Thursday, July 06, 2006

Viral Community News

First of all, congrats to my man Geert, who has joined Microsoft as the Trade Marketing Manager in their Belgium office. Geert's a great guy, and he gave BMA one of our very first links way back last fall. You can pat him on the back at his new location, on MSN Spaces.

Eric Kintz has a great post on how we can bridge the blogging world, with the 'real' world. This is a very timely post, and I love this question: "So what do you think? What will it take to spread the “epidemic” to the other 99% marketers?".

My answer is, we have to put the message in their hands using the channels they interact with. Mainstream marketers aren't reading The Viral Garden, they are reading the NYTimes and the WSJ and Ad Age. This is where I think many bloggers that go to each and every blogging conference under the sun are doing themselves a bit of a disservice. IMO they need to be spending much of that time trying to get the 'real' world clued into what they already know. The 'real' world that has never heard of Doc Searls, or Robert Scoble, or Jason Calacanis (99.9% of the country really have no idea who these people are).

Eric also posted his entry on Daily Fix as well. Remember that Eric is the Vice President of Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence for HP, so he's coming from the mainstream side of the fence. We need to support the few 'corporate' bloggers such as Eric that are trying to embrace and join the blogging community.

David has a great take on Eric's post as well, with this quote:
"The Social Network is both viral and a community in the same breath. And it’s influential. But—it’s still a minority when you compare it to mainstream forces and the Forresters of the world. They still have the ear of the people we would love to reach. But that is definitely changing. Blogs are becoming a source of breaking news, refreshingly alternative thinking and of course community that entices active participation. But to Eric’s point—”what will it take to transform this emerging community into a viral marketing network beyond the blogosphere?”

Speaking of Daily Fix, my latest entry on the Mentos-Diet Coke bruhahahaha is up. BTW I totally slept on linking to my entry before that, The War For Marketing Control. Please check both out if you get a chance.

Tricia reviews Chris Anderson's new book, The Long Tail.

The first episode of Karl Long's new podcast, The Co-Creative Business Show is up. Congrats to Karl, I know he's excited about it. I'll try to give it a listen the next time I have the 5.3 days available to download it (damned dial-up).

Asi jumps on a topic that Karl started, viral videos. I agree with Asi that it is almost impossible to 'make' a viral video. You can follow the guidelines that Karl outlines for most successful viral videos, but in the end, the community will decide if they want to spread the video, or not. Your best bet is to let the community decide, and if they run with it, be thankful.

Paul offers the Marketer's Credo.

John at American Copywriter has an important reminder on the importance of refilling your creative juices.

Amy Gahran has a great post about how conversations online start, and how they are different from offline conversations. Marketers will want to grab a notepad before reading.

Mario is going to start interviewing other bloggers. I know I know, I thought the same thing at first, but Mario has a very interesting twist. He is going to accept questions from his community of readers for a month, then conduct the interview by asking his reader's questions. A great way to involve your community in the process! His first interview will be with Jeremiah Owyang.


Anonymous said...


I totally agree with you, we have to find a way to connect this community to the key influencers in the real world, from NYT to Forrester. Keep up the great work, you are playing a key role in our community

Anonymous said...

Geert is a great guy indeed and we're happy to have him at MSN. Cool to see him up here too :-)

Anonymous said...

Hi, Mack,

Interesting thoughts. As someone who decided to "go for it" and create an online community, way before that was the popular thing to do (in 2000), and has been pretty successful with it, my thoughts would be to turn your question around, and to not worry about it. Who cares about the mainstream? They will eventually figure it out. WE know that we are in the vanguard, and eventually the rest will catch up with it, on their timeframe. Word IS spreading. Yes, at first bloggers talked among themselves and attended blogging conventions. But now blogging is starting to appear on the cover of Fast Company, and will soon be an integral part of Wired and Business 2.0, and then it will be the cover story (if it hasn't been already) and then it will start to appear more and more in Business Week and the WSJ, and then we'll see it in Time magazine and its ilk. We don't have to figure out how to put our messages in their hands; they will come to us to use our messages in their media soon enough.

Bottom line: I wouldn't worry about how to reach them. I would just keep doing what we are doing, and those who are ready will find us. Just like with the web 1.0 revolution, companies that "get it" will adapt. Others won't, and that's okay; it will create new opportunities for those who are savvy.

The lines between the online community and the real community are getting more and more blurry every day. I already don't think of it as two separate worlds. And just ask my seven-year-old boy. I have a wonderful photo of him, wearing his pajamas, talking on my cell phone to his grandfather, patiently explaining how his new Webkinz frog is a stuffed animal AND it has its own online world where you can play games and interact with other Webkinz owners. For him, and everyone else in future generations, there will be no line between the online world and the real world. They will be one and the same.

Anonymous said...

Hi Mack,

thanks a lot for those kind words. I'll be posting again pretty soon but first days at Microsoft are overwhelming (in a positive way) and I need to catch up with a lot of stuff first.

Anonymous said...


Thanks for shining a light on the "iDea" series. I'd love to add your questions to the mix as well.

Keep up the great work!

Mack Collier said...

Congrats again Geert, and make sure to give us as much 'behind the scenes' info on your new position as you are comfortable with. Personally I love those type of peeks behind the corporate curtain!

Mack Collier said...

"Who cares about the mainstream? They will eventually figure it out. WE know that we are in the vanguard, and eventually the rest will catch up with it, on their timeframe."

Morriss I'm not interested in the mainstream 'acknowledging' us, as much as I am wanting the mainstream to get on the bus, so that ultimately their COMMUNITIES will be better served. More efficient marketing means better products and services at better prices for the community.

THAT is why I say we almost have the obligation to try everything we can to get our message to the people. I love blogging and love the community we have, but I'd also like to use our knowledge as a tool to ultimately help 'consumers'. If that makes sense.

Dimitar Vesselinov said...

I live in Bulgaria and I know what the A-list bloggers are up to. Also, I'm involved with a new kind of blogging platform: