Do You Microblog?

1 11 2007

Do you even know what it is? Yes, yet another buzzword to add to your day. While you may not have heard of microblogging, you’ve probably come across Twitter. Yes, I Twitter – but in a very limited manner. If it didn’t have so many wonderful benefits and applications I’d hang my head in shame but it’s a great little tool to have in the mix.

So you’ve mastered the art of placing your daily thought/message/status in your IM program and your friends and colleagues enjoy knowing what’s going on with you everyday. Great! You’ve started doing this from time-to-time on your Facebook page. Now comes the ultimate in keeping folks up-to-date with your life/work. Yup… microblogging. Just a line, hardly enough characters to offer a complete thought… and even strangers can follow your feed. Your lifestream, stream of consciousness in brief little snippets for the world to enjoy.

While Twitter is the leader of the pack, there are a couple of runners-up: Jaiku, Tumblr, Pownce and Soup.io

Now if you think that these platforms are only for the teenage crowd, think again. There are multiple benefits for business applications and those applications are vast. The top of the list comes with SEO. This is a great tool for that effort and it works. Several analysts have made recent comments that this is the next big thing and I’m on that bandwagon. After all, anything that can be done in 140 character spaces… well, that’s got to be efficient!





Is your PR firm lazy?

31 10 2007

PR is not the biggest part of my business but I certainly have had occasion to pitch for my clients. I believe in PR and developing contacts with media and getting the message out there. It’s actually fun to make a connection with someone who is honestly interested in a product or service that you’re pitching. I’ve enjoyed some inspiring conversations. Yesterday, in a post on his blog, Chris Anderson – Wired Editor-in-chief and author of The Long Tail – published a list of emails collected from his INBOX from people he says were basically spaming him with lazy PR work.

“Lazy flacks send press releases to the Editor in Chief of Wired because they can’t be bothered to find out who on my staff, if anyone, might actually be interested in what they’re pitching.”

I see a couple of names in there that will not be very happy to find they’ve been bumped out as spam. But really, if the PR firm doesn’t have enough fire to get the message out to the right journalists… via a creative and well-designed presentation, is there any real hope of the message getting to the end-user in a manner to inspire them?

A good PR firm or communications department should know who is following a given sector and have a list of journalists and trend-setters to contact. If this sort of list doesn’t exist, it really isn’t that difficult to build one. This shows how lazy automated systems make us and how doing the same thing day-in-day-out can breed contempt for our work.

Part of my professional background being in journalism, I have a healthy respect for the work journalists do but I also know that the more of their work that I do for them, the more likely they are to run with my story. I’m just about to start on a project – a CD-ROM for journalists covering the jewelery fashion industry. Each year our focus is on providing a tool that makes the journalist’s job easier. I guess it’s working. It’s the fifth year for this project.

“I am where I am because I believe in all possibilities.”Whoopi Goldberg





Cool tool of the trade

30 10 2007

I’ve used many presentation tools (software) over the last 15 years, but I have to say that I really like the ease-of-use and transportability of Jing Project from Techsmith Corporation. In just a few minutes you can have a simple presentation together – voice over included – and it’s available anywhere on the Web if you wish.

For now the project is running as a free service and Techsmith is asking for feedback from users. While not opensource, the project is collecting plenty of comments from users with the intention of further defining the product. Eventually, we’ll have to pay to use Jing but the price will certainly be worth it.

I find it very useful for projects where the team is spread out in multiple locations. I can flip through my ideas on screen and record my comments as I click through the windows. Really, I can set up a meeting in minutes. My colleagues can see what I’m talking about and I haven’t had to type a word.

I’ll post a couple of examples here soon.