Friday, December 21, 2007
I'm slapping together Twitter peas avatars for those who choose to align with We Refuse to Appease Cancer, in solidarity with Susan Reynolds, as Robert Scoble has recently blogged.
Like the "Talk Like a Pirate Day" at Twitter, this meme has spread rapidly and pervasively. A real lesson for viralosity managers of brand combat.
Here, in this post, I will park some Twitter peas avatars, for Save As pick-up.
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
Spock is a people search site. I just uploaded these two photos to my profile page. Actually, they're digital artwork that I created myself.
Within less than an hour, I got an email from Spock.
Spock users have flagged and deleted a picture which you contributed to Steven Streight's search result. Flagging and deletion occurs for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is because information is factually incorrect, sometimes it is because contributions are inappropriate.
For more information please visit our community guidelines here:
That's the entire email message.
Do you see anything wrong with these images? Offensive? Flagged?
Why would they remove them?
Worse, the email contains no link to a Contact Us If You Think a Mistake Was Made. This is an ill-considered, poorly managed flagging/removal policy.
Plus: you get a limited number images you can upload, and there's no way to delete any images once uploaded. You can't change your mind, delete an image, and replace it with another image.
Check out all my Vaspers photos on Spock.
Friday, December 14, 2007
Blogs, by the precedents set by early pioneers like Tim Berners-Lee, Mark Andreessen, Dave Winer, Doc Searls, Jorn Barger, and Rebecca Blood, are about passion.
Pioneer bloggers were enthusiastic about computers and technology.
Then personal opinions about a variety of issues emerged. Next thing you know, blogs are blabbering about what was eaten for lunch and an astonishing variety of narcissistic navel-gazing.
Even when the blog is boring, self-centered, and drivelous, it's still a revolutionary act. Each blog represents the rise of individual voice, the first time in human history that the average person could publish content to a worldwide audience.
Naturally Yours is a good example of a passionate, informative blog.
I sold the blog to Roger Hutchinson, General Manager, and he delegated the blogging duties to his most passionate and computer-savvy employee, Matt Kowal.
This is exactly how a blog strategy can work for many companies. Often the CEO, Owner, or Manager doesn't have the time, interest, or enthusiasm to maintain a blog and post regularly. At the same time, they're convinced that a blog could be a good communication channel with customers, or a way to drive traffic to a store or ecommerce site. In that case, they should delegate the duties.
What's really nice is that Matt blogs about topics of interest to himself that he thinks might help others, he responds to comments (often in new posts, rather than in comments), and he works a photographic image into nearly every single post, for visual interest.
Matt, the official blogger of Naturally Yours, pulls no punches. He has an axe to grind against the problematic "medical model", mainstream health institutions, and the pharmaceutical industry.
I share his concerns, but not all his opinions. What's great is how he shares his expertise and experiments, in a transparent and honest manner. Your company should be so fortunate to have a deeply devoted product enthusiast and aggressive, controversial opinionator.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
What's the most important thing to keep in mind when blogging?
Your top priority should be Provide Value.
Information value. Entertainment value. Infotainment value. You are either expressing yourself narcissistically, with no concern about the impact on, or reactions of, readers. Or you're trying to benefit an audience, in some way.
You've already decided what your blog is about. You've determined what your expertise, art, skill, talent, interest, hobby, passion is.
You may have even some idea of how you would like readers to respond to your blog: post comments, email suggestions, vote on sidebar poll, submit nominations for an honor, download your music mp3s, view your digital art, or perform some other interactive, participatory behavior.
Don't focus on what you want your readers to do, think, or feel.
Too often, we get pre-occupied with behaviors we want our message recipients to manifest, for us, for our goals, for our ego. Instead, shift your emphasis and your creativity on what might benefit your audience, on their own terms, not yours.
Concentrate on what you can provide, on the content and presentation of text, photo, audio, video, etc., that will benefit your readers. Is it what they requested, need, crave, like, prefer? Is it presented as effectively and professionally as it deserves?
Inspire. Inform. Instruct. Warn. Scold. Joke. Amuse. Shock. Entertain. Reveal. Encourage. Provoke. Confront. Challenge. Elevate. Improve. Transform. Astonish. Delight.
Do that for your audience, whatever they have told you they need, or whatever you feel you do best, or whatever is most timely and relevant to them.