Talking with Al Gore in My PJ

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Al gore giving his global warming talk in Moun...
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I was sick last week, and that’s why I didn’t post anything lately. Now I am back to work, and this blog will be updated as usual.

Digitas produced a great event called Digital Content Newfront couple of weeks ago, as a part of NYC Internet Week.

And I was an active participant, even though I was thousands of miles away.

The event covered brand marketing strategies, and was keynoted by Al Gore, who discussed Viewers Generated Ads, a strategy that let viewers create ads for brands. Mr. Gore talked extensively about the need for authenticity in brand marketing, a tricky topic for cigarettes and oil companies.
I was interested to hear Al Gore’s take on that – so with a simple twit, I’ve sent a question to the conference, from my living room in Israel. My friend Jon Burg who was moderating incoming twitter questions, asked the question at the event – and Gore responded simply by saying that they don’t work with such companies. I was a part of the whole thing as I watched the live video feed from NYC.
The amazing part of the story is not that I was able to see a video stream of a remote event and ask a question. This was done before with ustream and The important point here is that these technologies are now mature enough:

  • The video feed was crisp and almost without any buffering. From urls of the event I believe it is the work of Bitgravity, an affordable HD CDN.
  • The room was covered with multiple cameras using Tricaster , a low cost video mixer.
  • And Twitter was pretty stable.

So I was in my PJ, at home, talked with one of the brightest minds, Al Gore, all thanks to usable, affordable technologies.

The Physical walls are falling. The only barrier for communication is willingness.

Your Company Got Blogger-Bashed? Take an Example From NewTek

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Bloggers affect public image of companies – and smart ones know to identify and respond to issues raised by this independent media source. The effect of bloggers doesn’t end in image only, but also harm stock price, as Engadget false report on iPhone release dates showed the market.

However, smart management of these situation can not only fix damage done, but also improve company’s public image.

Readers of my blog know that sometimes I politely bash companies. That was the case of NewTek, the creator of TriCaster, that I’ve covered in this post. The main issue that I’ve raised was their lack of responsiveness to, a company that used its product to push the envelope of online drama.

Several hours after publishing the post, their CEO and President, Jim Plant left a comment thanking for the post and asking who was trying to reach them. I’ve asked Andrew from to touch base with Jim, and they’ve done so through the comments section, and later I’ve introduced them to one another via mail (based on the email address provided in the comment Jim left me). Not only that, the company later sent Philip Nelson, VP of Strategic Development, for a meeting with Andrew Lipson, and for a related panel in IMTC event.

Not only that NewTek improved their image in the community, they also gained some publicity and reach to new market segments – only because they were responsive to what was written about them – in a timely fashion.

So what are the most important points for companies in dealing with bloggers who bash them?

1. Time– responding in a timely fashion to posts is a crucial part of communicating with bloggers. This requires an ongoing monitoring of blogsphere by companies and their marketing departments.

2. Comments – though companies can contact bloggers directly, comments are visible to all readers. That way, even if a company doesn’t persuade the blogger that his bashing is wrong, at least the readers would see additional point of view on the topic.

3. Top management involvement – getting top management to comment directly on blogs provide additional benefits – especially when the company is bashed. Just like a press conference, when a senior level official presents company views, readers see that the company sees a topic as important.

4. Use real email addresses in comments – yes, I know, sounds strange, but the fact that I had the direct connection to Jim made things much easier, and raised NewTek’s credibility.

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