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October 27, 2010


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Carolyn Winter

David your work on real time marketing has some interesting parallels with the field of consciousness. In your example, the polictician's reaction also gives us a clue about their inner landscape for responding and the kind of mind they have.

To be an effective real time mind I believe requires inner work so that our responses to 'real time' events are not governed by ego or unresoved past issues. If we are fully present we can organically use our knowlege of the past and hear the whispers of the future to make informed response in the moment - appearing to be spontaneaous. I just listened to a Deepak Chopra & Steve Hameroff interview at the Huffington Post where they talk about the quantum nature of real time. Real time marketing is actually real time thinking that has the power to change everything - including highly successful marketing.

So looking forward to your book release.


Tom Smith

Great examples for companies and candidates alike. Thanks David.

David Meerman Scott


I'm interested in your concept within consciousness.

My guess is that the candidate herself didn't know about this. Probably some staffer made the decisions not to engage. But who she chooses to work with and what direction she gives staff tells a lot about her. I wish she would jump in and clarify.


Kimmo Linkama

Sorry, but I'm getting the feeling there's some publicity seeking involved here.

Surely the right address for the complaint would've been the truck company? What if a package addressed to me falls off a truck and damages someone's bumper? I have absolutely nothing to do with the incident, so why should I bother answering?

David Meerman Scott

Kimmo - Sure, Joe is a blogger so putting it out there in public certainly has an element of publicity seeking.

The truck did not stop so there was no way to follow-up. It was carrying signs for the candidate. All that is required is for the campaign to say "we weren't responsible it was the truck" and all would be happy. The wrong thing (in my opinion) is to ignore and delete the inquiry.

Joe Chernov

Hi All,

Few things:

1.) Kimmo: Certainly there's an element of publicity seeking. I figure if I am going to be out my deductible, then at least I should be entitled to some fresh slides for my talks on social media. As I said in my blog post: I wanted to experiment to see how the campaign would handle this situation. That said, it is a *real* situation, and if the truck was theirs, I truly feel I am owed an answer, if not a new bumper.

2.) David is right: All I wanted was information. WAS this driver on the clock for them? Did he later call and report the incident to campaign HQ? Was nobody of theirs on that road at that time in that type of vehicle? I had a collision with their sign. I was entitled to some information.

3.) The proverbial straw was when they had time to remove my pictures from their Facebook Wall, but presumably not enough time to actually engage me on the topic. To me that was the moment injury became insult.

4.) To their credit, they *did* reach out today. They indicated it's an all-volunteer team, and the driver, if it was indeed one of theirs (they can't tell one way or another) is not on their payroll. It's unclear if they are going to assume the deductible, but I will say that the woman who called me came across as very sincere.

I'll weigh in again on the resolution.



This is a great way to get as many people involved as possible. A little publicity goes a long way, so this is not for the celebrities - they just use their power to get people to make a change and voice out their opinion.


Joseph Myerson

It was selfish and inappropriate for Mr. Chernov to publicize dirty laundry on FB as an initial communication. The unfortunate sign incident is not directly related to Ms. Connaughton's candidacy. That you would choose this topic as the basis for a Huffington Post piece, reveals a certain desperation for meaningful content. The point of the piece is well-taken, but you could easily have found an example that did not propagate a description of Mr. Chernov's bad behavior. There are those among us who will not participate in new media as a cacophony of childish poor manners.


Hi Joseph. Thanks for your perspective. I am confident Mr. Meerman Scott can speak for himself regarding his post. I will respond to the comments about my behavior. I believe there is absolutely nothing inappropriate about posting real-world images accompanied with real-world experiences in real time to the social Web. To suggest that my factually account of yesterday's incident should somehow be relegated to backchannel whispers or, more troubling still, suspended until after the elect (which was implied by a member of her team) is to nullify the very value of social media. In fact, Ms. Connaughton justly and fairly uses these very tactics to counteract the commentary of her opponent. Surely if the practice is acceptable for the power structure, it should be similarly valid for the public. To deprive the public of its ability to relay experiences, good and bad, in the name of propriety is to eliminate the "checks" from the "balances" in the symbiotic relationship Ms. Connaughton holds so dear.

Joe Chernov

David Meerman Scott

Joseph Myerson - Thanks for the comment and for voicing your opinion here.

I write about marketing & PR tactics and how organizations of all kinds use the web to get noticed. I write articles, books. this blog and I give speeches.

I found this a great example of someone who wants to get elected to represent the state and account for how funds are used. I believe that the campaign's use of social media is indicative of how the candidate would operate if elected. And I chose to point that out on my various online platforms.

Joe Chernov - thanks for jumping in and providing context. Let us know what the outcome is.


Myerson J

Mr. Chernov, Here's the test: If you were a close, personal friend of the candidate's, and you were not a new media professional, would you have proceeded the same way? I think you would have phoned her and asked for her help in identifying the driver. Why should we let factors such as the two mentioned above, affect our decisions, which should be guided by our personal morality?

"...if the practice is acceptable for the power structure..."
If you lie down with dogs, you get up with fleas. At what point in your life did you begin to define your morality by the bad behavior of others? You're seriously invoking the behavior of politicians as a defense?

"To suggest...backchannel whispers or, more troubling still, suspended until after the elect..."

Only problem being, I didn't suggest that. Though you have earned a few points for dramatic effect.

First, you are using her candidacy in an artificial way to create pressure on her to solve your problem that is not her responsibility. "It's unclear if they are going to assume the deductible." Why would you even think that? What statement does that make about your character if you even allowed that if they offered?

Second, You're fiddling with the lives of others to create artificial examples for discussion, which would be grossly irresponsible even if it weren't related to an election that affects every citizen of the Commonwealth.

Third, post what you will on your own FB wall, but it is NOT appropriate to use the candidate's FB wall to disparage her, a public figure, for events that are not related to her public identity, let alone for your personal financial gain. It's shocking to me that both you and Mr. Scott fail to see why what you did is wrong. It was appropriate for staff to remove the unrelated material. An item appropriate for one FB wall is not automatically appropriate for all FB walls. That's the same as in real life. You gentlemen do remember real life, don't you?

I recommend that you and Mr. Scott take a break from blogging tomorrow and instead have a buddies day, reading aloud Robert Fulghum's All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten.

Joe Chernov

Again, Joseph, thank you for sharing your perspective. There is plenty of room on the social Web for a wide spectrum of opinion.

I believe you are overlooking the material fact that the driver who stopped to check on my well-being indicated that the truck was transporting political signs. This statement suggested the driver was working on behalf of Ms. Connaughton. (Her team could neither confirm nor deny that such a vehicle was delivering signs on their behalf, given that it's an all-volunteer campaign.)

Ultimately, it should not have been so difficult to gain this information. Clearly you believe the campaign would have been more forthcoming had I placed a sheepish telephone call. On that we can agree to disagree. It's been my experience that those in positions of power tend to respond most reliably when they are are compelled to do so.

In the end, new media has become our new reality, and with that new reality come new mores. Each of us has the choice to accept, resist or rail against them.

Lastly, I politely decline to take your test on the grounds that it is patently absurd. I could just as easily urge you to pretend the sign had impaled my throat, and ask if the proper course of action for my widow would be to wait patiently for a return call. It's a bogus straw man argument.

If you wish to have the last word, you are welcome to it. I have tried to address your concerns and provide facts and insight. Nevertheless, your last comment devolved into personal digs and flippancy, which is ironic, given the sanctimoniousness of your argument.


David Meerman Scott

This is an interesting discussion. Thanks for having it on my blog.

I chatted about the incident yesterday with some people at a conference I'm at now. We all agreed that there are many ways to handle such a thing.

One approach the campaign could have taken was to respond to Joe with humor. A tweet back to Joe with something like "Our yard signs are so popular they're on cars now!" On Facebook they could have done something similar or even posted a photo of another place where a yard sign turned up (on a surfboard perhaps). Then, under that on Facebook, they also could have said: "Joe we're looking into this situation and will contact you offline."

Joe's inquiry invited many ways for this to have played out.

This would have been a completely different blog post had the campaign responded with humor to Joe.


Keith at KendallPress

Thank you all for playing out this entire discussion on David Meerman Scott's blog. It is indeed an interesting group of responses coming from different perspectives. Like it or not, we are all much more visible these days and need to be more aware of how we respond to situations. The world is more and more like a glass house everyday. So Lessons from Kindergarten are good rules to live by as is an understanding that failure to respond opens the door to escalation as the aggrieved party sees fit. I vote for humor properly used to defuse a situation when possible though this is not always going to work. But clearly, good communication will always make the difference.

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