Joining the character blog trend, HP has launched ILoveMyHPTV.com, to promote its high-definition TV line. The site is written by Ted who, keeps a rant-like blog which contains blatherings on how he chose his HP TV and how people can convince their reluctant other half to go for a big screen monstrosity. There's also a webcam for no apparent reason but the site does offer an interesting tool, called the Dr. Troy Meddleson's Persuasion Method, for convincing a reluctant romantic partner that an HP TV purchase is a good thing. Oh, and it would be a promotional site without the requisite sweepstakes offer. In this case, a chance to win, shockingly, HP products.
Guidewire Group, producer of the BlogOn conference has partnered with content management company iUpload to launch a survey querying corporations on the current state of blogging at the enterprise level and the blogging strategies behind current blog-related initiatives.
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.