Tag Archives: blogs

59: The Blog that ate Manhattan

You wouldn’t think that a blog that talks about Eva Peron, cervical cancer, and how to get pregnant would have a wide appeal, but these and are topics can be quite compelling. This week we have a mystery guest on the show, Dr. P, a working gynecologist who writes The Blog that Ate Manhattan. She talks about what is like to find her voice and thrive in another profession, how and whom she blogs for, and the kinds of topics that she covers on her blog. Here is one sample of her rather delicious writing style to whet your appetite, as it were, in a post telling women how to get pregnant:

Procreation is like Windows Explorer – it’s built into the operating system. (Weren’t you starting to wonder if Bill Gates was God?) The default mode is pregnant. And here’s the thing – you’ve been using the pop-up blocker! So turn it off already … and let nature take its course.

You can download and listen to the episode here.

47: Twitter magic

Many people’s first reaction to Twitter.com is that they just don’t get it. At first blush, the group instant messaging service looks like chaos: everyone is talking at once and some of them talking about nothing in particular.

But Twitter has inspired a passionate following. Some people make it their main online communications medium. It’s certainly changed Laura Fitton‘s life. The Boston-based presentations consultant uses Twitter to meet influential people, find business opportunities and answer everyday questions. Twittering as “Pistachio,” she’s amassed a following of more than 1,500 “followers,” who value her ability to stimulate discussions with provocative questions and comments that fit into Twitter’s 140-character format. She’s a poster child for a service that is revolutionizing the way people interact with their social networks.

In this interview, Fitton describes what’s unique about Twitter and how it can be useful even to people who don’t log on that often. She also touches on possible uses of Twitter for marketing and PR.

Download the podcast (23:27)

Creative commons photo by Doc Searles

38: Boo hiss

ThumbsdownPaul was attacked in the blogosphere last week, and it got him thinking about dealing with negativity online. The risk of blogger attacks is one of the biggest reasons companies avoid social media, but Paul and David argue that fears are overblown. Sure, you need a thick skin to invite customer feedback. But companies with good products and happy customers aren’t likely to be hurt by one bad seed. And companies with poor products and angry customers should research their situation thoroughly before wading into the blogosphere.

Negativity can be an important indicator of future trouble, so it pays to monitor customer conversations. Also, the speed at which a story spreads these days can catch businesses flat-footed if they don’t react quickly. A recent story involving AT&T and the California wildfires demonstrates this; the story was “dugg” more than 2,100 times in the six hours before AT&T issued an apology. The good news is that fast action and a willingness to admit mistakes can quickly quell negative publicity.

 Listen to the podcast (9:32)

36: All about corporate blogging

This week’s virtual guest is Debbie Weil, author of The Corporate Blogging Book and an expert on business blogging. Paul met with Debbie at the BlogWorld Expo conference in Las Vegas and conducted a short interview, which we play here. Paul and David then discuss some of the more frequent questions they hear from PR professionals who are trying to get their executives on the Cluetrain.

Some major issues they address include:

  • Should every company have a blog and are there alternatives that are superior for different business objectives?
  • What do you do about reluctant executives who don’t see the value of online customer conversations?
  • What should your blogging policy look like, or do you even need one?
  • What are the different applications of blogs to achieving business goals?
  • How do you deal with negativity? Should you enable customer comments and engage with persistently negative commenters?

Download the podcast (16:34)

31: Scott Kirsner talks shop

This week, Paul and Dave are joined by Scott Kirsner, a Boston Globe columnist, freelance writer, blogger and conference organizer. As a writer who’s had significant experience in both mainstream and new media, Scott understands the power of each to shape opinion in different ways.Scott sees greater convergence happening between newspapers and citizen journalists, but believes newspapers still have to come up the learning curve in understanding the unique characteristics of Internet content. PR people are skilled at pitching him as a print reporter, he says, but pitches tuned to his blog are almost non-existent. For every 250 print pitches, there’s one blog pitch. This is an opportunity missed. PR still doesn’t give bloggers the attention they merit.

Marketers can adopt new media to understand and engage with their markets better, Scott believes. Start by reading Cluetrain Manifesto. Then stop talking at your customers and start asking them for comments and feedback. You can leverage inexpensive tools like online video to tell people about innovative work your company is doing or to showcase interesting people. Scott’s book, The Future of Web Video, can help you there.

Get the podcast here. (16:51)