Brandweek reports on a report from Sharpe Partners that shows that 89% of US adult Internet users send content others. 63% do so at least once per week, and an amazing 25% share content nearly daily. As many as 3/4 of the respondents to the survey forward content to up to six others. The study also found that overt branding only has a slightly negative effect on a viral campaign. Intuitively, I would have suspected that overt branding would have hurt more than that.
Richard Edelman (the CEO of the world's largest independent PR firm) writes about what he calls the "Me2 Revolution". His argument, in a nutshell, is that since people trust their friends, families and peers a heck of a lot more than they trust corporate or government communications, it's critically important to allow employees to speak directly with the marketplace through technologies like blogs and podcasts.
It's amazing how it's only now, after all these years, that the Cluetrain Manifesto is starting to take hold in corporate America. We still have a long way to go.
Refuting some old assumptions about the limits of virtual relationships, a paper published by Pew Internet & American Life Project submits that online communities actually enhance real-life relationships, rather than detract. This is very important, because it implies that organizations that help facilitate online communities are more likely to garner loyalty and customer evangelists.
Perhaps an unfortunate theme in this post and the last, but yes, sex does sell. However, mainstream TV is pretty squeamish about how far an advertiser can go (the recent Go Daddy ads are really pushing the limits, IMO). Here is an example of an advertiser (Napster) who decided to create an ad that would NEVER get TV time, knowing full well that the viral nature of the Internet could make it popular. This ad is clever and funny, if perhaps not appropriate for the workplace. The 30-second spot maybe isn't dead after all, if it's used in innovative ways.
Scott is the co-founder and managing partner at Abstract Edge, a creative digital agency that provides online marketing, brand-focused design and technology services to organizations with serious content publishing needs.