An early believer in blogging and podcasting, GM, a while back, created Fastlane, a blog written by GM Vice Chairman Bob Lutz and other GM top executives. Today, Lutz has produce his first podcast in which he talks about "the realities of today's market for full-size sport utility vehicles with host Bill O'Neill, GM executive director of communications." It's encouraging to see executives at this level in large companies engaging in these two new, but very powerful media.
Joining NBC and CBS, ABC has lauched a set of weblogs for its news division. So far, there's Down and Dirty, a blog by Washington correspondent Jake Trapper who'll write about politics and popular culture; Order in the Court by Supreme Court correspondent Manny Medrano who'll provide legal analysis; and Science and Society by science correspondent Ned Potter who'll report on space exploration, the human genome and climate change.
Completely misunderstanding the point of a corporate weblog, Chrysler has launched The Firehouse, a weblog for journalists which can only be read by those who apply and prove they work for a "known and established media organization." This is idiotic. This is stupid. This is insane. Completely illogical and non-sensical. Chrysler wants journalists to read the blog, get the "story" and then re-publish the same thing in their own "established" medium for general public consumption. Which will then, of course, if worthy, be blogged anyway. We just don't get it. Clueless Chrysler needs to go talk to GM, which has a clue about blogging, and get a few tips. Peek
UPDATE: Jason Vines, the man behind the The Firehouse weblog didn't like what we had to say and commented on another blog about it. Additionally, he explains the motivation behind the launch, which does make sense. Read his commentary after the jump.
A weblog, called Displaced Designers, has been launched to aid creative industry individuals in the New Orleans area who have been displaced by hurricane Katrine and are in need of assistance. The blog appeals to those individuals and companies that can provide office space, living space, computers, other business resources and jobs to those who have been affected by Katrina. A valiant effort, indeed.
Celebrity blog Jossip publisher David Hauslaib has launched Queerty, a blog about all things queer. It's written by blog superstar Bradford Shellhammer of pre-blogging blog fame and published by Hauslaib.
Hauslaib, who, writing in the launch announcement says he'd "feel luckier than Michael Phelps' Speedo if he could snag a mention in your magazine, newspaper, blog, dinner conversation or mental dialogue," promises the blog will focus on fashion and style, entertainment and celebrity, news and politics, relationships and sex -- and "any other really, really gay topic we (or you, our readers) can come up with." Lest Adrants be accused of changing teams, there's an advertising angle here as well. Hauslaib says, "Queerty puts advertisers in touch with this affluent demographic, which has long been abandoned by mainstream blog publishers."
With the launch of Queerty, Hauslaib can now officially hang with the big boys of blog publishing, Denton and Calacanis.
While we'd all have to agree that word of mouth marketing is part of advertising and not a separate entity, the Word of Mouth Marketing Association has forged ahead with the launch of the "Word of Mouth vs. Advertising" weblog where industry experts will come together to discuss the merits, impact and relationship of word of mouth to advertising in general. WOMMA says the blog is an experiment in participatory blogging and that 50 or so industry gurus have been invited to express their viewpoints on the topic.
By now, everyone has heard of weblogs. If you haven't, welcome, you are reading one right now. If you think you've read this before, you have. In the interest of espousing the value of weblogs to our industry, we're republishing this little piece of opinionated advice. For various reasons, many people and companies can benefit from blogging. So can ad agencies. Ad agencies are hired for two main reasons. First, and not always most important, is creative. Second is thought leadership - does the agency in question have the smarts to create successful advertising for client companies. Both of these areas of expertise can be shared with the world of potential clients through a weblog.
Right now, agencies might be saying, "What do we need a weblog for? We already have a web site." Great. Take an honest look at it. Is it much more than a creative showcases (if that) and management bios? Aside from a few short paragraphs on your so-called "proprietary process" is there any value there for the reader? Are you offering anything that gives insight into the way your agency thinks and what your opinion is on the current state of advertising? If so, great. Most likely. though it is not.
While I've had no problem with my Dell Inspiron 8600 over the past two years I've had it, Jeff Jarvis entered Dell Hell a while ago which got so bad he had to write a letter to Dell Chief Marketing Officer Michael George to get attention. Jarvis recounts the trials and tribulations he went through to get Dell's customer service to come to his aide. They didn't and he wrote about it. People read about it. Lots of people but, apparently, not Dell. They have this hands-off approach to weblogs treating them as ignorable rantings of the few and the unimportant. Jarvis explains to Dell and to any marketer wondering about this whole blog thing why they should pay attention to blogs and how they should join the conversation about their company rather than attempt to control it with anachronistic, uninformed marketing logic. All marketing directors should read what Jeff has to say, pay very close attention to it and act accordingly. Lest, one day, you'll wake up and quietly, all your customers will have left your store.
Popular Weblogs Inc. Network blog Engadget appears to be breaking the terms of its contract with Google's AdSense program. The AdSense program allows website publishers to place up to three ad units on a single page. Blog Herald points to self professed blog comment spammer David Naylor who says he found six placements on an Engadget page. Our research on this page show similar results. We found 5 standard ad units and one, we think, text link.
A very large scrolling screen shot of the entire Engadget page is here for review. We've asked Weblogs Inc. Network President Jason Calacanis to comment but have not yet had a reply. Recently, Calacanis claims the blogs in the Weblogs Inc. Network were on track to reach $1 million in Google AdSense revenue this year. Perhaps, now we know how.
Upon further reflection, some speculation in is order. It would be silly for Weblogs Inc. to jeopardize $1 Million by breaking Google AdSense terms. In fact, another Weblogs Inc. blog, Autoblog, is running far more than 3 ads on a page. Keeping that in mind for a moment, Weblogs Inc. was the first company to run Google's RSS AdSense ads before it was offered to the general market. Make your own conclusions.
UPDATE: In Comments, Jason Calacanis explains and claims, in fact, Weblogs Inc. is not violating Google AdSense terms.
Sony Ericsson has launched a moblog called Memorable Movie Moments where people can submit camera phone images of re-created memorable movie moments. The person submitting the winning image will receive an all expenses paid trip to London and a Sony Ericsson K750i phone. Two runners up will also receive the phone.