Archive for October, 2009

Is Twitter Down, Or Is It Just You?

Posted on October 29, 2009. Filed under: Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

twitter fail whale (full)The last couple of weeks have been extra busy for Twitter. Its temporary outage message, a.k.a. the “fail whale” has gotten a workout.

This past Tuesday morning when I tried to get on Twitter, to no avail, the fail whale was nowhere in sight. All I got in my Firefox browser was a spinning icon that indicates a page is trying to load.

Twitter crashes can occur when the service is maxed out due to activity generated by big news. For instance, when Barack Obama won the Nobel Prize, and Michael Jackson’s death.

On Tuesday I couldn’t discern any crashworthy events.

There are other reasons for Twitter failure, to include database kerfluffles, an application programming interface (API)  gone awry, and distributed denial-of-service attacks (like the one that happened in August).

Whatever the reason, it’s frustrating to be shut out. You wonder whether the glitch is with Twitter or your end of the connection.

Websites that tell you what’s up (or down)

Enter a useful website that tells you which end is up:

Also, handy:

  • isthisdown gives the status of any web address you plug into it.
  • downrightnow monitors a variety of heavily trafficked sites including Twitter, Facebook, Ning, Gmail, Hotmail. Yahoo Mail, Blogger, LiveJournal and Typepad, plus, it’s got an RSS feed to keep you up-to-date on service issues.

So check one or more of the above the next time you want to know what’s up (or down) with Twitter and other favorite web sites.

– Deni Kasrel

Do you know of other sites that let you know what’s up or down on the web?  Please let us know about it. Comments welcome.

Related post:

Curious Consequences of the Twitter Outage

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How To Fire Up Your New Product Launch

Posted on October 26, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

match on fire (bigstockphoto)How do you ensure a product still in development catches fire come launch-time?

Keep things largely under wraps, while simultaneously spilling a bunch of the beans.

A neat trick that takes finesse to pull off; one recent example is the rollout of Google Wave.

Limiting who gets to test drive

Not quite ready for prime time, there’s already gobs of chatter about the Wave, which is in limited preview. You must be asked to give it a test drive.

Invitees include developers and influentials — tech writers and bloggers being a big block here — who are in turn allowed to ask 20 additional individuals to join the fold.

Google’s tactic of limiting who gets a preliminary trial ensures invitees are quick to spread the word. To clue people in on the Wave, of course, but also, it’s an opportunity to infer, without really saying so, “I’m one of the chosen people.”  It’s a status symbol.

Anyone can peek under the hood

You can get a gander of the product by visiting the About Google Wave web site.

Google Wave logoThe site includes a long (80 minute) video presentation, originally given to developers, about this new collaborative communications platform that appears to be a souped-up combination of email, chat, photo sharing and other social media tools, with considerable real-time capability.

FYI, you don’t need to watch the video all the way through. The first part has demos and explanations in plain English. The rest is for developers who may want to build apps and other tools to work with the Wave.

If you’re not into tech talk stop after the first segment: You’ll still see what the ruckus is about.

Buzz builds

Meanwhile, buzz about Google Wave continues to build.

Mashable and TechCrunch have guides to the product. Lots of journalists and bloggers, including Mr. Web 2.0 himself, Tim O’Reilly, are getting the word out.

Computerworld claims the Wave is indeed innovative, but wonders if it’s truly useful in the real world.

As yet another tantalizer, you can request an invitation to Google Wave.

Follow the leader

Few businesses have a footprint as big a Google, where this kind of rollout has such immense impact.

No matter, you can still follow the leader. Here are the basic steps.

  • Unveil your upcoming product to select influentials. This group includes members of the media (both traditional and social media), prominent existing and/or potential customers, people who will eventually market your product, and others who communicate to audiences that can derive benefit from your product.
  • Inform invitees of their exclusive status.
  • Tell the general public you are giving pre-launch test drives to invited individuals (to elevate the status factor even more).
  • Post limited information about your new product, that anyone can view, showing how it works. The “you can look but not touch” approach creates anticipation and desire.
  • Tell invited influentials you are not simply looking for free PR, but want authentic feedback on how they perceive the product.
  • Listen to and absorb the feedback, both positive and negative.
  • Dangle a carrot to the uninvited indicating that you might let them take the product for a spin.
  • Gradually increase the number of invitees.
  • Launch product and watch the sparks fly.

Time will tell if Google Wave is a tsunami (or not).

Until then, the fire lighting up public interest continues to burn.

– Deni Kasrel

Have you heard about Google Wave? Are you one of the chosen few who gets to test the Wave? What do you think about Goggle’s limited preview? Can you see it working for other products? Please offer your thoughts. Comments welcome.

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Should Employers Ban Personal Use of Social Media While On the Job?

Posted on October 22, 2009. Filed under: Best practices, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Not Approved sign (Big Stock Photo)Did you know more companies are banning employees from using social networks while on the job?

Oh, really? Not one tweet, or a single Facebook comment all the live-long workday? Surely some folks will go into withdrawal. That stuff is addictive, you know.

Meantime, Iran tried to ban use of social media, and that didn’t work, so what chance does an employer have of making the rule stick?

Yet more businesses are adopting a no-if-ands-or-buts stance on the matter.

Outright prohibition

Robert Half Technology, an agency providing information technology professionals for both part-time and full-time needs recently polled 1,400 CIOs regarding company policy on worker’s visiting social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter while at work. Here are the results:

54% Prohibited completely

19% Permitted for business purposes only

16% Permitted for limited personal use

10% Permitted for any type of personal use

1%   Don’t know/no answer

A press release about the survey notes Robert Half Executive Director Dave Willmer’s sensitivity to employers: “Using social networking sites may divert employees’ attention away from more pressing priorities, so it’s understandable that some companies limit access.”

Willmer goes on to state, “For some professions, however, these sites can be leveraged as effective business tools, which may be why about one in five companies allows their use for work-related purposes.”

Why single it out?

Social networking for personal purposes is a diversion from work responsibilities. So is making a personal phone call, replying to personal email, engaging in small talk around the office coffee pot, taking a cigarette break, surfing the Net, and any number of other ways that individuals may not be 100% on the job while on the company clock.

And let’s get real; outright prohibition is impossible to enforce given the prevalence of smartphones, which offer ready access to the Internet, and hence all those social sites.

The trend is only going up

Social media is undeniably an ever-growing mode of communication. For many, it’s as familiar a way to converse and share information as the telephone and email. That goes for personal and business use.

Risks are real

Companies are wise to be cognizant of social media — to promote their own purposes, and as pertains to the potential for it to turn into a time suck on employee productivity.  Even if someone intends to jump on just for a quick jolt, it’s easy to get entranced on these platforms.

There are reputation risks. Workers may post comments that reflect badly on their employer, and perhaps themselves. Anyone can do the same offline. Bad judgment isn’t limited to the social media sphere.

Establish a policy

When change happens fast, and with force, it can be difficult to know how to handle the disruption.  That’s what’s going on here. Two years ago Twitter’s audience was limited — now, it’s where major news breaks. Facebook has in excess of 300 million users.

Companies do need to devise ways to deal with all that comes with this new circumstance.

But a ban? Well, that’s just plain crazy talk.

The sensible thing to do is to create and publicize a policy that establishes reasonable practical parameters for employee use of, and behavior on, these networks. I wrote a post about this in August. It spells things out nice and simple.

For additional resources and actual examples of social media policies, hit these two links:

Social Media Governance: Online database of social media policies

List of 40 Social Media Staff Guidelines (from blog of Laurel Papworth)

Companies are made up of people, not robots.

Bottom line: Organizations must be mindful about what is a realistic solution here.

Employees may be resources, but they are human resources.

– Deni Kasrel

Related post:

How To Create A Winning Corporate Social Media Policy

Do you think employers should prohibit personal use of social networks while on the job? Is it even possible to enforce such a policy? What do you think? Comments welcome.

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How Your Website Can Soar Above The Rest

Posted on October 20, 2009. Filed under: Uncategorized, Web User Experience | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

dancers (man lifting woman) Big Stock Photo

What’s the difference between a good website and a great one?

It can be a fine line, but one you want to cross.

Recently, when discussing this very topic, I used ballet as a point of comparison.

Yes, ballet can relate to website strategy. Here’s how:

Shiny dancer

Earlier this year I went to a show by BalletX, a Philadelphia-based company. I’ve seen this ensemble a number of times and generally enjoy the performance. This one had an extra spark, much of it fired by a guy named Matthew Prescott.

Matthew was a guest artist and, wow, did he shine.

Not that Matthew was a showy dancer. He just had a wonderfully natural ease of movement combined with superb technical ability.

Now, everyone who dances with BalletX is a high-end professional. Still, Matthew stuck out like a beacon. He was exciting to watch.

No matter what, make it look easy

Matthew showed off his wide smile throughout the program, even when lifting a ballerina high above his head. And sure, she was a flyweight, but really; raising a grown-up body, no matter how light, is tough to do with grace and a grin.

Also, Matthew was keenly attuned not only to the dancers he maneuvered about, but to the audience as well. Everything he did outwardly communicated, “I’m doing this for you.”

So, what does this have to do with strategic web communications?

How to make your website shine (without being showy)

You can have an attractive website with well-written content and that surely goes a long way. But when you’re outstanding it makes a big difference. That’s how you get from good to great.

Here are ballet-inspired pointers for making a website soar:

  • Shine without being showy. Resist the temptation to have lots of bells and whistles. Unless you are an actual purveyor of bells and whistles, these are distractions rather than attractions.
  • Even if your service or product is difficult to execute, make it seem easy to accomplish. Your instinct may be to show all the effort, but the customer just wants to know you’re a real pro.  Of course, if you’re in a technical industry, certain customers will want detailed information on your process. It’s fine to have this available. But don’t make it a focal point on the homepage. Drop it down a couple tiers. The best first impression is of your exceptional value proposition. Convey this in clear compelling fashion.
  • Your site must operate flawlessly from a technical standpoint. All actions need to execute smoothly and without delay of process. On the web, performance (not patience) is the preferred virtue.
  • Every aspect of your site — design, navigation, text, functionality, search engine optimization — must focus on your audience. Your organization does not exist to serve itself and neither should your website.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of these tips to make a website soar above the rest? Can you think of other aspects that make the difference between a good website and a great one? Share your thoughts. Comments welcome.

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Four Great Blogs About Blogging

Posted on October 15, 2009. Filed under: Blogs/Blogging | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Have you noticed how many blogs are about blogging?

Clearly, the blogging community embraces the rule of thumb to write about what you know.

The upshot is; if you’re a blogger, or want to become one, there’s a plethora of free resources available on the web. Here are four sites that I find useful:

Copyblogger

Copyblogger lives and breathes the content is king mantra.

copyblogger logoIt’s serious about teaching us how to write great copy. As would be expected of such a site, it’s an entertaining read. Illustrations are frequently funny and you might want to visit it just for the grabby headlines (one example: How to Be Interesting).

Copyblogger posts are sharp and to the point — no fancy prose or hyper-pontificating allowed. While the big focus is on the art of writing, the site believes there’s little point to putting a lot of effort in this regard if no one reads your blog. To help ensure this doesn’t happen to you it includes marketing tips, too.

Considered tops in the biz, Copyblogger routinely winds up on lists for “best of’ and “most influential” blogs along with…

ProBlogger

ProBlogger logoThe big kahuna in the blogging-for-dollars space, it’s the brainchild of Darren Rowse, who figured out early-on how to make money from blogging and subsequently surmised he could make even more by creating a blog to help others do the same.

The site has several thousands of articles as well as a weekly video post. ProBlogger is chock full of practical tips and tutorials on writing, publicizing, search engine optimizing, analyzing and otherwise getting the most bang from your blogging. Leading by example, it’s got a heavy ad/sales component.

Daily Blog Tips

This one offers a daily dose of information on blog-related topics (though it does rest on Sundays). The content is wide-ranging and includes design, marketing, promotion, software, tools, strategy and plenty more — in terms of comprehensive coverage, you can’t beat it.

Daily Blog Tips logoEvery Friday Daily Blog Tips has a Q&A in response to queries from readers. Another recurring feature is the Bloggers Face-Off where two bloggers respond to a series of questions and readers can vote on the winner. Here you can readily see that there are many approaches for creating a successful blog.

Consistently offering good info, DBT is one of my go-to sources when I’m looking for articles to tweet.

The Bloggers Bulletin

A relatively new kid on the block, The Blogger’s Bulletin was launched to support members of a group on LinkedIn called The Blog Zone. The pool of contributors draws from this group though anyone can read The Bloggers Bulletin.

The Blogger's Bulletin logo (with border)Much like Daily Blog Tips, the site takes a big picture view of what all’s involved in blogging. It has a long list of contributors — one of its purposes is to help writers, including those just starting out, get placement outside of their own blog and to provide a link back to the writer’s blog as a way to help increase traffic and boost search engine optimization. This community-minded approach results in a nice diversity of writing styles, views and opinions.

– Deni Kasrel

What’s YOUR  take on these blogs about blogging? Do you know of other sites that should be added to the great blogs about blogging list? Please feel free to make suggestions.  Comments welcome.

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Why Failure Is Good For You

Posted on October 12, 2009. Filed under: Business Strategy, Commentary | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Scared man standing in deep water (Big Stock Photo)Would you attend a talk titled How and Why I Failed?

Many of us are programmed to shirk that one off without a thought.

We want to learn how to succeed.

What about a panel on failure?

A person on a panel I attended at the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009 suggested the event should sponsor a panel on failure.

He noted there is as much, if not more, to be learned in knowing why a project didn’t work out as there is in hearing why one succeeded.

It’s a great point — especially if your aim is to innovate.

Most attempts at innovation fail. If it were easy everyone could do it.

Experimentation is essential to innovation

Experimentation is fundamental to innovation. Testing to see what does or does not work is an ongoing part of the research and development process. There’s an implicit hope that an experiment may uncover heretofore-unknown knowledge that may lead to a new discovery. If not then testing continues.

We should all thank scientists for having this attitude; otherwise we’d suffer from a multitude of ailments that have been eradicated due to dogged trial and error research.

No one bats 1000

In business the fear of failure leads to paralysis and a play it safe mentality, where no one wants to stick his/her neck out and propose something new. You don’t want to be the one who came up with a faulty idea.

Unless your goal is innovate. Then you’re not afraid of failure because you know that’s part of the deal.

No person, or enterprise, bats 1000.

Failure can lead to smashing success

In the late ‘80s early ’90s Apple introduced its infamous Newton.  The device was a PDA (personal digital assistant) before anyone knew what these were or what to do with them. A product ahead of its time, it was also buggy and the Newton failed in the market; big-time.

Two developers of the Newton went on to create the operating system for the first iPods.

The iPhone includes certain elements of the Newton and the rumored Apple tablet, if it is indeed coming to market, will (reputedly) incorporate concepts first introduced via the Newton.

Famous people’s thoughts on failure

Woody Allen, a man whose broken cinematic conventions (and social ones too, but we won’t get into that) said:

“If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

If Allen isn’t lofty enough for you, then how’s about this one from the great inventor Thomas Edison, who was awarded in excess of 1000 patents:

“I have not failed, not once. I’ve discovered 10,000 ways that don’t work.”

And for good measure I’ll include a quote by Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. It’s from a commencement address Jobs gave at Stanford University where he spoke about his ability to learn and move on from failure:

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future.”

The secret to success is to learn from failure

I soaked up a lot of information at the Creative Economy Summit, from people who talked about how to succeed through business strategies, social media and new technologies.

But I think that comment about needing to acknowledge and learn from failure may be the most useful insight of all.

– Deni Kasrel

Do YOU think failure is a critical factor to achieve innovation? Is it a secret to success? Comments welcome.

Related posts

Who And What Drives Innovation and Creativity

Creative Economy Summit Converges In Philadelphia

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How To Captivate An Audience

Posted on October 8, 2009. Filed under: Communications Strategy, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Hand holding a Poken device If you’re giving a presentation and want the audience to hang on your every word here’s a tip: Announce you’ll give away free stuff to people who answer questions correctly during your talk.

Trust me, it works like a charm.

I saw it in action during Peter Shankman’s keynote address at the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009 sponsored by Innovation Philadelphia.

Reel ’em in

Shankman is the founder of Help A Reporter Out, a.k.a. HARO, a free service that connects reporters to sources for articles.

He gave a breakfast talk, and though the caffeine had barely kicked in, Shankman held the crowd in rapt attention, because from time to time he’d ask a question and then toss out a small box to whomever gave the correct response.

No one knew what the heck the freebie was, but no matter. Shankman deemed it a “cool new toy” — ‘nuff said.

The Poken: It’s huge in Europe

Poken device plugged into a laptopAt the conclusion Shankman revealed the cool toy was a Poken — which like David Hasselhoff, is huge in Europe. This small USB-enabled device lets you transfer your contact information, including social network info, to someone else’s Poken, and vice versa. It’s an electronic social business card that plugs into your computer to download the information collected.

Shankman predicted the Poken would soon be a big deal in the States, too. Time will tell on that score, but the point is, the chance to win a nifty mystery thingamabob kept all ears riveted on the speaker.

This is not to suggest that he’d have otherwise lost the audience; Shankman is an entertaining guy and worth hearing in any event. I’m just saying the freebie factor made the desire to listen all the more intense. Also, by asking questions there was audience interaction — another good way to reel folks in.

How to succeed in business (using social media)

As for the content of his address, “Social Media, It’s Simply Trust,” Shankman declared that to succeed in selling through social media you must not only build a better mousetrap, but build one that’s hard to copy. Because things get passed around fast and imitators abound.

He then revealed the four rules he employed to build HARO into a successful service (it has in excess of 100,000 members).

Be transparent

A fundamental rule of social media is to be who you say you are — don’t be a poser.

Shankman says don’t lie about anything. If you mess up, admit it, accept the blame and make it right.

The web makes it easy for people to dig around and uncover buried information, hence he advises:

“The biggest mistake is not making a mistake. It’s attempting to cover it up and think you won’t get caught.”

Be relevant

Beyond saying or passing on something of value you need to know how your audience wants to get information. Web site, mobile device, video, podcast, blog, press release, email — however your audience wants to receive information, you need to serve it up.

If you don’t know what they want, ask. Shankman observes:

“If you’re not reaching your audience the way they want, they’ll go somewhere else. And not only that, they have the ability to bitch about it to all their friends, which they will do.”

Brevity

Along with being the soul of wit, brevity is essential in a society where simple text messages, microblogging and short attention spans rule. Keep it concise and relevant and be sure there are no spelling and/or grammatical errors.

Stay top of mind

Happy Birthday Post-it note (Big stock image)Keep in touch with the people in your network just to say, “Hey, what’s up?” Or, do something like Shankman does, which is to send out birthday wishes to everyone in his Facebook network.

The emphasis here is to have an interest in the person you’re contacting (it’s not about you). Shankman’s wise words:

“Studies show we talk to roughly three percent of our network on a regular basis. All you have to do to be great is be a half a percent better than everyone else.”

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of Shankman’s ploy to keep everyone interested? What about his four rules for business success through social media? Comments welcome.

Related posts:

Who And What Drives Innovation And Creativity?

Creative Economy Summit Converges In Philadelphia


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Who and What Drives Innovation and Creativity?

Posted on October 7, 2009. Filed under: Communications Strategy, Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit, logo 2009This same time last year our nation was reeling from a financial system in freefall. We’re still in recovery mode, however, if necessity is indeed the mother of invention, then the situation will ultimately spur a windfall of ingenuity.

Such was the spirit of the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009, held earlier this week in Philadelphia.

The agenda featured numerous panels and workshops. I often wished I had the ability to be in two places at the same time. Perhaps someone will be creative enough to figure out how to make that happen.

I still packed a lot in. Here’s Part 1 of my condensed notes, plus one of many memorable slides seen at the conference:

A cool slide

Let’s begin with that slide, screened at the panel on Regional Creative Economic Strategies. It’s from the deck of Karen Gagnon who’s the dynamic program manager of a major urban revitalization project in Michigan called “Cool Cities”.

Gagnon stressed that the success of “Cool Cities” in part relies on the fact that it does not enforce mandates. Instead, the program finds allies in individual cities that are able to gain the input and buy-in of local groups and communities. Get a look at how Gagnon illustrated her point here:

Government can NOT mandate cool

Man, you gotta love that one.

Now here’s more snippets from speakers and panelists at the conference:

Welcoming remarks: Peter Kageyama, Partner, Creative Cities Productions

  • The creative economy is all about whales and krill. Google is clearly the whale, but so much of the creative economy is about smaller companies that are the krill in the water, and in aggregate the krill are far bigger; it’s just harder to see.
  • We are the most overly marketed to generation ever, yet we believe almost none of it.
  • Green is the new black: To attract members of the creative class organizations and cities must reflect their values. Green (in the context of sustainability) is no longer a nice to have, it’s a must have.

Keynote address: Elizabeth Gilbert, author, Eat Pray Love

  • The expectation in our society is that we must constantly outdo ourselves, and in this relentless drive, we cannibalize our ability to be true artists.
  • We are pressed to be innovative but we must also be gentle and patient with ourselves.
  • Follow curiosity wherever it takes you; and for writers, take a line for a walk across the page.

Workshop: Get to ‘Shiny Penny Hell’ and Back

  • Shiny Penny Hell is when you have great ideas but you are paralyzed by not knowing how to turn them into things of value.
  • Be a possibility thinker.
  • There is such a thing as productive conflict — seek out divergent viewpoints that challenge your ideas.
  • Explore the outrageous.
  • Obsess over value creation.
  • To avoid tunnel vision have focused flexibility, don’t lose your peripheral vision.

Keynote Address: The Global Promise of Entrepreneurship, Randall Kempner, Executive Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs

  • Innovation is the generation, development and implementation of new ideas that create social value.
  • Entrepreneurship is often born out of dire circumstance.
  • Entrepreneurship = prosperity

Panel: ABC’s of Mobile Technology

  • Mobile is about where you are and what you are doing at a certain time.
  • When designing for mobile one size does not fill all; but there are in excess of 20,000 devices, so it’s impossible to design for every one.
  • The three most important platforms are the iPhone, Blackberry and flip phone.
  • Mobile web designs must be stripped down to essential needs; keep it simple in terms of tasks and navigation.
  • Marketing tactics that that work well with mobile include coupons, news alerts/reminders, sweepstakes, text voting polls and surveys.
  • The reach of mobile marketing is limited because it’s an opt-in method, but this provides a highly targeted audience that’s receptive to receiving your messages.
  • Mobile and social media, perfect together.

OK, that’s a quick glimpse of insights from the Summit. Stay tuned for more.

– Deni Kasrel

What do YOU think of these ideas from the Summit? Anything spark your interest or imagination? Comments welcome.

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Creative Economy Summit Converges In Philadelphia

Posted on October 3, 2009. Filed under: Events | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Missle, Cold War era (bigstockphoto)Whenever I hear the word “summit” in reference to a meeting or conference my mind harkens back to a childhood memory.

A Cold War event

This particular Summit — that occurred in my hometown of Glassboro, New Jersey — brought together President Lyndon B. Johnson and Soviet Prime Minister Aleksei Kosygin.

The Summit was intended to improve diplomatic relations following the 1967 Arab-Israeli Six Day War. The two leaders were to talk about limiting the spiraling military arms race between the U.S. and Russia.

The Summit was a big deal for Glassboro, which back then, was best known for its delectable Jersey peaches and tomatoes. We had a parade, news teams came from around the world, and the whole thing was the talk of the town.

The event put Glassboro on the map — for a New York minute, at least — however the Summit wound up being more symbol than substance.

Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit, logo 2009A creative Summit

Now I’m excited about another Summit. This one doesn’t include high-ranking national officials, however, it will have scads of substance.

It’s the Global Creative Economy Convergence Summit 2009. Hosted by Innovation Philadelphia, the two-day affair is packed with panels, discussions and workshops.

A new supply and demand curve

FYI, the creative economy; not to be confused with creative accounting; is one where ideas, innovation and the power of invention are the coin of the realm. It concerns the web (2.0, 3.0 and beyond), the changing dynamics of the workplace, and other shifts that are occurring with increasing speed.

John Howkins, who wrote the book, The Creative Economy: How People Make Money from Ideas, offers this description:

“The creative economy is based on a new way of thinking and doing. The primary inputs are our individual talent or skill. These inputs may be familiar or novel; what is more important is that our creativity transforms them in novel ways. In some sectors the output value depends on their uniqueness; in others, on how easily it can be copied and sold to large numbers of people.”

Creative convergence

As the title of the Summit in Philadelphia implies, it’s all about convergence. Taking a big-picture look at the creative economy the event brings in entrepreneurs, professionals from technology and creative sectors, business and cultural leaders.

The agenda explores elements that drive the creative economy including sustainability projects, public and private initiatives, business ventures, changing workforce models and emerging technologies.

There’s a diverse array of presenters, of which there are way too many to mention. Here’s a small selection to convey the scope of those represented:

  • Gary Ackerman, President and Co-founder, M3Mobile
  • David Bookspan, Founder, DreamIt Ventures
  • Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
  • Elizabeth Gilbert, Author, Eat Pray Love
  • Sallie Glickman, CEO, Philadelphia Workforce Investment Board
  • Jacqueline Hill, Director, Pennsylvania Minority Business Enterprise Center
  • Randall Kempner, Executive Director, Aspen Network of Development Entrepreneurs
  • Jane McGonigal, Director of Game Research and Development, Institute for the Future
  • Hilmar Sigurdsson, Managing Director of Icelandic animation studio CAOZ
  • Gary Sorin, Director of Operational Excellence, NRG Energy
  • Kevin Stolarick, Research Director, The Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management
  • Melissa Thiessen, Co-Organizer, Twestival
  • Branimir Vasilic, CTO, superfluid
  • Paul Wright, Executive Vice President, Operations & Business Development, Micco World, Inc.

Online references

If you want the full skinny, it’s listed on the Summit web site, where you can also find a downloadable pdf.

Summit-related conversation is encouraged both in-person and online. Of the latter there are several ways to keep up what’s happening at the confab, including the official blog, Facebook, Twitter (and the Summit hashtag is #GCECS2009), YouTube, Flickr and mobile updates.

I’ll be attending on both days and will be reporting my take on things, once it’s over, via this blog. So stay tuned for more on the substance of the Summit.

-Deni Kasrel

What do you think about this Summit for the Creative Economy? Will you be attending? Comments welcome.

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