Monthly Archives: November 2009

Corporate Bloggers: Know the Challenges You’ll Face

Corporate blogging isn’t easy. The rewards are high, and this type of platform will reduce your workload over time (if you’re an in-house writer), though you’ll probably invest all that saved time in producing more content – especially if you’re addicted to returns. Some of the challenges aren’t immediately evident, and you’ll only encounter them when you’re knee-deep in the shit.

For mainstream bloggers, especially, you will run into some unexpected challenges. If you’re used to reblogging news stories or use press releases as a crutch when you’re short content, you’ll have to change your game.

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Fight for your Right to Smoke

It was nice to see the Cigar Rights of America come out in force at the most recent De La Concha cigar dinner. I’ve been pretty critical of the organization, as it’s really done nothing but raise money. There has been no presence, no action. Well, Ron Melendi tells me that the new executive director, J. Glynn Loope, has been working his ass off for the cause.

MSNBC Jumps on the Retail and Social Media Story

Looking for more retail and social media action? Well, it seems MSNBC can’t give enough of it (link takes you to vide0). Toys “R” Us is pitching via both Facebook and Twitter as a way to communicate deals to the most loyal customers — i.e., those willing to become “friends with,” “fans of” or “followers of” the company. Sears is following suit. In general, this has been a tool for building hype in advance of Black Friday, the hypest day of the retail year.

In general, there’s a lot of action going on with retailers and tools like Facebook and Twitter. This is likely the “proof of concept” year for the technology. Next year, the stakes will be high, and the consequences of losing profound.

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Retailers amping up social media marketing for Black Friday

Retailers are looking to get a taste of social media love. With Black Friday around the corner, companies in the retail sector are planning major campaigns through social networking sites like Facebook to access wider markets and drive more sales. Some, such as Sears, JCPenney, Starbucks and Target, among others, are actually letting customers shop via Facebook itself, rather than use only it as a tool for routing traffic. The retailers know they need a new angle for winning more business, and social media appears to be the answer.

I wanted to pull the video from an MSNBC story into this post, but WordPress and MSNBC don’t seem to be willing to show me any combined love. So, click here to check it out. And, click here to read my BloggingStocks article on social media and retailers.

Ditch Your Tag Cloud

Once upon a time, tag clouds were great navigational tools. In the early days of a blog’s life, it can help readers dig deeper into its content. After a while, however, the tag cloud will get far too big. It will look like shit and could scare readers away from using it. So, at some point, it’s time to get rid of the tag cloud.

Tags are great. The way WordPress works, tags create more pages, which will help you get search engine love. But, abundant tagging will crowd your cloud. So, to maintain the aesthetic, you sacrifice traffic. The compromise is to get rid of the tag cloud. Then, you can tag as much as you want.

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Loose Cig Tobacco Now for Pipes, Manufacturers Fight for Survival

In this interview with Ron Melendi, General Manager of De La Concha, you’ll learn about the differences between pipe and loose cigarette tobacco … not to mention how these products are taxed. The regulatory environment is driving a lot of change in the tobacco industry, and this will help you get a sense of it. You can read the full article on DailyFinance.

Five Survival Tips for Corporate Bloggers

Getting a corporate blog off the ground isn’t easy. Sure, the technology isn’t hard to master: any 12-year-old kid can get a blog up and running. The challenges you’ll find in launching and managing a corporate blog are in filling the damned thing. We’ve all heard that “content is king,” but delivering on that can be incredibly difficult. A day or two into your new blogging endeavor, you’ll realize just how hard it is to feed the beast as much as it needs. Don’t get discouraged. Take a deep breath, and look at the five tips below.

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A New Art Show on the Upper West Side

Need an alternative to the traditional gallery scene? Check out the new art exhibition on the Upper West Side. Ten artists, calling themselves 25CPW, have taken over a vacant commercial space on Central Park West. Their new show, 10 from 25: Emerging Artists Using Photography, will run through December 13, 2009. Read the whole story at Luxist.

Corporate Bloggers: Memory Is Your Biggest Asset

Corporate bloggers use commodity technology to communicate their companies’ messages. The advantage seems to come from the content itself, because that’s where individual expertise, institutional knowledge and products and tools can be brought to bear. So, this is where corporate bloggers find their attention focused. After all, what else is there?

Well, plenty.

Though I hate the expression “best practices,” the corporate blogging space is suffering from an acute shortage of them. From pushing out content via Twitter to tagging and linking, there is no widely accepted standard for getting the most out of a corporate blog using kickass blogging techniques. Well, I’m going to try to change that … and I’d love to get some ideas from other bloggers. I’ll get the process started with my top recommendation: sharpen your memory.

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