Chicago trips!


Going to be in the homeland twice in the next couple of weeks! This weekend I’m representing Swipp speaking at the World Future Society annual conference on Rateocracy: When Everyone and Everything is Rated with esteemed colleague Bob Moran (@robertpmoran). Will be in town Saturday night 20Jul if anyone is interested in getting together.

And then, will be back again next weekend for the 9th(!) annual BlogHer conference, which is taking over the Sheraton and McCormick Place with over 5,000(!!) attendees.

Let me know if you will be around!

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Wishful thinking

It’s funny. People who do dangerous things are often said to have a “death wish.” Skydiving, whitewater rafting, building dangerous contraptions, playing with fire…all often invoke the “death wish” turn of phrase. That’s completely wrong. Those things are signs of wanting to live life to the extent it can be lived. That’s not a “death wish.”

That’s a “life wish,” don’t you think?

Understanding what customers really care about

When I was invited to join Swipp earlier this year, I was blown away with the opportunity. I’m fortunate to be part of an experienced team that’s working on a tough, interesting problem – creating a new way to answer the age-old question of “who cares?” (Not only that, but it’s a blast getting a chance to help build an entire platform and ecosystem, not just another app.)

We launched our consumer offering back in January and have been receiving great feedback. Since then, we’ve been heads-down making sure that our business customers can tap into the platform as well. To that end, we announced Swipp Plus, with a host of tools that enable marketers (especially social media marketers) to better understand what customers care about across a variety of channels. We’ve put together a quick presentation on what’s in the new offering.




Street Use


When do we lose our creativity? At what age do we stop seeing possibility, and start only seeing what’s being shown and fed to us?

I was at a neighborhood park today and it was packed. The swings were swinging. The teeter-totter was teetering and tottering. The jungle gym was…jungling.

The water fountain had a line of kids filling up water balloons. They were filling them up, inventing games and having a great old time. The buzz was palpable.


I looked a little more closely, and realized the water balloons weren’t actually water balloons. They were plastic bags. They were these weird, green plastic bags, and all the kids had them. And then I realized what they were.

photo 1

Some kids were using them as water balloons. Some kids were using them as makeshift water-transfer devices, to carry water from the fountain over to where they were making dams and rivers. Some kids were chasing each other with them. One little girl was using hers as a Zen paintbrush, the small leak in the bag drizzling out a small stream of water, with which she was drawing ephemeral pictures on the sidewalk.

Note to self: Remember to look for opportunities that are possible, but not obvious. Remember that because something has an “intended” purpose, that doesn’t mean that it’s its only purpose. Remember to create new things out of old.

The Top Five Superbowl Ads (2013)

The top five SuperBowl commercials, according to the Swipp community:

(All commercials ranked by their Swipp Index -5 to +5, +5 being the best)

Tide Stain Saver (+4.6)

NFL: Leon Sandcastle (+4.0)


Budweiser Clydesdales (+3.9)


Gopro (+3.5)


Dodge Ram: Paul Harvey (+3.4)


Rounding out the top group were Mercedes, Oreo, Audi, Taco Bell and Kia.

Mercedes-Benz: The Devil (+3.2)


Oreo (+3.2)


Audi – Have Fun Tonight – Black Eye (+3.2)


Taco Bell – Live Mas (+3.2)


Kia Forte: Respect The Tech (+3.2)


You can see all the results here: More commentary on how social was integrated into the game here.


In looking through the results, one very interesting one was the Calvin Klein – Concept ad, which came in with a Swipp Index of +1.4, which put it in the middle of the pack. However, and perhaps not surprisingly, we see a pretty significant split down gender lines. The ladies liked it. The dudes, not so much.

Screen Shot 2013-02-04 at 6.44.40 AM

The Alex and Ani spot confused the heck out viewers, which was reflected in the commercial’s low Swipp Index (key comments included “Clothing line or jewelry? WTF?” as well as “Wha?” and the ever-telling “?”). Alex and Ani came in at a -2.7.


So, what did you think of the commercials? The SwipperBowl site is still live, if you want to see the rest of the results and share your thoughts.


Please Vote! The Ants are Marching to SXSW Interactive 2013

My colleagues at Ant’s Eye View have submitted more sessions than ever before and we need your support to be selected to present at SXSW Interactive 2013. With over 3,000 sessions submitted for all of SXSW this year, the competition is stiff, so your votes of Thumbs Up and Comments on our Session Abstracts in the SXSW Panel Picker can help make the difference on whether the social sessions submitted by Ants will make the cut.

Here’s the Ant Lineup, many of them back by popular demand from this year’s SXSW Interactive:

1. Mosh Pit of Experts: The Future of Social featuring SVP, Sean McDonald
Description: Enough of the pontificating panel! In a rapid and fast paced (gameshow-like) session, we put the audience (that means YOU) in the hot seat as the expert on the future of social. How will social integrate into functional responsibilities? What kind of tools will need to evolve? How will the big players in the industry evolve? Where will innovation come from? We’ve done this before and the insights from brands, agencies, and consultants are fascinating. You will be cheered and revered by your fellow audience members (or not). Fun and insightful, this session promises more help in preparing for the future of social than anything in your future!

2. Two Weeks At A Time: A Marketing Transformation featuring SVP, Todd Shimizu
Description: Today’s marketer must challenge the status quo of campaign marketing. Digital storytelling and social engagement have turned marketing on its head and present incredible opportunities for innovation and creativity. This new energy is unleashing a transformation across marketing; marketers are starting to attack problems and measure their successes, literally, two weeks at a time with Agile Marketing. And in doing, they’re improving their velocity, precision, flexibility, and team morale. We will show how Agile development enables organizations “to build an uncertain product, for an uncertain customer, in an uncertain market.” For example, Cisco saw their first agile project deliver a comprehensive mobile advertising dashboard in one 2 week sprint, after months of inertia previously. Discover how Agile can be your blueprint for marketing transformation.

3. Social Media Against Humanity featuring Vice-President, Christopher Carfi
Description: Social Media Against Humanity is a celebration of remix culture, social media, snark and slightly embarrassed self-loathing. We’ve remixed the social card game Cards Against Humanity (CAH), adding SXSW and social media elements. After a brief setup and explanation, all participants in the session will compete in a competition bracket of four 15-minute rounds of the SXSW-remixed version of the CAH card game. Based on the number of participants in the session, we will break into groups and each group will play a round of CAH. The winners from each group will move on to the next round, and we will repeat this process until a winner is chosen. Participants who are eliminated in the early rounds will be encouraged to watch, mock and heckle those still in the game.*

(* footnote: This session is not associated with Cards Against Humanity LLC, and we are using the CAH concept under a Creative Commons BY-NC-SA 2.0 license. You can learn more about the source material at

4. Tricks of the Trade: Grow Unity in Your Community featuring Director, Kat Mandelstein
Description: Community management is an art, not a science. To a degree, there is really no program out there to help you adequately learn all of the skills needed. Successful community leaders are part therapist, part den mother, part coach, part referee. But at the end of the day, running a thriving online community is not about U! For a community to grow and thrive, it is all about activating and strengthening the unity of the community members. When you get the culture right, it is truly magical. Learn from a panel who has been perfecting this craft for years in some of the most successful B-to-C, B-to-B and non-profit organizations. And because community is all about collaboration, we invite you to contribute your best practices and biggest challenges during the open mic jam at the end of this session. We promise, this is one session that you won’t leave empty handed. All attendees in this session will receive their very own Community Management Bag-o-tricks.

5. Now or Never: Leading “Social” Business Change featuring Sr. Consultant,Anthony Garcia 
Description: This moderated session will showcase three large enterprise companies – IBM, Walmart Canada, and 3M, all of which are embarking on real social business transformations. These world-class brands offer you an up close and personal view from the frontlines of driving an internal culture of social across multiple geographies, business units, and functional areas. It’s NOW or NEVER for you to go out and LEAD that change. Our panel of practitioners will share how they are integrating social into their brands, processes, and daily behavior. They will attest to the bumps and bruises along the way, and share some of the secret sauce. How can you overcome resistance? What’s the most effective way to align your leadership to an internal social program? How do you measure the impact of being social on your business? Listen and discuss with our panel as they share how becoming a social business engages employees to be productive, collaborative and smarter inside the enterprise.

6. Hey Nonprofits, You Better Innovate or Die! featuring Sr. Consultant, David J. Neff
Description: Welcome to the new normal: Soft global economics and increased needs. Demand has never outpaced supply on such a scale in the nonprofit community. It is time for a renaissance fueled by a culture of innovation driven by nonprofit leadership. Innovation in Technology shall become the new culture, mantra, and driving force in the coming decades. So where do you begin? Join us for a panel conversation with leading innovation advocates and nonprofit leaders who will share technical details on building a culture of innovation, and reaping the rewards. Hear case examples of how to find innovative ideas, develop them, and maximize the value of every employee … before it is too late!

7. Meetup: Social Scientists Unite! featuring Sr. Consultant, Sam Eder
Description: Social scientist of SXSW Interactive unite! As digital interactions start to challenge the primacy of traditional activities such as shopping, chatting with friends, and working businesses have increasingly turned to social scientists to understand current and future behavior on the web. This meet up is for practitioners, academics, and aficionados of the social sciences in how it applies to those digital interactions. Let’s discuss the current role of social science in digital, share best practices, and findings of interest.

Thanks in advance for your support!