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August 2011

Trust Your Instincts!

Author:

What an honor to share the ”Mind of Ramon” with you tonight BlogWorld! My goal was to inspire you. If you live in Chicago I also want to get you addicted to the Domino’s Pizza experience.

Sometimes we need to see something done before we act upon it. This is why you always hear people say coulda, woulda or shoulda.

The game has changed and so has the world. We are so busy that we don’t have time for 12 ounces of coffee thus the energy shot market has been created.

You need to take advantage of this. If you are too busy to make something happen so are your competitors. Don’t worry or be too concerned to clone what they are doing. Trust your instincts and make something happen.

These are a couple of actions I have taken based on my instincts:

  1. Videoapology in April ’09 to @interactiveamy after we messed up her pizza order.  http://www.viddler.com/explore/dpzramon/videos/19/
  2. Sent @LaurenJhoffman to a Chicago Bears game after making her miss half a game due to poor service. http://www.slideshare.net/ctlaws/a-twitter-custserv-case-study-by-partyaficionado
  3. Surprised @myadorkablelife with pizza after she tweeted she wanted one.      http://www.youtube.com/user/ramondeleonvids#p/a/u/0/MTMeqjsMnXw
  4. Delivered pizzas to the tune of Live Tweets in a cab in downtown Chicago. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CdldehyYFro

Now it’s your turn. When you come into contact with your customers what does your gut tell you? Even if it says run and hide fight it. People are People. We are not avatars or a breathing social media logo.

These are some ideas on how to jump into action:

  • Don’t be boring! I told Disney if they do toilet paper origami people just might take photos of it and share it with the world.
  • Think for your customers. People are too busy and lazy. If you post a social media logo and want us to follow or like you please include the URL.
  • Be the News. Give people positive reasons to talk about your and the goods you sell.
  • Listen so you can hear. It’s hard to hear someone if you are always talking.
  • Get your product or concept into people hands when they least expect it. Can you imagine ordering a pizza and getting a menu for salon services on the box? How about picking up the dry cleaning and a pizza menu is attached.
  • Let people get to know the face behind the desk or logo. Blogs, photos or videos are a great way to communicate your ideas. Let the world know who you are!

 

Ramon De Leon is the marketing mind behind six Domino’s Pizza stores in downtown Chicago. He speaks all over the world on how he uses the tools of Social Media to connect and engage his Customers in Chicago



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Is it Ethical to Edit Your Blog Posts?

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Yesterday, I wrote about the suspect “baiting” practices of a Gizmodo writer who offended nerds everywhere with her tell-all tales of online dating. One of the comments I found interesting was from a reader named Kelly, who wrote:

I don’t know if they are doing this on purpose or not, but if you have been following the comments on the original page you have probably noticed that as time passes the story is being edited and toned down slightly.

eg, the line ” This is what happens, I thought, when you lie in your online profile.” became “This is what happens, I thought, when you leave things out of your online profile.”  And bits where she calls him a ‘dweeb’ have been removed.

There are now comments appearing around the place where people are asking why people are so upset about the story because they can’t see anything that bad in it.  It made me wonder if the slow edits are being done on purpose for this reason.

It brings up an interesting question in my opinion – is it ethical to edit your posts well after they’ve been written?

In some cases, I think it is fine. I’m the self-proclaimed queen of typos, so I’ll often go back and edit a post to correct a spelling error or other mistake. I don’t think anyone is arguing that this practice is unethical. I’ve also seen blog posts edited after the fact to include more information – this is extremely common with breaking news stories. Personally, I don’t have a problem with that.

But in this case, a very emotionally-charged article was changed to be less offensive as the day went on, making her critics seem overly-critical. People who left comments earlier in the day read a much different article and, in most cases, were much more offended.

I think two things need to be said:

  1. It’s okay to change your mind.
  2. We all make mistakes.

Sometimes, after reading comments or others’ opinions elsewhere, I change my mind about what I’ve written. Shocking, I know! I think that’s a mark of maturity, though – to admit that the way you previously thought about something was perhaps incomplete or even incorrect. Even more shockingly, I also make mistakes. We all do. Sometimes, I write something that comes off in a way I did not intend or when I calm down and can see more clearly, I realize that I was too harsh in something I wrote.

So, yes, I think it is okay to edit your posts, updating them to reflect your true, current opinion.

I do not, however, think it is okay to do this in a sneaky way, where your readers are given no indication of the changes made since the first person left a comment.

If your post has no comments, I don’t see the harm in editing a post…but if you do so on such a popular post (hers has thousands of comments), you make your readers look stupid. As Kelly noted, a lot of the later readers were wondering why the first commenters were so upset. By editing the post throughout the day, the writer made it seem like people were ganging up on her in an unjustified way. I don’t think it was fair to the Gizmodo community.

If you’re going to edit your posts (beyond fixing typos and the like), make a note about it at the beginning or end. Explain why the post was edited and, if relevant, apologize to your readers. Don’t just ignore your first published draft. Instead, acknowledge your change of heart or mistakes or write a completely new post updating your opinion. After all, nothing can truly ever be erased online.

Subjot Combines Your Social Graph with Your Interest Graph

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Subjot

When I first joined Twitter, it was so exciting to see what so and so was having for lunch (really! it was) or have a 140 character conversation with someone about a new blog that just launched. These days, there is so much noise. So much noise.

A brand new New York based start up might be your answer to filtering out the things you don’t want to see. It’s called Subjot and they just launched today.

About Subjot, from their blog:

Subjot combines your social graph with your interest graph. We sometimes refer to it as a microforum: part microblog and part forum. You assign a subject to every post. You can find posts by subject and create a feed of only the subjects and people you care about. The emphasis on subjects helps you find friends, new and old, who share your interests, enabling you to have more meaningful conversations with them.

I signed up and the process is very simple. It first prompts you to sign up with your Facebook or Twitter account and then you are taken to a list of your friends (and friends of your friends) already on Subjot. Within the lists of friends are subjects they tweet or Facebook about the most. You check the ones you’re interested in and leave blank the ones you’re not. Think someone is super cool and you love everything they have to say? Then follow all their Jots.

Subjot is in beta and they say they’re developing new features such as “Subjot API, reposting jots, assigning multiple subjects per jot and private (invite-only) subjects.”

I’m going to test it out for awhile and see if I can filter out the noise and bring Twitter and Facebook back to the days when it was a little easier to find those gold nuggets of wisdom, humor and nice finds.

Give it a whirl and then come back here to give us your thoughts!

Google+ Business Profiles in Testing (Maybe) & How to Find Them

Author:
Google+_logo

Google+ has said they have every intention of welcoming brands to create a profile on the social networking site, but when they’re ready. As of now, brands can not create a page, but that should change by the end of the year.

Their latest feature addition included the verification badges where celebrities, public figures and people who have been added to a large number of circles, can have their identities verified with a check mark and a small “verified name” badge.

The next logical step is to open the flood gates for the brands and businesses. One Google+ user created a video that shows Google seems to be in the early testing phases of allowing brands and businesses to join. Watch the video below.

So, as you saw in the video, when you edit your Google + profile, under both the Employer and Education fields, there is a pre-populated list of companies to choose from. Now, this could just be Google’s way of simply adding more options for users, but we all know the time for brands to join Google+ is most likely coming very, very soon.

So – what do you think, is Google+ getting ready to open the doors to brands and businesses?

Gmail Offline Available Today, Calendar & Docs Coming Soon

Author:
gmailoffline

Google made the announcement via their blog that Gmail offline is available starting today. I’m sure you’ve been in a situation, like on an airplane for instance, when you would like to check your email but you can’t due to the lack of an internet connection.

Google announced Chromebooks at Google I/O 2011 and they talked about bringing offline access to their web apps. The time has come and the roll-outs are beginning, starting today with Gmail offline.

In the coming weeks, Google Calendar and Google Docs offline will also be available, which will allow you to seamlessly switch between on and offline modes.

Here’s an explanation of the web app in regards to Gmail offline:

Gmail Offline is a Chrome Web Store app that’s intended for situations when you need to read, respond to, organize and archive email without an internet connection. This HTML5-powered app is based on the Gmail web app for tablets, which was built to function with or without web access. After you install the Gmail Offline app from the Chrome Web Store, you can continue using Gmail when you lose your connection by clicking the Gmail Offline icon on Chrome’s “new tab” page.

What about the other browsers you may ask? Google plans to offer those once they support the functionality.

Have you tried Gmail offline yet? Give it a whirl and tell us what you think.

Podcast Myth Busting

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Podcasting as a medium has been around for a long time. Podcasting, the term, was coined in 2004. Like any cool thing that’s been acknowledged by more than two people, certain myths and misunderstandings have cropped up around podcasting over the years. I’m here to dispel a few of them. Here are eight podcast myths ready to be busted!

  1. You need an iPod to listen to podcasts. No list about podcasting myths would be complete without the all-time number one. No, you don’t need an iPod. This myth is not extremely widespread anymore in my experience. With the explosion of the iPhone since 2007 and the iPad since 2010 (not to mention the slew of popular Android and Blackberry devices), the “pod” in “podcasts” isn’t quite as linked to the i”Pod” as it used to be.
  2. Podcasting has only been around since 2005 (or 2004 or 2006 or 2003). Depending on who you ask, podcasting has only been around for about six years. Some consultants use this myth as a selling point, telling potential clients that they’ve been podcasting since it was invented in 2005. While the term was coined in 2004 and support for it added to iTunes in 2005, recording and placing audio files on the internet in a serialized or chronological way has been done since at least the late ’90s. The basic ability to distribute recorded audio online has existed since the dawn of the internet (or even earlier if you consider Usenet). Nobody woke up one day in 2005 and said, “hey, I think I’ll invent doing radio-style talk shows on the internet!”
  3. Podcasters are all amateurs. Kevin Smith, Ricky Gervais, Adam Carolla, Joe Rogan, Marc Maron, Kevin Pollack, Greg Proops, ABC, NBC, CBS, Discovery, BBC, ESPN, TMZ, Science Magazine, Vanity Fair, CNN, E!, The Onion, HBO, Showtime, NPR and probably every major radio station where you live. All podcasting.
  4. Audiences expect perfect audio, like on the radio. It seems like if a person isn’t of the opinion that it’s all amateurs, then it must be all about having pefect radio-quality audio. While it’s true that it’s becoming cheaper and easier all the time to sound professional, there are many successful podcasts that are produced using nothing more than a cheap USB headset and the free Audacity recording/editing software. Moving up to pro-level podcasting hardware can improve your sound but it’s not a requirement for success.
  5. It’s expensive to produce quality audio. Let’s talk about a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 being your voice recorded through a tin can and 10 being perfection. With a $30 USB headset and free software, you can sound like a seven, maybe an eight. That’s not expensive. True, if you want to sound like a nine or a ten, you’ll need to pony up some cash, but even a budget under $1,000 can get you all the way to the top of the scale.
  6. You can’t make money with a podcast. Leo Laporte. Next?
  7. You need to listen with iTunes. Listeners have always had at least one other option in addition to iTunes: listening on the web. Podcasters have nearly always posted their episodes on their own websites for consumption. These days, it’s even more spread out with Zune, Juice, and Winamp, and phone apps like Downcast and Podceiver to name but a few.
  8. It takes too much time. Do you have an hour a week? A fifteen minute podcast with 45 minutes of pre-production and post-production can be very successful. Once you’ve gotten the hang of it, you can reduce your pre- and post-production time and spend less than half an hour on each episode. My post-production, regardless of the length of the episode, is less than 10 minutes because of the experience I have and the automation I’ve scripted. Does that sound like a lot of time? Not to me!

Those are my top eight podcasting myths. What are some that you’ve heard? Want to bust a few of ‘em up with me?

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Revenge of the Nerds: Why Baiting Your Readers is a Bad Idea

Author:

Not Alyssa Bereznak. Obviously.

I’m not ashamed to say that I’m a bit of a nerd, and right now the nerds online are all flustered over a recent Gizmodo post where blogger Alyssa Bereznak wrote some pretty offensive things about a recent online dating experience. The basis of the story is this: she went out with a guy who she deemed to be way too nerdy for her and proceeded to write an entire post making fun of the guy, even though he didn’t really do anything wrong. The “moral” of her story was that you should research a person using Google before you go out together.

Gizmodo is a popular tech gadget blog, so as you can guess, most of their readers are a lot like Alyssa’s date. The vast majority of comments on the post and the comments I’ve seen on Twitter, Facebook, etc. are negative, and many are extremely negative. There are a lot of things I personally find offensive about her post, but what I (and many others) keep coming back to is this: Why is a post dumping on nerds be allowed on a major tech blog, where most of the readers fall into the nerd category?

Some have speculated that Alyssa’s post was purposely offensive to her readers in order to drive traffic. Maybe that is the case; I don’t know. If that’s what happened, who made that choice? Alyssa? Gizmodo? Again, I don’t know.

What I do know is that baiting your readers in this manner is a bad idea.

Sometimes linkbait works, and sometimes it doesn’t – but if you’re being purposely negative, you’re playing with fire. I fully believe that you should write posts that express your opinion, even if your readers aren’t going to agree. If that makes sense for your blog, do it. But it’s a fine line to walk, because if you’re expressing an opinion simply because you want to drive traffic, that choice is going to come back to bite you. Here’s why:

  • For some people, this will be the first time they hear of you or your blog.

Who hasn’t heard of Gizmodo? It’s a huge blog, right? Well, yes…but there are definitely people who have never heard of it. Maybe this is the first you’re hearing of it – and let me ask you, what is your impression of Gizmodo? Even if you’ve heard of Gizmodo before, this might be the first time you’re hearing of Alyssa. What is your impression of her? The point is, the first experience a new reader has with you is their only experience with you. Make sure it’s a good one – or at least one that represents you well.

  • Some of your regular readers won’t be back.

If you’re being completely honest on your blog and people don’t like you and what you have to say, that’s one thing. Let them go. It’s better to have 100 readers who really “get” you than 1000 readers who feel “meh” about you. However, if you’re writing bait posts, some of your regular readers are going to stop reading your site. You don’t always have to agree with members of your community, but at least respect them enough not to stomp in their faces by making fun of them. The nerds who Alyssa offended and who may very well have been some of Gizmodo’s biggest supporters might not be back – and that’s some pretty hefty revenge for any blog.

  • Traffic spikes are just that – spikes.

Let’s say you have a post that is super helpful and goes viral. You’re going to see a huge traffic spike, which is awesome. When things calm down again, some of those people are going to stick around to read more, and even though it might be a small percentage, that’s how you build a traffic kingdom, block by block. But what if you write a post that goes viral for a negative reason, like the Gizmodo post? When things calm down, what’s the likelihood that anyone will stick around to read more? So not only do you run the risk of losing regular readers, but you also won’t gain new ones for more than a day or two. Spikes are only spikes, not sustainable.

  • It’s ethically questionable.

There’s no law that says you can only write what you 100% believe. Frankly, though, the ethics behind doing something like that are questionable about best. It’s a personal choice, I guess, but I would have a hard time sleeping at night if my name was attached to a bunch of stuff I didn’t actually believe.

Overall, I think the Gizmodo post was a really bad idea. I’m not just saying that because I was personally offended by what she wrote. I’m saying that I think it simply didn’t make sense to be posted on a site where nerds are your fanbase. Was the post purposely meant to bait readers? I don’t know. Maybe. And if so, I think it was an even worse idea. There are a lot of really positive ways to get traffic that take the same amount of effort and have much better long-term results.

Have you read the Gizmodo post? Has it changed your impression of Gizmodo or the writer? Do you think there are any benefits to baiting readers with an offensive post?

Food Blogger Finds Support from Her Online Friends

Author:
In jennies kitchen

The online world is weird if you really stop to think about it. You can become very close to someone without ever having met them in person. There are certain blogging communities that are very close and one in particular is rallying around one of their own.

I’m talking about the food bloggers, the foodies, the gals and guys who tempt us with tasty recipes and jaw dropping photos of their dishes.

Jennie, from In Jennie’s Kitchen, suddenly lost her husband at the beginning of August. He was on a bike ride and died of a heart attack. Just like that and he was gone. She recently wrote a post entitled “For Mikey” and it was about his favorite peanut butter pie.

She wrote:

As I spend Friday reflecting on the love and life that was gone in an instant, I’d like to invite all of you to celebrate his life too. Mikey loved peanut butter cream pie. I haven’t made it in a while, and I’ve had it on my to-do list for a while now.

I kept telling myself I would make it for him tomorrow. Time has suddenly stood still, though, and I’m waiting to wake up and learn to live a new kind of normal. For those asking what they can do to help my healing process, make a peanut butter pie this Friday and share it with someone you love. Then hug them like there’s no tomorrow because today is the only guarantee we can count on.

So what did her online friends and the blogging community do? They made peanut butter pies.

Ethan from TasteBetterwithFriends made Mikey’s peanut butter pie and gave it to a women’s shelter.

He wrote:

“I knew I was going to make this pie, but I felt like this was finally the time to give and share. Maybe, just maybe a group of people could bite into the decadent peanut butter and cream cheese frosting with a cookie, peanut, chocolate crust and forget their own pain for at least as long as it takes them to lick their plate clean.

I gave Mikey’s Pie to a women’s shelter.”

I absolutely love how the food blogging community is rallying around Jennie. There is currently a support fund for Jennie and her daughters that you can get involved in.

Do you have any stories of the blogging community supporting each other? We would love to hear them. And Jennie, I am making Mikey’s pie for someone I love and I’ll do as you said – hug them like there’s no tomorrow. Our thoughts are with you as you go through this time of healing.

5 Tips For Using Your Blog as Branding Tool

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When people ask me how much money I make with my blogs, it’s a hard question for me to answer. For me, the payout doesn’t just come from selling ad space or creating ebooks or any of the other typical ways bloggers make money. I also use my blog as a personal branding tool, which has helped me land some pretty sweet freelance writing clients. Blogs are great for branding in other ways as well. You could brand yourself for public speaking gigs, for example. Or you could use a blog to brand a business, not just as a personal branding tool.

“Branding” doesn’t have to lead to goals outside of your blog either. If you brand yourself well, it’s easier to find “your people” – the readers who really connect to you and your ideas. A well-branded blogger typically has more loyal fans who will, in turn, comment, subscribe, make purchases, share content, and more.

Branding is an on-going process. Just a single tweet or careless comment in a post can really hurt your brand, which is a pretty scarey notion. Don’t shy away from branding, though. Whether you like it or not, when people read/listen to/watch the content you put online, they’re forming an impression of you. You can use the following five tips to consciously help guide that opinion rather than simply posting and hoping for the best.

Tip #1: Create a mission statement.

One of the biggest problems I see for bloggers who are trying to monetize or business trying to start blogs to promote their products/services is the lack of a mission or goal. Okay, well, we know you want to make money. Everyone wants to make money. But if someone on the street came up to you and asked you why they should read your blog, you wouldn’t say, “Because I want to make money.” That’s a fast way to get the other person to turn on their heels and walk away laughing.

Sit own and write out a real mission statement. For example, for my newest venture, Blog Zombies, the mission statement is “to teach bloggers how to create better, more passionate content while still making money.” Or for a food blogger, a mission statement might be “to show people how to cook healthier food that is still tasty.” Or if you’re a small business owner with your own hair salon, your mission statement might be, “to help people feel better about themselves with a new haircut.”

Once you have a mission statement, you can refer back to that statement as you’re creating content. Does it promote your mission or add to the sense of community that mission has created? If not, it might not be a good idea for your blog.

Tip #2: Be consistent and live what you preach.

No matter what you want your brand to be, if your readers don’t think of you that way, it’s not your brand. The best way to change people’s perception of you is to be consistent. This doesn’t mean that you have to blog every day – it just means that when you do blog, you do so with the same underlying message (which goes back to the first tip, always supporting your mission statement.

A good example of this is our very own conference director, Deb Ng. I was a fan of Deb’s long before we ever had any interaction through BlogWorld, and her branding is extremely consistent. She doesn’t throw temper tantrums. She does he best not to alienate any one group, even if her opinions are opposing. She’s super helpful and friendly. Deb is a calm, reliable, community-minded blogger – and she has been for as long as I’ve read her blogs. Now that I know her in person? Of course she gets frustrated. Of course she dislikes certain groups of people or even certain individuals. Of course she can curse like a sailor when mad (sorry, Deb, you’re secret is out, hehe). Those things are true of all of us! But online, she’s consistent with the friendly, helpful image she portrays, and I do believe that’s part of the reason she’s so successful. If she vented every single frustration online, people would have a very different view of her.

If you’re a business owner hiring people to write for your blog or run your social media, this tip is especially important. Yes, you can have employees who are “real” and unafraid to show a little personality, but it is important to hire people who are consistent with your brand (or the brand you want).

It comes down to practicing what you preach. We all realize that a person’s brand doesn’t reflect every single aspect of their lives, but if there’s a complete disconnect, it’s going to wear away at your brand over time. I think it was Brian Clark who said, at BlogWorld 2010, that being authentic online is not about being yourself but being the best version of yourself. I’m paraphrasing, but the idea is that the brand you put forth online might not be you completely, but it should still be you. I like to think of a blog as a mirror (hence the picture) – a reflection isn’t exactly the same as real life, but it’s still fairly accurate.

Tip #3: Support your brand with stories.

It’s no grand secret in the blogging world that story-telling is an awesome tool for content creation. People like to feel like they’re getting to know you, and the best way they can do that in many cases is for you to tell stories about your personal life. I’ve seen some bloggers do this in a bit of an odd way, though. You shouldn’t just tell stories for the sake of telling stories (even if you have a really funny/heartwarming/etc story to tell). You should use your story to support your brand.

List out five to ten words that you hope come to mind when people hear your name or your company name. Narrow it down to the top one or two that are most important to you – and think of a story you can use to illustrate how you are that characteristics. For example, maybe you want people to think of you as someone with great determination. You could tell the story of your latest rock-climbing adventure and how you kept going even though you didn’t think you were going to make it.

Now here’s the tricky part – it still has to make sense for your niche. If you write about parenting, a rock-climbing story might not necessarily fit in. This is where I like to use metaphors. How is rock-climbing like parenting? Write a post about that! Or, instead of a metaphor, think about how the topic can make sense for your audience’s needs. Write a tip post on how to get kids started with rock climbing, for example In both cases, you still get that little branding plug in there by showing your determination, but you’ve also created a post that is relevant to your readers.

Tip #4: Go viral.

The term viral means something very specific on the online world, and no matter how good of a job you do, you can’t guarantee something will catch on. But let’s take a minute and think about what the word viral implies – that the content you create spreads like a virus does in the human body.

You might not be able to control whether or not your content goes viral in the traditional sense, but you can “go viral” with your branding. The branding work you do needs to spread like a virus from your blog to all of your “outposts” – Facebook, Twitter, Google+, wherever you are online. Good branding is not just about being consistent with your message. It is also about being consistent with your logo, your picture, the colors you use, and so forth. Wherever people can find you, they should automatically recognize you.

As a side tip? Make it easy to be found. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve visited someone’s blog and they had no information posted as to where to find them on social media sites. If you have a business, your blog should also very clearly link back to your retail site if you have one. Don’t make your readers Google it – because most times, they won’t.

Tip #5: Pay attention to how your blog is designed.

Lastly, if you’re going to use a blog to boost your personal or business brand, take some time to consider how the blog is designed. Aesthetically, there are certain colors and looks that reflect certain personality traits. You want to match. For example, think how weird it would be to meet a girl with a mohawk at a punk show and go to her house only to see that the walls are painted light pink with a wallpaper border featuring cats and frilly lace curtains. It just doesn’t make sense. Think of your blog as your online apartment and decorate it to match your online personality (aka – your brand).

Remember, quality is important too. No matter how else you’re branding yourself, if your blog is hard to navigate and has tons of glitches, people are going to start to associate you with low-quality work even if you have great content. You might be a sarcastic political blogger or a frank, authoritative music blogger or a friendly tech blogger or a funny travel blogger or…well, you get the idea…you might be any of those brands or something completely different; no one wants to give others the impression that what they do is low quality.

So, those are my best five tips for using your blog as a branding tool, whether you’re building a personal brand or branding your business (or both!). Your turn to share you best blog branding tips – leave a comment.

#BlogChat Comes to BlogWorld

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A few weeks ago we hinted some awesome new content was coming to BlogWorld LA and now it’s finally time to spill the beans on one of those secret projects we’ve been working on…

Mack Collier is bringing the popular #BlogChat to BlogWorld (but instead of online, it’s going to be LIVE) and you’ve got an opportunity to choose the topic!

In case you’re not familiar with it, #BlogChat is Mack’s weekly Twitter chat. Every Sunday at 8:00 p.m. EST, Mack brings a variety of guests and topics of interest to bloggers for an interactive online discussion on Twitter, and it’s extremely popular. So popular, that he sometimes brings his #Blogchats to select conferences to have live discussions with standing-room-only crowds.

Rather than write up a quick little announcement paragraph, I thought it would be fun to interview Mack, so he could talk about #BlogChat in his own words, and he was very gracious about answering my questions.

Deb:  Why do you like to do live #Blogchats – what is the major difference between them and Twitter chats (besides people in the seats)


Mack:
One of the few drawbacks to #Blogchat on Twitter is that it’s so big that you can only see a fraction of the tweets.  But with a Live #Blogchat, it’s a small group so everyone can participate and build off of each other’s points.  It really does lead to wonderful discussions and I think a Live #Blogchat is a fabulous complement to an event such as Blog World Expo, because attendees have been learning so much from the amazing speakers and panelists, then a Live #Blogchat gives them a chance to share what they have learned.  With a Live #Blogchat, the participants really are the stars!

Deb: Will you have a specific topic for this #Blogchat, or is it a surprise?


Mack:
That’s a good question!  Obviously there are several topics that are always popular with #Blogchat participants.  But I think we need to find a way to let BlogWorld attendees pick the topic, maybe we could let them vote for their favorite topic on blogworld.com?


Deb: What do you hope the attendees will take away from the live #BlogChat.


Mack:
One of the things that I think will be a pleasant surprise for attendees of the Live #Blogchat is that it’s a fabulous chance to meet and connect with other smart people.  We’ll have a chance to meet everyone before we start, then during the chat we’ll be bouncing ideas off each other and connecting.  As much as I love Twitter and other social media tools, there’s no substitute for ‘in real life’ interactions, and Live #Blogchat is a wonderful way to not only learn more about blogging, but to also expand your network by meeting some really smart people!

As Mack mentioned, we’re inviting the BlogWorld community to pick the topic for our live #BlogChat.  In fact, Mack provided us with a list of his most popular #BlogChat topics, for you to choose from.

Tell us in the comments which of these you most want to discuss.

1 – How do you build engagement and get more comments on your blog?
2 – What’s the best way to handle negative comments on your blog?
3 – How do you create a strategy for your blog?
4 – What should you post about on your blog?
5 – How do you use other social media sites (Twitter, Facebook, Plus) to grow your blog?

Indicate (by number) the topic you feel BlogWorld attendees will benefit from most. We’ll announce the winning topic when we turn the tables on Mack on September 14th at 9:00 p.m. EST, when he’s our guest on #BWEChat.

We have some more good news coming up. Stay tuned to this blog, plus Twitter, Facebook and the BlogWorld forum for more announcements.

 

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