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RSS For The Non Techie


Love RSS but go round in circles trying to explain it?  Me too! BL, whatsnextonblog, has written a  A Totally Non-Techie Explanation of What You Need to Know About RSS. One of the best I seen.

Alliance Theatre Will Soon Blog


This is a test post for my friends at the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta. Very cool people who are going to create the first theatre education blog in the world! Thanks to Tris and to Bryght.

TiVo tests pop-up-style ads


What do internet consumers *hate* more than designer knock-off designer bags?  #!%^!* pop-up ads! Howver, the savvy marketers at TiVo seem to think their customer-base will react differently. TiVo tests pop-up-style ads | CNET News.com. Hmmm....

Right Now - AU Free Online RSS Conference


If you're checking in to Diva Marketing Blog right now [2:45p] click over to the American University live Free conference on RSS. Thanks to Diva Kate.

Sidebar: Will not work on Firefox.

Biz Blog Profile Series: Wharton MBA Admission Blog!


Biz Blog Profile:  is a behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits and higher education institutions are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Wharton_logo_1Biz Blog Profile: Wharton MBA Admissions Blog! 

Alex Brown, Associate Director of Admissions, created the Wharton MBA Admissions Blog! to help wannabe Wharton MBA students navigate the twists and turns of the admission process. That in itself is a case study in innovation. However, Alex, who also authors of the blog, went steps beyond. He created a portal that provides continuous, fresh content that is of interest to all MBA applicants!

About Wharton's MBA Program

Wharton's MBA Program is considered one of the leading programs in the world. The Wharton School itself was the first business school, established in 1881, as a part of the University of Pennsylvania.

Why Wharton Is Blogging

This is an extension of our use of boards and chats. We believe in designing a transparent process for our applicants, while also trying to build community among applicants and the school. We assumed that a blog would futher fit this idea.

The discussion boards often uncover common questions among our applicants and we thought it would make sense to use the blog to answer some of those questions (kind of like an FAQ) while also using the blog to offer broader MBA admissions related insights, resources and links to other sources of active content. 

How Blogs Fit Into The University's Marketing Strategy

The blog essentially serves as a portal for MBA applicants, so in that sense it helps us reach out to a pretty wide audience of those potentially considering the MBA, as well as, Wharton in particular. (There is value in coming to the blog beyond simply applying to Wharton, we found this to be consistent with our discussion boards also.)

Blog Design Strategy

The design of the blog is such that we bring in many industry, as well as, Wharton related resources. The left hand column is full of Wharton's 'active content' such as feeds from Knowledge@Wharton, Wharton Journal, 2 student discussion boards and Diaries (student blogs). 

The right hand column is complete with industry-wide active content (businessweek discussion boards, links to the most recent entries from MBA applicant and MBA student blogs from around the world, etc.). The fact this content is coming from 'feeds' ensures it is constantly updated with the latest information without any work on my part.

I think this allows for a pretty 'balanced' set of current content for a wide audient. It provides reasons for our audience to return on a regular basis. The blog generally gets over 1,000 impressions a day regardless of whether we actually update it with our own content, which I do only about once a week.

Search Optimization Strategy

The blog also serves as a search engine optimization tool. We know blogs are regularly updated in Google and it is ofen interesting to see what search terms bring people to our blog. My favorite is 'Harvard round 2 interviews' where we are the number one result returned, based on a post I included about our Google results!

Selling-in To Management

This was the easy part. We have gone down the road of transparency with the use of discussion boards. This was merely another step in this direction. And since blogs are easy to set up (all you need is a Typepad account and a smart student to help) we really  did not require too much in terms of resources. We are considering extending this to additional blogs for next year, but we are still in early discussions.

How Wharton Is Marketing the MBA Admissions Blog!

Like anything we do that is 'new', we rolled it out quite quietly at first (there is a link to it from our home page, but it is a little obscure) and integrated it with our discussion boards. I included it in my signature file when corresponding on the discussion boards (both student 2 student and businessweek). When responding to questions on the discussion boards, that were answered by the blog, I include the permalink and suggest they go to the blog for more information. 

The applicant and student blogs are clearly linked to the blog (with reciprocated links). Other blogs can also us the code we use it to highlight the latest student and applicant blog entries and place it on their sites (more viral marketing).

The industry MBA blog, which is the central resource for new MBA and MBA applicant bloggers to list their blogs, now uses our 'code' to list the most recent entries from applicant and student blogs and the most recent posts from our discussion boards. Basically anyone in the MBA segment of the blogosphere will see our site, but we have tried to push it beyond the traditional blogosphere.

Lessons Learned

I'm not sure yet what we have learned, except it has become an important part of our marketing/communications/customer service while also being a central resource for others.

Future Direction

As I mentioned earlier, we are considering other related blogs, e.i., using a blog to write stories about Wharton and its different academic programs. We will see, there is something very interesting about creating content that has an RSS feed and I have only recently discovered Podcasting!

Alex Brown On Blogs

I am always fascinated by the use of new technology, and while blogging itself is not new, using it to accomplish business goals is relatively new. Our experience to date suggests it is likely to be an important tool for us going forward, and I am looking forward to seeing the progression in terms of its use here, as well as discovering how others are effectively using blogs in the future.

And ... It Rocks!

Sidebar: Read Diva Marketing Blog Wharton's MBA Admissions's Blog - A Lesson For Marketers posted in January 2005.


Give Corporate Bloggers A Voice


Last week I had the pleasure of working with Wayne Pelletier, Interactive Creative Director - 360.com, Inc., to develop the firm's internal and external blogging guidelines.  In keeping with 360i.com's culture, and the "mantra" of the blogosphere - Honesty. Transparency. Passion. (which by the way are very much aligned), we put together a pretty decent draft.

However, something seemed to be off. The guidelines made sense to us. What was it then?

Although corporate blogging guidelines will be written in a style that complements other company directives, blogging is not like other initiatives. When good bloggers blog, they give a part of themselves. No other form of marketing communication comes close to blogging in terms of establishing intimacy between blogger and reader.

So what was missing?  Light bulb moment! The bloggers' input. Of course, 360i.com wanted to create a corporate document that integrated bloggers into the process. An important element of the guidelines was a Blogging Ethics Manifesto. The manifesto would be the "soul" of the guidelines and who better to create that but the bloggers themselves?

Thoughts were to hold a session with the bloggers to develop the document. However, as Wayne put it, "The idea hit a wall." People cared but were too busy to add one more action item to their to do lists. But they wanted to be involved.

A list of initial concepts had been previously developed. Wayne suggested that the bloggers identify 10 major ideas (from the list) and reword them in their own language. He scored a home run...that was do-able.

When (its not an "if" any longer) your company or clients develop corporate blogging guidelines, keep in mind the importance of ensuring that bloggers are given a voice in the process. Blogging is a look through a virtual window into an organization - complements of the people who are the organization. Makes sense to me to ask for their opinions and solicit their feedback.

To help you develop your own Blogging Ethics Manifesto here are a few ideas. Keep in mind these are beginning concepts only. It's up to you to polish those that make sense for your company and toss out those that don't fit with your beliefs.

      1. Be truthful
2. Be deliberate and accurate
3. Acknowledge and correct mistakes immediately
4. Do not delete a post; preserve the original  and use notations to show where changes were made. (Legal exceptions may apply.)
5. Never delete comments unless they are spam, off topic, personal attacks. Only the blog manager has the authority to delete comments.
6. Reply promptly to emails and comments when appropriate
7. Feel free to disagree - but respectfully
8. Liberally link -  to sources, resources and original blog discussions
9. Disclose conflicts of interest
10. Respect confidentiality agreements
11. Do not expose proprietary information
12. Be cautious with 3rd party information
13. Respect employees, customers, competitors - current and past
14. Identify your self and speak for yourself
15. Be cautions how you present and offer support or advice
16. Think about readers' reactions before you hit publish
17. Before you post on a new blog, read a few posts and other comments
18. If your life is in turmoil and you are unhappy don't post that day (Thanks to Robert)
19. Keep private issues and topics that would jeopardize personal and work relationships
20. Blog from your heart
21. Be polite

Your challenge is to create a document that reflects the soul of your organization while maintaining the integrity of the soul of blogging. For some companies will be as easy as a flip of a puffy boa. For other firms those pretty feathers will cause a few sneezes.

Sidebar: 360i.com Inc.will chronicle the entire process on their new corporate to-be-launched blog

Happy Trails Robert!


A little bit of blogosphere history is ending this week. Perhaps it's another sign that the blogosphere is changing. Changing is a good thing. But it still feels sad. 

Robert  Scoble's Link Blog  will be no longer. Robert, the poster boy of blogs and one of the nicest bloggers ever, is stepping back from the 3-8 hours a day that he dedicated to creating that blog to add some quality time to his personal life. Robert helped thousands of people keep up with trends in the tech and blog worlds, discover new blogs and get a shot or 2 of google juice.

Thanks Robert for your kindness to Diva Marketing Blog.

P.s. The Scobelizer is up and running. As is the Red Couch.

Friday Fun: Spring = Looking For Love


LookofloveSpring has finally come to Atlanta and in the words of Alfred Loyd Tennyson - "In the spring a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."  Young or old...diva or divor...spring is a time to be young at heart and in love.

Friday Fun brings you a new twist on an the old online dating deal. Nerve, a rather edgy dating site, has a reality blog dating contest going on. Six members are chosen to blog. After following the blogging daters for 6-weeks, members rate the blogs. Of course, in keep with all good reality TV shows, the lowest scorer is out and a new member is chosen to blog.
Heard it from: Portals and KM

Sidebar:  Online Personals/Dating remained the leading paid content category in 2004, with spending at an all-time high of $469.5 million for the year, up 4% over 2003. Online Publishers Association Released March 2005.
Light Bulb Flash!
- Why are dating sites not including blogs for ALL members? Seems like a no brainer to moi!

Question: What do you do if you’re a hot divo who is better at creating code than elegant prose? Or a dashing diva who is having a blond moment and clever words are blocked? Answer: Hire a personal-ad coach!

The price of love is high. Be prepared, refinements to your online dating ad don’t come cheap. An ad can run the cost of a few drinks, about $30 for help from Match.com , to the price of a gourmet dinner chu ching!  $150 for a telephone chat and full-fledged edit from PersonalsTrainer. The WSJ (subscription needed) has the story.

And...no, this diva is not in love..but from that great Sinatra tune - Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you. If you’re young at heart ;-) Sidebar: Keep that in mind Divos P & T and everyone else who is looking for love.

Inspiration Poems in Honor of Spring

Move Over Blogs: Here Come Podcasts


To continue the podcast conversation ... if you want to know more - Stephan Spencer's , Stephan Spencer's Scatterings, article on Marketing Profs, Move Over Blogs: Here Come Podcasts, is a must read.

Corporate Blogging and Social Media Guidelines


Koolaid_manOkay blogging pundits, take an extra gulp of the Kool-Aid, because not only is blogging becoming an industry, companies are drafting guidelines for employees whose responsibilites includes blogging. Once that happens can the HR department be far behind in their zeal to rewrite job descriptions that include goals and objects?

Let's make sure that when those goals are written company bloggers take an active role in developing them. To help you here a few resouces for corporate blogging guidelines:


Links To Corporate Blogging Guidelines & Suggestions

Update: Corporate Blogging and Social Media Guidelines

Thomas Nelson Publishers
Sun Policy on Public Discourse
Ray Ozzie's Weblog
Business Blog Consulting
PR Opinions
Charlene Li, Forrester
Hill & Knowlton
The New PR Wiki
EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers
Suggestions from David Pollard -Thanks Debbie
Chrysler Group Media Blog
IBM's Social Computing Guidelines - thanks! BL Ochman

Electronic Frontier Foundation

Live World

Intel Social Media Guidelines

Wells Fargo-Wachovia Blog Comment Guidelines

Harvard Law Blogging Guidelines Thanks Daniel Hoang

US Air Force New Media Guidelines

Department of the Navy

Mayo Clinic

Kodak - page 10


Online Data Base of Social Media Policies (data base of 100+ organizations)


The Coca Cola Company - Social Media Principles

Ford Motor Company's Digital Participation Guidelines

Michael Hyatt - Comment Policy

United States Marine Corps 


Gap (highlights only)

Sidebar: Page updated 30 December 2006; June 21, 2008 Jan 9, 15, 2009, July 13, 2009, July 27, 2009, October 6, 2009, February 10,2010, April 2010, May 2010, May 9, 2011, October 4, 2011, December 2011, March 2012

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