Friday, 26 June 2009

Michael Jackson montage

What the online newspapers and magazines had to say about Michael Jackson's death:

You have to look hard for the WSJ's coverage:
Rest In Peace MJ.

Saturday, 13 June 2009

No 'marketers' in Top 50 Marketing Blogs

I don't like to discuss blog lists too much due to the contention surrounding them but they are a very informative way for newbies to bookmark links and become aware of the array of quality free citizen-generated content available. The lists can often be criticised of being subjective to the composer and can cause disappointment to those not included on them. They can enforce status and hierarchy within online communities that should strive to be flat. Nevertheless, anti-listers are hypocritical because they enjoy being included on such lists and the accolade does make its way into the individual's speaker bio and the like. So, with the recent launch of B&T's Top 50 Marketing Blogs, I did enjoy having the blog section of the site I edit, come in at sixth, and this 'thing' coming in at 46th. And a heartfelt thanks to the guys for including us.

Today I revisited the list, however, to scroll through the rest of the Top 50 and to see how people fared. Knowing many of the inclusions off the top of my head, and having met many of the bloggers personally, something stood out. And that was that everyone on it, wasn't actually a marketer. The list is therefore a Top 50 Marketing Blogs without marketers. I know this could sound absurd, so I should explain what I mean by a 'marketer'. This is someone who has the word 'marketer' in their title or whose main role is to serve in a marketing capacity. Yes, we all have elements of marketing in our roles, but are we marketers? For instance, the list includes many agency adland types, PR gurus, digital strategists, social media strategists, online evangelists, general commentators and (copy)writers but I couldn't recall any marketers. We exist to help marketers – our 'clients' – under the marketing umbrella, but don't directly function in the same capacity as marketers. This is a case echoed by my work on a publication for marketers – it's difficult to get marketers to do the talking or writing, as one, they don't want to give away IP or competitive advantages and secondly, they are busy people. It's also a similar scenario at events – it's mainly the agency's voice or periphery businesses presenting – it's difficult to lock in marketers who aren't in the B2B space with something to sell!

I think one of the gaps for me in the Australian marketing blogosphere is the result of this. There aren't really any strategic business-marketing blogs. Blogs which look at ROI, metrics, other mediums outside the current sexiness of social media such as direct or database marketing, brand management (and by this I don't mean a logo or packaging), research, channel management/distribution and most importantly, sales! Actually I think 70% resolve around social media and 99% digital in some way. Only natural for online it seems.

I once stumbled across FMCG and though the blog doesn't appear to be longer updated, was amazed at the scope of such a thing. It was written by a FMCG marketer for FMCG marketers. Imagine that! There are a huge number of marketers working in FMCG-client side, yet there aren't any blogs dedicated to transferring knowledge and experience in this area outside the creative aspect.

Some bloggers do include case studies that are useful strategic tools but again, these are mainly of digital or social media campaigns and are light on results with a skew towards creative execution. In a case of the echo chamber, bloggers who start off blogging about their area of expertise often migrate over to full-time social media after several posts because they are drawing inspiration from social media.

While I am not offering solutions or even posing that it really is a problem at this point in time, I would like to see the gap bridged between marketers and what I'll call content producers and at least, have the producers address more issues that are applicable to marketers.

To not rain completely on the parade, I would like to finish by saying congratulations to Australian marketing bloggers for their part in building the community and for the list composers for dedicating their effort.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

Getting stuck into the debate – online and off

Trevor Young of PR Warrior (& fame posted some thought-provoking insights in regards to the heritage (what a word for it!) media, who seem to be on a propaganda campaign against Twitter – in a piece titled 'Twitterrific' Time Magazine Shows Up The Australian Newspaper'. Anyway, I got my hack hat on and left some quick tips and tricks in my comment, which Trevor then published as a guest post. You can check it out here:

Also, just left a lengthy comment on Master Zac Martin's post 'Pretend I Used A Hilarious Acronym For B&T Here', which covers some similar thoughts about the publishing industry and digital uptake.

Finally on the 15 June, I will be appearing on a panel, and quite ironically mind you (since I am a relative speaker- n00b), at the National Speakers Association of Australia. The panel will be following a speech by the futurist Morris Miselowski on 'What, Why, Wow and So What of Social Media (Web 2.0)'. The ever-lively Graeme Bowman and Sam Mutimer will also be joining me. You can view more about the event here:

Sunday, 7 June 2009

Quick LinkedIn tip – connect with your colleagues

When joining LinkedIn, or updating your profile, one of the first things you should consider doing is to do a group email around your office asking if anyone else is on the network. My tip is that you then should all connect, and secondly, if you are apart of a small business and your company profile is not set up yet, do it. Once you are all connected, you will have access to each other's connections, which in turn becomes an internal resource – a giant rolodex if you like. This allows for a state of greater collaboration and connectedness.

I'm suggesting this because there have been so many times where I have gone to connect with someone from a certain company, knowing that I am already connected to an employee from there, and then see that the two are not connected. Now, I know in huge organisations, it might not be possible to have this level of connectedness, but I always wonder why the two employees aren't connected. Do they know each other? Do they communicate regularly? Do they like each each other? Who should I contact? Is it due to hierarchical reasons that they aren't connected? Have they just been primitive in their people search?

After every new connection, LinkedIn makes a suggestion on who to connect to next and this often covers profiles with the same company listed, so the level of transparency is there – it's just waiting to be taken advantage of.

The use of social media for personal or corporate reasons needs to be strategised by all businesses. Connected employees who display a consistent message allows for a more thorough branding of a company.

So, if you are a CEO or MD, connect to your inferiors, and if you are a budding account executive and see your boss on the network, be bold and send through a request. LinkedIn doesn't have to been about the external promotion only – it could help you get the internal exposure to bring you over the line when next considered for a more senior role.

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Twenty Twitter types

Now, I've seen a few of these kinds of posts around – the type that generalise the different types of people who use Twitter, but I'm determined to give it a shot myself. So, here goes:

1) 'The statesmen' – usually an 'internet guru', 'entrepreneur', 'marketer' or 'social media expert'. The profile pic is shot in some 90's studio and highly stylised (posed). Almost all tweets are spruiking the self.

2) 'The hipster' – MySpacers who have migrated over. Profile pic is shot from an angle, with head tilt. References to fixed-gear bikes appear often. The more random and nonsensical the tweet, the better.

3) 'The mom' – Bio reads: "Just new to Twitter, making my living through the 'internet' while my kids are at school".

4) 'The spammer' – Sophisticated and somewhat rare... for the moment at least.

5) 'The friend' – High school or 'college' friend that follows you only to realise they have no idea what you are talking about and quickly unfollow because you tweet too often and spam their feed.

6) 'The fraudster' – One of the influx of 'fakes'. Often politicians or memes.

7) 'The placeholder' – Too important/busy/old school to tweet at this point in time. Savvy enough to register their name.

8) 'The follower' – Uses Twitter as some sort of RSS feeder. Does not understand or want to partake in dialogue. No avatar. Could be a stalker.

9) 'The gods' – One of the originals, with a gazillion followers who retweet them every five seconds. Only people new to Twitter don't follow them, and that's just because they haven't discovered them yet. E.g. @Mashable.

10) 'The shy-peeps' – A little like 'The follower' but have inserted a profile picture and bio, even if it's not of themselves or is their eye only.

11) 'The newbie' – Registered five minutes ago with their first tweet reading, "New to Twitter", "Checking this out" or "WTF is this?".

12) 'The chronic Twitpicker' – 140 characters is too laborious for them. Every tweet is a link to the latest photo of their nightly run, coffee, view from the office and so forth.

13) 'The abandoner' – Joined in '06 or '07, left a few tweets and then got the hell out of there.

14) 'The prand' – The merging of the person with the brand. Cannot tell if it's a robot or a human. Solid follower numbers and usually a stay-at-home blogger.

15) 'The tribute' – Some sort of historical figure that doesn't have the opportunity to or can no longer tweet, basically because their dead! E.g @David_Ogilvy.

16) 'The unoriginal' – Every tweet is a retweet. That is all.

17) 'The offline celeb' – Yawn.

18) 'The comedian' – Discovered Twitter after Rove plugged it on his show. Every tweet has to prove how funny they really are. Even if it's 2am in the morning.

19) 'The plugger' – auto RSS feed of someone's blog – all links.

20) 'The weird-word bot' – Some sort of wired-auto bot that picks up certain words when you tweet. Just don't mention 'Oprah'...

Remember kiddies, generalisations are always fun and not meant to be offensive. I'm just having a laugh. "Are you having a laff'?". Yes. :-P