Do you know about #smokemakers? Probably not, but you will do after this. To become familiar with the idea, you’ve probably heard of people taking you for a ride, social media gurus or mega-expert power rangers. It all boils down to the same thing at the end of the day.

This concept is the result of reflection and collaborative projects between Pablo Ferreiros, Enrico Ahrens and myself, everything else that has resulted from them and our friendship. Much of what I include here is something that we’ve been pondering about for quite a while now, enough to know what we’re talking about!

We’ve analysed these people, we’ve followed them closely to study them in depth and, as a result, we have reached some interesting conclusions. We shall share some of the most relevant ones here for the first time.


– We know about your technique of praising us to the skies and say amazing things about us to then position yourself by our side, and in the worst of cases make us feel obliged to return the favour saying the same about you.

– You don’t need to mention us in your blog/tweets/conferences/book. We’d be more grateful if you didn’t!

– Avoid placing our name, brand or projects next to yours. That seems to be something for which you have a special talent!

– There’s no need to be falsely concerned about us. We’re fine and we will be for a long time to come as long as you don’t come near us to see what you can get out of it!

– If we meet and ask you “how’re you doing?”, out of courtesy, we aren’t asking so that you can brag about how many conferences you’re attending each year or the hundreds of projects you’re involved in or how busy you are seeing to the media, your number of Twitter followers or LinkedIn contacts. No, we’d simply like a sincere, honest, humble and heartfelt answer, something which is light years away from what you represent.

– Every time you speak, a smoke screen fills the hall, stage, classroom or space you’re in. As Pablo and Enrico rightly say, we’ll try to carry our own gas masks with us!

– We’re terrified of knowing or being next to someone who uses the word “I” the most.

– Keep your false hugs for those who don’t get it yet. Yes, for those who still don’t know what you’re all about.

– We don’t really care how busy you may be. In fact, we don’t care at all.

– We’re amazed at your LinkedIn profile stating your work for almost every one of the Fortune 500 companies, but we’re more amazed still by not seeing any practical case study or project that so proves it.

– You’ve lost, you lose and you’ll lose. Your ambition to claw your way up is so great that you forget we realise when you’re lying, showing off, bragging or behaving like a schemer.

– We know you manage your database and use visiting cards very efficiently. However, sending an email every time you succeed in a business school, project or conference, positioning yourself as one of a kind, isn’t going to work. We’ll reject you.

– RTing any compliments, praise and flattery aimed at you means that your dark side [Spanish link] won the battle.

– Asking someone, in public or in private, for their Facebook page and then turn the story upside down pretending it was the other person’s initiative… is simply sad!

– It’s easy to recognise you, we only need to observe you for a short while to notice how your yearning, greed, ego and arrogance take over you.

– We love seeing how you take the people who don’t know you for a ride. It’s not a problem. What you’re selling is faulty. Sooner or later, you’ll be found out!

– We hate it when you try to correct the people next to you. We can’t stand how you voice that their opinion is of no importance and that only your perspective is valid. You’ve done it way too often and we’ve witnessed it one too many times so we won’t let it go next time. We’ll show you up for what you really are.

– You forget that when you care for no one but yourself, we realise.

– You’re not a star, genius, guru, higher being or expert even if you believe it in your soul. You’re just a regular person, like the rest of us. Thinking and acting that way can only lead you to mediocrity.

You’ve missed the best opportunity there is, connecting with people, being true, honest, transparent, sincere, humble. That’s why we ignore you.

You’ve failed, you fail and you’ll fail for a simple reason: you never considered that we’re not like you.


Every time you find behaviours, practices or people like this, we invite you to use the hashtag #smokemakers. Share it with the world.

Photo credit: John Kurman.

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A Paradox: Social Media as the Root of Human Media

social media, the root of human mediaThe revolution all started with Social Media, which is the root of Human Media. This might look like a reverse process, a paradox, as it is generally assumed that social communication should come out of human interactions. Maybe this has been the mistake: using technology and social media as a means of communication to select , categorize and label communities, that is to say, people. We often forget that this connection should be made based on human values.

Allow me to point out that when you listen, understand, respond, build relationships and connect emotionally, you are being human, not social. The social media challenge is to get back to human nature.

It seems that Social Media is about technology, APPs, platforms and Tools. Let’s be clear, all of this is brilliant when it humanizes processes and creates connectivity in the real world; when it supports the backwards transfer from 2.0 to 1.0 and vice versa. What I mean is that Social Media, as it is, won’t change the history of humanity, but it’s very probable that what’s happening with the help of Social Media, could actually bring about change through human interactions.

What say you? Photo credit: Mothetrip.

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Launching Building Human Media Interactions

isra garcia- human mediaI’m finally launching my International blog:

I’m working with Oana Damian (Occasional guest posts and fluency quality control), Vicente Mora from Pim Pam Estudio (Design and creativity) and Dámaso González from Circulorojo (Web development, integration and implementation) A bunch of worldwide professionals will also join me along the path, it will be an exciting experience! Thanks to all of them for bearing with me.

I’ll be focusing on New Media, Human Business Interactions and what’s beyond Social Media and the Social Web, I’ll be talking about Human Media and how brands, people and organizations thrive harnessing the power of human media.

I had something to say to the entire world, this is why I’ve created I’ve built this platform for helping people and businesses to understand Human Media: The New Media. Thus, how human interactions are the key for the future success of businesses and brands.

I started following a map years ago – and I’m very happy to see where it has brought me. All is connected and has to do with my new role as international advisor.

The meaning lies where’s no sense.

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Re-Defining New Media: Introducing Human Media

human business interactions

In an attempt of figuring out where we’re heading, I’m thinking about a new kind of media.

I’m talking about human media.

Human Media goes beyond Social Media, simply because it values and focuses on human relations happening through new media, instead of paying attention to social networks or emerging technologies.

Human media is the outcome of the resonance among people within online communities. It’s the true way of “staying human” through the Internet, so we can deeply connect with people and, more important, touch them in an emotional way.

Does it makes sense? What do you think?

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Implementing a Social Media Strategy

I Have been working on that white paper for some months, and trying to figure out how best explain – step by step – a social media strategy, so can guide people who want to develop a serious Social Media strategy for its business, but – and this is a great but – I’m not talking about the process going on, but focused on the development stage.

I’ve followed some steps from the latest projects I’ve been working on and then, put it together, when doing that I knew something was going to happen. It really happened, I was able to design a social media strategy based on the experience that these projects have brought to me.

How to develop a social media strategy - Isra Garcia

Social Media Strategy step-by-step

A. Objectives. Define your goals, have a clear vision where you want to go and how you’ll get there.

B. Analysis. Know your limits, take into account what can help and what can hurt your company, have a plan B, even a plan C. Make a plan, a plan for success and of course, a plan for failure.

C. Rethink step A and B, shake it and see what happens, have some time to mature the ideas and concepts. Are you willing to continue? nice, go ahead!

D. This is what I call the philosophical stage. Same as strategy planning: let you feelings go, paint what you want to represent, define your identity and image – vision – , set up a sense of purpose – mission. Every platform, tool or action taken should have is own identity, features and goals. On the contrary, we’ll be talking about only a mainstream platform. However, all platforms have to be aligned into one workflow.

E. Once you have defined the key elements of your strategy – from analysis (competition, external factors and inside-out approach…)  and brand identity – put ahead in every platform, and visible, what makes you unique.

F. Time to get serious. Brainstorm all the ideas and take what you’re sure you can carry on with the highest levels of accuracy: campaigns, tactics, contributions, team, partnerships, tools, platforms, APPs…everything counts.

G. Do some research about the audience you want to achieve/represent (likes, habits, needs, profile…), competition, limitations, brand identity, market, platforms, singularities…once you get it, structure all the information and resources, so you can draw a map for your strategy. Study also how you plan to tangle platforms and people, because no need to mention that at this point you know that you “want” to segment communities in social platforms

H. Integrate and implement this map in your business model strategy. That is to say, find key facts that can help you to create a consistent social media structure. This is structure is built as it follows:

1. Once you get the platforms, assemble them

2. Build the social media profiles, don’t forget to fill in every criterion

3. Don’t publish it yet, make a draft – draw it if you want first, so management and to board can see and approve it

4. Optimize the profiles: use tools, APPs, resources and tips for giving the profiles a competitive advantage. If is like every other, why should I buy from you?

5. Link profiles: You post and it goes to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn…You know what it means right?

6. Set up your blog – at the end is what truly matters – (WordPress rocks) theme, plugins, CSS and ready to roll on

7. How will perform your blog in the social media ecosystem you’ve built? strategy-tactics effect.

I. Set up a trial period for all the platforms before you the launching and see how it works. You can test it inside your company, with colleagues or even with loyal customers. Get feedback, correct, polish and improve it as much as you can.

J. How are you going to market your social media strategy? If you don’t say what you are doing, how will the audience know about you?

K. In order to do step “J” allocate resources: people, calendar, tools, actions and of course budget – this will help you to get better results – Note: It’s really important that you allocate resources not just in short-term, but mid/long-term too.

L. Launching campaign. Do whatever it takes: guerrilla, offline, beta for your customers, offers, discounts, events, website, publicity, PR. Best results are achieved when you cross offline with online media.

M. Use optimization tools as: PosterousPostlingTweetDeck,,  WorkflowyStorifyCurated.byDropBox,MailChimpGoogle WaveDel.ici.ousDocsReaderEvernote…- these are some I’m using now – it will help you to simplify the process and manage better your time.

N. As long as your strategy is on the field and deal with it. Consider – seriously consider – track, monitor and measure everything what you do on the Social Web. Identify how you can best meet your goals (step “A”) by assigning ROI measures. I strongly recommend that you tailor them depending on your goals.

O. Short-term. Don’t worry too much for it. Ensure that all fit in, your community is growing, therefore interactions happening around. People is talking about your brand, get feedback, creating traffic to your blog/website, some conversions

Q. Mid-term. Have it mind. Engagement, loyalty, brand reach, sentiment, sales, effort vs reward, opinion leaders

P. Long-term. What truly matters. Have you reached step “A”? If not, try different

Note: Notice how I haven’t set up a timeline for the time periods. Your mileage can vary: it can go from 3-6 months to 3 years. It depends your product/service and your goals, of course.

R. Time to earn $$$. Beautiful, isn’t it?

What’s your take? With me? What others steps would you add?

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Social Media Adoption Process

How do you keep focused on Social Media? Is social Media something you have born with? or otherwise, something you can learn and develop? Have you ever thought if Social Media has an adoption stage?

As you – I suppose – Scarcely have we learned through all this thing called Social Media by chance or casualty, nor at the University or by attending a Social Media Masters course.

I learned by:

  • Leaning forward
  • Taking the lead
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Questioning everything
  • Failing dramatically
  • Using “their” glasses, not mine
  • Making mistakes – minors and majors
  • Saying YES, where everybody said NO
  • Reinventing myself over and over
  • Having the right attitude
  • Being Irreverent
  • Exploring new paths in search of adventures
  • Taking risks
  • Having thousand of arguments
  • Reversing how people use to see things
  • Agreeing and disagreeing (most of the times)

Social Media Adoption Process

However, beyond all these learning I realized that I’ve followed a singular path to learn how to focus, approach and engage my understanding about Social Media.

I summed up in a procedure I called the Social Media Adoption Process

Learning in Social media - Isra Garcia

The Process

The process starts as follows:

  1. You get insights and perspectives by reading, listening and commenting – basically feedback – that is to say, by being an active player in the Social Web.
  2. These insights and perspectives lead you to create an idea.
  3. Then, you move from thinking to doing when you put in practice the idea. However, you don’t know if you’re going to succeed with the first idea – hopefully – Therefore, you experiment with the idea.
  4. During the experimental phase there’s 2 possibilities: A. You succeed, then you’re done, congrats! B. You fail – I love this one – this leads you to another different step.
  5. When you experience failure, best thing to do is laughing at yourself – Yes, laugh at you – don’t take things seriously, think about it as a new opportunity to learn something new, share your failure with your community, make it part of your story, and more important, celebrate it!
  6. When you laugh and rest importance, you distress yourself from the failure, so you’re more open and eager to receive sincere feedback from your community, followers, subscribers or friends – in this case, true friends –
  7. Undoubtedly, good feedback (note how I use the word good) steps you to a new level of understanding and learning – there’s no greater experience that sharing for improving – The key resides in how you ask for feedback, to who and where, but this is another adventure…. So, taking what you learned from failing, laughing and from others’ feedback, you correct your first idea. Let’s say a blogging approach focused on your community: the tone, subjects, message… instead of what you wanted to publish – your initial idea –
  8. All those steps you’ve taken when you failed have changed – either slightly or radically – the way you approached the idea for first time, so what you’re really doing is trying different – in my opinion, the key reason
  9. Once you get here, it gets easier, if you try different, and succeed – not you’re not done – try different again and you’ll succeed again, and for the sake of Social Media, keep trying different. Nevertheless, should you fail, keep trying different. Because, when you’re trying different you’re leaning forward, and the person who is leaning forward the most, wins the race.

With me? What’s your take?

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What You Can Learn

hope you learn something else than nothingPrepare yourself to be outside your comfort area…

  • If you embace change , you can learn how to succeed tomorrow.
  • If you don’t accept the commandments of this brainwashed society, you can Learn how to be an insubordinate.
  • If you break the rules, you will find that life is easier that people think.
  • If you ask your university teacher why is she using the same book as your sister did 10 years ago, you can learn that paying attention to your curiosity makes you different.
  • If you think outside the box and seek what is truly helpful and valuable for you, you can learn how to be an irreverent
  • If you realize that by your own, you can make a difference in this world, you can learn that impossible is nothing.
  • If you challenge the people that tells you how to behave and what to do, you can learn who are you
  • If you say yes where everybody else say no, you can learn how to be the best in the world.

So…If at any time you choose learning something, hope will be this…draw your map, be a Mapmaker.

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We Are Social Media Adventurers

Are We Social Media Adventurers?

Yes, we’re, indeed! Why? Because, I believe it’s exactly what we do, we are social media adventurers searching for new paths that lead to revitalizing and energizing experiences. We not only play strong, have fun and try, but we do all this things in a very different way, every time we face challenges and most of the times with uncertainty, fear and risk, isn’t it exciting?

As social media adventurers
, we believe that in today’s world a single person can make a difference, we’re IRREVERENT by nature and also, determined to at least try to make things happen, and… If we fail, be sure we’ll get up and “try different” – again and again – until we make it possible.

We are here to say YES, where everyone else says NO
, but also showing them that we’re able to engage communities through Social Media marketing. With Social Media, we can create movements and start leading small communities or bigger ones. But more important than this, it makes people believe that the change is possible. We have a big responsibility that goes far from our daily job in the office. We’ve the opportunity to tell others how to change the world!

As brave adventurers, we know where we are going and how to get there, but this isn’t enough for us, we always like to transcend our limits and go beyond the common communication and marketing barriers, so we will be able to offer an unforgettable interaction experience to our audience.

Undoubtedly, Social Media is a new world to explore and discover. I believe that as Social Media adventurers, we’re always looking to open new footpaths, we’re in a continuous search of new stimulus and excitements that makes feel us “hooked” to the Social Media adrenaline! This at the same time causes an irreversible addiction, which always claims for more and more challenges and breathtaking experiences – heck, I can’t wait for more! –

As Social Media Adventurers, we’re comfortable and familiar with taking great risks, we embrace change, mainly because we believe that the only constant thing it’s the change itself, no matter if the result wasn’t the expected outcome, we’re ready to take the lead and keep on playing, even harder than ever, because…have I mentioned it before? We deeply believe in ourselves every day of our lives and it turns being the best strategy!

As Social Media Adventurers, we are naturally irreverent – Yeah, I love being irreverent and I’ve mentioned this above – we’re eager to stand out from the crowd and challenge the Status-quo with our visions, beliefs and principles, but above all, doing this with an unstoppable wish to help the community and brand compelling reasons to believe in themselves. At the end, change’s made by changing, so we won’t hesitate to go the extra-mile for establishing human relationships and tying brand and communities.

As Social Media Adventurers, we are all struggling in the jungle and resisting the supernatural forces of change. However, what makes us unique is – in words of my friend Enrico, “we’re fans of the flexible planning“. That is to say, we move at the same time as trends and market opportunities, evolving at the same time as the social media ecosystem. We’re ready to ride the waves, we’re ready to take positions and emerge from the bottom as Social Media Adventurers who are willing to take the pulse of this new communication and marketing reality. Nevertheless, we can’t do it alone, we need you, we need you to join us and be our sidekick, our wing man. We want to share what we’ve learned, because as Social Media Adventurers – who have get through endless successes and failures – we all we know that, no matter how unbelievable and breathless our journey is, it doesn’t make any sense if we cannot share this experiences and adventures with somebody, this is the best gift that we can deliver, share both successes and failures… And not only share them, but celebrate them too. Okay, it’s obvious that successes are celebrated. Now have you failed? Great! Heck with the failure itself, celebrate it! Failure means the opportunity to learn something new.

As Social Media Adventurers, we serve to a cause, you! So, despite the depth of the gap, we’re determined to dig in the online world to find the best opportunities that can guide you to build a better future for yourself, your brand and those around you.

As Seth Godin said: “Good enough has stopped being good enough long time ago, now we´ve the opportunity of being great”! Let me add: “With Social Media, Yes! So…Why don’t we take it?”

Are you with me? What do you think?

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I wish you 365 Christmas days

What does Christmas means?

It is the tenderness of the past, the value of the present and hope for the future…

…It is the warm hug of a familiar when we got home

…the special stare you exchange with that special person

…the happiness of enjoying of all your relatives

…the most sincere hope that we could be near of our loved ones.

…the wish that every path we take will lead us to peace.

…the encountering with those who we dream to see.

…to vent our feelings.

…remembering those who are no longer among us, but will always prevail in our hearts.

…amaze the youngest, because they are the kings of Christmas

…realize that the true and pure Christmas spirit lies only on the children hearts.

…be willing to rectify the mistakes we’ve all ever committed at anytime.

…coping with the past strongly and with total determination.

…forgiving those people who have been unfair to us at some point in our lives.

giving to those who have not.

…reconciling with those who were once part of our lives.

…accepting oneself as one really is.

…appreciate as humans beings the good that we have and not the evil.

…not stop in the wrong we did, but in what the good chances that there is still ahead of us.

…seeing what we are capable to do, because we do not know who we are until we see what we can do.

…the wish of being every day a better person.

…the impatience to face challenges.

…not wait for an incredible thing happen, but you make it happening.

…to do our dreams and goals.

…to engage and be committed to overcome the toughest obstacles.

…to say “I love you” to the people around you.

…defining new purposes for after reach the peak.

…all for a few, nothing for many.

…an instant or perhaps lasts forever?

…Is it a state of mind or perhaps a indescribable feeling?

…Is this long-awaited moment or perhaps this one unexpected?

…It is…

All of this and less more is Christmas for me so, I would like we to stop for a moment, just one second of our hectic and busy lives, and deeply think about the true meaning of Christmas, What really is Christmas?

Forgive my presumption and my disrespect, but I firmly believe that Christmas is on February 6, April 21, June 15, October 19th or even the entire month of May … Christmas is every day, because Christmas is inside us. We make Christmas every time we believe, love and share because, Christmas is not a period of time, not a habit, not a commercial action, nor a consumer movement, not even a commitment or debt, Christmas is into us every day of our entire lives. There is no need being a special day to celebrate it.

I like to think that there is no need to wait for Christmas to do all these things. I hope you do not wait until it is too late …

Whether this happens or not only depends on you!

I urge you making a particular Christmas time every day of your life

I wish you 365 Christmas days to you and all your loved ones.

And you? What does Christmas means for you?I’d like to hear from you…

All the best in life’s journey.

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