Tag Archives: Blogs

Blogging future: leverage the long tail opportunity

I’ve been spending an interesting afternoon at Apple Expo in Paris yesterday with my dear friend Christophe Ginisty. Beside being Apple’s PR, he’s also renowned for his blogging activity. He organized a debate about blogging future. Asking candid, or was it, questions about whether blogging is just a fading trend or a ramping up attitude.

I tried to make a point there that I wanted to share with you. Blogging is to press media what video sharing (YouTube, DailyMotion) is to TV, and Music sharing (MySpace) is to Records. Blogs success in my opinion lies in the ability for anyone to publish articles without a financial equation supporting it and with very low barriers to entry. Blogging is free and easy (no web design skills required), to be compared with the press where audience must be as large as possible for advertising revenue to enable it, and where printing or broadcasting requires technical and financial muscle. The same is true for video and music production and distribution compared to the new free or close to free e-capabilities.

Blogging, publishing music and video on the net doesn’t require a large audience either to be possible. It is enough to have a few hundred interested people and you can keep going. But adding up these very diverse communities of interest leads to a massive audience. This is the long tail opportunity that the net offers. To be compared to Business 2.0 magazine not publishing anymore, despite facebook community trying to rescue, by economic failure.

So to me, all these individual contributions to the blogosphere, videosphere, photosphere and musicsphere are here to stay, widen and provide a huge creativity and freedom expression area without a capitalistic equation attached.

Enterprise 2.0 is here to stay

Fellow marketers, I’ve been away for quite some time, focusing on some quality time without a computer (can you believe that?). I’m back, energized and ready to roll!

I wanted to open it up to a new topic, here on Marketing 2.0, that is keeping my team busy for quite some time now: Enterprise 2.0.

I’m sure you heard the buzz word before and maybe took a more in depth look at it. But I guess for those working in the IT industry and already involved in the Web 2.0 phenomena it’s the natural question to ask ourselves: what are the Web 2.0 attributes, social behaviors and underpinning technologies bringing to the enterprise? Is this only about taking blogs, wikis, RSS feeds and what have you, to your intranet? Or is it a more profound paradigm shift that will finally unleash the expected new enterprise species of the new millennium?

You bet some of our gurus have been writing and pitching about it as the yearly Enterprise 2.0 conference can attest. Let’s hear some of the most visible. First of all, spend about 10mn to view this introductory video on ZDNet Web 2.0 for the enterprise.
You can then take the direct and simple view of Andrew McAfee’s Enterprise 2.0 definition:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.

Of course what Andrew develops beyond that definition is more complex but is basically centered around a new stage in knowledge management. But I am more in sync with Don Tapscott‘s views about it. If you did not read at least one of Don’s best sellers, I encourage to start with Wikinomics. To give you a feel for it:

The rise of pervasive, networked IT is fostering new business strategies and designs that enable firms to create differentiated value, lower cost structures and therefore increase their competitive advantage. A new model of the firm is emerging – the Enterprise 2.0. Firms that embrace this model succeed and compete well. Those that do not decline.

If you’re now thrilled and ready to spend 40mn or so, listen to Don’s pitch at the Enteprise 2.0 conference. It’s fun and enlightening.
Finally, and to close this first post about Enterprise 2.0, I found Fred Cavazza’s in depth post What is Enterprise 2.0? about it very useful to provide a solid 360 view.
Stay tuned for more, Enterprise 2.0 is here to stay.

State of the Blogosphere

The blogosphere is just expanding like crazy. But you might wonder: what are the numbers? Thanks to Technorati, delivering numbers on a quarterly basis, here are the latest trends released and commented by Dave Sifry in his post The State of the Live Web last week:

  • 70 million blogs are currently tracked
  • About 120,000 new blogs are created each day, or…1.4 new blogs every second
  • 3000-7000 new splogs (fake, or spam blogs) created every day
  • Peak of 11,000 splogs per day last December
  • 1.5 million posts per day, or…17 posts per second
  • Growing from 35 to 75 million blogs took 320 days
  • Japanese the #1 blogging language at 37%, English second at 33%, Chinese third at 8%, Italian fourth at 3%, Farsi a newcomer in the top 10 at 1%
  • English the most even in postings around-the-clock

One quote gives you a feel for whether blogs are a fad or here to stay:

Since our last State of the Blogosphere report in October 2006, we’ve seen a slowing in the doubling of the size of the blogosphere. This shouldn’t be surprising, as we’re dealing with the law of large numbers – it takes a lot more growth to double from 35 million blogs to 70 million (which took about 320 days) than when it doubled from 5 million to 10 million blogs (which took about 180 days).” — Dave Sifry

Interesting as well is the popularity of blogs compared with traditional or media websites. During Q3 2006 there were only 12 blogs in the Top 100 most popular sites, in Q4 this is rising to 22. Even more, the audience tends to distinguish less and less blogs from official media sites as NYTimes and considers blogs as news providers. Is this the rise of Press 2.0?

Enjoy and spread the numbers out there. Blogs should be part of your Marketing 2.0 dashboard.

ZoomClouds: tags cloud on your blog easy

As the blogger platform doesn’t offer by default the ability to create tags cloud, I was looking for a simple way to just insert one from a third party. I like tags cloud a lot, it gives you in an eye blink a feel for what a blog is about.

I’m now using ZoomClouds for several days and it seems to work just fine. Go ahead a create one, it’ll provide some additional metrics about what topics your blog readers take a look at. On top of it, it generates automatically tags for you on top of the labels you have created.

IBM stumbles twice on its IT leadership, HP is the new King of IT

This is what we could call a defining moment. IBM will stumble twice on its results this quarter. First, IBM (IBM) global revenue should be now slightly smaller than the one from HP (HPQ), check Link to HP passes IBM as IT leader. HP’s revenue for its 2006 fiscal is surging to $91.7 billion and IBM is expected to finish his at $90 billion on December 31st. Then Accenture (ACN) took the integration services crown from IBM according to an IDC report, read more about it in Accenture tops IBM as leading systems integrator, NetworkWorld. IDC started tracking systems integrators back in early 90’s and mainly attributes this success to the explosion of SOA related services. Accenture announced back in July that they planned to invest $450 million in SOA services over the next 3 years.

What a change! To give IBM another food for thoughts, Google (GOOG) market capitalization is $140 billion with its 5,700 employees, exactly the same as IBM’s one with its 329,000 employees. Track the stock comparison chart between IBM, HP, Accenture, Google and Dell here. It is not yet reflecting HP successes, but gives already Accenture ahead of IBM. Of course, as we already noticed in Marketing 2.0 in Is your brand relevant on line, some new Marketing 2.0 elements are influencing the stock value. In HP’s case, its recent turmoil at the company’s top could have started a negative buzz about the company’s legendary ethical values. When is HP starting its corporate blog? Come on, fellow marketers at HP, take a chance on Marketing 2.0. Wait, they’ve started several of them. Here they are. But where is Mark Hurd’s? Eric, that is Eric Kintz HP Vice President Global Marketing Strategy & Excellence, as you seem to be a Web 2.0 savvy marketer — read his blog all about marketing — couldn’t you have more influence on your CEO?

Do you measure buzz about your brand on blogs?

Buzz Trends is something hard to measure. Marketing 2.0 is no exception to the marketing ROI demand we are all increasingly facing. If you don’t, that should be a sign that your job is at risk 😉

Most of you are probably already using Technorati trends and Google trends to have a feel for it and be able to create nice slides for your management. Again, if you don’t, check them out right now.

I wanted to highlight this very interesting set of tools coming from Nielsen BuzzMetrics: Trend Search, Featured Trends, Conversation Tracker, BlogPulse Profiles. This is totally dedicated to the blog universe and very easy to customize. The Key People analysis, which has its own RSS feed, clearly shows who’s making the buzz among top U.S. personalities (John Kerry took the front seat on Oct. 31st from rank 25, you must surely know why).

So now that we have some measuring tools ramping up to help us make our point, let’s make Marketing 2.0 a measured integrated marketing approach. A question remains though, how do you translate positive buzz measurement into actual opportunities or revenue increase? I guess I’ll have to work on it quite rapidly.

In the meantime, enjoy your week-end fellow marketers.

Advertising 2.0 bridging the digital divide?

As you’re reading this blog, you’re probably a “Heavy Internet User” (HIU) i.e. someone who has accessed the Web at least 11 times in the previous seven days as close to 100 million people in the US, or about one-third of the country’s population. Don’t start calling your mom telling her you’re part of a new elite: first of all because you’re just a little ahead of the herd and then because it just means you’re not taking care of your beloved ones enough ;-). But Marketing 2.0 is also a little ahead of the herd … for now, but certainly not ignoring our beloved ones: customers.

McCann just released an interesting study entitled The new “digital divide” — as technology has become one source of the “generation gap”— trying to understand how the new generation of digital consumers are transforming Mass communication, impacting communication and more specifically advertising.

Let’s get out of the way the blogging attitude: 62% of HIUs are blogging, going up to 71% for the 16-34 years old HIUs. “No longer can we simply broadcast our messages to a mass audience and hope that our standard metrics of reach and frequency will guarantee success,” said David Cohen, the author of the report.

Why does it matter? Well, one third of the total US population is not a niche really. Then because 84% of HIUs have using Internet to research a future purchase and buying on-line as their most common activities. Go get them fellow marketers, but don’t use the wrong marketing mix.

Check out the table above, provided by eMarketers, the technologies they use most are not the ones we market to easily: instant messaging, price comparison web sites and social networking sites (MySpace, Friendster, …). I encourage you to read the report to find out how HIUs react to various ways of advertising on blogs, but as you would expect 39% are just bothered when a company are seeding blogs to sell their products/services. Wikipedia, MySpace and Craigslist do rank well in the top 10 Internet Services they use currently. And finally, 49% “watch” TV, 47% listen to iPods or CDs and 41% to the radio while surfing the net.

To leave you on an even happier note, “word of mouth” is to them the most valuable and trustworthy channel when purchasing a product. So move it, switch to Marketing 2.0 now before it bites you.

You know where some McCann execs are headed now? Well Robin Kent is starting SpiralFrog, a free ad-supported music-download service in conjunction with Universal Music Group. Yes gang, music is finally going for the free syndrome as well. But SpiralFrog is not alone, Napster is going for it as well, allowing consumers to listen to up to five tracks for free while they view advertising.

Marketing 2.0 mistakes: Dell and AOL in turmoil

I could not resist to highlight the Dell exploding batteries sequel. As probably most of you could not miss, Dell has decided to recall 4.1 Millions of its products, at Sony’s expense though. As we discussed here previously, the consequences of such a flaw could be devastating. Imagine a poor Dell customer working on a plane…

Such things are of course scary, but what did scare me as a marketer, was the way Dell initially ignored it from a Marketing 2.0 perspective. They finally posted something very “corporate” about it on July 13, see here. While they were launching a corporate blog Direct2Dell, to supposedly let directly their customers discuss their product experience, Dell demonstrated how not genuine consumer generated content can ruin a reputation and in the end generate more negative buzz than if nothing had been attempted. You’ll see, if you follow the Direct2Dell link, that now this flaming battery episode is all over their corporate blog (we are mid August!).

This could not happen at a worse time for Dell, which reputation and stock is under pressure as highlights eWeek. As Dell Q2 results just have been released, reported by AP as “Dell Posts Disappointing 2Q Amid Probe“, let’s see how this computer giant can overcome this difficult time. To be continued…

Another poor hero of our Marketing 2.0 series is AOL – read here. I’m not chasing bad news, believe me, but AOL just happen to make another giant step in making sure their customers will walk away: their research division revealed a list of about 658,000 users and the Web searches they made. USA Today is asking today :”Could the end be near for America Online?“, and this is only the start of a new negative buzz.

Well fellow marketers, let’s hope there’s a way out of ignoring Marketing 2.0 or Marketing 2.0 beginners mistakes. After all, this is part of our job as well. And don’t take me wrong, I wish Dell and AOL to recover quickly.