Saturday, February 27, 2010

(empo-tymshft) (empo-tuulwey) Loren Hodson? Steven Feldman? You've got similarities.

When I read this Steven Hodson post about this Loren Feldman post, I was struck by some similarities between the two. Let's compare:

  • First, they both are married men who love their wives dearly. In the end, that matters more to both of them than the other points.

  • Second, neither of them could make it as a Care Bear or as a diplomat. Both have been known to speak their mind, rather than playing nice.

  • Third, both are well-known within sectors of the social media community. Feldman, of course, is known for 1938media. Hodson, probably best known as a writer for the Inquisitr, also has his own empire of blogs, including Shooting at Bubbles and WinExtra.

  • Fourth, Feldman and Hodson do not solely rely on being social media mavens. Feldman is expert in video production, and Hodson is expert in the Windows operating system and other computer-related areas.
And it should also be noted that the fourth point is more important than the third point. And that is key.

Both Feldman and Hodson reacted to the Steve Rubel post "AP is Visionary: They See a 'Siteless Web'." Now I have my own take on the truth of Rubel's post, but let me share what Hodson and Feldman said first.

For Hodson's take, let me cut to the chase:

So let me get this straight. The future of the web, and all its incredible richness, is going to be places like Facebook, Twitter, Buzz and Foursquare.

If this is what the future of the web is going to be like then we will lose more than we gain.

Feldman also talked the loss of a company's brand identity in his video, "Social Media Will Kill Your Brand":

Now, I personally see no harm in having a presence on Facebook. (For the record, this blog has a Facebook presence, although I'm under-utilizing it.) In some ways, Facebook is the AOL of the 21st century. For some people, Facebook is THE destination, just like AOL was back in the day when every company had its own AOL keyword. If people are going to Facebook, and you want to attract those people, then it would certainly help to have a presence on Facebook.

But there's a world of difference between making a Facebook presence part of your overall strategy, and making a Facebook presence your ENTIRE strategy. Again, AOL is instructive. In his video, Feldman asked what would happen if Facebook were to disappear. In a sense, that's what happened with AOL. Not that AOL became a "ghost town," but certainly the online landscape changed enough that the importance of having an AOL keyword decreased dramatically over the years.

Now I'm probably not the best person to talk about effective brand creation - while I've certainly marketed the "Empoprises" brand to some extent, I haven't locked in the domain name. And we all know what can happen when you don't protect domain names.

But Hodson and especially Feldman have created excellent brand identity, and while they appear on other forums (this particular 1938media video was hosted on YouTube), they're both smart enough to not only maintain their brand identity, but to drive traffic back to their own sites.

Siteless? No.

But will Steven Hodson start playing with puppets?
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