Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Thursday, July 26, 2007
Web 2.0 and online consumers affect journalism yet again….Crowdsourcing tests yield mixed results, PR Week
“But the masses of the Internet, always eager to improve or destroy a well-established practice, have deemed "crowdsourcing" the journalism technique of the future. The wisdom of crowds, the theory goes, will allow large numbers of disparate people working on different parts of various assignments to come together in a quasi-journalistic fashion to produce material that is richer and more varied than what the mainstream media can turn out.”
Monday, July 16, 2007
Validation is always nice. “What's Plaguing Viral Marketing. Sorry, Malcolm, but the Tipping Point Might Be More Myth Than Math,” by discusses the same topic I posted about- targeted marketing vs. mass marketing. Here is a good snippet from the AdvertisingAge article.
“The crux of Mr. Watts' argument is that even if influentials are several times as influential as a normal person, they have little impact beyond their own immediate neighborhood -- not good when you're trying to create a cascade through a large network of people, as most big brands do. In those cases, he argues, it's best to skip the idea of targeting that treasured select group of plugged-in folks and instead think about that group's polar opposite: a large number of easily influenced people. He calls this big-seed marketing.“
Thursday, July 12, 2007
With web 2.0 changing the landscape for the way advertisers, marketers, communications professionals, industry analysts and consumers interact on the web, and sites battling it out for the top spot it becomes harder and harder to determine where and if our brands should be represented on these sites. Most communications professionals participate in some form of social media- whether it be blogging, social networking sites, video sharing, social bookmarking, etc.- so we’ve probably all noticed a difference in the types of people each medium attracts. “Viewing American class divisions through Facebook and MySpace” by Danah Boyd infamously describes these differences. But regardless of the validity and taking into consideration of audience segmenting/targeting the question on which social media to engage brands in is still the same. Should marketers ignore what’s being said in the media and amongst analysts and solely use the mediums which their target audience already uses, or should we go for the medium that has the biggest audience? Should you sell your product via Walmart or the niche hat shop on the corner? Would a pr person pitch USA Today or the women’s health magazine? There’s just too many options available….
Monday, June 04, 2007
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
By Dean Takahashi
San Jose Mercury News
I could have been one of "The New Influencers," the term coined by Paul Gillin in his new book about the most influential bloggers. But after being laid off from Red Herring in 2002, I took a job in traditional media.
One of my Red Herring colleagues, meanwhile, entered the then-experimental blogosphere.
Pete Rojas started the blogs Gizmodo and, later, Engadget.
Both gained enormous momentum as online destinations for readers seeking information about tech gear.
When AOL bought the company he worked at, Weblogs, for $25 million, Rojas, then 31, got a payday in the millions of dollars, his reward for 10,000 posts and starting early in the blog gold rush.
So it goes. For those who are slow to catch on like me, Gillin introduces us to the impact of blogs and the new social media.
If you haven't immersed yourself in blogs or started one yourself, "The New Influencers" can tell you what is popular, what type of blogs work, and what kind of impact they're having across the consumer and corporate worlds. ( Gillin's own blog is www.paulgillin.com.)
Far beyond pioneers
Just like the Web itself, blogs — more than 70 million by one count — have moved from their pioneer days to a more mature phase where they command respect and huge mainstream followings.
Gillin argues that, rather than adding up to a vast wasteland, the addition of each new blogger improves the quality of discourse.
No longer will 30-second TV ads reach the right audiences. "Word of blog" is the new word of mouth.
In this era, Gillin advises public-relations practitioners who want to contain bad news and control messages in the age of blogging to give it up.
One-way corporate news releases no longer cut it.
As Gillin writes, "The shift to small markets served and influenced by an entirely new breed of opinion leaders is a sea change for marketers."
To influence the influencers, companies need to have two-way conversations with bloggers, whom Gillin terms "enthusiasts."
Disney courts John Frost, author of the DisneyBlog, for instance, because it knows his posts can inspire stories on mainstream TV shows and in news publications.
Such "conversation marketing" requires a completely different set of skills than those that marketers typically use.
When New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman criticized General Motors for fuel-inefficient cars, GM punched back just as hard with a post on its corporate blog, Fastlane.
Friedman fired back, and in the ensuing spotlight, GM got its points across to a big online audience.
Bloggers are forcing companies to be more transparent. Gillin opens his book with an anecdote about Vincent Ferrari, who recorded the painful conversation he had with America Online when he wanted to cancel his account.
When Ferrari posted the audio file on his blog, the resulting "blog swarm" brought down his servers and forced AOL to drop its hard-sell retention tactics.
Other bloggers exposed Sony's hidden software on music CDs, fanned the flames on AOL's inadvertent release of private search data and forced Dell to recall batteries on its "exploding laptops."
Gillin's book is useful for its practical advice on blogging etiquette and finding the influencers.
Engadget at top
He shows us how to decipher the shifting sands by taking us to www.technorati.com, where, at least today, you'll see that Engadget is No. 1 on the top 100 blogs.
The book also details stories of some quirky and unexpectedly popular blogs.
For instance, there's Blendtech, a Utah company whose "Will it blend?" blog shows videos of the company's CEO blending golf balls, marbles, Coke cans and rake handles in its high-end blender.
Inevitably, the stories focus on people with the right idea at the right time, like the "Mommycast" podcasters, Paige Heninger and Gretchen Vogelzang, two suburban mothers who started an early podcast, or a radiolike show for digital music players. They were picked up by Adam Curry's PodShow Network and now reach hundreds of thousands.
Gillin predicts media institutions will matter less and less, fears of a blogging bubble are overblown, the blogging trend is unstoppable and everyone is going to work extremely hard as this new medium takes shape.
Are you afraid you'll be left behind?
Fortunately for me, I did start blogging in May 2005. I didn't show up as one of the New Influencers. But there's hope.
Maybe all 70 million of us can make it into the second edition.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007 5:04 AM ET
SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ.-BASED ICE CREAM CHAIN Cold Stone Creamery is launching its first national integrated campaign since its inception 20 years ago. The effort, via Saatchi & Saatchi, N.Y., includes television, with the tag "Love it, Love it."
The effort plays on how far ice cream lovers would go for Cold Stone's ice cream. It comprises three TV spots, web marketing--including the web site Loveit-Loveit.co--and radio.
The campaign dramatizes the ice cream lovers' journey to a Cold Stone Creamery, the mecca of ice cream, and then puts obstacles in their path, thus testing their desire for ice cream. The television spots are meant to be dramatic, humorous and a bit mysterious.
For example, one television spot features a young boy approaching a Cold Stone Creamery. Inside he sees a few of his arch-nemeses. A voiceover asks if the "insatiable draw" of his favorite Cold Stone creation, "Birthday Cake Remix," will give him the strength to open the door. Other spots borrow from urban legend and pop culture, and feature Big Foot and an Heiress.--Karl Greenberg