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IDG World Expo has released details of the "Syndicated Media Environment" conference track at Syndicate, scheduled to take place December 12-14, 2005 at the Hilton San Francisco. This track will discuss how new syndication and social media tools such as RSS, blogs and podcasts are being applied by old and new media companies.
The Syndicate conference shows how syndication and social media tools such as RSS, blogs and podcasts are helping to change the way businesses do business. The "Syndicated Media Environment" track is one of four tracks and a timely topic following recent news of more and more people accessing TV shows on BitTorrent and pulling the programs down as an RSS feed. David Berlind of ZDNet explained that once a TV show is digitized and loaded into BitTorrent, "not only are the broadcasters completely disintermediated from the distribution of their content, so too is their adverstising business model." We tend to agree.
Of course, the edit has been fixed now, but some rogue Yahoo edit-bot saw fit to remove Vice President Cheney's first name from a Gawker Media Wonkette post that appeared on Yahoo as part of a recent content deal because Yahoo thought Wonkette was talking about another sort of Dick. We wonder if Yahoo, knowing Gawker Media's propensity to tell it like it is, slapped a filter on the deal so as to circumvent any nasty words finding their way onto its precious pages. Well, just like contextual advertising gone haywire during natural disasters, it appears bots can't handle dick the way humans can.
While all politics are, well, political and most conversation between various entities clinging to one ideological party or another amounts to nothing more than bickering between middle school kids trying to prove who's cooler, a situation has arisen over at the BlogAds Liberal Advertising Network that's causing a bit of bitchy buzz. Rogers Cadenhead reports he's been kicked out of the network, along with Retort, Raw Story and Smirking Chimp, by network organizers Markos Moulitsas of Daily Kos and Chris Bowers and Jerome Armstrong of MyDD which I always thought was a blog about bra size but, surprise, actually focuses on politics.
IBM has encouraged its employees to blog about the company and has provided blogging tools to its employees. Over 2,200 employees are currently blogging which the company sees as a powerful marketing opportunity akin to testimonial advertising and Lee Iacocca's "speak to the people" ads in the eighties. Bits and bytes. Woo hoo.
The panel entitled "Measuring Your Brand Buzz in Consumer Generated Media" moderated by Organic CEO Mark Kingdon along with panelists Jonathon Carson, president and CEO of Buzzmetrics, Pete Blackshaw, CMO of Intelliseek, Dave Balter, President of BuzzAgent and Andrew Bernstein, CEO of Cymfony, focused on how consumer generated media has become an important source of brand information for marketers and how it can me measured to benefit marketing direction.
A key recommendation from all panelists was to relinquish control. Consumer generated media can not be controlled. However, it can be listened to and joined in a way that provides marketers rich detail about brand perception and a channel through which to directly communicate with consumers. Blackshaw referred to some the the negative consumer commentary as "nastygrams" and Kingdon noted that this sort of consumer backlash has been around forever but, today, it's all happening much faster and has become harder to manage in advance.
Joe Jaffe comments that this week's Ad Age poll, which is a follow on to a study they did about blog readership at work, which asks whether employers should allow staff to read blogs at work is self-serving. I agree and commented that the whole distinction between blogs and mainstream media is overblown, "Exactly, Joe. What's the difference between reading a blog on a topic for a specific industry versus a 'regular' website for a specific industry? It makes no sense. If blogs are doing a good job of providing industry specific info, then they should be read. If mainstream media site are doing the same, then they should be read as well. If people like to read Page Six, then it should be OK to read Gawker too. There's far too much distinction being made here. Granted, there are huge differences between MSM and blogs but, in the end, they are both providing content. It should be up to the reader to decide whether MSM or blogs are doing a better job providing relevant info."
Oh and if this doen't wreak of self-promo:
"Thank you for your interest in AdAge.com's poll. The poll about blog reading at work is now closed. Watch for the results in next week's print edition of Advertising Age." WTF? The results of an online poll reported in the print edition? A week later? You must be joking. Scott, what are you guys smoking over there? Oh, we get it. You need more print subscribers. Now it all makes sense.
To promote its UK website, podcast and blog, Playboy has launched a a viral which, while containing no nudity, might raise your blood pressure a bit if you use your imagination.
Ad Age has joined the world of weblogs with the launch of Small Agency Diary, a blog written by McKee Wallwork Cleveland Creative Director Bary Cleveland. The blog, as its name indicates, will focus on the working of small agency business with Cleveland writing in is first post, "This blog is for the future of creativity in our industry. For if that future is to be one of creative excellence it lies in the hands of small agencies." A bold statement indeed.
It seems Ad Age has plans for other topical blogs as well indicated by a Diaries pulldown menu on the front page. Welcome big guy.
Budget's Up Your Budget blog-based, 16-city treasure hunt has 3 out of a possible 4 winners last week. Over a four week period, there will be a total of 16 winners. The treasure hunt provides hunters with written and video clues on the blog. The clues point to where in the city a sticker is located. Apparently, the sticker placed in the fourth city, San Diego, was lost or removed so there will be a "do-over" in that city the last week of the hunt. As the blog says, "the steaks are high." And no, that's not misspelled according to the blog which, in response to a person who caught the apparent misspelling and emailed the blog, wrote, "Thanks to the hunter who emailed to tell me that "steaks" should be spelled "stakes." I have a feeling that particular hunter is not going to be one of our winners this week. Just a certain poetic notion...." Apparently, clues are everywhere, folks.
Jeff Jarvis, as he has done before, is calling for system of measure for citizens media that would properly reflect the nature of this consumer-generated media space. Because many media outlets in this space are simply too small to be counted with the ill-fitting mass media metrics does not mean the outlets are not important to advertisers. Jeff has approached Burst Media's Jarvis Coffin to set up a trade group to represent this new form of media and suggest metrics consist of a combination of values such as authority, influence, ability to start conversations, relationship with readers and reader loyalty and engagement with the media outlet. He suggests, among other sources, data from blog measurement firms such as BlogPulse, Technorati and Icerocket be combined, or "munged" as he says, into a data source that would properly reflect the weblog and make it easy for an advertiser to substantiate spending any ad dollars on the blog.