A Comparison of Twitter with Blogging

I’m reading “Naked Conversations” by Robert Scoble and Shel Israel as a result of reading “Putting the Public Back into Public Relations” by Brian Solis and Deidre Brekenridge. What is it with dual authors? I guess the “two minds are better than a guru” adage applies with book writing too.

Anyway, “Naked Conversations” is an older book about blogging and while it is old in terms of the fact that blogging has been around for years now, I am enjoying the corollaries that I am finding between blogging and microblogging (and more specifically in my case Twitter, since that’s my microblogging platform of choice.)

On page 28, Naked Conversations talks about Blogging’s Six Pillars (from 2006) and I chuckle as I think about the similarities that Twitter has in 2009:

1. Publishable – “Anyone can publish a blog.” Anyone can tweet.
2. Findable – “Blog posts are search engine friendly.” Twitter posts (tweets) show up on search engines all the time.
3. Social – “The blogosphere is one big conversation.” Twitter is a great conversation starter. Many people think of twitter as a cocktail party where you chat with people who share similar interests. Conversations are short and fun. You converse more with those who you have more in common with.
4. Viral – “Information often spreads faster though blogs than via a news service.” Anyone heard of “Twitter-time?” Some say they get their news from Twitter now instead of any other news service.
5. Syndicatable – “RSS…” Um… RT is the ultimate in syndication and there are all kinds of tools that allow you to syndicate other people’s tweets.
6. Linkable – “Because each blog can link to all others, every blogger has access to millions of other bloggers.” Twitter is all about sharing links and repeating (RT’ing or Retweeting) the links that other people have tweeted. It’s a love fest of links and information on your favorite topic.

Fun isn’t it? Are you tweeting yet?

Social Media Monitoring

In Tom Forenski’s “No Social Media Monitoring By Apple Or Wells Fargo Yet Still Successful” post today he argues that it may be best to ignore criticism instead of monitoring comments about your brand on the social media networks.

Forenski says “Whenever there is criticism of Apple in the mediasphere I rarely see an Apple response. By mediasphere I mean the entire media landscape from traditional media through to social media, Twitter, etc,” implying that since Apple is a very successful company, perhaps other companies should mimic Apple’s behavior and stop monitoring, thus negating the need for social media marketing consultants such as myself and/or companies employing community managers.

I wonder if this isn’t the same as the “tree falls down in the woods and no-one was there to hear it” scenario. Did the tree make a sound? Using that as the analogy, was your complaint heard?

The benefit companies are receiving by listening and responding is in the brand equity that is earned a result of good customer service. Apple may be succeeding without social media, and maybe it’s only those companies that are struggling that really need to dive deep into it, but I think you’re right in saying that since Apple has done such a good job building it’s community of followers already. Apple knows that the community will respond where necessary. Perhaps Apple doesn’t need to participate in social media spaces as much as other companies, because their fan base is already doing it for them.

Create a good product and your customers will market it for you, right? What then is the critical mass where you can then turn off the volume on negative feedback and/or complaints? It seems you may need to be as successful as Apple to be able to do that.

Blogging and Say(ing) Everything

Today I listened to a great forum discussion about blogging (audio embedded below) with Scott Rosenberg, author and co-founder of Salon.com. Michael Krasny of KQED’s Forum discuss Rosenberg’s most recent book: Say Everything: How Blogging Began, What It’s Becoming, and Why It Matters

Rosenberg discusses the history of blogging, how it developed as a form, what it is today, the different types of bloggers there are and why it is blogging is the easiest way to self-publish, find a voice and have a voice. I found it interesting that more women are blogging than men and this stems from the fact that blogging is a medium where woman can express themselves more easily. They are less self-conscious and better able to contribute to the community.

The forum asks callers to share their favorite blogs, why they like them and how they use blogging in their daily lives.

Despite the growth in usage of Twitter and social networks like Facebook for sharing your interests with your community, blogging is not going away and remains a way to say everything. Enjoy!

Social Ads

I just noticed this PG&E ad on Mashable and like the format. It’s interesting that they are showing ways that PG&E is using social media to reach out. Obviously it speaks to the audience of social media mashers on Mashable.com, but the ability to share the ad as I am doing here is a new trend. Heads up folks, this could be the future of social advertising.

I also love that the movies are slight, with the “Play with Sound” call to action on them. Way to ask people permission before bombarding them with your message! Also, thanks for thinking of the different ways I may like to learn more about your company with video, twitter or articles. Just like Hulu.com, giving your customers a choice means you respect them and they will appreciate that. Nice work PG&E!

Why Blog?

In his blog post for today, Seth Godin shares four videos about noice, social and decency and in the spirit of group genius, the power of the group and collective insight, Seth encourages his readers to vote for their favorite video. That’s a great way to get fans to watch all four videos, which are all worth the few minutes they take. My favorite since I just finished teaching my Internet Marketing Now: New Tools & Trends class for the summer at SFSU is the “Seth Godin and Tom Peters on Blogging” video embedded below.

Quoting from the video:

“Blogging is free. It doesn’t matter if anyone reads it. What matters is the humility that comes from writing it. What matters is the metacognition of thinking about what you’re going to say. How do you explain yourself […] How do you force yourself to describe in three paragraphs why you did something? How do you respond outloud?

If you’re good at it, some people are going to read it. If you are not good at it and you stick with it, you’ll get good at it. […] Force yourself to become part of the conversation, [because] that posture change, changes an enormous amount.” — Seth Godin

“No single thing in the last 15 years professionally has been more important to my life than blogging.” — Tom Peters, Best Selling Author, Management Visionary

And it is indeed free!

Friday Fun: A New Boyfriend and Twitter Interviews

What a great find!  I just learned of the joys of Jay Baer (@jaybaer)and I’ve decided he’s my new boyfriend for social media advice.  You can convince and convert me any day, Jay!  I love your blog.  Not only do you practice what you preach, but you share it too!  Thank you.

Since I’ve been a fan of Beth Kanter for several months now I was tickled to find this twitter interview with her that Jay is doing as part of his 20 Twitter Interview series.  My favorite question and answer from the Twitterview was:

13. @jaybaer: Social media is inextricably linked with inbound marketing. How important is search engine savvy for NPOs today?

  • @kanter: SEO is very important for nonprofit marketing plans – part of the rule of thirds (Web site, social media, SEO).

Good to hear we the web site and SEO still need to get attention in this wildly social time.

Favorite Quotes from Putting the Public Back into PR

Since I just finished Putting the Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge, I am trying something new with regards to sharing my thoughts about the book.  There may be a few more posts talking about the book in the future, but for the book is highlighted and I am revisiting all the highlights to pull out my favorite points for discussion and emphasis.  Here are a few of my favorites just in the first 50 pages.  The book is well worth reading especially if you are a PR professional, but even if you are just getting into social media and trying to get a feel for the New Media landscape today.

“Great PR has always been about telling stories in a way that makes people identify with like-minded individuals to share information and build strong relationships.” — p. xx, Preface, Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge

Stories are everything.  I am reminded of Daniel Pink’s book A Whole New Mind, that drills this point home in his story about selling wine and if I tell you the story here I will ruin it for you, so if you’re interested read or even better, LISTEN to the book.

“Broadcasting your “message” to your audience with top-down PR campaigns no longer works in New Media.  You have to engage people through the diverse segments that represent your target markets.” — p.14, Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge

In other words, know your audience and not just how old they are, where they live and how much income they earn, but really know them.  Know where they spend their time, what they like, how they participate in social media, what they do at work and at home.  Know how they think and what makes them engage in conversation.

“New PR is about people and relationships, not just new tools… PR in the era of Socialized Media requires a fusion of traditional PR, Internet marketing, Web-savvy market intelligence, and the ability to listen and engage in conversations without speaking in messages.” — p.35, Public Back into Public Relations by Brian Solis and Deidre Breakenridge

Since I started my career in PR and am now in Internet marketing, this quote makes me feel like I am in the right place to listen and engage.

Have you read the book?  What do you think?

We are Evolving

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon

Buzz Aldrin on the surface of the moon

4o years ago today, the first humans landed on the moon.  It was a major milestone with Neil Armstrong’s moon walk to follow the next day.  What seemed impossible had been accomplished and many people worldwide watched in awe as the news unfolded on the black and white television, across  radio waves and in the newspaper.

Today, most people first hear of important news via their social network.  Whether it is Twitter, Facebook or just a friend telling you, who probably received it in “Twitter-time,” the news has shifted from something that is not just reported by big corporations, but also distributed by word-of-mouth over short messaging systems and wifi.

We’ve come a long way in 40 years especially when it comes to marketing and relationships.  40 years ago marketing used to require messaging and money was crucial to building a strong campaign and there was very little opportunity for the small Mom and Pop shop to compete.  Today, marketing requires relationships, connections, conversations and participation.  Even the little guy can succeed if he is smart and driven enough.  It still takes time though and that’s where the skills come in.  Do your research and you’re likely to find a lot of people sharing a wealth of knowledge.  For example, this article by Mari Smith that Michaela Hayes shared with me is a very good strategy for social media.

We are now well into the share economy where sharing and connecting over common interests is the name of the game.
I enjoyed this Nora Jones song I found during an Apollo 11 search on Twitter.  Sometimes reflection on our progress is a great way to continue moving forward.

Being a Teacher Means
Being a Student

I am teaching my Internet Marketing Now: New Tools and Trends class at San Francisco State University’s College of Extended Learning in the Integrated Marketing Program.  (If that is not a mouthful I don’t know what is.) The course name is soon to be changed to Social Media and More because since it began a couple of years ago the material has morphed into being more social media than anything else, because that is what is most popular online today.

When you work on the Internet, the trends change so rapidly that was “it” six months ago is now “old” and the new is really H O T, “hot”!

I watched a rather long video today from a marketer I have stumbled upon before on Twitter called Jonathan Bud.  He is certainly confident, exudes confidence and loves himself, and that is all totally fine.  There is nothing wrong with it.  You may want to hate him for it, but you can’t, because he just seems so genuine.

One of the things he says near the end of the video is to become a master marketer, you must become a student of marketing.  Follow other marketers, make note of what they do, study successful marketing campaigns and case studies and have lots of fun with it.  I like to study other marketers and really admire people like Seth Godin, Chris Brogan, Brian Solis, Rand Fishkin, Danny Sullivan and more.  There is always something to learn and I feel like I am a perpetual student.

This is humbling and I also learn from my students when I teach.  One of the assignments in the Internet Marketing Now: New Tools and Trends class is to blog everyday for the duration of the class.  I ask my students to do this and I promise to do it too.  It sounds easy, but it’s not as easy as it sounds.  The challenge is good and I believe the exercise helps students understand what being a blogger is like and what kinds of things you need to do to make it.  I am always inspired by my students with this exercise.  There are so many great writers out there and so much potential.  Follow your dreams.  Do what you want to do and don’t let anyone ever tell you you can’t, because by golly, if you believe you can, yes you CAN.

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