Intuit Just Start pulls into South Station Tuesday November 13th
Intuit, the publisher of the popular QuickBooks software, has taken its show on the road for the past month, holding two day events in NY, Chicago and Seattle to encourage entrepereneurs to just get started.
The campaign pulls into Boston's South Station next Tuesday and Wednesday.
At the events, entrepreneurs can get business, software and marketing advice from experts. There's also a contest which will award $50K in cash and resources to a lucky business owner; visit IWillJustStart.com for contest details.
I'll be there on Tuesday November 13th from 11am-6pm to provide online marketing advice. Drop by if you are in the area.
You can also get a free copy of QuickBooks Simple Start financial software, if the opportunity to see me in person isn't enough of a draw :-)
Getting Web site development right
Two of the most popular search terms for this blog are "b2b website" and "corporate websites suck." The second due to a 2005 post called Why Corporate Websites Suck and some ideas for fixing them.
But, as I was writing a memo about site development for a client, I realized that I haven't written about Web development here in quite some time. Since people seem to be coming here for just that sort of information, seems like I should rectify that :-)
So here's a step by step outline that covers the most important part of the process: defining the requirements and navigation for the site. I strongly believe that you must have a clear picture of the path(s) you want your visitors to take through your site, to get to the desired result, before you commit one line of code or design a single page.
These are the steps I follow. Every time. New site or redesign.
1. Assemble a team that represents the key stakeholders in the site. You do not need every individual, but you do want to be sure that the representatives are truly cross-functional. In some cases, you will want someone from the actual business area. In others, it may be more effective to have members of your team interview the relevant people. Some of the functions that should be included are sales, marketing, business development, communications and customer service.
I do not recommend having the Web designers or developers too involved in this stage. You want to keep the discussion at a business level until you have a solid idea of what is needed across the company. Developers often get too wrapped up in how to do something rather than what is necessary, which should be the focus early in the process. Involving developers too early also can steer the discussion toward what the developers can do easily rather than what the company really wants. Later, when you get to the development stage, you may make concessions due to cost or complexity but it is too limiting and undermines creativity to start this way.
2. Once the team is assembled, the first order of priority is to identify the objectives for the Web site. These objectives should be closely aligned with your overall business goals. Some of the questions to ask:
a. Who are you trying to reach?
c. What do you want to tell them?
d. What do you want them to do once they are at the site?
e. What are the priorities of the business now and for the next three years?
It is helpful to pull the web stats from the existing site to better understand what your site visitors are doing. What areas get the most traffic? What are people coming to your site to see and do? It’s okay to let the team refer to areas on the current site that they feel need to be kept or improved, but don’t let them get bogged down in what they don’t like or think does not work. The point of this work is to develop a specification for the new site; rehashing previous decisions, good or bad, is not useful and slows down the process.
You are going to have multiple audiences and multiple objectives – everything from sales to customer service to media outreach to things very specific to your business plan. This is exactly what you want at this stage.
3. Next, you determine priorities. Of all the objectives identified in the previous stage, three, maybe four, will be critical to your overall business objectives. These are the priorities and the elements that should get attention on the highly valued “real estate” of your home page. For the most part, everything else can go on inside pages. Typically, the core priorities fall into these buckets:
* Identify product set and market segments so visitors know they are in the right place;
* Communicate key company news/events/messages to constituents;
* Customer service.
4. The team should then discuss content. Starting with the existing content. What stays/goes? What should be improved? What new sections do we need? What data do we need to capture from our visitors? How will we let people search our site? Keep the team focused on the desired result, not the technology that might be used to get there. And don’t worry about writing the content yet; that comes later.
5. One or two team members should be deputized at this stage to develop a straw man home page, home page navigation and inside navigation. Their job is to synthesize all the discussions into a cohesive navigation. You still should not be thinking about design or functionality. Keep thinking content. The key questions:
a. What action do we want or expect to visitor to take?
b. How can we drive the visitor through our site to accomplish our priority business and site objectives?
As mentioned above, you need to stay focused on the visitor. How does she use the site? What did she come for? Every click should move the visitor forward to accomplish her objective. The goal as we develop navigation is to ensure that she is never more than one click away from the next thing she wants.
This is just about the most important part of the process: Making sure you have defined a clear path through your site for your users so they get what they came for.
Never assume that the visitor will figure it out. If you want him to do something, make that the attractive option. If he wants to buy something, make sure he can do it easily and quickly.
So, if we sold apples, our home page would make it clear we sold apples, and perhaps the range of varieties. Within one click, the visitor could get more information on the specific varieties (product page). One more click gets him to the order page, or perhaps the dealer search page if we don’t sell direct.
We can offer more information about our apples, but we have to make the desired path crystal clear. Otherwise our visitors get lost.
Typically, the home page has its own navigation, and the inside pages have two levels of navigation: a top line navigation which contains all the items that are common throughout the site, and not that different from the home page navigation, and a side navigation, which contains all the navigation items for the specific section of the site.
6. Once you have your straw man, the team reviews it and the straw man is adjusted accordingly based on feedback. Continue the review and revise process until you have a defined home page and navigation that meets the approval of your key team. This should all still be in outline and very rough graphic form “FPO.”
Now it is time to involve the Web developers and designers.Whether you are putting the project out to bid or using an inside development team, I always recommend that the marketing team and key stakeholders get a clear picture of what they really want from the Web site before involving the techs.
I also stay away from delivering a “spec” to the Web team in the first pass. I find it more useful to present what the site needs to achieve from a business and customer perspective to see how the vendor(s) respond. You may discover that some of the things that you’d like to have require more funds than you have budgeted. This is where the priorities developed earlier come in so handy. The budget needs to deliver the priorities first, and the “nice to haves” come after.
The goal is to develop a scope of work that delivers as much of your core needs as can be accomplished, along with a plan to incorporate any additional elements as time and budget permit.
7. You then move into the development stage of your site which typically will have three main areas: Design, Development and Editorial. Your Web developer will probably offer both Design and Development (functionality, coding) services. Editorial, ie writing the site, is best project managed by someone in-house using a combination of internal and external resources. If you spend the time upfront as I've outlined, the actual development project will be far simpler and smoother than you perhaps have experienced in the past.
"Summertime and the livin' is easy,
Fish are jumpin', and the cotton is high.
Oh your daddy's rich, and your ma is good lookin',
So hush, little baby, don' yo' cry.
One of these mornin's you goin' to rise up singin',
Then you'll spread yo' wings an' you'll take the sky.
But till that mornin', there's a-nothin' can harm you
With Daddy and Mammy standin' by."
(Summertime, from Porgy and Bess, Gershwin, Heyward and Gershwin)
This past week has been pretty busy, and I really didn't have all that much to say, so the blog went a bit silent. Lots of client work right now, so this state of affairs may continue until Labor Day, with maybe one post per week. Never fear, though, I will be back come September ...
I did want to share one truly amazing thing that happened last weekend. I took my mother and son up to Boothbay Harbor Maine for a long weekend (while my husband enjoyed his two-day golf school at home). Boothbay Harbor is a lovely place, and I highly recommend it. But that's not the amazing thing.
We were eating our lunch outside on the 2d floor deck at this small cafe. Unbeknownst to us, the deck was actually over the water. My son was playing with a couple of plastic cars he had just bought, with his own money, when one rolled off the table, off the deck and into the drink. He was pretty upset and no amount of telling him that we could go buy another one would console him.
Here's the amazing part.
A man at an adjoining table who had just finished his lunch asked if the car was still floating, When Douglas replied Yes, the man proceeded to go down on the dock, asked the manager of an adjoining restaurant if he could borrow their little row boat, poled over to the car and retrieved it.
There is a lot of unpleasantness in the world. And occasionally an unexpected act of kindness like this that restores your faith. Whoever, wherever you are, thanks again. You made our day.
Lots of people commenting on Google's nastygrams about the use of its trademark "Google" as a generic. I expect Google knows it can’t prevent the use of “Google” as a generic, but they have to make these efforts to defend the trademark to keep it from passing *legally* into the generic. If it does that — becomes a legal generic — the word could be used inside someone else’s product name, and Google’s brand value literally stolen. You cannot trademark a generic term. Robert Scoble gave the best example: Google wouldn't want to see a new product called "Microsoft Google," would they?
So they make these “good faith” efforts to defend the trademark against improper use. They have to use the proper legal language and so on to make the case strong that they defended the mark in case they ever need it in a full-blown trademark defense. No wishy washy or nudge nudge wink wink letters.
I doubt they really want to prevail and stifle the word of mouth branding they get when we talk about "Googling" something. Think about it, the only way to “win” this battle is to lose the dominant market position so that you no longer define the market. I haven’t heard the term ‘Xerox’ in reference to photocopies in a long time. But ‘Kleenex’ for ’tissue’ is still going strong. Did Xerox do a better job than Kimberly-Clark defending the mark and getting us to switch to the actual generic term ‘photocopy’? Doubt it. Reality is: Xerox no longer defines the market for copiers, so the mark no longer works as well as a generic.
It is quite schizophrenic really — you achieve the goal of becoming the definition of the segment, and then you have to spend time and money preventing people from using you as the definition of the segment. Catch-22.
I’m sure Google would rather be Kleenex than Xerox.
Oh, and the lyrics at the beginning of this post? I Googled 'em.
No more 2.0
After 20 years in high tech, most of them in the software industry, I have definitely internalized the concept of versioning. It's one of the reasons I dislike the term Web 2.0. In a software release, a major release - signified by a number to the LEFT of the decimal - means new/enhanced features. While I suppose that's true of the tools and services that are being lumped into the Web 2.0 label, it also means something finished. And that isn't true of the Web.
I'm going to start using the terminology Doc Searls used in the presentation I saw at Syndicate -- Static Web and Live Web. In Doc's construct the Static Web, we consumed information from Web sites. Yes, the Web was connected, but most of us were passive users of sites developed by others for information, enjoyment and commerce. In the Live Web, we are all producers -- of blogs, podcasts, vlogs. Even Web sites. And the connections are alive, influenced by the audience as well as the original creator. There is no "audience" per se -- we all are simultaneously audience and creator. How are we building this Live Web? With social media tools like blogs and tags and wikis and photo sharing tools and podcasts and so on. But these are all just tools that facilitate the connection. The secret sauce? It's people talking to and learning from one another.
So, Hell no, no more Web 2.0 for me. I'm going with Live Web and social media.
And before I forget, the term "PR 2.0" must go too. For similar reasons. The fundamental practice of PR is still the same as it ever was -- it's all about connections and information and relationships. The tools are just how we accomplish the work. They are NOT the work.
And please don't get me wrong -- I LOVE these new tools. But I don't think they are the be-all and end-all. They are just tools. Learn how to use them, they'll make your life and work easier. Better even. But we have to get the fundamentals right first. Otherwise, it's like putting lipstick on a pig. You know -- it's still a pig. Crappy press releases will still be crappy, even if they have del.icio.us pages. Poor pitches aren't better because they use tags. Blasting a press release to a big list without bothering to verify the list or the interest of the recipients is still borderline spam.
All of this focus on tools reminds me somewhat of a phenomenon from the distant, pre-Internet past. Most of my career, I have been responsible for lead generation at the companies I worked at. One of the hardest jobs is lead tracking -- knowing where the leads came from so we can allocate marketing dollars appropriately.Why so hard? Because we rarely have the tools to capture the information we need. Way back when, the top lead source reported by reps nearly everywhere I worked was "Phone." Apparently, it was too damn hard to find out the actual impetus for the inbound call. My response? "Tell them to try and find out or we'll just spend the marketing budget on new phones and be done with it. No ads. No direct mail. No trade shows. "
Now, the new top lead source tends to be "Internet." Yup, same basic problem. Confusing the tool with the motivation.
We do the same thing when we focus on the social media tools we use in communications and forget about the fundamentals. I've had some back and forth with Todd Defren from SHIFT about his social media press release, both here and on his blog PR-Squared. I don't dislike the format, but I do think it, like the focus on the term PR 2.0, may have unintended, unfortunate consequences.
In our recent exchanges on his blog and in email, we've agreed to try and pull together some sort of panel or workshop or something (wine dinner? Parmet?) to pull together all these threads and hopefully move the conversation forward.
But it won't be called 2.0 anything. Trust me :-)
It's Springtime, Must be Showtime
It's a rite of passage -- that moment when you realize that the bulk of industry conferences and trade shows are scheduled in the Spring and early Autumn. Not all, mind you. There are trade shows going on all year long in the USA. But the concentration in May June September and October, at least in the US, is amazing. You could literally go from conference to conference, just returning home to get clean shirts and underwear. I suppose some people do.... At least I hope they are getting clean undies....
Anyway, here are a few conferences and events coming up over the next few months that marketing and PR folk should check out.
Next week in NYC, Syndicate (May 16-17). Everything you always wanted to know about syndication. I will be live-blogging the conference for Corante. Posts will appear here and on the Corante Marketing Hub for sure, maybe some other places too. PubSub is aggregating the blogs from speakers, sponsors and attendees.
NYC, June 8-9, the 2006 Innovative Marketing Conference, sponsored by Corante and the Center on Global Brand Leadership of Columbia Business School. It is a two-day event. The first day is a "CMO Summit" for CMOs and VPs of Marketing. The second day is a "Marketer's Forum" open to the public. I'm not attending this one, as I have a conflict, but the speaker list is fantastic, so I urge you to check it out. Somewhere in my pile of email is a note that my readers can get a discount, so if anyone is interested, drop me a note and I'll dig it out.
Interested in bank marketing? I certainly am, thanks to my client who sells CRM systems for banks! The Boston Chapter of the AMA is getting an exclusive first look at TD Banknorth's new marketing campaign from Tom Dyck, TD Banknorth EVP and Director of Marketing. The presentation will be held Friday June 9 from 11 am - 1:30 pm at Banners Restaurant at the TD Banknorth Garden in Boston. Plus we get a special behind-the-scenes tour of the Garden, including areas not usually accessible to the public.
San Jose, CA July 28-29. BlogHer. Day One is sold out, but last I heard, there was still space at the cocktail party and for Day Two. Come be part of the Business Blogging unpanel on Day Two that I am doing with Yvonne DiVita and Toby Bloomberg. We want you to come share your stories!! The whole concept of the unpanel is that everyone participates and together we build a collective deliverable. In this case, we'll call it best practices for business blogging. More background on the unpanel in this post. And more to come late May, early June.
Disclosures: I am a member of the Corante Marketing Hub and the Boston Chapter of the AMA, and a speaker at (and longtime fan of) BlogHer.
Defying Gravity: Women Bloggers
"I'm through accepting limits
'cuz someone says they're so
Some things I cannot change
But till I try I'll never know"
- Defying Gravity, from Wicked
Last night, my husband and I saw Wicked at Boston's Opera House. The play (and the book it is based on) are wonderful, but the theme that really resonated for me was the friendship between the Wicked Witch and Glinda.
This is a busy week, so the blog will be pretty quiet. But tonight, I want to tell you about some "wicked" women bloggers who I truly value. In no particular order:
Toby Bloomberg, Diva Marketing. Toby was one of the first bloggers to welcome me into the blogosphere, and I continue to value her business and marketing blog perspective.
Yvonne DiVita, Lip-sticking. Yvonne is a pioneer in the field of marketing to women online. She is also one of the most delightful and genuine people I have ever met.
Toby,Yvonne and I will be facilitating a business blogging "unpanel" at BlogHer this July. Come and share your blog marketing experiences.
Elisa Camahort. I met Elisa when I submitted a speaking proposal for the first BlogHer conference last year. I was, and still am, totally impressed what she and her BlogHer partners Lisa Stone and Jory Des Jardins have achieved with the BlogHer conference.
Kami Huyse. I virtually met Kami (and Andrea Weckerle) as a result of a notorious PR character blog. Kami is passionate about the practice of public relations, and her blog is full of information that helps us all be better communicators and professionals.
Andrea Weckerle. Andrea is one of the "quiet ones." You know, the folks who you think/know are totally serious and then they surprise you with another side of their personality. I'm still laughing at some of the content she and Bill Green came up with when they subbed for Scott Baradell at the Media Orchard. Andrea cares, and she uses her blog to make a difference.
Elizabeth Albrycht. Elizabeth is a fellow Corante blogger. Her background is strong and rich in PR practice, but currently she is working toward her Masters. As a result, her blog tends to have a more intellectual/theoretical bent. And we all benefit from her perspective. Down in the dog eat dog trenches, it is nice to spend a few moments every now and then on why.
Mary Schmidt. There are no words sufficient to describe Mary. Seriously. Mary is also a Corante blogger, and her perspective on marketing (and particularly customer service) is spot on. Even if you are already reading tons of marketing blogs. Frank. Honest. On your side. Friday Martinis. That is Mary. I'm glad she's on my side.
In fact, I am glad that all of these wicked, wonderful women bloggers are on my side, and am glad to call them friends. As my regular readers know, the label "friend" means a lot to me.
"Who can say if I've been changed for the better?
I do believe I have been changed for the better
And because I knew you...
Because I knew you...
Because I knew you... I have been changed for good."
- For Good, from Wicked
PS: There are a lot of great male bloggers on my reading list too. But tonight it is all about the wicked women bloggers. Take no offense!
More on the Changing Nature of Blogs
Yesterday, I shared my list of collected posts about the changing nature of blogs. I’ve been thinking quite a lot about this lately as I prepare for a business blogging workshop at the University of Wisconsin next month.
Here’s the definition of blogs that I usually give in this workshop:
In the simplest terms, a blog is nothing more than a website developed using a lightweight content management system like Movable Type, Blogger, or Word Press. The things that most clearly identify a site as a blog are:
- Content presented in reverse chronological order;
- Ability for readers to leave public comments;
- Links in/out from/to other sites and blogs using a ping called a trackback.
- An RSS feed
Now, not all blogs have all of these things, but by and large, most will.
For the most part, this definition is still okay. But more and more blogs are moderating comments, or taking/leaving them off altogether. And underlying the whole concept of comments is an assumption that the blogger will respond to the comment, but many say this doesn’t scale when a blogger regularly gets lots of comments. Probably true, but what to do….
When is a blog, not a blog? Or is the definition changing?
As Elizabeth Albrycht discussed in her post, is the definition changing as companies adopt blogging as part of the marketing/business plan? And by this I mean a company actively developing and using a blog to advance its business interests, versus the collateral effect that happens when employees blog and add value to the brand. GM is a company actively blogging as part of the business plan. Microsoft is a company that gets benefit from its employee bloggers.
Another underlying assumption about blogs is transparency. But it is guaranteed that NO company can have the same degree of transparency as an individual blogging about her life or his hobbies. They can be honest about the business and clear about their motives, but they cannot, should not, reveal ALL. Is it still a blog?
What about the blog empires of Gawker Media and Weblogs Inc. These are more like magazines than personal journals. How do they REALLY differ from a Web 1.0 site?
One of the fallacies of blogging is that it brings us all closer. Well yeah sort of but not really. We read a blog and feel we know the writer, not unlike the kinship we feel for celebrities because we read about them in People at the hair salon. But we don’t really know these folks, unless we actually engage in conversation with them. Sure, you CAN build robust, lasting friendships in the virtual world, but for the most part, the closest we really are is acquaintances.
So here’s what I think (Ta Duh). The definition of blog that I’ve been using is fine as it is. But the nature of blogs is definitely changing. And the change isn’t driven by whether it is a company blogging versus a person, as much as it is by VOLUME.
In the long tail, where I happily live, volume is low, and I have the luxury of being able to respond to comments, both privately and on the blog. I hazard a guess that the same would be true of a company in a niche market with a very targeted blog. They could still have a two-way conversation on the blog with customers and other stakeholders.
But when the volumes rise (circulation and inbound comments alike), blogs seem to become more like magazines. Comments disappear. The communication becomes much more uni-directional – blogger out, with little response to comments. If they still have them, comments are more like the Letter to the Editor in the newspaper. The blog may even add multiple authors, versus the “one guy” it started with. The voice of the blog may get a little muddled, whether one author or many, and it is ever harder to find the point of view.
The blog may still look like a blog, but it quacks like a magazine.
None of this is a bad thing, per se. But it is different, and to some degree, challenges some of the underlying expectations we have about blogging.
As I say in the workshop:
- Blogs are conversations, not speeches. Specifically, bloggers write about, and link to, other bloggers’ ideas. And they create space on their blog for readers to participate – to comment on the action.
- Blogs should be authentic and transparent. There are many different interpretations of what these terms mean, and if we delved too deeply into that philosophical debate, we’d never get to the rest of our session. To net it down, some purists want bloggers to be real people, blogging about their experiences, with “everything” out there for the reader to know. Others put a more pragmatic definition on this, as I do, requiring honesty with the reader. Be clear about your intentions, and never lie. But we draw the line at complete transparency as it is actually impossible to achieve, whether you are an individual or a company.
- Blogs are not overtly commercial – This is inherited from the open source nature of the Internet, and is not that difference from the deep sigh that erupted from academia when the Web went commercial after being a bastion of academia and sharing. But blogs do have a point of view. And as more and more companies adopt blogging as part of their marketing strategy, there is an acceptance that blogs can be used to build brands and create interest in products. No one seems to mind, as long as the blog is also providing entertainment, information and value beyond the sale.
I don’t have an answer… In fact I doubt there is a single “right” answer to this conundrum: the more popular a blog gets, the less like a blog it may "feel." However, it something we need to be aware of when we consider adding blogs to our marketing mix.
The A-list Train Wreck
If you’re interested in the whole A-list debate, and I’m mostly not, but it’s like a train wreck (you know you shouldn’t look but you just can’t help it), you can find more chatter – some civil, some not so much – all over the place. Mostly set off by the New York article this week.
Now, why we expect the blogosphere to be any different than society at large, I do not know. We have social and business strata in the real world; it is inevitable in the blogosphere as well. Technology changes. Human nature doesn’t. An A-list is inevitable, ephemeral and it is damn hard work to get and stay on “it.” Not to mention the big bullseye on your back once you get there.
Some A-list blogs are great. And on the other hand, some of the best blogging is being done in the long tail, not in the Technorati 100. That is just the way it is.
Now, some things still piss me off from time to time. Not the fact of an A-list or the concerns of those in the long tail -- but the attitudes that occasionally go along with BOTH. So I can’t promise to never talk about it again, but not right now.
Because as Vamp!Willow said in Buffy the Vampire Slayer: “Bored now.”
But if you’re not, and want to watch the train wreck, here are some blogs to check out. Links are to posts on the blogs related to the topic.
Beyond Madison Avenue
Blogging for Business
gapingvoid, Two posts of interest here and here
Seth Finkelstein, InfoThought
Media Orchard (while we are at it, kudos to Scott Baradell for having the right idea about Dr. Myra from the get-go. More another day on why more bloggers didn’t “join the charge.”)
Newsome.org – multiple posts in the last few days Just check out his blog, it is pretty good!
For my part, I just try to write an interesting blog that I and my readers will enjoy. Some days I hit it, some I don’t. I couldn’t tell you exactly how many readers I have, because I don’t track it obsessively. But I do know they are some of the greatest people I’ve ever “met” from the great comments and trackbacks I’ve had over the 15 or so months I’ve been blogging.
Marketing 101: it isn’t about reaching the MOST people. It’s about reaching the RIGHT people.
Think about that.
Roadmaps Round-up: a bit of everything
Tonight my three seven-week old Scottie puppies have decided to WAKE UP at 9 pm. I would post pictures but they won’t pose :-( Maybe tomorrow.
Lot of interesting stuff this week. I’ll start with Robert Scoble’s post about bloggers clearly posting their contact details. While I draw the line at birthdate (TMI), I agree that site owners should publish contact information, whether blog, LiveJournal or Web site. If you are worried about spam, there are enough email services (gmail, hotmail, yahoo etc) that you don’t have to expose your main email address.
I ran into this problem a lot in the last week as I started fan outreach for the HP Charity Auction. I have very specific rules about how this outreach is done: individually, and only to fansites or blogs that have recently been updated. We want to be sure that hearing about the auction truly is of interest to the site owner and readers. We also NEVER post directly to forums or bulletin boards. Which makes finding a valid email address or contact link really important. For the most part, this is pretty easy. But in some cases, I have to walk away from a site that probably would really like to know that a certain star’s photo is part of the auction because I just can’t find an email address. And that’s a shame.
The lesson for marketers? Make sure your prospects can easily find an email address on your site or blog. It’s probably the most important thing on your site.
Moving on. Fred Wilson on Web. 2.0 is an oxymoron. Fred, as he so often does, has it dead to rights. Calling “it” Web 2.0 implies something static (and something that can be hyped, yuck). The reality is, this “stuff” is constantly evolving. Labels just don’t work. Let’s move on.
Speaking of labels, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the latest “a-list” dust-up. You wanna know more – read Media Orchard, Naked Conversations and Beyond Madison Avenue. I am personally pretty much done with the topic. Not on it. Don’t care.
In the practical tips category, both Blog Business World and ProBlogger talked about Andy Wibbels’ blog editorial calendar. I haven’t used this particular tool, but I am a strong believer in an editorial calendar for business blogs, and most particularly group blogs. You have an objective for the effort, otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. An editorial calendar ensures that the important topics are covered. Not as big a deal with an individual blog but I find that I follow something like a calendar anyway. In any given week, at least one post is a round-up (like this one), one is original content and the third (on a good week) is a toss-up between the two. Or I post a picture of the dogs or the kid :-)
If you don’t already read Jay Rosen’s PressThink, you should check out this post Guest Writer Andrew Postman: Introduction to the 20th Anniversary Edition of Amusing Ourselves to Death by His Dad, Neil Postman. There is an absolutely wonderful “easter egg” in Jay’s post. (Hint: click on Andrew Postman’s name – it’s not a link to his bio). And no cheating – I’m not going to put the link here – you have to go to the original. It’s that good. And not just for the “easter egg” – read the whole thing. It will make you think.
Speaking of thinking, a blog I am enjoying (and I don’t even remember where I got the first link to it) Dave Rogers’ Groundhog Day. One recent post: Competing Messages: Getting Your Cluetrain™ Ticket Punched. He concludes the post:
“As always, I'm an authority on nothing. I make all this shit up. Do your own thinking”
Yup. That’s a philosophy I can get behind :-)
Humourous Web 2.0 link
A new friend sent me a very very funny Web 2.0 link... but before you click, please read the warning:
I think this is funny. BUT: It also has strong language and descriptive imagery. Some may find it offensive. It is probably not work-safe and my former employer's software likely would have blocked it. If you take this Web 2.0 stuff really seriously, you definitely won't like it.
You have been warned.