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Blogger Stories: Shel Israel


I've been thinking about this for a long time. Blogger Stories. Telling the stories of how people have been touched by blogs. Through stories we begin to understand that we have a common bond .. that our lives integrate closer with each other .. more than we might imagine. And we learn and we grow. And they're fun.

My dad told my sister Susan and me stories about an elephant who, along with 2 little girls, who just happened to be named .. Susan and Toby, had the most wonderful adventures.Toby_and_elephant_edit_2_2 Bedtime elephants stories were a special time. And it led to more. Susan collected elephants. As we grew older Dad's elephant stories became memories for us of the gentler times of our childhood. When my dad died Susan's elephants were a tangible reminder, and in a funny way, a tribute to a father who was dearly loved and missed.

So I sent off some emails to a few bloggy buddies to float the idea and the response was .. go for it and here's my story. In fact, the response was so overwhelming that I created a new blog to house Blogger Stories. I'll tease and link on Diva Marketing and then ask if you would kindly follow the link to Blogger Stories to finish the story.

To be quite honest (bloggers are always transparent and honest!?), I don't know where this will lead. It's really, as with any blog, up to y'all.  Want to tell your story of how the blogs have touched your life? Send me an email at  Bloggerstories at yahoo dot com.

Naked_conversations_3 Shel Israel was one of the first to reply to my email. Shel is the co author of the book Naked Conversations how blogs are changing the way businesses talk with customers. He blogs at Naked Conversations. He and co author Robert Scoble included my story in their book and so it seems appropriate that Shel should kick-off Blogger Stories.

Without a doubt Shel's story will entertain as well as inspire you. He's a funny guy and the humor, that doesn't often shine through in his blog writing, comes out in his story. By the way, if Shel and Robert had not hooked up to write Naked Conversations Shel Israel might have given The Manolo a run for the money on the red carpet walk of shoes.

Blogger Story Teller: Shel Israel, Naked Conversations

When people ask me how Robert Scoble and I came together to collaborate on Naked Conversations my short answer is that I was desperate. They’re sure I’m joking, but I’m not.

I had been a journalist and loved everything about it, except the vow of poverty it required. I figured I’d just do PR for a few years until I could buy a new car and live in an apartment that had a spare bedroom.
Please Continue Reading Shel Israel's Blogger Story

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Bridging the Digital Divide


In a world where technology rules it's cool to be a Diva geek. However, one of the biggest challenges we face going forward into the 21st century is how to close the digital divide for millions and millions of people around the globe.

Not only is it critical for the children of the world to have access to the world wide web but it has become a business necessity. Email and website interaction are no longer a nice to have luxury. They are a cost of doing business. Buzz word mavens might even term in Business 3.0 .. not even 2.0 ;-)

Ken Jarboe's article Five Thoughts About ... the digtal divide, published in Darwin, is more relevant in 2006 than it was in 2001.

Why should business care? Because they are in business and this is the future of their business. ... The dynamics of our networked economy demand that we eliminate the divide.

Diva Yvonne DiVita, Lip-Sticking, has an interesting interview with Claudia Jones of AT&T. AT&T is bringing broadband to rural America via satellite. It's a step in the right direction. 

Sidebar: Be sure to catch YPink_boa_13vonne's advice to Ms. Jones on how AT&T can improve their campaigns by including a few marketing to women strategies. Toss of a pink boa to Yvonne! 

Read More About Challenges Facing The Digital Divide
Digital Divide
Digital Divide Project
UCLA Department of Information Studies
Pew Institute

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Blame It On The Full Moon


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

The internet takes procrastination and raises it to an art form. Ali, a student in Alex Brown's class, InfoTech in Marketing, found a game that tests your knowledge about blogging.  Here's mine. Perhaps the Diva Astrologers are right .. I think I need to get a new life. Or maybe I can blame it on the full moon.

You Know a Lot

About Blogging
You got 6/8 correct!

Your not a total blogging geek yet... give it time.
How Much Do You Know About Blogging?

Astrology_4 Biz Astro Tips
business astrology for fun
By Diva Astrology Bloggers Paula Dare & Donna Page

We have a Full Moon occurring Sat. 5/13/06. The transformative nature of this particular Full Moon may suddenly cause you to feel like you need to change how your business functions.

If you’ve been searching for ways to improve how your business operates, new opportunities may arise. Even listen to the so-called “way out there” ideas. You just may need a whole new approach to doing business to get the ball rolling.

Maybe you need a new image yourself to be more effective with you customers. Be open and willing to change.

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Coast-to-Coast Conferences


Don't cry for me Argentina...I have tickets to both days of BlogHer! July 28-29 in San Jose.

Day One of the conference, that began as the heart bebe of Elisa Camhort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone .. and has since captured the imagination of scores of bloggers (women and men), is sold out at 400 people. Last year there were about 200 people for the one-day event. You've come a long way baby!

Click fast and you can still sign-up for the cocktail party and Day Two. If you're interested in Blogher_06business blogging join Divas Susan Getgood, Yvonne DiVita and me(!) in a Room Of Her Own rap session.  Oh, Millie will be at BlogHer too!

Sidebar: A couple of bloggy buddies are looking for sponsorships to help with BlogHer expeneses. The star of Lip-sticking Yvonne DiVita and Atlanta-based (!) Jeneane Sussum who wants to bring her diva-in-training daughter Jenna. Any creative ideas please let me know.

On the east coast in NYC ... Corante and the Center on Global Brand Leadership of Columbia Business School team up to present 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference. June 8-9 smart people will offer a provocative and illuminating look at how marketing is changing in the face of deeply disruptive forces.

Don't have the time for a full conference but want a quick overview of  biz blogging? Join me in Tuscon on May 17th or New Orleans on June 1st or NYC on July 8th.  I promise you will leave with a better understanding of how consumer generated communication can support your marketing goals.

Mike Sansone is offering a Blog Workshop for the good people in Des Moines, Iowa.

Two opportunities to check out AMA's Hot Topic on social media in NYC May 18th or Chicago June 23rd.

Sidebar: A few transparency disclosures...I'm a Contributing Editor at BlogHer and part of the Corante Marketing Network.

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TV Guide Credits Blogs With Building Online Traffic


Tvguide With the addition of our recently announced activities such as the new blogging community, we expect that unique(site visitors) will continue to increase. Also we expect referrals from Google and Yahoo Search to increase. Rich Battista, Chief Executive Officer, Gemstar-TV Guide International

It's not your mother's (or father's) TV Guide! Gemstar-TV Guide International, Inc is an example of an old media company that is reinventing its brand with Web 2.0 marketing: a traditional publication (weekly magazine) that has wraped itself around a website and most recently an online community that includes blogs and podcasts. Next on the teeny tiny screen - TV Guide Mobile.

One of the major realities of today’s media landscape is that consumers are accessing content and information in many different places; the newsstand with the traditional print magazines, at home on TV, at work or at home on their PC’s, and now on their cell phones and other wireless devices. Rich Battista, Chief Executive Officer

Innovative. Yes. But dear divas and divos, from a business perspective, the exciting part is the new world 2.0 marketing strategy is producing results!

TV Guide's strategy is to create community that will extend its brand. It currently boasts one of the largest professional entertainment blog communities that includes over 62 blogs authored by writers and editors of both TV Guide magazine and tvguide.com. Comments are open - hurray! In addition, there is an opportunity for consumers to create their own blogs housed within the community.  The consumer blogs seem like individual boards but that's okay it's a start in integration process.

SIdebar: Building innovative 2.0 community is old hat to March of Dimes. Patty Goldman, eBusiness Director shared the back-story of its Care Community with Diva Marketing as part of Diva Marketing's Biz Blog Profiles.

Sidebar: Information from Q1 2006 Earnings Conference Call Transcript. Transcript is attributed to Seeking Alpha


Friday Fun: Run For The Roses


Friday Fun is Diva Marketing's virtual happy hour from cosmos to Jack to lemonade. A waiting for the weekend 'playground' time to be sophisticated-silly. Or sometimes just plain silly.

And it's run for the roses
As fast as you can

My_farir_lady_3 Girlfriend, everytime I watch the race scene in My Fair Lady I have an urge to go shopping for the most mahvolous black and white hat. If you're going to be in Louisville, Kentucky this Saturday you have the perfect excuse to hat shop.

Your fate is delivered
Your moment's at hand

It's Kentucky Derby day where you must wear fabulous hats and drink Mint Juleps in silver cups if you're at Churchill Downs watching America's most prestigious horse race. Did you know that the Kentucky Derby is one of the oldest brands? This is the 132nd year the ponies run at this race. Name Game for Kentucky Derby Horses

It's the chance of a lifetime
In a lifetime of chance

True to marketing traditions, the Kentucky Derby has its share of promotional souvenir items. But if luck is a lady (ops wrong film!) and you find yourself in the winner's circle, go for the charity - limited edition - $1000 Mint Julep. Complete with a gold cup, silver straw, mint from Morocco, ice from the Arctic Circle and  sugar from the South Pacfic this is a Diva drink for sure! Great fund raiser for Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

Promotions and the Kentucky Derby seem to go together like..fries and hamburgers. Here's an interesting case study of a McDonald's Kentucky Derby Promotion.

And high time you joined
In the dance

There's a myth that bloggers don't get out much (except to go to blogger conferences). If you are a blogger and are going to the Kentucky Derby the Blogger's Guide To The Kentucky Derby is a must read. 

1. Don't say you are a blogger.  Tech trends hit Louisville 3 years later than other places.
2. Assume there is not a wi-fi connection (wherever you are except for parks & coffeehouses).
3. You may blog in your pajamas, but people still dress up for the Derby.
4. If you reference Glenn Reynolds or Jeff Jarvis, you may have to explain who they are.
5. Mint Juleps are over-rated, but try one anyway.
6. Get some Derby Pie.  Seriously.
7. Get some Derby Pie.  That is worth saying twice

It's high time you
joined in the dance

Sidebar: Run For The Roses lyrics by Dan Fogelberg 

Astrology_5 Biz Astro Tips
business astrology for fun
By Diva Astrology Bloggers Paula Dare & Donna Page

Security issues are still at the forefront with the Sun in Taurus. Mercury enters Taurus today as well. Keep your mind focused on financial  matters. Continue to think of practical ways to either cut spending or discover new ways to expand your business. It is wise to use caution. Stay clear of risky ventures. Find investors to help your business grow  at a steady pace.

Have a great weekend. There is a lot of planetary energy Sun. Enjoy the outdoors but you could utilize the energy to tackle household chores you’ve been neglecting. 
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Looking For Joe


I love a good cup of java. Add a chocolate biscotti girlfriend and I'm in heaven.

These coupons were a great incentive to checkout a new (to me) coffee shop. There was only one hitch. Can you figure out where this marketing tactic went from coffee rich to coffee bitter?


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Biz Blog Profile Series: HP Blog Programs


Diva Marketing's Biz Blog Profile Series is a behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits, higher education institutions and arts organizations are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

With count em - 19 blogs! - ranging from blogs that support non profit events to live blogging events to very technical subjects to VIPs HP must be one of business blogging's best friends. HP is no stranger to social media communications; its corporate website includes podcasts and RSS feeds. Eric Kintz, Vice President Global Marketing Strategy and Excellence, recently joined HP's growing blog network with a blog focusing on Marketing Excellence. He shares his insights about blogging HP style, as well as, background from HP's viewpoint about consumer generated conversations and the blogosphere.

Hpweb_12_topnav_hp_logo Biz Blog Profile: HP Blog Programs*

About HP
HP is a technology company that operates in more than 170 countries around the world. We explore how technology and services can help people and companies address their problems and challenges and realize their possibilities, aspirations and dreams. We apply new thinking and ideas to create more simple, valuable and trusted experiences with technology, continuously improving the way our customers live and work.

Why HP Is Blogging
At HP, we spend a lot of time connecting with our customers. The blogosphere allows us to extend that connection between HP and employees and our customers in a highly efficient manner. A genuine dialog between us and our customers no matter where they reside is simply good for business. As technology evolves which allows us to get closer to our customers in new ways, we'll take opportunities to do so.

How Blogs Fit Into HP's Marketing Strategy
Whether via marketing, sales, service or support, business conversations between individuals create understanding, trust and sometimes healthy debate. HP's blog program enables the conversations we are already having with customers in person to be extended globally. More people can join the conversation and that's a good thing. As business ultimately takes place between individuals, our hope is that the dialog we support via our blogging platform supports the right conversations leading to mutually beneficial long-term relationships.

What Are The Benefits Of Multiple Authors Blogging For A Company?
Customers have told us that who they do business with is sometimes as important as what they buy. Providing a platform for the most sought after business leaders and innovators within HP gives our customers better insights into who we are and where we're headed. We've been delighted that HP's bloggers have come from all corners of the company.

The variety of topics includes*:The Sundance Blog, HP Labs, Small Business Marketing Toolbox, HP Tour de Kids 2006,  Executive Blogs like Rich Marcello, Senior VP & General Manager, Business Critical Servers or Marketing Excellence by Eric Kintz, VP Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence. This offers the significant benefit of showing the different facets of HP vs. only tech focused blogs.

Our key challenge is to make sure those who want to blog respect the rules of the blogosphere. Blogs must be genuinely authored with no marketing gimmicks and the dialog open. I feel like we are up to the challenge!

Selling-in To Management
Help management understand that the conversation is happening with or without us, and it benefits HP greatly to be participating. I think it is also essential to openly recognize and discuss risks of blogging with management, as well as, how to mitigate those risks. At HP, we have developed a blogging policy and set of guidelines for blogging responsible.

What Are The Challenges That HP Faces In Developing A Blog For A Global Corporation?
I think it forces me to  think about issues  that are of interest to a global audience and how it being a conversation. I addressed in my blog, for example, issues that we deal with in our marketing strategies in Korea and India and have started conversations around these topics with fellow loggers in China and India.

How Is HP Promoting Its Blogging Programs?
We're not necessarily promoting our blogs. Bloggers post their thoughts and let their circle of customers, colleagues, and partners know they're doing so. Over time, we've seen our readership grow at a healthy rate. Of course, we are participating in the Diva Marketing Biz Blog Profile so we are doing some activities to help bring more visitors to our blog platform!

Lessons Learned
The first lesson is that it's important to participate and join the conversation. In doing so for the past year and a half, we learned a lot about the blogosphere and consumer generated media.

The next major lesson was on dealing with customer comments. We received both negative and unrelated comments. For negative comments, the best strategy is to politely respond stating the facts as the blogger sees them. Instead of engaging in negative debate, try to keep the conversation constructive and moving forward.

My main personal recommendation would be to focus on what you know best and tell a story in an interesting way that people will want to read.

HP's Future Directions
HP's strategy is to continue to expand our programs both by watching what is being said in the blogosphere and responding appropriately and by proactively participating by HP's hosted blogs and other blogs. We will also evaluate further innovation in the blogging space: for example, we also podcast.

Eric Kintz's Take On Blogs
I view blogging as a humbling learning experience. It forces me to put my thoughts in order and put those insights to the test of the world (see example from a recent post following the MPM conference). I view blogging as a unique opportunity to connect and interact directly and openly with key thought leaders and innovators in the marketing arena. The Marketing Excellence Blog by Eric Kintz.

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