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Big Media Publishers Finally Getting In On The Conversation

Quietly, but surely, many online publications are beginning to enable conversations. By this I mean, sites like ESPN.com and online newspapers are enabling comments at the end of their digital content.

How smart is this? VERY.

Look at this story on ESPN about my beloved Browns. So far, this little story has generated over 100 comments. They call this “Espn conversations” and it’s in beta.

A Real-Time view of Conversations on ESPN.com

And it truly is a conversation. The main conversation page is an ajax updated page of comments that are flowing into the site.

Even my local Cleveland.com site is getting into the action. This story is an example (scroll down for comments). Now, instead of just “listening” to the writer’s thoughts, we can now converse with them and other readers.

Pretty, pretty smart for media companies to finally figure this out. I find that I spend as much as 50% longer on these sites leafing through the comments, when before without comments I would read and leave as quick as possible.

Of course, all of us in the blog world have known this for years. Finally big media begins to catch up.

New BUMPzee Community Launched Today: How To Be Successful Online

You all know how much I love BUMPzee! Well, I love it even more now that I was chosen as one of the select few to manage my very own community while it’s still in beta. So what community did I make?

bzheaderlogo1.pngIntroducing the ‘How To Be Successful Online’ BUMPzee Community

Bookmark this: http://www.bumpzee.com/onlinesuccess/

What is the community all about?

The How To Be Successful Online community is for anyone who is interested in learning how to be successful on the Internet. The blogs and members of this community will focus on and discuss the world of Internet marketing, professional blogging and making money online. Join today for free, or submit your related blog for free as well.

That description you just read is really what JimKukral.com is all about, and many, many others like it that I read every day. Like those blogs, I don’t write about one topic like affiliate marketing only, but rather, I focus on writing about all types of online marketing, with the specific goal of trying to help businesses, brands and individuals be successful online.

Do you fit that mold? Are you someone who’s looking for more information about how to be successful online? Join the community for free!

Do you have a blog that talks about ways to be successful online? Submit your blog to the community for free!

FYI. I’ve preloaded the community with about 14 blogs, listed below (in no particular order & if I missed your blog, I’m sorry, just go add it).

If your blog is on the list below, go sign up and claim your blog, and most importantly, add the bump widget to your entries and sidebar. If your blog isn’t in the list below, what are you waiting for, submit it!

Not sure about BUMPzee yet. Read this.

Super Affiliate Marketing Blog
Earners Blog
Revenews
WaynePorter.com
Shoe Money
CostPerNews
Graywolf’s SEO Blog
Copyblogger
Andy Wibbels
Aaron Wall’s SEO Book.com
The Blog Herald
Ask the Blogger!
901am
ProBlogger Blog Tips
Jim Kukral Online Marketing Ideas

Oh yeah, and make sure to check out the other new beta BUMPzee community managed by CostPerNews’s Sam Harrelson.

Called “Next Gen Marketing”. In a nutshell, this community on BUMPzee will serve as an aggregator of blogs and insights focusing on developing trends and emerging tactics to address the rising tide of social media, attention economies and “web2.0″ platforms. It should be fun to see the discussions which arise there.

There’s also some new interface changes at BUMPzee too, so check it out!

Online Conversations & Business Blogging Insights From The Void

Hugh from Gapingvoid.com summarizes a talk he gave to the fabled PR agency Edelman.

bloggingthist.jpgThese 16 learning points pretty much sum up all intelligent thought on business blogging, online conversations and more. Do yourself a favor, click here, go read it and thank me later.

My favorite tidbits?

5. The growth will come, I believe, not by yet more increased efficiencies, but by humanification. For example, take two well-known airlines. They both perform a useful service. They both deliver value. They both cost about the same to fly to New York or Hong Kong. Both have nice Boeings and Airbuses. Both serve peanuts and drinks. Both serve “airline food”. Both use the same airports. But one airline has friendly people working for them, the other airline has surly people working for them. One airline has a sense of fun and adventure about it, one has a tired, jaded business-commuter vibe about it. Guess which one takes the human dimension of their business more seriously than the other? Guess which one still will be around in twenty years? Guess which one will lose billions of dollars worth of shareholder value over the next twenty years? What parallels do you see in your own industry? In your own company?

Indeed. How true is that? Which business are you? Think, be realistic. Which business do you want to be?

7. Blogging is not about reaching a mass audience. Blogging is not about creating yet another sales channel. Blogging is about allowing “The Smarter Conversation” to happen.

Why do some companies lose, while other companies win? Because the latter has a smarter “conversation” with its customers. Pret-A-Manger has a smarter conversation about food than Burger King. Starbuck’s came along 20 years ago and began a smarter conversation about coffee with millions of people within a very short space of time. Wal-Mart’s massive growth started from a smarter conversation about prices. Savile Row tailor, Thomas Mahon came along and, with his blog, had a smarter conversation about $4000 English bespoke suits.

Blogs allow you to cheaply and quickly begin a smarter conversation. And once you get it going, that conversation starts bleeding out into all other areas of your business- including advertising, PR and corporate communications.

Again, how true is this? This is the first thing I tell business blogging customers when I consult… We’re going to create a conversation, and that conversation is going to get you more customers, traffic and publicity then you can imagine, if we do it right.

If you are worried about what people might say about your company, you’re worrying about something you cannot control, because it’s happening, right now, online, whether you like it or not. The question for you is, are you going to control that conversation, or just let it happen without you?

It’s a brave new world out there. I’ve been setting up and building business blogs for over 4 years now. Back then, I didn’t think you had to have one. Today, however, I think it’s like a website. It’s a requirement. It’s expected. At least it should be.

Don’t have a blog yet? Not creating conversations with your customers? It’s time to get in the game, because you know what?

Your competitors are going to beat you to the conversation, and then they’ll control it leaving you playing blog catch up.

bloggingconsultant4388.png

You Want Short-Term Traffic, Or Long-Term Trust & Respect For Your Blog?

Here’s your Kukral blog tip o’ the day. You can’t fake or quick-hit your way into being a “big time blog”. There is no quick road other than to provide high-quality content consistently over time, while building respect and trust.

Here’s what you shouldn’t do, and I’m sorry to have to do this because I recently added this blog to my blogroll because I noticed it was everything I mentioned above. Yet now, it’s going down a path that won’t work for me.

Sorry Mark at 45n5.com, but you are losing me. Here’s why.

#1 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Blog Attacks With No Merit

You attacked a respected industry person without merit. Now don’t get me wrong, attacking respected industry people is something I have done as well, and it works. However, you can ONLY do it when you’re right and can back up your case. What you’re claiming to Sam is crapola, and a very transparent attempt to get yourself some controversial traffic.

The problem is, again, controversial traffic is great, if you can back up your points, and you’re only concerned about short-term hits. If you want long-term readers, this is not the way to go.

45n5.jpg#2 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Don’t Try To Fool Your Readers

You’re gaming your stats to try and fool me and your readers. So, all of a sudden your blog is ranked #1 in Alexa, you charge $10k for a Reviewme review, and you have 368k feed subscribers? We all know how to game those stats and that’s what you did. Your sitemeter stats show you have 73 visits a day.

I ask why? What do you gain by trying to fool readers into believing something that isn’t true? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that deception is successful marketing and branding, it’s not.

Advice: Decide What You Want Your Blog To Be & Stick With It

Then live with the consequences of your choice. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to hyper-grow your readership though some of the oldest blog tricks in the book. Believe me, I know, because I’ve used them all, and they work, however, excessive over-use of them will define what your blog and you become.

Know what I’ve learned since having been blogging since 2001? Long term, that strategy won’t work, assuming you want to build a long-term brand and trust level in your community. Chose wisely is all I’m saying.

I’m hoping to keep you on my blogroll because until today your blog was winning with me. What’s it gonna be?

Online Marketing Idea: Keep The Conversations Alive On Non-Blog Content

What if you have a blog, and a website? I know, it sounds so archaic, believe me, I know. But even blogging geeks like me still sometimes have “non-blog” pages as part of their blogs, or, have pages that were created years and years ago before the blog ate the main part of the site.

The problem with those old pages is that they aren’t interactive without comments, right? It’s foolish to not attempt to keep the conversation alive, even on old non-blog content. How can we solve this issue?

One solution would be to convert your old static html pages over to blog entries and back date them. That’s a lot of work. Or, instead, you can find an easier way to bring the comments to your static html.

Check out an amazingly simple, yet very powerful script I found last fall called Js-Kit.com.

JS-Kit.com allows you to add dynamic functionality to your own site.

It doesn’t get much simpler than that does it?

Want to see it action? I made up a sample static html page that has a YouTube video on it. Then I inserted the simple line of code below the video, saved the page, and wella!, instant comments.

Try it for yourself, visit this page and leave a comment. If you use your real email address, it even sends you updated when anyone else comments.

Techcrunch has an archived write up if you want to read more.