My #1 Blogging New Years Resolution

Comment more. Way more.

If 2008 was about posting, improving, redesigning and learning, 2009 is about commenting. It's about joining the conversation on other blogs, conversing with bloggers across the world and adding to the conversation.

And, well, let's be honest - I want to drive traffic to AdJoke and start spreading the word about this little place.

I read a great article recently about how commenting not only helps the blogging community but helps to send traffic back your way. So that's what I'm going to do. For every blog post, I'm going to comment somewhere else (or try).

And for every comment on AdJoke, I'm going to respond.

Here's to the New Year of Blogging...

Diversity and Success

Over the holiday, I read Jeff Howe's Crowdsoucring and found some of the examples fascinating. If you're looking for a spare book, I'd highly recommend it.

What is crowdsourcing? Wikipedia defines it as:

"Crowdsourcing is a neologism for the act of taking a task traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and outsourcing it to an undefined, generally large group of people, in the form of an open call."

Essentially it's the ability to take a complex task (or a simple one in some cases) and allow a large group of people (a network) the chance to solve it together. Examples such as the operating system LINUX or the popular - and sweet - T-Shirt site Threadless are two very common ways that individuals and companies can use crowdsourcing.

One of my favorite parts of the book is the argument that a diverse group of people can always out-solve a group of experts in a given subject. Howe quotes from the novel "The Difference: How the Power of Diversity Creates Better Groups, Firms, Schools, and Societies" by Cal tech professor Scott E. Page:

"[A] randomly selected collection of problem solvers outperforms a collection of the best individual problem solvers."

Howe continues: "At the heart of Page's theorem is the observation that people of high ability are a homogeneous group. Many of them have been trained in the same institutions, and they tend to possess similar perspectives and apply similar problem-solving techniques. They are indeed better than the crowd at large, but at fewer things."

As someone who went to school for a general arts degree, I've been a proponent of this theory for a long time. In my experience (albeit minimal), the best teams are the ones filled with people from different backgrounds, perspectives and have a plethora of experiences. The teams with the same types (all Commerce backgrounds, all engineers, all arts students, etc) tend to start off strong, but can falter when they agree to a potential solution too quickly.

Howe goes on to prove this point more fully in the novel so I won't get too deep. That being said, the applications for crowdsourcing are increasing dramatically and agencies and our clients need to be prepared to use these strategies to improve their products, brands and customer satisfaction scores.


The Links

As we close out 2009, here are some of the coolest links of the month:

  • Thinking about starting a new company? Make sure you consider Guy Kawasaki's 7 tips before doing so.
  • Live in the UK? Searches for 'redundancy' have increased 83% in the last 3 months
  • One of the biggest advertisers in the world - P&G - is going to 'renegotiate' their media spend this year. Have fun if you work in media and are on one of their brands.
  • I think that Facebook Connect could really take off in 2009. Want to put it on your blog? Check out this video and you should have it up in under 8 minutes.
  • Forrester analyst Peter Kim has compiled a list of 2009 social media predictions from thought leaders across the world. It's worth a read.
  • This is what happens when regular people buy (and make) their own TV spots.
  • What can we learn from not-for-profits and social media? Advergirl can tell you.
  • Ads are more effective on YouTube than they are on TV. Seriously.
  • Want to grow your number of Twitter followers? Here's how.
Got a cool link or post? Send it our way.

Happy New Year!

Welcome to 2009 everyone. To ring in the new year, check out some of the 2009 predictions that the guys over at Mashable have put together for the next year. One of my favorites:

Facebook and MySpace Become Aggressive Acquirers: As startup consolidation continues, look for the two biggest social networks to become aggressive acquirers. The reason? Both have ambitions as not only media companies (side bet: look for Facebook to buy or take a stake in a big music app), but as identity providers. One sure-fire way to gain market share as an identity provider is to buy up popular but profitless sites and make their own identity system the standard. This is exactly what Google and Yahoo have done with properties they’ve acquired through the years (see: Flickr,, Blogger, FeedBurner, etc.).

It's going to be a big one. The state of the economy is going to make it tough for some people but hopefully it will inspire brands to do some amazing work. Only time will tell.