I will probably not be the first or last person to blog about this interesting experiment that Jeremiah Owyang initiated today. Check out the original post about conversations shifting to Twitter.
In a post, he invited people to leave their Twitter link in the comments to increase more introductions in the community.
At the time of this writing, there were over
160 200 comments and on Techmeme. I’ve only reviewed maybe 40 of the comments so far.
My main problem had been how to find people to follow. By listing my Twitter account in the comments, I have been able to increase the number of people I’m following and seen more people following me. Don’t worry – I will try to add everyone who is following me tonight as work is getting in the way.
In the end, experiments like this are demonstrating the power of Twitter and other new tools that facilitate conversations.
OK – I previously wrote about how to manage my many online personalities here and here. Since those posts, I’ve reversed my previous position about my online reputation. The heart of it is managing relationships through the tools available to me.
In the end, PR is about relationships. How do you build, nurture and maintain them. However, it is challenging with the nature of PR – reporters moves, accounts change and an unending cycle of new account folks.
I read recently that the average number of jobs that today’s workers will have throughout their lifetime is about 12-14! With that type of churn, you’re expecting only a person to be in their current job an average of less than 2 years. Developing the relationships that are key to our industry require a long-term, patient approach.
What are the tools that enable me to identify, develop and maintain these contacts? I now have four ways for managing these online relationships:
Facebook - Despite my previous email about keeping my online reputation to a minimum, I realized that Facebook is another avenue for connecting with colleagues and industry contacts. By friending people, I can subscribe to a RSS feed to keep up to date on what’s happening. I still need to learn more about Facebook, but I’m starting to understand how Facebook differs from LinkedIn. Friend me and I’ll friend you back.
LinkedIn – I still use LinkedIn more for business contacts as I’ve had this account the longest. LinkedIn’s strength is when you’re looking for a job or for seeking advice from peers. I use LinkedIn Answers quite a bit for a professional perspectives. View My LinkedIn Profile
Twitter - I lost wrote that Twitter is changing how news/information is being dissemated. I just started getting into Twitter via Jeremiah Owyang. In fact, I responded to some questions about my company’s solutions as Jeremiah and CenterNetworks were viewing a webcast. Like Facebook, I’m realizing that Twitter is an important tool for following trends, competitors and my own company. Follow me on Twitter and I’ll follow you.
Personal blog – And of course this blog has enabled me to make good relationships. By linking to posts and commenting on other blogs, I’ve developed new relationships that wouldn’t have been possible. Whether a corporate or personal blog, I strongly believe that a blog is key if you want to engage in “blogger” relations. It demonstrates that you’re contributing and spending the time to understand the community.
Are there other ways that you manage your online relationships? Let me know.
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Online Video Kill the TV Star –Blip.TV interviews Vivian Schiller, general manager of the NYTimes.com about the differences between online and TV video. To paraphrase that iconic song, “will online video kill the TV star?”
Or Did ROI Kill Marketing? – Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Tech makes a good point about ROI. His point is, if everything is measured against an ROI, then there are probably some campaigns/initiatives that wouldn’t be done because it wasn’t measurable.
Does the Long Tail Work for PR? – Now Is Gone does a great job at highlighting the Long Tail for PR. I’m in the middle of reading the book so this posting will help me to position PR/marketing as I read through the book. Also included as part of my 2008 trends piece.
WPP Lands a Big Whale – Dell selected WPP to create an integrated marketing agency that will serve Dell’s business over the next three years. It’ll be interesting to see how WPP organizes this new entity before March 2008. Will key individuals throughout the WPP group be hand picked to lead the charge? Will smaller (less profitable?) agencies be merged together to create this new agency with instant staff? Or will WPP create an entirely new entity and poach talent from the competition? Only time will tell.
Social Media Reaches Into Your Lives – I’ve started reading the Lonely Marketer, which provides ideas for small business marketers. In this post, he writes about how social media can be used to find target customers, thereby increasing touchpoints for increased engagement/participation.
Video’s Political Influence? – Granite Slate posted an article about how KD Paine & Partners is measuring the impact of online videos on a candidate’s influence and surge in the media. This is an interesting concept and would love to see how accurate this is as the caucuses approach. I could envision this having a larger impact on younger people who normally may not go to the polls to take action and participate. And isn’t that what it’s all about in the end??
Bribes Aren’t Conversation Starters – Mike Volpe of Small Business Hub highlights how Vocus tried to follow up on a “sales lead” from a white paper download. Love the cookie idea, but no connection to the value that Vocus provides to Mike’s company. As Mike pointed out, you need to start a conversation with the person which can be started via phone follow up or email with links to valuable information. Provide value, not tchokes.
Note to NYT – Keep up with the times… – Read Kate Swisher’s post on BoomTown about a recent speech by Bill Keller of the New York Times. Keller bashes on bloggers and the quality of reporting. Does this mean I should stop reading the Bits blog? The issue isn’t about quality of reporting but how blogging augments the information flow out there. You can’t tell me that all “traditional” media have excellent standards. Keep up with the times Mr. Keller.
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1. Let a 100 Blogomerates Bloom: With the relaunch of Industry Standard (I believe as a blog) and the popularity of GigaOm, VentureBeat and TechCrunch, I envision more blogomerates gaining prominence and influence on the media landscape. “Traditional media” have already started creating blogs in specific topic areas but this will need to branch out more in terms of open comment policies and having dedicated bloggers versus reporters who blog.
2. Social Media Connections: I envision savvy PR departments/agencies leveraging social media networks to keep key reporters, bloggers, analysts and other influencers up to date on announcements. Facebook is probably the best default for this as you can maintain the invites and funnel interesting tidbits related to a specific industry/company for story ideas. Will news be broken via Facebook or other similar tool, that will be interesting to see.
3. Long Tail PR: Chris Anderson described the concept of the Long Tail and Now Is Gone did a great review of this for PR. The question is how does this truly impact PR? Top media coverage now extends from traditional media (i.e. WSJ, BusinessWeek, etc.) to top bloggers (i.g. GigaOm, TechCrunch, Read/Write, etc.). As PR has the opportunity to manage social media relationships, then how do you balance and measure the impact of “long tail” relations will be key in 2008.
Tom Pick of Web Market Central also provided me with his predictions for 2008. My husband would be happy with number 4:
1. The social networking space will begin to implode. There are far too many players currently competing for too few eyeballs. The biggest and strongest (e.g. Digg, MySpace, FaceBook) will survive as general purpose social sites, but smaller players will need to specialize in order to remain viable. Specialization will revolve around affinity groups and demographics.
2. As a follow-on to prediction #1, businesses (at least a few forward-thinking ones) will begin to figure out how to capitalize on the popularity of social networks. It’s not about running ads on YouTube, it’s about participation: if a CEO or anyone else can bring value to a particular community (e.g. through great content and tags, and spending the time for back-and-forth dialog that adds value), then that person’s company and product/service will benefit from indirect association with that expertise.
3. PR professionals will reach out to bloggers in different ways, beyond just pitching press releases. For example, the blog community can bring value as – pardon the language, but it’s the clearest way to say this – bullsh*t detectors, as in “we think we’ve got something really hot on our hands here. We’d like to make this claim. Will that stand up to scrutiny?” and then let the dialog of the blog help determine the answer.
4. Realizing that none of its teams has a prayer of beating New England in the Super Bowl, the NFC sends its All-Pro team to Arizona. The Patriots still win by three touchdowns.
Here are links to other Top Trends for 2008:
- Top Marketing Trends via CRM Blog
- Jon Fine of Business Week via blip.tv
- Consumer Internet Trends via VentureBeat
- The Year of Business Networking from Read/Write Web
- What’s Hot or Not PRSA Panel with top reporters: Wall Street Journal‘s Kara Swisher and Don Clark; Business Week‘s Rob Hof; Forbes‘ Victoria Murphy Barrett; and Scobleizer‘s Robert Scoble. Ann Winblad of venture capital firm Hummer Winblad moderating.
- BtoB’s “2008 Marketing Priorities and Plans” survey
- 2008 IT trends from IDG
- Year of LinkedIn from Anne Zelenka of GigaOm – Personal comment – this truly depends how LinkedIn maneuvers to “catch-up” to the other social networks. Advantage – seen by most as a professional site. Disadvantage – first move advantage taken over by Facebook and slow response to changes for the site.
- O’Reilly’s 2008 Stories they would like to see
- WebWorkerDaily’s 2008 Predictions
- AdAge came out with some interesting 2008 trends: marketers & micro trends, another interesting list, and CMO issues
- David Armano states that 2008 will be the Year of Mobile - what does this mean for PR and marketing opportunities?
- Micropersuasion’s Digital Trends for 2008 – Part I - this is just the first of several that will be posted, so tune in to the Micropersuasion blog for updates.
- Interesting SaaS Trends to watch for 2008
BtoB Magazine presents their 2008 Trends for Email Marketing – By the way, my company actually did point 4 for a client =)
An Eentrepreneur’s US Tech Trends for 2008 - note – this is via VentureBeat and written by Bernard Moon.
- Jeremiah Owyang interviews Guy Kawasaki about his predictions for marketing and tech in 2008. Interesting point, Guy says 2008 will be key for marketers. Demonstrating key value of programs is important for programs.
- B.L. Ochman’s 2008 Marketing Trends - personally, I think privacy has been an issue. It just comes back every few years depending on the technological landscape.
John Battelle’s 2008 Predictions - hmmm, I’m actually curious to see if these company predictions come true. I’m wondering if Microsoft can regain that magic and if Yahoo! can make the turnaround happen.
George Dearing writes his trends for enterprise content management (ECM) in InformationWeek.Adding this because has tangential relevancy to my current company. I’m curious to hear more about platform-as-a-service.
Am I missing any compilations? Do you have any recommendations of other trends for 2008? Let me know in the comments.
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Paul Dunay of Buzz Marketing for Technology interviewed me a few weeks ago on how new media is impacting PR. Check out the podcast here. Even in these short few weeks, I’ve learned so much more from everyone, such as Jeremiah Owyang, Todd Defren, CK, Mack Collier and others. Update: Bad me, I forgot Tom Pick!
Let me know what you think of the podcast.
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Ideablob is a site where entrepreneurs can submit business ideas for review. The unique aspect is that $10,000 is awarded to the idea that receives the most number of votes by registered users. Each user is allowed only one vote per month and once during the final monthly showdown.
I think this is a good concept to help entrepreneurs, small businesses or desk jockeys kick start their ideas.
Like most social networks now, Ideablob has user profiles. In just a quick spot check of some users; however, most don’t seem to have added much personal info. The info is spotty at best and may improve as more people participate.
This will be key as another aspect of the site is for seasoned business professionals to provide mentoring.
This section lets you “explore” submitted ideas. I like the tag cloud on the side to demonstrate the popularity of industries. Not sure if I understand the use of the pop-up thumbnails as your scroll over. I thought they were descriptions of the industry and realized it brings up a submitted idea. And that helps me because??
Overall, you get a quick look at an idea, how it ranks overall and any comments on the idea. If you’re interested, you just click on the idea to get more info.
Besides changing the pop-up thumbnails over the tag clouds, I think this is fine.
Aspiring entrepreneurs or small business owners can get advice from seasoned professionals by clicking on “advise” in the nav bar. The questions are filtered by different categories. From what I can tell, this section is very sparse – plenty of questions but few responses.
At first, I thought it was because I couldn’t find the responses. I finally realized that the answers were to be listed below the question. The problem is that the “see all answers” and “add an answer” were clickable. I would make these buttons to differentiate this.
There is also a right-hand section to highlight other questions, a question of the day and top advisors. I’m not sure how this helps me.
1. Most popular questions: Questions that have received most number of responses
2. Take a page from LinkedIn: Have the asker rate the responses, which reflect back on the mentors. This way, I would know the value of a mentor’s response as valued by other users.
3. Tag Cloud Categories: The tag cloud would help me to visually see which categories have more questions or are more active.
4. Search for Questions: There is only one search function for the whole site. I would’ve preferred a way to just search the questions.
5. Order of questions: Right now, you see one main question on the category with other category (?) questions on the right hand side. Then you have to click on additional questions across. I think it would have been easier to list 5 or 10 questions down and then I can browse a list and click in to view the answer.
6. Question of the day: I don’t know how a question becomes a question of the day. Problem – no answers to question of the day.
7. Mimic Explore section: I don’t know why the format for Advise is different from Explore, but having the same organization structure across the site would minimize confusion.
I like the concept beyond Ideablob. It fits nicely with Advanta’s business model.
As I mentioned previously I would like to see something that will pull me in deeper on a personal level. A blog, videos of winners, a page of thanks from winners – something that is easily seen or spotlighted on the home page is needed.
Will this site succeed? Probably
Will this site attract people? Probably
The question is, can the site sustain itself and fulfill the promise of promoting entrepreneurship and mentorship? Maybe.
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I felt that Todd Defren of PR Squared raised an interesting question about marketing tactics by the Commotion Group that I decided to post my thoughts here instead of lumping into my weekly articles. Briefly, the Commotion Group posts “fake comments” to videos to create a sense of controversy, while deleting any negative comments.
Frankly, there’s no argument here. Today’s social media values authenticity highly. The Blair Witch Project was a game. Because it was the first to leverage the Internet in an unique marketing campaign (ploy?), people took it as truth. According to Todd’s post, one of the original producers commented:
While we were building out the (Blair Witch) website and the community, we always knew we were walking a line, but we decided we were not going to try and hoax people outright. The regular members of the Blair Witch community … knew it was a work of fiction … We were not trying to fool anyone …
What the Commotion Group is doing is creating a false impression to dupe viewers into believing that the content is something worthwhile viewing. It isn’t.
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Cece Salomon-Lee is director of marketing for ACTIVE Network, Business Solutions division, and author of PR Meets Marketing, which explores the intersection of public relations, marketing, and social media.
This blog contains Cece's personal opinions and are not representative of her company's.
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