Brain Vibe

marketing muses to stay engaged

Social Media Improv

I’ve talked a lot about marketers giving up control of content.  I suggest allowing sales to be the conductors for social media in your organization.  I also suggest allowing customers to take control of the website.

I figure that if I’m going to preach, I should probably practice.  I’m going to hand over the reigns to you to create a blog.  The only guidance I’ll give is the topic.  You fill in the rest to create the story.  However, the story is collaborative.  You provide one to three sentences then the next commenter provides the next one to three sentences.  At the end of collecting, I’ll pull everything together for a single blog.

I think of this as those games where one person says a word of a sentence, the next person adds one, and so on and so on.

Note: The comments are moderated, but I’ll only remove those that are inappropriate (bad language, sexual content, you get the idea).  Comments that are supportive of the site or effort I’ll group onto another page for everyone to view.  I’ll try to fix inconsistencies due to date or where comments come in.

I encourage you to not only to participate but, play tag with your friends (25 Things Facebook style).  So, here it goes.


If you could change the world, what would that world look like?

Ready, set, GO!!!

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China Government’s Role in Social Media

Recognizing culture when leveraging social media marketing in China is more than just how the Chinese interact and their cultural norms.  China is still a communist country and the goverment plays a role in how people communicate as well as what they can say.  Early last month, China issues a list of web portals, including Google, which provide access to vulgar content.  Sites were asked to sweep out “yellow” (offensive) content.  However, vulgar is not just related to obscentities.  It appears that some bloggers are caught up in the sweep due to dissenting views, according to a Wall Street Journal article.

The WSJ writes:

“Gluttonous Suckling Pig is back.


Sensitive eyes: China’s online obscenity sweep doesn’t snare just pornographers, some bloggers believe. (Photo by Reuters)

The pseudonymous blogger known for political satire was one of the main attractions of, a Chinese Web portal seen as welcoming to dissenting views. But the blogger was one of two who were pulled last month from Bullog, which was later closed as part of Beijing’s anti-vulgarity Internet sweep. Some China blogosphere watchers believe the real reason was the number of Bullog members who signed last December’s pro-democracy Charter 08.”

Each year China conducts these types of cleansing efforts.  The focus has primarily been on internet content, and bloggers are affected.  But, social media is beyond blogging and can be contained in micro venues of social network pages, comments, and Twitter.  As social media continues to pervade in China, it goes to reason that the government is looking at these outlets as well.  It may only be a matter of time before it focuses attention here.

Cultural sensitivity needs to be considered not just in the context of those you are trying to communicate and connect to, but also government regulations and perceptions.  This is also true in the US even considering our freedom of speech laws and regulations.  Profanity is regulated.  Access to adult content is regulated.  Advertising of adult tabacoo and alchohol is regulated.  In China, it is acceptable to have a broader regulation of communications.  So, you have to work within these guidelines.

The goal of marketing is to build relationships with your customers and get your message across.  Work within the norms and laws of China.  Afterall, if you don’t, your marketing effort is not received, may even be blocked, and then what did you accomplish?  It is not hard to avoid these pitfalls.  Walking through Shanghai, marketing messages and billboard messages are not all that different from walking through any major city.  It appears that to succeed, it is better to assimillate rather than become rogue.  Take the risk of leveraging social media marketing in China, but be cognizant of how you deliver the message.

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Hey teacher, can you give me a tweet?

He He…Alright, maybe not the most appropriate title, but there is a point.

My school system has embraced technology.  It is all about going green.  Really it is about saving money to avoid printing notices.  Regardless, noble effort. But, I have to pull the info. Drives me crazy. I actually have to think about it! The shame of it all (can you hear the whine?). Oh, there is the monthly email that comes out from the school, teachers, PTA, and so on. If there is a hot topic being debated then an email arrives on that. But, if you are like me, my mailbox is pretty full and things get lost.

So I had a thought, what would or could mobile and social media do for cities and towns? Think about it, Obama raised millions and drove his entire campaign through social media. I was listening to his podcasts two years ago. He nickel and dimed his way to the top and drove home his message of change mostly through PR.

  • What if teachers could use Twitter to send parents a reminder that the class project was due in 2 days?
  • What if you could create educational games for kids to purchase and download on their phones and iPhones to play and proceeds went to the school?
  • Would you like to participate in the school committee meetings via webinar or Skype technology and submit questions?
  • How about a social network for parents and teachers to connect and discuss issues and topics?
  • Wouldn’t you love a blog from the Superintendent, principle, and your child’s teacher?
  • Could schools leverage social networks, phone applications, and other Web 2.0 media to raise much needed funds?
  • What about kids blogging to each other in a book club, sports club, or any other topic that promotes writing, journalism, and community connection?
  • Wouldn’t you love to tweet a teacher? (Get your minds out of the gutter – Twitter!)

Anyway, you get the point.  Think of the possibilities.  Social media and mobile media can make the difference between parents being involved, kids getting more out of education, and teachers and schools connecting in meaningful ways with all families.

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