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AMA - Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website


The American Marketing Association (AMA) is taking a walk on the wild side. AMA is taking blogs on a national road tour! Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website is one-day workshop designed to help marketers cross the chasm in incorporating this innovative internet-based strategy into their organization’s marketing plan.

This is one of the first professional development events that addresses blogging from a strategic marketing focus vs. a tech view vs. a jounalist view vs. a how-to blog view. AMA's "Good Housekeeping" or should we say, "Good Marketing" seal of approval is a significant step towards increasing legitimacy and awareness of blogs as a business/marketing strategy.

I am honored to have been asked to chair and serve as moderator for the Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website . [Sidebar: I realize that the line-up skews high testosterone...to the talented women bloggers, next go round AMA will try harder to provide a more balanced speaker mix.]

Robert Scoble, Microsoft
Steve Rubel, CooperKatz & Company
Scott Rafer Feedster
Bill Flitter, Pheedo Inc.
Ben McConnell, Church of the Customer
Dana VanDen Heuvel, BlogSavant
Dave Williams, 360i
Toby Bloomberg, Bloomberg Marketing

Cities and Dates
Seattle - December 17
New York - January 21
Chicago - February 18

This is one event that you don't just want to read about on your favorite blog!

Firday Fun: New Diva Detective


There’s a new diva detective on the block…meet sassy Cece Caruso! Cece is West Hollywood cool with the street smarts of a New Jersey Stephanie Plum. In I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason Susan Kandel has crafted a new heroine that is funny, smart and with a panache for vintage clothes.

By trade Cece is a biographer of mystery writers. In I Dreamed I Married Perry Mason, her latest assignment is writting a book about the life of Erle Stanley Gardner, creator of the dashing, never-loose-a-case attorney Perry Mason. Cece’s got the Perry Mason stuff down but capturing the essence of Gardner eludes her. In her research Cece discovers a misfiled letter written by a convicted murder that could help her uncover Gardner’s true personality.

Part of Cece’s charm is that she doesn’t take herself seriously. Her humor is delightful. Cece on why vintage clothes only come in sizes four and six: “Throughout history, voluptuous girls like myself tended to be ravished by impatient mates, their dresses shed in the heat of passion while our petite counterparts, being inherently less desirable, had ample time to hang up their garments, neatly thus preserving them for posterity on eBay.”

The plot has it share of roller coaster twists and turns...add a glamorous, aging movie star with fabulous clothes, her handsome son with a troubled past, a sexy past lover who is a police detective and you’ve a new diva detective series…with style and attitude.

More fun with diva detectives in the Nancy Drew Guide To Life. Hmm..must remember this advice - “Don’t force your date to go to a ballet or other activity that may not be to his liking if he was knocked unconscious earlier in the day.” From The Double Jinx Mystery

How Bloggers Are Learning Blogging


Quick thoughts before I close shop for the night ('tis the life of a consultant to blog into the wee hours). Have been having an interesting email volley with Bill Flitter, Pheedo, about corporate blogs.

An ah ha moment! The first generation of bloggers (maybe 2nd and 3rd) are learning how to use blogs (as a business/markeitng tool) through global, peer-to-peer interaction via blogs! Quite amazing when you think of it. The learning process is as powerful as blogs themselves! Reinforces the concept of blogs as a relatioship.community media.

Next step - those bloggers are taking the information and turned it into traditional learning....books, workshops, papers, articles, etc.

Forrester's In The Blog Game


With the launch of Charlene Li's blog, Forrester joins the blogosphere as an active player. Charlene's focus will be on high-level insights about technology developments in media & marketing. Forrester's entree into blogging is one more step towards mainstream acceptance of blogs as a credible marketing strategy.

Interesting thread running about corporate blogs including best practices and blog metrics. This is one blog to watch and learn from.

Heard it from: Micro Persuasion

Friday Fun


The Red Sox Play Ball!
Could it be that the Curse of the Bambino is finally coming to an end? Red Sox manager Terry Francona is keeping cool, "There's more baseball to be played." However, while fans watch the World Series games marketing keeps whirling. As you'll see there are lots of ways to hit a brand out of the ball park. Grab a Sam Adams and enjoy today's salute to the Red Sox Friday Fun.

Boston.com has a few strategies in play to keep fans occupied. Here are a few:
-Red Sox Baby!
-What should the wager be between the Red Sox and Cardinals?
My favorite – If the Red Sox win, the Budweiser Clydesdales pull the victory wagon through Kenmore Square. If the Cardinals win, Little Joe (a 5-foot 300 pound gorilla living in Franklin Park Zoo) leads the Cardinal’s victory parade through the streets of St. Louis.
-Dedicated fans must have a t-shirt

At the Official Red Sox site fans can download a Red Sox logo for their cell phones.

How about a few Lessons Learned From The World of Baseball?
Management by Baseball by Jeff Angus
- First Base — Managing the Mechanics
- Second Base — Managing Talent
- Third Base — Managing Yourself
- Home Plate — Managing Change…and Driving It

Read More About The Red Sox
History of The Red Sox
Citgo Sign in Kenmore Square

Watch More About the Red Sox
Heard it from: Joy of Sox

As an Emerson College alum, it would be remiss not to take a moment to remember Victoria Snelgrove, a journalism major at Emerson College, who died while celebrating the Red Sox victory in Kenmore Square. Story.

This Friday's fun is dedicated to my mom who loved baseball and especially the Red Sox.

Quick Thoughts: Blogs Coming of Age


Blogs...blogs...and more blogs. To continue the week's theme about blogs here are links to two more important ideas that are helping tip blogs as legit marketing strategies.

"The real promise of blogs, however, lies in their tremendous marketing power." CFO.com article The Marketing Power of Blogs. Apple Martinis or Poms for all...a c-level pub gets its it! Heard it from NevOn

Recently found Shel Israel's blog - ItSeemsToMe. Loved his concept about blogs and conversational marketing. It seems to me one of blogging’s many greatest promises is in “conversational marketing,” and its use will make advertising and public relations more effective. More important it will make us all happier prospects and customers.

Happy prospects and happy customers...isn't that what marketing is all about?

Blog Report Card



Had an energizing chat with Jackie,Church of the Customer , this afternoon about blogs. Exciting to exchange ideas with another blogger who sees the bigger vision of where blogs are heading and how they can and will impact business. Bloggers are the friendliest people!

Sidebar: Realized that I've never seen or spoken with many of the folks I've "met" online. Strange how relationships and friendships are built via this new medium.

We agreed that as blogs become accepted as credible business/marketing strategies the pioneer, shoot from the hip, attitude we know and love, will morph into a more disciplined approach. [See Diva Marketing's post So Long to the Blog Wild Wild West ] One of the most influential change agents will be the higher education community. Since many colleges and universities offer new media courses it's a an easy stretch to add a lecture or even classes on blogs.

A great example is Dr Jill Walker’s, University of Bergen, class on digital culture. As part of their assignments, students are required to review exisiting blogs. Professor Scott Rettberg, Richard Stockton College, also requires students to evaluate blogs in his new media class. Here are just a few blogs that are used in Professor Rettberg's class:
- What’s in Rebecca’s Pocket
- Jill/txt
- Grand Text Auto
- Smart Mobs (Howard Rheingold)
- Doc Searls
- My trailer is bigger than your trailer

Lessons Learned: You never know who will be reading (or reviewing) your blog. A thread on Blogshop: one of the bloggers whose blog was reviewed has just announced he might quit blogging seeing people actually WRITING about him.

Based on Professor Walker's suggested criteria, here's a Blog Report Card. What grade would you give the blogs you read? What grade would you give your own blog?

Blog Marketing Report Card
1. Is there a clear target audience for the blog?
2. Is the purpose of the blog clear? What is the main point of the blog?
3. Are the themes consistent with the purpose of the blog?
4. Is the content relevant and of value (based on the purpose)? What do you read between the lines?

5. Is the writing style easy to read on a webpage?
6. Is the organisational structure e.g., use of archives, categories, information about the blogger easy to navigate?
7. Does the visual design add to ease of the read?
8. Are there resouce links and a blogroll?
9. Is the relationship between the graphical design and the style of writing harmonious or conflicted?
10. Frequency: how often does the blogger post?

11. Who is the blogger (about us/me page)?
12. Is the blog part of a community e.g, Nettdagbok.no, Livejournal, webrings, etc.?
13. Does the blogger appear to take part in other communities, offline or online?
14. Does it seem likely that the blog might be fictional?
15. Who links to the blog? Are the many links? What kinds of people/websites? (Hint: Use Technorati, Google, etc.)
16. Is discussion encouraged? Are comments enabled? Are there many comments? Are they all from the same people?
17. Would you recommend it to other readers? Perhaps you’d recommend it to some but not to everyone?
18. Will you continue to read it?

"Toto I don't think we're in Kansas anymore!"

Artist of the Blogosphere


hugh from gapingvoid is writing a book - The Sex & Cash Theory: How To Be Creative In A Non-Creative World. hugh's art is edgy and smart and when it comes to new media (and marketing!) hugh gets it. With a bit of luck the book will be ready for holiday gifts.

hugh quotes
too many to include here but I couldn't resist adding a few
- Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.
- Put your whole self into it, and you will find your true voice. Hold back and you won't. It's that simple.
- In order to navigate The New Realities you have to be creative- not just within your particular profession, but in EVERYTHING
- Don't try to stand out from the crowd; avoid crowds altogether.
- Companies that squelch creativity can no longer compete with companies that champion creativity.

Every community should have an artist it can call its own - I nominate hugh for Artist of the Blogosphere.

So Long to the Blog Wild Wild West


As blogs progress from the Wild Wild West of the internet to the civilized world of legit marketing and business, be prepared for more structure and "rules" on how to write and develop the new darlings of the web. In fact, Professor Kalyanaraman, University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, teaches a course on new media that includes a session about weblogs. If it’s being taught...it’s being tested. Check out question #3 on blogs.

But what’s the price for “law and order” in cyberspace? What’s the pay-back for safe streets without gun shooters? Lessons learned from website development and credibility research should give us some clues.

Blog and Blogging Basics
Borrowed from some smart bloggers. For more detail on each topic, play follow the link to the complete posts. Excellent information.

Blog Features
Corporate Blogging
1. The Personality - Blogs are like reading letters from someone (I love this concept!). After a while you can sense that person's values and interests, and you can't remove the person - the personality - from the equation.
2. The Voice - A blogger must dare to be a person instead of an official and a voice will be heard [even within a corporate sanctioned blog].
3. The Links - With the web growing absurdly by the minute, we have no chance of keeping up. The blogs do that for us, in often very small niches.
4. The Conversations - You become a part of the (blog) conversation by linking to blogs from posts of your own, stating your opinions, publishing related information or thoughts.
5. The Frequency - You'll never become a "voice" readers listen to, look forward to hearing, from if you don't publish frequently. [More is better than less. Don't let your blog get dusty.]
6. The Feed - RSS, Atom

Seven Basic Blog Posting Formats
1. Link-only - Link that may include a brief explanation
2. Link blurb - Link that includes brief value-add information
3. Brief remark - 1-3 short paragraph post
4. List - Collection of ideas, links, instructions, etc.; an introduction is usually included but not necessarily a conclusion.
5. Short article - Typically, entries are long enough to merit extending off the home page to a separate full-text page, but not long enough to require more than a couple minutes’ read.
6. Long article - Almost any posting that runs longer than 700 words and is not a list.
7. Series postings - Collection of separate blog postings organized and linked together to form a greater whole.
Note: Frequently posts blend multiple format aspects.

Diva Marketing Suggests
1. Goal/Purpose – Focuses and ensures consistency for the long-run
2. Quality Writing – Including research links that add credibility to your posts
3. Passion and Authenticity – Even across cyberspace your visitors will sense if you’re excited about the work you post
4. Layout/look & feel - Although many bloggers are using templates don't forget that blog writing is similar to web writing e.g., chunking, headlines, use of bold, etc.
5. Consistency over time = loyal readers and blogging friends

The Tech Side
Synesthesia Wiki
1. Must Work In Windows Environment
2. Authentication Must Be Transparent
3. Users Can Keep Their Existing Tools
4. Must Support Multiple Clients
5. Store Once And Only Once
6. Must Have Security Profiles
7. Must Support Track backs
8. Must Support Offline Working

The Corporate Weblog Manifesto
Scobleizer - guru of blogosphere
Note: 20 are posted these are some of my favs
1. Tell the truth
2. Post fast on good news or bad
3. Use a human voice
8. If you screw up, acknowledge it
9. Underpromise and over deliver
10. If Doc Searls says it or writes it, believe it.
note: another guru of the blogosphere
12. Never change the URL of your weblog
14. If you don't have the answers, say so
18. Link to your competitors and say nice things about them

Read More
- History of Blogs – Rebecca’s Pocket
- Blogging 101 – Anton Zuiker
- Corporate Blogging Policies - NevOn
- The Blogging Process - how to save the world. While you're visiting check out the left nav bar for tips about what writers and readers want. Found it on Dana's Blog.

Learn More
Business Blog Boot Camp - Lip-Sticking

Friday Fun


Packaging Rules! Diva dahlings cell phones and iPods can be such a yawn. Friday Fun adds bling and cute.


If your Google stock [NASDAQ NM:GOOG] continues to rise you absolutely will need a diva divine moble phone to check-in with your stock broker. Kimora Lee Simmons worked with Baby Phat to design a cell that is pink and dripping in diamonds. This is not a boring cell phone...it's a fashion statement. Oh and make sure you really love it because unless it's defected it's all yours girlfriend. After day 30 - no returns. Cost $714 but hey, the shipping is only 15 bucks. (Whatever happened to customer delight?)

Not able to afford pink & diamond cell phone bling? iPod cute is within budget. iPod Hoodies - complete with hoods, drawstrings and teeny pouches...too cute! Do you think it will help muffle annoying ring tones? fredflare.com has them priced at only $24.Ipod_hoodie_pink_3