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Scribbled Thoughts - AMA NYC Blog Workshop


Ama_blog_logoScribbled Thoughts From the AMA Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website workshop last Friday in NYC.

-Presentations and program were tweaked based on participant feedback from the Seattle event.
-Several people told me they came in as skeptics and left wanted to pursue blog strategies.
-Interest in internal blogs
-Interest in biz blog catching fire faster than even I anticipated
-Bloggers want to talk to bloggers about blogs.
-Why did we go to NYC during the coldest days in January?
-Bloggers are such friendly people.

-Ben, Church of the Customer - leveled the playing field with Blogs 101. Did a little show and tell ...created a new blog in 1 minute 45 seconds. Explanation of terms and some new ones. I especially loved "link slut." Wonder if we should add that to wikipedia?

-Bill, Pheedo - watch out for RSS in more than just blogs. It's the new killer app with uses from ads, to webpages and news updates. True to his expertise in high tech, Bill gave away a killer watch that included all presentations. Cool.

-Steve, Micro Persuasion - helped participants get that blogs are more than teenage diaries or simply a new website format. Think Darth Vader taking off his mask. Think customers are in control of crafting the messages. Think companies that don't listen to and track those conversations might not be around much longer.

Dana, BlogSavant - case studies pulled the morning sessions together. Dana's presentation put a strategic marketing focus on blogs. Leveraged the the dairy industry to illustrate who is doing it right (CrazyCow) and who did it wrong (Raging Cow).

Dave, 360i - begin with his story of how and why 360i is launching a blog. "Our people want a voice." Dave's talk on search reinforced that blogs are becoming more sophisticated and you can't be a "mom and pop blogger anymore" if you want to stay competitive.

Rick Bruner, Business Blog Consulting - Rick's background as a journalist prepared him well to lead a fast-paced panel discussion. The speakers joined with guest panelists controversial Bob Bly, bly.com blog  (to hault rumors Bob was gracious and very kind) and Henry Copeland, Blogads (Mister Blog Ads who I found out was also a journalist) to answer questions and debate issues. Steve and I agreed to disagree about faux/adver blogs.

Ben's Marketing Wonk was a blast! I met blogging friends from NYC like Alex, Blogging One Gay Date At A Time  and Jayme, Maultasch's Musings and Wendy who after the Workshop immediately created her own test blog - Not-So-Still Life [Sidebar: Wendy thanks for the Irish Car Bombs – Guinness with a shot drop of Jameson and Baileys!]

On to Chicago!

Professional Bloggers Assoc.


USAToday is taking a closer look at the ethics of bloggers and blogging. Although the article focuses on journalists, as blogs take their place in the marketing strategy toolbox marketers must address similar issues.

-Should bloggers get paid to blog for companies other than their own?
-Should bloggers get paid to write about products on their blogs?
-Should a marketing code of ethics for bloggers be develped?

To change the perception that biz and marketing blogs are not teenage diaries but credible,  marketing strategies is an educational undertaking.  One way is to hold workshops and seminars.

There is strength in numbers. Another strategy is to form an association for and of bloggers who  have an interest in the growth and development of blogs as a respected business tool. Enter stage right ... the newly formed PBA - Professional Bloggers Association. Elections were held last week and I am excited to be serving as the group's first treasurer. PBA is positioned to:

-Serve as a clearing house for best practices
-Provide educational resources
-Set ethical standards
-Promote the legitimacy of professional bloggers, consultants and those that provide tools and services for blogs and bloggers

Not all bloggers think it's a good idea. Some bloggers seem fearful that a "formal association"  will change the blogosphere. Well...with or without a "formal association" if blogs are to be included in corporate marketing strategies, the wild wild west concept of blog is bound to change.

In case you're a bit curious here is the first elected board and founding members. All are bloggers. All are passionate about bloggings. I am proud and honored to join the team.

- President: Paul Chaney - Radiant Marketing
- Vice President: Anita Campbell - Small Business Trends
- Secretary: Tris Hussey - Larix Consulting
- Treasurer: Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing  

Board Members  

-Yvonne DiVita - Lip-Sticking
-Amy Gahran - Contentious
-Dana VanDen Heuvel - Internet Marketing and Sales Technology
-Steve Rubel - Micro Persuasion
-Jeremy Wright - Ensight

Founding Members

- Toby Bloomberg - President Bloomberg Marketing, blogs at DivaMarketing
- Steve Broback - Partner Avondale Media, and organizer of Blog Business Summit
- Fred Fabro - President and CEO of Thoughtshare, founding partner of Qumana.com;
        blogs on the Qumana blog
- Susannah Gardner - Web designer at Hopstudios, author of Buzz Marketing With Blogs
         For Dummies
; blogs at Buzz Marketing with Blogs
- Christine Halvorson - Blogger for Stonyfield Farms
- Hans H. Heming - Product Development Manager; Experian A/S; blogs at Public Mind
- Kevin Holland - Vice president for communications, membership and corporate development
         with the Air Conditioning Contractors of America; blogs at Blogging for Associations
- Jon Husband - founding partner Qumana.com, blogs at Wirearchy
- Jim       Kukral - Internet       marketing expert, Founder of Blogkits.com,       Director of Emarketing/Brand
         Manager for KowaBunga!       Technologies
- T.L. Pierce - Blog publisher and consultant who blogs at How to Blog for Fun & Profit,
         and Upgrade Your Mind
- Roland Tanglao - Professional blogger (maybe the first), blog consultant, and
         platform developer for Bryght.com; blogs in a lot of places
- Zane Safrit - CEO of Conference Calls Unlimited, blogs at CCUCEO


American University Makes RSS History


BlackberryAmerican University Kogod School of Business is on the edge of innovation and creating academic history. AU will be the 1st business school to provide BlackBerry 7100t™ phones to its students and facilty.

That's nice. But what is really exciting is AU will be the1st business school to integrate Really Simple Syndication (RSS) into the academic experience and school’s infrastructure. Awesome as the kids say!
Heard it from Kate Spencer, AU. Thanks Kate!

Sidebar: Kate posted a link to the PR release - see her comments.

Friday Fun Googlezon


Ever wonder what would happen if amazon and Google ruled the world? Googlezon. Visit the Museum of Media History 2014. Then let me know if you think it's a spoof? SciFi? Or a look into the future?

Heard it from: Jupiter Media CEO Alan Meckler

Wharton's MBA Admissions Blog! - Lessons For Marketers


Diva Marketing is all about sharing innovative ideas - some big...some small - that with a dash of  imagination you just might be able to spin into strategies to support your brand.

Presentation2Here's a brilliant idea from Alex Brown, assistant dean of admissions at Wharton's MBA program.  Alex created the blog MBA Admissions Blog!to help MBA applicants as they prepare to apply to business schools.  That's nice. A way to keep Wharton front and center in the competitive world of higher education. 

Here's the link take a quick peek  and while you're there click on the links on the  nav bars. Then come back to Diva Marketing - divamarketingblog.com

What did you notice? The blog is rich with content. What's more the content is fresh. And it goes without saying, relevant to the target audience.

Here's where Alex hit pay dirt....almost all of the links e.g., content are feeds from other blogs and discussion boards relevant to MBA Admissions. And it gets better. All are FREE. [Sidebar: permission was granted from the sites. It's a win-win situation.]

Let's go a step further. Stay with me on this one. Think about your business model for your blog.  More bloggers are including ads on their blogs. However, as visitors become more comfortable reading blogs in aggregators, the less likely they will be to click to enter your blog. [Sidebar: Yes, I know that Pheedo has a model that inserts ads into the feeds.].

It does not take a Wharton MBA to figure out that your best prospects, those people who know and love you, your subscribers, are the very people who will not see those ads. They will not click to view; so you can forget about the click to buy.  You've lost a huge sales opportunity. [Sidebar: Yes, I know you can vary the length of the post viewed.]

How do you encourage visitors to click back into your blog? Lessons learned from eMarketing 101. Value Add Content. The blogosphere is evolving faster than even the "old fashion" web world. Blogs today don't look like blogs of 3 years ago. I bet my boa (pink feathers!) that the next year will see even more changes.

If you want your subscribers to enter your site, I would encourage you to begin to explore strategies that entice them to click into your blog instead of skimming in a reader.

Thanks Alex!

Robert Scoble Down Under


G'day World Podcast posted a podcast of an interviewed with Robert Scoble. Steve Rubel, Micro Persuasion calls Robert the poster child for the power of blogging. I call Robert one of the nicest bloggers in the blogosphere and one smart divo! Happy almost birthday to you Robert.

[Sidebar: Steve's one of the true gentlemen of the blog biz.]

The podcast is 70 minutes but well worth a listen...play it while your writing your next blog post!

Heard it from:  Micro Persuasion 

Accessorize With A Mac Logo


Diva's how about a mac on your pinkie? Apple_nails Seems the mac apple logo is the latest craze in Japan's nail salons. Girls are decorating their nails with "the mark of steve jobs." Does this count as a new experiential marketing brand strategy? Bill Gates how are you gonna top this one?   Heard it from: design*sponge

Macs on  your toesies not quite your style (mine either!)? WonderBranding has discovered a designer, Julianna Rae, who understands women and marketing to women and branding. Even the sizing chart has been created to make you feel Juliannarae_sizes_1like a special diva. To make the most of our wonderful but different shapes, Julianna Rae allows you to shop by shape, finding those items that will make you look AND feel your best.

Branding's hasn't died dahling divas. It's different...and as we continue to learn the customer often takes control a la the girls in Japan.  And sometimes, marketers listen and create unique products that are wrapped up in beautiful words and images that reflect customers' desires a la Julianna Rae.

Blogs: Corner Grocery Store Relationships


There are many reasons why blogs are the new darlings of interactive marketing: to support branding and customer communications, to create awareness and customer loyalty. PR is a big deal too. While to others if sales is not part of the game why play? Well...divas blogs are being used for commerce in the same way as websites.

Smart guys like Robert Scoble and Shel Israel and are writing books about blogs and how to use them. C-levels are jumping on the blog band wagon to show the world that they're just one of the guys/or gals.

All those reasons and more are valid; but for this diva there is one more that underscores all. In a world that spins too fast, to even know your next door neighbor, blogs help recreate the corner grocery store relationship.

Paul Chaney, Radiant Marketing, tells me that he likes to read blogs written by women because they frequently put strategies in the context of "stories" that are easy to understand and easy to remember. So for Paul - here's my corner grocery store story.

When I was a little girl growing up in Boston, I use to love going grocery shopping with my grandma. We would visit the green-grocer, the butcher, the fishmonger and my favorite, the baker.  Grandma_and_toby__2

They knew my grandma well. And why wouldn't they? She shopping with them for many years.  They knew she had five children and grandchildren she adored. They knew family dinners at Ida Marder's home meant lots of food and that meant lots of purchases.

Grandma wanted only the best and sometimes "special" which was better than best! So the green-grocer would often put aside produce or the butcher would save a cut of beef or a chicken for her. If Grandma didn't think the chicken was up to her standard...she was not shy about letting the butcher know it was not acceptable. And then advising him what to do about it. "Next time don't get one so old."

When we went to the bakery the lady behind the high counter would reach over and give me a cookie. Always. My did I feel special! And I was special in her eyes. I was the granddaughter of one of her customers. She knew that if I was happy then Grandma was happy. Even if Grandma's favorites weren't readily available she wasn't going to the baker down the street. She was "brand loyal."

And Grandma knew them too. She knew their simches (joys) and their tsoris (sorrows). If I were to say to Grandma, "You must have a pretty good relationship with the butcher to know about his daughter's operation." She would have said to me, "What relationship? They talk and I listen."

So it was. Customers and grocers both talked and listened. Customers and grocers both learned from each other what was important. Customers and grocers both cared.

Blogging helps recreate some of that corner grocery store relationship. How? By letting your customers and prospects in on the humanism of the people who are your company.  By allowing customers and prospects to participate in the process of doing business. By encouraging conversations.

However, blogging is not always safe or easy. When you open comments you allow people the ability to tell you that your chicken may be too old. Unlike a letter or email or a phone call the next customer in line hears. You have to be on your toes to listen and to respond. That takes time and resources.

Even if you don't open comments on your blog, with the faster than a speeding bullet aspect of communication on the internet, it doesn't really matter. If your chicken is old your customer and prospects will get word. It only takes a click to send an email to your 527 favorite friends and relatives.

A group of smart guys who wrote the cluetrain manifesto say the markets are conversations. I like to remember markets are people. With blogs we can begin to do that again.

Blogosphere News Snippets


So many things happening so quickly in the blogosphere. Let's just call this one blogosphere news snippets.

Paul Chaney, Radiant Marketing, is heading up a professional bloggers' association (PBA). 20 talented, passionate and dedicated bloggers are on-board and PBA is quickly picking up steam. For more information contact Paul.

Three workshops/seminars...coast-to-coast within days of each other. On the west coast The Blog Business Summit in Seattle and in Napa New Communications Forum 2005. On the east coast the AMA Hot Topic Workshop Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website.

Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website is Jan 21 in NYC (blog). As is becoming a tradition, Divo Ben McConnell, Church of the Customer, is hosting an after the workshop Marketing Wonk Dinner.  [Sidebar: Ben called Diva Marketing ... divine...ahhh how lovely is that?]

*When: Friday, Jan. 21, 2005
*Where: Samplings Restaurant and Bar, in the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Times Square (in the bar area)
*When: 6 p.m.

You don't have to attend the workshop to come to the wonk. Just knock three times and say you're a blogger. The Seattle wonk dinner was one of the highlights of the day. This is sure to be a blast!  RSVP at Church of the Customer and Ben will link to your blog. Cool.

New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!
The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground,
New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!

If you're home alone tonight or need a break from the keyboard and want to chat about blogs join me, Andy Wibbels and the friends of Easy Bake Weblogs in a real-time call-in.

And thank you mister scoble for the nice link.

More C-level Bloggers - HP


Add another c-level blogger to your list. Rich Marcello, Senior VP and GM of HP. Mister Marcello posted an intro in December but jumped on again today. Welcome to the wonderful world of blogs.

For me, doing this blog is really exciting because it provides another way to communicate with all of you directly and honestly about what's going on with BCS. For many of you whom I've met 1-1 over the years, you know how much I value talking openly about what's going on with our products and in the industry. I think you'll find that this forum provides me an opportunity to do this even more.

Glad to see the blogosphere is attracting more of the top guns. Here's a bit of feedback...if you want to create direct communication and a forum - opening comments might be a good idea. Couple of additional probono tips from Diva Marketing:

- Link back to the main blog page (HP has several other blogs and after reading Mr. M's I wanted to check out some others.) Mr. M linked to one other blogger. I wondered why he didn't add all. There were only a handful.

- Link to the main blog page from the home page. Yeah, I saw that this is part of the Dev Resource Center. Perhaps a few non tech customers might enjoy what the VIPS have to say. This non geek type reader enjoyed Mr. M's writing and his insights which went beyond just development stuff.