Blogger Blogs about Google Buzz in Vain Linkbait Effort

SOMEWHERE IN ALABAMA – In an effort to join the bandwagon and hop on the blogosphere buzz about just-launched Google Buzz, social media guru/expert Collie Mackier decided to write a blog post extolling the significance of Buzz before actually ever seeing or using the product.

“Every blogger worth his or her grits knows that as soon as there is a new product announcement, you have to put out a rushed and ill-informed blog post about whatever it is in order to get links and Twitter re-tweets,” declared Mackier in an interview conducted using Buzz/Wave/Gmail a rotary phone. “Lately, I don’t even bother using the new product. I just read what Mashable says, then make stuff up with my own spin on it. Some guys invest 5 minutes looking at the new shiny object – that’s a waste. I invest that time creating link backtracks (sometimes to Guy Kawasaki, for instance) and hyping the news on Plurk.”

“Let’s face it people – it’s all about the linkbait. That’s why I always manage to make one reference to Connie Reece or Jay Baer or Liz Strauss in each post. Because it’s not what you know – it’s who you bribe into the ‘conversation’ with some first-mover link-love.”

It should be noted that Mr. Mackier made no gratuitous references to Mari Smith, Chris Brogan, or Alan Wolk during the interview.

As expected for a social media rockstar, Mackier’s post was re-tweeted 27 times on Twitter and was incorporated in 22 other linkbait blog posts/lists hyping the new Buzz platform, whatever it is. Instead of an excerpt, his entire post is reprinted below:

Google Buzz is what all the buzz is about – everyone has been demanding the user-centric social integration features that are offered here. I’m sure that once I use it, I’ll have more to say about it, but in the meantime, Buzz is buzzing the blogosphere (see links here and here and here) with more Buzz than Wave did, which I still haven’t tried either. It’s Google, so I just know it will change the world – at least, Mashable thinks so. What are your thoughts? Please join the conversation below by adding comments before you try it too. And please tweet to get the buzz going.

A standard meaningless picture is also  included in the blog post as a way to try to entice reader engagement while ducking on the delivery of any actual value or content.

By being one of the first blogging all-stars to post about Buzz, Collie’s ranking in the AdAge 1,500 jumped three places, to number 889, just ahead of The Lifestream and Times of Jean Luc Picard. His blog is still nowhere near the rankings of such internet luminaries as Ann Handley, Amber Naslund, or Lee Odden, however.

In related news, Yahoo announced the release of its Buzz-killing Mullet platform, including integration with Prodigy, GeoCities, and Napster.

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Prior linkbait-laden StickyFigure spoofs

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Holistic Common Sense and Social Networking

I enjoyed reading my friend Amber Naslund‘s post recently entitled The Taboo (but critical) Community Skill. Essentially, what Amber says is that we should not neglect the importance of selling skills – after all, all of this community engagement needs to lead us to some kind of business outcome.

As Amber put it:

When we talk about community or social media people in business roles, we talk about a lot of things.

Their ability to communicate, to interact. To be helpful. To be a diplomat and a conversationalist and a steward of the brand. But because it’s so often a taboo subject in social media, we miss talking about a pivotal skill that I think community professionals need to have. Sales skills.

Now I happen to agree with Amber. We cannot be fastidious about the reality that we are promoting, selling, seeking to grow business. I think we need to look at social media, and those who are tasked with putting it to use, under the very holistic umbrella of Business Growth. In fact, just swap out “social media” and put about anything in its place. The very broad category of Communications. A sub-category, On-line Communications. And a sub-category of that, Social Networking. How do each of these functions contribute to the things that contribute to the “Big Thing” – business growth?

Instead of overly simplistic questions like, “What’s the ROI of Social Media?“, business people should move backward from the “Big Thing” – business growth (more sales, new customer acquisition, better efficiency, great hires, etc.), and then look back to those elements that contribute to it – see the bullet points in blue above.

Now, in order to accomplish those tasks, what long-term strategies need to be in place? You can swap out Communications with IT or Management or various other disciplines – all of it should be geared toward business growth.

Now, think about social networking as part of the larger bucket of Communications. Don’t get narrowly focused in on the ROI of Social Media. Instead, use Holistic Common Sense. Will involvement in these communication approaches help create awareness, build a fan base, build a pipeline of prospective customers, sell your offering, serve customers, position you as a thought leader, influence a market, and provide marketing intelligence?

If social media (or anything else – fill in the blank) will significantly help accomplish these goals, leading to business growth, then come up with a good plan and make the commitment to employ a workable strategy. If not, then don’t.

You may be able to calculate some ROI on specific tactics and approaches over time. But look, first and foremost, at what will lead to business growth. That’s your ultimate goal – right?

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The Voice behind the Avatar

I recently had the privilege of being interviewed by Matthew Ray Scott for his Marketing Story Podcast series.

Matthew is an excellent interviewer. I, however, have ordered a new USB microphone/headset after listening to the audio. My current setup is not totally up to par (ooops!).

Much of the interview focuses on small business use of social media. However, somewhat unexpectedly, I kinda spilled the beans on some of my long-term dreams, and my growing vision about how I want to see us use social networking in order to fundamentally change how we approach business.

So – what’s the voice (and heart and soul) behind the avatar? Give a listen and discuss your perspectives (also available for free via iTunes under “Marketing Stories”). And see how our dreams match up!

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