December 29, 2009

My most popular (and favorite) posts of 2009

New Year's balloons

David SparkIf you’re a blogger, one great way to reflect on the year’s happenings is to just go through all the posts you wrote for that year. After a trip down memory lane, I put together a collection by category of the most popular and my favorite posts (across all the sites I write for) of 2009.

Personal experiences

Hey PR, bloggers are not tools to be used – There’s a gentle give-and-take relationship between journalists and PR people. But now that bloggers are in vogue, there’s a sense that some PR reps can use bloggers as tools for their clients. It’s obvious and obnoxious. Here’s my personal story of what one PR firm did. Make sure to watch John C. Dvorak lay into me about it on Cranky Geeks (happens at the beginning of the show), and then there’s an incredible Update: Bad PR experience story. PR firm’s client is obtuse.

Boy (5-7) pulling face, holding thumb to nose, side viewSocial media “gurus” and some bloggers are egotistical jerks – A PR rep made a mistake of ccing everyone on an email. Instead of unsubscribing, or doing nothing, many people on the list decided to hit Reply All and tell everyone what they thought of this woman. Insulting, rude, and the people on the list were well known social media people.

Pepcom: We’d like to invite you to a party that we don’t want you to attend – Pepcom has an 11-year-old policy of not inviting journalists/consultants to their events. Must be full-time journalists. Even though I’ve been attending their events for six years they decided to send me an invite, let me accept, and then uninvite me.

My personal Twitter policy. What’s yours? – So often I see people telling others how to behave on Twitter. I think the issue is do you know how you behave? Do you have a personal policy and do you stick to it?

Jeremiah Owyang, Altimeter Group

Social media research is chock full of leading questions – Don’t take a social media guru’s word as fact. Watching Jeremiah Owyang speak at an event I was taken aback by his claim that a Forrester Research study showed fewer than 10% of people trust corporate blogs. Of course they don’t. It’s a leading question like asking if you trust used car salesmen. Jeremiah joins in the debate.

Why I love public transportation and hate HP – I had a bad tech support experience where I had to wait on hold for two hours after I had paid for tech support. The service was fine, but my aggravation was not knowing when I was going to get service. Make sure you also read the follow up HP responds to ‘Why I love public transportation and hate HP’.

Opinions on social media

Why corporate blogging is like selling uncut cocaine – I still don’t understand why companies are still obsessed with the “company-PR agency-reporter-story” model of getting their story seen. That technique cuts your story three times and you don’t know what will come out the other end. If you blog yourself, you get to tell your story. A fantastic example of this is Paul Levy, CEO of the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Read and listen to my interview with him at Blogging should be a core responsibility of a CEO.


Shel Israel, David Spark, David Meerman Scott

Social media success doesn’t start with ROI – After appearing on a panel with David Meerman Scott at the Dow Jones in Palo Alto, this subject kept coming up. Make sure you read the comments. Really good debate.

Can we all make #followfriday suck a little less? – I’m so annoyed with the contextless way people recommend each other with the #followfriday hashtag on Twitter. I suggest we add some context to our recommendations. This piece was written before Twitter lists were introduced which is another good way to recommend people.

Get recognized at your next conference by reporting on it – Simply sitting in a booth waiting for people to come to you is not the best way to connect with influencers. Instead, report on the event and interview influencers. The advantages are endless. PDF also available.

Interviews and stories

How one company uses Web 2.0 tools to run and promote their business – This is just a great story of how a company went through every aspect of its business and replaced it with a Web 2.0 tool, reducing costs and improving efficiency.

What are your productivity bad habits? – Video interviews with attendees of the GTD (“Getting Things Done”) Summit in San Francisco.

10 Creative Contests Powered by Social Media – Layer social media on top of a contest and you’ll achieve a whole host of business and marketing objectives for a fraction of what it would normally cost.

12 Inspiring Stories of Successful Social Networkers – Great tales of how people very systematically grew their social network.

5 People Who Broke the Rules of Social Media and Succeeded – Very popular story that caused a lot of people to say, “What rules of social media?” To which I say, “If that’s true, how come there are so many articles about what to do/not do in social media?”

A great quick appropriate response to blogger outrage – This is an excellent case study of how the Transportation Security Administration squashed a blogger’s BS story quickly with video evidence. It shows the need to have a blog in place and a policy to respond to bloggers quickly. If the TSA didn’t have the blog and its policy, this could have been a brand-damaging media nightmare.

Tips, analysis, and how to’s

9 Successful Techniques for Making Money from Podcasting – This is the culmination of a short term project I did where I interviewed 15 podcasters who have successfully generated revenue from their podcast, directly or indirectly. Article includes links to all the interviews.

Worst passwords EVER! Check to make sure yours aren’t on the list – This was just a simple post that I connected with a radio promotion and it became unbelievably popular. The list isn’t even mine and I didn’t publish it. I just linked to it.

20 Expert Tips on Running a Contest Powered by Social Media – Interviews with five contest experts on what you should and shouldn’t do when running a social media-enabled contest.

Free report “Real-Time Search and Discovery of the Social Web” – This is a must-read 20-page PDF for anyone who needs to understand the landscape of real-time search and the revenue and growth opportunities. Download it, it’s free.

Guy Kawasaki’s top Twitter tips for businesses – Guy Kawasaki is popular. Twitter is popular. Tips are popular. Put them all together in a video interview and you get a popular post.


The cool and not-so-cool of LeWeb – The “cool and not-so-cool” series from conferences has been very popular for me. This article summed up what I saw was the good and bad of the LeWeb conference in Paris. It includes some other highlights from the Traveling Geeks trip in Paris.

Highlights from ad:tech New York 2009 and Highlights from ad:tech San Francisco 2009 – ad:tech is one of my clients where I produce videos and articles at their events. Here are my highlights from two of their events this year. Both include summary videos of each event.


Most Unusual and Unique Online Dating Sites – If you’re only looking for people on, you’re missing out on all the opportunities to meet people who are into Star Trek and smoke a lot of marijuana. Here are three more bonus dating sites I discovered after writing the article.

Frances Callier and Angela Shelton

Frances Callier and Angela Shelton

The truth behind “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here” from Frangela – After lunch with my comedian/radio personality friends Frances Callier and Angela Shelton, I asked them to start dishing the dirt on the reality show they had just appeared on. Watch the video interview.

Improv Confessions of a Stand Up or Why Won’t Improv in Chicago Die? – This is actually an old article that I reposted this year. If you’re in either industry, you should read, comment, and complain.

Comedy club imposes laughable rules for performers – The comedy club industry has been flailing for years. The business simply hasn’t been as big as it was back in the ’80s. In an effort to improve the quality of its shows, a club in Nashville imposes some rather strict rules. Here’s a clip of me from my stand-up days.

Creative Commons photo attributions: legalnonresident, thomashawk and Robert Scoble / CC BY-NC 2.0David Spark, a partner in, helps businesses grow by developing thought leadership through storytelling and covering live events. Contact David by email, follow him on Twitter and Google Plus or leave a comment below.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Comments are closed.