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Showing posts from April, 2007

Is there a CMO alive that thinks social media is going away?

Sure, the Technorati report shows blogs aren't being created as fast as they used to be. (Explanation: Splogs, hype and the like contributed to the explosion in the overall number of blogs being created (and not maintained), however the blogosphere and social media are alive and healthy. Want a great example?

ESPN's NFL Draft page includes their "SportsNation" rating along with the other "experts". Side note: How Mel Kiper Jr. is still employed is beyond me. Seriously, I love his enthusiasm and insight but he might as well be predicting the weather. Anyway -- if check out the ratings for each team's draft -- included in the overall weight are the SportsNation rating, e.g. the users with logins/IDs.

Additionally, relaunched their site over the weekend (see my off-topicrant about bloggers following the news cycle) and are allowing for comments and user-added facts. I'm interested in seeing how long before their system is hijacked by trolls …

You forgot Poland blogs

Today's Journal has a special section on how to drive traffic to your website, and it omits the use of blogs as tool for SEO and building loyalty. In fact, most of the articles in the section seem like they're straight out of 1999. If they want to help business owners they should have included tips for creating killer web sites and providing great user experience - because no amount of "traffic driving" can overcome bad usability or design. Or as I like to say, you can put a gold bow on a turd, but at the end of the day...

Most corporations shouldn't blog? Hogwash!

BL referenced a Dilbert cartoon about blogging and added reasons to the list of why most companies shouldn't blog. Today's entries include:

1 - every post has to be vetted by legal or PR. It won't ring true.
2- you're not prepared to allow any negative comments. Blogs are not monologues.
3- the purpose of your blog is message control -- which is, and always has been an illusion.

More accurately it should be said that a lot of companies aren't set up internally to blog, whether it's because of the interference of politics, legal, brand managers, etc. Of course it's scary as hell to tell the 35 year Madison Avenue vet-turned CMO to start blogging and accept criticism - but part of our job is to also explain the benefits of having a blog, whether it's public facing or internal. There's also a thing called scope, whereby you can define the topics covered of your blog. It's not a free for all message board, for cryin' out loud.

To say they shouldn'…

Reggie Bush, you're next

If you're anything like me, you probably try to get in a few hours of gaming per week in between the billion and a half other responsibilities you have. I was just watching NBA Playoffs between the Cube's Mavs and the Warriors and an ad for the new Madden came out. Madden 08 with Reggie Bush on the cover. Naturally I Googled the Madden Curse to see other players who'd been bitten by the curse.

For the n00bs out there, the curse is, plainly stated, that those who've appeared on the cover of John Madden's football video game have either had season-ending injuries or had bad seasons. Wikipedia says it's a myth, but...

At any rate, after being in New Orleans last week and seeing the rebuilding downtown it'd be a shame to see someone who's given so much back to the city go down. Plus there was that U2/Green Day song. It has no relevance to this post, but it was an uplifting experience, sitting in a DC sports bar on a Monday night watching that performance whi…

More than buzz

Photo from AOL

It takes more than some crazy hair, a wacky shoe or a guy in a chicken suit to create extreme buzz (yes, there's more metal-related cheese ahead). See, it isn't what happens on TV that gets people talking at the water cooler or when a funny email gets forwarded. Advertising wants you to believe that because people are talking about an ad that it's a success. And in their world, it probably is - it cut through the clutter and got people talking about the ad itself. Recall? Well, that's another story. Intent to buy? Oh, you don't want to go there, sister.

One might say that it's more than words (oh, snap -- talk about a Aqua Net-induced big hair tie-in) that get people buying products or services - and it's definitely more than creating buzz.

Twitter causes you to start drinking

Steve Twittered something that he regrets and has offered an apology. Two things I don't believe about it: 1. Unlike the Twitter post, it's a late, calculated response, and 2. Unless he's trying to emulate his CEO, Steve doesn't drink. Now I'm no PR guy, but common sense would tell you that it's probably not a great move for a public figure at a global PR firm to crap on a major publisher. Don't get me wrong, I've taken shots at the local rags from time to time, mostly because of their inferior web site design and usability -- but there's a difference -- I'm not a PR guy. And, validating my criticisms, they've redesigned or are in the process of redesigning their websites.

Additionally, I actually do visit their websites to see what's happenin' in the D - so consider it constructive criticism vs. dismissing their editorial content. Does my opinion mean less? Depends on who you ask. At times I barely crack the top 100k on Technorati, …

WOMBAT 3 observations

That's right, the annual Word of Mouth BAsic Training (WOMBAT) in Nawlins is wrapping up shortly. Here are my observations, some facts, and such and such:

1. There are a lot of brands here, which means either a) they're not doing WOM, b) their agencies aren't educating them on WOM, or c) WOM has become even more mainstream and they're looking to really push WOM internally (and potentially not use an agency).

2. Someone told me that 62% of the people here were attending a WOMMA conference for the first time. Virgins.

3. Shelled crawfish take a long time to get to the good part.

4. Not to make this into a sales pitch, but it's refreshing to hear that brands like Coca-Cola and Intuit are openly sharing best practices with one another as they push forward with WOM initiatives.

5. Geno Church is in too many photos on Josh's Flickr set. :P

I also posted a set of a few pics from yesterday's dinner.

It's return of the WOMBAT -- Part 3!

I will be presenting a case study sans my stellar client from General Mills next week at WOMBAT 3 in New Orleans. The presentation covers "My Hometown Helper", a grant program for Hamburger Helper that donates money to help fix up communities. The deadline to submit an application is May 31, 2007.

Here's the official WOMMA text:

I'll be speaking at WOMMA's Word of Mouth Basic Training conference this year -- and I want you to be there with me! Trust me when I say it's worth it. It's April 17-18 in New Orleans and there will be tons of cool speakers, authors, and keynotes, of which I am just one! Plus, there's food. Lots and lots of food. This is no snoozer, either. If you want to learn more about word of mouth marketing, and schmooze with word of mouth marketers, this is the place to do it.

I've arranged for a special $75 discount as a courtesy to my colleagues and associates. Just use the code "speakerdeal" when you register at http://www.…

Lyro presents online business cards

I was asked to preview Lyro, which they're dubbing as "Business Card 2.0". It's different from LinkedIn in that it's literally just the information on your business card vs. a site for career networking, a la LinkedIn.

"We aspire to become the world's largest repository of digital business cards – where everybody who’s anybody can be found if they so choose," said Dunham. Lyro is intended to help business people to more effectively brand themselves on the web.

I'm not really sure what purpose this serves, to be honest. If I could download other people's Vcards or get RSS notification when they update their info then it's useful. And LinkedIn already has me covered on SEO (except for my evil twin in Colorado who sells real estate - jk). Am I missing something?

How to improve Google Reader

I switched over from BlogLines to Google Reader and while it is an improvement I don't understand why a search isn't available within Reader? Other tips:

Resolve redundancies.redundancies. I've imported a few people's bookmarks and now I have duplicates.
Preview window based on viewing history. There are some blogs I read more than others. Yes, it's true... I actually skip a lot of the blogs I subscribed to and read others. It's called preferences. You'd think the Lord of metrics and analytics would recognize it.
You might also like. Amazon has pre-set items that appear in the column based on items I'm considering. Why not other blogs? I'd love to put a public call out for new blogs to read, but I'm waaaaay to proud to do such a thing.

Separate but related, I'd also like to see Google publish analytics on blog rankings. I don't mean blog rankings based on some insular blogging circle jerk, but one based on relevance of search - not a high sc…

Nike goes half way in with NikeMashup and Nike iD

Nike has a mashup site based on their "Second Coming" spots (which I love, btw) where you can create your own ads from footage they've provided from the commercial shoot. Cool idea, except you can't search for other people's commercials (you down with OPC?) and only the top and newly created ads stick on the homepage. I created one that was nothing but 60 seconds of Rasheed Wallace yelling "OOH!" after hitting a three. It would have been a great CGM campaign if users could upload their own clips and make personalized highlight reels as well.

Sticking with CGM, why not transform the Nike iD program into CGP (Consumer Generated Products)? I am a huge fan of Max air, so why not let me customize the Nike Shox Cog iD into Nike Max Air Cog iD? Speaking of customization, Nike has a "Personalization Policy" that says:

Unfortunately, at times we must decline personal iD's that may otherwise seem unobjectionable.


It contains profanity, ina…

Ebay forces sellers into broken app

Ebay announced the launch of TurboLister 2 (TL2), with today being the end date for version 1.0. The only problem is that TL2 is buggy and crashes. A lot.

A few excerpts from the Ebay forums:

"After numerous crashes,lost listing, lost hours, lost time & money, ect back in January- I switched back to turbo lister one and proceeded to have THREE MONTHS of crash free listing. As we're being forced to use Turbo Lister 2, I switched back this week and while sending 500+ listings last night- of course it crashed and I lost 100 of the listings (permanently). Reinstalls and various methods of database recovery didn't work- It looks like Turbo lister permanently erased/lost the data base for one of three of our ebay accounts and all the listings. The user file won't even open without turbo lister crashing."

It gets better...

"I'm fed up with the lack of any type of Ebay competence when it comes to these matters. I'm fed up with 'we're unable to recrea…

Google's April Fool's joke: Paper!

To quote Peter Griffin: "NO. FREAKING. WAY."

Google is displaying a new button/feature on Gmail called Paper. Yeah, I almost fell for it too.

From the FAQs:

Is it free?

Yes. The cost of postage is offset with the help of relevant, targeted, unobtrusive advertisements, which will appear on the back of your Gmail Paper prints in red, bold, 36 pt Helvetica. No pop-ups, no flashy animations—these are physically impossible in the paper medium.

LOL, Google. LOL indeed.

Update: They've doubled down on the foolishness and started TiSP. Read it here for yourself.