Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Are Blog Comments Really Comments?

Blogging: You Need To Pay Attention To Your Comments

The above is an interesting blog entry by Ron Miller on the site Social Media 101. Yes, those are my comments left on the entry - I like to leave comments there, because Ron, Julie and the other writers use the comment section to interact with their readers.

This brings me to my titular question. My answer is yes....and no. One blog comment left alone is simply that, a comment. But one blog comment answered by someone else, and seen by dozens (or more) of others can start a conversation, whether it be in the comments section, or via email, or even offline conversation (hey, it could happen)

Yet there are many blogs, both famous and unknown that do not have comment sections. Seth Godin, for instance, has no comment area on his blog, and hasn't since about 2006. I'm sure there are many reasons to why, but I cannot leave him a comment or message to find out about it, because he has no comments. He knows that people will talk about him regardless of the ability to leave a useful, or more than likely a useless snarky comment. He's not controversial, he's not anything really all that special - but he knows how to get people to talk, without having to do much. He wants people talking ABOUT him, he doesnt wan't to talk WITH them.

Some others prefer to use email, or ask you to use Twitter to contact them to leave your comments. That's cool, because you know that it is at least seen, rather than just approved by a random computer program that goes off when comments are made on a website. It's also a great use of social media...well, not so much the email part, but its still neat. But that limits social media, simply because the responses are either individual, or are lost in the mad shuffle of a heavily followed/follower count Twitter account.

I must admit, I've considered turning off comments several times. I love hearing what people have to say about anything I've written, and to constantly stare at the zeros gets daunting after a while. But then someone comes along and leaves me a comment and 99% of the time, it is a useful comment, whether it be critical, appreciative, or what have you. Could I still have that interaction without a comment section? I have no idea...that's why I keep it up.

For an example of how comment sections can take off and spur conversation, go back to LiveJournal (yes, they're still around, and you know you have an account, don't lie) and look at many of the communities, or even some of the individual journals. Many of those have entire conversations carried out in the comment threads, and many of the branch out into completely different topics. Will it happen every time? Shit, no. Can you predict when? Well, kinda, I guess if you know your readers well enough, but more than likely you have no idea that the post you are about to make about what happened at work today will turn into a discussion about what frog looks the coolest or something.

Are blog comments really comments? Literally, yes. But we all know how wrong literal translation can be.

What do you think?

Thanks for reading!!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Unbroken Chain

This post's title shares its title with a great song by Phil Lesh of the Grateful Dead. Hopefully this post will not be as out there as a 69 Dark Star...

Anyhow - the title fits a lot of things, but being a marketing geek, I see an unbroken chain as a perfect metaphor for a company that has every department working all at once, and in the same mindset - and creating a product and marketing plan that blow the public away.

Something that enters pop culture, or alters the way future ads are done would be a great unbroken chain...comment about your favorites...

Thanks for reading!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

On The Go

So...I recently got with the times and got an iPhone. It's an awesome phone, apps nonwithstanding. Social media and marketing definitely benefits from being on the go, and being able to check all of your pages and other places. I'm currently posting from the free version of the blogger/blogspot app, and I love it now that I'm used to the touch keyboard.

This, along with Twitterific - are becoming very important tools, and I'm assuming not just to an amateur player such as myself.

What are your favorite portable social media tools?

Thanks for reading!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Return! Business Cards

I've been gone for way too long. I have plenty of ideas to write about, since I was thinking things up the entire time I wasn't writing. But for my first post back after such a break, I thought I would talk about business cards.

Business cards have become another very important tool in marketing and promotion. In many cases, gone are the days of plain white cardstock with black printing and a logo in the top left corner. Business cards are no longer an afterthought only used as a simple way to leave your contact information with a client or friend. For many freelancers, artists, and other types of designers, a business card is more like a small advertisement. There are dozens of blogs and individual articles on the web about innovative and interesting business cards, everything from die cut cards in hundreds of different shapes, to cards on clear plastic, wood, even beef jerky.

Even non design based industries can benefit from a unique business card - a dentist's office with cards shaped like a tooth, or with dental floss embedded in the card, for instance. I've seen divorce lawyers with cards that are perforated in the middle and have the information on both halves of the card. Just about anyone can be creative with their business cards these days.

Of course, being creative just to be creative will shine through - overly gaudy or complicated cards will be ignored or discarded without a second thought. A neon green business card with purple lettering for anyone other than a graphic designer would probably be a bad idea. A business card that looks like a child designed and wrote it would be a bad idea for anyone other than a daycare provider.

With all of the blogs out there about business cards, good cards, bad cards, interesting cards, and everything else, its easy to get caught up in the storm of having unnecessarily customized cards. A font color change, or something as simple as a new graphic or text rewrite may be all that you needed. Especially if you're starting to follow the trend of using your email signature as a business card, or doing it any other electronic way.

Simple can be just as eye catching as complicated, provided either one is done right.