A few weeks ago I interviewed Matt Colebourne. He’s the CEO of coComment, a service that makes it possible to keep track of all the comments you make and discussions you’re participating in. Today he captured the attention of 700 LIFT08 attendees when he spoke about the importance of social networking and conversations for companies and bloggers.
Colebourne is the kind of speaker that grabs your attention and won’t let go. “Who’s stressed?” he asked the audience in enthusiastic way, “Don’t worry, I’m here to make you feel good”. He then asked us to imagine that we’re the marketing director of a big brand. “You have a pleasant life, everybody thinks you’re brilliant.” Well, you can guess where this is going. In comes the angry visitor who leaves an ugly comment on the website. It gets picked up and the social media train is gathering steam. Before you know it, the comment ended up on the Digg frontpage. What happened?!
“Opinions are everywhere, people are saying what they want. Whether you like it or not. Trouble is here”, Colebourne said. “Markets ARE conversations, you can view that as trouble or you can engage, excite and use it yourself.” Some more one liners by Colebourne: “Listen to the good, the bad and the ugly” and “Interaction sometimes make your brand more memorable”. And his most important message: “You cannot control, keep talking and listening, don’t be scared”.
So to sum it up, Colebourne urges companies and organizations to participate in online conversations, instead of running way from them. It’s a message that would do pretty well at a regular marketing event, yet I think that most LIFT08 visitors were already aware of this revolution. I mean, everybody has read the corporate blogging book Naked Conversations by Robert Scoble – who was sitting front row by the way.
Colebourne is a gifted speaker and I really like coComment, but next time I hope his presentation is inspirational because of the content itself, and not just for the way that he presents it.