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Year 2011

Working with Intent

This doesn't work.

I’ve been talking about Intent a lot in the last couple of weeks. In conversations with friends, client trainings and even with my accountant. When I hear myself repeating a specific word or phase consistently, it’s time to examine why.

Being Irish-American, we place a lot of faith in, well, faith, luck and fate. It’s a charming, romantic notion – and lazy as ifreann. Lazy, because it takes no effort, planning or skin in the game. No investment.

What I realize is that when I’m speaking about intent, I’m talking about building relationships and trust by communicating with purpose. That a content strategy for a client means nothing without the business objectives, goals and intent behind the words – that teaching a company about having a “voice” is about more than personality.

Intent is an action, it moves you forward – intent reaches –>

  • What am I really asking for?
  • How do I want to be perceived?
  • How can I show myself more clearly with these words?
  • What choice can I make that moves me (us) forward to the objectives

A company that’s doing this incredibly well on Instagram is Kate Spade (katespadenyc). As the name suggests, the photos that are shared on her stream are filled with images of her stores, trends and new must-haves. It’s also filled with the color and feel of living in New York City during each of the different seasons – they know who their customer is and who she wants to be. Each photo creates the opportunity for this customer to share in the moment and see herself in it. To be the person already living that life – and the high volume of comments show that a lot of people want to be, want to know and want to connect with that person and w/KateSpadeNYC.

It’s easy to teach a company how to make status updates, YouTube videos and moment share – it’s the intent behind those that’s takes a “voice” and creates an opportunity for your audience to not only see the human face behind the words, but hopefully themselves within the connection.

Trend Talk: Moment Sharing

An Instagram Bryant Park moment

I’m giving a presentation for a client today on the trends that I’m seeing this year. Love these kind of talks, as i get to discuss all the fun, shiny things that I let distract me in the name of work.

One of the topics I’m focusing on is Moment Sharing. Moment Sharing is about using different content mediums, status updates, photos and video, to share tiny slivers of our lives. From the historic to the truly mundane, people are documenting relationships, milestones and feelings and uploading them through their social channels. And a large amount of apps (and their api’s) have sprung up to make it faster and easier to do so.

My favorite example of this is Instagram. Now Instagram is the hot, shiny thing of the moment, with incredible growth, momentum and seeming the right team behind it. So far they’ve been smart, agile and responsive. I’m a passionate photographer and the app, with its colorful filters, is a lot of fun (Quick FYI for VideoHeads – Viddy is a comparable app for video that also offers filters). But there are a huge number of photo apps that have similar features. What makes Instagram different is the community – well, 2 of them. One is the actual Instagram community and the other is the community of supporting apps and services that have spung up using the api. Through these two communities, I have Visual Conversations from sharing moments of my day with people all over the world – no tranlation needed. The Instagram community is truly global – I share moments with people from Japan, China, Korea, the UK and all over the US. Apps and services using the Instagram api allow me to print out photos for my wall or send them as postcards to friends and family, as i did recently with some vacation moments I shared while in Ireland. There are other apps that focus on moment sharing, Instagram just does it really well and illustates the point beautifully.

One of my favorite writers on the web, Patrick Rhone (buy his book!), posted yestetday about the Dropp app as an example of what he’s calling “microsocial”. I like that label – he should tm that. It’s taking the vastness that the open social web has become and makes it personal – easier to manage and share your real moments with whom and where you choose, one-on-one to a global network and everyone in between.

Fresh Starts

This has been a couple of years filled with fresh starts. From crayon’s sale to Powered, then Powered’s acquisition just a year later to the Dachis Group, then on to starting my own consultancy, StrategyJQ. It been a whirlwind of experience and I’ve loved every minute of it. Starting SJQ has been amazing and really fun and I feel grateful and humbled by the people who have chosen to work with me. As well as the people who are actually doing the work with me – again, lucky and grateful.

I wanted to take a moment and acknowledge that all of this wouldn’t be happening if I hadn’t met Scott Monty, who got me an interview to take his position at crayon with Joseph Jaffe, Greg Verdino and Gary Krivin. Working at crayon will always be a high point of my career, something I’ll always be incredibly proud of. There are only a few people that can call themselves crayonistas, the men named above, and a few others including CC Chapman, Steve Coulson and Amadeo Plaza, and I think that most of us consider it a badge of honor. StrategyJQ is a direct result of my work with Greg, Gary, Amadeo and Joe at crayon and they will always be family to me. I also want to take a moment and say how supportive everyone at Dachis was when I was transitioning out of the company and that everyone I had contact with there were incredibly smart and capable. Just really bright minds.

I’m not someone that talks about my work across all of the social networks. Absolutely to my detriment and I get that. My credo is, “Less Talk, More Walk”. In my case, that means that I want people to see the work as my clients and not StrategyJQ. It’s just what I believe.

StrategyJQ is a consultancy that works with companies and brands on their social strategy and tactical plans. We strategize, plan and execute. Please get in touch at info at strategyjq.com if you have projects you’d like to explore.

This is a fresh start for Social Days too. This is a place that I’ll share opinions, links, trends that I see…and we’ll see what else. This is hopefully the LAST Fresh Start for a while and I’m looking to make the most of it.