“The Internet is the Ultimate Bullshit Meter” Bob Buch Vice President of Business Development at Digg

April 2, 2009

According to Bob Buch, vice president of business development at Digg, baking chocolate chip cookies is the perfect Metaphor for web publishers to better integrate social media.  I don’t really think it’s the best metaphor, but Bob gave away free cookies at the end of his talk, and for that, and that alone I decided to follow him on Twitter @bobbuch , kidding.  However,  I’m not kidding about the metaphor.  So I’m just going to share the hugely useful tips and tricks he offered throughout his dynamic talk instead of working off his suggested Cookie metaphor.  Forgive my poetic license. digg-logo-heart-lg1

SHARING–  Buch started off by saying that the best advice for a publisher with high quality content is “if you love something, set it free”. Just get it out there, people will come back to your site 100 fold.  He went on to describe that a homepage story on Digg that your reader loves  will send from 20,000 to 200,000 clicks.   A big mistake that a lot of publishers make is that they offer too many options to share the publishers content, so Buch advises that “Less is more”  don’t overdo the sharing options.

img_0048INTEGRATION – Not every publisher can be great at everything so Buch advices to integrate using social sites like Facebook. Leverage their platform for profile photos if that’s not your core competency. Using Facebook Connect Digg publishers have seen registration rise 30-100%,  and engagement up 15-80%

Time Magazine’s Digg widget outperforming their own “top story” selection. People seem to be drawn in by other opinions and feel that the title stories for Time may have some bias due to larger font, and placement in the publication.

PEOPLE– Buch advised that publishers hire someone who is familiar with social media and can decipher the following ROFLCopter, LMAO, PWND, Noob.  If you can’t, than apparently you’re a Noop.  I have to confess I didn’t know what a ROFLCopter was until Buch offered.  He likened this type of reaching out to bringing your people in out from the cold. Listen to your community and don’t only communicate about self serving things. Offer insight about what may effect what you write about. The example of a company doing this well is NPR.  Facebook offers the opportunity for NPR to have a “Public Profiles”. NPR has 330,000 fans, and growing because they let reporters upload photos from the field that maybe won’t get published. To the users this feels authentic, and feels “insider” to the group members.  NPR is leveraging what they’re best at.

AUTHENTICITY – Stay true to your core competency.  Figure out what you do best and be true to that.

I particularly enjoyed that Mr. Buch didn’t dismiss publishers, and emphasized that sites like Digg rely on high quality content. Suffice to say I dug what the guy from Digg was talking about.  Couldn’t resist, sorry.

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Online Ads are Alive and Well

November 25, 2008

Despite our current financial crisis, US Internet ad revenue rose in the 3rd quarter of 2009 according to Yahoo Finance AP Writer Rachel Metz.

Metz goes on to say “The report from the Interactive Advertising Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP said that online advertising revenue totaled almost $5.9 billion in the third quarter, up 11 percent from the same period last year. It marked a 2 percent rise from the second quarter.”

Seeing an increase regarding any economic activity these days is a good thing, but it’s certainly encouraging for the online world to see stories like this.  The manner in which online advertisers can performance (when a consumer clicks on ads) is a direct indicator of it’s success.  Other media doesn’t offer the ability for the advertiser to track ROI.  Online advertising is truly Direct Marketing on Steroids.

FINALLY – Good news!


Media and Wedia

November 10, 2008

Last week I ran into my daughter’s room and excitedly told my wife that I thought I may have coined a term (this heady little insight is on my list of things to “do before I die”)….I was thrilled.  I’ve been immersing myself in everything Web 2.0, ever since attending the Web 2.0 Expo.  I was thinking about MIVA, Alot.com, and how interactive Media is being effected by the wave of Social Media.  I was feeling relatively pleased with myself after having labeled my Miva project (We)iva – so that I can track my first 100 days at the company  – and it hit me…this isn’t MEdia, it’s WEdia!  

WEDIA!

I did it! I coined a term…the euphoria was short lived, after I did a quick Google Search and realized the term has been around for a while now.  

Bummer. 

I’m not discouraged – I’m sure some day I’ll coin a term – either way – Wedia is a term I’m diggin’ right now.


Alot.com

November 10, 2008

The product team are killing it at Alot.com!  In the past three weeks, I’ve seen 2 iterations of the home page.  It just keeps getting better! Can’t wait to meet everyone.  

You can see that the team is paying attention to the current zeitgeist online regarding tapping into the power of the masses.  These downloadable toolbars help to make the users online experience easier, and more dynamic.  I’ll write more about this later (I’m in the process of digesting some great information from a Harvard Business Review Article – “The Contribution Revolution” – Letting Volunteers Build Your Business.  If past experience is any indicator, I’m sure I’ll stumble upon a few gems in HBR that can help out the manner in which MIVA is currently tapping the user base. 

Stay tuned.