Creating the viral community
Wednesday, May 17, 2006
When I first started writing for BMA, I literally had no exposure to blogs before that. In a way I think that was a good thing, because we had no idea what the rules for blogging were, so we made our own.
But one thing I wrestled with early on, was how do we differentiate BMA from the other million advertising/marketing blogs out there? After a while, we started seeing more and more comments, and not just comments but INTELLIGENT comments, insight from our readers that was frequently more interesting than what we were writing.
That's when I realized that the goal wasn't to create a great blog, it was to create a vibrant community. We were lucky enough to have regular readers that were giving excellent feedback on our posts, and we had to reward that.
So I made a point on BMA to frequently update our readers on who our frequent commenters were, and what their blogs were. I was VERY proud to say that all I had to do was mention the names Andrea, Jordan, JD, Ryan, Chris, and Jaynie, on BMA and everyone not only knew who I was talking about, but which blogs they owned.
Embracing the community at BMA worked wonders, and honestly the community made us a much better blog than we had any right to be. I've tried to do that here as well, and thankfully, most of our regular readers/commenters from BMA have been kind enough to make the trip over here to the Garden.
However, there are a few bloggers that have been kind enough to comment here as well, and I wanted to make special mention of them as well. When you click on their names, that will send you to their blogs. Please make sure to check them all out, these people have their own blogs to run, and they were kind enough to take time away from their's to come here, and I really appreciate that.
Eric Kintz - The Marketing Excellence Blog
Jack Yan - The Persuader Blog
Clyde Smith - Hip-Hop Marketing
Toby Bloomberg - The Diva Marketing Blog
Stefan - FutureLab's Blog
And finally, and this is a big one, I want to really say a big THANK YOU to everyone at Daily Fix. I am honestly suprised at how friendly everyone has been there, as several contributors have personally welcomed me into the fold. Initially, I was of course thrilled at the thought of appearing alongside a literal whos-who of marketing experts, but the sense of community there was totally unexpected. Daily Fix has put into play many of the community aspects that I tried to create at BMA, and replicate here at the Garden.
And that begins and ends with Ann Handley. One of the things I always tell people that ask me about how to grow a blog is that you HAVE to leave your blog and GET INVOLVED in the community! I don't have to tell many of you that Ann does this, because just in scanning my favorite blogs this morning, I've already seen several posts that Ann has left comments on, on several different blogs. Ann truly has a passion to see Daily Fix grow and to watch the community there continue to blossom, and admittedly her passion is incredibly infectious! As an added bonus, she's a great writer, and funny as hell!
To close, here are the blogs from the contributors at DF. What I did was read everyone's bios at DF, and got the links to everyone's blogs there. If any of you know of any blogs that I do not have listed from any contributors, PLEASE either email me, or better yet add a comment, and I will add the link to the post.
Andrea Learned - Learned on Women
BL Ochman - What's Next
David Armano - Logic + Emotion
Eric Frenchman - Pardon My French
Eric Kintz - The Marketing Excellence Blog
Harry Joiner - The Marketing Headhunter
Jim Kukral - 99 Ways to Blog
Karl Long - Customer Experience Strategy, Customers on Fire - Microbrands and Micromarketing
Laurel Delaney - Border Buster
Leigh Duncan - Experience Architech Weblog
Mark Vanderbeeken - Putting People First
Seth Godin - Seth's Blog
Tig Tillinghast - Media Buyer Planner, Marketing Vox
Whew! Guess that's it, like I said if I missed anyone, let me know and I'll add them. And please guys check everyone out that I linked to above, especially for the many new visitors that are coming here for the first time this week, welcome!
posted by Mack Collier @ 11:03 AM,
- At 2:10 PM, Andrea Weckerle said...
It's so great that your readers have migrated here and that you're being recognized over at Daily Fix.
I'll be sure to check out the blogs you mention here. A recommendation from you carries a lot of weight.
Now when are we gong to see the Daily Fix headshot on thsi blog? :-)
- At 7:50 PM, Ann Handley said...
Thank you for the kind words, Mack. You are simply...the best. A huge, heartfelt thanks.
- At 8:13 PM, Mack Collier said...
Andrea I am already torturing the crew at DF with that pic, I couldn't do it to my 3 faithful readers here! ;) BTW how's the nobodies society coming?
Ann I'm giving you that "my two fingers are pointing at my eyeballs, and then turning and pointing at your eyeballs, and then back to pointing at my own eyeballs..."
- At 8:21 PM, said...
I *so knew* you'd use that...! LOL!
- At 12:19 AM, J.D. said...
Yup, Ann even got Idol-fied on my blog the other day! Course i've found that I like reading her stuff as well, so it's a win-win.
- At 8:20 AM, Mack Collier said...
Yeah that's a pretty hefty endorsement Ann gave you, Marketing Profs Alexa ranking is 5,417, which is about 5,000 spots higher than Seth's Blog, and I believe I read somewhere that he said he gets thousands of visitors a day, so you do the math ;)
- At 12:44 PM, B.L. Ochman said...
What a very nice thing to do Mark!
I agree that the community is twhat is really remarkable about blogging. I've met so many delightful and intelligent people in the blog world who are secure enough to be generous, and curious enough to keep welcoming new bloggers into the fold.
I am now writing for three blogs: What's next blog and Ethics Crisis blog and Marketing Fix ! whew! who'd have thunk it two years ago.
hugh macleod and i used to wonder, about 3 years ago if our blogs would ever take off or if we'd have to get j-o-b-s. :>)
- At 1:26 PM, Stefan said...
Having started our blog not that long ago, we're very pleasantly surprised by that community aspect too - whereby I have to say that Mack really stands out in his open and friendly approach to everyone.
In comparison, try to Digg something as a newbie in not *entirely* the right way - the four letter words being thrown at you are a sight to behold (I goofed a bit yesterday :) )
Keep it up Mack - including your nice community building efforts.
- At 3:50 PM, karl said...
Yeah, very nice post Mack. These blogging communities are great, and I hope to interact more with the folks i'm blogging with. I certainly try and read other peoples posts, but I don't comment as much as, I guess, I would like. I always feel like I need to add some additional value :-) Too much pressure. BTW you listed experiencecurve.com which I really appreciate, I also write http://customersonfire.com - micromarketing & microbrands if you want to add that.
- At 4:07 PM, Mack Collier said...
Got it Karl, thanks for stopping by!
- At 6:47 PM, Jordan said...
Sometimes a "viral" concept is anything but.
The blogging community that I feel I belong to is not a viral idea as yet, but rather one that was built on the hard work, personality, smarts and link generosity of one Mack Collier.
tell ten friends thanks you for a great deal of its traffic Mack.
- At 7:27 PM, Eric Frenchman said...
Thanks for the link on your blog. It is a lot fun to post right next to you. As I said to some of my colleagues, "I also post for DF, it is me and a whole bunch of smart people like Mack...."
- At 9:11 PM, Mack Collier said...
Thanks Jordan, but guys like you and Ryan and Chris are running excellent marketing blogs, and you deserve the traffic. If I did anything that was 'smart', it was that I searched out and FOUND you guys early on. And that's something everyone needs to start doing, and stop letting the blogrolls for the so-called 'A-Listers' tell them who they should and should not be reading.
And if you're getting traffic, it only repays you for all the traffic you've sent me, as well as the great comments you've left here and on BMA, which in the end is probably more important.
I still remember a few months ago Chris saying he was wondering if he should dump MMM, and now he's being chased down to write movie marketing columns for everyone from the LA Times down. You've now got your own Marketing firm, and Ryan just got a Regional Marketing Manager position in no small part due to his blog.
All this doesn't happen by accident. Doesn't take a genius to find smart bloggers and try to interact with them.
- At 9:17 PM, Mack Collier said...
It's funny because Eric was the first contributor on DF to disagree with me, and the first one to welcome me to the blog. And the events happened in that order. ;) I give Ann a ton of credit for what's going on at DF, but the individual contributors are doing their parts as well.
The only bad thing about it was that I had too damn many good blogs to read before joining DF, now I have to add about 10 more blogs to my list ;)
- At 10:59 PM, said...
Mack - spent yesterday talking to marketers about blogs. Of course the questions of how to create community and how to encourage comments came up. I wish I had your post in hand!
Thanks for the shout out and your continued kindess.
- At 9:34 AM, Mack Collier said...
Thanks Toby! I think there's so many conflicting messages, when I started at BMA, I did a crash-course on blogging, and I kept hearing over and over again that 'content is king!', and that all I had to do was post epics, and readers would stream to my blog. I think many new bloggers especially do the same thing. The ones that stick with it figure out that you have to reach out to your readers and other bloggers if you want to have a vibrant community. Of course you are doing a great job of this at Diva Marketing, all your posts have many comments, and I am constantly seeing where another blogger on their blog is talking about 'What Toby said' on Diva Marketing!
Besides without the community, we'd all just be talking to ourselves, and that's no fun! ;)
- At 11:54 AM, Mack Collier said...
"B.L. Ochman said...
What a very nice thing to do Mark!"
Actually it's MaCk, but thanks for the kind words, B.J. ;)
"I agree that the community is twhat is really remarkable about blogging. I've met so many delightful and intelligent people in the blog world who are secure enough to be generous, and curious enough to keep welcoming new bloggers into the fold."
Yeah I was telling Harry Joiner this the other day, but there are SO many simply amazing people that I have met via the blogosphere that I would otherwise likely NEVER come in contact with! It really is amazing!
And of course the lineup at DF is like a Marketing Who's Who!
- At 2:26 PM, Jim Kukral said...
Thanks M! Hey, can you fix my link in your list :)???
- At 7:36 PM, Mack Collier said...
Got it Jim, thanks for catching that for me!
- At 4:58 AM, Paul Fabretti said...
Jordan touched on something about some viral ideas being anything but. And I have to agree.
But for me, viral is turning into a contrived commodity where advertisers are using what I consider to be subversive methods to reach mass audiences.
But, is there any distinction between a viral video ad on youtube for example and a great story on Daily Fix?
I am going to go away and think about this for a while before I say anything either stupid or which may condemn me...or something stupid which condemns me!
- At 9:11 AM, ozgur alaz said...
Viral community idea is great
Join people with common passion to marketing will create great energy.
World is flat. I am writing from istanbul. My blog is www.marketallica.wordpress.com I want to join the commmunity
- At 11:00 PM, red1 said...
I was working on my wikiversity module here and googled for a reference to "viral community" and i ended up here. You do have some interesting points i can now refer to. Viral isn't it? :-)