Down & UP in the Magic Kingdom!

Put this in the quirky memetic banter file …

So here is the clan, Thomson 9, Sydney 7, Sister Paula, my Dad and wife Andrea on the mandatory pilgrimage to Disney World in Florida.

https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/111927785652617267633/albums/58538080096…

You can see the whole album here: https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/111927785652617267633/albums/58538080096…

It was fun. I can’t help it.

But for those of you who share a uneasy awareness that Disney owns not only a place in our childhood life cycle, but also a place in our parent’s life cycle (this was a trip on Grandpa’s bucket list!) … here are a few tid bits that may entertain you in a quirky kind of way:

Highlight of the trip for me was reading Cory Doctrow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom while staying in the Park: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Down_and_Out_in_the_Magic_Kingdom

This might make me a terrible Dad, but this “fantasy destroying” moment made me proud of my children. Watch as we realize that they are being shunned by Minnie mouse! My son is embarrassed that we should have been more socially aware. Sydney makes the decision that the line up is not worth it. https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/111927785652617267633/albums/58538080096…

And finally, Walt Disney believed in a big canvass! Shaping hundreds of acres, materials and our common perception to his vision. He changed the world. I hope that you find it refreshing to realize that there is always a bigger canvass.

Context for this shot, we are stuffing our faces with ice cream, in a mecca of consumerism that is Downtown Disney: https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/downtown-disney/. Veal calves.

The big brand bonanza, including LEGO land, is “disrupted” –

https://plus.google.com/u/1/photos/111927785652617267633/albums/58538080096…

Have a great weekend everyone!

Twitter Matters #7: Twitter Bot Auto-Debate

It has been a while since I have felt a desire or need to add to my Twitter Matters series, mostly because there are so many people writing about Twitter these days that you really need to pick your spots carefully to add any value to the conversation.

In this case, I feel that this story by Jolie O’Dell on Mashable detailing Nigel Leck’s use of a bot to intercept and reply to updates refuting climate change is an extension of the idea of Memetic Logo that I explored in this post about Frank Tentler’s Twishes project.

Like Frank, Nigel has established a memetic beacon that is establishing his position within the climate change debate and the networks of people involved in that debate.  Going further than Frank, Nigel has added some intelligence or at least basic logic to his auto-reply strategy and is augmenting his impact with a link into his content.

It would take careful execution for a commercial brand to consider a strategy like this.  I suspect that there could be some valuable application in crisis management.

I will find myself noodling about possible extrapolations of this.  Please help me out with a few thoughts in the comments below.

I have turned my evolving reflections about twitter into a series of posts.  Catch the other thoughts:

Why Twitter Matters #1: Follow me, Follow You on Twitter

Twitter Matters #2: Memetic Logos, the Case of Twishes

Why Twitter Matters #3: Escalopter

Why Twitter Matters #4: social capital discussion evolving

Comment, Kim Patrick Kobza, CEO, Neighborhood America: cognitive outliers, real time group cognition

Why Twitter Matters #5: Twitter and Social Capital

Why Twitter Matters #6: Twitter Love Song

UPDATE@Nov.4, 2008 – an overview of StockTwits from Stowe Boyd.

UPDATE@Dec.1, 2008 – Tim O’Reilly “Why I Love Twitter”

Twitter Matters #2: Memetic Logos, the Twishes Case

I like this little project.

Frank Tentler is scanning for the word “wish” in twitter streams and then he retweets the wish from the http://twitter.com/twishes profile.

This is Frank Tentlers memetic logo!  It is a great little way to position Frank at the intersection of media, aspirations, communications/technology, etc.

I wish I had the code for a little widget that would display the latest tweets from twishes.  I would embed it in this post and a few other places.

Update! Ask & you shall receive … Thanks Frank! (Note: Frank originally provided a widget but it stopped working and Twitter now makes it easy to grab & embedded a twitter stream.)


UPDATE: Another good example from Jacquelyn Cyr.

UPDATE 2 @ Nov.3, 2008 –

I have since come to think of some of the work that conferences are doing to assert their identities along these same lines.

Many now ask Twitterers at the conference to tag all of their related tweets consistently so that they can be viewed via Twitter Search and Twemes as one discussion thread.  #Mesh was the first that I noticed and SoCap08 retweeted all related tweets during the conference.

It looks like defrag08 is doing the retweet thing too.

Update 4@ Nov.17, 2008: Extending Mad Men into Twitter. Make sure that you follow the links in Paul’s post.

UPDATE 3@ Nov.4, 2008:

I have turned my evolving reflections about twitter into a series of posts.  Catch the other thoughts:

Why Twitter Matters #1: Follow me, Follow You on Twitter

Why Twitter Matters #3: Escalopter

Why Twitter Matters #4: social capital discussion evolving

Comment, Kim Patrick Kobza, CEO, Neighborhood America: cognitive outliers, real time group cognition

Why Twitter Matters #5: Twitter and Social Capital

Why Twitter Matters #6: Twitter Love Song

Twitter Matters #7: Twitter Bot Auto-Debate

UPDATE@Nov.4, 2008 – an overview of StockTwits from Stowe Boyd.

UPDATE@Dec.1, 2008 – Tim O’Reilly “Why I Love Twitter”

Are relationships memetic?

Here is a quote from one of my forum discussions:

Michael, you state,”Of course relationships can be controlled by third parties and varying environmental contexts. Ask any pair of siblings who have been separated by the border between North and South Korea or the Berlin Wall. Ask Facebook, who at first did not let you in unless you were a student. Or Google, who knows what they are up to?”
That’s true for “physical restraints/boundaries” but not “mental/motivational states” which are the essence of relationships.

So I agree. Perhaps “influence” is a better word to use than control when it comes to describing relationships. But I am not trying to be politically correct here. I am concerned that the potential exists for corporations to get so far ahead in managing and exploiting social networks that their “influence” will amount to “control” for many.

In any event, this exchange provoked some new thinking for me. Perhaps the “memetic brand” idea is worth exploring for a reason that I have not previously directly addressed?

Relationships are memetic.

Broadband powered individuals are the emerging dominant media platform.

What makes relationships evolve or become extinct?  We all have a well developed instinct for that ..

This basic instinct can move us a great distance towards understanding how brands live or die beyond the broadcast era.

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Susan Blackmore TED talk, released June 8

A few memetic brand reflections that occur while watching this Susan Blackmore TED talk:

– good introduction to the foundations of memetics,
– we are the meme machines,
– what are the keys to selection? Variation is a key to selection. Mutation/variation is key to the survival and the spread of an idea, key to memetic branding but contradicts the traditional brand mantras of consistency, continuity and conformity … hmm,
– “don’t think intelligence”, “think replicators” … this would seem to point us as brand strategists, towards investing a lot more time and money on understanding and developing relationships with broadband empowered uploaders, we over invest in campaign creative and broadcast “push” because it is easier,
– “spreading memes is dangerous” but economic network theory (UPDATE: Just came across this related paper: http://econ-www.mit.edu/files/2756, it’s new!) makes us hopeful that not only will we observe and replicate the behavour of our neighbors, there will be sufficient optimism to spur experiments, so that we will settle on optimum behaviours … hope matters. Elections like this one in the USA, matter …

Launch the video and please jot down your thoughts as they occur below …

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Twitter Matters #1: Follow Me, Follow You on Twitter

memeticbrand

That’s my twitter handle.  Despite the technical problems that Twitter has been having, I finally took the plunge at MESH08.  I promised to monitor the “back channel” for a few of the panelists on www.twemes.com and I just could not stand being a fly on the wall any longer.

I must say that being live in one session and monitoring the tweets from two other sessions brought an incredible FULL ON level of engagement that I could not image before Twitter and Twemes.

But my main motive for joining Twitter is not to monitor back channel.  My real reason is that I want to tell you all about what I ate for dinner – NOT.

My real reason is because I definitely think that it is a new medium that is particularly suited for memetic branding purposes.

Firstly, there is still a relatively small group of people on twitter (even less following me!).  They are the early adoptors and in most cases, they publish blogs and other web content, so they are endowed with scaled up forms of social capital.

Perhaps more importantly, I think Twitter is a medium that is involved in the genesis of shared perception.  From a memetic branding stand point, that is worth exploring.

Finally, over the years I have lived in different parts of Asia, Europe and North America.  My personal network is stretched by time and geography.  So far, only a few of my contacts are on Twitter, but I can really see how this is going to make the value of these global relationships present in each moment, in a much more tangible and immediate way.

I can only describe my initial impressions of Twitter as – prescience.

15hrs ago – “I am brushing my teeth”.  Can’t you see the potential!

Update:

I have turned my evolving reflections about twitter into a series of posts.  Catch the other thoughts:

Why Twitter Matters #2: Memetic Logos

Why Twitter Matters #3: Escalopter

Why Twitter Matters #4: social capital discussion evolving

Comment, Kim Patrick Kobza, CEO, Neighborhood America: cognitive outliers, real time group cognition

Why Twitter Matters #5: Twitter and Social Capital

Why Twitter Matters #6: Twitter Love Song

Twitter Matters #7: Twitter Bot Auto-Debate

UPDATE@Nov.4, 2008 – an overview of StockTwits from Stowe Boyd.

UPDATE@Dec.1, 2008 – Tim O’Reilly “Why I Love Twitter”

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The dog experiment

Last night I made a post over at Memetic Brand’s sister blog, Social Capital Value Add, called “What’s with the dog?“.

Social Capital Value Add is an inherently complex concept. It is based upon lots of simple ideas that everyone gets right away:

– in 2004 broadband changed the game,

– there is a “new” word of mouth power out there that brands are vulnerable to,

– brand loyalty matters,

– etc, etc, etc.

The point of developing SCVA is that there is a lot more about all of this that we do not understand at the moment, than there are simple things to grab onto. How do you get across that complexity when people are time starved and operating with attention deficits (or what McLuhan would call “narcotic numbness“)?

Symbols matter. They signal something. They are the tip of the ice berg. But, we are developing the idea here at Memetic Brand that the symbol itself is a lot less important than traditional brand management has (rightfully, within the broadcast paradigm) us believing.

I am not betting on the dog. The dog is cute. I hope the dog gets your attention. I hope that the dog signals to you that SCVA is an idea worth passing on. I hope you scratch the dog a little (go ahead he likes that) and discover the Wizard of Oz metaphor that encompasses for me the difference between symbolic brand and memetic branding.

I hope that we discover together that if we make the kinds of investments that SCVA points us towards, we will all become “clever enough wizards” to quickly transform from Great Oz into leadership of great courage, heart and brains.
Playing a role in personal identity formation by recognizing our social network connections with certifications (the Scarecrow’s diploma), testimonials (the Tin Man’s ticking heart) and medals of honour (the Lion’s courage) will be familiar aspects of our strategy and tactics.