Archive for October, 2008

Millions of People

Social media can help cover complex stories

Jeff Jarvis is a journalism professor at the City University of New York. This week he has contributed a short article to Media Guardian. The piece uses the credit crunch and the way it has been reported as an example of how we are witnessing “the end of the story as we know it”.

The piece discusses how complex stories need to be explained using a variety of media so that the news can be “updated, corrected, expanded, discussed, linked.”

If you’re trying to convey a complex story on behalf of your organisation I think you’ll find the article really thought provoking.

Michelle Obama emails ItsOpen

As the US Presidential election enters its final stages, the Obama campaign is making extensive use of social media to energise its supporters. I visited Obama’s site and registered and since then have received a steady flow of emails. Here’s one from Michelle Obama which gives you an insight into how hard they are pushing for donations and for winning the top prize:

From Michelle Obama:

This is it.

Millions of people are counting on Barack and Joe — and you — to bring the change this country  needs.

It all comes down to Friday morning when we make the last, tough choices about where we can fight — and how hard.

Please take a minute and think about what’s at stake in this election.  Your support can help strengthen our team for the final push.

Will you make a donation of $5 or more before the deadline?

There’s never been a more important time to support this movement for change.

The future of our country — and our children — depends on what we do right now.

You can help bring the change we need.

Please make a donation of $5 or more before the deadline:

We’ve worked so hard to get this far. We can’t stop now.

Thank you so much for your support,



Journalists take to blogging

Paul Bradshaw has just published the final part of the results of his survey of blogging journalists.  The outcome is a series of seven excellent posts providing an insight into journalists from more ‘traditional’ media outlets who now blog to accompany their regular output.

Paul is a Senior Lecturer in Online Journalism and Magazines at Birmingham City University’s School of Media, and subsequently the language of the Posts is very much that of an academic report. Having said this, the online journalism blog has built quite a community and is a real mine of information.

If you are interested in how journalists blogging is now affecting their mainstream output the blog is definitely worth a read.


Dell bloggers get serious

Dell’s chief blogger, Lionel Menchaca, has some fascinating insights into blogging in an interview with Jessica Twentyman from The Financial Times in the latest edition of Digital Business

Menchaca has a team of 40 bloggers (yes, 40!) who monitor the web and intervene to support customers.  Admirably Dell is committed to being open and honest, although that can cause tensions internally as  some people push back against being too transparent. Nevertheless Menchaca is adamant that Dell’s blogging should be relevant and meaningful.

He says: ‘We wouldn’t have any credibility at all if we only used the blog to publish marketing messages.  We want customers to know that we’re serious about blogging and paying attention to what they have to say – not just telling them about how great we are.’

It’s going to take a profound shift in culture for more companies to embrace this view. Also blogging is complicated by the fact that some organisations have strict  regulatory policies preventing what they can and cannot disclose.  You can get round this by being open about your editorial policies. I suppose the real test of Dell’s commitment to blogging will come with their results.  Will this wholehearted blogging policy translate into commercial success? If the policy leads to improved reputation and better sales than I imagine a lot of other companies will be running to catch up.

Agencies Lag Behind

We just came across this insightful piece of comment by Joe Marchese, co-founder of SocialVibe. (It’s a site which gives its members opportunities to become ambassadors to their favorite brands by adding “support” buttons to their social networking profiles.)

Marchese points out that lots of marketing agencies are jumping on the social media bandwagon. Or they would be, if they could figure out how to go about it. It’s not that they don’t understand its enormous marketing potential, he says, just that they are structured to deal with traditional advertising, not to service brands in social media.

You can read the article here.

Something Else to Chew On

Another presentation slide. It’s about keeping your blog’s content fresh and interesting, so that people link to it.

Add a Bit of Zing

Here’s a slide we included in a presentation for one of our bluechip clients recently.  It gets across the message that blogging can really add spice to corporate marketing.