DEREK ANDERSEN http://techcrunch.com Editor’s note: Derek Andersen is founder ofCommonred and Startup Grind. Follow him on Twitter @derekjandersen. Over the past 12 months, I’ve had the pleasure of interviewing some of the Valley’s best entrepreneurs and investors at Startup Grind. People like Naval Ravikant, Kevin Rose, Tony Conrad, MG…
When Oink shut down yesterday, I used their export tool so that I could do something useful with the information I gave them. In requesting my data, which I did simply by filling out a form with only my username, I received the email below. In looking at the link, it seemed that my publicly available username (cristina) called for the download.
My inbox problems are nothing compared to the TechCrunch writers. Or, to my boss Michael Arrington. Two years ago, when he wrote a post about email overload and a crisis in communication, he had 2,433 unread messages sitting in his inbox. Today, the count is 8 times higher: 20,131 unread messages. And this doesn’t include additional inbox items from Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, voicemail, text messages, Skype, etc.
Let’s assume Mike did nothing else but read emails 24/7 – no writing posts, no talking on the phone, no eating, and no sleeping – well, that one might be accurate. It would take him 1 week to just read his email, assuming each email takes an average of 30 seconds to read and digest.
Now, let’s say all of his emails were 3 sentences or less. The average time to read them would be drop to about 10 seconds. He could get through them all in a little more than 2 days.
I’ll admit the 3 sentence email isn’t going to solve the email problem completely. In Mike’s email post two years ago, he wrote “The long term answer is that someone needs to create a new technology that allows us to enjoy our life but not miss important messages.” He said if he had the right solution, he would quit his job and go do it. Since then, there have been some minor solutions, but the email giant seems to grow just like Moore’s law.
Last month, Virgin America teamed up with the online influence measurement company Klout to promote their new routes between San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Toronto. The campaign offered free tickets to select influencers–with no strings attached. I spoke with Virgin America’s social media manager Jill Fletcher about managing an airborne viral campaign, how Virgin became the airline of choice for the nerd set, and the customer service challenges presented when everyone on board is connected.
How did the idea of giving influencers free flights for the new Virgin America Toronto leg come about?
We have a network of influencers who are very supportive of our brand. We have a close relationship with Jeff Pulver and Guy Kawasaki and Xeni Jardin who fly constantly and are always tweeting about us.
We saw the influencer program as a way to extend that network. We thought of it as an experiment to see what kind of reach we could get working with people outside of our existing relationships.
In addition to the flights being free, there was no demand for coverage, right?
Exactly. It was a new route and our first international destination so we wanted to spur trial and give people an opportunity to take a flight on Virgin America.
A marathon of personal addresses from Isaiah makes the web smell a little spicier
Fans of Old Spice’s Man Your Man Could Smell Like, aka actor Isaiah Mustafa, got a special treat yesterday as the man himself devoted a marathon number of rapid-fire video responses to admirers on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and Reddit.
Offering advice, suggestions, support and even in one case a marriage proposal, Mustafa and a shock team of writers, uploaders and social network liaisons managed to dispatch a frighteningly large number of responses with very little delay, in one of the best examples of real-time, spontaneous marketing seen to date.
The effort kicked off with a widely-noticed get-well-soon message to Digg founder Kevin Rose and spread quickly, eventually reaching more Twitter bigs like Ashton Kutcher, Biz Stone of Twitter and Alyssa Milano. Celebrity and commoner alike graced with Mustafa’s pronouncements were compelled to share, extending the reach of the effort to networks of followers large and small. The team churned out some 117 videos in about twelve hours.