, friends and updates so you don't have to repeat yourself all over the place!

Social Media

Social Media, simply put, is a form of media created by people who post information (be that pictures, articles, videos, comments or votes) using Web 2.0 applications (such as blogs etc.). It is primarily driven by Amateurs, although big media companies have started integrating social media into their traditional offering too. This is part of what makes social-media special: it can incorporate other forms of media, increase it's reach into niche communities of interest that are inter-connected on social-media platforms, and enhance it's impact and effect by allowing interaction. So in social-media, the audience can become collaborators.

For this reason, the flow and process of creating Social-Media is often likened to a Conversation, which happens even if no-one actually speaks directly to any person in particular! Social Media depends on interactions between people as the discussion and integration of words, images, and sounds around a multitude of subjects and feelings builds shared-meaning around topics and experiences. For example, if a number of people who attend the same event post their own pictures, blog posts, and videos of it online, then by looking at the array of media around this event anyone will have a better understanding of it than if they just read one newspaper report on it.

Social Computing

Social computing a broader term, which incorporates Social Media. It refers specifically to the "sense-making" effect of all the interactions that are carried out by groups of people online. This is an idea that has been popularized in James Surowiecki's book, The Wisdom of Crowds. Examples of social computing in this sense include collaborative filtering(such as on Muti.co.za), online auctions, prediction markets, reputation systems, computational social choice, tagging, and verification games (A great example is Google's Image Labeler game).

A paper on Social Computing by market research company Forrester Research states:
Easy connections brought about by cheap devices, modular content, and shared computing resources are having a profound impact on our global economy and social structure. Individuals increasingly take cues from one another rather than from institutional sources like corporations, media outlets, religions, and political bodies. To thrive in an era of Social Computing, companies must abandon top-down management and communication tactics, weave communities into their products and services, use employees and partners as marketers, and become part of a living fabric of brand loyalists.

Although these applications are easy to engage with and use, they can be potentially destructive, and costly to organizations and individuals who don't have a strategy and an understanding about what they hope to achieve by engaging with other people on the web in this way.

The term "Social Computing" is often used interchangeably with the term "Web 2.0", although as the Forrester report points out:
Web 2.0 is about specific technologies (blogs, podcasts, wikis, etc) that are relatively easy to adopt and master. Social Computing is about the new relationships and power structures that will result. Think of it another way: Web 2.0 is the building of the Interstate Highway System in the 1950s; Social Computing is everything that resulted next (for better or worse): suburban sprawl, energy dependency, efficient commerce, Americans’ lust for cheap and easy travel.

The following short video, produced by Prof. Michael Wesch as part of the Digital Ethnography working group at Kansas University, demonstrates these concepts well:

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Nomadic MarketingAs you may know, I direct a programme at UCT Graduate School of Business called Nomadic Marketing, which has come to be known as South Africa's leading Social-Media primer for marketing executives.

The concept of Nomadic Markets was born out of a growing awareness that the statically defined "markets" we traditionally targetted were rapidly becoming more diverse and fragmented. Also, the idea that a person is a passive receptacle of marketing information is past it's sell-by date.  The markets of today are on the move.

So Nomadic Marketing, addresses these three core issues and presents a more dynamic approach to marketing, which necessitates engagement, conversation, and a more dynamic, responsive approach to marketing planning.

Specifically, we look at a world where the dynamism of markets of the future is most pronounced - the web. We bring in thought-leaders and innovators in the space. Not just people who can talk the talk, but people who have proven success in taking their concepts to market.

The technical component of the programme equips delegates with the resources, tools and know-how to execute comprehensive online campaigns incorporating email, blogs, wikis, social-networks, podcasts, widgets, tagging, Search Engines, Social Media Optimization, and Mobile applications. Tactically, we give people case-studies and information around the reach and effectiveness of these tools in the South African and international context; issues around Law and Licensing, and issues around corporate security. Strategically, we engage top thinkers in the space around innovative communication strategies for the future; provide case-studies for inspiration; and facilitate processes that allow delegates to tap into their own creativity to pull together brilliant campaigns in this space.

Lecturers on the programme give superb notes, and approach the content in an engaging way - as per UCT GSB's "Alchemical Learning" model, which emphasises conversation over didactic teaching. They are also advised to look at the subject from a critical, rather than descriptive angle, which gives more depth to the content than would typically be found in a conference on the subject.

Past delegates have mentioned that the content on the programme was matched by the value of the networking and new contacts made through the it - not only with the faculty, but with the other delegates. Due to this, we are pioneering a new approach to executive education where not only do the delegates co-create the material in class, but we nurture an ongoing community of past-delegates who will meet once every two months on an ongoing basis to share reflections on their  learnings and progress. There are also a host of web-based services that we make available only to lecturers, delegates and alumni.

If you'd like to know more, you can check out the course blog HERE, or get in contact with Junita ( Abrahams@gsb.uct.ac.za or 021 406 1323 ).

If you are a blogger, reporter, podcaster, or otherwise involved in the media, let me know if you would like more info or would like an interview with myself or any of the faculty - info@daveduarte.co.za
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AuthorDave Duarte
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Do you ever get so overwhelmed with information that you end up procrastinating on all the things you should be doing to be productive?

If so, you're not alone - a lot of work is going undone.

There seems to a looming Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) emerging from the debris of the Facebook explosion in SA.

Here are some of the symptoms of organizational ADD, as outlined in the book The Attention Economy by Thomas H. Davenport and John C. Beck:
1. An increased likelihood of missing key information when making decisions.
2. Diminished time for reflection on anything but simple information transactions such as email and voice mail
3.Difficulty holding other's attention (for instance, having to increase the glitziness of presentations and the number of messages to get and keep attention)
4. Decreased ability to focus when necessary

Despite our hunger for new information constantly, the fact is, having too much information to process often keeps us from doing what we need to when we should.

If we believe that humans work best when they have some time to reflect before acting, we need to assess how much room we have for concerted attention and reflection. If you run an attention deficit too often or too long, there will eventually be serious psychological and organizational consequences.

I wrote a Thought Leader article, entitled The Business of Free, on this subject a few days ago because it's concerning me greatly right now.

I think the issue is not so much around how much information we take in, but rather how much irrelevant information we're expected to process in order to take action.

Of course, many of us are already sifting out the most obvious culprit - Online Advertising. Especially where it seems intrusive. According to a recent Business Week article, as few as 4 in 10,000 people (0.04%) who see ads on social networks click on them, compared to 20 in 10,000 (0.2%) across the web. Simply put, people are using social-media for connection, not consumption.

We need to rethink the way we communicate with people. As Uwe Gutschow puts it:
Brands should be helping people connect and share things better. Provide tools.

I'm still working out ways to manage my organization along the lines of Attention rather than Time and Information. I'll let you know how it goes. In the meantime, please have fun in the comments and suggest some ways to refine your focus, and filter out irrelevant information.

p.s. We've just put up the new dates for the Nomadic Marketing programme at UCT GSB, where we explore solutions to this problem with the leading Marketing minds in SA.
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AuthorDave Duarte
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Kindo LogoSouth African  ex-pat, Gareth Knight,  just mailed me about the success of his recently launched startup Kindo, an online family tree application.

They've managed to signup users around the world by very quickly offering it in 14 different languages.  Of course, having startup capital from the guys behind Skype and Last.fm  must have helped that along nicely.

Translation into the other languages was a smart move, because they access market verticals on a regional level. According to TechCrunch, this creates a barrier to entry for other would-be players in this space.

Despite the popularity of sites like MySpace and Facebook globally, there are many examples of social-network success on a regional level:

  •  Skyrock is the biggest social network in France (Alexa Rank 2), bigger than WindowsLive, YouTube, Yahoo or Ebay there;

  • StudiVZ (Germany) is the biggest soc. net. in Germany and the 6th biggest site in Germany (Alexa);

  • There are at least 10-15 massively successful local social networks, some more of them are vkontakte.ru (Russia), Mynet.com (turkey), netlog.com (Benelux+France)...


I sincerely hope that we see the same patterns emerge in South Africa, and we start seeing sites like Zoopy.com, MyVideo.co.za, Afrigator.com, Amatomu.co.za, Laaik.it, and Muti.co.za out-ranking their international counterpart's  traffic in our country.  Do you think is likely?
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