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11 News Articles Found

Yes, software really is a mission | With Ed Schipul

Software is a mission Blog 2013 Screenshot by Ed SchipulI quoted what I believe is a great blog post below by Michael Stanton. It relates to our company as well because we work primarily with non-profit organizations. Business or NPO, you work with a company online and it’s a relationship and not a transaction. You share a vision, or it won’t work. Period.

Does your RFP ask what their vision is? What their mission is? Or just for a copy of their financial statements?


Yes, software really is a mission. For our company, I call our overarching beliefs and values our vision statement. The reason I look forward to work versus showing up early but only for a paycheck and jetting out the door at 5:51 is the vision. You can’t sustain 15 years for the money. Here is our vision statement: “To Connect and Organize the World’s People. Do Good".

When reading the article below replace the word “mission” with “vision” and it is a fair test on if you should do business with us.


If you don’t share that vision, then it won’t work. It just won’t. Sure we will make you money because we are really good at the whole marketing thing after years of study (15 years old, 30+ employees, 400+ clients, there is a reason agencies are constantly trying to steal our people and buy our company! Curious why I say no? Because I don’t believe in THEIR vision. I did the 9 to 5 thing at companies I didn’t believe in. It was hellish.)


Call it a vision. Or a mission. Whichever, yet THAT is why you should or should not do business with a company. Because I promise you as our CEO that the vision drives Tendenci 100%. And we don’t hold much back from the Tendenci open source for non-profits either. Here is the full quote from the article:

Software as a Service is no longer an accurate description of the paradigm of innovation, of the relationship between customer and service provider. We need a more accurate term.
Software as a Mission.
Software can move so fast that customers are not only not buying a static product anymore, they are also not subscribing to a defined service, they are now believers in a mission and hanging on for the ride. And the ride is fast enough to be a bullet train, but can also be a roller coaster. Companies that seem promising can suddenly get acquired, or go down in flames from premature scaling. They can get a strong competitor coming out of left field.
The question is no longer “Do you like the product?” As much as: Do you believe in the company? Do you believe in their direction? Do you believe in the team?
And if you bet on the wrong horse, it's not as big of a deal as it used to be. You just take your credit card to the next one doing the thing you wanted doing. No big deal. The cost of implementation is usually just people hooking up their identities and choosing a password, at most uploading a spreadsheet.
By the way, this also means you won't just have one vendor for what your communities or teams need. You'll likely have several, and functionality will overlap. We're going to have to be Zen about that.
So, let me ask you this question: think about your vendors. Picture them. Do you believe in the company? Do you believe in their mission, their direction, their team? Believing is so important because great teams can ship software really quickly, and what you have next year will not be what you have this year. Believing is important because small teams of people can now produce software that millions of people use. (At one point there were almost 2 Million Twitter users for every Twitter employee, the same goes for Instagram.)
(excerpt from Michael Staton)


And I’d like to highlight one part again. Because oddly enough it applies in both directions. We have a sales incentive program that does not discern between clients who share our values and those that don’t. You can look back at every deal that unwound and it is either communication or a lack of aligned values. In the next paragraph, repeated from above, I have replaced the word “vendors” with the word “clients” and changed the audience to our employees, outsourcers, vendor partners, and to the extended tribe. To (slightly) misquote Mr. Stanton again:


So, let me ask you this question: think about your vendors. Picture them. Do you believe in the company? Do you believe in their mission, their direction, their team?


While it is a common saying for us to “get to “no” fast if we aren’t a good fit.” I think the same goes for prospects. IBM was the biggest so the saying in the 80s was “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM hardware” even though it cost a premium. Yet that also wasn’t the key to great success. Dell seemed invincible. And right now the only PC company I see that I think “cares” about what I do, that I believe every employee shares the vision with, is Apple. And Steve isn’t there anymore. Yet the vision remains.
Purchase the proprietary market leader for your NPO if you are there for the paycheck and not the vision. And while the message might be self-serving given Tendenci was started by our company, it is worth noting that the White House is now powered by Drupal. They believe that the company that powers Drupal, and that Dries himself, believes in the importance of open government from top to bottom. I believe it too. It really is software as a mission as

Ed Schipul - Screenshot Blog Signature

 


Six Reasons to Switch Your Proprietary Software and LOVE the Open Source with Tendenci AMS

Tendenci is a gift to the world. And during this month of love, we want to share with you six reasons why you should switch your proprietary software and LOVE the open source with Tendenci AMS.

Open Source wins over closed proprietary softwares. Check out our list of closed source alternatives to Tendenci.

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You have a lot of options when choosing an MMS or AMS. But if you need to scale to support hundreds of thousands of members, have recurring individual and corporate level memberships, and need the full features of a seasoned large scale enterprise AMS, it’s possible you might hit some limits with the new kids on the block.

Proprietary vendors are companies first and communities second. Tendenci is a community first, and though there is a small company behind it, with the support of the Open Source community, Tendenci software has grown far bigger than we ever expected. And given it started in 2001, when you switch from a proprietary solution, it's an upgrade!

Open Source is the voice of the people - a shared language that brings everyone together.

Think Free In Terms of Freedom with Tendenci AMS

  1. Free Software, Free Society - In the selected essays of Richard M. Stallman Second Edition 'Four Freedoms' he wrote "A program is 'free software' if the program’s users have the four essential freedoms:
  • The freedom to run the program as you wish, for any purpose.
  • The freedom to study how the program works, and change it so it does your computing as you wish. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.
  • The freedom to redistribute copies so you can help your neighbor.
  • The freedom to distribute copies of your modified versions to others. By doing this you can give the whole community a chance to benefit from your changes. Access to the source code is a precondition for this.

 

  1. Tendenci Software Means Greater Functionality and Usability on a Global Scale - Tendenci is a very large project with robust functionality. But it’s still a great low-cost AMS solution for small Associations too! You can easily disable modules you don’t need and keep it simple. Functionality will be there as YOUR small association needs to expand in the future! Freedom is actually pretty cool. Pay less with Tendenci and get greater functionality. 

Note: Tendenci AMS, as measured by an independent third party ranking firm, is the only top 5 AMS on the market that is Open Source on a global scale. We are people who understand the power of associations. And the importance of freedom from centralized platforms and the tyranny of regimes limiting access for all. 

 

  1. Tendenci Is Community First - Open-source is in line with our core values at Tendenci. Our mission is to Connect and Organize the World’s People. Do good. We are change makers who understand the power of associations, which is why we built a software to help NPOs anywhere with any budget to further their cause both nationally and internationally.

 

  1. Freedom to Choose With Tendenci AMS - Looking to make real changes in the world? Host your site and your data on your own server if needed. We dig that! Tendenci, however, is not just for hosting websites. Tendenci is an investment that results in a financial gain to our clients. And while you can certainly host with us, you don't have to. It's okay to support local open source developers in your own country and community as well. Or even get started with our Tendenci AMI and grow!  

 

  1. Freedom to Customize Tendenci To YOUR Associations Needs - You have innumerable ways to customize Tendenci. Association Management Software is complex because associations are complex! So if you are looking to make some minor changes, do it! Looking to write an entire app specific to your organization that integrates with Tendenci? We love it!

Tendenci scales  to support large national and international organizations with multiple chapters, who may also benefit from a custom server configuration. 

Need even further customization for your organization’s unique needs? You can fork Tendenci AMS on GitHub at https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci/. Every Tendenci site lets you pull down and customize existing templates as well. You can try that out on our free Demo site.

 

  1. Tendenci Is Accessible To The World - Languages, languages, languages! Translation and localization of your AMS is possible because the community uses the amazing Django Project web framework and thanks to the people at Transifex who support open source. The world is anxious for growth and because your organization needs to communicate with different constituents in the language of their choice, Tendenci  allows each individual user to specify the language of their choice. 



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Lastly, our CEO Ed Schipul has attended enough board meetings to understand your organization is likely made up of volunteers and the rules for nonprofits are different. Tendenci - The Open Source AMS software is a relationship marketing application that fully meets the needs of large organizations. Have any doubts and concerns? Contact us today. We are here to serve you. Join us

We want to say THANK YOU to all of the developers out there who are contributing, translating, updating and maintaining a very complex piece of software. Tendenci AMS software is inclusive of other languages and cultures, and run by a team that believes in security and privacy. We love and very much dearly appreciate you all. Let's continue to do good today, and tomorrow even more, together. 

Remember, all of the code is on github, documentation is on readthedocs, and translation is crowd-sourced on Transifex. Self-host or host with us - your choice, your data, your association.

Give us a call, let's talk at (281) 497-6567 or visit us at www.tendenci.com 
Stay in the now with our Tendenci Blog and please subscribe to our Tendenci YouTube channel

 

Much open love always,

Team Tendenci
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This Week Tendenci is Celebrating Twenty-three Marvelous Years of Serving the World's People

Tendenci World's People Graphic Image by Tendenci

This week our team at Tendenci is celebrating twenty-three marvelous years of serving the world's people. So, cheers to our clients and to the Open Source Tendenci Community! Our success is yours. Your success is ours. 

Twenty-three years ago, our Founder and CEO Ed Schipul started this wonderful company which was first known as Schipul The Web Marketing Company and today, with a broader global vision, is known as Tendenci - The Open Source AMS. 

We would like to take this moment and express that we understand we are living through uncertain times due to the coronavirus pandemic, which has brought us all a deep economical shock. And it is especially in times like this, everyone needs to unite. 

Nothing is more satisfying to us than to continue to help organizations reach the far corners of the world, even through our hardest times.

Yes, we are all being challenged, but crushing coronavirus uncertainty is a must. And restoring the confidence of nonprofits and associations is our mutual goal. Greatfully, Tendenci software - being open source is the advantage we hold. Proudly. 

Building on last year's message from Founder and CEO Ed Schipul, we would like to reinforce our message - thankfulness is more important than ever before. 

 

"We started out with a vision of connecting people and communities throughout the world, and while the technology involved has changed rapidly over time, our commitment never has. 

Tendenci was built on the shared needs of organizations and nonprofits, designed by you to help people engage in fruitful discussion and support each other in individually specific ways.

Taking Tendenci open source was always the goal, a return to the roots of the Internet itself. Sharing information leads the way to bigger ideas, dreams that can be realized more quickly and more completely when we work together.

With developers around the world collaborating on Tendenci, the entire open source community benefits from a diversity of thought, a culmination of ideas that allow us all to step forward together. 

We could not have taken this journey without you and thank you all for your support throughout the years. Tendenci will continue to grow and expand, knocking down barriers and delivering communication opportunities to people of all nations, regardless of circumstance. 

Our vision and mission is still the same. To connect and organize the world’s people. Do good.

As a community, we can make that happen." - Ed Schipul

 

Tendenci thanks the Community for believing and supporting our strong and powerful secured open source software. Let's continue to reach the far corners of the world together. And remember, Our mission is to Connect and Organize the World's People. Do Good

Happy Twenty-three Marvelous Years!

 

With love, 

Tendenci

 


About Tendenci - The Open Source AMS 

First established as Schipul - The Web Marketing Company | Headquartered in Houston, TX and San Francisco, CA | Tendenci - The Open Source Association Management Software is designed specifically for the needs of nonprofits and associations. Tendenci's mission is to Connect and Organize the World's People. Do Good. Tendenci has been building websites and helping organizations increase their revenue streams around the world for over 20 years. Tendenci was written in Python, PostgreSQL, Django and is fully open source. All of the code is on GitHub https://github.com/tendenci/tendenci

 

 


Schipul - The Web Marketing Company CEO Ed Schipul to Present at Ignite OSCON 2013

Will discuss generational trends in working with developers

Ed Schipul, President and CEO of TendenciHOUSTON, July 22, 2013 – Schipul - The Web Marketing Company (www.schipul.com), a leading Web marketing and software development company, today announced that President and CEO Ed Schipul will address the nuances of generational trends in working with developers at Ignite OSCON 2013, which is part of the open source convention OSCON, in Portland, Ore.

In the talk entitled, “‘Old Developers Just Don’t Get it.’ ‘Yes They Do.’ ‘No They Don’t.’,” Schipul will share his firsthand experience on working with and leading teams of developers over the years, including tips for tapping into the core things that motivate all people regardless of the generation to which they belong.

“Developers of different generations require a different approach to gather their input and secure their buy-in,” said Schipul, describing himself as a Gen-Xer and the “old guy” on his team. “Their wants, needs and expectations are different across generational lines, but at the same time they were all drawn to programming because they love to create. That passion is common ground that motivates developers no matter their age.” 

Schipul cites recent studies that show that startups prefer young inexperienced developers because of their cost and flexibility. This bias is not only discriminatory; it can be self-destructive by ignoring the benefits of a cross-generational workforce. For instance, according to a study released earlier this year, middle-aged developers are driving cloud computing, the biggest tech trend since the advent of tablets and the mobile Web.

“Of course, trends are built on generalizations sprinkled with kernels of truth. Knowing and understanding both elements helps draw the most from team participants,” Schipul said. “I’ll also share some amusing anecdotes I’ve accumulated along the way.”

OSCON, which runs July 22-26, focuses on bringing together business and the open source community. It is a community that is important to Schipul, which released Tendenci (www.tendenci.com), the open source Content Management System (CMS) for nonprofit organizations. Tendenci CMS has more than 1 million users and currently powers hundreds of websites for nonprofit organizations and associations around the world.

Schipul’s talk will follow Ignite’s format of five-minute presentations using 20 slides that auto-advance every 15 seconds – known as “speed dating for ideas” by some. The presentation will be at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 22, at OSCON 2013, the 15th annual open source convention sponsored by O’Reilly Media. For more information and registration, visit http://www.oscon.com/oscon2013.

About Schipul - The Web Marketing Company

Schipul – The Web Marketing Company develops and builds websites on the Tendenci CMS system for NPOs, a revenue generating online tool with over a half million people logging in during the past year and millions of users overall. Schipul is headquartered in Houston with an office in Silicon Valley, and provides web marketing services to an international client base that encompasses a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Schipul’s clients include the Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and Tony Chachere's® Creole Foods, among many others. Additional information about Schipul is available at www.schipul.com and www.tendenci.com.


Schipul - The Web Marketing Company CEO Ed Schipul to Present at 2012 PRSA International Conference

Will discuss the challenges and opportunities of brevity


Ed Schipul, President and CEO of TendenciHOUSTON, October 10, 2012 
– Schipul - The Web Marketing Company (www.schipul.com), a leading Web marketing and software development company, today announced that President and CEO Ed Schipul will present, “Micro Blogs: How to Tell a Story on a Dime,” at the 2012 Public Relations of America (PRSA) International Conference. The presentation will examine the push toward communications that can be quickly disseminated, consumed and shared, and the implications for public relations professionals.

Texting, tweeting, Facebook posts and Instagram photo captions are all illustrations of the trend toward brief written communication. They can be written, disseminated, consumed and shared in seconds, creating enormous opportunities for organizations seeking to connect and strengthen relationships with a range of communities. Schipul’s presentation will examine these trends and the hottest micro blogging platforms, and describe best practices in brief storytelling that get results.

“If you want your community to understand what your organization stands for, remember it and share it, you have to strategically determine which social tools align best with your brand, given their strengths and audience, and make your communication brief,” said Schipul. “Brevity seems simple, but powerful brief storytelling requires an underlying strategy, excellent writing skill and great editing.”

Brevity is especially essential in reaching and engaging younger communities. According to the Pew Research Center’s Internet and Life Project, 95 percent of 18-29 year olds say they use the text messaging feature on their phones, and these users send or receive an average of 87.7 text messages on a normal day. Those between the ages of 18 and 24 send or receive an average of 109.5 messages every day.

The PRSA International Conference features more than 80 professional development sessions and is expected to attract approximately 3,000 public relations professionals and students. Keynote presenters for the 2012 PRSA International Conference include Twitter Co-Founder Biz Stone, Tim Westergren, founder and chief strategy officer of Pandora, June Cotte, Ph.D., consumer behavioral expert, and Michael Steele, a political analyst with MSNBC.

The theme of the 2012 PRSA International Conference is, “The Future Starts Now.” The conference will be held October 13-16 at San Francisco Marriott Marquis. Schipul’s presentation is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on October 16th. To register online, visit https://www.prsa.org/.

Follow the PRSA International Conference on Twitter: #prsaicon

Follow Schipul on Twitter: @schipul

Follow Ed Schipul on Twitter: @eschipul

About Schipul - The Web Marketing Company

Schipul – The Web Marketing Company develops and builds websites on the Tendenci CMS system for NPOs, a revenue generating online tool with over a half million people logging in during the past year and millions of users overall. Schipul is headquartered in Houston with an office in Silicon Valley, and provides web marketing services to an international client base that encompasses a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Schipul’s clients include The Houston Affiliate of Susan G. Komen for the Cure®, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and Tony Chachere's® Creole Foods, among many others. Additional information about Schipul is available at www.schipul.com and www.tendenci.com.


Schipul – The Web Marketing Company Uses New Capabilities in Tendenci® 5 to Give Web Users What They Want

Dynamic, relational content delivers information specific to the user’s interests


Tendenci 5 Provides Flexibility in Designing Sites that Deliver AnswersHOUSTON, March 24, 2011
 – Schipul – The Web Marketing Company (www.schipul.com), a leading Web marketing and Web design company, is hoping the launch of its newly upgraded website puts the final nail in the coffin of old school “brochure” websites. Powered by Tendenci 5, the latest release of the powerful online management software (www.tendenci.com), the new Schipul website features leading edge capabilities designed to cater to the interests of the user.

“Static, one dimensional websites served a purpose 15 years ago, but the needs and expectations of Web users are vastly different today,” said President and CEO Ed Schipul. “Every person who lands at a website is seeking answers and they’ll click away in a heartbeat if they don’t immediately find specifically what they are looking for.”

Schipul has updated Tendenci 5 to work on the Django open source framework, providing greater flexibility with custom Django application integration and greater integration with social media and video sites. In addition to Schipul’s new website, Tendenci 5 powers websites for Houston Technology Center (www.houstontech.org), Discovery Green (www.discoverygreen.com), Tendenci and YMCA Houston (www.ymcahouston.org). 

Tendenci 5, which is developed in Houston by Schipul’s programming team, headed by Programming Director and Schipul Partner Jennifer Ulmer, dynamically pulls content – including photos, videos, links to case studies, blog posts and staff bios – from throughout the website that align with the subject matter the Web user is seeking.

“The thinking used to be if you build a website, they will come,” said Schipul. “These leading edge capabilities flip that philosophy around -- so when users come, the website will build a customized page specific to their interests.”

The upgraded Schipul website includes a number of unexpected elements. Large images dominate the home page that play-up the work their clients do. Feeds from the Schipul Blog (www.blog.schipul.com) and the SEM Blog (www.thesemblog.com) are prominently featured. And each time the home page is refreshed, a different Schipul staffer is featured along with a different inspirational quote.

“Our mantra is to deliver fresh, relevant, valuable content to meet the needs of Web users and keep them coming back,” said Schipul. “The technology is interesting, but it is secondary to telling great stories.”

About Schipul - The Web Marketing Company

Schipul – The Web Marketing Company developed and builds on the Tendenci Web marketing application, a powerful online tool with over a half million people logging in during the past year and millions of users overall. Schipul is headquartered in Houston with an office in Silicon Valley, and provides marketing services on the Internet to more than 300 organizations from a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Schipul’s clients include the Houston Zoo, Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles and Plasma Cars, among many others. Additional information about Schipul is available at www.schipul.com and www.tendenci.com. 


PERSONAL BRANDS OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS OF AT T3PR TECHNOLOGY PR CONFERENCE WITH ED SCHIPUL

HOUSTON, June 8. 2010 – Schipul – The Web Marketing Company (www.schipul.com), a Web marketing, design and software company, announced that CEO Ed Schipul will present “Personal Brands: The Opportunities and Threats,” at the upcoming T3PR Conference 2010. Presented by the Public Relations Society of America’s Technology Section, Schipul’s presentation will discuss the business case for encouraging employees to develop personal brands.
 
“Social technologies enable employees to create their own brands and many organizations are struggling to adapt,” said Schipul. “What we have discovered is that personal brands can be disruptive to the status quo of many companies, but if encouraged and supported appropriately, they can reflect positively on an organization and contribute to a company’s profitability.”
 
Schipul will encourage T3PR participants, who provide PR support to technology companies around the world, to take responsibility for personal brand management within their organizations. Instead of focusing only on the CEO, companies can benefit from encouraging virtually every employee to develop a personal brand that is distinct, yet supportive of the corporate brand.
 
This year, Schipul has been spreading the personal branding gospel to public relations pros across the country. His article, “Recruit and Retain the Best Talent: Why companies Should Encourage Personal Brands,” was published in The Public Relations Strategist. In recent weeks, he was a keynote speaker at PRSA Georgia’s Annual Conference and led a discussion on personal branding at PRSA’s Travel and Tourism Conference. His plenary session at T3PR 2010 begins at 10:45 a.m.
 
“This is the time to embrace change and adapt, and technology PR pros should lead the way,” said Schipul. “As was the case with social media tools, organizations that resist will miss the opportunity to profit from their employees’ personal brands and will spend the rest of the decade playing catch-up.”

Schipul – The Web Marketing Company Schipul provides social media consulting, search engine marketing, Web design and blog design services. The company develops and markets Tendenci® online management software, which powers hundreds of Web sites for organization around the world.

T3PR 2010 will be held June 11th at Concierge Conference Center in New York City. Registration information is available at www.prsa.org/Conferences/Technology/.  
 
About Schipul - The Web Marketing Company
Schipul – The Web Marketing Company developed and builds on the Tendenci Web marketing application, a powerful online tool with over a half million people logging in during the past year and millions of users overall. Schipul is based in Houston, and provides marketing services on the Internet to more than 300 organizations from a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Schipul’s nonprofit clients include the Web Analytics Association, Houston Zoo and the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, among many others. 
 
 
 
 
 

Our Mission is to Connect and Organize the World's People. Do Good.


Schipul – The Web Marketing Company Receives AMA Houston 2009 Tech Sector Marketer of the Year Award

Schipul promotes Web marketing, social media for companies, nonprofits and government through comprehensive marketing initiative

Schipul is the 2009 Tech Sector Marketer of the YearHOUSTON, March 16, 2010
 – Schipul – The Web Marketing Company (www.schipul.com), a leading provider of Web marketing and social media consulting services, was recognized last night as the top Houston Tech Sector Marketer for 2009 by the American Marketing Association’s Houston Chapter. Schipul was an early adopter of social media tools that have dramatically changed the communication landscape and has been an outspoken advocate for strategically and ethically integrating social media into marketing strategies.
 
Approximately 200 Houston-based companies, organizations and institutions were nominated by their industry peers, marketing leaders and chapter members for their innovative and effective marketing programs. As the winner in its Tech Sector Marketer category, Schipul was among the 40 Best of Category winners announced last night during a ceremony at the Alley Theatre. The award was determined by a vote of AMA Houston members combined with votes from a panel of local marketing professionals.

“As each year goes by, our Web marketing activities move more and more into the mainstream of marketing, so this recognition illustrates that our efforts meet the high standards of the best marketers in Houston,” said Schipul – The Web Marketing Company founder and President Ed Schipul. “We thank our customers most of all for giving us the opportunity to show how the Web and social media tools can build brands and connect with their communities.”
 
The Marketer of the Year Award nomination recognized Schipul – The Web Marketing Company’s encouragement and facilitation of the Personal Brands of its employees. With community building at its core, the firm’s employees -- fondly referred to as ‘Schipulites’ -- are involved in numerous arts and nonprofit organizations, including Only in Houston, which promotes the city’s creative community, and Houston NetSquared, a nonprofit technology organization.
 
The Schipul team uses multiple blogs, Twitter, Facebook, a speakers bureau, in-person and Web-based training, videos and photos to educate businesses and nonprofits about the power of the Web and social media. Its inaugural SchipulCon ’09 attracted nearly 200 marketers and public relations practitioners.
 

About Schipul - The Web Marketing Company

Schipul – The Web Marketing Company developed and builds on the Tendenci Web marketing application, a powerful online tool with over a half million people logging in during the past year and millions of users overall. Schipul is based in Houston, and provides marketing services on the Internet to more than 300 organizations from a variety of service industries in local, national and international markets. Schipul’s nonprofit clients include the Web Analytics Association, Houston Zoo and the New York Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, among many others. 
 
 
 

 

Our Mission is to Connect and Organize the World's People. Do Good.

 


Schipul featured in Baltimore Sun article: 'Hype's a bit too warm for Arctic Monkeys'

The Baltimore Sun published an article reviewing the garage rock band the Arctic Monkeys' Internet and blog-fueled success.  Reporter Rashad Ollison discussed the impact of the online media hype and importance of product (band) market positioning with CEO Ed Schipul:

"Ed Schipul runs Schipul - The Web Marketing Company, a firm in Houston, Texas, that analyzes various online trends. Given today's madly fickle, Internet-enhanced pop music scene, he suggests that overexposure would kill the group. Instead of lashing out at the media hype machine, he says the band should "do something more constructive with the hype, like funnel the attention to a charity or something."

"With my company, we talk about positioning in the mind of the consumer," Schipul explains. "If a band like the Arctic Monkeys doesn't bring something unique, then they will drift off in the minds of consumers. They need to have something that will resonate beyond the hype to last. ... It would be smart for them to come up with a sound, a niche, a category and promote that. The bigger the category, the bigger the band, like grunge and Nirvana in the '90s.""

Click here to read the entire article on the Baltimore Sun's Web site.


The Web's Next Generation: Web 2.0 - As published in PRSA Tactics March 2006 by Ed Schipul

pr_tactics.jpgIn the 11 years since the introduction of the first Web browser, the Internet has been considered an interactive communications tool, but we’re just beginning to unlock the Web’s ability to help us truly interact. Instead, most organizations still use the Web primarily to disseminate information.

That’s about to change thanks to a movement called, “Web 2.0,” a collection of emerging technologies that enable social networking by offering Web users the ability to add and edit Web content. It was initially referred to as “Consumer Generated Media,” but the label proved to be too restrictive for the sea change that has been occurring.

As illustrated by the blogs, video blogs (vlogs), podcasts and wikis, Web 2.0 is essentially a platform for sharing information of all kinds.

A Fundamental Change
In the past decade, search engines have turned the Web into an enormous user-driven and non-linear repository of information. Instead of the information source dictating how information is presented and consumed, the user is in charge.

The belief that the Web user should have some control is at the heart of Web 2.0. As the name suggests, these technologies are fundamentally changing the Web and how it is used.

Unfortunately, public relations practitioners have generally failed to grasp how this revolutionary change can be leveraged. Instead, most organization Web sites continue to mimic corporate brochures and still take a sequential approach to presenting their information. First we’ll tell you this, and then click here and we’ll give you that.

And even though the Web makes frequent updates possible, most corporate sites remain static for long periods.

In an environment in which Web users scan their favorite blogs daily, these old habits can signal to the market that your organization isn’t keeping up. On the flip side, numerous organizations have used blogs and podcasts in the past year to support their positioning as trendsetters.

Examples of Web 2.0
A great example of how everyone can have a voice and everyone can be part of the conversation is Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.com), the popular online encyclopedia completely generated, edited and updated by Web users. Not only is Wikipedia a great channel for getting your organization’s message out, the technology that makes it work is available to incorporate into your organization’s Web site.

Using wikis, an organization may enlist its customers to help collaboratively produce how-to guides for their products – or might present new product concepts in order to gather immediate feedback. Internally, wikis might be used to develop more user-friendly employee handbooks by encouraging employees to tinker with the wording.

Two other popular sites that illustrate the power of Web 2.0 technologies include Del.icio.us (http://del.icio.us/) and Flickr (www.flickr.com).

Del.icio.us describes itself as a collection of favorites. Essentially, the site’s community of users list Web sites that they like. It might sound innocuous, but in fact this knowledge sharing can be very powerful. Each time a user adds a favorite site, they choose a few words to describe the site, which is called “tagging.” For instance, possible tags for this article include: Web 2.0, public relations and social networks.

Public relations counselors can make del.icio.us a standard part of their PR program by establishing a list of favorites with their organization’s Web site and adding each news release, article or white paper as they are posted online. It’s hard to predict what might capture the attention of the user community.

Flickr, another quintessential web 2.0 site, shares many attributes with del.icio.us, except users generate the content in the form of uploaded photos. Users create tags to describe the images they like, which again offers a unique, current and relevant look into the minds of the publics we are working to reach and influence.

How to Get Started
Public relations strategists generally are behind the curve in terms of understanding how to leverage Web 2.0 technologies to achieve greater results through improved flexibility and cost efficiencies. However, it will be increasingly difficult to keep it business as usual in the midst of a technology revolution.

Following are a few specific steps you can take to get started:

  • Be willing to share control with the Web user – By giving Web users the ability to add and edit Web content, you can foster a community and build an indelible connection between the users and your brand. Even though you may prefer to control all aspects of their communications programs to the smallest detail, the true power of the Web only comes when you enable Web users to add and edit Web content. 
  • Build flexibility into your PR program – The real power of Web 2.0 technologies is they immediately tap into the attitudes and behaviors of Web users. To capitalize on this knowledge, develop PR plans that allow you to quickly adjust course and capitalize on opportunities the spring up.
  • Take responsibility for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) – Many PR Firms have finally discovered Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for press releases.  Tech savvy firms have been involved in SEO for years with their clients showing up in Yahoo news and attracting additional media coverage.  But Web 2.0 is more about gathering information for strategy formulation.  Helping your clients being an active part of the conversation even with sometimes over reactive bloggers.
  • Continually Listen and Analyze – Take advantage of the feedback loops in Web 2.0 technologies to keep tabs on what people are saying about your brand. Beyond that, examine the words and phrases used to describe your brand. You might find that the market views your products or services differently than you do, which can prompt a review of your positioning.   
  • Make it a point to experiment with emerging technologies – In the past year, numerous organizations have experimented with blogs and podcasts. This year, look for corporate vlogs and wikis to join them. They won’t be right for every organization, but learning and trying can be rewarding too.

If your organization is still approaching the Web the same way it has for the past decade, this should serve as a wakeup call. The wired world is changing.

Visitors to your Web site are no longer entering through your home page and flipping through the site as they would a brochure. They are using search engines to hunt for and transport them to specific bits of information.

Now, Web 2.0 is taking that user behavior a step further by transforming the Web into a platform for sharing information of all kinds – text, sound and images.

By tapping directly into the minds of the Web user, Web 2.0 technologies provide public relations counselors unfiltered information with which to create strategic solutions that resonate with their publics. Web 2.0 can help reveal what target publics really care about, in close to real time. This can be invaluable in helping ensure that messages and tactics are aligned with the interests and concerns of their publics.


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