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Search Engine Marketing Unleased


Missed the Search Conference in Santa Clara? AiMA's (Atlanta Interactive Marketing Association) annual search event is worth a trip to Hot'lanta. This year John Waddy, Twentysix2 and Dave Williams, 360i, have put together a program that includes case studies, panel discussions and experts from Google, Yahoo!, MSN, Jupiter Research and more.

Date: Wednesday - August 31
Networking: 6:30p
Program: 7:30p
Registration for Search Engine Marketing

Last count there were 140 people registered. Should be a great networking event too!

Amen! To Podcasts


Missed church or shul this week? If you're a member of the National Community Church in Alexandria, VA you can pick up Rev. Batterson's sermon in a godcast and download it right into your little ol iPod. Not a surprise that the church has a blog too.

Article in the New York Times - free registration

How can podcasts help extend your message and create added value for your customers? According to, Al Ries, first to market wins. Read his article The Importance of Being First - It is better to be first than it is to be better. I'll bet you a cosmo (oh, sorry Rev!) that you'll be first in your space to podcast...but not if you wait too long.

Sidebar: The article is not deep linked so just scroll down the page.

Don't Let Your Mother Write Your Blog Post


Talking with smart marketers who thought a blog written by a company vip might be an interesting strategy but were concerned about the time investment. Conversation turned to ways to support a busy vip in responding to comments. Thoughts were to have staff review comments, forward the most important along with a draft response that the vip could then edit. Near about choked on my cosmo!

Ezra Palmer's article in iMedia Connection is a great response to business folks who don't quite understand that a blog post should never be a drafted version of what a speech writer, a PR department or even the blogger's mother might think the blog author might want to say.

...the Blogosphere is a place for people who want a more personal relationship with various entities they deal with on a regular basis -- corporate, government, media, you name it. They want to have a sense of a person behind or within the enterprise. They are looking for something or somebody real.

Heard it from: Lee Odden on Business Blog Consulting

Lesson Learned: Don't Let Your Mother (or anyone else for that matter) Write Your Blog!

  1. New comers considering a blog strategy must understand more than the technical aspects of how to write a blog post and what blog platform to use.
  2. New comers considering a blog strategy must understand the cultural and community aspects of blogging. For there in is the power and benefits of blogs.
  3. New comers considering a blog strategy must understand: 4 Ps of Blogging - Point. Passion. Personality. Perseverance 
  4. New Comers considering a blog strategy must understand the Blog Mantra - Honesty. Transparency. Passion. Authenticity

Sidebar: Least anyone misunderstands, this does not pertain to guest bloggers.

A Wish


For Susan ... Birthday_cupcake_2

How Journalists Use Blogs


Curious about how journalists are using blogs? According to WSJ reporter Nick Wingfield, journalists view blogs as "useful websites" for:

- As tickler files when researching stories
- Sounding boards
- Digests of daily news

Heard it from: MediaChannel.Org

Retailers Using Blogs For Branding & Sales


USAToday reports that retailers are tapping into blogs as part of brand awareness and sales development strategies.Window_shopping_1 And well they should since Comcast's recent study indicated that blog readers spend more money online than people who don't read blogs. By dang it Pa there may be $ in that blog stuff after all!

Among the companies who were highlighted include our own GourmetStation's blog Delicious Destinations. Here's what Donna Lynes-Miller, president and founder had to say.

Our initial goal was to build the brand with value-added content such as information about the region where food originates. In the long-term, people will appreciate what we're doing, become a repeat customer and tell others.

Friday Fun: If Blogs Were A Part of History


Schools back in session (at least in the South)and it's time for a sort ofBlog_and_history_6_apart history lesson if blogs were around in history.

Complements of Mena Trott, Six Apart

A Yoda Approach To Blogging


Tony Williams, the esteemed mayor of Washington DC, launched a blog last week - appropriately called -  Mayor's Blog. He started off his shiny new blog with a couple of intro paragraphs and then told his constituents to "stay tuned." Expectations were set that the new blog would connect the Mayor with the citizens of DC.

The people loved the idea of a forum with direct access to the top guy.  The citizens of DC chatted, welcomed Mayor Williams to the blogosphere, expressed their concerns and even offered the Mayor blog advice: need an RSS feed, filtering comments is not transparent, read other DC blogs and don't forget to remind people it's really you.

And then they waited. And waited. And waited. The people were getting annoyed. Where was their leader? Where was the connection?  "When are you going to say something interesting, helpful, provocative or something? So far it's a snooze with a long time between snores."

Mayor Williams came back a week later with a bit of  Star Wars humor.Yoda Yoda would say, "a weekly paragraph will not an exciting blog make." Then he really got serious and set expectations for himself....

Generally speaking, I will try to be cogent and consistent. By this I mean: first, providing you observations you can't find elsewhere in over 100,000 pages of the website; and second, stating the same, take your pick - distinctive or disgusting comments regardless of the audience and the circumstances.You should know my position on an issue, whether you agree with it or not. Blase press releases will not a ...YODA!

And expectations for the readers ... the blog is not a service line but righteous indignation or comforting, supportive comments are welcomed.

A lesson for all bloggers - "a weekly paragraph will not an exciting blog make."

Ps. Mayor Williams, not that we're counting days or anything but your last post was Monday, 8/22. 

PPS. Government bureaucrats who absolutely get it are the folks from  Eden Prairie, MN. Well worth a  vist to my blog buddy Scott Neal, city manager; George Esbensen, fire chief and Dan Carlson, police chief.

Sooo ... as Yoda might say, go unto the blogosphere and prosper. Or something like that.

Article in the Washington Post (free subscription required).

Thought Leadership Blogs


Blogs and a thought leadership strategy go together like...well, Divas and bling designer shoes. Blog thought leaderships posts usually include content pertaining to:

- Industry trends
- Hot topic news
- Interviews with industry leaders
- Position on industry issues
- Advice on industry challenges
- Industry innovations
- Book/article reviews
- Case studies
- Commentary on industry happenings and issues
- Sharing experiences and lessons learned ... perhaps via vlogs or podcasts
- Links/downloads to articles/white papers written by blogger
- Speeches

However, it's not unusual for a company to forget one important element ... promotioning and  positioning the blogger as an industry expert.

Nice example from IBM's On Demand oh how to promote a company's blogger's credibility. This is the home page. If you can't see the image click on it to expand. Ibm___on_demand_thought_leader_1

Kudos to Lisa Sher Taton, the creative innovator, behind the IBM On Demand blog strategy..and a graduate of the AMA blog workshop - Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website. (Sorry Sher...thanks Rick!)

If thought leadership is part of your blog strategy what tactics have you incorporated to position, promote and then reinforce your credibility? Oh and dahling, don't forget your style and voice. No matter the great information, remember it's you who your readers come to visit. 

Literary Tapas


Amazon.com, the godfather of ecommerce, has an interesting new offering up its virtual sleeve. Amazon Shorts. For 49 pennies you can sample an original, short story from popular writers like Danielle Steel, Robin Cook and Terry Brooks. Strategy is that little bites will lead to readers purchasing full length books. Cost to Amazon.com is low since the short books are all eBooks.

Let's spin this one ... can you offer your prospects a few tapas to sample at a low fee or perhaps even free? Be sure to establish some criteria that includes time, costs and resources. Here are a few tapa ideas to get you started.
- White papers
- Brief consulting service
- Mini workshop or presentation
- Analysis of ??? you fill in the blank

Article in the WSJ Online (subscription required)

Sidebar: wonder if it was simply an oversight that the article included links to Amazon.com's competitors Barnes & Nobe and Time Warner but nary a link for the focus of the article - Amazon.com.