Archive for May, 2007

On Branding

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

You can fly through this slide presentation – take 5 minutes to go through it.

[slideshare id=28886&doc=the-brand-gap-14630&w=425]

Hat tip to StartUpPrincess for shooting this over to me (and she hat tips Rachael Herrscher of Today’s Mama).

Typepad + Captcha Funny Stuff

Sunday, May 27th, 2007

So here’s something that has bugged me for almost a year. When I login to Typekey to leave a comment on a Typepad blog the first thing it says, after I try and post the comment, is that “an error occurred.” NO – an error DID NOT occur! It’s just part 2 of the process! It should say “please verify that you are human” or something like that, but not say that an error occured!

And, as a bonus, check out the last three digits of the code I had to put in for captcha. And it’s even Sunday :/Typepad error and 666

Click to enlarge

Friday, May 25th, 2007

I was poking around the internet looking for prices on wireless ergonomic keyboards (trying to get a better work environment here at my office) and came across this one.  It says “Click to enlarge”… so I did, and it opens a window with the enlarged image.

I guess when you downsize too much, the right-sized image doesn’t show up (notice they are the same size)?


I’m writing a book on LinkedIn and want your help…

Monday, May 21st, 2007

I’ve started my first book and would love to get yor help… go check out my post on the JibberJobber blog for more info (and specific questions)…

Welcome and who the heck is…

Monday, May 14th, 2007

So there are a few bloggers that are linking over to now that the SOB conference is over. This is a quick intro to why I blogged SOB and why I don’t want you to stay on this blog :p

you missed it - better come next yearI was asked by some friends to “blog about it” and decided that while I was in Chicago I would take notes and blog on every single speaker that I could. There were a few that where really hard to follow (break out session, or big group discussions), but for the most part I was able to take some pretty okay notes. I have already seen a number of people comment to clarify, or clarify in posts of their own, which is great. I’m not a court reporter and know I missed a bunch of things but for the most part this should be a pretty cool resource for quite a while.

Note that there were some way cool offers from MyBlogLog and Evoca that I DID NOT blog about. If you didn’t catch it then too bad – try and come next year :p

Here’s why I don’t really want you to stay on this blog though. is an outlet for me where I post things that are not related to my core business, or my mission. It’s just a place to put random thoughts that are off-brand for I think it’s cool stuff but this is where I break rules (like, I try to not use all-caps (for the first words) in these titles, where I do on the JibberJobber blog). Also, I post daily on the JibberJobber blog, whereas I have no agenda here and post whenever (no frequency).

So, it’s not that I don’t want you to stay here, or visit, or add me to your RSS feed… but please come check out JibberJobber. Here’s what you’ll find:

JibberJobber.comThe website is a personal relationship/career manager. It’s all about the relationships, right? Think of JibberJobber as your own that you can have during your entire career. If you are a blogger, use it to improve your blog network and relationships. If you are “just a professional” you need this more than ever, as you should be changing jobs or careers every 3-5 years. We have a freemium model which means you get lots for free with an optional upgrade. Go get your free account now!

The JibberJobber blog is about career stuff. Once again, whether you you_get_it_smallest.pngown your own business or work for someone else, there are a number of things that you could/should do to move forward. I blog about relationships, networking, social (and unsocial) networking, tools, personal branding, etc. I have a monthly “YOU GET IT” award recognizing people that use technology to quantify their personal brand. It’s a pretty cool blog, if I do say so myself, and the latest mention in news was the Wall Street Journal’s Career Journal (check it out – you’ll even see how old I am). If you are a blogger please consider sharing the link love to the JibberJobber blog.

So there you go — I blog on about 3 or 4 blogs professionally and just use this as an outlet. Stay as long as you want, but please visit JibberJobber for the good, regular stuff.

Wendy Piersall - eMomsAtHome bloggerInspired by Wendy Piersall’s presentation in Chicago, I’d like to share my mission. It’s not about being a wildly successful web entrepreneur (although it is a fun road). It’s about helping people understand career problems. Not all problems… mostly how to deal with or avoid the deep depressions of job search, job transtion, getting laid off, getting fired, etc. It is a very hard place to be, and when someone can’t provide for his/her family it can be devastating. My mission is to help people through this, or avoid this. Thanks Wendy!

Now, get on over to JibberJobber 😉

Blog Critiques: What’s a Successful-Blog?

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Terry StarbuckerTerry Starbucker, (moderator?) Ramblings from a Glass Half Full,

David Armano and Liz Strauss (and the audience) are critiquing this site.

Web critique of this:

Liz’s first question – explain what you are doing, and WHAT IS YOUR GOAL?

Dave – says there are some nice elements here, but it can/should be aligned with his personal brand – he is warm and approachable but his design doesn’t show this. There is a disconnect here, even though the blog is really well done and professional.

Liz -says there are almost no visuals, and any of the visuals are BELOW the fold – the statement of his ownership stuff (who I am) takes up so much, almost too much of the valuable real estate. Pushes his content below the fold. She is pointing a number of things that she doesn’t want to see on the most valuable places – even if it does change it seems like it doesn’t (and maybe she doesn’t care to read the static).

Dave – conventions become a standard, they get used to them (whether it’s right or wrong). This same thing is happening with blogs – the first thing that you see is most recent posts… so it’s almost like this is inbetween a blog and a site because I expect certain things on a blog that i’m not seeing here (feels almost like a site, not a blog) … some of these are:

  • see the most recent post at the top, fresh content front and center, and that is what’s changing
  • most recent comments
  • blogrolls
  • categories
  • certain layouts (2 or 3 columns)
  • first form box is either a search or e-mail subscription (most people think the first box they see is a search)
  • look at content sites vs. marketing sites … if you want to learn from examples then go look at things like the NYT sites

Tony Nest Guy asks about two sites, a business site and a blog… David says you need to understand what the strategy is… if your strategy is to put the content first and “be a true blog” then it is more critical to follow the conventions.

David: there are no “rules” but if you have a certain kind of site (marketing for example)… you deliver a certain thing, but you have to have a clear strategy and know what the purpose is and that will have an impact on your design and delivery.

Tony says to create a blog as a sub-tier… (jason: I need to put some recent post stuff on’s first page).

David – has his own site (his name) where you can get his resume and jazz like that… he has very different purposes between this site and his blog, and the designs are different.

Kent wants to know how you can tell if someone is using the search box to subscribe (or vice-versa (sp)).

David – there are two types of visitors to cater to – the first time visitor AND the repeat visitor – how are you going to accomodate both of these?

Liz – Seth Godin always says “where’s your banana?” Where is the monkey supposed to go? Liz finds on most blogs, the place that stands out the biggest and best is the place to click out to someone else’s blog! What it shoudl say is “hire me,” catch my fee” or something like that. What’s your banana.

Dave says “seth’s great” but that’s not accurate – that is looking at the blog from a first time visitor… but what about others? Repeat visitors are going to start seeing blind spots – they are there for the new content… so the question is how do you make the design work for both??

  • Consider what is above the fold (and what is below)
  • Use images to break up content
  • Look at excellent content design (NYT, USAToday) and see what they are doing

Tony the nest guy is talking about design for lot’s of audiences, because even with the regular timers vs. new timers

Book recommendation: Don’t make me think – one of the first places the ideas go to is the top left. David hopes/thinks there will be a followup book on social media. So when it comes to blogs, the first place to look might be center, because of blogs.

Mike Sansone says to find the top 5 sites you like, and the top 5 sites you don’t like.

Wendy P. eMom needed to do a rebrand to make it more gender neutral… but then got comments like “I miss the pictures of your kids” – so she puts the pic’s of her kids in the top right that go through to affiliate links (brilliant!)

(lady that I haven’t met yet) Look at your competition as well … when it comes to design everyone is doing different stuff… make sure you look at your own business, what makes you different and better than your competition, and consider useability… design is a hard thing to say.

From the dude that’s blog is on the screen – he is in a state of flux right now because he is coming from a regular web design guy, and a new blog, and is at a hybrid, but really not sure where he is headed.

Question – why would he want to stop marketing (newsletter)? because 95% of his business comes from referrals… What an interesting point to be at – I wonder why he doesn’t take new business and refer it to someone else.

David – the bigger question is the brand question …

David … and readdressing something, Doc Searles (sp?) has a horrendous looking blog. This is subjective… perhaps it’s right for his brand. However, he has the comment thing that you have to register, which is part of his design. Look at the interactive experience, and there are subjective things and non-subjective things (like having to register to comment).

Candy (sp) says that you need to have the visual represent your brand and personal, not just your content.

Lorelle – design EVERYTHING. Even a 404 needs to be designed!

Chris Cree – what about the recreational blogger?

Jason – you will always have a brand –intentional or default (that was from Lorelle)

BlackInBusiness -Tony says this might not be super intentional design but it’sreally excellent – it’s “simple and to the point” …

David – getting your brand right …

As a designer, when it is your work, it’s really hard! Other comment – with pictures… we want to see pictures of people to connect with you!

Lorelle – one of her most successful pages is the “who in the hell are you?” Her name became her brand… it doesn’t have to be a picture of you but it has to be something.

Adam – if you are in the service business, and you want to sell you or your talking or consulting or whatever, you are a fool if you don’t put your picture… if you are hiding your picture what else are you going to hide from me? “I want to look in the picture of you and see me!” This is the kind of thing that creates community.

Lisa (?) – by hearing you speak and seeing your website, it’s the classic case of connecting YOU with your WEBSITE.

David – there are a lot of blogs that seem just too self promotional.

Jeffrey Brown (Bawld Guy (a realtor)) – he doesn’t have his picture anywhere … but he has his branding. He is doing an excellent (there are two types of bloggers: the kumbaya set and the business set – and he doesn’t care what anybody looks like – and will never put his image up)

Someone else – as an editor, it’s critical for him to have his picture, holding his two kids… it is an “I am a person trying to help you…”

a lady I don’t know – this is the one way you can put in eye contact.

Ann Michael – if you want a picture, put the picture up. If that doesn’t work for you brand then don’t do it. However if there is no picture then there are no preconceived ideas of what that person looks like. Do what works for you.

Troy Worman – “i’m the last one to critique design I identify when I see a picture”… but when I look at business that’s different.

guy I don’t know yet – it all starts and ends with your brand. When you figure that out you’ll know what your design needs to be.

Wendy P eMom – if the readers are asking for your photo then they want to connect with you more.

Lady who I had dinner by last night (sorry, didn’t remember your name :p) Design doesn’t need marketing, marketing is separate from design – it isn’t a website or a blog, it’s about an online conversation. You notice good design, you FEEL great design.

Liz – what makes a successful and outstanding blogger – and the answer is: only you can answer that!

And that’s the end folks – see you next year.

Wendy Piersall, eMoms at Home, Blog Coach

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Wendy Piersall - eMomsAtHome bloggerTalking about becoming a blogging success. Her experience with moving forward, which is a very cool, exciting story about how she got started…. and a big goofy thing she did (submitting to the ProBlogger thing a while back, and her tenacity).

It is important to get outside of your comfort zone, to be tenacious!! Her most embarrassing moment:

She is a sr. coach and training with Anthony Robbins and associates… in their events they get people to stand up and dance.. so on one event they didnt’ have the normal music… the DJ put on her most favorite song and knew that she was going to go nuts, and she figured she would! (she is also a mom… and after 3 children things are a little stretched out)… and she started wetting her pants… and couldn’t stop… and she was in faded jeans wetting her pants in front of those people. She ran offstage… but the show went on… it had to.

How we all got here – we are all in this conference because of a link, a comment or something like that. We are all here because of someone else that is here.

It’s easy to see how many seeds are in an apple, but there is no way to know how many apples are in a seed.

She’s started from some pretty humble places and she’s overcome a lot to get here and where she is at today. The ProBlogger expo expanded her position so much that is why she is part of (and other stuff). Linking and commenting and e-mailing is a very strategic thing for her. She has definitely introduced herself through a link!

She wants to know how we’ve been able to leverage our relationships:

Muhammed Saleem – The Mu Life – if you leave a comment on his blog, he visits (so you can see him on MyBlogLog) and e-mails them. He tells about Brian from (CopyBlogger) about how their relationship grew. This is how Mu got to write for him. He keeps this up because this is not the only instance of this happening. He is here because Tony Hung blogged about this on the Blog Herald… and it turned out that Liz called him. Blogging is a SOCIAL medium … it doesn’t mean MySpace or whatever, it really is just the beginning of the conversation and ends in real relationships.

Ben Y – when you think of A-List bloggers, they are regular people that may be just a little ahead of the game. If they ignore you then screw them because they are not worth it anyway. What blogging has done for him is it helped him meet his partners for his new company… while you get to have an international audience you can also have a very local, tight audience (Jason: I’m seeing this with my Twitter stuff also).

Lorelle on WordPress -your blog is your resume, it is your letter of recommendation, they are networking. Because of her voice, and her “resume” which is her blog, she was selected to create this book – make your blog work so that people want todo business with you – so they come to you!

Robyn Tippins (MyBlogLog) – she is everywhere on the internet, she is the social networking queen. her blog is decent enough that it will speak for her. her advise is to TALK and TALK and TALK!!

now back to Wendy – there is a bigger “why” behind all of this. Her blog (work at home, marketing and blogging) is NOT her mission. Her mission is to find women who are also single and pregnant and in their twenties and went through hell and say YOU CAN DO IT — to provide inspiration and help to people in the situation she was in.

This is bigger than getting traffic. This is bigger than all the metrics and all that stuff – the bigger missions are for the people that she wants to reach in their hardest times. (jason: I totally relate – my mission is related to people who are getting screwed by their companies, laid off, undersized, and all that jazz and helping them through the lows of the lows, and the people that are scared out of their minds)

Wendy is awesome – this really hit home for me.

half of the blogs are spogs – realize that the blog is just the messenger, the bigger stuff is that THE MESSAGE behind the blog! She writes about SEO because she is the top result on married to an alcoholic — she knows SEO. She is also going to be doing PR and non-web stuff to reach more people, that aren’t online!

Frankie: about selling their car for environmental reason. And then what to do with the driveway?? There were too many bylaws in their community… and Frankie wanted to plant things there and not have a driveway! She read an article about how Toronto is such a great green city… and she called the reporter and told HER side of the story! This got picked up by the news station… and it really escalated. It was put in “tree hugger” … and lots of buzz around this story… it was blogged all over the place… and the city is wondering what’s going on? Her point is that WE CAN BE THE CATALYST FOR CHANGE.

Wendy says there is really really talented marketing folks here. How can we move outside the blogosphere to get our mission outside of the blog world?

  • Offer articles to them
  • Help schools, etc.
  • has a blogroll
  • Have people at physical events
  • 70% of reporters get their ideas from blogs – reach out to them
  • Using article submission sites with out posts
  • Connecting with mainstream journalist articles that may be blogging and write about your stuff – approach this more accidental than pitching them… if they link to you great, but work the real relationship after that.
  • Follow up with reporters and send them interesting things, and let them know that we are linking to them
  • Send Wendy an e-mail if we have ideas or suggestions and she is going to send out a post and link back to us.

Wendy ended with a visualization technique to help people imagine what they could do if they imagined what they could do without limitations: think about how yo can do that with your blogs, and your business and the purpose that you are put on this earth for.

Tools Panel: Chris Cree (moderator) with MyBlogLog, Evoca, TheGoodBlogs

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Here is Chris Cree’s blog.

mybloglog_logo.pngMyBlogLog: (Robyn) huge growth happened when the released the widget – their goal is to grow the size and depth of the community. Robyn is the community manager.

evoca logoEvoca: (Diego) the vision is to help bloggers, and the intimate users post their actual voice online. Uses several tools, simplest is the telephone.

The Good BlogsTheGoodBlogs: (Vernon) many in the room are already involved with TheGoodBlogs. Wanted to do this his way as opposed to the VC route, and he seems to understand the blog culture better than a funder would.

How do you create a community? Know who is reading your blog (this is why MyBlogLog is so cool) and then reach out to these people.

Evoca is providing tools to really allow you to bring more personality or another dimension into your blog. Also, it allows you to get feeback (with your reader’s voice) back to you (I think)

Robyn (what are the biggest challenges facing bloggers today): continuing to stay relevent (easy to go to TechMeme and get lots of traffic) but are you really going to stay important? And give “absolutely no value” to the rest of the community?

Diego (can you share some of the cool stuff we can look forward to): include working with the Barack Obama (sp?) campaign to strengthen their cause or message to allow voters (american people) to call in and tell them what they think (which is cool, compared to letters and all that stuff). Also looking at school relationships to reach out to their students, a relationship with Skype, and other stuff (TypePad) to make it easier to add voice to their blog.

Vernon (what keeps you up at night?): what is the next big thing… and where is the blogging industry headed? What is it going to look at in 5 years from now? Think about where blogger was at 5-6 years ago. It’s a place to put text and video now, but think about (wonder where) it’s headed. Are we going to become a MySpace, or are we all going to meet half way somewhere? he wants comments/e-mails on where this is headed.

Robyn (on what is the most important thing she can communicate to us?): 1. let us know what the problems are, we really really want to know!, 2. contact us whenever you want (right now she is customer service and responds very quickly) but the biggest thing to let us know is that MyBlogLog exists because of US, the bloggers that use the widget! They are very easy going, they are bloggers, geeks, and blog readers, shoot them an e-mail with any suggestions (they covet all suggestions)

Diego (same question): same thing, very impt to hear from the users, success stories (like the guy that recorded a conversation in an elevator), and please give the tool a try.

Vernon (same question): answer: You belong here. A lot of people treat blogsthe same way he treats planting – wants it to be planted one day and a tree the next! It really takes 18 months to get it up and thriving – for the avg person. Be more patient about what you, it will come and you are a terrific blogger (and cherish every one of you). There is this 18 month rule though, give yourself 18 months and you will know whether you succeed or not. And, you build communities one post at a time! 2 clicks a day (or 2 new people a day) is about 700 new people each year! And then you can get to the hockey-stick growth :p

— little bit of discussion on what happens after the politician is voted in (will they still use it)

Q: (from Tony nest) hug mybloglog fan – for business bloggers, they don’t like having the half-naked women on their… can we select categories of this? Or ratings… ?? A: they are figuring out how to do this, so you can filter on your blog AND people can rate/flag them. She said that she goes through every single picture (new pics?) to delete them out. They allow racy avatars but doesn’t want to see really bad stuff.

comment for vernon (tony nest) – you can actually test headlines, and then based on the traffic you get figure out if it is good or not.

Q: can we see a sneak peak of something over the next 6 months? Is there anything awesome? A: redesigning the site, rebranding the name. It’s not just for bloggers… lots of people come there don’t even have a blog. There are lots of ideas that people that have sent in that are on this list and there are great ideas that are being implemented now — there is a widget 2.0 that is coming out in the next couple of months.

Drew McLellan, Mike Sansone, Mike Wagner – The Iowa Way

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Mike WagnerDrew McLellan - The Marketing MinuteMike Sansone

No matter what kind of blog you have, how to be a better blogger. (also watch “MyFeedStream” (sp?))

What does a blog coach make his clients do? Laps, pushups, etc.

3 types of blogs: journal lifestyle blogging, business that have a blog or blogging as a business

Drew – talking about learning how to ride a bike. The first time, where was your vision? Where were you headed? Why were you on the bike? Who did you want to ride with (alone, so no one saw)? This is how bloggers start. No vision, no direction, didn’t want people reading his blogs

So now we have all learned how to ride the bike… so this is all about taking the training wheels off the blog.

Mike Wagner – branding and blogging.

  1. A blog is a free sample of your brand.
  2. There are at least two kinds of brands – a default brand and an intentional brand. (cool concept)
    1. To build an intentionally brand you nust need two basic skills (1) the concept of being unique, remarkable, etc.. Being creative. Allowing yourself to be CREATIVE.
    2. You have to CARE.

Brands have to be remarkable and useful.

— now we break out into groups… I’m in the one for those that have a company and blog.

What are the things that we’ve done to take the training wheels off our blogging?

  • consistency
  • Tony (nest guy) tracked through comments based on who was reading his blog… and found who his audience was and blogs now to them instead of what his original messages.
  • link love, active blog marketing (going to the other bloggers), returning the love
  • use the technorati value tracker tool to show what (set up as an RSS feed) so that you can know who links to the sites that are your core values… you can then comment on the new bloggers that are linking to your competition (or like blogs) – sounds like a cool tool to use. You can do it for yourself on technorati but this sounds like a sweet tool.
  • wrote a web plan, with the blog as part of your dev capabilities.
  • MyBlogLog … big wave of traffic and readers (pay attention to this means -> just be involved, engage with who’s new, etc. Just engage the people in your community).
  • blog carnival (alternative services, and allow peole who don’t have a business to advertise/post on my blog
  • creating diverse voices within a blog – team blog concept
  • reaching out to traditional media (in a complimentary way) to engage them… perhaps they’ll talk about you in their print
  • spend investment time in relationships – give first
  • trackbacks, especially with news stuff

What’s not working?

  • learning the mechanics – trying to figure out all the widgets and stuff that takes so much time!
  • mistaking a business blog for a personal blog (using all the crap from personal blogs on your business blog, cluttered, messy, etc.)
  • believing that just because I wrote it people will read it
  • themes that need really good index tools for previous posts… should make it easy for people to find posts.
  • maintaining enthusiasm for a topic that you have already covered
  • it is really hard to write a good headline (copyblogger is a great resource for fixing this) and ogleby on advertising (from the Nest Guy)

Other groups came up with:

  • produce e-books
  • top 10 lists
  • practical articles
  • season of life stuff
  • press releases
  • — and then the “we do this for a living” team – stuff that works
  • affiliate ads
  • videos
  • text link ads
  • sponsored posts
  • amazon
  • — oops stuff
  • adsense didn’t work
  • have a print this button
  • comments need to be easier
  • clutter needs to go away
  • — folks in business and blog as well – stuff that works
  • having a small checklist of things that yo udo every day (the maintenance)
  • MyBlogLog
  • reaching out to traditional media
  • — oops stuff
  • overthinking, you HAVE TO pull the trigger and go (this is a wrong perception)
  • too many widgets to figure out :/
  • the whole linking just to link thing
  • people have a written plan for their blog

Andy Sernovitz – Word of Mouth guru

Saturday, May 12th, 2007

Andy Sernovitz - Word of Mouth guruWord of mouth marketing in 5 easy steps –

1 – put card in the thing for a surprise, and 2 – lower your expectations!

At Dreary Inn (sp – yes, pun intended) you get one free hour long distance. They are giving you a reason to spread the word and the tool to tell people about it!

RedEnvelope send nice gifts in gorgeous red box, bow, etc. It’s huge wrapping – no matter what the gift is, they are creating buzz about the box, and people ask “where did you get that!” instead of “what is the gift?”!!

WOMM is about little simple things that we can do… not HUGE things. Like the Purple cow thing, where people can’t help but tell their friends about you.

As americans, we talk all the time, but we specifically talk about products. Restaurants, type of food, shampoos, etc. We talk about things to buy, and brand mentions are woven through our chatter – so the brand is to get peopel to talk about our brand. It’s not about causing conversations, it’s about getting people to talk about our stuff.

Example, Krispy Kream – hot donuts.the neon sign would cause huge WOMM.

On the flip side you can blow it – if you don’t keep it special, people are going to stop talking about you. It has to be special! No one tells their friends about buying donuts in the gas station, where they are cold.

1. give people a reason to talk about you.

2. keep the message special. (KK donuts cold in the gas station was a no-no)

WOMM is (A) giving people a reason to talk about your stuff and (B) making it easy for people to talk about it.

YouTube has 7 diff spots on each page facilating sharing!! blog it, e-mail it, share it, etc. So there is B2B, B2C… but what about C2C (which is really B2C2C2C2C…..)

one of the greatest is the secret e-mail with the employee discount for the gap, etc. If they ran the same thing in the newspaper it would not spread – but on the e0mail (with employee discount) it did!

This is all about LOVE. Making people love your stuff – they want to tell people about you, your company, etc. Teenagers in love can’t stop talking about it! You’ve got to earn love, trust and respect and NEVER break that.

Love and money don’t mix. If people are going to tell their friends aboutyou, they will because they like what you are doing. (so I’m not going to do the crazy free affiliate thing) – this violates the trust!

“advertising is the price of being boring!” If you create cool, exciting stuff then everyone will write about you! If you are boring you have to pay them to write about you :p But it’s easier to buy the ads than it is to be interesting, remarkable or to get respect from them.

Why do the same people who skip through the ads on a magazine authorize ad purchases at their work??

1 New Reality – consumers control your reputation

People like me – I need tothink about selling to people like me (I think I missed this or didn’t get this point right, I don’t agree 100% (he’s rich and I’m not though, so listen to who you want t0)) – and people like me can stamp me out with a post or comment on CNET or something like that.

People like me UR the UE (UR: you are; UE: user experience) – your brand is not what your ads say they are. Your brand is the sum total of all the experiences when regular people call your company. The true user experience defines your brand. No amount of advertising fixes a broken car – no ad campaign connects you to a cell spot when you can’t connect! Example is Southwest airlines because they are the same as the rest (as far as rain, uncontrollables, etc.) but SW is nice about things!! JetBlue begged forgiveness – they are genuinely nice people! Guess who isn’t nice, but rather fake? Ted. It’s just not the same.

The permanent Record – everything lives forever in Google. So your job as a WOMM is to make sure the good stuff gets on the front page too – the great customer service moment, etc.

3 reasons why people talk about you:

You – because they love your company, products, stuff, etc. He can’t give a checklist of stuff for us to do – it comes down to just being a great company. Just do a good job, consistently, for a long time.

Me – personal, emotional reasons. Because it makes them look good. “I’m the car guy, everyone asks me about cars”. People love to be asked… Mac owners believe that if you own a Mac you’ll be better off… all companies should have a non-corporate blog, a “geeko” blog (example – Quickbooks developer blog). Give them more to talk about so they can look good, feel good about themselves.

Us – wewant to feel part of the group – the teenagrs that don’t want to be abused by marketers but they all where the gap hat and A&F shirts. Or, the saturn groupies (not ferrari, harley) — 60k people!! Maker’s Mark is another example of how to do this… you sign up and vow to save others from drinking bad whiskey, and they send you 30 cards to hand out… ! There are 500k ambassadors (sp) !! Huge power of thinking part of the group. Microsoft has on-site face2face meetings, even though they don’t have to — 3 every day! This builds the “us.” They had over 1M Vista beta testers! Make people feel part of your family.

5 Steps in WOMM

  1. Talkers: find people who will talk — these are regular people, all of us, bloggers are talkers… it’s just people that volunteer to join the club!
  2. Topics: give people a reason to talk –this is not the brand, or marketing material, this is just simple stuff that people can tell to others! Perhaps the best topic ever, about 10 yrs ago when Jobs went back to apple, it was “cute little computers – they are colorful (purple, pink, orange, etc.). The colors are irrelevent but guess what – it created buzz and talk – it was the topic that travelled that made it so successful.
  3. Tools: help the message spread — sometimes you just have to ask them to. Also, the “tell a friend” button on every single page of your site, or an “e-mail this post” to someone else. This needs to be on EVERY page and EVERY post. Biggest tool is e-mail – because it is FORWARDABLE. This is HUGE. Or launch an e-mail newsletter (which is old school but travellable) – you have to think about what is it going to make it easier for people to share your topic?
  4. Taking Part: join the conversation –marketing departments are all about outputs — customer service is all about input… we need to figure out how to have a conversation!! Two ways. Every business should put every employee in front of a computer… and respond to every single mention that you finally see. No matter what their role is… if they say something bad your response is “I’m sorry, we screwed up” — the response is another post that says “OMG, Dell reads my blog!” You get another post going, and it breaks down some barriers.
  5. Tracking: measure and listen

New phenomenon out there – making people happy makes you more money!

— The End

Q: what do you think about the question “would you recommend this to your friend?” A: (jason thinks: the ultimate question is “will you” ?) — Andy says there is a formula from some book he’s doing that shows a correlation between the number of promoters and profit. “Net Promoter Score” is what the hottest trend is to figure out now.

Comment: this dude put up a positive comment that he had on Dell and they didn’t know what to do, how to react.

Q: Should we really put the lowest paid employee on the internet making comments? do we blog so we can do change management (and have them blog), have it come from the strategic level? A: it’s not that simple. the CEO of Dell needs to make the computers better, not blog. There can be a team that handles this. (jason thinks: getting the lower level involved in this will help form/change the company structure).

Comment: Frankie James mentions the power of nice book (should take 40 minutes to read)

Q: he is saying that he requested us to make any comment, good or bad. Does he really want the bad? A: It’s all about honesty, and authenticity. It’s about being human, being real, sharing what we think! Not everyone is going to like it but readers are intelligent, and they will understand when we have a bad comment or whateer, that is what conversation is about. No one believes 100% of positive reviews.