Lifestreams, intersections and the digital trail

Steve Rubel explained why and how he started his lifestream – i.e. one central site for gathering any part of his digital trail: any Tweets, blogposts, Facebook notes, del.icio.us links and flickr photos. There is a wide range of different streams, that sometimes intersect at certain touchpoints (like I have my flickr images and my tweets on this page), which need to be aggregated.

A good idea, you can set one up easily at tumblr (30 seconds it says!). Steve even started a “reply stream” to capture all the replies and comments to anything he published.

This is a logical continuation to bundling and remixing everything on the web using RSS. In the same way I am bundling all my favourite news sources (blogs, pictures, weather, press, etc.) on one startpage (netvibes, by the way – very recommendable), I should bundle all my output on one page for everyone to easily find. Which of course takes us to the other (still unsovled) side of the lifestream: how can I distribute content to all of these platforms and track the user traffic without having to visit all these sites all the time?

Is “lifestreams” something many people will take up anytime soon? I don’t think so. It’s still to geeky, to much hastle, and most people have too few lifestreams anyway. But in a few years time, when more people will have an increasing digital trail, this might become a habit. We’ll see.

I think I will set one up shortly, once I am through with another – much more time consuming (and completely offline) – project that will keep me busy in the next 4 weeks. I’ll let you more about this soon on this site.

New Diesel Fragrance Campaign Site

Martina from Adverblog writes about a new site for a new Diesel Fragrance. It’s based on a series of videos and on the omnipresent shout out “I am alive”.

Throughout the whole site you find lots of this “I am alive”, it can get anoying at some point so be ready to turn the speakers of.

diesel.jpg

Of course there is some user generated content possible, you can upload a video of yourself shouting “I’m alive” or upload a picture of yourself. There is also a “Chatroom” looking like a cinema. But it was first empty and soon entering guest1237 and guest 1218 wouldn’t answer…

dieselpicture.jpg

There is a lot more to explore, so try it out!

Markets are conversations – but not all conversations are marketing.

Dave Weinberger, one of the authors of the cluetrain manifesto (“markets are conversations”) expresses his concerns over the increasing wrong adoption of this idea by marketeers. In a comment to this post by Chris Heuer, he writes the following:

Marketing has to change. It has to recognize that market conversations are now the best source of information about companies and their products and services. It has to recognize that those conversations are not themselves marketing — you and me talking about whether we like our new digital cameras is not you and me marketing to each another. Neither is our conversation a “marketing opportunity.” But the temptation to see it as such is well nigh impossible for most marketers to resist.

Fortunately, the people leading the thinking about this generally do honor the conversation as the thing that must be preserved. How the meme gets taken up, however, should worry us. We need to help marketers resist their deeply bred urges. We need to make preserving the integrity of the conversation as central a marketing tenet as is not lying about product specs or prices.

This point is critical, some elderly agency folk still get this mixed up sometimes. Markets are conversations, but not all conversations are marketing. And marketing isn’t necessarily a conversation (even though a lot of marketing could be, in the future).

Marketing also isn’t about “letting the crowd decide everything”, in fact conversational marketing is not about “wisdom of the crowd” at all. This also gets mixed up often by elderly agency folk.

As Chris writes:

More broadly, I think what is happening is really about Market Engagement – how companies interact with the market’s they serve – how companies relate to the people within those markets through product experience, conversations and media.

This doesn’t mean that brands need to open up completely loosing their identity (because of some “wisdom of crowd” interfering with brand communication) – but it does mean that brands need to engage in 2-way conversations instead of keeping up a monologue irrespectively of whether people want to listen or not.

Video overlay ads launching on video portals

Google introduced video overlay ads for YouTube, as this article on read/writeweb says. As a user I don’t like the idea of these ads”interrupting” me, but it will infact be a good way of better monetizing the video experience. They’re offering it on a CPM basis for now, which seems odd to me, but I guess that might change once they know how well it is accepted?

Also, they don’t seem to be the first to launch this (by far not), as this Tecrunch article states.