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Smartphone Application Pitch – StartUp Now Netcamp 2012

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 22/11/2012

I participated at the StartUp Now (NetCamp 2012)  workshop facilitated by Vlad Stan.

I worked with three other people in a team to develop a smartphone  app. The team is called MMA – More Mobile Applications.

The app is called “the Driver’s application” – “aplicatia soferului” and targets professional drivers, which spend a lot of time on the road, driving on new routes, which would be interested in finding and avoiding problems in traffic and especially problems with the actual physical state of the road (i.e. holes, missing or misleading indicators, dangerous intersections, roads in construction).

This app is free.

Are you driving? Leave the road in security for everyone. Find out the most secure route! Do you want modern roads? The more drivers collaborate through this app, the safer the roads may be.

How does it work?

It is based on crowd-noticing. You find a problem? You mark it, based on your geolocation. For this, while driving, you need to have your smartphone attached to the car board.

You find out about problems marked by others.

All the problems signaled get to the public administration (the road administration, the regional councils, the mayor’s office, etc.), which have to fix them

The press has access to these infos in order to check how much or how many of them are actually solved.

If you stop, you can make a picture with the actual state of the road. The picture will be automatically uploaded.


Access in real time on all problems in a certain area (the whole Romania covered – initially)

You save time that otherwise you would waste on misleading indicators.

You contribute to solving problems by indicating them.

In time, the authorities will solve these problems.


The public administration will have access by fee to the areas which are under their administration.

How can you help us? Please retweet this TODAY using these hashtags:

#mma #gkl #netcamp12

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Live Blogging NetCamp 2012

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 22/11/2012

Just arrived at NetCamp 2012, one of the most important annual events for online entrepreneurship, organized by Evensys. As I promised here, I will do live blogging so just refresh this page and find out what’s happening.

Section I. About the power of entrepreneurship.

Mihai Sfrijan, game producer and designer at centers his presentation on the main idea that 1 million $ (in 40 days – only by the team from Romania) is not such a big sum for an online game (Zynga). Considering the company has bureaus in 5 countries and 25 emloyees only in Bucharest. People buy quality. Being the first one who offers good services is one thing that matters. You have to do them the first, but very good. Get ready to fail, create small applications. You can’t reach 1 million $ the first try.

Marketing on Facebook and mobile is not known in Romania. It’s something worth studying. OpenGraf is a Facebook tool which allows you to take stories out of a game and promote it in an original way. Mobile marketing is also based on Facebook, because of the channel of advertising.

Mihai says that if you mistake every day and allow yourself to recognize this, you won’t destroy your business.

The key of this business is to have good marketing people. Their are in London. But the business is not in Ro, it’s in the whole world. The game is not made starting from the users.Bucharest is great because there are good developers.

 The HR process is quite long. Mihai knows a lot of talented people and he selected them well.

The company started with the work of 4 Swedish entrepreneurs. All of them are even today the first ones to come and the last to leave.

Ovidiu Paraschivescu, team leader applications and content, Vodafone Romania talks about Vodafone apps.

It’s important to understand how many people can use a certain service at a certain time. There is a full time team in Ro, for Romanians, which work on developing applications which can improve the consumers’ lives.

One of the big problems of the apps launched by others is that they need to get a critical mass of users to download apps. Vodafone has 1.600.000 downloads of their appsThey support app developers. After the apps contest, Ovidiu noticed that not all developers know how to monetize their apps. Therefore, Vodafone especially likes to collaborate with developers for apps which also know how to make money with them. It doesn’t make sense to collaborate with companies which don’t know how to make money.

Most apps which have success have apps pre-installed on their telephones. But they are available in all networks.

Participate at You have 8 days.

You don’t need to promote an apps. People just find its usability.

You can make more money selling through SMS. This is a great channel. Even Facebook uses this system. The time for electronic money has not yet come. The capacity of the operators to charge on behalf of customers is a great attraction for suppliers and it will remain so. Not everyone has smartphones.

I would really like to see an app developed which allows all users from Bucharest to know what trainings there are in the city in real time.

Apps are also available on iOS.

Teodor Cimpoiesu, managing director, Eastern Europe, Romania & Bulgaria, Kaspersky Lab.

Mr. Cimpoieşu has 3 ideas he wants to share.

In marketing, we have to identify to who we address our services. No one makes a service which is for everybody.

Ask the customer. What does he think? What does he use? What are his needs?

Communicate really. Get on the level and language of the people who you’re talking to – may they be customers, technical people

Section II. The New Opportunities of the Internet

George Lemnaru – Founder, Green Horse Games talks about a game addressed to the people who are passioned about the cars. His start-up allows people from all over the world to virtually upgrade their real cars and participate to contests with people from all over the world. This is a game which allows different levels, based both on freemium models and on payed models. In January 2013, they plan to launch the website. The business model is to launch 3 games. He wants to get 200.000 euros and he intends to win  millions of  euros.

His pitch only to the people here is to be part from a select users’ club, having virtual goods of 50 euros for just 9 euros. For 4 years, any  virtual goods will be 50% +. It’s a proposal of crowdfunding.

Cristi Manafu promotes kickstarter. com.

8 people are interested. It’s the first time. But people do this because they like George, not the exact project. “It’s the first time I present this project and people understand it” says George Lemnaru.

George counts on virality, to make products which are very interesting for people to promote from one to the other.

It’s not that he depends on this money, but they would be useful to accelerate the growing of the company.

Kaloyan Kanov – product marketing manager, Nokia Romania & Balkans presents about the partnership experience of the company in the area of mobile applications.

He is here looking for developers, entrepreneurs interested in creating businesses based on mobile apps. He advertises the Nokia differentiation. Nokia, as a company, invests in communicating with talented programmers in creating opportunities for this audiences to get clients in specific markets. The advantage of an international company are interesting and profitable for a local developer/entrepreneur. is the place where developers should go in order to collaborate in this initiative.

Zoli Herczeg – Business Development Manager – Applications, Microsoft Romania talks to the potential clients for cloud computing.

A lot of people have started using Windows 8 since its launch in Romania.

The developers mustn’t think only about this opportunity, but also about developing apps for Windows 9, because Windows 8 will be easy to upgrade, just as Windows 7 was easy to upgrade to Windows 8.

Now, Windows accepts also Open Source apps from developers. So you don’t have to know .NET

There is a service for iOS and Android apps developers which is called Windows Azure. The simplest way to acces this techology is from BizSpark – the tool to use for start-ups which are in their first 5 years.  BizSpark Plus offers you services of cloud valued at 60.000 $ (2 years). Microsoft has around 300 start-ups from Romania which use BizSpark, and just a few which use BizSpark Plus. The collaboration between Microsoft and Zitec offers almost free audits, which delivers consulting for big online projects which need develop in in cloud. The customers will be so satisfied after 2 years, that they will continue to use the service.

Vlad Stan talks about the accelerater Co-founder and CEO, Geekcelerator. They raise money from a lot of investors to support local businesses. They invested in 11 start-ups in Romania in the last 4 years. 4 are dead, 4 are still alive. Total founding: 600.000 $.

Vlad talks about one of his 30+ businesses he developed since 2000. He had a mobile platform for e-mail, which had not so many clients. Vlad says that the Romanian market is too limited for entrepreneurs and developers. A global market is the way to go.

Maria Diaconu, Catalina Rusu, Sabin Dima are his collaborators in founding this accelerator.

Think about building a product client-centered, not idea-centered.

How do you create a visually appealing product?

They invest up to 50.000 $ for 6-20% of the investment. The key is the founder. We don’t learn from the success.

In order to get such a business: product skills, business skills, technical skills and customer development skills. They DO things, they don’t talk, they don’t mentor. They work next to you. No BS!

To apply, there is the project Disrupt or Die. How can you, in just 2 days, to develop a business?

Net Start-Up takes a break now. In 45 minutes, it continues.

I will participate at the Start-Up Now section, in which Vlad will make a public demonstration about how teams of people can create an app in a very short time. I don’t know whether I will be able to blog, because it has been annouced as an event about very practical stuff. Talk about it later.

StartUp Now! workshop with Vlad Stan on mobile applications development

In 90 minutes, teams made up by people who initially didn’t know each other found a business application on paper. it was great! The workshop was very interactive. Calin Fusu jokes: “is there someone who hasn’t heard Vlad’s workshop even if they didn’t participate at it?”. I wrote about the idea my team developed here.

Cristina Alexandru, founder at is moderator.

Calin Fusu – CEO, at presents first.

All internet is moving now on platforms. Platforms are defined by identity, distribution, technologies, monetizations – all these are differences among them.

“It’s O.K. in Romania to copy businesses from other countries. Don’t add uncertainty to the local market which is weak. If you want to do something for Romania, don’t innovate! If you believe in you, you don’t go for Romania. This is just out of mathematical considerations. The potential for profit is the market times the chances to have success.  The entrepreneurs have to eliminate the risks.”.

Apparently many companies concentrate on many platforms to develop application for, but if you don’t have resources, you don’t have to do that.

Calin has a kind of uninteresting presentation, as usual, but I think it’s better than in 2004. Don’t get me wrong, I love Calin as an entrepreneur and business man, but his strongest point is not public speaking. Actually even him didn’t really understand what he was speaking of.

Bogdan Secara – Owner @ Strategic Shift talks  about the chimera gifted to the people by e-commerce. He has shared to everyone in the hall a small ticket with the question: “Why is comfort so important?”. In his opinion, comfort is the simplest and most contextual state of good. The context is your own little universe, here and now.

First if you want to start a business in Romania, copy a working business model, and after that, change a little bit some things.

The state of good is actually a state of balance, of equilibrium.

In order to reach comfort, you have to feel uncomfortable first with what you have in order to get a solution for the problems.  One has to monetize the fact that there are a lot of people who want comfort now.

Laura Mihailescu Marketing Coordinator, F64

F64 is a growing business (from 5 to 120). Another great business based on people. A great place to feel at work like at home.  The business has a very complex selection process.

Dragoş Vărşăndan Owner, The Liquorstore

The story of a road to begin. He is a social drinker ans a tester for all kinds of different drinks. He worked for Viva, TV Mania and TV Satelit. He dropped his managing position at Ringier in order to find his blue ocean strategy. He founded an online liquor store. He had a acquaintances who become an entrepreneur. This business started as a passion.

After starting the business, he had a great opportunity that he got mainstream press coverage for his blog, to which then he attached an online store. November-December is a high season for drinks. Everyone wants something to drink. He couldn’t supply all the orders from customers.

What are the differences between theliquorstore: a long tail (many, many hundreds of drinks), serendipity (personal guide from a specialist), comodity (why look for a drink in town, when you can have it at home in 24 hours?).

After that, he made branded parties: Corporate Exit.

In 11 months, 15.000 visitors. 80% came through the Facebook pages of the publications where he writes. 2 % rate of conversion. On average, the site makes about 200 euros a day sales. With his car, he makes most of the travels between the supplier and the customers. He was awarded for best site on food and beverage at GPEC 2012 (Gala of the E-Commerce awards). He is fighting the lack of customers’ education.

Luigi Meclea – Owner, Breslo talks about a social shopping platform, one of the biggest in Romania. 

He works with Ruxandra, his wife. They gathered the database out of contacts from fairs. In September 2008, they were the first ones to start such a business in Romania. Anyone can afford a store on Breslo. They offer all in one package, for a monthly package. They use the simplest, most effective method for taxing the suppliers: The people who make handmade pay a monthly nominal fee.

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NetCamp 2012

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 17/11/2012

NetCamp is one of the most important events about and for entrepreneurship online that happens every year in Romania, since 2007. I have participated in the competition segment, “Net Start-Up” in 2007 and 2009. The competition segment will be called “Start-Up Now!”.

This year, I prefer to be centered on the learning aspect from the conferences which will be held at JW Marriott Bucharest Grand Hotel right in the center of Bucharest, very near to the Palace of Parliament.  I got an invitation from the event organizer, Cristian Manafu, and I will participate to some of the sections which are outlayed here.

So, follow my blog on Thursday, to get the feed of live blogging which I plan to do for the event and at the event. You will be able to know what happens just as it happens… through my analytic vision.

This is not the first Evensys event I am doing live blogging from. I’ve also done it at Webstock 2010.

Why do I choose to participate in this event?

– networking in order to find suppliers/customers;

– get valuable experience from experts;

– find out about new trends;

– find possible collaborators;

– say “hi” to a lot of people I know.

It only happens once a year. Not always I had time to participate to big annual offline events about online. But this time I glad I will be able to do it. So stay with me!

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How to Promote: 10 Great Video Examples, Selected by Stefan Alexandrescu

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 19/12/2011

If you work in advertising or marketing, it is mandatory to view these!

Saga Commercial – DARE

The Google Story

Microsoft Future Vision

Socialist Catalonian Party Vote

Coraline book trailer made for content by a user

The Truth of Argentina

About the Hey clip

The girls who made the “Hey” clip explain behind the scenes their vision. Hey is one of the most visioned Youtube clips (over 33 million views)

The “making of” is actually a funvertisment

EU policy on consumer protection

Entrepreneurs can change the world

How to present inventions in the shower – European Comission Enterprise and Industry & Junior Achievement International

Holographic concert – Ad for T-Mobile

Ad for “The Secret” scam

I also recommend to study this: The most viewed YouTube Vidoes

Posted in Social Media | 6 Comments »

Live Blogging at Webstock 2010

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 16/09/2010

By the end of the live tweeting for the event, I reached 400 tweets. It’s not a lot, but it’s a round number.

I’m in Bucharest until the 21st of September.

I’m at Webstock, one of the hottest events of the year, that gathers big names from the Internet industry in Romania. This is my first live blogging experience from morning to evening.

I’ve been at the presentations since morning, but I have lost the 2 first presentations. You can also see the event on live streaming at Webstock .

During today, I will do live blogging to cover the whole event. You can also follow me at @analyticvision on Twitter (ask permission if I’m not in your list).

Marco Kind, CMO, Vodafone demonstrated how to use social media in creating large networks, and how to promote this on TV.
Raluca Kisescu, Marketing Director, Avon launched the new social network from Avon, a pilot project in Romania, that will be soon launched worldwide
Radu Ionescu, Managing Partner, Kinecto talked about 7 thing he learned while working with LG. He also presented himself, saying that there are a lot of people he didn’t knew. This remark is an obvious proof that the Internet industry has truly developed during the last years in Romania.

Cristi Manafu says this is the first conference stremed live on Fecebook.

The second session started.

Alexis Bonte, CEO & CO-Founder, eRepublik Labs says the new spam is Facebook & Twitter and other. All these things affect outr ability to concentrate. It’s exaclty the kind of stuff I was writing about here. Most part of the content on social networks are rubbish, irrelevant. “You don’t get to 500 million friends without talking to a few enamies”. Learn to know what is rellevant for your readers. Not everything that happens to you is woth posting / twitting. It requires skill to master the ability of awareness.

Emotionally engaging sharing. People create emotion through sharing pictures.

The future of social media might kill the privacy. There is a Big Brother perspective to be careful about less than 5 seconds ago. Everuything converges towards integration. Alexis Bonte thinks Facebook is the most likely to get the supremacy, but it’s in the position it was MySpace 3 years ago.

Zoli Herczeg, Technology Evangelist, Microsoft Technology Evangelist, Microsoft talks about how to scale applications for various masses of users. How do we monetise such initiatives. This is a an ABC of Cloud Computing.  [en, wiki] This will affect the future of web 2.0 . The future is not only software as a service, but also infrastructure as a service. And also platform as a service. Clients for platform are the developers. Those who already have a platform and want to move it to cliud, need infrastructure as a service.

Hosting is not dead. Things don’t have to be in cloud, for example when you have 1000 users a day. Hosters will live more and more on sites don’t have hops of clud computing need.

Cloud computing has aloowed mobile applications to develop. Zoli Herczeg also argues that opportunities also bring responsabilities. Those who create such services must leave the control at the useres. Privacy is dead because it is legiferated by laws from 10-15 years ago. I personally don’t agree.

We are here becuase we prefere face to face meeting. Inovations from cloud computing bring to developments “back to Earth”. Zoli Herczeg #webstock2010  on in 3 hours there will be launched a 15.000 $ contest for cloud computing applications.

Vlad Stan: to talk about future is complicated. Only about 3 people in the hall know what they are going to do in 10 years. The technological evolution is exponential. Let’s talk about future with Vlad Stan. 2 years ago you could not see in real time if your presentation is good enough with twitterwall. many of those present have between 20-25. Man, I feel old.

Haters still have old-kind phones.

He quotes Ray Kurtzweil. Do you live in the future, in the present or the past. The only chance for long term is to be an entrepreneur.  Top 1000 companies from 100 years ago only have a standing company. To be prepared for the future is to be prepared for change. Change is essential to entrpreneurs.

Dragos Manac has a great presentation. He had a funny intro about things everybody thinks they know about cars, women and football. His presentation is really about cost effectiveness. Think ahead. What kind of money can you save through acquiring samples or outsourcing? It’s better to keep important people for important tasks and outsource to indians the rest :)

Usually, ideas-driven people hire technical people. Do you search technical innovation or business innovation. Is it really necesasary to scale? People buy stuff they don’t need for the hoped succes and then get super bills they pay until running out of money Get awareness. Don’t try to swim in the bathtub! (brilliant suggestion which I personally think also applies to coaching market in Romania).

Get a consultant to guide you.

I am at Concepts section [ro, php] between 14.30-18.15

The first speakers didn’t speak loud enough and there wasn’t any microphone available. Stefan Stroe (BuzzMen)
Sergiu Machidon (BuzzMen) presented Oba Project – really boring presentation (something so DUH…) Razvan Tirboaca (Zoom Studios) fought to be heard by the public, but in the back, he couldn’t be heard. His project, BuzzTwist, will be launched in 2 weeks. It’s an infrastucture for promoting press releases on social media. I don’t really get the point: who would pay for it?

Ciprian Gavriliu (Play The Balls) presents The Unit project. He started by presenting differences between Bucharest, Cluj, Iasi, Timisoara. He mentioned Dimitrie Gusti [en, wiki] which launched “social unit” concept. He launches a platform that locates relevant bloggers by content and by traffic in a greographic location. The tool can also be used for media planning. The user pays for acces to a platform which he can use for media planning. This is a great tool which can be use to sindicate content and plan budgets for web 2.0 advertising. The ideea seems good. It will be lauched approximately at the beginning of November 2010. This platform can be used by advertising agencies to target specific clearly delimited regions and offers more bloggers a pack. It’s like a self-service advertising agency & media planning company online .

Bogdan Bocse (Time OP) presents a tool whcih tracks what you do in your free time. It offers you the possibility to track what you do with your time to monitor your productivity. The informations can then be used in marketing or in monitoring purposes. You can have a clear evidence of how much you worked on each task you’re doing. The application has some potential.

Alexandru Ciochia (Radio Lynx) doesn’t present WhisperCast anymore.

The Concepts section continues moderated by Victor Kapra [ro, blog].  Phoebs talks about the social media component of Lets’ Do It Romania [ro, blog], place 5 in Zelist, 50.000 + users. The project has brought together a lot of bloggers to get awareness about the project. The main idea is to have a whole day (25th of September) to clean Romania from garbage. Initially, there was little support for the initiative. Not everybody who theoretically follows the project. Don’t rely on what social media says about you. It matters who actually gets involved. The 50.000 number is relevant to get people involved. Phoebs needs volonteers. Victor Kapra [ro, blog] says he wishes more people would get involved like this.

Madalina Uceanu [ro, blog] talks about HR and social media. She does job hunting coaching and career consulting. She uses LinkedIn, Xing [German market], Viadeo [French market], Facebook, Plaxo, Twitter. There are people who have to learn how to connect with people, how to maintain a network of references. She learned how to use web 2.0 like for example: “how to apply for a job on LinkedIn”.

Delia Constantinescu presents the DiverCity Cafe project. Worse than the fact that she doesn’t have a powerpoint, is the fact she has a lot of “ăăăăăă”s and it’s natural to observe she hasn’t exersed her speech (I remember the old times when preparing a presentation was more important then making a slideshow) . She talks a lot of banalities. Victor Kapra [ro, blog]: “Delia, tell us concretely what you’ve done”. Delia: “Oh, my, have I talked so much?”. One in all, this is the funniest (even if it’s not supposed to be) presentations I have seen today.

Adrian Niculescu [en, blog] presents Clubv3. How to promote a smartphone application through Social Media. He is a social media strategist. This project was developed for a UK company. Case study: Brainbox Quizmaster Series. Not anyone having twitter and facebook is a social media strategist. There are a lot of incompetents claiming a lot. Many cannot prove their status. is a good site to test your application.  You can reach Adrian at 0040744777544 0040788522238 adrian [at] clubv3 [dot] com

Andrei Ruse, writer, speaks about how he did a trailer for a novel which he has brought into the top. Social media is free. Readers might have prefdferate writers alive. They might want to give feed-back to them.

Adrian Chira [en, blog]MBA has exactly the same speech Bogdana Butnar had last year, only less interesting. He works for Daedalus Millward Brown and Personal Brand Grader. One third from 1.7 million people from Romania currently search for a job. But people don’t know how what they write on the internet affects their image. He optimised himself for LinkedIn search after “online identity”, “digital reputation” and “personal branding”. The first impression someone gets through what you post on social media gets formed. People eliminate you from the short list based on things which they discover, before even seeing you. You can use Twitter Grader, different from Social Mention. Have status changes as often as possible on Linked In to get visibility.  adrian [at]personalbrandgrader[dot]com.

The Concepts section has ended. In 45 minutes, begins the awards section [ro, php].

I checked out the Connections section. Adrian Soare [ro, blog] made a statement about how to use social media with awareness. What you post on social media affects not only your public image, but also the relationships you have. A post on Facebook doesn’t make you more idiot, it simply reflects the degree of idiocracy you proved. It’a mirror.

The Gala started

Publishing category Daniela from Petrom (sponsor) presents III. eCostin briefly speaks on the stage. II. Dezlegatorii de integrame I. Trilulilu Cock’nRolls.

Utility Raluca Krisescu from Avon presents III. Agenda Banca Transilvania; T5 developed by Evolutika II. Tide – Workshops P&G  I.ZeList Monitor SC TreeWorks SRL

Sergiu Nicolescu, media manager at Vodafone awards for viral clips: III. Salvati Gropile S.C. Green Media Channel S.A. II. Avatarul Dupa Oscar S.C. Green Media Channel S.A I.Ca$$a Loco – La Mall Trilulilu

Ana Burger, online manager at Petrom presents Social Networking section. III. SC KickMedia SRL II. Korea Film Blog Ogilvy PR I. Tabasco&Ciusca Tomorrow is the day of passions. Please celebrate with us!

Costin Radu presents User Generated Content III.  LG Infinia – TU esti vedeta! LG Electronics Romania  and Kinecto Interactions RCA pentru tine Groupama II. ?   I. SC TreeWorks SRL

Costin Cocioaba presents video-audio section II. – Portalul muzicii romanesti care conteaza
URBB I. MB Dragan KoVideo CPM Media Drive

Alin Zainescu general manager Media IQ presents blogging campaigns. If eCostin lost 10 kilos, Alin, he says.  III. MB Dragan Golden Box Pagini Aurii II. Republika – Magazinul cu cele mai multe sucursale on-line Romtelecom I. Starcom gained 15Kraft Foods Romania

George Lemnaru founder & CEo at eRepublik Labs presents Special projects 2010 III. Petrom Festivalul Enescu Petrom ILeo II. Herbal Essences House of Fun P&G I. Scoala de Bani BCR

Victor Kapra presents Facebook applications III. Kinecto – Avon Cosmetics Romania ;Shock – Shopsbook II. Trip Journal Facebook Application iQuest Technologies DWD I. HotelPeeps Zitec Alexandru LAPUSAN said a few more words than other speakers. To say you lost 10 kilos

Dragos Manac presents Facebook Fan Pages  III. Mega Image Facebook Page Mega Image; Kinecto – LGnews Fanpage LG Electronics Romania II. Fan Page Sanoma Hearst Romania I.Decât o Revistă

JUstin Kadima from Kondiment presents microblogging projects III Inter(heart)ivity
MB Dragan II. uTweet INC3 I. Treeworks – INNA in FHM (May 2010 issue), the Twitter uncovering game Empire Music Management

Laurentiu Dumitrescu from Visual Star presents Other 2010 the most disputed category each year. III. – nu doar prin basme SC Winsoft Invent SRL II.Proiect special Mobexpert Mobexpert I. Iubesc Brasovul

Webstock conferences have ended. Join us for the party at Bangcock Gran Cafe at the WebStock Party starting 20.30.

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New Media (vs) PR? – The Flea Circus Illusion

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 18/02/2010

I believe if in the XXst century the new form of illiteracy was not knowing how to operate a computer, in the XXIst century the new form of illiteracy is not knowing how to use new media. There are two forms of thinking about communication:

The classic marketing & PR vs the new media marketing & PR.

I mean that in the deepest most practical way. It’s not online as a component, back old times, 10 years ago, when it was just a component of the marketing mix, it new media that’s structuring the way to communicate. It’s simpler.

For more and more products and brands, you don’t just have to be online, you have to do social precence in web 2.0. It’s not the marketer who does the planning and structures the communication anymore, it’ s the social networks, the communities that design the way the message will be communicated and the strategist has less power to control that which ends up at the receiver (audience, public), unless, of course, they (start to) understand the way it’s working.

The most even stunning thing is that new media is not an environment, it’s social dynamics. It’s not static. It’s changing, and the rules cannot be predetermined. If entrepreneurs have to learn to control systems in order to administrate their business, what they have to learn about the promotion in digital era is to let go of control.

I strongly recommend to any entrepreneur and strategist in the communication field to take a deep look at Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. The classic one in 1993. There are two discussions around which the film idea revolves.And I use this metaphor as what I consider to be an extremely strong example of what I mean.

The Jurassic Park metaphor

John Hammond is a brave entrepreneur who builds a whole new world on an island, to entertain people. He hopes he will be able to control what people haven’t controled ever: a dinosaur zoo. He relies on setting up a system that works like a clockwork.

Errare humanum est, therefore John is willing to learn from his mistake and eventually make it better (which, as a daring entrepreneur, he does), not understanding that the real lesson is not in the “How?” section, but in the “why?” section: all control is an illusion.

And, to illustrate this further, after you’ve watched the official trailer of Jurassic Park, please watch these fan-made trailers.

Which advertises you the best, this movie?The community-generated ones or the official corporate trailer?

New media illustrates the power of democracy.

In true democracy, as a difference to capitalism, the leaders don’t control the masses, the masses vote for the representation of their needs and desires in the upper ground. In social networking era, he who has the higher ground is not the winner, but is the most stuck. That’s why corporations’ systems are not their strongest point in communicating through web PR. This has never been achievable, in known history, at such a large scale, due to limitations of technology. But now, technology offers no more limitations, and a lot of freedom.

He who is most flexible has the most control, they say in NLP. Control is a form of power. What power do you have left, if not control? An answer might be responsability. And I do not mean corporate social responsability like in that channel for organizational PR. I mean responsability as a value of each individual communicator, of each organization which chooses to communicate through new media.

Marketing and PR become integrated

Values may seem too abstract, to out from concrete, but each value, may it be conscious or less conscious, determines a set of choices and actions. More people taking the same choices is a micro-trend. Many people taking the same choices is a trend. A trend determines a niche.

In classical communication, everybody knows that you have to have a marketing approach (to the market) and a PR approach (to the audience). In new media communication, it’s difficult to separate the two.

To illustrate this:  in talking about a niche, are you reffering to a market, or a public (audience)? You will find out it’s easier to find communities (audiences, publics) in web 2.0 if you think about a niche than it is to find a market. And you can measure that through  online media buying vs. affiliate marketing. Which will you pick, if you don’t have enough money? Will you choose advertising or PR? How will the strategists justify their recommendations made to their clients, based on the new dynamics of the markets… ups, audiences… or was it the other way around?

We are used to the market being dynamic and the most vivid players being the suppliers. The “Audiences” framing only inspire  “listening”. But new media proves that audiences can be very dynamic and not only that, but they can also outspeak a supplier. Especially in affiliate marketing, audiences determine markets, the opposite to the classical advertising approach, where markets determined audiences.

I read about a year ago an article [ro, php] that reflected the delay between new media and PR, in Romania. I believe that this gap will increase until either the communication consultancy providers will segment only to the big players, using classical approaches, either more and more of them will dissapear. That might happen because even if the many clients for niched marketing & PR services (the small businesses) will not drive the communication consulting market, the audiences will. Because the consumer behaviour has ultimately and irreversably changed in the new media era. And the only direction it’s going is more flexibility.

In the end, some food for your thoughts:

Are you ready enough to take the power witheout the control?

Do you consider the communities as audiences or as markets?

Do you consider your external communication static or dynamic?

Do you have enough community and market awarenesss to communicate with responsability?

Do you want to your business to still exist in the next 5 years?

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30 Predictions for Twitter

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 27/01/2010

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Twitter Behavior (If You Just Started)

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 08/10/2009

I’ve been on twitter for about 3 weeks now. You can follow me @analyticvision . I have made a few decisions concerning the behaviour on twitter which reflect my vision over networking, which I would like to share with you. First of all, Twitter is a tool. Abraham Maslow said once something like: “Beware of the one who has a hammer. He might see everything around as nails.”.

I started using twitter after participating at 2 events, RoTwitter Conference and Webstock. That means I saw a looooot of people talking about what to do and what not to do on twitter. I will follow up on that. But, more important, twitter is a tool for personal branding, which you want be use properly. Even if you don’t want to use it as a tool for personal branding, it doesn’t change the fact that it is.

Of course, twitter is easy to use. But beware how you use it. How come?

First of all, consider who’s on Twitter.

1. Who you follow says a lot of things about you. If, for example, somebody I don’t know asks me if I allow him or her to follow my tweets and doesn’t have anything about him / her on the profile, no link, and I don’t know the person, I look at what (s) he writes about and  who does (s)he follow. If you follow 4 people, out of which 1 is your neighbor, YOU ARE NOT RELEVANT.

Second, if you start writing, write interesting or at least decent things, so that people that have decided to follow you have what to read. What you write defines what perception your readers have on you. Remember each user starts getting your tweets after (s)he starts following you, which means…

2. Write only relevant things that share an interesting enough professional view for the people reading you. For example, I follow 100+ people. It’s not much, but if I would get in my stream only things like “I just woke up. Good morning” or “I just woke up. Bad morning.”, I would have the impression of wasting my time. Twitter is not YM. There are certain methods for relating on twitter. They are called  following, DM and RT. Or else, you will get Călin Fusu‘s reaction to Raluxa about which you can read here, among others.

Then, when you follow, at least follow people who write something. For example, I could follow Richard Bandler, or David Fincher, except for the fact they don’t write anything. So…

3. An empty shining basket won’t be very useful for you. It’s just like the guys who wear terrrible sunglasses just to show off, only showing not having any awareness about how to choose them. If you “follow” celebrities that don’t write anything, you might look like somebody who’s on twitter just to show off. Twitter is about content.

Twitter, by its nature is a very PUBLIC environment. One of the things that will happen when people are following you will be to quote you. So, if you are relevant, somebody else might capitalize by retweeting you. That’s not a danger by itself. What I mean is… Why do you care to select people you allow to follow you?

For example, I got following requests from: spammers, a guy that was pro-legalizing drugs and wrote nothing original on his blog for a month, a woman performing some sort of strange ritual, chat girls etc. I decided not to allow these people to watch my streamline, because I have a responsibility towards my content and how it is used. So…

4. Being relevant on Twitter is hard work. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality. It doesn’t matter how much followers you have, it matters that they are in your target. Think of it as a tool to exercise focused communication. You have a public. You have a message. You have intelligence. Use them. For example, I have 41 followers on twitter. I know it’s not much, but I am proud of each of them, for I have checked them. All of them. I went to their page, checked their tweets, checked their web page, who they follow, who follows them. If you want to be relevant, be relevant to the right people!

Then, use twitter as your real-time information source. I used to read about the events from or from newsletters, not to mention large masses have the illusion that information is on TV. I still use web 1.0, but if I follow the right people, the events and all the relevant news will come to me. As a conclusion…

5. There is a difference between data and information. If you are on Twitter, you can get information from the sources you trust. Welcome to the real world!

Three of the other reasons why my tweets are protected, which means you can’t see what I write about unless I allow you to, are:

6. Privacy. When I write something about what I am doing now, in my life, I am sharing something which tells about me: what I am doing, what I am not doing, what I think, what I read, who I read, what I consider to be relevant, how much I interact, how many people follow me, who follows me, etc.

Your personal life is life and it should stay personal. Beware of how much and what you put out there. You cannot modify your tweets. It’s not like a wordpress post that you can edit how you like. Once you put it out there, you can only keep it or delete it.You won’t believe how much real information can get from you someone who just has access to some of your information.

7. If you have the possibility to know your public for free, why not use it? It’s basically a tool that allows you to know exactly who is interested enough to read what you write about. And when I write exactly, I mean it! If you keep your tweets protected, everyone who wants to read it will have to send you a request. You can then watch their information and select who you allow to read your profile.

8. Scarcity. If you know that not anyone (including any guy wandering on google who doesn’t even know what twitter is) can see somebody’s profile, it doesn’t make it so interesting, right? You are not attracted by what anyone can get. And you have all the reasons for it. Twitter is for intelligent people who know how to use it.

Another 2 things I just want to add are…

9. It’s really indicated to read what the people you follow write about, it’s a proof of interaction and presence, not to mention good sense. Of course, you may have periods when you don’t  follow for a week, like I did last week. You don’t have to spend an hour a day reading tweets, accessing links and Re-tweeting, but if you do that, the level at which you live your life might just substantially improve. Another thing you might be careful with is the more people you follow, the shorter the period covered by the 3200 tweets you may visualize from them can be.

10.Twitter is the greatest tool for self-discipline concerning the sources of information, meaning you have to choose.

For any further advice on how to use twitter, I suggest you consult Twitter Help. If you liked this article, please recommend the link, send it on twitter and/or comment on it. Also, please link/embed here as a comment any other relevant resources on how to use twitter which you might know. Thank you.




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Impressions from Webstock 2009

Posted by Ştefan Alexandrescu on 19/09/2009

Yesterday I’ve been at Webstock. In a brief, I’ll give you a 360 degrees tour of the presentations and people I’ve talked to (met again or recently met).

I’ve entered the first session when Michael Köster from Microsoft was finishing his speech on user experience story. Ştefan Tănase from Kaspersky LAB (by the way, I won a Kaspersky LAB Licence for 1 computer 1 year, at the Kaspersky contest for the Webstock participants) made a very useful and insightful presentation on the doomsday that might just fall on you if you use social media, especially twitter and facebook. Now seriously, it was useful to know how to be aware of some of the dangers specific to web 2.0 affect your social networking activity.

Coming in tone with the precedent presentation, Bogdana Butnar’s “Room raiders 24/7 – How your social persona lets everyone peek into your personal life” was, in her own inconfundable style, a combination of good-sense advice on promoting your personal brand (by the way, Călin Fusu said at the gala he unfollowed Raluxa , altough he later forgave her, for tweeting thing un-related to professional life) and careful sightseeing into the future of social networking for real privacy. This is also related to how you can get rather rejected more than to get accepted on a job from what you post on your social media networking accounts.

Sharifah Amirah, from Frost & Sullivan, having an extended experience with the Asia and Europe markets, has shown us some interesting demographics, completing the ideas started by Ştefan Tănase and Bogdana Butnar. Interesting presentation. And also great time keeping.

Stephanie Jackson presented some tendencies in Mobile marketing and mobile internet services that Vodafone is studying and aplying on the Romanian market. I was surprised to find out that 17 % of the internet users from Romania are connected using mobile solutions. It made me really think on getting a phone on which I could really use internet. I talked later with Alexandru Damian, who recommended me some HTC phones. I was wondering, knowing that the Koreans have been working especially for other big brands, how reliable are they really, but he assured me that since a year ago, they have been developing the brand and the proper technology to offer usability. I know that Mihai Mafteianu would probabably get mad considering for example HTC over iPhone, but I’m seriously considering the advantages… I’ll read some more on it, and maybe I’ll decide.

Mihai Pricope from Adobe had a brilliant product presentation for a new product for collaboration. I considered it a sort of platform for video conferencing, with the focus on offering for up to 5 people for free the posibility to work on a document together.

Radu Ionescu had a great presentation on the LG contest in the spring, renewing the quirrel between Bobby Voicu and Manafu. I think that maybe Cristi put Bobby to present the “others section” last night at the gala to get back on him for not winning the contest organized by Radu. Anyway, brilliant concept, great structure for presenting. And now, a social campaign. Great work. Radu and Kinecto really ruled yesterday.

During the break, I talked to Diana Petrescu, who told me about a great ideea of content website for which she’s looking for authors, I really thought it would be great to see it accomplished. In a small talk, we made Social Geek leave by talking to Diana about inspiration. Val joined us while we were talking about the political messages concerning the women’s status in Star Trek: The Next Generation, than we turned back to business. Val is setting up the affiliate marketing for Viorel at Taskwriter.

Val recommended me to talk to Radu Spîneanu from 2 parale about a product I want to market. It was no surprise for me that after his presentation everybody wanted to talk to him. But he was really very nice and very available. He gave me a very generous business idea for a project. I just have to get a programer to develop it. But for the moment I don’t have the time for it. The idea stands, I’ll think about it.

After the break, I’ve been at 2 design presentations – very technical and very boring, even for the people there in the room. It was basically Tudor Muscalu from Adobe vs. Michael Koster from Microsoft. I was kind of wondering how were their presentations different from a video tutorial… There were enough specialists at the presentation to generate a… user experience.

Anyway, leaving the designers’ presentations and coming to blogging section, I admired Costin Cocioabă’s presentation based on the experience with . Beyond the figures, that were really impressive, he underlind the importance of properly launching your niche blog. And what is specific for a niceh blog.

Then, Cătălin Zorzini had just a terrible presentation on a great topic, basing his demonstration on a website from US. The content was interesting… skipping the fact that he was reading the slides and translating them into Romanian… But he is an Inspired Mag. He made some people fall into trance. At a certain point, out of boredom, the whole line of chairs where I was staying left.

Then I went to the microblogging section, where Adrian Ciubotariu had a very thourogh presentation, then Viorel Spînu proved how you can get customers by Twitter applications, by taking photos of the participants and putting them on Twitter. It was quite a show. Then, Adi Soare succeeded to get thing thrown at him (don’t worry, it was planned & directed) by making a concept proof of how not to do marketing on twitter. I considered his 10 principles coming to continuate Bogdana’s ideas presented in the morning.

Ciprian Stavăr, from Spixii made the presentation about how to make money from twitter. The first, the longuest and the most uninteresting part was the first half, the “what I’m going to tell you about” part. But in the end, it payed off. I asked Călin if he considers microblogging jobs will be posted on BestJobs. He was rather interested in a method to aggregate all these, that Adi Soare suggested he could do by following the hashtags from Twitter and integrateing them into a strem on BestJobs. Călin thinks rather that microblogging jobs will be posted on Twitter, and not on classic channels – which I think makes sense, but also Adi Soare’s suggestion I think wouldn’t hurt.

I met Cristina Mitu and I was surprised to find out how dedicated she is on puttin energy into PR. I also appreciated her balance between openness and skepticism. I have to talk to her some more on some niched business networking ideas I want to develop in collaboration.

Also, I met Mălina who writes about anything using different styles, which I found challenging. I read some of her tweets and her blog, but at Webstock I actually met her and had a verz good impression. I would have liked to talk more, but the frame wasn’t set for it.

I met Florin Grozea, who was a little bit in a hurry.

Also, I met Sorin Rusi, and we’ve talked about different visions about what “personal branding” means. I was talking about personal branding, which by the way, involves online reputation management, not about identity exposure. I think unfortunately Sorin is used to using terms he does not understand. I recommend wikipedia for this – check out the links from this paragraph – and also the post I have updated, postponed for Sunday (for reviewing) – a conclusion from the discussions I had at Offline 2.0 with Adrian Ciubotaru, Anca Baniţă and with Sorin Rusi at Webstock.

I congratulated Viorel Spînu and Gabriel Nedelea at the gala, then I was glad to meet again Vladimir.

Before leaving, I socialised with Dragoş Grijincu, who is about to launch online sales after already having a great success with search engine marketing and online advertising, with Anca Baniţă and with Octavian Rizea from Metromind.

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