Stop It. Right Now.

There is an article in Men’s Health this month about how you can simplify your life. There is a sidebar that specifically spells out 16 things you can do to make things simpler.

#15 was blogging.

It recommended you give up blogging and start playing more attention to your girlfriend.

I think you can do both…

Blogging Panel at the HOW Design Conference

I have been at the HOW Design Conference for the past day and a half.

I attended their blogging session entitled “Daily Candy: Is Blogging Good For You? Or Does It Just Cause Cavities?

There were 60 people at the session. This was pretty poor turnout when considering there are about 3500 people at the event.

The moderator Steve Heller started by asking how many people in the audience were bloggers. Six people in the audience raised their hands.

Heller also said that blogs are a part of normal reading now at NYT. He comes into the office now and sees everyone reading blogs. He says it adds about 30 minutes of additional reading per day.

The two blogs that were talked about the most were Design Observer and Speak Up. If you are of the design bend or are interested, you should check them out.

Nominee for MKE Blog of the Week

It seems A Penny For… has been nominated for Blog of the Week by MKEonline. There are nine others on the list for determining this week’s best blog in Wisconsin. Voting running through April 7th.

The downside of voting is that you have to provide your email address. I am not thrilled about that.

I hope you’ll still consider voting (Mom, that means you 🙂 You can click here to vote.

P.S. They have a directory of Wisconsin blogs called 1000 Voices.

Womma Blog Panel: Session and Questions

We had a great session. I want to thank Deborah and Rick.

We started by asking everyone some questions and the audiences answers:

How may know what a blog is – 95%
How many people read blogs daily – 40%
How many have personal blogs – 30%
How many have company blogs – 20%


How influential are bloggers?

How can you tell how many people are reading blogs?

How are big brands using blogs internally?

Talk about corporate blogs, and transparency.

We needed another hour to get close to answers everyone’s questions.

Using Blogs for Word of Mouth Marketing

I am going to be speaking today at the WOMMA Summit in Chicago. I have been asked to participate in a panel discussion on how blogs can be used to do word-of-mouth marketing. On the panel with me is Deborah Schultz from Six Apart and Rick Bruner from DoubleClick.

I wanted to publish some thoughts here for people who are (and are not) attending the event.

I think there are four reasons why companies should be using blogs to support word-of-mouth marketing:

  1. Blogging is Personal – The vast majority of blogs are written by a single individual. This is what makes the medium compelling. You are hearing directly from another person what they think and how they feel. People talk about their passions. People talk about their day at work. They talk about just about everything.

  2. The people who are drawn to blogging like to talk. They like telling others things. They like being the authority. Just the sort of people you would like talking about you.

    Key point: Get to know the bloggers talking about you and your industry (and I don’t mean by sending them press releases).

  3. Linking – The use of hyperlinks is an integral part of blogging. Bloggers may reference a news story or the latest video game they bought. Those links are recommendations. They are telling people, “Go check it out.”

    By linking to someone else, they also are giving them a gift. Robert Scoble (Microsoft Software Evangelist) calls it GoogleJuice. The more a site gets linked to, the more relevant search engines believe that content to be. Again it is like word-of-mouth–the more you hear about something, the more you start to pay attention.

    Key Points: Make sure your blog posts have permalinks and get familiar with Technorati.

  4. Permanance – The trouble with most word-of-mouth marketing is that it is taking place one person at a time. And each conversation has to take place over and over again.

    The “conversations” that take place on blogs are (relatively) permanent. Before I make any purchase now, I check to see if any blogs have had anything to say. I can see if people liked the hotel they stay at or if I should buy the new Mac Mini.

    Key Point: Consider starting a blog to pull together what bloggers are saying about your company and your products (bonus points if you list the good and the bad).

    P.S. people are going to find both sides whether you like it or not.

  5. Syndication – You are going to hear alot about RSS. It stands for Real Simple Syndication. RSS lets people subscribe to your blog and get notified when you post new content. This lets your biggest fans find out the moment you launch the new product. What would happen if you broke a story on your blog and simply let your evangelists spread the word?

    Key Points: Make sure you have a RSS feed on your blog and start using a RSS reader (like Bloglines) to keep up with blogs.

I have a great list of blogging links in my account. Start at the bottom and work your way up. You will find everything from what is a blog to how to pitch stories to bloggers. I highly recommend the Fortune article on blogging. It is the best mainstream media piece written on blogging thus far.

On the panel today, we will be giving lots of corporate examples of blogging. I wanted to give you a list of other business blogs you can check out. These are smaller companies using blogs in different ways to talk with their customers.

  • Jewelboxing – This is product by Coudal Partners. They have a great feature where they list the cities they shipped to each day. It is a great way to give a nod to customers publicly without creating privacy problems.
  • Green Cine Daily – If you like indie films, there is not a better site on the internet to find out what it going on. When they talk about movies, they link to them in their catalog.
  • 800-CEO-READ – I am a little partial since I do alot of work for 8cr. Here is another example of a company taking their niche (i.e. business books) and striving to provide an unparalleled resources. With reviews/news, text excerpts, and audio content, they…I mean we are well on our way.
  • Atomic Books – This is Baltimore based bookstore. It is a “slice of life” kind of blog, and next time I am in Baltimore I have to go visit them.
  • English Cut – A Saville Row tailor talking about his craft and why his suits are better. And he gives lots of reasons

Trying to get back

I have been very busy in the real world and in producing content for others in the virtual world.

Let me send you to some of the stuff I have written for others this week and I promise I will be back next week with my thoughts on the world:

  • I have been working on educating 800-CEO-READ readers about tags. I have posted three in a four part series (one, two, and three). I am trying to get some standardize on the tag used to reference business books. If you find interesting content and use or Technorati tags, use businessbooks. I plan to use it to plan interesting content into the 8cr blogs.
  • I wrote a post for Business Blog Consulting about the great blogging article in The Wall Street Journal this week.
  • I am still posting links to the BizLinkBlog. I am pretty really selective, so you will probably see one or two links a day.

A Little Feedback Needed

I have been running BizLinkBlog for a couple of weeks and I wanted to see what everyone thought of it. Dana likes it. I find that I am only posting a couple things a day over there and I wondered if I need something separate for that. I could just as easily do that here. I know the expectations are a little lower on the LinkBlog, because you know you are only going to get link and maybe a sentence about it.

OK, enough back and forth. What do you think?

What are you talking about?

The headline is not meant to be said with a classic Different Strokes emphasis. I was thinking about what it is I have been talking about lately on the blog.

If you look down the page, you’ll see less posts. I think that is driven by my work over at 800-CEO-READ and my many side projects.

I have been talking more about blogging than business. I think that reflects where I am spending my time right now. I don’t do the searching I use to for interesting business stories. I am going to try and get back to that a bit. For example, did you see there is a shortage of high quality audio tape? [WSJ, sub. needed]

I also find I am talking more about life events. I was a little hesitate about that, but today’s post from Evelyn reminded not to be. I don’t know if what I am doing is compelling, but the things I talk about I am interested in and I think some passion comes through. So, expect more of that too.

I am also going to launch a linkblog devoted to business posts. I hear lots of people say that they can’t read all of the blogs I do. I understand that. So let me offer to a way to see the things I see that are interesting, but don’t have time to post. There really isn’t any linkblog that offers you a pure business feed now. I will have that up and running in the next week.

So, there is my thinking on the blog right now. Hope you like it and keep on reading…

Lots of Reasons

As we head into Blog Business Summit next week, I thought I would post some of the recent blogging links for marketers, advertisers, and PR people.

It started with Bob Cargill at Brand Republic stating his ten reasons “Why advertising, marketing and PR pros should blog”.

Then Tony Walsh at Clickable Culture responded with this ten reasons for “Why advertising, marketing and PR pros should not blog”.

I then ran across an older article from, where Linda Burton gives 6 reasons for marketers to get out there blogging.

If you are unclear about my position after all of that, I think businesses need to be blogging.