Power Social Networking with Jeff Pulver


I know.  You've heard it a million times.  The social web is not a vanity press.  It's a place to develop relationships, where give and take rules and conversations thrive.  

Sounds great, right?    

But how does that work in practice?  Just because you have a way to introduce yourself, doesn't mean people are going respond.  

What's the right way to use online social networks to get someones attention?    If you've ever wondered, “What do I do when my @replies and emails go unanswered?” then this episode is for you.  

I originally thought it was going to be pretty much just about the real time web, and the first half is, but you're going to hear some very useful, practical tips about how to actually break through and start conversations with people you may want to know — even the ones who are so popular they're literally inundated with requests — through social networks.  

You're going to learn about leveraging preferred communication channels, how to cross-pollinate social networks, where the VoIP industry is headed, whether or not government regulators should be looking beyond net neutrality to search neutrality and what it all means to a 15-year old.  

It's the Social Networking Jedi Training episode with the father of the VoIP industry, Jeff Pulver (@jeffpulver) of jeffpulver.com and the 140 Character Conference.   


01:00 — In the financial markets, brokers and investors base their buying and selling decisions on real-time information, and in some ways, the real-time web offers us the same fast, breaking information, and its new found availability, thanks to Twitter, Facebook, Google Buzz and Google Wave, has a flattening effect on competitive markets, by democratizing information, giving everyone access to information at the same time.  T

he archival web gave everyone greater access to information, but some people were still at an advantage because they got it first.  But it is the real-time web, where individuals echo one another's voices, which has had a leveling effect, in the transfer of power from the few to the many.  

04:46 — The 140 Characters Conference, its purpose and the rise of Twitter among individuals in the mainstream media, politics, entertainment and advertising.  

05:15 — Using the analogy of financial markets once again, Jeff Pulver uses the gap in time between an earthquake that occurred in Northern California and amount of time it took for that information to surface on Google as representative of an information arbitrage opportunity, reminding us that just as a 5-second advance on world events can and does constitute a significant trading advantage, the real-time web may afford us advantages in business, politics and culture that not all entirely known.  

7:01 — Tim Street (@1timstreet) asks via Twitter how Jeff manages his database of personal contacts, which is mentioned in the book “Trust Agents” by Chris Brogan and Julien Smith, though not in enough detail to be actionable.  

11:48 — Eric reads Jeff the following line from “Trust Agents” which says “The lesson Pulver told Chris at the time, was that one's personal database is an asset as valuable as gold, if nurtured and maintained” and then asks him specifically how one nurtures his personal database, which Jeff says is based on tailoring the message to the individuals preferred media channel.  

“If I understand that someones communication device is a Blackberry, then I make sure my subject of my e-mail is less than 16 characters.  Some people, who will never respond to an e-mail, will respond immediately to a tweet.

Some people who ignore e-mail, will respond to a direct message. There are people, who for some reason, will only respond to Facebook messages.”  Our default communications channels are different.  The future of direct marketing rests in the marketer's ability to identify, remember and connect with each individual through their preferred communication channel, whatever that may be.   

16:26 — Jeff also says time of day when that person individual is active on a particular channel is also a determination.  

For example, if he is soliciting speakers for a conference, and he's unable to get a referral from someone, he may just contact that person on twitter.  But before he dies, he'll go to their Twitter page and see if there's a time they're typically active, and contact them then.  

16:46 — if Jeff Pulver were designing a CRM tool today, the information he would record on each customer card would be: cell phone number, corporate e-mail, personal e-mail (Gmail, Yahoo, or Hotmail), Facebook ID, Twitter ID and preferred method of contact.  

19:11 — Eric tells Jeff about one of his favorite podcasts, Marketing Over Coffee by John Wall and Christopher Penn, and recalls a discussion in which they explained how to use a Gmail, Yahoo or Hotmail e-mail account address book to synchronize contacts in Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Flickr and other social networks, and asks whether or not Jeff has ever used this method.

20:46 — The role of e-mail in promoting conferences hasn't really changed, according to Jeff, other than the fact that e-mail is no longer everyone's preferred communication channel. So effectively leveraging e-mail means knowing who prefers it and who doesn't.  

But when Jeff wants to build a list of current contacts, he'll start by exporting his Linkedin contacts, next export his Plaxo contacts and his Gmail contacts and put it all together in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet.  He'll also go on to Facebook and Twitter and promotional publish links to his events and conferences, noting that this is where your number of followers is valuable.  

He also creates Facebook events and groups and direct markets those who RSVP and join.  

24:27 — One of the primary reasons Jeff Pulver uses Microsoft Excel to build his lists is the issue of data portability, or the concern that if he is forced to rely solely on Facebook or Twitter to access his social network, it's possible those services might someday lock him out, restrict access because of a terms of service violation or even change to the terms of service someday and limit the number of contacts a user can maintain.  

26:22 —  Eric recommends Shel Israel, featured in a previous episode of this podcast about Twitter Strategy, humanizing brands and building loyalty, as a speaker at Jeff's upcoming 140 Characters Conference.  

26:56 — Freedom Voice marketing communications manager John Lincoln asks via Twitter about the latest VoIP phones with video conference abilities, and what's on the horizon.  And Jeff says what's next is high-definition voice, since currently, our voices are so filtered and under-sampled that we are required to spell out our names phonetically, and often struggle to understand speakers with heavy accents or small children, which is a direct result of poor quality audio.  

29:17 — Why VoIP conversations often have audio dropout or interference, what, if anything, individuals can do about it and why net neutrality is a key component to the future of VoIP.   31:16 — Eric reads Jeff an excerpt from a guest column titled “Search and You May Not Find” by Adam Raff who runs a company called Foundem, that appeared in the opinion section of the New York Times, suggesting that regulators need to go beyond just net neutrality and insure search neutrality as well.   “The need for search neutrality is particularly pressing because so much market power lies in the hands of one company Google.

With 71% of the united states search market, Google's dominance of both search and search advertising gives it overwhelming control. One way that Google exploits this control is by imposing covert blank penalties that can strike  legitimate and useful websites, removing them entirely from its search results or placing them so far down the rankings that they will in all likelihood never be found. For three years my company is vertical search and price comparison website found them effectively disappeared from the Internet in this way.”  

34:30 — Jeff's 15-year old son Dylan, who Eric saw seated in the background during the interview conducted via Video Skype, shares his perspective on how the social media is changing the world.

38:23 — End

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