Posts Tagged ‘chrisbrogan’

In 2009 Awareness hosted 19 webinars featuring a wide range of marketing topics presented by a host of social media thought leaders.  These sessions grew in popularity over the course of the year, attracting thousands of viewers and featuring entertaining and thought provoking conversations.  There was a ton of value in every session and here is my list of the Top 5 Sessions of 2009 (along with some honorable mentions):

  1. End the Hype!!” A Live Panel from IMS with Jason Falls, Paul Gillin, C.C. Chapman, Chris Brogan, and Brian Solis
    Picture by Derek Wilmot

    Photo by Derek Wilmot

    What could top a rock-star panel streamed live from the floor of the Inbound Marketing Summit at Gillette Stadium? This session was particularly exciting for me for a couple of reasons.  First, it was live streamed, which adds a completely new dimension (as well as a new level of stress) to a traditional webinar.  Not only does it mean people tuning in are watching you instead of a set of PowerPoint slides, but it also means there are a ton of technological hurdles you need to consider.  Luckily, Matthew Mamet and the video gurus at Visible Gains stepped up and handled the technology component.  Second, it featured an all-star panel of individuals that I have a lot of respect for in the social media space: Jason Falls, Paul Gillin, C.C. Chapman, Chris Brogan, and Brian Solis.  As the host, it put a ton of pressure on me to ask good questions, facilitate good conversations and to make sure I give each presenter enough air time.  In the end, we had a great conversation, shared some interesting case studies and had a deep discussion on metrics and social media ROI.

    A link to the live session is here

  2. Scott Monty, Ford’s Social Media Strategy, From Zero to 60
    monty_fordI learned more from Scott Monty in 45 minutes than some people I talk to for hours.  It’s rare for a company the size of Ford to provide such a detailed look inside their social media strategy.  Paraphrasing Woody Allen, where he said ”90% of life is just showing up,” Scott Monty, Head of Social Media at Ford Motor Company shared with us how Ford subscribes to the Woody Allen philosophy of social media which is “90% of social media is just showing up.” Its about being where people expect you to be.  Showing up is easy, its the other part that is hard and is often where the majority of corporations fail. Well Ford is certainly doing more than just showing up. With Scott to guide them, the corporation that has experienced its share of challenges,  is now seeing significant success in their social media efforts through their many campaigns. Proof of this success could possibly be attributed to the company’s recently posted profits of nearly $1 billion in its third quarter.Here is a link to the slides and recording (written by Christine Major)
  3. Larry Weber, “Marketing on the Social Web”
    weber224-thumbI have probably seen Larry Weber speak 5 or 6 times and I have read all his books (”The Provocateur”, “Marketing to the Social Web‘ and most recently, “Sticks & Stones“).  I continue to be amazed at how much I learn from him and I continue to be a fan of how he thinks.  This session set a couple of records for Awareness sessions.  First is was the session with the highest pre-registration – over 3000 people signed up to tune in.  Second, it’s our most downloaded set of slides on slideshare (currently has 11,500 views, 118 favorites and 42 embeds).  Finally, this was one of our most active conversations on Twitter.  We received hundreds of comments and questions throughout the session leaving me scrambling to keep up.  I said this on the call and I’ll say it again, if you haven’t read “Marketing to the Social Web” pick it up, its a great read from a guy with a ton of insight on the space.

    View the slides from Larry’s Session here

  4. Mitch Joel, “Six Pixels of Separation
    MitchJoelI had the chance to read Mitch’s book, “Six Pixels of Separation“, the weekend prior to the webinar and had tons of my own questions I wanted to ask.  My only disappointment was that because we received so many questions from listeners on Twitter I never had the chance to get to any of my questions.  Mitch spent time discussing how the world of new media and how to market with a brand-new perspective that is driven by compelling results. The smarter entrepreneurs and top executives are leveraging digital channels to get their voice “out there”-connecting with others, becoming better community citizens, and, ultimately, making strategic business moves that are increasing revenue, Awareness, and overall success in the marketplace-without the support of traditional mass media.

    Click here to view the recording of the session

  5. (Tie) Jason Falls, “My Agency Doesn’t Get Social Media… Who Does?” & C.C. Chapman, “Passion is Contagious”falls_chapman
    Both of these sessions we great because, first, the content rocked.  They weren’t the typical sessions talking about dialog, transparency, and general social media B.S. , they both talked about actually things you can use in your business and gave great advice.  Second, neither session needed a deck, etc.  We could have had a discussion for 45 minutes without relying on decks.  Both C.C. and Jason are expert presenters who have great experiences and backgrounds, but more important is they are great guys who are very easy to talk with.Jason led a discussion called “My Agency Doesn’t Get Social Media… who does???“  and focused on the successes and failures of social media within marketing agencies. He talked about the right questions to ask agencies as you engage them to define and manage your social media strategy and, most importantly, what to look for as you select an agency.

    I have known C.C. Chapman for a couple of years.   We first met when we were both speakers at the New Marketing Summit (now the Inbound Marketing Summit).  Actually, I think our first “in person” meeting was just before I  interviewed him for New Marketing T.V. What’s really interesting is that while we both graduated from Bentley University (granted it was at different times – C.C. is WAY older than me ;-) ) and shared several friends (shout out to @bostonsarah), we first connected through social media. It’s true, social media actually works!  The  first time we actually “spoke” was months before we met in person when we began chatting on Twitter and Facebook.  Since our first meeting at NMS I have seen him speak 5 or 6 times and I always learn something new from him.  This session was no exception.

    (Photo Credit: Jason Falls)

Honorable Mentions:

  1. Chris Brogan, “Trust Agents
    This will go down as the webinar that almost wasn’t.   Our original session was going to be a traditional webinar delivered by Chris focusing on his new book, “Trust Agents“.  Unfortunately, there were some technical issues and we were forced to cancel the session (want the detailed story, click here).  The good news is we were able to coordinate a live session with Chris few weeks later.   The session streamed live from the Visible Gains offices in Waltham.  It’s always great chatting with Chris and this session was no exception. He has some great case studies and really interesting insights on how to use social media as part of your marketing mix and how to grow vibrant communities.  Check out the session here.
  2. Brian Solis, Socializing your Corporate Brand
    Brian’s session focused on “Socializing your Corporate Brand”. I had not had the chance to meet Brian prior to the session but had read his book “Putting the Public back in Public Relations” and have seen him speak on a couple of occasions. What I like most about this discussion was his use of actual, real-life, tactical examples that marketers can use today to start communicating in the social web. The session didn’t focus on theory and spent time addressing the tactical questions of the audience which made for an excellent session.  Check out the session here.
  3. Adam Broitman, Innovative Marketing
    Adam Broitman is founder and ringleader at I met Adam for the first time at New Marketing Summit (now the Inbound Marketing Summit) when we sat down for an interview on the state of new marketing (click here to view it). Adam has great insight into the agency world (spending some time at Digitas, Morpheus and Crayon) and has a very unique (some may say “innovative”) way of thinking about marketing and social media. He’s also a lot of fun to chat with and, as you we see in the recording, he’s both an entertaining and thought provoking speaker.
  4. Rachel Happe, “The Community Maturity Model
    Rachel Happe and Jim Storer of The Community Roundtable along with Adam Zawel, XPC Community Facilitator at Palladium Group presented “The Community Maturity Model.”  During the webinar, Rachel brought us through the different phases of The Community Maturity Model while Adam shared his first-hand experiences building and managing Palladium Group’s community.  According to Rachel, community is about the relationships between the people in your community and not just a content-rich website (the “audience” Brogan referred to). It is these relationships that drive engagement, passion and long term relationships. Reminds me of Ford Motor Company and their success in using social media to drive that passion for its vehicles.

We have some great speakers already lined up for 2010!  Check out the latest and greatest schedule at our website.  Got ideas for a speaker or topic?  DM me @bostonmike or email me mike.lewis(at)

Last Thursday I hosted a panel live from the Inbound Marketing Summit titled: “End the Social Media Hype“.  It was particularly exciting for me for a couple of reasons.  First, it featured an all-star panel of individuals that I have a lot of respect for in the social media space: Jason Falls, Paul Gillin, C.C. Chapman, Chris Brogan, and Brian Solis.  Second, it was the only panel to be streamed live from IMS – thanks to our friends at Visible Gains (formerly PermissionTV).  We had a great conversation, shared some interesting case studies and had a deep discussion on metrics and social media ROI.

I want to thank all the panelists for their time, honesty and insights during the session, Visible Gains for providing the streaming technology and Justin levy from New Marketing Labs for helping to pull everything together.

Below is the link to the session and I hope you enjoy it.

End the Social Media Hype

Finally, a special thanks to Matthew Mamet and the team at Visible Gains for helping to bring this session together on such short notice! As you view the highlights notice that the video has been edited to focus on the areas that are most interesting to the viewer. This is both cool and beneficial as is makes for an awesome viewer experience. If you are looking for software to support streaming video, I highly recommend taking a few minutes to check them out.

thinkpositiveWednesday was a tough afternoon for me.  I’m sure many of you were probably following the twitter stream for #awarenessinc Wednesday afternoon and have some sense of what happened but for those that didn’t, here’s a summary of what went down:

For the last few months we have been promoting a webinar with Chris Brogan for a discussion about his new book “Trust Agents“.  Needless to say the demand for the event was extraordinary.  Over 1200 people registered and I was personally excited to have the chance to chat with Chris about the book. Chris and I spoke several times that morning to discuss the slides, flow and logistics and had worked out every last detail. I started the session 30 minutes early, uploaded the slides and walked through the logistics with our Webex producer who was overseeing the call. I typically use producers for our events so they can provide the recording and manage any tech issues that may arise.  This is particularly important for me for this event because we were dealing with a very large crowd and I wanted to make sure everything went smoothly.

Everything was progressing on plan until Chris tried to join the conference bridge 15 minutes prior to the call.  He was having trouble dialing into the phone line and connecting to the Webex meeting manager.  We attempted several different methods for joining Chris to the bridge (including having him call my cell and putting it on speaker phone to broadcast on the bridge) and nothing seemed to work.  While Webex scrambled to figure out the issue with Chris’ line the situation steamrolled at 2PM ET, when a flood of people attempted to join the session.

Apparently, Webex was experiencing an issue that resulted in everyone getting removed from the line the moment they dialed-in.  People were also having difficulty joining the session over the computer.  We were notified that the Webex tech support team was aware of the problem and was working towards a resolution.  Chris and I immediately began tweeting, emailing and chatting with the individuals attempting to join the call.  We tried in vain to get the call started for over 30 minutes and had no luck.  Once it became clear that issue could not be resolved,  we decided to reschedule and notify everyone of the new date/time once we had it.

We learned a lot during the session just from following the Twitter stream. Most importantly, it emphasized the importance of keeping members in the loop while we were attempting to write the ship. The conversation was great and in the words of @gillat “I think that we proved that even though the webinar was canceled, we still had fun creating a conversation on twitter ;-) #awarenessinc”.

A couple of things I’d like to clear up. First, Webex has planned a meeting with me some of their execs today to discuss how we can make this right. And, when I say “make this right”  I don’t mean for myself, Chris or Awareness – but for the people who registered and spent time waiting on the line. (Special thanks to @faithlegendre for helping to facilitate this). Second, while unfortunate, tech issues do happen and I hope people understand that Webex still offers a quality product and service. Let me be 100% clear, in our opinion this was a serious issue that needs to be dealt with but, while unfortunate, we are still working with Webex on a resolution. Are we upset? Yes. But they heard the chatter on Twitter and will work to correct the issue. I am confident of this. I plan on keeping everyone posted on this process as it plays out.  Stay tuned for details…

On behalf of the team at Awareness, I want to personally apologize to everyone who registered and was on the line waiting for Chris and I. Not so much for the tech issue but for not responding to every tweet/note that came in during the session. To be transparent, we were both working hard to try and think of other alternatives and it was difficult for us to manage the overwhelming response.  We appreciate you patience and we think we have a plan in place to make things right.

The good news is we HAVE rescheduled the session for September 9 at 2PM ET. We are working with PermissionTV to make this a live, streaming session.  We will be proving details on this session by Monday at the absolute latest.  In addition, we will be providing a new eBook to everyone who registered. This was written by Chris and was scheduled to be released to the public in late September. We are finishing the book now and will have it our the attendees who registered for the previous session on Monday as well.

Finally, I want to thank everyone for registering and taking some time to wait on the line to hear from Chris. The audience on our webinars consistently ROCK and we always appreciate hearing their feedback (whether good, or bad).

Feel free to post any questions or voice your frustration here.  You can also email me directly at mike.lewis(AT) or chat with me on Twitter @bostonmike.

Photo credit: Wavy1

Updated August 31:

Just received this note from Webex to share with our attendees:

August 28, 2009

Dear Attendee,

Thank you for your interest in the Awareness Inc., “Trust Agents: Webinar with Chris Brogan” web event held on Wednesday, August 26, 2009.

On behalf of Cisco-WebEx, please accept our apologies for the telephony issues during this Awareness Inc. sponsored event.  We strive to make each of our customer’s events successful and apologize for the issue.  The telephony issue was not the fault of Awareness Inc. and Cisco-WebEx will continue to work closely with Awareness Inc. to ensure that all future Cisco-WebEx events will provide a high-quality experience.


Cisco-WebEx Communications, Inc.