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.

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Posted by Toby in Putting Blogs to Work, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (13)


AMA Reaches Out

The AMA extends its deepest sympathy to those who have lost so much in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. In an effort to help AMA's New Orleans Chapter members and members in the tri-state area, AMA is undertaking the following:

- 6-month membership dues extension
- Upon request, a cash donation to the New Orleans Chapter

In addition,

- The AMA Foundation will assist with fundraising efforts and other related activities to benefit the victims of the storm
- AMA will place a public message on the Marketingpower.com home page encouraging donations to the Red Cross

Chapters are taking the initiative to fund raise on a local level. Last week the Oklahoma City Chapter raised $1300 at their August luncheon. Mark Towler, Phase 2 Developement and Brainworks Advertising paid the cost of all attendees meals in exchange for donations to the Red Cross.

The Boston Chapter is combining its 65 Anniversary Celebration with a fund raiser. If you're in Boston later this month party for a good cause.

Posted by Toby in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (0)


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!

Posted by Toby in Putting Blogs to Work, RSS, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (38) | TrackBack


Great Google Rankings but Nowhere in Technorati

A question was recently posed via email; “How do the blog search engines (TechnoratiFeedster) search and why is my blog not coming up when I get great Google rankings for the same words?”

Being a leader in the space Scott Rafer of Feedster could likely shed more light on this, but I’ll give it a shot.

The blog engines work differently than a regular search engines. Google, Yahoo, MSN and the like, use "spiders" that constantly look for new pages and updates. Most blog engines wait for you to submit your URL. Also keep in mind some of them are directories not algorithmic engines.

There are primarily two things you can do to include yourself in these sites. The First is to sign up for an account if they offer it. The second (and best) thing to do is to "PING" them. They will give you an address for that. Put it in the appropriate box in your blog’s preferences. A great service for notifying several blog engines/directories every time you update is Ping-O-Matic.

Hope this helps!

Posted by Wayne in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (12) | TrackBack


Answering questions on installing blog software, server requiements and blog consultants

Another installment of the "Dear Blogmeister" series of weblog Q&A

Dear Blogmeister:

I am a non-technical person who has created a web site that I'd like to enhance by adding blogs. My problem is that, even though I've downloaded MySQL and PHP, I can't install them because I don't have a web server (IIS or Apache) and, for the life of me, get overwhelmed at all of the technical jargon that is on those sites so give up on trying to download that software. Please help!

My questions are:
1. Is there a simple, one-step software that I can download and install to get blogging capabilities?
2. If there isn't a one-step software, who do I turn to to help me figure it all out?
3. How much memory would I need, potentially, if for instance I want to open the site to allow 10,000 people to blog.

Awaiting your technical input,
Serverless in San Antonio

Dear Serverless:

Good questions.  Blog software is pretty easy, blog consultants prevalent, and server space a non-issue, so here goes.

1. You can download and install Movable Type or WordPress for blogging.  I recommend Movable Type.  There are others, but they are not as well supported.  Also, you can engage a hosted service like TypePad, but it might not meet your goals of having other bloggers on your site.

2. Who do I turn to for help figuring it all out?'  There are a number of weblog consultants out there.  You can find a list here:  http://www.businessblogconsulting.com/consultants/index.html

3. How much space for 10,000 blogs?  Think about the math of this one a bit.  Let's say that 1 blogger writes 5 posts a week for 52 weeks - that's about 260 posts per year.  Some will post less, some more, but let's use that at an average.  Personally, I've posted 1000 times in just under three years, so I'm not too far from the average.   

The full Movable Type blog install is less than 10MB, and each blog post is roughly 30KB, with the archive index pages, such as the index for each of them months, reaching 500KB, a year's worth of blog posts if you had monthly archives, a dozen or so category archives, and the individual archives would require about 33MB of space per blogger, per year. 

In reality, it's less than that due, in large part, to the variance in blog post sizes.  In the end, for 10,000 bloggers, you'd need less than 400 MB of space per year.  Now, you may have images and some other items in there, but the point of the matter is that blogs are pretty lightweight.

Server power is not all that much of an issue either.  Six Apart, Movable Type's parent company, does not have many requirements on servers except to say that you can use the following operating systems, servers, and databases with Movable Type. 

Operating Systems:
Mac OS X
Windows Server

Web Servers:
Microsoft IIS

Berkeley DB

The other alternative to installing your own is to go with a Six Apart partner host.  You can find a list of these at http://www.sixapart.com/partners/current

Happy Blogging,

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack


Blogs Tell Your Side of the Story

Excellent article from ClickZ - Embrace the Blogosphere by Mark Kingdom.

The danger is clear. If businesses don't create their own conversation forum, their brands, products, services, and reputations might be co-opted by others. By telling their side of the story, business can proactively shape preferences and preserve customer loyalty.

Can you afford not to tell your brand's or company's story?

Posted by Toby in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (4) | TrackBack


Make Money From Your Blog

The Washington Post recently published an article on how to make money from blogs.

A Word of Caution - If your blog is a tactic of your marketing strategy, before your company includes ads or sells products that are not directly related to your product offerings, consider how that type of revenue model supports your goals, objects and of course brand. A few shekels might hurt your credibility and erode the positioning you've worked so hard to achieve. On the other hand, if the items that you promote add value for your target audience it could be a way to pay your blog hosting fees.

Ways to Make Money Off Your Blog

-Add Google AdSense ads on your blog
-Include blog ads such as Blogads or Pheedo. Watch this space as it becomes more competitive. The New Jane targets blogs targeted to women.
-Contract with affiliate programs such as selling amazon.com books.
-Pass the hat. Some bloggers are asking for donations. Money is usually sent via  PlayPal
-Sell your products or services such as workshops.

Posted by Toby in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Getting Marketing Students Into Blogging

Tomorrow morning I'm addressing two groups of marketing students at St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI.  While I'm officially there to discuss the role of marketing in business, marketing as a career, and marketing oneself as they hit the career path, you can be sure that weblogs will find their way into the conversation.

For those of you reading from academia, I would like to issue a challenge to our students to 'innovate their way into promising careers' by using tools like weblogs and other vehicles of self promotion, credibility building and wide-scope social networking. 

While I realize that younger generations are typically quicker to adopt technology, I'm always amazed at the disconnection from the outside world, especially the marketing world from marketing students, that I typically witness in classrooms.

If your students are blogging, or if you're encouraging them to blog, would you please leave a comment with a link?


Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack


Blogging Could Be Hazardous to Your Work

William Slawski highlights a couple of stories that should invoke a moment of pause as we consider how to go forward with our blogging efforts.

One of the recommendations that we left participants with was the directive to start their own weblogs and experience the weblog community before doing a full frontal we-must-blog-now assualt on their respective corporations.  There are resources like this blogging tutorial that can help you get started quickly.

However, blogging about one's work is a touchy subject that's not likely to get any less attention in 2005. There's possibly some good to blogging about your work, and there's potentially some bad to it also: Looming pitfalls of work blogs

The companion BBC article involves a police office and an emergency medical technician, who explain why they blog about their jobs.

[via A Nasty Bit of Business]

Posted by Dana VanDen Heuvel in Putting Blogs to Work | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack