Tag Archives: blogging

We already know this… Don't feed the trolls!

“Don’t feed the trolls” is an old saying that goes back to the days when people communicated online via forums or chat rooms like IRC (maybe even before that?)

It’s an expression you use when someone is trying to conjure up a (usually negative) response from others. In a forum or chat setting, it’s usually just for attention.

However often bloggers will post absurd opinions on controversial issues to stir up response. The point of doing this is for linkbait–to get other bloggers to link to them.

Well apparently this is the new trend for mainstream media as well. I’m referring to a column by Margaret Wente in the Globe and Mail. Notice how I’m not linking to it. You don’t need to read it here’s the gist: Margaret thinks women don’t blog. The reason they don’t blog is they don’t have opinions or the need to put themselves out there, yada yada yada.

Well anyone who’s ever visited more than 5 blogs in their lives knows women do in fact blog. LOTS of them. Hell there’s even a conference/movement around women bloggers!

Wente likely knew that, she likely knew that people get riled up when newspapers write generalized, ignorant statements about women, as the National Post did a couple months ago (also not linking to). And what happens when people get riled up? They spread the news. More hits means more advertising dollars which means her boss is happy.

So I’m not upset at Wente about her ridiculous article about women not blogging, just the fact that she’s given up her personal reputation and journalistic integrity for ad dollars. Exactly what the mainstream editorial media is *not* supposed to do.

To all you who blogged about it today: I admire your passion and agree with your view points, but please remove the link to said article! And if you do, I’ll gladly link to your articles and we can discuss the issue of women blogging, but without G&M getting ad dollars out of it.

Oh yea, finally on a lighter note, my personal favourite response to the article via @kittenthebad

you know what else women don’t do? Lock crazy women in cages and throw them in the river. Shame.

Update:

Oh-so now there’s a debate tomorrow with Wente and Annie Urban (@phdinparenting) and Tamara Plant. This I’ll support as they are both passionate women who know what they’re talking about. They deserve the press.

One final note about linkbaiting

I just want to clarify, there’s nothing inherently wrong with linkbaiting. It’s a great tactic to get traffic to a blog or web site and invoke a response. HOWEVER, good linkbaiting is fueled by passion and conviction and based on fact. Spreading bad, insulting information to get a response is not. THAT is what is wrong here.

It's not about the tools! It's the new way of marketing…

I’m almost embarassed to admit–but I’m just reading the Cluetrain Manifesto now. I’ve long known about the book, and specifically that it is about how the Internet has changed the way business works. Nevertheless, it’s an inspiring book and reaffirms a lot of the theories I’ve always believed, and I’ve also learned some new stuff too. There are two big takeaways I want to emphasize right here and now:

1. It’s not about the tools.

Despite the fact that this blog IS (mostly) about the tools, the whole concept and ideals behind social media are not. It’s about better communication because people are now able to connect, grow, learn on their own, at a faster pace than ever before. And businesses need to adapt. Those who’ve grown accustomed to ‘old’ marketing often dismiss terms like social media, user-generated content etc as a passing fad, or just another tool for the marketing toolkit, but it’s really so much more. Personally I’ve never been a fan of “interruption marketing” or broadcast media, simply because as a consumer, I hate tv commercialsand the fact that over 50% of my magazine is ads and especially those ugly flashing banners on site, they’re all in my way and wasting my valuable time. However, I love when a brand engages me with a fun flash game, or sends me emails with exclusive offers I can pass along, or even follows me on twitter and participates in my (sometimes) silly conversations. I really love it. And while some believe the old marketing is a necessary evil, I don’t. I’m done with it, before I ever really got started…

I started my career as a PR girl working in the email marketing biz. Like marketing, PR often gets a bad wrap, but for different reasons. I was always taught the key to PR was respecting your audiences and giving them exactly what they want in order to acheive your goals and objectives and that honesty, ethical behavior and transparency are absolutely essential. It makes perfect sense to me, and I saw it as very relatable to email marketing, which is probably why it was so easy for me to understand, embrace and tell others about. (BTW I still blog about email marketing, over at Tamara Gielen’s Be Relevant! Blog)

2. Sadly, though the book was written nearly 10 years ago (eons in Internet years…) So many companies still don’t get it.

By “it” I mean the fact that “mass marketing” is no longer effective, that employees are a company’s greatest asset and that open, honest and personal dialogue between a company and its customers is the new key to success (these are the points Cluetrain Manifesto is really driving home). I’m only now realizing the reason I get all this social media/online stuff is that as a teenager I was secretly a big geek–on newsgroups, IRC, early bulletin boards, etc. I loved that I was able to learn and get to know people potentially on the other side of the world. I’m super curious by nature and the Internet has always been my portal to ‘the rest of the world’ outside the suburb I grew up in. Now though the tools have evolved and changed greatly, although Facebook and MySpace and the likes have brought these things into the mainstream, really it’s all the same. In fact, in 1999 I joined a local nightlife website which became my obsession for years, it was membership driven, had bulletin boards, the ability to ‘friend’ other users, share photos and toggle event attendance… It *was* a social network, and it was a huge part of me, before I even knew what the term social network was!

Ok, wait, back to my main point here. The point about companies getting “it” has been proven 100 times over. Take Google for example – have you ever seen a Google TV ad? What about banner ads? How did YOU here about Google?(My mom actually told me about it!) What about its slogan ‘don’t be evil’ and have you taken a peek at the Googleplex lately? It’s pretty obvious Google has evolved into the type of company that embraces new ideals brought on by the communications shift, and I don’t have to tell you it’s working for them. Consequently, not only is Google bringing in bazillions of dollars ever quarter, it’s got hundreds (probably thousands, actually) of brand evangelists walking around–employees that is…Who doesn’t love working with those who absolutely love their jobs?

I haven’t posted in a while, so please excuse my wacky tangents. My time for blogging is tighter than ever, and the hardest part is finding inspiration for writing (I could write for hours on end, so long as I’m inspired)… If you have any great topics, ideas, or suggestions, drop me a line at kelly(at)web2dotwhat.com or, of course, comments are always open!

Dare to compare – How do you choose the right tools?

With so many social media tools out there, how do you find the right one for you?

The answer–and I’m sorry to say–is I don’t know… Or let’s go with the famous ‘marketing’ answer: It depends. However, I’ll document a few I use and why I chose to use them:

Micro-blogging
Twitter I’m a Twitteraholic. No doubt about that. However, I will admit I have yet to try out the competitors (Namely, Pownce and Jaiku, as well as Utterz I believe). Usually I like to try out a few before I commit, but I’m so in love with Twitter (aka addicted), I just don’t have time for the others! I’ll admit–I also love how the name lends itself to cute wordplays like twitterverse and twitterati etc., but that’s just one of the many reasons.

*Update*

  • Pretty much everyone agrees, Twitter rocks!

Blogging Platform
Wordpress First I started out my blogging life using Blogger, because it seemed the easiest for beginners. I wasn’t completely thrilled and contemplated switching, right until Google bought it out and re-vamped it. I fell in love, but when the company I worked for was acquired, Blogger wasn’t flexible enough. So I learned WordPress and I have never looked back. Recently, however, I began blogging over at Ottawa.Cityguide.ca, which uses Moveable Type. I’m no expert yet, but so far I’m liking it a lot. However I’m only a contributor on Moveable Type, so I can’t say for sure how they templates, set up, etc. work.

Therefore my favourite would have to be WordPress. It’s easy-to-use and I was able to set it up on my own domain quickly and easily. Though I have yet to use Typepad, which I know many swear by.

*Update*

  • Johann Burkard recommends a service called blojsom, I’ve never heard of it, but apparently Apple uses it for one of its web servers.

RSS Readers
Google I started out using Newsgator, not even sure why, but I noticed that a large majority of my subscribers were using Google Reader–I was intrigued–so I checked it out and sure enough, fell in love. I’ve also tried managing some feeds through my iGoogle page, but I think I consume too much for that to be a viable option. What I would love is a reader built into an app that could sit on my desktop and scroll through new headlines for all my feeds. I’m not even sure if it exists-but I would love it.

*Update*

  • Dave Barger recommends Outlook 2007’s built in reader. I’ve never used it, but I’ve heard lots of good things from others. So if you have ’07, it’s worth checking out!
  • @heatherforce says she loves Attensa, which I’ve never heard of before. According to the web site it looks like an enterprise RSS reader. Heather particularly likes the plug in for Outlook. (Come on now, who’s really surprised we want to read our feeds with our email?!)
  • Johann Burkard uses Bloglines, which is another popular choice, but has also used Rojo & found it to be great, but unreliable.

Social News/Sharing Sites
StumbleUpon Ok, this is probably a vague area, as it could cover a lot, but I’m thinking of Digg, Mixx, Reddit, and even del.icio.us and StumbleUpon might fall into this category. However there’s tons of niche sites that could be included like Sphinn and PlugIM, for example.

Out of all of them, I’d say Stumble is my favourite. Actually, by far. It is a killer tool for driving traffic to your blog, AND it’s hours of fun hitting the “Stumble” button. My Stumble is also integrated with my Facebook, so all my friends can see the sites I like. It’s a fantastic tool

(Fun fact: I actually heard about Stumble over two years ago from my hair stylist, she was complaining that her husband stayed up all night ‘stumbling’ and I was intrigued to learn more)

I know I could probably go on for days, but I’d love your input: What tools do you use? Why do you use them? What else have you tried?

I’ll update this post with your comments.

*Update*

  • Colin brings to my attention that I missed a very obvious category: social networking. (duh!)

Social NetworkingLinked In
I’m still hooked on Facebook, because it’s my primary means of communication with some of my good friends. However, like Colin says in the comments, LinkedIn is a rocking place to be. I’ve pretty much abandoned MySpace. I’ve also joined and played around in a few niche sites like Chapter’s Book Lover’s Community as well as Group Recipes, but they just don’t have the ‘stickiness’ of the big guys.

*Update*

  • Linda Bustos points out some great niche sites for marketers: Gooruze, Sphinn, and SEOmoz. I’ve been involved a little in all three, so I’ll second the great choices.

Help build my blog roll!

Ok there’s hundreds of fantastic blogs out there that I would love to link to. However, so far I’m doing a bad job of getting around to it. So I’m going to spin this into a social activity and ask for your help on building my blog roll.

In the comments,  let me know which blogs you think belong on my blog roll. Please feel free to drop your own blog URLs, so long as it’s relevant to what I’m talking about here, I’d be happy to link to you! (Also, if you enjoy my content and want to return the favour and link back to web2dotwhat.com, I don’t mind)