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57 Blog 101 Questions

05/14/2007

What do you travel with? I mean when you go out of your home for the day or for a week. What do you always have with you to anchor you .. to keep you engaged with yourself and perhaps the world around you? In today's high tech world it might be your cell phone, camera or video camera.

Notebook_coffee For me it's always been a pen and note book and frequently a book. A little while ago I was sipping a coffee at a local Starbucks. Looking out at the parking lot watching cars whiz by was getting to be a drag so I dug out my little note book and begin writing random thoughts. As with writings in little note books no telling where the ideas will lead. This entree turned out to be Blog 101 Questions. Perhaps 1 or 2 thoughts will spark an idea for you.

  1. Are there really best practices for social media? What are they? Why are they?
  2. RSS why is it really so important?
  3. When will RSS add videos?
  4. Is there a "right" or "wrong" way to blog?
  5. Who are the influencers? Do they really matter and if so to whom?
  6. What is a blog? What is a business blog? What is a marketing blog?
  7. How do you address negative comments on your blog, on other blogs?
  8. Does a company need blogger guidelines? Does wikipedia have a generic entry?
  9. Are comment guidelines needed? Perhaps wikipedia has a generic entry for this too.
  10. How do you develop friendships at work? How do you develop friendships "on-blog?"
  11. How do you define honesty, transparency and authenticity? Are they different based on a company's culture? Should they be?
  12. What are the benefits for sponsoring a blog instead of advertising on a blog? Is it assumed exclusivity?
  13. When is it okay to sub contract blog writing? What is the trade-off for an organization?
  14. How do you manage a corporate blog?
  15. When does HR get involved with social media?
  16. How many corporate bloggers have job descriptions that incorporate goals, objectives? MBB - is there such a thing as "manage by blog" rather like manage by objective?
  17. What are the responsibilities of a corporate blogger? Does building relationship count as a "goal?" Does that devalue the relationship?
  18. What are the responsibilities of a paid blogger? Are they the same as a blogger on staff (see # 17).
  19. What is success? How do know you've achieved it if you don't set goals?
  20. What does blogger relations really mean? Does a camera or a dinner or a press release make a relationship? What is the company's courtesy to the blogger?
  21. What is social media research? How will it be integrated into traditional research strategies?
  22. How does pay per post, posts written by journalists and posts based on sponsorship relationships effect the data and analysis of social media research?
  23. How can you extend content from blog post in addition to podcasts, articles, books, white papers?
  24. For Shel Israel - "Will blogs change marketing? Or will marketing change blogs?
  25. What are the components of social media marketing? How many people think that social media is now an industry.
  26. <Side thought: It's ok to think pink.>
  27. What are Diva Marketing Biz Blog Series Companies doing  now? Where blogs successful  2 years later?
  28. Is a social media strategy right for all companies? When does it make sense?
  29. How do blogs communicate differently than other text forms?
  30. Why do communities succeed or fail? Does a community organically evolve?
  31. Will social media be the new darling of customer service or  the devil in disguise? How would a company incorporate social media tactics into a customer service strategy?
  32. What is the difference between blogger relations and media relations in the year 2007 and beyond? What side of the aisle are journalists who blog? 
  33. Will social media consultants specialize by industry or by functional area? Does one need a niche to be successful in this business? Will the big agencies squeeze out the folks with real experience and passion?
  34. How much experience and how long does one have to be involved to be considered an expert in social media?
  35. What are the various uses for blogs? Shopping/commerce. Reviews. Marketing
  36. SEO and social media blurring of functional and strategies. Is it an SEO deal or a PR deal?
  37. Where does podcast fit in? It can't be social unless there is a conversation loop. So is podcast really social media? Same with vlogs.
  38. What can we learn from mommy bloggers?
  39. Blogs tie into corporate values.
  40. Blogs take time. What to write. How to write.
  41. Why don't more businesses brand their blogs with the look and feel of their website? Why. Why. Why don't (some) business bloggers include an about us? And why no email address?
  42. A blog report card. Does it go against the culture of blogs but not the out comes of business?
  43. Vast marketplace of ideas. The wild west of the new web. It's quickly being tamed.
  44. Why do people read blogs? What do people want from blogs and bloggers? What do they want? Do they really want the conversational options?  What don't people want?
  45. How does a reader or community member Not an organization define engagement? Should we not start with that before defining engagement as a business goal?
  46. Are blogs and other social media initiatives making a difference? Are these tactics impacting and changing behavior like in purchase behavior?
  47. Side thought: If you can't connect to one .. you can't connect to many.
  48. Are blogs and social media marketing tactics little more than viral or SEO tactics?
  49. What do you need to know to get started? What do you need to know to continue?
  50. What is blogging etiquette?
  51. How do you integrate a social media program with a traditional campaign? Or how do you integrate traditional marketing into a social media strategy?
  52. What are the lessons learned thus far about social media marketing?
  53. Do blogs help us find and/or become the divas in the mirror?
  54. Not only company but country influences social media culture.
  55. Can you write a book about social media if you have no experience? Must you have experience to understand the culture of social media?
  56. Side thought: So many smart people generously giving information and ideas to the world at-large.
  57. Now that I have this written in a blog can I trash the paper list?

Good Relationships Should Impact Your Bottom-line

05/10/2007

Girlfriend, life as a consultant is a roller coaster ride. I'm buried under a research project that is consuming every waking second. And of course deadline driven. The assignment explores what is important to customers in a price sensitive niche market. Can you guess what that might be? Relationships win out over pricing. As one man told me -

Good relationships save me more money in the long run than a few bucks savings on  product costs. His reason .. good relationships = good service = $ savings.

While I go into report writing mode here are two must read interviews from BBFs Rajesh from @Blogworks in India and Geoff Livingston from The Buzz Bin in Virginia that demonstrate how social media can help build relationships .. no matter where your clients may reside.

Rajesh @ Blogworks - discusses the impact of user generated content and social networking communities. Rajesh's moderation brings out insights into what is occuring in India. He is joined by Alok Mittal, Canaan Partners early stage venture fund, Amit Ranjan, Slideshare and Prena Gupta, Yaari.com a social networking site for Indian youths

Geoff The Buzz Bin - Interviews Brian Lusk from Southwest Airlines. Southwest is celebrating its one year blog birthday. Happy blog birthday Southwest! Brian explains that their blog is used for customer service, group/laboratory and a way to build relationships.

The conversation on this multiple author blog (I really like multiple author blogs) goes beyond the happenings at the airline. It's real "people talking with people." Great example was the post about a colonoscopies that saved a reader's life. That alone has to be worth the efforts of putting into play the funny website called a "blog."

A big lesson learned that Brian shared - "While a blog is an excellent tool to hightlight and reflect your culture, it isn't the device to change your culture."

Friday Fun: Ask Patty Goes Second Life - Interview With Jody Devere

05/04/2007

Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

Did this week seem especially long to you?  After a week traveling from Atlanta to Las Vegas to speak at the second Healthcare Blogging Summit .. more on that one next week! .. Friday Fun is much needed. How about you? Jimmy_choo__shoe_2

Kick off those fab Jimmy Choos pour yourself an Appletini and enjoy a special interview with the Diva of Women and Cars (ta dah!) Jody DeVere, president of Women's Automotive Association International  (WAAI) and Ask Patty (The web site created by professional women in the auto industry for women to get advice on car purchases, maintenance and other automotive related topics. Very cool.)

Jody is bringing Ask Patty to Second Life. She gracioulsy agreed to give Diva's readers the back-story about the marketing stratetgy.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Can you give me a bit around what many will call your most innovative strategy and others will say is a short-term flash of cool? Why are you bringing Ask Patty to Second Life?

Jody Devere/ Ask Patty - Ask_patty_second_life To reach out to the Second Life community and get our brand and message out in front of the 5m + registered users that I assume are 50% women! These are serious internet players and many key influencers in the social media world and more and more auto manufactures are participating in SL.

I wanted to go where the internet addicts live and stake out a territory to get noticed! Second Life is an online virtual world populated by hundred's of thousands of users/avatars from all over the world.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Why did Ask Patty choose to invest in an social media strategy that seems to skew towards men?

Jody Devere/ Ask Patty - I think you would be very surprised at how many women are just as passionate about cars as men. 40% of NASCAR race fans are women and there are a few million of those at least!. The assumption that the automotive world is really just for men is one of the "old ideas' that has fueled AskPatty's success and popularity overall.

Toby/Diva Marketing - How will you promote your Second Life world?

Jody Devere/ Ask Patty - We created an entry point to our SL venue on our blog, website and are promoting through the bloggosphere, press releases etc.  Our best advertisement is our venue in SL, shaped like a car and very unique it attracts much attention and stand out prominently in the SL landscape. Our SL venue builder Osprey Therian is a genius! Most people "fly" around SL and we are very visible from the air land and sea thanks to her creativity !

Toby/Diva Marketing - Did you buy an island?

 Jody Devere/ Ask Patty - We applied and  were accepted to do a build on Pontiac's Motorati Island a few months back, they deeded us our parcel to build on. Motorati Island is the island of all things automotive..a great position for AskPatty to be in 'car-land" extreme! Pontiac's Motorati Island includes 96 acres of shops, car dealers, hangouts, restaurants, racetracks, and road-side attractions dedicated to automotive enthusiasts in Second Life.

Toby/Diva Marketing - How will you make the experience different from that of a "first life" experience?

Jody Devere/ Ask Patty - Direct interaction and conversations with our visitors - It's like chat on steroids. Avatars all have a Real Life too and conversation and friendships are encouraged in SL. I meet new women daily and WOM works here too Big Time! Great immediate feedback on AskPatty.com and what we are all about for women car buyers from our visitors as well!

Toby/Diva Marketing - What is success for Ask Patty in second life?

Jody Devere/ Ask Patty - Increase brand awareness, take it up a notch ... Second Life is getting tons of press and I wanted to catch the wave so to speak - Increase traffic and usage of all of our great services for women!

Did I mention Second Life is FUN with a capital F for FUN? It is a seriously creative place to explore and get creative with your marketing plan. Be careful it is very addicting!  Read about Mortorati Life and Ask Patty's creative adventure into the virtual world where you can -

  1. Get advice from our panel of auto expert women
  2. Read our automotive FAQs
  3. Enter our $50,000 Automotive Shopping Spree
  4. Get automatic service reminders with MyCarPage
  5. Search for your Dream Car!
  6. Get a free Ask Patty shirt and pin
  7. Learn about child seat safety at our child safety kiosk
  8. Let the Second Life kiddies play in our play area!

Jody .. very progressive, innovative and cool. Hmm .. any virtual speeding tickets? Just wondering ..