Talk Amongst Yourselves

Content Marketing General Social media

two women reading newspaper on park bench

I’m cool with “social marketing” and businesses’ presence in social networks. Obviously.

I like blog comments. A lot.

However, it seems I will forever cringe while reading comments on social marketing blogs.

What do you say we try a little experiment with this social marketing blog post!

[I should probably clarify, I’ve never had a problem with any comment on this blog. We don’t get many, and they’re rarely, if ever, from the cringe-worthy marketing professionals you see elsewhere.]

Here’s my idea:

Shut out the centralized, public comments.

There are other places where you can commnet on this very post. Google Reader, Google Buzz, Twitter, Facebook, message boards, and other blogs. Heck, you can even talk about it offline! Hopefully, you already know plenty of people who want to hear your opinion of my ideas. People who want your answers to my questions. People who are interested to know which questions you find most interesting.

You’re not commenting just because you like people to see your name and link, right?

So, I’m going to offer a few ideas and questions, in conclusion. Now that you’ve read this post, start a discussion about it amongst the people who already know you. Feel free to invite me into your network to participate. Tell me I’m wrong to my face, it’s cool.

[I was trying to decide if I should leave the “trackbacks” (pingbacks) on.

Cindy offered, “One hazard of this suggestion is that it becomes the original author’s (your) responsibility to report back to the blog audience on responses to posts. So then you’re setting yourself up as a filter. Open comments avoid this problem; so do trackbacks. They promote transparency.”

So, the comment thread can link back to those responding blog posts.]

Okay, then. Here are those questions:

  • What does my post and this blog lose from closing the comments to this post?
  • What do I gain? What do other readers gain? What do your blogs, and social circles gain by commenting “locally?”
  • I’m drawing my line at posts about and for social marketing professionals. I’m not suggesting businesses using blogs to talk to their consumers should do anything like this. But could that line be better drawn some place else?

Let me know where you think.

Photo credit: Ed Yourdon

Event: Summer Chamber Mixer at the Foxburg Inn


View from the river deck at the Foxburg InnHere’s a fun upcoming business mixer: Members of the Butler County, Clarion, Franklin and Venango Area Chambers of Commerce are invited to the Foxburg Inn on Wednesday, August 12, 2009. The event will be held on the river deck overlooking the beautiful Allegheny River. It begins at 5:30 p.m. and lasts until 7:30 p.m. and is free to chamber members. Guests will enjoy samplings of wine, chocolate and appetizers courtesy of Foxburg Winery, Divani Chocolates, Foxburg Pizza and Allegheny Grille.

Find out more on the Foxburg Inn website. RSVP to your respective chamber of commerce.

The Foxburg Inn is a client of Big Big Design, and we’re also members of the Butler County Chamber of Commerce, so for us this is a particularly pleasant combination. We hope to see you there.

Intro to LinkedIn presentation


Excerpt of a screenshot of Cynthia's LinkedIn network statistics

Last week I gave a talk to a group from National City Bank about LinkedIn, the social networking site for professionals. Everyone who attended the talk seemed to have heard of LinkedIn and to have received invitations to join; some people told me they received a couple new invitations every week. Yet the majority of the group weren’t sure what the site was about or how to handle invitations, much less how to get any benefit from the site.

I don’t think these people are alone. Although LinkedIn is easy to join and to use, the concept of it escapes a lot of people at first.

I used to think of LinkedIn as an address book on steroids, with the key advantage being that everyone is responsible for keeping their own contact information up-to-date. It would be a great tool even if there were all it did.

But it’s much more powerful. That’s what my talk was about.

You can download my speaker’s notes for the presentation here: Intro to LinkedIn by Cynthia Closkey. (You’re free to extend this presentation and adapt it, but please link back to me or credit me when you do.)

I’ll elaborate on the key topics from this presentation here on the blog over the next few days.

I’m indebted to Zale Tabakman and his presentation "Seven Ways to Generate Business with LinkedIn" for a number of the ideas in this presentation. His approach differs slightly from mine; he’s been quite successful, so you’ll want to see how he uses LinkedIn as well. I cribbed a few more ideas from Guy Kawasaki’s blog post "Ten Ways to Use LinkedIn," another excellent resource.