Author Archives: Brian Solis

About Brian Solis

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research-based advisory firm. Solis is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. A digital analyst, sociologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging media on business, marketing, publishing, and culture. His current book, Engage, is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to build and measure success in the social web.

Sourced from PR 2.0

Video on Twitter has offered a way for brands and spokespersons to visually share a more human side of the company with friends and followers. Up until now, 12seconds, Seesmic Video, TwitVid, Twiddeo, Twitc, TwitLens, and Tweetube, offered the most common and seamless bridges for connecting short (episodic) videos directly to the Twitter stream. In the last two weeks, we’ve been introduced to two new solutions video solutions for Twitter, that combine live video, Twitter streams and community interaction in one window.

While services such as Qik, and ustream have provided hosted and brandable platforms for live video and community engagement for a while now, we haven’t yet witnessed an integrated application for Twitter.

At the Real-Time Stream Crunchup hosted by TechCrunch in Redwood City recently, demonstrated CamTweet, a upcoming service for broadcasting live video on a branded channel and hosting an aggregated forum for people to tweet responses that appear inline.

Lifestream was so inspired by the demo of CamTweet (as viewed over uStream) that the company developed, and launched, Twitcam ahead of the official release of CamTweet.

Perhaps what’s most interesting here is that this is a way of hosting an engaging series of discussions that extend beyond the hosted channel – resonating across twitter and wherever each person on twitter subsequently syndicates their Tweets. This potentially extends the real-time dialogue across social networks and other aggregations services and  activity streams that can appeal to attract additional viewers.

Both services are ideal for hosting live discussions, demonstrations, training sessions, product launches, news conferences, support sessions, or general discussions to share relevant information and knowledge.

Just remember, no matter how low the barrier to entry or how wide-open the threshold for publishing content, you are defined by the perception of those who view, read, or discuss your brand.

Give them something (you want them) to talk about….

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Sourced from PR 2.0, “Casting a Digital Shadow: With Social Media comes great responsibility…”

While speaking at the intimate and immensely valuable Zappos Insights event (Zappos Live), I shared thoughts of how the culture of any company or brand is as strong as the individual personification of it.

Everything starts and fortifies with you. Your actions and words online are indeed extensions to how people interpret, perceive, and react to the brand your represent. Concurrently, you also represent your personal brand – the digital identity that’s established through the collection of digital shadows you cast across the social web.

During my discussion, I asked those in the room to stop and think a bit about what it is they stand for, believe in, and aspire to become and whether or not the search results in Google,, or Collecta might reinforce their intentions or paint an unexpected and possibly surprising picture.

Everything we share online is indexed on the Web for years to come. When we Tweet, upload videos and pictures, post on blogs and comments, update our status on social networks, we cast a digital shadow that parallels our activities and mimics our convictions in real life. This digital shadow is strewn across the web only to be reassembled through the search pursuits of others – whether they’re prospective partners, employers, employees, customers, influencers, or stakeholders.

Curiosity Killed the Candidate?

A recent study performed by validates the behavior of identity sleuthing and year over year patterns forecast subsequent ubiquity.

The professional network asked 2,500 hiring managers whether they search Facebook or other social networks to discover information about prospective employees. An astonishing, but not unexpected, 38-percent of respondents said yes. In comparison, only 22% of hiring managers acknowledged searching social networks in 2008.

You can bet that Google is part of the process as well.

In addition, 24%, which represents one in four hiring managers interviewed, conceded that the results contributed the decision to hire a candidate. 34% however, dismissed candidates based on what they uncovered.

This is a trend that’s years in the making however.

In 2006, a survey of 100 executive recruiters conducted by ExecuNet surfaced the shocking truth that Seventy-seven percent of recruiters reported using search engines to find background data on candidates. Of that number, 35 percent eliminated a candidate because of what they found online.

The reality is that that individuals who are currently employed are also at risk of losing their job based on their behavior on social networks and what they share online.

Earlier this year 16-year-old Kimberley Swann posted a series of updates that revealed her discontent with her menial tasks on Facebook:

“first day at work. omg (oh my God)!! So dull!!”

“all i do is shred holepunch n scan paper!!! omg!”

“im so totally bord!!!”

Two days after her posts hit the social web, she was fired.

British Airways staff created a webwide uproar when they called passengers “smelly and annoying” and Virgin Atlantic fired 13 for complaining about passengers on Facebook.

Of course, there’s also the widely discussed example of the “Cisco Fatty” incident.

Connor Riley took to Twitter after receiving a job offer from tech giant Cisco, “Cisco just offered me a job! Now I have to weigh the utility of a fatty paycheck against the daily commute to San Jose and hating the work.”

Moments later, Cisco employee Tim Levad saw the update and responded, “Who is the hiring manager? I’m sure they would love to know that you will hate the work. We here at Cisco are versed in the Web.”

The incident evolved and unfolded on Twitter. She later apologized on her blog and noted that she already turned down the offer. Cisco remained supportive throughout the ordeal.

In the case of Philadelphia Eagles employee Dan Leone, he was fired after posting his unhappiness with the Eagle’s loss of player Brian Dawkins to the Denver Broncos, “Dan is [expletive] devastated about Dawkins signing with Denver … Dam Eagles R Retarted!!”

The D.C. Department of Employment Services fired a contractor who worked with the city’s youth summer jobs program after a string of TMI Tweets that referred to his job location as “ghetto” and his ability to clock hours in without working:

“In america’s ghetto anacostia… If I get scared i will just yell chinese carry out! They will not shoot me.”

“thank goodness my boss is making things easy, he told me to pretend to do work so he can mark me down for hours.”

I think we’re all aware of the careless and reckless Dominos employees who posted a YouTube video that showed a cook disgustingly defiling the food designated for customer orders.

And, there is certainly no shortage of firings because of MySpace.

Non-tenured high school teacher Jeffrey Spanierman was fired after hosting an inappropriate MySpace page that contained nude photos of men, foul language and inappropriate conversations with students. He sued and later lost his case.

Two employees of Houstons Restaurant were canned when managers received access to information in a private MySpace group that divulged derogatory statements about managers, customers, and also private information about upcoming product knowledge tests. The two filed suit claiming invasion of privacy. Hillstone Restaurant Group, which owns the Houstons chain defended its decision with a statement to CNN, “This is not a case about ‘cyber-snooping,’ the First Amendment, or privacy. It’s about two staff members who were let go for unprofessional conduct, including disparaging comments about our guests, and sharing a product knowledge test before it was administered. This misconduct was voluntarily brought to light by a member of the online group.”

While we enjoy freedom of speech, we must still be mindful of what we publish and share. Even if it’s in a seemingly private and protected environment

And, it’s not just a crystal ball for employers. Everyone searches the names of those who either intrigue them or emerge as a potential contender for collaboration or interaction.

Why not? It’s only smart business to gather intelligence and research before an introduction or engagement.

Kaplan Test Prep released a report last year that indicated that one in 10 colleges and universities explore social networks and common search engines when considering aspiring students for admission.

Fortunately or unfortunately, this practice of investigating people will not dissipate. The only elements that will change are the increases in the total percentages of search queries performed by decision makers.

It’s not all bad news however. The truth is that the search experience related to you is defined by you. Acceptance of this reality represents half the distance to crafting a more strategic and effective representation of who you are and what you stand for online and in the real world.

Deleting your profiles is not the answer. Deleting offending material and updating your privacy settings, on the other hand, is a good place to start. The truth is however, that it takes more than editing what exists today. In order to truly shape our personal brands as they’re viewed remotely, from a distance, and without our explicit input, we must take the reins and contribute to its silhouette at the very least.

We are in control of the digital shadow that materializes when the spotlight is cast upon us.

Take this opportunity to showcase accomplishments, strengths and talents. Reinforce what it is you stand for as well as what moves you. In many ways your profiles and the material you share online contribute to a digital resume, whether you agree or disagree. It’s there, right now, talking about you, without your direction. Opportunities that may have presented themselves to us never materialized because of our digital shadows. So, do something about it. Just don’t lose who you are in the process.

Yes, we’re still human beings. Yes, we have fun. Yes, we do things we don’t want the rest of the world to know about.

Decide whom it is you’re trying to impress with your social profiles and updates and realize that answer may change over time. Just “think” about what it is you’re sharing and why before you upload to the public Web. Anything not conducive to the reinforcement of a strategic outward facing personal brand should be relegated to the private viewing of your bona fide, genuine social graph. Again, there are privacy settings within each social network and you govern who sees what. Let the privacy controls and the corresponding content serve as the church and state of your online persona.

There are benefits and consequences associated with each bit of content you share, even if they’re not immediately discernible.

And parents, it’s never to early or too late to help guide your children.

Start monitoring their online behavior as soon as they start spending significant time online. Actively Google them to assess the results. Help them create and craft content that serves as a placeholder for their identity now and in the future.

Who we are and who we want to be often reside at opposite ends, where the space between is distanced or narrowed by our actions, content and words.

What does your profile or search results say about you?

UPDATE: For those looking for a social network to help present your experience (other than LinkedIn), please true Resumebucket.

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Original post on PR 2.0


After I finish the new (unannounced) book that I’m feverishly writing, I plan to finally pursue “Internet Famous – The rise of micro celebrity and the end of privacy.”

Alexia Tsotsis (disclosure, she’s a dear friend) recently wrote an intriguing article at the LA Weekly entitled, “Is All of Hollywood the Bitch in Twitter’s Sex Tape or Just P. Diddy?

She links to a recent article written by A.J. Keen, author of the controversial book, Cult of the Amateur, in which he defends TechCrunch and Michael Arrington. In his articke he also observes that technology start-ups have become the “hottest celebrities in America… receiving the same kind of obsessionally intimate coverage from the media that was once reserved for kings of pop like Michael Jackson or Elvis.”

He is a brilliant thinker and writer. If you read his book today, I promise it will practically resonate now that we’re much more humbled by Web 2.0 than when we were initially enthralled by it. However, his quote, if for a moment, opened up the mental floodgates that have held back so many psychological reflections and emotional introspection. I could have started my next, next book, right now. Instead I simply commented on Alexia’s post, and I elected to also share the unabridged version with you here.

“To further expound on Andrew Keen’s perspective, I believe that Twitter is a media darling simply because we, the bitches, decide to tweet about our lives relentlessly. If Twitter is popularized and actively discussed in the media, then it somehow justifies our obsession with sharing everything about who we are, what we love, and what we’re doing. It’s not necessarily technology companies that are becoming the “hottest celebrities in America” because of their shiny new features, it’s us psychologically channeling our subliminal desire for recognition and micro celebrity through these social networks, thus transforming them into the celebrities in which we can live through vicariously. It’s a Freudian form of quietly, but surely provoking varying forms and levels of desired Web-based fame that transcends online and offline through a series of passive-attention seeking behavior”


Please also read, “Significant” and “The End of the Innocence.”

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Blogger dinners are the new press conferences. They’re intimate. They encourage conversation. But more importantly, they create a very human bond between the people behind the brand and those covering the industry.

I was invited to attend a very special dinner at the Village Pub along with several prominent reporters, bloggers and online influencers hosted by FON.

The dinner served as a preview for the company’s new Fonera 2.0n WiFi Router that was officially introduced today.

The Fonera 2.0n WiFi router combines FON’s proprietary, unique WiFi sharing and money making features with integration and management of popular social services such as YouTube, Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, BitTorrent, RapidShare, and other content — even while users’ PCs are off.

Now anyone can now upload, download and sync all of their Web apps while away from home or the office, without getting bogged down for hours waiting for something to load.

The Fonera 2.0n is available now.

I’ll let the pictures tell the rest of the story:

Michael Arrington and Loic Le Meur

Paul Boutin of VentureBeat/New York Times and Martin Varsavsky of FON

Martin Giles of The Economist

Dave McClure

Jennifer Leggio of ZDNet

Robert Scoble and Jeremiah Owyang

Loic, iJustine, Randi Zuckerberg, Jack Dorsey

For additional pictures from the FON blogger dinner, please visit my album on Flickr.

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On July 13th the Israeli high-tech community gathered at TWS2009 to to discuss and preview  new trends and technologies from Israel’s hottest Web and Mobile.

As one of the judges, I was chosen to help TWS select the top 10 companies to present at this year’s showcase. From the hundreds of top-notch applicants, it wasn’t an easy process to funnel applicants down to 10. Other judges included, Ron Conway, Rafe Needleman, Andrew Baron, Stowe Boyd, Ayelet Noff, Deborah Schultz, Jeff Pulver, Kfir Pravda, Gil Ben-Artzy, Dave Sifry, among others.

Congratulations to this year’s TWS2009 Top 10:


Shidonni is a web based virtual world for young kids, based on the simple joy of drawing. In Shidonni, kids draw their virtual pets and play with them as they magically ‘come alive’. After creating their pets, children enjoy over 30 different activities and games featuring their own creations and can even share their creation with their friends.

Confidela provides businesses and individuals with hassle-free document control, tracking and protection services to facilitate the sharing of sensitive documents with customers, partners or suppliers. Confidela’s flagship SaaS product, WatchDox, is the easiest way for organizations to send documents securely, and control and track who views, edits, prints or forwards them.


Cmycasa is a first of its kind “Handshake service” between home owners and furniture retailers. With Cmycasa, users of real estate web sites and “do-it-yourself portals” will be able to visualize in stunning photo-realistic 3D how their new home will look once furnished to their taste.


Cellerium is the maker of MobileCanvas, a mobile application platform that delivers rich, mobile tailored web experiences across leading mobile platforms. Cellerium AppOnce approach resolves device and operating system fragmentation and combines a rich UI experience that rivals client centered applications with the flexibility of web deployment.

ContextIn is a semantic media-buying platform for display-advertising. Using semantic algorithms for automatic extraction of the discussed topics in web pages, ContextIn addresses the display advertising market problems of absence of visibility and control over the media-buying and poor performance, especially over user-generated-content sites. ContextIn offers a new and innovative solution, which proved to show significant increase in the online campaigns returns, using automatic ads targeting, real-time bidding, unique BI data and dynamic ad-creative creation according to the web-site content.

Tweegee is a pioneering destination site designed exclusively for kids. The site empowers children and pre-teens, ages 7 to 12, to express themselves creatively and safely in an innovative and customized online environment. Tweegee integrates social networking, digital content, and interactive tools to offer a complete web platform for kids. Tweegee’s platform has been released with great success in Russia and soon in Turkey and many other countries.


KIDO’Z is a web operating environment intended for children between the ages of 3-8yrs. KIDO’Z creates a personal protected Internet space with a collection of special tools that enable the children, for the first time, to carry out everything that adults do on the Internet; but simply and intuitively, and without needing to know how to read or write

CamSpace is a ground breaking computer vision platform that connects the virtual and the real world through motion games, experiences, activities and navigation of application and websites through your browser and using any standard webcam. The platform can detect human gestures and turns everyday products (like cans, bottles, boxes, etc) or objects into exciting computer controllers that can operate new or existing games and applications. The company is active in the advertising space (creating games and experiences based on products), in the educational space and in the social/fun gaming space. (Disclosure: I advised the company in the past).


Virtual Web provides innovative social network marketing solutions. Its SociaLAVA™ platform enables online publishers of any scale to instantly deploy a fully-functional social network as a transparent layer over their existing websites, powered by a unique social network interaction analysis engine™. Publishers can offer users personalized content to keep them on the site for longer visits, enhance conversion rates, monetize their sites through segmented ads, increase site ‘stickiness’ and link a consistently growing number of online communities to their domains using a unique community-clustering mechanism.

Reimage is a fast growing company that offers a web-based service that automates all PC repairs (due to software problems), and makes PC’s run better than new using unique boosting technologies. To date, Reimage has repaired tens of thousands of Windows based computers.

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