Quiet innovation: make it easier to help and ask for help

Innovation is seldom quiet.  We often think of it in grand terms — something high tech and groundbreaking,  something larger than life and way out of our reach.  That’s because we, as benefactors, often see the end result first.

But for those at the forefront of change, innovation trudges along; sometimes a lonely companion, even a heart-breaker at times. I’m glad and grateful that those who started this quest persevered and persisted. People like Sergio van Santvoort Vorst, who emerged from his arduous journey to establish the Bucket Line foundation.

The Bucket Line essentially makes it easier for those in need of caring to ask for help from loved ones and neighbours, and makes it more effective for the entire community to lend a helping hand.

The Bucket Line helps to co-ordinate the needs of the caregivers with those who are best able to help them in their tasks. Through this foundation, people who are in need of help with specific tasks are matched with those in their neighborhoods who are willing to lend a helping hand. – TEDx Amsterdam

The Bucket Line tries to ease the distress in helping,  so we can focus more on caring.

A quiet innovation. But its impact can shake you to your core.

The Bucket Line website: http://www.bucketline.nl/

Hat tip to TEDx AMsterdam Pitch Coach David Beckett for bringing this inspiration to my inbox.

May your tribe increase, Sergio!

Feature image by: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ooocha/


What’s in a name: content strategy, content marketing, content brand

I enjoyed the Gamification course last year on Coursera, so I decided to take up another course: Content Strategy for Professionals. While it is already what I do (having naturally blossomed from my work on social business strategy, digital strategy, online marketing, and copywriting), I think it’s still worth my time to find out how it was approached in the academe, and if there were any new things I can learn.

In one of the video lectures, Content Strategy was laid out as “…credible, trustworthy, transparent content that enhances the organization’s strategic goals.” This definition generated a lot of questions and discussion in the course forum. The general criticism was that it seemed to imply that content strategy is a characteristic of content rather then the plan or framework that guides content creation and implementation. A lot of students favoured Kristina Halvorson’s definition of content strategy cited below in my own reply to this discussion thread. Others also raised questions to how content strategy was differentiated from content marketing.

What’s in a name: content strategy or content marketing? How about content brand? In essence, I agree with the general criticism but do think that Halvorson’s definition doesn’t contradict the course definition. I find the perspective on content marketing too one-dimensional, and I’d rather move the discussion towards how a good content strategy should aspire for the creation of a great content brand. Below is my detailed response: Continue reading What’s in a name: content strategy, content marketing, content brand

The push for ‘high-quality content’ goes beyond Facebook

Facebook’s new news feed algorithm will start surfacing more ‘high quality content’. This means you might start seeing more links to articles especially on mobile (e.g. current events, sports, interests, meme photos). In the future, Facebook hopes to be able to distinguish better between a meme photo and an article, meaning articles will be featured more prominently than meme photos hosted outside FB.

Source: http://newsroom.fb.com/Content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=768&NewsAreaID=2&ClientID=1
Source: http://newsroom.fb.com/Content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=768&NewsAreaID=2&ClientID=1

Without going into what ‘high quality’ content comprises for Facebook versus users’ own definitions (e.g. why is a meme photo not considered the same quality as a news article), here are some quick takeaways and questions from me: Continue reading The push for ‘high-quality content’ goes beyond Facebook

Web Index Report: threats to online freedom and democracy grow ever more

World Summit on the Information Society Declaration

Back in my university days, I learned of a useful framework for analysing the ills of the educational system called “ABCs”. It stands for: Access and participation, Bureaucracy and control, and (Counter-)Consciousness formation. The ABCs describe the fundamental problems faced by the educational system in the Philippines (and in my opinion, traditional education all over the world). Take it further and you’ll get the “D” in the framework — Development — which sets the roadmap for change.

Continue reading Web Index Report: threats to online freedom and democracy grow ever more

Altimeter report: The state of social business 2013

“What was previously a series of initiatives driven by marketing and PR is now evolving into a social business movement that looks to scale and integrate social across the organization. The following report reveals how businesses are expanding social efforts and investments. As social approaches its first decade of enterprise integration, we still see experimentation in models and approach. There is no one way to become a social business. Instead, social businesses evolve through a series of stages that ultimately align social media strategies with business goals.” – Altimeter Group

Some highlights: Continue reading Altimeter report: The state of social business 2013

Beware of big old answers

Why questions are often time more important than answers
Source: http://kiriakakis.net/comics/mused/a-day-at-the-park

I had a surreal experience reading this profound comics strip. A surreal, strange, but beautiful walk in the park where you catch a glimpse of that elusive, important thought, chase after it, and then stumble upon a secret place instead.

Beware of big old answers be it in business, education, politics, religion, or culture. Even better than the Big Idea, let’s ask out loud : What’s the Big Question?

We need a curriculum of big and beautiful questions. Many people, including me, have to unlearn to think of the answers first. Solutions are, of course important, but the way we frame questions will influence the kind of answers we get.

This is a beautifully insightful read. Experience it in its entirety here: http://kiriakakis.net/comics/mused/a-day-at-the-park


“What’s the point if a wrong answer will stop you from returning to the right question.

Although sometimes people have no questions to return to…which is usually why they defend them with such strong conviction.

That’s why I am extra cautious with all these big ol’ answers lying around, long before we came along.

They bully their way into our collection without being invited by any questions of our own.

We accept them just because they have satisfied the questions of so many before us…seeking the questions which fit them instead…”


Google Glass is coming — will your business be wearable?

Wearable computing is about to change a lot of the ways we create design, individual user experience, and how we interact with others. Google Glass will definitely amp the augmented reality (AR) sector, with the games and toys industry as the most obvious beneficiary. Take a look at these AR toys at the Toy Fair 2013, for instance. I already admire what’s being done now (via mobile phones and computers), but I can imagine the UX will be better with wearable computing like Google Glass instead of just using our mobile phones. Less awkward maybe or less clumpy, more fluid motions hopefully?

Expect a surge in the development, production and demand of ‘augmented reality’ toys and games, especially with the coming of Google Glass and mainstreaming of wearable computing. What will our kids be playing next? I think that the tech gap between parents and kids will actually get smaller as technology for games and toys become even more interactive and social. Continue reading Google Glass is coming — will your business be wearable?

Brand journalism as a pillar for content strategy

‘Brand journalism’ sounds like a clever approach to becoming a ‘content brand’. The key element: branded stories that fluidly take the shape of any social/online platforms where it will be shared. Imagine a “…branded content hub from which most other social tactics emanate.”

Brand journalism: content that personifies your passions

In my last blog post on becoming a great content brand, I wrote: “We have to transcend being makers and marketers of content. We need to transform into a brand that is famous and respected for creating content that is remarkable, useful, and trustworthy.” Where to start? The article suggests three broad steps: Continue reading Brand journalism as a pillar for content strategy

Social business and the 16 attributes of trust

Who do you trust? According to The 2013 Edelman Trust Barometer, neither CEOs nor government officers (although businesses are distrusted less than government).

  •  There is a crisis in leadership: trust in ethics and morality of business and government leaders is very low. It’s not surprising then why majority (64%) needs to hear company information 3-5 times to believe messages. Trusted sources are (still) experts and peers. CEO and government officer are at the bottom of the list.
  • 2/3 of the markets place their trust in banks below 50%. This trust deficit in banks is linked to culture. The causes of scandals are seen as internal and within the banks’s control ( culture of compensation and bonuses, corporate corruption, conflicts of interest).

Continue reading Social business and the 16 attributes of trust

Crowdsourcing: more than just an online solution

Interesting development in the Philippines: The Crowdsourcing Act of 2012 introduced by Senator TG Guingona, the lone dissenter in the passing of the Cybercrime Law.  The Senator is asking for comments, acknowledging that as a first draft, this bill is far from perfect. So here are my three thoughts on this: will comments be actionable, will there be an offline component, and in what kind of ecosystem will it live?

Continue reading Crowdsourcing: more than just an online solution

Sample business plan outline

I made this business plan outline more extensive by adding explanations and tips for each section.  It evolved more into a manual of sorts.   I collected materials from different sources and added some of my own tips (esp. in the marketing section). I shared this with our students at the Leadership and Social Entrepreneurship Training whose end project was to create a business plan and conduct a formal business presentation.

Unfortunately, I haven’t included references in this document as it was something I did rather quickly with the intention of simply sharing the knowledge with our students who were already in the process of creating their plan.  I will try to track the sources when I update this file.

Download the sample business plan outline:

How can small businesses increase organic reach on Facebook?

There’s a strategic way small businesses can increase organic reach on Facebook with minimum costs despite its push for paid posts and other issues cited in “The problem with Facebook” video.

“The Problem with Facebook” is an insightful video that raises the right kind of questions. I agree that the filtering / surfacing of feeds of friends should be better, more relevant, and ultimately decided by us, the users. Regarding the business side, now that Facebook is saying it’s time to pay rent, I think businesses should not just focus on the question of ‘Should I stay on Facebook or should I go?”

How small business can address "The problem with Facebook"
Now that Facebook is saying it’s time to pay rent, I think businesses should not just focus on the question of ‘Should I stay on Facebook or should I go?”

Continue reading How can small businesses increase organic reach on Facebook?

I help your brand evolve from Content Maker to Content Crusader — to create content not because it’s marketable, but because it matters.