Reuse Data for Valuable Content

The other day, I posted my frustration dealing with sharing report, because the report is tight-locked under copyright use. I stumbled into Andy Sernovitz’s blog (the word-of-mouth guru) this morning and there he posted something about Chevron’s use of social media data.

Who knew that Chevron have been monitoring the social media sphere for awhile? What they did with the data that they’ve been collecting over a period of time, is reused it by creating valuable content that gets distributed across social media platforms. And the best thing is: they make it easy to share. It is “not buried under mountain of restrictions and legalese,”  which is very un-corporate.

Furthermore, Chevron posted the report on a different site that was (I think) for community outreach, with catchy name Will-You-Join-Us.

Some key takeaways, via Andy’s Answers:

  • Look for external uses of your internal projects. Raines and his team realized their monitoring data on energy issues was valuable to more than just their company — so they turned their work into a report that thousands of key industry influencers have since downloaded.
  • Get people talking by making it easy to share. Chevron didn’t bury its report under mountains of restrictions and legalese — it simply encouraged people to post the report and to attribute the material to Chevron when doing so.
  • Use all the tools that can help your content spread. Chevron’s “Pulse Report” is a 60-page white paper — but they didn’t just post it on their corporate website. They also posted YouTube videos summarizing it, shared it on Facebook and LinkedIn, and made it available for download on Slideshare and Scribd.

Watch video of the presentation.

Chevron Pulse Report: The State of Online Conversation About Energy Issues, presented by Robert Raines from GasPedal on Vimeo.


Why the United Nations Needs to Go Creative Commons

With the rise of social publishing, the United Nations need to lead by going Creative Commons license for all of their publications. You know that the UN has published thousands of world class publication for everyone. These publications are available for free for anyone with online access. Yup, free access.

However, they’re missing the boat by locking most of their publications into Copyright situation. Case in point, this publication on “Kick the Habit,” a comprehensive guide to climate neutrality for everyone – yes, everyone from individuals to organizations to cities, governments, SMEs (small-medium enterprises) and corporations – pretty much cover all of us who uses energy. However, this guide is not easily accessible for anyone unless it gets to the hands of influencers, who can then help spread out the message around via different medium like Twitter, Facebook, social publishing, etc. you name it. 

I almost got kicked out from Scribd (a social publishing) this morning, because I wanted to share (read: non-profit, non-commercial) this Kick-the-Habit publication (pdf) online so people can access it, read it and get educated on the issue of going carbon neutral. 

Here is the email I received from Scribd this morning.

Hello, DewitaSoeharjono —

We have removed your document “Kick the Habit” (id: 40082915) because our text matching system determined that it was very similar to a work that has been marked as copyrighted and not permitted on Scribd.

Like all automated matching systems, our system is not perfect and occasionally makes mistakes. If you believe that your document is not infringing, please contact us at and we will investigate the matter.

As stated in our terms of use, repeated incidents of copyright infringement will result in the deletion of your account and prohibit you from uploading material to in the future. To prevent us from having to take these steps, please delete from any material you have uploaded to which you do not own the necessary rights and refrain from uploading any material you are not entitled to upload. For more information about’s copyright policy, please read the Terms of Use located at

Best regards, Scribd Support Team Questions?

This is the UN COPYRIGHT. 


So the way I understand it, it IS okay if you made copies for non-profit distributions. But it’s NOT okay for online distributions. Interesting…

Digital vs. hard copy influence

Want more people to read? A quick math on Scribd: 60 million readers every month, 20 million embeds, millions of people readcast (read and let people know what they’re reading). Plus it can get downloaded by IPad, Kindle, and some other e-reader gadgets. It’s about distribution. That stats versus printing 200-some pages! Why waste papers these days if you don’t need to? Hellooooo? There’s more upside potential, i.e. more people read, online. That’s the fact.

Creative Commons is about democratizing publishing and access. Look, I am not using it for commercial purposes. My intention is to share worthwhile reading materials with others. You think after this I’m going to upload UN stuff. No way, baby. It’s not worth the risk. Because I still want to share the world with more reading stuff going forward

By the way, the UN is not alone in this case. There are other organizations have the same attitude on copyright thing. I know I singled out them (sorry about that) because they have many more organizations under their wings. If they lead, others will follow.  

I just hope some UN officials in New York, or elsewhere in the world, pay attention to the implications of online culture on sharing. Sharing is social. Social means less restrictions.

Nuff said. Let’s unlock the potential…

Management Creed Every Business Should Read

The opening in a book on a subject of success stories on niche marketing penned by Dr. Soichiro Nagashima, an APO (Asian Productivity Organization) expert, published by the same organization, is something that we don’t put too much emphasis over here. The author has been trekking clean productivity arena for 40-some years. Originally was written as a manual for seminars on niche marketing strategies in Japan. 

Coming by way of Asia’s productivity, here is the creed, via APO.

Management is the art of adapting to the business environment

Management is the art of adapting to the business environment, and the business environment is subject to a range of political, economic, technical and social influences. The art of adapting to the changing environment may sound easy, but change is not visible to the insensitive eye. People content to lead an inactive, idle life resting on previous successes cannot grasp the dramatic socioeconomic changes occurring all around them. For those who have achieved success in business and maintain an ongoing passionate commitment to further progress, however, contentment can be a form of poison. For individuals, stagnation means death; for a company, maintaining the status quo is equivalent to giving up and closing down.

Moving in a different directions than others can open up opportunities. A company should recognize that the sun is already setting upon a market when everybody is in a rush to move in the same direction. In other words, a niche strategy which exploits “blind spots” in a market, paves the way for a company with a unique product or service, superior intellectual resources, and extraordinary creativity. [emphasis added]

This is truly a different attitude (and mindset) towards change. We tend to run the other way when facing with change. When in fact, change is good for business. 

LEARN from the master. So no matter what size and stage of your business, learn from the master to help you carve out your ‘niche’ market. Japan is the master when it comes to manufacturing technologies and some other breakthrough technologies. Circumstances like scarcity of natural resources, 80% dependent on imports for its food supply, etc., forced them to find the way out. And it has made Japan as one of the economic powerhouses in the world!

For more inspirations, you can check out the rest of the book “NICHE MARKETING 60 Success Stories,” here. [pdf]

10 Principles of Strong Brands

In today’s marketplace, “corporations need to be aware more than ever before of the many underlying forces that impact a brand’s ongoing strength,” according to Interbrand. The rule of relationships between business and customers is changing. In the 24/7 news cycle, business can lose their brand value in a matter of minutes. Customers are more vocal. They would let you know what they feel online via Twitter, Facebook, blog comments, etc. Responding to a crisis to maintain perceived brand image is more important than before. Ask BP about it

To stay true to your brand’s promise, business needs to humanize its customer relationships, via Interbrand. 

It is clear that the rules are changing, but in a landscape fraught with contradictions, and vocal customers scrutinizing your every move, it is difficult to know how best to proceed. Yet some brands are already adapting – embracing transparency and a higher level of customer engagement at every touchpoint, while staying true to their brand promise both internally and externally. Brands like Coca Cola, Ford and Santander are guiding the way forward, showing the world that it is possible to win in this marketplace, and build trust and loyalty that influence customer demand, despite many risks. (emphasis added)

COCA COLA: 124-year old brand still relevant in today’s market. 

FORD: using customer feedback to make a comeback.

SANTANDER: transparency, honesty and respect for its clients. 

According to Interbrand’s Brand Strength Score, here is the 10 components that make up in a brand’s ability to generate value.

  1. Commitment
  2. Protection
  3. Clarity
  4. Responsiveness
  5. Authenticity
  6. Relevance
  7. Understanding
  8. Consistency
  9. Presence
  10. Differentiation

Number 9 has something to do with how social media can elevate the presence of brands.

You can dig in deeper via the definitive guide to the most valuable global brands of 2010, here or below. 

Food and Health Related Costs of Climate Change

The insurance industry is aware of the costs of climate change. After all, they’re in the business of insuring potential climate related damages. Under the scenario of German Institute for Economic Research, depending on when effective climate related policies are implemented, the damages could be worth up to $20 trillion by year 2100 if nothing is being implemented. Okay 2100 seems like a long time. You and I might probably not going to be around anymore, however, our kids, grandkids, and great-great grandkids – gonna be around – to witness the long-term implications of climate change, if we do nothing. Now.

More than 100 of the world’s top insurance companies have issued a United Nations-backed call for governments to use risk management techniques and insurance know-how to help developing nations adapt to climate change. [UN News]

The potential damages will be close to home, when it’s related to health and food security. So, take a look at the few images below.

Potential climate change impacts with temperature change


Falling rice productions

Business as usual (left) scenario vs. if we take action to reduce the impact.


Potential health impacts of climate change


[via Allianz Group]

For more climate related details, here.

What ‘Buying Local’ Means?

I participate in a study about our towns and cities, looking at the year 2050 when population growth suppose to hit 9 billion people. How does it impact our towns, cities and communities. What can we do about it? So we have all kinds of discussion going, which among others, at one time there was discussion surrounding how do we support local businesses. Is buying local the right thing to do? 

Still remember the conversation we had, when a participant said that sometime there’s this question, even though – yes! he knows that buying local is good for the local economy, tax dollars are collected, support local jobs, etc. – but often times he had to go against his own beliefs because of price. Price is still a driver for some people. Unless they figure it out the cost/ benefit analysis.

Interestingly, this morning I came across this article on Marketing Daily about the very same thing that we’ve talked about in our meetings. Communispace did a study collected from 1,000 consumers across 10 different countries on how consumers view buy local. Buying local is a big business. McDonalds’ in it. Triscuit riding on the wave also. 

What does buy local mean?

Based on the survey, when it comes to purchasing decision “buying local is not a top priority for most consumers”. Instead, buying local falls close to the bottom, below the traditional attributes like safety, quality, dependability and price. However, buying local does become attractive when it provides additional value. When consumers buy local across product categories, they do it because of personal and contextual choice. Buying local gives consumers a sense of pride and civic responsibility in addition to the traditional attributes such as trustworthy vendors, quality and safety.

Despite differences in geographical location, people are using the same language, making the same connections.

Here are the four buying local themes:

#1. The definition of ‘Local’ is personal, contextual.

The first word that come to people’s mind when asked what buy local means: FOOD. It’s associated with fresh, produce, vegetables. Fresh is the main selling point for food. If you go to your local grocery, sometimes they do have food comes with that label “home grown locally.” But local here doesn’t mean it is close to your location. Instead it can be geographically close. Sweet potato sold in our local Harris Teeter have that label, but the potatoes come from somewhere in North Carolina, yeah neighboring state.. some 326 (something) miles away. Not that close, close!

#2. Consumers are increasingly tuned-in to ‘Global Concerns.’

Consumers are concerned about the social, economical and political factors. This have impacted their buying decision. When they do buy local, some of the added benefits of buying local comes weigh into the equation, i.e. great customer service, a transparent experience, and superior quality. So when they don’t buy local, it is an informed and intentional decision. 

Continue reading “What ‘Buying Local’ Means?”

How Coca Cola is Deep into Sustainability and yet Manage to Stay Profitable

You would think that by now, major corporations would be in drove into sustainability because of climate change and other environmental risks that could have an impact on companies sustainability. But, that’s not the case. However, Coca Cola, walk-to-walk on sustainability. They go deep into sustainability. Sustainability is at the core of their business strategy. 

“The strengths and sustainability of our brands are directly related to our social license to operate, which we must earn daily by keeping our promises to our customers, consumers, associates, investors, communities and partners.” – from 2008/2009 Sustainability Review

Company snapshot

Vision: “a world where all people have access to safe water, where packaging has a life beyond it’s original use, and where communities are healthy and prosperous.”

Established in 1886. Operates in more than 200 countries and markets. A $56 billion brand company. In 2009 joined the rank of Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes

Brand portfolio: 500 brands and more than 3,300 beverage products. They have four of the world’s top five nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands: Coca Cola, Diet Coke, Sprite, and Fanta. Simply trademark became the company’s 12th brand, in addition to Coca Cola, to have annual retail sales of $1 billion.

Number of employees worldwide: 92,800

Market capitalization: $135.36 billion. 

In the company wide system, which comprises the Company and more than 300 bottling partners around the world. The bottling partners are local-based. They manufacture, package, merchandise and distribute the finished beverages to customers and vending partners, who then sell the products to consumers. That’s how Coca Cola becomes a global business that act locally

Sustainability at its core

This is why to get the full benefit for a business, sustainability needs to be integrated into business strategy. Coca Cola and their bottling partners are committed to keep innovating to keep their products affordable and make their business more environmentally and economically beneficial to the communities they serve. They do believe that investing in the economic, environmental and social development of communities will help our business grow.” Need not say more. And that is sustainability at its core.

Based on the information provided on their corporate sustainability and annual reports, this is how I see their success formula of sustainability:


For them not embracing sustainability, exposed them to their biggest risk that they have no control over the supply, unless they do something about it to preserve and conserve.

Think about this for a moment. Water, as a resource, is ‘very’ vital to their business. They are in the business of selling water-based products. Water is also used in their manufacturing process. 70% of the world’s water is used for agriculture and yet only 3% of the earth’s fresh water is fit for human consumption via lakes, rivers and streams. The rest is locked in glaciers, snow and ice.

Continue reading “How Coca Cola is Deep into Sustainability and yet Manage to Stay Profitable”