Bite PR Blogging Seminar – Mark Jen

Mark Jen was fired from Google. He broke a few cardinal rules such as not being sensitive to Google’s culture which didn’t support blurting things out. He also broke a cardinal rule of blogging by deleting posts. This is a huge red flag that will only draw attention to the post which can be retrieved from RSS feeds and browser caches. He also mentioned sensitive information right before 4th quarter earnings were released.

Mark now works for Plaxo.

Plaxo has a blog but they’ve made a decision to segment the comments over onto the forums.

Bite PR Blogging Seminar – Tom Foremski

Tom previously was the Silicon Valley correspondent for the Financial Times and later founded the Silicon Valley Watcher.

Tom joined to FT to take advantage of the brand and the infrastructure to get his word out. When blogging came along, this new publishing and distribution system came to the masses.

Are bloggers journalists? Not a relevant question – it’s all about reach. It’s about a trusted relationship, a brand that gets built up reader-by-reader over time.

Richard Koman on blogging ethics – most of the people that were paid to blog for Marqui ended up just blogging about being paid to blog about Marqui and didn’t write much about the actual CMS product.

On SEO – don’t waste money on search engine optimization, companies should put their money back into “their knitting”. Why waste money on boosting your ranking if you can’t deliver on what you promise via your links.

On sources – people can’t help telling you stuff. It’s important to let people know that “off the record” is default.

No one has ever been fired for blogging, only for “inappropriate conversations.”

Bite PR Blogging Seminar – How to Pitch Bloggers

Presented by Jill Ratkevic of Bite.

Tivo – select play, select 30, select. Not something that Tivo could officially endorse or promote but blogging has gotten the word out there for them.

On blogging and journalism – blogging is open source journalism. Whatever you write will be corrected by your readers. If you readers have a bad experience that you don’t cover, they will contribute this information as comments. It’s based on dialog, not monologue.

On harnessing the conversation – relationships take time, talk about the issues first, not your product.

Pitching bloggers – need to build cred with the influencers by tipping them off with fresh information in real-time for feedback which can then be incorporated into your pitch to the mainstream media.

Traditional PR is about the number of clips. It’s a different world now. It’s no longer about mentions, it’s about results. Jill talks about their client which generated much better ROI from their 10,000 beta testers that seeded the conversation around their product than from traditional press releases and media tours.

Bite PR Blogging Seminar – Q&A

Rod Boothby (E&Y) asks – what about the blogging in companies? Are conversations of benefit to companies?

Absolutely. Companies have souls, they have a “nature.” The value system comes from its founders. Some companies are born to blog. There’s an inverse relationship between branding and blogging. Companies that have a strong brand have difficulty with blogging. Companies can’t talk, people do.

Question – How are PR departments handling blogging?

It’s important for companies to have as many people blogging as possible. Need to trust your people to have good judgment. There’s something about blogging that acknowledges the incompleteness of what we know. This is anti-thetical to messaging which is about driving home a point.

Current Events

Bite PR Blogging Seminar – Doc Searls

I’m attending the Bite blogging seminar at the W in San Francisco. Swish venue with not only lemons and lime in the drinking water but strawberries.

Great line up of speakers, about 50 – 60 people seated. They’ve got wireless so I’ll pass on some of the highlights.

Doc Searls – talks about his writing of Cluetrain Manefesto

On Blogging – email that I would write with “cc:world”

On time it takes to blog – if you look at your email, the volume you put out in email probably exceeds what’s up on my blog.

On marketing – it’s about conversations and not messages. Branding was a concept that P&G brought from the cattle industry. Branding is about putting out 8 boxes of soap and “singing about the difference.”

On writing as content – John Perry Barlow once said that he never heard about content until the container business felt threatened. Once you start talking about “content” you’re already off base.

On the Net – it’s a place, not a medium. The nodes of the net are not separated by time or space, a blog post is immediate. Once you You don’t send a message using “content.” You’re having a conversation in a place. You are “on the net,” you use real estate metaphors to describe the net.

Update: I left off the best line of the conference. As a parting thought, Doc described (and I’m paraphrasing” his life before blogging as one of, “pushing many big rocks a short way uphill” and his life now as a blogger as, “rolling many snowballs down a hill with the compelling ideas gaining mass as they roll downhill.”