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1:49PM

Keeping it real–> Influencer selection II: Influencer authenticity

Disclaimer: I am not a social media professional. I do not work for an agency, or even freelance. However, I know what doesn’t feel right when I encounter it. Over the next few notes on this topic, I will delve into a few points from a blogger’s perspective. I may be wrong, but, until I drop the mic, I’m ‘Da Man’! Let’s do this!

Part 1 of this “Keeping It Real Series, Influencer Selection 1: Suitability To Task of the Influencer, is here.

Authenticity is of utmost importance to any campaign.

People can see, immediately, if the presented/featured influencer is either inauthentic, or an outright fraud.

One of the most memorable ads I have seen in the past few was one where this lady said “I saw it on the Internet”, whereby she was then asked, “Do you believe everything you read or see on the Internet?”, before her online date showed up, turning out to be a sniveling schlub who had masqueraded as an Adonis on their preferred dating website. (I’m paraphrasing here.)

My point here, is that the Internet allows people to “front”, if I may use the parlance of ‘the streets’.

The onus is on the social agency or social manager to deliver influencers who are relevant to the campaign.

Fail: The influencer with the greatest eyeballs

Focusing just on eyeballs almost allows lazy social managers in the position of trying to defend their choices, especially if their influencer choice is that nazi-sympathizing YouTube doofus called PooPooPie or something. Imagine if your campaign, your job, and your client’s brand are associated with a misogynistic racist like that? Especially after blowing a major part of your budget on him! How do you recover? By explaining to your client that PooPooPie has over 50 million followers on YouTube?

Another Fail: The influencer with the greatest ‘likes’

The article that prompted this blog series – thanks, Becca T.! – mentioned the Pepsi ad with the Cardassian woman. That example is genius, and should be taught in every PR, advertising, or marketing class as primo example of the pitfall of going for eyeballs rather than relevance and authenticity.

The infamous commercial has über-Cardassian doing something stupid with a can of Pepsi, trying to diffuse a street protest a la Black Lives Matter.

In the eyes of Pepsi, this is an authentic street scene.

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Apart from the simpering imbeciles at the in-house ad agency that came up with that abominable concept, who, in their right mind, would associate any Khardashian with any sort of activism? Not even Charlie, after an all night crack-binging session with both Bobby & Whitney would think that was possible!

The inauthenticity of that ad killed the campaign immediately, damaging Pepsi’s brand in the process.

This, is what really happened in Ferguson, Missouri.

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Let’s take a looksee side-by-side, shall we?

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One of these things is NOT like the other, right?

A smarter, ‘woke’ agency would have at least tried to source out the lady in the photo on the right, with a view to getting her to attempt to diffuse what is still a volatile situation in that town.

Barring that, they should have found someone – anyone! – of color with the street cred to make that campaign memorable. But no! Their laziness had them trying to foist a privileged know-nothing on us as an authentic voice of street smartness, and victim of a militarized police oppression.

Yeah. We’re that stupid! Supposedly.

The bottom line is that you cannot use ephemeral standards in determining your influencer.

An influencer well versed in security may be a complete n00b when it comes to gaming. No gamer would listen to that person at all. The same rings true with whenever you try to cross the streams with influencers who have no business being in the room!

Who’s zooming who, right?

John Obeto is CEO of Blackfriars Capital
© 2002 – 2015, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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8:50PM

Pensa, Pensa Maestro & Pensa Lab

PensaLast week, Pensa finally exited their quasi stealth, and became very public, announcing several things.

I was waiting for more information from a mini-review* of one of their products before posting. However, it looks like that will take longer than I want, so let’s go for now.

Ahead of the announcement, I had a conversation with Tom Joyce, CEO of Pensa, on the company, their products, their prospects, and importantly, their competition in their space.

Pensa Exits Stealth

Pensa had been in a semi-stealth mode for a while, as they were already known in industry as an up-and-comer to keep our eyes on.

Exiting, they have rebranded as simply Pensa.

Initially starting out to build automation into SDN (software-defined networks) and NFV (network function virtualization), it quickly dawned on Pensa’s founders that they were in fact easily – for them – able to include all datacenter functionality in their product. So, an easy expansion of mission was performed, and voilà, Pensa was born.

Tom Joyce is Pensa CEO. Tom is a veteran executive of some of the largest tech firms, with HP, Dell, and EMC coming to mind. In snagging Tom, I believe Pensa is setting itself up for success, as his pedigree, relentless energy, and above all, access to VITOs** in a lot of firms, will ease the way for Pensa, at a minimum, to be in the picture.

People, répétez après moi: relationships matter!

Pensa Maestro released, and available for all

Pensa’s flagship product, Pensa Maestro is now available to the public.

Developed under the codename “Sleeper Shark”**, Pensa Maestro is a SaaS product that allows for intelligent design, build, validation, and deployment of DevOps modules.

Pensa Maestro gives a dev team the ability to create solution in a test lab that can be ready in minutes. Using sophisticated

Pensa closes Series A round

This is good, and money is always good.

However, they did not release actual figures.

So, what is Pensa Maestro?

Pensa Maestro is a cloud-based platform that compresses the amount of time dev teams need to design, build, validate, and deploy software-defined datacenters.

The initial product from Pensa Maestro, dubbed Pensa Lab, is a SaaS offering that gives Pensa clients the ability to create secure virtual test labs prior to deploying apps, delivering financial and resource savings across the board.

According to Pensa, the use of Pensa Lab allows developers to achieve up to 3X faster design speeds, deliver applications up to 2X faster, and bask in lab utilization and cost savings of up to 55%!

Which certainly got my attention. As I am sure it will, if as predicted, it delivers on those kinds of savings.

Pensa Labs’ intelligent automation enables the creation of virtual preproduction environments in seconds, and for the deployment of said labs within minutes to validation, with eventual migration to production.

The secret sauce in doing this, I am told, is Pensa’s forte.

Pensa Maestro and Pensa Lab are available for OpenStack today, and run seamlessly on VMware, and AWS. Pricing is based on requirement, with the most expensive tier priced at around $1,500 per month.

Pensa is here.

** VITO: Very Important Top Officer. Usually of a corporation

I have commissioned one of our outside contractors with the task of using Pensa Lab for a month with a view to posting a review of the product. That process hasn’t yet concluded. It actually hasn’t even commenced as the contractor is in the process of ending his current project. Once this commission is done, I shall deliver a review. – John Obeto II

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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7:12PM

Interesting to Me This Past Weekend……October 15

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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8:40PM

Interesting……October 13, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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4:29PM

Keeping it Real –> Influencer selection 1: Suitability to task of the Influencer

Disclaimer: I am not a social media professional. I do not work for an agency, or even freelance. However, I know what doesn’t feel right when I encounter it. Over the next few notes on this topic, I will delve into a few points from a blogger’s perspective. I may be wrong, but, until I drop the mic, I’m ‘Da Man’! Let’s do this!

My friend, and very intrepid social media manager Becca Taylor found the article Here’s Why You’re (Probably) Wasting Money on Influencer Marketing. Opinion: Influencer content is extremely underutilized in AdWeek, and shared it.

It’s a pretty smart piece, and a good read.

From it, I realized that it could be further broken down into several expanded articles.

I shall be touching on them from my high exalted position as airquote  an influential close airquote.

This should be fun.

Influencer selection 1: Suitability to task of the Influencer

As with everything, selection is key. I believe this is where an event, and relationships start imploding.

This cannot be stressed enough.

I have been to events where some of the attendees have been as glassy-eyed as a three-toed sloth!

There has to be a direct connection between the project, the goals, the client, the influencer, and his/her demographic.

As an example, I was embedded at a few of the HIMSS conferences several times in the past.

After the keynote at the second event I attended, I was approached by a youngish man – they’re all ‘youngish’ to me these days, for reasons I cannot fathom! #GetOffMyLawn!

Upon introducing himself, YoungMan asked me what I what I did. I told him. “What about you?”, I asked. He revealed that he was a blogger on customizing hot rods. After struggling to find the nexus of his expertise to HIMSS in my melon, I decided to ask him.

“I don’t know what I am doing here”, was his answer. I was completely flabberwhelmed* by his answer!

“What do you mean ‘you don’t know what you are doing here?”, I cried.

He explained that he and his girlfriend had just had a baby. The boy came prematurely, at about 3 months early. As with premmies in industrialized countries, the child had to stay in a NICU** for several months in order for the baby to receive the incredible care required to make sure that everything would be okay when the child is discharged.

During that time, YoungMan decided to write on his experience with being a father who woke up every day with a child in the NICU, and not knowing, but praying that the baby thrives. Somehow, the blog got the attention of the manufacturer of one of the devices used to care for his son, and that he had mentioned on his blog. So, the firm’s social manager/agency decided to ask him to attend that HIMSS event.

By this time, I am sure you are wondering just what, exactly, is HIMSS.

Well, HIMSS stands for Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society, an association for IT managers and stakeholders in the healthcare informatics field. Their eponymous yearly gathering is also called HIMSS.

I asked him why he agreed to attend. He said he kept on declining until the social contact for the product OEM told him to “just come out there, because we have a quota of bodies we need to have attend”.

So, this guy is wandering around looking like the proverbial deer-in-the-headlights, the social agency/manager is feeling chuffed at meeting a quota, and the customer is getting shafted.

At least, this guy was upfront.

Meanwhile, my social agency contact at that same event was on me like a limpet! (You know who you are!)

They made sure that all my desired interviews, meetings, and briefings were taken care of. They also followed it up subsequent to the event with more information, using those to gently prod me into delivering my content.

Sometimes, the social agency/manager becomes stricken with an extreme form of laziness that precludes them from even checking to see if their target influencer’s past content fits with the goal of their client’s campaign. They either accept verbal assurances or whatnot, and sometimes self-delude.

At other times, it is the so-called influencer that is inflating his or her interest, or relevance, or ability to deliver, or reach.

In other words, lying to get the gig.

I have been at a confab or two where it was evident that the so-called influencer lied to attend the event. The most absurd and out-of-place influencer I have encountered was not even as moderately knowledgeable as one would expect, and did not take the time to bone up on the firm involved before showing up. It was surreal.

For accomplished thieves such as that person, the only way a social agency can plan against it, is to keep a reputation database of influencers encountered, and if possible share that with like-minded industry colleagues. A thieving fool like that is of no use to anybody, and must be exposed! If the client’s goals cannot be easily aligned to that of the influencer, then it is a serious waste of client resources. And a surefire way for everyone in the chain to get terminated. For which reputations may, and could also suffer.

A fantastic suggestion from Judie Stanford, La Jefe*** of Gear Diary, is to bind influencers contractually. This is smart. It makes everyone aware of expectations, and obligations.

Oh, YoungMan didn’t write anything. Definitely not his bailiwick.

  • *Flabberwhelmed is my conflation of ‘flabbergasted’, and ‘overwhelmed’. Feel free to use it. With attribution, of course!
  • **NICU: Neonatal Intensive Care Unit
  • ***Female Boss in Spanish is La Jefa. Male is El Jefe. I want to live. There’s no way I’m calling any woman a name that sounds like “heifer”! No way at all!
  • Judie Stanford is on Twitter
  • Gear Diary is here

 

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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7:19PM

Interesting……September 20, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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1:52AM

Sothis Quantième Spirit Of Moon: Watch of the day

Sothis Quantième Spirit Of Moon, aka Sothis Chrono 3

I wore this timepiece for quite a while.

It is a beautifully made watch, designed by the late Wolfgang Steinkrüger who started the firm in 1990 with Karina Steinkrüger.

Definitely a keeper.

ihnmg

All photographs Copyright © their respective owners.

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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6:11PM

Looking forward to Microsoft’s Project Honolulu server management GUI

I believe I have confessed several time here how much a fan I am of GUIs.

Either for general use, and especially for systems management.

Now from Peter Bright at Ars Technica comes the very welcome news that Microsoft is creating a server management GUI for Windows Server 2016.Next.

I am basically rubbing my hands in glee at what I personally would do with it.

My dev team will get hands-on with it at Ignite, and their feedback will determine how soon we make it a part of, or an adjunct to our in-house management platform.

Stay tuned!

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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12:45AM

Interesting To Me This Weekend……September 17, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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10:26PM

Watch of the Day: Voutilainen 2 Eight

I like watches.

The more complicated and rare, the better.

Voutilainen is a brand introduced to me by my pal Roger Luethy, who being Swiss AND a watch aficionado, knows what he is talking about.

This watch is the Voutilainen 2 Eight, which I believe was the brand’s entry in the 2012 Only Watch Charity event.

VOUTILAINEN_2_Eight dial_96dpi

It is very fitting that it is my first entry in what I hope may become a frequent journal showing which watches are catching my eye.

All photographs Copyright © their respective owners.

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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6:10PM

Microsoft Pix grows up

…and becomes a worthy productivity application.

I tend to try most Microsoft apps. Especially those from the Microsoft Garage incubator.

Those kids always come up with nifty ideas that even while may not be able to survive as standalone apps, are innovative enough to be parts of larger apps or suites going forward.

I liked Pix right away.

The premise was that the AI would help smooth out photos that n00bs like me shoot, a potential boon to my photo inventory.

Despite a lack of functions comparable to the default iPhone camera app, I have used it instead since.

When it came out with photo-into-art morphing capabilities not too long ago, I had higher hope for it. However, that stalled, with just a handful of art styles compared to the market leader, Prisma.

Today, Microsoft announced [version 2.0?] a largish functionality upgrade to Pix.

According to Microsoft, this update “automatically detects whiteboards, documents and business cards in real time and intelligently adjusts camera settings for these types of photos. Once the shutter clicks, the app uses AI to improve the image, such as cropping edges, boosting color and tone, sharpening focus and tweaking the angle to render the image in a straight-on perspective.”

Since, to hear Microsoft put it, “Microsoft Pix is out front pushing the boundaries of using AI to take better pictures of everything from a snapshot of your kid in new sneakers to the whiteboard in your morning meeting. The research thrust behind Microsoft Pix informs innovation across apps, including Office Lens.”

This new capabilities make Pix a definite keeper.

I have installed the update, and taken some initial photos with my old iPhone 6+, and with Wifey’s iPhone 7.

I shall play with it further in the coming days.

This Pix product feature page actually helped me understand this product better, and gave me some new usage ideas.

The only hurtful downside to this device is that it isn’t available for Windows tablets, or the Windows desktop. I could really use it to perform post-editing on some truly pathetic photos I have taken in the past.

Oh yes: I also would like to be able to create animated .GIFs from my movies or from new shots.

That would make Pix not just a must-have, but an indispensable tool we’d recommend to everyone.

Still, I like, and recommend it.

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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5:50PM

Interesting To Me Today……September 14, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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5:38PM

Interesting To Me Today……September 13, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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8:22PM

Interesting To Me Today……September 11, 2017

On my mind today……

Prayers for all those lost on that fateful day.

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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4:50PM

Interesting To Me Today……August 30, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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4:49PM

Interesting To Me Today……August 29, 2017

On my mind today……

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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4:19PM

Interesting To Me Today……August 28, 2017

On my mind today……

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

Politics

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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5:22PM

Interesting To Me Today……August 27, 2017

5:35PM

On My Mind……August 26, 2017

On my mind today……

Windows & Microsoft

Business & Technology

General Interest

World

© 2002 – 2017, John Obeto for Blackground Media Unlimited

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5:04PM

Interesting To Me Today……August 24, 2017