Disclosure on Viral or WOM (word-of-mouth) Marketing Is VITAL

This should come as no shock to bloggers. We are notorious for over-disclosure, almost to the point of redundancy. But, that seems to be what people want. A new survey compiled from WOM marketing data concluded this:

Rather than being put off by the notion of a friend or relative was engaging them with a commercial message, many participants didn’t seem to care. More than three-quarters of respondents called the affiliation a “non-issue.” And, Mr. Carl found, people who knew of an agent’s commercial affiliation were more likely to register positive feelings toward both the agent and the company he or she was working for. —AdAge (emphasis is mine)

I’m really glad to see those numbers, because sometimes I get clients who suggest I promote a product w/o disclosure, and I’m just not going to do it. Now, I’m not going to tell you a product is good, even for money with my disclosure.

I have always appreciated the Paul Harvey school of advertising, that says I’m not promoting it unless I use it and enjoy it.
What blogger would risk their reputation for a check? Not many, I think…

SunRocket VoIP’s Hogwash

PR and the BlogosphereSorry Steve, I just can’t get worked up about this. I appreciate a company trying to ‘touch’ the blogosphere and I am thankful there are forums to ‘get a company’s attention’ now (although I realize there are others).

I think the pay is to encourage use of the site, not necessarily to pay negatives, however since they only accept negatives, I guess that’s the end result.

I wish you hadn’t pulled out. I would have liked to have seen what you did with it.

Perfect Example of Corporate Blogging – Negative Responses

Major Nelson (of XBox Live!) noticed XBox 360 made The Top Ten WTF Moments of 2005 list at 1UP.com. Now, most corporate PR people would:

  1. Ignore it and hope it goes away

    The problem with this method is that yes, it will eventually go away, but it won’t be forgotten. People will remember the negative comment, the lack of notice by the company and will be emboldened to make stronger statements.

    This also lends credibility to the claim. If it were false, the company would have said something, right? I mean, it’s not on a rarely-read site, 1UP is pretty well traveled.

  2. Respond Negatively

    PR people are less likely to do this than employees. When *we* are the one being called out we tend to get angry and defensive. “Well, maybe if we’d had more time to prepare, or more money, or whatever, then it would have been right.”

    Anger is ALWAYS a bad move. Righteous indignation works sometimes, but for the most part, it’s even too harsh.

Major handled it just the way I would have, by humorously pointing out that while they made a ‘bad’ list, they also made a ‘good’ list. He even refers to a geeky IRC direction in the Edit and thanks the tipster in the post.

Oops Hey look …we made number 1 in the 1up “Top Ten WTF Moments of 2005.” I guess that’s not quite the list we’d hope we’d be on. We fared a little better on CNET’S ‘Top 10 Must Have’ list (beaten by the PSP.)

I guess it’s better then not being on any lists at all, huh? We all know that the Core System, or as 1up calls it the “Tard Pack”, is not for everyone…but people must want them since they are also sold out everywhere. By the way, I forgot to mention that we have a third manufacturer (Celestica) coming online in February to help ease the availability pain. Hopefully they’ll won’t be making just Xbox 360 Core Systems. ;)

Thanks to reader Mike-E who pointed the list out

Edit: Hey guys, my comment about the core system was meant with a bit of humor, so please re-read my comment with /humor on.

He couldn’t have handled it better.

INside LinkedIN

Konstantin Guericke, one of the founders of LinkedIN was kind enough to give me some time and answers about the past and future of the online social giant. Tell me where the idea from LinkedIn came from and what…

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Work at a great place?

Do you work at a great company? Would you recommend it?

When looking for somewhere to work or associate myself with, I often picture the company’s atmosphere. Do you do that too?
I wonder if conversations like this take place?

As seen on “Overheard in the Office“:

Co-worker #1: Can I borrow a colored pen?
Co-worker #2: Here’s a red one, but I may need it later for drawing fire.

Gosh, I hope so. I work at a coffee shop. Well, what I mean is I use a coffee shop as my office. I work every day except Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday at a coffee shop downtown. Of course, I work the other days too, but I work them from home. I work in the morning, even though I am NOT a morning person, because I tend to work better when the ‘drudgery’ is done first.

The coffee shop is a writer’s perfect environment. It has the best benefits; coffee (duh), service, clean tabletops, no ‘home’ distractions. Of course, I can eavesdrop on people’s conversations too.

Perks… Of course, I have to pay for the coffee.

A Corporate Blogging Policy

Are you struggling to build a blogging policy? It requires a delicate balancing act: 

It’s a big deal,’ says Lisa Poulson, managing director for Burson-Marsteller, a global public relations and public affairs firm. For example, she says, ‘If you allow employees to blog and then fire someone for blogging, you’re creating a PR disaster that didn’t need to exist.’ 

Poulson has helped dozens of companies create a corporate blogging policy. Here, she shares her strategy for coming up with a policy that works.” 


Assemble the blogging team. Take time to find out what you want to achieve, then write, with your team, the policy that will accomplish those objectives.

Indian call center under suspicion of ID breach

It’s unfortunate that outsourcing happens, but since American workers cost more, many companies are going the route of Dell, and many others. What is a little scary, is that your information might be in question.

CNET News.com

Earlier this month, it was released that a reporter was able to buy the personal information of Australian citizens from an Indian call center. This is the same reporter that was able to buy information on British citizens in the same way months earlier. Apparently there is good business in selling our info.

“The Australian samples appeared to have come from a call centre in Gurgaon,” according to a transcript of the program. “The kind of details they provided was alarming–not just the names and addresses of Australian customers but also their telephone numbers, birth certificate details, Medicare numbers, driver’s license numbers (and) ATM card numbers.”

When companies realize that THEY are responsible for the data we trust them with, maybe we will be safer. Until then, watch your credit card statements. Keep an eye on your credit report.


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Search Engine Optimization, Again

Bring some ‘bling’ to your Web site: “‘Google won’t crawl a page if it is over 100 kilobytes,’ Friesen said. ‘Have pages be small, clean and code-light, so they don’t time out if it takes too long to download.'”

This comes from SEO expert, Todd Friesen, director of search engine optimization at search marketing company Range Online Media, at a panel discussion on the topic at the Search Engine Strategies conference.

Wish I could have been there. It really would have been nice to hear the whole discussion, even the whole conference. I can’t soak up enough info on this topic. Site marketing is so interesting right now.