October 2005

Juicy Fruit Blog Died - R.I.P.

We blogged about it here and here and now it is gone


Alexander Muse | 4:51 pm | [2] Comments Tags: Blogs , Media 2.0 | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Content or design, what is important?

Guys like Fred at WeBreakStuff are starting to realize that most of us are not using web content in its original or intended form.  Instead we are using news readers like NetNewsWire to pull content from web sites and deliver it in text form to our readers.  Do you offer RSS/Atom feeds?  How do you feel about the loss of control feeds represent?

Alexander Muse | 4:44 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Web 2.0 , Blogs , Feeds | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Attack of the 50 Foot Blog

The professionals are nervous this week — worrying aloud about the ease with which any reader can turn into a writer.  Forbes is the latest, with an hysterical cover story about how blogs are coming to get you.  (Hysterical, as in, it’s pretty funny *and* batshit crazy all in one.)  It’s almost like a piece of performance art — a paranoid story about uneven, one-sided rants from powerful publishing entities contained in an uneven, one-sided rant from a paranoid but powerful publishing entity.  So meta it hurts.

Frankly, it’s so bad, I’m not going to offer a line by line critique.  I will say this:  they encourage firms to monitor the blogosphere and start their own blogs.  I would, too, though not to ‘fight back.’  We are counseling someone now about how to deal with negative blog posts, and our overriding message to them is that your own blog should not be about doing tit for tat on every distracting blog post out there.  Instead, add value.  Tie your name & brand to the right sorts of things.  We also don’t subscribe to the ‘blogs as weapons’ approach listed here.  We’d never be anyone’s huckleberry for that sort of foolishness. 

"Bloggers are more of a threat than people realize, and they are only going to get more toxic. This is the new reality," says Peter Blackshaw, chief marketing officer at Intelliseek, a Cincinnati firm that sifts through millions of blogs to provide watch-your-back service to 75 clients, including Procter & Gamble and Ford. 

I’m going to assume that they did a really long interview with Pete, and that this quote only looks like FUD because of the context it’s in.  Yes, monitor.  Sure, check out Intelliseek, but not because of some article-induced panic attack. 

Follow the discussion at tech.memeorandum.  Here are some of the early reviews of this piece:

Dan Gillmor

Steve Rubel

Chris Pirillo (nice one, Chris)

Robert Scoble

Jackie Huba 


Brian Oberkirch | 7:44 am | [4] Comments Tags: Corporate Blogging , Blogs | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Weblogs work according to Marketplace

Check out this podcast (not really since it is a RAM file) from American Public Media’s Markplace radio show. Patrick Hirsch interviews the people behind the English Cut Blog and Stonyfield Farm Blog.

Technorati Tags: podcast, npr, David Parmet, English Cut, Stonyfield Farm, Patrick Hirsch, Marketplace

Frederic Tubale | 2:42 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Blog Consultancy , Weblogs Work , Blogs , Blogging Tools | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

If your brand is getting blogged & remixed, you might be on to something

Sweet piece in yesterday’s NYTimes on unofficial brand blogs - fan blogs for products like Barq’s (It Tastes Good) & services like Netflix. (Hey, didn’t we ask a bit ago where the Blockbuster evangelist blog was?) Lots of chatter in this piece about blogs as really great learning channels — open focus groups that broadcast the good, bad & ugly about products & companies. These are also great brand rally points — e.g. the Vespa projects kicked off by the Micropersuasion team. This, however, was a stunner:

Most of them are written without the consent of the companies that own the brands; a spokesman for Coca-Cola, which owns Barq’s, had not heard of Mr. Marx’s blog. 

Say what? The dude has been running a Barq’s blog since ‘04 (with an url like thebarqsman.com) and you, tasked with talking up Coke products, tell the paper of record you have never heard of such? Sounds like the Coca-Coca company could use some blog monitoring services. I have just the team for you.

Technorati Tags: customer+evangelists

Brian Oberkirch | 8:07 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Search engines hate Flash websites

More and more lawyers around Dallas are upgrading their tired old web sites with fancy new Flash enabled sites. These new sites look great and frankly I really like the new looks. We think this is a big mistake.  Why?

First, search engines hate Flash websites. For example, Google reads the text on a page, but Flash creates nice images that Google’s searchbots cannot read. Kevin O’Keefe has a great post about this issue titled "Flash and search engines do not mix for professional services websites."

Second, design companies are making a mint off these new sites and are building in recurring revenue to boot. Flash talent is expensive increasing the upfront cost of building a new site in Flash. The ongoing cost is high as any change the firm might need requires the involvement of the Flash designer. You will be locked into paying high fees forever.

Here are some examples of great looking sites that do not rank well due to their use of Flash: Milbank, Merlo Kanofsky, and Jones Vargas. Who else agrees with us? How about Business Week and Google Blogoscoped (an SEO powerhouse).

Technorati Tags: google, flash, seo

Alexander Muse | 2:09 pm | [3] Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Weblogs Work , Blogging Tools | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

‘Blogadvergaming’ by Budget Car Rental

In a first, Budget Car Rental is using ‘blogadvergaming’ as a marketing tool. Budget is hiding a $10,000 prize in four cities over four weeks giving away $160,000 total. Clues will be delivered on Budget’s blog in cartoon format (featuring our favorite cartoonist Hugh MacLeod). The ‘blogadvergaming’ program was organized by B.L. Ochman. Via Adrants and Business Week.

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Alexander Muse | 11:47 am | [3] Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Managed Blogging , Blog Consultancy , Blog Hosting , Web 2.0 , Weblogs Work , Micromarketing , Blogs , Media 2.0 , New PR , Blogging Tools | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Help Them Help You: Creating Blog Evangelists

Steve Rubel is on a bit of a tear. Today he serves up a remixing of Creating Customer Evangelists, blog-style. His steps:

1. Use your blog to solicit feedback from your customers and then act on it 2. Blog away your best ideas 3. Find, listen, engage and empower your blogging influencers 4. Blog with a higher holy calling 5. Blog away coupons, tchotchkes and other freebies 6. Show your customers that you’re their greatest fans

He also has visual aids. Check it out.

Technorati Tags: blogs, customer+evangelists, steve+rubel

Brian Oberkirch | 2:00 pm | No Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Corporate Blogging , Blogs | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

O the Arcade

I might have to thumbwrestle the team over this, but I could probably be sweetalked into swapping Gahbunga for a standup Tempest or Galaga box.  I’m easy like that.  & nostalgic. 

Brian Oberkirch | 11:36 am | No Comments Tags: Blogs | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Gahbunga: WebWorks first orphan

Remember Gahbunga?  It was a neat little application for teenage girls, a hot-or-not for their camera phones.  Basically, you could take a picture of your date, send it to Gahbunga and get a rating from your friends or the entire Gahbunga community.  Our WebWork Team recently decided that there was not enough room on the boat for several of their current projects including Gahbunga.  The team is almost completely focused on the development of a set of Web 2.0 tools they are calling Big in Japan: Web 2.0 Toolbox.

No one on the WebWorks Team wanted to ‘own’ the project by promoting or adding features to it.  The team decided that the best solution would be to sell it on ebay so here is a link to the auction.  Own a dating service?  Own a dating website?  Want to start a cool little online dating business?  Maybe Gahbunga is for you.  Wonder if they will get any bids? 

Alexander Muse | 11:07 am | No Comments Tags: Dallas , Web 2.0 , Media 2.0 , New PR , Startup | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Speaking Of: Syndicate, San Francisco

Syndicate Logo-1
Thanks to a kind invite from Doc Searls, I’ll be hosting a panel at the Syndicate conference in San Francisco on December 13th. The panel is on ‘Emergency Syndication’. I’ll be talking about my experiences with the Slidell Hurricane Damage blog and the subsequent Recovery 2.0 discussions. Britt Blaser will be talking about the work we’ve been doing together to evolve his Spirit of America infrastructure for Katrina relief. & Zack Rosen will be talking about the great work his team did with the KatrinaPeopleFinder project.

Hope to see you there. We’ll be doing new shirts for this as well. (Notice a trend?) Anyone wants to get together (ahem, Mr. Arrington, Ms. Rouge?), let us know.

Update: They just posted up my pic & bio on the speaker pages. (Note: tough to photograph yourself.) They cropped out the destruction I had strategically placed in the background. Get it, we’re talking about hurricane blogging here, right? Such artistic subtlety. Here is the full photo.

Technorati Tags: , , ,

Brian Oberkirch | 10:57 am | [2] Comments Tags: Blogs Work , Weblogs Work | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

Speaking Of: The Blogging Enterprise

So we’ll be at The Blogging Enterprise, a blog conference in Austin on November 2.

I’ll be speaking at the session on citizen journalism, sharing insights gleaned from a month of disaster blogging.  If you’re in town then, be sure to say hello.  I think we’re doing a new batch of t shirts, so ask me for one.  Who else will be there? Steve Rubel, Shel Israel, Matt Mullenweg, Charlie Wood, Jon Lebkowsky and lots of other cool people. We’re pretty stoked. John Moore of Brand Autopsy may also be there, which would rock.

Charlie posts a note that some folks will be getting together at Chuy’s the night before.

Also: a reminder that we’ll be at the Web 2.0 panel at the UT biz school the night before. That will also be rocking good, and there will be a t shirt involved. (A small, good thing I take pleasure in these days.)

Technorati Tags: austin, blog+conference, shel+israel, steve+rubel, thebloggingenterprise, Weblogs+Work

Brian Oberkirch | 10:35 am | 1 Comment Tags: Blogs Work , Weblogs Work , Blogs | Bookmark on del.icio.us | Digg It

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