Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Experience Before Branding

Jack Vinson tweeted the following Fast Company rave-up of IBM's entry in the Face Share social media ring. It read like the Gulliver's Travels caught in the virtual web of social nets. All those tiny people are Facebook customers -- aahhh, let me cut loose and wait for Jack to seed my next beanstalk venture, please!

All raves aside it was transparently partisan to Big Blue and I too found myself pulled into the story's gravitation. That's not because IBM is inherently better at social nets than Microsoft. Just that they possess and propagate their own homegrown infernos -- the molten core of critical social mass. When Microsoft eats its own dog food often it's been predigested by a beta pedigree behind someone else's pit bull fence. Not IBM:

"IBM's internal network served as both an incubator and torture test for its latest offering."

Of course, just because IBM cultivates its own crash tests doesn't mean that its dummies don't bleed the same R&D reserves as any other experiential wannabe. Whoever wins at Face share will have the ubiquity to melt the word "social" off the future face of software. And why call it software when it's no longer a substitute for firsthand encounters but "the real thing?"

We'll come to know this in time -- not by some IDC forecast or self-selecting straw poll but by the disappearance of brand IBM, Microsoft, Apple, Google, etal. from the face of experience.

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attentionSpin is a consulting practice formed in 1990 to create, automate and apply a universal scoring system (“The Biggest Picture”) to brands, celebrities, events and policy issues in the public eye. In the Biggest Picture, attentionSpin applies the principles of market research to the process of media analytics to score the volume and nature of media coverage. The explanatory power of this research model: 1. Allows practitioners to understand the requirements for managing the quality of attention they receive 2. Shows influencers the level of authority they hold in forums where companies, office-seekers, celebrities and experts sell their visions, opinions and skills 3. Creates meaningful standards for measuring the success and failure of campaigns and their connection to marketable assets.