Blogs are here to stay

Technorati’s 2008 State of the Blogosphere Report, is now available.  In their Weekly News Digest, Information Today, Inc.  reports:

“For the 2008 study, [Technorati] wanted to go beyond the numbers to deliver insights into bloggers and the state of blogging today. In addition to analyzing the data from the Technorati Index, for the first time, it surveyed bloggers to understand the role of blogging in their lives; tools, time, and resources used for their blogs; and how blogging has impacted them personally, professionally, and financially.”

State of the Blogosphere includes:

Technorati reports in the section, The How of Blogging, a variety of technologies to attract visitors. “Top audience-building strategies include: listing their blog on Technorati and Google, commenting or linking to other blogs, and tagging blog posts so that they are more easily searchable.  All of this hard work has paid off — half of active blogs attract more than 1000 monthly visitors.”

Check out the full report. As Technorati indicates, “Blogs are a global phenomenon that has hit the maintream…blogs are here to stay.”

If you’re already a blogger, we’re interested in hearing about the the role of blogging in your life, and how its impacted you personally and professionally.  If you’re not already blogging, this is a great report for you to read–let us know your impressions.

Drive Online Video Long & Straight for Marketing

Today we have a guest post by Neil Costa, Co-Founder of Stimulate Solutions, Inc.

YouTube isn’t a passing phase. It has clearly emerged as an important tool to use in marketing and sales, and explains why a company like Google would be willing to pay $1.65B to buy it. So what’s in it for b2b and b2c marketing and how are businesses using it to their advantage?

Callaway Golf has done a great job of developing online video campaigns, to begin they focused on one product line, and tested, adjusted, tested, adjusted and then hit a home run. Callaway repurposed a television commercial into YouTube at the end of 2006, a very natural step for most companies who have television assets. From there, Callaway launched a Web only campaign with Kenny Mayne from ESPN, addressing the “Wuss Golf Problem” for the Top-Flite brand. This allowed them to be more aggressive with humor by using a smaller brand which generated 38,000+ views in a couple of months. Callaway drove traffic to a custom URL http://www.neverlayup.com/ – which redirected to the Top-Flite site allowing customers to check-out more videos, review product information as well as shop via the online catalog. Inside sales representatives used this as a way to reach out to retail stores, golf club pro shops as well as friends and family, creating some buzz about the Top-Flite online videos and creating a conversation.

Callaway then launched an online video campaign with a golfing superhero – D2 Man. This video was launched at their annual sales conference and has now received almost 1M views on YouTube. Clearly, one million views is a home run for any brand and they did this by creating an online video their employees, channels and customers were all excited about. I don’t think everyone can expect 1M views on YouTube, but what is it worth for YOUR brand to reach 1,000, 10,000, 100,000 people? It has to start somewhere and you can only learn by giving it your best shot.

Still skeptical? “Cisco” generated 8,580 videos and the top ones was a “Telepresence Magic” video with 308,483 views (I love the Telepresence product by the way). This reinforces that marketers have a great opportunity to take charge of video content and get in front of their channels, customers and prospects through a medium where everyone is comfortable.

The end game here is to create conversations with your audience. For all the same reasons why webinars, sponsored research and white papers are all good sales tools online video can be a key tool for your sales and marketing teams to use on the road ahead. There are lightweight ways to get into the online video world so go dip your toes and allow yourself to “test and adjust” relentlessly until you get traction.

Neil Costa is a Co-Founder of Stimulate Solutions, Inc. where the team is focused on using online marketing and social media assets to drive business results and ROI. Neil has worked in marketing, business development at Boston area companies such as Monster.com, Open Market & Segway. Connect with me at neil.costa@stimulatesolutions.com or @dalepasta.

Benefits of Reading Your RSS Feeds

Today I’ve had an RSS Feed win-win experience. I was catching up reading feeds I subscribe to, one being Shifting Careers.  Today’s post How Twitter Can Help at Work written by guest blogger, Sarah Milstein, contains great advice on how to use Twitter professionally, and some excellent links.  In particular, Chris Brogan’s using Twitter in business

Here’s where the win-win comes into the picture. After reading the post, I checked out some of the people I follow on Twitter. There was a tweet by David Meerman Scott, @dmscott,  from earlier this morning about how you could hear his keynote at the Inbound Marketing Summit happening today in Cambridge, MA. The conference has a great line-up of speakers and is being broadcast live on Hubspot TV.

Even if you can’t be there in person, check it out. The conference runs until 6 pm (EST).

hello world, Belated BlogDay Wishes

I’m not usually one for belated Birthday cards. For me, it’s more meaningful to  acknowledge the birthday on the actual day. But as we know, it happens.

BlogDay 2008

August 31st was the 4th BlogDay– a day when bloggers were encouraged to find 5 new blogs they find interesting, and to notify the 5 bloggers that you’re recommending them as part of BlogDay 2008. So, I’m sending these belated wishes and to express my gratitude to the countless bloggers from around the world, who I read, communicate with in one way or another, and to the ones I haven’t yet discovered.

I’ve been blogging for almost a year now, and my education in social media wouldn’t have happened as rapidly as it has, if not for all the bloggers who’ve come before me– who’ve shared their knowledge, two cents, and recommended valuable links and resources. Special thanks to all the bloggers who create unique content,  those who put their own unique spin on it–and all of the folks who’ve been out there conversing, even when they aren’t sure if anyone is listening.

I remember the first time I saw the words “hello world” on my clunky ms-dos based PC in the late 80’s.  Then a few years later,  I saw those words again on the trail-blazing websites I visited through the browser, Netscape Navigator.

The world has become much smaller as a result of the internet, our wireless connections and mobile devices. Every person who publishes content can have their own voice and niche perspective–can say “hello world” as often as they like.  But just because we can communicate in a flash, across oceans and languages, doesn’t necessarily mean everyone should.

As Geoff Livingston and Brian Solis write in their book, Now is Gone:

The Internet’s littered with failed corporate blogs and discontinued social media initiatives. Many simply can’t think of new, interesting content to post, and with the time necessary to commit to a blog, many simply decide to stop. Content creators must diligently engage the community with appealing content for the life of the new media initiative, not just for the first few months. Having a unique look helps catch the reader’s eye. Keeping them there requires a constant creation of appealing content that only comes with a significant time and thought commitment.

In the spirit of BlogDay, I’d also like to thank all of the bloggers whose posts we’ve included on our delicious list,  blogroll, and others who we’ve linked to– and those who have linked to us.  Special thanks to Merlyn Sanchez for the honorable mention on her insightful blog, Smart Business Owners.

Content creation doesn’t happen in a vacuum, we need one another.

If you missed out on BlogDay, it’s not too late–you can tell us about bloggers you’d like to acknowledge!