Kel Kelly

Hey, thanks for swinging by my blog.

Whether it's topical news, internet happenings, social media, public relations, marketing, start-ups, mobile shiz or whatever, I promise to wade through the bullshit and give you my unbuffered perspective.

You'll note I never take on a "corporate tone" — whether I'm chatting you up at a party or speaking to the CEO of a multi-billion dollar company, my voice never changes. I say what's on my mind and I'm often the champion of the underdog.

I'm a social media junkie and smoke Google Analytics in a crack pipe to get my day going. I hope my immersed insight and offbeat view make you laugh. More importantly, I hope you take a second and share your thoughts by posting a comment. If you have any ideas on how to make my blog better, shoot an email to [email protected].

Peace out.

Archive for December, 2008

Twitter Snob

Dec. 28th 2008

Do you only speak to people who drive a certain class/brand of car? Do you only listen to people who vacation in places like Nantucket and/or Capri? Would you never be caught dead communicating with someone who shops at a discount outlet? Do you think executive cafeterias in the auto industry are a good idea? If so, I would like to introduce you to Seesmic Founder and CEO, Loic Le Meur. You guys are going to love each other.

In a recent blog post, Le Meur asks Twitter to add a feature that allows him to filter tweets based on authority. In other words, if you are a lowly worm because you don’t have tens of thousands of followers, Le Meur would like to have you filtered out. He prefer to only hear from and then respond to the loud, big birds in the Twittersphere.

Are you shitting me? If there is one thing I can’t tolerate, it is elitism. Le Meur is a screaming elitist wearing a While H. Huntsman suit, standing next to his Bugatti Veyron car, drinking his $1,000+ bottle of Pétrus French wine with a silicon-dripping bimbo on his arm right next to his Zadora watch. I didn’t realize France had its own version of Shallow Hal.

This self-anointed Napoleon of the Web 2.0 Revolution needs to get a grip. If Le Meur doesn’t want to be bothered by Twitter gnats as he sees them, then he shouldn’t follow 15,382 of them to begin with. Clearly much of his self-esteem is being driven by his Twitter numbers. What Napoleon (Dynamite) doesn’t realize is that tweeps with few followers can be just as interesting — and, in many cases — even more interesting than the Twitter elite. I find the less people have in life, the more interesting they are. I suggest Le Meur find an old person working minimum wage and sit down to talk to them. Although he would find this conversation a waste of time, the rest of us would find their perspective riveting. While at it, Le Meur should take a play out of Pistachio’s playbook. She maintains an active and engaging Twitter dialogue with anyone, and remains one of the most followed, real people in the Twittersphere. It’s good to see the dink appears to stand alone as the bulk of the blogosphere elite appears to disagree with Le Meur.

Acquiescing to the “size doesn’t matter” philosophy would do wonders for Le Meur. I suggest he stop running around searching for big dicks like himself and enjoy a little anonymous tweet. It would be liberating.

I think we gnats should start a boycott of Le Meur and stop following him? It could end up being the biggest coup d’état the Twittersphere has ever seen. I just unfollowed him. Are you with me?

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 17 Comments »

Arianna Hates Dick

Dec. 21st 2008

I think Arianna Huffington is the bomb diggity. The girl has it all going on and her accomplishments are endless. For me personally, I worship the Arianna alter at The Huffington Post, a news and blog site she co-founded in 2005 and remains its editor-in-chief. As of 11.25.08, Technorati ranked huffingtonpost.com the #1 blog on the planet. Can a sister get a table dance? Chicka chicka yea!

The amazing thing about Arianna is she brings an edginess to her content by pushing the envelope, but yet she never loses credibility. A great example of this edginess was her decision to title a recent post ”Clint and Cheney: a Tale of Two Dicks.” There are few people on earth who don’t think Dick Cheney is a dick. However, there are even fewer credible journalists/bloggers who would call him one for all the world to hear/read. How does she get away with this edgy approach yet still remain one of the most respected and influential people in media? It’s Arianna’s intelligence and poise that allow her content to always remain rooted in credibility and not fall into the abyss of something that looks or sounds like a rant.

Arianna would have been entitled to lose her cool and take a high dive into the abyss of rant when FOX’s Bill O’Reilly attacked her on his show, but she didn’t. Instead she let him swim solo while she stayed on message allowing her content to be heard. Quite the opposite, O’Reilly’s message was completely overshadowed by his theatrics. While Arianna always delivers her point in a graceful soothing tone, O’Reilly always looks like he is one second away from taking a bowl of porridge from an orphan while kicking a dog.

Now I’m sure many of the peeps reading this post are calling me a bleeding heart liberal and turning this into something political. I accept your label and promise to wear it for a lifetime. However, the point here is that “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.” Calling Cheney a dick and then grounding the point in fact-based content right from the dick’s mouth (see paragraph 8) is completely different than calling someone a dick and then attempting to back it up with points driven by emotional opinion not fact.

What are your thoughts on Arianna’s approach?

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 5 Comments »

Twitter Fatigue

Dec. 14th 2008

I think I am suffering from Twitter fatigue. Although it is self-diagnosed, the symptoms are obvious –I feel a weariness, exhaustion and lethargy about Twitter. The frequency of my tweets has dropped like Sarah Palin’s popularity after she opened her mouth during her interview with Katie Couric. How could that be possible? I was a Twitter addict. Twitter was as much a part of my day as using my laptop. I probably tweeted on the same frequency as I spoke. What happened?

I have a few theories:

Theory #1: I Burned Out: I was like an alcoholic in a bar when it came to Twitter and the Presidential Election. I couldn’t help myself. Reading an article on CNN or the Huffington Post could trigger a binge of tweets that lasted for days. It was a blur. I started to lose friends who found it too painful to read to my rants. No matter who tried to intervene and delicately raise concern around the volume of my tweets, I didn’t listen and just chalked it up to them being one of the many Web 2.0 oblivious.

Theory #2: I’m Too Busy: The holidays are a crazy time of year for everyone. I often articulate this by saying “I barely have time to scratch my ass.” (Sorry for the visual.) I’m not 100% convinced this is the reason because this moment in time is like the Super Bowl of content for tweets. From holiday party antics to Governor Blagojevich’s dumb ass move, it’s like an all you can tweet buffet.

Theory #3: “It’s The Economy Stupid!”: I wonder if the down economy has subconsciously affected my tweets? Is it right to tweet when layoffs across the country have surged? Is it like eating a doughnut in the front row at a funeral service? Again, I’m not sure that’s true either. The whole proposed auto industry bailout is a Twitterpalooza waiting to happen.    

Theory #4: The Novelty Has Worn Off: Is Twitter just another pop culture fad that is going to end up on VH1′s “I Love the 00s” show? Let’s face it, at one point in time we were all gaga over Strawberry Shortcake, Atari, Rubik’s Cube, Members Only, Bartles & Jaymes, Swatch and breakdancing. I’m sure many of you are thinking–in a Valley Girls tone– “uh, I was never into that!” I think Facebook photos from back in the day would prove you to be a big, fat liar.

It appears I am not alone in my Twitter fatigue. After unprecedented spikeadelic traffic, Twitter saw a slowdown in activity in November. comScore reports Twitter.com’s U.S. pageviews declined dramatically to 19.7 million in November down from 37.2 million in October. That’s a 47 percent drop. Holy twit Batman, something is wrong in the Twittersphere!

The root of my Twitter fatigue could be caused by any or all of the above theories or something else. However, I do find it interesting that I am not suffering Facebook fatigue. Why? What’s the difference.

Have you experienced any Twitter fatigue?

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 17 Comments »

Meme: 7 Random & Weird Things About Me

Dec. 7th 2008

Last week recruiting Goddess, Lindsay Olson, tagged me for this blog meme.

Although I don’t like the idea of having myself as the focus of a blog post, I don’t want to be the victim of some Web 2.0 curse for breaking the meme. Like it or not, here are seven random and weird things about me:

  1. I was a vegetarian and didn’t drink alcohol for twelve years. In 2002, I turned forty and wanted a burger and beer, so I had them. So much for clean living.
  2. I can spin a basketball on my finger. I played on the Westwood High girls varsity basketball team. The team is known nationally for being a dynasty for its record of a decade of consecutive wins. I can actually spin almost anything on my finger. Much to my kids’ horror I am often found spinning a waitress’ tray while we are out to dinner.
  3. I had an afro (and pick) in high school. It was not pretty. Think Tito from The Jackson 5. The invention of hair gel in the early 80s changed my life. I thought the past was behind me until my daughter uploaded a bunch of photos on Facebook of me back in the 70s.
  4. I started my career as a security guard, complete with hat and tie. Don’t worry, I wasn’t packing any heat. I wanted to go to graduate school to get an MBA. I couldn’t afford to pay for grad school, so I took a job as a security job at Prime Computer to help pay for school. Kevin Lento, the manager of the second shift logistics operations told me I looked ridiculous in the uniform and offered me a second shift job picking and packing orders in his warehouse. He told me Prime would pay for my MBA. From there I received a slew of promotions and eventually made it into Prime’s marketing department.
  5. I cry very easily when seeing or hearing a sad story/situation about people or animals — and most of the time I don’t know them. While I’m known for being a warrior in business situations and would never cry, I have an empathy gene the size of a drag queen’s shoe. My Mom had an enormous heart and I’m convinced I got it from her. I will always choose the underdog in any situation — one of the big reasons I choose to have so many entrepreneurs as clients.
  6. My mother made me take piano lessons when I was in elementary school and I hated it. She used to drop me off at the piano teacher’s house and then pick me up an hour later. One day I cooked up a big, fat lie and told my teacher that I couldn’t come any more because my Mom couldn’t afford it. For the next month or so, my Mom would drop me off at his house, I would wave goodbye as she pulled out of his driveway and then I would run down to my friend’s house and hang out for an hour. When it was time to be picked up I would go back to his house and jump in the car when my Mom showed up. One day my Mom called the teacher to ask why he hadn’t been cashing her checks. Doh! The gig was up at that point and my Mom busted me.
  7. When I was in high school, I convinced my Mom that it was OK for my friends to drive her car alone as long as they had had a learner’s permit. My Mom was a single working mother long before there was such a thing as a single working mother. She had a lot going on in trying to juggle all the plates that came with that role — she just didn’t have time to check whether what I was telling her was true and why should she…it’s not like her daughter would ever lie to her. Every weekend, my unlicensed friend Kippy Kelley would drive away with a carload filled with me and my friends, my Mom again waving in a cloud of innocence. To this day I feel terrible about what I put my Mom through. I have a feeling she is in heaven laughing as my teenage daughter Julia does things like host a party at our main residence while we are innocently ringing in the New Year at our summer home on the Cape.

Here are the seven peeps I’m tagging to keep the meme alive:

Laura Fitton

Tony Hsieh

Jeff Pulver

Suzanne Aaronson

Tom Gerace

Jonathan Trenn

Jennifer Pahlka

Here are the meme rules for my fellow bloggers:

  • Link your original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share seven facts about yourself in the post – some random, some weird.
  • Tag seven people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

To readers of this post, please share a random and/or weird thing about yourself by posting a comment.

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

Facebook Fees?

Dec. 1st 2008

The dirty little, not-so-hidden secret in the Web 2.0 world is that most companies still haven’t figured out a way to successfully monetize their biz. Even Facebook and its multi-gajillion dollar valuation has not defined a sustainable revenue plan. The rumors that Facebook needs to raise more capital are all over the place like a ‘ho in Vegas. This need for a capital infusion allegedly exists in spite of the fact that Facebook raised a whopping $235 million last year. Yowzer.

Monetization through social media advertising appears to be more difficult than getting Amy Winehouse to put down the crack pipe. According to a recent IDC report, while 79% of consumers clicked on an online ad, only about 57% of consumers clicked on social network ads. Even worse, social network peeps make about half as many purchases. So much for Beacon. It’s time for Plan B. Nobody wants to keep going back to a Big Daddy for more money. It’s time to grow up and stand on your own two financial feet.

Listen, I wasn’t smart enough to get into an Ivy league school like Mr. Zuckerberg. I went to a less that notable state school (UMASS Dartmouth) and wear that fact as a badge of honor. I don’t pretend for a nanosecond to be smarter than Zuckerberg, his executive team or his investors. But I feel like there is an obvious and completely acceptable solution to the Facebook monetization problem: charge members a ridiculously modest monthly fee. Facebook now has 120 million members. If they charged everyone $1/mo, the company would have an instant annual revenue stream of close to $1.5 billion. Do the math on what happens to that revenue stream if the fee is $2/mo or even $5/mo. There are lots of other revenue generating options like the possibility of charging for a premium service or an ad-free experience, but let’s not try to solve world hunger the first time we pick up the fork. Facebook needs to earn some cabbage in the short-term to buy time while they figure out how Beacon and/or Connect can augment any user-generated monetization program.

Am I missing something? It sounds too easy. Again, by no means do I think I got anything going on over the Facebook gang. However, as a non-venture backed entrepreneur, I had to figure out and deliver a profitable business model pretty damn quickly.

I can’t imagine my life without Facebook in it. I’m a freakin’ Facebook addict. I’m not alone. Sure some small percentage of members would refuse to pay, but that ends up being a rounding error when calculated on 120 million peeps. Once you try Facebook, there is no going back. It’s crackalackin’ and I think people will pay for it.

Would you be willing to pay a modest monthly fee for Facebook?

Posted by Kel | in Uncategorized | 94 Comments »