Friday, May 23, 2008

No time to blog? Go Micro

My friend and colleague Cale Bruckner has modified his blogging strategy over at his blog PalmIT and I think it is a great way to keep blogging without feeling the pressure to post long, in-depth articles. A major hurdle to blogging for most people is the intimidation factor and the time commitment. It feels like a major commitment to churn out a few hundred or thousand words a day/week/month. And it is.

So, instead of setting out to write a book with every blog post, why not try micro blogging? This is the practice of posting very short blog posts, often just one or two sentences and a link. A photo and a comment would also be good enough. If you find a site or an article that you think is interesting, post the link, add a short comment, and post it. Not only will this approach keep you blogging and keep your blog fresh, but most likely your audience will appreciate it as well. Everyone is already overloaded with information. Keeping things short and to the point is probably a good strategy.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Seth is Smarter than Me

Shocking, I know. It turns out that my snipe at Seth Godin in my previous post for not having comments is not really valid. There might be an actually strategy, not laziness, behind the choice to not have comments. Darren Rowse explains it best in an interview with Guy Kawasaki:
However another stroke of genius (I'm not sure if it's intended) with this approach is that Seth has made his blog a little more viral by not having comments. What happens when he writes something that people want to respond to? In many cases they blog about it - 'sneezing' his post further than his current readership.

Check out the number of blogs that link to his posts in Technorati. Most of them are just writing things that you'd normally expect to see being left as comments on a blog. It's no wonder that he's currently the 13th most linked to blog in the blogosphere (according to the Top 100 list)!
Darren goes on to say that this "strategy" wouldn't work for everyone, especially new bloggers, unless you have an alternative method for getting traffic to your site such as a successful book or a well known online profile of some kind.

So, I'm eating crow today. Sorry Seth. It still would be interesting to know for sure if this was an intended strategy or if Seth just didn't want to moderate comments.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Retail Packaging

Seth Godin's post today on retail packaging is right on the money. Having lived in this world for several years, he is speaking the exact truth:
[Bad] packaging is the result of a paranoid retail buyer (the person who orders in bulk for the store, not the buyer at retail) demanding pilfer-proof packaging combined with a lazy brand manager choosing a lousy solution to the challenge presented by getting it into a retailer. "Make it pilfer-proof or we won't carry it," he says. The brand manager doesn't want to take a risk, so she packages it the way they packaged it when the device cost $1,000. Impregnable.
The online thing I would change here is that it's not always a "lazy brand manager" but sometimes a business that can't afford to loose a major channel and has to bend to the retail buyer's whims. I've lived this and that's how it works sometimes. If you want to stay on the shelf you have to do what the buyer says.

And as long as I'm writing about Seth's post, here's my plea to Seth: Open up comments on your blog! Please! You preach about social conversations and about customer/company interactions but don't open up your own blog for public discussion. I just don't get it.