“Social and Mobile are Eating the World” – Inbound Marketing Summit 2012

It was with that quote that Inbound Marketing Summit NYC began, on a crisp, clear February day.  Inbound Marketing Summit, or IMS, is a 2 day conference, combining digital, social, and mobile marketing, and it made its first foray into NYC with this year’s conference.  Unfortunately, I was only able to attend Day 1 of this incredible conference, but wanted to bring you my thoughts on it.

With speakers ranging from Chris Brogan, Laura Fitton, Trip Kucera, and Barry Libert, we were provided with cutting-edge content and real world case studies from some great companies, including Nike and Alure Home Improvements.

The morning began with a keynote speech from Barry Libert, Founder of OpenMatters, where he discussed how Nike has radically changed their marketing strategy, and is going where the customers are – social and mobile.  It was eye opening, when Libert spoke about degrees of separation, and how just one degree of separation could equal 11,000 people!

This led right into Trip Kucera’s talk about the hidden sales cycle, and how companies are using social media for demand generation.  Kucera is a senior research analyst with The Aberdeen Group, and discussed how the best-in-class companies are integrating social media with existing channels, and how they are much more likely to be listening to their customers than the average businesses.

In addition to case studies of some of the biggest companies, we learned the 7 Rules for Content Marketing from Allen Bonde, CMO of The Pulse Network (the IMS Sponsor).  These rules include:

  1. Teach – Make content educational.  Think in episodes;
  2. Tap experts – Use thought leaders, whether from your community or not;
  3. Totally easy – make it dead simple to subscribe to the content, to share it, and to contribute to it;
  4. Translate – Repurpose each piece of content;
  5. Takeaway – make sure there is a clear message and clear call to action;
  6. Track – analyze how users consume, and share your content, and encourage link building; and
  7. Think Transmedia – bridge the on-line and off-line worlds.

There were also panels on Email Marketing, which included panelists from Constant Contact, Sprinklr, and The Pulse Network.  But the highlight for me was the appearance of Chris Brogan, whose afternoon keynote, Cultivating Visibility: How to Amplify the Human Digital Channel made every great speaker even better.

I will admit, Chris Brogan is an idol.  He is one of the idols I was talking about (although not mentioned by name) in my article, Our Idols are Only People.  I have read just about everything he has written, and am a long-time subscriber to his blog, and he brought that same brand of irreverence to the IMS.  We got to listen to him speak about how we need to make our customers the hero, and we do this by sharing their stories, since they really don’t care about us.  We learned that we need to cultivate visibility, since attention is currency in this new medium.  And by cultivating visibility, we earn leverage with our supporters.

Finally, he synthesized what had been said all day, that we must reach people where they are.

To me, IMS was a great success, and I look forward to next year, when they promise that it will be bigger and better!
Did you get an opportunity to visit the Inbound Marketing Summit?  What did you think?  Who were your favorites?  What could have been done better?


Craig E. Yaris is the owner of EsquireTech Solutions, which helps small business get found on the social web, whether through Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, he can both teach you the effective use of any social network or act as your social media manager, enabling you to reach your clients where they are and when they want to hear from you.  He can teach your organization the social media best practices that can help you use the tools of today to cost-effectively increase your bottom line.  EsquireTech Solutions brings the social web to your business.  Visit EsquireTech Solutions or call 516-495-9107.


Venture Pitch 2012 [Event]

Thursday,  March 15th 2012
Leonard’s of Great Neck
555 Northern Boulevard
10:00AM – 3:00PM

Business owners should enjoy Venture Pitch, produced by Expos Your Business in partnership with Advantage Payroll Services and based on a concept by Ana Carill-Grumberg, Internet filmmaker to Deepak Chopra, Global.  It will feature a well-known panelist from the big hit ABC television series Shark Tank, Daymond John.  Joining Daymond will be Rob Basso, President of Advantage Payroll Services.

The panelist include Bruce Zutler of the Inventors Association of Manhattan as well as Luis Cuneo from IBM Global Diversity Business Leadership. Venture Pitch, produced by Expos Your Business in partnership with Advantage Payroll Services and based on a concept by Ana Carill-Grumberg, Internet filmmaker to Deepak Chopra, Global, will be a part of EXPOS Your Business and NY Multicultural Business Expo that will be taking place at Leonard’s of Great Neck.

Why Attend?

Shaping up to be a very exciting morning, Venture Pitch, produced by Expos Your Business in partnership with Advantage Payroll Services and based on a concept by Ana Carill-Grumberg, Internet filmmaker to Deepak Chopra, Global, will be filled with new ideas and businesses who are focused and competing to take their own operations to new levels. All competitors will be charged with convincing the panel of judges that their idea should win the top prize. Produced by Expos Your Business, Venture Pitch will be an enjoyable breakfast with some top-notch business marketer entertainment.

Business owners who are looking for new ways to market their products or services will be able to take part in this unique business expo that is focused on helping to stimulate local economies while still promoting appreciation and awareness of cultural diversities. The NY Multicultural Business Expo will be supply a rare opportunity for many individuals or businesses to network in one of the fastest growing elements of our business population, the multicultural market.

There will be sponsors and vendors from many nationalities that will be representing companies that are working to build their own customer bases to help increase their own personal circles of influence. Mark Neuwirt, President of Expos Your Business and organizer of the event, shares that even though the event is not a massive one noted on a national scale, it is the first for the Long Island and NYC area and it has already elicited a high volume of response.

Who Will be Attending?

Reps from the LIDC, Empire State Development, National Grid, the US SBA, and the NYS Governor’s Office on Asian Affairs will be participating. Expos Your Business is partnering with Nassau County to extend outreach to those businesses that are minority owned by supplying them with relevant information as well as helpful panels and seminars on multicultural marketing, public speaking, minority business development, funding, social media, securing government contracts, and more.

Many local, regional, and national media venues have and continue to actively promote the EYB to their English speaking and ethnic communities. Entertainment will include a brief musical performance by the Asian-American Cultural Circle of Unity. There will be food tasting throughout the day supplied by local restaurants beginning around 1pm.  Neuwirt offers the reasons behind the EYB.

“Globalism has come to Long Island and beyond its borders and we embrace it wholeheartedly.”

Tickets to the event are $60 and attendance is free with preregistration. VenturePitch 2012 is taking place at Leonard’s of Great Neck in New York, kicking off the NY Multicultural Expo. For submission details or more information, please visit tinyurl.com/VP2012 or call 516-931-0540.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Facebook Facelift From the Inside Out

Far brighter minds than mine have started and will continue to explore and explain the facelift that facebook is once again giving itself. First it was timelines for profiles (these are for our personal not professional or business use). Many surrendered to this initial makeover kicking and screaming. Personally, I loved the change since I would rather post and look at photos and images most of the time, anyway. Now, we have been informed by facebook that as of March 30, 2012 all facebook pages (these are the business/professional ones) will have the timeline format, as well. They are in preview now and none but the hardy are taking the plunge. Most marketers a very hardy. 

the icon for the facebook conference for marketers held 2.29.12

The icon for the facebook conference for marketers with a slight facelift of some red and yellow. Original icon in blue and white © facebook.

Murmurs of protestation have already begun. But I decided to jump right in and give it a try as I did with my personal profile. I liked that change. I had no objections to it. So I assumed the same would be true of the pages makeover. As I began to explore this latest facelift, I realized it might not be as simple as I initially thought. I got a bit concerned about all those great tabs, apps and other features I had begun to explore, conquer and love. 

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

The first facebook conference for Marketers 2.29.2012

But then I was reminded of the conference facebook gave in NYC this past week and the webinar given by Lujure that will be repeated next week. My faith was restored. With this information and the help of my colleagues, even I would eventually get it, again.

The Lujure webinar

The Lujure.com software and webinar information. To be held on March 6, 2012

So I started with what came easiest to me, the covers. It reminded me of grade school when we had to write book reports. I was not much of a reader or writer then but I loved to do the cover artwork. In that same spirit, I found some images I had made over the last few years for the various websites that correlated to my facebook pages and began to install them as my covers. Then I got a comment from a friend on facebook:

A quote from Rick Milne about the facebook page covers and the rules to make them

The Rules for Facebook Page Covers

Here is what Rick Milne was referring to courtesy of  a source from Craig Yaris’ sources.
This is # 6 on the list of 7:

7 Crucial Things About Timeline For Facebook Pages
The cover photo can be up to 850 pixels by 315 pixels but may not contain any of the following:

  • Price or purchase information, such as “40 percent off” or “Download it at our website.”
  • Contact information, such as web address, email, mailing address or other information intended for your Page’s About section.
  • References to user interface elements, such as Like or Share, or any other Facebook site features.
  • Calls to action, such as “Get it now” or “Tell your friends.”

Oh dear, there I was again. Using old technology thinking for 4th dimension communication and expression. Well, back to the drawing board I went. In this case, it was to Photoshop on my computer. I really let my mind go and took flight of fantasy. Here was an opportunity to be as creative and expressive as I wanted. So I began.

This is my contribution to the facebook facelift from the inside out. Combining my spirit as a visual artist, my training as a graphic designer and my decades of experience in various design disciplines, I began to create unique and creative visions for my page covers.

I have begun to get a positive reaction to my cover art. I am proud to include a comment I made to Lujure.com and the personal response made by Nathan Latka, owner of Lujure.com. I sent him one of my designs. It is at the end of this post. I am saving the best for last.

Here is my comment and his personal reply on facebook:

Nathan Latka's comment on my facebook cover page design

Owner of Lujure.com, Nathan Latka, replied to my comment on his site.

First, I would like to share a two covers; an original designs which was rejected for reasons explained underneath it:

The original cover for Little Bytes of Art with logo, too much type, cluttered and ad like.

One needs to keep it simple. This is meant to be a brand statement not an ad or promo.

The follow up comment I made to the posting of the above design is, “This cover does not work. It is too crowded, looks too much like an ad and is promotional rather than creative. I have redone it more in the spirit of what facebook is looking for from us in making creative, inspired artwork.”

Here is the replacement. It is based on a painting my husband did of me, wearing one of my hats, holding up one of my decorative painted pots. I use the entire painting as my avatar. The cover is a sliver of the painting to make a statement:

The cover for LIttle Bytes of Art on my facebook page.

A simple statement branding 'Little Bytes of Art, Wearable & Shareable Art'

And for dessert, I would like to share my two favorite designs. One is for Alison*s Heirloom Projects facebook page:

The cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

The brand and cover for Alison*s Heirloom Projects

This one is for the Marketing Bytes Blog facebook page:

The brand for the Marketing Bytes Blog

Branding the Marketing Bytes Blog new facebook page

I would like to know what you think and I would love to see what you are coming up with. So please send me your comments and your links. Thank you and have fun, too. I have just one final word. The dramatic change facebook is making has a lot to do with branding. And branding is very much about simple statements mostly with the clever and creative manipulation of images and pictures. Bear in mind the saying. ‘A picture is worth a thousand words.’


Alison Gilbert is the Digital Age Storyteller. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz.

Located on Long Island, New York, MARKETING BYTES serves clients virtually everywhere. This boutique style – very personal service –  hybrid company specializes in helping local/small businesses generate sales leads by transitioning from traditional advertising to online marketing. E-mail us at info@marketingbytes.biz.


Did you try? A Look at the data from #SMWsmac [InfoGraphic]

What can you do in 16 days? Try!

With just under a month before Social Media Week 2012, it came to our attention that NYC did not have a daylong event that was tailored to teach the small business owners and professionals how Social Media is and can be used. On Feb 1st, 2012 dbmei authors decided to launch Social Media Action Camp! The event which a few days later became an official part of Social Media Week was set for Feb 16th 2012 at the Roger Smith Hotel in NYC.

Data provided by Synthesio , and a few other sources .

The event tag #smwsmac generated over 1,000 tweets! Which represents about 5% of the social media activity in New York City. The Social Influencers reached over 116,000 followers and generated tweets in 15 countries globally!

In addition to the info from Synthesio, we also know that:

  • 102 people  attended throughout the day
  • 128 viewers at one time on LiveStream
  • 976 views on the Live Stream Channel
  • 1484 tweets to date #smwsmac
  • 71 check-ins on foursquare to the Roger Smith Hotel

The Official Social Media Week event page hosted on SocialMediaWeek.org generated 177 Facebook “Likes”, 250 “shares” on LinkedIn and 834 tweets that did not feature #smwsmac as a tag. Making the event the most socially shared event for ALL Social Media Week 2012 globally!

The Social@Olgivy Movers & Shakers platform supported by Kred featured organizer @BasilPuglisi as the top influencer for Feb 16th and both @BasilPuglisi and @dbmei as the top 5 influencers for the following day Feb 17th 2012.

The event was a mix of speakers featuring some of the digital names like Google, Klout, Synthesio, StumbleUpon, EmpireAvenue & Constant Contact. The event featured digital media professionals like David Meerman Scott, Amy Vernon, Mardy Sitzer, and Lujure’s Nathan Latka. Lisa A Burns, representing Corning Inc.,  spoke about the wonder of how a Fortune 500 Company used YouTube to capture more than 17 million views. Then the dbmei authors Bill Corbett Jr., Jeff Ogden, Craig Yaris and Basil C. Puglisi contributed their take on using social media to generate action!

The real success resulted from the response that the attendees reported.   The mix of content and style presented,  generated useful information in many areas with actionable advice and solutions.

“The diverse group of presenters offered extremely valuable best practices and actionable advice. It was also nice attending a social media event that didn’t cater to newbie’s or skeptics”  said David Gise

The event exemplified the point that “you don’t know till you try”, and while we have a long list of things we can do to make the next event even better, it’s an important point for dbmei as well as the individuals involved to say not only did we try, but we succeeded. If you take nothing else away from the article, we hope that when a opportunity presents itself, you be so bold as to try and make it happen.


Social Media Week Made Manhattan Move for #SMWsmac

An attendee at our event submitted a wonderful poem about his experience at the Social Media Week Social Media Action Camp event. #SMWsmac

Social Media Week Made Manhattan Move

By Serge Zenin

Social Media Week made Manhattan move;
Networking and negotiating, we never grew numb;
Give out a business card and go with the groove;
I’ll friend you on Facebook, wherever you’re from;

Developers need diagrams drawn by art directors;
Bloggers benefit as they beckon a bigger crowd;
Consultants collaborate with crafty data collectors;
Programmers pick projects that make guru’s proud;

Puglisi Consulting prudently puts people together;
Implementing inactive ideas with inherent passion;
If a logo looks cold let’s lightly add a little leather;
If a fangate’s too flashy let’s frame it with fashion;

Social Media Week electrified the wire that conducts;
It’s about providing solutions, not selling products!

Serge Zenin is the founder and director of BD at Media Contours, an NYC based PR and marketing company. When he’s not working, Serge enjoys writing poetry about relationships, love, modern phenomenon, and various other topics. If you would like Serge to poetically capture the essence of your business or your event, please contact sergezeninpoetry@gmail.com with your request.

Empire Avenue CEO Shares the Lowdown on the Future of Missions at #SMWsmac

Empire Avenue has been generating a bit of buzz lately with the inclusion of Missions on their Social Media engagement platform. Duleepa Wijayawardhana, also known as “Dups” to most everyone, is the Co-Founder and CEO of Empire Avenue, and gave an outstanding visual of what users of Empire Avenue can expect from their platform in the near future.

Missions Current Status

Dups shared that Empire Avenue encourages a unique type of engagement that requires users to invest currency in others to earn rewards, as well as to create the potential for higher engagement. Users take their investments and engage with them through a set of tools. One of those tools is known as Missions, in short, allows users to reward people and create engagement using Empire Avenue’s virtual currency.

Missions are a great way to engage and expand on your followers with your content. Ric Williams shared a brief demo of how missions worked and then created one for attendees to give them an idea of how easy it is to create even a rather complicated mission, to reach maximum users, with the least effort.

To create a mission users will input a title, create a mission summary, choose how many eaves, or Empire Avenue currency to give for successfully completed missions, and go.  Rick emphasizes,

“Using missions on EA are all about engagement and getting good feedback on your content, it’s not just about promoting likes.”


The Future of Missions

Dups once again took the mike to explain some of the most interesting things about their new mission system. “It’s really about rewarding actions around the web.” The future of missions is just around the corner, however, Dups also shared that the system is still currently in beta, with only users of heightened levels being able to initiate a mission, while everyone is able to participate. The future of missions will be as simple or as complicated as your own imagination and any limitations of social networks. EA will be creating more unique methods of user engagement that is rewarding and fun. This is one of the reason Empire Avenue refers to it as social media rocket fuel,

Empire Avenue can help users expand, get their engagement, and then evaluate. Things that each and every business taking advantage of social networking for consumer engagement need the most. Dups stressed that engaging users with fun, the chance for connection, and rewards can be incredibly successful.

Don’t forget to watch the entire panel to get some more behind the scenes knowledge about Empire Avenue during the questions and answers section.


Joy Lynskey is the owner of JRL Solutions, a copywriting and content management company based in Bedford, Virginia. JRL Solutions hosts a Freelance Writers Education Blog that is managed by direct and guest posting. Joy is the Content Manager and Editor for Puglisi Consulting Group at Digital Brand Marketing Education. Joy regularly works in SMM via freelance consulting  private clients with their social media campaigns.


Innovative Sales Expert and Best-Selling Author Shines at #SMWSMAC

February 16, 2012 marked the 4th official year for the DBMEI- hosted Social Media Action Camp (#SMAC), in New York. #SMAC, for those who are unfamiliar, is a one-day Cover of "Marketing Lessons from the Grat...conference in which attendees participate in seminars and presentations designed for small business owners, social media buffs, and entrepreneurs to learn more about how social media and networks can be used to promote products, businesses and ideas. Held at the Roger Smith Hotel in New York City, #SMAC featured presentations by an array of professionals in the sales, marketing, and media field. Among these experts were Jeff Goldberg of JG&A, MAD Marketing TV host Jeff Ogden, and author David Merman Scott, writer of the best-selling book, The New Rules of Marketing and P&R.

Revolutionized Business Relationships

Jeff Goldberg, President of JG&A, gave a powerful presentation in regards to how the Internet, cellphones, Facebook, Twitter and other social media have revolutionized sales and business relationships, with a strong emphasis on how we should not become so dependent on technology that we forget how to communicate on an interpersonal level.

“Certainly things have changed in terms of communication,” Goldberg said, “and sales people tend to want to use the forms of communication that they are most comfortable with. But that’s not always the best way to communicate with your prospects and customers. So what you have to consider is that, yes, technology is great, but you have to communicate with people in the way that they want.”

While Goldberg stressed the relevance of traditional interpersonal communications, he also he emphasized that Linked In and other social media are also powerful tools to gain a large number of contacts, with message boards and discussions playing a major part in the success. It was Goldberg’s sales strategies; however, that provided the audience with irreplaceable advice concerning sales negotiations, setting appointments, ice breakers, how to close sales, the products people buy, and how to turn a prospect into a customer.

Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead

Another highlighted event was Mad Marketing TV host Jeff Ogden’s teleconference with David Meerman Scott. Scott, a keynote speaker and best-selling author, joined the event to discuss his latest book, Marketing Secrets of the Grateful Dead. Scott regaled Ogden and the audience with anecdotes on how Grateful Dead’s lead singer Jerry Garcia and his band created a different business model from other musical acts by bypassing ticket sellers such as TicketMaster, and allowing fans to make bootleg tapes and videos.

Scott’s main theme was to illustrate how the Grateful Dead were the harbingers of what we now call social media and marketing concepts, a concept that was well received by the audience. By changing the rules of the game, so to speak, the band’s new business model was innovative and adaptable, as Scott pointed out.

In addition to Marketing Lessons from the Grateful Dead, which he co-wrote with Brian Halligan, Scott has written six books, including the novel Eyeball Wars. Scott is a former Marketing Vice President, with over 15 years of experience in the media industry. At present, his blog, Web Ink Now, is ranked by Adage Power 150 as one of the world’s best marketing blogs.

A native Georgian, Leigh Egan holds a special fondness for the Peach State and enjoys contributing and interacting with the community. After attending Kennesaw State University, where she majored in English, Leigh has been a freelance writer and editor for the past 10 years. Her eclectic selections of articles and academic research cover a wide range of topics and can be found on various sites and publications. As a ghost writer and book editor, Leigh has worked on several print books and e-books dealing with education, employment, philosophy, parenting, pregnancy and teen issues. In her spare time, Leigh is an avid reader who enjoys spending time with her husband and 10-year-old daughter, who also has a passion for writing and aspires to become a writer in the future.

SES New York Conference and Expo 2012 [Event]

March 19 – 23
Hilton New York
1335 Ave Americas
New York, NY 10019

The SES Conference and Expo is a series of conferences and events in which a special focus is given to best practices, tips, and trends in many different areas.

  • SEO
  • PPC
  • RTBEnglish: Avinash Kaushik
  • Demand Gen
  • Mobile
  • Social
  • Local

The SES events provide leadership instruction from some of the industry’s top experts. As usual, SES New York will have some highly recognized and respected professionals to educate attendees.

Just after morning coffee on Tuesday March 20th, Avinash Kaushik, Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, will be a key speaker on the topic of balancing multiple media channels and leveraging the Clear Line of Sight model to help ensure business owners are optimizing across all important business drivers. Avinash is also the author of two bestselling books: Web Analytics 2.0, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day, of which 100% of the proceeds go to his favorite charities.  Be sure to come to the keynote to learn which top four business drivers Avinash believes are most vital to your growth.

After Avinash’s set there will be five simultaneous sessions that attendees can choose from.

The Tools of the Trade for SEO

This session will help if you are a party responsible for a business’s SEO. Attendees will learn about up-to-date tools that will help you more efficiently accomplish your daily tasks such as:

  • Diagnosing and Correcting Issues
  • Indexing
  • Competitive Analysis
  • On-Site Optimization
  • Site and Page Level Information

Paid Search Competitive Analysis

It is part of any essential business plan to understand the particular strengths and weaknesses of the competition. The knowledge can be invaluable when it comes to learning which links you should acquire, what to pay for ads, which content you should offer, and the customer base you would like to gain. With moderator Andrew Goodman,  of the SES Advisory Board, who is President of Page Zero Media and fantastic speakers Stephanie Bailey the Client Manager for Adlucent and Matt Van Wagner, President of Find Me Faster, attendees are certain to take away vital information about new trends in tools and analysis as well as other information critical to understanding your toughest competitors.

Crossing the Digital Divide: The Leap from Search to Display

In many cases, display advertising can lack in the areas of placement, targeted pricing, and ROI of search. Three notable speakers will share fresh takes on media models for your business.

These speakers will present an intro to DSPs and ad exchanges, overviews of new display optimization strategies, and give plenty of advice for those already experienced search marketers who would like to take the leap into exchange-traded display.

Search Engine Marketing 101

This intro session will supply attendees with a comprehensive overview of all of the key concepts involved in search engine marketing. The speaker will be Bill Hunt from the SES Advisory Board and President of Back Azimuth Consulting. Attendees can expect to have vital SEM questions answered such as:

  • How can my site be best optimized to attract organic traffic without excess costs?
  • What are the major search engines that I should be concerned about?
  • How can I achieve high ranking or placement with search engine ad opportunities?

The last session for this conference hour is soon to be determined.

DBMEi Subscriber Discount

The SES has an incredible agenda prepared so do not miss out on your chance to attend or the opportunity to get a great discount for doing so just for being a DBMEi subscriber. Head to the registration and pricing page for SES New York 2012 and be sure to enter the code DBM20 for a 20% discount on your price.


@BasilPuglisi is the Executive Director and Publisher for Digital Brand Marketing Education (dbmei.com). Basil C. Puglisi is also the President of Puglisi Consulting Group, Inc. A Digital Brand Marketing Consultancy that manages professional and personal branding for Fortune 500 CEOs, Hedge Fund Managers and Small Business Owners.


Group Commerce for Publisher-Based eCommerce Solutions: #SocialCommerce

Recently, I sat down to an impromptu interview with the CEO of Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt, to learn more about what publisher-based ecommerce solutions can offer to more traditional form of media that may be lacking digital presence.

What is Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is a platform for publishers who want to integrate ecommerce into a successful element of their business. Group Commerce serves three groups that help to make their ecommerce program work.

  1. Consumers
  2. Merchants
  3. Publishers

Group Commerce’s technology was designed to support, from the ground up, the unique lists of needs that brands and media companies require. Their enterprise-grade platform doubles as a command center for a publisher’s ecommerce program as well. There is nothing else like it anywhere.  Group Commerce understands exactly what it take to succeed. The professional services offered provide all of the needed elements to ensure that their publishers succeed in ecommerce.

Founded in 2010, Group Commerce is backed by several popular names such as Carmel Ventures, Lerer Ventures, Spark Capital, and Bob Pittman. Group Commerce has some top-notch clients in names such as Chegg.com, Boston.com, CBS Local, DailyCandy, the New York Times, and many more. Based in New York City, Group Commerce now has over 100 employees in 11 major cities.

When asked about the publisher based ecommerce solutions provided by Group Commerce, Jonty Kelt shared with me, “We created group commerce with a mission to enable audience owners, to succeed in ecommerce. This is anyone with an audience, website owners, newsletter businesses, TV, radio, print and more. The brands have to engage with intelligence and integrity, so that they add value to their relationship with their audience. This can give traditional or ad based media companies more revenue stream, more engagement with their audience, attract new audience members and for some solid media based businesses, it can give them more relevance in a digital world.”

Before we wrapped up our interview I definitely had to pose to him a question that is near and dear to publications like DBMEi.

Since there is such a huge market now for content relating to the practices of digital marketing, social media and other similar services, how do you see Group Commerce fitting in for the smaller publishers? How can you begin to monetize platforms such as multi-blogger sites like DBMEi?

Jonty Kelt: We currently have an initiative in our engineering department focusing on building a ladder of service solutions which will enable smaller publishers such as bloggers, smaller websites and audiences to turn ecommerce onto their sites as well.

How Can I Get in on Group Commerce?

Group Commerce is rather picky about the publishers they work with. For the most part, applicants must have several of at least six unique qualifications.

  1. Verticality
  2. High brand engagement
  3. Strong local voice
  4. High user transactional intent
  5. Size
  6. Locally segmented

Since its launch, Group Commerce has raised millions in funding and Kelt plans to continue to expand the company’s reach into 2012.


Surfing Social Media Action Camp Livestream

The surfing duck and the social media action camp logo

Surfing Social Media Action Camp Livestream © inprintitems.com and Social Media Action Camp logo

The first time I tried to surf Livestream was for a TEDxDU.com conference not realizing that 1 o’clock in Denver was not 1 o’clock in NY. It was 3 0’clock. I was two hours early.

The second time was this morning, Thursday, February 16, 2012 when I eagerly sat at my computer counting the seconds until 8:30 am when Social Media Action Camp would start. The event did start but the Livestream feature did not start until 9 am.

So my ineptitude has less to do with social media surfing skills than it has to do with telling time. I am so relieved. On that note, let’s move on to the glorious time I had surfing Social Media Action Camp Livestream.


I was unable to attend the conference in person even though I am a writer for the multi-author blog, Digital Brand Marketing Education, the sponsor of the event. I have had the flu or rather the flu has had me, holding me hostage on and off for weeks.


If anyone were to ask me what’s the first thing that comes to mind that I love about social media, there would not be a moment’s hesitation. It is TODAY (Thursday, February 16th). I am home sick, at my computer, watching this once a year event, the first time for Social Media Action Camp during Social Media Week, tweeting, texting comments and connecting on foursquare. I almost forgot to mention, I am also answering facebook comments and checking my gmail.

Visual of Social Media Week and Social Media Action Camp 

Social Media Week and Social Media Action Camp © SMW and SMAC


As if that were not enough for an average multi-tasker to do, I have also started writing this post during the event’s lunch break. The event is something of a spontaneous happening. It came together in two weeks, at times touch and go.

In this short amount of time, respected professionals from world-class companies were gathered to present. Livestream service was set up so that many more people, like myself, who could not attend in person could attend online and Livestream.


Basil Puglisi, the founder of Digital Brand Marketing and social media visionary is known to have bouts of inspiration. All visionaries do. Similar to others in the technology world that envision the impossible and persist with a combination of tenacity and sheer guts, he sets his sights high. The words ‘impossible’ or even ‘improbable’ do not enter his mind, his vocabulary nor are they uttered by his trusted circle of colleagues, supporters, family and friends.


It has been my desire to accomplish two things with this post:
• The first is to give a bit of a backstory to this spontaneous event, Social Media Action Camp and how dedication, passion and collaboration can result in the next to impossible becoming real.

• Secondly, I want to acknowledge and applaud Basil as well as everyone else who participated in and supported Social Media Action Camp. I found it thoroughly enjoyable and very educational.


Alison Gilbert is a Digital Age Storyteller and photojournalist. She is a regular contributing author to DBME, writes The Marketing Byte Blog and is The New York Graphic Design Examiner. Alison is the owner of MARKETING BYTES Solutions 4 Local Biz. She has been a marketing pro and entrepreneur for over three decades. Her company specializes in local/small and start up businesses with a boutique (very personal style) approach to client service.

The MARKETING BYTES ProTeam consists of experienced marketing, design, technology and writing professionals offering the latest online Inbound Marketing technology, social media, graphic and web design, illustration, photo and video, content management as well as the best of traditional advertising. Her client base has covered just about every commercial industry.

Although located on Long Island, NY, MARKETING BYTES serves clients everywhere there is Internet access. To learn more, visit our site, Marketing Bytes, our local biz facebook page, Marketing Main Street USA, and join our local biz facebook group, Local Biz Is The Solution.

To contact us: e-mail or call 516-665-9034 (EST, NY, USA).


Included below are links from the daylong program of videos that cover details of some of the presentations. The range of speakers defines diversity of demographics and professional specialties.

Livestream of Social Media Action Camp

Livestream of Social Media Week

SOCIAL MEDIA WEEK, Social Media Action Camp

Social Media Action Camp participants and Supporters

Social Media Action Camp participants and Supporters © Social Media Action Camp 2.16.2012

Digital Media Monthly

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