An Interview with Steve Rubel of MicroPersuasion.com
Tell me about your MicroPersuasion blog?
Micro Persuasion launched in April 2004 to chronicle how the average individual, empowered with technology and the ability to create content, was going to transform media, marketing and public relations. I have been writing for five years now on this topic and have expanded it more broadly to cover how technology is transforming marketing communications. In addition to my blog, I have since expanded and now publish actively on Twitter and Friendfeed.
How do you describe your work overall?
My job as SVP/Direct of Insights for Edelman Digital is to keep the firm and our clients in the digital vanguard. Basically, what this means is that I study global technology, media and online trends and shapes them into actionable insights and marketing communications strategies. My actual responsibilities include getting involved in the account planning process, developing intellectual property and advancing the firm’s innovation and business development efforts.
What have been your most important learnings since starting your blog in 2004?
That, ideally, you need to create value every day – otherwise people wont’ come back. From 2004 to 2008 my blog was where that had to happen. But now things are changing. People are spending more time on social networks like Twitter, Friendfeed or Facebook so increasingly it means creating value in those spaces, as well as yours.
What are the most promising new ideas and digital trends are you seeing around social media?
There are five trends, which I have written about in a white paper you can find here…
Satisfaction Guaranteed – Customer care and PR are blending as consumers use social media to demand service
Media Reforestation – The media is in a constant state of reinvention as it transitions from atoms to bits
Less is the New More – Overload takes its toll. Gorging on media is out. Selective ignorance and friends as filters are in
Corporate All-Stars – Workers flock to social media to build their personal brands, yet offer employers an effective and credible way to market in the downturn
The Power of Pull – Where push once ruled, it’s now equally important to create digital content that people discover through search
What new project are you working on that you are excited about?
Several. First, I love the creative process – so I am really charged up about working closely with my teammates and major marketers (mostly in consumer packaged goods) and in helping them advance the digital ball. There are always several of these in the works. In addition, I am really excited about the IP we are creating for clients (which I curate). There are always one or more of these in the works.
How do use social media as part of your daily business?
The insights I curate end up getting shared with three groups: first my teammates, second our clients and third my broader audience (e.g. through my blog, Twitter, etc.) Social media is pivotal to this process in a few ways.
First, I use it for research and insights. I read hundreds of RSS feeds and scan/engage followers on Friendfeed/Twitter.
Second, I share what I find and what I am learning – as well as the questions I have.
So, net, it’s integral.
What was your first computer and your first website?
My first computer was an Atari 800 in 1982. My first website really wasn’t one – it was Compuserve and Genie back in the day. More here.
What is the biggest tip you would give to a newbie blogger?
If it’s for someone to wants to use it to build their personal brand and/or influence it’s this find your niche. This isn’t easy. You need to find something that will appeal to an audience that you have an expertise and passion for.
If it’s for someone who wants to share with friends/family via a personal blog it’s to just jump in and try it
Where do you see growth in the blogging field?
This is a hard question. Blogging is a mature platform right now in a good way. The action, however, is on Twitter and Friendfeed. I still believe the long form adds value and that blogging will revitalize once these sites become connected to social networks via Facebook Connect, Google Friend Connect and other platforms.
What do advertisers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
Pollute the Web
What do bloggers do that you wish they wouldn’t?
Tell us how great they are rather than just showing us.
What do you do to improve the world?
I hope that what I am doing now is in some way improving the world. Companies need to change to embrace the social web and use it to build closer relationships with their consumers and do so at eye-level.
What do you personally do that is Green?
Quite a lot: I drive a Prius and I have gone 100% media green.
What is one thing about you that not many people know?
I nearly died of a brain tumor when I was 13 years old. I have a scar that goes ear to ear that some people see, others miss and I think often they are afraid to ask about it.
What’s your favourite book?
That’s a tough one as I read tons. But I would have to say The World is Flat. It really opened my eyes that we’re in a new era.
What is on your iPod?
A mix of 2,000 songs – everything from Lady Gaga to Bach to Chris Boti and more.
What are your contact details (email, company, blog, facebook, myspace, forums, etc)?
How do you prefer to communicate?
Who would you recommend, and why?
If you mean recommend that people read/follow I would say Dave Winer, Jeremiah Owyang, Robert Scoble, Dwight Silverman, Rex Hammock and others.
Who else would you like to see me interview?
Any of these folks!