With The New Chrysler Comes A New Blog


Open for business this week is the Voice_of_chrysler_3 new Chrysler blog - Voices of Chrysler. The blog is still getting its blog-legs and I must admit in need of a tweak or two. It will be interesting to see where the conversation heads. However, it sure is nice to see another major brand stepping into conversational marketing with its customers.

Sidebar: Chrysler launched a blog for the media a few years ago. Read Ed Garsten's interview with me about that strategy.

In a quick email, editor of Voices of Chrysler, Jackie Headapohl told me Chrysler's goal is to " .. share the many voices associated with Chrysler that give it its unique "mojo" and provide customers a behind-the scenes look at our company." More from Jackie soon. She's agreed to do a Diva Marketing Interview. Any questions you want me to ask .. drop a comment.

Nice to see a diva at the helm of a traditionally male industry blog (yes, I know there are women on the GM  blog). Bet BBF Jody DeVere, Ask Patty, would think so too! By the way if you haven't dropped by Ask Patty recently there are lots of new things happening including car reviews by women and a Second Life space. Worth a visit but take a long your cup of java you may be there for more than 30-seconds.

Ad Age Develops The Power 150


Checking blog stats and noticed a referral from Ad Age. Seems they're in development with the Power 150. Here's a shot of the page. Shhh girfriend! Don't tell them but order is wrong. Diva Marketing is #7 and Seth is #64. Presentation1

Power 150 Partners With Power Ad Rag


Congrats! to Todd Andrlik. Todd developed the Power_150___diva_marketing_july_2_3 Power 150 - a rating system resulting in a list of the top 150 marketing/ad blogs in the world. Now he's taking the Power 150 to the "Power Ad Rag." He's partnering with Advertising Age to include the list in the pub.

Todd’s brilliant creation goes way beyond that and creates a ranking that combines traffic, influence and quality into a ranking of the best out there. We’re excited to be able to bring that to our readers. Jonah Bloom, editor Advertising Age

Where and how the Power 150 will be placed and positioned is still in development.  But what makes this especially significant is the acknowledgment of a traditional institution (yes, Girlfriend Ad Age is indeed an "institution" albeit for the ad industry) that blogs and bloggers matter. That blogs and bloggers are credible resources for Advertising Age's readers.

Todd - thanks for including Diva Marketing. I am honored that Diva has been part of the Power 150 since day one.

At BlogHer With Elisa Camahort - Interview Part Two


Interview with Elisa Camahort - Part Two: BlogHer The Vision, Future Direction
Read Part One: Back-story of BlogHer, Why A Biz Conference

Last month I caught up with Elisa_camahort_1 Elisa Camahort, BlogHer, in DC. Over an almost leisurely breakfast, I was watching the clock to make a noon flight, we chatted about blogs, women in social media and the challenges and opportunities facing the BlogHer founders - I like to call them The Diva Trio - Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jarden and Lisa Stone as they build an organization that is focused on women in social media.

Toby/Diva Marketing - What was the light bulb moment when you realized that BlogHer could be bigger than one event and a community website?

Elisa Camahort - Again, it was the community that told us. The volumes of online and offline feedback after BlogHer ’05 were remarkably consistent. They asked for more events, for an online place to “meet” every day, and a segment of our community asked us how they could make more money doing what they loved. We already knew that women are power consumers, and that women are power communicators, and that women are power connectors. But if you put all of that together: you get online community, original content, offline conferences…and an optional advertising network.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Where have you found your biggest opportunities?

Elisa Camahort - First, when we’ve actively sought them. As much as I believe that it’s everyone’s job to eradicate their own conscious or unconscious biases, I also believe that you have to go out and ask for what you want. Make them tell you “no.”

Second, when we’ve listened. Some of the best ideas come from the community. People often define Web 1.0 as one-way communications vs. Web 2.0 being two-way communications. I take that a step further and say that online community is circular communications. Speak, then listen, then respond. Rinse and repeat. You’ll get smarter, and your community will feel invested and empowered.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s take a step into the future. How will you market BlogHer to ensure that you maintain the positioning and brand awareness that you’ve developed? In other words, how will you differentiate BlogHer from possible competitors?

Elisa Camahort - Jory Des Jarden, Lisa Stone and I are part of the community, and that’s what makes this brand tick. We are committed to continuing in partnership with our members – of BlogHer.org and BlogHerAds.com – and think that will do the trick.

Here’s how we interpret “partnership”: We try to differentiate ourselves by our level of service and responsiveness. By the variety of experiences we offer, online and off. By the fact that we are about community…about helping all boats rise together. And by how personally we take every aspect of our business…including helping customers understand the blogger perspective. We are each bloggers, after all, I started out as a personal and political blogger, before becoming a business blogger.

Lisa is a journalist-turned-blogger focused on the media and politics. Jory is an author and identity blogger looking at work and life. By tapping into our passion about blogging and passion about our Mission… which is to create opportunities for education, exposure, community and economic empowerment for women bloggers.

We have big plans…to continue to improve the content and experience on BlogHer.org, to further expand our educational and conference endeavors, to continue to work with the community to create  more of the opportunities that our Mission speaks to.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let's end this on a personal note. From Elisa Camahort's perspective where do you see your biggest challenges and opportunities and fun as you head into your social media adventure?

Elisa Camahort - My biggest challenge personally has always been to not try to do everything myself. Particularly now that I have a wonderful Event Planner, Kristy Sammis, working for me I need to let go of total control of all aspects of every conference detail. That's always been my challenge as a manager going back into the corporate world, and is still a challenge.

The second challenge is that we are dedicated to serving the community, but our community is extremely diverse. Taking very wide-ranging community input and deriving the best case decisions from that input is challenging, but in the most mentally stimulating way!

The opportunities are huge and exciting. We really do want to change media, and change the way the media approaches women. And really, at the very 40,000 foot level I don't want to just change media, hell, I want to change the world!! It sounds kind of grandiose, but really, the world has a ways to go :)

And the fun? You could not interact with the women (and men) who make up the BlogHer community and not have fun. I get emails or read comments on the site every single day that make me laugh out loud. Or, even better, incite me to take action about something I believe in.

Laughing and taking action every day: a recipe for a pretty fulfilling life, right?

Lessons Learned - As has become a Diva Marketing tradition, let's take our cue from Elisa and BlogHer and spin some lessons learned.

  • Listen and learn from your customers.
  • Build partnership relationships with your customers.
  • Let people in to help you. Don't be afraid to delegate.
  • Pursue new opportunities that may seem a bit .. out there.
  • Ask for what you want. Make them tell you "no."
  • Dream BIG. Take ACTION. Laugh EVERY DAY!

At BlogHer With Elisa Camahort - Interview Part One


Last December I had the pleasure of leading a panel discussion at the first Healthcare Blogging Summit. Elisa Camahort, one of the founders of BlogHer, was a panelist and Sunday am we met for  a DBO .. Diva Breakfast Out.

Although I've been involved, as a speaker, editor and supporter, of BlogHer since the early days that be .. 2005, I was curious to lean how within, what seemed like seconds, BlogHer had morphed from one workshop - to an online community - to an ad network - to two niched conferences.  Elisa agreed to recreate our conversation about the back-story of BlogHer and the challenges and opportunities facing the  Blogher_2Diva Trio -  Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone - as they build a social media company.

Part One - The Back-story of BlogHer and Why A Biz Blog Conference

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s give Diva Marketing’s readers some of the BlogHer back-story.  How did BlogHer come to be?

Elisa Camahort - Back in early 2005, Lisa Stone and I were introduced by a mutual friend, who insisted we needed to know one another (probably because we were the only two avid bloggers he knew.) We had lunch and talked about our frustration over a question roiling through the mainstream (political) blogosphere, namely “Where are the women bloggers?” We each were not only bloggers ourselves, but knew and read many many more of the same.
The assumption was all too often that women weren’t blogging about the topic being considered, whether technology, politics, business etc.  So when Internet and technology conference speaking rosters were skewed 80­90% toward male speakers, and when media reports on the burgeoning blogosphere quoted and cited nearly 100% male bloggers, the rationale was that the rosters merely reflected the gender ratio out in the real world. The only problem with this rationale was that neither casual observation, nor, more objectively, the statistics reported by the Pew Internet & American Life Project supported it.

So Lisa asked me about an idea she had: How about a conference for women bloggers – would I join her to make it happen? If we did, would women bloggers come? My emphatic answer to both questions was “yes” – and our partnership was born. We got right to work on it. We decided to see how many women bloggers we could gather at a conference by and about women bloggers. Men were invited and welcome, but the point was to feature the voices of women bloggers. We threw the idea out to the community in a series of blog posts and were met with an immediate and passionate response.

We also discovered almost immediately that while two heads are better than one, a triumvirate was what we really needed. I had met Jory Des Jardins at a conference…where we bonded over being the only two people taking notes on paper (not typing away in a laptop) during a session.  We started out asking her if she’d like to “help a little”, and ended up sucking her completely into the BlogHer way of life!

Toby/Diva Marketing - Who does what? How are responsibilities defined?

Elisa Camahort - Lisa, Jory and I are co-founders of this organization, and we’re organized to leverage our unique strengths and experiences.

Jory handles all of our sales, business development and partnership activities. This includes both conference sponsorships and advertising network customers.

Lisa is our editorial and community guru, and is really the chief user advocate. She manages the BlogHer.org web community, both technologically and editorially. She also handles blogger relations…making sure our editors and ad network partners are taken care of.

I manage our overall marketing and our events in particular. This means logistics, of course, but also programming. I’m constantly on the hunt for great, fresh voices to bring to our conferences.

We are each advocates for our particular area, and advisers to the other two areas. Most significant ideas in any of our three areas are shared amongst us, and it’s inevitable that three of us are way smarter than any one of us.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Let’s step back in time to 2005.  How in the world did you pull off the 2005 BlogHer Conference with no infrastructure, when you, Jory and Lisa were holding down full-time jobs and with minimum funding? 

Elisa Camahort - Because of the community. Don’t get me wrong, Lisa, Jory and I worked like madwomen…but at every step of the way when we asked for help, someone stepped up to deliver. The women’s blogging community didn’t respond to the idea of a BlogHer Conference with a passive “entertain me” attitude. On the contrary, they reacted with an active “What can I do?” spirit. Volunteerism contributed to every aspect of the conference. We like to call it “do-ocracy.” (More on that concept is here: http://blogher.org/about-blogher-conference-06)

Toby/Diva Marketing - What was the vision that you, Lisa and Jory had for the first BlogHer Conference?

Elisa Camahort - We wanted to answer that question “Where are the women bloggers” with an emphatic “Right here!” We wanted to make that question sound ridiculous if anyone asked it again. And we wanted to create an opportunity for women bloggers to meet one another and find common ground no matter what their blogging passion was.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Flash forward to 2007, BlogHer is now the premier online community for women bloggers, an ad network and not one but two conferences are planned for this year.  What is the difference between the two conferences?

Elisa Camahort - Thanks for the kind compliment Toby. The BlogHer ‘07 Conference this July in Chicago will be the next generation of the annual conference we’ve had in Silicon Valley in ’05 and ’06. It’s for all women who are interested in blogging, be they as bloggers, bloggers-to-be, or blog readers, regardless of topic or focus. We’ll continue to have the diverse schedule of sessions and events we’ve had, covering everything from the highly personal to the politically charged to the purely professional.

We’ll continue to promote do-ocracy, and look for ways to expand that empowered do-it-yourself approach beyond the Birds of a Feather sessions and Room of Your Own tracks. And we’ll continue to help all women to attend by heavily subsidizing the conference registration fee and feeding people!

BlogHer Business is our inaugural topic-focused event. Essentially we took the Business track from BlogHer and decided to expand it.  Lisa, Jory and I are were all heavily involved with business blogging and helping businesses to grok social media long before we formed BlogHer, so this was a natural first focus area for us. Lisa helped launch such blog networks as Law.com and Glam.com. Jory helped launch the ThirdAge blog network and consulted for such companies as Pluck and Rojo. I was an early business blogger, blogging for clients on topics as varied as healthcare, theatre and Internet trends. (I wrote for five client blogs at one time.)

We also had been to multiple business-related blogging conferences and felt we could add value in this arena. We consider BlogHer Business to be a “deeper dive” into a part of Blogher’s overall agenda. And in future we hope to expand the kind of deeper dives we make. BlogHer Tech? BlogHer Election ‘08? BlogHer Arts & Crafts? BlogHer Finance? We expect the community will point us in the directions we should go.

Toby/Diva Marketing  - Does a separate conference for business bloggers have anything to do with the buzz last summer about mommy bloggers and business bloggers having different interests?

Elisa Camahort - Actually, no. As I said, we’re not dropping business topics from the annual event at all. We’re just digging deeper. It’s an incredibly rich and deep topic area. The BlogHer annual event is about finding common ground and celebrating our differences. And promoting one another. And validating quality work and writing, no matter its subject matter. If anything, we’re figuring out how to address our greater community’s divergent interests head-on and see what we can learn from unexpected sources.

Toby/Diva Marketing - Why the steep price increase for the NYC conference?

Elisa Camahort -  It might be easier to explain how the annual event prices are kept low. And why we want to continue to do so. Lots of the people who attend the annual event aren’t blogging as part of any business or job. They can’t expense it to anyone or deduct the trip at tax time. It’s pure out-of-pocket expense…it is really a luxury for a lot of folks. So, if we keep the registration fee low, if we feed you all day, if we try to find hotel options that are affordable…or at least can easily support room-sharing, then we can make sure that we can accommodate, or rather be accommodated by more bloggers.

Sponsors make a lot of that possible. Their involvement means we can feed people. Their involvement means we can have more meeting rooms available. Their involvement helps us have subsidized childcare. Their involvement means we can help speakers with travel expenses…which means that we can feature a broader diversity of voices than just folks who can afford to travel to conferences all year long, All of which means that we don’t have to rely on registration fees to cover the expense of the conference. Which they don’t.

BlogHer Business, on the other hand, is targeting folks who are exploring social media as part of their business or job. In addition, it’s a targeted event with a much smaller planned size. Fewer attendees with a more niche interest, means a smaller pool of sponsors will be involved. And in order to serve these bloggers where many of them are (New York) rather than less expensive cities, the cost of doing this conference will be much greater.

Thursday Jan 25th - Part Two: Vision, Future Direction

Social Media Challenges In India


On December 18th in the year 2006 Jeremiah Owyang, Web Strategy By Jeremiah, posted the following:

2006 was about “What is social media” and “Why does it matter”. Business blogging, flogs, podcasting and second life were the hot topics.

2007 is about “How do I deploy social media”. Companies will start to integrate Social Media upand down and side to side in the organization, both externally as well as internally.

Toby_impact_article_1_07_5 That might be true in the United States, but in some countries the conversation has not reached that level. In some countries business bloggers have just begun their work to position social media as a credible marketing strategy. In some countries the adventure is just beginning.

Rajesh Lalwani, BlogWorks, has made it his personal mission to educate the Indian business community about the importance of social media. To begin that job Rajesh launched a discussion series, Blog the Talk, that features the best of learning from the blogosphere and otherwise, through panel discussions, talks and one-on-ones – mostly conducted online.

A few weeks ago I had the distinct honor and pleasure of joining several prominent Indian business leaders - Govindraj Ethiraj, New Media Editor for Business-Standard who also writes the popular blog  Dateline Bombay - A Reporter's Tale ; and Anurag Batra, Editor in Chief & Managing Director of the exchange4media Group - for the launch conversation - Blog the Talk 1- Impact of blogs and social on business & marketing in India!

Rajesh posted a transcript and the comments are revealing .. reinforcing that in India people are taking the initial steps in understanding the possibilities of social media.

  • Possibly the first time that such a debate as been sparked with the marketeer in mind.
  • I do believe India is ready for the Blog revolution, if only brand managers the benefits they could drive of it.
  • This is an interesting space as business application of blogs is a completely unheard of a thing in Indian context.

In addition, two articles published in IMPACT magazine (published by Anurag) take the conversation from virtual world into mainstream media. PDF of the IMPACT article are also posted on BlogWorks.

Perhaps with the passion of people like Rajesh Lalwani and Govindraj Ethiraj and Anurag Batra in India, 2007 will be about - What is social media and Why does it matter and Business blogging, flogs, podcasting and second life.

NYT Runs An Ad For A Blog


Nyt_blog_ad_1_107_1Divas and Divos here's one for your social media scrapbook .. an Ad For A Blog!

The Sunday New York Times - January 7, 2007. The first half-page ad I've seen for a blog. The Carpetbagger.  Not a product or service with a supporting blog but for the blog itself. Granted it's an ad in the NYT for a NYT property but still.

Diva Marketing's One 2007 PNyt_blog_ad_2_107rediction:  Watch for more mainstream media ads promoting social media: blogs, vlogs, podcasts, Second Life etc. etc. etc. 

Couldn't scan the entire page in one graphic so here it is in pieces top and  bottom. Sorry for the page cut off.

Oh .. and what is the focus of The Carpetbagger blog? It's a seasonal blog that covers all things Oscar authored by David Carr, a culture reporter and media columnist at the NYT.

Social Media News: BubbleShare Flying High


Sometimes bubbles don't burst but they fly high. 2007 kicks it up a notch for social media with the acquisition of Bubbleshare BubbleShare by Kaboose. BubbleShare is a way to share your digital photos and the stories that go with them.

Yet one more indication that those conversations are valued and people want to be creative as part of the adventure. The last thought was not a throw away but important. The creativity and fun aspects of social media are critical to a B2C social media product's success. Oh and throw in E-A-S-Y while you are developing.

A toss of the pink boa Pink_boa_19 to hometown Diva Jeneane Sessum who handled the marketing/pr efforts including, of course, spot on blogger relations. Girlfriend, hope you got a well deserved piece of this pie because I'm sure Jenna needs a few apres Xmas gifts <wink>

Sidebar/Update: If you are interested in online M&A deals take a look at the Online Ad M&A list that Craig Kurtzman from Online Advertising Discussion List continues to develop.

It's All About YOU - For 15 Minutes


On my way back from Boston yesterday I picked up a copy of Time at Logan Airport. After playing with the Mylar cover and hoping that the Person Of The Year 2006 .. which is me - you - and everyone else who has access to the Big WWW .. didn't really belong  in a carnival sideshow, I jumped into Richard Stengel's (managing editor)To Our Reader's column. It was my first of several hints that Time's understanding of social media is more like the acts under the big top than walking the midway with the people.

Now don't get me wrong, I appreciate the visibility lift that Time has given social media. However, in taking a closer look at the Time Person of The Year issue, I'm not sure that Time gets it.

It's the little things that make the difference. Girlfriend, first I want to know why Time_richard_stengel_cover_2006 Richard Stengel's Mylar image was not blurred or disorted like mine or yours but looked like a professional photo. Oh .. perhaps because it was not a Mylar image but it was an air brushed professionally shot photograph. Very un bloggy.

Stengel wrote, "Journalists once had the exclusive power of taking people to places they'd never been." Hmm .. my kindergarten teacher told me that books would do that .. perhaps I was too busy coloring .. I don't recall mention of journalists or reporters having exclusivity on that concept. Very un bloggy.

Time dedicated over 30 pages to 2006 Person Of The Year. Cool. Lots of great stories about people who are using technologies to tell the world about their lives. However, what I found even more interesting was that the Person Of The Year - YOU - didn't spill over into Time's stories like People Who Mattered or Farewell or 10 Best Movies, Books, TVShows, Albums, Sports Moments. So okay perhaps YouTube videos don't make it as a real flicks and social media authors are not really important enough to be part of the 10 Best and no YOU people mattered enough to be sung Farewell to ..

That was my last tip off that Time didn't get it. There was no integration. Rather it was like a carnival show with YOU as part of the side show and THEM as the main acts under the big top. Oh well, as Time's last story, Andy Was Right, reinforced. It's an Andy Warhol 15-minute of fame world .. and YOU now have had yours. Collectively YOU might be important but not too many of YOU will cross over into Time's People Who Matter.

But don't fret .. in addition to some interesting blog posts about the You as the Time Person of the Year, it's great for the late night comedians. And there's always 2007 for Time to get it.

hyku Here hyku There Every where hyku


Hyku_logo Josh Hallett will be one busy blogger this weekend and into next week. But then Josh is always on the go. In fact, too much so he thought. Last winter he had an ah ha moment .. enough of thisHyku_logo on the road stuff .. it's time for people to come to visit me in - Orlando, FL.

Now FL is a great state and Orlando is nice town, but really Josh besides the "mouse" why would anyone choose to come to Orlando? (only kidding!) Smart Divo that he is, Josh put together a FREE blog un-conference and this weekend September 22-24, 2006 marks - what may become the first annual  BlogOrlando.Hyku_logo

If Josh's email to me this afternoon is any indication - if you haven't signed up by now you may have to wait until BlogOrlando 2007. Check the BlogOrlando site during the weekend with 80 bloggers coming in from all over the world (Hi Nicole! Cruel To Be Kind) there is sure to be lots of live blogging. Wish I could be there with y'all but I'll be visiting my 92-year old Auntie Helen. Perhaps if I tell her about Millie, My Mom's Blog, we both will be there next year!

Atlanta Want to talk blogs but didn't make it to Orlando? Come To Atlanta!

IABC & STC join forces on Tuesday, September 26th to present a panel discussion .. Beyond Blogs 101 - Your In The Game Now! And you'll never guess who is the esteemed moderator .. Josh Hallett! He's back on the road again .. and hopefully recovered from BlogOrlando.

The panel includes:

Dave Coustan - Earthlink's corporate blogger - blogs.earthlink.com
Mark Chernesky, Web Development Director for Digital Media Technologies, Turner Broadcasting System
Toby Bloomberg - Bloomberg Marketing & Diva Marketing Blog

Date: Tuesday, September 26th
Time: 11:30a-1p
Venue: Maggiano's Buckhead

Registration Information