Friday, April 4, 2008

BlogHer Business Conference 2008 Day 2 3:00 - 4:15: Beyond Blogging

Title: Beyond Blogging

Track: Social Media Creation Best Practices 

Synopsis: Can companies leverage apps like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and on and on? Or are they destined to be considered "creepies"? Apps like these hold tremendous promise, but most of us feel like we're flailing about in uncharted waters. We'll talk with a few folks who have managed to catch lightning in a jar and find a way to authentically generate interest, community and even viral buzz...using these social networking and micro-blogging tools. 

Anna Farmery has focused all of her marketing efforts in social media and seen real results. 65% of her 2007 income can be tracked to contacts who found her via her podcast. Moreover her client base used to include zero customers outside the UK, while now 40% of her customers are global. Adding social networks and microblogging to the mix is only amping up her results even further. Anna will be moderating the discussion with these other power-users. 

Connie Reece is one of the women behind the recent Frozen Peas Fund phenomenon on Twitter. This is an amazing story of social media in positive action. Dawn Foster manages Developer Relations for Jive Software and is an active organizer of the thriving Portland tech community. Between those two jobs she finds using Facebook, Twiiter, Blip.TV and other social apps to be instrumental in helping her foster and maintain engaged communities. 

Shay Pausa is a video expert who can speak to best practices on everything from content to technology to distribution. 

Finally Trisha Okubo can answer that all-important question: Is it worth it for your company to create a Facebook application? She has created three in her role at eBay and has a lot of learnings to share. These are real people representing real companies making real things happen via these tools. It's not all playing around!


Live Blog Post Begins:

A panel full of web stars!!

Connie – uses Twitter to promote her work.

Dawn is a community specialist. On-line and link to real world communities. 

Trisha – a disruptive innovator. 

Shay – Executive producer of “She Knows TV.” A video expert.

Anna – podcaster and blogger. Founded a company called “The Engaging Brand”.

Shay – really important to know that there is so much user-generated video content out there. Recognize that what is looked and what people virally syndicate is the story itself. Now everyone can be a video producer. 

Anna – The thought of producing a video is daunting. 

Shay – what TV through a different eye – watch what they’re shooting. Any guest is only on for seconds at a time. With a series of pictures, you can put together story. This is as sample as getting some movie software. Add visuals to what you’re already writing. 

Anna – does video suit everyone?

Shay – Watch TV and see what you’ll need to produce on the net. There’s a video component that works for everyone. You just don’t want to be boring. Yes everyone has a book in them, but who wants to read it? It’s an important thing to look at. 

Anna – I know how to press record, now what do I do when I get home. 

Shay – need come software to capture it. Pinnacle is a very inexpensive product. Can download for $29.95 onto computer. And then you drag and drop, and cut and chop, to edit. Very easy to use. 

Shay – good sites to publish video are Voxin, Bright Cove (SEO friendly), You Tube, videos on My Space. The general ones you know are good. I recommend Bright Cove. Distribution is phenomenal. Video bio make people feel like they know you – don’t script it. Make it real. 

Michael Eisner said, “The reason that TV production companies are having a tough time on the internet is because it’s difficult to monetize the internet. Networks need 4 people to do craft services. Internet takes 4 people to do the whole project.”

TV production is too cost prohibitive. On-line video is much cheaper. Shay’s site is (4th largest site for women). She owns

All profiles are on the BlogHer website. 

Trisha – works in eBay’s disruptive innovation group. Has been exploring commerce in Facebook. You can learn form mistakes quickly, easily, and cheap. Created my eBay on Facebook to see what friends on Facebook bought. People go to Facebook to hang out, not shop. Shopping is not the reason for going there. More value in putting social aspect on commerce site. Vice versa doesn’t work so well.  

Dawn – can write code and was a developer once. And now has a social and community aspect as well.  Really know your audience and how to reach them. Give them a chance to participate. Done a lot of work in nonprofit area. Can promote events virally. Bring in as many as 800 people advertising on Twitter and Facebook. Incredible response!

Trisha – metrics for Facebook were how many people joined the community. Comments are more valuable though. Some sellers had a community that buys form them on eBay on their Facebook page. 

Connie – tapped into a community that she knew to tell a personal story through twitter. Frozen Pea Fund. Very active in Twitter. She is a social media consultant. Her business partner, Susan, and she met on-line. They were about to launch a company and Susan learned that she had breast cancer. Very serious. Immediate operation. A lot of pain. And Susan took a picture of herself with frozen peas as an ice pack. She shared it all on-line. Her blog was called Someone else put a pkg of frozen peas as their avatar and then the peas went viral. 

A comedian, Kathleen, suggested that wouldn’t it be great if all women donated the cost of a pack of frozen peas to a breast cancer nonprofit. Built flickr group, built pea-vatars. December 21st the frozen pea fund launched. $3500 raised in 15 hours from 3 continents. Raised $8000 in the next few months. 

A journalist tracked her down through Twitter to do a story. All done with no organization, no planning. Here’s a compelling story. Everyone knows someone with breast cancer. Especially men come out to meet Susan every time she appears in public. They trust her even though they only know her on-line. It’s like a reunion to meet people on-line. There is a real community out there.

Anna – how can commerce use Twitter?    

Connie – you have to be careful. You have to limit the use of twitter to make sure you don’t wear out your welcome. She never talks about anything she can’t endorse. You only have so much social capital. So be careful how you use it. The community will give you feedback. When forwarding links, make sure to include a headline.

Trisha – recommends a Profile Page over a Facebok page on Facebook. Put a person behind the page, not just the business. Make it human. Gives context. What can you do for the community on Facebook rather than always thinking vice versa. 

Connie – Facebook sometimes isn’t the best place for companies. Explore social networks where your target audience is. All social networks are not created equal. 

Trisha – aspirational brands, brands that don’t belong, brands that people directly relate to. Go to the network that best speaks to the kind of brand you are. 

Dawn – make sure there is conversation that doesn’t necessarily relate to your brand to make the profile authentic.     

Anna – About 70% of my business comes from my blog and podcast. Facebook didn’t work for me. My customers weren’t there. They want to deal directly with me, not all my other customers. 

Connie – lifespan of something on Twitter is very short. Not as effective as it once was. 

Trisha – There will be another Facebook. Friendfeed is great, it centralizes all your data. It allows you to take all of your services across the web and puts them all together. 

Dawn – Friendfeed is an aggregator and fragments the conversation. 

Connie – something beyond Twitter is coming soon. Sesmic just bought up Twirl this week. Utters is great because it’s portable. But threading these conversations and keeping track is tough.   

Dawn – Some of these social networks are generational. Twitter is 30-somethings. Facebook is college and older. I wonder if our next social network will be centered around another generation. It will be fun to see what happens. 

Connie – ConnieReece on Twitter. is the blog. Frozen

Dawn - Geekygirldawn,

Trisha –

Anna – the, on Twitter as Engaging Brand.

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