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Ban the blog

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It’s 2012. There’s a dizzying new world of possibilities for creating and distributing content. We have the technology - but we also have some bad habits and emotional baggage getting in the way.

iCrossing’s Content Director Charlie Peverett takes you on an entertaining journey through the evolution of online content to give you a fresh and inspiring perspective on what really matters.

Find out why your first action might be to ban the blog.

Published in: Technology
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Ban the blog

  1. 1. Ban the Blog Charlie Peverett
  2. 2. Definition of ‘blog’ #1• A contraction of ‘web log’• A diary-style way to publish content easily to the web• Typically displaying the most recent post first• Usually enabling readers to add their comments
  3. 3. Definition of ‘blog’ #2• A revolutionary democratisation of the process of publishing content that has the potential to empower people across the globe to tell their stories and express their opinions
  4. 4. Definition of ‘blog’ #3• Mainly created by "bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mothers’ basements and ranting”. – Andrew Marr, Oct 2010
  5. 5. Definition of ‘blog’ #4• …our main website is still too shit to add anything to it regularly so well dump stuff here instead and hope someone notices. – @tamsinbishton
  6. 6. Claims made for blogging by marketers• Blogging will increase your visibility• Blogging will increase your engagement• Blogging will increase your authority
  7. 7. Claims made for blogging by marketers• Blogging will improve your sex life• Blogging will do the washing up for you• [insert your own]
  8. 8. The blog is a bucket
  9. 9. Buckets are great
  10. 10. Some of us will always be more interested in the bucket
  11. 11. but for most of us….
  12. 12. It’s what’s in the bucket that counts
  13. 13. How did we get distracted by buckets?
  14. 14. How did we get distracted by buckets?1. Blogs as workarounds
  15. 15. How did we get distracted by buckets?2. My boss heard about blogging…
  16. 16. How did we get distracted by buckets?3. It’s treated as a media buy
  17. 17. In short…• The success of your blog is increasingly tied to what you say - not merely the fact that you’ve chosen to speak
  18. 18. In short…• Alternative platforms may suit your objectives better
  19. 19. In short…• Thinking hard first saves pain later
  20. 20. In short…We’re seeking toavoid the fate ofthousands ofcompany blogs.
  21. 21. Blogs with archives that look something like this
  22. 22. Blogs with archives that look something like this• Here’s an exclusive interview with one of our designers!
  23. 23. Blogs with archives that look something like this• Here’s an exclusive interview with one of our designers!• Here’s our press release about a store opening in Milton Keynes
  24. 24. Blogs with archives that look something like this• Here’s an exclusive interview with one of our designers!• Here’s our press release about a store opening in Milton Keynes• Look! Voucher code!
  25. 25. Blogs with archives that look something like this• Here’s an exclusive interview with one of our designers!• Here’s our press release about a store opening in Milton Keynes• Look! Voucher code!• Pictures of us in the office eating cakes
  26. 26. Blogs with archives that look something like this• Here’s an exclusive interview with one of our designers!• Here’s our press release about a store opening in Milton Keynes• Look! Voucher code!• Pictures of us in the office eating cakes• Something else, can’t even remember what
  27. 27. Blogs with archives that look something like this• Here’s an exclusive interview with one of our designers!• Here’s our press release about a store opening in Milton Keynes• Look! Voucher code!• Pictures of us in the office eating cakes• Something else, can’t even remember what• I posted this to get HR off my back!
  28. 28. It’s a place where content goes todie.A mishmash of bloggery-pokerythat at iCrossing we like to call:
  29. 29. Shitpot.com
  30. 30. ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪Shit-pot-dot-com
  31. 31. The solution?
  32. 32. • In early stages of planning, ban the word ‘blog’
  33. 33. • In early stages of planning, ban the word ‘blog’• Take those questionable claims for ‘blogging’ and replace ‘blogging’ with ‘being interesting and relevant on a frequent basis’
  34. 34. • In early stages of planning, ban the word ‘blog’• Take those questionable claims for ‘blogging’ and replace ‘blogging’ with ‘being interesting and relevant on a frequent basis’• See if the conversation goes somewhere different
  35. 35. Ban the BlogReason 1:You’ll focus more on the purpose,less on the bucket
  36. 36. Ban the BlogReason 2:You’ll consider better options forpublishing and distributing yourcontent
  37. 37. Ban the BlogReason 3:If you do settle on the need for ablog it will be a positive decision
  38. 38. It’s a case of moving from areactive model to a strategic one
  39. 39. We need to producemore content / ‘be social’
  40. 40. We need to producemore content / ‘be social’ [knee jerk]
  41. 41. We need to producemore content / ‘be social’ [knee jerk]I just signed up for Wordpress!
  42. 42. We need to produce We need tomore content / ‘be communicate social’ smarter! [knee jerk] vsI just signed up for Wordpress!
  43. 43. We need to produce We need tomore content / ‘be communicate social’ smarter! vs Why? To whom? [knee jerk] Where? How?I just signed up for Wordpress!
  44. 44. We need to produce We need tomore content / ‘be communicate social’ smarter! vs Why? To whom? [knee jerk] Where? How? MainI just signed up for Off-site Email site Wordpress! Twitter Apps Blog
  45. 45. We need to produce We need tomore content / ‘be communicate social’ smarter! vs Why? To whom? [knee jerk] Where? How? MainI just signed up for Off-site Email site Wordpress! Twitter Apps Blog
  46. 46. We need to produce We need tomore content / ‘be communicate social’ smarter! vs Why? To whom? [knee jerk] Where? How? MainI just signed up for Off-site Email site Wordpress! [maybe] Twitter Apps Blog
  47. 47. Three great tips for blogging being frequently relevant and interesting online
  48. 48. 1) Get some perspectiveGet everyone thinking like a real person wholikes real stuff![interactive workshop activity was here – butyou can try this at home]
  49. 49. Exercise: thinking like a real person• Take a group of people• Ask one person to talk about something they love online (doesn’t have to be a blog)• Bring it up on the screen for everyone to see
  50. 50. Exercise: thinking like a real person• Ask that person to specify the positive qualities of the site they’ve chosen• Add each quality (e.g. accurate, funny, surprising, inspiring) to a post-it note• Put the post-its on a wall
  51. 51. Exercise: thinking like a real person• Repeat with as many participants as you can• When finished, have a look at all the post-its• Consider which qualities have arisen time and again (it’s usually the same ones…)• And finally….
  52. 52. Exercise: thinking like a real person• Consider whether the content you’re planning is likely to have any of these qualities…
  53. 53. 2) RelevanceBeware marketers who tell you they can beinteresting on your behalf[cue deathstar]
  54. 54. Stuff you actually do /what you know about
  55. 55. Stuff you actually do /what you know about A step away from your products and services
  56. 56. Stuff you actually do /what you know about A step away from your products and services Way out of comfort zone
  57. 57. Increased time, effort, investment to establishStuff you actually do / credibilitywhat you know about A step away from your products and services Way out of comfort zone
  58. 58. Increased time, effort, investment to establishStuff you actually do / credibilitywhat you know about A step away from your products and services Less relevant to what your Way out of customers want comfort zone from you
  59. 59. Increased time, effort, investment to establishStuff you actually do / credibilitywhat you know about A step away from your products and services Less relevant to what your Way out of customers want comfort zone from you Risk of brand erosion
  60. 60. Increased time, effort, investment to establishStuff you actually do / credibilitywhat you know about A step away from your products and services Less relevant to what your Way out of customers want comfort zone from you Risk of brand erosion Risk of looking a bit desperate
  61. 61. 3) *Do* something interesting• 98% of interesting online content involves something interesting happening offline*• The cost of *doing* something interesting (a project / event / campaign) is rarely factored into the investment in producing content• The further from your core business your focus for content is, the greater the need to commit to *doing* extra stuff to fuel what you have to say* I totally made this up but I believe it to be true
  62. 62. Bonus tip: Tags are not contentRemember, tag clouds are the mullets of theinternet (Zeldman, 2005, still bears repeating)
  63. 63. So in summary• Purpose before content before platform• Get some perspective• Keep it relevant• Doing something interesting
  64. 64. Ban the Blog Thanks Charlie Peverett
  65. 65. Image creditsImages reproduced under Creative Commons licence:Roses in a bucket image by Flickr user jenny downing licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)http://www.flickr.com/photos/jenny-pics/3079485197/sizes/l/Colourful stacked buckets image by Flickr user tanakawho licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)http://www.flickr.com/photos/28481088@N00/670258156/Buckets on sale in street image by Flickr user nSeika licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)http://www.flickr.com/photos/nseika/6376364681/Tennis court image by Flickr user EEPaul licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)http://www.flickr.com/photos/eepaul/6860515636/Cat in a bucket image by Flickr user nromagna licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)http://www.flickr.com/photos/nromagna/5643588854/Pissed off cat image by Flickr user Mikko Lumtiala licensed under Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)http://www.flickr.com/photos/mikko_luntiala/5068157476/Please note that the ‘blog as perfume’ image is reproduced under copyright from the supplier.

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