I'm B.L. Ochman, and I've been helping blue chip companies, agencies and associations incorporate new media into their marketing mix since 1996.

I'm a multi-media content creator, live-stream event and podcast producer, journalist, ghost writer, social strategist and producer of socially shareable videos.

Let's talk about how I can help you.

I co-host and produce the award-winning weekly Beyond Social Media Show

I contribute to Ad Age Digital Next, Social Media Today and others. On Twitter, I'm @whatsnext.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Banned Christmas Ad Goes Viral




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

In a PR coup, and a stellar example of brands taking a stand, supermarket chain Iceland Foods’ banned Christmas ad is resulting in massive earned media for the company and its cause. It won’t be seen on TV, but it’s gone viral on social media.

The ad, “Ran-Tan,” tells the story tells the story of a young girl who tries to help a baby orangutan whose home has been destroyed to create palm oil. The humans in the forest have killed the little orangutan’s mother and he is afraid it will kill him too. The little girl promises to fight to save the forest, and says “Ran-Tan” can stay safe with her.

But because the video was originally made by Greenpeace, Clearcast – which is responsible for clearing ads on behalf of the UK’s major broadcasters – ruled that it breaches rules against political advertising.

Richard Walker, the son of the chains’ founder, described the ad as “an emotive animation telling the story of rainforest destruction caused by palm oil production, and its devastating impact on the critically endangered orangutan….We always knew there was a risk it would not be cleared for TV but we gave it our best shot.”

The Banned Video Goes Viral

The store’s homepage says “Watch our banned video.”The company took to Twitter on Friday, urging people to make the video go viral. And that has has happened, big-time. By Monday, banned Christmas ad had more than 3.3 million YouTube views, and scores of stories in newspapers, magazines and broadcast outlets including The Guardian, Fast Company, Good Housekeeping and The New York Times. The hashtag #NoPalmOilChristmas also is trending. It’s been shared by celebrities including TV hosts James Corden and Jake Humphrey. And, in just three days, (Friday to Monday) more than 550,000 people signed a change.org petition to “release Iceland’s banned Christmas ad on TV”.

Cynics Call the Ban Orchestrated

The controversy and the outpouring of social media support, has caused some people to suggest that the store knew the ad would be banned. Rachel Cunliffe, editor of City Am Tweeted “I mean, would we all be obsessively talking about their Christmas ad otherwise? The vast majority of Tweets replied “Hey, cynical move maybe, but at least it is amplifying an important message.” and “Who cares? Every word is true.”

This is not Greenpeace’s First Food Fight

It’s also not the first time that Greenpeace has been involved in a food fight over palm oil. I wrote about their Facebook fight with Nestle in 2010. At the time, Nestle bungled the issue badly. A company representative responded to negative comments in a way that was snide, nasty, demeaning, snarky – pick your adjective. I’d like to think companies would respond differently in today’s social media climate.

B.L. Ochman is a seasoned Writer, content creator, strategist, and producer of podcasts and socially shareable video interviews. Let’s talk about how I can help your company.


BL Ochman | November 12, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Is Contract for the Web The Cluetrain Manifesto 2.0?




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Is Contract for the Web the new Cluetrain Manifesto? (look it up kids)

Tim Berners-Lee – who created the first website more than 29 years ago – has enlisted Facebook, Google, and more than 50 other companies to sign The Contract for the Web. It’s goal is to get everyone in the world online, strip misinformation from the internet and help us keep control of our data. #ForTheWeb #HappyBirthdayWWW

The Internet is definitely broken, and if anyone can fix it, my money’s on Tim Berners-Lee.

Contract for the Web Seeks Sea Change

The Contract for the Web begins “The web was designed to bring people together and make knowledge freely available. Everyone has a role to play to ensure the web serves humanity. By committing to the following principles, governments, companies and citizens around the world can help protect the open web as a public good and a basic right for everyone.”

“That vision,” he writes, “is only possible if we get everyone online, and make sure the web works for people. I founded the Web Foundation to fight for the web’s future.

Roles for Government, Business and Citizens

Governments, the contract states, will ensure that everyone can connect to the internet “so that anyone, no matter who they are or where they live, can participate actively online.” It also treats the Web as the utility it has become, saying that governments must ensure that it is on all the time, without interruption.

Businesses must “develop technologies that support the best in humanity and challenge the worst so the web really is a public good that puts people first.”

Citizens must “Be creators and collaborators on the web so the web has rich and relevant content for everyone” and “Build strong communities that respect civil discourse and human dignity so that everyone feels safe and welcome online.”

Decrying the impact of a few dominant platform, Berners-Lee says “The web that many connected to years ago is not what new users will find today. What was once a rich selection of blogs and websites has been compressed under the powerful weight of a few dominant platforms. This concentration of power creates a new set of gatekeepers, allowing a handful of platforms to control which ideas and opinions are seen and shared.”

RELATED
Contract for the Web
World Wide Web Foundation
Cluetrain Mainfesto (first published online in 1999, as a book in 2000)
Read The Cluetrain Manifesto for free


BL Ochman | | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Interview: Knightscope CEO William Santana Li Talks Crime Fighting Robots




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William Santana Li is CEO of Knightscope, whose autonomous security robots are patrolling 24/7 at malls, corporate campuses, manufacturing facilities, financial services units, stadiums, airports, hospitals, casinos, commercial property, residential and many more.

Santana Li says Knightscope’s long-term vision is “to literally be able to make the United States the safest country in the world, changing everything for everyone.”

“This is a crazy combination of artificial intelligence, self-driving autonomous technology, robotics and analytics in something that’s actually useful for society.”

Crime fighting robots

The company holds contracts in 16 states across four time zones, where the robots are rented to clients for between $6 and $12 per hour.Santana Li says Knightscope K5 can read 1,200 license plates a minute to, for example, pick out the license plate of a disgruntled former employee who has returned to the premises.

Knightscope robots successes include assisting law enforcement in issuing an arrest warrant for a sexual predator, tracking down a vandal, deterring vehicle break-ins and apprehending a thief in a retail environment. And we’re just getting started, Santana Li says.

How the robots work

The robot sees its world by coating it with lasers and taking 360-degree videos while autonomously patrolling its domain. Simultaneously, a human security guard in an on-site control room monitors this feed for anything untoward.

Among the robots’ capabilities are the ability to record license plates, detect people, capture thermal imaging, provide 360 degree video, make broadcasts, provide intercom activity and find mobile devices within a set perimeter.If you get in the robot’s way, it says excuse me. In the event of an emergency, the security guard can speak through the robot to alert nearby humans.

Clients have assigned names to their robots, including Daddy, Rosie, Deputy Metro, El-iot, Harr-iot, RoboDoc, B3PO and Officer Alex Murphy. People love taking selfies with the robots, and some have even turned up with lipstick.

Are Knightscope robots going to eliminate jobs? Absolutely not, Santana Li insists. The robots are not for enforcement,” says Santana Li. “It’s for monitoring and giving an understanding of the situation for those humans to do their jobs much more effectively.” The Knightscope Security Operations Center (KSOC), provides clients across the U.S. with a 24/7 force multiplier effect.

What robots won’t do

Knightscope robots are implemented in concert with both private and municipal security firms and professionals using a MaaS (Machine as a Service) business model that relies on a simple but powerful formula: Software + Hardware + Human Capability.

Among the things the Knightscope robots won’t do: take a nap at work or microwave fish in the break room.

______________

Let’s talk about how a socially shareable video interview will fit into your marketing.

B.L. Ochman is an accomplished business strategist, content creator, growth hacker, podcast producer and journalist. She is co-producer and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Beyond Social Media Show.

Twitter: @whatsnext
Podcast: Beyond Social Media Show
Website: B.L. Ochman
Funwalkers License Plates for Mobility Devices


BL Ochman | October 31, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

2018 Social Media Guru Update: Gurus Down, New Titles Emerge




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

Since 2009, I have provided updates on the number of self-appointed Social Media Gurus, and other Twitter bio social media titles.

There are more Social Media Strategists, Consultants, Experts and Agencies now than in 2014 or 2015. There are fewer Social Media Ninjas, Evangelists, Pros, Whores and Wonks – but not by many!

Twitter bios are limited to 140 characters, so bio must only contain essential descriptions.

Gurus Still Abound!

Back in 2014 there were 9,303 self-appointed Social Media Gurus.

Today there are still – incredibly – 5,686 Social Media Gurus on Twitter, according to FollowerWonk. While the self-appointed guru titles have dropped substantially, one thing has not changed one bit: guru is still something someone else calls you.

2018 Social Media Guru Twitter Bio Update by What's Next Blog

Changes and New Titles

More than 1,400 social media bios now contain the descriptions Social Media Content Creators, and 12,721 now describe themselves as Social Media Professionals. New to Twitter bios: self-appointed Social Media Kings and Social Media Queens.

Where’s the Guru Count Headed? Watch This Video


Related
Social Media Guru Count 2015
Self-proclaimed social media guru count growth slows: new titles emerge


BL Ochman | September 15, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

9/11 – The Slip




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I published this on Sept 11, 2006. It’s still my strongest memory, and biggest regret.

By B.L. Ochman

The time from when the first plane hit, until the first building fell is clear to me as if it happened this morning.

But, besides my sensory memory, I don’t remember anything about the hours between the collapse of the first building and the time I was brought to a hospital in New Jersey.

At the end of the day, I had a woman’s slip in my backpack – and no idea how I got it.

I was sick with pneumonia and mercury poisoning, and still dazed when, a couple of weeks later, I threw the slip away, still not sure how it ended up in my backpack.

Memory Floats By

Then one day, came the memory of reaching up to catch a slip – silk, I think – that floated right into my upstretched hands after it was blown off a woman as she jumped from the flaming tower three blocks north.

But it occurred to me yesterday, when I saw a memorial plaque on a bench on Central Park, that, maybe, if I’d saved that slip, one of the families would have had something that belonged to their dead sister, wife, or daughter.

I apologize to that woman’s family.


BL Ochman | September 11, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Renowned Data Scientist Dr JT Kostman: AI Will Have a Bigger Impact Than Electricity




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This is the latest in my series of interviews with experts and authors.

Dr JT Kostman is one of the world’s leading Data Strategists and experts in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing. In this interview, we discuss the importance of data science in marketing, social media and education. Dr Kostman is informative, fun and opinionated (in a very nice way.)

As a geek who loves technology but lacks the actual tech gene, I find Dr Kostman to be remarkably clear and open about what marketers need to know about AI and data science. There’s a lot for marketers to learn in this conversation.

What impact will AI Have on the future?

  • Artificial Intelligence, he says, is the most important technology anyone is working on in the world right now and it will affect every area of our lives.
  • As a result, AI will have an even bigger effect on our society than electricity.

Artificial Intelligence in Marketing

  • The role Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science played in the Obama 2008 campaign.
  • The need to get past superficial stereotypes and cartoon characricatures in marketing and advertising.
  • Those shoes that follow you around the Internet are because of retargeting. You don’t need AI for that.
  • Importantly, for marketers, AI provides the ability to change advertising from intrusive to opportunity.
  • John Wanamaker’s dilemma is answered by AI. We now can tell exactly which half of our advertising isn’t working.

Dr Kostman refers to New Yorker cartoon by Peter Steiner that says “On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.”

New Yorker "Nobody knows you're a dog" cartoon.


He says, “All my work is predicated on saying “Why don’t we know it’s a dog, what breed it is and if its tail is wagging.”

  • “It’s disrespectful and lazy for marketers to steal time instead of looking at the right data.”
  • Dr Kostman says “On behalf of all your ostensible customers, that undifferentiated crap is a waste of time that turns people off”
  • The reason the lifespan of CMOs is so ephemeral is that they are not using the tools and abilities that exist to help them make the right decisions.
  • Why it would behoove agencies to work with data scientists.
  • Why “It’s nearly marketing malpractice not to take a data driven approach to marketing.”

What AI Skills Do We Need to Have?

  • “In this day and age you must have basic code literacy. You need to be a passionately curious, numerate technofile who is wicked smart and works well with others. Those things are all you need.” And, he says, if you think you’re not numerate, you’re wrong. We are all innately numerate.

Artificial Intelligence Could End Election Interference

  • Google, Twitter, Facebook etc let you use their service in exchange for seeing ads. There is no free lunch
  • Could major social platforms identify and stop Russian and other foreign interference in our elections with the data and AI they have? Absolutely, he maintains. The major social networks are abrogating their responsibility to stop foreign interference on their platforms. It’s time, he says, for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google to stop pretending they don’t have the responsibility to stop interference in U.S. elections.
  • Facebook, Twitter, Google and other major social platforms could stop foreign election interference with the data they have right now – if they wanted to. “It’s a financial decision,” Kostman says. Stopping Russian and other election interference on their platforms “is in direct conflict with their profit motive.”

Talk to Dr Kostman

Dr Kostman makes time to talk to students every Friday. Follow him on LinkedIn, where he posts his availability for 50 minute conversations. He also says he’ll speak to marketers “for free” rather than have them “go blindly into the dark, wasting clients’ money.”

  • Dr Kostman says “I’ll talk to you for free. Call me. Let’s at least talk about what you’re doing rather than going blindly into the dark and wasting your clients’ money. Most agencies are probably wasting 95% of their clients’ money.
  • A lot of data scientists and people in AI seem to make what they say deliberately hard to follow. Dr Kostman quotes Einstein, who said “If you truly understand something, you should be able to explain it to your grandmother.” Simple, he says, is elegant.

ABOUT JT KOSTMAN

JT Kostman is a data scientist, mathematician, and psychologist. He has hunted terrorists for U.S. Intelligence Agencies, tracked criminal networks for the FBI, advised on analytic strategies for the Department of Defense, and led social media analysis for the 2012 Obama Campaign.

In the corporate sector, he developed Digital Media Marketing solutions for Digitas, served as Chief Data Officer for Time Inc, Chief Data Scientist for Samsung, and serves on the Board of Advisors for Reimagine Holdings.

Prior to attending graduate school, JT served as a Paramedic, Police Officer, Deep-Sea Rescue Diver, and as Team Leader of an elite Scout/Sniper Reconnaissance Team with the U.S. Army Special Forces. He is a decorated disabled veteran who holds an active Top Secret/SCI U.S. Government clearance.

LinkedIn: JT Kostman
Twitter: @JT Kostman
Email: JTKostman at gmail dot com

ABOUT B.L. OCHMAN

Let’s talk about how a socially shareable video interview will fit into your marketing.

B.L. Ochman is an accomplished business strategist, content creator, growth hacker, podcast producer and journalist. She is producer and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Beyond Social Media Show.

LinkedIn
Blog – What’s Next Blog
Twitter: @whatsnext
Podcast: Beyond Social Media Show
Website: B.L. Ochman
Funwalkers License Plates for Mobility Devices


BL Ochman | September 4, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

AI Expert JT Kostman: Social Platforms Could Stop U.S. Election Interference Now




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Dr. JT Kostman – one of the world’s leading Data Strategists and experts in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Computing – says top social platforms have all the data they need to stop foreign interference in U.S. elections now.

Facebook, Twitter, Google and YouTube have have no shortage of data about who’s using their platforms, he says. They absolutely could stop Russian and other governments’ interference in American elections.

Why don’t they?

“It’s a financial decision,” Kostman says.

Stopping Russian and other election interference on their platforms “is in direct conflict with their profit motive.”

The major social networks are abrogating their responsibility to stop foreign interference on their platforms, he says. It’s time, Dr. Kostman maintains, for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Google to stop pretending they don’t have the responsibility to stop interference in U.S. elections.

ABOUT JT KOSTMAN

JT Kostman is a data scientist, mathematician, and psychologist. He has hunted terrorists for U.S. Intelligence Agencies, tracked criminal networks for the FBI, advised on analytic strategies for the Department of Defense, and led social media analysis for the 2012 Obama Campaign. In the corporate sector, he developed Digital Media Marketing solutions for Digitas, served as Chief Data Officer for Time Inc, Chief Data Scientist for Samsung, and serves on the Board of Advisors for Reimagine Holdings.

Prior to attending graduate school, JT served as a Paramedic, Police Officer, Deep-Sea Rescue Diver, and as Team Leader of an elite Scout/Sniper Reconnaissance Team with the U.S. Army Special Forces. He is a decorated disabled veteran who holds an active Top Secret/SCI U.S. Government clearance.

LinkedIn: JT Kostman
Twitter: @JT Kostman

ABOUT B.L. OCHMAN

B.L. Ochman is an accomplished business strategist, content creator, growth hacker, podcast producer and journalist.

She is producer and co-host of the award-winning podcast, Beyond Social Media Show.

Blog – What’s Next Blog
Twitter: @whatsnext
Podcast: Beyond Social Media Show
Website: B.L. Ochman
Funwalkers License Plates for Mobility Devices


BL Ochman | August 23, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Video Interview: J.D. Lasica on Strategy & Tactics That Made “Biohack” #1 on Amazon




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In this video interview, author and entrepreneur J.D. Lasica and I discuss the strategies and tactics that helped make his new Indie-published cyber thriller, “Biohack,” Number One on Amazon in less than 30 days.

“Biohack” is a near future, high-tech, conspiracy thriller with a female protagonist named Kaden Baker. Its highly compelling story weaves the all-too-possible series of events that could quite believably become our new reality.

How to make a book #1 on Amazon

What’s it take to turn a new fiction book into a Number One Amazon best-seller in 28 days? Hint: it’s a lot of hard work!

In addition to a gripping story, says Lasica, you need a great cover, a compelling title, the right description, proper metatags and categories, a superb social strategy, a great launch team, and a lot of hard work.

“Biohack is the Dan Brown-meets-Lara Croft-meets-Michael Crichton thriller we’ve been waiting for.”
– Saul Tanpepper, author of the thriller/sci-fi series Gameland

NOTE: I have time stamped the video. When you watch it on YouTube, you can click on any time in brackets, (i.e. [0:20] to go directly to that segment of the video. I also have included links to all of the services J.D. so generously shared.

J.D. LASICA

B.L.OCHMAN

RELATED:
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Video Interview: B.L. Ochman & Mitch Joel Discuss the Growth & Future of Podcasting


BL Ochman | July 18, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Four Ways Interview Videos Can Help Authors Get Media Coverage




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

Writing and getting a book published is a huge accomplishment. Congratulations!

Building sales for your book is your next – enormous – challenge. You need publicity. You want editors and producers to want to interview you.

But before reporters and producers waste time on an interviewing an author they want to know she’ll sound smart. They can find that out quickly if your site and media kit include a two to three-minute video interview.

Reporters Love Videos

Microphones of reporters interviewing authorLeslie Mann, who writes feature stories for publications including the Chicago Tribune and its Tronc-owned sister papers, says she will often go to a trade association to find an informed source. “When a journalist gets broadcast clips for sources, woo-hoo, she would figure she’s hit the jackpot! Otherwise, sure, the source may know her stuff and have creds, but may be tongue-tied in front of a camera.”

Editors and producers want to know you can sound smart before they waste time interviewing you. They need to know that you’ll be articulate and interesting, rather than tongue-tied, umming and ahhing, overly self-promotional or, worse yet, boring. Short video interviews can quickly demonstrate that you’re a good subject.

Four Ways Short Videos Can Help You Get Interviews

Your interview videos should be under five minutes, and two to three minutes is better. Here’s how video can help:

  • Demonstrate to reporters and producers that you will be a good interview subject or guest.
  • Hugely expand your online footprint so you’re easier to find.
  • Improve SEO and drive traffic to your site because Google search favors short informational videos. YouTube is the only social media network that is also a search engine.
  • Help your Amazon Author and Goodreads pages stand out to editors and readers.

The video interview advantage

That’s why your website, blog and social streams should include a short video interview that showcases how engaging you can be as a guest. In fact, nothing will get you more attention (besides a segment on Ellen!) than a well-produced video interview.

Important: Your video shouldn’t be a sales pitch. Instead, it should demonstrate your expertise in your subject. Don’t worry: journalists will mention that you’re an author and name your book. If you’re lucky enough to get on a talk show, the host is even likely to hold up your book for the audience.

Engaging and informative, short video interviews also make journalists more likely to find your content when they search for sources. That’s because Google search favors short, informational content like video interviews. As Deepasha Kakkar notes in Search Engine Watch, videos “convey emotions, actions and can explain concepts and idea very easily. No wonder videos have 41% higher click-through rate than plain text, and high conversion rates and ROI on top of that.”

Videos also:

  • Increases the time people spend on your content, giving your message more time to be heard. Fifty-five percent of people spend less than 15 seconds on a web page. But 55 percent of people watch online video every day and 65 percent of people watch at least 3/4 of a video.
  • Increases conversions by as much as 80%, which in turn can increase book sales.
  • Increases visitors’ trust in your services, making potential clients more likely to reach out to you and more likely to link to your site or re-post your video to their social networks
  • Give you a platform for answering readers’ questions.

Here are two recent videos I’ve produced for authors. Let’s talk about making one for you.


BL Ochman | July 2, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

Video Interview: B.L. Ochman & Mitch Joel Discuss the Growth & Future of Podcasting




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

Mitch Joel, “Six Pixels of Separation” author and podcaster and I discuss the growth of podcasting; who should and shouldn’t podcast; what makes a great podcast; what equipment you need to podcast; what makes brand podcasts effective, and much, much more.

What makes a podcast great?

There are some core passions that create the dynamics, Joel said. These include guests and a theme that is sustainable over time. For his “Six Pixels of Separation” podcast, Joel wants people to feel like they pulled up a chair in a cafe as he was speaking to someone in an area he is very curious about.

Content has to rule, we agree, and podcasts need a compelling host. Being an expert and being a good speaker or host are not always the same thing.


The video is time stamped. Click on a time in brackets i.e [0:22] to jump directly to that segment of the podcast.

MITCH JOEL

Mitch Joel, Author, Podcaster,Six Pixels of SeparationPodcast – Six Pixels of Separation Podcast – Marketing and Communications Insights
Books – Six Pixels of Separation: Everyone is Connected.
Control, Alt, Delete: Reboot Your Business, Reboot Your Life
Website – Mitch Joel
Twitter – @MitchJoel

B.L. OCHMAN

B.L. Ochman, Producer, Co-Host, Beyond Social Media ShowPodcast – Beyond Social Media Show
Website – B.L. Ochman
Blog – What’s Next Blog
Twitter – @whatsnext


BL Ochman | June 28, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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