Category Archives: Social Media

Web Too Oh

Business Blogging – Ted Shelton

Here’s the start of an interesting conversation by Ted Shelton into business blogging:

http://tedshelton.blogspot.com/2007_04_29_archive.html

The core thread: Blogging is a peer-based communication. However companies do not have this peer relationship with their audience so they have to build authenticity. How? Through access and accountability. So? That means that those within the organization with power to change things need to be speaking. And they need to speak to everyone – even the main detractors.

Creating a Podcast

Podcasts are a great way to distribute recorded audio – whether it be a presentation or your favourite Gregorian chants.

Creating Podcasts is a relatively simple exercise. This tutorial by redevelopments should help you get a Podcast live in no time at all.

When it comes to distributing a Podcast, browse Google for Podcast directories.

Caveat: current studies show that there are a lot more Podcasts created than are actually downloaded. Any good analytics software should be able to show you how often the Podcast has been downloaded. 

Online press release distribution

The rise in blogging over the past few years has done wonders to further the cause of online PR. While the concept of submitting a press release for inclusion in the online news services hasn’t drastically changed over the last few years, there has been a growth in the number of sites offering this service and a change to some of the older players.

Here we list some of the top sites that are ideal for small businesses trying to make big waves online:

PRWeb

One of the most established sites for free press release distribution, PRWeb started charging for all submissions as of October 2006. For two reasons this site is still an attractive proposition: the length of time this site has been around means that it is well established (read: well regarded by Google), and the different payment structures allow you to choose your level of visibility.

PRNewswire

This service, like PRWeb, has been around for some time. Probably one of the most professional-looking news sites, PR Newswire offers a suite of services including news monitoring and social media tools.

PRLeap

Now we’re getting into the domain of the free services. PR Leap has a blog-like format that means you can be king for a day – well, make that an hour or so. On any given day there are generally over 100 releases posted. All I can say is get in there early.

I-Newswire

The I-Newswire service is aimed squarely at the crowd that want to drive up Google rankings with a strong tilt towards showing how press release distribution can aid SEO efforts. The releases are ranked using a similar star rating system to PR Web meaning the more you pay, the better your distribution.

So, these are some of the big players at the moment, but what’s going to happen in the future? The grading and display of news stories has to improve. There has to be more visibilty for the more tantalizing releases. How to figure out which those are? The algorithmic approach would be to develop something along the lines of the service offered by Digg. Develop a popular, efficient ratings system to help keep the quality up.

The Google/Doubleclick deal converts

Schmidt at Web 2.0News out on Friday that Google has acquired Doubleclick for $3.2 billion. Probably pocket change for the big G but enough to make the other contenders round the table drop their cards. Why does Google value Doubleclick so highly?

This probably has as much to do with the value Google adds to the Doubleclick service, as opposed to the more usual counter theory. Let me give an example. We advertise on Google because we want visibility in search. We hardly use the content network because relevance in the B-to-B space is poor. We know that display ads and audio ads are available but haven’t really scratched the surface with these. There are other parts of our field marketing organization that run banners from time to time, primarily on Java forums and lately we’ve been trying to educate them on how we can measure the efficiency of these.

Google hooking up with Doubleclick essentially merges my work with that of field marketing. There are many advantages to this. A couple that come to mind immediately are more detailed stats (a la Google Adword reports) on their banner ad campaigns (possibly tracking right through to conversion using Google Analytics) and a single advertising console to learn. Think the Microsoft Office Suite for the advertising world.

Eric Schmidt talked to John Battelle about this recently at the Web 2.0 Expo. 

Other topics included the new presentation service to be added to Google Docs, mobile services, net neutrality and the issue of copyright in a collaborative content environment.

blogs can make the difference for b2b

Some interesting research on the influence of blogs on B2B buying decisions.
“Blogs have made inroads into B2B technology companies with more than 53 percent of respondents saying the content they read in blogs has an impact on their work-related purchasing decisions. Some 80 percent of respondents say they read blogs, with 51 saying they read them at least once a week.”

as with all surveys, it’s worth taking with a pinch of salt – could be that those interviewed wanted to appear more tech-savvy then they really are. still, makes you think that there is a lot more that can be done in this area given the relatively small number of B2B companies blogging.