New Blog Book Authored By AMA Hot Topic Speakers
AMA Hot Topic speakers, Shel Israel and Robert Scoble's new book, Naked Conversations, is officially ready to ship from virtual stores and is on the shelves of brick & mortar shops. In addition to Hot Topic speakers authoring the book, two presenters from the blog workshop are highlighted - Steve Rubel and Toby Bloomberg (me!).
Naked Conversations brings together the history, culture, as well as, the business applications of blogs. Robert and Shel wrote the book on a blog...complete with open comments. Readers' feedback is frequently insightful and controversial. While you're waiting for your copy, check out the interviews and the commentary on their blog called, of course, Naked Conversations.
Since I can't give you a review (haven't read the book yet), here's a snippet from the Publisher's Weekly review.
To bolster their argument, Scoble and Israel have assembled an enormous amount of information about blogging: from history and theory to comparisons among countries and industries. They also lay out the dos and don'ts of the medium and include extensive statistics, dozens of case studies and several interviews with famous blogger.
They consider the darker aspects of blogging as well - including the possibility of getting fired by an unsympathetic employer. For companies that have already embrace blogging, this book is an essential guide to best practice.
AMA Central VA Chapter Blogs
If you're interested in learning what blogs can do for associations, take a look at Association Inc. authored by Kevin Holland.
Your Grandma Might Be Blogging You
The next time you visit your Granny or have dinner with your great Uncle Lou take care ... you may be blogged! Senior citizens are the fastest growing segment to embrace blogging.
Recently one of AMA's Hot Topic Boston speaker's Millie Garfield, My Mom's Blog, was quoted in several articles about senior bloggers. Although this article doesn't specifically mention AMA, the "Boston seminar" was the indeed the AMA workshop Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website.
In June, Garfield was invited to speak at a Boston seminar for marketers on how to use the Web more effectively. A short video of the event, posted on her blog, captures the professionals laughing at her wisecrack about the benefits of a man who can still drive at night.
Perhaps when Millie finds her way to Oprah, AMA will be mentioned more prominently!
Atlanta Marketing Wonk
AMA is taking its highly successful workshop Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website to one more city. On September 30th a group of talented marketers who happend to also be some of the best bloggers in the business will hit Hotlanta for an intense day of talking about how marketers can leverage blogs.
If you can't join us at the workshop, meet-up at the Marketing Wonk*. Just because the AMA's program on blogs ends, it doesn't mean we're done discussing blogs.
Join Atlanta area marketers and bloggers for a "Marketing Wonk"* social immediately following the presentations. It's an open-invitation to marketing professionals, workshop attendees and whomever wants to talk blogs and meet bloggers.
*What's a "marketing wonk?" Glad you asked. It's a Dutch treat networking event where people meet and mingle. There is no agenda. No speakers. No selling. And it's a great way to kick off your weekend.
When: Friday, September 30, 2005 from 6:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m.
Where: Loca Luna
836 Juniper Street
Atlanta, GA 30308
Cost: Free. (Dutch-treat food/libations)
Help Selling Blogs In
One of the attendees from the Boston AMA Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website workshop is looking for a few innovative approaches to help him sell-in blogs to his management. He's asked for help from the AMA blog community. The following are the concerns that he's struggling with:
- Blogs are time consuming and need a full time blogger to write, monitor comments/trackbacks and manage the bloggging process.
- A board is more dynamic in nature, people have the freedom to post whatever they want. People from the company, as well as, other other readers can respond - much the same as they would via a blog.
- A full-time employee is not necessary to implementing a board. Company saves on human resources.
The company is also interested in developing RSS feeds for targeted segments. Can RSS feeds be password protected so that only specific people are able to subscribe to the feed/or read the feed?
Thanks for your help!
AMA Speakers Are MarketingSherpa Readers' Choice Blog Nominees
Three of our speakers are nominees for the prestigious MarketingSherpa 2005 Readers' Choice Blog Awards.
-Dana VanDen Heuvel, Blog Savant in the B-to-B Marketing category
-Ben McConnell - Church of the Customer in the Group Weblogs category
-Toby Bloomberg - Diva Marketing Blog - in the General Marketing and Advertising category
1. Best blog on b-to-b marketing
2. Best blog on PR
3. Best blog on small business marketing
4. Best individual’s blog on the general marketing & advertising
5. Best group (multi-author) weblog
6. Best blog on search marketing
7. Best blog in other languages
8. Best blog on online marketing
9. Best blog on niche marketing
To be considered:
1. Blogs must have been on the topic of advertising, marketing or public relations
2. Launched prior to December 31, 2004
3. Regularly updated this year
Winners will be announced in June, and will receive a “Voted Best Blog” icon for their site, a hotlink from MarketingSherpa, and a MarketingSherpa Best Blog Winner coffee mug.
Voting ends June 8th. I encourage you to pay a visit to the ballot page. There are some excellent blogs to discover.
First Consumer Research Study: Blog Usage
Finally! One of the first pieces of research on customers' perceptions about marketing/business blogs and the influence these types of blogs can have on the brand/company. This study was conducted by the German agency CRM agency Proximity.
Please keep in mind this is a German-based study; we don't know if cultural differences would impact findings. I challenge a research firm to conduct a similar study with U.S. customers and go a step further to include questions on type of content, frequency of posts, length of posts...you know the drill.
- 91% of the blog readers expect a fast and appropriate reaction to questions and comments in enterprise blogs. Okay U.S. research firms - your turn at bat!
- 90% think it's important to make a clear difference between commercial and non-commercial content.
- Of the blog readers, 54% form their opinions about products/companies on the basis of blogs.
- 51% of the blog readers visit product and/or corporate sites as a results of reading blogs.
- 58% of the blog readers, read them to find news and information they can't find otherwise.
- 57% of them are interested in the personal opinions of the authors, but only 43% are interested in the discussions.
It's Official - The AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar is Going to San Francisco!
We'll in be in San Fran on the 28th of April! Due to demand (yes, really!) we've added a 4th trip to the tour and we're hitting the mecca of interactive & online - San Francisco.
The AMA will have something out shortly - stay tuned, and get ready to sign up!
We're also tweaking the format slightly to include more on blog advertising, the legalities of blogging and a more defined road map to get you off and running right after you leave the event!
Podcast - Robert Scoble
G'day World Podcast interviewed one of Blogs: Marketing Beyond the Website Seattle speakers, Robert Scoble. Steve Rubel, a speaker at NYC workshop, links to the podcast. Steve calls Robert the poster child for the power of blogging. I call Robert one of the nicest bloggers in the blogosphere and one smart guy!
The podcast is well worth a listen...play it while your writing your next blog post!
Fortune A Blog Evangelist?
Is Fortune magazine turning into an evangelist for business/marketing blogs? David Kirkpatrick has written two article in the course of four days about the benefits of blogging. Why There's No Escaping the Blog on Jan 10 and Want Truth In Advertising? Try A Blog on Jan 14.
In his Jan 14 article, Kirkpatrick continues writing about his interview with Steve Hayden, vice chairman of New York-based Ogilvy & Mather. The article puts a positive spin on the benefits of a corporate blog and is well worth a read.
In the blogosphere, we learn not to reinvent the wheel, or the post, if someone else has done an it well. Evelyn Rodriguez, Crossroads Dispatches, has written an excellent summary of the article; following is a snippet.
1. Blogs can serve as a trusted source. "When those magazines review a product it’s generally a universally good review, because they don’t want to lose the advertising revenues. So you go to the blog to get the real review."
2. They can provide companies with reliable feedback. "The advertiser has to accept that what’s on any blog won’t all be positive. Negative things will be said. But consumers are sophisticated enough to filter out the good from the bad."
3. They provide an outlet for happy and unhappy customers. "But the point is that even with all the ranting and raving over a number of problems with the [Porsche] Cayenne because it was a new model—it didn’t interrupt sales. On the message boards and blogs the overall conclusion was it was still a great car. There was an acceptance of the problems.”
4. They can serve as a reality check. "People believe stuff that is flavored with the reality of bad news. Yet typically when you go to a marketing department or an ad agency, the first thing you hear is that everything we say about this product must be positive.”
5. They can help companies reach an influential audience. "What the bloggers say is pretty significant to us as a research tool."
Has your company’s CEO blogged, or spoken to a blog, yet? Maybe it's about time.