Saturday, August 28, 2010

The Power Of Recommendations

Today I went to a birthday party for the seven year old daughter of a former business partner. As my own kids are of college age, I had no idea what to get as a gift for a seven year old girl. My first instinct was to just go to Toys R Us, but upon further reflection I realized that the last thing I wanted to do was to aimlessly wander the TRU aisles, reading the manufacturer's labels to try and determine what would be an appropriate gift for a seven year old girl. Instead I went to a small "mom and pop" educational toy store I had remembered seeing in the neighborhood.  The extremely helpful young salesperson recommended an artsy/craftsy friendship bracelet kit, that she insisted was one of their best sellers and VERY popular with the seven year old girl crowd.  While it may have been a little more expensive than the same item at Toys R Us, it was less than what I was willing to spend so without hesitation I said yes. "Would you like it gift wrapped?" Of course I would!

Service, And A Smile

I was in and out of the store in less than fifteen minutes with a beautifully wrapped gift, but the best part was yet to come.  At the birthday party, when the birthday girl opened her piles of gifts, many of which were likely far more expensive and trendy than the "Alex Toys Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit" (affiliate link) I had bought her, guess which gift she picked up, filled with excitement, and ran over to her dad exclaiming with joy, "Daddy, look what I got!  Look what I got!!!"  Yes, it was the gift I had brought.  She was thrilled by the gift I got her, but not as thrilled as I was to have clearly made the right choice.

The Lesson Learned

My little birthday shopping experience is really just a real-world example of why Social Media and our increasingly connected lifestyles are upending the old ways of marketing, merchandising and selling all types of products and services.  In a connected world, why would you buy anything without first getting a recommendation from someone with experience, or even better, a friend with experience.  The old adage states, "You get what you pay for!"  If you believe this to be true, then why wouldn't you pay more, in time and/or money, to get a trusted recommendation before buying just about anything.  It makes perfect sense, and will make you a smarter, better shopper.  In most cases, getting the lowest price is not nearly as important as making the right product choice.

Do you agree?  How important are recommendations to you?  Would you rather shop at a mass merchant or a smaller store with more personal assistance?

And by the way, if you know of any seven year old girls you want to impress, here is the Alex Toys Friends 4 Ever Bracelet Making Kit on (affiliate link) for a better price than what I paid...

Photo Credit: © Javierafael -

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

You Can Pick Your Friends, You Can Pick Your Nose, And You Can Pick Your Friends' Panel for SXSW 2011

One of my favorite events of the year is SXSW (South By Southwest) held in Austin, Texas each March.  Thanks to my work at Myxer, when I go to SXSW I get to attend both the Interactive and the Music portions.  “South By” has always been a great way for Myxer to connect with the artists and bands that have been the backbone of the music part of our mobile content service.  In recent years the Interactive part of the show has exploded, adding even more value (and fun) to the annual Texas pilgrimage.  The content at SXSW for panels and presentations is selected through a voting process that then influences the organizers.  Last year I had the chance to speak at SXSW as part of Jeff Pulver's 140Conf SXSW. This year Myxer is represented by four possible presentations in the Panel Picker, two in Music and two in Interactive, two by myself and two by Myxer CEO Myk Willis.

If you are so inclined, please visit and vote for one or all of the Myxer panels, especially if the topics are of interest to you. Below are brief descriptions of the four panels as well as links to some other blog posts with additional SXSW 2011 panel recommendations from some trusted friends.  Voting is open until Midnight on Friday, August 27th.  Thanks!


Here are some other blog posts with great Panel Picker suggestions:

David Berkowitz's Marketing Blog:

Greg Verdino:

Social Media Club Members:

Becky McCray's Small Biz Survival:

Rohit Bhargava's Influential Marketing Blog:

And Here Are Myxer's SXSW 2011 Panel Submissions:





Major brands are learning to leverage the power of branded mobile content as a way to extend their relationship with their customers beyond the campaign and into their pockets. Take a look at the impact of branded mobile content as a way to express brand affinity, extend and sustain awareness and start conversations. See examples of brands who effectively ring in awareness and attention with catchy and clever "Brandtones" and learn how you too can dial up great results through branded mobile content delivery.



Every year for the past 10 years has been dubbed “the year of mobile.” The truth is, just as our phones have become an integrated part of our daily lives (too much so in many cases) “mobile” should be an integrated part of every marketers’ strategy, and not set aside as something special. Learn the truth behind mobile myths and how to make mobile work with Social, Online, and all your interactive initiatives.





You may have heard industry pundits claim "the ringtone is dead" but what they are really talking about is the decline in on-deck sales of $2.99 master tones of hit songs. With several major labels, artists and music publishers cashing in on ringtones, and using them as promotional tools for integrated marketing campaigns, there is proof that in fact the ringtone business is thriving. As more and more mobile phone owners embrace and consume a wide range of entertainment and personalization content, you need to seize the opportunity to get in front of them. Learn how artists from unknowns to Snoop Dogg make mobile work for them and use the 'staying' power of ringtones to keep their fans engaged, entertained, and coming back for more.



There will soon be more people accessing the Internet from their Mobile Phones than their PC’s. With the mobile web dominating the attention of your fans, why limit their access to you and your music to platform specific apps. Learn how you can use the Mobile Web to reach ALL your fans and go from their pockets to their pocketbooks.

Whether you vote for our panels or not I hope you have the chance to attend SXSW 2011!  See you there!


Posted via email from Kiss My SASS!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

A Man Inside (Intel)

Here's the scoop:  As you may know, for the past few years I have been active as a so-called "Daddy Blogger,' sharing my dad point of view and stories at and in the weekly Cast of Dads podcast.  With three awesome kids now ages 22, 20 and 18, I have no shortage of experiences and opinions on just about every parenting angle imaginable, so don't expect me to shut up anytime soon.  On top of that, I am very lucky to often be handed new and interesting things to write about, and in this case I am looking forward to being able to share some insights on exciting new technologies, and how they will impact our family lives as an official "Intel Insider" advisor.

Inside Intel Insiders

Now in its third year, the Intel Insiders program originally sought to connect with early adopters and influencers to help Intel stay in touch and connected with technology enthusiasts.  According to Intel's Ken Kaplan, "...this year we will be working with influencers actively engaging in lifestyle and parenting conversations online. We are hoping this helps us connect with people who are finding that technology is becoming more important in their lives."  I am honored and excited to be one of this year's Intel Insiders along with this impressive group of bloggers:

In June I had the pleasure of visiting Intel's Portland Campus and today I will be attending an Intel Insiders Summit in NY.  I look forward to sharing more Intel insights with you soon.  Stay tuned...

In accordance to the FTC Guidelines and WOMMA Code of Ethics, I am disclosing that Intel Corporation has covered my travel, accommodations and expenses incurred for the Intel Insider Year III Summit.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

A Is For Android (And Advanced Task Killer)

I am a fickle geek.  A mere year ago I was waxing poetic of my love for my Palm Pre.  Alas, that was then and this is now... and now I am a bonafide, card carrying (er, Evo carrying) Android Fanboy.  I am completely enamored with my Evo's large screen, fast processor and robust apps, the latter sorely missed on my ex, the Pre.  Finally I can enjoy Kindle books on my phone and many of the finer apps my Apple minded friends have long taken for granted.

An App A Day Can Keep Apple Away

Despite many co-workers and even my own sons' lavish praise of iOS and their iPhones, I find I am quite pleased with the Android experience and, especially coming off the Pre's lackluster App-luster, I am more than happy with the selection of awesome Android apps in the Market.  I am always experimenting with new apps, to the point where lately other Android users in my office have been coming to me for App suggestions.  With that in mind, I am going to start periodically highlighting some of the Android Apps that have become my favorites.  Since the default presentation of Apps on my Evo is alphabetical, I will go through my favorite apps, from A to Z, in a series of posts, starting with this one.  If you are a fellow fandroid, I hope you enjoy and find these suggestions helpful.


Advanced Task Killer by developer ReChild is one of the first "must have" apps I added to my Evo, and I believe it has improved both performance and battery life by effortlessly deleting unneeded apps and processes that may be running in the background given Android's multi-tasking abilities.  Advanced Task Killer, available in both a free (with ads) and paid versions (no ads), gives you the power to proactively kill running apps and processes on demand, or at preset time intervals.  A simple check box lets you exclude specific apps from getting killed, a convenient touch if you play music or run other background tasks that you don't want interrupted.  

Advanced Task Killer gives you more control over your Android phone's memory management keeping behind the scenes clutter to a minimum, and thus, in principle, performance to a maximum.  It is easy to use both as a manual tool, or something you can essentially "set and forget."  Now, I started using Advanced Task Killer when I first got my Evo, and before the recent update to Android 2.2 (Froyo), so I have not fully tested performance with and without using ATK under Froyo.  While I believe using ATK has improved my Evo's performance, there are others who believe you should not use a task killer. Your mileage my vary based on your device, and the assortment of apps you have installed.  As with any app, I recommend using the free version of Advanced Task Killer first, and see if you get results that make you happy.  You might find that Advanced Task Killer is the killer Android app you've been waiting for.

What do you think?  Has a task killer like ATK improved your Android experience?

Posted via email from Kiss My SASS!