Star Date Supplemental

A Quick Note.

This is not our company blog. This is a repository for blog posts, in the event that we lose topic related posts in other locations, servers go down or someone pulls a plug permanently.

As a digital media company, we are usually asked to produce content. Text seems simple enough, right?

Some employers will gauge work by how much written output you can manage, what graphics and video tools you use. It is easy to miscalculate the difficulty level, how long it takes to storyboard, direct and edit video or photo-shop and process a series of images.

Paying customers feel they could do the same thing much better, if only they had the time to spare. This often happens in hindsight when the work is OK, but not "what we're looking for."  You may get fired and rehired around Christmas time by this kind of contractor.

Other employers are obsessed with analytics, nerding out on google tag manager percentages, ad campaigns or seasonal uplift. These employers tend to ask for complicated reporting metrics taking your focus away from "actual marketing."  If you tell them this, they'll often fire you and get someone who tells them what they want to hear.

Nearly everyone thinks social media is "easy." The truth is that a busy social media role gives you direct unfiltered access to customers in real time. Something neither blogging, nor analytics reporting can deliver.  

Because it seems so simple, many employers hire a "Facebook" intern, hoping that person can develop the skills needed on the job, or at least be a cheap scapegoat, if unsuccessful. In most cases the skill set is too large and people move on. 

Employers then go for the opposite approach of going for an external agency, who don't have a clue of the company, product, or industry and have multiple other clients. Often that agency is not their web developer, so an interesting (and expensive) game of pass the parcel begins.

One of the key things to note is how little knowledge of the digital space potential employers often have. It takes 3 to six months to grow a channel like Instagram or Twitter.  Blogging takes longer. YouTube often takes from three to six years to develop. Each channel evolves it's own ethos. Twitter is often pure advertising, Facebook, a forum and Linkedin a data channel, but it can all change rapidly.

The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle...

Using a restaurant analogy; blogging is writing the menu, analytics is checking the till receipts and social media is the waiter. The food still needs to be edible, delivered in good time, served on clean crockery and in budget.

Back to blogging...

We keep blogs running on wordpress, self hosted wordpress,  BeBeeMediumMedium Carista (Work Blog), WildTherapy (hobby) and quite a few more.  Many of these sites are also connected to other channels, IFTTT and archived for later use.

The trick with blogs is to find ways to engage and distribute, either linking back to posts, adding them to other channels, like Reddit for example, or posting them to other outlets. 

Making blog posts "evergreen" helps. Using strong images helps a lot. So does making them readable, engaging and directing readers to a single solid Call to Action. If you use wordpress there are some nice syndication tools available. 

We use blog posts as mailshots, a tactic which repurposes the original post, we also post snippets to Instagram and Twitter.  We add posts to Pinterest as images, Tumblr and linkedin (as company updates). 

Facebook profiles we actually avoid, (maybe one post if we want to boost engagement quickly or an upcoming event). Facebook business pages are fair game. Before Linkedin acquired it, we were happy to make posts into PPT and use them as Slideshare uploads. Nowadays that option is less visible to users.

Another thing to note is that audience mix is different on different sites, it might require a change in "voice," more images or a rewrite.

Options are endless. The only thing you can't do is hit post and wait for viewers to find your stuff...the internet is just too vast.

Chess tactics ...content might be King, but distribution is the Queen. 

Malcolm Gladwell tells a very good story, one you probably know quite well. The story of a poor shepherd boy and the massive monster. Gladwell's take makes the story about agility, skill, clear vision, terrain, timing and technique...and little to do with blind luck or divine providence.

Our technical team lead, Yanko, was discussing an interesting feature that appeared in some Toyota models; "the ottoman rear seat." The term describes a function that works on some rear seats in specific models.

I've been busy selling car widgets for a few weeks, so forgive the change in focus. It's not permanent.
I've been thinking about the individual physical changes in posture, behavior and the social impact of mobile tech for about ten years. For all of the data it dangles, it delivers a lot more in social engineering than it...