3 Branded B2B News Services That Get It Right

Most content marketing is currently delivered piecemeal in the form of white papers, e-books, webcasts and the like. While there’s nothing wrong with that, drive-by customers are hard to engage in conversation. What if you could go a step beyond the downloads and become a trusted and even indispensable information source that customers visit every day? Some B2B marketers have gone that. Here are three I think are worth emulating.

CMO.com

This site launched nearly seven years ago as part of a bigger Adobe plan to evangelize digital marketing to a core audience. CMO.com was originally a pure curation model; content consisted of brief summaries of articles and video from other sources on the Web.

The site filled a need, however, and traffic has grown steadily to more than 350,000 monthly page views. Its popularity has enabled Adobe to invest in a growing amount of original content, and even sell some advertising space to cover costs.

tim moranAdobe wisely hired a professional editor at the outset – veteran tech journalist Tim Moran (right) – to oversee content at the outset, and the site has benefited from his steady and experienced hand. Navigation is clean, headlines are well-written and content is timely, with continuous updates throughout the day. Bonus points to Adobe for nabbing the domain. My only quibble is the need to click through twice to get from a homepage headline to a source story.

While Adobe uses CMO.com to build thought leadership, it maintains a strict church-state separation between ownership and the editorial product. Adobe doesn’t even have access to the 30,000-name newsletter mailing list. If the parent company ever misused its popular property it would violate reader trust, and that’s the most important asset CMO.com has.

Cisco Connected Futures

Cisco Connected Futures

Cisco does a lot of things well with social media, from its expansive blog network to its innovative newsroom, The Network. Connected Futures is a little-known gem. This image-rich site features a smorgasbord of content about how technology is changing business and our way of life. It’s presented in a variety of formats, including research reports, articles and podcasts. The podcast library is particularly impressive.

Most of Connected Futures’ articles advocate a point of view, and many are written by influential thought leaders. The theme dovetails well with Cisco’s vision of a future in which all things and people are continuously connected and business moves at the speed of bits. There’s a lot of material here about digital business and corporate reinvention, but a fair amount of nuts-and-bolts management advice as well. The target audience is not Cisco’s traditional CIO customer but board room executives. The writing is lively and accessible.

Why Cisco keeps this light under a basket I don’t know. It gets almost no visibility on The Network, despite having content that is as good as that produced by The Network’s veteran journalists. In companies as large as Cisco, such siloed behavior is unfortunately common. Full disclosure: I am an occasional paid contributor to Connected Futures.

Knowledge at Wharton

Knowledge@Wharton

True, a university has a bit of an unfair advantage in the subject matter expert department, but I would argue that a lot of companies have as many PhD’s and patents as Wharton does. This site is a terrific resource for anyone who wants to know what smart people are thinking about the most important things going on in the world. K@W is like Harvard Business Review, but with a much better web presence.

Wharton has every bit as much a business purpose for supporting this resource as Adobe and Cisco do. It’s trying to recruit the best students and faculty for its MBA program. It does that by showing off the skills of its faculty through a steady stream of articles and interviews in audio, video and written form. But this isn’t just about the faculty. The site always seems to have interviews with authors of the hottest new business books, and it makes them available in every format you can imagine.

Which is one thing I really, really like about K@W – its resourceful use of multiple media. Most Q&As are published both as audio podcasts and written transcripts; in some cases, video is used as well. The idea is to make it convenient for visitors to consume content in whatever format they prefer. The site also hosts a two-hour live radio program on SiriusXM each weekday and repackages that content into snackable podcast segments. I am addicted to K@W podcasts.

Yes, each of these efforts costs money, but each has attracted tens of thousands of regular visitors who have registered their approval with an email address. How valuable is that?

Marketing firm piggybacks on March Madness for fun social media “bracket”

Big sports events are a great opportunity to show off your products and services, particularly if you can apply them to the combatants on the field. Here’s a good example I that came over the transom from Blue Fountain Media, a design an online media firm.

The company decided to show off its social media savvy by analyzing the Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts of each March Madness team to see how they did with social media engagement. They researched average engagement rates across each social platform. The result was a formula average engagement rates across each account, focusing only on “owned” accounts (not fan pages)

The results showed that engagement rates for social media accounts owned by brands and teams were very different. Not surprisingly, brands had lower overall engagement in 2015:

  • Facebook: 0.2%
  • Instagram: 2.261%
  • Twitter: 0.02%

These contrasted significantly to those accounts owned by college basketball teams:

  • Facebook: 0.9%
  • Instagram: 6.2%
  • Twitter: 0.3%

Here’s a nice infographic (click on it to enlarge).

March Madness social media anlysis

Five Often-Overlooked Reasons Senior Executives Should Use Social Media

connections-990699_1280“I don’t have time to build my LinkedIn profile. I already get more useless messages than I can handle anyway.”

“Why would I want to be on Twitter? It’s a lot of noise, and no one cares about what I’m reading.”

“I want to be a thought leader, but I don’t have time for blogging.”

Sound familiar? I hear these objections all the time when speaking to top executives about social media. Their concerns are motivated by a basic misunderstanding of how people use tools like LinkedIn and Twitter. There is special value to these platforms for executives that don’t necessarily apply to the rest of us.

To follow my reasoning, you have to understand the concept of “connection points.” These are details of our lives that create opportunities to establish connections with others. We constantly seek connection points in all our interactions because they create a foundation for trust. That’s why the first few minutes of any meeting, even one with people we know very well, invariably consists of small talk about stuff that has nothing to do with business. Finding common ground puts everyone more at ease.

The same applies to online interactions, and that’s why social networks can be so powerful for executives. Here are five little-known benefits to consider.

1. Finding connection points with customers and prospects – Executives typically spend a lot of time meeting with customers and business partners. It’s a fair bet that most of the people they’re meeting with do some research in advance. Because of LinkedIn’s exceptional search performance, a search on nearly any executive’s name is likely to turn up a LinkedIn profile within the top three results. That profile should be rich with connection points.

A good LinkedIn profile is a lot more than just a resume. The summary statement should talk about accomplishments, motivations, passions, and turnoffs. It should also include some personal details, such as favorite sports teams or hobbies. Schools, professional memberships and volunteer activities should also be filled out. These connection points are built-in conversation starters. You never know where a connection point is going to surface.

Customers, partners, and employees also follow executives who matter to them. By updating your profile with new responsibilities, achievements, and publications you keep these important constituents up to date on your progress.

2. Alerting the media – Why do CEOs like Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Oprah Winfrey, Rupert Murdoch and Elon Musk waste time on Twitter? They certainly don’t need the publicity. One reason is because they know that the journalists, analysts and others who influence audiences they care about are following them. That means they can reach large numbers of people who matter to them quickly and without the overhead and expense of press releases.

The same applies to corporate executives. As the people who are called upon to represent their businesses in public, they can use media like Twitter to communicate important business news and reinforce the image and culture of the companies they represent to the people who matter most to them. Without the red tape.

3. Cementing business relationships – When Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins tweets an attagirl to his company’s head of executive talent or thanks a customer for a great meeting, he’s doing more than just casting off casual praise. He’s reinforcing a relationship that matters to his business. Compliments are one of the most powerful ways we had to support others and thereby earn their trust. Executives have special leverage in this respect. By recognizing an associates qualities or achievements in public, we not only do them a favor but issue a warning to competitors and interlopers to back off. That’s one of the values of having a large Twitter following. When Bill Gates compliments Code.org on Twitter, he’s giving that organization a publicity boost.

4. Building thought leadership – Most organizations want their executives to exhibit thought leadership, but placing articles in management magazines is both time-consuming and unpredictable. Many executives create thought-leading content all the time in emails and posts on the company intranet. With a little wordsmithing, these can be turned into essays on platforms like LinkedIn Publishing, Medium, and Svbtle. LinkedIn is particularly valuable in this respect, because it has a built-in promotion medium through notifications. And because executives tend to be followed by other influencers, their LinkedIn posts can spread particularly fast.

5. Recruiting – In the same way that customers and prospects research the people they do business with, so do prospective employees. People want to work for people they like and admire, so creating a LinkedIn profile that showcases both your accomplishments and personality presence enhances your ability to reach people who are a good fit for your culture. Conversely, it can dissuade people who are the wrong candidates from wasting your time.

In short, a social media profile that reflects who you are rather than simply what you do creates a trust foundation that pays off in many ways. You just have to look below the surface.

This post originally appeared on Biznology.

Photo by nzchrissy2 via Pixabay

 

Here’s What 25 B2B Marketers Think Are the Key Trends in 2016

I was delighted when B2B Marketing Zone – a website and newsletter that I devour – asked me to be one of 25 contributors to its “B2B Marketing Trends for 2016” e-book.

I love this content concept, and it’s an idea more B2B marketers could adopt. Contact influencers in your market – or even your own customers or subject matter experts – and ask them for short paragraphs on a topic, then combine that content into an e-book.

Then do what Tom Pick and Tony Karrer of B2B Marketing Zone did – make it easy for people to compose posts like this one and share the book through their social networks. Your contributors will be flattered to be included and you will get to tap into their often substantial followings.

The authors identified three powerful trends driving B2B marketing right now:

–Changing buyer expectations fueled by the availability of rich information and ease of access and purchase;

–Pressure to demonstrate ROI as marketers learn to do more with less; and

–New tech tools and big data so that we can no longer say half our budget is wasted but we don’t know which half.

I picked a few quotes from the e-book that I really like. Download a free copy and find your own favorites.

Moran“2016 will be the year where B2B marketers finally realize that, while they can always make more content, their customers can’t make any more time.” – Mike Moran (l.)

“Every B2B site should produce cornerstone reference content that is comprehensive and authoritative; something that people link to and return to read again and again.” – Steve Rayson

“A buyer persona is not a zombie—but a profile based on your understanding of a real customer and their real needs.” – Ambal Balakrishnan

Williams“It’s time for B2B marketers to let go of their obsession with perfect production values and get on with just putting good content out there for customers and prospects.” – Elizabeth Williams (l.)

“Channels and tactics will come last, not first anymore, at last.” – J-P De Clerck

“Is 2016 the year of B2B brands finding a personality and sense of humor?” – Michael Brenner

Andrews“With marketing now responsible for helping to nurture and advance the buyer through 70% of the purchase cycle, there are monumental inefficiencies if the sales team is knocking on cold doors rather than closing sales-qualified, warm leads.” – Debra Andrews (l.)

“If you have 30 reps, each sharing just five pieces of content per week, that’s an opportunity to get your message out 7,200 times!” – Shannon Pham

“[Workforce brand ambassador programs are] a win/win. The company benefits from more authentic communication, and employees build personal brands.” – Cheryl Burgess

“The average click through rate is 0.1%, banners don’t work anymore and people are much more likely to trust peer to peer recommendations than traditional advertising.” – Joe Fields

Neufeld“No longer will marketers schedule an email campaign for Wednesday morning at 10 AM. Rather, marketers will configure an email campaign and technology will determine the best time and day to deliver the message.” – Brian Neufeld (l.)

“The 2015 Annuitas B2B Enterprise study found that only 7.5 % of respondents reported the skill set of marketing personnel was highly effective. Clearly, we need to do better.” – Erika Goldwater

“If your marketing is great but your product is bad, that, ultimately, means your marketing is bad, too.” – Carla Johnson

And my own contribution:

I believe B2B marketers have finally realized that merely throwing content into the ether is both expensive and wasteful. They’re adopting buyer personas, content targeting and matching content to stages of the buying cycle. I think content marketing will continue to be a huge growth area for B2B in the coming years but we’re going to get a lot smarter about how we invest our resources. Marketers are beginning to realize the buyers are people, not demographic segments, and they are appealing more to the motivations that influence human behavior.

We’re Coming Back to Boston

In retrospect, we should have known this was a bad idea when the wheel fell off the truck.

It happened in Tolland, CT last August. I was driving a 27-foot UHaul packed to the ceiling with our stuff and with my car in tow. Just over the Connecticut line, the truck lurched violently to the left. I assumed I had a flat tire and steered into the breakdown lane. It was then that I noticed one wheel bouncing down the median strip and another rolling down the middle lane.

The left rear wheel had completely come off – lug nuts, rim and both tires. The delay cost us a day of travel. Maybe we should have seen it as a warning.

The wheel fell off the truckA year ago I decided to abandon Massachusetts, which had been my home for 39 years, and move to Reading, PA so my wife and twin daughters could be closer to their extended family. We rented a house in the suburb of Exeter and I rented a small office in a funky art studio/function hall in the middle of Reading.

We were excited about exploring the area and taking advantage of the much lower housing and living costs. We thought we’d have lots of support from the family as we got our bearings and found a place to live. It turned out that people were busier than we expected, and we found ourselves pretty much on our own from the start. Our bad; we should have asked before we made the decision to move.

We didn’t want to settle in Reading for several reasons, including the schools, so we expanded our search eastward. The closer our search took us to Philadelphia, the higher the prices went. With prices in attractive Philly suburbs like Chester County approaching those of Metro West Boston, we began to question why we had moved from a place we loved to a place we barely knew. Sometimes you don’t realize how much you like a place until you leave it. On a visit to Boston this past April we made the decision: We’re coming back.

We’re scheduled to close on a home in Westborough, MA on Aug. 17 and be there by the 20th. No U-Haul this time. We’ll let a moving company worry about the equipment.

The Pennsylvania experiment was expensive and disruptive, but we had to do it. Being 350 miles away from family creates pressures that constantly weighed on Dana’s conscience. The only way to know if this area was right for us was to move here.

There’s a lot to like about the Reading area. The surrounding valley is beautiful, and the view from Mt. Penn is stunning in places. The Lancaster area about 40 miles to the south is the heart of Amish country, where the farms, quaint homes and horse-pulled carriages are charming. Southeastern Pennsylvania is corn-farming country. The stalks spread for miles, and the cornfields come right up against the back yards of people’s houses. Some of the attractions we particularly liked were Longwood Gardens, the Strasburg Railroad, Cherry Crest Farm and Hershey Park. They’re all well worth a visit, if you’re in the area.

As far as Reading itself, well, let’s say you can cross it off your bucket list. It’s the poorest city in America as measured by percentage of residents below the poverty line. While we did find some charming local restaurants and a couple of interesting attractions, I would characterize the overall mood in this once-thriving town as hopeless. It’s sad. Reading was once a vital hub of the railroad industry, but it never diversified its industrial base or built academic institutions that would fuel new business. I did kind of enjoy my office in Reading Art Works. It’s an example of the kind of artsy lofts that spring up when a neighborhood gentrifies. Unfortunately, I don’t see any other signs of gentrification in the area.

Recommended Reading – 7/9/15

Ninja Guide to Content Creation: Top 10 Writing Tools – Content Marketing Institute

If you’ve ever experienced writers block, struggled to come up with a creative headline, fussed over keywords or just been out of ideas, then this post is well worth your time. Each of Robert Morris’ 10 tips points to a Web-based tool that will get you out of the starting blocks faster, improve your writing and boost your search engine visibility. We had never heard of most of these tools, and bet you haven’t either.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Comments That Open Doors with Popular Bloggers – Boost Blog Traffic

Commenting on popular blogs is a great way to catch the eye of influential people, but what makes for a great comment? Kevin Duncan must know a little about this topic because his post on Boost Blog Traffic drew 275 comments of its own! He offers commonsense advice, such as clearly identify who you are, reading a post thoroughly before commenting, keeping your comment short and moving the discussion forward. Sounds simple, but if it is, then why do so few people do it?

What 4.8 Million Tweets Say About the Best Time to Tweet – Buffer Social

People have been arguing about the best time to send tweets practically since the dawn of Twitter. The team at Buffer happens to have a lot of data on this, so they analyzed 4.8 million tweets sent by 10,000 profiles and shared the results. They found, on average:

  • Early morning tweets get the most clicks;
  • Evenings and late-night tweets get the most favorites and retweets
  • The most popular time to tweet and the best times to tweet for engagement differ across time zones, so it’s still important to experiment.
  • The best overall time to tweet is between noon and 1 PM.

SlideShare Secrets to Stack the Decks in Your Favor – Content Marketing Institute

SlideShare continues to be one of the best-kept secrets in B2B marketing. It’s a great way to increase the visibility of your thought-leading content by sharing slide decks that would otherwise be put on a virtual shelf. Jodi Harris runs down a set of practical tips that will make your presentations more visually appealing and useful to your audience. Those translate into bonus views and business.

 

15 Habits of Highly Effective Content Marketers – HubSpot Blog

HubSpot called up 15 professional content marketers and asked each one for his or her favorite content marketing habit. You’ll find it hard to disagree with any of them. Monitor conversations with customers, obsess over quality, research constantly, listen to complaints and always be curious are five useful habits they recommended. Read the post for 10 more.

 

LinkedIn Headline Tip: Stick to the Facts, Avoid Superlatives

A student in one recent Profitecture class sent me an interesting question, so I thought I post the answer here.

“How do you find the balance between marketing yourself and sounding full of yourself?” she asked. “I think there is a thin line.” She attached a screen grab of a LinkedIn member who described himself as a “Remarkably Brilliant IT Professional.”  My reply:

I agree with you that “remarkably brilliant” is a pompous and inappropriate term to use except in a humorous context. If the profile is clearly written to be funny, then I suppose it’s okay, but I expect that most people who read a description like that would presume that the person is not someone they want to work with. I looked up the profile you sent me based upon the distinctive terms in the headline, and the profile was clearly not intended to be funny. I don’t think this guy is doing himself any favors.

The best advice I can give is never to use superlatives when talking about yourself. For example, I never call myself an “expert,” even though some others do. Use terms that can be defended by facts. I do refer to myself as a “veteran” technology journalist because I spent 23 years in that field. I think that’s a fair characterization. Don’t call yourself “award-winning” or “best-selling” unless you have facts to support that statement. Talk about facts: your accomplishments, interests, motivations and preferences. Talk about what excites you and what kinds of people you like to work with. Those are all fair game, as far as I’m concerned.

There are some gray areas, of course, such as “energetic,” “disciplined,” “committed” and “determined.” My recommendation would be not to use terms like those. They don’t mean much and they can’t be proven. Lots of other people use them, so there’s nothing distinctive about them. Try to use words that are distinctive but also factual. Tell a story one of your great accomplishments. It’s perfectly okay to say what makes you proud; just avoid saying what makes you great.

Recent Posts: Expanding Social Authority and Enlivening Boring Predictions

This blog hasn’t been very active lately, but that’s because most of my contributions have appeared elsewhere. Here’s a roundup of what I’ve been musing about.

10 Tips for Expanding Your Social Authority in 2015 - Part 110 Tips for Expanding Your Social Authority in 2015 – Midsize Insider, Jan. 1, 2015

I go into detail on strategies to get more out of your existing social presences and where to experiment with new ones. It comes down to basic blocking and tackling, and making sharing part of your daily routine.

Organic Facebook Marketing Is Dead; Think Customer Service Instead – Midsize Insider, Dec. 22, 2014

Numerous studies have shown that organic posts by Facebook pages are reaching only a tiny fraction of the audience they used to. This may finally be a wake-up call to marketers to share Facebook responsibility with customer service and to use Facebook as a listening post and customer-retention vehicle.

Research Shows CISOs Gaining Influence Even as Challenges Mount – Midsize Insider, Dec. 15, 2014

IBM’s annual CISO survey shows that security executives are finally getting a seat at the leadership table.

20 Ways to Enliven Those Boring Year-End Predictions – LinkedIn, Dec. 16, 2014

Annual predictions are now a dime a dozen, and most are predictable, self-serving and monotonous. Instead of following the pack and issuing the same old lame set of predictions, change up your angle and approach to make them stand out. Here are 20 ideas organized into eight categories.

Rick Short, IndiumFIR B2B #20: Indium’s Awesome Engineers

In Episode 20 of the For Immediate Release B2B podcast, we speak to Rick Short, Director of Marketing Communications at Indium Corp. Indium has created a creative and successful inbound marketing campaign that connects engineers to customers to solve problems in exchange for contact information. It’s paying off so well that the company can afford to increase its focus on lead quality because it has more than enough leads in the hopper.

FIR B2B #19: Doubts about Social Media’s Lead Gen Potential

Two new surveys cast doubt on the value of social media as a lead generation vehicle. One found that the top three value propositions of social media relate to ongoing customer engagement rather than lead generation. A second found organic social media marketing and social media advertising, which have some of the lowest costs per lead, also produced the worst quality leads.

In our interview section, we speak to Don Lesem and David Wagman of IHS and Engineering360, which is one of a suite of vertical communities the B2B information provider is launching to increase customer engagement.

FIR B2B #18: John Fox on Why Marketers Need to Get Out of the Office

John Fox has led the launch or re-launch of 44 companies, resulting in double and triple-digit growth for every client served. He thinks all the talk of a radically new B2B buyer journey is overblown. The process hasn’t really changed all that much, he says in this interview, and he has provocative thoughts on what content really motivates buyers.

Infographic Gives Good Overview of Good Helpouts

One of the many little-known Google services is Helpouts, which are video meetings with experts who can help you do everything from seed your lawn to play the piano. You can hold impromptu Helpout conferences using Google Hangouts immediately or schedule them for later, depending on the expert and availability. Some carry a charge and others are free. Several brands offer free Helpouts to support their products.

A useful infographic arrived today from DPFOC, a digital marketing agency based in Ireland and the UK. It traces the history of Helpouts and offers some useful advice on what you can do with them.  I thought it was worth sharing. I’ll even forgive the agency for auto-launching a video when you visit its site.

DPFOC IG Helpouts

Why Facebook Isn’t Worried About Ello

I haven’t yet tried Ello, the newest social network to aspire to the role of “Facebook killer” (though my request for access is pending), but I know already that it is doomed to fail in that role. I’ve seen this scenario play out again and again, and result is a foregone conclusion.

Ello has attracted attention because of its pugnacious attitude expressed in a “manifesto” that begins, “Your social network is owned by advertisers” and ends “You are not a product.”

Some people are rooting for Ello to unseat Facebook by tapping into user rage over the giant social network’s controversial approach to using member information to sell advertising. They will be disappointed. Ello has no better chance of challenging Facebook than MySpace or Friendster. The social network wars are over, Facebook won and it’s time to move on.

My opinion is rooted in more than 30 years of watching battles play out over new platforms. Invariably the script is the same. To understand why Facebook has already won you have to understand the nature of technology platforms.

Platform Markets are Different

Platforms are technologies that serve as a foundation for development. Windows is a platform. So is the X86 chip architecture. Oracle is a platform and so are iOS and Google Maps. The winners in platform markets typically get 80% share, and everybody else fights over the scraps. This is because developers and customers want safe choices. They’re willing to pay more and accept less in exchange for knowing that a platform is going to be around for a while.

Platform winners are never supplanted by direct competitors. They fail for two main reasons: Customer preferences change or a new platform comes along that delivers a new kind of value.

An example of the first phenomenon is spreadsheets. In the late 1980s Lotus was larger than Microsoft and had a stranglehold on the highly profitable spreadsheet market with 1-2-3. Dozens of competitors took on Lotus with cheaper alternatives or modestly differentiated products. None gained more than a few percentage points of market share. What killed 1-2-3 was a change in preferences.Users preferred an integrated office suite based on a GUI metaphor. Microsoft had that and Lotus was slow to respond. (What’s sometimes forgotten is the Microsoft also discounted Office heavily in the early days, a strategy that helped tip the balance.)

An example of the second phenomenon is network operating systems. Novell’s NetWare reigned as the market leader until a good enough alternative came along in IP. IP wasn’t as elegant as NetWare, but it was free and accessible to all. Once it achieved critical mass, it became a safe choice and NetWare’s fate was sealed. Linux did the same thing to proprietary competitors on the server. Platform vendors are terrified by competitors that build critical mass.

Free doesn’t always supplant expensive. Linux on the desktop has never challenged Windows, but I think that’s due more to usability issues than price. On servers, Linux has done extremely well. It has critical mass.

Once platform companies become embedded they protect their franchise through a surround strategy. Some, like Microsoft and Intel, build formidable distribution networks and use volume discounts to block competition. Others, like Oracle and EMC, build software layers around their platforms that effectively embed them into customers’ organizations. Basically, it becomes more expensive for customers to switch than to stick with the incumbent.

What’s Really Different about Ello?

How does this relate to Ello? From what I’ve read, Ello uses the same basic social networking metaphors as Facebook and every other social network. Functionally, it’s a wash. Ello’s only major distinction is in the way it handles personal data.

The problem with that strategy is a few people really care. Privacy is important to a vocal minority, but in my view the vast majority of Facebook users couldn’t care less. As long as they can post photos of their kids and trash talk with their friends at no charge they’re happy. The recent disclosure that Facebook secretly manipulated the emotions of nearly 700,000 users has gotten plenty of media attention, but I don’t see anyone occupying Central Park over this issue. Facebook knows better than anyone that there are lines it shouldn’t cross.

What will ultimately unseat Facebook – or at least halt its growth – will be something that looks nothing like a social network. It may be based on sensors or artificial intelligence or free beer. No one knows. That’s one of the beauties of technology disruption. It comes from the craziest places. One thing is clear to me, however. It won’t come from Ello.