May 13, 2003 Volume 2 Issue 46
Decades ago my Dad got me reading Forbes.
In this "E" age, it's one of the few magazines I still subscribe to.
This winter/spring they ran a series on Blogs ... a journal, or E-zine at a web site location. Some call it a "diary made public."
So, I got interested, and here's what I found.
Let's begin by defining what a Blog is. They are not InstantMessage systems ... where you have a written dialogue with a chosen one or few, happening literally in real time. Blogs are not Chat Rooms, where a lot of people are sharing ideas back and forth. These two systems - usually - are two-way communication. Blogs, most often, are not.
And Blogs are not E-mail discussion and sharing groups, either. A while back I signed on for one of those. The topic was something of personal interest ... I was looking to learn, and became a member. For a while. After 6-8 weeks of 25-30 E-mails a day on the subject, I'd had enough and exited.
Blogs are different. They are opinion. The editorial page of the writers mind. And, although the content may be interesting, it is usually not well written. Reads much more flow of conscious, vs. a well thought out point. Most often each writer is politically left or right, and makes certain you know which. Blogs support a cause, a concern, a point of view.
In the business world, Blogs have been createdagainst a company or product, who, in the mind of the writer, is not performing to standard ... at least not up to the standards of the Blogger. These have become very popular as a way to create negative public relations - to bring big-time pressure on an association or organization.
Blogs are also offered by companies offering technical data and information. More or less a net-user group. Where "owners" of a specific product or service can learn what others are experiencing, good and bad. Frequently these are monitored by the corporation as a way to stay on top of potential trouble - hot spots that may grow into a real fire if left un-attended. The Blog is providing nearly instant, and often useful, feed-back from customers.
The name - Blogger - is a creative contraction of the Web and log. The WWW and, a journal or record or log. Some harken the concept to the earliest days of the Internet - the late 1960's and until the WWW was born in 1991. When life was simple and the rest of us were in diapers as far as the "E" world was concerned.
Today it has grown up. Today Blogs are becoming big business. Google acquired a Blogger firm. Forbes writes a series on Blogs, and creates a rating system for The Best Tech Blogs, The Best Media Blogs, The Best War Blogs and The Best Economic Blogs.
Since marketing is a media tool, you may find The Media Blogs Forbes evaluated (on a scale of 1-5) of interest;
The Iraq War spawned scores of Blogs - some of the most interesting coming out of Iraq itself. An article in USAToday told several stories of Blogs. One was of the website www.warblogs.cc that compile war stories from around the world. Another of a Bagdad resident, providing first hand reports of what is happening from his perspective. And a third about war correspondents keeping Blogs of their findings. This includes reporters from the BBC and CNN.
Blogs have grown from the very outside fringe of the Web, to more mainstream in use. Certainly not on radar for everyone ... still, many Blogs are respected reporting, or news, because of their "inside" track on a particular topic. Blogs have become accepted sufficiently that the University of California-Berkeley offers a credit course on Blogging, taught through the journalism department of the school.
Author Rebecca Blood says it this way;
"Everybody has a story to tell. We did it around campfires way back when. We do it around water coolers. What these tools allow people to do is to put onto the Web their own story about whatever their passion is."
Some feel with Google in the game, the "edge" they have had being ahead of the curve will disappear. This thought is not all that out of line. As an enhanced product from Google, Blooger.com, gives the user the capability to send from any E-mail address. Including wireless.
Still, the Dublin, Ireland firm NewBay Software has added something extra - FoneBlog. Also aimed at the wireless marketplace. It's advantage is it allows pictures and sound clips, in addition to text, to be sent from mobile phones.
For those of us who still have such poor cell phone voice service that I don't give my number out - sending pictures, sound and text wireless is almost incomprehensible.
The marketplace of products will get crowded. As the marketplace of users expands. The Iraq war could push Blogging to a new level. Soon. Some feel it will remain a younger persons market. Especially for the wireless teen-age set. Yet, already the use is much larger than just young people.
And no matter, Blogging is "hot". It's "in". It's new and very easy to do. Still, today, it's a fad ... an Internet fad. And like so many others we've seen come - and go in the last decade - this one may fad away.
I think not - I think Blogs are here to stay. Why? See the quote above from Rebecca Blood. People enjoy sharing their point of view. And telling stories.
... a loose thought
The World's Top Proverb Expert says ...
A collection I visit daily comes from ArcaMax, Inc.
Including words from a Wolfgane Mieder, who Smithsonian magazine calls "the world's top proverb expert". Wolfgane has gathered more than 150humorous variations in his new book, "Wisecracks! Fractured Proverbs," published by New England Press.
How about "Love is blind, but neighbors aren't," "Better mate than never," "A fool and his money are soon popular," and "If at first you don't succeed, you're average."
As the article reports... "these slightly skewed versions of familiar proverbs don't exactly reflect universal laws of behavior. Rather, they are examples of proverb parodies -- sometimes called fractured or anti-proverbs -- created by adding contradictory comments to the original axiom."
You may find the book worthy of a spin. EnJoy!
A few works ago I began working with a young man in the insurance health & accident business.
A tough school. There are times I think these words from Anonymous, about this client.
"When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution and is willing to take command. Very often that individual is crazy."
"Quotes with Direction" has been a part of my web site collection from day one. If you like quotes visit the archives ... www.rayjutkins.com/quotes/. There's a new batch up every 4 weeks.
... another Idea
New business friend Gerry Sacks of Houston, Texas sent me here. It turns out this leading information resource from the financial world offers a collection of marketing & sales ideas. Still, no matter your business, you will find good material here. Offered by 80+ experts (including me!) ... visit ProducersWEB.com
"It IS What's Next!"
Already I've shared this story with health care organizations, a database marketing business, a direct marketing firm, a DM association - and several others. And I'm ready to bring it to your group. (Visit It IS What's Next!)
When you have a need for a 40-90 minute program, I'll give you this different, interesting, meaningful, warm and true action presentation. To your club. Your company. Your organization. Your association. Any group you have. At any place. At any time. For any reason.
ItISWhat's Next!is available to you as a Keynote Address. As a special program. As an opening or closing presentation. As a different / unique session.
"Stamp Out" Alzheimer's
The last years of my dad's life included Alzheimer's. So, when long time DMer, speaker & biz friend John Jay Daly asked me to include this news - I quickly said "yes".
The US Postal Service is being asked to create a 'semi-postal' stamp to raise funds for the Alzheimer's Association. To fight the disease that affects 4 million Americans. A petition of 50,000 signatures is needed to make an impact.
Will you please help? Visit the donated web site & sign the
Magic Marketing Minutes
Getting Your Reader Involved with Graphics
It's vital to get your reader involved emotionally in the benefits you're offering.
If you can get your prospect physically involved in you mailing piece, you've got a big edge.
You can do this designing into your mail package an "involvement" device. Such as: ... a token you peel-off the letter and stick to the reply card
... scratch and sniff area
... a pop-up
... anything you have to punch out and put someplace else
... a sample of the product or material you are offering to your audience
... some component that unfolds in some sort of an interesting way
... a premium or advertising specialty
... a rub-off spot
... a printed or die-cut measuring device or some sort
... a simple puzzle
... a game where you connect the dots
You can get extra mileage out of your involvement device by showing it through a window. Or, at least having some teaser copy on the front or back of your envelope.
These things work because they appeal to the child in each of us. Use them. They will make your Direct Mail more successful.
by ROCKINGHAM*JUTKINS*marketing, all rights reserved.