Get it right and get it beyond the buzzwords…the roots of the “social web”

Not long ago, before it was commonplace for pretty much everyone to have a basic understanding of the Internet, there were some fairly amusing terms flying around. The “Interweb” was one commonly used by those *not* in the “know”.

Years on, I feel the same is happening with social media. I can’t tell you how often I see the term “the social web” or variations of it, most often used in a really misinformed way….as though the “social web” is some sort of new Internet that has recently materialised. Further, the term “Web 2.0” often seems to get thrown in there haphazardly, which is a particular pet peeve of mine. I also often see the terms Web 3.0 and Web 4.0 attached to the term “the social web”.

New social media based sites and applications seem to come out daily, but it’s important to remember that social media is just the good old Internet in action, and that this thing people refer to as “the social web” are examples of various Web 2.0 enabled technologies. Web 2.0 is not a new concept.

What is Web 2.0?

Web 2.0 is a phrase used to describe attributes given web technologies that can facilitate advanced and usually interactive functionality.

A review of Internet-based literature shows two unique phases: Web 1.0 (content delivered to users by producers) and Web 2.0 (content customised to suit the individual, who has the ability to add or publish back to the site/application).

In 2005 Tim O’Reilly wrote the paper What is Web 2.0: Design Patterns and Business Models for the Next Generation Software. His paper claims that Web 2.0 began with a conference brainstorming session between his company O’Reilly, and MediaLive International (2005: 1) and I think his thoughts on Web 2.0 still stand true today.

Importantly, O’Reilly worked to define the term “Web 2.0” beyond the buzzword stage. In his definition, he uses the example of BitTorrent, which is a free, open source file sharing application. The application uses the bandwidth of those trying to download it so that effectively, the more popular the file, the faster it can be served and downloaded (2005:5). His point in using this example is to show that the the difference between Web 1.0 and Web 2.0 is that Web 2.0 services automatically get better the more people use them.

Adding to the defintion later on in the paper, O’Relly writes:

Continue reading “Get it right and get it beyond the buzzwords…the roots of the “social web””

The top excuse for a lapse in blogging is……

A new baby 😮

Our little Ava was born 8 weeks early and had to spend a week in the NICU followed by two weeks in the special care baby unit at Homerton Hospital in London.

She is still three weeks away from her due date but is now home and keeping both of her parents up around the clock…we are sleepless but head over heels 😮

“Normality” as I know it has changed, but I aim to get back to a more frequent blogging schedule from here on in.

Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part II: Separation

In Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration, I explained why I think individuals and companies should almost always integrate their blogs with their websites.

The reasons for separating your blog from your website are few and far between, but they do exist.

When should you separate your blog from your website?

There are three reasons why it may sometimes be useful to create a blog that lives outside of the confines of your domain:

1. To create a “topic”. What do you sell? When prospective buyers Google your product or service, what do the search results look like? Hopefully your website *does* come up in the first few search results, but looking beyond your site, what else do you see?

If you have no competitors and no other sites of any relevance towards your product or service appear in these search results, it is time to ask yourself “do people really need what I am trying to sell?”Continue reading “Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part II: Separation”

Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration

Not long ago, this question came through this week in my weekly digest email from The UK Marketing Network.

“Isn’t it obvious?” I said to myself, ready to delete the email. But then I paused and reminded myself that it wasn’t that long ago I wouldn’t have known the answer to this question either, and that it’s not always obvious at all. I looked closer at the next line in the query which read:

We are starting a new blog and we are unsure whether to integrate it with our website or keep it separate? Does anyone have any experience with this?

It’s actually a really good question – one that more people should ask themselves

I started my answer with:

I can think of very few instances where you’ll benefit from keeping your blog separate from your corporate website.

Effectively your blog is where you’ll put a lot of effort into generating excellent thought leadership based content – keeping this inside your domain will boost your SEO measurably and send a lot of traffic to your site (which surely is what any business wants?)

More reasonsContinue reading “Your blog: Integration or Separation? Part I: Integration”

Think you have no time to blog? Make blogging part of your DNA

In the past, I’ve blogged about the importance of making social media a part of a company’s DNA.

In this post I’d like to get a bit more specific and share some of what I’ve learned along the way in hopes that this will inspire the many people who have expressed to me the difficulty they have in finding the time in their schedules to blog or the motivation to complete their posts (and to post frequently enough). 

1. Document: I take this tip from my days as a technical author – document everything you do – whether it’s attending an evening seminar, listening to a webinar, reading a book to enhance your skills, or taking part in a new project that presents you with a number of challenges. This stuff is all blog-worthy. I have met a lot of people who have never really gotten in to the swing of blogging because they feel every post has to be essay-like in length and so broad that it covers all possible bases. Next time you go to an event, why not try taking one good photo on Instagram and posting that to your blog with comments about what you felt were the most relevant and interesting points of the day? I bet you end up writing more than you thought you would. And presto – instant blog.

2. Clip: Since a great deal of “food for blogging” comes from other materials you often see/agree/disagree Clip to Evernotewith on the web, and since you can’t always blog instantaneously, then you need to put technology in place that will allow you to capture and park ideas for when you can blog.

I do this by clipping highlighted bits from web pages to Evernote and placing them in my “Blog” folder which I can access from anywhere. So blog ideas are easily collected, parked and stored in a way that makes them easy to find when it’s time to start blogging. Continue reading “Think you have no time to blog? Make blogging part of your DNA”

10 very simple mid-trade show digital marketing tasks

I love all things digital, but there are still times when I have to haul out the old trade show stand and “exhibit” in person. I try to attend as many of the workshops and panels as I can at a show.

However there are times when you need “man” the booth. This used to mean long hours of boredom with little or no human interaction. For me, things have now changed.

Last week I attended a trade show and I found I didn’t have a spare moment of time on my hands what with all the digital marketing I was doing in between panels. Here are ten things that kept me busy: 

1. Use your CRM to send out a campaign to delegates inviting them to your booth – Got the delegate list? Why not send them a campaign inviting them over? You might think sending marketing several days before the event is the best plan, but why not follow up with a campaign sent while you’re at the event to catch people in the moment?

2. Blog – This works best if you can attend a stream or session so that you can comment on content. If you can’t attend, get the notes from one of your team who has attended a session yet or, better yet, get them to write the blog. Timeliness is everything when it comes to blogs – blogging about the event on the day or the day after is what makes the most compelling account for your readers. Here’s an example of a blog post I wrote and published last week during a trade show. 

3. Tweet – Firstly, Continue reading “10 very simple mid-trade show digital marketing tasks”

This week’s best reads

1. @allanschoenberg‘s post this week on B2B Voices was definitely one of my best reads this week. Avoiding the One Cup Approach to B2B Content goes beyond simply promoting content marketing as good B2B practice and examines the need for diversity in using social media to execute on your content marketing strategy.

Allan’s post works for me on a number of levels. Firstly it identifies a faux pas I see a lot of companies making – this is simply that they are using social media in a singular way….as a “push” mechanism for their PR. So what we end up getting via their social media efforts is the same old stuff we saw on the front page or their website.

He’s also identified why this problem crops up again and again, noting three good reasons – the one that stands out to me is lack of content. Continue reading “This week’s best reads”

When NOT to use Social Media: When damage prevention is paramount

Why am I writing this post?When NOT to use Social Media

I get asked for advice on social media a lot. I’ll admit it – I quite enjoy sitting down and hearing about people’s individual communications-based situations to assess whether social media can be of any help.

However, I think it’s also important to be honest about when social media is the not the best answer. Many social media agents and consultants will have you believe that social media is always the best solution for all marketing and communications requirements. I’m more than willing to admit that there are times when social media is not the best option.

The scenario

This week’s best reads

The Content Matrix – On Tuesday @sharilee tweeted this link to this graphic hosted on visual.ly (a good sharing facility for diagrams and other information based visuals).

Posted headstream on visual.ly/content-matrix

I thought it was  really worthwhile not only because of all the different forms of content we as B2B marketers should have on our checklists, but also because it notes the *cost* of various different forms of content.

I didn’t agree with the way a few categories were placed (all said and done, case studies are actually very expensive to produce) but I did appreciate the way the matrix acts as a good reminder to make sure we have the little content tasks taken care of perhaps before we invest a lot of time and money in big content production projects. 

Companies risk fines over new data rules (requires free FT.com subscription) – Data….rules….cookies. Yes I know…*yawn*. But this is an important article for anyone who runs a website, anyone who owns a business, or anyone who works in the marketing, PR or comms department of a company. This is particularly important if your site is an e-commerce site.Continue reading “This week’s best reads”

Spotlight on Content Marketing: Part III – Content marketing + social media = BFF

There are two previous parts to this series (Part I, Part II).  They both explain my thoughts on content marketing as a concept, its history and the relationship between B2B content marketing and social media.

The questions that made me go hmmmmm……..

Recently, I sat on Cognito’s Breakfast Byte panel which focused on social media in B2B financial services. A straightforward, simple question generated a lot of interesting conversation:

What advice do you have for those who want to get started using social media for B2B marketing?My answer? A question: 

Who has a content marketing plan in place?

A few hands went up and I got the feeling people were interested in hearing more.

Want to get started in social media marketing? Continue reading “Spotlight on Content Marketing: Part III – Content marketing + social media = BFF”