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Dave Walters

Dave Walters

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Number 5: Buzz

Monday, 05 July 2010 15:30 Published in Startups

Our #5 video features Kim Campbell of The Hub Atlanta, and she was one of the great hosts for the evening – along with owner Daniel Homrich. The Hub rocks! Enjoy the video interview below:

Number 6: Vision

Monday, 05 July 2010 05:06 Published in Startups

Our #6 video features Jaheed Gonzalves of Visual Lexicon, and you gotta give him big credit for rocking the TechDrawl (and Chirbit) sticker on the netbook. Enjoy the video interview below:

Number 7: Stakeholders

Monday, 05 July 2010 04:56 Published in Startups

Our #7 video features Jenifer Vandagriff of IQ Interactive, where she’s a User Experience Designer. If you’ve never worked with a great UX person, do it! Enjoy the video interview below:

Number 8: Authentic

Monday, 05 July 2010 04:44 Published in Startups

Our #8 video features Marissa Evans of Freeworld Media, an Atlanta-based agency focused on social media strategies and corporate social responsibility. Enjoy the video interview below:

Number 9: Have A Voice

Monday, 05 July 2010 04:35 Published in Startups

Our #9 video features April Thompson, who works for IBM and sells social media and collaboration tools to enterprise-level businesses in the Southeast and Caribbean (great business trips!). Enjoy the video interview below:

Number 10: Engage

Monday, 05 July 2010 04:15 Published in Startups

Our #10 video features Park Cofield from Atlanta's own Center for Puppetry Arts. The Center has been in social media for a year, and uses YouTube and Flickr to share the visual aspects of their work. Enjoy the video interview below:

Okay, so this ain’t exactly George Carlin but here’s the issue: I’ve got 11 more videos from Mashable’s Social Media Day 2010, and I’m realizing that requires a lot of witty and insightful prose – and it’s a holiday weekend.

So here’s my plan. I’m convinced more than ever that social media is long on buzzwords and catch phrases ­– some perfectly descriptive and others that would get you absolutely hammered in a game of buzzword bingo. Not to say that every industry doesn't have their own vernacular (I remember my UPS days fondly when words like 'accessorials' were commonplace), but I need channel Dave Letterman on this one... So were going to count down the Top 11.

Our first video features social media strategist Garrett Kuk and Jon Birdsong from OpenStudy, and the Number 11 catchphrase is “start the conversation.” Enjoy the video interview below:

If you’re an Atlanta-based staff writer for Mashable, there’s a pretty good chance you were going to attend Social Media Day 2010 Atlanta – and joining the panel was a complete natural. Christina Warren joined Mashable in August 2009, and has a deep blogging background, including recent gigs with USA Today (covering American Idol), The Unofficial Apple Weblog, DownloadSquad and Stylelist. She was excited to see a full room at The Hub Atlanta, and she covers some pretty blazing hot beats: mobile and Apple. Enjoy the video interview below:

About a month ago, I was amazed by the candor and depth of Tony Hsieh’s article for Inc. Magazine on why he sold Zappos to Amazon. He chronicled the entire process beginning with an unsolicited 2005 offer from Amazon, the role of the economic slowdown on Zappos’ $100M line of credit, and a showdown with his Board of Directors that eventually led him into the Amazon fold. He also talks at length about the Zappos culture and how militantly his core team fights to protect their customer-first mantra. It was clear Tony is supremely confident that Jeff Bezos is ready, willing and able to allow Zappos to remain independent – and ideally a bit of the Zappos cult brand rubs off on the Amazon mothership.

While that’s the warm and fuzzy side of the story, there certainly are those who view Amazon as the apex predator within the e-commerce space. They did, after all, take a run at Zappos via their own foray that quickly proved you can’t knock-off a culture. And if you look at the trajectory of Amazon’s M&A activity it trends up aggressively and points to increasingly larger deals – many of which are easy given Amazon has strong cash reserves and plenty of stock in-hand. You can reasonably expect they’ll be able to hand-pick the ecommerce superstars and roll-up the most successful players on a category-by-category basis. And if you believe the rumors, Amazon is the lead suitor in a NetFlix deal that would be the video compliment to their MP3 download service – the single most legit iTunes competitor (Amazon gets the majority of my online music bucks because they forced DRM-free and higher bit rate music).

And their latest deal is aimed squarely at what retailers refer to as ‘distressed inventory’. With the acquisition of Texas-based Woot, Amazon has once again snapped up a company with fresh view of the world. You don’t have to look much further than the announcement letter from Woot CEO Matt Rutledge to see they’re expecting every bit the same brand slack granted to Zappos.

It’s a genius move by Amazon given the huge amount of retiring SKUs they likely have running through the operation. Once a model is being replaced, items become harder to get by the container-load or someone simply made a bad buying decision, how awesome is it that Amazon can throw it over the wall to Woot to flush on out o’ the system? Imagine the ramp-up the Woot kids will undergo from a systems and volume perspective when you’re sitting at the end of Amazon’s SKU avalanche.

Most interesting to me is Amazon seems to be overtly grabbing companies with cult brands built around them. I mean seriously, where else other than Woot can you buy a Bag O’ Crap? The bottom line is Woot is irreverent, Zappos is psychotically customer focused, and Amazon is, well, Amazon. They are clearly the 1600 lb. gorilla in online ecommerce, but it seems Bezos and gang are looking for smart ways to fun up the culture ­– and the efficiencies of the operation. (Oh, and don’t forget Jeff is the sole investor and advisor to Jason and David at 37Signals – just in case you need yet another proof point that he aligns well with hyper-critical thinkers.)

It’ll be interesting to watch Amazon make moves over the next 12-18 months, and I can think of one really cool cult brand company for acquisition if they ever wanted to get into the Email Service Provider space. And I’m not sure if using a monkey in a rap video could actually constitute infringement of some kind :-) At any rate, enjoy the Woot video announcing the Amazon deal:

There Ain’t No Party Like A Social Media Party

Thursday, 01 July 2010 12:48 Published in Startups

There’s something about a social media meetup that’s just a little more fun than your standard networking event – and Social Media Day Atlanta 2010 was no exception. Clearly that includes 15-20 pizzas from Maddio's Pizza Joint, an open bar featuring Atlanta’s own Sweetwater 420, an open vodka bar by the folks from Absolut, a photo booth, DJ @kimber_regator and more.  We even got Doug Kling to admit what everyone knows to be true: “Social media is a way of life.” Knowing Doug, my guess is that comment was about 23.64% sarcastic, but we all had a great time at HUB Atlanta. Enjoy the video preview below:

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