Thursday, May 31, 2007

Fred Thomson to use New Media in bid for White House

According to a story on, former Congressman and actor Fred Thompson will enter the race for the Republican nomination for President. In the story, he admits he won't be able to drive his truck across the country as he drove across Tennessee in his successful 1994 run for office. This time, he says, he'll be using the Internet.

Thompson plans to use blogs, video blogs "to cut through the clutter and go directly to the people."

This could pose a serious threat to other Republican candidates who don't plan to use New Media, don't know how to leverage it properly or can't attract a Web-based audience interested in hearing what they say. As an established actor, most recently appearing on the highly successful NBC Law & Order program, Thompson has already proven he can attract an audience.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Spreading the good word...about stories

Communications technology is worthless if you don't have a good story to tell. I don't care how well you understand RSS or Web 2.0 or New Media, if you can't get your listener engaged, you may as well go back to a string and tin cans for all the good it will do you.

But don't take my word for it. If you want to learn from someone who lives or dies by getting people to listen to them, tune in to a preacher. I recently found this great post. Notice rule 5:

"Tell stories. People will tune out unless you engage their emotions."

Now if that's good advice for someone preaching from the pulpit, and I'm sure it is, how much moreso is it for us in the world of business communications?

People don't file into our offices or store fronts once a week to sit down in front of us and try to pay attention for an hour (but wouldn't that be nice!). We have fleeting moments to get their attention, engage them and start forging a relationship.

There is only one way to be successful at that. You gotta tell stories.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

How simple is Real Simple Syndication?

Too simple, apparently, at least according to opponents of a new service called SplashCast. As outlined in this post on the Podcasting News Blog (which I highly recommend -- though I am not paid or otherwise rewarded for saying so), the service lets users set up their own podcast channels and share them via RSS (Real Simple Syndication).

The problem is that in doing so, the service reportedly mangles the original RSS feed somewhat, making it more difficult for podcast producers to track listeners for advertising purposes. There is also some question about how well the links back to the producer's site work after the feed is "Splashed" and recast.

Not sure how this will work out yet. I doubt it will result in everyone filing suit a la YouTube, as most podcast producers don't have that kind of money and extra lawyers milling about. But they do have audience and can make life hard on this newcomer.

Which, I guess, is another example of the circle of life. Podcasters had it tough in the early days, but they bulled their way through in typical high-tech entrepreneurial fashion. They overcame the obstacles and created an audience. Now, they're into the monetization phase. But wait, someone is stepping in with a new way to distribute their content and suddenly it's not about The Man getting hot because you're spinning your old 45 collection on your podcast anymore. Now, it's personal. Everyone move up one seat and the game begins again.

Fortunately, we don't have to worry about all that in the B2B space. It was never about social media with us. It was always about building a brand and capitalizing on it in the marketplace. Most B2B podcasts aren't currently being used to close sales. They are door openers. They are non-threatening ways to get prospects educated so that the sales process goes more smoothly. We like it when someone steals our content and takes it to a greater market, giving us the shivers that come with an attack of viral marketing. We like companies like SplashCast that make it easier for our target markets to hear our voices and want to seek us out.

Does that make us socially conscious dot-com good-niks? Naw, just good marketing folk.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Is Podcasting like DTP?

An interesting post I found today on Brad Grier's blog is worth checking out. He compares the podcasting wave to the phenomenon we witnessed after the introduction of affordable Desktop Publishing software back in the 80s.

I posted a reply you'll find on his site.