Wisdom of Crowds or Mob Mentality?

I'm thinking that any brand which has recently launched a new product, delayed a release date, or had the audacity to redesign its own logo, will agree that "wisdom of crowds" and "mob mentality" are just opposite ends of the same (and very short) spectrum.

Here's a brilliant reminder from the Python boys that this was true centuries before a single blog or forum was ever published.


Tweeting 'bout the Rain

I was on the Weather Network site the other day and noticed they had a Twitter stream, with tweets about weather across Canada. Now, while I probably won't follow @weathernetwork, I'd definitely follow @weather604 or @weather416 (both still available). Just a thought.


I Like lululemon

Alright, I know, the creativity on that headline is at about 10%, but it's 100% true. From the product side, my wife and I have been wearing lululemon for years and nothing has ever worn out, stretched, or faded. And we've given this gear quite the work-out (see what I did there?), through eight half-marathons, one full marathon, and Pilates teacher training for Danielle, and five triathlons and years of yoga for myself.

From a professional side, working in digital marketing, I really like what they've been doing online the last few years. They've got a simple, CMS-y website that doesn't get in its own way and allows them to get content out quickly; a blog updated often, by a variety of authors; a strong presence on Facebook and Twitter which they use very well to encourage conversations and answer questions; an email program that only goes out once a week with all of their new products; and a Flickr channel with a ton of photos -- everything from the professional and posed, to quick snapshots around the office.

And the thing I like the most is that all of this comes through in a casual, friendly way. It's absolutely brilliant that many of the pictures they post are of their own staff showing off the clothes that have just arrived in-store (something that many other companies would never allow, or navel-gaze over for months, trying to figure out "what it all meant" for "the brand"). This not only helps them get content out quickly, but also makes each location even more approachable.

What's not to like? ;-)


If You're Going to Comment, Please Use a Coaster

Picking up on yesterday's social media cocktail party theme, when it comes to moderation, I like the "please use a coaster approach". This means that all opinions are welcome as long as they follow a small set of house rules. Things like: no anonymous comments, no spam, and no cussin' -- either the "your product is shit" or "your product is the shit" kind. Basically, everyone's more than welcome to agree or disagree, just be respectful.

This is where the coaster analogy comes in -- if I throw a party at my house, I want all of my guests to have a good time, but I don't want rings on my coffee table when they leave for the night :-)

(The coasters pictured above are available at socialdrinker's Etsy store.)


Social Media is to Cocktail Party ...

When it comes to managing your brand's social media, the approach I like to take is, "don't farm it out, and don't phone it in". You wouldn't plan a cocktail party and step out to the movies right before your guests arrived.

But you see so many corporate blogs, Facebook pages, and Twitter streams launched with the best of intentions, only to be abandoned, used as one-way channels for press releases, or outsourced to external suppliers "working on behalf of". Just doesn't feel the same as being there yourself to hand out the appetizers and make pleasant small-talk.

One other thing I've noticed -- as illustrated in the photo above -- cocktail parties and social media are way better when guy-with-eye-patch shows up.


Is This Insanity, Too?

You know the old saying that insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting different results? Well, I've been thinking lately that the opposite is also true -- doing something different and expecting the same results is probably just as insane.