christopher miller discusses marketing, technology and emerging media in the digital space


Let’s get social

Posted by Chris under Advertising, Chicago, Community, Conference, Google, Social Networking, Twitter

Last week Google, at their Chicago office, hosted an afternoon event on social marketing along with a rawkstar party later that evening.

The event featured two keynote speakers: Jeremiah Owyang, Sr. Analyst Forrester and Paula Drum, VP, marketing, H&R Block. It was great to meet both of them as I’d spoken with them via phone, email and twitter but not met face to face. Both of their presentations were great, as expected.

Prior to Jeremiah’s presentation he sent a tweet that I’d be tweeting the presentation and thanks to Mrs. Naslund’s Freshman typing my typing speed allowed me to keep followers up to date. Interestingly his one tweet added about 30 followers, again showing the power of social networking.

Dick Costello, that’s right of Feedburner hosted a panel discussion, which unfortunately I couldn’t stay for however you can catch the photos of the even here (thanks Kate for posting on Picasso). And in addition to the photo’s Google has also posted PDF’s of the presentation which are here as well.

If you want to see the archive of tweets from the presentations they are here, but you’ll have to go back a few pages as well.


Dog Pile – yes another post on the new Twitter update

Posted by Chris under Browsers, Community, Social Networking, Technology, Twitter

Yesterday Twitter made an update to their web interface. Can I say thanks Ajax!

Biggies are moved the tabs to the right, updates refreshed via Ajax (yep much faster loading) and a slightly tweaked UI.

The UI has been cleaned up a bit and made the star and reply swoosh beside every update into hover state items.

Find out more, check out your own twitter page or read their blog here.

I like it but I’ll still be using the web app’s for the most part as I wrote about here.


Digital Ethnography – a reminder

Posted by Chris under CNMS08, Community, Research, Social Networking, trends

I’m pretty sure you’ve seen these video already, which are from, Dr. Michael Wesch, Assistant Professor of Cultural Anthropology and Digital Ethnography at Kansas State University.

The below video was played at CNMS08 as part of a presentation from Constance M. Yowell, of the
John D. & Katherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which reminded me, maybe some people haven’t seen it.

The video  summarizes in a great video form what students face, do, act, etc.

You can follow his blog here and YouTube channel here. He’s got a lot of great content on both but check out his YouTube channel for some of the student videos as well, good insight on today’s Millenials


Twitter – via applicaitions

Posted by Chris under Adobe, Air, Technology, Twitter, Uncategorized

In the beginning there was a web browser and But very very quickly as Twitter picked up steam and users there were many other tools for Twitter. These include applications to post to twitter, to read your tweets or even search across twitter.

And my no means is this list fully comprehensive, it’s growing by the week but it’ll give you a start whether you’re an old hand at twitter or a newbie. I personally don’t use (the website interface) that much, preferring instead to use a couple of app’s, depending on what platform I’m on. That said I do use the site to follow others, grab individual tweets (e.g.for blog posts) or to update my photo or design.

More then comprehensive lists can be found here, here, and here

But to make it easy here are the Applications that I really like. First for computer platform. Now keep in mind I’m on Mac and while I also live in Parallels I’m predominantly working on the Mac, so this is Mac centric (so there).

Twhirl – This was my first go to when I moved away from just using the browser. Built on Adobe Air and now in version 0.8.4, Twhirl is cross platform running on Windows (2000/XP/Vista) and Mac OSX. Twhirl also connects to multiple Twitter,, Friendfeed and seesmic accounts, so it’s a bit of all you can eat, which is great.

Two other handy features are the ability to post images to TwitPic, although I tend to do this more on my phone then from my computer, but I do use the built in ability to shorten long URLs (using snurl, twurl or
Oh and Twhirl is free

Twitteriffic – I think this is a bit Tomato/Tomato (hear the long “a”) between Twhirl and Twitteriffic but I have friends who swear by it. It also supports multiple Twitter accounts and all of the other things that I mentioned about Twhirl . I think personally it just comes down to which UI you like best.

I should note that I used the paid iPhone version of Twitterifficand love it
Twitteriffic is free with ads or $14.95 for the ad free version.

TweetDeck – My newest Twitter App and the one I’m using the most is TweetDeck which is also built on Adobe Air. I feel like this app is for the graduated, perhaps I dare say sophisticated user of Twitter.

The key thing about TweetDeck is that it “enables users to split their main feed (All Tweets) into topic or group specific columns allowing a broader overview of tweets.” Meaning I have multiple columns (think feeds) based on the kind of tweets, starting with an All Tweets, @ replies and then d (direct) replies.

Next up is a column of key people I follow who’s tweets appear in there, making it easy to see what @russu, @armano, @simplybrad or the various Mad Men characters are up to.

So for now TweetDeck is getting the lions share of my Twittering (at least on the computer).

Hope this helps your tweet stream!


help I’ve lost my window

Posted by Chris under Adobe, Technology, Twitter

Recently my Twitter client Twhirl, has developed the annoying habit of not being multi-monitor friendly. By this I mean if I have Twhirl running as I switch screen resolution/size and monitor configuration it can go from not appearing at all.

As in the application is running but the app window is no where to be found. What’s a person to do.

Well over at they explain how easy this is to fix.

The crux of it is:

Right-click (ctrl-click for single mouse-button folks) – or click and hold down the button for a few seconds, the twhirl icon in your Dock. When the menu appears, select Resize windows.

For more detail check out and thanks guys, my Twhirl is back!


A Twitter what, why and how to

Posted by Chris under Twitter

Recently I’ve introduced a few people to Twitter, check them out here and here. This started from a lunch time conversation (yes the infamous big boy, and not the restaurant) lunch. During lunch and back at the office we talked about the how to, what’s it all about, hey I heard the Man Men characters were on twitter, etc.

Additionally it turns out that Dr. William J. Ward, is getting his classes involved in twitter and he asked my opinion about how to get started.

So I thought I’d post a quick What, Why and How to Twitter. And because I’m not boldly going where no others have gone before, I’m tapping into some great content that is already out there.

First the What. Below is a great short video from the people over at common craft, the above short video is a great “why” and basic “how to” Twitter. But really covers quite well, what the heck this is and what’s it for.

Next up the Why:

Ok, honestly if you have to know why then Twitter probably isn’t for you. Try a little bit of Yoda as in “do or do not, there is no try” Basically people use Twitter to communicate, duh right. But this can be as a megaphone as in; one-to-many or a one-to-one that many people can see, sort of like a party line where I’m talking to you but others can chime in if they want.

Twitter asks you, “What are you doing?”but I think Chris Brogan said it best ” I believe this is the wrong question to answer. I like to answer the question, “What has your attention right now?”

I use Twitter in much the same way he does: for “advice, directions, support, and to ask others for their open-ended interpretations to general questions.”  In fact, for his further thoughts on the why check out his post here.

Ok now the How:

At first blush there is not much to it. You sign up, a quick 2 min (if that) process, confirm via email, set up your cell phone if you like, etc. Then you are ready to go. But as the old adage goes, if a tree falls…. Well Twitter is much the same way. Until you have some followers no one will hear your voice.* Now I “*” that as if you’ve kept your profile public and are part of the pubic timeline then anyone can “hear” you. But twitter truly become powerful when you follow and are followed by others.

So get started:

I’d recommend doing two things to start. One, start tweeting,  and two start following. Are there people you know, analysts/pundits/etc. people you admire or respect on Twitter, then start following them. Some will auto following you back, others will check you out first. Whatever you do, DO NOT start following tens or hundreds of people right away. Not only does this make the conversation hard to follow (on your end), no one will really take you seriously and you’ll be seen as a bit of a spammer.

Build up your connections over days, weeks, months. Like anything of value in social marketing it takes time to grow. Now once you start to twitter or read others tweets you’ll see posts like this or this. And you’ll realize that twitter also has it’s own “language” or way of calling attention, passing on or contacting directly. And that’s where this link from Brent Ozar comes in very handy. He gives a great 101 of the various kind of tweets/comments to use.

And before you know it, Twitter has become a part of your social networking.

Next, what applications I use to twitter, yes you can go beyond the website. And meanwhile if you’d like follow me on Twitter here.

And I almost forgot, until I saw Dr. Ward’s tweet, be sure to put in a photo, bio and info otherwise you look like a spammer or worse a digital stalker!


Mad Men leaves TV

Posted by Chris under Advertising, I wish I'd thought of that, Social Networking, Twitter

Well not really but they did jump on Twitter. A few days ago, when I was slightly checked out on vacation; yes I was hitting the tables in Vegas and yes did leave with more then I arrived with. Something happened in the twitter space.

Man Men characters, no not the actors, the characters started twittering. I noted it the other day, and thought wow what a great campaign by AMC. Plenty of people tweeted that it not only wasn’t AMC but it was passionate fans that were then shut down by AMC.

But then smartly brought back.

I’m in a brainstorm right now and we’re talking about how to create, tap into and use word of mouth marketing and fan passion. But can we really, as marketer, create this?

David Armano blogged about how this is creating new rules. I’ll build on this it’s not just rule changing and another nod to the power of consumers; it can not just be created, as in let’s create word of mouth marketing.

The people behind, part of, and living are not only fans, they are spot on writers, characters and create an interaction the brings to show to life.

Now I’m an ad guy, have been since I sold sweet corn to local grocery stores when I was 11 and there are times that I can be pretty darn cynical about the business. But I love Mad Men. The writing, the sets, the cinematography and even the pacing, it almost feels like a guilty pleasure to watch. And it’s even more a guilty pleasure to take the time out to tweet with the characters. And I have to admit it’s been quite fun to tweet with Betty Draper.   What started as a coffee stained shirt turned into Betty giving me advice on how to clean it with alcohol and later comments on my new cufflinks, which my wife echoed when I got home.

And you know, I love the show even more now. I’m part of the feedback loop and have told at least a dozen people this morning alone about the show and the twittering. A few haven’t seen the show, but they are interested now.

So one person told ten people who told…

If only we could “make” passionate fans but we can’t. But we can create a great experience and one in which we can hope to ignite and then fan the flames our our passionate audience.

Because when you have a fan base who writes a manifesto (below) like the folks at wearesteerlingcooper you truly have created something beautiful

Fan fiction. Brand hijacking. Copyright misuse. Sheer devotion. Call it what you will, but we call it the blurred line between content creators and content consumers, and it’s not going away. We’re your biggest fans, your die-hard proponents, and when your show gets cancelled we’ll be among the first to pass around the petition. Talk to us. Befriend us. Engage us. But please, don’t treat us like criminals.

This site exists to catalogue the conversation around AMC’s Mad Men and its fanbase across the social web. But it’s just the beginning. ‘We are Sterling Cooper’ is a rallying cry to brands and fans alike to come together and create together.


Mad Men on Twitter

Posted by Chris under Advertising, Social Networking, Twitter

In what starts to feel a bit to real, its like the 60’s meets the new millenium. The characters from Mad Men are on twitter. And it’s a little to real.

And I have to say I love it!

Follow along

and more

There appear to me two of each both a first_last and firstlast. so we’ll see which are the “real” ones, maybe both

Ok I got on vacation for a few days and I miss out on the fun, I assumed (wrongly) that this was the work of AMC. Instead it’s fan fiction done one better and done right. Crap I’m even more of a fan of the show then I was before.

More here


Social Media, look in the mirror first

Posted by Chris under Advertising, I wish I'd thought of that, Social Networking

The other day, Greg Verdino wrote a great post yesterday entitled “Social media: lipstick on a pig or total makeover?” Can I say spot on.

In summary the article is about the hypocrisy of companies using social media or wanting to use social media for marketing when they don’t use it themselves. Thanks Greg I couldn’t agree more!

He goes on to say “If you ask me, starting with social media marketing can often amount to nothing more than putting lipstick on the pig (and yep, the pig in this case is your old school “anti-social” company.)  I can’t tell you how often marketers ask me for advice on how to use social media to reach new customers and sell more stuff, yet have never even considered how they can use the very same (or similar) tools to work better, smarter and cheaper themselves.  Worse still are those companies that seem hell-bent on marketing through social media yet can’t even access social media sites from within their firewalls.”

Then lists seven points that we should all be asking ourselves and our companies.

His point #3 is a big flag waver for me. “How might a private online community enable me to collaborate more seamlessly with my clients, investors and outside business partners?” Tools like Ning can change the way we collaborate not only with clients but also with our audience. Forrester has had some great white papers regarding the connected agency or help wanted 21st century agency, both of which I’d submit are must reads.

But as Greg points out if we don’t use/act/do internally we’re not only missing out we’re selling ourselves short. So let’s all wake up or wake up those around us!


at adtech today

Posted by Chris under Advertising, Chicago, Conference, Twitter, adtech

so I’m at adtech today and will be tweeting the sessions as I see/hear them. Join me on twitter if you’d like: