8 Smart Comments From The Future Buzz Community (Feb, 2011)

You, the readers, continue to make this blog amazing: your smart discussions in the comments are an ongoing source of inspiration and motivation. So with that in mind I want to keep highlighting thought provoking comments to the whole community.

Following are 8 recent reader comments from posts in 2011 highly worth reading. Per your requests from the previous version, I’ve included links to commenter’s names on Twitter so you’re able to quickly connect with them too.

From Trish Fischer on If Nothing Else, Get Measurement Right

Digital marketing metrics can seem daunting at first. There’s just so much data available that people new to digital marketing often don’t know where to start. What I do to help clients get past the fear and confusion is have them focus on three or four metrics that I think matter most to the corporate execs to whom they report. These “starter metrics” include monthly figures for unique visitors, leads, lead conversions (a.k.a. new customers) and customer acquisition cost. After reporting these basics for a few months I find that almost all clients have the confidence and abilities to expand and customize metrics to their specific needs.

Agreed Trish, that’s an approach I’ve seen effective as well. Over time they end up wanting more data and getting really comfortable with it. Just takes some time to get there.

From Tony Faustino on The Ultimate Lifehack: Gain Back 13.9% Or More Time

Adam, here’s additional data from the December 15, 2010 eMarketer blog post, Time Spent Watching TV Still Tops Internet by Clark Fredricksen. According to Fredricksen’s post, Americans spend rougly 30 hours per week watching tv. On an annualized basis, that time translates to 65 days per year (e.g., 2 months of opportunity cost productivity).

Many of the activities you cite in your post are exactly what I would do / am working hard to do with an extra month of time (i.e., reading books, creating more posts, etc.).

Thank you for the inspiration.

You’re welcome for the inspiration Tony, and the whole community thanks you for digging up additional data. Always appreciated.

From Andrew on  Organic Marketing…Inch By Inch

Absolutely the right line of thinking here. It’s not about the glamor, it’s about the grindstone. Putting forth the effort on a daily basis is the big idea that many aren’t willing to do. It’s not always fun, there aren’t a lot of celebratory moments (at first), but it has the payoff in the end. It’s the grasshopper versus the ant (sort of).

Really dig what you say Andrew – that putting forth the effort on a daily basis is the big idea. Very succinct and encapsulates digital marketing well.

From Alex Hanson on No Sacred Cows – Digital Marketing Should Be Holistic

This is a really important high-level topic and not enough marketers get into it. Digital marketing requires a holistic view and a willingness to be agile. That said… I’m imagining a CEO reading this, scrapping his marketing plan, and then asking for changes too fast. Precisely due to a holistic viewpoint, you should move quickly but with plenty of care. If you change your site structure without time for 303 redirects, you could lose months of SEO effort. If you give anyone who asks for it your email list, you could end up with messaging that falls well short of best practices, potentially into spam territory. Acknowledging the holistic nature of digital marketing should lead to better systems of communication and accountability before it leads to faster action or a more agile stance.

Indeed: be agile, but in such a way that is careful not to disrupt the momentum built by other programs. I think working together there is a common ground that can be achieved between digital specializations for the benefit of all parties.

From Joanne Jacobs on Technophobic Professors Make Academia Look Passé

What’s most irritating is that Turkle was one of the first proponents of emergent tech as a therapeutic means of self-disclosure in her earlier books, The Second Self (1984), and Life on the Screen: Identity in the Age of the Internet (1995). While she was concerned about possible problems with self-representation online in Life on the Screen, she was not so allergic to the idea of technology being used as an intermediary to human relationships as she has now become. In producing a barrage of computer-human experiences (which she describes in negative terms, despite acknowledging that the human participants didn’t necessarily find them negative), she portrays a dystopian view of short-form communications, without ever balancing these experiences with positive opportunities derived from the same technologies. It’s a classic case of a skewed sample.

Unfortunately, I expect this trend of negative literature to continue while there’s still cash in books. It makes sense to use old media to trash new media, after all. And for a more interesting perspective on technology-mediated human relationships, stick to the blogs.

There is always someone playing to dated world views if there is cash involved. Also check out Techdirt’s creatively-titled writeup of this story.

From Catherine Lockey on A Shortcut To Making Change: Piss People Off

Playing along with something which is obviously stupid is becoming less and less beneficial thanks to social. Social empowers everyone. Old power and control management styles are still out there and intimidation is still used to attempt to “manage” others. This paradigm desperately needs to go by the wayside and your advice is one way to make it disappear. If it’s right and needed, take the initiative.

Once, sort of long ago, I was an educator at a school for former drop-outs run by a group of public schools. Students were failing their exit grammar test because we had no grammar curriculum in the school. I asked (mistake #1 ) if I could write one. The acting Superintendent paid my school a special visit, sat me down in a private room, and told me under no circumstances may I write a grammar curriculum. Only department heads were allowed to do this. Our school had no department heads and the superintendent obviously knew this. Ugh.

I wrote and published the curriculum anyway. Students passed their exit. They still use it today. Ridiculous, sad, and true. Playing along with obviously stupid rules isn’t going to change anything. If you’re a leader then don’t ask permission to be one. Just be yourself.

Thanks for sharing your story Catherine – and if they still use it to this day, you succeeded in getting them out of their own way. Nice.

From Shari Sax on The Critical Few

As an English/journalism/marketing professor, I always tell my students:
“Sometimes Less is More, and sometimes More is More.”

When it comes to any one “sentence,” then YES, stripping a sentence to its cleanest, most essential components is necessary for the clearest communication — which SHOULD be the first objective in writing.

However, sometimes — in fact — More will be More; one example would be that More Engagement with community members will reap better results than simply “putting something out there” even if that something is stated concisely.

More engagement is a good thing, I agree. With some strategies (look at Seth Godin) you can even accomplish that with less, too. That said – you’re right, if there are resources available more can be more.

From Matt Kostan on Corporate Blogs – Still Lightyears Behind Independent

I believe the disconnect may be attributed to the lack of individual ownership of a corporate blog.

An independent blog may have writers with personalized styles that an audience can relate to, get to know and want to follow. This help build and foster a relationship.

Professional organizations and corporate blogs are typically tied up to be politically correct. No one wants individual ownership of something that may be viewed as controversial for fear of repercussion. They just don’t seem “human” enough for readers to relate to. Have you ever seen a corporate blog use words such as “yeah” and “suck”? (Adam uses both in this post)

Another example is the CMA’s blog at http://www.canadianmarketingblog.com/. It’s painful to read…

My solution?

Have the corporate blog head up by a single entity with creative freedom to produce digital content that may be daring, controversial and interesting!

Yes, when things suck around here we always say it. Also nice point, that editorial ownership (with someone who actually understands how to create compelling media) is a good solution to the boring corporate blog problem.

In the past I’ve done a lot more to bring the community into the content mix, will try and do that more this year as I know you have a lot to say as well.

image credit: Jacqui Martin from Shutterstock