Sunday, March 2, 2008

Book Blogging

Recently came across the notion of prepublication interaction that WEB 2.0 technologies encourage. More specifically, a few business technological writers have been utilizing the blog as a means of documenting research and findings (similar to what I am doing for my thesis) and allowing users and potential customers to view how they are approaching their research as well as receive feedback on what they are doing. Tools such as the blog are now allowing us to bring customers into the conversation before the finished product is released. This by all accounts makes sense and should lead to a more efficient marketplace. In this case, it includes the market for books. Matching what authors produce to the desires of the reader. This by all means is not perfect as it is only limited to the population of readers who in fact are aware of these tools and can use the internet. One can only assume that as generations advance than so will the adaptation of these tools and the better sampling of responses that authors' can consequently recieve.

Here is mcKinsey's take on the transparent office blog

"My personal favorite is the by-line on Chris Anderson's Long Tail Blog. Chris describes his blog as "a public diary on themes around a book". (If memory serves, it used to be called "a public diary on the way to becoming a book." I guess he had to change the by-line when the book came out.) What's cool about Chris's blog is that it's not exactly democratizing publishing. Chris is a veteran journalist, and he probably would have written the book with our without the blog. But the line between pre-publication and publication got blurred, and I'd wager that the book, and the public discourse around it, were far better as a result."

Monday, February 25, 2008

Bloomberg's Take

"blogging lets companies leap from a ``transmitting'' mindset to an ``engaging'' one. (The book is mercifully short on such jargon.) Take the news a few years back that a Bic pen could pick a Kryptonite lock. The company's chief executive officer jumps on the blog the same day with explanations and reparations."

"barber blog,'' which listens to your customers and shares wisdom, to the "blacksmith blog,'' written by an industry insider who shapes the big issues in any given industry."

It's clear that we can anticipate more CEO blogs and more ``about us'' pages on corporate sites that are constantly updated rather than cast in concrete."

Excerpts From Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright

These are some excellent excerpts from the book Blog Marketing by Jeremy Wright. I selected these notions and support them as the points in the main hypothesis I am developing behind the blog marketing rational...

"Every company has a lot of great ideas waiting to come to the surface. The problem with bringing those ideas to the surface is threefold: giving ideas space to develop, helping ideas get improved, and implementing the best ideas.....

The challenge for companies who invest in ideas is often that the best ideas don’t get to the top, don’t get reviewed, or don’t even get considered. This idea barrier could be killing your company. A truly open and internally viewable idea blog, or even individual employee blogs that allow people to float new ideas for peer review, should allow the best ideas to rise to the surface for selection and review. We’ll look at the concept of idea blogs more in Chapter 6, as they are an exciting way to empower your employees and generate thought."

"Relying on a small sample of customers to reflect what the entire world desires is risky at best, and foolhardy at worst. If you can’t ask everyone in the world what they want, you’re unlikely to be able to deliver what everyone truly desires. With blogging, you can ask—if not the entire world, then at least your entire blog readership, who are probably connected to and/or reading other blogs all over the Net."

"New methods of effective marketing include creating “viral” campaigns, customer-centric events, and otherwise helping customers spread the word through incentive programs and contests."

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rules for selecting blogs as a advertising medium...

Several companies that have had more success that others regarding promoting their products via blogs have successfully implemented the six following steps...

1. Search common web portals to see if a popular blog already exists on your company's product. (i.e

2. Look at frequency of blog to ensure that it is posted on at least TWICE a week.

3. Ensure that this blog is cross linked across the internet community (check

4. Read bloggers entrees to see if the blogger would be amenable to an outside approach of blogging about your companies product. Only use this approach if the blogger seems enthusiastic and develops a positive attitude towards your product.

5. Ask whether the product of service is applicable to blogging. Are there already extensive web communities developed around your product. I.E new camera technology works infinitely better in this medium than say new milk products. Some products generate more technical interest on the internet, particularly products that develop and update quicker than others.

6. Use convetional means to promote the blog. These could include e-mail, online and print advertising, television, and promotional sweepstakes (giveaways) reguarding the blog.

Reference: Marketing And Blogs: What Works by James L. Horton

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Marketing Blogs Case Three

Recently, when investigating Nike's blog site ( I came across a lot of unique ways this company is connecting with its customers. The site offers product introductions of basketball shoes before they are released in the stores and also include innovative features with live chats with college basketball coaches.

The only issue was that this site does not feel like a blog at all. Nowhere can the customers see who the author is or leave feedback on posts. As soon as customers click on a link within the blog they are brought out of the blog to a page within Should they even call this a blog?

Marketing Blogs Case Two

Sony Playstation has an impressive employee blog ( when fans can log in and get the most up to date and inside information from the source about upcoming games, releases, and just Sony culture in general. On such post markets its new game wipEout Pulse and is done so by the Producer himself telling you about the game.

His post includes such praise,

"We completely overhauled the AI such that each and every race is now competitive from beginning to end. There are no crude catch-up techniques going on this time, we’ve worked and worked on it to ensure that each race is as tightly contested as possible."

and updates as...

"Not only that but we were the first title (in Europe at least) to support the new PlayStation Network login system which means that you can now use the same login that you use for your PS3 on your PSP. You’ll be racing against someone on the other side of the world within 10 minutes of booting the game up for the first time which is just awesome."

To me this sort of indirect marketing for Sony's products is alot more personal and meaningful than a billboard on the window of an EA Games store. The customers and fans of the game are really being able to connect with the people who produce their product. The comments section consists of a myriad of questions and praise from people who have already purchased the game.

Marketing Blogs Case One

Delta Airlines has made effective use of it's impressive company blog. Recently, there has been a post concerning the airlines new addition of the Delta’s first 777-200LR plane. (

This beautiful plane has a picture in the post and information included about the first delivery flight on this plane on February 29th. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of this post regards the interaction in the comment section between the blogger (Chris - Manager In Flight Global Development) and his audience.

The tangible excitement and curiosity garnered in this section...

"Just curious, on what route do you plan to put this beautiful baby to work?"

"I must say Chris, this is very exciting!I am aware of the fact that Delta is receiving a lot more than 2 777-200LRs. Can you possibly provide ideas Delta has for the routes for those planes?"

"WOW! The inside is probably amazing… can’t wait to see the new business seats."

Obviously, this method is effective for gaining publicity and generating a buzz about the new plane Delta has to offer. More importantly this buzz is FREE! It is being generated by those individuals earnestly interested in the airlines industry (those who read airlines blogs) and consequently those individuals will probably generate the most effective buzz about the product as well. I myself got a little curious in seeing how these airline gurus reacted to this news.