Category Archives: Blogs

Speaking at Rutgers Today -

A lot of stuff is happening (keep promising to write here more and  then, don’t) – but this year I’ll post more AND put in a decent theme for a change.

Anyway – the latest presentation is on scaling online courses – and you can see it here.   More soon.

FINDING A VOICE IN THE ART BLOGOSPHERE @SMartCAMP SocialMediaArtCamp.com

I’m glad I went to the last two panels of SocialMediaArtCamp.com today; while the Social Media Measurement Panel at SMartCAMP www.socialmediaartcamp.com was interesting to someone who has never really grappled with measurement before (as many of the attendees haven’t) it was not as interesting to me as the last panel which had some new material I haven’t heard before – mainly what it’s like to be a well know Art Blogger.

Many of you know I have an New York Art Blog but I don’t write to it as much as I should.  Strangely enough – it’s metrics are much different than Webmetricsguru.com – a far lower bounce rate (less than 5%, in fact, and the average visit produces at least 5 pageviews/blog posts views – an entirely different audience than this blog).

Often I’ve wondered why ArtNewYorkCity generates that kind of behavioral pattern – what’s different – but I’m guessing it has more to do with the audience and content – at some point, maybe I’ll write about it here – perhaps there is something to learn that can be carried over to analytics blogs to make them more “interesting” and engaging.

I occasionally read Tyler Green’s blog and am familiar with ArtInfo.com but had no knowledge of anyone else on the panel

SPEAKERS:

HRAG VARTANIAN – Hyperallergic.com

Hrag Vartanian is a Williamsburg, Brooklyn-based writer, critic and cultural worker. His work has appeared in Ararat, Art21 Blog, AGBU News, Boldtype, Brooklyn Rail, BushwickBK, NYFA’s Current, Huffington Post and Modern Painters. He blogs at hragvartanian.com and is the founder and editor of Hyperallergic. In addition to his writing, he photographs, curates and maintains an extensive archive of art documentation on Flickr (close too 4,500 public images) at flickr.com/hragvartanian. Available free of charge, under a Creative Commons 2.0 license, the images have been published in dozens of electronic and print publications around the world, including BusinessWeek, UTNE Reader & Village Voice, to publicize the work of emerging artists and art scenes. He serves on the board of the international art nonprofit organization Triangle Arts Workshop, which is headquartered in Dumbo, Brooklyn.

TYLER GREEN

Tyler Green edits and writes Modern Art Notes (artsjournal.com/man). It features art criticism, analysis and frequently breaks major art world news stories. The Wall Street Journal has called MAN “the most influential of all visual arts blogs” and has said that “You won’t find a better-informed art writer than Tyler Green.” Green also lectures at museums and universities and has published regularly in magazines and on op-ed pages.

ANDREW GOLDSTEIN

Andrew M. Goldstein is the executive editor of ARTINFO. An art journalist who has written for New York magazine, the Art Newspaper, Portfolio, and other publications, he has long straddled the print/Web divide, starting out at Inside.com, then covering crime and politics for the Chicago Tribune’s City News bureau, then writing an online column for Radar, then editing the news section at ARTnews — essentially bouncing back and forth between new and old media, completely by happenstance. Andrew studied the Classics at Wesleyan University, and he lives in New York.

CAROLINA A. MIRANDA

Carolina A. Miranda is a New York-based freelance writer who contributes articles on travel, culture and the arts to a variety of national and regional media, including Time, ArtNews, Travel + Leisure, Budget Travel and Florida Travel + Life. She is a regular contributor at WNYC, New York’s public radio affiliate, where she produces on-air and multimedia reports devoted to the arts. Previously, she was a reporter at Time magazine, where she covered culture, education and social issues, in addition to breaking news. She has reported on the burgeoning industry of skatepark design, architectural pedagogy in Southern California, the presence of street art in museums and Lima’s burgeoning food scene, among many other subjects. In 2008, she was named one of eight fellows in the USC Annenberg/Getty Arts Journalism Program for her arts and architecture blog C-Monster.net, which has received mentions in the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. In January of 2010, the Times named her one of nine people to follow on Twitter. You can find her at @cmonstah.

A few interesting points that I picked out of this talk.

  1. None of the bloggers is making much money out of Blogging
  2. All of the bloggers haven’t figured out how to effectively use analytics to understand their audience.
  3. Most Art Blogs don’t get much in the way of “comments” – in fact, many people appear to be afraid to express their opinions about art since Art is so subjective.  Even the New York Times gets few comments in the Art sections according to one of the panalists.
  4. All the bloggers were first journalists but look at blogs as a different art form because, unlike journalism, you don’t need your content to be edited (you can let your hair down).
  5. The audience for Art Content is much smaller than Technology blogs – it’s more niche.
  6. Certain personalities and well known artists and dealers draw traffic, but the rest, doesn’t.
  7. Most of Art Bloggers don’t read any blogs by actual artists, even well known artists.  Most Museums have boring blogs.

My sense is that Social Media brought many benefits to bloggers – but none of it seemed to be directly connected to money – which suggests that we need to clear up a misconception about Social Media ROI.   Since all of the bloggers got other things because of the blogging – it might be said that Social Media (in this instance, blogging) has an supportive role to creating money – but does not, in itself, create money (see 37 minutes into the video, above).

Ugh!!! Well, if you are trying to sell Social Media to people who want to see the money … you’ve got a problem - because Social Media does not create money – it supports it.    You can look at it as if money is “your health” and vitamins, exercise and a good diet is your “social media” of “health”.    We know all those activities are good … studies show it – but yet how are you going to “prove” that taking vitamins and running every other day is giving you 10 more years of life?

You probably can’t.  And that’s the problem of ROI – unless you can get the analytics tracking really, really fined tuned – getting the ROI numbers you might get out of a simple AdWords campaign – will be next to impossible.

Look at it another way – Social Media acts as a supportive, amplifier (the “X Factor”) of marketing and communications  the case for Social Media is much easier to make.

My final insight was an ominous one for Google - 16 minutes into the video Tyler Green said -Google is losing it’s role as the dominant source of traffic for some sites, Search Engines in general are – this has  been predicted – and it explains why Google is fighting back using Google Buzz.

What Google might not be wanting to acknowledge is people are changing the way they process information – partly due to changes that  Google has helped produce.  Google’s i culture and reason for existing is Search – but people are changing how they search and in some cases aren’t searching at all.  Plus  searches are becoming too complex even for Google to figure out like they did in the old days – and when they try to use work around like recording your last searches and looking at your overall profile and location – they run into the Big Brother issue.

Tyler confirmed that Twitter and Facebook are now the main drivers of his traffic – Google is beginning to become irrelevant to many of us, much as Microsoft did.

Who would have thought it would be coming so soon … I thought this day, the day Google is no longer the Top Dog – would have been 3-5 years away …. but look …. it’s happening right now.

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Building Social Media Programs from inside out

On Reading Finally delivering the Social Media playbook at BrandBuilder, today,  I feel (felt) somewhat skeptical, but upon listening to Oliver’s video about RedChair (which I liked), I’m interested in seeing what he and his partners will actually deliver.

To be fair, no one really owns this space, today, but many people would like to (own it, or parts of it) and are staking a claim on it now, even a friend of mine, Gary Angel in his post on How do you Measure Social Media ROI? – whose webinar  I’ll try to attend, and Jim Sterne is now writing his next book on Social Media Metrics: How to Measure and Optimize Your Marketing Investment which will be out next May (I wrote a short blurb for it).

I have a lot of respect for Jim Sterne’s work and his first book on Web Metrics was largely responsible for getting me involved in Web Analytics – and he has good track record – I know him well – so I believe his book will be an excellent resource for Social Media when it’s published.

Last June, Steve Rubel spoke at Mediabistro Circus about Brand All Stars (I wrote about it and was in the audience – Using Social Media to promote your brand- Steve Rubel (Brand All Stars) on what I think, most of what Olivier Blanchard is aspiring to promote with his  RedChair, though Oliver’s vision is larger and involves the underpinning and surrounding parts that Steve Rubel didn’t specifically address.  Still, at the end of the day, I’m not sure about what is actually being delivered.

I think one of the main sticking points for me with Oliver’s premise, for me, – there’s only a few people in the world who can execute on a social media program and all it’s parts – and then suggests, his group is one of them –  ….. I have an open mind – or will try to.

I mean, he has an excellent team – and Jacob Morgan, seems to have a lot of good things he writes about – and just the other day came up with the real cost of implementing a social media program (see his presentation on Social Media ROI – see slide 18), which I read about while I was in London last week – and he gave prices and timelines in slide 18 – and I was very impressed- that he was willing to come out and publicly admit what the real time line is, and what the real prices for a social media program would be (200K+ and over a year to get results – measure them – not for the faint of heart).

The reason I’m thinking back to Steve Rubel – at the time he talked about PR 2.0 and Brand All Stars – I thought about how nice it would be to go into companies and teach them how to do Social Media by identifying their “stars” or teach them how to create their own “luminaries” and then, inject them into relevant conversations and monitor the results – but it’s yet my thing to go around and actually train companies to do that – maybe I’d like to but just don’t know how.

Still – I’m seeing how much of what I’ve done, from a measurement, and, also, strategy part, become one of the next areas that is being “staked out” with a lot of people now wanting to “own” social media – who want a piece of the pie, along with the web analytics community, the PR community – well … just about everyone.

My only advice is to look at track record – see what people who want to teach social media have actually done ….. and judge them from there.

I know Gary Angel pretty well from the Analytics field – I’d trust whatever he comes up with on a measurement perspective – same thing with Eric T. Peterson; I’ve seen their work and know what they’re capable of – they have good track records, as far as I’m concerned. I know K. D. Paine pretty well – I trust what she says.      Oliver .. I just don’t know enough – I havent’ seen anything really, yet, besides the presentations – and I was underwhelmed by the delivery, outside the fluff – but that’s just me – maybe with a little more time …. I’d see more and could express my own opinion based on what I’ve actually touched.

The main “hook” with Red Chair – is that few people can deploy Enterprise programs from within large organizations – but (and I have worked in many of these “large organizations” myself, so I have an idea of what Oliver is talking about) is not so much they are frustrated – is that they are largely  SILOED – and could not execute a Successful, Authentic Social Media program, even if they wanted to!

Weather RedChair can go in and suddenly teach some enterprises to do it now – will depend largely on the corporate culture and will that current organizations have towards Social Media – when he goes in there – and that’s hard to predict.

I don’t blame anyone from wanting to “stake out” a piece of the pie of Social Media – that’s what’s business is all aboutI just think results ought to stand on their own - and the best endorsement of your brand is other people praising your brand for you.

Anyway, last week I noted a post from Marketing Pilgrim Cup of Joe: How Not To Go Viral and Look Like an Idiot thought it was good as it pointed out that good social media for a large brand (if it’s not original – needs to be really, really, really GOOD) – and when RedChair goes into large organizations and teaches them Social Media – I wonder if he is going to deal with that Pink Elephant – the one that says – you better be really good if your not going to be authentic – but if you are authentic – you don’t have to worry overmuch on your presentation as your content will carry the rest of your message for you.

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