Category Archives: podcast

93: The Travelin’ Mama

Shannon Hurst Lane and three other professional travel writers were chatting at a conference early last year when they hit upon an idea. They were all moms with copious travel experience. Why not start a blog to advise families on destinations that are right for parents with kids? But this wouldn’t be your usual Mickey and Minnie family travel site. The Traveling Mamas, as they chose to call themselves, would also deal with real-world adult issues like where to get an alcoholic drink in the Magic Kingdom and how to take your kids to Las Vegas.

The Traveling Mamas site features a wonderfully homespun and playful voice layered onto the sage experience of people who know how to travel. Fifteen months after launch, it’s getting 50,000 visitors a month and a bouquet of awards, citations and recommendations from media outlets and other bloggers. The four mamas post prodigiously and their audience is  coveted by destination marketers, who compete to get their attention. It’s all rather overwhelming and unexpected.

Shannon is Cajun Mama. She joins us midway through a trip in the Georgia wilderness. In 93 programs, this is the first time David and Paul have ever interviewed someone under these circumstances. Listen to find out more.

Also listen to find out about the nearly disastrous bicycling accident David suffered last week. He’s okay, but instead of sending flowers, he’d like listeners to support his ride for the National MS Society.

Listen to the podcast (17:01) (right click and choose “Save As…” to download)

86: Building on the Groundswell

josh_bernoffForrester Research Analyst Josh Bernoff co-authored the number one Internet marketing book of 2008: Groundswell: Winning In A World Transformed By Social Technologies. The book he co-wrote with former Forrester analyst Charlene Li broke new ground by applying innovative principles of audience segmentation and measurement to social media marketing campaigns and by relating a litany of real-world case studies.

Since the book came out, Forrester has been at the center of controversial research that indicates that corporate blogs are missing the mark by failing to communicate with customers in meaningful new ways. Businesses are still casting about to find a means of engagement that works for them and blogs just aren’t doing the job at the moment.

Bernoff believes that corporations will find the right tools, but the bigger goal should be to humanize interactions between them and their constituents. In his frequent writings on the Groundswell blog, he argues passionately that years of cost-cutting and automation have robbed many businesses of their personality. Now they have the means to become genuine, but too many companies simply use new media to force the same old message down the pipe. No wonder Forrester Research has recently shown a corporate blogs have less credibility than advertisements. In this interview, he talks about how social media continues to shake up the status quo.

Download the podcast here (19:14)

85: The Voice of the Customer

pete_blackshawPeter Blackshaw has led the charge in consumer generated media.  A cofounder of the Word of Mouth Marketing Association and the consumer advocacy website planetfeedback, Blackshaw is also a prolific writer who is contributes regularly to Ad Age, ClickZ and several blogs.  He’s also the author of a new book, Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3000, in which he documents the multiplier effect of word-of-mouth communications.

And that’s in his spare time.  Blackshaw is better known to many people is the executive vice president of Nielsen Online Digital Strategic Services, a group that helps companies develop online strategies.  Branding in the age of conversation is nothing like it was in the days of one-way communications, he says.  Today, brands are developed cooperatively in discussions with customers whose feedback needs to be seriously considered and incorporated into a company’s message.  He talks with David and Paul about some of the more common mistakes marketers make and also who’s getting it right.

Download the podcast here  (20:39)

53: Changing the World One Podcast at a Time

Paige Heninger (l.) and Gretchen VogelzangWhen Paul was writing his book, he met two mothers who personified the term “new influencer.” Paige Heninger (left) and Gretchen Vogelzang launched Mommycast in early 2005, never expecting it to be more than an intimate chat between them and a few friends. Nearly 300 shows later, Mommycast still has that first-time intimacy, but its global audience now numbers in the millions. The show has big-ticket sponsors, a host of awards and its own channel of family-oriented podcasts. But success doesn’t appear to have spoiled Paige and Gretchen, who still think of each program as just another phone call.

Marketers don’t see it that way. They clamor for a chance to get a coveted mention on the program. In this interview, Paige and Gretchen tell how Mommycast got started, the secrets of staying focused and how they handle inquiries from marketers.

Download the podcast (28:54)