January 29, 2009


In January of 2009, I had the opportunity to attend M-Planet in Orlando, Florida. I was excited to attend because I had just started a new role as Social Media Manager for American Family Insurance and this AMA event looked like ‘the bomb’. It promised to provide access and insights from “the new marketsphere’s leading thinkers.”

The event bombed.

As I listened to speaker after speaker talk about how they integrated social media into their advertising campaigns, i got increasingly discouraged instead of inspired. No one seemed to realize that the rules for marketing were being re-written by social media.

I was surrounded by dinosaurs.

I thought, “If these are truly our ‘leading thinkers’, then we’re F**ked…” It’s going to take a catastrophic event for this group to realize how much things were changing. An event as catastrophic to marketers as a meteor was to the dinosaurs of yesteryear:

a social meteor.

I registered the domain ‘SocialMeteor.com’ and started blogging. A few months later, I stumbled across the above cartoon from Hugh MacLeod — and I knew there leading thinkers to be found off the beaten path.

In 2011, I left American Family Insurance to lead marketing at Sentry Insurance. I made this change to demonstrate that social media in an integrated part of effective marketing for any brand. You can’t fence social media in. It doesn’t do well in a silo. I left Sentry Insurance in 2013 to consult with national brands. I now call U.S. Bank home base, where I lead a social media team.

SocialMeteor.com is a blog about the intersection of marketing, social media, and personal communication. It’s not a consulting company or marketing agency. If you’d like me to explore a topic related to social media that interests you, leave a comment below. If your topic intrigues me, you’ll see posts appearing within 1-2 weeks. [circa: October, 2011]

Troy Janisch, Publisher of Social Meteor, is a digital marketing professional and social media beatnik. He is a contributor to SmartBrief on Social Media and Social Media Today.

He teaches digital marketing classes for the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Social Media Business classes for Saint Catherine’s University in St Paul, MN.  He lead the Social Media Analytics team at U.S. Bank. All opinions expressed on the blog are his own.

Email: tj at social meteor dot com | Twitter: @socialmeteor

Speaker Requests:

Looking for an experienced social media speaker? Maybe I can help. I speak at a handful of national events each year. Presentations are well received (average score of 4.2 out of 5). Recent comments:

  • “Fantastic! He should have been allowed Q&A”
  • “Lots of good information and very well presented”
  • “Excellent! Strategy through execution”
  • “Great content! Addressed my local needs & challenges”
  • “Very relevant to sales organization”
  • “Liked customer service focus”
  • “Excellent presentation and great info”
  • “Love how they molded SM into their business”
  • “A little rushed”
  • “Fresh strategy, tools, and approach. A+”
  • “Good information. You’re real. And you’re teaching, not selling. Very worth following.”
  • “Provided meaningful information that we could use.”
  • “Great information and presentation style.”
  • “Excellent job describing what works for AmFam.”


The Dinosaur Meteor cartoon is courtesy of Hugh MacLeod of Gapingvoid.com| Social Meteor image on the home page is by Mike Martinet of www.botaday.com | Other illustrations are courtesy of Mark Anderson, aka ‘Doodlehaus.’


I leverage affiliations and my social network when everyone wins from the outcome. I don’t hide any of these affiliations. In fact, I’ll often promote them. | I am an affiliate of Amazon.com.

3 thoughts on “Origin

  • Just found you on the web… from somewhere in the SM universe. Great stuff. I’ll be following in more than one way. Keep it coming.

  • Tuesday night I attended another great Accelerate Madison meeting. The guest speaker, Daniel Berg of Skype is another Madison area native success story. AC provides people an opportunity to meet interesting people, discuss ideas, network and connect with funding sources for start-ups.

  • Categories: Personal Web

    How about that iGoogle?

    Lately, I have been getting an iG pop-up ad when using Google to search the Internet, which I promptly close. I didn’t have the time or interest to check it out.

    But then, when I got home one night this week and fired up my MacBook Pro (No, Apple did not pay me to reference my computer – but hey if they want to … show me the money), I again used Google to search – and this time when the pop-up ad appeared, I said, “what the heck – let’s check it out”. I’m glad I did.

    Within five minutes I had my very own custom home page to greet me.

    I use other Google applications… email, You Tube, maps, etc. – and now those options are right at my fingertips, along with a “look and feel” I like.

    The template banner I choose reminds me of where I live – Dane County, Wisconsin. Plus I have NPR, business, finance, stocks, local weather, and art stuff right in front of me.

    It’s very cool! Give iGoogle a whirl.

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