Social Fundraising: How to Fund a Cause with Social Media

This article is the first for my blog since the new year started. I know, I’m a lazy blogger, but I’ve also been pretty busy with business and conferences that brought me all the way to a conference in Iran, to give classes in a couple of European universities, and to travel further more both for business and sure – also for pleasure! More conferences and classes this year, from speaking at Search Congress Barcelona, Search Engine Strategies London and at the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference, to teaching more classes at the Master for Community Managers organized by M4F in Bilbao.

At my next speaking/reaching commitments I will be talking about some of the topics I already explored a lot over the last year or two: social media strategies, social media optimization, video optimization, and social media policies – of course updated to the latest news and insights. But I want to take advantage of this post to share the presentations I created on a new topic: social fundraising – a topic I’m particularly proud of since the two case histories are related to one of the most inspiring communities I ever been part of: Burning Man.

burningman-2011-man-burn (more…)

From Reykjavik: Social Media What? How to Design a Social Media Strategy

rejkyavik-internet-marketing-conference-logoI came back last week from the amazing experience of discovering Iceland, where I spent a week to participate to the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference 2010 (RIMC 2010) organized by my good friend the “Viking of search marketing” and now also a fellow Director at the new SEMPO Board of Directors Kristjan Mar Hauksson, who has been the perfect host for the Icelandic event.

Even if I find challenging and honored when I get invited to speak or moderate panels at great conferences at big venues, (like SES London 2010 the week before), I still love the atmosphere, mood and networking of smaller conferences like RIMC 2010. When there are less than 300-400 people in the room I feel free to walk among the audience with a microphone (or two) in my hand, make eye contact with the attendees and shoot the occasional question to the audience, even during my presentation and not just for Q&A. (more…)

Interview to Robin Good: Empowering Users, Search Engines, SEMPO and more

Robin-GoodIt’s a little bit of a shame that I took so long to publish this interview to Robin Good. Originally recorded on a sunny december morning in Rome, these files ended up in a back-up hard drive I lost track of, and that I finally found more recently (with a lot of other “lost files“). Nice that I finally got them back.

Robin Good is one of my favorite references when it comes to internet marketing. Despite of the Sherwood-esque nickname Robin Good decided to be public with, Robin (real name Luigi Canali De Rossi) is an italian chap living in Rome where he set up the headquarters of his organization, that keeps growing behind the efforts of the knowledge sharing website Master New Media and other independent publishing ventures such as

robing-good-tv-personal-broadcasting-independent-publishingAs a matter of fact, independent publishing is what made Robin…. independent, as he has been the very first pioneer in Italy (and among the firsts in the world) in setting up a business model based on Freeconomics (the free Economics recently discussed in a book also by Chris Anderson of Long Tail fame) – giving knowledge away for free, empowering web users towards the adoption of internet tools that can actually make them free to set up any publishing initiative on the web.

Robin Good’s business model is based on advertising, and Robin has been the first independent publisher in Italy to be able to get a steady stream of profits generating uniquely from advertising on his web properties.

So I put my SEMPO hat on and, on a sunny december morning in Rome, I finally met and interviewed Robin Good! please note that, even if the recordings are 2 years old, the topics discussed from both Robin and myself (below) are still hot and valid today – maybe because we both are internet visionaries? =)

Independent publishing has been of course the topic of the first part of the interview, a good way for Robin Good to introduce himself and the topic. Watch the video!

In the second part of the video Robin Good touches base on search engines, and compares search engines to “The Great Librarian“, a very interesting metaphor that really amused me – but very true! Watch the second part of the video interview.

Third and final part of the interview to Robin Good went back to independent publishing and, more in detail, on the vast availability of internet tools that can allow any user to set up any publishing venture on the web for free.

Watch out, free from buying big platform, but still costly in terms development and maintenance. Setting up an online publishing venture is not a game and requires vision, skills and plenty of time material. And yes, some money too – because Freeconomy is good, but then you will find out that to make a great job you still need the premium version of most of the free tools… anyway, Robin’s vision at this regard is pretty clear, and I personally support it. Watch the third and final part of the video interview on internet tools.

Just to make this post complete, I need to post also the videos that Robin Good shot while interviewing me! That’s right, as a Master publisher and video evangelist, he didn’t waste the opportunity to interview me for about SEMPO, search and social media marketing.

My videos distributed by Robin Good have been around online for a long time. I can recap them all here in this post for your convenience, and to recreate that cool mood of a sunny december morning in Rome with Robin talking about giving out and sharing on the web.
The first set of videos is an interview in 5 parts titled “SEO and Social Media: Q&A with Massimo Burgio

Part 1 ……………….. Part 2 ……………….. Part 3 ……………….. Part 4 ……………….. Part 5

Robin Good also edited other two fragments of the interview, one still on SEO topics “SEO: The importance of good content“, the other one “What is SEMPO?” to introduce the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization I proudly represent. Enjoy the videos. Thanks Robin!

SEO: The importance of good content ……………. What is SEMPO?

Dancing Guy: Persistence is Key to Success on Social Media Networks

The first time I saw the video of the Dancing Guy at the Sasquatch Music Festival 2009 I couldn’t stop laughing, and the video still cracks me up every time I see it – I’m not the only one, by the way. The famous first viral video of the Dancing Guy at Sasquatch already scored more than 2 million views on YouTube, while there are several other version of the same scene taken by other people in the crowd, from different angles, and each of the videos already hit the several thousand hundreds views on YouTube.

So why is this video getting so viral? Simply because it’s a funny video, and also because it’s about a community – I bet each and everyone of the person in the crowd viralized the video on their own, spreading it out to the social web, sending the link to friends and sharing it on social networks. Let’s watch the video first, then we go back to discuss why it is also inspirational, beside of being funny.


Travel 2.0 Strategies and Tools: Blog Marketing, Social Media Marketing and Viral Videos Workshop in San Sebastian

A couple of months ago I have been hired, via my friends from Spanish search engine agency Overalia, to design and deliver a two-day workshop on the topic of Tourism and Travel 2.0. The workshop, two full days of Spanish content, training, site clinics, tools and exercises, has been offered to CICtourGUNE, the Center for Cooperative Research in Tourism, a Basque governmental agency dedicated to generate knowledge excellence in the areas of tourism and mobility, with offices in the very cool technology Park of San Sebastian (Basque Country, Northern Spain – Euskadi, in Basque).


We had about 25-30 people in the room, all related with the Travel and Tourism industry: some from local hotels and local tourist services, people from a museum and from the local Tourism Board at the San Sebastian City Hall. The rest of the attendees had ideas and business plans to launch in the Travel industry, and were looking for some good advice to be successful on the web.

Good audience at CICtourGUNE – very interested people, strongly motivated to put things in being and to launch projects straight away, but unfortunately lacking of all the foundations about basics of search and internet marketing – difficult for me to get them started in the 2.0 arena, and to vertically enter into the online Travel / Tourism industry topics, so I decided to invest day one of the workshop in providing the audience with a solid understanding of what internet marketing is about, before dedicating day 2 to social media and its applications and declinations for the Travel 2.0 industry. (more…)

Search versus Discoverability: What is your Search Strategy?

As I often say, it is good to serve at the SEMPO’s Board of Directors, as I can have very good exchanges with some of the smartest minds in the search and online marketing industry. A couple of months ago (maybe a little more) fellow SEMPO Board Director Duane Forrester asked a question: Search or Discoverability? What’s your search strategy?

SEMPO Board of DirectorsI believe Duane is in the process of writing a(nother) online marketing book, and the search versus discoverability topic surely seemed to be of some interest to him.

A good conversation raised around the topic, in a closed circle of emails with inputs from the likes of Dana Todd, Sara Holoubek, Jessica Bowman and Chris Boggs among the others, so I dropped my 2 percent to the conversation.

Today I found that old thread and decided to copy and paste my input on the matter, so to share it with you all – I would like to get your comments and your opinion on the search versus discoverability discussion, use the comment box below and feel free to tweet about this article.

Here we go – enjoy the reading!

Rock on – I like the question. In my opinion it is all a matter of positioning and target audience. Some “things” (businesses, events, organizations, brands, products) are not meant for a broad publicity, and do not need to be visible to everybody, but are meant to be discovered – by the right audience.

Some example? The first that comes to my mind is, of course, the Burning Man Festival and year-round community, but this can be applied also to products (niche-specific products such as specialty medical treatments or specialized construction or boating gear etc), organizations (i.e. Rotary Clubs, Masonic groups, exclusive Golf clubs, Museums Donors Funds, etcetera), businesses (highly specialized products and services) and brands (cult underground clothing brands, cult alternative music bands or film productions, etc.).

Search versus discoverabilityBasically, there is a whole word out there who doesn’t need to be slapped into everybody’s face – in advertising terms, they will never buy Superbowl airtime nor outdoor advertising.

These brand, products, organizations, etc. need to be discovered – not to be visible to everybody. In marketing-advertising terms, this can be achieved thanks to the recommendations and trust circles generated by the 2.0-social world (discovery by trusted input) or (and) thanks to search marketing, of course! =)

Search marketing (SEO and SEM) can definitely fit both needs, allowing to achieve either the largest possible audience (full-on visibility) or a very niche-specific, long tail target (can I call “meet the demand” a “piloted discovery“?). (more…)

MediaCamp Perugia: Innovation in Information, Personal Broadcasting and Citizen Journalism

Third Italian MediaCamp unconference after MediaCamp Sicilia and MediaCamp Roma, the first MediaCamp Perugia was hosted last sunday april 5 at the International Festival of Journalism of Perugia.

Of course in this case the MediaCamp topics were about media as information/news, not as marketing/advertising!

MediaCamp Perugia has been brief, but intense. It started at 2PM on Sunday and, even if scheduled to close at 7PM, I had to rush to the train station at 5.30PM in order to catch the last train to Milan, where I has a client meeting the next morning. Bummer, I would have liked to stay a little bit more to be more active within the final Q/A session.

The event has been very successful, and I enjoyed it even if I had to go away early. Kudos to Vittorio Pasteris, journalist of the Italian newspaper La Stampa, who organized the event and moderated the entire unconference. Great first intervention by Carmela Modica aka Asia Connell (my partner in the MediaCamp Italia initiative), who talked about information and dynamics of communication in the Second Life 3D world.

I followed on agenda with my presentation on Personal Broadcasting and Citizen Journalism embedded above (you can also download it from Slideshare). As you can see, I couldn’t resist to put my SEMPO and search marketing hats, and spend a few words about the importance of optimizing any piece of content, from copywriting to links, images, and videos, specially when hitting the social networks. I also proposed a new paradygm shift for the journalist 2.0, as well s for the information ecosystem, and for those “people formerly known as audience“, the users, now at the core of the information revolution. Find it all in my presentation.

After my intervention, scheduled as second in the stream of unconference interventions, I started tweetting live, of course. If you browse my Twitter profile you can still find all the live tweets, that I choose to produce in Italian to better share among the Italian community of MediaCamp.

I really enjoyed the presentation from the students and Alumni of the School of Communication of Perugia, and mostly the passionate intervention from the RAI2 journalist Francesca Romana Elisei, who unveiled the generation gap in journalism, “one of the bottlenecks to innovation in information“, she said.

Stefano Valentino, a free-lance journalist, presented, a project for a collaborative journalism platform that actually remunerates bloggers/journalists for their articles, and aims at being the marketplace of citizen journalism.

Leonida Reitano, President of Giornalismo Investigativo, a school for investigation journalism, scared the hell out of me for the depth of topics they are expert on, from the “basic” of computer forensic to international and terrorism investigations. Wow, a true school for 007s!

Asia Connell told me this is nothing, with terrorists and militant groups of all sort being active on the Second Life grid. Now I got even more scared…

I took a break to have some late lunch and a talk with Michele Moro, a long time virtual friends from Facebook chats and LinkedIn groups, so it was the first time we met.

Michele has great ideas on the business front of the social web, and wants to work together on the organization of a next Italian Mediacamp in Florence! Excellent, I’m in! You will be hearing soon about MediaCamp Florence!

Went back for the last part of MediaCamp Perugia – at least for me since I had to escape to catch that last train.

The closing of MediaCamp Perugia has been very interesting, with an intervention of Luca De Biase and Guido Romeo of Nòva24, who talked about the journalism of innovation, and innovation in journalism.

I started shooting a video, but I was tweetering from my phone at the same time (because, again, this was a room full of bloggers with no free-wifi….), so the video quality is bad, while the audio is good, and you can have the chance to hear Luca De Biase talking about the methodologies for a true innovation. Audio in Italian language.

Very passionate, firing up questions at the Q&A session, was also Enrica Garzilli: journalist, blogger, hacker and into robotics, who asked Luca De Biase about the possibility to predict innovation through the analysis of trends happening at the Nòva24 platforminteresting question, let’s see where this can take the conversation, and the innovation…

Last intervention on the MediaCamp Perugia agenda, and last before I left the room, was the one from Luca Schibuola, University of Udine, who presented a research project on usability and advertising in online newspapers – very interesting, but mostly academic. It was time to go for me…

Wow, such a rush! I thought I wasn’t going to make it to Perugia, but I did it – and I was again on my way towards other destinations, this time Milan, where I hope we could organize a MediaCamp soon! In the meantime, big kudos again to Vittorio Pasteris for organizing MediaCamp Perugia, to the International Festival of Journalism for hosting the event, to all speaker participants for sharing, and to all people in the audience for contributing! Want to see who was at MediaCamp Perugia 2009? Check out the photo set on!

Another successful Italian MediaCamp! Now on to MediaCamp Firenze!