What Happens In Vegas .. Should Not Stay In Vegas - Part 2


Notebook_coffee As promised here are my random notes from Blog World. Or at least those note I could read. I apologize for the quotes that I have not a clue who said what.

Web 2.0 does not equal community. Paul Dunay

"It's an old media concept that your audience should come to you."

Internal wikis are a great way to: share opinions, create spontaneous work groups, develop a knowledge management system.

Maggie Fox generously shared lessons learned from a MySpace campaign for Harlequin (books) that quite didn't make it. Don't treat MySpace like an ad. Authors should have actively participated in the community.

Social media networking communities don't work if you control the content. Credibility can't build from only content you put up. Think about how to create trust  online. Relevancy is key.

The Dell Story was told at least 5 million times.
How much longer can Apple afford not to get social?

How do you get marketers to get it?
1. Point to success examples.
2. Show examples that their brand / industry is in the conversation .. with or with them.
3. Try it internally first. Create an internal blog, wiki, podcast, etc.
4. Coach them through the process.

Responding to negative comments on a blog can create greater credibility.

Notes from Mil blog session. Military bloggers were amazing.
Christian Lowe Bill Riggio Uncle Jimbo Eric England Steve Schippert

  • No one can dictate the message of what is happening in the field anymore.
  • No one owns the flow of information any more.
  • Gives the troops a voice; the great equalizer.
  • Military blogs often more accurate than main stream media. Lines between MSM and bloggers are blurring.
  • How does one determine the truth? By reading multiple blogs. Trust = facts. Mil bloggers frequently check each other's facts. Posts are passed along to confirm the details. Or the community self corrects in comments.
  • Military bloggers are morphing into hobby bloggers or new media correspondences.
  • As with any community conversation and relationships are also built off-blog.
  • Mil bloggers are creating change within the military from the outside.
  • Mil blogs are read by senior staffers, generals and policy makers. Many use blogs as a source for their research.
  • When it comes down to brass tacks, the community of mil bloggers is much the same as the community of business bloggers. We both struggle with similar issues from comments to posting frequency to content direction. A defense contractor raised his hand and asked, "How do I get in front of your readers?" The response was, "Build relationship with  us." Sound familiar? That's what the biz bloggers call Blogger Relations.
  • "The power of blogs is found from their communication at near real time." Christian Lowe.

Notes From Sports Blogging Session: How To Build Traffic
Will Leitch, Larry Borowsky, Matt Cerrone, Adam Morris, Tyler Bleszinski

  • Post regularly.
  • Be predictable. Post at the same time every day/day of the week.
  • Friend other bloggers. In other words develop relationships and participate in the community conversations.
  • Post a series of Q&A on a specific topic.
  • Be the Go To person for a specific topic.
  • Develop your blog like a TV series with posts on specific topics at specific times.
  • Write well. It reinforces your credibility.
  • What emotionally connects with your readers?
  • Be honest.
  • Be yourself. Your blog is an extension of your personality.
  • Credit bloggers when you post an idea from another blog.
  • There is a difference between traffic and readers.

Sidebar: I was one of 4 women in a session of about 35 guys.

Friday Fun: DC Goodwill on the Social Media Runway


Today's post is a Two-for-One. It's Friday Fun  - 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. Combine with Biz Blog Profile - Biz Blog Profiles! is a behind the scene look at how corporations, non profits, higher education institutions and the arts are using blogs to support their marketing goals.

Take a brand with an image challenge. Add a unique positioning strategy targeting a new segment. Overlay it with the limitations (people and money) of a not for profit. Sprinkle with an innovative, never been done before social media strategy. Toss in a few vintage dresses. Mix well. Welcome to the world of the Goodwill of Greater Washington.

About Goodwill of Greater Washington
Goodwill of Greater Washington provides job training and employment services to people with disadvantages and disabilities throughout the greater Washington, DC region.  We fund our mission through diverse lines of business including our chain of nine retail stores, two e-commerce sites, landscaping, pest control and janitorial contract services, as well as a small amount of traditional fundraising (about 10%).

About Brendan Hurley
Brendan_hurley_2 I have been a marketing professional for 15 years, with a BA in Communications and an MS in Marketing.  I spent most of my career in the “for profit” sector, working primarily in the radio industry marketing for a variety of radio groups including Clear Channel Communications.  I came to Goodwill as the VP of Marketing when Clear Channel’s Regional Senior VP became Goodwill’s CEO in late 2003.  What I enjoy about Goodwill is that it is a charitable agency that helps the community, but also runs more like a business than a traditional non profit.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Vintage shopping is great fun but Brendan, I must admit when I think of diva, cool places to discover cute clothes Goodwill is not top of mind. However, you not only are changing the image of Goodwill of Greater Washington but are creating a new positioning for the organization … from thrift shop to vintage fashion.

How and why did an organization, that is not known for innovation in marketing, decide to step into the world of social media to support and promote that new direction?

Brendan Hurley: There is an interesting disparity in the vintage and classic fashion world. If you spend $150 on an outfit at a high end vintage retailer, it’s considered hip, but if you buy the same outfit at a Goodwill store or “thrift” store, many consumers perceive it as old and used. 

We didn’t want to alienate our core customers, many of whom are bargain shoppers, but we needed to find a way to grow a secondary market segment for Goodwill that we felt we could impact with the right positioning: young, professional females, who tend to be a primary market segment for vintage retailers. Ultimately we felt that a social media strategy would help us address this need.

Toby/Diva Marketing: In a recent guest blog post on The Buzz Bin you said something very interesting: 

It wasn’t until I started developing our 2007 strategic marketing plan that I finally figured out my problem: I was trying too hard to develop a social networking strategy instead of incorporating social networking into my marketing strategy.

It’s the concept that I’ve been trying to help marketers understand. Would you please discuss that a bit more? How did you “get it.”

Brendan Hurley: Like many marketers (I think), I didn’t fully understand social networking as a “tactic” incorporated into a strategy. I kept wondering how we could integrate social networking into our marketing plan (trying to force it) rather than identifying our organizational challenges and applying the best marketing methods to address those challenges. 

Once I did that, the answer became clear:  The use of social networking would achieve multiple strategic objectives. It was like a light bulb went off.  An integrated social networking and new media plan would help us reach the audience we were targeting without alienating our core shopper, drive traffic to our virtual fashion show that we knew would convince visitors we had a good product, then provide them with an easy portal to our online retail store to make a quick purchase.  By integrating mission messages into each step along the way, we could also educate the population on the nature of Goodwill’s mission, thereby developing greater passion for our cause while generating brand loyalty.  The flow seemed very natural.

The only problem was that while I had read blogs before, I had never written one, so I didn’t understand the strategy behind it and how to make it compelling and sustainable.  Fortunately, I knew Geoff Livingston of Livingston Communications from a marketing committee we both serve on at the Greater Washington Board of Trade and I asked him if he would consult us on finding appropriate vintage fashion websites on which to advertise, and on launching our blog. 

It was Geoff that taught me that we had to treat the blog just like any other product with a mission statement, logo, positioning statement, etc.  Doing so has helped us stay focused and forced us to maintain product integrity so that the blog doesn’t become another blatant advertisement that will simply turn off any half educated reader. The content has value and I believe that is what keeps readers coming back. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: Let’s talk about your exciting initiatives. First the Goodwill Fashion Blog. Was it difficult to get buy-in from your board and how was it presented to them?

Brendan Hurley:  Our board LOVED the idea.  They believed that the use of new media was quite innovative in the non profit sector.  And certainly the use of fashion to help educate others on our mission was a very unique strategy.  While they seemed quite confident, my team and I were responsible for the execution of this complex initiative, so I was a a bit nervous having never launched such an effort before.  Fortunately, I have a fantastic team.  Our blogger, “The DC Goodwill Fashionista”, is an employee, Em Hall, who is very keen on fashion. She loves writing the blog and is very talented. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: Did you establish success measures or goals and if so what were they? 

Brendan Hurley: We set financial goals for the fashion show, which we’ve already achieved.  We also set a goal on the number of unique visitors to the fashion show (10,000) which we are close to hitting now and we haven’t even posted the video on YouTube yet. Right now, the only place the fashion show can be seen is on our website.

We have a financial goal for our silent auction, but it hasn’t ended yet, so I can’t tell you whether or not we’ll hit that number.  However, I can tell you that we’ve already successfully converted better than 14% of our fashion show viewers into Goodwill online shoppers. That is a number I had no idea we’d achieve.  Our brick and mortar retail sales increased measurably as well in the two weeks since the fashion show launched.  However, I can’t say whether those numbers are sustainable at this point and how much the virtual fashion show and blog influenced that growth.

As for the blog, I would have been happy with 100 visitors a week and a retention rate of 25% after less than 90 days, but we’re presently averaging about 700 visitors a week and a retention rate of close to 40%.  The blog has also become the second largest referral source for our fashion show.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Did you perceive any risks in stepping into the blogosphere with a blog that has open comments?  What strategies are in place to mitigate risk?

Brendan Hurley:  When we decided to pursue a blogging strategy, it was an easy decision for us to establish a policy of posting both positive and negative comments, provided they were not  inappropriate. No comments go live without our review first.  However, I am a firm believer in transparency and integrity and if someone criticizes us, it will be seen.

Toby/Diva Marketing: The DC Goodwill FashionistaGoodwill_fashionista_blog seems to be having such fun with her posts but why did you choose to go the anonymous blogger route?

Brendan Hurley: That was a strategic decision to protect the long term sustainability of the blog.  We decided to give the blogger an alias because at some point, the author of the blog may change.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Then you took a step into wild side with the launch of what may be the first online fashion show from a not for profit  - The Fashion of Goodwill Virtual Runway Show and Virtual Auction. Please tell us the back-story.

Brendan Hurley:  For three years we have held an annual Goodwill Fashion Show that was designed primarily as a fundraiser and secondarily as an attempt to help change perceptions of the quality of fashions available at Goodwill Stores.  Unfortunately, while the unique fashion show received some good publicity, only a limited number of people could attend the event because it had a high ticket price attached to it.

By converting our live fashion show into a virtual fashion show that we could post on our website and promote through social networks, we believed we could reach a broader and younger market segment by providing entertaining and compelling content that would interest and excite the viewer.  This would also make our sponsors happy because we’d be reaching thousands of people rather than a few hundred who could attend a live event.

Goodwill_runway Creating a fashion blog and pages on social networking sites like MySpace would not only help drive traffic to the fashion show and our online auction site, but also give us access to influential social networks that may help position Goodwill as a knowledgeable resource on vintage and contemporary fashion, while also positioning our stores as untapped destinations for inexpensive vintage and contemporary fashions, rather than stores for low income shoppers. So far the virtual fashion show has been a big hit!

Toby/Diva Marketing: How is the eBay Auction working for you?
Sidebar: Today - 9-28-07 - is the last day of the auction. Take a break and do a little virtual shopping for a few cute vintage pieces .. at bargain prices! Send me a photo of you in your new outfit and I'll post it on Diva.

Brendan Hurley:  Since the auction hasn’t ended yet, I can’t tell you if we’ve hit our financial goal, but I believe we will.  We’ve got a lot of watchers on our site. Our fashion show has become the second biggest referral source to our eBay store behind eBay itself.

Toby/Diva Marketing: Were there any surprises along the way in terms of what people bid or perhaps who bid?   

Brendan Hurley: Yes, there are people bidding on some items I didn’t think would get much interest and other items I thought would be popular that few people are watching.  We did discover through some additional research that a Versace china collection is worth much more than we had originally thought.  The interest in that china has really skyrocketed.  There is also an interesting vintage circa 1920s clutch purse that I am not personally fond of, but is getting a great deal of interest from eBay shoppers.  Then again, I don’t know a lot about purses.

Toby/Diva Marketing:  Hmm .. eBay today .. perhaps Second Life next year. A few diva-type Goodwill_1920_hand_beaded_dress_2questions .. Who were the models?

Brendan Hurley: The models were fantastic. They were all local and supplied by Tu-Anh.  Tu-Anh is a locally based, but internationally experienced fashion designer and consultant who volunteered her time.  She runs a professional fashion consultancy called Polished. She knew exactly who to ask and all of them modeled for free. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: How were the garments chosen and who put together the outfits?

Brendan Hurley:  All of the items were literally taken off the racks from our nine DC area Goodwill Retail Stores by Tu-Anh and her staff. It didn’t take them long. I think they were only hunting for a few days before they had an entire collection. What can I say…the stuff you can find at Goodwill is pretty good! You just need to look.

Toby/Diva Marketing: How will you sustain this new positioning and does social media fit into the Goodwill of Greater Washington’s long-term marketing strategy?

Brendan Hurley: I suspect that we’ll see a bit of a drop off once the auction ends and the initial excitement over the fashion show starts to fade, but we’re committed to a long term blogging presence and will very likely do another virtual fashion show next year. The challenge now is sustaining and building upon our early success. 

Toby/Diva Marketing: What were a few of the lessons learned?

Brendan Hurley: First, treat your blog like a product, not a strategy.  Second, to be successful at a blog you need to be willing to make the commitment. A blog requires much more research and time than I would have ever thought.

Toby/Diva Marketing: What advise would you give a not for profit who wanted to step into the social media space?

Brendan Hurley: I would tell them something that sounds like a cliché:  Think out of the box.  If you want to engage a new audience and educate them on your mission, you don’t necessarily have to force your mission upon them. 

Engage them using a common interest. If your cause is homelessness, maybe think about developing a blog about homeowner related issues and weave your mission into the blog content. You’ll reach a broader variety of people, develop a personal relationship with them and then gain their trust and support. The population that is already passionate about your cause is going to support you anyway. Use the blog as a way to acquire new untapped supporters.

Brendan Hurley On Social Media
Your take on using social media as a marketing / business strategy. Your get the last word (smile)

I’m amazed at how others are willing to market your product or service for you if they feel it has value.  Build an online product with significance and treat it with the respect you would give any more tangible product or service. If you do, you won’t have a problem finding people willing to help you communicate your message.

AMA - Beyond Marketing 2.0 Hot Topic


Ama_20_hot_topic On the AMA road again with BBFs Dana Van Heuvel and Bill Flitter. This time we are talking about not only blogs but social media .. from Second Life to widgets to how to ensure that social meets begins to get the respect we believe it's due as a credible marketing strategy.  It was great fun talking social media with so many great people.

Next Stop: Chicago on October 26th. Next Next Stop: Las Vegas on November 9th. More Information.

Dana posted many of the links that we talked about today; it's a great resource for all.

The following are some questions along with responses that came out of the session.

B2B Versus B2C Blog Strategy/Expectations

Q: Is there a difference in expectations between Business-to-business versus Business-to-consumer blogging?
A: B2B may not receive as many comments but the bloggers may receive more direct emails. Especially if the industry is very competitive your community may not want to engage in direct comment conversation. Including an email link is critical .. funny to me how so many business blogs don't add an email link as a way to contact the blogger/s.
A: The credibility of B2B bloggers should be established. Build blogger profiles to include both professional credentials, as well as, a bit of personal background. Of course, since this is part of a blog the tone will be conversational not corporate speak.


Q: What makes a widget a widget?
A: Dynamic content, download-able, interactive (does something), pulls content from a feed

Q: Widgets - do they require any behind the scene manual maintenance?
A: Nope .. or not usually.
A: Widget distribution directories: Facebook, Widgetbox, Snipperoo, Clearspring
A: Widget code is not universal. For example the widgets created for Facebook can not be added to a blog or website.

Q: Are widgets and other social media tools 508 (handicap) compliant?
A: Widgets do not appear to be; however, since blogs are websites they (blogs) could be made 508 compliant.


Q: How much of your content came from your head alone to the outside?
A: As you continue to blog and build community ideas come from other people within your community who link to you and comment; also ideas come from other bloggers who write on similar topics who are also part of your extended community.

Blog Platform

Q: What are some blog platforms?
A: Hosted Solutions
Blog Harbor
Non Hosted Solutions   
Comparison chart - hosted and non hosted solution

The Nay Sayers

Q: What do you tell people who say I can't see the relevancy .. I don't get it.
A: Start with your customers. As with any marketing strategy, it comes down to the supremacy of the customer and what the customer wants. It's not about you.

Updated: Interesting interview with corporate CEOs on negative comments

Q: How do you get people to come to your new blog in addition to search engine?
A: Social media press room - Shift Communications
A; Anyway you promote a website you can promote your blog.  Add to your email signature, your business card, collateral  materials, send emails or direct mail to your contact list.
A: Social media optimization: tagging, del.icio.us account, blog directories, claim your blog in Technorati, join your community in conversation including linking and trackback, widgets.
A: Hold a launch celebration and invite your bloggers, staff, customers and friends to an in-house party.

Q: In healthcare do customers trust peer-to-peer or medical sites/blogs?
A: Post on Diva Marketing links to research done by Economic and Research Council.

Friday Fun: Blogger Social '08


Blogger_social_08 New York New York it's a wonderful town .. the Bronx is up and the Battery's down .. and the Bloggers are coming to town. April 4-6, 2008 to be exact is when bloggers from all over the world will dance down Broadway. So .. what's it all about .. Alfie? (Well that is another New York song.)No it's not a new musical ..tho it maybe a comedy for there is sure to be lots of laughter.

To quote the diva of who is the heart of community CK, Blogger Social is like no other marketing event because it’s not about marketing and it’s not about blogging—it’s about the marketers behind the blogs.

There are so many benefits from blogging from search engine lift to viral buzz to customer feedback. However girlfriend, it's a demanding little beast wanting more content, more links, more comments, more .. more .. more. Exhausting. Why anyone would dive into this is beyond me .. except if you understand the house rules it works.

Social media does something else that no other marketing initiative can do. It gives back to the blogger on a personal level. When was the last time your ad campaign sent you a virtual hug? Or your PR strategy included photos of your new bebe? - Luc  bebe Ness is for sure a diva in training! - Or your research study asked you a question back?

Shh .. here is the the real secret. The power behind blogging and social media is the relationships that are built that develop into true friendships. If any one had told me I would expand my network to include a smart guy in India or work on projects with a woman I had never met face-to-face or meet people who would highlight me in books books .. well, diva's I would have told you to take a taxi home because you had one too many of cosmos at Ryan's Boston Martini Meet-up.

Hosts with the mostest CK and Drew are hard at work coordinating a weekend where BBFs can meet, share a meal, a drink, talk blogs, talk life .. have fun together. Awesome. To help with planning CK and Drew are asking for a commitment by Nov 15. For all the who, what, where, why and what read more at the official Blogger Social '08 Blog.

Start spreadin' the news, I'm leaving today
I want to be a part of it: New York, New York.

Well it is another New York song!

Where Are The Marketing Bloggers?


This is a long over due thank you. It's also a pretty good list of where to find some great marketing blogs and a few cool, bloggy resources.

To Philippe Deltenre for the opportunity to be part of your Trilogy Interviews with BBFs from all over the world. Mark Goren has links to all the interviews.

A walk in the Viral Garden, with Mack Collier
The free (conversation) agent, with Valeria Maltoni
CK – Psyche, with Christina Kerley (C.K.)
Dial S for Servant of Chaos, with Gavin Heaton
Viva la Diva, with Toby Bloomberg
Last transmission, Mark Goren

To Mack Collier for the Viral Garden's Top 25 Marketing Blogs.Top25 Diva Marketing has had the honor to be included since day one. Today Diva ranks #11.
Sidebar: Mack recently changed how he ranks the Garden's Top 25 (from Alexis to Technorati). Jim Symcox has an interesting matrix showing how the Top 25 juggled in ranking.

To Todd And for The Power 150 Marketing Blogs Power_150 for developing an extensive list of marketing and pr blogs. Diva Marketing has had the honor to be included since day one here too. Today Diva ranks #20.

To Lee Oden for the Top Rank Blog's List of Search Engine Bloggers (and a little more)

To Steve Woodruff for the Marketing Blog Portal

To Leigh for a new twist on the old Z List thing Controversy At It's Finest

.. and a few Bloggy Resouces just for fun!

101 Essential Blogging Resources

33 Places to Hangout in the Social Networking Era
Heard It From BL Ochman

The Divas Of DC Put On A New Media Nouveaux Conference


A few weeks ago Geoff Livingston, The Buzz Bin, presented me with an opportunity that no self respecting Diva worth her Jimmy Choos could refuse.

New_media_noveaux_2 Geoff invited me to key note at the divine divas of Washington DC's Success In The City's New Media Nouveaux Conference - "How to make your audience fall in love with you, your message and your business." Click on to the site and you'll understand why I'm excited about talking social media with the SITC Divas.

Geoff Livingston, The Buzz Bin kicks off the morning with findings from his forthcoming book, Now Is Gone. The day unfolds with some of Metro DC's smartest marketers and bloggers -  Jill Stelfox, CEO of DefyWire Jenifer Cortner, CEO of EFX Media Sean Gorman, CEO of FortiusOne Jen Sterling, CEO of Hinge Alice Marshall, CEO of Presto Vivace Angela Drummond, CEO of Silo Smashers Brian Williams, CEO of Viget Labs Aaron Brazell (Technosailor), director of new media services at B5 Media Andrea Morris, LComm Consultant & principal at Write Ideas Marketing Jody Ruth, director, Washington, DC office of Redstones Qui Viaz, Ogilvy

A few details ..
Date: Friday, July 13 at
Time: 8a - 3p
Place: Tower Club, 8000 Towers Crescent Drive, Suite 1700, Vienna, VA

As a prelude to New Media Nouveaux Conference Geoff asked me a few questions about marketing and social media. For your reading pleasure, here's a snip from our interview.

Geoff: Why are so many businesses running towards new media?

Toby: Social media is more than a passive website strategy. The most beneficial aspect is the ability to engage directly with customers and other stakeholders. Social media opens the doors for businesses to listen to the unfiltered voices of their customers and to track those conversations.

Social media also provides opportunities for the people within the company to join in on those conversations and talk directly to customers. Taking an active role in creating a dialogue with customers about issues that they care about, at the moment in time when they care about those concerns, is the heart of new media marketing.

Geoff: What are your thoughts of the concept “participation is marketing?”

Toby: I love the concept. It adds an important dimension to an expanding, complex marketing tool bag. Sometimes it’s nice to reach for a paper sales sheet with just the facts. It’s also nice to know that there is an online communication resource: a bulletin board, blog, wiki, vlog, podcast, where additional information can be found including peer-to-peer feedback and a way to engage with the people in the company too.

So, Divas and Divos if you're in DC on Friday the 13th of July drop by .. I promise it will be very lucky day!

Blogs Are Not Social Media


Nope, Girlfriend, blogs are Not social media .. unless you add s-o-c-i-a-l.

Stop Word of caution. Adding s-o-c-i-a-l to blogs may prove hazardous to your life. Talk to my friend CK who had more than enough friends, thank you very kindly. So CK adds s-o-c-i-a-l to her blog and what happens? You guessed it. Now she has more friends. Turns out that is just fine with CK.

To understand that real friends can develop through blogs please read CK's story of how her BBF friend Drew McLellan coordinated a surprise memorial for CK's mom: The Momma Tree. I told the Momma Tree story to my friend Polli who told me that all of a sudden blogs  clicked for her. She "got" the side of how people "typing in the dark" can come together to create global friendships.

As amazing as CK's story is, similar relationships are happened all over the blogosphere ..  from bloggers in New England like Lewis Green and KD Paine and to Rajesh and Arun in India. But hold on .. what does this have to do with business or marketing you may ask. I'll borrow a comment I left for on a CK post ..

Many people don't understand how the internet works as a catalyst to build relationships which can lead to friendships which can evolve into a community.

Why is that important from a business perspective? Simple. People like to do business with people they like. (That extends to brands.) Building a business community is not necessarily about singing Kumbaya but expanding a resource network.

How do you do coffee with Luc or Philippe or Kris from Belgium or Nettie and Connie in Texas when you're on opposite sides of the world?  CK and Drew to the rescue .. drum roll please .. you host a Bs08_2 Blogger Social and invite your friends to the biggest bloggy bash ever. More on CK's Blog including a survey where you can give your feedback on places and dates.

Me? I'm voting for a cruise and looking forward to Belgium chocolates from Philippe and Luc and Kris. 

Beyond Fabulous Blogger Happy Happy Time


Girlfriend, I had a wild and wonderful marketing/business blog week that took me from Atlanta to Las Vegas to Manhattan. Between BlogHer Business and CK's beyond fabulous blogger happy happy time I was in blogger heaven. BlogHer thoughts to come soon. Right now I want to introduce you to a few amazing people and perhaps a new blog or two.

Friday night after the last BlogHer hug Elana Centor, C.B. Whittemore, Megan Garnhum, Marianne Richmond, Patsi Krakoff and Denise Wakeman and I headed off to CK's beyond fabulous blogger happy happy time.

Lori Magno, Accessory Diva,is as divine as the awesome purple diva beadsNecklace she surprised me with. In fact she brought gifts for everyone at CK's beyond fabulous blogger happy happy time!

It was wonderful to finally meet David Berkowitz, David Reich and the bella Valeria Maltoni. NYC dear bloggy friends Fard Johnmar and play-writer Alex Geana were there too .. what a treat for me.

I had a chance to talk more with Rebecca Edmonston (CK's fab actor cousin), Mark Goren and Matt Dickman at the apres dinner at Eat. Matt posted photos (bloggers seem to be camera happy people .. just ask Josh) on his Flickr account. Here is the blog link only if promise not to look at me.   Lewis Green we missed you. And you too Jane Genova!

It was a joyful celebration of friendship.Pink_boa Toss of a pink boa to CK for a perfectly beyond fabulous blogger happy happy time. In bloggy transparency I do have a regret .. I want everyone to live in lets-do-lunch-or-meet-for-drinks location. Comments, email and Skype will have to do until the next time.



business astrology for fun -
from The Astro Divas Paula Dare & Donna Page

With the Sun in Aries and the Moon in Gemini Friday was perfect to take action on all your projects that involve communication. Get the word out about what you are trying to do in your business.

If you haven’t been blogging this is a great day to begin. Mars was conjunct Neptune on Sunday; this occurrence happens every 2+ years and represents the beginning of new projects that help others. The reward comes from knowing you are making a contribution. What charity can your business align with that will be a win win situation for both?  Monday may start off slow and cranky with the Moon in Cancer and void of course but the rest of the week the energy will support high productivity.

Remi Adams On Questions To Ask Before You Blog


New York! New York! Get ready for the women bloggers. BlogHer Business convenes Wednesday night with an open happy hour. Two days of panels and keynote speakers follow 3/22-23. This is BlogHer's first entree into the business conference arena and from the speakers the BlogHer Diva's (Elisa Camahort, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone) have brought in .. seems like another BlogHer hit.

In preparing to moderate the panel "Should You Blog?", I’ve had The Best Time getting to know the amazing, and very different, women - Penelope Trunk, Remi Adams and Roxanne Darling - who will open the discussion. We call it  the “opening” since our job is to jump start the conversation opening the doors to creating dialogue with and among the people attending. 

Remi_adams_2 In the second mini interview with the panelists, Remi Adams, director of public relations for Homestead Technologies encourages you to ask a few questions before you launch a corporate blog.

Toby: We are speaking at the BlogHer Business Conference on the panel "Should You Blog?" The panel is part of the track "How Do I Get It Right the First Time?"  How can you get a corporate blog  right the first time?

Remi: Make sure that the purpose of the blog is well thought out before embarking upon it. What’s the point of the blog? Who is the audience? How will it be used? Who is writing it and in what voice? What information will be divulged and will that information need to be cleared with anyone within the company? These are just a few of the questions people should ask themselves before creating a corporate blog. Also, ask yourself a question people rarely ask of themselves: Do you have the time or resources to create content?

Toby: The blog, CEO Unplugged, is written by the Justin Kitch who is the founder and CEO of Homestead .. and your boss.  What advice would you give marketers who are considering encouraging their CEO to take a step into social media and launch a blog?

Remi: I think a good question to ask is whether or not the CEO has a clear focus, and if blogging as a medium is a good one for that person as a communicator. Some people excel at public speaking; others’ are much more interesting and persuasive as writers. Every medium does not speak to the talents of every person, and I think that since blogs are so accessible and easy to create, people don’t view them as they would any other PR or marketing opportunity. I wouldn’t encourage every CEO to act as a company spokesperson, if they wouldn’t shine in that role on behalf of their company; and the same should be true of the CEO who would like to author a corporate blog. In many cases, CEO’s divorce themselves of the corporate blog and devote their time to writing a personal blog so that they can express their personal opinion more freely.

Toby: What is your personal goal for attendees to take away from our BlogHer Business panel "conversation?"

Remi: I would like attendees to ask themselves a few personal questions before establishing their corporate blogs. There are certainly no right or wrong answers; merely questions that will help people better define their individual paths.

If you've enjoyed the interview with Remi Adams, catch the mini interview with Penelope Trunk. Penelope offers some great tips on how bloggers can create relationships with main stream media.

Party! With The Bloggers! - Hop over to CK's Blog to find out about the Happy Happy Blogger Meet-up On Friday March 23 in NYC. With CK leading this party there is sure to be more than champagne corks popping at Flutes in midtown Manhattan!

Atlanta Blogger Meet-up 3-18-07


Question: What do bloggers do when BBF (blogger best friends - terms compliments of Masiguy) come to town?
Answer: Meetup!

Josh Hallett, Hyku is coming to Atlanta next week. Join Jeneane Sessum - Allied, George Sessum - Musick, me and other Atlanta bloggers like Carol Krishner - Driving in Traffic for a Beermicro brew with Josh at the 5 seasons brewing.  This is the same place where Robert Scoble's Atlanta meet-up was held. Nothing short of cool for Josh!

PodCamp Atlanta people are warmly welcomed! By the way, Josh is the kick-off speaker at PodCamp Atlanta.

Date: Sunday March 18th
Time: 5p to ?
Place: 5 seasons brewing
5600 Roswell Road
The Prado in Sandy Springs
Check out the 5 Living/ 5 Seasons Blog
Thanks to Ken Grisnak.

Sidebar: For you ISP people it is inside! For you OSP it's as close to out as you can get!
Graphic of the swell beer sunglasses complements of Ale Street News