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Ten Tips for Panel Discussions

Here's a few panel discussion watch-outs from Guy Kawasaki for those of you who have panel discussions coming up, and for those of us at the AMA blog seminars. Good stuff. Keep an eye on us up at the front - make sure we're towing the line!

1. Control your introduction.
2. Entertain, don’t just inform.
3. Tell the truth
4. Err on the side of being plain and simple.
5. Never look bored.
6. Don’t look at the moderator.
7. Make casual conversation.
8. Answer the question posed, but never limit yourself to the question posed.
9. Never say, “I agree with what the other panelists have said.” Just say something different or new.
10. Provide a way to get in touch with you.

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Building a Better Blog Seminar | Permalink | Comments (170) | TrackBack


AMA HotTopic Weblog Event Moves Attendee to Blog Immediately!

Sarah of the Massini Group attended the AMA HotTopic Blog event in Seattle. Sarah has already published her 10 steps for getting on the blog bandwagon! Sarah says she has a personal blog, but didn't send the URL. Sarah, please send the URL :)

[Originally a comment from Toby Bloomberg's weblog]
Attending the AMA blog event was worth the trip. Don't blog, don't know what RSS is? Neither did I. Now I'm a convert. Here are the 10 steps Massini Group plans to take as a result.

1. Will check out (read and subscribe) blog sites.

2. Determine how a blog maps to our marketing objectives. Possibilities:
improve search placement, show that we are market leaders, new channel to reach customers/prospects and drive them to our resource center, establish Massini Group as an authority in our niche, and give campaign manager’s outlet to show expertise.

3. Consider the risks. Biggest one being now we’d have something more to maintain. Choose someone or group of people to write the blog.

4. Set guidelines. Can be as simple as, "Make your mother proud, don’t
lie, write to inform." Thanks Ben.

5. Map the process. Wow will the blog be sustained? Who will do the
updates? How frequently? Who will review? Who will respond to comments? Who will manage a calendar?

6. Brainstorm content topic areas (event promotion, new whitepaper,
marketing news).

7. Determine key words we want associated with Massini Group and look for a domain name that might contain those words. Pick a title that describes what we do and why people would want to visit our site.

8. Build a personal blog, test it out. (DONE!)

9. Build a company blog, populate with enough stuff to start promoting.

10. Begin promoting. Syndicate (RSS, XML feeds). Put link on main site, in resource center. Promote to customers (maybe by letter). Promote blog in Massini Group signatures. Register weblog with and others.

This is a great example of the speed of the web...and one more person joins the blog parade! Bloggers are the friendliest people.


Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Attendee's Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (270) | TrackBack


List of links from the AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar

There were a lot of questions that were asked that require outside links to resources. Also, a lot of tools and systems were mentioned that should require some mention. It's hard to capture all, but here's a shot.

[URL LINKS TO COME LATER] - measurable syndication of RSS feeds
Scrappleface Blog
Further explanations on RSS
Relationship management consortium (think this is the UMich?)
Link for Audioblog service
Peter Jackson King Kong Blog

A blogging glossary link is in order
Moblog service/definition
Adam Curry's podcasting link

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Seattle Blog Seminar Correspondence | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack


Dave Williams - 360i - Search Engine Marketing & Blogs - AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar

Dave has a guy in his office who's been blogging for something like 8 years.  Man, that's tenure.

Anyway, the discussion for this segment is all about search.

Blogging, in Dave's view, is taking the web back to what it was meant to be. I love data-driven presentations, and Dave's is very data centric. He's done some research on the demographics of the blogosphere and of the sites that are selling advertising which has yielded some unique results.

- Valueable to keep people at the site
- Simply stated, relevant content is as important to spiders as it is to customers

Search is even more important as the web grows. The web grows exponentially, and so does the use of search (so to speak)

Dave highlighted some Forrester reserach info which is interesting in that it states "link from another website' as the #2 way that people use to find websites. When I look at this from the perspective of a marketer with a blog, knowing that one of the fundamentals of blogging is linking, I'm pretty happy about this!

Dave says, with recent data, that 4 major engines are showing down in the arms race in search.
- Google
- Yahoo
- AOL (takes some results from Google)

Some things have changed in search phrasology recently, in that over 50% of searches are in the 3-5 word phrases.

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Seattle Blog Seminar Correspondence | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Ben McConnell of Church of the - Blogs 101 - AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar

Ben started off his presentation with a poll of the audience on 'what questions do you have about blogging?' There were some wonderful responses, that I can imagine on many of our minds, even if we've been blogging for some time.

Some key questions from the audience:
- Staff time required?

- Tools available for Blogging?

- Impact on servers?

- How does it affect the Architecture of sites?

- How can you integrate it into an existing site?

- What is the interrelationship between RSS and weblogs, or RSS vs. weblogs?

We're always so damn serious, but this quote on what a blog is from the Scrappleface blog lightened things up a touch.

There was a lot of discussion on RSS vs. Atom and a lot of questions on what is RSS and how does it apply, non-blog, blog only, how do I effectively use RSS in my business. We'll have to incorporate more of this for the next session.

Ben touched on Wiki's, but I'm also thinking that we need more discussion on this. Like, how do I combine them and what tools can I use to do both?

There was a brilliant slide that Ben showed with correlates the word of mouth about your company and it's profits (not overall revenues). It was in reference to the airline industry, and showed SouthWest on top in terms of profits (which we already knew) and their word of mouth index (news to me, but makes sense). Apparently, the data came from a case study in Harvard Business Review (I'll try to find the link)

One of the interesting things that was mentioned on the subject of "how does my blog get noticed" was the element of pinging, which is of critical importance. A website in isolation has no link to any directory by default, whereas a weblog, built with a purist blog tool (like MovableType) is programmed to ping aggregator sites, like, which is scoured by Google, which is how new weblogs get found. It's all part of the ecosystem folks.

- How do you figure out who the right person is to represent your company?  (what voice?)

- How do you discover the voice?

- How do you START this thing?  What's my #1 action step?!

- How do you undestand if you're really reaching your target audience?

- How can you figure out how many people are subscribing?

- How NOT TO SUCK in the blog space?

- Integrating more than text - beyond the written word?
** Audoblogs - you call a phone number and speak into a blog post (you need a service for this)
** Videoblog - sit at your desk, smile for the camera, and blog away!
** Moblogging - pictures into your blog, automatically (TypePad allows for this, or you can use a service like textamerica)
** Podcasting - coined by Adam Curry, the former MTV DJ - putting MP3 Audio directly into your weblog for downloading into you iPod

- How can I test it witout committing to it?

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Seattle Blog Seminar Correspondence | Permalink | Comments (21) | TrackBack

Bill Flitter of Pheedo - Advertising on blogs - AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar

The history of advertising started with Print, Radio and TV, and has evolved into social marketing. In Bill's view of the world, we're moving to a consumer controlled marketing environment. It's all about control, time, and relevancy

Think: TIVO, Podcasting, Content Syndication
- View, listen, read:  On my own terms, thank you very much.

Bill feels that there is a seismic shift away from "talking at" our customers, to a model where we're arm in arm in communication & collaboration with our customers. It's happening because consumers want CONTROL.

Do not call, ad blocking, call screening, TIVO, Comcast picking up the TIVO model (how's that, a cable company will sell ad space on their own network, and then give their viewers a way to thwart it, that's a storm brewing right there!)

We're moving away from 'hunting and gathering' on the Internet, and into the age of RSS, where our own little internet comes to us, via our newsreaders. BTW, I gave up on NewsGator a while back, but after seeing Robert's use of it, I'll have to re-explore that... We should all be so mobile

One key point that Bill mentioned is that blogging is not a direct response medium, and it's unlikely that it will be.

Feed the blogosphere with your company's vocabulary before your company's vocab is defined, to your detriment, by the consumer generated media. (more on this is the Creating Brand Communities via Weblogs stuff)

Summary:  Start your future in Social Networking/Marketing now:
- Feed the search engines with consistent company defined vocabulary
- You are what your keywords say about you
- Network effects of blogs is powerful

[Bill is the CMO & an evangeist for Pheedo]

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Robert Scoble - Microsoft - Blogging Is Changing the Marketing World - AMA HotTopic Blog Seminar

Scoble's 5 reasons why blogging is hot.

1. It's easy, anyone of any expertise can publish
2. Discoverable - pings, movabletype site, other sites that aggregate blogs
3. Ascertain social behavior, trends, linking, know at all times what's being said about you, and who's talking about what, in real-time.
4. Permalinking - each post has its own URL - can link directly to timely, relevant, and focused content
5. Syndication - only read what's published, when it's published - when I 'subscribe' to you, you're now a member of 'my community' - I don't need your email, you don't need mine, and in our normal day to day publishing, we're connected. For as long as we want to be - it's a pull relationship

At the end of the day, all of these things support relationships.

A blog is a web page that has content published in reverse chronological order...

Title your blog properly. Why? When our blog shows up in a list, or is aggregated on, technorati, feedster, it's impossible to use some of the titles that exist for most blogs. (it takes an average of 8 minutes for your post to show up in Technorati)

Look at for an example of how the website becomes the blog and the blog becomes the website.

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Seattle Blog Seminar Correspondence | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The start of the AMA blog seminar! 8:30A.M.

Toby Bloomberg of Bloomberg Marketing, the esteemed chair of the event, kicked the morning off with her presentation on why we're all here, what's a weblog, and why should we care so much. A great synopsis of what's to come. Toby is our 'master of ceremonies' for the event. Thanks to here, we're all here today!

Interesting, we're at a blog seminar and only a couple of the folks here hear about the seminar through a blog...hmm...the power of traditional media.

There's about 25 folks at the event, with a wide range of expectations for the event. Some are working solely in the interactive media space, others are from traditional CPG and B2B companies. In the interest of keeping with the theme of open-source marketing, it's likely that we'll post a great deal of information from this conference.

Not being a conference circuit vet like Robert, the progress leading up to the event has been enlightening. Some folks think that this is very self serving event, that we're all here promoting our own thing, or getting paid to be here. Folks, neither of which is true. In fact, Toby just handed out some 'rocks' with the word Passion on them. Passion, that's why we're here. We are some of the most passionate folks in the space, and we're here to spread the word; evangelize if you will.

Interesting demos...
65% are reading blogs
35% are not reading blogs
0% have never heard of blogs (guess that's a pre-req for being here!)

Action:  In 3 words, what does blogging mean to you?  Leave your comments here please

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack