Brian Fuller's blog on the media, marketing and content creation

One great big evolution

Posted on | August 6, 2008 | 4 Comments

Like a lot of other people, I’m scrambling to try to figure out where we’re headed online.
Here’s where we stand:
Content-creation tools are free and infinite. Social networking and media sites (audience development) are ubiquitous.
We’re moving toward an integrated system (portable online profiles) in which you publish once and reach many, regardless of networks. That’s very appealing.
But we’re not there yet.
So what I’ve kluged together is along these lines: I microblog through Twitter (I like Plurk better but I was really too far along on Twitter to build an audience on Plurk). On Twitter, the feed gets blasted to Netvibes, Facebook, Tumblr and FriendFeed. It’s not elegant, but it’s automatic. The same happens when I post here, to Greeley’s Ghost.
The problem is that’s four social network or media sites to check out, which is bordering on unmanageable. Someone’s gotta be the one-stop shop; it would make my life and the life of any clients who swim in this pool a lot simpler.

Tracking feature
Speaking of clients and new media, one of the big sticking points is measurement . How to do it cost effectively? If you’re an agency, how do you do it without having to bug your client’s IT department?
Yesterday, I came across, a short-URL creator like TinyURL but one with a tracking mechanism. Take a URL and run it through and when you return to after a while, it will tell you which sites picked it up and how many people read it. No IT intervention necessary.
My first experiment with it was to take a long URL relating to a bunch of comments on a recent Ghost post. I returned this morning and found it had 20 total clicks and that some of them came from Facebook and Twitter.
This approach isn’t for every piece of content you create. Marshall Kirkpatrick on ReadWriteWeb points out that if you rely on it too much and someday dies, you end up with a bunch of dead links. But try it out in an email campaign, a media pitch. Make sure (obviously) that whatever you’re linking to is relevant and compelling and see how it flies.
Bottom line: we’re making progress on content creation, distribution and tracking fronts. It’s a sprint, not a marathon.

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4 Responses to “One great big evolution”

  1. Matt McGinnis
    August 6th, 2008 @ 10:50 am

    Thanks for the tip.

  2. Loring Wirbel
    August 6th, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

    One-stop shop? How Leninist. Mao said “let 100 flowers bloom.” What if there were 100 social networks that niched themselves into must-view positions? We’re almost there today.

  3. Loring Wirbel
    August 6th, 2008 @ 12:55 pm

    One-stop shop? How Leninist. What did Mao say about “let 100 flowers bloom”? Can you imagine 100 tightly-niched but absolutely necessary micro-social networks? We’re almost there today.

  4. Kerri
    August 8th, 2008 @ 4:38 am

    I’m not sure what you mean about making it cost effective. I would suggest, though, that you look at what folks like @comcastcares on Twitter are doing. There is a universal hatred for Comcast, but Frank from Comcast monitors and replies personally (and quickly) to people who address him on Twitter. It’s a really remarkable way of spreading good service AND goodwill, and it really costs Comcast nothing to help people where THEY are, rather than where Comcast is.

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