Posts Tagged 'jeremiah owyang'

Should bloggers be held to journalistic standards?

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Yes they should. But they’re not and that gets them in trouble.  remember the old saying, Measure twice cut once? That means you’ve only got one shot at cutting the piece of wood. The point being “make sure” you have the right measurement. Be sure about your post, before you hit publish.

Back in September I remember asking Brian Solis the exact same question at Web 2.0 expo in New York, “Should Bloggers be held to journalistic standards?” and he answered yes. Bloggers need to be held to some type of standard.Why did I ask Brian? Because he has a unique perspective, he’s a content creating machine and he cranks out volumes of noteworthy and spot on commentary about the social media and PR space and he is accutely aware of what he writes and says.

But a larger point is this.

Bloggers need to hold THEMSELVES to some sort of standard.

Why? Because when they start writing about people and companies and events- and if they have any type of influence, and they get it wrong-the backlash can be brutal for all parties involved.

Which leads me to the reason I’m writing this post. Yesterday Forrester analyst Jeremiah Owyang wrote a post about the social media company, Mzinga. It did not go over very well.  Suffice it to say that regardless of whether Jeremiah was correct in what he asserted or speculated, what happened next was nothing short of a shit storm.

Yes the mob mentality reared it’s ugly head again and yes Jeremiah was wrong in his approach. But at some point, 2 things need to occur. One, the Mob mentality needs to back off. and Two, Jeremiah needs to apologize.

After comment #19 Jeremiah realized he screwed up and he ultimately apologized and posted a retraction of sorts. However the mob continues to vent some 60 comments later. At last count there were 2 posts that were sympathetic.

So what do we learn from this?

Interestigly enough, even a Forrester analyst has room for improvement. It’s a simple as this for Jeremiah and actually speaks to a vlog I did prior to this post. One of the things we must do, as hard as it is, we must:

Practice a sense of patience.

Instead of rushing to break a story, perhaps it might make better sense to feel the situation out or better yet..”Measure twice, cut once”.

Ultimately, since we do not want to be policed by the mob mentality, we have to police ourselves, and hold ourselves to some type of journalistic standard. No one else will-unless of course you count the blog mob and twitterati.

Lastly, for the mob mentality. Ok  so you’re pissed. And you let Jeremiah know about it. Ok he got that. I get that.  But reiterating over and over again, virtually the same thing, gets tiresome, boring and lacks any type of  originality or constructive criticism.  Maybe the mob needs realize that pitchforks and torches never really worked that well anyway.

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The Virtual Street Cred of Twitter

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I’ve been thinking a lot lately about virtual credibility. I guess because a lot of the people that follow me on Twitter have some interesting bios. Some that would have you thinking or believing, “wow this person is impressive.” They say they  do this and they have x amount of followers etc. etc.

Simply put, at some point your bio, your connections and the number of followers you have are going to mean nothing unless you can back it up with true hands on experience and knowledge. I will venture to say though, that you can learn a lot about someone via 140 characters  or less. Consider that the ice breaker or the get to know someone phase if you will. And you know what? It can become pretty obvious after awhile, when actually talking to someone whether they have the “chops” or not.  That’s the difference between virtual credibility and “virtual street cred.”

“Virtual Street Cred”

I could refer you to the urban dictionary for the loosely defined version of “street cred” but attaching the word “virtual” to it simply means that it’s one thing to talk it in the virtual space that is the blogosphere or Twitter, but it’s a whole nuther’  thing to walk it.

So yesterday I tweeted that I was thinking about virtual credibility, when Rachel Happe, whose views and opinion I respect very much, asked the following question:

Is “virtual credibility” like virtual currency…it’s not really money but it looks like it on the internet? :)

Bingo!  So, over the past few months, I’ve been having actual conversations with people I’ve gotten to know from Twitter. This is significant on a number of levels. Not the least of which is the virtual relationship has become something other than “tweeting” back and forth. Another significant aspect, is that before Twitter, I might have still been able to talk to people in the marketing, social media, PR and decision maker space but…It would have taken perhaps a cold call or semi-warm one at best to engage them. And many more to get to some type of comfort level.

Twitter has allowed us ways to create amazing relationships and opportunities at a rapid rate. Prior to Twitter we would have had to work twice as hard to get to know each other.  As Brian Solis puts it in his most recent post:

As Twitter gains in relevance and prominence, its conversation platform will ring the alarms of any business that monetizes relationships, connections, and information exchange

From Twitter I’ve received opportunities to work on projects. I’ve also, on a daily basis been privy to a massive stable of talent that I can refer to for help, perspective, resources, advice, knowledge, expertisepartnerships and wisdom and most of all friendship. I have gotten to know people from so many diverse backgrounds that would have never happened otherwise. The majority of these people are a mere DM away.  That is an amazing aspect that is not overlooked by me.  Some of these people now have, in my eyes attained.

“Virtual Street Cred”

In the comments section of a post by Radian 6’s Amber Naslund, Marketer Beth Harte says the following.

I used to think Twitter was silly (hated it really), but now, it’s invaluable. All those tweets really build a character of the people you interact with. And then when you meet them in person, it’s like you already know them well and you can move past the ‘getting to know you’ phase into a deeper relationship. Imagine that from a business perspective…wow!

I feel that way too.

How about you? What has happened to you since you’ve embarked on Twitter? Good, bad, or indifferent?

Social Media could be the savior for SMB’s

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6 days into 2009 and I’m sure we all have our goals set or we’re busy finalizing what we are going to do. I make these lists and I write down thoughts at a furious pace and still, in the back of my mind, I’m constantly wondering what everyone is collectively thinking right now. By everyone, I’m really referring to small and medium sized business owners. The economy sucks and business is wayy down..

They have to be wondering where the business is going to come from or how they are going to get business utilizing their existing forms of advertising, sales, and marketing. The problem is,  how effective do those continue to be? Were they ever? Do they know they are not working? Do they utilize metrics or do they fly by the seat of their pants to measure their effectiveness? Do they understand that there is more for less out there right now? Or is it less for less? Their heads have to be swimming. I know mine is.

Initially I would have said No,  SMB’s are not aware of their advertising, sales and marketing effectiveness, but in that sense I was referring to “as it pertains to social media”, as in how effective could all these initiatves be if they were using social media, and that is completely true. SMB’s do not know much about how social media might be able to turn the tide.The power. The effectiveness. The impact.

But they do know plenty about what is and what isn’t working in regards to their  sales and marketing initiatives. I love what Christian Maurer says about this:

In today’s business climate, sales organizations think that they have to increase their activities to counteract the increased reluctance of customers to buy. These increased activities will however not necessarily be rewarded by higher revenue.One might end up trying to get more juice from an already squeezed out lemon

So enter Social Media. The darling of the last few years. We go from product centric to customer centric. But how do you articulate that social media could be just what the doctor ordered? Well I could wax eloquent on that question for awhile but I’d like to refer you to Kyle Lacy’s 4 part series on social media marketing for the small business as a primer. It’s a wonderful piece and more so, it exposed me to a great blog for small business called The Marketing Spot. I highly recommend you add it to your list in 2009.

Ok so back to you Mr. and Mrs. SMB how do you go about learning whether Social Media is the cure for what is ailing your business? And how do you do it quickly because you don’t have time to ramp something like this up. WHAT DO YOU DO FIRST?

-You could try and learn about “It” on your own but you need to know what “it” is. This might help.

-But then after you figure out what it is, you then need to know who you can trust or what to look for in a social media consultant, because you don’t have time to be doing this, right?

-Once you figured out what to look for, then you need to decide “who to look for”

-So now that you have “that” person or agency selected, now you have to have a strategy and they have to share that with you, so that you know exactly what they are trying to do for you and your business.

-A blueprint of how that person works is a good thing to have, it lets you know exactly how they work and it is a key component that we talk about all the time and that’s transparency in social media. Amber Naslund does a great job of discussing her “blueprint” in this post.

-Now that we have the strategy and the blueprint, it’s time to implement. Don’t worry though, your accomplished social media strategist knows just what to do.

OK, so you know what it is, you know what to look for, you know who they are, you know what they’ll do and you know how they’ll do it. But the last thing we have to do is we still have to measure what they’ve done.

-We talk all the time about how to measure social media but here’s a simple framework for measuring it’s effectiveness.

With that in mind, I end with this; As long as you know upfront what you are trying to accomplish and you adhere somewhat to these steps above, you may just have figured out how to incorporate social media into your SMB marketing  plan! But don’t stop there and don’t rely solely on your social media expert/strategist. Take the time to learn as much as you can as you go, so that you can understand the sea change that is happening within the worlds of PR, marketing, advertising and communication.

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The top 10 blogs to read in 2009

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Yep add my blog post as one of those end of year “lists’. But as I’ve stated, I’m going to scale back what I read. I’m going to hone in on quality. With that being said here is my list with reasons why. They also are in no particular order either.

  1. Paul Chaney’s Conversational Media Marketing blog always has an interesting post or content. It’s light, it’s a good read and it’s insightful.
  2. Shannon Paul’s Very Official Blog is always in the sweet spot. Her stuff is short, generally, always to the point, and it resonates on many levels.
  3. Lee Odden’s Online Marketing Blog is a no brainer. It’s updated daily and it’s chock full of content that makes you better at what you do. Even if you don’t do “it”, it’s worth reading.
  4. Chris Brogan is our Grand Poobah”. Now I know he’s taken hits lately but look, Chris gives away 10 times more than he takes, and thus he should be a blog that you check in on from time to time. He’s a content creating fool.
  5. Valeria Maltoni true to her tag line, “connects her ideas with people”, and will make you think. When I read her stuff, that’s what happens. Her blog is another that I dip into every once in a while for perspective. She’s current, always on point and she’s eloquent.
  6. I like the Ignite Social Media Blog but it might be because it’s very vertical for me. I’m entitled to one or two of these, and this is one of them.
  7. Ok, so something about Joseph Jaffe makes me want to read his stuff. It’s funny usually, and underneath it all, there’s generally some sort of marketing theme or message.
  8. Beth Harte is one smart cookie. She says it in a straight shootin way. She’s respected, she’s connected and she knows all things marketing.  You will love her perspective.
  9. Brian Solis is a good read, he churns out content, it’s not over your head, it’s current and it’s useful. Boom.
  10. Mashable is the source or the site you would go to if you needed information, if you need updates and if you could only go to one site. This is it. Check it out.

Honorable Mentions

Here are 10 more that I read because  they are prolific in cranking out content that is in tune with the issues of marketing, PR,  social media, and life. You didn’t think I could just read 10 blogs a day did you? Well neither will you, not with this much quality out there!

  1. Ari Herzog
  2. Liz Strauss
  3. David Armano
  4. Peter Kim
  5. Jeremiah Owyang
  6. Mack Collier
  7. Amber Naslund
  8. Adam Cohen
  9. Gavin Heaton
  10. Ken Burbary

Like I said, it’s quality over quantity, though all of these people churn out some pretty good quantities of content. I could only hope to do the same.  I look forward to continued learning from all of them.

Will the economy change the way you blog? or the blogs you read?

I’m currently watching engaged in a lively saturday morning discussion with Jeremiah Owyang, and Ted Murphy Founder/CEO of IZEA on whether bloggers are going to become more of an advertising vehicle for brands. Though this not neccesarily a new topic, it may be becoming prominent again based on a lot of external economic factors. It started with this:

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Jeremiah goes on to say “Bottom Line: Expect more brands to ‘buy’ bloggers and tweeters as the economy dips, this truly is cost effective marketing”

But is it? Will you, as a blogger become more open to being paid by a brand or company to shill their product to your loyal readers who come to your site because of your candor and POV? Won’t that change the scope and the depth of your posts? Is the economy such that we now will come expect that a Chris Brogan is now going to start pitching product? The easy answer is, “just avoid any paid posts”. But what if you don’t know? Chris might be the exception in giving full disclosure of the paid post.

My tweeted thought:

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You as the loyal reader will now be the audience to a pitch from your author, full disclosure is not a prerequisite either, although Ted Murphy does mention:

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So how do you feel about that? Is it going to change now how you read or what you read from your favorite blogs?

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Will full disclosure matter? Will you read a blog post knowing it is essentially a paid pitch for a product? Isn’t that the same as a celebrity spokesperson? What if they pitch but don’t tell, because they know they will lose readers if the readers knew that it was a paid post?

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What’s not evident is the post Jeremiah is referring to on Chris Brogan’s site is on Dad-o-matic and not Chrisbrogan.com 2 distinct and very different blog sites. So the questions remain:

Transparent?

Authentic?

Sustainable?

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So there’s more to this Twitstream but the question is more geared towards the reader, since bloggers have been getting paid for quite some time now for paid posts. It all comes down to the “big bloggers” and theirloyal  readers. Will your loyalty wane if you know going forward, that the post you are reading, is a paid, sponsored post? Do you care?

What can social media do for reputation management?

 

Alot has been written about online reputation management of late, and recently I was asked by a company to explain to them what I had done in regards to reputation management. So I’ve decided to recount what I did and what were the results.

 

About 18 months ago Emerson Directs’ web presence was no more than a brochure-ware site with no more than 3 pages of cursory content with zero traffic and zero web presence. all of its business was by word of mouth and referral. The only web presence was of SERP’s of information on an FTC settlement and consumer affairs reports on some bad customer service that occurred over 6 years ago.

 

Realizing that this had to have and was having a negative impact on the company and its ability to go out and get new business, I decided to do a few things. In short order, 1) I decided to create a new website, 2) a Social Media Optimization strategy wrapped around creating a number of social media pages devoted to the company-specifically the company name, 3) a blog site devoted to pushing out a more positive and leader like image for the company, 4) a robust social networking campaign 5) a Twitter persona in which I knew and hoped that people would go from the tweet to the blog site or to the website based on the quality of the tweet and lastly 6) be more visible and authentic with current and potential clients.

 

By creating the blog, it was another way of creating more content as well as another web site devoted to the Emerson Direct brand. As of today, The blog averages more than 10,000 visits per month, connects with clients, potential clients, and the casual reader, and has received numerous accolades. All of which were not my goal going on. They include ranking in the Adage power 150 The Power 150 is a ranking of the top 900 English-language media and marketing blogs in the world. The site is also ranked #23 of the Junta 42 which ranks the top 42 content marketing blogs. It’s also ranked oddly enough in the UK for top marketing blogs. It’s also part of the Big List of SEO blogs compiled by Lee Odden of Top Rank Blog. The indirect result of all of this, is people go from the blog to the website. The indirect direct result has been the creation of my personal brand as well, which has been cool and also very humbling since that was never my goal.

 

The residual effect of this effort has been tremendous in 1) driving traffic to a new site we built as well as 2) creating more opportunity for the company as well as 3) driving down the negative websites and 4) managing our website and companies’ online reputation in a more positive and proactive fashion and 5) I’ve become the de facto spokesperson for the reputation management campaign that Emerson Direct  undertook, as well as a champion for all things social media related and 6) Their phone has been ringing and 7) I’ve made some great new friends and contacts and 8. I’ve learned a ton and  9) respect so many others in the space now.

 

In regards to other forms of social media, I’d also created company related personas at nearly all of the top social networking sites, and even some of the lesser ones. I would venture that the total number was close to or had been 50. Some of those sites included YouTube, Delicious, Stumbleupon, Disqus, Propeller, Friendfeed and Twitter. All good viable ways of sharing content and changing a bruised reputation. Delicious is a prime example of my social media book marking efforts, in which I have over 600 bookmarks. That might not seem like a lot, but in the grand scheme of things it is.

 

I’ve toned all of this down now, as I’ve been able to dial it back, tweak it, and develop a happy medium with a consistent social media presence in the places where it’s most effective. Plus the time suck was killing me.

One note:  I also created a number of filters in Google Alerts, Summize  and Backtype that keep and kept me abreast of anything that was said or written about me, the brand, the company, or any of the products that they were marketing, which I highly recommend.

 

 

 

 

The culmination of these social media and reputation management efforts has been, to put it mildly, extraordinary. Not a day goes by where they do not see some type of positive ripple effect both professionally and or for me personally from these efforts. 

The interesting thing about this whole exercise has been, and some people might not realize this, the tremendous amount of effort and work required to maintain and do all of this. The payoff though has been well worth it. I also think it’s important to note, that you cannot afford not to be doing some variation of the above. What do you think? What more could I have done? Did I miss anything?

 

 

Guerrilla marketing and social media marketing-an imperfect, perfect union.

This blog post comes from a tweet that I just had which was prompted by a tweet by Jeremiah Owyang in which he said:

Next, we need to think if media spending decreases, will marketers lean on low cost social media even though returns are generally unknown?

This statement made me think that right now marketers, advertisers, small business owners- actually everyone, is thinking about how to do “it” for less. In other words how can they drive traffic and sales and leads and eyeballs to their sites and products on the cheap. Bring in social media. One of the great things about social media and user generated content is that it can be done for no cost or a low cost. And the results can be pretty amazing if done right. Enter Guerrilla Marketing. If done right,  guerrilla marketing  can and has been very very successful in growing brands, creating viral buzz, and driving sales, eyeballs and traffic to products or companies.  Why mesh guerrilla marketing with social media marketing?  Well, lets look at the definition of guerrilla marketing:

The term guerrilla marketing was coined as an unconventional system of promotions on a very low budget, by relying on time, energy and imagination instead of big marketing budgets. The term has since entered the popular vocabulary to also describe aggressive, unconventional marketing methods generically.

So if we take the basic tenets of guerrilla marketing and meld them with social media marketing you create this marketing synergy that has all the elements of:

Cheap+Viral+ Unconventional+Social= Marketing Nirvana

Social media can be “done” on little or no budget. It is time intensive, it does require energy, it can be viral, and there is no limit on your imagination. Right?   It is definitely not constrained by conventional wisdom, and we still do not know about all the creative ways that it can be used from a marketing standpoint.

So why not?

From here on out I’m going to suggest to marketers and companies that are stuck by the challenges of marketing in a tough economy and social media marketing in general, adopt the “Flavor Flav/Brigitte Nielsen marketing concept”. Loosely defined as an imperfect, perfect union of styles, personalities and standards, that underneath the hood, are very very similar and actually work. For now. Until we figure the rest out.


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Marc Meyer is a Digital and Social Media Strategist at DRMG. This is my personal blog where I share observations, thoughts and opinions that are all my own.

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