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I've been invited to participate in an upcoming event produced by Professionals in Media. If you can join us in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey please come! Information is below.
If you're unable to attend, fear not - I'll be streaming the event live. You'll be able to listen at the URL below beginning at (or around) 7 PM:
Here's the official announcement from PIM:
You are planning on building a web site or blog. Maybe, you already have one. Either way, drawing traffic equals good business. Tuesday, September 22, at 7 p.m., Professionals In Media (PIM) presents a seminar Using Social Media to Promote Your Blog or Web Site. This event will be held at Summit Medical Group, 1 Diamond Hill Road, Berkeley Heights, Room C-100 in the Education Center of Lawrence Pavilion.
Allan Hoffman, Michael Shapiro, and John Federico are the panelists for an informative evening on using social media sites such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook to promote your blog or web site.
Allan Hoffman is the CEO and founder of Web100.com. Hoffman is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in Newsday, P.O.V., Rutgers Magazine, The MotherHood, Wired News, Worth, Yahoo Internet Life, and many other newspapers, magazines, and literary publications. He is the personal technology columnist for the Star-Ledger. Hoffman has been interviewed about technology topics on various television and radio programs, including NBC’s "Early Today," C-SPAN’s "Washington Journal," CNNfn, and NPR’s "All Things Considered."
Michael M. Shapiro, chief executive officer and editor of TheAlternativePress.com, the State of New Jersey’s all-online hyperlocal daily newspaper, is an attorney with degrees from Stanford Law School and Rutgers College, Rutgers University. He first made headlines as one of the youngest people to run for public office in New Jersey when at age 21, he ran for Mayor of New Brunswick.
John Federico is an accomplished marketing, communications and business development executive and founder of the web site newrules.com. He offers 15 years of experience in marketing communications and business development with passionate expertise in digital media.
Admission is a $10 donation per person. Light refreshments will be served. Seating is limited; reservations are strongly suggested. Contact Jacqueline Herships at 973-763-7555 or Jacqueline@jacquelineherships.com or Michele C. Hollow at email@example.com. For directions, please visit www.summitmedicalgroup.com.
Conferences and other events can be great opportunities to connect with thought leaders in your industry and create buzz around your attendance while you're there.
One way to do this is to capture audio and video interviews with influentials while you're there and post them in your blog, web site, podcast or on YouTube and other sites that share and distribute digital media. However, you shouldn't just show up with a microphone or camera and hope that people will stop by to be interviewed.
After producing dozens of events like this, I thought it would be helpful to share some of my successes and failures. This guide just scratches the surface, but I hope you find it a good primer.
Get a Booth
A "booth" or exhibit space is typically 10' x 10' but if you're just planning to record interviews, it doesn't have to be that large - just enough for two tall chairs ("bar stool" height) and your microphones and cameras. In fact, you don't even have to get a standalone exhibit space. Many conferences will offer small, "pre-built" conference booths that are comingled with other small companies - all you have to do is show up.
With that said, be clear about your goals: If you are using the interviews as a means to generate interest in your booth so that you can engage prospects for your product or service, be sure to spring for the 10' x 10' space (or larger, if you can afford it).
Why take any space at all? Simple: Presence. You want people to see your brand and what you're discussing while there and hopefully attract audience, potential interview candidates and prospects for your business (if applicable).
Regardless of the size of your space, spend the money to produce some good graphics that you can use consistently. A "banner stand" is a good tool for this. They are cheap and can function as a good backdrop for photos and video. If you need larger graphics, you can purchase multiple banner stands that, when next to each other, create the illusion of a large, nearly seamless background.
I've used Skyline's "Exalt" system to great effect.
"Exalt is the ultimate banner stand. It features a slender base, bold fabric graphics and converts from linear to curved with the simple flick of levers. A single unit with soft case weighs only about 12 lbs. (6 kg)."
As you can see, the panels can be used together as a backdrop for a 10' x 10' booth or individually, if you design them with that in mind.
Delivering the interview as a podcast or as an embedded on-demand video is great, but people respond well to the concept of "real-time." It creates a sense of urgency to your interview request and presents the interview to the "real-time web". There are a number of services that enable you to do this cheaply or for free. For video, you can use Ustream.tv, Kyte, Qik and others. For audio, you can use TalkShoe or a Shoutcast server.
Keep in mind, you've just increased your costs dramatically. An ethernet connection at a conference can cost thousands of dollars. Even a standard telephone line can cost a few hundred dollars (and that may not even include toll charges). However, it can be well worth the expense if you plan ahead and secure good guests.
When you're done broadcasting, you can package everything up for podcast delivery at a later time. Be sure that you are able to download the audio or video from the broadcasting service that you're using as you may want to syndicate it using your existing podcast feed, if you have one. Also stay away from services that may make ridiculous claims of ownership to your content. It's your hard work, don't give up ownership to anyone unless it's advantageous to both parties.
Schedule Interviews in Advance
See if you can find out in advance who will be attending the conference or event. Reach out to everyone in your network using email and all your social media tools (twitter, facebook, friendfeed, etc.).
Another way is to contact the event organizer and ask for an attendee list. Many will be reluctant to share this list, but it will help your cause if you explain to the organizer what you'll be doing and ask ONLY for names and titles - not contact information. This diminishes any appearance of impropriety on your part and you can always find a way to reach these folks once you have the list. Of course, it will really help if you get a booth or exhibit space. (see above)
Next, prepare your target guest list. Who would make an all-star line-up for your series of interviews? Reach out to every potential guest in your network and on the attendee list, but also see who might be in their respective networks. Reaching out by telephone is the most personal method but if you're pressed for time, email will work.
Prepare an email to be sent to potential guests but be sure to address each one individually and personalize it before you send it. Nothing says "I'm trawling for guests," like an impersonal mass email.
NOTE: Keep egos in mind here.There may be people whom you may use as a conduit to reach your ultimate interview target that may be insulted that you didn't ask them to participate. Tread lightly.
Let your guests know upfront that you'll be asking them to sign a release to allow you to use the content as you see fit. Unless you're a media company, you won't likely be generating revenue directly from these recordings but you should still be sure that you have the right to use them in a reasonable manner. You can find a release online, but you may want to have your attorney review it before using it.
Post Your Schedule Online
As soon as you secure your first couple of guests, post your interview schedule online - ideally, on your blog. (You are blogging, right?) Post the link to the schedule on twitter, bookmark it in delicious.com, digg it, etc. Re-post it to twitter each time you make a change to the schedule. When you add or reschedule a guest, be sure to mention the guests name in your tweet - your guest will enjoy the exposure and it will be a good attractor for you and your efforts. If you have a booth #, be sure to include wherever you can as it will likely be listed in the program guide that attendees receive when they arrive at the event.
I like to post these types of things in the FaceBook Events application and invite everyone in my network to attend. Even if they don't RSVP, you will have at least had an opportunity to expose them to what you're doing. If it's a professional event, you can do the same thing in LinkedIn.
For an added lift in exposure, list each guest interview as a separate event. People might not be interested in every guest that you've scheduled, but one of your guests may entice them to tune in to your live broadcast from their desks or stop by your booth to hear them speak. The only challenge with this is that guests reschedule or sometimes cancel and you'll have to update your FaceBook Events. Only you can decide if you want to do this or if you have the capacity to coordinate all of it.
This is a good time to touch on the subject of logistics: Regardless of your goals for the event, don't ever work alone. At a minimum, you should have someone ensuring that your gear is functioning properly and that guests are arriving on time. It also doesn't hurt to have a third person walking the show floor and grab guests for open slots or invite attendees to come listen.
Post Your Schedule at the Event
Posting your schedule isn't just show prep - it's an ongoing effort throughout the event, especially as your guests reschedule or don't show (see below). At a minimum, have a dry-erase board with your interview schedule for all to see. If you can, create a self-running, looping presentation using Apple Keynote or Microsoft PowerPoint with your schedule. In addition to the schedule, you can post pictures of your guests, their bios and their affiliation.
A word on scheduling:
Guess what? You're going to have guests that don't show up. They may have forgotten, they may have had business to attend to or they may have been snagged for an interview with a major media outlet. Don't take it personally. It happens to everyone.
However, here are some tips to ensure that your guests show up:
- Have their email addresses handy
Most business people carry BlackBerries or iPhones and will be checking their email at the event. Send them an email one hour before their scheduled appearance.
- Get their cell phone numbers
I like to text my guests and hour before their scheduled appearance, then again fifteen minutes before. If they aren't there five minutes before they're scheduled, call them. At that point, you've done all you can. If they don't show, take a break and get a snack.
Your interviews will only be interesting to passers by if they can hear them. Bring a small PA system with you so that you and your guests can be heard across the aisle of the exhibit hall floor. Any louder than that and you might raise the ire of the adjacent exhibitors.
I've used the Califone PresentationPro 300 PLUS with great success. Placing it on the floor and in front of you helps prevent feeding back or echoes in your recording.
Go for Groups
If one guest is good, three may be better - especially if some of them are known to be opinionated and vocal. If you have the space and appropriate gear, invite three guests to participate in a panel discussion with you as the host/moderator.
Again, this increases costs dramatically. You'll need to have headsets and microphones for each of them and if you're shooting video, you may need to widen your shot or even add a second camera. That said, three experts discussing a subject which they find themselves passionate about can make for a great draw of crowds - and great media to distribute later.
If you're able, reserve a microphone at the event for the audience to ask questions. It makes it much more engaging to passers-by knowing that they can initiate a dialogue with your experts and can help keep the conversation flowing. If you're using a live streaming application, be sure to activate the chat room so that people tuning in can ask questions from afar.
Encourage inquisitors to state their name, title and affiliation. A little self-promotion always greases the proverbial wheels.
Give Away Something Cool
Yeah, drawings and giveaways are standard fare at conferences and events but you can use them in conjunction with your media creation efforts to really increase visits to your booth and your live stream. Selection of the giveaway is dependent on your budget and what your company produces in its core business. Since you're producing digital media, you can give away something digital media-related - an iPod or iPhone is always a great gadget to get people excited. Regardless of what you select, the process should be the same:
- Tell everyone that you're going to give it away during one of the live broadcasts/recordings and that one of your guests will perform the deed.
- Give away two of them - one for the folks participating in your live stream and one for the folks at the event.
- Provide a mechanism for people to enter the drawing. Email works for the online participants and of course, a good ol' business card will work for the folks at the event. You can also get a badge scanner that has the ability to select a random winner designed for just these sorts of things.
- Produce a large sign announcing the giveaway and have it perpetually visible at your booth.
- Post a similar message in all your online event listings.
- Always give it away on the last day of the conference. Do it randomly so that people have an incentive to stop by the booth or listen online throughout the last day.
Do you have any other tips? Post them in the comments.
A little social media minutiae for you today.
Lee Odden got me thinking about avatars. You know - those little images that represent you all over your social media profiles?
Do you have a single image that represents you everywhere? Do you have different ones? Do you change them frequently?
Let me pose a question to you: if you ran marketing for Coca-Cola, would you change your logo every other week? No, of course you wouldn't. You want people to recognize you wherever they happen to encounter you. Coke's brand imagery is iconic, recognizable anywhere you are in the world, regardless of whether or not the local language is your native tongue.
With that in mind, why would you regularly change your avatar? Your avatar is the equivalent of your logo, your visual identity online. It's a way for people to instantly recognize you.
I've had my headshot illustration for a couple of years now and use it everywhere.
When I meet people for the first time in meatspace, they sometimes mention it because it's not a common method of portraying oneself. I include it wherever I can, even with my bio in conference programs. It's not your typical headshot and can be a great icebreaker.
So, do you change your avatar? Take the poll or leave a comment.
In addition to the daily-ish posting of del.icio.us links, be sure to subscribe to my Google Reader Shared Items.
[tags]Google Reader, Link Blog, RSS, Syndication, Digital Media, Technology, Macintosh, Apple[/tags]
People have been panning the Kindle, yet most of them don't own one - or for that matter, haven't even touched one yet.
Well, Wilson Rothman over at Gizmodo has lived with the Kindle for the past four days - in bed, on a plane and yes, on the porcelain throne. His verdict, so far? Thumbs up.
"Having lived with the Kindle, I can say that it serves most of my immediate reading needs. As a guy who enjoys amassing a vast library of books and displaying them in bookcases, I am a little frightened of the future, but inevitability is the name of the game, and fear of change isn't a good enough excuse. Will I continue to buy books or will I jump into Amazon book buying mode? That remains to be seen, but you, o early adopter, should not share my fears. The Kindle is a quality invention, and I can see why the first batch sold out so fast."
My Kindle is supposed to arrive on November 28th. We'll see if I feel the same as Wilson after a few days. I may not, but at least I'll be able to make an informed decision unlike most "reviewers" of the past few days.
[tags]Amazon, Amazon Kindle, Kindle, eBooks, Gizmodo, Wilson Rothman, Reviews, Gadgets, Technology, Sprint, EV-DO, Wireless, Cellular, Wireless Broadband, Downloads, Digital Media[/tags]
Here's the deal: each week we comb blogs and news sites for relevant stories for a new episode. When we find an interesting story, we then tag it in del.icio.us (for:ondigitalmedia - Feel free to tag stories for the show). On the night that we record an episode, we create a story list based on the contents of the del.icio.us feed.
For me, the challenge has been to find the time to catch up on all my reading. So now, I use Google Reader Mobile while I'm on the train.
Here's the addition to the workflow: If I find something interesting and relevant as I'm reading on my phone, I'll "star" it. When I return to my desktop, I'll then tag it for del.icio.us and remove the star from the item until the "Starred Items" list is empty.
This simple addition has enabled me to achieve the equivalent of "Inbox Zero" in my feed list - something I never thought possible to accomplish on a regular basis.
Thanks to Mr. Hatch for the tip.
[tags]Productivity, Podcasting, On Digital Media, GTD, Workflow, Steve Hatch, Google Reader, Mobile Phones, Mobile Content, Cell Phones[/tags]
A roundup of Kindle news, for those of you keeping track.
"Summary: If you want something that requires very little attention that will deliver your favorite newspapers, magazine, and blogs, you should definitely check out Kindle. Having reference books and documents handy is also quite valuable. Reading electronic versions of novels is cream. If nothing else, you have to admire Amazon for trying things that are as interesting as Kindle, S3, and Mechanical Turk."
"What's in the library, aka Kindle Book Store? There are already plenty of books, 90,000 in all, including 101 of the current NYT bestsellers. Don't believe us? See for yourself at the Amazon Kindle Store."
"So the Kindle proposition is this: You pay for downloadable books that can’t be printed, can’t be shared, and can’t be displayed on any device other than Amazon’s own $400 reader — and whether they’re readable at all in the future is solely at Amazon’s discretion. That’s no way to build a library."
"For $400 this device is pretty damn remarkable. It can be read out in bright sunlight (my $3,000 Mac can’t do that). Its battery lasts dozens of hours. It’s a joy to use for the stated purpose: reading."
"You know the real word I wanted to type but my Mom raised a gentleman."
"But it appears that the best thing about the Kindle is the delivery system. No computers, no wires, no sync-ing. Just press button, browse the Amazon.com store, push another button and voila. Instant book-gratification. Best sellers are $9.99, and a quick browse this morning found that most books (that would likely by now be in paperback) go for around $5-6.00. No shipping fee and instant delivery. No charge to wirelessly connect to the store either."
[tags]Amazon, Amazon.com, Kindle, Amazon Kindle, ebooks, gadgets, hardware, books[/tags]
- Steve has upgraded his blog from Moveable Type to Wordpress. (Finally).
- Chia-Lin successfully moderated her first panel discusion at Digital Hollywood, Steve attended the SOA conference and John had the opportunity to speak on New Measurement for New Media at Podcamp Boston. Thanks to Mssrs. Penn and Brogan for a great event and thanks to Jeff Pulver for contributing the space for the event and sponsoring the official cocktail reception on Saturday night.
- John was a guest lecturer in Heidi Cohen's Class at NYU for her student who are working toward their MS in Direct and Interactive Marketing. Thanks to Heidi for the gracious invitation and to her students for their participation.
- John will be attending Convergence 2007: The future of Advertising, Communications and Media on December 3rd in NYC. Care to join me?
- FaceBook is allowing entities (Corporations, Brands, Non-Profits, Podcasts, etc.) to create profiles, just like any individual can. Steve loves it, John and Chia-Lin like it, but we are all somewhat skeptical of its value. Coupled with FaceBook Ads, is it a threat to Google?
- Seth Godin thinks that FaceBook has a Hotmail problem. We absolutely agree.
- Google announces the Open Social API's. MySpace and Ning are notable partners who are embracing the technology. Will FaceBook adopt it?
- Where's my gPhone? Google releases Android and announces thirty-three hardware partners participating in the Open Handset Alliance. Chia-Lin thinks that it's not just a threat to existing handset OS developers and handset manufacturers, but also to the U.S. carriers.
- What happens if Nokia joins the Alliance and Symbian doesn't? Doh! More importantly, should Apple be looking over its shoulder? A classic ODM-style debate ensues...
- Writers strike for digital rights. And they should.
Our music is Democracy from Alexander Blu.
Send us email to comments AT odmcast DOT com or call our comment line and leave a message: 775-860-2263.
You can also reach us via Gizmo Project by contacting username ondigitalmedia or by leaving a comment in our blog.
Be sure to stop by http://www.odmcast.com to complete our listener survey - we’d really appreciate it.
For partner or sponsor information, contact jaf AT newrules DOT com.
If you weren’t able to download the latest episode, you can always catch it by calling our Podlinez number (818) 688-2754 from any telephone. (Long distance charges or cellular minutes usage may apply. Blah, blah, blah.)
[tags]Online Advertising, Advertising, John Federico, Ken Gellman, Chia-Lin Simmons, Steve Hatch, Google, Android, Mobile Phones, Nokia, Motorola, Open Handset Alliance, Ning, MySpace, Wine, Radiohead, Nokia, FaceBook, Open Social, Digital Media, On Digital Media, Digital Hollywood, Podcamp Boston, Podcamp, Convergence 2007, Microsoft, Podcast, Podcasting, Digital Audio, Downloads, Media, Traditional Media, Big Media, Alexander Blu, DRM, Jobs, Careers, Career Development[/tags]
Peter K. O'Connell, audio'connell
Chef Mark of the ReMARKable Palate
Jason Van Orden and his lovely wife, Melanie
Martin Leone of the Dyann Bakes video podcast
[tags]Podcamp Boston 2, PB2, People, Conference, Events, Unconference, Podcasting, Social Media[/tags]
(Three double espressos to start the day. Niiiice...)
Scott Monty from Crayon: Web 2.0 Tools You Can Use
Scott begins his discussion around attention, information overload and the productivity impact.
Data point: One percent of all time on the web is spent on FaceBook.
Scott gives an overview of the features of what he considers four basic useful Web 2.0 Apps
- Jott voice to text application
- Trailfire: narrative link sharing tool
- GrandCentral one number service. (I've had this for years using Webley/CommuniKate, except I pay for it...)
- Doodle: Group scheduling tool. Useful when people don't have shared calendars like Microsoft Exchange or Lotus Notes
Another useful site (and Crayon client): oovoo
Eric Rochow: What's it like to produce a video podcast
Eric starts with a series of vignettes of GardenFork.TV. (Love the dogs!)
He's providing some technical tips on video frame rates, lenses and lighting. He uses some paper lanterns from IKEA with 100 watt bulbs to diffuse the light. He also makes some book recommendations which are available on Amazon.
There's a video blog template in development that's a derivative of K2.
Eric loves postcards as a marketing tool. I concur, but I prefer PSPrint.com over the services that he recommends (postcard.com, vistaprint.com)
Steve Hatch gets a shout-out as a regular viewer! ;)
Note to self: Don't forget to ask your viewers (listeners) for reviews on iTunes. Eric has had great success doing this.
Gardenfork.TV has a weekly email newsletter and now a social network on Ning.
Eric plans to write a book if he can ever find the time...
(Lunch, then a double espresso.)
C.C. Chapman & Mitch Joel: Tools of the Social Media Trade
C.C. and Mitch are big fans of Googl Alerts. (As am I. As are most of us here.)
The mention of Technorati draws boos from the crowd. A couple of people feel that they haven't been innovating as of late. Mitch likes the speed at which Technorati provides relevance.
Chris Anderson said, "RSS provides a way for the web to come to you" at a conference in Montreal last week. Mitch is a fan of that explanation.
TAG EVERYTHING. Google needs metadata and tags are the metadata du jour.
C.C.: Be thoughtful about your tags. If you could only use 5 tags, what would they be?
Mitch: Probably shouldn't tag for SEO.
If you tag using Wordpress, it can become part of your URL which is very powerful for SEO.
C.C.: If you use a particular tag all the time, create a Wordpress category for it.
Mitch: If you need to figure out what tags to use, visit Technorati and see how other people are tagging similar stuff.
The Q&A has progressed into a discussion on tagging strategies.
Mitch likes ego surfing on Google.
SEO trick: find who's linking to you on Google, then find some way to fit a link to the higher pagerank sites into your content.
We're now geeking out on redirects and how they are treated by Google.
Delicious! Mitch thinks that more people should be using delicious for research - the human index is the best index. Lots of questions and discussion about delicious strategies.
Mitch: Why is podcasting not mainstream? Technology. Most people don't get this stuff. Show people iTunes. Comment: people don't take advantage of the sub-categories.
Why does Mitch's podcast rank so highly in Canada, even though most of his listeners are in the U.S.? Just because he lives in Canada?
C.C. has recently seen known podcasts without album art - that's inexcusable, even thought he personally doesn't use iTunes as a podcatcher.
(They skipped a bunch of slides/topics due to time.)
How can we help you?
- Write an iTunes review
- Favorite on Technorati
- Subscribe via Bloglines
- Add to the Blogroll / Podroll
- Write a LinkedIn recommendation
- Introduce a friend to your Podcast / Blog
Tips from the audience:
- Use FeedBurner's SmartCast.
- Follow people on twitter who have similar interests as you
- Use PPC podcasts to subscribe on your Windows Mobile phone
Nearly everyone here uses twitter.
Facebook just hit the 50 million profile mark and will reach 100 million in 6 months. "Facebook is becoming the Internet." Make sure you put links to all the stuff you create.
Mitch likes to feed channels and getting links from those channels. As Facebook becomes even more open, those feeds will become better indexed.
[tags]Podcamp Boston 2, Unconference, Conference, Boston, Podcasting, VideoBlogging, Video, Eric Rochow, Show in a box, Wordpress, Web Hosting, Dreamhost, Bluehost, Syndication, Blip.tv, [/tags]
[tags]WineLibrary.TV, Wine Library TV, Wine Library, Gary Vaynerchuk, Conan O'Brien, TV, VideoBlog, Vlog, Vlogging, Wine, TV, Television, Digital Media[/tags]
The key word for me in that description is practical. I continually consume information about global warming, greenhouse gases and all the other buzzword-compliant environmental topics but hardly any of them tell me what I can do now - today - to really make a difference without my having to do my own research.
That's why I like this show. Each episode (well, there's only one, so far ;) ) will provide a simple tip for helping you "go green" (or at least be green-er).
The first episode explains how you can use Compact Fluorescent Bulbs (CFLs) to reduce your electricity usage, produce fewer greenhouse gases and reduce the amount of mercury that is a byproduct of your power consumption.
Thanks to Real World Green, my wife and I just bought a four-pack of CFLs at Home Depot for our porch lights. From now on each time a bulb dies in our house we're going to replace it with a CFL. How cool is that? Check it out below and at RealWorldGreen.com.
[tags]Real World Green, Eric Rochow, Garden Fork TV, GardenFork.tv, Video, Internet Video, Streaming Video, Digital Media, Green, Environment, Compact Fluorescent Bulbs, Greenhouse Gases, Global Warming, Energy Conservation, RealWorldGreen.com, One Billion Bulbs, LampRecycle.org[/tags]
Inspired by Guy Kawasaki's post about his visit to Threadless, I'm wondering if it wouldn't be completely crazy to find an old travel trailer, soundproof it as best as possible and use it as a podcast studio and store it in my dilapidated garage.
(This picture is NOT an old travel trailer - it's a brand new Airstream.)
The setup I describe above would get me out of Studio 1A (my attic) in the summer months to a place that is potentially much cooler. (I'd still need air conditioning, of course, but it wouldn't unbearably hot like it can be now.)
During the winter, I'd probably revert back to Studio 1A, unless of course the trailer had heat (and a bathroom).
Is that completely unreasonable? Dunno.
[tags]Podcasting, On Digital Media, Audio Recording, Sound Studios, Recording, Guy Kawasaki, Threadless, RV, Trailers[/tags]