Not surprisingly, my podcast partner, Jennifer Leggio, and I were a little punchy as we geared up for our two week hiatus during the holidays. This was a good thing and the momentum — along with some silly behavior — carried over into the chat room (I think we had a record number of participants). It didn’t hurt that was had a true social mediast on as our guest in Jess Berlin.
Jess is the social media manager of Cirque du Soleil and not only does she kill it on Twitter and Facebook but she brings her social nature (and awareness) into the offline world. I witnessed this at BlogWorld Expo ’09 as did Chris Brogan at BWE ’08. During our call, Jess talked about engaging Cirque’s customers via social media, their fan run group on MySpace that is 40,000 strong and the importance that bloggers play in helping share the good word about Cirque.
Prior to bringing Jess on the line, Jennifer and I talked about social platform, Squidoo. In a nutshell, it’s parts Wikipedia and Mahalo or in other words, human currated pages or “lenses” for a variety of popular topics. Mike Arrington of TechCrunch did not flatter Squidoo or Seth Godin (one of it’s backers) in the background post I read. And to pile it on, Jennifer had read a lot about people getting spammed with malware links on Squidoo pages. However, our friend and occasional guest host, Kyle Flaherty, demonstrated how good a Squidoo page could be with his company, Breaking Point’s, presence.
Next up, we showered Boston PR man and Twitterer extraordinaire, Doug Haslam, with all sorts of praise. In summary, Doug has pioneered on Twitter using it for Red Sox tweets, raising money for charity and of course, providing “love” for his company, clients (I’m one) and occasionally his podcasts/blogs.
Finally, we came to our signature part of the show: the point / counterpoint. Unfortunately for Jennifer, I took the wind out of her sails a little bit by agreeing with her recent post about branded online communities failing to evolve. While I am still VERY bullish on the future of branded communities, I know that many companies have not done them well, failing to focus on the crucial elements like strategy, content, ongoing management and measurment. Jennifer and I did have a productive conversation about some of the successful communities out there like Nike+, Sears and Powered’s very own, Sony community.
So as I mentioned up front, we are off the next two weeks although look for wrap up posts listing out all of the social networks, guests, featured Twitters and point/counterpoints over the last 26 shows. Speaking, if you missed our last show, you can read the recap here or you can listen to archived shows here (also available for download on iTunes). Happy holidays!