July 24, 2014

About Contributor Tris Hussey

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66
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A View from the Isle
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Email Tris
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Professional blogger and blog consultant. Advising Partner, One By One Media LLC

Posts by Tris:

Mediasphere Radio Blogging vs Writing… we must be gluttons for punishment

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 06/19/07

In case you’ve missed it, Jim Turner and I have been doing a little radio show over at Blog Talk Radio. We took a week off so I could go camping and caving, but we’re back this week!

Jim and I have been doing a lot of thinking about blogging vs writing. What makes blogging something more than content? We’ve been coaching our bloggers at Bloggers For Hire on this and educating our clients as well. I don’t think we’ve even begun to scratch the surface on the whole topic. So tomorrow we’re going to tackle that one on the next show which will be tomorrow (Wednesday the 20th) at noon PDT. Remember you can call in at (646) 478-5023 or Skype us or … Gtalk…MSN …

We’d love to have callers chime in with their opinions and if I can get a chat room set up in time … we’ll have that too! Check our Twitter feeds for updates tomorrow (Jim’s tweetsTris’ tweets)

Catch you tomorrow!

You can listen to our past episodes in the archives section

Update: I got the web chat working! Launch the Userplane Webchat.  Jim and I will be hanging out there before, during, and maybe a little after, they show.

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Why proposals fail, a top 10 list you don’t want to be on

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 02/7/07

Jim and I have been working with Ben Yoskovitz (who also blogs with Des, Jeremy, and I at b5).  Ben is a sharp guy and has skills that keep Jim and I in line (read guys with lots of great ideas … sometimes harebrained ideas though).  Ben told us that he was writing up a Top 10 list of why proposals fail.  Now given that he’s been reading the proposals I’ve been writing for OBO lately, I’m kinda worried.

Anyway, Ben’s list rocks.  Basic stuff.  Simple stuff.  And how about this for a closer to the post:

Your business rocks. You work hard. You deserve more business.

Don’t let proposals get in the way. Do them right and you’ll win a lot more business.
Source: Top 10 Reasons Why Proposals Fail : Instigator Blog

Ben has been “lucky” enough to have this make the front page of Digg.  I put that in quotes because his server has crashed at least twice today.  Ah the peril of fame.

Okay, while this post isn’t about blogging it is about consulting which is what this blog is also about.  I think Ben’s post is one of those that should be printed, laminated, and tacked to your wall.  Maybe even given to all new hires.  I dunno, but these are points to keep in mind.

One of the best set of point involves not being too technical and getting to the benefits.  Jim and I had a section in our proposals about TechCrunch.  Ben pointed out that to most of our potential clients (folks who don’t have blogs yet) TechCrunch might as well be Crunch ‘n’ Munch to them.  They just don’t care—it has no inherent meaning to them.

Okay folks, everybody dust off some recent proposals and see if you make the top 10 list.  Man, I’ve got some work to do.

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Is Cuppy’s trying to stifle bad PR about them?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 01/26/07

Sean Kelly, who writes the Franchise Pick blog for b5media (where I am also and author and channel editor), has a pretty disturbing, if true, post about the coffee franchise Cuppy’s (formerly Java Jo’z).

The gist is that few months ago Scoble wrote about his brother Ben’s problems with the franchise.  A tempest ensued over allegations of bad business practices from Cuppy’s.  Fair enough, standard fare for the Blogosphere.  The odd thing is that suddenly Scoble’s post disappeared.  So did posts on both of his brothers’ blogs.  Then other negative posts started disappearing and blogs critical to Cuppy’s started to have problems.  To make it more interesting, comments on the LJ and Xanaga sites for Cuppy’s turned effusively glowing.  There are now questions regarding the company threatening or even (maybe) bribing bloggers to delete posts or change their tune.

Sean has heard from Ben Scoble and he can’t talk about the issue, which means that some legal maneuvering has been taking place.  So the question remains, what’s going on here?  Is a company trying to silence critics?  While there might not be any thing wrong going on here, it certainly doesn’t look good.

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Forrester’s new whitepaper will make business blogging easier

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 01/25/07

One of the big questions us business blogging consultants have to answer is “So, what’s the ROI here?”.  Sure, we all have good answers.  As a group we’ve all bantered this around, especially when we get together and we’re bantering over a round … of drinks, and we’re pretty much all on the same page here.  One thing that has been lacking is that all-important uber-consultant seal of approval.  I know it’s silly, but hey it’s the truth.  Big companies like to see Gartner or Forrester reports that back what you’re saying.

Today Forrester released their blogging ROI whitepaper and real-world application of the model to GM  (hat tips to Steve and Charlene).  Finally!  Now if I could just get my hands on a copy of that report …

If you’d like to read a little more in-depth analysis of the report, check out my post on the OBO blog.

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A case study in pitching bloggers

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 12/20/06

I was going to let this one go, but Paul Chaney suggested I write this up as a post on how not to and how to pitch bloggers to write up stories for their blogs.

This morning I got an e-mail pitch from a PR company to write about a pretty cool use of blogs and real estate.  This isn’t too unusual for me, not as common as say Scoble, who just gave me an obscene number of e-mails to look for blog fodder for the PodTech blog, but it happens.  The story, like I said, was interesting, but immediately I saw a problem.  The company that did the blog was Paul’s company Blogging Systems, which would be fine except that Jim Turner and I work together in a competing company One By One Media.  So I couldn’t really give Paul and co. props without twisting it to also highlight the work that Jim and I do with OBO.

I replied with a polite e-mail back the the PR person, copying Paul, asking how Paul might want to handle this.  Then the PR guy calls me to talk about it.  Well, I explain, Paul and I are friends, but we’re also competitors.  Oh.  Wait, it gets better.  The PR company in question is Lee Odden’s company!  So we have four bloggers involved in this, who all know each other, and all contribute here too!  Yeah I told you it got better.  This is why this makes a great case study.  This is no fault of Lee’s or Paul’s, don’t worry guys.

So first thing about pitching bloggers is you have to do your research.  Not just, oh he/she blogs about business, you have to dig deeper you have to look into who that blogger is connected to on the blogosphere.  Who does he/she work for (and there could be several alliances there)?  Where does he/she contribute?

Bloggers are a very social and interconnected bunch.  We often wear many hats and have several gigs going at the same time. We also tend to know everyone in our niche, friends will help friends but we have to draw the line at competitors (even if they are friends).  Researching the blogger will help with this little problem.

Next you need to contact the blogger before the first pitch to find out if they are interested in being pitched.  Some bloggers don’t want to be pitched.  Others, like me, don’t mind, but I do like to be asked first (I’ve even blogged about this).

I don’t think the person pitching me really knew who I was.  If he had asked Paul or Lee they would have told him … yeah great blogger, bad choice for this pitch.  Let me sum up my recommendations for PR folks pitching bloggers:

  • Do your research first
  • Don’t e-mail out of the blue with a pitch
  • Don’t call on the phone right away to push your pitch
  • Do tell the blogger why they were picked.
  • Don’t just say “I think this would be interesting for your blog” , unless you’ve already established a relationship with the blogger
  • Don’t be offended if they pass
  • Do thank them if they post
  • Do track mention of the pitch topic, you might be getting slammed or miss a great post

Like I said, this the best part of this story is the whole interconnectedness of the whole thing.  Paul, Lee, Jim, and I all know each other and contribute here.  Again, this is no fault of Paul or Lee.  I’m sure they will get a chuckle out of it.

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Ten tips and strategies for social media for the Fortune 1000

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 12/18/06

I’ve only recently started to get to know Jeremiah Owyang and his blog, something to do with the fact that he works at PodTech and I’ve just started blogging there.  Regardless Jeremiah has posted 10 (and I’d say killer) strategies for social media for the Fortune 1000 set.

1) Social Media is about people.
2)
Communities are the goal, conversations are the verb.
3)
Let go to gain more.
4) Measurement will be important.
5)
Organize internally.
6) Risk of the unknown.
7) Social Media goes deep in the organization.
8)
Social Media goes wide in the organization.
9)
Social Media spans time.
10) Social Media is not magic nor voodoo.

These are basic, simple and, I think, pragmatic.  Paul has a good series of e-mails going on this (B .L.  Ochman and Toby Bloomberg … and dern I owe him an e-mail) on this very topic.

I expect to see a lot more of this in 2007.

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How can we help you understand the power of RSS?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 11/1/06

One thing I learned during Blog Business Summit is that for most people RSS is over their heads, like Goodyear blimp over their heads.  This isn’t their fault, it’s ours.  We, as the blogi masters, just haven’t done enough to help people get it (or “grok” it as I like to say).

Anita Campbell has an article in Inc Technology that brings it all down to this: “The simple reality is:  RSS still has far too much geek factor.”

The question is, then, what can we do about it?  I think it comes down to two things, education and application.

First we have to educate people what it is, how it really works, how to look for it on sites, and how to subscribe.  Then we need, we absolutely need to show people why it is so important.  Why it can save them time and help them in their day-to-day jobs.

Read on at Bloggers For Hire.

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Catch my BBS06 posts on the Tucows Blog starting tomorrow!

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 10/23/06

Tucows is sending me to BBS (that’s Blog Business Summit, BTW .. where I am also speaking) to report live on the sessions.  Watch the Tucows blog for posts and updates.  I’ll be doing podcast interviews with folks during the whole Wednesday – Friday sessions.  I might also sneak in some posts on Saturday from our special speaker/VIP event.  Since there is a geek dinner tomorrow night with a lot of the speakers and other blogerati in attendance, I’ll make sure the old Cannon digicam has fresh batteries and my recorder is handy.  No, it isn’t really a part of the conference proper, but I might get some hints and tastes of the sessions to come.  Like Dave Taylor and character blogs (maybe?).

Oh, yeah I’m going to cross-post this in a few places so if you think you’ve read it on another blog, you probably have.

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Edelman responds with a plan, will it be enough?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 10/21/06

I caught on Steve’s blog last night and via Jeff Jarvis this morning, Richard Edelman’s blog what is an interesting follow up to yesterday’s news about Wal-Mart (Walgate? Floggergate?).

From Richard Edelman’s blog:

  • We are undertaking a thorough audit around the world to ensure we apply best practice guidelines to every program in every market and specialty area.
  • We are requiring that all employees attend an Edelman University class on ethics in social media, hosted by members of me2revolution team as well as external experts. This will take place before the end of next week
  • We are establishing a 24/7 hotline so our me2revolution team can review, provide counsel and apply best practice guidelines on social media programs before their implementation. This ensures that programs adhere to the WOMMA guidelines or best-in-class standards around the world.
  • We are creating ethics materials that will be distributed to each office and all new hires.

This is just the beginning. We recognize we have further to go. You can and should be helping us. I appreciate all the invaluable feedback you have provided during this week–and we have taken action on at least of one of your comments. If there any other actions that you would advise us to consider, I would welcome them.

The question is then, is this enough?  On the surface, I’d say it’s a really good start.  Time is going to have to tell though.  I suggested in a comment on Richard’s blog that they need to tout some successes and start a blog with a client that really follows all the principles and ethos of WOMMA.  And hire some outside biz bloggers as coaches wouldn’t hurt either.

You can bet this is going to be talked about at Blog Business Summit next week!

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Will the Edelman — Wal-Mart saga ever end? Two more flogs outed

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 10/20/06

This is not a good couple weeks to be working at Edelman.  Okay, first we have the whole Walmarting across America thing and subsequent apology now, Edelman is coming clean that two more of the Wal-Mart blogs are actually flogs written by Edelman employees.  Yikes.  It turns out (shocker … not) that Working Families for Wal-Mart and PaidCritics.org are Edelman PR fronts (yeah there’s irony for you).

Well Shel applauds them for at least admitting it now (instead of being outed), B.L. wants their head, or at least their butt out of WOMMA, Mathew ponders if PR folks can really be transparent and do their job (good question).

I think this whole fiasco, debacle (anybody have some more words for this?) calls into question, as Mathew and Shel suggest, can PR and blogs actually co-exist?  I don’t think so.  At least not like this.  You just can’t have “corporate fronts” as blogs.  You want to reach out to critics?  You want to get feedback?  Then just have a regular old blog.  No, a “Wal-Mart employee blog” isn’t going to fly and we all know why.  I think a Wal-Mart exec blog might work, if they could take the heat, and I don’t think they could.

I have a good number of friends in the PR biz.  This can’t be a fun time for them.  Everyone is now questioning PR and blogs.  Every company blog or blog that seems to be arms-length is suspect.  Is disclosure enough?  Is authenticity and transparency enough?

Steve … man I’d love to do a podcast with you on this.  Just get your thoughts.  Are you game?

The MediaPost broke the story, follow more on Techmeme.

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What to do when your content is scraped from your blog

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 10/12/06

Des let us know via our BBC contributors list that he found a site that was scraping all our content from BBC and reposting it, verbatim.

The blog in question was using our feed from Feedburner to access our content.  The blog posts even included our Feedflare items (more on that later).  However there is no attribution that the posts come from BBC or are written by someone else.  To make matters worse, this blogger even copied all our tags and categories for his own blog.  I left a comment on own of my own posts that was scraped asking this person to stop and that he was in violation of the DMCA and international copyright law (the comment is still in moderation, imagine that).  So, then, what can you do about a splog scrape?  This is what we’ve done so far.

Right now we’ve thrown down the first gauntlet to try to embarrass this person.  We’ve added to our Feedflare items (which you can see in our feed) a CreativeCommons license, Copyright statement, and Attribution link.  All of these things will make it really clear to a reader that a) the content doesn’t belong to him and b) who the content really does belong to.

Is that going to be enough?  Probably not.  We can also file DMCA papers to Google and his ISP, which is pretty serious stuff.  Google does not take kindly to people using Adsense to make money off stolen content.  ISPs also get a little edgy about this kind of stuff too.  One course of action that we haven’t taken, yet, is actually altering our feed.  Right now we publish a full feed (that is you get the complete content of the post).  There are lots of debates about full vs partial feeds, and this isn’t the time or place.  What we can do, and very easily with Feedburner, is to switch to not only a partial feed, but a partial feed with a message like “Sorry for the inconvenience, but some blogs are stealing the content from this blog so the feed has been truncated.  Stealing content is wrong.”

Does this tactic work?  Sure does.  Jim Turner and I helped a friend of ours do this and within a few days the scraping stopped.  Rather embarrassing and not good for clicks when a website visitor sees that message above.

Beyond the tactics for how to combat scrapers, how did we find out in the first place?  Des was the key to this.  He was looking at our Technorati links and saw something hinky.  A little digging led him to this blog and the discussion began.  We’ll keep you posted on how it all turns out.

Now there are legit ways to use and consolidate content from other blogs.  You can list headlines from a topic, couple sentences, and a link back … doing this ads content and value to your blog, in addition to your own content.  Recently I’ve been getting a lot of good traffic from a legit site in this way.  Just the headline from one of my posts (about the whole podcasting – netcasting question) on a Mac site brought a goodly number of visitors and it was my #1 referrer yesterday.  I’ve also seen my headlines and a few words on other sites as a “great links for the day” … always flattering to read that.

Where do you draw the line?  Fair use.  You can use a feed to bump up content on your site if you just use the headline, a short snippet of the post, don’t claim it’s yours, and link back to the author/original post.  That’s cool and helps everyone.  You may not, without permission, copy and republish an entire post on another site.  Note the “without permission” part … I’ve been asked and have granted permission for a few of my articles to be republished from time to time.  Again, always flattering.

This will probably be the first post of many on this affair … so watch our feed.

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Knock, knock. Is anyone reading my blog?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 10/3/06

BBS 06 Speaker BugWell Dave already spilled the beans (here and here), yep I’m speaking at BBS at the end of the month.  The question is, then, just what the heck am I speaking about.  RSS Metrics.  Oh boy, yeah.  I wrote a bit about it on my blog already, but essentially what I’m going to help people work out is how to measure their audience on their blog.  This, btw, is no mean feat.  The reason Feedburner has been so successful is that they do give those metrics.  But, my talk isn’t going to just be “Use Feedburner.  Thank you.  Any questions?”.  That’s more than a little lame.  Don’t ask me how I’m going to simplify the discussion, because I’m still noodling that around in my head (ouch).

The reason, besides I was stupid enough to agree, that I’m talking about RSS metrics (and maybe blog metrics in general), is that as businesses get into blogs, bosses want to know what impact the blog is having.  Who is reading it, how often, when, what …  And while it might seem easy to dismiss these things, it really isn’t.  It is important.

If you are interested in biz blogging, BBS (as Dave said) is a great time to learn and network.  Pick the brains of folks already doing it.  Hang out with fun folks and just bask in the general blogginess.  I know that after BBS you will have a ton of new ideas and ways to start blogging or improve your blogging.   Now let me sweeten the pot a bit.  If you want to go I have a discount code for you worth $100 off any package.  When you register use code LCAS06 and the discount is yours.  There are deals to be had for hotel rooms (I use Hotwire myself) and I’ll be there Tuesday night and for the workshops and conferences.  Stop by and say hi.  I’m sure Dave and I will be hanging out somewhere chatting (look for the tall guy with the beard and the shorter geeky guy with glasses).

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Lots of people still don’t know about blogs

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 09/1/06

Wayne Hurlbert had a good post this morning that bloggers should all take a gander at.  He reminds us that a lot (most?) people aren’t really aware of what blogs are and what they are all about.

What is not so obvious is the level of blog awareness among the general mainstream population. In fact, many people are not aware of blogs, even though they might even read blogs themselves. They just might not know that what they are reading is a blog. While that might seem farfetched to many bloggers, it’s not that outlandish to non-bloggers. After all, many people think bloggers are only self absorbed navel gazers anyway. If the mainstream media is a guide, them the only types of blogs that exist to them are political blogs, personal blogs, and the blog stylings of various celebrities.

Wayne’s suggestion is a good one, which is to start conversations about blogging with people.  Like, do you know what a blog is?  The explaining it and giving them your card with your URL on it.  This is a tough one for me, in all honesty.  On a number of occasions this summers I’ve been pressed to explain blogging.  It’s tough you know.  Especially without being able to show one at the moment.  All of my friends (non-blogging) and family (both mine and Lorraine’s) know that not only do I blog, but I get paid to blog.  They also know that I have several blogs on the go.  Because of this I tend to get cornered at some point in the evening on “what is this blogging thing” or “explain blogging to me”.  You know what I really need?  A two-sided business card template which has easy answers to “what is blogging” on one side and on the other space to add my own contact info.  Maybe something done up and saved as a PDF that can be printed on Avery stock card size?

Hmm, sounds like a good way for folks I know to promote their books.

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When negativity strikes, a couple of tips

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 08/29/06

This was going to a post about “Don’t blog when you’re angry”, but as I thought about it, it became, how to handle negative posts or comments.

Negative comments (especially) and posts are two of the biggest fears new business bloggers have.  “What if they say something not nice about us?”  “What if they don’t like our product or brand?”  Well, let’s face it, even Mother Teresa had critics, so don’t feel like people aren’t already saying negative stuff about you.  The question is then, what do I do?

So imagine this.  You’re skimming your Technorati feed of blog links/mentions (psst, this is a hint, you should be doing this) or looking at the new comments on your most recent post.  Then you see it.  The post or comment you’ve been dreading.  It’s negative.  It’s charged.  Maybe even saying things that they wouldn’t say in front of their mother.  Your blood pressure has just gone through the roof.  Your blood is boiling.  Basically, you’re pissed.

You get to the page.  You’re ready to respond.  You’re fingers are poised over the keyboard … STOP.  Wait.  Huh?  I thought the blogosphere was all about immediacy and stuff?  Yes, it is, but think for a moment here.  Are you in the best mood to respond right now?  Maybe, just maybe, there is a grain of truth.  Maybe there is some constructive criticism there.  So … take a break.  Bookmark it, leave it open, whatever, just step back for a moment and chill.

When you’re a little more calm, re-read the post or comment.  See if there is something good that can be taken from it.  Think of a polite response.  Resist the temptation to stoop to negativity and such.  Then, as hard and stupid as it might seem, personally e-mail the author.  Maybe you have an ally and you don’t know it.  Maybe you’ll learn something.  Maybe you’ll get kudos for just being real.

Just remember, don’t post or comment pissed off.  Chances are you’ll regret it.

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How do you recruit a pro blogger for your business?

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 08/24/06

 You’re starting up your new business blog.  Fantastic.  Okay, who is going to write it?  If your jaw is open and you’re giving the screen a blank stare, you might be thinking … “Well not me for sure!”  Why not?  Okay, I can guess why not.  It’s more than a little daunting at first.  Yikes, lots of people are going to read this.  What if I make a fool of myself?  I don’t really “get” this blogging thing yet, so maybe we can find someone.  Good thinking.  First, let’s take some of the pressure off.  How about hire a professional blogger to help kick start your blog for you?

I got to thinking about this after I saw Chris Garrett’s post on the Performancing blog.  Here’s a good quote:

If you really want to attract bloggers to come work with you then it is important to think about exactly what you are trying to achieve. “Attract” is the important word here. Bloggers will not beat down your door in American Idol stylee, you need to make your offer attractive.  Source: Attracting Bloggers | Performancing.com

So besides money, what will make your offer attractive?  Here are the things I think about:

  • Flexibility.  I really don’t like to have to post on a schedule.  Blog writing is a little different, sometimes a day or two will go by and there isn’t anything going on relevant to the topic.  Letting your bloggers post their quota (3-5 posts a week is standard) over the course of the week is easier.
  • Editorial control.  Within guidelines, just let your blogger write.  Yeah this might be a bit scary, but that’s why you have guidelines for topics, linking, tags, categories.  I know I don’t like to have my work reviewed before it’s posted and reviewing means you have to read it.  For a timely post, well a day late might just lose the punch you were looking for.
  • Buy in from the company and company bloggers.  The idea for hiring a pro blogger to kick-start you blog is that it’s a kick start.  It’s meant to let you see how a pro does it so you can work on posting but not worry that a week passes between your first “Hello world” post and your second.  If you’re serious about blogging, then people in your company should start blogging too.
  • I blog as me.  I will not pretend that I work for a company that I’m only contracted to blog for.  I write as me.  Think of your pro blogger as a freelance writer.  Someone supplying great content for your blog, not a faux company insider.

Now if you want to hire a blogger as an employee, well the last point is mute, but don’t forget to set clear goals and expectations for the blog.  Success rarely happens overnight (I blogged for almost a year before I was “discovered” after Blog Business Summit Jan 2005).

When I started as a pro blogger years ago (yes, I was one of the first), we were making up a lot of the rules as we went, but those four points are ones that I have learned are the key ones to a successful pro blogging relationship.

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How to get your website or blog noticed

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 08/17/06

I found on Kevin’s LexBlog some tips from Allison Shields and her post on how to get your site noticed (it applies to blogs too):

  • Practice ‘education marketing’ – make sure that your website and your other marketing materials provide value to those in your target market. Educate them about your area of practice. Let them know that you know what their needs are, and that you have a solution that will benefit them.
  • Remember the ‘so what’ rule – for everything you write on your website, stand in your clients’ and potential clients’ shoes. As you’re reading, ask yourself ‘so what?’ Why should your clients or potential clients care about what you’re saying? Focus on what’s in it for them, and speak in their language – using a lot of technical legal terms will confuse your readers, and they may not come back.
  • Make sure to have not only good content, but current content, on your site. If you want people to come back, they have to have a reason to think there will be something new for them when they return. Offer them something THEY want – be a resource for your target market. Become the place to go for people who are seeking answers in your area of concentration.
  • Don’t try to be all things to all people – carve out your niche. To get noticed, you have to be different than everyone else out there. Showcase your unique talents, skills and personality. Make sure web visitors know why you are the one that understands their particular problem.

For me, education marketing, find your niche, and current content are key (Allison has many more tips on her blog).  For example, on my personal blog, I don’t stray too far from tech and blog-related stuff.  Sure there is an occasional non-tech post, but not often.  But the same token my science blog is about … yeah, science.  I personally use the “so what” or “this means” whenever I’m writing a marketing document or presentation. So in practice do something like … Selling point [think to yourself "which means"] we have a cure for the common cold.

What’s your best tip for getting noticed?  No, outright bribery doesn’t count.  Okay, sometimes it does.

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Tracking the buzz on the blogosphere

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 08/16/06

From iMediaConnection this morning comes some hints at how to track the buzz around you and your business on the blogosphere.  The tips and techniques are good ones, but they miss a couple important things.  First let’s look at the metrics they suggest:

  • Technorati: Blogs linking to your site
  • Technorati: Total incoming links to your site
  • Bloglines: Citation search total
  • Analytics: Pageviews
  • Analytics: New Visitors
  • Analytics: Repeat visitors
  • Analytics: Referrals
  • Analytics: Organic
  • Analytics: Direct
  • Datasource: New Members/Subscribers/Customers
  • Datasource: Revenues from (direct sales/affiliates/partners/resellers/etc.)
  • Alexa: Weekly rank
  • Email: Opens
  • Email: Clickthroughs
  • Email: Forwards

Super.  Lot’s more here than just bloggy buzz, but let’s run with it.  Since I’m in charge of the metrics stuff at Qumana, well I’m usually up to my elbows in all this data.  So … what’s missing?  Well first an RSS reader.  The blogosphere is about immediacy if nothing else and you have to keep on top of it.  You need to subscribe to the RSS feeds provided by Technorati, Google, etc to be able to react and contribute to the conversation.  Bloglines and Lektora (disclosure I work for the company that makes Lektora) are two good choices.  Then for buzz and conversation measurement I really like BlogPulse.  Here is an example of a BlogPulse trend search comparing me (Tris Hussey), Debbie Weil, and Rick Bruner:

What this shows is that, well, sorry Rick … but no one is talking about you.  I tend to be talked more about than Debbie, except recently because Debbie just launched her book (man I gotta get cracking!).  Imagine doing this for your brand, CEO, competitors.  Something like this:

This compares Qumana (my company) to Ecto and Microsoft’s new Live Writer.  As you can see Qumana is talked about more than Ecto, but Live Writer is clearly a blogosphere darling at the moment.

Bottom line: check out the analytics article (there are good suggestions there), start subscribing to RSS, and add BlogPulse to your toolkit for some fast measurements on the bloggy buzz

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Follow up: Practical things to do with RSS

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 07/26/06

Do you RSS?  Lots of businesses wonder what blogging can do for their business.  Even more wonder about the mysterious RSS syndication format.  From WebProNews comes 11 Practical Uses for RSS in Business.

  1. Use Your Own Content
  2. News Headlines
  3. Upcoming Events
  4. Thoughts/Commentary
  5. Articles
  6. New Products
  7. Weekly/Monthly Specials
  8. Newsletters
  9. New Links
  10. New Members
  11. Ticker RSS Feeds
  12. Using Content From OTHER Web Sites

What do all of these have in common?  Simple, effective, easy transmission of information.  Concrete things you can do to ignite your presence on the web.  Some of these require something like blogging.  Putting out news, analysis, opinion, and events are made easier when you have a blog because RSS is de facto built into blogs, but things like a news ticker can be made from easily and freely available scripts and services.

So what are you waiting for?

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bk_keywords:RSS,blog,business blog,corporate blog.
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Before you start your business blog … read blogs

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 07/24/06

Over on the Blog Business Summit site there is a little bit about an inter-change between a blogger and a PR company.  The specifics aren’t really important to this post, the bottom line is though.  If you are a business about to start interacting with the blogosphere (starting a blog, blogger outreach, etc), you need to understand the audience first.

When you think about it, it makes perfect business sense.  Would you start marketing your product or service without doing demographic research?  Didn’t think so.  So, first read blogs, subscribe to blogs, search blogs.  Just get a feel for the audience.  And before you approach a blogger with a pitch, make sure he/she is open to them and if the pitch is relevant to them.

Do your homework so you don’t get burned.

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Still waiting for Debbie’s book, but I just got Steve and DL’s

Posted by: of A View from the Isle on on 07/24/06

I love getting new books to read. All my friends know that I am a voracious reader. Well today I received Steve and DL’s book in the mail (book blog here). I’ve only flipped through it, but at first skim it looks interesting. The book is titled “Publish and Prosper: Blogging for Your Business”. I think most of us here would agree (and maybe now I’m stepping into a contentious issue) that business blogs are really just now starting to catch on. I think small biz blogs are doing well, it’s the big guys that still have some work to do.

And well Canada Post has been painfully slow this week so I’m still waiting for Debbie Weil’s Corporate blogging book (book blog here). Sigh. Well at least I know I’ll have reading material for a while.

Not to be left out I’m also writing a book, but not about blogging but working from home. Have a visit over to Daddy Wears Slippers to Work, I’ll make sure I put the coffee on for you.

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