8 Exponential Trends That Will Shape Humanity: Century of the City State

LinkedIn gets me. Granted, I’ve taught it’s news aggregating algorithms a thing or two about me over the last ten years. This slide deck really struck me as it was presented in the recommended news on my LinkedIn home page. You didn’t think I got my news from an old media network on TV did you?

I hadn’t heard of Sparks & Honey, the New York advertising, marketing and PR agency that “Helps brands hijack, accelerate and ultimately ignite culture, ”  but I’m following them now on Twitter and Tumblr. They produced the trend report below (that found me).

Cultural change is driving our revolution and evolution and we’re at the very beginning. 3-D printing, the city-state, morphing education systems. We are restructuring how we are spending our time. As most generations have said before me, what an amazing world my children will experience. If you’re as excited about the future as I am, you’ll appreciate this overview of trends with a detail on the “Century of The City State”…

What is driving your path to the future? How is your world changing?

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Why ‘Facebook For The Enterprise’ Vendors Are Wrong

Comprehending the difference between “social media” and what is becoming known as “social business” or “Enterprise 2.0” can be challenging.  Even successful consulting firms and marketing agencies are confused.  I’m excited to see this article in Forbes magazine from our friend Christopher Lochhead, chief strategy advisor and board member at Jive Software.  It will help provide some clarity. [ Disclaimer: My company, C7 Group is a management consulting firm helping business with social business strategy and integration.]  This article was also re-posted at C7Group

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The 10 Secrets Of A Successful Social Media Blog

It was about a year ago and I noticed a rather quirky social media blog with a good selection of key words in its title  called the ” Social Media Examiner”. It was late last week and an article in the worlds largest blog the Huffington Post featured an interview with the founder of that blog Michael Stelzner that piqued my interest.

The reason my ears pricked up was because on scanning the article the traffic and success that he has garnered in less than 12 months was not just notable but stunning.

Here are some of the milestones after launching on October 12, 2009.

  • 13,000 people visited the site within the first 2 weeks
  • January 2010 (only 3 months after launch) he had 10,000 email subscribers
  • January 2010 he had 55,000 unique visitors to the blog
  • In February (less than 5 months after launch) the site was rated as the number one small business blog on the planet by Technorati
  • It currently generates 300,000 page views a month
  • The Social Media Examiner Facebook Fan page has over 11,500 fans
  • Less than 12 months after launch he has an email list of over 30,000 subscribers

So what are some of the secrets behind Michael’s success with the “Social Media Examiner”? but before we answer that let us look at what he was doing prior to launching the  blog.

In 2005 he started a blog called “Writing White Papers” which was quite successful… its tag line “How To Capture Readers and Keep them Engaged”. He wrote whitepapers for Microsoft, FedEx, Motorola and Dow Jones. In just over 4 years he had just over 25,000 email subscribers so he had obtained some blogging experience that provided him with basics of what to do and not to do with a blog.

The success secrets of the “Social Media Examiner” are highlighted by the following ten revelations as stated by Michael.

1. He collaborated with other successful  people such as Mari Smith, a Facebook specialist, Chris Garrett who had co-authored Problogger the book and Denise Wakeman from the blog sqaud.. he called them his firestarters.

2. Held a major online virtual summit called “Social Media Success Summit 2009″ prior to the launch of his blog which attracted over 700 attendees and was completely online and Gary Vaynerchuk was the keynote speaker. (by the way the summit generated over $900,000 in revenue)

3. Composed a team of writers who provided guest posts on Social Media Examiner including Jason Falls and Casey Hibbard of the blog, Stories that Sells as well as an additional team of writers. A proportion of these writers substantial followings drove readership to the new blog.

4. Interviewed 16 social media marketing thought leaders at Blog World Expo including Scott Monty and Chris Brogan and released these videos over 9 months slowly.

5. Publishes a long magazine-style article every weekday that is  edited for top quality writing prior to hitting the blog publish button

6. Implemented an email acquisition strategy that includes a pop over form that hovers over the screen for first time visitors (it includes a free Twitter video tutorial)  as well as offering a subscription form on the right sidebar. The other email subscriber tactics includes a suggestion to refer a friend to to join the email list and the Facebook fan page also has a video inviting visitors to subscribe.

7. A Facebook fan page that is well designed and optimized including a Friendpile social plugin that shows all of a visitors Facebook friends that like Social Media Examiner. Other strategies included invitations to join the Facebook Fan page that were broadcasted to the email list generating almost 1,000 fans overnight. He made a note that the keyword to use is “Join” not “Follow Us”

8. On Facebook Michael has the rule that they reply to every comment on the Facebook page

9. Social Media Examiners Facebook editorial guide involves “breaking news” as opposed to “writing features” on the flagship blog site.

10. Ultra-rich content that is offered for free on social media examiner acts as the major incentive to attend a virtual summit where people know they will get even more valuable and in depth information from the top experts in their field

What is empowering about this story is that he didn’t spend a dime on his marketing (just his time) and leveraged the power of social media including Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

How could you take these tips and make your blog more successful?

It would seem that we need to take some of Jeff Bullas’s good advice. Do you have any additional suggestions to add? Are you writing “breaking news” or “writing features?”

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This Week’s 10 Most Explosive Facebook Pages (from AllFacebook.com)

kimkardashian social media facebook page

A new week brings a new roundup of Facebook pages that have show awesome growth in popularity. The pages this week seem to be themed around music, saving you a couple bucks, and some good treats . Use our Facebook Statistics Tools to check out all the top pages and applications on the site. Check out the pages below!

1 of 10

  • Groupon had an impressive week as they picked up about 165,000 new followers. The page features new affordable ways to explore the city using exclusive deals, Groupon bucks, contests, and more. Sign up for the page and refer you friends to receive $10. Check out the Chicago-based Groupon’s Facebook page here.


  • Have awkward moments, quirky habits, and pretty general annoyances? LikeWut’s Facebook page puts random relatable thoughts onto its page for discussion. Like the page for constant updates, enjoy the topics (some are pretty funny), and join the discussion about each post. The site picked up over 153,000 new followers last week. Become a fan of LikeWut.
  • LikeWut

  • Levi’s Facebook page features videos, pictures, and keep an eye out for exclusive deals. Keep up with the page to stay on top of latest fashions from the company. Levi’s gained over 117,000 new followers last week.


  • Comedy Central’s Futurama has had an excellent comeback this season on the network, and the show’s Facebook page continues to grow in popularity. The page includes previews of upcoming episodes and also gather to discuss and share your opinion on other episodes of the show. The season finale of the show is this week, and the page has had a steady rise in popularity over the month. This week Futurama accrued up another 106,800 new fans.


  • Keep up with the latest Black Eyed Peas tour dates, appearances, contests, and more on the band’s Facebook page. The page also includes music and pictures from the road. The Black Eyed Peas picked up over 90,000 new fans last week.
  • Black Eyed Peas

  • With the weekend drama overseas at the annual Reading and Leeds Festivals, Gun N’ Roses still had managed to have an impressive week on Facebook picking up about 86,000 new fans. Keep up with the page for music, news, and maybe you will be lucky enough to get an estimated time of arrival from band for all upcoming Guns N’ Roses concerts.
  • Guns N’ Roses

  • Pepsi is currently giving away grants each month to various projects and ideas based on your votes. Check out the Grant projects on Pepsi’s Facebook page. The page also includes many other interesting tabs, videos, chats, and news about the company’s various products, projects, and promotions. Pepsi gained 82,000 fans this week.
  • Pepsi

  • The hype is building for new episodes of the most popular shows on television to return. CSI: Miami premieres in a little over a month, and has been getting more and more popular by the week on Facebook. 79,000 people became fans of the show this past week. Keep up with news about the shows, sneak peaks at the upcoming episodes, and more on CSI: Miami’s Facebook page.
  • CSI: Miami

  • Keeping up with Kim Kardashian is even easier on Facebook than watching her family’s television show. Not actually sure why you want to, but almost 79,000 new fans seem to prove me wrong. You can keep up with every move the star makes on her Facebook page. The page includes all her latest news, fashion tips, and more.

    Kim Kardashian

  • About 75,700 new fans on Facebook are ogling McDonald’s various menu items. The page includes various downloads, an interesting tab selections including a McDonald’s locator, and more. Become a fan of here.


  • All Facebook, The Unofficial Facebook Resource, is a favorite site – especially when they contribute to our library of real case examples. We’re constantly on the lookout for what’s working and why it works.

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    Hootsuite Recommendation for Social Business

    There are a number of good utilities available for managing multiple social media and social networking properties like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn. Hootsuite has become our recommendation and the tool we are implementing for clients. Here are some of our main reasons:

    1. Multiple accounts: Hootsuite allows you to manage multiple Twitter profiles, LinkedIn profiles, Facebook profiles and Facebook pages.  It allows posting to one, many or all accounts at the same time.  You can also organize tabs and columns to group accounts by personal preference.
    2. Browser integration: We recommend Mozilla Firefox and Hootsuite has an add-in that is required for our clients to make sharing information and scheduling tweets and post in advance an easy task.team members
    3. Metrics: skip the url shortener, Hootsuite does it for you but adds tracking for each link
    4. Security/User control: Multiple users can log-in to Hootsuite and have privileges to the same account without access to the primary user-name and password.  this is a deal-maker for any entity that wants to spread responsibility for social accounts across more than one person.
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    8.5 Slang Expressions for Business Professionals to Avoid

    Man's mouth covered with tape in an "X" representing online reputation

    We have been gathering a list of negative (as well as positive) behaviors for a class we intend to launch entitled, “Twitter: Business Ethics and Behavior.” Our original intent was an exercise around how to sell without being obnoxious, how to build authentic relationships and having a following that matters. It should come as no surprise that our focus group and crowd-sourced feedback led to the conversation itself. Semantics and syntax were at the core of most people’s impressions.

    Social business in public “social media” spaces now requires professionalism. If you are using Twitter, Linkedin, Facebook, Orkut, Bebo or posting live video on Youtube, Vimeo, Viddler or Justin.tv for business than these are the idioms your audience thinks it’s best to avoid.  Keep in mind, your children are going to read this stuff ten years from now when they search for you online.

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    Social Media Business Tip: Know Keyboard Shortcuts

    Social Media Keyboard Shortcuts

    Something I learned about being proficient on a computer, as simple as it sounds, is not being “mouse-dependent.”

    Here’s a secret (sort of). The software you use to manage social properties is your browser. Irregardless of hardware platform, social media, blogging and online research are easier and faster if you:

    1. Use your keyboard in addition to your mouse
    2. Know and use the right-mouse button
    3. Understand and take advantage of your browser
    4. Group your online activities by bookmark folder and browser window

    I’ll discuss #s 2 – 4 in a future post.  Let’s make you a bit faster with keyboard shortcuts for now

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