Bloggers do it in the dark.

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With the proliferation of information-based blogs and blog marketing comes the need to report faster than the next fast typer. It’s perhaps why the blogger has gained the reputation of a caffeine-driven writer who spends every waking hour (and perhaps even some sleeping hours) perched above the warm glow of a keyboard, ready to report on breaking stories that are so hot, they’re steaming. Sometimes, however, the steam blinds the information-hungry reader into thinking that what is being reported on is true. A recent New York Times article explores the importance of being more relevant for blogs versus seeking credibility. The article describes the world yore when Newspapers were actually printed on actual paper, where writers fought to break stories first regardless of whether they checked sources or not. Eventually, newspapers that sought to be more credible survived because the readers demanded it. But now, methinks, the reader may be demanding more. So the question isn’t which is better. The question, in my opinion, is which is more interesting. Who says that all the news that’s fit to print has to be the cold hard facts? Perhaps there’s room for scuttlebutt and rumor just to keep things spiced up. By the way, did you hear that Apple is buying EA and Twitter?

Mommy blogs bring home the bacon.

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Companies have utilized the power of blogging to build stronger customer relations, generate new qualified leads and sales, and build a readership list quickly and inexpensively. But now, research shows, moms are getting into the act. Moms have always been social networking experts in the offline world. Mommy clubs on the local and neighborhood level abound. Moms naturally tend to congregate and share tips on raising a healthy family and swapping stories about what works and doesn’t. Blogging offers mothers a fantastic platform to be social, to network and to share information quickly and effectively. What’s more interesting is that these women sometimes have multiple blogs and in some cases, these blogs generate income. Yep, that’s right, moms are getting into the ecommerce world in full effect with blog marketing. Mommy blogs can generate income in multiple ways. Selling ad space is one. Google Adsense (a program that enables website publishers to display relevant Google ads) is another. Some moms use blogging to promote their own products, books they’ve written and even services. And the big money comes from companies that sponsor mommy blogs they feel fit within their brand image. So mommy blogging isn’t just about advice on how to potty train Sally or wiping little juniors nose. Moms are giving birth to a whole new way of generating income and stoking the flames of the online economy one blog post at a time.

Enzo F. Cesario

This is your brain on twitter.

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In a traditional ad like a billboard or television commercial, you are limited to the medium; 60 seconds of airtime for a commercial and the number of poster sheets that fit on the billboard. But the internet offer a landscape that stretches boundaries farther than the eye can see. In traditional advertising, these boundaries limit what you can communicate to your audience. More often times than not you’ll notice that the majority of traditional ads spend their efforts on telling you about their product or service. But on the web, everything is flipped around. Instead of telling you about a product or service, you are shown the product or service in action. Take a recent New York Times article where Methodist University Hospital in Memphis released a live video webcast of a patient’s craniotomy while the patient remained awake. No billboard or print ad necessary touting the expertise of Methodist University Hospital. You can see it for your own eyes. Social networking, webcasting and online video are a wonderful thing for marketers in that they allow them to “show” their audience rather than “tell” . But mediums that happen in real-time, like a video casting, can be a double-edged sword. In Real-time information scenarios, you don’t really have control of the outcome versus scenarios (print ads for example) where the creator has control of what is released. In this way, marketers carry a greater risk if things don’t go well during the web cast or video cast, but also a greater reward if it turns out to be positive. I’m not saying one is better than the other, however. I believe smart marketers will use a combination of showing and telling across traditional and non-traditional mediums. Finding the right media mix is a lot easier if you can utilize the power of what the internet has to offer. After all, it’s not brain surgery. Or is it?

Enzo F. Cesario

Show me the Facebook and Twitter money.

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It’s common knowledge that Facebook and Twitter are both attracting the attention and are being closely watched as the next big Google-like companies. But one thing remains unclear; do either of the two business models have the potential of generating the kind of greenbacks that even come close to the that of Google? That’s the big question Reuters attempts to answer in a recent article. The cool thing about Google when they first came on the scene was the sponsored search model they utilized to fuel their engine. While the originator of this model is credited to Idealab’s Bill Gross, Google went on to take the technology to unimaginable heights, and the rest is history. Nobody really knows how to successfully monetize social media. And in the mad rush to monetize, many have tried and many have failed. The potential is great, because both Facebook and Twitter have loyal vistitors using their services and they keep coming back for more. Reuters reports that, “in April, Twitter’s website attracted 17 million unique visitors in the United States, up sharply from 9.3 million the month before. Facebook grew to 200 million active users in April, less than a year after hitting 100 million users.” They’ve shown a lot of potential. Now all they need to do is show the world the money.

Enzo F. Cesario

Blogs, micro-blogs and whales.

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According to recent data from comScore, Twitter recently added more than 5 million subscribers just from February 2009. It seems like everyone and his or her mother is tweeting on the twitter. But it’s not just humans. Believe it or not, you can now add killer whales to the list. I know whales are thought to be intelligent, but how the heck to they manage their blackberries in such wet environments? And how do they tweet on their keypads with slippery fins? I came across this whale of a tale on Reuters and I couldn’t help but cringe just a little bit. I was an early adopter of twitter and I thought it was the hottest thing on the Internet the first three months I used it. But lately I’m noticing more and more companies getting on the bandwagon. When I mention Twitter around anyone involved in marketing they begin to salivate and get a weird frenzied look in their eyes. In my opinion, this makes twitter a little less cool. I get that there is a need for regular Joes to interact with brands, I really do. And I think there’s a place for that. But come on, not all mammals are created equal. Twitter should be for real people, in my humble opinion. But maybe I’m just not in the target audience. You may be, and you may think that it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. I’m sure that killer whales everywhere are just loving it right now.

Enzo F. Cesario