Wednesday, June 20, 2007

c|net's new blog network: It's a man's world baby!

c|net has introduced a new blog network, although it might more accurately be called an expansion of their existing blog collection.

Although they're smart enough to call out two women bloggers amongst the four they call out in detail, the entire remaining list of new blogs are by men. So two out of four featured. Two out of eighteeen in total.

This is a trend I see lately. Companies are clearly aware that they should look like they care about diversity, so I get marketing emails from conferences highlighting almost as many women as men speakers, or this release which prominently features women.

But when you dig a little deeper or click a little further, the ratios as a whole are not so great.

Does that work?

Here at Supernova 2007

After some challenges getting online, I am now wifi-enabled here at Wharton West, the venue for Supernova 2007's pre-conference "Challenge Day."

I'm parked in the "Markets & Relationships" track...mostly because it's moderated by Jerry Michalski, who I enjoy.

The opening session was a discussion between Jerry and Cluetrain Manifesto co-authors Doc Searls and Dave Weinberger. I have to say I didn't think the format or over-arching topic served these guys well. We got caught up in a discussion or definition of CRM inverted.

If both of those acronyms are Greek to you, as best I understand it, CRM or Customer Realtionship Management is how companies often define their efforts to organize sales, service and support around customers. VRM or Vendor Relationship Management is inverted...asking what it would look like if vendors behaved as only one of the customer's many choices, and if customers took an active role in managing their vendors. I dunno. Here are some links, you figure it out. Project VRM Wikipedia on CRM

The point is heard a lot of talk about language. I'm a writer. I think words ar important, but seriously, do we need a discussion about whether it's better to say one "manages" an online community or "serves" it get the idea. "Customer" vs. "consumer." The evils of the term "user generated content." The conversation around language just seem tired.

Why don't we stop talking theory and language and talk action? Project VRM is so new it's a buncha talk, but I can guarantee you that there are companies out there doing cool things...even if they don't qualify as "Web 2.0", and there are customers out there making vendor decisions and managing all the companies or organizations that sell them products and services without realizing there's a new "project" behind it.

And I also think there was a lack of elasticity to the perpsectives I heard. How much relationship I want with a company, how much service I expect, how much value I derive, how much interaction I expect, how much I'm willing to pay, how annoyed I'm willing to get differs wildly based on the kind of company/product/service we're talking about. It is not one size fits all.

I will say this: I appreciated the lack of company-bashing that sometimes accompanies cluetrain-style conversations.

Companies, after all, are comprised of people. And every ad deal you mock, or customer service experience you rant about, or strategic decision you came from people, just like Soylent Green.

And I can assure you no one sets out to make a colossal blunder, or to piss off and alienate a customer or create an inane or even offensive ad. (OK, sometimes companies think it will work in their favor to do the latter.)

You and I are not better than the people at some company that makes a loser move. We've made our loser moves in other parts of our lives, I am pretty sure. I can live without the superiority that creeps into similar panels I've attended on this subject...and it was refreshing to only get a leetle bit of company0bashing, instead of a whole lot!

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Weekend "fun": If you "dig" this sort of "thing"

The "blog" of "unnecessary" quotation marks

I believe the blog "title" says it "all."

BlogHers Act: A new community activism initiative

BlogHers ActThis week BlogHer introduced a new initiative: BlogHers Act. I introduced the initiative on behalf of me, Jory and Lisa here. Here's the basic idea:
Have you ever imagined the impact if every member of BlogHer – more than 11,000 bloggers strong and growing every day -- focused our considerable brainpower, ingenuity and influence on one red-hot issue? How about if that one red-hot issue was the focus of an organized, year-long campaign to make a measurable difference that this community cares about?

Yes, some of you have. And you've emailed all three of us (sometimes more than once!) to ask BlogHer to take a leadership position in bringing the BlogHer community of powerful women together to create real change

Today, Lisa, Jory and I are very proud to say "yes." We're introducing BlogHers Act. And just like the BlogHer Conference is the conference the community built, we want BlogHers Act to take on a cause the community develops.

So today the work begins: It's up to all of us to determine, between now and the conference, what project we'll unveil and kick-off an action plan for at BlogHer '07 this July in Chicago.

BlogHers Act is an opportunity for the BlogHer community to have a collective impact on a global scale. We're going to pick a single issue, organize a year-long campaign, and blog the heck out of it.

BlogHers Act will actually be comprised of two projects to kick off, one focused on creating a Voter Manifesto for a very important target audience: the U.S. '08 presidential candidates, and one focused on a global issue that we will select as a community and take organized action around all year long.

The BlogHer '07 conference will be a flashpoint for both projects, as we each project will have a session at the conference for people to work on the projects face-to-face. In fact, we'll actually be unveiling the single global issue that was selected by the community at BlogHer '07. Will you be there?

We've asked a blogging duo who has proven capability to galvanize people to action to help us, Cooper & Emily from the BeenThere Clearinghouse Hurricane Katrina blog.

You can find details on how you can participate in Cooper & Emily's initial post, and you can find out what various BlogHer members proposed in just the first four days in their week-one wrap-up post.

You have until June 15th to blog your suggestion. Details here. And then look for our survey to finalize the issue selection, launching on June 25th.

So, blog out everyone: what is the single hot-button global issue you'd like to see thousands of women blogger turn their laser-like focus upon and work for real, measurable change of the next 12 months?

Labels: , ,

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

This month's Silicon Veggie

The title: Meatless Little Lies.

The topic: Am I just a vegetarian in vegan's clothing?

You decide.


AdAge makes that common mistake: Links do not equal traffic

AdAge, on the one hand, does a nice job of pulling together stats from various sources [PDF] in this article about blogging.

So why ruin it with faulty conclusion?

Like this one:
It’s still a man’s world out there in the blogosphere. Women’s blogging networks such as count more than 9,000 member blogs run by women (and a few men) writing on women’s issues. And women account for roughly half of all bloggers. However, much like in the corporate world, only a handful of the most-read blogs are run by women. In Technorati’s list of the top 20 blogs, only three are noticeably written by women—Arianna Huffington, Michelle Malkin and Kathy Sierra.

OK, how many times do we have to say this: Technorati measure inbound links. That's about it. Certainly not traffic. And I do believe you'd need to know traffic stats to decide who is the "most-read."

Is it correlative? While I have no doubt that most of those who are highly-linked probably have greater-than-avergae traffic, I don't think it proves that those who are not highly linked don't have high traffic. Actually, I have the anecdotal evidence of all of the humongous mommy- and foodie- and other non-tech, non-politico, non-gossip bloggers who don't end up on the Technorati list, despite mondo-traffic.

I remember the time PR-blogger extraordinaire Steve Rubel talked about his daily traffic (somewhere between 4000-5000 uniques a day if memory serves) and how surprisingly petite it was. And he's ranked #74 in the Technorati list today.

So, repeat after me: links do not necessarily equal traffic. And high traffic can come without a ton of links.

Ask Elise Bauer, mistress of SimplyRecipes, she of the millions of visitors and lack of Technorati Top 100 standing!

She'll disabuse of the notion that link popularity=traffic. And AdAge should have known better!

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?