Friday Wrap #15: Trademark stupidity, crowdsourced curation, top social brands, Seesmic acquired2012-09-07
Image (c) Can Stock PhotoDid you miss me last week? The Brazil trip turned into a longer stay than I planned, thanks to airport closures due to Hurricane Isaac. But I’m back, so let’s wrap the week! This is my (mostly) weekly review of items that crossed my newsfeeds over the last seven days that are interesting enough to report but didn’t make it as a standalone blog post. It’s all derived from my link blog, which you’re always free to visit or subscribe to.
Feel free to call it “social business.” Just don’t call it the “social enterprise”
File this under: “Really?” If ever there was a generic term, “social enterprise” is one. I’ve used in in phone, email and face-to-face conversations with clients. I haven’t done a search to verify it, but I bet I’ve used it in blog posts. But I’d better stop. Salesforce actually wanted to trademark the term in the US, the EU, Australia and Jamaica, but they’ve given up the effort and agreed to remove the term from its marketing materials because, it seems, there’s a UK company calledSocial Enterprise UK (SEUK). The company launched a concerted campaign, featuring the hashtag #Notinourname, leading Salesforce honcho Marc Benioff to issue a statement claiming, “It was never our intention to create confusion in the social sector which we have supported since our founding. As a result of the feedback we received, salesforce.com has decided to withdraw its efforts to trademark the term ‘social enterprise’ and plans to discontinue its use in our marketing.”
Confusion? What’s confusing is not knowing whether you can use a generic term like ‘social enterprise’ in a talk or a blog post without running afoul of the trademark stormtroopers. Since SEUK has announced that it now plans to “ensure that this respect for the name and the mission of the social enterprise movement holds beyond the Salesforce.com family,” you’ll be better off calling it something else. And maybe trademarking that name so you don’t find yourself crushed under SEUK’s heel.
SEUK, by the way, sees its definition as the cornerstone of a global movement that countenances no room for alternative definitions (and they’ve got the force of the law behind them).
Read the full report by Eileen Brown on ZDNet.
The Brooklyn Museum crowdsources curation
The Brooklyn Museum is planning an exhibition in which the art on display will be selected based on crowdsourced input. “GO: A community-curated open studio project,” kicks off tomorrow and Sunday, when anyone can visit any of 1,860 registered studios in the New York burrough; those who visit at least five studios over the weekend will be able to cast their votes online for their favorites. The curators at Brooklyn Museum will then choose the works for display from the studios of the 10 artists to get the most votes.
“This is really about opening their doors to neigbhbors,” according to Shasron Matt Atkins, managing curator of exhibitions. Chief of Technology Shelley Bernstein also likes the element of surprise. “We genuinely don’t know what will happen.”
Since we’re talking about art, it should come as no surprise that some are critical of the idea. After all, how can a museum allow the great unwashed to choose art for an exhibit? Atkins dismisses the doubters, though, noting that the commitment required to visit five galleries should weed out those without the art chops to make good decisions.
It’s not the museum’s first crowdsourced exhibition; a 2008 project involved some 3,500 art lovers evaluating the work of 389 local photographers.
I found the story by Julia Halperin on ArtInfo.
So much for leveling the playing field
The biggest brands in social media are (drum roll, please) the biggest brands everywhere else. Coca-Cola leads all brands for social media impressions, generating nearly 1.5 billion impressions in July. Apple comes in second with only half Coke’s impressions. Next on the list are Google, Amazon, Samsung, Starbucks, Burger King, Sprite, Microsoft, and McDonald’s.
And you thought social media gave you the chance to stand out in the crowd. Silly you.
Joe Mandese has the story in Online Media Daily.
Adobe capitalizes on convergence with Adobe Social
We’ve been talking a lot lately about convergence—the idea that you can’t silo earned, owned, paid and social media and let these separate departments just do their own thing. Coordination around content and message is vital. Adobe apparently gets that. The company best known for fonts and the PDF format is releasing Adobe Social, which will consolidate the company’s various digital and social marketing properties with a proprietary social analytics platform” according to Tim Peterson, writing for Adweek.
According to Senior VP Brad Rencher, general manager of Adobe’s Digital Marketing unit, Adobe Social will focus on two social marketing issues: taking advantage of data to drive decisions and breaking social media out of the silo where it has been trapped.
At the product’s core is “actionable data, including metrics such as how often a brand has been mentioned, how many users are interacting with the brand on facebook and twitter and of those users who are the most influential.” Adobe Social has been in closed beta since last spring with select Adobe business partners.
HootSuite acquires Seesmic
Usually I see news of acquisitions like this in a dozen different places, but this one managed to elude me. HootSuite has adcquired Seesmic, one of its competitors in the social media dashboard space. A price for the purchase hasn’t been revealed, but TechCrunch is reporting that the price will be determined by the number of Seesmic users who adopt HootSuite. The Verge article where I learned the news cites HootSuite CEO Ryan Holmes justifying the purchase as a means of building its enterprise user base, which is now at about 4.5 million; it’s estimated Seesmic has about 30-40,000. If you’re Seesmic enterprise user, fear not; HootSuite will continue supporting it as business users make the switch. Consumer users, on the other hand, are just being “encouraged to explore new tools, apps and features available at Twitter.com.”
Seesmic founder and CEO Loic LeMeur will stick with the company through the changeover.
Here’s the Verge story from Amar Toor.
Mobile ads seem to be working
An impressive number of smartphone users have seen and responded to mobile advertising, according to a new survey from Frank N. Magid Associates, produced for the Online Publishers Association. According to “A Portrait of Today’s Smartphone User,” 93% of smartphone users regularly access content and information, and 39% of them (or 36% of all smartphone users) have responded to mobile advertising.
The number of people responding to ads is actually higher among users who access paid content. Nearly a quarter of smartphone owners have paid for content (22% paying for video, 21% for entertainment, 21% for books, 19% for weather). Among them, nearly 80% have engaged with an ad, 31% clicking on it, 30% using a coupon or special offer, 27% making a purchase later using a laptop or PC, and 24% going to a store to make a purchase based on the content of the ad.
But wait; there’s more: Consumers of paid content also have a better perception of mobile ads, with nearly 30% calling the “eye-catching,” 26% saying they’re relevant and 25% labeling them unique and interesting.
Erik Sass wrote the article reporting on the survey in Online Media Daily.
Is it too late for Susan G. Komen for the Cure?
I read an article in my local daily newspaper the other day noting that participation in the Susan G. Komen walk planned for this Sunday in San Francisco is down by half from last year, and contributions have fallen nearly 65%. This may not be surprising on first blush; after all, San Francisco is the last place you’d expect to find a lot of support for hobbling Planned Parenthood, which was the intent of steps taken by the Komen leadership that led to a raft of resignations, apologies and about-faces. But the San Francisco chapter took less than 24 hours to denounce its parent organization’s actions. That should be enough, you might think, to maintain local support. Alas, that wasn’t the case.
Now comes word that Susan G. Komen for the Cure is launching a national ad campaign focusing on survivor stories in hopes of becoming a survivor itself. According to an Advertising Age piece by Alexandra Bruell, it may be a lost cause. The pieces quoates Carol Cone, chairman of Edelman’s Good Purpose group, noting that “Komen did power the breast cancer movement, but this [misstep] was so visceral for people on the left and right.” She also notes that because the not-for-profit sector has gotten savvier about corporate sponsors, “there are more choices now.”
Gene Grabowski, executive VP and crisis expert at Levick, says that “tird parties speaking on [Komen’s] behalf” is what is needed most. That sounds to me more like a social media effort based on influencer outreach than a traditional advertising campaign. After all, wasn’t it the social media response to its partisan political activities that got the organization into trouble in the first place? Seeing stories of survivors from Komen may well motivate a lot of people to donate money—just to some other worthy organization fighting the same fight.
Burson-Marsteller’s Proof agency is managing the campaign. The AdAge story is here.