Just because something is easy to measure doesn't mean it's important (Seth Godin) [en]

[fr] Citation du jour de Seth Godin, dont je suis en train de devenir fan: "Ce n'est pas parce qu'une chose est facile à mesurer qu'elle est importante." (Contexte: nombre de visiteurs d'un blog/site.)

After having abandoned Google Reader during the crunch weeks preceeding [Going Solo Lausanne](http://lausanne08.going-solo.net), I heard about [Feedly](http://feedly.com/), installed it, and started to love it. (I’ll blog about it in more detail in a few weeks, but it’s a Firefox extension which piggybacks upon Google Reader.)

With Feedly, I’ve started reading blogs again — and also blogs that I didn’t read regularly. More and more, I end up reading posts by [Seth Godin](http://sethgodin.typepad.com/), and I’m becoming a fan. A few weeks ago, [How to Organize the Room](http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/06/how-to-organize.html) but in clear writing something I’d noticed before (atmosphere and interaction are better if people are a bit cramped). [Saying thanks in a conference presentation](http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/06/saying-thanks-i.html) gave me inspiration for how to do things properly next time around. And today, in [Who vs. how many](http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2008/07/who-vs-how-many.html), he picks up on [Robert Scoble’s post against the rush to audience](http://scobleizer.com/2008/06/30/is-getting-more-traffic-your-real-goal/) and provides us with this “quote of the day” gem:

> Just because something is easy to measure doesn’t mean it’s important.

Seth Godin

This reminds me of what I was trying to say in [Twitter Metrics: Let’s Remain Scientific, Please!](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2008/04/27/twitter-metrics-lets-remain-scientific-please/), when I got annoyed by numbers thrown about under the assumption that they meant anything. (The post is mainly [a video](http://www.seesmic.com/video/zizwTlKZR5) because I couldn’t type at the time, but I’ve been told it was well worth watching.)

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Working For Fame Or For Cash [en]

[fr] En organisant la journée de conférences Going Solo, je me trouve directement aux prises avec mes difficultés face à l'économie du peer. J'organise un événement qui dégagera je l'espère assez de bénéfice pour que je puisse me payer, ainsi que mes partenaires. En même temps, j'espère trouver des personnes prêtes à donner de leur temps en échange de la visibilité que leur apportera leur association avec Going Solo. Mais je ne sais pas trop comment m'y prendre. Je trouve difficile de rendre les choses claires.

I’d like to introduce this reflection by quoting [Tara Hunt](http://horsepigcow.com/), who writes the following in a post titled [Please Stop Crowdsourcing Me](http://www.horsepigcow.com/2007/12/21/please-stop-crowdsourcing-me/):

> I came and I thought, hey, this is kind of neat-o and it empowered me at first. I thought, “Awesome! They want my opinion! They listen!” and I offered it and the feedback was, “Great idea!” and I watched as you implemented it, then benefitted from it and I felt good. I was great at first, but then after a while, I started to feel a little dirty…a little used…a little like cheap labor, replacing people you probably laid off or decided to save money on not hiring because you were getting so much great value out of my time. Maybe it was because it seemed that you believed you could ‘tap’ my well of ideas or ‘pick my brain’ endlessly? Maybe it was because my generosity goes so far and you overstepped your bounds? Maybe it was because you had a chance to reward my efforts, but dropped me like a wet rag as soon as I asked?

Tara Hunt, Please Stop Crowdsourcing Me

I just came upon her article a few minutes ago as I was aimlessly clicking around in my newsreader. It’s funny, because I’ve been thinking of this post I wanted to write for a few days now, and it’s right on the same topic.

I’ve already [felt uneasy about the “Peer Economy”](http://climbtothestars.org/archives/2006/12/09/donnant-donnant/) (if I may call it like that before). About the fact that certain businesses actually get a lot of stuff for free from their enthusiastic users — stuff they would have to pay for, otherwise. The point I understood about a year ago is that the fact that people contribute voluntarily to help improve services like WordPress, GMail, Twitter, and countless others is what allows us (the community) to benefit from great tools like these free of cost or way cheaper than what they’re worth. I’m comfortable with that.

However, I agree with Tara, there is a fine line to tread. As a company, you don’t want people to feel used. And like Tara, I’ve had more of my share of people/companies who want me to “take a look” at their stuff and “tell them what I think” — picking my brain for free. And I don’t like it. If I’m [passionate](http://headrush.typepad.com/) about your product, then yes — I’ll give you feedback. You probably won’t even have to ask me. I’ll blog about it. If you’re smart, you’ll point out what I wrote, give me credit and link-love, thank me publicly. But I didn’t do it for that. I did it because I liked your product, or because talking about your product fulfilled one of my agenda, in a way. I’ve given products/companies like [WordPress](http://wordpress.org), [Dopplr](http://dopplr.com), [Twitter](http://twitter.com), [coComment](http://cocomment.com), [Seesmic](http://seesmic.com) and a bunch of others valuable feedback *because I wanted to*, because I loved their stuff.

That doesn’t mean that I’ll do it for any product or service that crosses my path. If you’re one of the lucky ones, well, good for you. If you’re not, you’ll have to pay cash ([experiential marketing](http://climbtothestars.org/focus/experiential-marketing/) is one of the ways a company can use cash to make up for lack of immediate passion on the part of this particular human being). Just like I’ll help my friends out for free and open blogs for them just because I love them, some companies out there benefit from “free intelligence”. Others need to pay for a similar service.

You get the idea, I think.

Now, here’s what I really wanted to bring up with this post.

As you know, I’m putting together an event for the month of May, [Going Solo](http://going-solo.net). (If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, you should plan to come, by the way ;-).) This is my first event. I’m not going to be doing it alone. Thing is, I realised I’m a bit shy about asking my friends to help me out, because on the one hand, I want to keep the event expenses to a minimum, and on the other hand, I don’t want people to get the impression I’m trying to “crowdsource them” — as Tara expresses above.

This is made worse (and way more uncomfortable for me) by the fact that this is not a non-profit venture. I’m going to be investing quite a lot of time in this adventure, and I hope to be able to pay myself enough to have made it worthwhile. Ditto for my sales and logistics partners. So, yes, we’re hoping the event will make a profit (against all odds, it seems — everybody tells me that if you’re first event breaks even, you’re very lucky).

So, I know that part of the difficulty I’m facing here is my own inner workings. Despite what some people on IRC may think 😉 I’m somebody who doesn’t find it easy to ask for help/stuff. I always feel I owe people (except when I feel I’m owed, in a kind of weird back-swing dynamic).

There are certain things that I need for the conference, where I’m hoping I’ll manage to find somebody who is willing to “work for fame”. Taking care of the website is one. Design is another. Similarly, I’m hoping to strike up a partnership for the WiFi and bandwidth we need for the event.

In fact, there is some similarity between “working for fame” and being a sponsor/partner. You provide stuff for free (or almost), and in return you get visibility. So maybe I need to switch mindsets. Instead of looking for “people to help me”, I’m looking for “individual partners” for the event.

I feel like this is a thought in progress. I’m not exactly sure what I think, or what to do, or what is “right”. I’m particularly embarrassed when I start talking with friends or contacts about this or that they could do for the event, because it’s not clear from the start if we’re talking about a partnership (work for fame) or Real Work (work for cash).

Any insights appreciated. I feel like I need to step out of my mind a bit to find a way out, and you can help me out with that by sharing your thoughts.

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Stowe Boyd on Experiential Marketing [en]

[fr] Quelques citations (audio et texte) de Stowe Boyd sur ce qu'il appelle "experiential marketing" (marketing expérientiel en français). J'ai eu quelques discussions récentes avec des clients pour des mandats de cette nature, et je prépare une page d'explications à ce sujet pour ma section Focus (pas encore en français, désolée). Si vous êtes curieux, manifestez-vous dans les commentaires, ça me donnera probablement l'occasion de parler de tout ça en français!

I’m preparing a page on *experiential marketing* for my [Focus series](/focus/), as I’ve been in discussion about this kind of work with a couple of clients lately. It’s a term/concept coined by [Stowe Boyd](http://stoweboyd.com/message/) (not to be confused with the related but different independently named experiential marketing you can read about [on wikipedia](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Experiential_marketing)), so I dug around in his archives to see if he had blogged anything significant about it.

I found a few quotes in blog posts, but most interesting was this (http://blog.openbc.com/2006/04/the_comfy_sofa__2.html) in April 2006. Start listening just before the middle of the interview (the first half is about other stuff). Oh, and keep on listening after they’re done on the topic of experiential marketing — Stowe tells the story of why he wears a cap. 😉

It’s interesting to see how the idea evolved from the moment of this interview, just after he came up with the idea, and subsequent incarnations which he blogged about between then and now. Here are a few quotes I picked up:

> Experiential marketing — as an increasing social consciousness pervades the online marketing world, advertisers will realize that ads are becoming less effective, even when streaming and animated. One answer is what I am calling experiential marketing: individuals or groups will be solicited and directly compensated to try out products and blog or otherwise chronicle their use. With highly trusted advocates acting on behalf of the community these campaigns will become a mainstay of product marketing 2.0.

Stowe Boyd, 15.06.2006

>So, I will be posting on this “experiential marketing” project over the next few months, as I attempt to follow the advice of OpenBC’s staff and most knowledgeable users about how to achieve these aims, and I will examine everything involved: from the creation of a detailed profile, to developing a personal network, and the ins and outs of trying to use the system to accomplish real business goals. Because my goal is to spend more time in Europe, I am calling this the “More Europe” project.

>As I said, I will be candid and critical. If I think some aspect of OpenBC’s user experience is dumb, I will say so. If I start drowning in social spam, I will write about it. If I get no traction on my plan, I will chronicle that.

Stowe Boyd, 20.07.2006

> As I announced a few weeks ago, I am doing a new experiential marketing program for the folks at Blogtalkradio.com, one that entails me running a talk radio show. The first show was Thursday, and I had a great time interviewing Ted Rheingold of Dogster about Online Community (see /Talkshow Tomorrow: Ted Rheingold of Dogster on Online Community).

> I started using the term experiential marketing a few years ago, in a project I was doing for GoToPC, and then again last year in the “More Europe” project for OpenBC (now Xing). The premise is that true understanding of a product or service can’t be gained from a half-hour demo: it requires hours, and perhaps weeks of use.

> In this project I will be running a web-based talk show relying on the Blogtalkradio.com technology platform. Along with doing the show, I will be writing up my experiences with the software, recommendations for its improvement, and guidance for others trying the software.

Stowe Boyd, 14.04.2007

More details on all this when I put the Focus page online!

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Seesmic Doubts [en]

[fr] Le texte et la vidéo sont fondamentalement différents. Je ne pense pas qu'il soit possible de "recréer" un dynamique comme celle de Twitter avec du contenu vidéo.

So, now that I’ve discovered what [Loïc](http://www.loiclemeur.com/)’s startup, [Seesmic](http://www.seesmic.com/), is about (thanks to [Ben](http://benmetcalfe.com/) [twittering his tests](http://twitter.com/dotben)), here is my initial reaction to [reading about it on Techcrunch](http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/10/08/loic-le-meurs-new-startup-launches-seesmic/).

> I’m not certain a “video-based Twitter” is a viable concept: the huge difference between video and text is that the latter is scannable, and that’s precisely what allows the presence/flow dimension in Twitter. You can “keep an eye” on a stream of text, but can you “keep an eye” on a stream of videos? Also, it takes much less time to keep up with a stream of text than with a stream of videos.

Me, commenting on Techcrunch

Now, not to say that Seesmic is doomed (that would be a bit pretentious of me) — and I haven’t checked it out directly — but I do want to go on record saying that the dynamics created by Twitter and other flow/presence apps with text cannot simply be transferred to other media.

If it turns out I’m right, I’ll be able to say “I told you so” — and if I’m wrong, nobody will care. 🙂

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