Do you recall the pre-Web days of PR and marketing? The time before The Cluetrain Manifesto signalled that everything had changed and that the social media train was about to leave the station whether you were on it or not.

If stretching out that train doesn't stretch the metaphor too much, you could say that a very long train left the station from 1999 to 2009 with people jumping on board as and when they and/or their organisation felt ready. But undoubtedly, those who "got it" earlier than later have been best positioned to reap the benefits for their organisation and for their personal career.

Well, marketing and PR is about to change. Again. It's 2010.

If Web 2.0 could be summed up as content and community, then Web 3.0 is about the Web itself understanding the meaning of that content and community. Web 3.0 is more accurately known as the Semantic Web, and as the name implies it gives us the opportunity to have software applications connect the dots and spot patterns and coalesce information and reach conclusions on our behalf.

As all the marketing and PR disciplines and specialisms converge, to create a role I like to refer to as the Influence Professional, with the corresponding leadership position of Chief Influence Officer, one characteristic that will set these professionals apart from what will then have become the "old-school" will be their ability to understand the complexity of influence and the adaptations required to prosper in a world with a meaningful Web.

And this transition to Web 3.0 is happening. Now.

I had the pleasure to present this future for our industry to a roomful of PR professionals, academics and analytics specialists this week, and our host, Speed Communication's Stephen Waddington, has posted about the evening here. He has sourced a splendid video of Tim Berners-Lee, the founder of the World Wide Web, explaining the Semantic Web during a TED Talk, and he has also included my slidestack. I'm equally delighted that the slidestack shot straight to the homepage.

So, if the bouquet of high voltage electricity surging through the train engine evokes sweet memories for you (and I'm really not a train spotter, honestly), then you are more than welcome to join our open collaborative group. Details in the slidestack.

Best regards, Philip and the MarCom Professional team.

Sell the Light, Not the Lightbulb

by Trevor Young PR Warrior of Parkyoung

I spent an absorbing hour this week with an international corporate communications guy from the US.

It's always good to chat to someone who sits at the cutting edge of the profession and is in a position of seeing PR from different angles given their work takes them across territorial borders on a regular basis.

Something the PR guy said really resonated:

"Sell the light, not the lightbulb."

Wow! Love it! (I'm quite partial to the odd good analogy).

It certainly relates More...

The State and Future of Twitter 2010: Part One

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

The State and Future of Twitter was revealed to the world at the Chirp Conference. Developers, futurists, reporters, investors, stakeholders, and businesses convened at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco, making the journey from all over the world to witness history in the making.

My experience at Chirp was in a word, profound. I sit here, right here, right now, attempting to distill all that I heard and learned and its true effect on the general public. The volume of ideas and insight is implausible to capture, analyze, and share in one post. More...

Big boxes of social media

by Steve Sponder of Five by Five

After watching the Web 2.0 hyper-juggernaut scream into town a few years back it has been interesting to see it delivering big boxes of social media filled with shiny new tactics including a bunch of social networks, a corporate blog, a few micro-blogging platforms, a suite of widgets and a packet of chicklets.

It’s unfortunate that there was no mention of which department to deliver it to and no instructions on how to use the tactics.  As a result the box was mistakenly handed to the marketing department. More...

What engagement time tells you about the value or otherwise of online press coverage

by Andrew Smith of escherman

Consider the following: An average person can read around 200 words per minute on screen.
The average UK Guardian website reader spends around 7 mins and 30 seconds per visit (according to Google)
The Guardian has monthly page views of around 88 million in the UK and around 21 million unique visitors per month (according to Google)
Based on the above, the average visitor will spend around 450/4.2 = 107 seconds per page. In other words, the average reader will read up to 350 words before moving on to another page or off the site completely. More...

Business Credibility Is Different From Social Trust & Friendship

by Vanessa DiMauro of Leader Networks

In my last post, I pointed out how professional networks online are not based on friendship and trust, but rather on the sharing of deep knowledge between participants, whether individuals or institutions. Respect and influence are good words to use to describe the outcomes of sharing knowledge within a professional social network. So is credibility.

David Meerman Scott recently discussed this idea in rich detail during an interview he gave about his book: "The New Rules of Marketing & More...

Microsoft tops social media savvy companies - survey

by Walter Adamson of NewLeaseG2M

I was surprised to see that a new survey has found that employees at Microsoft Corp are the most social media-savvy in the world. The NetProspex Social Index was determined after an analysis of more than 100,000 business executives from the Fortune 1000 companies in the first quarter of 2010.

Apple ranked 10th, while eBay, Amazon, Disney and Google rounded out the top 5. Some surprises? - Raytheon #8 ahead of Best Buy #9, EMC #16 ahead of Cisco #20, and Coca Cola #50.

I was surprised because Microsoft, from an outsider's industry perspective, has shown itself to be increasingly unable to adopt, adapt and make business and cultural changes necessary to maintain it's competitive position. More...

The State and Future of Twitter 2010: Part Two

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

The influence and promise of Twitter is only now starting to materialize. Everything that occurred prior to Chirp has lead us to this moment and as such, is almost worthy of categorization as BC (Before Chirp). Everything that happens now, is almost symbolic of a new movement (AC, After Chirp) and as such, it essentially starts a new chapter in the evolution of Twitter.

To truly capture the State and Future of Twitter and all that was revealed during its first official conference, requires additional time and space. More...

Guest Post: How CRM Integrates Into Business Development Processes

by Rebecca Caroe of Creative Agency Secrets

Adeline Grosrenaud is a London blogger with a blog dedicated to CRM. It may seem an out of date concept now that the social web is going mainstream, but I asked her to write about how CRM and biz dev processes can be mutually supportive. She has a helpful check list of metrics that would be worth checking for your organisation. Here’s what she has to say...

While the term CRM is often just used to refer to CRM software, true customer relationship management is much more than that. A business ought to have a well thought out and written customer relationship management strategy and plan which has involved thorough research if they want to succeed in their given industry. More...

Facebook found a way to Kill Google

by Andrew Swenson of wordpost

image by jaycameron

Okay, so maybe Facebook won’t kill Google, but I’m predicting they will supplant them as the largest and most ubiquitous web app. In case you’ve been sleeping, yesterday at the f8 developer conference, Facebook announced Open Graph, a new killer app.

What’s changed

If you aren’t up to speed, here are the three most important updates (and you can read the rest on Mashable):

With the new “Facebook for Web Sites” social plugins (the like button is featured at the top of this post), you don’t need to log in to a web page to engage with its content. More...

The most exciting development in PR since the Cluetrain

by Philip Sheldrake of Influence Crowd LLP

The Semantic Web, aka Web 3.0, is here. Now. And there is, as yet, little concerted recognition of or contribution to it by the influence profession... all the converging marketing and PR disciplines.

But is about to arrive in our lives, and in a big way. For example, what if I told you that when Best Buy embraced aspects of the Semantic Web its website saw a 30% increase in traffic.

Got your attention?!

PR and Web 3.0View more presentations from Philip Sheldrake.

Thanks to the following for their time and attention last night: More...

Reputation Online article on Nielsen’s report on social advertising within Facebook

by Stephen Waddington of Speed Communications

Here’s an article that I’ve written for Reputation Online about Nielsen’s report published at ad:tech this week on the effectiveness of social advertising versus PR within Facebook. The report says that earned media, the goal of any PR campaign, is a highly effective way for a brand to generate awareness in a social network such as Facebook – but cannot be guaranteed. Meanwhile, social ads (a form of network endorsement on ads) drive engagement and reach similar to traditional paid-for campaigns. More...

The State and Future of Twitter 2010: Part Three

by Brian Solis of PR 2.0

In Part Two of The State and Future of Twitter, we reviewed Promoted Tweets and the new advertising platform and metric system that will test and hopefully strengthen the “interest graph” that connects individuals around relevant subject matter and eventually the ads that they might find relevant. In Part Three, we are going to review the news and ideas that erupted during the Chirp conference as well as the new features that position Twitter as “consumption media” and how it will earn new users and simultaneously increase the activity and contributions of everyone. More...