Age of Conversation 2 – now with more Azaroff.

Age of ConversationSeveral months back, I signed up to write a chapter in the sequel to Age of Conversation, a book where 100 authors each submitted a one page chapter about how social media and community engagement is changing the way we work, communicate and live. It was a good and varied read.

Now there are 237 contributors to Age of Conversation 2, with the theme of Why Don’t They Get It.

The book was released this week and it’s now on sale at All proceeds from the book will again be donated to Variety, the international children’s charity, so it’s all for a good cause.

And here are my fellow contributors:
Adrian Ho, Aki Spicer, Alex Henault, Amy Jussel, Andrew Odom, Andy Nulman, Andy Sernovitz, Andy Whitlock, Angela Maiers, Ann Handley, Anna Farmery, Armando Alves, Arun Rajagopal, Asi Sharabi, Becky Carroll, Becky McCray, Bernie Scheffler, Bill Gammell, Bob LeDrew, Brandon Murphy, Branislav Peric, Brent Dixon, Brett Macfarlane, Brian Reich, C.C. Chapman, Cam Beck, Casper Willer, Cathleen Rittereiser, Cathryn Hrudicka, Cedric Giorgi, Charles Sipe, Chris Kieff, Chris Cree, Chris Wilson, Christina Kerley (CK), C.B. Whittemore, Chris Brown, Connie Bensen, Connie Reece, Corentin Monot, Craig Wilson, Daniel Honigman, Dan Schawbel, Dan Sitter, Daria Radota Rasmussen, Darren Herman, Dave Davison, David Armano, David Berkowitz, David Koopmans, David Meerman Scott, David Petherick, David Reich, David Weinfeld, David Zinger, Deanna Gernert, Deborah Brown, Dennis Price, Derrick Kwa, Dino Demopoulos, Doug Haslam, Doug Meacham, Doug Mitchell, Douglas Hanna, Douglas Karr, Drew McLellan, Duane Brown, Dustin Jacobsen, Dylan Viner, Ed Brenegar, Ed Cotton, Efrain Mendicuti, Ellen Weber, Eric Peterson, Eric Nehrlich, Ernie Mosteller, Faris Yakob, Fernanda Romano, Francis Anderson, Gareth Kay, Gary Cohen, Gaurav Mishra, Gavin Heaton, Geert Desager, George Jenkins, G. Kofi Annan, G.L. Hoffman, Gianandrea Facchini, Gordon Whitehead, Greg Verdino, Gretel Going & Kathryn Fleming, Hillel Cooperman, Hugh Weber, J. Erik Potter, James Gordon-Macintosh, Jamey Shiels, Jasmin Tragas, Jason Oke, Jay Ehret, Jeanne Dininni, Jeff De Cagna, Jeff Gwynne & Todd Cabral, Jeff Noble, Jeff Wallace, Jennifer Warwick, Jenny Meade, Jeremy Fuksa, Jeremy Heilpern, Jeroen Verkroost, Jessica Hagy, Joanna Young, Joe Pulizzi, John Herrington, John Moore, John Rosen, John Todor, Jon Burg, Jon Swanson, Jonathan Trenn, Jordan Behan, Julie Fleischer, Justin Foster, Karl Turley, Kate Trgovac, Katie Chatfield, Katie Konrath, Kenny Lauer, Keri Willenborg, Kevin Jessop, Kristin Gorski, Lewis Green, Lois Kelly, Lori Magno, Louise Manning, Luc Debaisieux, Mario Vellandi, Mark Blair, Mark Earls, Mark Goren, Mark Hancock, Mark Lewis, Mark McGuinness, Matt Dickman, Matt J. McDonald, Matt Moore, Michael Karnjanaprakorn, Michelle Lamar, Mike Arauz, Mike McAllen, Mike Sansone, Mitch Joel, Neil Perkin, Nettie Hartsock, Nick Rice, Oleksandr Skorokhod, Ozgur Alaz, Paul Chaney, Paul Hebert, Paul Isakson, Paul McEnany, Paul Tedesco, Paul Williams, Pet Campbell, Pete Deutschman, Peter Corbett, Phil Gerbyshak, Phil Lewis, Phil Soden, Piet Wulleman, Rachel Steiner, Sreeraj Menon, Reginald Adkins, Richard Huntington, Rishi Desai, Robert Hruzek, Roberta Rosenberg, Robyn McMaster, Roger von Oech, Rohit Bhargava, Ron Shevlin, Ryan Barrett, Ryan Karpeles, Ryan Rasmussen, Sam Huleatt, Sandy Renshaw and James G. Lindberg, Scott Goodson, Scott Monty, Scott Townsend, Scott White, Sean Howard, Sean Scott, Seni Thomas, Seth Gaffney, Shama Hyder, Sheila Scarborough, Sheryl Steadman, Simon Payn, Sonia Simone, Spike Jones, Stanley Johnson, Stephen Collins, Stephen Landau, Stephen Smith, Steve Bannister, Steve Hardy, Steve Portigal, Steve Roesler, Steven Verbruggen, Steve Woodruff, Sue Edworthy, Susan Bird, Susan Gunelius, Susan Heywood, Tammy Lenski, Terrell Meek, Thomas Clifford, Thomas Knoll, Tim Brunelle, Tim Connor, Tim Jackson, Tim Mannveille, Tim Tyler, Timothy Johnson, Tinu Abayomi-Paul, Toby Bloomberg, Todd Andrlik, Troy Rutter, Troy Worman, Uwe Hook, Valeria Maltoni, Vandana Ahuja, Vanessa DiMauro, Veronique Rabuteau, Wayne Buckhanan, William Azaroff, Yves Van Landeghem

Fighting poverty through saving – Vancity’s new TV ad.

Jumpstart High Interest Savings AccountLast week, when I spoke at the Partnership Symposium, I talked a little bit about Vancity’s Jumpstart High Interest Savings account.

It’s a high interest savings account (as of this writing it is paying out a very competitive 3% interest rate) that works like any other. Except for one big difference:

Vancity donates a portion of the proceeds to a not-for-profit partner who runs a program called Future Foundations, which gives a 300% savings rate to eligible people who need help paying for:

  • training or education
  • paying for a child’s education
  • starting or expanding a business
  • purchasing housing

Truly amazing stuff.

This week, we launched a slightly edgy TV ad to promote this product. Take a look and let me know what you think…

Didn’t WaMu’s CMO get a memo or something?

I had a surreal moment today.

I read the news that WaMu is now JPMorgan. Great.

When I moved back to Canada five years ago, I left some of our US money in my WaMu account. Well, whatever, it’s a small amount and I’m sure it’ll be fine. And then I get this little email marketing nugget.

WaMu News | The holidays start today.

I got this email TODAY. At 6:47pm. Didn’t their CMO get a memo or something? Am I about to start saving for the holidays… today… at WaMu? Hmmm, let me give that a little thought.

Two things I liked about the email:

  • There was this reminder in the tagline: Deposits at Washington Mutual are FDIC insured. Whew!
  • I can easily unsubscribe from future WaMu email marketing.

What would I have preferred? Some acknowledgement that the bank that holds MY money has been taken over and a link to some information that I need to know about how it affects me. Some recognition of what is actually going on.


At least they now have some information for WaMu customers on their homepage about the takeover, which they didn’t when I first received this email.

Say it with me now: Whoo Hoo!

Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Community Engagement

About a week ago, Morriss Partee blogged this: Social Media Marketing Best Practice: Use multiple media.

In this post, he tagged me, along with a few others, to continue a topic of Social Media Marketing Best Practices started on the Twist Image blog by digital marketing guru Mitch Joel.

He asked me to continue this thread by adding my two cents, so here goes.

My Social Media Marketing Best Practice is Community Engagement:

I used to call it Web 2.0, but that seemed to focus too much on technology. So I started calling it Social Media, but I think that focuses too much on the tools and leads us to jump to solutions before we fully grasp the issue we’re trying to address. Now I simply call it Community Engagement. The most important thing is to never lose sight of our core objective: People. We need to keep the people we’re trying to engage in a conversation front and centre, and develop a plan to inspire participation around a relevant topic, event, issue, brand, product or service.

I hope this thought furthers the conversation a little.

Thanks Morriss!

Young & Free Texas-style.

Young & Free TexasI’m a big fan of Currency Marketing‘s Young & Free Alberta campaign. I think it’s one of the smartest uses of social media to drive direct business results that I’ve ever seen.

When I speak to people about it, they have just one criticism. That Larissa Walkiw, the spokesperson of the Alberta program and an amazingly talented young woman, makes the whole campaign and you’ll never find another like her.

So a few months back when Tim McAlpine, the pioneer of Young & Free Alberta, announced that he was opening it up to allow for one credit union in each State or Province to replicate the program, I was very intrigued.

Now I see that he’s partnered with TDECU in Texas, the home of the amazing Trey Reeme, to launch Young & Free Texas.

You can also check out their Facebook fan page.

It will be fascinating to see how this new program progresses. I believe there are lots of talented and passionate young people who will take this program in new directions. That there is more than one Larissa, so to speak, and that there are amazing nooks and crannies that other people will take the program as spokesperson. But ultimately the proof will be in the pudding.

Congrats Tim, and good luck Trey and TDECU!