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, September 19, 2018

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:
B.L. video interviews with authors and experts
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)

Typography? What’s That? Aesthetics!? Who Cares? Graphic Designers? Who Needs Em!




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

Typography? Huh?

Are you are old enough to know what typography was?

A long, long time ago, back in the early 1980s, before the scourge of desktop publishing made everyone a “designer”, typography was integral to the aesthetic of graphic design.

Then, to the horror of those who care about design, programmers became designers and the graphic arts went to hell. And typography went down the tubes with it. Sigh.

Box of moveable type - typography



BL Ochman | June 25, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Author Interview: Trina Paulus, Author of “Hope for the Flowers”




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

“Hope for the Flowers” has been around for 50 years. Its message of hope and transformation is exactly what we need right now.

I had the great pleasure of interviewing “Hope for the Flowers” author Trina Paulus, explaining how her allegory of transformation came to be. Read to children for 50 years, it’s also a profound, multi-layered parable for teens and adults. Once you read the book, you are unlikely to ever forget it.

“Hope for the Flowers” tells the story of two caterpillars, Stripe and Yellow, seeking the best way to live their lives. It tells of their search for life’s purpose through striving, longing, loving and letting go.

Hope for the Flowers: Trust in Change?

Along the way, they join tens of thousands of caterpillars fervently struggling to reach the top of an endless column. Should they climb over others to reach the unseeable “top of the pile?”

Or should they let go of what they can see to trust there is something beautiful beyond?

Paulus, at 86, is an idealist and activist, and she is hard at work on two sequels to “Hope for the Flowers.”

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Hope for the Flowers has been translated into Spanish, Dutch, German, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Russian, Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Persian

Hope for the Flowers by Trina PaulusHope for the Flowers, by Trina Pauls[/caption][Hope for the Flowers, on Amazon and at your local bookstore, by Trina Paulus. Published by Paulist Press, 1973, ISBN: 978-0809117543, 160 pages.]


BL Ochman | June 21, 2018 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Gum Chewing Controls Tic Tac’s New Snapchat Lens Video Game




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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

For as long as video games have been around, game designers have been creating new ways to control them. These include the keyboard, the joystick, the mouse, the console controller, platforms controlled by dancing, and gyroscopic controls built into smartphones.

Tic Tac – which I became a fan of when they denounced Donald Trump saying he used TicTacs before molesting women – just launched their first chewing gum. Chewing it controls two new video games.

Chew and Play
Tic Tac’s “Chew and Play” games are available through Snapchat Lenses. They’re named for the two flavors of gum.

In “Spearmint Jungle,” each time you chew, you can propel a little-man from vine to vine over hazards like crocodiles. You can help a skier leap obstacles in “Cool Watermelon Water Ski.” TBWA/Chiat/Day New York created the games.


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