Thursday, October 25, 2007


Ben, Shane and I made a podcast for our class. It is about our experiences with Social Media. It is cute, entertaining and slightly informative so go check it out and have a listen.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Podcasts for Buddha

Chapter 8 of the The New Influencers titled Talker made me realize that I am never alone in my interest for weird things. Talkers is about the phenomenon of podcasting which has been around since 2004ish. The other day in my Internet and Social Media for Public Relations class we edited a potcast on Garageband. This made me realize how easy this is to do. If I wanted to tell people something I could do it via podcast. *not like people would actually listen* But there is a chance.

Take for example the story about the BunnyBlab podcast (in the New Influencers). Dana McCurley has a podcast devoted to Bunny Care 101. She has four furry, hopping friend of her own and shares about various bunny care aspects via 20 minute podcasts. Although Dana only has about 40 listeners her blog archive will be helpful to those who buy bunnies in the future.

Now who would have thought about a podcast devoted to bunnies? Not I! That’s what great about podcasts, they, like blogs, can be devoted to anything. It is not like radio where you have to reach a general audience. Podcasts are for the niche audience. I could start a podcast devoted to people who collect mini Buddha statues, and although there might not be many people out there who do, I am sure I can snag a listener or five! It is good to know that you are not alone in your interests. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Live On Top Of The Rock!

While I stated in my last blog why companies need to scan the internet for customer’s opinions of their products and services, I slightly mentioned that maybe a company should get a blog of their own. Well according to The New Influencers, “corporations shouldn’t blog unless they know why they’re doing it”(p84). Blogging requires a goal and drive. Having a poorly maintained, boring blog could only hurt a company. According to Paul Gillin (author of The New Influencers) blogging does not make a company hip. Microsoft and Wal-Mart are not considered “cool” yet they have blogs. Apple, which is just about as hip as you can get, (actually living in Austin you can’t really be what we call a “hipster” without having an Apple computer) does not even have a blog.
So if coolness is what you desire, a blog might not help you. Buuuut if you want to reach your customers in a more advanced way then sending a Hallmark card with a kitty on the front, then blogging might be the answer for you.
Here are some ways (complements of The New Influencers) that blogging can help a large company out.

Customer Relations – blogging, along with other social media aspects, is the most cost-effective customer feedback mechanism ever invented.
Media Relations – If you start a blog you will most likely automatically go on the reading list of every journalist who covers you. This is a better way to release news then through a press release, which probably just sees the inside of journalist’s recycle bins.
Tell Your Story – You are able to speak DIRECTLY to the customer.
Tackle an Issue – you can take a stand on controversial issues. This could get messy through traditional media when tends to bends words to make a “story”.
Feed a Frenzy – Having a blog is like adding lighter fluid to the fires of your passionate customers. Remember the 80/20 rule, which my dad likes to tell me about at least 9 times a year, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers
Promote a Product – self explanatory.

So if you can hire someone to start a blog for your company and maintain it, I say go for it. Orrr you can ignore all the benefits and go back to living under a rock.

Vault Kicks, Well So Do Marketers!

Chapter Five of Citizen Marketers told the story of how one man’s quest to save Surge, the coca-Cola mountain dew like drink, turned into a community cause that demanded attention. Coke never brought back the drink Surge, they created a “new” soda called Vault, which tastes the same as Surge.
The point of this story was to express the fact that companies should listen to their customer online. Speaking from a personal point of view, I spend 4 times as much time online than I do watching TV. And then, I don’t watch commercials, unless my remote control is broken. This shows that companies need to watch what their customers of doing online; maybe even have someone from the company monitor their product on google, seeing what comes up when it is typed up.
First off, if you search your product and you are not even on the first page, because it is taken up by fan sites or blogs, then you have a problem. This means your site is static. Don’t just put up content and leave it there expecting people to find it. Update it, start a blog, add video, anything to draw attention.
Citizen Marketers around the world who love certain products are making sites for them as hobbies. “Their focus is often an attempt to transcend brand awareness into action by creating amateur networks of affiliation”(p105). These sites could have a positive or negative affect on a product which is why I stressed above for a company to monitor what is being said about them online.
Another reason companies need to scan the internet for their product is because of “market helping behavior”. It “describes the behavior of everyday people who help one another with decisions on what to buy and who to buy it from”. Personally, I rarely go out and buy something without looking up reviews. This goes from anything from books and CDs to televisions and hair dye. Having negative reviews spread across the internet is not a good thing and should be monitored, because chances are the problem is the product and not the people. Studies done throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s showed that “40% of a retailers clientele was typically based on the recommendations of other people” (p109). If that was before Web 2.0, imagine what the percentage is now. . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Come fly with me . . .

So I know that everyone knows about the Southwest Airlines "mini-skirt" scandal. Personally I laughed. Maybe there was an old man who was sitting across from this girl in a “who wears short shorts” skirt who just needed a little pick me up. And Keith RUNINED IT!
Anyways, if you are not up to date on the Airline “scandal” let me give you a little run down. A few months ago a 23 year old Kyla Ebbert was asked to step off her flight and take a later one when she could dress more appropriately. She was told that her entire outfit was a problem and that she needed to change before being allowed on a flight. She instead pulled her shirt up and her skirt down to better cover her unmentionables.
Let’s just say that little Kyla was not happy with the way she was treated and wanted an apology from the airlines. It took a while for her to get her formal apology from the airlines, but it came after, of course, Kyla appearing on TV shows and news radio and many blogs have posted about her.
To counter the incident and make light of it Southwest airlines has issues new “mini-skirt fares". handeled this situation. They probably did this because of all the negative feedback they were getting from their customers who were upset (you can read about this on their blog).