January 30, 2003

DC DOT COMM Introduced to Blogs

Henry Copeland writes in his blog, "only 10% of the audience had ever read a blog and only 2% had actually blogged." Which is why it was so important that Henry closed with some final statements and told the audience, "go to Google and type in blog plus something you're passionate about .... It will change your life."

I wish the panel could have focused more on blogging, although we created the "Battle of the Blogs" to be a panel of experts (mostly bloggers) on the internet to discuss issues revolving around online media, advertising and marketing. I'm not sure if the audience left understanding what a blog is and why it's important that they know. Hopefully the audience will listen to Henry.

Regardless, I think the panel worked. There were some great conversations about Spam, Pop-ups and the effectiveness of online advertising in general. However, the biggest sign of hope the online marketing world is starting to get it, was the discussion of community. Who would have thunk it? Marketers are starting to realize the importance of online communities. Someone from the audience (I think it was the audience) asked an interesting question. "Would an online community on the Omaha Steaks website work?" The big picture version of the question is, are brand websites the appropriate place to host a community. The general consensus was "hell no", because why the hell would Omaha Steaks host a discussion about how much Omaha Steaks suck (not that they do suck, but someone's bound to start that discussion).

I beg to differ with that thinking. The Omaha Steak would be a great place to host a community. Loyal customers could talk about their favorite marinades or spices. And big deal if someone starts talking about how much they suck. Omaha would be better for letting that conversation happen. They could even join in. It makes the brand more real, and less reliant on advertising. Same holds for communities on sites like BMW, Kodak or Budweiser. Every brand has loyal customers and they should embrace and utilize them.

I had a great time speaking with Henry Copeland who was the only one I had a chance to talk to from the group of panelists I had anything to do with being there. Henry was the first blogger I've met in the non-blog world. We started talking about Crossing the Chasm, a book he strongly recommended to me. I've thought about the concept as Henry described it almost ever day since the conference. The premise is that in order to establish a new market all you have to do is find a small group who can help champion your cause, product or service. So if I want to introduce a form of blog marketing to one of my franchise accounts. My goal should be to seek out those who already see the value of online community or who already blog --- engage them in the idea, watch it work and spread the knowledge.

Henry also thinks I should be blogging more, and he's right. I will.

All in all DC Dot Comm was a great experience. It was the first time I helped produce a conference and I'm very happy that Hank Dearden -- who produces the show -- embraced my blog idea and we were able to introduce it to the DC Ad community. I'd like to thank Henry, Sean Carton, Meg , Jennifer Kronstain and all the other panelists. Hopefully next year people will be screaming for more blog talk. I just hope they listen to Henry.

I'll post some pictures of the panels tomorrow...

It's tomorrow and here they are:

(Hollis Thomases, Sean Carton and Robbin Zeff)

(Jennifer Kronstain, Meg Hourihan and Henry Copeland)

(Mark Lees, Frank Cumberland and Missy Shorey)

January 18, 2003

Blogging on Jupiter

Jupiter Research has joined the weblog world with a blog by senior analyst Michael Gartenberg and 6 other analysts. I think this is going to be an invaluable element to the research Jupiter puts out. Hopefully it will provide us with insight behind the numbers in a real voice. Michael tells us what he wants to accomplish with his newly formed blog:

In an ever changing world, the access to new information and analysis is growing. The Weblog medium allows for something that goes beyond our traditional research deliverables and also enhances them. Look to this space for thoughts on the new and exciting but also on the offbeat. It’s a chance to get closer to how we think as analysts and the thought process that goes into final research positions.

I spend my days as well as a good deal of the nights and weekends pondering the issues that relate to digital ubiquity as well as working with a host of interesting technologies. Some are breakthrough, some are half baked. The results of this process of thought and interaction go into the presentations and research reports that we create at Jupiter. This blog will hopefully open that process of thought, commentary and analysis up to a wider audience and in a different format.

Rock on Jupiter. ">Gonzo marketing is taking shape.

January 17, 2003

Visual Thesarus

Cool new tool for all you writers out there: Visual Thesarus.

January 08, 2003

Role of Color

This article comes a few weeks late as I was trying to put together a color pallette for my new site. I searched everywhere and couldn't find anything very good. GrokDotCom helps answer my question by explaining how colors can impact your website. Here is what Grok had to say about the colors I chose:

Gray is the color of neutrality, "neither subject nor object, neither inner nor outer, neither tension or relaxation." Gray feels as though it is not colored, not dark, not light - a separation between two distinct entities, a demilitarized zone free from stimulus. Gray communicates an element of non-involvement or concealment. It's a color that remains uncommitted and uninvolved.

This is the color of calmness, repose and unity, symbolically the color of sky and ocean. Looking at blue relaxes the central nervous system - blood pressure, pulse and respiration rate all go down, which allows regenerative systems in the body to work on healing. When folks are ill, the physiologic need for blue actually increases! The physiologic associations with blue are those of tranquility. The psychological associations are of contentment, gratification and being at peace.

Where red stimulates, yellow suggests. It can elevate body rates as red does, but its effect is less stable. Yellow is primarily the color of happiness, cheerfulness, expansiveness, lack of inhibition. It is the welcome warmth of the sun and the glow of a spiritual halo. While calming and relaxing, the color does suggest a desire for change, that things are never quite at rest - people who favor yellow may be very productive, but that productivity often occurs in fits and starts.

Orange -- poor oragne was neglected. Nothing here on orange. [much later]: While orange may suggest fire, vitality, warmth and energy, all lovely associations, it’s the color most-detested by Americans (it is more popular in Europe and has particularly strong appeal in Latino and French cultures). Maybe it’s the 70s associations you guys are stuck on. But the research suggests if you’re going to use orange, it’s best tolerated when you are evoking a natural association. Like carrots. That, or go for a deeper orange that is earthier.

[Much Later] -- Grok follows up with some more practical uses of colors.