SPOS #217 – Jaffe And Joel #8 (Across The Sound 8.20)

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Welcome to episode #217 of Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast. Joseph Jaffe is widely regarded as one of the top Marketing Bloggers (Jaffe Juice) and Podcasters (both Jaffe Juice in audio and Jaffe Juice TV in video). He is the author of three excellent books (Life After The 30-Second Spot, Join The Conversation and the newly minted, Flip The Funnel). Along with that, he is currently one of the chiefs over at the Social Media Marketing agency, Powered. A long-time friend (and one of the main inspirations behind the Six Pixels of Separation Blog and Podcast), we’ve decided to hold monthly conversations, debates and back-and-forths that will dive a little deeper into the Digital Marketing and Social Media landscape. This is our eight conversation (or, as I like to affectionately call it, Across The Sound 8.20), and this one focuses on the if we’re really having any semblance of a conversation at all in Social Media, or if Marketers have done a great job of selling the invisible (once again). Enjoy the conversation…

Here it is: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #217 – Host: Mitch Joel.

Please join the conversation by sending in questions, feedback and ways to improve Six Pixels Of Separation. Please let me know what you think or leave an audio comment at: +1 206-666-6056.

Download the Podcast here: Six Pixels Of Separation – The Twist Image Podcast – Episode #217 – Host: Mitch Joel.


  1. Mitch,
    I think we are having conversations in social media but these exchanges are not what we’ve known them to be. We’re still exchanging views on topics and learning from one another but like you said in a very fragmented fashion. How can you bring all these bits and pieces together when we’re not all present at the same time when the conversation begins? On blogs for example, I see a sort of competition occurring where each commenter attempts to steer the blogger’s attention to his statement. In addition some comment on others’ comments and start their own sort of conversation. It reminds me of university where the blogger introduces a topic and groups are formed and each is engaging in their own conversation. I therefore wonder if we should not think of closing conversations after a certain amount of time. Sum up what was said and on to the next one.

  2. This is a great point. I know there are many Blogs now that only keep comments open for a short period of time (1-3 days). I wonder if they see a difference in engagement? My concern here is that sometimes it can take people over a week to get to the content and I would hate to see some great, additional insight not be able to make the cut.

  3. Just listened to the podcast on the train today — great discussion as usual, Mitch and Joseph.
    Like Eric said, and like you said in the podcast, it’s that the fundamental nature of what makes a “conversation” is different in the physical world and on the Internet.
    By doing things like putting a time limit or time delay on comments, people are attempting to create systems that -constrain- the conversation in the space that they can control.
    I think the simple fact is that in today’s highly connected world, one human being is simply not capable of taking in the entire conversation that they may have started or may be a part of. We are limited by time, space, and the extremely slow and cumbersome way by which we exchange information through languages and audible and/or visual systems.
    Yikes! There may be no hope of taking it all in, short of plugging ourselves into a “collective” like the Borg on Star Trek.

  4. We’re also limited by the technology. As an example, Google Alerts, used to catch most mentions, but I find it has been lacking in the past little while, so it’s even harder to track, respond and connect.

  5. Mitch, Here’s my thoughts on this about running out of things to say, or shorter conversations.
    What I see is happening is its kind of like an old marriage. We’ve been married to the Social Media subject for so long, something ‘new’ to talk about is getting rarer and rarer. But, here’s the thing…
    I’m starting to note that the corporate world is starting to wake up as to ‘what is Social Media & Digital Marketing’? and I’m now in the core thick of SM & DM projects and feel I need to clone myself. I’m almost oblivious to that GFC thing (As in Global Financial Crisis)… where as 2009, GFC was all too consuming.
    Now putting this into perspective, this podcast has been way ahead of the curve in terms, in terms of commentary about the latest Social and Digital.
    Editorially, there should be an opportunity to create commentary on real case studies of campaigns. Eg. How well did Starbucks run their location based campaign… I’m expecting to see a barrage of corporate brands really engaging in Social and Digital campaigns.
    So we’re still the old married couple with Social, we are just waiting for others in the neighborhood to start partying with Social and Digital… that will generate a new level of conversation!
    Corporates are starting to realize that Social Media is NOT a fad for teenagers…

  6. I think we’re dreaming that brands will really give and produce accurate case studies. We only hear the glory (and it’s usually magnified for our listening pleasure) and we rarely see the true horror stories.
    I’ve also noticed the shifts and adoptions that you’re talking about. It may be worthwhile for many of us to go back in time and start re-posting our original content from five years ago, because now more and more people are paying attention πŸ˜‰

  7. I’m sleep deprived.. so I hope you can forgive whatever this comment turns into!
    The question of this episode has been sticking with me.. and.. well, I just keep wrestling with it…
    As we speak I’m in “recovering from Boston Podcamp mode” which means sleeping and or doing nothing for long periods of time.. as much as possible.. and of course a week earlier it was Jeff Pulver’s 140 Conference.. and after all of that, and whatever else.. I feel like.. it’s absolute madness to question if social media is social I mean.. just madness!!!
    Is social media social.. that’s a very different question then “is social media marketing social” or.. “are social media celebrities really social” or..
    I had dinner at a friends house with one internet celebrity.. or I guess he was a celebrity cause there was this other guy that was acting practically like a groupie.. or some kind of half mad fan.. and I think said celebrity was slightly creeped out by fear of rabies…
    But talking to him, a fellow he works with.. and various other folks.. there seemed to be this broader conversation about “social media doush baggery in the internet celebrity community”
    I must say that I both agreed and disagreed with much of the cynicism.. Many of the celebrities criticized.. I like.. dig.. but I don’t think I really worship in there respective cults.. and don’t really know the realities of having to personally work with them or….
    These are the kinds of conversations that don’t happen in public or anywhere internet monitoring can get there dirty little ears into.. and it causes me to ask a number of related questions..
    But even with all that going on.. I bumped into a women power type session.. and holy crap.. it was like podcamp boston 1 all over again.. and you felt the power of social.. like the real deal social.. not all the BS that… well Jesus… how does anyone coming to social today… how do they have a prayer of finding the real deal… accept in.. err.. some other sense? I don’t know how to get to where I’m driving at but…
    Well look.. here’s what I think..
    Does social media scale? Do personal brands scale? Is a social web celebrity really social if he or she filters with twitter?
    I think when we talk about social media marketing and big business.. we have.. still.. this issue of business as it exists.. and what can social web stuff do as a part of there over all.. well usually marketing / promotion / whatever mix.. as a pose to.. does this social web provide a new market ecology context that would give a new kind of DNA mutation a little extra survival value.. another words.. we shouldn’t try and say there’s nothing social about social marketing.. just because we live in a world where businesses.. are still…
    Well I mean sweet jesus.. how many business are thinking holistically across channels.. never mind anything beyond that.. so I think a lot of our perception of things is really related to inertia and crappy change management..
    And back to the social celebrity thing.. my feeling is.. that.. well.. I don’t find social celebrities terribly social.. well I shouldn’t say that.. I mean.. it really does depend.. but in a lot of ways.. I feel like the real social experience of social media has zero to do with celebrity.. and if anything celebrity has the effect of..
    well I don’t know what it has the effect of.. lol, well screwing everything up.. or I mean I think people focus on it a little too much.. and.. I don’t know.. strange stuff.. but in ether effect celebrity is a shift from the many to many to one to many.. or its a little closer to broadcasting…
    and well I don’t know.. thats my thoughts on the subject.. just prior to collapsing in exhaustion

  8. I find a lot of people who are “Social Media Celebrities” (whatever that means) long for the day when they can act like real celebrities (you know, a kind of personal retreat/personal wall). Social Media was always about the equalization of voice, so when someone is seen as “above” someone else, that equalization fails.

  9. I keep thinking that.. there’s an issue one gets with celebrity.. of whatever level.. that’s a kind of a psychological / spiritual challenge. I mean.. you can have issues of ego tripping, issues of not feeling worthy or.. not feeling like you merit it.. stuff that isn’t necessarily super easy to deal with.. and I guess I feel sympathetic to that… I spy this in a lot of people…
    I think.. well as much as social media was looked at as an equalizer.. what I’ve always really believed it was was a power relationship shift… that there’s always hierarchy… that it’s an inescapable part of our nature as human beings..
    When we celebrate someone.. I think what’s happening is.. that person is symbolically a projection of unrealized potential living within us.. and our.. lets say following of that person.. in the hero worship sense.. is a process by which you assimilate those patterns into your own life, thus realizing that potential.
    I think if you’re a symbol.. at least in terms of our western tradition.. you don’t want to identify your self with that.. rather to treat it like a mask you can put on and take off… like any other roll you play in life.
    The other thing I think.. is that.. if you were to talk about the brand values of a personal brand, and it’s relationship to the celebrity.. that that creates the kind of culture via which your personal brand is interacted with. So maybe.. a better answer then longing for walls and retreat is one of thinking deeply about ones values.

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