Posted tagged ‘cascading conversations’

How do you feel about digital memories?

September 14, 2009

digital ageListening the OnPoint, the topic is whether it is possible to create a “total recall” for all our memories of our lives. With all the social networks like Twitter and Facebook–not to mention the plethora of others–should we as human beings be recording all the minutiae of our lives to be retrieved at a later time?

Should we supplement our memory with the digital gadgets like cell phones, iPods, social networks or other aids?

Is there anything to the argument that the more you memorize, the more ability you have to memorize other things in the future? With children, it’s clear that the more you stress their brain with input of classical music or shapes/colors, the smarter the child will become and the faster her brain will be able to process new input.

What do you think? Should we record things that we don’t “need” to remember in our lives?

It’s Summertime! Less Time Than Before.

June 8, 2009

tre-coverFor the past couple of weeks and probably for the next couple, we have been out-of-pocket–traveling to graduations and other family-related events. For this reason (and others we will keep to ourselves) I have failed to post frequently to this blog. (That’s my confession.)

However, I have been quite busy out in the real world and on LinkedIn making connections to people who can potentially provide me business. So I’ve been active.

Feel free to contact us at On the Mark Writing if you or your company need a well-written press release, a carefully-crafted press kit, marketing collateral, or editing services.

In this down economy, if you are unsure of the process of writing news releases or marketing collateral (i.e. sales letters) why not get a professional writer to create them for you? News releases are an excellent way to get people to talk about your business and subsequently driving traffic to your website. The key is conversations. If you create a dialogue between your business and your customers or clients, ultimate those conversations will create revenue in your pocket.

How ’bout it?

The Importance of Blogs in The Relationship Economy

February 17, 2008

blogging2.jpgWe have all been approached by someone trying to provide us with what he thinks is the “best thing since sliced bread,” and yet we are not convinced, and therefore, he doesn’t make the sale. What is missing, here? Certainly not passion, because if someone really believes in a product or service, his/her passion will show its way through the presentation. We believe that the most important thing – next to passion – a person can have about what he is selling is a relationship with potential clients/customers.

An important step in the formation of relationships is to find and take part in the Conversational Rivers that characterize the social web.

What are Conversational Rivers?
Conversational Rivers, also known as cascading conversations, are naturally occurring conversations which are organic in nature, one-to-one, then to millions. When we read an inspirational or influential blog, we have just dipped our feet into the Conversational River. While some blogs may be nothing but random thoughts of the author or complaints about what the local cafeteria was serving for breakfast on that particular day, other blogs are authored by great minds who are changing the nature of business. The more popular blogs, often “favorited” by readers, have vast readership and influence. They are truly the Conversational Rivers, while the blogs that have only a limited readership or are usually read by those who are part of a sub-culture are nothing more than stagnant ponds.

While it can be therapeutic to write these “stagnant ponds,” authoring of such can provide little in the way of professional improvement. But how do we become influential just by writing a blog?

How do we create influence through blogging and the social web?
Find a topic or topics about which you are passionate. Remember in high school or college when we had to write on a subject about which we cared nothing about? Our writing lacked enthusiasm and zest. But when we wrote a book report or term paper on something we absolutely loved, we excelled! Blogging can be similar. If we were to pick a topic about which we feel nothing – no anger, joy, elation, or hatred, etc. – we cannot expect ourselves to turn out a novel like Hemingway or Rowling.

But if we find something about which we really feel passionate, we are on the way to forming a Cascading River of Conversation. Whether we’re writing about the latest advances of nanotechnology, the rules of grammar, the difference between craft beer and the mass-produced beer of AnheiserBusch, it really doesn’t matter, though it may affect your readership and the types of readers you have.

The key to it is consistency. In order to have a blog which provides widespread readership day-in, day-out, we must post on a regular or frequent basis. Some of the most successful bloggers post every single day, sometimes with multiple posts per day. Others post five days a week, and some only post once a week. Though we don’t have hard data providing us with the information that one who posts once a week has a fifth of the readership of someone who posts daily, it stands to reason that the search engines are more likely to “hit” on one with more frequent posts, but at the same time, it may be the subject matter covered in the blog which ultimately determines what the numbers are.

What’s the appeal of blogging?
Even thirty years ago, being “published” meant that one was either a journalist working for a newspaper or magazine, or that one had written a book which a publisher had agreed to purchase.

Today, it is much easier to be published, and though it may be increasingly difficult to get a book deal from Random House or some other big-name publisher, there are companies which will print and produce your book – for a fee. While this may be the way to go for some, there is an even easier way to be “published.” It’s called the internet.

Technically, “published” means that more than one person reads what was written. Therefore, even the casual blogger is “published.” As long as someone besides the author reads the text, we can call ourselves published. The difficulty is explaining that no, we haven’t written books, nor do we work for a newspaper or magazine, but we are still published.

Besides padding our egos, blogging allows us to influence others’ thoughts and actions without being overtly demanding or pushy. By creating connections and a frequent readership, we allow others to see inside our minds: they can learn what is really important to us. When we provide our views, whether religious, political, existential or other, we are not only revealing how we feel about certain issues, but we are in a sense swaying them to see our way. In essence, we are persuading them to see the world through our personal filter.

How do I get people to find my blog?
The internet provides us with a vast array of tools which we can use to increase the readership of our blogs. Not only can we find the sites offering to host our blogs for free, but there are also a number of sites which can increase our readership. Technorati is a site which allows the search engines to find the most recently-updated blogs. Other good sites which can boost our readership are MyBlogLog, Digg, StumbleUpon, etc.

Another way to increase the number of hits to our blog is to comment on others’ blogs. When we read a good blog, or even one which is not good but makes good points, we should comment on it, specifically, and show that we understood it and either agree or disagree with the post. By doing this, as long as we don’t leave an anonymous comment, we provide others with a link to our blog!

In terms of The Relationship Economy, the creation and maintenance of a blog provides us with the means to begin fostering relationships with others. Time is our most valuable commodity, and by providing a single portal through which others can the information they need and want, we make ourselves more valuable to them. Not only does a blog provide us with the credibility that we know about what we are talking or writing, but it also shows complete strangers that we recognize the value of forming relationships via the social web.

How ‘bout it?

The Communications Factors and The Relationship Economy

January 22, 2008

comchart.gifWith the emmergence of The Relationship Economy, people are beginning to ask themselves, “How do I capitalize in this new economic system?” The main trait of those people and businesses which have led the way to the Emergence of The Relationship Economy is that they all have created and maintained relationships with others.

How have they done it?

One of the major keys to nurturing relationships with others online – through Facebook, LinkedIn, Link to Nashville, etc. – is to have meaningful conversations with those who can receive and contribute value to their own personal networks. Every one of us has a personal network; from friends, members of the same church, neighbors and family.

 To foster relationships online with “relationship capital” conversations of some sort are required. The Communications Factors play a major role in the conversations. Whether they are facilitated by videos, blogs, emails, or social networks, the conversations need to be carefully crafted so that the message remains clear no matter what kind of day the recipient is having.

We all have read emails and thought, “What’d he mean by that?” Sarcasm and dry humor doesn’t come across well without face-to-face communications, so we created “emoticons” or simple keystrokes to show our intent: colon and closing parenthesis produces : ) or jk is understood as “Just kidding.”

But beyond these quick shorthand signals which were readily adopted by the internet generation, there is really no way to create/establish and maintain relationships other than through word choice and sentence structure.

Granted, if someone gets offended by an email a friend sent, the worst thing that could happen would be the loss of a friend. However, in the business world, if a large segment of the consumer is offended by an ad-campaign, Millions of dollars could be lost, possibly never to be recovered.

The Relationship Economyis determinate on the number of quality relationships that a business or individual has with others who can ultimately provide value – directly or indirectly – to one’s own personal network. The quality relationships can be created and maintained by having conversations with others who share similar likes, dislikes, or interests. In turn, those conversations – one to one, then to millions – must be made crystal-clear through the knowledge and understanding of the language (i.e. rules of grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc.).

How ’bout it?

Engaging The Social Web For Business

January 1, 2008

Have you ever wondered how long you will be able to do what you are currently doing and get away with it? I mean, really get away with it? The business world of today needs to consider what they are doing and balance that with the consequences of their actions – or inaction.

Nationwide Insurance, led by PR officer Joe Case, is taking action with Web 2.0 and has engaged the social networking circles with its “Have The Talk” Campaign.

“I think we’re seeing a shift from a transaction-based economy to a dialogue-based economy,” says Case, who contends that competitive advantage in the financial services industry will go to companies that engage in a dialogue with customers. “If you ignore the opportunities that social media and Web 2.0 offer, you ignore an opportunity for real dialogue with the customer base.” Another phrase Case could have used for “dialogue-based economy” is Relationship Economy, which social strategist Jay Deragon has seen for quite some time.

Case “gets it.” The others don’t seem to. By using Web 2.0 and creating cascading conversations, Nationwide Insurance is generating talk about important issues – and they’re going to see a boost in the bottom-line as a result. Case and Nationwide are on the forefront of the movement of The Relationship Economy: They are creating buzz around themselves and are getting people to talk about important issues. And an important point is that they are not trying to tell people about themselves or what they sell. How many people are turned off by some pushy salesman who just comes to tell what he offers, without knowing if you, the potential customer, have any need of it?

If others in the industry don’t keep up with what Nationwide is doing, they will lose the clients they currently have, and probably won’t gain any new ones.

Other industries will soon follow suit. Realtors, mortgage brokers, doctors, mechanics, tanning salons, and caterers will all soon begin to search for new customers and clients via the social web – if they haven’t already done so.

No longer will an entire section in the Sunday paper be enough to keep a real estate office afloat. Radio spots aren’t going to be as lucrative for the premier caterers as will a few minutes online each day building relationships. Will YOUR business be on the crest of the social networking tidal wave?

How ’bout it?

The Future of the Advertising Business

December 31, 2007

With 2007 coming to an end, The Relationship Economy is on its way to becoming in full-swing. The social web has created waves of cascading conversations.

These conversations often start out as ripples but then gain momentum with time. As more people come to realize that the key to becoming successful in business are these cascading conversations.

They are organic conversations which start out by people talking about what’s important to them via the host of social networks. It starts out one to one, then moves on to millions. By using the medium of social networks, people are able to share and collaborate with those who are beyond their typical social circles of influence.

Big Business – and the advertising agencies of such – must learn the benefits of using these  cascading conversations rather than slick ad campaigns. Otherwise, they will lose their impressive market shares.

Cascading conversations carry an idea forward in ever-broadening circles. The very nature of cascading conversation implies, “the conversation creates the results.” The social web creates the medium to engage thousands…then millions…of people. These people create conversations centric to topics of interest and issues of affinity with others who have migrated to groups-commonly known as swarms.

Click here to read the rest of social networking strategist Jay Deragon’s post on the subject.

How ’bout it?