Walk, talk and learn how to interact

I want expand here on something that I started over on AdJab. I end this post by reminding advertisers that small sites should not be overlooked when they’re drawing up ad plans. But there’s more than that which needs to go on. Don’t just leave it at advertising. Find new and interesting ways to engage the people pounding away on those blogs, many of whom do it for no other reason than that they’ve found a topic they’re passionate about. These people might not always pass on the exact messaging that’s been approved by half the company – that’s just a reality. But what they will do, if you’ve established a relationship with them, is listen to your side of a story and pay more attention to the stuff you might send them.

Building relationships in the community that’s already talking about your industry/company/product is the best way to harness the power of that community. Walk with them. Talk with them. Reach out and see what kind of feedback you can give to them and what they can give to you. I sometimes think there’s a treasure trove of consumer pattern behavior just sitting there, barely tapped (if at all) in the blog and forum chatter online. Learn how to jump into that and I think marketers will have a great amount of success with future endeavors.

LOTD: Special blogging edition

I wanted to break these stories out from the regular LOTD round-up because they all center around a specific topic, that of the role of blogging in media.

First is this post from Stephen Baker at Newsweek that emphasizes how telling media bloggers that they can’t write about internal goings-on robs those writers of some good material. That’s true in any corporate environment, where there has to be a certain amount of transparency in the blogging in order for the blog to be engaging and interesting.

Next up is this column from David Carr. Carr writes the Carpetbagger blog about the entertainment industry and awards season and talks about how blogging builds an instantaneous feedback loop between him and his readers. I especially appreciate Carr’s honesty about sometimes deliberately stirring up a hornets nest in order to get people to react and how doing that is based at least partially on wanting to remind himself how many readers he has.

A lot of those same points are discussed by the Chicago Tribune’s Eric Zorn as he recounts a presentation he was part of on how blogging and column writing are two different approaches toward what is ultimately the same goal. Both formats, of course, have advantages and it’s nice to see someone list them.

It’s always about the distribution

Some interesting notes on how distribution models are changing in the new media world.

First, Scott Kirsner is hosting a panel at Sundance on how issues of rights licensing is going to be handled as new distribution models emerge.

Second, studios are still deciding whether or not it makes more sense to embrace YouTube specifically and video-sharing sites in general. Full movies or TV shows being available online isn’t a great thing since it does, objectively, infringe on rights holders. But as a promotional tool it’s a fantastic way to get the message out.

Next, I agree that the absence of Paramount executives at MacWorld when Steve Jobs was announcing films from the studio would be available through iTunes was kind of glaring.

And speaking of iTunes, James has this ad promoting the availability of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest through the service. I think that’s kind of interesting since it’s the first time I’ve seen iTunes run an ad like this. They were – and still are – pretty common from Netflix over the years but I think it marks a major turn in Apple’s business thinking toward iTunes.

Finally, the big news of the day, Netflix has begun rolling out streaming movies to some customers. Not everyone, at least not now. More and more members will get access to it over the next six months. They way it works is that members aren’t charged anything extra, but get hours of watching debited to them based on how much they pay in monthly fees. So if you pay $18/month you get 18 hours of video online. Mike has a great screencast on how the service work. While Rafat Ali thinks this is a bit of a complicated system I think it’s a good starting point for the trial period.

Quick Takes: 1/16/07

  • The Sunshine blog updates us on the status of that movie’s trailer, especially the plans for it in the U.K.
  • Zach Braff explains on his blog why his movie Fast Track, with Jason Bateman and Amanda Peet, was pushed from January to March.
  • Mack Collier wonders where the company was when a bunch of bloggers started pointing out some problems at Kohl’s department stores.
  • Jeff Wells posits that the volume of a whisper campaign is in direct proportion to how much of an Oscar favorite it was originally considered to be.
  • Alex lists his favorite movies of 2006.
  • Defamer and its readers have some problems with a bag sent out to promote Freedom Writers.
  • Many of the short films that are going to be featured at the upcoming Sundance Film Festival will be available on iTunes, a great move that gives some deserving movies some much needed distribution.
  • The iMediaConnection panel convenes and discusses the “ad banner generator” New Line put out to promote the Snakes on a Plane DVD.

More goodness from the Friends of MMM

I swear this will be my last off-topic post of the day, but a bunch of good stuff from my online buddies has hit in the last couple of days. I don’t put up a Blogroll so this is my way of highlighting these folks.
Mack has Episode #2 of “Mind the Gap” up on The Viral Garden.

The Fuzzball also has Episode #2 of her “Fuzzcast” up and for your listening pleasure.

David Armano reminds us to go over and Join the Conversation being hosted by Joseph Jaffe as Jaffe asks us to help write a chapter of his new book via wiki.

I show up in three different places on Todd’s Power 150 list. AdJab is #8, MMM is #51 and Open the Dialogue is #61.

LOTD: January 16th

Quick quote from this past Sunday: “Get there…get there…YES!!!! It made it!!!! It made it!!!!” The only bad thing about the Bears winning is that someone’s going to haul out the Super Fans and make us suffer through that again. If it’s not Chris Farley dismissing a heart attack as a “Baker’s Dozen” it’s not all that funny. On with the LOTD.

  • Some very wrong-headed people want to enact legislation that would require all users of music libraries to pay “fair market value” for the use of that music. This is being pushed because new satellite radio devices allow you to store music, something the music industry doesn’t care for. (CT)
  • I think it’s important to remember – and Greg Verdino reminds us – that entry by marketers into Second Life isn’t enough. You have to do something with it. (CT)
  • James Wales has launched WikiSeek, his people-powered search engine that Wales is positioning as a more precise tool since it doesn’t suffer from the vagaries of algorithms. (CT)
  • Josh Hallett echoes something I’ve been saying for a while, which is that while the revenue from paid archives might be great, newspapers are shooting themselves in the foot by not opening up these archives to search engines. (CT)
  • Joost appears to be the actual launch name for The Venice Project, the long in-development online video project from the founders of Kazaa and Skype. (CT)
  • Microsoft is launching its own analytics tool. Yay? (CT)
  • BusinessWeek has a pretty good beginners guide to the usage of online video for everything from advertising to internal corporate usage. (CT)
  • Confabb now lets you build your own “badge” that you can display on your blog to show the world what conferences you’re speaking at or attending. It’s kind of awesome.(CT)
  • The Washington Post wants to harness the power of the local bloggers in its neck of the woods and is encouraging them to participate by offering not only increased exposure but also a cut of online ads sales revenue. (CT)