Good to see Coker Tire, a local company getting coverage in the that bible of technology, Wired. Wired had a short piece on the Coker Tire’s Giant Unicycle, the V2, and it’s potential to be the most dangerous thing in the office.

“The Coker V2 has two basic speeds: (1) that-watercooler-sure-is-coming-up-fast, and (2) I-think-I-just-broke-my-tailbone. With a massive 36-inch wheel and a hand brake, it’s like pedaling an oversize half-bike—the half without the handlebars. Speeds up to 29 mph have been reported. Luckily, Wired articles editor Mark Robinson has some experience with mono-wheeled vehicles. Lucky for us, that is—we got to watch him face-plant repeatedly while attempting to maneuver this beast through the office. Hey, Mark, you’re doing great! Try again!”

Coker V2 Unicycle

Coker V2 Unicycle

Two thoughts sprung to mind after reading the piece. Well done Coker Tire, why do you have a unicycle? For those who don’t know, Coker Tire makes tires for vehicles you can’t buy tires for. It owns 6 buildings on the south side of Chattanooga and are the largest supplier of antique and classic tires in the world with exports to over 32 countries.

I have since discovered that the V2 unicycle is only the latest in a line of bicycles offered by the company. A few years ago they manufacturerd and sold a huge cruiser, called the mega-cruiser based on the same 36″ wheel that, er, supports the unicycle and a penny-farthing based on the same wheel and tire combination.

Coker Tire, cool, slightly odd and based in Chattanooga. All things I like.

Video of Unicycle

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Having attended Chattarati’sChattup at The Hunter” last night, I decided to dive deeper into their blog. I noticed that The Hunter Museum are well integrated into social marketing and found this interesting post on the social marketing strategies the The Hunter have implemented.

“The museum launched a blog (which is open to all Hunter staff members) and Twitter account and built interactivity into their new web site. In the physical space, “comment kiosks” in the museum galleries allow visitors the chance to share their personal reactions and responses to featured works. In the future, these in-person responses will also be shared online:

“These in-gallery kiosks will eventually… allow web visitors the same opportunity for asynchronous discussion about works of art and exhibitions.” -Erin Noseworthy”

The Hunter Museum is a small but striking regional art museum in downtown Chattanooga. It’s refreshing to see an organization implement social marketing strategies when there is a tradtional and well tried laurel for them to sit on. It appears that The Hunter have realized that social marketing is a low cost, low risk avenue for driving traffic and visitors to the exhibits.

Social marketing also allows an entity to more easily define a personality than through traditional marketing. The old axiom of “people buy from people, not from companies” hasn’t changed post internet. The great advantage of the Facebook, Twitter and blogs is that it’s much easier and cost effective to define that personality than previous to the rise of social networking.

Just as I wrote about how Lance Crackers responded to the peanut butter recall. The Hunter Museum has taken steps to move their presence from traditional “talk to” advertising into the social media led “talk with” relationship. Great job, I’d love to know how effective their strategies have been. I can tell you that without the Chattarati event last night, all social networking led, I wouldn’t have set foot inside the museum. Now I have I’ll be back. The bottom line is that The Hunter will have at least 1 more paying visitor this year that they didn’t have last year.

In a house with 2 kids peanut butter goes with pretty much every meal. Sandwich, jelly, crackers, salmon, a nice Riesling. Well maybe not the salmon. My wife asked me to check into some peanut butter filled crackers made be Lance to see if they were part of the recall. I was surprised and impressed as to what I found when I searched for “Lance peanut butter recall”

I found a dedicated site (www.lancecrackersaresafe.com)with a clear statement.

“It is safe to enjoy America’s favorite sandwich crackers. Lance sandwich crackers are not with the peanut butter recall.”

Below there are videos from Dave Singer, Lance’s President and CEO, industry spokesmen and even Congressional representative Sue Myrick. and links to press releases and statements pertaining to the recall.

The rest of the site consists of a links, contact and FAQ’s as well as a link to Lance’s regular home page.

According to Perspctv Lance’s coverage on Twitter and blogs made up 1% of the total chatter about the peanut butter recall. Not bad. I wonder if they could have pushed it higher by taking a proactive engagement with Twitter and blog posts.

Bravo Lance, well done. Lance responded to a public health scare, even though they weren’t the focal point, clearly, concisely and with supporting information and links.

By Joe Beeton, Broadside correspondent

Structured like many other Web 2.0 social-networking sites, Knetwit is free to join, it allows users to create profiles and build a “Knetwork.” It generates revenue from selling featured advertisements.

What sets Knetwit apart is that anyone who joins can potentially make money. Knetwit pays users with the site’s internal currency, Koins, which are redeemable for cash via PayPal or products featured on the site’s store. The exchange rate of Koins to cash is approximately four cents per Koin.

“The idea is that students and professors will have a new way to make a little extra money for the work they already do,” said Jenks, co-founder and president of operations. “We allow members to profit from their posted content, and at the same time others benefit from the shared knowledge.”

The full article can be found here.

New Knetwit features

February 6, 2009

Excited about new software release on Monday. We are releasing our new Knetwit Store with 1,000’s of items to choose from. Plus there will be a new “Books” page and book searching. Go to Knetwit to see for yourself.

From Brian Coopers blog.

It seems to me that there are two fundamentals of sales and marketing which always get overlooked. Firstly, without sales there is no revenue, without revenue no company, no company, no job. Without marketing there can be no sales.

Before someone comments that there’s been plenty of sales with no marketing campaigns or budgets let me define what I feel is “sales” and “marketing”. Sales is anything you do which directly results, at that moment, with an exchange of money for the good you are selling. Marketing is anything you do which promotes, communicates and informs about your good. The line is definitely blurred and is not a function of job title, it’s a function of the moment.

Retail is built on sales, which happen in a forum (store floor, phone etc.). Outside of retail, most sales guys spend most of their time marketing. Another way to put it is that marketing builds the relationship between the customer and the good, sales leverages that relationship to provide revenue.

Understanding what makes a “good” sales guy good and a “bad” one bad is normally not obvious. Companies tend to know which one they have but have little idea what made the good one good and the bad one bad. A friend of mine, who is a national sales manager, summed it up well. “As long as my boss sees me working, sales are going up and she thinks these two things are related, we’re fine”.

Marketing

February 4, 2009

Marketing, universally applauded by those “in the know” universally mistrusted by those “not in the know”. Same as sales really. I’m wondering where sales and marketing got their bad rap from? Were people bitten by the sales and marketing dog as children? Were they traumatized by that experience that when you mention that you’re in sales or marketing there is always a snide, underhanded, cynical response.

Or is it just me?