The American Family Podcast

Dan Cooke from Whirlpool presented the case study of this podcast, which is aimed at breaking out of the “sea of white” customers face when they go to buy major appliances.

Whirlpool’s target is the psychographic segment called the “active balancer,” someone who is “time-starved, willing to delegate household chores to others, open to new technology and change, and for whom quality and brand are extremely important.”

One point I think is important here is that they see this as “not as polished as other consumer-facing efforts.” It doesn’t have to be fully produced. These are done as phone interviews, so it’s not CD-quality sound.

This strategy also appealed to Whirlpool’s conservative nature, as it seemed less risky than blogging, because they could control the message.

Results: It has grown from 800 downloads a month in the first quarter to > 30,000 per month.

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“There are no secrets…

…only information you do not yet have.”

Great quote from Shel…not sure who said it, but it highlights the need for transparency.

Here’s the biggest run-on sentence ever, from our speed networking session, listing those who are here. It’s quite a cross section. (If I missed or misspelled anyone, let me know in the comments…and if you have a blog you would like linked here, let me know and I will update the post.)

We have representatives from the U.S. Air Force, Dansko, FEMA, H&R Block, Fleischmann-Hilliard, Leinart Health Products, American Airlines, Dr. Laura, American Association of Community Colleges, U.S. Navy, World Cynosport Limited (a group that emphasizes recreation sports with man’s best friend), Northwestern Mutual Financial Network, Electronic Arts, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Accenture, U.S. Military Central Command, Charles Schwab, Shutterfly, United Way of America, GroupHealth, Southwest Airlines, Xerox, Plaxo, Campbell Soup (Mmm, Mmm, good!), San Francisco Opera, Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union, AOL, Reformed Church in America, H-P, Publicis, Whirlpool, Boeing, Informatica, Prudential Real Estate, Syngenta, Wyndham Worldwide, Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, Verizon Business, U.S. Department of Energy, Tejon Ranch Corporation, Sage Software, GE Energy, Naval Surface Warfare Center, New Zealand Trade economic development agency, ComAvia (sp?) and Mayo Clinic (that’s me).

Shel Holtz: Seminar and Keynote Review

Shel quoted the Edelman Trust Barometer (with some reservations about doing it, given the recent Wal-Mart controversy) saying “A person like me” is the most credible person for companies.

The key to this is authenticity. Organizations with lots of happy customers/patients/employees would be well advised to just help those audiences find the tools they need to communicate, and to encourage them to start talking. If word-of-mouth has been important in the past, it’s on steroids in the blogosphere.

One of the concepts Shel mentioned yesterday but didn’t get into as fully in today’s shorter keynote is “Edge Content.” He particularly called attention to edgeio, which is a distributed alternative to eBay or Craig’s List.

I need to explore this more, but the concept is really neat. Why submit your listing into a common site, when you can put it on your own blog, with a code that notifies outside sites like edgeio?

Another topic I need to explore is The New Media News Release. I think this site will be good for learning.

With the launch of Internet Explorer 7 today (according to Shel), the use of RSS is going to explode. In the Macintosh world, Safari already has incorporated RSS feeds. So do Opera and Firefox. Now RSS is going to be called Web Feeds.

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ALI Conference on Blogging and Podcasting: Day One

The preconference seminars were immensely helpful yesterday, and now we’re going to be getting into some networking and a series of case studies that will, I hope, give real, practical advice and examples.

The conference description promises “practical solutions you can apply immediately…” and based on a quick glance at the workbook of handouts, I’m confident it will meet those expectations.

Shel Holtz is giving the keynote…and even though I’m on Holtz overload (having heard him at the Ragan Conference in Chicago in September, and a three-hour seminar yesterday, I’m looking forward to the review/overview.

Bring it on, Shel!

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New Thread: It’s All Free (and Mostly Easy)

This morning I added a second thread to this blog, which will be a description/tutorial on how to get started blogging for free, and how you can do everything you see on this blog without programming knowledge. Go here — or click It’s All Free (and Mostly Easy) in the navigation bar above) — for the start of the tutorial.

Why do you start a new thread? If you are posting regularly, some of your good stuff will move way down in the reverse chronological format of the blog. For reference material you want to have easily accessed, and which isn’t commenting on news of the day, adding a new page (with child pages or sub-pages) instead of a new post is the way to go.

In this case, I hope to make it easy for people who want to get started blogging to do so, and to eliminate excuses for not starting.

I’m at a conference on blogging and podcasting where people are spending a minimum of $1,699 plus travel and lodging (and two days of their lives) to learn about these topics.

I think that’s a really worthwile investment. Conferences like this are great to get you out of the routine and think about the bigger picture.

Why not take the next step and really apply what we’re learning, especially since it’s FREE? By investing 90 seconds or less now, and no money, you can start a blog. Then, for those who are at the conference, you could even blog about the presentations, as I am. Or, when you go home, you could take a couple of hours to write about (and link to) the blogs and resources you found most helpful. It will be a great way to get hands on experience and really have the information sink in.

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