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How I Inadvertantly Invented Social Sharing

How I Inadvertantly Invented Social Sharing

What would social media be without the cross-platform share?

We take for granted the fact that we can grab one piece of content that we like and by adding a small piece of code, automagically post a piece of music, meme, or video.  It didn’t just appear one day, it was born out of a marketing campaign necessity and was overlooked for it’s importance, at the time, by a young group of Internet marketers.  We invented the cross-platform share and never staked our claim to fame.

How It Happened

I was a noob.  I may have within my first few months of my digital career.  The one thing I had on my side was a small but well-balanced team of co-conspirators and a sound work ethic.  As a secondary sell-in from Paid Search, I offered what my version of ‘Media’ was at the time.   Not too bad, to be honest.  I had the right idea by creating an integrated approach.  The campaign capitalized on the already existing explosive traffic source from, at the time (2006), one of the 5 or 6 big hitter costume etailers.

(Behavioral) Retargeting?  You betcha, that was a buy from Fetchback in their early days when CPM was a flat $2.  On the frontside of the campaign, to acquire new traffic, we used a social media contest via Brickfish.  For continued engagement and earned media opportunity, we felt that people might have wanted to visually express their excitement for Halloween by posting a picture of their costume, from our client’s home-site, directly to Myspace.  Mind you, in 2006 Myspace was the juggernaut and Facebook was simply regarded as a wannabe.  Twitter was a zygote.  As necessity is the mother of invention and there were no plugins to do such a precise thing it was up to us to figure out in-house.

You wanted to add video, music, link or a despicably ugly background?  Piece of cake, Myspace allowed all of those within their environment and if you knew a little HTML you could download and then upload profile destroying themes.  The offsite push share was virtually unheard of and possibly completely non-existent.  Until we launched this beauty:

share button

 It wasn’t prettiest button or shareable unit, but it was ours.  The numbers were hardly provoking, but we arrived at nearly 10,000 of these push shares to Myspace for the campaign from a few million potential site visitors.  We considered it a drop in the bucket and not a worthy future pursuit.  DOH!

The Build

I couldn’t tell you to this day how it was built.  The dev guy we had at the time was a young fellow from the Republic of Congo.  At the time his English was spotty, but he was a magic man.  I don’t ever remember a particular task not being ‘figured out’ by him.  For this campaign I asked for a button to integrate on site that would grab content and push it to Myspace.   Completely dev-incompetent, I hadn’t the slightest idea how involved or time intensive my request actually was.  Luc smiled when I described the project and then coyly promised that he would have it ready (in 10 days) for the campaign launch.  The commitment I inadvertently asked of him was at least 6 days of working until almost midnight prior to the launch, but he pulled it off in only two revisions.  We pushed it live to the site and then checked weekly (from server logs) how often the code was accessed.  There were no tracking platforms for social.

In conclusion, we proved our crazy hypothesis that people did have an interest in sharing content from sites directly to their Myspace wall.  What we didn’t predict was that we would out think consumers.  If very few (if any) buttons existed, then we shouldn’t have expected usage to widespread or understood.  We were crippled by an education factor from users trust or button knowledge.  That 10,000 is a flash in the pan by new standards for quality content, but then again, the expectation for content quality has multiplied just as fast.

Damn, should have capitalized on that idea…

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The Anti Food Revolution

The way in which we consume and produce food is long overdue for an overhaul.

When we make food, we destroy the world around us.  Fishing, livsestocking, and evasive farming tactics create an end game that none of our children will be thankful for.  There simply hasn’t been any feasible solutions to hunger other than simply producing more food.

When we eat food, we are filling our bodies with unknown amounts of poison.  In order to efficiently produce mass quantities of over-sized food, we rely heavily on artificial sources of growth and mass production.  It has yet to be determined (though radically debated) to what effect chemical additives have on our total health.  What we do know, at least in this country, is that food is more delicious than it has ever been.  70% of our population is obese or overweight.  I’m no doctor, but from what I understand, if you’re obese and you fail to unobese yourself, you can pretty much kiss the quality and longevity of your life goodbye.  Everyone in this free country has the right to do with their bodies as they please, that is the double-edged sword of freedom that we can never entirely replace,  but there are people who would not choose to be obese.  They eat McDonalds because it fulfills a requirement for sustenance for the least amount of money.  It is the fail-safe meal for people that eat for survival rather than fun.

We are demanding more food,  our population is growing exponentially, and millions of people are facing famine in places where resources are not as plentiful.  It’s a strange and unbalanced equation.

Fat Guy Obesity

Stew in that for a minute.  Take it all in…yeah.

We’re in a pretty bad place at the moment, or so it may appear.  The rational person may have read this post up to this point and thought, well we’re totally screwed, I’m no longer procreating.    Don’t act so fast, mutilator.  We are going to need your rational children to carry on the important projects of NOW.

I’m extremely optimistic about a few major breakthroughs in food.  If you eat, you should be equally excited.  If you don’t eat, please seek help immediately.

In no particular order, here are the advancements that I believe will change the way we sustain ourselves:

1. Shmeat– The story of the lab grown meat made the front page of Yahoo, so it’s certainly not sneaking up on anybody, but the gravity of this advancement has only been grazed by the media outlets that have covered the story.  When we no longer need cows to produce burgers, chickens to produce nuggets, or platypus to produce spam we inherently no longer need resource obliterating livestock facilities that are known to produce more environmental carcinogens than if the moon smoked moon-sized no-filter cigarettes.  Deforestation, let’s replace that with Reforesting.  Couple the Shmeat patty with large scale 3D Printers, and we also have ourselves a globally relevant solution for famine–No additive burgers whipped up in seconds with no negative environmental impact, anywhere in the world without slaughtering a single cow.

Questions I generally have about shmeat are:  ‘What is the response from vegetarians?’ and ‘Will it be Kosher?’


Though science has made the burger, consumed it and not created the zombie apocalypse in doing so, we are a long way from manufacturing a stable product from this breakthrough.  As the first burger cost in the ballpark of $325,000, we could be a decade or more away from cost effective shmeat.  In the meantime, the super rich will eat these tasteless patties to their hearts content.

Lab grown burger


2. Soylent – Products claiming that they can 1 for 1 replace your meals have long been marketed in this country to dieters.  Soylent has a different message to consumers; don’t replace one meal, replace ALL of your meals.  It is a customizable drink that manages to pack in all of the known nutrients that the body needs.  For consumers, this means the ability to consume valuable nutrition at a low relative cost.  Imagine the shift in the balance of power if those that cannot normally afford high nutrition value foods can suddenly improve the health and financial standing of their family.  Domestically, this is a win, but internationally this is an uprising.  A complete meal that just needs a clean source of water to be prepared could change the course for famine gripped communities:  3.5 million children die every year from hunger, FYI.


Though this product went hogwild on Kickstarter, it is relatively unproven.  The sample size of testing for the consumption of this drink is small and isolated.  The test will be if they can produce at any reasonably large capacity and fulfill promises of healthful meal replacement with any major side effects from customers.  Also, the name really sucks.  It could even pose as a major deterrent to those with some sense of historical science fiction.  They may have chosen the name Soylent to play on ‘Soylent Green (1973)’, which we all know is PEOPLE, but this water cooler type guerrilla stuff doesn’t work for me in this instance.   It’s too comical and slightly abhorrent for a product that may at some point seek government contracts.  

Is it delicious?  This is the most important question.  It could make you grow a magic beanstalk, but if doesn’t taste like real chocolate, nobody will buy it.

Soylent meal replacement drink


Of course we should, this is America for-crying-out-loud.  We are the land of the free and the innovative.

The biggest advancement that we can collect from this Anti-Food movement is that it is arriving in bunches.  Products that come before we are ready for them arrive on an island and face a daunting educational battle for consumers.  Together, lines of time saving, health inducing, cost cutting food products could cure many of the deaths we face by caloric intake and do their part to influence the world thought leaders and powerful social media users.

Could you swap 90% or even 50% of your meals for a shake or ‘clean’ lab burger if it meant adding 20 years to your life?

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A Time Capsule of Music for Aliens

As a simple experiment, I asked my Facebook friends…

In your HONEST opinion, what is the BEST single song created in the last 100 years? Like, the one song that you think is worthy of a space time capsule for aliens.

Not necessarily surprising, 37 comments later I had a wide array of responses spanning numerous musical genre.  There are some common threads here, though.  The vast majority picked songs within their own generation rather than really exploring the boundaries of ‘100 years of music’.

What is the message then, for these aforementioned aliens?  By my Facebook friends, it’s a general revealing of vulnerabilities.  We make mistakes-we have weaknesses, and by opening that book to our mysterious visitors from above we ultimately expect compassion and understanding.

In no particular order, below is a playable compilation of the respondents music selections.

,Slayer – Raining Blood,Toxic – Britney Spears (Lyrics),Vanilla Ice – Ice ice baby Lyrics,Me So Horny – 2 Live Crew,Digital Underground – The Humpty Dance,The Eagles- Hotel California- Lyrics- Fun Facts,Blinded by the Light ~ Manfred Mann’s Earth Band with lyrics,Hanson – Mmmbop (Lyrics),R Kelly – Ignition (Remix) – Lyrics|artists=,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,|]


 Were any key songs missed in this group?  Post them below to be included.

HouseCall Home Improvement

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Social Media Contest Insider

I have the rare opportunity to get an inside look at a strictly ORGANIC driven social media contest. Typically when I’ve launched social contests with ambitious goals, I’ve included media buys to help stimulate the acquisition of leads or entrants. A celebrity factor at the highest level is one that I’ve never experienced in predicting a campaign’s output.

Though my role is nominal, I have an inside look at the current running #LIVELIKEADAM Facebook contest, featuring Adam Levine of Maroon 5. Here are the details of the campaign…

Creative Agency: Cofa Media
Contest Premise: Every submission to receive Adam Levine’s new fragrance will have an opportunity to enter the #LIVELIKEADAM contest; prize package includes a stay at the famous Chateau Marmont in Hollywood, CA.
Campaign Goal: 100,000 entrants
Flight: Feb 4th-7th

The current assets in play are:
1) A Maroon 5 Facebook fan page with over 17 million likes.
2) A Maroon 5 twitter following of 2.3 million.
3) An Instagram following of over 81,000
4) A custom Facebook App that content-locks exclusive details about #LIVELIKEADAM


The difficulty in launching with reasonable expectation.  Post Super Bowl, will fans and followers of Marron 5/Adam Levine be activated and eager to participate?

The total fanship is approximately 20 million, what would you expect the total entrants count to end up?

As early numbers begin to tabulate, I’ll update in the comment thread below.



How I Inadvertantly Invented Social Sharing

What would social media be without the cross-platform share? We take for granted the fact...
article post

The Anti Food Revolution

The way in which we consume and produce food is long overdue for an overhaul. When we...
article post

A Time Capsule of Music for Aliens

As a simple experiment, I asked my Facebook friends… In your HONEST opinion,...
article post

Social Media Contest Insider

I have the rare opportunity to get an inside look at a strictly ORGANIC driven social...
article post