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Wired: Case study: Why National Bank Financial won, Ashton Jobs, Google may acquire Meebo

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Case study: Why National Bank Financial won

NATIONAL Bank Financial, an insanely large corporation, won in regard to social media and customer engagement this week. How did they win? Well the NBF Winnipeg Bieber Securities branch sent me a birthday card. When I opened the card, I expected a pre-written non-personalized message. I mean, a company this large, doesn’t have the time to do anything extraordinary right? But to my satisfaction, and awe, at the bottom of the card was a personalized note from the vice president.

The note talked about my business, among other things, and how he wished me "all the best." That, my social media friends, is winning.

For the NBF Bieber branch to send me a card, pre-written or not is a win, but what made it even better was the personalized message.

I think a lot of companies can learn a few tips from this company’s example of excellence. Something as simple as a birthday card with a little handwritten note instilled in my mind that National Bank Financial cares about their customers. "Social media" doesn’t always have to mean Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Google; social media are a conversation. Thank you for the note NBF. Much appreciated, and I hope many other companies can learn from you. For more social-media tips and case studies visit the iBXMG blog.

Ashton Jobs

I know I am a technology columnist so to speak, but I absolutely had to write about Ashton Kutcher this week. TMZ has posted several photos of Ashton Kutcher taking a stroll in Los Angeles this past week. The photos are of Kutcher strolling around wearing a black turtleneck, blue daddy jeans and plain, white runners. The Steve Jobs keynote look really suits him. Apparently, Ashton was caught dressed like this as he was on the way to the set of the Steve Jobs biopic he is starring in. The Sony-produced film, will be called Jobs: Get Inspired.

A long time ago, I wrote about the possibility of a Steve Jobs movie. I guess that rumor has become true. In fact, two movies are going to be made about the iconic CEO. Sony will produce both films, and one of them will be based on Walter Isaacson’s authorized biography of Jobs. I am really psyched about these two movies. Steve Jobs is a huge inspiration to me, and I’m excited to watch the two new films.

Google may acquire Meebo

MEEBO… what the hell is that? If that’s what you are thinking, don’t worry — that’s what I’m thinking as well. Apparently, Google is in discussions about acquiring Meebo for $100 million. Meebo is a service that makes connections between people and their interests.

At least that’s what I think they do. Meebo started in 2005 and has been doing quite well, apparently. I tried searching on Meebo’s website to figure out what they did, and I was very confused… which isn’t a good thing. So if I don’t know what Meebo is and you probably don’t either… why am I talking about it? Well, I want to rant about these high purchase prices.

It seems if you have an Internet idea and it kind of takes off, you will be bought for hundreds of millions of dollars. I can’t seem to comprehend how companies who don’t have revenue can get bought for $100 million. For example, Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion; Instagram doesn’t make any money! They just have a really cool idea. How can venture capitalists justify this?

When I went on Dragons’ Den, I wonder if I had gone there and said "Here is my really cool photo-sharing app, I valuate the company at $1 billion and we don’t have any sales. Are you interested?"

If I were to say that, Kevin, Robert, and the rest would’ve ridiculed and laughed in my face.

If you want to know what Meebo is, here’s a brief explanation: " is a website for instant messaging from absolutely anywhere. Whether you’re at home, on campus, at work or travelling foreign lands, hop over to on any computer to access all your buddies (on AIM, Yahoo!, MSN, Google Talk, ICQ and Jabber) and chat with them, no downloads or installs required, for free!

Meebo launched in September 2005 and received funding from Sequoia Capital in December 2005 and Draper Fisher Jurveston in January 2007. Today, users exchange over 100 million instant messages daily." ( Is Meebo worth a $100 million dollars? You tell me.


David Bell (@thedavidbell) is a young entrepreneur in Winnipeg. He specializes in emerging technology and online aspects of business, including web and social media consulting. Access his company online at He is an active member of the YouTube community (, with more than two million views and 5,000 subscribers. He was also a Dragons’ Den contestant. Email:

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