Category Archives: Uncategorized

Creating an Engaging Blog

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After reading Rowse’s ‘9 Signs of an Effective Blog’ I knew the first thing I had to do was change my background.  As much as I loved the simplicity of the one I has before, it was much too plain and did not actually encourage readers to become engaged and want to read.  I picked a theme I really love and feel like it captures the eye.  Also, it makes additional menus very easy to see as I need to add more. 

Also, I updated my About page so that people would have a better feel for me.  I wanted people to have an understanding as to why I am blogging now.  As I become more and more involved with blogging, I want to continue to make updates to progress with me. 

While I am currently blogging for purely educational purposes, I hope to become more comfortable with it and start sharing my viewpoint on various issues and ideas so keep checking in with me!

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Effective Blogging

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When comparing Solar Wind & Energy – http://www.altsolarandwind.com/ to the steps laid out by Darren Rowse, I found that the blog missed the mark a little for me in some areas but mostly because I was not drawn in. The blog does very clearly state what the reader will be reading about and follows up with that. The blog seems full of information, but I also feel a little overwhelmed. Sites like this one turn me away because it seems like there is just too much going on so I move on.

Also, the blog only seems to have recently been updated twice since April. Hopefully they will continue to post for those that are interested in their blog. If people do not maintain a sense of recency, they will forget about the blog completely.

However, I do appreciate that the blogger made an About Me page to give people insight as to why he is claiming to have knowledge about solar and wind energy. Plus, it makes me want to like him and want to read his stuff. Knowing his background and passion, I feel like I can believe and trust him. For me, however, it does not hold my attention for long.

Twitterers to Follow

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For my three Sustainability Twitterers, I chose:

Jacob McPherson.  For me, his headline caught my eye: On the forefront of evolving cultural intersections created when music, fashion, art, and technology blend.  It seems very forward and “now.”  Looking over his recent tweets, it seems like his very active in cross-promoting with Sustainability being the focus.

Oat Shoes.  While they are not here in America yet, these shoes seem pretty awesome.  One of their recent tweets sent me to their Facebook showing a photo shoot done recently and I loved all of it!  It will be interesting to watch them grow as a company.

Green Energy News.  Like most people, I am following them because they are basically the main collection of green news.  It seems like the most up-to-date news topics and has everything in one centralized location.

LinkedIn

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Ok, I thought I was involved with social media.  I feel like I am so far behind.  I made a LinkedIn profile last year when I was in sales.  I only used it to look at people’s profiles before I had appointments with them so I could have a pretty good idea of what they were like.  I HAD NO IDEA HOW COOL IT WAS!  I thought it was only for fuddy-duddies, but I am wrong!  I love it!  I had to make a new profile and am going to test-drive this and start testing out all of the features.  I am just now playing with it so I don’t have any connections yet (sad day…but add me!).  Since I started this post, I have even started downloading the app on my phone…Which of course was prompted automatically because I confirmed the email on my Blackberry.  Oh technology…always connected. 

Love this link:  http://linkedintelligence.com/smart-ways-to-use-linkedin/.  This will definitely give me a good direction on my new social media outlet.

And this one:http://blog.guykawasaki.com/2007/01/ten_ways_to_use.html#axzz1TbgDi5tf.

I feel like I need to finish this blog before I start playing on LinkedIn because I have a feeling it’s going to absorb a lot of time.  I will be giving updates on how I’m doing!

Purpose Driven Campaign

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More and more, companies are jumping on board with purpose driven campaigns.  Companies have started to become more active (or more vocal) about green initiatives and what they are doing to give back to the community.  However, there can also be many cons to running one of these campaigns.

Pros:

Almost any attention is good attention.  When companies can get there name in the public’s mindset, they are more likely to be remembered and shared with others.  Purpose driven campaigns can push people to support the company just because they are involved in a good cause.  Let’s use TOMS for an example.  I would never spend $60 for linen shoes just because I thought they were somewhat cute.  However, knowing that my pair of shoes will allow somebody else to have shoes too pushes me to go ahead and buy them.  TOMS has even started a sunglasses line, http://www.toms.com/eyewear/, that does one for one by using the money to pay for glasses or even basic eye surgery.  While the sunglasses are more than I would ever pay ($135 for the ones I like if anybody wants to help myself and somebody else in need.  Haha) because I lose them, I know other people are tempted too because they know the purchase could benefit somebody else.  Customers are more likely to form strong ties with companies that share the same values as them. 

Cons:

While any publicity is good publicity, sometimes it’s a double-edged sword.  Often times, companies get involved with controversial charities.  Unfortunately, we still live in a world where people will not support companies that seem to uphold certain beliefs by which charities they work with.  Also, many companies get back-lash from not doing the support themselves.  Like the “Digital Death” campaign done by Alicia Keys, http://freshsqueezeddaily.net/?p=286, was focused on donations by her fans, yet not by herself.

Multi-Generation

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For my interview, I went to one of my closest friends and former co-workers. She is also part of the Baby Boomer generation and could easily be my Grandmother.

Being from generations so far apart (I am from the young end of Generation Y) we obviously have had very different experiences growing up. I have always had computers easily accessible to me and used it for my information. We had a huge encyclopedia set in our play room, but it was more for show than anything. I would go online to find out information or even Encarta, but never the encyclopedias. Joyce, however, did not even have an encyclopedia set to look at. Her learning was all done in a traditional school setting. Using the, http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/magazine/05ws/generations.htm article, I do agree on some of the workplace characteristics. Showing similarities, Joyce and I are both team players and like to participate in decisions. Unfortunately, I know that she has little balance with her work and personal and works just for the paycheck. I, with the rest of my generation, feel like we can get the paycheck and also find a lot of fulfillment and personal gain out of our positions. I have left well-paying jobs because I did not feel satisfied at the end of the day. I know a Boomer like Joyce would never do that. With communication style, Joyce usually wanted to communicate face to face with whoever she was speaking to. I, on the other hand, will just send a message and assume they will read it. Joyce is motivated more by money than I. Of course I know that money is important and I have had to work very hard to get it, I also strive for the ability to work with other people that are “bright” and “creative.”

When using social media, Joyce and I have pretty similar thoughts but she does not realize just how much social media has to offer. I have grown under the impression that the Internet is FULL of an over-abundant amount of information. Joyce is still pretty limited because of what she has been exposed to. In the doctor’s office we worked at together, however, we agreed that social media was not the best option. We worked at an Internal Medicine clinic in Stillwater, Oklahoma where very few of our patients had even used a computer. I remember a student; essentially he was an intern, trying to talk to us about the benefits of a website and online advertising. Unfortunately, even after many attempts and way too much money, the physician decided to pull the plug because he finally realized that our patients just were not affected by it

Online/Offline Media

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http://www.charlestonparksconservancy.org/

http://www.womma.org/casestudy/examples/create-an-evangelism-program/charleston-parks-conservancy-b/

I LOVE this idea!  I wish all towns had a website like this to allow the community members to help out with parks.  I like that it shows upcoming events and is well organized.  I do wish they were a little more active in their blogs…They seem to get the ball rolling for a few days and then slack off for a few weeks.  Even beyond the website, “Park Angels” can wear attire purchased from the website.  The site was meant to create a raised awareness about the parks and it seems to be doing that.  The site allows a simple way for people to feel connected and make their city more beautiful at the same time.  To futher increase their presence, I hope they have information present at all of the parks directing people to the website.

http://www.randombuzzers.com/

Randomhouse Buzzers is a website geared to the teen reader.  It gives them an outlet to discuss books with other people their own age and, in many cases, talk with the author.  Random House knew that more and more teens were spending their time online and wanted to focus on that.  Following this direction, they created an online community just for the teen readers.  Creating a dedicated community, Random House was able to get teens to feel like they could spend their leisure time online talking about reading and writing.  The site also gives them sneak peeks and interactive games of upcoming books and movies.  I think it’s a great way to capitalize on the social media market since the younger generations are more likely to grow up with that exposure.  They could probably expand their audience by trying to get into the schools with a more physical presence.  Rather than just having authors speak on their site, maybe they could have readers submit blog posts competing for their school to get a special appearance.

http://overtonecomm.blogspot.com/2008/04/case-study-roi-of-social-media-campaign.html

The Sea World case study was a somewhat different spin on social media marketing.  Similar to the others, it was trying to get buzz before the ride opened but focused on a market that I was a little thrown off by.  When I think Sea World, I think families instead of adventure seeking roller coaster riders.  Sea World realized this was the perception too and wanted a campaign that would bring in different crowds than they were used to.  I’m glad they chose that market, however, because it seemed to pay off for them by reducing costs compared to television and increased revenue.  By taking advantage of bloggers that were fans of roller coasters, they knew they could create a pretty strong buzz early on.  Even after the blogs were busy talking about Journey to Atlantis,  they continued to follow up with more traditional tactics such as a media day.

For all three campaigns, I think they all created a presence with a target market that they might not have been able to reach before.  By allowing viewers to further participate in park clean-ups, book suggestions, and riding a new roller coaster, they were able to further strengthen the bond with their customers.