Thursday, September 25, 2008

MySpace Music Debuts Today!

This is not related to Support or IT, but it is related to Social Media. The net is buzzing about MySpace Music today! MySpace Music allows users to stream virtually any song ever published for free and is sponsored and supported by the Big 4 Labels. All four major labels - Universal, Warner, Sony and EMI - are on board (EMI was a last minute addition). Visitors can check out the site going live tonight at 12am Eastern Time at

Users can also create playlists that contain up to 100 songs and share them with others. Any song can also be downloaded in non-DRM MP3 format, for a fee, from Amazon’s music download service. And if you want that song as a ringtone, you can get it as well via Jamster.

This is great for end users, artists, and the Internet alike. But what is in it for the labels? Aside from a sale of Mp3s and Ringtones, and some exposure of their catalog - I am not sure. It's still not clear how else they will be compensated. For one, it would appear that they are certainly now stock owners of My Space which is currently valued at $2 Million Dollars. However, it does not appear that a pay for stream model is being provided. Usually streaming services pay $.002 cents per stream. In which I personally think it is nonsense anyway. So will MySpace also pay them this fee as millions of users stream their artists music? Or are labels simply seeking a new investment opportunity. We shall soon see.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Comcast Utilizes Twitter For Customer Care & Support

In the last 3 weeks at my company, the concept of using Twitter in a Support Environment has come up dozens of times. Despite the discussions, there are still many organizations that are still unsure on how to utilize this technology to support and service their customers.

Comcast - who has a pretty negative history for Customer Service is turning this around by utilizing Twitter on their Twitter site called "ComCast Cares". They are using it to speak to their customers on support issue inquiries and for alert notifications. The numbers on the site speaks for itself. They currently have 3,658 followers, with over 14,000 updates to the site in just a couple of months. In addition, their customers are now turning into raving fans of ComCast. The secret to the Twitter success here is not the technology, but the actual team that runs the site and interfaces with it's customers on a daily basis.

The man behind it all is a gentleman by the name of Frank Eliason and his team of Social Media Support reps. Frank was profiled by the NY Times and USA Today. Frank is the Comcast Cares Cares Twitter guy and right, now, that is a hot story. It is hot because a cable company is generating a chorus of happy customer voices a cable company that has an historic record of finishing at or near the bottom of many customer satisfaction survey rankings.

When you visit the site you can see how active it is and how Frank tweets with his customers often providing resolution and guidance on specific issues their customers have. When Frank can not resolve the case over a series of tweets, Frank is directing customers to email the support teams at Nearly every 5 minutes during the business day, the site is updated with a new tweet, and Frank sees to it that customer issues stay resolved.

While I am not 100% sure on what incentive Frank has to go above the normal level of service, he is sure changing the perception around of his company's Customer Service Program. Despite the fact that Frank is not a support tech makes it an even more compelling story. Frank is a manager who truly supports his customer base and I would say that he does not see Customer Service as some business strategy like most Executives would see it these days. Instead, I would say he views it as a lifestyle and commitment in which he executes daily.

In summary, there are a couple of things that Frank has proven to the Industry. They are the following:

- There is a proven place for Social Technologies in a Support Environment.
- Adapting Technology is only half the battle, having great people behind that enabling technology makes all the difference.
- A Company can improve or increase their Customer Satisfaction by committing themselves to Social Tools and Web 2.0 Strategy.

What are your thoughts about this business case study?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Information Week Releases The Top 500 IT Innovators List

Just this week, Information Week released their yearly review of the Top 500 Innovative Companies leading in IT. Amongst the top of the list were:

1 National Semiconductor Corp. $1,890 Ulrich Seif Sr. VP of Supply Chain Services & CIO
2 Hilton Hotels Corp. $8,090 Tim Harvey Exec. VP of Shared Brands & CIO
3 Highmark Inc. $12,400 Tom Tabor Sr. VP & CIO
4 Fiserv Inc. $3,922 Richard K. Jones Exec. VP & CIO
5 Unum Group $6,280 Kathy Owen Sr. VP & CIO

Download: Top Web 2.0 & Social Media Documents from The Web 2.0 Expo

Last week there was a Web 2.0 Expo in New York City and while I certainly was not able to attend due to it's massive $1000.00 fee, I was able to get my hands on some of the presentations included in the Conference.

The zip file contains information relevant to any industry. Whether your in Marketing, Sales, or Support - many of the items here are certainly worth the download especially if you are considering deploying a Social Strategy in your organization.

Click to Download The Zip File (80 Megabytes)
Click below for the full list of files

10 Tools for Managing a Creative Environment Presentation.pdf
A Symfony Answer Presentation.pdf
Adding “Where” to Mobile and Web Applications Presentation.pdf
Adobe – RIA Applications and the Web Presentation.ppt
Agile Development Presentation.pdf

Best-kept Secrets to Search Engine Optimization Success_ the Art and the Science Presentation.ppt
Building an App for Social Platforms Presentation.pdf
Building Next Generation Web 2_0 Applications Presentation.pdf
Building the Real-time Web Presentation.pdf
Capacity Planning for Web Operations Presentation.pdf
Checking the _Feel_ of Your UI with an Interaction Audit Presentation.ppt
Create a Social Network-It’s Easy
Creating Semantic mashups_ Bridging Web 2_0 and the Semantic Web Presentation 1.pdf
Cross-Cultural User-Experience Design Presentation.pdf
Data Portability, Privacy, and the Emergence of the Social Web Presentation.ppt
Design Learnings from Viral Applications Presentation.ppt
Design Your API_ Learnings from Twitter and Stamen Presentation.pdf
Designing Like We Give a Damn Presentation.pdf
Developing, Distributing, and Monetizing Web Applications with WebEx Connect Presentation.ppt
Do Try This at Home_ Ajax Bookmarking, Cross-site Scripting, and Other Web 2_0 Browser Hacks Presentation.pdf
Even Faster Web Sites Presentation.ppt
Failure Happens_ What Broke Since Last Year _and What We Learned from It_ Presentation.pdf
Free Traffic_ SEO_SMO 101 _Search Engine _ Social Media Optimization_ Presentation 1.ppt
Free Traffic_ SEO_SMO 101 _Search Engine _ Social Media Optimization_ Presentation 2.ppt
Games 2_0_ Why the Future of Games Looks More Like Zombies and Scrabulous and Less Like Halo 3 Presentation.ppt
Games Customers Play_ Insights from Online Gaming for Enterprise 2_0 Presentation.pdf
Global Design Trends Presentation.pdf
Google App Engine_ Making it Easier For Developers to Build and Scale Apps Presentation.pdf
How to Create Successful Unconferences, BarCamps, _ Meetups for Almost No $$ Presentation.ppt
IBM_ Web 2_0 Goes to Work Presentation.ppt
Implementing an OpenSocial Container Presentation.ppt
Launch Pad Presentation.pdf
Living with the Internet_ Experiencing the Digital Revolution from a Latino Perspective Paper.pdf
Mashing Up_ Taking Enterprise Mashups to the Next Level Presentation.ppt
Maximizing Ad Revenue Through Format Optimization Presentation.pdf
Maximizing Conversions and Overall Campaign ROI Presentation.ppt
Social Data_ Collecting, Mining, and Using it in Your Applications Presentation 2.pdf
Social Data_ Collecting, Mining, and Using it in Your Applications Presentation.ppt
Starting Up_ Strategies for Financing _ Growing Your Web 2_0 Startup Presentation.pdf
Web 2_0 and the Breathing Enterprise Presentation.ppt
Web 2_0 in a Virtualized World_ Building an Architecture for Growth Presentation.ppt

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Top 15 Corporate Blogs In The U.S

#15. Lenovo - Authority: 123

#14. Marriott - Authority: 135

#13. Mint - Authority: 142

#12. Flickr - Authority: 242

#11. General Motors - Authority: 282

#10. Southwest Airlines - Authority: 284

#9. LinkedIn - Authority: 551

#8. Yahoo! - Authority: 601

#7. Dell - Authority: 569

#6. Facebook - Authority: 779

#5. Yahoo! Search - Authority: 1145

#4. Zillow - Authority: 1230

#3. Adobe - Authority: 1951

#2. Twitter - Authority: 5067

#1. Google - Authority: 10245

Source: New PR Wiki