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Friday Fun: Chillin'


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.

It's been a busy week in the biz blogophere with few interesting and intense conversations going on. This Friday Fun is about taking a breath and chillin'. If your week was stressed spend a few minutes visiting the park where some edgy Jealous Animals hang out.  I don't know where I found but I think the Toronto Zoo developed it . Make sure you visit the fish .. very cool.

NYC Blogger Meet-up Friday July 7th! If you're in Manhattan today and want to chill with a few diva bloggers - Teresa Caro, Peg Samuel of the Social Diva <Social Diva NYC Blog> fame and me at the Maritme Hotel - South Bar. The Maritime is located at 88 9th Ave b/t 16th & 17 Streets. South Bar is closer to 16th Street. Time: 5:30psih .. The Social Diva tells me that New Yorkers kick back early!

Shameless plug: Teresa Caro - Avenue A/Razorfish,  Dave Williams, 360i, and I will be teaching a class on eMail Marketing, SEO and social media/blogs at the Fancy Food Show on Saturday afternoon July 8th.  We get to eat all the samples we want. My diet starts again on Monday!

Astrology_11 Biz Astro Tips

business astrology for fun
By Diva Astrology Bloggers Paula Dare & Donna Page

You get to start your week with a Full Moon in Capricorn and Mercury moving into Cancer. Are you stressed out at work? Have you bitten off more than you can chew? Too many responsibilities may be weighing you down. Perhaps it would help if you delegate some of your duties.

Take a look around and see if any of your employees are carrying more than their fair share. This would be a good time to have a meeting and order lunch for everyone. You’re likely to communicate your plans for your business effectively.

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Faster Than A Speeding Bullet..Not Yet


During the last week or so the biz blogosphere village (there are many villages in the blogosphere) continued and expanded a conversation that 1 blogger began. The technology allowed for the voice of 1 to become the voice of many Supergirl_1 faster than a speeding bullet.

In the multiple villages of the blogosphere that is no longer a unique happening. The people in the communities interact with each other as neighbors at a block party. However, just as finding the right dentist, or fastest dry cleaner or best pizza can be a challenge when you move into a new home, finding communities of like interested people may be difficult for someone new to the blogosphere.

Eric Kuntz, Marketing Excellence experienced the fragmentation of the biz blogosphere when he 'moved in' a few months ago. But then Eric saw something interesting  happen  " ... suddenly, a few players emerged that substantially changed the marketing social blogging network. I have been trying to think about their role in terms of the first law of an epidemic, the “law of the few”.

Eric did a bit of borrowing from Malcolm Gladwell's book Tipping Point and framed his insights using Gladwell's concept of Connectors,  Mavens,  Salesmen (or saleswomen!). David at Logic + Emotion put together a wonderful graphic including mindmap that illustrates the idea. Here are Eric's first draft people. I say first draft because in any community roles shift and change. I am honored to be included.

Connector: Ann Hadley, MarketingProfs Maven: Mack Collier, Viral Garden Salesmen (& women!): David Armano Logic + Emotion /Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing / Eric Mattson, Marketing Monger

The real interesting part of Eric's post is this ->
"The risk for vibrant blogging communities is to be “trapped” in the blogosphere, which can quickly limit their epidemic effectiveness. So what will it take to transform this emerging community into a viral marketing network beyond the blogosphere? Who are the right mavens, connectors and salesmen to make this happen? One opportunity is to identify the “few” that are able to bridge the gap between mainstream and blogosphere."

Eric's ideas mirror my thoughts. I've frequently said that until the message bubbles into the mainstream the influence will be limited. It's beginning to happen. But certainly not faster than a speeding bullet. My two cents .. part of the answer will be the marketing profs like Alex Brown at the University of Delaware and Robert French at Auburn who are not only teaching the next generation of marketers about the importance of  social media but how to do it right.

Perhaps with a few more Alex Browns and Robert Frenchs - and you and I continuing to do the work we do - the gap between mainstream and blogosphere will happen fSuperman_1 aster than a speeding bullet.

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What Are Bloggers Responsibilities?


Last week I ran a couple of posts (first post / second post)  regarding my concerns about JupiterResearch's lack of methodology information to support the findings of a study. Some of the results of the study were published in a media release available on the JupiterResearch website.

There has been quite a lively discussion on a number of blogs about my posts and Fard Johmar's conclusions regarding the research (Fard purchased a copy of the study). In particular the conversation has struck a chord with several of Neville Hobson's readers. Even though I had several email exchanges with Peter Arnold Associates (Jupiter's PR agency) and was told that they passed along my request to JupiterResearch one commenter suggested that I should have gone further and contacted Jupiter directly.  Following is my response posted on Neville Hobson.com.

Yes, the concerns about the lack of information regarding the research methodology should not be taken lightly.

I would be happy contact a JupiterResearch analyst. Would you please forward me the phone number or email address: tobyb1 at gmail dot com?

You might find this interesting. In trying to find Alan Meckler’s contact information I came across this post that Mr. Meckler wrote on his blog about a poor customer service experience with FTD flowers. Following are Mr. Meckler’s conclusions and recommendations to his readers.

“Perhaps I will order flowers online in the future, but I would never use FTD.com. I will let readers know if the flowers are ever delivered. Based on my experience with customer service over at FTD.com, it will be difficult to get my money back — the response will be an automatic: “sorry, but we are very busy due to the holiday” or some such silly excuse.

In the meantime I hope Google and other search engines pick up this post so that searchers can be warned about FTD.com.”

Sure, Mr. Meckler spoke directly to the company .. a customer service rep. Should he have contacted someone more senior before he posted his remarks that could have serious consequences for FTD? Perhaps. However, what the post tells me is that JupiterResearch is no stranger to using blogs for expressing personal opinions and is well versed in social media strategies.


Again, my message was relayed to the JupiterResearch team - even if indirectly - through the channels that the firm established.

Ian brought up a very interesting concept. What are a blogger's obligations when posting anything that might impact the reputation of a company? I would very much like to know your thoughts.

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Ford Boldly Moves Where No Corp Has Gone


Sometimes even corporate folks walk on the edge. And sometimes they get it right. With the recent launch of a multi-dimensional, social media strategy Ford is setting the bar high. Bold Moves is a fresh, innovative approach to combining vlogs, RSS, blogs, people's back-stories and more with what Ford promises is honestly and transparency.

Sure there are a few wobbles when you go where no corp has ventured before .. kudos to Ford! Bold Moves is worth your time. It's an experiential deal so I'll say no more.

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It Doesn't Take An Ad Agency to Product An Ad


Making ice cream for Bobbi's Fourth of July eat-junk-food-watch-fireworks-on-Midtown roof party and noticed, on the Oreo cookie package (adding Oreo cookies to vanilla ice cream), that Nabisco has jumped on the consumer generated advertising band wagon.

Sidebar: Love ice cream sundaes? NPR has a list of where to find the best in all 50 states. Even my fav Crescent Ridge Dairy in Canton, MA where you can see real cows grazing in the pasture in back of the store.

Ads_consumers The Oreo & Milk Jingle campaign is so American Idol. Not only do contestants create the song, but in true AI style, they perform it too. Of course, visitors to the site vote for the winner. Move over American Idol stars Kelly, Ruben, Taylor, Fantasia and Carrie there's some hot competition in town! From Sweet Adelines to a Bluegrass group, Rappers, Pop singers and a group with that plays a suitcase. Yup, you read that one right a suitcase. Wonder if Musical Ramblings will want to interview the winner.

The world is one big production house and people love being part of the act. Marketers use phrases like: engaging consumers and interactive with the brand and experiential marketing. For a customer to take the time and expense to develop an ad  has to be the ultimate complement to a brand. 

Technology (Girlfriend there's that word again!) provides an easy avenue for customers to bring it up a notch to becoming viral brand evangelists and  feet-on-the-street sales-force .. with a little help from a friend. You.  Yes, there can be some down-side effects - C/net GM SUV spoofed by environmentalists - plan carefully and you'll mitigate potential risk.

A few tips if you're considering a consumer generated/social media strategy:

  • Set goals and objectives - How will this support and extend your brand?
  • Include easy and fun viral opportunities e.g., send to a friend postcards
  • Develop guidelines and criteria. You want this to be consumer produced not a way for an ad shop to make a pitch.
  • Add a mobile tactic
  • Create off-line and on-line PR opportunities
  • Develop multiple categories and prize levels
  • Create a blog to support the campaign
  • Develop an opt-in eMail tactic
  • Video - Place on YouTube
  • Create a MySpace Page  - If target audience appropriate

How do you know if a marketing tactic has hit the mainstream?  Why there is a an award show - of course! Fast twitch User Generated Ad Show

Read More about Consumer Generated Ads
Bud Light Beer
USAToday - MasterCard lets the public fill in the ad blanks

MasterCard  - Priceless Ad Campaign
VISA - Ideas Happen Campaign
US Network - Show Us Your Character Campaign

iMedia Consumer Generated Content

iMedia - The Agency of the Future

Update: Irving Wladawsky-Beger discusses "User-centered Innovation" and points to a free download of Eric Von Hippel's book Democratizing Innovation.
Heard it from: Resonance Partnership

Thanks to Being Reasonable for the graphic.

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