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Synchronizing online marketing efforts

Traditional companies often have a hard time dealing with social media marketing – for many reasons. One of them lies in the difficulty of properly “synchronizing” their various online marketing activities. The following anecdote shows that in some cases public relations and marketing heavily disagree when it comes to chosing the right business partners.

Act 1: An online retailer is planning a PR event. The PR woman contacts me to tell me that this event is very interesting for my readers and that I should consider publishing a preview post. Happens all the time – but amazingly enough, in this case she was right.

Act 2 / different stage, same play: A couple of weeks before I had applied as an affiliate with the same company – they were listed with a large international network, the application itself just requires two clicks. Just a few minutes after the e-mail about the PR event (which was related to their product portfolio) and a  couple of weeks after my application I received the following (text-module based) notification:

Your application for the partner program ‘XXXXXXX” with your URL-account ‘datenschmutz blog’ unfortunately was denied.

Possible reasons:
* Your site does not meet the merchant’s content requirements
* Your site is in an unfinished state or is not working properly

Indeed… the second argument is very true: my blog will never be finished, it’s an ongoing project :mrgreen: I’m fully aware of the fact that two different people are responsible for these two fields – yet successfully “synchronizing” a company’s online activity range is one of the main web 2.0 marketing challenges. This has a lot do with internal knowledge management and communication structures, and these factors have played a vital role long before social media existed – but there is one huge difference: social media points out short-comings in this area most effectively.

I know this may come as a bit of the shock: but the marketing, the advertising, the PR, the IT and all the other departments must start talking to each other and focus on a common strategy. Great remuneration awaits: it’s called authenticity.

Invitation to the World Blogging Forum in Bucharest

GermanThis posting is also available in German.

Just before I took off to Andalusia I got mail from Mihaela, asking if I wanted to attend the World Blogging Forum 2009 in Romania as a VIP guest. Yes of course! Flight and hotel room are already booked and I’m looking forward to a conference a lot! The guest- and speaker-list contains a lot of popular bloggers who I’m glad to meet face to face, plus it’s the first time I’m going to visit Bucharest. The organizers have invited the most successful bloggers from 30 countries to Romania to discuss the “ideas for a better digital world”:

The most influential bloggers in the world: The event brings together some of the most influential persons in the online media all around the world, in conferences and workshops aiming to establish clear parameters of the development of the online media.

World Blogging Forum 2009

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Pownce shuts down – And the moral of the story?

pownce shuts downMicroblogging-platform Pownce announced its shutdown on 15th of December yesterday. The company was bought by Six Apart, the makers of Movable Type and TypePad. The team will continue to work for Six Apart on new projects – seems the company saw no light at the end of the infamous twitter-tunnel: while Pownce hat a couple of unique features to offer, the community never reached the critical size that turns microblogging-fun into a profitable business.

Pro-users who had to pay 20$ per year for premium features will be notified via e-mail, a new export features enables powncers to export their blog for future re-import into TypePad and/or WordPress, check the official pownce blog for details. My personal grief is strictly limited, as I wasn’t a regular user. Why would I? Contrary to blip.fm I didn’t see much value in maintaining a second microblogging account; Twitter is already consuming enough of my time. And I was not the only one to abandon ship:

Ive been a member of Pownce since day one and at one point, a devoted member and daily visitor. However, as time went on, recurring bugs werent fixed, feedback wasnt acted on, other services launched, original members abandoned ship and eventually, so did I.

TechCrunchIt even thinks that there’s little to no room for fresh microblogging services:

If FriendFeed is a parasite service of Twitter, then the only conceivable entry point now is as a parasite service of FriendFeed. What would that entail? It would have to be a service that thrived on being absorbed as it seeded new functionality into the expanding messaging subsystem.

So is this the beginning of web 2.0’s end? I don’t think so – copycats just don’t last that long. There’s one learning though that every web professional should take away from this episode: your own site, the central hub of your very web existence, must not depend on third party infra-structure providers! This means: go self-hosted, if you’re serious about your online presence. Make excessive use of web 2.0 services for generating incoming traffic, but always diversify! Don’t depend on one search engine, one community, one microblogging service: spread your assets! 100 traffic sources with 5 visitors each are a much better investment in your personal online future than 1 source with 1000 visitors.