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Please Help Me Find My Mojo to Blog Again!

Looking at the facts it seems I was at my blogging best while living in Melbourne. The move to Melbourne drove me to keep my blog updated with news so my friends and family in Sydney could see what I’ve been up to. But since I have moved back to Sydney my drive to blog has waned somewhat.

Why is this? (I ask myself)

Well, there are a few reasons I can suggest. Firstly, as you know I write a lot about the restaurants and cafes I’ve been to, well, I don’t tend to get out and about to restaurants or cafes as much as I did in Melbourne. Being back in Sydney means that home cooked meals are a luxury that also mean I get to have dinner with loved ones. For me, this will always trump a meal out.

Secondly, travelling time needs to be factored in. And this is one thing I miss a lot lot lot about living in Melbourne – everything was so close and easy to get to. And I rarely had to drive anywhere. In Sydney, not so much. Travelling to and from work is under an hour of train and car so it is not as easy or enjoyable to flit around for a meal out.

So perhaps I need to look at other inspirations for my blog content. I’ve tended to not write about work related content in the past as the purpose for my blog had been to keep in touch with friends and family…and let’s face it, would you really want to hear about my work day?!

What do you want to read about on other people’s blogs?

Perhaps I need to get back into my ’21 days to a better habit’ mind frame again!

 

Social Media Insight, Information, Inspiration – Day 1: Marketing Now! Melbourne

Marketing Now! 22, 23 September 2009: How to use Social Media and Online Marketing to reach customers directly, and keep them (#mktgnow)

Day 11 as a Melbourne local and I was the second arrival after David Park at 8am registration for a conference I committed to before I knew I was moving; and obviously I’m still working out how long it takes me to walk from my apartment (from hereon The Apartment) to everywhere else. This is the first free conference I have been to where attendees were asked to donate a minimum $100 that would go to Thank You Water and the Starlight Foundation, a very small price to pay to two worthy causes for such a rich and full presentation schedule. Just how full of insight and knowledge the speakers were only became apparent post event and the priceless value of their experiences with social media was greatly appreciated and absorbed by the crowd like a bucket full of Shamwows.

Speakers in order of appearance on Day 1 were Simon Young, Gavin Heaton, Laurel Papworth, Darren Rowse, Jim Stewart. Day 2 saw David Armano in two parts, Stephen Johnson and a panel discussion with all speakers excepting Darren Rowse. In these two days, I will be as bold to proclaim that I learned more and met more people than I have at all similar events I’ve attended previously; allegedly (note disclaimer – it may be that I paid more attention at this gig as I did not have have tasks of paid employment occupying my mind).

In no particular order and not attributed to any particular speaker, here are some of the more pertinent points from the two days. Should you desire notes taken from each presenter, I could provide pages and pages should you wish to decipher my handwritten scrawl*:

  • Customer service and experience can shape / define a brand when shared in social media
  • 75% of the Australian and NZ population online are participating in social media
  • Increasing curiosity for seeing a brand behind the scenes and getting to know the faces behind the brands —> co-creation of products / services / brands / values with customers —-> customers become partners
  • Connections and links via recommendations, reviews can shape a brand – online info translates to offline decision making; brands to consider what people do offline with the info they found online
  • Consider different audiences and roles of different online social networks; look at different attitudes and behaviours, needs of consumers and markets to create conversation; what tools do different communities want to use?; roles and life cycles of social networks
  • Social media not just social, there are also cultural, political, legal aspects
  • Questions of identity online and new languages (lol, lmao, woot, wtf, ftw (for the win – I learned this from Mr Buzzle)) —-> new terminology for tech/geek+marketing speak?!
  • Twitter for relationship building in real time conversation
  • Difference in characteristics between Bloggers = OCD and Journalists = ADD
  • Build thought leadership and tell your story via blogging; good during crisis communication
  • Social media is not a campaign, it is a commitment (S. M. – Ford) for insight and encouraging loyalty —> brand advocacy, partnerships
  • Personal branding: increasingly important, be transparent, be yourself, set boundaries
  • Social media should be scalable and measurable; consider costs of NOT participating / COI – Cost of Inaction when thinking about ROI; map what works and what doesn’t
  • Monitor, measure, monetize (Laurel); ROI: loyalty, brand, acquisition, support, offline
  • ‘User generated context’ – build trust; personalised content, audiences will filter content and context in search of trustworthy sources (conceptual gold from Gavin)
  • Social capital – be a value-add for networks
  • Gavin suggested the creation of a listening post to hear what is being said about a brand/company by using different and many search tools available online and different key words – organise these using a feed reader
  • Not enough to just find what people like, find out what they like about the things they like
  • You don’t always have to solves a problem, some people just want to be heard – facilitate space for this conversation to happen; emotionally engage people
  • PLAY credibility = Power, Learning and curiosity, Adventure, Yelp of surprise and delight (Gavin)
  • Build conversation around an existing event – piggyback on related occurrences
  • Assess negative content – do you really need to respond or just take note and monitor? Correct situation?
  • ‘Weblebrity’ = celebrity + web (I love this term, thanks Gavin)
  • Host conversations with people already talking about you; get people to have conversations for you – provide the facts and they will create judgements; get your brand into the storytelling; provide content, not opinion
  • ‘Fat value’ (Gavin) – social capital, trust, spread conversation
  • Share the message, own the destination – provide base camp such as a website or blog that other social networks/tools come back to; connect online and facilitate formation of subgroups
  • How do influencers get to this position?
  • Reputation management cycles – similar to offline processes but documented online on a broader spectrum
  • On corporate blogs, embed links to other content + engage outside community
  • Persistence and commitment in blogging will bring results; find something you are passionate about when deciding on a blog topic
  • Be useful is online social networks – add value for audiences; build community and grow trust – success will grow organically, people will just want to belong; be personal and add pics and video; be relatable; tell stories and offer case studies; be unique and cut through the noise; ask questions and show results visually e.g. through graphs; be playful and self promote but not too much; send same message out in different ways
  • Social proof – people able to comment; add comments from readers into new posts; RSS and email subscription available to readers
  • Darren re blogging: Be consistent – guest bloggers / autopost while away; user generated posts to fill in content; monetize your blog from day 1 / early on – get readers used to it; ask for sponsorship, e.g. sell an e-book for $2
  • Jim Stewart re Vlog: YouTube is second largest search engine; show your point of difference via video – build trust by showing who you are; be yourself, not a talking scripted head; no more than 10 minute video; have a reason to go live e.g limited offer or interaction; light from above and have a separate microphone; no script – know your material and tell your story; SEO for vlog title and description; Google page ranks – embed YouTube more effective; get involved in YouTube community

‘Watch and learn the culture’ (Darren Rowse). All speakers emphasised and reiterated the importance of listening before participating which is not new advice but clearly still reigns one of the most important aspects when deciding to jump into the cesspool of glittering opportunity that is online social media. So I listened and now, via this blog, I am participating.

Social media tools, sites and useful information mentioned:

  • Google Alerts
  • RSS feeds
  • Cluetrain Manifesto
  • Technorati
  • blogsearch.google.com
  • search.twitter.com
  • Pageflakes
  • Google Ad Planner
  • Web 2.0 world tube map
  • PeopleBrowsr
  • bit.ly
  • Michael Wesch – The Machine is Us/ing Us
  • Google+[your name here] – NB: an example was made out of me thank you very much, Servant Of Chaos for a ‘vanity search’
  • Radian6
  • Measurement Camp
  • Leader boards e.g. AdAge Power 150 Bloggers, top X bloggers etc
  • Twitter Grader
  • Dialogix
  • Offline tweet-ups e.g. #socialmelb, #coffeemornings, #twums, #shtbox
  • Google Insights
  • Howcast
  • TubeMogul

Here are some useful resources for finding out what went on inside the room at the Sofitel on Collins St:

http://marketingnow.posterous.com/

http://twubs.com/mktgnow

http://search.twitter.com/search?q=%23mktgnow

Marketing Now panel discussion

L-R: Laurel Papworth, Simon Young, Stephen Johnson, David Armano, Jim Stewart, Gavin Heaton

I will update with Day 2 notes shortly…

*Handwritten scrawl was due to size of MacBook Pro in comparison to size of attached desk to chair or size of lap for said laptop. Some may also claim that one pays more attention when taking handwritten notes due to lack of online distraction.

A question for all active bloggers

To all who blog, I have a question you can all answer; it’s an easy one because it’s about you. How long did it take you to get into the blog ‘zone’ where blogging became as second nature as writing emails? When you began blogging, did you have a lot to say but when it came to actually putting it into a post, did you find it challenging? I have surpassed this ‘what should I say’ phase but now it is getting into the rhythm of blogging on a regular basis.

I am interested to learn about your experiences of your first months of being a blogger and any insights, tips, advice you can offer. How do you add value for others with your blog?

Thank you