In the first 5 minute I hear the words manifesto, tip, paradigm, and customer. I knew this would be a long day. I had dinner last night with Dennis Crowley from Dodgeball .com and we were joking that this meeting would be like Brussels sprouts … it is painful but you must eat them because they are good for you.
I feel it is invaluable to see and hear where the professional marketing people are at with respect to these technologies. This puts many things into perspective. I am surprised that what we are about to do with the SNM 2005 conference is ahead of the curve.
Myths of Blogs;
- time consuming
- difficult to post
- teen diaries vs. credible marketing strategy
- destroy brands vs. personalize co.
- success = readership vs. quality
- ROI can’t be tracked – many metrics
- blogers are egomaniacs
OH … just hear the word buzz! Miriam Webster just named it word of the year.
Ben McConnell – Church of the Customer
Pubsub as a search engine for blog ranking, and he also mentioned Technorati. Also the presenter pushed using Blogs Now as services to check the rankings of your blog. He also described ping-o-matic as a way to update ranking services. Remind me of an NPR bit with Dan Akroyd and the Bass-o-matic!
Interesting that the speaker is pushing a Full RSS fee instead of a partial. I find this counterintuitive to marketers who need to sell the technology as a way to drive eyes to the homepage.
I knew we were in trouble when the speaker started to recommend a pay for use RSS aggregator and then swapped PPT slides and started showing off News Gator. Although I see the merits of getting the blogs newspaper style I prefer a sidebar that scrolls the entries ever few minutes. The scroll is easier to keep up with and I feel is more up to date. I use desktopsidebar.
During the description of mobloging there were some snickers in the audience. I don’t think people are taking mobloging seriously. How cool would it be for people to moblog sightings and poses of their favorite product.
Podcasting did raise some eyebrows, especially when he mentioned the BBC and one of the local PBS stations sending out Podcasting. Examples are NYT getting reporters to get more real time reporting.
Ben showed a great Airline chart with financial growth and the number of net-promoters. Funny that more good promoters = better revenue growth! Blog to create and maintain relationships, build upon authority and influence. The ways he mentioned to increase traffic: Make blog home page, be a link slut, connect with other blogers by holding a conference or reception, capture e-mail addresses, add url to e-mail signature, be a comment fiend.
Bill Flitter – Pheedo.com
RSS is good for the consumer because the user takes control and selects RSS feeds to receive. Amazing that he just spent time talking about how RSS will end spam and pop-ups and did a segway into the good news for advertisers. I am interested to see how advertisers are going to use this in a non pop-up or spam fashion. Clearly the 100% opt in is the clear advantage.
Some of the challenges are tracking, replies, no mailing list, no name aggregation, and many versions and standards. Bill is now making a new post in MT in order to demo the ease of use of RSS feed creation. He uses Blogline and again I just can not stand the use of the newspaper style readers. I work and can not occupy my screen with a aggregator. I need my information on the fly and out of the way.
Now Bill has hit pay-dirt! The Marketing Hooks slide where he is showing off the benefits of RSS usage for marketers. There are a lot of interesting bits that I never considered. A lot of what I see here is the need to drive material to those who want to get it. Even though the cost is near zero there is a big privacy consideration. No one wants to inundate customers with information that thy do not want and may possibly turn consumers off of their products.
Uh-oh, he just mentioned record labels wanting to do podcasts. The labels want to get these live audio files out, but they are in debate about podcasting live recordings and consider it marketing. They are stuck in the old model of record, license and then sell anything that we can. I look at this in the same light I look at the bands getting on local radio stations and playing some live songs the night before a concert.
Steve Rubel –Cooper Katz
Big centralized media is dead. It is unidirectional, one sided flow, no feedback and always comes from professionals. I think he may actually get it. He sites the free and cheap tools, mobiles, and broadband is rewriting the medaiscape.
“The people you are trying to reach through media are now the media.” Gawker is a source of income because of volume. Individuals are going to become the source of information and may allow for localized inflow. Steve referenced Rathergate and DNC as how bloggers are influencing the landscape and mediascape.
Winner: Maytag Blog – skybox cooler team is bloging.
General Motors – Smal block engine block blog.
Microsoft – Putting a real human face to the company. Interesting point of history. Channel 9 got its name from the Channel 9 on the United Airlines radio … which happens to be air traffic control. This came about when the founder was afraid of flying the stewardess told him to plug into channel 9 and it will ease his fears.
Losers: Kryptonite Bike Locks
#1. Listen to the blogs and react to the suggestions that appear.
#2. Reach out and connect with supporters, and get feedback from detractors.
#3. Enter the conversation.
A question arises about paying people to get a name mention on a blog. They mention Marqui as a paying vendor who pays bloggers to put up an add, and buy a weekly mention.
Customer communities are ambitious, and require a strong customer base. Certain products lend themselves well to the blog.
Here is a good question on choosing a bloging platform. Here comes another Typepad plug. Steve explains the good bad sides of using a platform, and buying a solution like Blogingexpressions.
Amazing! He insists blogs are a connection channel and not as a self promotional channel. I really think this guy understands how not to alienate customers. The greatest thing about the blogosphere is that it is self checking, self monitoring, and reality checking. It keeps you honest.
Dana VanDen Heuvel – Blogsavant
Marketers should follow CGM pulses to pay attention to the most read and highest authority.
Dana makes a great point that customers want to be the programmer, as evident in the case of TIVO and now RSS feed selection. Use blogs as an archive and history to maintain feelings and energy after an event. Also make use of the evangelist that love your products. Employ them on corporate sites to talk up your products. In some cases get a PR person outside of the company to write.
Now we are having a discussion on the personal level and personality injection into a professional blog. I find this element of bloging part of the slow slide to a more casual work environment.
It is important to connect with bloggers on their own terms, and realize that if you solicit opinions they will be honest. And it is important to line up sponsorships carefully, such as Nike and extreme athletes like Ben Saunders. Clearly a god mix because of where the target market is going.
The utopian view is a compilation of all of the tracking tools into one ASP page so you can watch your feeds, trackbacks, and authority.
Dave Williams -360i
Dave Williams reviews of hit traffic and why blogs get to the top of search engines. He stresses links both inbound and outbound to help determine page ranks. He also touches on the magic of the Google Algorithm and authority. Search audience is older, more affluent and better educated than the general internet population. Search phrases are getting longer as time moves forward.
Dave is dissecting Kottke’s site and describing why he gets so much traffic and so many inbound links. The site is designed to get the attention of search engines so he appears high in searches. www.spannerworks.com/seotoolkit