Dining in the dark

Tonight with my colleagues we have experienced the concept "dining in the dark".

What does that means?

Just imagine, that you can not see for an hour or two, that you are abandoning vision in exchange for a new, multi-sensual dining experience. Opaque is enhancing our senses of taste, smell, touch, and hearing by abandoning one that we often take for granted.

I had never heard about that, although this is the latest dining trend sweeping through Europe that has enjoyed great popularity in cities like Berlin, Paris, and Vienna.

And so, at the beginning it's a bit difficult to find your food and just eat without seeing nothing. But the waiter is here to guide you.
The food was really tasteful and I think the fact that we cannot see the food has a big impact on the taste sensed.
Our only references become what we are listening to around and everything seems to be far.

So it was a very interesting experience. That has a price: $79 to $99 the menu.

PS: I just moved-in and it's so great. And here is below an amazing night view of SF that I had tonight.

Photo by Kenny

Advertising, PR, and Marketing Suck! Now What?

The second day I have directly attended my first event of this kind. It was a panel about where PR agencies and marketers are failing and the role of new social medias when managing a product online.
There was obviously a lot of representatives of the marketing and social media world and I have to say that the networking part is a really great opportunity to get in touch with entrepreneurs and other interesting contacts.

The panel: Guy Kawasaki (well-known Silicon Valley venture capitalist), Renee Blodgett (President of Blodgett Communications), Louis Gray (louisgray.com), Loic Le Meur (Founder of Seesmic) and Steve Patrizi (VP of Sales, LinkedIn)

First, a funny video, Guy Kawasaki introducing the panel:

Here are some of the highlights: (thanks to Abhishek Gattani)

What would you do if you had a great product in a niche and zero dollars in marketing?

Reach out to your personal network such as friends, family, and colleagues and possibly get some thought leaders to use your product. Focus on the second tier of bloggers, make them fans of your product and they will market the product for you at no cost. Invest in building a community by being honest and transparent; however be aware that this takes time. Release your product as soon as possible, learn from mistakes, and be honest to your consumers about fixes. Another idea is to find your consumers on Twitter, follow them, and engage in conversations. However, be careful, since you are walking a thin line between good marketing and spam here.

What would you do if you now had $10,000 dollars in marketing? How would you put it to use?

Hire a community relations intern to listen to your customers, actively respond to every piece of feedback, and turn customers into advocates. You can also try creating a fun video of your product and distribute it virally. Thousand dollar press releases are an option too, but only for communicating major changes. One should also invest in targeted online marketing with Google AdWords. Louis Gray has seen success selling even $350,000 products using just AdWords.

What is role of an advertising agency specializing in social media for big companies? Should they just do it on their own?

Everyone agreed that advertising and PR firms add significant value. Especially since big companies need to change old ways and adapt to social media. Often CEOs come from a technical background, and an agency plays a critical role in getting the messaging and branding right. However, simply hiring a firm is not enough  –a company has to commit resources to working actively with the agency on responding to the feedback received from customers.

Loic using some of Tim Ferriss's words: ;-)

At the end, Loic also noticed that Guy Kawasaki has business card with stickers on backside. Cool idea!

I conclude with a quote from Steve Patrizi:

MySpace is your bar, Facebook your backyard BBQ, Linkedin your office.

Related to this article:

First days in San Francisco

Je suis bien arrivé à San Francisco. Ce fut long mais ça y est, je peux enfin profiter. (oui ce post sera en Français)
La première impression en sortant de l'avion a été le filtrage des voyageurs sur deux voies. L'une "US citizens" indiquant tout de suite "Welcome to the USA" et l'autre "Visitors" qui mène à des contrôles supplémentaires (encore). Prise des empreintes etc... Donc ensuite j'ai pu récupérer ma valise mais là on m'a l'a intégralement fouillée.
1H30 plus tard (quand même) j'étais enfin dans le BART, le métro de la San Francisco Bay Aera assez hype puisqu'il y a de la moquette par terre et c'est bien confortable.

Découverte ensuite de mon hostel puis déjà première visite d'appartement assez prometteuse.
Le jet lag m'a complètement détruit donc je m'effondre assez rapidement.
Le lendemain, premier jour au bureau, rencontre de mon boss et collègues. Résultat: ils sont super sympa! Je ferai un autre post plus tard à propos de mes missions de stage.

Sinon ici 9 personnes sur 10 ont un iPhone et quand je passe derrière les écrans d'ordinateur je ne vois que Gmail et Facebook.

Ce soir je suis également allé à une conférence: "PR, Marketing and Advertising suck, now what?". Cela portait sur l'impact des réseaux sociaux rendant ainsi le marketing "traditionnel" has been selon les cas et les considérations. Débat très intéressant et intervenants de qualité. J'y reviendrai aussi dans un autre post. Ci-dessous une photo de la vue depuis le 36ème étage du Grand Hyatt Hotel où se trouvait la conférence, et Union Square.

Renew with blogging - adrienmagnus.com

I think I just found the perfect blogging service: Posterous.

I was completely lazy thinking about blogging until discovering this smart service. Here are some good reasons that make my choice:
  • You just have to email post@posterous.com in order to post something
  • If I attach one or more photos, Posterous will resize it to web-friendly size and post it
  • When I attach music or sound, it will drop the music into a web MP3 player, so instant podcast
  • When I put a URL in my email, such as a YouTube link, it automatically turn it into a YouTube embeded player for the new post
  • Autopost to everywhere: on Twitter, Facebook, other blogs, etc...

Visit http://posterous.com for a complete overview, you should be fulfilled.

That makes this platform a new place for me to share links, insights, photos, videos and other geeky things on my experience in San Francisco which is starting very soon!

Photo by @vgrempka