Friday, 30 January 2009

We want YOU - join the Australian WOMM!

And no, I'm not talking about word-of-mouth marketing. I'm talking about the Australian women in online marketing movement (WOMM). There are simply too few of us. Head to any digital space and you'll find that the commentary is composed of around 90% male contributions. While this is fantastic contribution in its own right and critical to the advancement of the industry, more females need to get into this space and be recognised.

As part of the weekly social media club breakfasts that we've been holding in Melbourne, I'm constantly surprised that again only 10% of attendees are female. They are missing out on such valuable collaborative communication and networking in an informal environment.

You know that we need some more diversity when it seems like most of the females in the Australian online marketing community have the name Kate or Katie!

Katie Chatfield of Get Shouty
Katie Harris of Zebra Bites
Kate Richardson of Stickywood
Kate Tribe of Tribe Research
Kate Carruthers of Aide-Memoire
Kate Gamble of Bruce Clay
And obviously yours truly, to name but a few.

So perhaps the next time that you are having a conversation with a colleague or friend, who is showing the hint of an interest in social media, remember to show encouragement and insight. Then hopefully we'll start to see more of a balance in 2009.

Enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, 29 January 2009

The 5 Cs of online publishing

I've been thinking about what online publishing is to me and the elements that I feel are vital in maintaining a holistic offering with integrity. Apologies in advance for the density in the writing - I wanted to keep the post 'digestible'. I'm just having fun with this, so please feel free to add your two cents/pence by commenting.

The Cs (in order of progression):

1) Content

It goes without saying really but if a site doesn't have a unique and solid content proposition that it's going to be very hard to be sustainable. The core product is the foundation for everything else to be built on, so quality is critical.

2) Collaboration

No one is perfect. Most people aren't outstanding or capable of leading (aside from someone like Seth Godin). To produce something truly amazing out of a one person outfit is difficult. The origins of the web lay in collaboration between educational institutions. Better ideas are always generated by working with others. Google's whole ethos is collaboration and look where it's got them. Personal brands are only created on the web from collaborative brands first; you need communication with your audience before you amount to anything greater.

3) Conversation

You can have the best site and offering in your market, but what does it amount to if people aren't talking? And I'm not just talking about the obligatory conversations happening in the comments sections in blogs or forums. Visitors to sites need to be talking about them offline. To friends, associates, family, colleagues, strangers - word-of-mouth marketing is invaluable. Conversations are important for collaboration and collaboration is needed for producing original content.

4) Community

If you have conversations, regular and repeated visitors, site evangelists, new users and so forth you will have a budding community. Much has been written online about 'community' so I don't want to go into too much detail here - it's also pretty much inherently obvious.

5) Coexistence

This is a new addition to the Cs. The web is a complex ecosystem which is growing fastidiously every day. I've already touched on 'content saturation' here but it's important to note that you will always have new entrants to the online and offline markets, especially in publishing. The barriers to entry for online content production are practically nonexistent, with anyone being able to set up a blog for free and upload videos onto YouTube. Yes you need to be aware and prepared but also rational and realise that as long as you have your position down pat and are keeping your core readership happy you will be able to still exist in the food chain. News share sites and the 'mashable' kind are in a very strong position, because they don't act carnivorously. And number two, collaboration rears its head again!

I have a final C that I would like to put out there, this is more of a mantra than a must-do.


I've see it too many times - websites that are promising but upon further inspection just sound arrogant, aggressive and pretentious. You know charm is lost when you see that Wikipedia refers to the BlackBerry Charm, phone charms, lucky charms and charm bracelets before the origin of the world. Even the awful TV series gets a look in. An example... I do not want to be greeted with an 'about' me page written in the third person about your life, when you are Gen Y and haven't really achieved anything yet. Let's not forget it - afterall, charm is the biggest attractant you can have! Humble people are truly unique.

To summarise:

1) Content 2) Collaboration 3) Conversation 4) Community 5) Coexistence

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

The accidental content foodie

Ok first, I must have full disclosure; I ain't no foodie! I eat to live, rather than live to eat (well apart from cravings for Natural Confectionery Company sour lollies and the odd Boost Juice). This could be because I have an immature palate. Or because I'm English and grew up on Birds Eye fish fingers served on 70s brown glass plates and never had the luxury of being educated by Jamie's School Dinners. I don't know. I'm just not that interested in wanking on about the origin of a tomato, haloumi or where to go for the best farmer's market fish in town. I could perhaps learn to appreciate these things over time but for the moment I am happy in the kingdom of take-away and frozen meals. Hell, I might even author a microwave cookbook one day. Prepare yourselves.

So in MarketingProfs style, I'll 'get to my point' - food is like content and content is like food. Versatile. Dynamic. Good and bad. Mixed. New and old. Sometimes convenient. Sometimes slow.

And... in the war of new vs. heritage media it is entirely to do with consumption. What I know about food is that too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing and the best nutritional dietry requirements involve variety. In the content game the same holds true.

Books, newspapers, magazines, blogs, tweets, texts, pings, ribbits (ok now I'm bullshitting...) all hold value and are all important in creating a balanced diet, ripe for consumption.

I love tweeting and following other people's tweets because they are, if you like, treats. Small, bite-sized portions that provide me with instant gratification. They aren't exactly good for me (time-gobbling, distracting, noisy) and they don't really fill me up but they are perfect for tasting everything that is out there so I can stay in touch and consume as many treats as I can within a small amount of time.

Blogs on the other hand, take a little more time to consume and do squash my hunger somewhat, but are often hard to find in my bustling pantry of RSS feeds due to too much choice. I have to make a decision, and decision-making is quite difficult to master, so often I return to the impulse consumption of tweeting.

After doing some analysis on consumption, I got to thinking, if I really want to start the new year with some good resolutions and really consume what I need to, to squander my hunger in the long-term so that I don't overindulge in content, I should be looking for a filling solution.

And then I saw it... a return to books (not that they ever went away). Glorious things that fill me up and provide energy (and ideas) for me to take away for weeks and months to come. Unlike treats (tweets) which sit in my short-term memory before being leaked out, books live on in me for years. After reading a book, I am at rest.

The same goes for all other mediums... appreciate that there's a balance and your metabolism will thank you. ;-)

Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Inaugural Melbourne Social Media Friday Breakfast

This has been a long time coming but Melburnians can now enjoy the same privileges that our Sydney counterparts have, with a weekly social media breakfast. For the first meet the following details have been set but we'll see how it pans out after the first week. (It's not a roasters, or Single Origin, just central and semi-spacious).

When? Friday the 16th January @ 8am (Repeating weekly on Fridays)
Where? Mr Tulk at the State Library of Victoria on Swanston Street (info here and here)
Who? Everyone and anyone, although an interest in social media, marketing, advertising etc. might help!

We've got quite a few people hanging out for the meet already but make sure you pass the details along to spread the word.

So... looking forward to meeting a few of you then and seeing those I've met already again. Send me a tweet if you have any problems - @KateKendall. I'll try to be there nice and early. :-D

View Larger Map

Edit 17/01/09
Thanks everyone for coming, it was a great turnout! Looking forward to seeing everyone again from week-to-week. We are going to put a link list together so we can remember who everyone is!

For now, here is a twitpic care of Ross Hill. More to come!

Edit 26/01/09
Also Lucio has kindly created a fantastic separate website with polls, pictures, blog links etc. Check it out -

Edit 4/04/09
I've started the 'Social Media Breakfast Melbourne' group on Facebook. Please join here.
Also, don't forget to follow the tag on Twitter: #socialmelb.

20 Australians to follow in Tweetland

Thanks to Lucio Dias Ribeiro of for inclusion in his '20 Australians you should be following on Twitter' list.

It's great to be included with the likes of Darren, Gavin, Duncan, Laurel, Trib, Jules etc.

Check out the full listing here:

Monday, 5 January 2009

Two shout-outs

Two quick shout-outs to two of my favourite members of the online marketing community.

First is a belated thanks to Daniel Oyston for inclusion in his Oyster Project's Xmas Hits 08. I had to choose a song that was key for me in 2008. I chose 'Business Time' by Flight of the Conchords because well, it's hilarious and I found out about it, like many things, through social media. Check out the full post here and see what Stan, Nathan, Zac, Jules, Peter, Josh, Tony, Morgan and finally Daniel himself had to say.

Secondly, Matt Granfield, of Zakazukha Zoo and blogging fame, has posted this vital post detailing the complete list of the Australian Marketing Interwebs Bloggers. While not yet complete, this comprehensive list has members of the community listed by state and in alphabetical order which makes it very user-friendly, and a welcome break from all the ranking and hierachical listings of late.

Anyway thanks again guys for inclusion on both and here's to an exciting 2009.

And yes they're my feet in some red Keds! :-)

Sunday, 4 January 2009

Kate says Happy New Year

I've just got back from two weeks of blissful local holidaying around Victoria and celebratory seasonal festivities that got the mind refreshed and pumping with possibilities for 2009, not to forget the obligatory fab happy-snaps. I hope to post a few more in the coming days but for now I'll leave you with an almost peaceful Sorrento sunset.(NB: For the claustrophobe, Sorrento is horrible to visit in the high summer - it's infested with the grossly affected rich and their spoilt tanned spawn, who drive two minutes from their multi-million dollar designer beach houses to the main street in their Toorak tractors for a decaf soy latte.)