October 12, 2005

What the suits still don't get

TODAY I BLOG MY OWN INTERNAL CONFERENCE SESSION: WHAT THE SUITS STILL DON'T GET ABOUT BLOGGING 101

The right hemisphere's up next:

It's about areas of interest. Read Gonzo Marketing--study the parts in between the naughty bits. Your as usual corporate-comm doesn't work here.

The glue of all conversation is shared interest. Without that the conversation stops.

This is not necessarily similar thinking on a given topic--but shared interest. I hate cats / i love cats - still about cats.

Now let's say you are a restaurant - then you have to drill down to areas of interest your patrons are gathering around - and they are limitless: who are the people who eat with you? they are business people, artists, photographers, moms, dads, doctors.

They are vegetarians and they meat lovers. They eat. But that's not engaging--that's what they come to you to do. Drill deeper.

Think of the opportunities.

What you don't want to do is create or sponsor a blog about restaurants. Heck no. You want to undrestand why the man at table three is passing around pictures of farm animals. Is he the only one? Maybe. Keep watching. Don't judge. Don't stop the commotion. You notice all your customers have those camera phones. You see one lady taking a picture of her pork chop. BINGO. It's real then. Is the common area of interest farm animals? or is the area of interest cooking? Or is it photography? Watch your customers. Talk to them. Camera phones, pork chops, photos. Go deeper. Photography would work here. It doesn't have to be food pictures. It depends. Your customers are NOT your comptitor's customers or they'd be over there at this very minute. Find out about YOUR customers.

Nothing of value is within the first layer.

Don't confuse common interests with commonality. Mistake.

The more professionalized blogging comes, the higher the value on the quirky, the odd, the funny, the obscene, the joyous the inane. Which has always been the way of the net. Old timer netziens will beat you to these ideas every time. You have to engage their services here or you will fail.

There is a code. You don't always have to belong--if everyone belonged the value would disappear. If you don't care, don't join. If you don't join, engage others who are there.

You don't have to want to blog. You don't have to blog. You have to understand and appreciate. Or you can go away.

Reframe how you talk about communications--read read read blogs and study, even if you don't want to blog.

Take a blogger to lunch.

Send a blogger some product samples.

Adopt a blogger -- call them a consultant or evangelist.

LEFT HEMISPHERE IS NEXT ON THE SCHEDULE:

The currency in blogging is links. Bloggers will not want to admit this, so don't run around and act like a link whore. Don't spam to get links. Don't act like you even want links. Just write good stuff and be incredibly interesting or funny. Links follow.

Be liberal with your own links. You are not instapundit.

Put the top half of the Technorati 100 on your blogroll and blogger relations list, and then delete them all. This will make you feel like you've targeted the important poeple, but make you more likely NOT TO target them. The top 50 have no value to your company. They have become noise. Their links are eyeball links, not area-of-interest/passion links.

Eyeball links don't buy.

Passion links do buy.

The ROI in blogging is a lot like the ROI in any long-term communication program--the kind you're used to. Except it's more invisible, unless you put on a pair of glasses that bring into sharp focus the connecting strands among online participants.

Those strands = value.

The value is in the space between and the jumping across.

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