October 21, 2014

How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years

Posted by: of Stephan on 05/14/13

I left my blog dormant for a few years, but I’m finally back in the saddle! I drafted up a post entitled “How to Restart a Blog When You’ve Been on Hiatus for Three Years” because it seemed fitting. Here are my main points to get you started:

1. Jump in and write something. No apologies. Or a lengthy explanation or justification for being off the grid.

2. Get some tools or processes in place that will make it as painless as possible to post. Like Dragon – which incidentally is available as an iPhone/iPad app.

3. Hire a virtual assistant if that will help you. (More on using VA’s in a future post).

4. Roll out a site redesign at the same time to let everybody know you’re reengaged and committed.

5. Don’t try to get all your readers all caught up on your life all in one post. You’ve got plenty of fodder for many blog posts – so save it for later.

6. Finally, silence the perfectionist in you. I have this bad habit of pouring over my blog posts – my articles even more so – trying to make them perfect. I put a dozen hours or more into articles on search engine land. That’s crazy. That’s not good use of your time. Much better to freeze all those great ideas and insights stuck in your head – share them with the world. It’s okay if the sentence structure isn’t always on the mark. It’s a blog post for Pete’s sake.

Grow Your Blog Business: The Earn-Millions-in-Your-Flip-Flops Framework [Case Study]

Posted by: of Stephan on 02/12/13

Former mortgage broker and digital information business expert, Susan Lassiter-Lyons built her business online, and grew it to a six-figure income in only seven months.

She attributes her amazing success to a simple framework she developed and perfected over that time.

Recently, I met with Susan and she shared with me her “$1 Million digital business blueprint”. In my guest blogger post on Problogger.com, I go through her exact, replicable steps to apply to your business. Here is a snippet of what I cover.

$1 Million digital business blueprint

Forced to close her real estate business in November 2008 because of the mortgage meltdown, Susan launched her digital information business in January 2009 with a mere $200 in startup capital.

Susan’s ebook, Mortgage Secrets for Real Estate Investors is where it all started. Published nearly four years ago, it still makes $600-$3,000 a month in online sales.

That ebook functioned as a launch point for her business that eventually reached six figures by July 2009. Living by her three-step framework, she is now able to work part-time, with no boss, in flip-flops. Some might call that a dream job.

The framework

Now, let’s break down that three-step framework for creating an online business around your passion.

Step 1. Create

  • Create a product of your own.
  • Acquire the rights to an already created info product to sell as your own.
  • Expand to a product suite.

Step 2. Campaign

  • Start a blog about your topic.
  • Start a Facebook page about your product.
  • Buy some cheap ads on Google to promote your product.
  • Ask others who have websites and subscribers in your niche to email their list about your product.

Step 3. Convert

  • Create a simple website that tells visitors all about the features and benefits of your product.
  • Offer a simple way for them to buy and download the product.

Is it really that simple?

Susan Lassiter-Lyons has proven that these steps work. While the framework is simple, as you can see, there’s a lot of work in each step. But if you follow her example, while you may not make six figures in seven months, you will put yourself on a path to similar success.

Read more here.

 

 

Content Curation in B2B Marketing

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 06/29/10

Content Curation in B2B MarketingMany of the B2B companies that publish corporate blogs have long realized the value of publishing useful content in the form of white papers, case studies, webinars, newsletters and other types of educational content.

Business buyers typically seek additional information and resources for information on business products and services. In the growing content marketing field, some companies choose a pure creation strategy (often using blogging platforms for publishing) and find it to be a challenge.

Within the field of content marketing, content curation blends a mix of new content with the filtering and management of useful information streams from blogs and other RSS resources. The curation of useful content for B2B marketing serves as a productive and manageable solution for providing prospective customers a steady stream of useful information from trusted sources.  Pure content creation is demanding. Pure automation of content aggregation doesn’t foster interaction. For B2B marketers, content curation provides the best of both worlds.

To make more sense out of the notion of content curation, here are some useful thought leader definitions of the topic and insight into where curation might fit within a digital marketing program:

Joe Pulizzi – Founder Junta42 and Content Marketing Institute, Co-Author of Get Content, Get Customers.

Content curation is editing on steroids.

As more content floods through all aspects of the web (as well as print and online), we’ll need more brands stepping up to make sense of what we really should be paying attention to. Content curation is as important in the content marketing toolbox as is creation. We need both…and curation doesn’t work without creation (much like Google trying to save the newspapers because they need great news to survive, but that is for another story). For some brands, curation may be enough. You can’t find the resources to develop the most valuable, most compelling content in your industry? Then just tap into your network that does, and package that content to present you as the trusted industry leader. It’s still a needed service, just a bit different from creation.

Where it will go, no one knows…but I’ve heard from smarter people than me that content curation is the future (even present) of media. I’d rather say curation and creation go together like Macaroni & Cheese…a splendid combination.

Pawan Deshpande – CEO, HiveFire, Makers of Curata

Content curation is the cure for a broken content marketing strategy. Content marketing is about a brand producing valuable content, and prospects being educated with that content. It’s valuable, it works and it’s not going away.

But the only problem is that day by day, it’s less effective as everyone produces more and more content. Brands are increasingly competing to get their content noticed. At the same time, prospects are increasingly spending more time searching for relevant content.

Content curation has emerged as a new and powerful way for marketers to seamlessly sift through the flood of content available to prospects. Like the owner of a high-end art gallery, you have to sift through the information from across the web and “curate” it to ensure that it is relevant to the customer. You will be navigating your prospects through this sea of content by leading them to the most relevant important information.

It’s already happened in the consumer world: Sites like Digg (social curation) which have little or no original content have become key resources for information. Similarly we are seeing leading businesses take a similar approach to become the experts for their respective areas.

Paul Gillin – Consultant and Author of The New Influencers and Secrets of Social Media Marketing

I define content curation as the process of assembling, summarizing and categorizing and interpreting information from multiple sources in a context that is relevant to a particular audience. I think this discipline will be absolutely essential to content marketing in the future because of changes in the media landscape.

Marketers can build trust with their constituencies by providing focused curation in areas that matter to their constituents. Original content will always have value, but curation is coming to have nearly equal value.  The key is to stake out unique topic areas and to become the most trusted source in those areas. You don’t need a lot of money to do this. You just need to know the subject matter very well.

So it seems that not only do companies need to enter the world of publishing, but undertake the role of digital librarian as well. I cannot imagine the need for original blogging going away anytime soon. But I can see blogging complemented and even facilitated by the incorporation of curated feeds (excerpts) from other blogs and information sources. Citation and links benefit the sources and the collection of useful information benefits the readers.  Satisfied readers can turn into interested prospects and satisfied customers.

How to Be Constructive in your Blog Commenting

Ever gotten an overly critical (perhaps vitriolic) comment, and decided to just delete it? I know I have. When I moderate comments, I don’t think of myself as a censor; I’m simply keeping the spam out. But sometimes, a comment just rubs me the wrong way. Usually I let it through, but I don’t give the author the satisfaction of responding to it.

Next time you offer criticism to a blogger, think about how that comment will be received. Are you building rapport or burning a bridge? Unless you are being an anonymous coward (which I don’t recommend), you’re associating your name and reputation with that comment. Are you willing to stand by that comment and have it represent you in the blogosphere?

One way to be constructive in your criticism is to structure the comment as a “criticism sandwich“. This method involves sandwiching the constructive criticism between two constructive compliments. Think of the compliments as the bun and the criticism as the meat inside.

Another way to think of it — and this will appeal to you geeks out there — the criticism is “nested” within the compliments. Like this:

<compliment>
    <criticism></criticism>
</compliment>

How might this work in practice? Well let’s come up with a hypothetical comment that is a response to this very post…

Thanks for raising the issue of unconstructive commenters; it’s an important topic and relevant for all bloggers. I can’t help but feel you’re leading your readers down a path towards dishonesty in their blog commenting. The tenets of operating in the blogosphere include transparency and authenticity. You’re not advocating either here. That said, I find your posts in general do espouse those tenets, so thank you for that and keep up the good work.

As the blogger I’d take that criticism on board more readily than if it just “cut to the chase”:

Yeah, nice one. You’re advocating dishonesty, when instead you should be advocating transparency and authenticity. Jackass.

Got an opinion? Please chime in.

Learning From Business Blogging Mistakes

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 07/7/08

With as many right things you can do with a blog to make it successful, there are nearly as many things you can do wrong. Below are 3 common mistakes companies make with corporate blogs, why they make them and what you can do to avoid them.

Mistake Number One: Not Setting Goals
Many business blogs are started without specific goals. Blog software is typically so easy to install and setup that the number of new blogs has been overwhelming, making it difficult for any one blog to stand out.

Identifying the purpose of the blog is as important as researching similar blogs and the communities they are involved with. The networks of users associated with blogs similar in purpose and content to your own should match the blog’s target audience.

Mistake Number Two: Not Keeping Control
Since many companies start blogs as an experiment, they often are not taken as seriously. As a result, third party blog hosting platform and url are often used such as companyname.blogspot.com, companyname.wordpress.com or companyname.typepad.com.

Why shouldn’t you host your blog using a third party domain name? First, you have no control. If you want to change blogging platforms, there is typically no reasonable way to redirect traffic from the old blog to the new address in a search engine friendly way.
Mistake Number Three: Not Sourcing Content
The excitement and promise from starting a corporate blog can often become a case of overenthusiasm when it comes to writing content. Most people are hard pressed to write good emails, let alone 400 word blog posts. Writing original content every day or at least a few times a week can become near impossible if plans are not made editorially and for sourcing content within the organization.

Obviously there are many more mistakes companies make with corporate blogs ranging from not optimizing blog templates and posts to inconsistent posting to a lack of metrics. We’ll save those for another “Business Blog Mistakes” post version 2.0. Companies that want to avoid making business blogging mistakes can hire a blog consultant like the folks at TopRank or any of the contributors listed in the left side bar of Business Blog Consulting.

Tweeting IAB Annual Meeting

Posted by: of ExecutiveSummary.com on 02/25/08

So first let me dispense with the obligatory acknowledgment that I’m sorry I haven’t blogged here in ages. I have wanted to often, but one thing and another…

On thing I’ve wanted to write about is Twitter. I’m hooked.  So far, I’ve seen precious few Tweets (as I gather its adherents call themselves) use it especially well for business communication. Mostly people complaining about being stuck in airports. Like the rest of us might find that interesting. One who does a good job keeping the posts interesting and on topic is Steve Rubel, not surprisingly.

Another shout out I’ve meant to give is the IAB’s new blog, the IABlog, under the stewardship of the IAB’s new, compelling leader, Randall Rothenberg, who also has his own blog. I’ve gotten to know Randall a bit in the past several months, and he’s a fun guy, a great intellect (excellent panel moderator), a strong leader for the IAB and really interested demonstrating the new directions of online media with initiatives like the IABlog.

When you click through to the blog, you’ll notice a photo of yours truly serenading the original IAB chairman Rich LeFurgy.  The uke is my new hobby for the past year-plus. Soon I’ll have to do a round-up of the many photos like this that already exist of me playing the uke at industry cocktail parties on blogs around the web.

The real point of this post, though, is that I’m currently at the IAB’s Annual Meeting, Ecosystem 2.0, in Phoenix, AZ. So far, it’s one of the most exciting conferences I’ve ever attended, really. Attendee list is who’s who of the industry. As I type this (blazing fast free wifi in the conference hall; see, they get it!), Randall is interviewing Susan Decker, president of Yahoo! and Jerry Yang, CEO/founder of Yahoo! You can see the other speakers yourself here, but they are consistent with these two.

Steve Rubel is here and we’re both giving running commentary on Twitter, plus the IABlog is providing updates, too. Keep your fingers crossed that they’ll post videos of the content. Wenda Millard’s speech last night, accepting the mantel as new chairperson of the IAB, was really great. I’ll post the link of the transcript or video if it’s made available.

Will blog for steak!

Ok, actually no I won’t blog for steak. I’m a vegetarian. But I bet plenty of other bloggers would take up such an offer.

Rajesh Setty emailed Chris Pirillo’s Braintrust list earlier this month with an email titled “Bloggers – free steaks anyone?” to promote the site AllAboutSteak.com and its sponsor Kansas City Steaks. In it, Raj wrote:

If you are a blogger and would be willing to provide some visibility – KCS wants to reward you with a gift packet (of steaks) sent to your address.

His email conjured up in my mind an image of a homeless blogger holding up a cardboard sign “Will blog for steak” — rather than the more typical “Will work for food”. (NOTE: This could make for an excellent Halloween costume for you unabashed nerds out there!)

But it also got me thinking about what is the right way to approach bloggers to get them to blog about your company/products or a client’s company/products. Something about Raj’s email got me feeling a bit uncomfortable. Thankfully though, Raj followed up later with a clarification email to the list, stating:

I should have said it better. If you receive a “gift” of steaks, all you are promising is that if you like the technology and/or steaks, you would consider providing some visibility to their “We Care” campaign.

I’m glad Raj followed up with that clarification. I think it’s critical when doing blog outreach that you don’t tie compensation to positive coverage.

WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association) developed a great set of guidelines — the Ethical Blogger Contact Guidelines, which provides some guidance around how to reach out to bloggers. Some good advice there!

So… will you blog for steak?

Blogging (de)motivational poster

When I saw the following “motivational” poster for Blogging, I would have sworn it was yet another brilliant creation of the folks at Despair.com. But no, it wasn’t. It’s part of a home-made series by Ishkur. Classic!

Blogging motivational poster

Hat tip to Ilker.

Needed: Innovative Books On Internet Marketing

Posted by: of Diva Marketing Blog on 02/5/07

This is year 3 that my friend Alex Brown will be teaching an innovative undergrad class at the University of Delaware. Infotech Applications in Marketing and is probably one of the few of its kind that is required for marketing majors. In addition to presenting the lastest interactive strategies, including social media/blogs and search, students are required to blog their assignments.

Last year Alex used Shel Israel’s and Robert Scoble’s Naked Conversations along with John Battelle’s The Search: How Google And Its Rivals Rewrote The Rules of Business and Transformed Our Culture. Alex asked me if these books were still “appropriate” or if he should look at something different. Amazon lists 57 books for the search business blogging and 4734 for the search blog. So many books .. so little time!

What are your thoughts? If you were teaching an undgrad class on innovative internet marketing what books would you use? Keep in mind that the blog/social media aspect is a significant component of the course.

FYI – Alex is no stranger to online marketing, in addition to putting on the prof jacket, Alex is behind the highly successful Barbero blog, which last week pulled over 70k visits; and the Wharton Admissions Blog, the first blog that was developed as a value-add portal.

Is RSS Good for Your Enterprise?

Good article over at eWeek called “RSS Offers Relief from Enterprise E-Mail Overload.”

It talks about how email has fallen out of favor as a way of distributing information to large groups of people, and how certain businesses are starting to use RSS.

The article also covers some negatives of RSS, including:

  • Problems with adoption and inertia from some users
  • How RSS feeds can reduce page visits, and
  • How RSS can create bandwidth bottlenecks for popular feeds.

This definitely isn’t one of those “email is dead” articles, but instead shows how forward thinking companies are looking to RSS as a new distribution channel.

The Social Press Release At A Crossroad

Posted by: of One By One Media on 01/22/07

Tris Hussey today posted about a debate that has gone through the blogosphere like wildfire.  I too have been following this furor about the social press release and can see that it is clearly at a crossroad in its evolution.  I hear screams of kill the press release and others saying that the press release is not dead and each side has its own strong beliefs.  So as business blogging advocates where do we see the social media press release and what is its future?  I’m sure we could have numerous opinions within the small ranks here.

It seems that everyone has a different idea of how they want information to be presented.  The mainstream media has long had the press release in it’s bag of tricks, but with blogging becoming more and more of an information portal, their appears to be new players in the game that bring with them their own rules.  Bloggers want the information quickly and in such a way as to relay that information in a format that can be easily posted. I, like Tris, can see that a new animal will be launched soon with a new meaning and with different rules.  Until that time the debate continues and I will be sitting back to see the lines drawn in the sand.  What side of the line do you stand on and where do you see the social media press release finishing?

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Bill Marriott: Definitely Marriott On The Move

Posted by: of One By One Media on 01/17/07

Another CEO has thrown his hat into the blogosphere, and decided that a blog is the best way to communicate with the customer.  Bill Marriott, CEO and Chairman of Marriott International had his initial blog post on January 16, 2007.  He realizes the importance of blogs by telling us up front:

I’ve checked out Jonathan Schwartz’s blog at Sun Microsystems and "Randy’s Journal" at Boeing. I’ve listened to Senator Barack Obama’s blog podcasts. I know blogs will be a hot communications tool in the 2008 Presidential campaign.

He finishes this thought after what I consider to be a rather long post, with:

Bottom line, I believe in communicating with the customer, and the Internet gives me a whole new way of doing that on a global scale. I’d rather engage directly in dialogue with you because that’s how we learn and grow as a company.

At the time of this publication, he had already received 49 comments.  It seems that he has already made a big splash on his first day.  This is a blog that should be added to your feed reader to see if he actually posts regularly and how he does with the communication tool. Welcome to the blogosphere Mr. Marriott.  I wonder if all of the Marriott’s will provide free hi-speed wifi to every blogger now?

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RSS and Permission Marketing 2.0

Just wanted to point your attention to another in a great series of posts from Brian Clark of Copyblogger.

This one’s called Permission Marketing 2.0, a riff on Seth Godin’s Permission Marketing and the fact that anything being revisited today needs to have a 2.0 on it to be taken seriously. Kind of like dot com in the late nineties.

One of my favorite lines…

Somewhere along the way, people became overly obsessed with search and forgot everything else. Many businesses today would disappear if their rankings tanked. And that’s no way to run a business.

Too true.

So what is PM2.0? It’s all about RSS my friends. Read on….

New Blogger Version Allowing Custom Domains

Posted by: of One By One Media on 01/8/07

We have told many of our clients that ask us about the Blogger platform that we would rather they did not use Blogger as the application for their company blog.  The reason was simple, it was a matter of branding.  We felt and still feel that blogging can help strengthen a company’s brand.  The problem with using the Blogger application was not that it was a free service or that it is not as easy to use, it was because the domain that was required had to have "blogspot" in its address.  This required companies to share their URL with another brand. 

The people at Blogger have upgraded their service to include the ability to now use a custom domain.

If you already own a domain named, say, mysite.com and want your blog to be served at that address instead of at a blogspot.com address, we can host your blog on that domain for you — for free. Your old Blog*Spot address will forward to your new custom domain, so the switch will be seamless for your readers.

This is a good move by Blogger and will open up new and possible future customers that will be using their service.

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Performancing Ends PayPerPost Deal

Posted by: of One By One Media on 01/4/07

According to Nick Wilson of Performancing.com, the proposed purchase of portions of Performancing.com has not come to fruition.  Nick stated in his post:

After much discussion, we’ve decided that the deal proposed by PayPerPost just isn’t right for us or our community. It’s regrettable that we should part ways as I still feel that Dan and Ted are stand up guys breaking new ground, but in the end, the deal was just not right for them or us.

In addition, Nick reports that Performancing is no longer going to support their metrics application and are releasing the software to the community for their use while Performancing continues to lend a hand where they can and to hosting the package.  In a classy move, Nick refers people to the new release of the Feedburner stats package which was just launched. I’m hoping to see a review of that service from a few of the contributors here.

Nick goes on to reveal the future of Performancing stating:

Well, more details to follow but the short story is that we will continue to develop Performancing Partners, our growing blog advertising network and focus the Performancing domain entirely to that end as well as our "grassroots" community — We’re proud of what we’ve helped build here, and want to continue to evolve, develop and help the community grow — the business of blogging isn’t always easy, but it’s easier when you can get some help from peers :)

Finally, it is stated that the Performancing blog editor for Firefox, now known as ScribeFire will launched separately under its own brand.  I think this is the perfect move for Performancing and a smart business decision to leverage this tool that has been adopted by a great number of bloggers both professional and amateur. 

I am going to try to follow up with Nick as this story progresses as I’m sure there will be more information that will be of interest to those in the blogging community. 

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PR Gets Heads Up About Blogs

Posted by: of Expansion Plus on 01/4/07

The Daily ‘Dog, the daily newsletter from Bulldog Reporter that goes to over 40 000 PR professionals in the US has a Pulse of PR survey on the site right now that shows more than half of the respondents regard blogs and new media as the trend that will most impact PR in 2007.

Yes, it’s an informal survey, and we don’t know how many people have responded so far.  But it is an indicator.  The  number two item is ‘online media will continue to splinter into micro-granular niche outlets’.  So I htink it’s safe to say PR has got the heads up.  Online PR, new media, blogs and RSS feeds will be on their radar in the coming year.

About time, too. Marketers have seen the light – and it is a train coming the other way – the Cluetrain. Search results are affecting brand perception and conversations are in full cry online. Corporate communicators need to learn how to join the online conversation.

 

Tread Carefully on the Participatory Web

Posted by: of Online Marketing Blog on 01/3/07

During the Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago recently, the managing editor of WebProNews Mike McDonald did a video interview with BBC bloggers Stephan Spencer and myself about the “participatory web”.

stephan-lee-wpn.jpg

Public relations agencies are scrambling and sometimes floundering at their efforts to use social media to further client branding and marketing goals. Mike asks some great questions ranging from “how do you make money with the participatory web?”, “What things should you do and what do you need to watch out for?” and thoughts on things like pay per post.

Stephan does a much better job at pronouncing “participatory” than I do, :) He also provides some great examples on how to be transparent as well as the consequences for not doing so.

Being good BBC bloggers, both Stephan and I mention Business Blog Consulting, in unison no less! Be sure to give it a view.

I just don’t see Wikia’s Wikiasari threatening Google…

If you’ve been following the exciting world of search engines (only said slightly in jest) you know that Google keeps increasing its market share, and that the only way that wanna-be MSN Live is even getting any traction is by forcing everyone to upgrade Internet Explorer to IE7, which conveniently resets everyone’s default search engine to the Microsoft solution. Hmmm… okay.

Meanwhile, Jimmy Wales, the founder and creator of Wikipedia and the commerical Wikia, has come out with news that he’s building a human-powered search engine called Wikiasari (I have no idea what the name means, sorry) with funding from Amazon.com. Amazon, you might recall, have a failed search engine of their own called A9, and even with the offer of special discounts on Amazon.com purchased for A9 users, they still can’t get anyone to use it. No wonder they’re interested.

But should we be interested in Wikiasari?

I don’t think so.

The problem isn’t that the search engine might not be interesting or useful, the problem is that to even compete in the world of search engines you have to fight the incredibly strong powers of momentum, of people just not wanting to bother with something different. Regardless of how wonderful Wikiasari might be (and I’m skeptical it’ll work at all because of spammers and other cons) (recall that they killed DMOZ, for example), the only way people will try it is if Google really starts failing as a search engine.

The weird thing is that the media is writing about it with the sort of hype usually reserved for Google itself, talking about how Wikiasari might be a “Google killer” and a “serious threat to Google’s marketshare”. I just don’t see it.

What’s your take? Would you switch search engines “just because”, or do you find that your favorite search engine is hard-wired into your fingers at this point in the evolution of the Internet?


I have a longer article on this subject available on my Business Blog too: Wikiasari threatens Google? I don’t think so. if you’d like to engage in a discussion on this topic too.

Will 2007 see the death of blogging?

Posted by: of Expansion Plus on 12/18/06

The analysts at Gartner have made their predictions for 2007 and they say that blogging will peak next year and all the hype will fizzle out.

One of their top 10 predictions for 2007 is that the number of bloggers will level off in the first half of next year at roughly 100 million worldwide. The reason: most people who would ever dabble with web journals already have. Those who love it are committed to keeping it up, while others have got bored and moved on, said Daryl Plummer, chief Gartner fellow.

“A lot of people have been in and out of this thing,” Plummer said. “Everyone thinks they have something to say, until they’re put on stage and asked to say it.”

Well, that certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons!

It got a flood of media coverage and many bloggers weighed in too.  Does this mean blogging will suddenly die and go away.  No, the Gartner gurus say it will level off and the rapid growth we’ve seen with the blogosphere doubling every 6 months will go away.

There may well be 200 million ex-bloggers, but dedicated bloggers with a real voice and an audience will continue to keep the conversation alive.  And many of them are business bloggers.  C level execs are only just getting comfortable with blogs and blogging. They’ve seen the success of business bloggers like Jonathan Schwartz of Sun.

“The trend is, I think, irreversible at this point,” said Shel Holtz in the USAToday article. “You’re having businesses that are showing some substantive results with well-thought-out, strategically planned corporate blogs.”

And that’s what businesses are after – substantive results.

 

 

 

Another One Bites the Dust!

Posted by: of Expansion Plus on 12/15/06

Is there no end to the faux pas that corporate communications folk and interactive marketing and PR agencies make in the blogosphere?

Hot on the heels of the Wal-Mart Edelman flog fiasco comes the  admission that alliwantforxmasisapsp.com is a fake blog put up by sony and their agency Zipatonia. It’s no wonder that corporate executives in the US and the UK polled for the Bulldog Reporter/Peppercom business blog survey said blogs are not a credible source of information – with corporate shenanigans like this the public will soon feel that way too.

They have obviously not read all the data that clearly shows consumers want openess, honesty, transparency and authenticity.   It builds brand and engenders customer loyalty.

A commenter on the blog claiming to be a Zipatoni executive replied to criticism in the fake blog’s comments. “Please know that we approached the client initially with this scenario and they said ‘who cares if people find out? As long as it is funny, we do this stuff all of the time,”

And you guys thought that would be all right then?  If the substance hits the fan, we’ll duck and point fingers at the client.

It’s the job of an agency to advise the client on how to operate in the new social media environment.   Not to take their money and run when the project goes south.

Social media is a new playing field with new rules.  Ignore them at your peril.

“The blog world is a very open, self-policing and pretty unforgiving world when you try to trick them with things like this,” commented Cymfony’s Jim Naill. “I don’t understand why marketers, after all the different examples of this, don’t get the message that you can’t get away with faking these kinds of blogs.”

 

 

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