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

I'm an accomplished and expert digital strategist, certified YouTube Channel Creator, president of whatsnextonline.com and publisher of What's Next Blog.

I'm CEO of Maximum-Plus.com Live-streaming event production & all things Google+, serving leading brands, associations and agencies.

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

I'm also co-founder of the pet lovers' site and blog, Pawfun.com - where you can use favorite photos of your pets to create and send free Pawfun photo e-cards.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Stroke of Genius: Lin-Manuel Miranda and Renée Elise Goldsberry rap about Hillary Clinton

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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

Nobody is crazier about “Hamilton” and Lin-Manuel Miranda than Millennials and GenX3ers who could swing the election for Hillary Clinton if they come out and vote. Pew Research says they’ll turn out in record numbers, even out-voting Baby Boomers. So it’s pure genius of the Clinton campaign to get Lin-Manuel Miranda to rap about voting.

At as much as $800 a ticket, “Hamilton” is still having a cultural moment, on par with any great cult TV show or movie. And the show is hottest among millennials and Generation X – the very generations who may outvote Baby Boomers in the contentious 2016 election.

Hamilton is adored by Millennials and GenXers

And if there is anyone these generations adore more than, perhaps Bernie Sanders, it’s Lin-Manuel Miranda and his iconic smash hit “Hamilton.”

So it is pure genius of the Clinton Campaign to have had Lin-Manuel Miranda and co-star Renee Elise Goldsberry rap about the election at a Hillary Clinton Fundraiser in New York on Oct. 17. The video has gone viral, of course, and so – we hope – will voting.

Miranda re-wrote one of the musical’s hit songs to focus on 10 things you need to do in this election – from registering to voting.

Oddly – given the impossibility of getting or paying for tickets – most millennials and GenXers will probably never see the show. But the cast album is in the Billboard Top 10, with millions sold.

Please vote!

My Gen X Newphew knows every word by heart and can practically recite the 818-page Hamilton biography by Ron Chernow – the book that inspired the play. The $35 tome has been on the NY Times Best Seller List for 53 weeks.

So yes, please, millennials and GenXers – get out there and VOTE for Hillary Clinton. We’re counting on you.

BL Ochman | October 24, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Ken Bone & the Red Sweater: Are We Fiddling While Rome Burns?

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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

In the midst of the most contentious and frightening Presidential Debates in American history, Ken Bone and his red sweater became heroes – and memes.

Are we fiddling while Rome burns, or just in desperate need of comic relief?
Stay tuned.

Bone an operator at a coal plant in Illinois, was one of the undecided voters selected to ask a question at the town hall debate broadcast live on Sunday night. He asked Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump about their energy policies.

“I’m just glad I was able to spark the energy debate a little bit,” he told The New York Times. It was kind of getting overlooked.”

An overnight sensation

Ken_Bone_Red_SweaterKen Bone’s Twitter following blossomed to 135K in the days following the debate where America fell in love with him and his red sweater.

Bone is now urging people to get out and vote as he makes the interview rounds and enjoys his new-found fame.

The sweater’s tale

He still claims to be undecided. It’s quite likely his new fame will disappear as fast as it came if Bone should decide and share support for the trash talking Trump.

The sweater, by Izod, sold out immediately, as did similar ones on other sites. Izod news-jacked with a Tweet “There’s no debate. The “Town Hall” look is the one to rock”

Bone told CNN he changed to the sweater from a suit because the pants of the suit ripped when he got into the car and he had to go back and change. (How cute is that!?) Apparently, he’d gained about 30 pounds since the last time he wore the suit.

Parody Accounts and Interviews

There’s even a parody account, @TheKenBone, who has 11.6K followers. He’s Tweeting stuff like “Retweet and follow and on Friday I’ll pick a winner who will win a Ken Bone sweater! Must be following to win.” And he suggesting that Ken Bone run for President. (Perhaps he can take over when Donald Trump drops out.)

#KenBoneFacts trended on Twitter and appeared in Twitter Moments. These included one by Shoshana Weissman: #KenBoneFactsJohn John 9:3: Jesus said to Ken Bone, “You’re asking the right question.”

Snoop Dog wants to get high with Ken Bone

Snoop Dog invited Bone to switch to a blue sweater in support of Democrats, and “Come to the crib and smoke 1 wit Tha Dogg.”

@AboveAverage Tweeted:

And @Brooklyn Tweeted Am I the only one who sees the resemblance between Al from Toy Story and #KenBone

Stephen Colbert and Jonathan Mann both wrote songs toasting Ken Bone.

BL Ochman | October 11, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Easy Steps to Creating a Successful Blog (in Minutes)

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Sponsored Post

By Anthony Fisher

Blogging is one of the smartest ways of making money online. As long as you target the right audience, monetize properly, write epic content and get relevant traffic, you can earn consistent online income. A successful blogger does not only earn money, but also commands power and respect from their audience. The good news is that it’s not so hard to set up a blog. Here’s how to do it easily.

Choose a profitable niche

You don’t want to waste time creating a blog that will not earn you money. For you to earn, make sure you choose a profitable niche. Brainstorm a couple of ideas on what you want to blog about. Once you’ve decided on a few niches, take some time and research to see which is the most profitable one.

As you do your market research, you can also start thinking about how you’ll monetize your blog. Having a monetization strategy early enough will help you set up a strong foundation for your blogging career. Below are some of the most common monetization methods that still work:

• Affiliate marketing
• Advertising e.g. via Google AdSense
• Marketing your own products or services
• Sponsored content
• Paid membership
• Banner advertising

Domain registration

Once you’re sure of what you want to blog about, go ahead and register your domain. There are so many domain registrars to choose from; such as Namecheap and GoDaddy among others.

For personal branding, you can use your name as the domain name e.g. johndoe.com. Otherwise, you can try to make your domain descriptive so that people can easily tell what your blog is about e.g. acnegone.com. Avoid dashes in your domain name since it makes it hard to remember. Avoid any copyrighted names.

Web hosting

Read More…

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

Uber Hands Out Breathalyzer Cards You Can Lick to See If You’re Too Drunk to Drive

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Alibi Bar in Russia teamed up with UBER to distribute breathalyzer cards that let you know if you are too drunk to drive- or should arrange for a ride home.

Alibi Bar hands out the cards, fitted with saliva alcohol test strips. After drinking, patrons can peel off the testing strip, lick it and wait for the result. If it turns yellow, it’s safe to drive. But it if turns green, it is time to summon an Uber driver.

There are several portable alcohol breath testers available, including iPhone apps, a wearable one and one you add to your keychain. Several brands and agencies have experimented with point-of-sale stunts aimed at discouraging drunk driving and other alcohol-related dangers. This one is the most clever marketing devices we’ve seen so far.

The project was created by Red Pepper Creative, Yekaterinburg, Russia.

The tests are pretty accurate, but as Gabriel Beltrone observed in Adweek: “Then again, anyone who needs to drool on a piece of paper to see how responsibly they’ve been drinking should probably just take the cab anyway.”

HT/Karma Martell

BL Ochman | August 27, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

This WhizKid may be the coolest kid on the Internet

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By B.L. Ochman

This soon-to-be-famous 11 year-old WhizKid creates videos. His name is Aiden. He lives in Canada. He adds new videos to his three YouTube channels every Saturday. This kid rocks!

His top video, “How to make Slime” has had 2.4 million+ views.

His WizKid Science channel is part of the JuniorTube Originals, where he’s joined by “top independent creators of kids’ videos, famous on YouTube, Vimeo, Vine and Facebook.”

His Fame is Spreading

This month, JuniorTube (not affiliated with YouTube) partnered with an inaugural group of creators of videos made for kids two to 12 years-old. Aiden is one of a select bunch featured in the launch JuniorTube Originals, an ad-free, subscription-based service for families, featuring videos by and for kids ages two to 12.

Here’s what Aiden says about himself on his WhizKids Science Channel:

“I started making videos when I was 8 and am now 11 years old. I love making videos because they are fun and I’m saving money for college. I have a younger brother and a new baby sister! She hasn’t been in a video yet but maybe one day she’ll be doing experiments with us too.”

His other WhizKid Science videos include:

He also has WizKid Math “for math hacks and all things math” and WizKid Play “for challenges, taste tests, games, and toys!”

He’s on Twitter and Instagram too

And he’s also got a CafePress swag page where you can buy WhizKid Science t-shirts, book bags, iPad cases and lunch bags.

So, hey, what were you doing when you were 11 years old?

BL Ochman | August 26, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

5 Ways to Stop Your Blog Readers From Clicking Away

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By Anthony Fisher

User engagement is what separates a great blog from one that is mediocre. In fact, usability is even more important than Google results.

Getting to the top of Google’s search results is useless unless your visitors stay around long enough to take in what’s on your site. The longer visitors stick around, the more likely they are to buy your services.

  1. Make it Readable

    Choose your font carefully. Font size and color have a massive effect on readability.
    Many websites use small pale gray fonts on a white background. Lack of font/background contrast is a usability #Fail that creates another hoop for readers to jump through. Small type also means that every line has far more than the optimum 60 characters.

  2. Ditch the Ads

    Ads might make you a few dollars a month, but until you have at least 1,000 unique visitors a month, they are just an added distraction. And they make your page slower to load – especially on mobile.

    If you think people are going to click on those annoying Infolink in-text ads, you must be crazy. Forget anything that says it uses a CPM model – Anything that only pays cents per thousand views is harming your reputation and contributing nothing to your bank balance.

  3. Make it Fast

    Every plugin you add to WordPress slows down your site. Check your site’s speed on GTMetrix.com before you add any plugin, switch to any new theme and with every change you make.. That’s the only way you can be sure of finding the problem.
    Nonetheless, WordPress is not optimized for SEO and you need good infrastructure if your want your blog to do well. Neil Patel’s guide to setting up a blog is a good start to research the necessary SEO and monetization plugins.

    You also need a caching plugin. This will store your images and other data-intensive components and reduce the time taken for your site to load. Many cache plugins allow some free usage. The best example is W3 Total Cache.

  4. Read More…

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

What you should know about RCN unreliable service & connectivity

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By B.L. Ochman

RCN needs to get its act together

I’ve had three different RCN service people in my house in the last 10 days. Unfortunately, I still have unreliable RCN connectivity in my internet and TV reception, which, frankly, suck.

The boxes and wires have been replaced. I’m paying for high speed Internet at 330 mbps. That means I should have lightening-fast Internet speed. And I do – except that it cuts out for a few seconds at a time at least 5 times in every 30 minutes.

Since I create videos for Beyond Social Media Show and for a variety of clients, this is a serious problem.

Dear RCN: The Internet is a utility. It has to work, reliably, all the time. Your website says “RCN is optimized to deliver streaming video.”
Except when it doesn’t.

Examples of RCN Connectivity Issues

Here’s a one-minute video segment demonstrating the RCN connectivity issue tonight. Notice how fuzzy my video is in the first few seconds.

Beyond Social Media Show 153: Take a look at the video from this episode. My sound and/or image cut out 5 times in 30 minutes.

Beyond Social Media Show 154 : you can see my image fuzz up and hear my sound cut out at least 10 times in 30 minutes.

Clearly, at this point, the boxes and wires in my apartment are not the issue. The issue apparenly is in the building wiring – and nobody at RCN wants to deal with getting that fixed.

Has RCN offered to deduct this period of terrible service from my next bill? No way! They clearly expect me to pay for service that isn’t working.


BL Ochman | August 21, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Coleman F. Sweeney, the “World’s Biggest Asshole” Teaches An Important Lesson

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Coleman F. Sweeney is an asshole. In fact, he’s the “World’s Biggest Asshole.” He also the star of a brilliant and daring video for Donate Life America.

It’s a good bet that nine out of 10 companies would never have the guts to approve the ad.

Coleman Sweeney’s the guy who puts truck nuts and tacky bumperstickers on his pickup. He honks at little old ladies with walkers who are trying to cross the street. He shoots paintballs to dogs who poop in his yard. He rubs everyone the wrong way. Intentionally.

And then he drops dead and we learn that he has willed his organs for transplants. And he stops being an asshole. He actually becomes a hero.


Suddenly, we learn that this “asshole’s” liver is now allowing Stan, a nice father, to be around for his wife and kids. His heart is allowing a teacher named Miranda to teach for 25 more years. And his tendons allowed a wounded warrior, Sgt. Donahue, to walk again.

Coleman Sweeney Video Goes Viral

The video has been shared 1.5 million times in the past two weeks, so it may be making its point.

The Donate Life message is important because currently 120,000 men, women and children waiting for a organ donation, and roughly 8,000 of those people, about 22 per day, die each year because they won’t receive the organs they need in time. By signing up, a millennial could save as many as 50 lives.

I’m personally familiar with the need for organ transplants. The video was originally sent to me by a dear friend who received a lung transplant five years ago. And my late sister-in-law came very close to death while waiting for a liver transplant.

Aimed at Millennial Men

According to Adweek, The Martin Agency designed the video’s crude language and humor to appeal to millennial men. The goal is to encourage them to sign up for organ donation.

Andrew Liptak at The Verge points out that “at the very least, it’s a welcome reprieve from the sort of Sarah McLachlan-esque ads with sappy music that aim to shame viewers into taking action.”

In my opinion, this is one of the best message campaigns ever. Would you have approved its strategy?

BL Ochman | August 18, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

5 business lessons from Hillary Clinton & Donald Trump’s social media methods

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By B.L. Ochman @whatsnext

As social media becomes the real-time battleground of the 2016 elections, candidates’ social media use has many lessons for business.

The NY Times called 2008 “The Year of the Political Blogger” But 2004 was the year that political bloggers first had an impact on the Presidential elections. That was the year that political bloggers were first being credentialed to cover the Democratic and Republican conventions

Billions Being Spent on Social Media

Today, social media, including live blogging from the Convention floors by bloggers and mainstream media of all persuasions, is the norm. In 2016, the election is unthinkable without running commentary on Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube, Instagram et al.

Businesses Have Much to Learn From Political Social Media Use

Businesses can learn a lot from the way political candidates use social media tools and tactics. Companies also should note that the campaigns are willing to spend lavishly to create impact.

As Social Times has noted, “If we are to believe the figures estimated by Borrell Associates, politicians will be allocating over 9 percent of media budget towards digital and social media — this comes to an estimated $1 billion.” And I think that estimate is very low.

Marketing Lessons From the Presidential Candidates

  • Don’t avoid controversy. It won’t go away if you ignore it. The Presidential candidates know controversy can sell ideas as well as products. Left alone, controversy can escalate. Best to acknowledge it, and move forward.
  • Monitor social media religiously Hillary and Trump can’t afford to miss a mention, a joke, a controversy, a challenge, a meme, or a compliment that appears about them in social media whether it’s in the middle of the night, or on a weekend. Neither can your businesses. Because online, 15 minutes can be like a dog year.
  • Don’t just tell people what you want them to hear. You’ve got to tell people what they want to know. Donald Trump is obnoxious and patently offensive as well as totally bananas, but he’s telling his fans what they want to know.
  • Business also has to tell people what they want to know. People want facts, but they also want to know how your product or services will make them feel and help them succeed. Candidates play to those wants and needs.

  • Have a sense of humor Unless you’re Trump. He’s humorless. But Hillary has a sense of humor, especially about herself these days. Humor sells. Amusing content is shared by friends and family. Don’t be afraid of humor.
  • Earned Media is worth infinitely more than paid media. Earned media comes from engaging content, provided consistently over time. Speak in a human voice and people will relate. It doesn’t matter whether they agree with you or not, especially if you believe Trump’s theory that “all publicity is good.”

Trumpolini Can’t Stop Tweeting

Donald Trump has no brain-to-fingers boundaries and has earned billions in media coverage with his bellicose and often irrational Tweets. The NY Times estimates that Trumpolini has earned $2 BILLION in free media!

He doesn’t care if he tells the truth or not, and he doesn’t care what you think of him.


His bombastic approach is to belittle, berate and try to beat up his rivals. His often bizarre accusations use the same third-grade level language for which he’s now famous.

He “appears haunted by multiple personality disorders,” conservative David Brooks wrote last week in the New York Times.

Nonetheless, “Trump is absolutely dominating social this election cycle and it’s not even close,” said Brandon Silverman, CrowdTangle chief executive.

“It’s a way to skip the media and go directly to his audience,” he said. Yet dominating the conversation doesn’t necessarily translate into votes.


Hillary Clinton Concentrates on Conversions to Action

Hillary Clinton is no slouch on social media either. Teddy Goff, who was Obama’s 2008 digital mastermind, is at the helm of Clinton’s efforts in this campaign. But, Goff told USA today, succeeding in 2016 is far more challenging.

Clinton is concentrating her content machine on converting her traffic into actions like voter registration and email list building. She’s tried sounding like a cool millennial, while stumping for the young vote that Trump doesn’t appear to care about.

As more Republicans and Democrats alike question Trump’s ability to govern, and wonder about his mental health, Hillary is apt to keep gaining those conversions she seeks.

BL Ochman | August 2, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Facebook Live Coverage of Shootings Changes News Forever

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By B.L. Ochman

Sure, what you see on Facebook Live is often a lot of bland talk. But this week, a Facebook Live video of the police murder of Philando Castile changed journalism forever.

Diamond ReynoldsHours after it was posted, Facebook took down the Facebook Live video of 32 year-old Castile’s murder posted by his girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds.

An hour later, they put it back up, with a warning about its graphic content. It has since been viewed over 5.5 million times.

News reporting will never be the same.

The issue of whether the videos should be removed is both complex and thorny. My vote is that they should stay.

Castile’s girlfriend, Diamond Reynolds, told the Los Angeles Times “I wanted everyone in the world to know that no matter how much the police tamper with evidence, how much they stick together … I wanted to put it on Facebook and go viral so that the people could see,” And we did.

Mark Zuckerberg made a statement on his Facebook page: “While I hope we never have to see another video like Diamond’s, it reminds us why coming together to build a more open and connected world is so important — and how far we still have to go,” he said.

Standards for the new reality

This is today’s new reality. If Facebook really wants to dominate the news, this is the way it’s going to happen.

Facebook issued its Live video standards on July 8. In it, they note that the platform is evolving as they try to grasp its significance.

“One of the most sensitive situations involves people sharing violent or graphic images of events taking place in the real world. In those situations, context and degree are everything. For instance, if a person witnessed a shooting, and used Facebook Live to raise awareness or find the shooter, we would allow it. However, if someone shared the same video to mock the victim or celebrate the shooting, we would remove the video.

Live video on Facebook is a new and growing format. We’ve learned a lot over the past few months, and will continue to make improvements to this experience wherever we can.”

But the line is a blurry one, and requires human intervention. It can’t be left to an algorithm.

Facebook Live made a difference

When shots rang out in Dallas, Michael Bautista risked his life, as did several other people, to broadcast on Facebook Live and take questions from their Facebook followers. Mark Zuckerberg was one of the more than four million people who watched one of Bautista’s Live videos.

It’s Facebook’s huge audience that made the Facebook Live videos so important this week. There was no doubting what we were seeing. There was no news anchor between us and the scene. We were there.

And collectively, our hearts were broken. Because we saw their four year-old child witness her father’s death. And we heard her tell her mother “I’m right here with you. Be strong,” she and her handcuffed mother were in back of the police car taking them both to the police station.

Because he was black

In the wake of the murder by Minnesota police, Democratic Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton said in no uncertain terms on Thursday afternoon that Philando Castile ended up dead — at least in part — because he was black.

“Would this have happened if those passengers, the driver and the passengers, were white?” said Dayton (D). “I don’t think it would have. So I’m forced to confront, and I think all of us in Minnesota are forced to confront, that this kind of racism exists.”

“Nobody should be shot and killed in Minnesota … for a tail light being out of function,” the governor said. “Nobody should be shot and killed while seated still in their car. I’m heartbroken.”

Would he have been so quick to say that if the video hadn’t been broadcast on Facebook Live?

I seriously doubt it.

BL Ochman | July 9, 2016 | Permanent Link | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)
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