On the bus to the Pittsburgh airport, I was listening to new-marketing guru Joseph Jaffe’s podcast, waiting to hear if my submission of an Experimentation Case Study would be chosen as the winner among five entries. I could have fast forwarded to find out, but I listened to every last competing entry and then–drum roll please–the decision. Joseph turned the Decider’s job over to his sponsor, Real Pie Media’s Kirk Skodis, who selected my submission and one other as tossups for the prize. In the end, Kirk chose the other guy, UPDATE: Adam Broitman for Virtualive.tv . [Jay Berkowitz , who submitted the story of an iPod giveaway by Omniture three years ago that successfully got the word out on their software product.]
I was delighted to come so close, especially since the comments by Joseph and Kirk on my submission were so supportive. I told them about my experiment of doing a live Second Life demonstration August 29th at the National Association of Independent Artists (NAIA) meeting in Lancaster, PA. Joseph called it “very impressive” and said he was clapping his hands at one point, going, “Hercules! Hercules! Hercules!” urging my Second Life avatar on. He said my comment that “if your avatar falls in the lake, it ain’t fatal” could be a metaphor for experimentation. Kirk was impressed that I was a sincere evangelist, opening the audience’s eyes to possibilities I was excited about, which is the role he and other marketers often find themselves in as they approach clients with new-media opportunities.
Joseph’s podcast, which he will rename in the next episode, always makes me think.
I subscribe to several other excellent marketing podcasts, including Christopher Penn and John Wall’s Marketing Over Coffee, Mitch Joel’s Six Pixels of Separation, Anna Farmery’s The Engaging Brand, and CC Chapman’s Managing the Gray. I find Joseph to be the most intellectually adventurous of the group. He is not afraid to venture well beyond what’s known and accepted about new media and social networks, as in the sponsorships-for-gear experiment that brought Kirk Skodis to Joseph’s podcast in return for a brand-new laptop computer. The result was five solid case studies of experimentation in the contest, and strong Across the Sound podcast episodes in which Kirk and Joseph discussed the importance of experimenting in the midst of an actual experiment which sparked a lot of comment in the marketing-sphere, not all of it supportive.
The result of my modest part in Joseph’s project is a greatly renewed personal commitment to keep experimenting in my own work as an evangelist for technology to the arts. Taking risks in this new creative space is huge fun. And as long as you’re learning how to do things better, you always come up a winner.