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White Blossoms, Red Kimono

The following speech was given at Saturday’s New York City Tribeup.

We live in an attention economy. The way content gets found today with social validation and search requires that posts, videos and pictures get referred to and talked about by others.

As a blogger, I did well during the RSS era with the Buzz Bin. I sold that blog as part of an acquisition. In the process I lost 5000 RSS subscribers.

For a little while, my personal blog did well in its stead based on my social network communities and good will. This created a second wave of success.

I then did a bunch of stupid things like cut down frequency, blog without editorial direction, engaged in a few immature blog wars, and restricted my frequency. These things effectively eroded my blog’s social support.

After a period of roughly the past half year, a guest blogging campaign, being exposed to Gini Dietrich‘s brilliant mind while launching our book, and a reinvigorated content mission with a committed frequency, my personal blog began to rebound. Then I joined Triberr, effectively capping a comeback, my third wave of personal blogging success.

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Pepsi Refresh Campaign Critique

Today on the Buzz Bin I wrote a piece on Fragmented Branding that breaks down the Pepsi Refresh corporate social responsibility campaign as an example. Five points that should be noted in that piece:

1) Brand distortion creates a situation where communicators attempt to paint the abstract. In the case of fragmented branding, some pieces are issued by corporate, others are the expressions of stakeholders, positive and negative.

2) Both Richard Laermer and I dubbed the campaign an instant success on our podcast, simply because of the many conversations it has created.

3) What was notable about Pepsi Refresh project was the size of the purse, as well as the opt out of the Super Bowl. Copy cat marketing efforts are sure to arise, and less successfully so.

4) Corporate social philanthropy needs to be authentic to the core of the company. Customer-centric efforts with crowdsourcing efforts are cool, but ultimately represent a novelty, especially for niche brands that are not serving mass markets. Companies will be better served building programs around the corporate culture or strategy.

5) Contest fatigue is setting in. And criticism of cause-based contests is also on the rise. Make sure this is the right tactic as opposed to engaging your community in a different, more sustainable way.

You can read the whole post on the Buzz Bin, where I blog every Monday about social media communications.