Thursday, November 30, 2006

The Viral Garden's Top 25 Marketing Blogs - Week 32

Here's the standings for Week 32:

1 - Seth's Blog - 5,150 (LW - 1)(-1)
2 - Duct Tape Marketing - 17,015 (LW - 2)(-25)
3 - Creating Passionate Users - 17,451 (LW - 3)(+1,085)
4 - Gaping Void - 18,452 (LW - 4)(+166)
5 - Marketing Shift - 28,671 (LW - 5)(+722)
6 - Daily Fix - 43,273 (LW - 6)(-1,098)
7 - Coolzor - 52,809 (LW - 7)(-1,025)
8 - The Viral Garden - 75,920 (LW - 9)(-332)
9 - New School of Network Marketing - 81,382 (LW - 10)(+6,385)
10 - HorsePigCow - 83,319 (LW - 8)(-8,502)
11 - Logic + Emotion - 87,653 (LW - 11)(+3,959)
12 - Converstations - 89,469 (LW - 12)(+9,062)
13 - Brand Autopsy - 104,378 (LW - 13)(-953)
14 - What's Next - 106,163 (LW - 14)(+646)
15 - Emergence Marketing - 117,005 (LW - 15)(-9,327)
16 - Experience Curve - 125,204 (LW - 16)(-6,062)
17 - Jaffe Juice - 127,569 (LW - 18)(+1,216)
18 - Church of the Customer - 142,834 (LW - 17)(-22,929)
19 - Diva Marketing - 181,122 (LW - 20)(+12,701)
20 - Pro Hip-Hip - Hip-Hop Marketing - 196,884 (LW- 21)(+2,747)
21 - Beyond Madison Avenue - 206,204 (LW - 23)(+3,259)
22 - Marketing Nirvana - 213,159 (LW - 19)(-25,724)
23 - Spare Change - 214,214 (LW - 22)(-13,765)
24 - Make Marketing History - 224,779 (LW - 25)(+43,572)
25 - Brains on Fire - 236,226 (LW - 24)(+4,894)

The Top 25 continues to get tighter. All the blogs in the top half of the Top 25 now have an Alexa ranking of under 90K, and I think we're eventually headed toward needing a score of less than 200,000K to make the Top 25 at all. The group as a whole continues to move upward, and the closer a blog's score gets to 100K, the more 'stable' its ranking movements tend to become.

Also, I always like to look at the last 5 spots to see how the guys on the edge do. 3 of the blogs were up, with Make Marketing History having the biggest jump the Top 25 has seen in weeks. Both Spare Change and Marketing Nirvana were down, but that's a rarity for Nedra and Mario, so I'm sure they'll bounce back quickly.

Next update is next Wednesday.

Technorati Tags:

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

10 Steps to Starting a Company Blog, new article up at Marketing Profs

I have a new article up at Marketing Profs, "Ten Steps to Starting a Company Blog". It's a primer for companies and businesses that are considering a jump into the blogosphere, but aren't sure how to go about it.

It's a premium article(Marketing Profs membership required), but I wanted to summarize 3 main areas that I tried to stress in the piece:

1 - Understanding up-front that a blog is a LONG-TERM investment. You can't start one and drop it after a week if you don't think you are getting anything out of it. It's like a garden, it takes time to produce, and you have to work at it. I wanted to spell out what the requirements would be beforehand, so companies could decide for themselves if they are willing to make the commitment, because starting a blog and then letting it die due to inactivity is FAR worse than never blogging at all.

2 - Writing the blog from the READER'S point of view. Give the readers a reason to come check your blog out(Hint: They aren't waiting for a chance to hear you pimp your own products, really they aren't). Tailor your offerings so that you provide information that THEY want, and that will help THEM, and they'll be MUCH more likely to listen to the occasional post about your products. A perfect example of this is the blog MasiGuy. Tim Jackson is a brand manager for Masi bicycles, but note that his blog isn't about Masi products, it's about cycling. Sure he mentions Masi products from time to time, but the focus is on his love of cycling, and as a result, his blog appeals to fellow cycling enthusiasts, and as a result, he has exposed countless readers to Masi products, that otherwise would have likely never encountered the brand. Remember to keep your audience's wants and needs in mind when crafting your content.

3 - Have a comment policy in place before you start blogging. Comments are the lifeblood of a blog, and you need to take every step possible to make it as painless as possible for your community to give you feedback. I talk about the need to be careful in responding to negative or even antagonistic comments, as in almost every case, YOUR response will carry far more weight than the commenter. Also, make every effort to have comments show on your blog as quickly as possible. If you moderate comments, make sure you constantly have someone available to approve incoming comments. You cannot afford to wait 2-3 days over the weekend to let comments go through, that's one of the fastest ways to kill interest in your blog. Remember, it's all about the community!

Check it out if you have a chance. If your thinking about joining the blogosphere but aren't sure how to do it, this walks you through the process step-by-step.

Also, on a completely unrelated note, I wanted to thank Steve, SteveMax, Nancy, Dante, Jennifer, Uno Technology, Imaginacya, James, Ariel, and Sandi for adding The Viral Garden to their Technorati Favorites. If you'd like to add The Viral Garden to your Technorati Favorites, just click on the logo below, and I'll be happy to add your blog to my favorites, and also link to your blog here. Thanks!

Technorati Tags:
, , ,

Friday, November 24, 2006

If an A-Lister blogs in the woods, does anyone read them?

I got an email from Terry Ng a few days ago alerting me to the fact that I am now officially a 'B-List' blogger, and that he has created a special widget for other bloggers to determine what list they are on. I think it's a smart idea from Terry, and obviously a great source of linkbait as bloggers all over the internet are linking to his widget.

But in the end, it all gets another 'so what?' from me. As I've said all along, being an A-List blogger is about as prestigious as being the 3rd-best bobsledder in Cuba. When you get outside of the blogosphere, really no one cares.

But Chris at Shotgun Marketing brings up an even better point. While we are so busy with navel-gazing, we aren't seeing that growth of the blogosphere as a whole may be stagnating:
My current view of the "State of the Blogosphere" is that it’s like the Shakers. Bloggers are passionate about the blogosphere, but the belief will die out because you’re not creating new adherents.

Yes. Your blog is ranked 9,XXX on Technorati, but the only thing that really shows is your influence with other bloggers. What’s the reach of your blog to the non-blog community?

Right now the blogosphere, for all its power, is equivalent to a room full of people who each have a bullhorn and they’re all talking. Every now and then, they all point to one of the bullhorns and maybe repeat what that A-list bullhorn is saying. And every now and then, someone from outside the room stops and listens, but it’s mostly a closed system.

I said months ago that if you're looking to make waves in the blogosphere, you are swimming upstream, and the key is attracting attention from the mainstream, whether it be the media, business, marketers, or everyday people on the street. IOW, finding ways to OPEN the system. Most of America from the individual to corporate level could care less about blogs.

Show them what they are missing.

BTW I want to thank Rachelle and the AMA for inviting me to attend MPlanet, a 'marketing event' that will be taking place in Orlando next Weds.-Friday. Sounds like a ton of fun, and includes marketers from many of the top companies in the world speaking, including our own Eric Kintz on behalf of HP. Unfortunately, I won't be able to attend, but many top bloggers will be there, and Peter Kim will also be presenting. Hopefully, in 2007 we'll begin to see these events include more bloggers as speakers.

Pic via Flickr user Matt McGee

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

MySpace: Your contract is officially under review

My latest favorite spam friend request to arrive in my MySpace mailbox (along with pic of totally hot babe, natch):
Hi, I'm Ms Dewey. I'm a new search engine. I am contacting a few people in the biz., to have a chance to be one of my first friends. If you like my website, I'll add you as a friend. But only if you keep me in your top 8. :)

By the way, nice profile!

Ms. Dewey

My reply?

Sorry this user is not accepting invitations to be spammed at this time.

Technorati Tags:

Monday, November 20, 2006

Want to go swimming? Try going WITH the current

At the Future of Television Forum at New York University's Stern School of Business last week, David Poltrack, CBS's chief research officer, said(via Ad Age):
We're in a position right now where no one wants to take [content off YouTube]. When you have something the public really wants, the economic value in that is to come up with a way to satisfy the rights holders and serve the consumers.

Sounds good, but here's the money quote(emphasis added):
"If they're [consumers] going to steal it, give it to them anyway," he said. "But also make it easier to access and present it better than YouTube or BitTorrent or anywhere else."

Not thrilled about the 'stealing' label, but he's at least smart enough to realize that if your community is interacting with your product in a way that they enjoy, the best solution is to ENHANCE that interaction, not to stifle it. Give the user a better experience, and THAT can be monetized. It's a lesson that Napster should have taught the music industry years ago, but one they are still grasping to understand.

UPDATE: Right on cue, and just as I was going to leave this post, I discover that Universal Music is suing MySpace, claiming the social-networking site "enables users to upload copyrighted music and videos without authorization."

Unbelievable. Keep swimming upstream against the current of the community boys. All it does it make you tired, get you wet, and eventually the community will simply go around, or over you.

Pic via Flickr user Spike n...

Technorati Tags:
, ,,,

Friday, November 17, 2006

The Viral Garden's Top 25 Marketing Blogs - Week 30

Here's the standings for Week 30:

1 - Seth's Blog - 5,149 (LW - 1)(+3)
2 - Duct Tape Marketing - 16,990 (LW - 2)(-142)
3 - Creating Passionate Users - 18,536 (LW - 3)(-129)
4 - Gaping Void - 18,618 (LW - 4)(-161)
5 - Marketing Shift - 29,393 (LW - 5)(+522)
6 - Daily Fix - 42,175 (LW - 6)(-791)
7 - Coolzor - 51,784 (LW - 7)(-119)
8 - HorsePigCow - 74,817 (LW - 9)(+602)
9 - The Viral Garden - 75,588 (LW - 8)(-610)
10 - New School of Network Marketing - 87,767 (LW - 10)(+90)
11 - Logic + Emotion - 91,612 (LW - 11)(-3,014)
12 - Converstations - 98,531 (LW - 12)(+1,538)
13 - Brand Autopsy - 103,425 (LW - 14)(+1,505)
14 - What's Next - 106,809 (LW - 15)(-1,285)
15 - Emergence Marketing - 107,678 (LW - 13)(-2,642)
16 - Experience Curve - 119,142 (LW - 17)(-2,916)
17 - Church of the Customer - 119,905 (LW - 16)(-6,686)
18 - Jaffe Juice - 127,293 (LW - 18)(+1,216)
19 - Marketing Nirvana - 187,435 (LW - 19)(-5,340)
20 - Diva Marketing - 193,823 (LW - 21)(+6,667)
21 - Pro Hip-Hip - Hip-Hop Marketing - 199,631 (LW- 22)(+2,137)
22 - Spare Change - 200,449 (LW - 20)(-3,475)
23 - Beyond Madison Avenue - 209,463 (LW - 23)(+7,937)
24 - Brains on Fire - 241,120 (LW - 24)(-6,387)
25 - Make Marketing History - 268,351 (LW - 25)(-7,982)

The countdown pretty much treaded water this week with 10 blogs being up, 15 down. The first big move upward didn't come until Diva Marketing moved up a spot to #20. BMA did continue its streak with another solid up week, in fact the biggest in the Top 25 this week. Will be interesting to see what happens moving into December. From what I remember of BMA's traffic last year, from about the middle of Dec. till the end of the year, traffic fell off a cliff, then bounced right back after the Holidays. I assume most other blogs had similar results.

Next update is next Wednesday.

Technorati Tags:

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Viral Garden's Top 25 Marketing Blogs - Week 29

Here's the standings for Week 29:

1 - Seth's Blog - 5,152 (LW - 1)(+179)
2 - Duct Tape Marketing - 16,848 (LW - 2)(+466)
3 - Creating Passionate Users - 18,407 (LW - 3)(+315)
4 - Gaping Void - 18,457 (LW - 4)(+772)
5 - Marketing Shift - 29,915 (LW - 5)(+1,238)
6 - Daily Fix - 41,384 (LW - 6)(-632)
7 - Coolzor - 51,903 (LW - 7)(-389)
8 - The Viral Garden - 74,978 (LW - 9)(+608)
9 - HorsePigCow - 75,419 (LW - 8)(-4,869)
10 - New School of Network Marketing - 87,857 (LW - 12)(+8,158)
11 - Logic + Emotion - 88,598 (LW - 11)(+2,788)
12 - Converstations - 100,069 (LW - 13)(-249)
13 - Emergence Marketing - 105,036 (LW - 14)(-4,965)
14 - Brand Autopsy - 104,930 (LW - 15)(-2,591)
15 - What's Next - 105,524 (LW - 16)(+147)
16 - Church of the Customer - 113,219 (LW - 10)(-30,586)
17 - Experience Curve - 116,226 (LW - 17)(+3,122)
18 - Jaffe Juice - 128,509 (LW - 18)(+1,817)
19 - Marketing Nirvana - 182,095 (LW - 19)(+1,232)
20 - Spare Change - 196,974 (LW - 24)(+29,998)
21 - Diva Marketing - 200,490 (LW - 21)(+6,332)
22 - Pro Hip-Hip - Hip-Hop Marketing - 201,768 (LW- 20)(-1,834)
23 - Beyond Madison Avenue - 217,400 (LW - 23)(+8,865)
24 - Brains on Fire - 234,733 (LW - 22)(-22,806)
25 - Make Marketing History - 260,369 (LW - UR)

Strong week for the Top 25, as both the top and bottom was up. Marketing Shift just continues to march upward and at this rate could make a run at the Top 4 by year's end. After that, the big news was the nosedive Church of the Customer took, although my guess is that Ben and Jackie will recover their losses and then some when Citizen Marketers breaks.

After CotC, 7 of the remaining blogs were up, including a huge move for Spare Change, which is up 4 spots. And BMA has another nice move as its rebound continues.

John Dodds' Make Marketing History is the lone debut, and he's been on a winning streak for a while now.

Next update is next Wednesday.

Technorati Tags:

Want to know why you should be blogging?

Talk about an epiphany! A few weeks ago CK left a post asking marketing bloggers to tell her what was the single-most important point of value we received from blogging. A great post that included a multitude of wonderful comments from several of the best marketing bloggers out there.

Well as usually happens with a post with a bunch of great comments, over time it got pushed further and further into the archives where fewer readers could benefit from the wisdom it contained. Well CK found a way to fix that! She's created this wonderful PDF that collects ALL the comments to that post, in a quick and easy to read format! What a BRILLIANT idea!

And the PDF includes views from 28 of the top marketing bloggers on the internet. If any of you are wondering about what exactly there is to gain from blogging, read this list. It's coming from the people that are in this space and benefitting from it every day.

Below is a complete list of all the marketing bloggers that contributed, and I encourage everyone that did to post about this as well, as I think this is a wonderful resource for all of us!

Noah Brier
Jackie Huba
Mack Collier
Laura Ries
Paul McEnany
David Berkowitz
Eric Kintz
Lewis Green
Vaspers the Grate
David Armano
Paul Gillin
Neil Vineberg
Monica Powers
Ann Handley
David Reich
Adam Rakunas
Karl Long
Max Kalehoff
Bob Glaza
Gavin Heaton
Tim Jackson
Jordan Behan
Tricia Mangan
Mario Sundar
Ryan Anderson
Ben McConnell
Greg Verdino

Technorati Tags:
, ,

Friday, November 03, 2006

It's Ann's Birthday!

Everyone give a big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Daily Fix's blogging maven Ann Handley! Happy Birthday sis, and make SURE to celebrate today as you deserve it for the year you've had with taking Daily Fix from zero to the biggest marketing group blog on the internet!

As most of you know, Ann spends a TON of time helping other bloggers and building community, whether it's leaving comments everywhere, or one of the many behind-the-scenes projects she's a part of to help out the rest of us. She's incredibly giving of her time and truly represents the best of what this community can be. We are ALL better off for her numerous contributions, and I'm honored to call her 'sis' ;)

So please take a moment to give Ann a Happy Birthday wish here, or at David's post, or perhaps the best present for her would be for everyone to go leave a comment on Daily Fix ;)

PS: That's her, DA, and the Boston Globe's Maura Welch in the pic above.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Nike buys SportsCenter, gets bonus product placements

The NBA season, along with the new sneaker wars have already started, and Nike just fired a hellacious salvo.

On Wednesday night, Nike became the first advertiser ever to be the sole sponsor for ESPN's SportsCenter. For one hour, The LeBrons took over the popular sports show, showing several hilarious new ads from the fictional family that features the 'four sides of LeBron James', promoting the Nike Air Zoom LeBron IV.

The spots alone during SportsCenter would have been effective enough, but along with the buyout of the program's advertising, ESPN also ran a segment on LeBron, and invited viewers to go to to answer a poll question about the superstar. And, you guessed it, Nike has bought space for the campaign on as well.

The segment and poll question on LeBron airing during SportsCenter effectively resulted in Nike getting a pair of bonus 'product placements' for LeBron, which will translate in sales of Nike's new shoe the Nike Air Zoom LeBron IV.

But I'm wondering, is this another case of trying to blur the lines between fiction and reality, such as Sacha Baron Cohen appearing in character as Borat on Late Night With David Letterman? Could we next see 'Business LeBron'(one of the characters in The LeBrons commercials) appear on Letterman, or in the ultimate surreal moment, have Business appear in the next commercial for SportsCenter?

Either way, it's another marketing home-run for Nike, or in this case, a slam-dunk.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

The Viral Garden's Top 25 Marketing Blogs - Week 28

Here's the standings for Week 28:

1 - Seth's Blog - 5,331 (LW - 1)(-14)
2 - Duct Tape Marketing - 17,314 (LW - 2)(+273)
3 - Creating Passionate Users - 18,722 (LW - 3)(-433)
4 - Gaping Void - 19,229 (LW - 4)(-151)
5 - Marketing Shift - 31,153 (LW - 5)(+1,733)
6 - Daily Fix - 40,752 (LW - 6)(-1,537)
7 - Coolzor - 51,514 (LW - 7)(+2,855)
8 - HorsePigCow - 70,550 (LW - 8)(-1,827)
9 - The Viral Garden - 75,586 (LW - 9)(+2,375)
10 - Church of the Customer - 82,633 (LW - 10)(-2,391)
11 - Logic + Emotion - 91,386 (LW - 11)(+3,619)
12 - New School of Network Marketing - 96,015 (LW - 12)(+1,891)
13 - Converstations - 99,820 (LW - 14)(+79)
14 - Emergence Marketing - 100,071 (LW - 13)(-702)
15 - Brand Autopsy - 102,339 (LW - 15)(+409)
16 - What's Next - 105,671 (LW - 16)(+5,157)
17 - Experience Curve - 119,348 (LW - 17)(-2,403)
18 - Jaffe Juice - 130,326 (LW - 18)(+3,085)
19 - Marketing Nirvana - 183,327 (LW - 19)(-9,787)
20 - Pro Hip-Hip - Hip-Hop Marketing - 199,934 (LW- 20)(-3,748)
21 - Diva Marketing - 206,822 (LW - 21)(+2,101)
22 - Brains on Fire - 211,927 (LW - 22)(-1,851)
23 - Beyond Madison Avenue - 226,265 (LW - 24)(+6,133)
24 - Spare Change - 226,972 (LW - 23)(-6,107)
25 - Marketallica - 263,454 (LW - 25)(-4,492)

Fairly stable week for the Top 25, as the Top 12 remains the same. Logic + Emotion again had a nice week, and again had the biggest move in the Top 12. Just for reference, there are now 4 blogs in the Top 12 that weren't a member of the first Top 25, led by Daily Fix at #6. Duct Tape is starting to grow a bit of a cushion between the #2 spot and CPU and Gaping Void.

Outside the Top 12, Jaffe Juice has another decent week. Not a huge move, but after slipping for weeks, JJ has now gained back about half its losses. What's Next also had a big week, and BMA continues its winning streak with another nice move.

No new blogs again this week, but a few are getting close to joining the party. We'll see what happens.

Next update is next Wednesday.