Adriana started blogging in 2002 on a political blog Samizdata.net – it beat shouting at TV and mumbling aggressively whilst reading newspapers. Her other blogs are Media Influencer, The Big Blog Company, the former being the main place for her writing.
Now her main pre-occupation is making VRM (Vendor Relationship Management) happen and working on the Mine! project as a proposal for an alternative VRM infrastructure. She runs the London based group, VRM Hub, a community aiming to bring VRM to the lively social web scene, businesses and individuals.
As a founder of an open source project, she spends much time and focus on build the Mine! and related applications designed to turn individual user into a platform by helping him to capture, manage and share data on his own terms. This endeavour is related to, though independent of, the Project VRM.
Since founding the Big Blog Company, probably the first specialist blogging consultancy (but who’s counting these days), in early 2003, Adriana Lukas has advised companies in Europe and the US on how to make sense of the ’social media’ hype and if and how to use blogs, RSS, wikis and tags in their communications and beyond. Her clients are varied, ranging from a large healthcare, pharmaceutical like Johnson & Johnson, the Adam Smith Institute, National Opinion Poll, Social Affairs Unit, Kable (Ideal Government), JWT, Syzygy, YouGov and to any random person who wants to know about the internet and what it can do for them.
She often gets approached by agencies and PR firms to a) help with online/social media strategy for their clients and for b) a quick ’social media/Web 2.0′ fix for a campaign that wants to use the latest buzzwords. You can guess which one is more fun to turn down. Ultimately, she prefers to work directly with companies as that’s where the action is. That said, an englightened and open-minded agency or PR firm, i.e. one that doesn’t mind examining what they do from first principles, is a pleasure to work with.
In July 2005, Adriana orchestrated the first motion picture release via blog for Hollywood producer Kamal Aboukhater’s film Blowing Smoke.
A tangled web we weave…
Adriana looks at – and lives on – the web to better understand what it’s all about. Like a Petri dish, the internet has its own cultures that evolve and interact in most interesting and novel ways. The idea is to use the Net’s dynamics, social and technological, and apply it to business and organisations. It is one of the fastest, creative and innovative spaces known to man – so it makes sense to apply its workings and tools to companies in order to stimulate collaboration, creativity and ultimately innovation.
This can apply within companies as well as externally, i.e. to companies communication and interaction with various audiences – markets, customers, media, competitors, the industry and their employees. Seeing the big picture is important as only then the shift in balance of power between individuals and systems that the internet has enabled becomes apparent., Implementing tools, such as blogs, RSS, wikis, social networks, tagging etc are usually the final stage of a change within an organisation. In her experience, without a culture change and dismantling some of the processes, the benefits of the new technologies cannot be realised. There is a price to pay for the internet magic. It involves disruption and implosion of the dysfunctional bits of the business. With experience and assistance Adriana hopes to make it a controlled implosion. She tries to explain, inspire and assist with implementation – which is flexible, individual-driven and incremental. The result is handing the knowledge over to the company’s people, turning their understanding of the web into a sustainable expertise, a part of the fabric of the business.
Forms of engagement:
Workshops – explanation of what the internet is about, how social media fit into it, examples of tools, technologies and the changes and developments they cause, and finally, what’s a business to do. These are focused around areas such as social media and marketing; social media and media relations; social media and internal communications, etc but all convey the same fundamentals. For more details and pricing see here.
Sessions – here undivided attention is given to a particular company, using a strategic, long term focus, invariably messing around with the business model. Usually for people within the company who understand why this might be necessary and also have sufficient executive autonomy to allow and support change.
Retainer – this is for engagements Adriana calls ‘getting my hands dirty’, i.e. spending time bringing people, department, company to a certain level of sustainable expertise, finding applications of social media to their business and guiding their implementation, step by step, individual by individual. This is not for the faint-hearted as it involves considerable disruption and inspirational conundrums (whatever that means). Here is some of her thinking on how to go about it.
The day-rate is £3,000. For more information, email Adriana at adriana at bigblog dot net or IM at adriana872 (Skype).
From the list of speaking engagements it’s obvious that Adriana spends far too much time speaking at conferences. Large commercial events are mind-numbing but there are gradual changes to the format, which keeps her on the circuit. Speaking is also worthwhile as it enables her to reach more individuals open to her ideas.
Adriana presented at events including AdTech, the “IAA IAB European Interactive Advertising Forum”
After many a presentation delivered at various conferences in various countries, Adriana has started to dabble in organisation of events. She is on the expert advisory board for VNU’s annual “Online Information”
She was on a panel at Marketing Society conference in November 2007, together with Guido Fawkes and Anthony Mayfield of Spannerworks and Emily Bell of the Guardian.
A speaker’s fee of £2,000 is usually asked for when a conference is making money. For non-profit, reduced rate or just travel & expenses, depending on how much she wants to participate. Always willing to discuss.
Adriana is a graduate of Oxford University’s Balliol College, where she read politics, philosophy, and economics. After that, it was the City and then the internet. Must have got at least three degrees worth of knowledge there!
“Adriana Lukas has given me a completely new outlook on creating, distributing and sharing media. I have worked for 30 years in television broadcasting and corporate video, but have been given a completely new and refreshing set of skills which will transform, in a positive way, the way I do my job. I’ve never been more excited about the possibilities that offer themselves, and Adriana’s expertise and knowledge has opened those doors.
In the same way that she has brought me a new and expanded way of thinking about my job, Adriana has also brought a cultural change to the company. As a corporation, we tend to be rather conservative and slow to change, but Adriana’s dynamism has lit a lot of fires. I feel that our company will be very well served by her counsel and more amenable to positive change.
To anyone considering bringing Adriana in to their company, I would say that she has a unique and dynamic style which will encourage positive transformation within any organization. Her knowledge and energy are boundless and she brings great value and cutting edge skills to the table.”
Rob Halper, Director, Video Communications and New Media, Johnson & Johnson
“I can tell you first hand that the Big Blog Company is a savvy operation…the tBBC people certainly know their stuff.”
“I can say with some confidence that Adriana understands social media better than any other individual with whom I am familiar. She spotted the implications of blogging for business in early 2003, and started the Big Blog Company then; you could say she pre-dates the social media for enterprise bandwagon. Adriana is nothing less than a whirlwind force of constructive disruption in the companies she consults, as she certainly has been in my professional life. She helps businesses to bring about positive change and clear results, both internally and externally, giving them the tools they need to do so and showing them exactly how to use them. In the process, she motivates individuals and transforms how they do their jobs, helping them to be more effective and more purposeful as people.
I would recommend Adriana both as a consultant and as a speaker, having seen her give brilliant presentations on many occasions. It is a distinct honour for my non-profit that she agreed to be a founding member of our advisory board. In short, Adriana is an amazing person – get in touch with her and your life truly will be touched.”
Jackie Danicki – Founder and Director, Engagement Alliance
E-mail: adriana at bigblog dot net
Skype name: adriana872
UK mobile: +44 (0)787 6757129