Nicebot combats evil, sort of

I love the nicebot campaign (#TheNiceBot). It is programmed through an API to send a complimentary tweet to every registered Twitter handled in Twitter’s ecosystem (some 300 million accounts), one-by-one, every 36 seconds. If my calculations are correct though, it will take roughly 342 years to cycle through each Twitter account.

Read more here:

And that’s great. But, most people on Twitter aren’t bullies, and 342 years is a long time.

I would propose using the bot and some natural language parsing (maybe through a partnership with HP’s Autonomy or’s Radian6 platform), to identify the percentage of people tweeting negatively or better yet – identifying the cyberbullies, and then tweeting directly at those people continuously every 36 seconds until the cyberbully surrenders by taking some sort of pledge, action or making an apology.

If #TheNiceBot is going alphabetically, then @Dan_soschin is due for a compliment sometime in the next 50 years. I won’t hold my breath. Maybe I’ll just continue tweeting nice things in the meantime.

Companies should not uses consumer’s social content without opt-in

It’s a great article that explores a number of pertinent topics with regards to consumer generated content (photos, tweets, etc.) on social media and how companies may leverage that content for their own marketing campaigns.

I do think the article misses two key points, however.

First, a 37-year-old mom of a 4-year-old daughter should know better. But the problem is that the general public is extremely naive. They think what they post online is private, or reserved for only a select few. Even worse, many people have no concept that what they post online, even for a few moments, can come back and haunt them for years. Use this rule of thumb: don’t post anything online that you wouldn’t want your dear old grandma to see. But in the example in the article, this post pasts that test. So then what’s the problem? The problem is that she didn’t want Crocs to use the photo. In a moment, I’ll get to why Crocs screwed up royally… But first, if you don’t want strangers seeing photos of your kids, stop posting them online! Stop talking about your child’s hissy fit or medical problems too… when they are old, their classmates will use these things as bullying opportunities. In this case, the mom even hashtagged the brand term. That sort of says, “hey brand, come and get my photo!”

Crocs broke a core marketing principal when they did not seek her permission to use the photo. Seeking permission is so easy. It’s a great opportunity to engage a fan, thank them, possibly reward them, encourage them to continue sharing, and so on… However, this didn’t happen, nor did they get the mom’s permission. Yet somehow the picture showed up on their site.

There are exceptions of course… In my opinion if you pull a social feed, moderated but unmodified, and post it on your site, that’s fine… The content is easily attributed back to the social source and no one for a minute thinks those users are participating in a marketing campaign without their permission.

It’s very easy for brands to go from good to evil, and not seeking permission can be the pathway. But to prevent it from happening, users should think carefully about what they share online, and even how they tag it.

Miserable employees

One of my roles as head of marketing at a large employer is dealing with the ramifications of unhappy, miserable employees that insist on staying in their jobs and complaining instead of quitting or resigning. It’s the job of management to make sure employees don’t hit this stage of the workplace happiness timeline. Employees who are underperforming or have the wrong attitudes should be counseled and remediated; and if improvement doesn’t occur, the company should separate (fire the employees). Or, the employee should just simply quit. You should not be a in prolonged state of misery because this means that most likely the employee is not positively contributing ROI to the business, not optimally serving the customers or stakeholders, and is unproductive. What a huge liability? Yet, in large workplaces, this seems to persist… and time and time again I find my self dealing with negative employee reviews on The common thread is that these employees are junior and they compare themselves to others. They also lack maturity and experience… but management let’s them coast right along.

Here’s my advice if you are unhappy at work:

Don’t measure yourself through the eyes of others around you. Measure yourself by looking in the mirror and saying, “I can do better, I can achieve more, I can be great.” Then, stop gazing and go out and do it.

In other words. Quit your job now. Otherwise, shut the f* up and work to better yourself, what you do and your contributions.

Steve Jobs said, “Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is

By many reports, Steve wasn’t necessarily beloved by his employees… but Steve loved his job. And many people around them did so too… which is why Apple has achieved so much.

Should I purchase domain names proactively?

This past week, The Donald made headlines when it was uncovered that his company owned thousands of domain names that are simply being parked in what it deems as a defensive move.

Says Trump’s son, Eric, “For a company like ours, it’s incredibly important to protect ourselves, and it’s incredibly important to own our intellectual property.”

Here’s why this doesn’t make financial sense, and why it also a futile effort:

Yahoo lists some of the domains owned:


It typically costs anywhere from a few dollars to about $15 to keep each domain per year. Let’s say it’s $10. And let’s say they have 50,000 domains. That means they are paying $500,000 a year to park these domains. Chump change for a billion-dollar corporation, right? Well, after 20 years, that’s $10 million. Not to mention the lost return on capital the $500,000 would generate on a annualized basis.

The Trump organization is probably also (over)paying an agency to manage these domains on their behalf… perhaps another $50,000 – $100,000 per year.

When asked, I have never recommended purchasing domain names to thwart potential slander. And I’m asked this same question at each company I work. The reason is pretty simple, you just cannot purchase all the combinations of potentially scandalous domain names. In fact, there are 36 to 245th power which is basically a 2 with 381 zeroes following it. That’s a lot more than a google, and a lot of $10 bills each year. For example, here are five domain names I could purchase that they haven’t yet:


See my point?

Not only is this a waste of money, it’s a waste of time.

Proponents of this futile activity will claim “it’s worth it if we even thwart one attack!” But you won’t. If you know search engine optimization, you don’t even need Trump in the name of your website to talk about the organization. I’m talking about them now, and if I had good content and SEO, then I won’t need a Trump-specific domain name to spread my word.

And, let’s say you are slandered, if another person is using your trademark and/or slandering you, there’s a really good chance you can shut them down through the legal system – and it’s typically not a big company fighting you, but an individual that lacks sufficient legal resources to counter attack.

So save some time and a lot of money and stop buying domains you don’t need.

ClickZ Live Toronto – Session update and discount code

Use Dan's Discount Code for ClickZ Live Toronto 2015

Use Dan’s Discount Code for ClickZ Live Toronto 2015

In an effort to beat the heat this summer (I live in the sub-tropics and it’s hot, I mean like step out in the sun and fry an egg type of hot). So, what better way to take a break from the heat and head north of Tampa. Way north… How about Toronto?

I can’t think of a better way to spend a few days in Toronto then with the good people of ClickZ Live. I contend that ClickZ continues to put on the best conferences around for digital marketers and search marketing.

If you’d like a 25% off code, use this one:

Dan Soschin ClickZ Live Toronto.

Advancing with Social Analytics: Measuring Social Marketing

Everyone knows the implied value of social marketing, but how do you identify your true ROI and provide reports to others? All material covered in this session will be using free tools and not premium social media platforms. So yes, you CAN try this at home! You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, but most importantly you’ll learn how to use Google Analytics, Excel dashboards and Microsoft Word case studies to measure and report on the value of your social media campaigns.

Hope to see you there!