The New World According to Rox

So much to blog about, so little time! I’m just back from Houston, and I will blog later about it. Suffice it to say that Houston is a city of surprises…all of them pleasant.

Now, I’m itching to share some wisdom from one of the Web’s most sincere oracles, Rox Darling. Her simple concept, a morning walk with her dog is a new media juggernaut. Hundreds of thousands of people take a virtual walk with Rox everyday. For many, it’s part of the morning ritual–coffee, bran muffin, Rox.

Rox’s instincts for what works virally is remarkable. But it is premised on a belief that is very analogue–human need. Rox stays focused on how people want to experience Life 2.0, and then how the Web facilitates that, not the other way around.

Below are her tips for people struggling to understand how to succeed in the virtual world, especially those with mega-brands like Coca-Cola:

So says Rox…..

“So, let’s stipulate these facts into the record:

1. It is really hard to get it, especially the bigger you are. You are too shielded from people who will tell you the truth and who will take risks and who actually have any experience down here on the streets of the web where all of the market disruption and social media creation is taking place.

2. There is a level of chance and unpredictability involved. Going “viral” is not something you can plan for and purchase off the shelf. A viral response online is just like it is in biology – an unexpected mutation that takes off in an entirely new direction.

3. If you have any hope of having a concept go viral however, you FIRST have to get out there and make media, have conversations, and take risks. It ain’t gonna happen in the safety of a board room with your usual suspects. If you don’t know who they are,
email me and I will explain it to you in private.

4. IMO, any company serious about developing a social campaign should have BOTH the stable of brand agency players as well as a young upstart new media expert firm in the planning and execution. I’ve written previously about errors made by such luminaries as
Walmart and Ford who spent a lot of money on big agency misfires. Remember, big agencies have the “big” problem too. See #1 above. You want a tour guide who speaks the language natively, not someone who just bought the Cliff Notes, on your team.

5. Please have a tolerance for messiness. People raised online
cannot be controlled, and you will only lose more, faster, by trying to do so.

6. Try and get over your
addiction to big numbers. They were mostly meaningless in terms of actual response rates.

7. Relax. The Internet is not going away. You have time to experiment, to see what works for you and the nuances of your corporate culture. The marketplace on the one hand is very harsh on people who try to game the system, but incredibly forgiving of those who are willing to have a meaningful, valuable exchange of ideas, products, and services. “

I will be featuring Rox on Sponsorship Monday regarding her clever approach to content sponsorship.
Check back.