Stephen Baker on Life, Journalism, Numbers and His New Book

Thanks to event sponsor and, I’m happy to disclose, Fresh Ground client Netezza, members of the Boston Social Media Club were fortunate to be able to enjoy an intimate evening with author and former BusinessWeek Senior Editor Stephen Baker. Steve’s most recent book, The Numerati, looks “at how a global math elite is predicting and altering our behavior — at work, at the mall, and in bed.” He was invited to present a keynote at the company’s Enzee Universe 2010 User Conference, and was gracious enough to take time out of his schedule to meet with the group and share his thoughts on life, journalism, numbers and the new book, expected out next year. You can listen to his session (just under a half hour) below.

I’m also pleased to announce that we’ll have an exclusive interview with Steve for next week’s Fresh Ground Podcast. (We did not include this interview in our podcast feed this week — stay tuned for a great interview with a creative young PR pro in this week’s podcast episode.)

Listen Now:

Update 23 June 2010: Tim Allik captured some video of Steve talking specifically about his BusinessWeek experience. You can read Tim’s thoughts on the Tech PR Gems blog, and have a look at the video below:

Vote for the Fresh Ground Blog!

We need your help. The Fresh Ground blog has been nominated as one of the Best Up-and-Coming blogs in the PR world and we need your help to win. Voting started today, Wednesday, and continues through Tuesday, June 22. If you’ve found this blog interesting and useful over the past couple of months, please link over to Communications Conversations and drop in a vote for us. We’d really appreciate the help.

Of course, you may also want to sign up for our newsletter!

If, however, you think we could be a bit better in some areas, just let us know! You can leave a comment or drop us an email at info (at) itsfreshground (dot) com. That address gets to both of us at once.

A Good Newsletter, A GREAT Cause

I am very pleased to announce the Fresh Ground Newsletter — which will arrive in your inbox no more than twice monthly, but only if you sign up for it below or on our Newsletter page. Want to get highlights of our best content in your inbox? While all the content we produce is good, we’ll share only the great content with you in the newsletter. The newsletter will highlight our thinking on the trends and issues facing the converging worlds of marketing, public relations, media and technology. We’ll also highlight some of the really creative work we’re doing for our clients, which includes supporting a neat and very last-minute goal for one of our clients.

SocialWish has just launched in a semi-private beta (you can sign up for it by creating a wish at www.socialwish.com), and yesterday they entered a contest that ends at midnight tonight (crazy, ain’t it?). Here’s the deal, if we all chip in to get SocialWish across the finish line in first place, they’ll donate $5,000 of the prize money to the Make-A-Wish Foundation! In order to make this happen, you need to act before midnight tonight (Monday, June 14th, 2010).

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Visit the SocialWish contest entry page.
  2. Click “VOTE for this entry”
  3. Register for the contest
  4. Check your email, click the confirmation link then, just to be sure, go back to the SocialWish contest entry page and click that VOTE button one last time.

You can read more about what SocialWish is trying to do on their blog.

Oh, and don’t forget to sign up for the Fresh Ground Newsletter:


Join Me at NewComm Forum April 20-23

Speaking of events, I’ll be heading out to the San Francisco area in a few weeks to speak at the NewComm Forum, which takes place in San Mateo, CA from April 20-23. I want to take a quick opportunity to invite you to join me there! So please join me at the premier conference for unlocking the power of social media for business.

Take advantage of some special discounts!

Come for the entire conference or just for a day for as little as $395!

NewComm Forum will feature a who’s who of social media experts and practitioners from leading companies presenting 40 sessions in five comprehensive tracks including:

  • Online Communications & Communities
  • Social CRM
  • Markets are Conversations: From Theory to Practice
  • Understanding the New Media Landscape
  • NewComm Essentials

Keynoters include:

  • Jackie Huba, online marketing expert and author
  • Dave Carroll, singer/songwriter, “United Breaks Guitars”
  • Scott Monty, Ford
  • Jack Holt, US Dept. of Defense
  • Tim Westergren, Pandora
  • Neville Hobson, WeissComm

Choose from a variety of intensive ½-day and full-day workshops on Tuesday, April 20th. See details at: http://www.newcommforum.com/Social-Media-Workshops. Use discount code NCFW100 to save $100 on a pre-conference workshop. Get a 1/2-day of education for just $195!

And, wrap up your Forum experience on Friday, April 23rd in our special one-on-one workshop with conference faculty and SNCR Fellows – included in your conference fee. It’s like getting a half-day of expert consulting FREE! See more details at: http://www.newcommforum.com/Social-Media-Strategy

Or, just join us for one day on Wednesday, April 21st:

The NewComm Forum 2010 One-day Pass Includes:

  • Full Access Pass for Wednesday, April 21st
  • 3 Keynote Sessions: Jackie Huba, online marketing expert and author; Dave Carroll, singer/songwriter, “United Breaks Guitars” and Tim Westergren, founder, chief strategist, Pandora
  • Access to all conference sessions – choose from 16 breakout sessions in five tracks. Featured presenters include: Shel Holtz, Jen McClure, Paul Chaney, Eric Schwartzman, Francois Gossieaux, Brian Solis, Katie Paine, Dharmesh Shah, Beth Kanter, Kami Huyse and more!
  • Networking Activities and Food & Beverage Events: Breakfast, Luncheon featuring Dave Carroll of “United Breaks Guitars” & Cocktail Reception

Register now and use code NCF1D to attend for one day for just $395.

Register for the full conference with discount code NCF300 and save $300 off your registration fee.

I hope you’ll join me for NewComm Forum, the premier conference for unlocking the power of social media!

Finally, I have a few special Speaker Discount Codes left that I can offer that will get you $500 off your registration fee! just DM or @ me at @vanhoosear or email me at


DEMO Debrief

I spoke with Chip Griffin today, giving him a recap of my DEMO experience, including some of the highlights from the event. You can listen to my recap on Chip’s Pardon the Disruption blog.

While we were there, Chuck had a chance to catch up with Steve Wildstrom. We’ll post that podcast interview later today.

Renter? Landlord? Just Want an iPad? (A Fresh Ground Client)

Tweet to Win a Free iPadAnother one of the fun projects we’re working on is helping launch Rentometer Pro, which offers a one-stop resource for landlords to better advertise, manage and maintain their properties in one, easy-to-use online site. To support the launch, we’ve organized a “Tweepstakes.” Find out if you’re paying too much for rent or charging too little by visiting http://tinyurl.com/tweepstakes, find out how your property rates when the rent is compared to other similar properties nearby, and then tweet your results to win an iPad.

Any tweets that begin with “According to @rentometer” (without the quotes of course) are eligible to win. Visit http://tinyurl.com/tweepstakes for rules and an easy way to enter.

What's Your SocialWish? (A Fresh Ground Client)

Our apologies for letting the blog and podcast slip a bit lately. I promise you there’s some great stuff coming from us in both camps. Chuck and I have been hard at work ramping up four programs, not to mention trying to keep the momentum going for LaunchCamp as our plans to take it on the road continue to move forward. Stay tuned for a new podcast episode soon!

Chuck and I are out at DEMO Spring 2010 this week, helping our client SocialWish launch. SocialWish combines collaborative social gifting and universal wishlist functionality. Do you have big ticket items in your wish lists or online registries that never get bought? Do you have big dreams that need some funding? SocialWish lets people collaborate to make these dreams and wishes come true. Wish lists aren’t new, but SocialWish takes an interesting new spin on an old concept, and we think the time is right — it’s all about “payments” these days, as PayPal rightly pointed out on stage today at DEMO.

Rather than the big splash technique, we’re taking what Tony Sapienza calls the “Rolling Thunder” approach here at the show: DEMO attendees get a sneak preview, but you’ll have to wait if you’re not here. You can, however, sign up for the private beta now. Invitations will go out over the next few weeks…

Stay tuned for more news and updates on what we’re working on!