Love this shot of from Shel Israel, illness meningitis who’s presently traveling through Europe meeting creative and passionate people as he researches his next book about “Global Neighborhoods.”

woman on a laptop in centuries-old doorway in Estonia

Part of Shel’s description:

She was sitting there in the doorway of an Estonian home built perhaps 800 years ago, unhealthy ignoring the rain, pills intently staring at the screen of her Apple PowerBook. I’d like to think she was having a conversation with someone in a far off place.

For some good insight into Shel’s trip, audio style, check out the talk he had with Donna Papacosta just before leaving the US.

Wouldn’t you like to be traveling with Shel right about now? I know I would.

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Heard a disappointing story this afternoon in an audio comment from Rob Cottingham on Episode 183 of the For Immediate Release podcast.

It was a story about a blog that almost was — and a blog that should have been — for the Royal Ontario Museum in Canada. A publishing plan had been put in place. IT questions had been settled. A social-media strategy for using the blog as boost for the Canadian arts scene had been established.

And then, public health two days before the blog was due to launch, rx the big bad boys from marketing got cold feet and squashed the project. Why?

Because “[the museum] want[ed] to ensure that there is a solid strategic angle for our entire audience development strategy.”

So what does that mean, exactly?

Here is how Kate Trgovac might translate that sentence:

  • “I don’t understand this medium.”
  • “This could fail and my ass could be on the line.”
  • “This could be hugely successful and it wasn’t my idea.”
  • “You’re not using my agency.”
  • “You’re not a marketer, what can you possibly know about our customers.”
  • “What if our customers post something I don’t like?”
  • “I’m scared to try anything new.”

Sounds like an organization — or an individual — that when push finally came to shove, just couldn’t embrace the full set of responsibilities that comes with blogging.

What a waste a of a brilliant idea.

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At yesterday’s launch of crayon inside Second Life, treatment president and founder Joseph Jaffe said his company wants to “use new marketing to prove new marketing.”

photo from crayon launch in Second Life showing speakers, <a href=sale as well as a streaming slide show (top left)”/>

So here’s an idea for the gang of crayons that would do just that: organize the first-ever CaseCamp Second Life and host it at your new digs on Crayonville Island.

CaseCamp, if you haven’t heard of it, is a marketing-oriented unconference, where marketing professionals meet to present and listen to a series of marketing case studies (15 minutes). Presentations are brief (typically 15 minutes) and questions and conversation are encouraged. I attended CaseCamp Montreal back in July (see photos as well) and heard presentations on topics including blog marketing, the importance of surprise in a marketing campaign, and the “why” of online consumer behavior. It was informative, thought-provoking, and, quite frankly, the kind of event that more marketers need to be a part of.

So how about adapting this concept to Second Life?

How CaseCamp Second Life would work

Here’s what I envision:

  • Presenters prepare materials on video, slide show, or Flickr photos, all of which can be streamed behind the speakers (note the display in the top-left portion of the image above)
  • Much like Jaffe and crayon VP of new marketing C.C. Chapman did during the launch, presenters give an audio presentation that is also streamed and can be heard by all of the participants.
  • Audience members send queries via Second Life instant message or chat to the CaseCamp moderator, who can either interrupt the speaker when appropriate or save the questions until the end of the presentation.
  • After the presentations, head over to the “chil pool” or rooftop of the crayon towers for virtual drinks and to continue the conversation.

In the end, crayon would be bringing together some of the best and brightest marketers and new marketers from around the world for a virtual mashup of best practices and a discussion about the changing face of marketing. Now that would be using new marketing to prove new marketing.

To be sure, there would be obstacles to overcome, the majority of them undoubtedly stemming from Second Life’s many limitations, including an all-too-small limit to the number of avatars on an island — somewhere around 60 — for starters.

But, after all, crayon is making a play to become leaders of the new-marketing space. They could make this concept a reality.

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