Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Just more of the same?

What's the biggest barrier to entry for new bloggers? I've heard from many that it's the concern about being able to generate new content that people want to read.


Blogging is way to get involved with the online community and offer new thoughts or ideas, instead of simply consuming the vast amounts of information thrown at you by the Internet. Often people (or companies) are more concerned with simply dipping a toe into the world of social media instead of wondering whether they actually have something worthwhile to contribute. To quote Seth Godin, "The question to ask isn't, 'but how does this help me?'" But "what can I offer to the conversation to help the community?" (not a direct quote).

  • To companies that want to publish a blog just because they hear it's the next new thing: give it up. People really don't care about your thinly-veiled attempts to promote a product or service by writing a blog post. Google's blog gets huge amounts of traffic because Google has figured out a way to provide content through that vehicle that can't be found anywhere else.
  • Fast Company published a great article this month about the hundreds of top brand-name companies that opened a presence in Second Life before figuring out the community and how they were going to genuinely contribute to it. Now all these companies have reevaluated their involvement and are coming at this world with a renewed sense of contribution to the discussion.
The amount of reposted information that I'm confronted with daily is staggering. Not just from news sites and online aggregators, but from individual bloggers that just want to drive traffic to their sites without providing their own spin on topics. If 50 of your closest friends want to post about the new Gmail developments, wouldn't you be interested in reading what their different takes are -- as opposed to just saying "look at the new Gmail developments!"?

Please, say something new and interesting, or just stay out of the conversation.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Apartment Hunting

When advertising a rental apartment on Craigslist, most landlords are now trying to incorporate typical marketing practices to entice applicants. However despite their best efforts, they still miss the point and end up making it tougher for a potential tenant to find their place.

Some things apartment advertisers should realize:
  1. Your "amazing" apartment is just like 50 other ones in the same area around the same price point. If you can't tell me why I should want to live there, then I assume I probably don't.
  2. Using CAPS text, overly-promotional language, or unbelievable claims in your description will just turn me off -- not to your apartment, but to you as a landlord... How could I possibly believe all your claims?
  3. Telling me a fake rent cost will only delay my losing interest in your place. If I'm shopping for an apartment, chances are pretty good that I'm looking for one in a specific budget range. And I've set that budget in Craigslist's search options. And there are 50 other apartments that are just as nice as yours for the price I want to pay. (See #1) Don't waste my time or yours by lying.
  4. I'll never look at any online listing (Craigslist, eBay, etc) that doesn't have pictures. It's not that I don't believe that you're telling the truth -- it's that I don't have the patience to read through an entire description of an apartment that hasn't gotten me excited visually first. Besides, if you don't have time to take high quality pictures to promote your property, then why would I think that you're going to have the time to devote to your tenants' needs?
  5. Speaking of pictures... show me what I want to see in the pictures (kitchen, bathroom, etc). Don't waste my time with pictures of the outside of the building, the club house (who cares), or the surrounding neighborhood. Oh, and definitely don't try to hide any cons about the apartment. I'll see them when I come out to view the apartment and if they're significant enough for you to want to hide them in the pictures, then they're significant enough for me to not want your apartment.
  6. Spend a second to think about how I'm going to search for your apartment and provide me with a posting title that will let me know if it's something I'm interested in. If I'm searching for apartments downtown, I'm not going to be interested in apartments that are "only 45 minutes from downtown."

Thursday, September 11, 2008

I'm Baaaack!

Yeah -- remember when I said that I'm going to write more on this blog? That I had tons of different thoughts, ideas, and rants?

Yeah, looks like I blew that one.

So here I am, trying to get back into blogging. Anybody want to place bets on whether I can maintain any sort of regularity this time?

But, if you're the one person who reads this blog, then you probably care about marketing -- specifically marketing by leveraging an online community.

So you should know about the upcoming Interact show. It's going to have a ton of people presenting that have really helped shaped this type of marketing.

I'm planning on attending John Bell's presentation -- I've been reading his blog for a while and am excited to hear him speak in person (according to his Twitter page, he's usually at conferences all over the world -- and not in DC).

Some Cool Notables:
Large Hadron Rap
Steve Jobs quells fears that he is dead

The Motley Fool has a Twitter page. I'm going to devote an entire post to this, but it's cool to see how we're paving the way for how media companies can use these type of sites.

Friday, January 4, 2008

A Couple Updates

I'm trying. I really am. It's hard to keep updating a blog when you no longer have a whole lot of free time. As a Fool, I find that I have a lot less free time on my hands to devote to commenting about the marketing world. This is good. I have my hands into all sorts of exciting things over here at FoolHQ.

Meanwhile, I'm making a real effort to continue updating my Twitter account as well as continuing to share stories that I find in my daily readings through Google Reader.

So stay tuned! I have so many ideas, thoughts, and comments each day that some of them are bound to leap out of my mind and into this blog.

Thanks for continuing to read!