Three weeks ago, just before a much anticipated summer vacation, my shiny new iPad 2 arrived. Armed with my Nikon D90 DSLR and the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, I was more than ready to leave my clunky laptop at home and travel light (from a technology perspective anyway). I of course fully intended to blog during my vacation. I was visiting the Pacific Northwest after all and had planned several blog-worthy food excursions. This should be easy-peasy from my iPad right?
I had expected selecting the right tools for editing photos on my iPad to be somewhat of a hurdle (it wasn’t, BTW), but was totally blindsided when I realized that creating a Wordpress blog post wasn’t as smooth of process as I was accustomed to. It’s down right clunky and annoying in fact. How-tos on this topic are surprisingly few and far between, so after a little research and a great deal of experimentation, I concocted a usable process. Hopefully other Wordpress bloggers with iPads can learn from my floundering and get blogging faster.
The Crux of the Problem: Image Upload and a Bad App
As I started to dig into just how I’d have to modify my blogging style when working from an iPad I discovered there are two key issues that create unexpected complications:
Lack of access to the file system for photo upload. Just like the iPhone, the iPad doesn’t have native support for access to the file system. Some tools like GoodReader help with this on a day-to-day basis, but they don’t help websites access the files on your iPad for upload. The bottom line is if you want to upload an image to your Wordpress blog from your iPad you won’t do it from the web interface. That’s where the Wordpress iPad app comes in. Just skip the web interface entirely, right? If only it were that simple…
The Wordpress iPad app less-than-stellar. The Wordpress app is, frankly, awful. It’s a stripped down version of the web interface that requires hand coding of HTML if you want to format your posts at all. All of the intuitive interface elements that are at the core of the success of blogging are simply missing. It’s just not worth the trouble to write posts in the interface, particularly when the web interface is significantly better. While the Wordpress web interface as seen in Safari isn’t as robust as the one you’d find in a full-featured browser, due largely to a lack of support for AJAX in Safari, it does have a collection of tools that make formatting and finalizing posts with HTML much easier. It also has the familiar interface for tagging, categorizing, and scheduling posts as well as access to all of the tools you need to manage your blog. The Wordpress app does have one redemptive quality: image upload. Unlike the web interface, you can access your iPad camera roll from the app. All of the iPad image tools for importing and editing save your images to your camera roll, making the app your best option for uploading images from your iPad to your blog.
Okay so, the Wordpress web interface in Safari is pretty good but doesn’t allow image upload. The Wordpress iPad app is awful. Now what?
I ended up with a two-step process that takes advantage of the best of both Wordpress tool options:
Create a post in the Wordpress iPad app, attach all of the photos I need for the post, and save as a draft.
Write, format, and finalize the post via the Wordpress web interface.
I’ve detailed this process with screen shots at the end of the post. Hop on down there for a visual guide.
Generally I don’t draft my post text in the Wordpress app just because I like to format as I go along, but you could also draft the basic text in the app and finish with the better Web-based formatting tools.
I’ll admit it’s a little wonky to use two tools but not nearly as wonky as hand-crafting markup in the Wordpress app or uploading image files to an FTP server to reference from the web application, one of which would be necessary if I wanted to move to a singular tool to create a post with images in it from the iPad. I’m also not wiling to buy a third party app like Blogsy because I’ve already invested enough in apps and tools for blogging. I can live with my two-step process, at least until Wordpress gets their act together and makes their iPad app the quality tool it should be.
Once you decide how you want to solve the image upload issues, there aren’t big barriers to blogging from the iPad, only annoyances that make creating long or complex posts more difficult than they are worth. My top three irritants are:
Typing on the iPad. I can’t type as fast on the iPad as I can on a keyboard, but I can solve this over time with a) practice and/or b) a bluetooth keyboard.
Moving the cursor around on the iPad. I tend to move my cursor all over the page when I’m blogging and I’m not as precise with my fingertip as I’d like. An inexpensive stylus or practice (again) will make this better.
Tabbing between browser screens. My personal blogging style has me hopping back and forth among browser screens for URLs and references. I can do this easily with keyboard shortcuts on a PC today but have to resort to a the finger again, as it were, on the iPad. This is just another acclimation issue that I’m sure I’ll overcome with time.
For now, I’m limiting my iPad blogging to shorter content (500 words or less generally) and am avoiding recipe posts because of the hRecipe XML code I have to manually tweak for them. Managing markup on the iPad is tedious and error-prone and so I’ll save that work for a more robust interface.
What about Tumlr posts like this one? Images are an issue for Tumblr too (surprise, surprise) and I haven’t yet found a solution for writing a Tumblr text post with multiple images. I’ll report back when I do.
My Two-Tool Process, Illustrated
For those new to the Wordpress iPad app and web interface, I captured the activities I go through in each tool as I created my latest food blog post covering my foodie adventures in Boston.
Note: these steps assume you already have images ready for use in your post and the they are tucked away safely in your iPad Photo Library.
Attaching Pictures to a Draft Post in the Wordpress App To get started on your draft, launch the Wordpress iPad app and create a new post. Give it a title and click on the photo icon in the bottom right corner.
Select the Add Photo from Library option and select the image you’d like from your collection.
The app will ask you what size you’d like the image to be. I found it difficult to manipulate images from either the Wordpress app or Safari web interface, so I’d recommend specifying the size you need for the image now.
Small, medium, and large were arbitrary for me and I know I need my images to be no bigger than 500 pixels wide for my blog theme, so I use the custom setting to control the size.
Click OK and the app will attach your image to the post.
Lather, rinse, repeat to add as many photos as you need for your post. You’ll add text around them later in the Wordpress web interface.
Before you move on to creating the text for your post, be sure you set it to save as draft in the Settings (accessible from the wheel icon at the bottom left of the post screen) instead of to publish which is the default behavior.
You can do all of the activities in the Wordpress app without being connected to the Internet. The draft post and images will synch with your blog the next time you connect. I tested this from a cruise ship with no connectivity just to be sure. You’ll need a live connection however to work with the Web interface and finish the process.
Finishing the Post Now it’s time to switch over to the Wordpress web interface to finish the post. When you log into your blog you should see your draft post ready and waiting for you to edit at will.
As part of my post creation I like to go in and modify the image names to make them more userful than the system generated names assigned by the Wordpress app. Click the image icon at the top of the Wordpress post editor and click the Gallery tab to get to your post images to edit each one’s attributes. Don’t forget to set the alternate text at the very least to make your content accessible. You can also set one of your photos as the featured image at this time if your blog theme uses featured images.
As I mentioned earlier, the Wordpress interface in Safari isn’t as full-featured as you’ll find in other browsers, so you still have HTML to contend with, but there are tools that make it easier.
Once you’ve tweaked your text and settings to your heart’s content, you’re ready to publish!
Do you have tips and tricks for blogging from the iPad? I’d love to hear about them in the comments.
I’ve posited previously that brands have a real opportunity to act as curators of expertise, bringing their domain knowledge to bear as they help customers and potential customers navigate the torrent of information we face in today’s fast-paced content-filled world. This article provides a nice overview of a new book called Curation Nation that addresses in detail the idea of brands as curators. I particularly like the focus on curation from the perspective of shared values because it reinforces the idea that for a brand to be successful in the content-rich world of social business, it must be not only able but willing to more closely align with customer values.
It’s interesting to me that the more I participate in online social activities, the more e-mail I seem to get. Press releases, messages about from Google groups about our new non-profit, Facebook notifications, blog comment notifications, and more. And because social is so immediate I hypothesize that I feel more compelled to respond to e-mail immediately which is absolutely unnecessary and most likely unhealthy.
This post from DJ Waldow made me think not only about my own e-mail habits but about the way I can reduce my e-mail influx while still staying involved in social network activity. There must be a better way and it starts not only with personal boundaries and e-mail processing habits, but with the way our networks and tools are built to not depend on e-mail as the ultimate communication crutch.
Design and Page Optimization: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Chris Pearson (@pearsonified) of DIYThemes schooled us in critical things to know about how people interact with a website. I expect we’ll see a whole group of Austin food blogger redesign efforts cropping up in the next few weeks.
Two Elements of Elements of Effective Page Design
Your goal for the page (sell something, e-mail subscription, etc).
The user’s intent on the page.
When people are looking at your web page they are in a very tenuous state of mind. You can use page elements to sway them to do what you want them to do. To make this work, your goals for the page need to align with the user’s intent.
Designing for user behavior is like dating: it’s a courting process with a focus expectations. Users are in one of three frames of mind when they begin their courtship with you.
Flirting. They don’t know you and you don’t know them. They may have landed on any part of your site from any source (search, blog links). Optimize the most common flirting pages like the home page to appeal to flirters. People won’t look to hard to find the value you have to offer, you have to make it apparent. Default blog templates aren’t typically set up for flirting so you’ll need to modify them. Always be flirting.
Information gathering. Help people find the information they are looking for and remove all other links or distractions that can fracture the experience. For example, the e-mail sign-up page should focus on e-mail, not on links to other parts of your page or other actions. Lead people from the top to the bottom of the page in a straight line to get them to take the action you want. People need room to think. When they are trying to make a purchase decision their eyes seek white space to escape dense information.
Taking action. Don’t get in their way and make it as easy as possible for them to take action.
My Ah-Ha Moments
There’s just too much to digest on any given page of a blog. We’re not only sharing content but we include ads, blogrolls, tag clouds, and a whole host of badges. It’s distracting and may ultimately impact the efficacy of the blog. We should all look at each section of our blog with our and our community’s intents in mind and optimize what’s displayed to focus only on what’s absolutely necessary.
Most Wordpress themes (exempting Thesis of course) don’t approach web design with these principals in mind. They encourage adding widget after widget of extra information creating a cluttered and overwhelming experience. Next time I shop for themes I’ll look for a strong combination of simplicity and flexibility. In the mean time, I’ll do what I can to customize my current theme with Chris’ principles in mind.
Monetizing Your Content: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Who better to help the TECHmunch attendees understand the ins-and-outs of monetizing a blog than Babette, the founder of Bakespace (@Bakespace) and TECHmunch. She’s practical and ethical, two characteristics that I personally believe are critical to a quality discussion on this topic.
Do you Want to Monetize Your Blog? Is it the Right Time?
What’s the purpose of your blog? Is it to make money or possibly as an amplifier of another project (like a book). How will advertising fit with your bigger mission?
Don’t let the traffic you have drive your decision to monetize. Think instead of how much money you need to support the basic elements of your blog or business like server costs.
If you want to treat your blog as a business, think of it as a start-up. Build it quickly with the goal of “acquisition” where that acquisition might be a cookbook deal, television show, or other big event.
Elements of a Blog You Can Monetize
Facebook fan page
Advertorial blog posts
Working with Sponsors
Choose the sponsors you work with wisely. Who you work with says a lot about what you value and what sort of community you are creating.
The value of any element on your blog is what people are willing to pay. You can’t compare directly to similar sites or competitors because their content and community may be different.
When considering what to charge, think about opportunity cost, value to the brand, and value to your community.
When pricing newsletters remember that it’s not about how many people are in your database, it’s about your open rate. The more people who open your e-mail, the more engaged and valuable your audience is.
Even if you don’t have a lot of traffic to your site, you can still look for sponsors who are willing to get in on the ground floor and help you grow.
Focus on one or two key brands that might fit well with your audience.
You may choose to give a sponsorship away for free to a brand to create a case study that you can talk about and other brands can see.
You have to provide banner ads in the purchase because in the end brands measure the success of a campaign by number of impressions. You can include value-add components for free (tweets, newsletters, fan page activities).
Don’t be afraid to ask the brand what their business goals are and craft your pitch to meet those goals.
If you plan to sell ads on your own (without a network) get them set up now so you can be ready to respond to a sponsor.
Don’t worry about charging a lot for giveaways because you can monetize the audience you create in future campaigns.
Create a media kit that is comparable to those in use on other sites. Google “media kit food site” and learn from what you see there.
Get a business account and EIN so you are positioned as a business. It will help accelerate sales and payment.
Lifecyle of an Ad Buy
RFP (request for proposal) or initial communication goes out from the brand to potential partners. You respond and then you wait.
Additional RFPs may be issued and you may have to go through additional rounds before you win the business.
When you win the business you get an IO (insertion order) with information on when the campaign will run.
Just before the campaign starts you receive the creative. Be prepared to set it up quickly.
After the campaign is over you invoice. Be sure to keep good records of what you sold so invoicing is easy. If the campaign is less than $5k get money up front.
Once you send the invoice you have to chase down payment. Enjoy.
Building Your Personal Brand: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Emily Cavalier (@EmilysPearl), Stefanie Michaels (@AdventureGirl), Gaby Dalkin (@WhatsGabyCookin), and Erik Trinidad (@FancyFastFood) discuss the ins-and-outs of personal branding. I’m having mixed feelings right now about the idea of personal brand but have significant respect for all of these writers so I consider them good sources of authentic guidance on personal brand.
My big take away from this panel is that if you put quality content and community building first, personal brand will follow.
Establishing Your Personal Brand
Bing available to answer people’s questions. You don’t have to know all of the answers but you can go and find them.
Constantly work to improve and grow your expertise. Personal brand has to be supported by true expertise.
Consider establishing a niche. Find a market and solve a problem.
What Do You Do To Get Noticed and Establish Your Brand?
Personal Storytelling: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Every time I listen to Cathy Brooks (@cathybrooks) speak I’m left rethinking my priorities and my blogging craft. Her session on TECHMunch ‘11 was no exception. She encouraged bloggers to think about the personal elements of storytelling as the most important.
The Personal Story is at the Heart of Storytelling
When you can tell personal stories they resonate more and those personal stories are crossing multiple channels. Think of how you tell your story across the tapestry of social media and how you can not loose the personal feel as you move across the social web. She offered these additional thoughts on creating powerful stories:
If you’re thinking about technology before you take time to be present with yourself first, it’s like trying to get of bed without putting your feet on the floor.
Being present is key to storytelling, and storytelling is what we do.
A well told story informs, educated, and enlightens.
We are drinking from a fire hose of information that is almost impossible to digest. And that doesn’t include what we’re putting out.
Perception requires participation. You have to be participating in how you are distributing content to them.
When people come to your site they aren’t just reading one site but the entire story arc of your blog.
Personal story is the most persuasive form of content.
Dealing with Personal Attacks
When you put yourself our there in a more personal way you do open yourself up to more personal attacks. Cathy’s great advice on dealing with this:
Remember that most of the time the attacks aren’t about you.
Do look for the kernel of truth in any criticism and address that that head on.
People like to know they’ve been heard.
Don’t engage in a flame war.
Most of the time you’ll find people are reasonable and they didn’t mean for their initial comment to be as inflammatory as they sounded.
Avoid too many superlatives. Be factual and truthful - but don’t pull punches either.
Create multiple versions of your bio in varying lengths. You don’t want others editing your bio down - when someone asks for a bio ask them how many words they want and edit it yourself.
You can have an About section of your site but also include a bio to use for speaking and writing engagements.
How to Plan, Create, and Distribute Great Content: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Anna Gonzales (@WebAnna) and Jenna G. Oltersdorf (@JennaSnacks) provided a high-level overview of the content process to kick of day 2 of TECHmunch ‘11. With a reporting PR backgrounds respectively they brought a broad view of content to the discussion.
Plan Your Content
Create an editorial calendar. It will help you stay focused and break through writer’s block.
Don’t do video for video’s sake, be sure there’s something to show in the video.
Be your strongest critic and encourage yourself to get better.
Make the effort to clean up the area and make it presentable.
Don’t be so in love with your video that you can’t edit it.
Get your friends to watch your video and monitor their reactions.
Post your blog information on your YouTube channelso people know where to visit to get more content.
Images, video, and photography provide a way to showcase your personality. There are so many options beyond words.
Photos have the ability to take you into the story in a way that photos can’t.
If you’re not good on camera, video might not be the best execution; you can still find ways to capture food or create web design that captures your unique perspective.
When you can, use a script when shooting video. It helps you tell the story better and eliminates “ums” and “ahs”.
At Chow.com they utilize micro-editing of audio to create a smooth stream of audio when scripting isn’t possible. They lay that over video shot separately to create the final product.
Set expectations with people about what kind of media experience they are going to have. An iPhone video may be fine but you need to let people know that’s what they should expect. You can create context with design, presentation, and description.
Make audio a priority when shooting video; inexpensive lav mics make all the difference in the world. Wireless mics are inexpensive these days.
Edit videos and cut them down; a little bit of editing goes a long way.
You can create a signature sound that people will come to know you for (sharpening of knives, stamping, etc).
Branding matters as well. Add a bumper off of the front. You can pay someone to create the motion graphics for a bumper or you can record a recurring element yourself.
Music can make a difference in video. Good royalty-free music can be the glue that makes the video come together. Beyond royalty free you can work with up and coming bands who would be happy to have their music on your video for credit. AudioMicro is a source and Garage Band has tools as well.
Practice photography the same way you practice writing. Spend as much time on the photography as you do on the writing.
You don’t wake up and just become a great visual story teller. You have to practice. You have to be really in touch with your subject and explore your subject 100%. Don’t take just a single picture; you want to explore the light, the space, the plating, the setting, to create the right story.
Study other people’s photography to learn about plating and styling.
Think about what is in every corner of your frame. What are you reacting to that you want people to react to: is it just the food or is it something more (the experience, the chef, etc).
To capture great photography listen to your inner voice. React to what you’re seeing and help your audience see what you reacted to.
Penny uses Instagram because of the social media aspect. She’s inspired by seeing what other photos people are shooting.
Extending Your Brand
You need to figure out what your personal brand is to create a visual style that goes with the brand.
Get involved in contests to win awards (even obscure ones) to start to drive the attention of press and traditional media. Start local. Pitch. It’s all no until you get a yes.
Find your angle in the food space. Bitchin’ Kitchen is comedy, rock-n-roll, and food. There’s too much competition out there so writing a food blog that doesn’t have angle may make it harder to get press.
Chow.com is attracted to things that are funny and honest. Say something that no one has really said out loud before.
You have to do something more than once for it to really be successful. Frequency counts.
You can create a brand within a brand. For example, Btichin’ Kitchen has a collection of non-food content. It all has to fit with the overarching brand but it helps extend the scope of what you’re doing.
Relevant yet tangential content can drive more conversation. People like to talk about themselves. You just have to be the MC. Social is like a dinner party: you won’t talk just about the main course. You’d talk about what is going on in your guests lives, their experiences throwing dinner parties.
Do what you love. At the end of the day you have to answer to yourself. Success will follow.
What To Do Today to Start Making Progress
Nadia: think about your online community and think about what questions you want to ask them to get them talking. How can you push it just a little further beyond your brand.
Jane: write content as if you were writing it for your best friend. Experiment with how that changes you voice.
Food editors are cultivators and curators, responsible finding the best stories and news in a local or national community, so keep that in mind when you consider how you can be of help to them. Other useful tips, tricks, and insight from this group include:
Traditional media outlets are relying more on bloggers due to reduced staffing.
Newspapers and even national outlets like Eatocracy don’t have freelance budgets to hire bloggers. They will often feature bloggers or use them as resources. Example: Eatocracy Blogger Spotlight.
There’s a level of trust that papers need to have to be willing to publish blogger content. Journalists have a very specific set of ethics and guidelines to adhere to and they need to know that blogger content is above board. Bloggers can help overcome this hurdle by being transparent about their relationships on their blog (about page or ethics page), in posts, and with the food editor.
Twitter is a great way to get on the food editors’ radar. It helps cut through the noise.
Press releases aren’t necessarily the way to connect with an editor. It’s better to develop a relationship before sending information.
Pay attention to the kind of content the editor is responsible for producing. Proactively take the time to review their publications over several weeks to understand how you can be a resource to support their work. If you see a gap consider how you might fill it in a way that works with their general style and approach.
Look for recurring features that need input and offer your content. For example, CNN iReport is a national opportunity to create and upload content. Ask yourself: What is the story that only you can tell?
Let your passion and commitment shine through.
Be sure to comment on stories. Food editors need community and content love too.
Food Editor Pet Peeves
As noted by @LonelyGourmet, food editors are more receptive to bloggers who think like journalists and show they can create content that would work well in the traditional media world. When asked about what they aren’t receptive to they had quite a few things that turn them off of bloggers:
Too much self promotion.
Being mean. Being a bully doesn’t work in real life or online.
Lack of attention to accuracy and spelling.
Calling people out on Twitter.
Utilizing other people’s photos without credit or permission.
Case study: Blogger Becoming a Columnist
The Tampa Tribune worked with Jaden of Steamy Kitchen when she was emerging in her space. She had a lot of expertise and contributed her own photos. She made it easy for them to work with her and she worked hard to establish herself with them. She was an expert first before she became a columnist.
Building a PR Plan for Your Food Blog: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Sarah Evans (@PRSarahEvans), Eric Schwartzman (@ericschwartzman), Erik Deutsch (@ErikDeutsch) shared what I can only call the most practical PR guidance I’ve ever heard. They gave freely of their extensive experience with a focus on approach we can really put to work on our blogs. Be warned, this is a REALLY LONG post because there was just so much great information in the session. It’s worth the read (or at least the skim because yeah, you were going to do that anyway).
Why Reach Out to Media?
You need people to know about what you’re doing. As a blogger you have to decide what the return on investment of your time is against how important getting known is for your blog.
The definition of PR: building visibility, credibility, and third party endorsements.
Listen First Before you start connecting, take the time to set up a dashboard with RSS feeds for keyword searches for key terms in your space. Monitor the space for 4-6 weeks to understand who is talking and about what. Use this as a guide to get to know who the community is and start to participate in the conversation. Some important sites to monitor:
Google keyword searches
Forums and specialty online communities
Identifying Media and Influencers to Pitch
To identify the right audience for your pitch, look at the Google News results for competitors and similar brands to see which journalists are writing about your space. Subscribe to that search as an RSS feed and keep it in your Google reader so you can stay up to date.
It’s not about a quantity-based list, it’s about quality.
It’s not just about communicating with media but also about communicating with influencers. When you can connect with influencers you can mobilize the community more quickly. Recommended reading: The Tipping Point.
Utilize tools and data to measure if someone is an influencer (also a way to measure your own influence and how your efforts to improve it are growing).
Compete.com - review page visits and ranking information.
Tools/tactics to find and connect with media and influencers when you don’t have access to media services.
Look to see if journalists or other targets also blog personally.Comment and connect with them via their personal interests. Follow people on twitter before you pitch them to get to know them a little better.
Use Google keyword search to see who is writing about your area
Technorati lists blogs and sites in a particular area
Create an excel spreadsheet so you can capture information as you come across it. Make notes when you pitch people so you don’t pitch them multiple times and annoy them.
Listorious is a searchable list of Twitter users by area of interest.
Editorial Calendars Help You Plan Your Pitch
Access to a publication’s editorial calendar provides key insight into what they are writing about. For monthly publications the editorial calendars are with the advertising information. To make the most of the editorial calendar:
Align pitches with the calendar to increase your chances of being picked up.
Editors are not going to be receptive to stories about you. Instead pitch information on trends that you’re a part of. For example, offer a story about 8 BBQ blogs of which you are one and ask for byline and photo or a link back to your site.
Free service for subscribers and users. Reporters can list the stories they are working on and ask for sources.
Must pitch quickly because posters will be inundated. On-target and valuable responses will stand out - quality counts.
How Food Bloggers Can Differentiate Themselves with Media
Work with your local print publications. Many are looking for content and we can provide content.
Pitch non-food editors: lifestyle, health and fitness, business.
Look for niches that aren’t currently being well served.
How Do You Build Relationships Even When You Aren’t Pitching?
Relationships are critical and it takes time to build them before you need them. Find ways to connect about their work or shared interests: recent tweets, recent writings.
When you don’t have something to say, advance the conversation of others. You can be just as valuable as someone who shares.
Help people even when there’s nothing in it for you.
Put yourself in the shoes of the person you’re pitching: what’s valuable for them and what isn’t?
Making Your Site Accessible to Media
When media do seek you out, you want them to be able to get information about contacting you and about your general approach to working with press and advertisers. There are different ways to share information
Media Kit: information for an advertiser looking to buy media.
Pres Kit/Online News Room: information useful for anyone who wants to know about your blog. Share press releases, high-res photos, contact information, and the ways in which you are interested in working with companies.
How Can a Blogger Judge their Own Influence
It’s not just about the numbers (Klout, Alexa) but about the quality of the engagement.
Still, it’s important to keep an eye on the numbers and many large brands do that regularly.
Homeland vs. Embassies
Your blog is your homeland but you should have embassies in other places. Post videos on YouTube or Vimeo and photos on Flickr then link back to your blog. This helps build awareness about your expertise in new areas.
Using Paid Press Release Services
Social releases are an emerging way to get the word out at a lower cost. Services like PitchEngine.com are less expensive than traditional wire services and may be a good investment. However, the only way to get on the radar of some major media like Reuters is to get on the wire. Services like PRWire charge by the word so use fewer words or utilize a media advisory.
6 Best Practices for Socializing Content: Tips & Tricks from TECHmunch
Robert Scoble (@scobleizer), Ben Huh Teh CEO of Cheezburger (@BenHuh), Brett Erlich of Current.tv (@BrettErlich), and Sean Percival (@Percival) discussed how to socialize content during the first panel of the 2011 TechMUNCH conference. It was interesting to watch this group try to make their experiences with massive content-based communities relevant to a group of local food bloggers. While I felt they could have done a better job of understanding their audience and tailoring their message to us, they did offer a collection of actionable advice relevant to any blogger.
Tablet devices (like the iPad) are just coming into their own. It’s hard to know how it’s affecting people who consume content. It will probably a year or so before we really understand. However, there is an opportunity for publishers to differentiate themselves and reach new audiences by creating content for a variety of devices. The return is not guaranteed, but it’s worth investigating.
Content may go viral and drive a lot of one-time traffic but that content doesn’t create lasting return. Instead of trying to create a one hit wonder, keep the focus on what’s core to the community. In the end consistent high-quality wins.
Always have links to joining the community - RSS feed, subscribe, follow, fan, etc. - in strategic places on your site to keep visitors coming back. Structure giveaways to incentivize people to tell others to get a bigger bank for your buck. Be sure that you structure your incentives to encourage people to participate in a quality way. Can you go beyond leave a comment or like our page to get better engagement?
Recirculate content using tools like LinkWithin and Wordpress.com related links. You want to be sure that when people come to the end of one engagement on your site they have something else to do. Avoid dead ends.
Find ways to tell new visitors to your site who you are. The post they are looking at probably doesn’t tell the whole story.
Google wants to search fast sights with updated content and the latest technology - give the Google what the Google wants.
I read this and my gut says this is a brand trying to interrupt/disrupt a social conversation that may not be relevant to them. Just because I’m talking about mac & cheese doesn’t mean I want Kraft to come knocking. What do you think? Too invasive or a creative way to join the conversation?
This analysis of the characteristics of online behavior has me thinking about the characteristics of those most often considered influencers by major brands (a combination I think of Connectors, Producers, Broadcasters, and Self-Promoters) because they natural draw big audience. What would happen if influencer outreach was segmented by behavior instead of just by audience size and reach? Would we discover that those focused on Benevolence, Problem Solving, Conversation, and Curation, while not having the biggest numbers, could be even more impactful to a brand’s goal to connect with consumers? How would we measure it? Is there a brand brave enough to try?
I’m a food blogger. I work in social media. To say it’s impossible to not think about the two together — often — would be an understatement. I like to think I’m a better blogger because of the time I spend working with my clients on social media projects. Conversely, I think I’m a better resource for my clients because I am actively involved in social media as a content contributor and consumer. I’m in the trenches on both sides of the equation every day.
While I’ve been playing on both sides of the social media fence for a while now, and often share what I’ve learned in conversations and even at conferences, I haven’t thrown my hat into the social media blogging realm to share my food-inspired insights. But that’s about to change.
I’ve created this small space not only to share thoughts, links, photos, and other relevant information on the business of food and social media, but to further experiment with another content creation platform. I’m also testing some hypothesis I have around the notion of curating expertise (more to come on that).
I’m not planning to follow this next path alone — I need help! I’d love to know what topics you’d like to see covered here and please point me to any great content you’ve found. I plan to be a curator as much (if not more) as a creator.
Because after all, what good is a feast if one if indulging alone?