Monday, January 31, 2005

Day One Morning Sessions: Blog University

Two more recaps from my recent blog conference experience are posted:

1. Recap of the "How To Pitch to Bloggers" Session
Hint #1: Don't call it "pitching!"

2. Recap of the "Measuring/Monitoring/Tracking Blogs" Session
Lots of techie talk left many more confused than when they started.

Don't worry there's more to come.

Once I finish recapping the session I may even try to introduce you to the online presence of some of the cool people I met in person.

Baby steps.

Saturday, January 29, 2005

First Two Blog University Recaps Posted

Opening Session of the Forum posted here. Find out what primary philosophy I violently disagreed with.

"Getting Started" session recap posted here. It was the Jets v. Sharks: the blogvangelists vs. the pragmatic marketing folks right from the start! BUt in a good way, truly.

More tomorrow. I'm off to the theatre tonight.

The New Comm Forum recap is coming

If you're interested in what went on at the Blog University I attended, my recap will be coming soon.

I am still not wholly immersed in the blog mentality, I think. Lots of folks were live blogging the events they sat in. Lots of folks have already posted their thoughts. You can find some of them at Technorati.

Meanwhile, I still take notes on paper (as Jory, one blogger I met, amusingly exposes here

Why? Because I like a little marination time for my thoughts. I don't fancy myself a reporter; I fancy myself a commenter, an analyst. I need to extract the points I feel are significant, and I like to expound on them. I like to have the big picture in mind, to perhaps see the threads that are woven together by the end of the day.

And I like to write that way because I like to read that. If blogs are defined by being someone's informal, conversational relationship you have with the blogger, then where does that voice go when people simply record what happens as it happens?

So my session recaps will be coming. I can only hope they're worth the wait.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Off to another blogging conference

While the Blog Business Summit in Seattle is getting all the buzz right now, I'm heading off bright and early tomorrow morning for Blog University, courtesy of the New Communications Forum.

This conference is also targeted towards those who intend to blog for companies, as opposed to personal bloggers. I imagine the area where i'll pick up some good tips is on the technology side, as opposed to the marketing/communications side.

I'm also curious to see how many of the presenters actually do blog for companies, as opposed to just writing their own marketing/communications/blogging blogs.

At previous blog conferences I've been to the concept of what Worker Bees does has seemed to flummox many people. A lot of people regard doing "business blogging" as a way of describing trying to make money off their blog with advertising or tip jars. Others seem to think it means blogging for the company you already work for.

I like the term "Enterprise Blogging." Just like enterprises need software or security, and they turn to vendors to provide it. They need blogging, and they are going to increasingly turn to vendors to provide it. vendors like Worker Bees. See the difference there?

Or am I just crazy?

Anyway, oddly enough, being a crazy blogger at a blogging conference, I will be without a computer. I can't wait to see the gasps, sneers, and sympathy when the other bloggers see me there taking notes with my notebook...a paper one that is.

How will I survive without email, IM and blogging for two days? I guess I'll have to let you know on Friday.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Some Good Advice on Blog Writing from BL Ochman. I buy most of it anyway.

Lengthy, robust post from BL Ochman about how to write good blog posts.

Some of the advice I like the best:
-Link like crazy.
Absolutely. Interactivity is one of the qualities that I think distinguishes blogs from general web sites. Interactivity does not only mean comments and trackbacks, it also means providing your readers with more. More sites to visit. More food for thought.

-Don't take yourself too seriously.
Yes, yes, yes. when people take themselves too seriously, they tend to get to upset at those who disagree or at the very least take them less seriously. That leads to flaming and nastiness and general online viciousness, which I hate. But it all starts when people forget to take a deep breath and remember it's not brain surgery; it's not life or death. (Well, except maybe for the medbloggers.)

-Forget what you learned about business writing in school.
Blogs are informal, conversational...anything but staid marketing speak you can spot a mile off please.

Some of the advice I am not sure is always relevant:
-Aim at keeping your posts at about 250 words.
A rule I think she immediately breaks with the post in question. This goes to one of my other blog themes: blogs are tools. They can have different target audiences, different purposes. If your blog is a storytelling blog, and your readers expect to read stories...then they can easily handle longer posts. I write many shorter posts, but sometimes a story or essay is in order. I don't feel constrained simply because I'm posting in a blog.

-Use bulleted points whenever you can.
Hmmm. Not so sure about this one. Although I am using them in this post, so there goes my bullet-point-opinion credibility. Again, what are you writing about? Who is the audience? Bullets don't fit into certain styles, but are perfect for others. use discretion. Use your head.

When I started to extract the other advice i didn't find 100% useful, I realized that they all had to do with one thing: Ochman is pretty much giving advice for writing journalistic blog posts. That is but a small portion of the blogging going on out there. And if her premise is that any company who decides to blog should be creating a journalistic-style blog, I would have to disagree.

Bottom line: even though the post is way longer than 250 words, it is well worth checking out. Think about every piece of advice and make it a conscious decision to take or ignore it. don't follow advice slavishly, but don't discard an idea before you've really thought through whether it could help you be a better blogger, or really just a better writer.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

The Importance of Monitoring Your Web Presence

And I don't just mean stats on your own sites.

I often talk about the importance of doing Google alerts, Google searches and using Technorati and other services to track references to you, your business and your sites/blogs online.

I do this religiously every day. And today is yet another reason why.

Found two references of note.

First of all, I found a post by someone who writes a blog about arts management, amusingly called Butts in the Seats, who had (via Googling) and found out about me, Worker Bees and our theatre blogs. He made only slight reference to my blogs, but mentioned he would read more of them later. Now I know he exists. I cant rack his blog, and I can also track whether he says anything more about my business. BTW: this hit came on page 16 of the Google results for my name, so it pays to dig deep into the results.

I also found that Deborah Russel-Brown, who maintains at least 3 blogs at last count, referenced me in yet another one of her blogs, and very nicely too. I have linked to a post she made about Worker Bees in one of her other blogs, and this post is even more detailed with more links and citations.

This one I found through Technorati, the first through Google. Both are positive posts (or buzz, if you like) about my company.

But if they were negative, I'd need to know about that too, right? Right. Start monitoring your online!

Friday, January 21, 2005

This Week's Site of the Week

Every week I feature a new 'Site of the Week' on the Worker Bees web site.

This week it's Malcolm Gladwell's web site.

Gladwell, author of "The Tipping Point" and the newly-released "Blink", is also a columnist for The New Yorker, and his site has archived all of his columns. In this age where traditional publications don't always get the value of free, accessible online archives (yes I'm talking to you New York Times) this is a welcome part of his site.

I saw Gladwell speak 2 days ago, and he is charming, articulate and clearly sharp as a tack.

So, if you read this blog, but don't often go to my regular site, every Friday I try to give you a good reason to go there.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

I'm Waiting for the Firestorm...

Some months ago, a little company named Marqui announced a plan to pay bloggers $800 a month to write about their control over what they wrote, but they had to write something. Much drama ensued. Most of it as people derided the concept and said the sky was falling upon that pure, chaste land known as the blogsphere. [Disclaimer: as it turns out, I know the Marqui CEO, although I started writing about the topic long before I found that out.]

I, myself, posted that I too thought it wasn't a great idea, but for business reasons. Marqui was paying influential bloggers...paying, essentially, for their ability to influence. BUt being perceived as shills would necessarily degrade that influence. So Marqui would never get exactly what they thought they were paying for.

Now Steve Rubel (who to his credit was never one of the screaming hordes calling for Marqui's burning at the stake...or more accurately for the burning at the stake of the bloggers who would dare to participate in Marqui's program) has written an article advising companies on how they can leverage influential bloggers.

Some of the ideas are absolutely in line with what I offer,especially hiring a blogger to write for a company, with it fully disclosed that it's the company's blog, and some of them don't seem so different from the Marqui idea, like trying to get bloggers to use your product and blog about it.

I'm just waiting to see if similar drama ensues, or if Steve is such an all-around mensch that no one will feel compelled to tear a new one over the article.

A very kind opinion on Worker Bees

Many thanks to Pete from He heard about me from Paul at Radiant Marketing and checked out my site.

He has this to say.


"...this is the way word of mouth marketing should be... Honest buzz about buzzworthy businesses and events."

I appreciate it, and at the same time I'm sad that "buzz" marketing has gotten such a bad name that my business represents a different approach to it that deserves being called out.

When I first started my business I was thinking of a name that called out the term "viral" marketing. People told me that "viral" gave them a lot of bad associations. And I'm talking about average, everyday business people who don't follow "viral" or "buzz" marketing, and weren't even that familiar with the whole bloggy thing. Since those would rank amongst my target customers, I decided there was something to it and went with "buzz" marketing. And when the name Worker Bees came back to me as a company name I had fantasized abut years ago with a colleague, well, the "buzz" choice seemed karmic.

That was before BzzAgent, Mazda, Marqui and the VBMA, and before a whole bunch of a whole bunch of people decided that "buzz" marketers were synonymous with "shills."

Pete's exactly right that I'm trying to create honest buzz. Or give something honest to people for them to buzz about. I hope buzz marketing will shed this "bad apple" image and just return to being another part of the marketing barrel.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

Business Blogging is All the Buzz

Yet another article on business blogging. This time the focus is on measuring your blog's success. I like many of the points made in this article, the first of which is simply that you ought to have some goals for your blog effort, just like any other marketing program.

The other point the article makes, which I think is often lost, is that the tools for blogging may be inexpensive or even free, but if you don't have the internal resources to create and maintain the blog, then just like anything'll be paying for someone's blogging time and skill.

I was just talking to Paul Chaney from Radiant Marketing today about this.

It reminds me somewhat of the economics you see in the theatre. Who gets paid the least (if at all) in the theatre? The actors. Leave aside the top 2% that actually make a significant living at it. In community, semi-pro and professional theatres around the country you can bet that the directors, the designers, the musicians and even the stage crew may be making more money than the actors.

Because somewhere along the line actors let it slip that they do it "for love." Or for "the experience." Or to "hone their craft." But not to "make a living."

Many bloggers have a bit of that fanatic "we love what we do" attitude...and it won't serve them if they want to make a living at it.

Blogging for a business is a skill and talent. You are (or should be) providing all or some of the following:

Strategic marketing planning
Market and competitive research
Marketing content creation
Technical writing
Program management
Program tracking
A feedback loop from the user to the development or customer service team

And so on.

It takes time. Time is money. Show me the money; I'll show you the love.

Does that seem crass? I don't think so. We are businesspeople talking business. That statement should be one that businesspeople everywhere can easily understand.

Ooh, they should be ashamed!

I've spoken for a couple of different EBIG Special Interest Groups, but never for the Sales & Marketing SIG.

I see they have a very interesting topic coming up this Thursday: Get The Word Out: Proven Techniques to Publicize Your Product or Service.

Here are the techniques the presentation agenda promises to cover:

-Make friends with the media
-Write the killer news release
-Take advantage of existing publicity opportunities
-Create new opportunities
-Develop attention-getting visuals
-Plan and evaluate your publicity program

Anyone see what's missing? Anyone? Anyone?

How can you talk about getting the word out and not at least touch on this new-fangled, but ever growing, phenomenon of blogging?

Tsk, tsk, tsk.

I'm going to give them the slightest, tiniest benefit of the doubt and say that perhaps blogging is so new they hesitate to attest that it qualifies as a "proven" technique.

But I'm guessing this is the presentation of a traditional PR person who simply hasn't gotten up to speed on the brave new blog world.

Hop to it, PR mavens. My experience indicates that more and more companies are at least going to be asking you about whether they need to blog. You won't get very far with a simple "No" answer.

A Little Marketing Humor

David Weinberger expands upon a theme sounded by a recent AP article...dissing marketing-speak. It's an amusing read.

Frankly I must admit to the use of the following marketing-speak words often in my high tech marketing career:

Scalable (always hotly debating the use or non-use of the letter 'e'.)

Functionality (Sadly when I first entered high tech marketing I was well aware that this isn't really a word...that was before I crossed over to the dark side.)

User-friendly (Hell, our gear asked how your day was when you logged on...didn't yours?")

Powerful (You could stack many a free weight on our boxes.)

Interoperable (OK, maybe not brain surgery, but perhaps a collagen lip injection.)

Flexible (Because touching your toes is really hard, you know?)

I'm sure the list could go on if embarrassment didn't stop me here.

What are your favorite meaningless buzz words?

Monday, January 17, 2005

Earthlink starts they get it?

I have to say at first glance I am way impressed that Earthlink has started a blog.

What they're doing right:

Well, they seem to have real people blogging...and real people that sound like real people. Good for them. And they have thus far avoided anything that seems sales-y, which would probably be the quick kiss of death for the blog if they did.

They also provide an RSS feed, which as I've said before, is an absolute must.

They're not allowing comments, which makes them seem just a bit wimpy, don't you think? I mean if the guy over at the GM blog can take comments, why can't the wimpy Earthlink guys?

And I must admit that I am amazed they decided to make the entire blog about online security only. Doesn't that seem a little limited? I guess if their target reading audience are the real gear-heads then they might be able to maintain interest for quite some time. But average folks like me? They'll need to broaden their scope to get me to subscribe to their feed.

I mean I know it's for my own good, but I'm not sure I can take a steady diet of security information. How about you?

The Story of Worker Bees Seems to Resonate

Since having my bloggy business profiled both by and, several bloggers have picked up the story and excerpted bits of it on their blogs. Today Paul Chaney from Radiant Marketing has done so today.

I think there are a couple things about the story that people can relate to:

1. It is about networking and relationships. I always tell the story that I was at lunch with a friend when the idea for my business was germinated. And it is that same friend who has connected me with many of my clients. Well, everyone has friends; everyone has a network. You may not be aware of how far your network extends. You may not be aware of how to leverage you network without feeling like a jerk. But you have a network, and you can make the most of it honorably.

2. It is about connecting the dots between the skills you've learned and applied in your working life, and the application of those skills to something you feel passionately about. The fact that I get to blog about something I love, like the arts, is gravy. I always say that you should start out blogging about whatever gets you excited. It will be obvious in your writing, and that writing will attract readers. Applying what you've learned to what you love is rewarding, no doubt about it...and it's probably the fantasy of many people out there. My story just shows them it can be done.

Why do consultancy businesses exist? Because no one has the time or even the inclination to become expert at everything. But for every task you don't want to do or have time to do or feel you're good at, there's someone out there who loves that very thing you're avoiding.

I love blogging. I even love marketing. And I love helping people/organizations get the word out that they're doing something cool. Hence, Worker Bees.

Defining Slander, libel and defamation in the context of blogging

Fascinating post from Mitch Racliffe on the definitions of libel, slander and defamation. He also focuses on the angle of how this would apply to someone doing blogging, or podcasting or any other web-based communication tool.

Frankly, you can be accused of slander, in particular, just for making a statement to someone, and this has always been the case. In a business context I suppose statements about the competition would be the most at risk of trespassing into not quite licit territory.

What is new is the reach and scope of blogs, podcasts and the like.

If you think, when you blog, that no one will ever notice what little old you are doing on your blog, you would be wrong, wrong, wrong.

Now, public figures are a little less protected. That is why I can enjoy being inflammatory over on my Political Blog. Of course I better not veer into sounding like I'm threatening any public figure there, or it will earn me a quick visit from the Secret Service.

The online world is monitored (just as you should be monitoring online references to you and your own business.)

Ratcliffe's post should come in handy as a reminder of what you can and cannot say online, at least with impunity.

Sunday, January 16, 2005

Side note regarding the Mayer recap

I didn't want to make these part of my comments in the original post about the Marissa Mayer presentation because a) it's a separate, larger topic and b) the blogger isn't really responsible for some of the comments he gets on the post.

But I do have this little bit more to say:

We learn something interesting from reading the comments on this post (and this may be part of the reason I don't read comments very often):

Some people still think it's more relevant to comment on Mayer's appearance than on what she had to say. I did some soul-searching here. I occasionally comment on male hotness on my Personal Blog, although it's typically actors and musicians I'm drooling over. And I also often talk about "brain-crushes"...people who send my heart all a-flutter because of what they think and write and say.

I think if women in technology and business were not so often marginalized or discounted then the occasional comment on attractiveness wouldn't be so jarring. But it's still too much of the basic information provided about any woman in any discussion/press coverage etc. It just gets old. Every piece on a woman, no matter how serious, no matter how little her profession has to do with appearance, finds a way to mention her appearance at least once. I don't care about a woman's "sunny laugh" or "perfectly manicured nails" or "conservative, but feminine business suit." Really. Don't. Care.

Sure, it happens to a few men too...Brian Greene, hot physicist anyone?...and I guess I'd just appreciate equal opportunity objectification.

So, next time Steve Jobs gives his keynote, can we please talk about his form-fitting black turtlenecks and speculate on whether he's hitting the gym as often? Or can we call Steve Ballmer zaftig? How come a description of what the Google founders are wearing isn't part of every news piece we read?

Make these few minor adjustments, and I will get off my soapbox pronto.

Letting an Online Diva Really Talk

A couple of months ago I attended a presentation entitled 'Online Divas' which was ostensibly about women driving innovation in the online technology arena.

At the time I expressed disappointment that the youngest and most technical of the online divas, Google Director Marissa Mayer, was given short shrift, theorizing it was because the moderator "related" to her least.

Well, this blogger has a terrific recap of what happens when you hire Mayer to speak, and actually let her speak.

Two interesting things we learn from his recap:

1. Google prizes innovation and gives their employees the freedom to innovate. Imagine being told that 20% of your time at work should be devoted to messing around with your own ideas! Now, granted, that only works if you have enough resources to hit your roadmap milestones and meet your customer commitments too. Google happens to be in a business where the "customer commitment" side of it is rather murky. I mean, now they have services where you could say there are customers in a more traditional sense, such as AdWords and GMail, but their original business wasn't quite the same.

2. Customer comfort ranks higher than logic or necessity sometimes. Sure no one really uses the "I Feel Lucky" button very often. But apparently, people like to see it there. And the bareness of the home page is intentional, but it used to be even more bare. User labs showed that people didn't quite feel the page could be done loading when so bare, so they added some language at the bottom that isn't needed and no one reads, but that signifies that the page is complete.

And there's more. Sounds like she gave an interesting presentation. Kudos to Alan for a great recap, and thanks to Scoble for the link to Alan.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Intersting Article on Enterprise Blogging

Blogging for business is certainly becoming all the rage as a least in the blog community.

There are even two, count'em two, conferences this month alone that are primarily geared toward the concept, the Blog Business Summit, and the New Communications Forum 2005, helpfully subtitled Blog University.

And I am in talks with a variety of businesses, all wondering how to leverage this rapidly growing community known, to the chagrin of some, as the blogosphere.

So, here's an article on the topic, Enterprise Blogging, that is, that's worth a read.

The article basically lists most of the applications for blogging technology that I covered in my recent EBIG presentation on the same topic: internal and external communications, marketing, project management, customer service etc.

The article brings up one very valid point...any organization that gets fully into blogging has to be able to handle the "open-source" grass-roots nature of the tool. If the company is used to everything going through and being controlled by only the very top people, they might not like the more informal nature of the blog...the need for a blog to have an authentic human voice, not a packaged marketing voice.

Some companies might not like that. And you could say that if they're not a consumer-oriented business, then who cares? but every business does ultimately boil down to people (no, not in the Soylent Green kind of way.) And as people get more accustomed to the open, many-to-many environment that is part of not only the blog culture, but the basic online culture, companies who can't operate in that environment will be at a disadvantage.

So say I.

Thanks to ProBlogger for the link.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Disappointing News: And what does it mean?

I got some disappointing news today. LIFT, the organization for which I do some group coaching, is shutting down. They simply could not bring the membership numbers up enough to justify the continued funding rate.

And I think it's interesting to think about why that might be.

LIFT has some great benefits going for it:

For an affordable monthly membership fee women could take as many workshops as they wanted. So rather than constantly paying for one-shot deals on workshops that purported to change your life in a day, LIFT was offering ongoing assistance and opportunities to grow.

The variety of workshops offered was fairly broad. If you were into more of the life coaching idea there were workshops on balance, figuring out what you want and setting goals for all aspects of your life etc. These weren't airy-fairy, touchy-feely sessions, but practical guides to organizing your though processes and making achievable plans. There were also workshops that were purely about career, and even about financial issues, from real estate as investment, to learning how to get control of your finances and handle them better.

Most of the workshops lasted between 3-6 weeks and were only an hour and a half long per session.

And then there's always the networking offered by taking group session. LIFT also scheduled events outside of the workshops themselves to facilitate that networking.

So what kept women from signing up in droves?

-Do we want the promise of one workshop fixing all our ills?

-Is $39 a month not as "affordable" as I think it is?

-Were evening workshops a bad idea...would lunch time workshops, despite all the distractions a mid-day event occurs amidst, have been more successful? Or weekends?

I'll tell you something I observed. In the few workshops I got to conduct there was not one women in any of the workshops who attended each and every week. Every women had "something come up" at some point that took precedence over attending a self-help workshop. And I wonder if women are just a bit too conditioned to put anything other than themselves first? Would a man have paid good money for a membership, and then skipped out?

Maybe he would have, but women certainly did left and right. This despite many exclamations about how much they were getting out of the workshops and ow much they enjoyed them.

When talking to LIFT's founder this afternoon I used this example: I'm starting a book club. My sister wants to come, but Wednesdays (which work best for everyone else) "don't work" for her. When I asked why, she said her husband works out on Wednesday nights.

Finally I said, "this club is only going to meet every other month. Perhaps 1 Wednesday out of 8 he can make another arrangement.

So, she'll probably try to arrange that, but the point didn't occur to her. Her immediate thought was that the arrangements of the family as they stood were a given, and she could only try to work around that status quo. I thought that was telling.

And it might be exactly why women had such a hard time finding 1.5 hours per week to make the workshops they claimed to enjoy and get so much out of.

Does that ring true to you?

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

This month's expanded Silicon Veggie for Metro Santa Cruz

As mentioned, I now get to expand my monthly column for the Santa Cruz edition on a regular basis.

Here's this month's.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Job Wanted: Chief Blogging Officer

Hey, if this guy can land that kind of job, why can't I?


Just one little clarification...

Well, another lesson about being vigilant about Googling, Technorati'ing, PubSub'ing and Feedstering yourself.

Today I found this blog write up which mentions my saga about how I started blogging for theatres.

The author may have picked it up from my recent profile on, or perhaps from my earlier one on profiles mention the whole "lunch with a friend" catalyst for my decision to form Worker Bees.

I appreciate her finding my story encouraging enough to write about, but I did have to email her to correct something in it.

The customer who got the excellent results she mentions is Foothill Music Theatre, not TheatreWorks.

Foothill was the first theatre to give my new idea a shot, and they were rewarded with pretty immediate, positive results.

As I pointed out to Deborah, the blogger in question, one of the reasons they were so successful is that they really allowed me to treat it as a true marketing effort...complete with customer-friendly discount offer and trackable promotions. This allowed them to get greater conversion of reader to ticket holder, but even more so, to track that conversion.

I continue to believe that if a customer wants to quantify their foray into this kind of online marketing effort, they have to approve the same kind of offers they would for other marketing programs. It's fine if a customer simply wants a blog to add dynamic content to their web site, and are wiling to pay simply to have that content, confident that it will eventually payoff in more loyal and regular customers. I believe that blogs are great customer outreach tools. Certainly the Saturn exec who just started a blog is not going to be able to associate car sales directly to his blogging efforts.

But if they want to quantify how the blog helps generate ticket sales, they can't rely on anything but a trackable promotional code to do it!

So say I!

And I hope the blogger posts the correction and gives Foothill the credit they deserve.

[Not to mention that TheatreWorks probably would be surprised to see those results claimed for their blog, given that they did not institute trackable promotions. I would hate to have them think I'm using them as such a reference, when I'm not.]

Friday, January 07, 2005

UPDATED: I might need to return to my former cult

Before I got my beloved Audi in a fit of car-envy, I was a member of the cult of Saturn.

It was the first new car I'd ever bought. The first car I ever had that I actually took care of, bringing in for all the appropriate services at all the appropriate times. And it treated me well...never breaking down, never getting so much as a flat tire...for 5 years.

Well, my Audi lease is up in June, and much as I love it, and have thought that the only thing that might tear me from my great Audi experience would be a hybrid car, Saturn is actually giving me a reason to return to their cult.

They've started a blog!

Good things they're doing with the blog:

-An executive is actually writing some of the content.
-They're allowing comments and publishing trackbacks.
-They provide RSS and Atom feeds, along with links to subscribe in Bloglines.

I'm impressed, and I'll say it again: if you're running a company, particularly a consumer-oriented one, when are you starting a blog?


UPDATE: Well, we know the NY Times isn't quite hip to the blog phenomenon now. An entire article about how Saturn is trying to recover, and not one word about their innovative marketing tactic...using a blog to foster a closer relationship with their customers and[possibly reach younger customers.

Tsk. Tsk.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Expanded Silicon Veggie Gig

Had a nice chat today with the editor of the Santa Cruz edition of the Metro (who publishes my Silicon Veggie column.)

They have occasionally re-printed my column in their edition, but he's really interested in giving me a few more words, and he actually prefers my "think" pieces (as he called them) over plain old restaurant reviews.

So, starting with the column that just was released yesterday, I'm going to make a 50% more wordy version for his edition. In addition, he'd be happy to get extra think pieces from me if I have the time to write them.

I'm very excited. Santa Cruz probably does have an even more prominent vegetarian community than Silicon Valley, so it's a great fit.

Next Santa Cruz, after that, the world!

Another Blogger Interview Released Yesterday

In a bit of synergistic coincidence, the Blog Herald posted their own interview with a female blogger leveraging that to to make her living.

This not to be confused, of course, with my own interview on

So, do Trudy and I see eye-to-eye?

Pretty much:

1. Blogging is a vehicle for writers. Sure Trudy would take money to blog, just like she'd take money to do any other kind of writing.

2. Have some passion when you write.

3. Be willing to promote yourself.

All common themes that Trudy and I ring.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

This month's Silicon Veggie column

I do a little ranting about hidden non-vegetarian ingredients and rigid dieticians here.

Write-up of my bloggy career change on

Career consultant Jane Allen interviewed me for this career transition column on, a career web site.

It's a nice, long look at my transition into finding a new way to combine the marketing skills I had acquired with the online community participation I enjoyed, and the arts environment that I love.

As with all articles, there were things left out or a light focused a few feet over to the left of where I might have focused it, but all in all job well done.

I do wish she had put the URL for this blog as the contact URL, instead of my Personal Blog, seeing as it is an article on career transition.


Last Night's EBIG Presentation

Had a great time presenting to a lively group at the EBIG Blogging/RSS SIG.

But don't take my word for it. There are already a couple of blogger write-ups online:

Eric Rice
Steve Tennant
Peter Chang

Highlights for me:

Eric Rice saying "You're my new hero!" Who wouldn't love that?

Another gentleman (damn, didn't get his card) saying he had been coming to the SIG for a while, but that he had his epiphany moment from my presentation: and understood how the authentic voice of a blog could help the marketer to lower the level of distrust and become closer to their customer.

I was the catalyst for an epiphany! (Quick, I must think of another college vocabulary word to throw into the sentence!)

There were those in the audience who were new to blogging and also long-time bloggers who were simply curious about how someone would relate blogs to a corporate environment. And lots of folks in the audience had a lot to contribute as well. especially on the technical side of it, there were plenty of people there who knew far more than I about how to do certain things with your blog.

I hope I delivered content for any of those people and everyone in between. I think I did.

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Blogging for Project Mgmt.

In researching for my Blogging presentation tonight to EBIG, I found this handy little encapsulation of why blogging is a great technology for internal project management.

I couldn't have said (too much) better myself, so check out what these guys have to say.

Sunday, January 02, 2005

Some of the year's best new online services/sites, according to the Washington Post

Find the list here.

Out of the nine, I've only used three: Gmail, FundRace2004 and JibJab.

Gmail hasn't really won me over. I do use it now when I sign up for new, online registrations. Mostly so I won't clog up my Mail client with the sure-to-ensue spam.

I checked out FundRace 2004 to see who a couple of local executives were donating to, and I, like everyone else, laughed a lot at JibJab's "This Land Is Your Land", and a little less at their follow up.

I've heard of some of the others on the list, Flickr and Skype, most notably. But haven't given them a shot...yet.

How many have you tried/used/heard of?

Adding to the chorus: "Blogs are just one more tool."

I've been saying it for a while.

The last week I found a like-minded individual.

Now today, yet another and another.

You hear a lot of people say, "blogs are a conversation" or "blogs are online journals", andthey neglect to add a very important word: "some".

Some blogs are conversations. Some blogs are online journals.

But from the business perspective, blogs are a tool, as I'll be illustrating in my presentation to EBIG's Blogging SIG on Tuesday. Maybe you can join me?

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