— blending the mix

Archive
blogging

This one is a rant yet is still a loosely logical, connected piece here….bear with me:

  • Uber is getting hammered because of claims a senior exec would sanction digging up dirt on journalists
  • Sarah Lacey (legitimately placed to do so) has gone on the attack over Uber, deleted the app
  • people are now reporting on Sarah Lacey’s piece
  • last week the FT broke the ‘Facebook at Work’ story
  • mere hours later, stories surfaced citing the FT breaking news with NO additional information
  • days later, reporting on someone else’s story still with NO new information but quoted speculation is everywhere
  • it gets worse…
Read More
  • Blog comments are dying
  • Tweets and Twitter accounts are more frequently cited in blogs posts now
  • Yet no notifications are provided to the person or tweet being cited (when not on Twitter)
  • Why can’t tweets cited off Twitter act like pingbacks do for links and blogs?
Read More

If you are serious about measuring social media (and if you are an agency, you need to back up your BS with some foundation), then you could do much worse than watch this broadcast from masters of analytics Post Rank.

I’ve been using Post Rank for my blogs for several years now, as a means to not only set targets whilst others guess, but also to measure the effectiveness of our content, and set future targets…although it’s amazing to see how so much of these blogs is taken over by Twitter these days.

Anyway, enjoy the video.

Using PostRank Analytics to Improve Your Blogging from PostRank Inc. on Vimeo.

Read More
<p>In January, hugely respected author and blogging/social media guru, Debbie Weil asked the question whether or not the blog has a rightful place at the heart of a social media strategy. It;s something that I have long believed and long defended as a means to communicate with customers and suppliers alike.</p>
<p>Not surprisingly, Debbie got plenty of responses, including myself which is included along with many others’ thoughts in her <a href=”http://debbieweil.com/books/free-ebooks”>recently released ebook</a> answering the question.<!–more–></p>
<p><img title=”Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 17.47.34″ src=”http://blendingthemix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Screen-shot-2011-02-02-at-17.47.34-e1296666541539.png” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”277″ /></p>
<p>If you haven’t already seen the ebook, I have embedded it below, or you can get it and other great books from Debbie.</p>
<p><a style=”margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;” title=”View Debbie Weil – Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/48045259/Debbie-Weil-Why-Your-Blog-is-Your-Social-Media-Hub”>Debbie Weil – Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub</a> <object id=”doc_698669453078195″ style=”outline: none;” classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ width=”100%” height=”600″ codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0″><param name=”name” value=”doc_698669453078195″ /><param name=”data” value=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” /><param name=”wmode” value=”opaque” /><param name=”bgcolor” value=”#ffffff” /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always” /><param name=”FlashVars” value=”document_id=48045259&amp;access_key=key-101z16hranq745binmch&amp;page=1&amp;viewMode=slideshow” /><param name=”src” value=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” /><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”flashvars” value=”document_id=48045259&amp;access_key=key-101z16hranq745binmch&amp;page=1&amp;viewMode=slideshow” /><embed id=”doc_698669453078195″ style=”outline: none;” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”100%” height=”600″ src=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” flashvars=”document_id=48045259&amp;access_key=key-101z16hranq745binmch&amp;page=1&amp;viewMode=slideshow” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” bgcolor=”#ffffff” wmode=”opaque” data=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” name=”doc_698669453078195″></embed></object></p>
<p>In short, whilst there has been a rush (nay, even trend) to give blogging a hard time, have you ever tried networking in 140 characters? Nope, doesn’t work does it. ever explained to a customer why their package was late or how you were changing your processes to ensure that a package will never be late again – in 140 characters? Exactly.</p>

<p>In January, hugely respected author and blogging/social media guru, Debbie Weil asked the question whether or not the blog has a rightful place at the heart of a social media strategy. It;s something that I have long believed and long defended as a means to communicate with customers and suppliers alike.</p><p>Not surprisingly, Debbie got plenty of responses, including myself which is included along with many others’ thoughts in her <a href=”http://debbieweil.com/books/free-ebooks”>recently released ebook</a> answering the question.<!–more–></p><p><img title=”Screen shot 2011-02-02 at 17.47.34″ src=”http://blendingthemix.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/Screen-shot-2011-02-02-at-17.47.34-e1296666541539.png” alt=”” width=”600″ height=”277″ /></p><p>If you haven’t already seen the ebook, I have embedded it below, or you can get it and other great books from Debbie.</p><p><a style=”margin: 12px auto 6px auto; font-family: Helvetica,Arial,Sans-serif; font-style: normal; font-variant: normal; font-weight: normal; font-size: 14px; line-height: normal; font-size-adjust: none; font-stretch: normal; -x-system-font: none; display: block; text-decoration: underline;” title=”View Debbie Weil – Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub on Scribd” href=”http://www.scribd.com/doc/48045259/Debbie-Weil-Why-Your-Blog-is-Your-Social-Media-Hub”>Debbie Weil – Why Your Blog is Your Social Media Hub</a> <object id=”doc_698669453078195″ style=”outline: none;” classid=”clsid:d27cdb6e-ae6d-11cf-96b8-444553540000″ width=”100%” height=”600″ codebase=”http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=6,0,40,0″><param name=”name” value=”doc_698669453078195″ /><param name=”data” value=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” /><param name=”wmode” value=”opaque” /><param name=”bgcolor” value=”#ffffff” /><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true” /><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always” /><param name=”FlashVars” value=”document_id=48045259&amp;access_key=key-101z16hranq745binmch&amp;page=1&amp;viewMode=slideshow” /><param name=”src” value=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” /><param name=”allowfullscreen” value=”true” /><param name=”flashvars” value=”document_id=48045259&amp;access_key=key-101z16hranq745binmch&amp;page=1&amp;viewMode=slideshow” /><embed id=”doc_698669453078195″ style=”outline: none;” type=”application/x-shockwave-flash” width=”100%” height=”600″ src=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” flashvars=”document_id=48045259&amp;access_key=key-101z16hranq745binmch&amp;page=1&amp;viewMode=slideshow” allowscriptaccess=”always” allowfullscreen=”true” bgcolor=”#ffffff” wmode=”opaque” data=”http://d1.scribdassets.com/ScribdViewer.swf” name=”doc_698669453078195″></embed></object></p><p>In short, whilst there has been a rush (nay, even trend) to give blogging a hard time, have you ever tried networking in 140 characters? Nope, doesn’t work does it. ever explained to a customer why their package was late or how you were changing your processes to ensure that a package will never be late again – in 140 characters? Exactly.</p>

Read More

OK, so I know I have a downer on infographics, but credit where credit is due – this is really useful. The key stats from the world’s most important blogging platform – WordPress.

Click for more:

Read More

I hope Ian and the team at Internet Retailing won’t mind me taking his headline because it pretty much sums up a dire situation.

To save you the best bits:

  • 25% of websites failed to respond to a customer enquiry via their website
  • When prompted 14% of the same businesses STILL didn’t respond

I remember a while ago presenting to the board of a well-known hotel chain and extolling the virtues of the social media approach that Marriot Hotels had in place with their blog (pictured below)

 marriot

It’s a great blog, written by Bill Marriott himself (and I suspect a few editors too!) but gives a great insight into the history of the business and the personal approach that sets a good hotel apart from a bad one. The content is genuinely interesting (even if there is a sales-y angle to some of the content) and frequently commented upon. At the same time, the blog editors also respond pretty quickly too.

But, when you look at the contact us page on the main Marriott website(below), we see the standard “disappear into the online ether” contact form that is mentioned in the critical report posted at the top.

contact form marriott

Is anyone else looking and wondering how a business who, on one hand with the blog, seems to be at the forefront of customer relations and service, manages to so dreadfully miss the boat when it comes to the ways its clients can contact it?

Still, at least they have made better progress than most, it’s just a shame that all their points of contact can’t be as responsive as others.


Read More

 

Three things got me annoyed yesterday:

1) Not being at Web2expo – i’ll get over that, i’m trying to get to Berlin ;-)
2) Preparing for a practical workshop on blogging only to realise that 75% of the time is going to be spent explaining what tags are and rss is rather than discussing how they can be of benefit to a business.
3) Control freaks – people who think that a little bit of knowledge think they know it all (won’t go into that one!)

In particular, number two got me thinking that as a country, we are woefully under-educated when it comes to social media. Why are we still having conversations about what these tools are rather than what they can do for you?

I’d like to throw a few thoughts into the hat and see what people like Neville, Stephen, Steve, Becky, Will, Dave, Robin, Hugh, Jas, Stuart and maybe even Chris, Brian, Geoff and Pete have to say:

Concept
Is online social interaction (the principle of people/customers meeting online to share things and meet each other) SO far beyond people’s grasp they just do not get what happens and what people do?

Prejudice
The idea that without your work hat on, “I don’t use the internet like that , so why would my customers?”

Growth/Choice
Does the rate of change/growth of new social media tools scare IT departments or marketing/pr teams that anything they may decide to adopt may be obsolete in a few months? What about the sheer number of tools they could use? Is it realistic to expect a marketeer to keep track of everything that goes on?

Technology

Are we  our own worst enemies? Do we like to talk XML, php, css and other jargon too much that we actually alienate the very people we are hoping to adopt the tools we talk about?

Control

This relates nicely in fact, to point number three. People who have traditionally been in total control of their customers (when their customers didn’t know any better) are now petrified that they can’t control what their customers are saying. Burying their heads in the sand won’t work.

Previous tools such as websites, direct mail, press ads and email were great at telling customers what the brand wanted them to hear but now marketeers have to get their heads around the fact that those same recipients are talking back – just that they are telling other customers not them!

Tone of Voice

After decades of talking AT customers, brands are now having to talk TO WITH (thanks Gregory) customers. How do you talk to people you have spent years ignoring what they say? How should you speak to them? Learning THAT takes either a lot of listening, training or plenty of both.

Social Media Tools are “a phase” of internet growth

Several years ago (early 90’s), when working for a large mail order company, the whole business began gearing up for this "internet" thing that was coming.

HR were booking training sessions for people like there was no tomorrow , business-wide email was starting to roll-out and you could sense that people knew something big and important was going to happen. 15 years and 1 billion online users later – they were right.

The impression I get of what many of us might call the proverbial “sea-change” in the internet is that social media and its associated tools are nothing more than evolution rather than revolution.

I’ll end with some links to a couple of great posts, (from Suw who is organising the blogger outreach for the Berlin Web2 Expo and the legendary BL Ochman)all around exactly what I am talking about above as well as the Chris’s 12 reasons why he thinks the UK isn’t blogging or adopting social media tools:

1 – You don’t understand why you’d want a business blog. Neither does your CEO.

2 – You are the CEO. And you’re not going to allow your minions to blog.

3 – You think it is too risky to allow your colleagues to write blog posts.

4 – Your PR agency thinks blogging is a bad move.

5 – You mentioned something to the techies. It is in their development schedule.

6 – You haven’t figured out who will contribute to the blog, or what you will write about.

7 – You can’t see any benefits whatsoever. It would be a waste of time.

8 – You don’t see any return on investment. It would be a loss leader. We don’t do loss leaders.

9 – You have no clue about how to set up a blog.

10 – You think blogging is all hype / a passing fad / for kids.

11 – You are happy to ignore blog activity in the US. The US is a totally different environment for this sort of thing.

12 – You think blogging isn’t right for your business.

Read More