Monday, March 03, 2008

FIR Interview: Rusty Williams and Aaron Strout of Mzinga - March 3, 2008

Mzinga and Prospero—both companies that have grown through acquisition—have merged to become a significant provider of community and social media services for internal and external purposes.

In this FIR Interview, Shel Holtz talked with Mzinga’s Rusty Williams, Sr. VP of Social Media Product Planning and Aaron Strout, VP of New Media about the growing demand for community and social media solutions, and the ongoing consolidation in the industry.

About our Conversation Partners

imageRusty Williams, most recently VP, Marketing and Business Development at Prospero, first joined Delphi Internet, Prospero’s predecessor company, in 1986 and served as Vice President and General Manager through 1995 when Delphi was acquired by News Corporation.

Recently, Rusty served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for Inforonics, Inc., a diversified holding company specializing in technology consulting, content management and application maintenance. He also served as Vice President of New Internet Ventures for Individual, Inc., a publicly traded provider of personalized business news (now NewsEdge Corporation). A recognized authority on interactive media, Rusty has been a featured speaker at Internet World, The Breakfast Network, Interactive Services Association, Digital Convergence and investment conferences.

He graduated with a BA degree from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut.

imageAaron Strout focuses on blogging, podcasting, webinars, blogger relations, and evangelizing the benefits of community. In addition to his knowledge of the interactive and new media landscape, Aaron has more than 15 years of online marketing and advertising experience, with a strong background in integrated and online marketing.

In his previous role, Aaron was Vice President of New Media at Shared Insights, one of Mzinga’s predecessor companies. Prior to this, Aaron worked at Fidelity Investments in its retail division, with a focus on online and acquisition marketing. Aaron’s work at Fidelity focused on Web strategy & implementation, as well as the development of marketing (online and offline) campaigns, including direct mail, e-mail, banner & print ads, and event marketing.

Aaron is an active contributor to the world of new media outside of his professional life. Alongside his personal blog, focused on the exploits of his beloved Boston sports teams (http://bigpapelbon.blogspot.com/), Aaron maintains a marketing-related blog at http://wearesmarter.org/aaron and is a founding member and former president of the Boston Interactive Media Association (BIMA). He is also a member and former board member of the Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange (MITX).

Aaron graduated with a BA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and is an alumnus of Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.

download for immediate release podcast

Download the 25-minute conversation here (MP3, 11.5MB), or sign up for the Interviews RSS feed to get it and future interviews automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a such as the free Juice, DopplerRadio or iTunes, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the twice-weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, sign up for the full RSS feed.

Listen to this podcast now:

If you have comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future interviews, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe intro music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 03/03 at 12:00 AM
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Thursday, February 28, 2008

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #323: February 28, 2008

Content summary: Discussion: can new PR professionals build a media contact list through social media?; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; kerfuffle at the Medill School of Journalism; social network updates: LinkedIn goes mobile, Financial Times launches social networks; can sincere blogging overcome an error in judgement?; FriendFeed tells you what your friends are up to online; Dan York reports on POD and self-publishing, the semantic web, Skitch and more; listeners’ comments discussion; Inside PR reaches 100; music from Sylvie Lewis; and more.

[Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir.]

Show notes for February 28, 2008

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 67-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Concord, California, USA.

Download the file here (MP3, 31MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod, subscribe with iTunes; good podcatchers include Juice and DopplerRadio, and RSS aggregators that support podcasts such as FeedDemon.)

Listen to this podcast now:

In This Edition:

FIR Show Notes links
Links for the blogs, individuals, companies and organizations we discussed or mentioned in the show are posted to the FIR Show Links pages at The New PR Wiki. You can contribute - see the home page for info.

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Join the FIR Discussion Forum and extend your conversations with the FIR community. You can also join the FIR Facebook Community and become an FIR friend.

So, until Monday March 3…

Posted by neville on 02/28 at 02:20 PM
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Monday, February 25, 2008

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #322: February 25, 2008

Content summary: Welcome to Podfinder listeners; FIR Interview on GMnext posted; discussion: how blogging can connect or widen the gap between employers and employees; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; DataPortability.org launches logo contest as response to legal pressure; what is news?; shizzolate your Twitters with Snoop Dogg; can opportunists kill social media?; Lee Hopkins reports; listeners’ comments discussion; music from Fall Out Boy; and more.

[Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir.]

Show notes for February 25, 2008

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 61-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Wokingham, Berkshire, England.

Download the file here (MP3, 27.9MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod, subscribe with iTunes; good podcatchers include Juice and DopplerRadio, and RSS aggregators that support podcasts such as FeedDemon.)

Listen to this podcast now:

In This Edition:

FIR Show Notes links
Links for the blogs, individuals, companies and organizations we discussed or mentioned in the show are posted to the FIR Show Links pages at The New PR Wiki. You can contribute - see the home page for info.

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Join the FIR Discussion Forum and extend your conversations with the FIR community. You can also join the FIR Facebook Community and become an FIR friend.

So, until Thursday February 28…

Posted by neville on 02/25 at 01:01 AM
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Saturday, February 23, 2008

FIR Interview: Catching up with GMnext - February 23, 2008

GMnextIt has been six weeks since the launch of GMnext, General Motors’ ambitious communication effort aimed at tighter integration into the social media space and earnest, comprehensive engagement in conversation with customers and other constituents.

In this FIR Interview, Shel Holtz talked with GM’s Scot Keller and Christopher Barger about the initiative’s first month-and-a-half, lessons learned, surprises, things that have gone as expected and reaction from mainstream media and the blogosphere. They also provide insights into events that followed the activist takeover of the comments section of four user-uploaded photos.

About our Conversation Partners

Scot KellerBorn and raised in Southern California, Scot M. Keller is a third generation car executive whose career spans 25 years. He has broad based experience in automotive marketing, communications, motor sports, heritage, and brand management with brands including Alfa Romeo, Audi, Chrysler and Jeep.

In 1999, Scot joined General Motors Corporation where he currently holds the position of Director Communications GMnext. In this capacity, Scot directs the corporation’s day to day activities around the global centennial celebration and GMnext digital experience. He also has responsibility for GM’s Heritage Communications directing the corporation’s involvement in key events including The Amelia Island and Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegances.

Scot currently resides in Grosse Pointe Park, Michigan with his wife and two children.

Christopher BargerChristopher Barger is Director, Global Communications Technology at General Motors, and leads the company’s social media communications efforts.

Christopher is responsible for setting General Motors’ communications strategy in the emerging social media that make up “Web 2.0” (blogs, wikis, podcasting, user-generated content, social network engagement, and others). His team coordinates and counsels authors for GM’s corporate blogs (FastLane and FYI), builds and manages GM’s relationships with influential voices from across the social media landscape, and develops new social media resources for GM content and information.

Prior to joining General Motors in mid 2007, Christopher held a similar position at IBM where he was involved in such ground-breaking work as the investor relations department’s ”IBM and the Future Of…” series of podcasts.

download for immediate release podcast

Download the 35-minute conversation here (MP3, 31.2MB), or sign up for the Interviews RSS feed to get it and future interviews automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a such as the free Juice, DopplerRadio or iTunes, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the twice-weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, sign up for the full RSS feed.

Listen to this podcast now:

If you have comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future interviews, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe intro music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Posted by shel on 02/23 at 03:22 PM
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Thursday, February 21, 2008

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #321: February 21, 2008

Content summary: Podcast Alley voting system now working again; discussion: the legitimacy of print on demand; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; description meta tags; the influence of employee bloggers in corporate acquisitions; successful marketing campaigns on social networks; start-up brings Second Life to mobile phones; Dan York reports; listeners’ comments discussion; upcoming FIR Interview; music from Rock Kills Kid; and more.

[Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir.]

Show notes for February 21, 2008

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 60-minute podcast recorded live from Wokingham, Berkshire, England, and Phoenix, Arizona, USA.

Download the file here (MP3, 27.5 MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod, subscribe with iTunes; good podcatchers include Juice and DopplerRadio, and RSS aggregators that support podcasts such as FeedDemon.)

Listen to this podcast now:

In This Edition:

FIR Show Notes links
Links for the blogs, individuals, companies and organizations we discussed or mentioned in the show are posted to the FIR Show Links pages at The New PR Wiki. You can contribute - see the home page for info.

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Join the FIR Discussion Forum and extend your conversations with the FIR community. You can also join the FIR Facebook Community and become an FIR friend.

So, until Monday February 25…

Posted by neville on 02/21 at 08:15 AM
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Monday, February 18, 2008

The Hobson & Holtz Report - Podcast #320: February 18, 2008

Content summary: FIR Interview with Connie Reece, Frozen Pea Fund, posted; FIR Report from Ronna Porter on IABC EuroComm posted; listener poll on FIR Live on BlogTalk Radio: results so far; the Gawker vs Edelman kerfuffle; CNN fires producer for blogging; Reuters introduces Calais semantic web service; social network developments: seesmic, Sonico, Twitxer; the Media Monitoring Minute with CustomScoop; listeners’ comments discussion; music from The Frantic; and more.

[Messages from our sponsors: FIR is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years, www.ragan.com; Save time with the CustomScoop online clipping service: sign up for your free two-week trial, at www.customscoop.com/fir.]

Show notes for February 18, 2008

download For Immediate Release podcast

Welcome to For Immediate Release: The Hobson & Holtz Report, a 58-minute podcast recorded live from Concord, California, USA, and Wokingham, Berkshire, England.

Download the file here (MP3, 26.5MB), or sign up for the RSS feed to get it and future shows automatically. (For automatic synchronization with your iPod, subscribe with iTunes; good podcatchers include Juice and DopplerRadio, and RSS aggregators that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon.)

Listen to this podcast now:

In This Edition:

FIR Show Notes links
Links for the blogs, individuals, companies and organizations we discussed or mentioned in the show are posted to the FIR Show Links pages at The New PR Wiki. You can contribute - see the home page for info.

If you have comments or questions about this show, or suggestions for our future shows, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

Join the FIR Discussion Forum and extend your conversations with the FIR community. You can also join the FIR Facebook Community and become an FIR friend.

So, until Thursday February 21…

Posted by neville on 02/18 at 12:04 PM
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Sunday, February 17, 2008

FIR Interview: Connie Reece, Frozen Pea Fund - Feb 17, 2008

Frozen Pea FundWhat did it take to capture the imagination of people and inspire them to take action that, collectively, tranformed into a movement of support, including financial, that gathered spontaneous and rapid momentum primarily via the micro-blogging online community that is Twitter?

This is the story of Susan Reynolds, an artist, new media consultant and mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in December 2007 and underwent a mastectomy later that month. From the outset, she blogged her experiences including about what she was using to ease her pain - bags of frozen peas.

It was Susan’s post and photo about a bag of frozen peas that started it all (explained here). Members of Susan’s Twitter community soon began adding peas to their avatar images; this supportive action quickly spread throughout a broader Twitter community and beyond.

It’s also the story of Connie Reece. A suggestion via Twitter for donating the equivalent of the cost of two bags of frozen peas to cancer research led to Connie Reece stepping into the peas picture with the formation of the Frozen Pea Fund, a fundraising effort for breast cancer research and programs through the American Cancer Society.

In a follow-up to a discussion about the Frozen Pea Fund in FIR #304 on December 24, 2007, FIR hosts Neville Hobson and Shel Holtz talked with Connie about the fund and awareness-raising in a discussion that also considered how organizations could learn from spontaneous and authentic communication and the role of channels such as Twitter.

If you wish to support the Frozen Pea Fund, you can donate here.

About our Conversation Partner

Connie ReeceConnie Reece is a communications professional with more than three decades of writing and speaking experience, a conversational marketing specialist involved in the research and implementation of emerging media. Connie’s expertise as a conversational writer and her facility for quickly mastering new tools and technologies keep her in demand as a social media consultant.

Through her company, Every Dot Connects, Connie helps businesses learn to speak with an authentic voice and to participate in a dialogue with customers and constituents.

Based in Austin, Texas, USA, Connie is Executive Director of Social Media Club international and a member of the Association of Women in Communication.

download for immediate release podcast

Download the 33:28 conversation here (MP3, 15.3MB), or sign up for the Interviews RSS feed to get it and future interviews automatically. For automatic synchronization with your iPod or other digital player, you’ll also need a podcatcher such as the free Juice, DopplerRadio or iTunes, or an RSS aggregator that supports podcasts such as FeedDemon.

To receive all For Immediate Release podcasts including the twice-weekly Hobson & Holtz Report, sign up for the full RSS feed.

Listen to this podcast now:

If you have comments or questions about this podcast, or suggestions for future interviews, email us at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); or call the Comment Line at +1 206 222 2803 (North America) or +44 20 8133 9844 (Europe); or Skype: fircomments; or comment at Twitter: twitter.com/FIR; or at Jaiku: fir.jaiku.com. You can email your comments, questions and suggestions as MP3 file attachments, if you wish (max. 3 minutes / 5Mb attachment, please!). We’ll be happy to see how we can include your audio contribution in a show.

This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information: www.ragan.com.

Podsafe intro music - On A Podcast Instrumental Mix (MP3, 5Mb) by Cruisebox.

Other reports and commentaries:

Posted by neville on 02/17 at 01:25 AM
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