Announcing The New Mediology Podcast

My friend Nathan and I have been talking about launching a podcast together for a long time and we finally did it. You can check it out at TheNewMediology.com or subscribe to the podcast in iTunes.

The New Mediology is a podcast for new media marketers and web designers. We'd love to hear your feedback. In 2008 we'll have a new one every other week. Here is a rundown of our first podcast:

0:00 - 8:09 -- Thoughts on a few minutes with an Amazon Kindle.

8:10 - 11:15 -- Oprah's recent discovery of YouTube.

11:16 - 16:58 -- Review of Utterz.com.

16:59 - 27:54 -- Discussion of the iPod Nano's video feature and the opportunity for marketers in 2008.

Video of the Week: Never Seen Crayons Like This

When I was a kid I would draw things with my crayons and imagine what it would be like if they came to life on the page. Now, we're just a little bit closer to that...

Link for the feed readers:


My Top 10 Web Tools

This will be one of my final posts for 2007 so in keeping with the top 10 lists from the year, here is my own top 10 list. These are the top 10 web tools I have found make my online life and work much better. If you aren't familiar with some of these I wholeheartedly recommend you check them out...and in case you were wondering, each one is free for use.

  1. Gmail - Without a doubt this is my number one web tool. It's the hub of my online existence.
  2. Del.icio.us - I love this site. It's my primary source for bookmarking websites. My page is at Del.icio.us/fourthbill.
  3. Twitter - This is becoming a new favorite. Twitter is a microblogging tool that's one part messaging system, one part social network, and one part addictive. I'm finding it a great additional outlet to this blog and a new way to discover emerging ideas and connect with new people of similar interests. You can find me at Twitter.com/billseaver.
  4. TinyURL - Once I got hooked on Twitter I found this to be an invaluable tool for referencing links and keeping my character count below the maximum.
  5. Google Docs - If I ever have to collaborate with people on docs or spreadsheets this is my go-to resource.
  6. Google Reader - I've only switched over to Google Reader in the last few months. I used to read my feeds with Sage but I'm really liking Google Reader and have made the full conversion.
  7. Ping-o-Matic - Every time I write a blog post I ping a number of different services just to let them know it's out there. Ping-o-Matic makes that possible in mere seconds and that's why I like it.
  8. Feedburner - Feedburner continues to emerge as a necessary tool for me. I use it to track both my feed stats and site visitors but it had me at hello with the blog post email feature that lets readers get these posts via email rather than coming to the blog or subscribing with an RSS feed reader. I think I can personally account for fifteen bloggers using Feedburner for that feature alone.
  9. Facebook - Facebook has been my social network of choice most of this year and it's allowed me to connect with people that MySpace never did. Not sure why, but it did.
  10. Picnik - Picnik is still one of my favorite websites. It's photo editing made easy and was actually integrated with Flickr recently as well. That's a double dose of goodness.
BONUS: Firefox - None of the above sites would be nearly as enjoyable and useful to me without my browser, Firefox. If you don't use it, quit using Explorer or Safari and get on the Firefox bus. It really is as good as everyone says. Now go download it.


Video of the Week: 12 Days of Christmas...sort of

Merry Christmas from MicroExplosion! Here's a great a cappella group called Straight No Chaser from the University of Indiana performing their own version of the 12 Days of Christmas. Very well done and quite funny too. Can you name the song they break into at the end? It's totally 80's!



New Media Marketing Is Word of Mouth Marketing

It struck me recently that I've assumed something about new media marketing that I had never really expressed. That realization was that I assume word of mouth marketing is the most effective form of promotion. Everything I advocate when it comes to new media marketing is based on the premise that word of mouth marketing works and is truly effective. The entire content as the new promotion strategy series I did had word of mouth marketing at its very foundation.

Here's why I say this: word of mouth marketing is people telling others about something. That's the core of new media marketing and a content promotion strategy. You want to use content (see here for definition) that people will find valuable and then pass along. The new media tools simply let this happen exponentially faster than the old word of mouth marketing. It's still word of mouth...just at hyper speed.

Two weeks ago Ketchum released the findings of a new study that verifies this. Here are two interesting quotes from the study:

"Advice from family and friends is the No. 1 source that consumers turn to when making a variety of decisions – ranging from purchasing consumer electronics to planning a vacation."
"Communicators rank their companies’ own Web sites as the most effective way to share corporate news or issue a response to a crisis, but consumers rank company Web sites sixth and seventh among places they turn to for corporate news and crisis response, respectively."
What we see here is verification that people telling other people about things is the best promotional tool and that despite any company's high regard for its own website, the people are looking many other places first (including search engines as the study later shows.) This isn't really new news, it's just the latest in a line of validating information along these lines. Kind of makes me glad I'm not doing traditional marketing anymore.


What is proper Twittequette?

I recently rejoined Twitter after many months away from my initial infatuation with it. As I've been in it heavily now for a month and have observed a culture unto itself but haven't found anything that talks about proper Twitter etiquette. With something this new there are always a lot of opinions but there seems to be some consensus around the following areas:

  • Ad value to the conversation. Don't just plug yourself, your blog, your product, etc. all the time. Twittequette: The occasional plug seems to be accepted but there should be a balance between other tweets and the purely promotional tweets. I credit Mitch Joel for pushing this idea.
  • It's okay to be random. Consistence on a regular topic from any one person doesn't seem to be expected. A person you follow may link to an interesting story with one tweet and then talk about a movie he just watched with the next tweet followed by a really helpful observation or question in the third tweet. Twittequette: The randomness and even the mundane can sometimes be the most interesting.
  • Don't have too many more people following you than you're following. There is a sense that it's bad form to have significantly more followers than those you are following. Twittequette: If you're not following the people who have chosen to follow you you're not part of the conversation. You're just a diva giving a lecture (albeit a lecture with 140 characters or less.) I credit Jeremiah Owyang for this idea.
  • Don't carry on lengthy conversations. If you follow two people who are also connected to each other they can send messages between them. You'll see both sides of the conversation. That's interesting to a degree but the downside is that they can also dominate you Twitter stream with a lengthy conversation. Twittequette: If you know it's going to be more than a single question and response conversation it's better to jump over to email, instant message, phone, or some other non-Twitter means of communication.
I'm sure there are more items for proper Twittequette. If you have one (or more) to add I'd love to see them in the comments.


Tech Review: Utterz.com

This audio feed posted automatically and I've gone back in to put a post title and some text with it. Listen above to the Utterz.com review.

Mobile post sent by BillSeaver using Utterz. Replies. mp3


Video of the Week: The Nutty Buddy (not the food)

Was the "do not try this at home" disclaimer really necessary? Besides, how many of us have a pitching machine sitting around anyway? You gotta admit, this is a great promo video for a company's product. I wouldn't have heard about it otherwise.

Link for feed readers:


Looking for a local volunteer opportunity this Christmas?

This time of year we're reminded that we need to focus less on ourselves and more on others. I recently learned of a great site called ChristianVolunteering.org. It's a free directory with over 2,000 volunteer opportunities. The site’s partners include the Salvation Army, GospelCom, World Vision, the Association of Gospel Rescue Missions and over 1,000 ministries serving under-resourced communities. In addition to volunteer opportunities for individuals, you can find needs that might be appropriate for church groups and short-term missions trips. I found about 30 opportunities just in the Nashville area with positions ranging from website designers and computer teachers to mentors and job skills teachers. Check out ChristianVolunteering.org for volunteer needs in your area.


Top Google Search Terms of 2007

Last week Google announced their top 10 search words of the year:

1. iphone
2. webkinz
3. tmz
4. transformers
5. youtube
6. club penguin
7. myspace
8. heroes
9. facebook
10. anna nicole smith

For an interesting comparison check out Yahoo's top 10 for the year.


Google's power in your text messages

Mobile messaging is expanding rapidly and will only continue to do so. If you're like me you still don't quite know how it impacts your daily life much yet beyond the standard cell phone text messages to people you know. Sure, I could turn on my Twitter updates via text message but I don't really like that. I was recently reminded of Google SMS (Google's text message service) which essentially harnesses the power of Google from your cell phone's text message service. This is a mobile service worth getting excited about.

To use it is as easy as any other text message you may send. Just send a message to GOOGLE (466453) and get the information you're looking for. Maybe you just want to know the weather in your town. If so text the word "weather" and your zip code. This works with movies, restaurants, and even sports scores. Next time you want a quick bit of info on the fly you might want to text Google for a little help.


Video of the Week: New Dance Moves

Sometimes you just have to make up your own dance moves...

Link for the feed readers:


Content is the new promotion strategy, part 3: Why content for promotion?

This is the third installment of the content as the promotional strategy series. Here are the first and second parts if you haven't seen them already. In this post I'm going to answer the question:

"Why choose content as a promotional strategy?"

So, why look at content as the new promotion strategy? It's simple actually. Content as a promotion strategy forces a marketer to think about the consumer. When a marketer thinks about the consumer, she thinks about what will be valuable to that consumer rather than what's valuable to her (or her company or her client.) This shift may seem subtle but it's huge.

There are somewhere between 3000 and 5000 marketing messages aimed at Americans every day and each of them is standing there saying “hey, look at me!” or “check this out” or “you need this really bad.” What none of these promotional messages says is, “here's something for you” without a hook. They may give something away but they're going to ask for something in return like buy one and then get one free. What's understood but not spoken is that if you buy now, then you'll get one free now. You may get the consumers attention with the deal but you also lose it as soon as the transaction is complete.

A content promotion strategy changes the model because you're A) giving away something of value to the consumer without an immediate hook and B) extending the length of their attention for you. A content promotion strategy takes the long view of a consumer's time and attention (two very valuable commodities) knowing that the valuable content you're providing now earns their attention this time and likely their time and attention a next time with even more valuable content. The strategy is to give now so that you can get later.

Advertising is about the advertiser. Content is about the consumer. Promoting with content forces you to put yourself in the consumer's shoes and therefore deliver something to them they will value. It's not about you. It's about them. They already know that. When you know that and when they know you know that, then you're just beginning to connect with your best customers.