A blog by the Brick Factory The Brick Factory

Book Review: The New Rules of Marketing & PR

TNROM&PR David Meerman Scott was one of the first names I came across when I started this whole social media adventure.

At the time I was writing white papers and press releases for the launch of a new web site. This was something I had never done before, and I found the whole experience rather boring. If I was bored, then what I was writing had to be even worse.

There had to be a better way of doing this.

So, doing a quick search on marketing and PR I came across something called The Gobbledygook Manifesto. Immediately the light bulb went on, and  I connected with what David was trying say  – that things had changed.

“The web has transformed the rules, and you must transform your marketing to make the most of the Web-enabled market place of ideas.”

Recently, I received a copy of David’s revised edition of, The New Rules of Marketing & PR. I don’t read a lot of books on marketing, but this is a must have.

David’s book does a great job describing the old school marketing mentality, and why it was forced to change.  He stresses that companies, organizations, and people need to become creators of content. More importantly, that the content must have value to  the audience who now have significant influence on the success of a marketing campaign.

Having read many of David’s publications, I was pleased to discover new information in this revised edition. The big value is the case studies. David provides real life examples that cover just about any facet of business and niche. Including:

  • Why Zemoga gives flip cams to all their employees and customers.
  • The importance of a company blog, and why companies need to interact within the blogging community.
  • How CollectSPACE leveraged the importance of participating in community forums. (Notice I said participating, not promoting)
  • Why Wikis shouldn’t be overlooked.
  • What Conrete5 learned by providing their software for free.
  • How Mignon Fogarty’s podcasts helped sell her book.
  • Why groundbreaking, industry standard, and cutting-edge are words you should avoid in your press release.
  • That Search Engine Optimization isn’t just about keywords.
  • How the National Community Church has embraced the social web to reach thousands of people.
  • The new rules for finding a job.

“You can trigger a World Wide Rave, too – just create something valuable that people want to share, and make it easy for them to do so.”

A big thank you to David Meerman Scott for sending me a copy of his book, and for including the story on how I found my job here with The Bivings Group.

The New Rules of Marketing & PR provides a solid foundation for people who are having difficulty getting their heads around the social web. From CEOs to the entrepreneurs, anyone reading this book will come away with something they didn’t know before. It’s a great read and I highly recommend snagging a copy.

Some Facts about the Internet

This is a great video that throws out random facts about how the Internet and technology are changing our lives.  A couple to whet your appetite:

  • The average America teen sends out 2,272 text messages each month.
  • There are 240,000,000 televisions in the United States.  2,000,000 of those are in bathrooms.
  • 40,000,000 people have been Rick rolled.

Top 5 Author Blogs

Everyone knows about author bloggers like Guy Kawasaki and Seth Godin. But outside of the Technorati Top 100, there are a lot of authors that have used blogs to create fantastic communities of users. Here are my five favorite, slightly lower profile author blogs:

(5) Malcolm Gladwell

Gladwell, the author of The Tipping Point and Blink, started his blog in March 2006. Most of his posts expand on his New Yorker articles or comment on interesting stories he comes across. He has a very engaged community that posts hundreds of comments to every entry. He’d be hire if he posted consistently (nothing new since January).

(4) Tim Ferriss

Ferriss is the author of the book the Four Hour Workweek and just started his blog a month or so ago. His writings, which focus on how to streamline your life and increase your own efficiency, have really struck a chord with folks. The blog has been really entertaining so far although it is possible that Ferriss is a bit of a one trick pony. Plus he doesn’t work much so we’ll see if he sticks with it after the promotional aspect wears off.

(3) Scott Adams

Dilbert author Scott Adams writes daily posts about whatever is on his mind to his surprisingly fantastic blog. I’m a much bigger fan of the blog than I am of the Dilbert cartoon. Adams just has an interesting take on life that really comes across in his blogging.

(2) Freakonomics

I’m a big fan of Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner’s book Freakonomics. So I was pleasantly surprised to find a year ago that not only were they blogging, but were doing so quite well on a daily basis. On their blog, they provide theirs takes on whatever topic strikes their fancy.

(1) Neil Gaiman

Neil Gaiman is a bit of a jack of all trades – he has written books, comics and films, among other things. He is also one of the first author bloggers, having started blogging in February 2001 in an effort to promote his book, American Gods. These days Gaiman blogs about his work, his life and spends a great deal of time answering reader mail through the site’s Ask Neil feature. Gaiman was born for the blog format.

This post is part of ProBlogger’s most recent group writing project, with the theme of “top five”. Be sure to check out other entries!

Try Clicky for Blog Statistics

We’ve had a bumpy history with blog statistics programs here at The Bivings Report. Services we like keep getting shut down.

Here is a quick summary:

  1. Industry leader Measure Map got bought by Google a year ago and since then has closed registrations for new users. I’ve been on the waiting list for over a year now with no luck.
  2. The excellent (though buggy) Blogbeat was bought by Feedburner around six months ago and was simplified to the point where it is no longer useful except for the most basic analytics.
  3. The excellent Performancing blog stats programs shut down in December for some unknown reason.
  4. I’m not a fan of SiteMeter, MyBlogLog or Google Analytics for blog tracking.

So I was shocked and happy to come across a new service called Clicky the other day. It is the best blog stats program I’ve used. Clicky has all the basics like site visitors, page views, incoming/outgoing links, and search keywords.

It also has a bunch of goodies like RSS feeds of your stats, a Spy section that lets you watch your users come in real time and a Google Map that show the location of your fifty most recent visitors (screenshot above right).

You can check out a demo on the Clicky website. If you are a blogger, I’d give it a whirl.

Harry Potter, Meet your Biggest (And Most Famous) Fan

harrypotter.gifAfter the fifth book of the Harry Potter series was published, Francisca Solar decided JK Rowling's version of the story wasn't good enough.  She was so dissatisfied with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix that the then 21 year-old Chilean journalism student decided to write her own "fanfiction" sequel.  Entitled Harry Potter y el Ocaso de los Altos Elfos (Harry Potter and the Decline of the High Elves), Solar published her 756 page novel on FanFiction.net.  According to the BBC, Solar's story was viewed over 80,000 times and received positive reviews from all over the world:

"When I read the fifth book, I was so disappointed – I'm a very critical reader, and I'm a huge fan, so the expectation of this fifth book was great," Solar said. "I took the principal characters and I did a story that is more rich than Rowling's story, because you can have access to the thoughts and feelings of all of the characters…Many people from all around the world have written to me, from the US, from the UK, from Asia," she said. "All these people wrote to me about the fanfic and said they liked it more than the official sixth book (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)."

(more…)