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Business Bloggers Creed October 29, 2006

Posted by electrica in blog business tools, blog debate, blogocombat, CEO blogs, deep blogology, ecommerce blogs, Miserably Servile Customer Pampering, Visionary Leadership.
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Here’s my newly polished, never publicly revealed, and rather robust Business Bloggers Creed:

I will never use a blog for anything other than web-based communication and online community formation, for the benefit of the audience and not my company.

I understand that to step into blogging with my old clunky MBA Business As Usual mentality, is to be wearing the wrong pair of ideological shoes. I accept the fact that to blog is to transform my company’s internal culture and external presentation as a whole.

I submit to the truth that a blog cannot be an isolated experiment, it must come from a deep need and necessity to connect candidly with customers, and care for their needs.

I surrender to the judgment of my customers. If they think something sucks, then it sucks. No matter what I’d prefer to think, no matter what management tells me, no matter what my colleagues say. I promise to exalt the user over the muser, the consumer over the marketer, and the customer over the internal culture and structure.

I will help customers gain deep expertise on the products we sell and the environment in which those products are, or can be, used.

I will not attempt to pervert a blog into acting as a Business As Usual advertising, sales, or multi-level marketing machine.

I will talk more about other bloggers and business writers than I do about myself. I will put my mentors and role models in the spotlight, and be very low key and shy about my own expertise, services for sale, and client project work.

I will never display sleazy links or dubious ads, such as online gambling sites, pharmaceuticals, real estate loans, discount software, erectile misogyny dysfunction, or other typical scumbag

I will blog only about what I personally, genuinely care about.

I will never write a post with the ulterior motive of purely seeking to boost traffic, as in opportunistic topic selection, or superficial pretence of relevant substance.

I will never promote a product with paid enthusiasm.

I will never rant about things about which I don’t know shit.

I will never kiss the ass of the MSM or, in a deluded state of grandiose ego, think I need mainstream journalists for any purpose, least of all “media attention”. I don’t need corpses to clap their hands for me.

I will always side with the blogosphere against any MSM or corporate accusations.

I will only attack ideas I see as harmful, counter-productive, misanthropic, or deceptive. I will try not to attack the persons holding and advancing these errors, unless they relentlessly attack me personally. Then, I won’t fight back, I’ll simply and swiftly destroy.

I will never attack a person as a person, but will pit text against text. Even if my favorite mentor and role model says something stupid or destructive, my words will move out and defend the truth, without the slightest care about damaging a friendship.

When it comes to truth, I have no friends. I will speak my mind about anything and anybody at any time, and I can never be persuaded or constrained to do otherwise.

I will bite the hand that feeds me, if it feeds me a line of bullshit.

I will never attack my loyal allies publicly, but only send a discreet email, when I think they’ve done or said something wrong.

I will attack anything or anybody, as I see fit, with no fear and no emotional hysteria or personal animosity.

I will strive for harmony, cooperation, diversity, freedom, and compassion in the beloved blogosphere that gives us all a level playing field in terms of communication and networked interactivity.

I will be constantly strive to improve, enhance, and perfect my blog.

I will share my expertise on blogging, my product field, my personal interests, and my hobbies, with all who seek it.

I will interact with everyone equally, giving no preference to those considered wealthy, successful, or celebrities. I judge “wealth”, “success”, and “celebrity” in far different terms than the world does. I am a blogger of immaterialism and inner riches.

I will not abandon or forsake my blog, unless I have tried everything in my power to avoid quitting, but life pressures force me to do so.

I will not post material to my blog, and ignore the other bloggers out there. I will gladly and abundantly post relevant, substantial, amusing comments at as many other blogs as possible. That way, I am enriching other blogs, while coincidentally possibly attracting others to my own blog, but my primary goal is to help others succeed.

I will seek out new blogs to enjoy, and encourage new bloggers to press on to the promised land.

I will try to always be inspiring, brazen, self-confident in the pursuit of noble ideals.

I will use my blog, not to push my company, not to hype my products, but to help others solve problems, succeed in work, and enjoy a lifestyle.

I will blog because I believe in human equality, freedom, and community.

I will blog because I want to help, not because I want a narcissistic platform for personal or professional vanity and exhibitionism, or simply because it’s “cool” or “mission critical”.

I will practice and proclaim the blogo-gospel of the 9 Core Values of Blogging, Absolute Switched On User Empowerment, Universal Content Utopic, and Global Democracy Revolution.

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Brand Loyalty Online August 27, 2006

Posted by electrica in basic blogology, blog business tools, blog debate, blogocombat, brand loyalty online, CEO blogs, ecommerce blogs, online marketing.
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Brand loyalty can occur online when your web presence satisfies real user needs and interests. If your brand is represented online by a site that enables customers to interact, to ask questions, voice complaints, and offer suggestions, your customers will experience increased devotion to your brand.

As consumers flock to such web attractions as video sharing at YouTube or the blogging platform of MySpace, Blogger, and WordPress, they expect more functionalities at all sites. Plain text digital journals are giving way to multi hyper media blogs that feature photos, podcasts, RSS syndication, email alert subscriptions, customized search engines, surveys, video player embeds, and video VoIP chat.

To build brand loyalty online, keep providing frequently updated information, relevant news, how-to tips, simple explanations, interesting data, and advanced interactive functionalities.

The sooner you begin experimenting with multi hyper media blogging, the faster you’ll establish a strong position of communication technology leadership in the mind of your customers. Vision, zeal, and expertise are conveyed by harnessing the new tools with great boldness, tenacity, and exploratory passion.

Begin now to harness the power of these new tools. If you do it with relevance, benefit, finesse, and strong entertainment value, you’ll gain substantial competitive advantage by increasing your brand loyalty online.

CEO Charisma: what is it? July 31, 2006

Posted by electrica in blog business tools, CEO blogs, CEO Videos, Video Blogging.
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Here’s a comment I posted on CEO Blog – Time Management by Jim Estill, CEO – SYNNEX Canada Ltd.

The topic of one of his posts was executive charisma. He questioned whether he really had much charisma. I’d say he’s probably got plenty, because you have to have some charisma to lead such a successful and prosperous corporation.

Charisma can come across in a text blog, I suppose, to an extent.  But a CEO Video blog post can really communicate your charisma, personality, and vision.
[QUOTE]

Charisma is suddenly a vital topic to me, since I’ve gotten into video blogging and CEO videos.

What is charisma? Does it necessarily mean extroverted, wild-eyed, pulpit pounding enthusiasm, gushing charm and a twinkle in the eye?

I doubt it. I think there are many types of charisma, including a gentle, soothing, calm, shy, and introspective manner.

I point you to the book Credibility: How Leaders Gain and Lose It, Why People Demand It — by James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner.

Kouzes is chairman emeritus of the Tom Peters Company.

According to their research, constituents seek (1) Honest (2) Forward-looking (visionary) (3) Inspiring (4) Competent (5) Fair minded (6) Supportive…(etc.) leadership.

Where does charisma fit into this scheme? The word “charisma” is not even found in the index of the book.

Thus, I think charisma is a blend of the 6 qualities above, especially being Visionary in an Inspiring manner.

How you portray these qualities is up to you, or any other CEO.
[END QUOTE]

According to Websters New World Dictionary, “charisma” is (1) a divinely inspired gift or talent, as for prophesying, healing, etc. (2) a special quality of leadership that inspires great popular allegiance.

I personally think you can have charisma, even when few follow you, and your organization is not doing very well, for reasons that are not your fault. I think of Socrates, Buddha, Jesus, George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King, Jr., Abe Lincoln, Tim Berners-Lee, Jason Calacanis, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, heck, even The Beatles…

Did they have “charisma”? As we commonly think of it?

Or did they have a burning passion for an idea that simply had to come to pass through their efforts and leadership?

How much of their lifelong achievement was due to charisma?

To me, charisma is passion, dedication, and a unique, warm personality that inspires others to follow cheerfully and expectantly.

atomic unit of the web: from site to page to tag? July 30, 2006

Posted by electrica in basic blogology, blog business tools, deep blogology, information architecture, tagging, web usability.
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Jakob Nielsen once said, in his Designing Web Usability book, that the atomic unit, the smallest coherent unit of the web was the web page.

At first, people linked to static, or infrequently updated, web sites. Then, as web sites became more complex, requiring site maps, site indexes, and clearly, relevantly labeled tabs, the exact page of a site grew in importance.

Weblogs made linking even more page oriented, with frequent posting on more varied topics. While site search and sidebar post categories were a step in the right direction, they were often unsatisfactory, hit or miss, and time-consuming.

We link, ideally, in most cases, to a specific post we are quoting, rather than to thehome page of a site. Linking to the site’s main index or home page forces the user to navigate to the specific page containing the quote or image or whatever is being referenced. This enables users to go immediately to the specific information, audio, video, photo, or art image we want them to check out.

This is why hardcore bloggers will keep a notebook with post URLs (web addresses) for each post they publish.

Now, tagging each post is all the rage, especially for what is called Web 2.0 designers and advocates. Adding tags to posts is a way to provide a context or keyword identification of a post’s content, prior to actually reading the post. Tags also enable users to see other posts, at other sites, that are tagged with the same words, thus, hopefully, relevant to the same topic.

Many problems arise with tagging. You rely on the honesty and intelligence of the site author who adds a tag or tags to a post. Plus, who knows how relevant and information-rich the posts are going to be, the posts all tagged with a specific word?

Worse yet, and you can see this in YouTube as an example, some sites that you provide content to will not have a good tagging system.

What I mean is this: say you want to tag a post “vaspers the grate”. If the site tells you that the tags must be separated by commas, or put in quotes, you’re alright. You can type in the tags “vaspers the grate, web usability analysis, blogology” (excluding the quotes) for example. Or just “vaspers the grate” (in quotes).

But wait. At some sites, like YouTube (and I’m not picking on them), your tags can be only one word. That’s why my own videos are tagged “CEOblogs” and “vaspers”, rather than “CEO blogs” and “vaspers the grate” (excluding quotes). Because the tag “CEO blogs” are two words, two separate tags, “CEO” and “blogs”, and NOT “CEO blogs”.

This distinction becomes absurd with something like “vaspers the grate” (excluding quotes) as a tag. The tags, plural, become “vaspers”, “the”, and “grate”. I jam two or three words together, as a workaround.

How to make a New Super Blog for Web 2.0 March 9, 2006

Posted by electrica in basic blogology, blog business tools, CEO blogs, deep blogology, ecommerce blogs.
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(1) Focus & Expand: get a dominant purpose, but go off on interesting or instructive tangents to keep readers in suspence and to spice up with exotic flavors that make you *memorable* and eminently *re-visitable*, perhaps even blogrollable and RSS/Atom feed subscribable.

(2) Benefit your blog readers with more than just your charisma, personality quirks, and goofy products, unless that’s all you have…but those are not enough.

Gain new marketable skills, or test new open source software offerings and freeware network enhancements, that you can pass on to your readers who wish to have fun and succeed.

(3) Interact kindly with your blog community/family via rapid replies to comments and emails and Skypes and Google Chats.

(4) Provide state of the art widgets, as deemed appropriate and effective, without distracting, bewildering, or seeming too techy: polls, custom search engines, online games, digital art, staff photos, company picnic video, audio CEO welcome message, mascot chatbot for the kids (like “subservient chicken” or “toby” but way way better), RSS/Atom feed URLs displayed and subscription mechanisms, web contact/feedback forms upfront, upfront Contact and About pages, relevant link lists, podcast links, Odeo podcast creation mechnanism…

…provide fun, interesting, provocative, wild, cool, hip, entertaining, educational, fun, easy, easier, easiest, fastest INTERACTIVE doodads, amigo!

more on Web 2.0-ready blogs next time, friends!