Sunday, July 12, 2009

Aw, I'm a high school lesson!

Got the nicest email yesterday. From someone leading a class on leadership for high school students, who came upon an old post of mine and wanted to use it as a lesson in communications.

The post: A Little Story About Communication

I'll be honest, I was surprised. It's an old post, and not one that pop into my head when thinking of past posts that might be lesson-worthy.

But I'm tickled nonetheless.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Cross-post: BlogHer post on Twitter, Marketing and Tools

We launched a new Twitter account at BlogHer, @BlogHerDeals.

This prompted a little soul-searching about whether the use of Twitter as a marketing tool is a natural fit. Or whether some tools of the human variety are ruining Twitter with their marketing.

Weigh in and you be the judge.

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Sunday, July 05, 2009

QoTD: "Angry, little "SEO Experts"

I was reading a standard post about Twitter, and how he uses it, from Guy Kawasaki.

Wasn't really learning anything new or being too surprised when I read this somewhat hilarious Q from his FAQs about Twitter, about his use of ghost-twitterers:

Question: Why do some people attack you so much for this?

Answer: Most are angry, little “SEO experts” who cannot generate content, so they try to generate controversy in order to drive traffic to their blogs or get other angry, little people to follow them.

Oh so sad for those very reputable SEO folks I know, including the folks at Beyond Ink that BlogHer actually hired when we were transitioning from our old .org domain to .com.

But oh so reminds of some of the stuff that happens, say every July when "BlogHer" is a trending topic :)

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Thursday, July 02, 2009

How many ads prompt LOLs *and* serious commentary?

Lisa, Jory and I often say that we created the "best jobs we've ever had" when we co-founded BlogHer.

So, here's a little insight into one reason I say that:

Lately I've been having a lot of fun with BlogHer's own house ads that we run on and the network. We like to feature hot editorial and our contributing editors, among other community-related stuff.

One of the earliest editorial ads we did was set to feature some posts that were written on the site about marketing to women, and how companies fall back on stereotypes. When talking abut the visuals to go with the copy featuring the editors' work, one of my colleagues proposed putting the copy against a sparkly pink background, but wondered if that would be too negative.

I thought: Hey why not just go all the way with that? So I literally said:

"As for a visual: We can use their [the editors] headshots, but superimpose them onto cartoon figures as follows:

Suzane riding a unicorn
Virginia in a Disney-like princess outfit

All against a pink background with butterflies and rainbows?

I think that would be hilarious."

And I did think that would be hilarious :)

And it came out looking like this:

Which I thought was actually hilarious. I laughed every time I saw it. I exchanged tweets with folks who loved it too. Fun for all!

And then this blogger was actually motivated to write some serous commentary based on seeing the ad:

"While doing my usual rounds of the food blogs, I came across a banner that intrigued me: it was from BlogHer, asking us (you?) if marketing to women is all about stereotypes. I couldn't quite remember the content of the articles I read from that link, but one writer was lamenting about a sparkly pink candy "just for the ladies" (I can't remember if this is the article I read about the controversial candy bar called "The Finger") while another one, about a "misguided laptops-for-women site." I found myself agreeing with the content of the articles, and of course I am for gender-neutral advertising, for the most part. But don't think men have been dealt a better hand.

Just watching a local cable network here, "Maxx" (probably your equivalent would be SpikeTV, Americans), where I get my daily dose of The Daily Show and The Colbert Report, all the ads are geared towards men. The tagline is "get away with it." Away with what? Oh, watching extreme sports, bikini-clad computer-generated anime females that I hope are meant to be older than 21, references to wanking, beer, infidelity, pugilism, poker, and yes, we prefer women to be dumb (and biting their nails for some reason). Why is The Daily Show and The Colbert Report (among other comedy shows) here? Because laughter apparently requires testicles."

And he goes on to outline traditional feminine programming a la the Lifetime Network or Hallmark Channel...good stuff.

I had to agree I had never thought of it that way. And it was excellent food for pun intended simply because that incisive commentary was on a food blog :)

But you know what: That's why I love my job.

I'm just sayin'

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