Danielle's Blog Spot

What did companies do before the internet in order to create buzz?  It seems like even word of mouth has become word of email/text.

I went to the GraphicDefine Magazine website to try to get a better grasp on how to generate some good word of mouth buzz.   What is buzz anyways?  “Buzz” or “Word of Mouth” is what people talk about, the currency of conversation if you will. A company or business can get their word out there and give people something to talk about, which therefore increases the company’s visability and leads qualified prospects to the company or company website.

What makes buzz effective? Lack of trust.  Take a look around at some companies or everyday life examples.  We normally don’t trust what companies have to say for themselves because we know they’re just trying to sell us something.  However, for some reason we trust what others say about a company or product.  These “others” can be celebrities, people in the media, experts, friends and colleagues.  How many times have we heard of a restaurant but not ventured in until we heard a rave review from one of our friends?  That my friend, is an example of buzz/word of mouth.

What are some ways to generate buzz? According to GraphicDefine’s website, buzz can be generated in 4 ways:

  1. Identify Your Best Advocates: Focus on the people who believe most strongly in the superiority of your services. These might just be your current customers or employees because they are in the strongest position to spread the word. Employees and customers may need help so it’s suggested to help them with awards, certificates, and gift cards. Offer them visability by featuring them in your marketing and provide them with the tools necessary to spread your word such as business cards, brochures, or other information.
  2. Give Prospects a Taste:  A little bit of marketing can go a long way with a sampling program because allowing people to experience your services makes it easier from them to spread the word.
  3. Gather and Use Testimonials: Make asking for testimonials a standard part of the evaluation process.  Ask the person giving you and your business praise if you can use their compliments as a testimonial and then plaster these testimonials on your website, sales letters, business cards, etc…
  4. Encourage Viral Marketing: Asking people to tell others about your company, product, service is another way of responding to a compliment. The viral marketing comes in with “Tell a Friend” links that are added to every email message, email newsletter, or webpage with useful information.

For more information on Buzz Marketing go to: http://www.graphicdefine.org/issue1/buzzmarketing

http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=1105

http://followmeinternetmarketing.com/blog/buzz-marketing-a-thorough-explanation.html

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I always took people who said they were addicted to myspace very lightly.  I could easily say I’m addicted to it and not really mean it.  MySpace for a lot of people I know is just something they do when they’re bored.  They’ll change their backgrounds, add some pictures, update their status, maybe play some application games to pass the time.  If I had time to pass I would do the same thing.

Little did I know, MySpace Addiction is apparently a real thing.  I ran across an article about it on, of all sites, a rehabilitation center webpage. Addicted to uploading pictures, updating status moods, and changing backgrounds? Really?  Not so much.  Turns out MySpace addiction is an actual disease like a drug or alcohol addiction.  So how does it happen? How does a person get sucked in? Can they break free?

Who does the addiction effect?  We all know the people who refuse to follow the social networking trend.  For weeks, months, maybe even years these social rebels have held their own in the fight against owning a social network page.  Then one day, they crack under the massive amounts of peer pressure and sign up and make their own profile, afterall it’s harmless – right? It’s not so scary.  You can make it your own with different layouts and backgrounds, add your pictures, likes and interests, and even write a small blog to tell the world what’s new with you and how you’re feeling. Everyone wants to be noticed and feel appreciated and wanted and if you’re good at MySpacing, you can have hundreds of friends in weeks!

 

This unfortunately is where the addiction begins. MySpace actually feeds the part of our natural psychological needs to be accepted and acknowledged.  Sure you have 200 friends on MySpace, but why do all of your other friends have 500 friends?  Are you not good enough to have 500 friends? You need more friends. So you make vicious cycles trying to whore yourself out to people you don’t even know and bands and companies just trying to get higher numbers.  That time you’re spending trying to create yourself on the internet is taking away from time spent doing homework, work, time with your family, or even *GASP* your real life friends.

The mass appeal of the internet is that we can be whatever we want to be.  It gives the user a mask to act out in ways they may not in real life.  Some people may be completely happy with the way they are.  However, addicts are more than likely going to be the “geek” or unpopular kids in school.  The internet is going to give them the chance to be popular.  They can easily send a message to people they may want to get to know better online rather than gather the courage to talk to them in real life.  Users don’t even have to put pictures of their real selves online.  Hence why we get so many 50 year old perverts pretending to be 19 year old girls.

MySpace also creates unnecessary drama.  We’re given options to delete friends, even at the end of a bulletin post like whatever they said was so offensive we’d have to delete them. We can also choose to approve or disapprove friend requests.  Isn’t that going to hurt someone’s feelings even more if they’re not important enough to be approved by people they want to be friends with. Then all of the drama that comes along with deciding who gets the covetted Top 8 spots and in what order!

Good news, there are steps one can take to try to break their MySpace addictions. 1 – try to contact friends via phone or email, don’t use MySpace to contact them.  2 – regulate how much time you spend on MySpace so you don’t waste endless hours on it.  3 – tell someone you trust about your efforts to stay away from MySpace and let them hold you accountable.

For more MySpace Addiction Information go to

http://www.casapalmera.com/blog/myspace-addiction-understanding-and-breaking-the-habit/

Fun Quiz http://www.picgames.com/forum/myspace-addict-quiz.php

In class we’ve been discussing pass along media. One tactic of pass along media that caught my attention was Flash Mobs.  At first I was like, “A mob?  Isn’t that generally a negative thing?”  When I hear “mob” I think of the angry farmers with their pitchforks and torches chasing after Frankenstein’s monster.  So what exactly is a flash mob?

A flash mob is a large group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place to perform an unusual act for a brief period of time and quickly disperse.  The term “flash mob” is generally given to gatherings that are organized via social media or viral emails.  However, it does not apply to gatherings set up by public relations firms or as publicity stunts. 

Some popular noted flash mobs that people may be familiar with is Worldwide Pillow Fight Day and Silent Disco.  During Worldwide Pillow Fight Day people from 25 cities world wide took a moment to stop and start pillow fights with each other.  During Silent Disco, 4,000 Londoners gathered at London Underground Stations and at a set time began dancing to their portable music devices.

While doing research for class, I came across a couple fun flash mobs that can border on advertising as well as pass along media.  One flash mob was created of 111 men of all shapes and sizes to go shopping shirtless in Abercrombie and Fitch on 5th Avenue in New York.  It turns out, a store that is a shrine to shirtless men, does not like shirtless men shopping in their stores.  Another fun flash mob occured for a T-Mobile commercial when people started to collectively start dancing in a London train station. 

Still don’t get what a flash mob is?  Think back to this past couple weeks and all of the people gathering to pay tribute to Michael Jackson and create a flash mob to break out in dance as a tribute.  Still don’t get it? Check Out These Awesome Videos or go to www.flashmob.com to maybe even sign up for a mob yourself!

I have recently discovered Veoh.com.  During this past week’s discussion in class we were talking about pass along media.  Well, I figured a lot of people would be talking about YouTube as an amazing source of online videos.  They didn’t disappoint me.  A lot of talk about YouTube.  An article I read earlier this week mentioned that there are more places than just YouTube to check out videos.  I did a Google search to see what else is out there. I was amazed by the amount of places to check out online videos.  As much as I use Google, I wasn’t aware that Google has a site just for videos.  There’s also MSN Videos and the highly advertised Hulu. 

The one that caught my eye was Veoh.com.  A viewer can watch the  movies and TV show episodes that are provided or they can search for funny clips, commercials, popular videos just as they can on YouTube. However, Veoh has a cleaner looking website. Veoh.com is a lot more organized than YouTube.  Provided shows and movies are categorized and put into subcategories.   A viewer can still search for videos as they did with YouTube.  A feature that I really like and may switch me from being a faithful YouTube user is the searches on the side of a video.  When a video is playing, a viewer can still search through all of the other search results without the current video stopping or disappearing.  On YouTube a viewer can scroll through and view related search videos on a little scroll bar beside the video, but no more than that without losing the video.  So this new tool on Veoh is the main swayer in my decision for where I search online videos at.

Check out Veoh at www.veoh.com

 

I will admit, I’m not a big blogger.  I have this blog because of my class and I am (at least I hope I am) doing what is requested of me by my professor as a blogger.  I will blog on my personal MySpace account just about what’s going on with me and my life and things that are currently aggervating me.  It’s more like an online venting place for me.  However, the more I have to use the Internet for class and search blogs, the more I realize, a person can’t just say whatever they want to in a blog and have it be protected by the laws of free speech.  What do I mean?

Blogger Perez Hilton has been making headlines as a bad blogger.  Back in 2006, X17 sued Perez Hilton for $7.6 million for copyright infringment.  X17 accused Hilton of using 51 of their photos without permission, payment, or credit.  Hilton has his own website PerezHilton.com which is described as a “Celebrity gossip, juicy celebrity rumors, and Hollywood gossip blog.”  In the past few weeks Perez Hilton was assaulted by the band Black Eyed Peas manager after a confrontation occured where musician Will.i.am. asked Hilton not to write about his band on the celebrity blog website.  Perez Hilton has also caused a loud uproar with the recent Michael Jackson tragedy.  As news broke of Michael Jackson’s hear attack, Perez went on his blog and accused Jackson of faking a heart attack to get out of his 50 date London tour.  Now that the world knows the truth, people are calling for a Perez Hilton boycot.  Stuff like this poses the question, what kind of rights do bloggers really have?

According to the EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) they have created the Legal Guide for Bloggers http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers/legal

The EFF is also working to help bloggers been seen as journalists (and journalist can be bloggers), working towards helping get bloggers free speach (in other words people can’t sue a blogger with threats of copyright, liable, or other such claims), working to give bloggers free political speech, bloggers have the right to stay anonymous, and bloggers have freedom from liability for hosting speech the same way other web hosts do.

Go to http://www.eff.org/issues/bloggers for more info

This is part 2 of my text messaging as new media (touching on blogs and online videos and social networking).

The past 24 hours has been a worldwind of coverage about the death of The King of Pop Michael Jackson.  This historic event in entertainment history is right up there with the unexpected death of Elvis Presley.  My mom ha mentioned that everyone will remember where they were when they heard that Michael Jackson died as they did when Elvis died.  This brings me to text messages as a way of delivering news.  There are news applications for phones where a user can subscribe to be sent current up to date news headlines.  How did I hear about it?  Through a text message.  A coworker received a text message from a friend, which was an unconfirmed account.  A woman in my checkout line received a text message alert and I thought she was going to burst out in tears as she shouted, “Michael Jackson’s dead!” My last blog referred to text messaging as the new word of mouth advertisement and it’s not failing me yet.  The new word of mouth is more like word of text.  I myself received several texts from friends trying to get ahold of me to tell me the news.

Due to this tragic passing, we’ve seen a career reserected by emerging media.  As Fox News has been reporting Michael Jackson has been the top search over the past 24 hours and there was a blackout on Twitter due to a communications jam of everyone posting Twitter posts over the incident.  Fifteen of the top bestsellers in music on Amazon.com are Michael Jackson albums (all of which just entered the top 100 in the past day).  The top 12 bestsellers in music and TV are Michael Jackson videos, concerts, and movies.  Eleven of the top 20 mp3s on Amazon are Michael Jackson songs and albums. Almost all of the celebrity updates on MySpace has been celebrities expressing their saddeness and condolences.  YouTube has devoted the top section of their homepage to Michael Jackson videos.  One celebrity with an insightful blog to the demons haunting Jackson was written by ex wife and friend Lisa Marie Presley.  I’ll share an excert (full credit given to the lovely Ms. Presley of course):

“Years ago Michael and I were having a deep conversation about life in general.  I can’t recall the exact subject matter but he may have been questioning me about the circumstances of my Fathers Death. At some point he paused, he stared at me very intensely and he stated with an almost calm certainty, “I am afraid that I am going to end up like him, the way he did.” I promptly tried to deter him from the idea, at which point he just shrugged his shoulders and nodded almost matter of fact as if to let me know, he knew what he knew and that was kind of that… As I sit here overwhelmed with sadness, reflection and confusion at what was my biggest failure to date, watching on the news almost play by play The exact Scenario I saw happen on August 16th, 1977 happening again right now with Michael (A sight I never wanted to see again) just as he predicted, I am truly, truly gutted.” – LMP 2009

To a man who made millions, spent more than he made, and was desperate for a career revival, it seems as if he’s found one in death through emerging media.

To read LMP’s full MJ blog go to http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendID=42291868&blogID=497035326

This is the first in my 2 part blog about texting.

Texting has become the new word of mouth advertising.  It’s technologically savvy and trendy.  Once the world started texting there is no signs of it ever stopping.  Texting keeps people in touch with one another.  Sometimes it’s inappropriate to answer your phone or have your phone ring, so you simply text.  Even if you have a small question, people find it easier to text than pick up the phone and dial the number to ask.  Not only is texting being blamed to help students cheat on tests with ease, but texting is being blammed for failed box office numbers.

Movies are bombing, yet the casts and plot and originality are not being blammed for it.  In this day in age, movies are not going to be as successful if there is no originality to it.  Think about all the remakes lately: Hairspray, Halloween, Friday the 13th, Amityville Horror, and the upcoming remakes of Alice in  Wonderland, Nightmare on Elm Street, and a big screen adaptation of Stephen King’s IT.  Movies are becoming remakes of movies that were big at one point in time. 

An article written in 2003 says that it’s Hollywood execs that are blaming the text message movement for their poor box office numbers.  Before text messages, word of mouth opinions about movies moved more slowly.  People couldn’t send out a mass text directly from the movie to give details about the movie, the plot, the ending, or whether or not they liked it.  To give a personal glimps into what I’m talking about, I was out with my boyfriend when we both received a text message from our friend telling us the “end” to Terminator Salvation.  What a crappy thing to do! I was really looking forward to seeing that movie and I felt like it had been ruined.  What was the point in going if I already knew what was going to happen?  I decided that maybe my friend was lying to me about the ending (I hoped the end wasn’t as he told me it was) and being a loyal Terminator fan (I sat through the 3rd one without leaving midway through, I think that’s pretty loyal) I went anyways.  I loved it and my friend lied to me about the ending.  If I hadn’t been such a fan of the Terminator series or a Christian Bale fan I may have skipped the movie altogether just because of a text.  Now I don’t think Hollywood execs can blame text messages for such bombs as Gigli or Terminator 3, they were just bad movies to begin with.

What worries the Hollywood Execs is that they know that word of mouth advertising is always popular and people respect the opinions of their friends.  Texting is instantenous and it’s uncontrollable.  It use to take a while for bad word of mouth to trickle out so a movie’s opening weekend would still produce a good deal of money.  Now, an opening day can spell out disaster for a movie that was less than stellar to begin with.

Read More at  http://blogcritics.org/video/article/hollywood-execs-blame-texting-for-summer/