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Adrants reader JoAnna, who publishes ChefBlog received, on a recent blog post, what she believed to be comment spam from a faux blog set up for Panera bread company. Read the comment on JoAnna's post here. Then, visit the Panera blog, where JoAnna has left a comment of her own on the blog's only post calling the bluff, and decide for yourself. Loyal Panera fan or lame, uninformed blog marketing effort? We're leaning toward the latter. It just wreaks.
Following the recent whirlwind of blog hype including Nick Denton's love affair with the New York Times, his pie to the face at the Radar Magazine party, the launch of Blogebrity, Jason Calacanis' three million micro-blogs, a sudden explosion of branded character blogs and "all marketers should blog" blog conferences, it's now official. Rick Bruner and I, today, declare blogging to have gone the way of the trucker hat. In celebration of this sacred event, May 20, 2005, you can pick up your memorial, Nick Denton Trucker Hat over at Cafe Press.
We are like so too tired to even begin talking about this...
Of course we can't complain about being branded an A-Lister.
Bloglines CEO Mark Fletcher told Business Week's Stephen Baker Bloglines will, this Summer, release a blog search engine that is said to surpass the the qualities of Technorati, Feedster and PubSub. Fletcher says the search engine will help bloggers find, organize and make relevant the vast quantities of content bloggers consume on a daily basis.
Speaking at the two day "Syndicate: Content Syndication Trends" conference Tuesday at the New York Marriott Marquis, New York Times SVP of Digital Operations Martin Nisenholtz defended the company's decision to partially charge for access to the paper's online content. Of interest to Bloggers, an important distribution network the any company's online content, Nisenholtz said the Times was considering a revenue share arrangement that would allow bloggers access to the content behind the $49, 95 annual barrier.
Reacting to the many negative comments from audience members during the Q & A, Nisenholtz responded, "People think nothing of ordering a $25 martini at the hotel bar but pay fifty bucks for archived material at the Times? Oh my God!" He also told the audience he does not think all content should be free even though it might take the paper's columnists out of the many "conversations" that occur once bloggers start linking to content.
For five months, Jeff Tweiten has been waiting in line in front of the Pacific Science Center IMAX theater waiting to see the new Star Wars movie. And everyone has been talking about it. Is anyone this freakish? Brenner Thomas doesn't think so. In fact, he thinks Tweiten's presence in front of the theater, along with couch, Internet connection and weblog is all a marketing ploy to build buzz for the movie. After all, it's not like it's gong to be difficult to see this movies since theaters will have it running on half their screens. So Thomas's theory could very well be correct.
ESPN sports business writer Darren Rovell, author of soon-to-be-published The First in Thirst: How Gatorade Turned The Science of Sweat Into A Cultural Phenomenon, has launched a weblog called Darren Rovell's Gatorade Blog. He's obviously a Gatorade fan but when we asked if Gatorade is behind the blog, Rovell said, "The book and the blog are completely unauthorized. I have their cooperation, but I report on the good and the bad and they know that. They have no editorial control over anything."
Assuming Gatorade truly has no influence over Rovell's blog, like the That Pepsi Girl blog, we can add this to the list of consumer brand advocate initiatives that have proliferated since the advent of "citizen's media." There's really no reason why a person couldn't or shouldn't write about a brand they love and, in doing so, become popular and aid the brand in spreading the it's message. The trick, though is proper disclosure and a clear delineation of the line between official brand messaging and unofficial.
After our conversation and to make clear the non-association with Gatorade, Rovell added the word "unauthorized" to the tagline of the blog which now reads, "An Unauthorized Look One of America's Most Dominant Brands."
Defending the recently launched Procter & Gamble character blog, Where the Sparkles Girls Get Real, a blog promoting Secret Sparkle Body Sprays, P & G blogger writes the blog "is meant to be just a fun little promotion where the characters on our bottles are played out. This isn't a blog that is meant to be a way for Secret to talk with our consumers about their likes/dislikes. Instead, it is meant to be a promotional tool where consumers (teens in particular) can learn about the Body Spray scents and interact with the characters. It's just meant to be fun. Why can't certain bloggers realize this?"
Scooter maker Vespa, working with CooperKatz, is launching two customer-written weblogs focused on encouraging more Americans to take up scootering. Vespa is accepting applications for bloggers and will "hire" two bloggers each for the two blogs they are launching. One blog will focus on urban mobile lifestyle and the other will focus on the journey of life - getting from point A to point B - existentially rather than physically.
Yesterday, Business Development Institute held a seminar entitled, "Blogging Goes Mainstream: Is Your Company Ready?", which examined how weblogs can benefit marketers. The largest theme at the seminar was that weblogs create conversations and, to take advantage of these conversations, marketers should join the conversation rather than try to manage it. In a world increasingly filled with consumer created content, created outside the control of big media companies, marketers must subdue their desire to launch the typical top-down, scream from the rooftops marketing campaign. Rather, marketers can leverage consumer created content to listen to what's being said about their brand and join the conversation, just as one would at a cocktail party, rather than attempt to control it.