I have been thinking about the posts of the most successful bloggers and social media sharers and I believe one of the things they all have in common is that they reveal of themselves just a little more openly and intimately than anyone else with a marketing agenda and a lot to lose. There’s a fine line between taking your friends, followers, fans, and audience on a beautiful and compelling narrative ride and oversharing, but even over-sharing verging on TMI has been better for the most successful social media artists and content marketers.
Business is personal, work is personal, selling is personal, sales are personal. The most successful business people lead with relationships, friendships, and trust.
It makes me think of the poem by William W. Purkey:
You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.
The most successful social media artists don’t hide their black eyes, they sing them. Continue reading →
In many ways, blogging made me. My degree is in English and Creative Writing and not in communications, public relations, public affairs, history, politics, languages, or computer science. However, I am a curious man at heart and am fascinated by the world we live in.
Long blog post short: please be as descriptive as possible when titling your blog posts. In today’s decontextualized world of walls, feeds, RSS, e-mail, diggs, reddits, Stumbles, tweets, and retweets, you need to attract your potential reader based only on the appeal of your title and nothing else, especially if you’re new to blogging and don’t happen to be Seth Godin.
Use up to the 70 characters that Google indexes for each post title but make sure the most important message of the title are nearer the beginning of the title. Don’t bury the lead in the post and don’t bury the lead in the title, either.
Tweetmeme and other sharing services chop off long titles, so while you can go long, keep your essentials right at the beginning.
A good title is a good habit — here’s why
Recently I wrote the post Blog so you can be taken completely out of context in which I discussed how essential it is to make sure each blog post you write needs to be completely self-contained and self-referential. Looking back, I notice I missed the most important part of every blog post: the blog title.
Annual look at the best strategies, tactics, case studies & insights in the enterprise space
Compared to 2009 and 2008, the past year was a relatively calm one because the amplitude of market gyrations clearly diminished and businesses began to find a new floor on which to build stakeholder expectations. Although I watched with high interest the unfolding financial drama in Europe, I didn’t have the time to conduct the research necessary to do a rigorous interpretation, although I published a brief reflection last week. The big story of the past year was this: 2010 marked a turning point in the adoption of social technologies and in the recognition that analysis and strategy are necessary to achieve consistent results with social initiatives.
Macro trends: Moving from broadcast to relationship building
Until recently, being on Facebook was an end in itself, agencies produced vapid content and little interaction occurred because people rarely interact when brands are talking at them instead of listening
Social has been in adolescence until recently — “being on Facebook” was an end in itself, agencies produced vapid content and little interaction happened because people rarely interact when brands are talking at them instead of listening. People feel it when a brand is interested in using social tools to promote itself. They also feel it when a brand is interested in building relationship, which is marked by active listening and responding, along with a relative absence of self-promotion. Brands that build relationship learn that they don’t have to try so hard to promote themselves: when they are truly interested in people, people will promote them. However, this approach remains a future state for most companies. Relationships take serious work — thus, a need for a strategy.
The growing use of strategy is also a harbinger for what I call “social business” (a step beyond social media), in which leaders use social technologies to transform their businesses by collaborating openly with various outside and inside stakeholders to innovate constantly. Early movers will begin emerging this year: Only a few gutsy players will aggressively adopt social business practices in 2011. I believe they can change markets.
Have you noticed that blogging has been getting more professional lately? Part of it is the wealth of classy-looking templates and widgets available for users of WordPress, TypePad and other blog platforms. But it’s also due to plug-ins like Zemanta (which I now use for many of my posts) and PicApp.
I first heard of PicApp last year at WordCamp when I ran into Niran Amir, PicApp’s director of business development. What surprised me is that this service, which offers high-quality, world-class photography to anyone with a blog, is available not for a subscription but for free.
For bloggers who write about topical subjects, like sports, celebrities, music, theater or the like, PicApp is a must-have. The above image of Katie Holmes, for instance, appears simply by inserting picappgallerysingle id=”8457816″ in brackets, pulled from the PicApp image gallery.
Partnerships with Getty Images, Jupiter and Corbis
PicApp enables bloggers and online publishers to easily embed images into their posts by partnering with top-flight image catalogues like Getty Images, Jupiter Images and Corbis. The service offers access to more than 20 million images, with new images added nearly every minute.
Newbie bloggers are sometimes surprised to learn that you’re not allowed to just grab an image off the Web — or even from Google Image Search — and republish it on your blog. That’s usually a copyright violation, unless the image is in the public domain or comes with a Creative Commons license. But few high-quality CC images are taken at timely events like the Oscars, the NBA playoffs, the Olympics, the front row of a rock concert or a Broadway play.
“As a technology company, we want to provide you, the blogger, with tools that make the usage of images as easy as possible,” Niran. That means bloggers don’t have to deal with licensing or copyrights or any of that legal stuff. PicApp handles it for them as the go-between with the major photo agencies. They make money by driving users to their image galleries and running ads there.
Last week Eytan Galai, brother of Yaron Galai (founder of Quigo, which was sold to AOL) came to our offices to show us all the latest that’s been happening with Outbrain. For those who don’t know, Outbrain has recently launched its revenue program OutLoud.
For $10 a month, you can submit an interesting article to OutLoud. Outbrain will then take the articles you submitted — ranging from journalism and blog entries to press releases for which you want to get more visibility — and recommend them on relevant pages across thousands of sites using their content recommendation engine, ranging from USA Today, Slate, Fox and Tribune to Golf.com and the SportingNews. Continue reading →