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Parental Problems

Children hate it when their parents can't get along. So do I.

I wish Google and Apple would play nice. It seems they never tire of finding ways my Apple devices and my Goggle products DON'T work together!

Come on! I love you both! Give a kid a break!!!!!!

The Transformation of Reading - Rock, Scissors, Kindle?

I recently purchased a Kindle. I'm enjoying the portability and ease of the device. I chose that reader because it is most ‘book like,’ lacking all the digital temptations of the tablets and color readers. I’ve switched off as many of the features I as can to cut down on any distractions while reading. Still, there is nothing like the feel of paper, the smell of an aged hard cover, the traces of previous readers…. Yes, we will adjust, but the loss is real for those of us who will always remember when a coffee shop was most likely attached to a room of used books.

Many of us are morning the passing of paper. Two bloggers that have said it well are:

Kent Anderson, over at “the scholarly kitchen” writes Mourning the Printed Book — The Aesthetic and Sensory Deprivation of E-books and Kristen J. Tseti of “From a little office in a little house" posts on

The looming extinction of everyday art and history.

I invite you to visit their posts and ponder this shift in the state of reading medium we are witnessing. A wake may be in order.

About Measuring Digital Marketing

Lauren Carlson over at Marketing Automation Software Guide recently sent me a link to an  article entitled "Going Beyond Opens and Clicks – Metrics to Measure" by Lisa Cramer. The article positions itself as a vote to move from less valuable metrics of measuring marketing success to more measurable and more valuable metrics tied to actual lead and revenue generation. The posture is that it is time to wake up to the need for more measurable marketing. I agree, in premise - and have some thoughts of my own. Surprise.

Let me state my bias. I work with a digital marketing agency, so my experience and focus is almost totally on online marketing. More than perhaps any other type of marketing, digital marketing is expected to be measurable. With all those technologies and codes, surely we can track the success of digital marketing. Lisa Cramer's title appears to be about the digital world - however her advice (and graphic) skews to the larger, more traditional world of marketing. I'm more focused on the digital end of things - what happens before it turns into a lead or a sale.

It is my experience that business owners (small and large), and marketing executives are already very aware of the need to measure the success of their marketing. I have never had a business leader tell me that they wanted to spend money in order to get more clicks or opens. They always want more revenue. If anyone is guilty of skewing the graph to talk about clicks and opens to measure the results of digital marketing - it is those of us who are in the industry and those who create the tools that measure that way.

What we need to be figuring out - and what businesses need to demand - is how we can best track the results of our digital marketing efforts across all platforms. Each platform or tool has it's built in analytics to measure it's results within the isolation of that particular platform. Email marketing tools will tell you delivery, opens and clicks. Social Media campaigns will report growth in fans and followers. Search Marketing will gladly calculate the number of visits to your websites. Then, your website analytics will track what happens on every page and link. The trick, and it is a bit tricky, is to practice the art and discipline of connecting each of the platforms so a cohesive line can be draw from each marketing tactic to lead generation. It is my opinion that this ability is what truly separates the few greats from the many in our industry. If you're interested in more about this, drop by and listen to a recent webinar I led for the folks over at Vortx.

Additionally, while we digital marketers are often guilty of measuring the trees (face it - tree counting is such fun) without considering the forest, companies are sometimes guilty of demanding measurement from us while failing to put in place the kinds of system integration of which Lisa Cramer speaks. The sword does have two edges. The best solution comes when both company and marketer can implement full integration to track and measure the activity and results directly related to their marketing efforts. Ms. Cramer gives several thought provoking examples of what needs to be measured once a lead enters the funnel. I would add that we need to be sure we are tracking exactly how those leads enter the funnel and the best digital marketing folks can deliver just that information.

A final nod of thanks to Lauren Carlson for sharing the article with me - now go read it if you haven't already!

Why Blogging isn't Social Media - An Opinion

Wordle: Blogging Isn't Social Media

I'm going to take a walk out onto some thin ice, and then jump up and down on it.

Social Media has become a loud and hot topic and for good cause. In the last few years tools like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn have skyrocketed in popularity. Facebook tops 500 Million users, while the youthful Twitter has grown to over 18 million users and LinkedIn, in a very business oriented market niche, has grown to more than 80 million active profiles. The reasons for this growth and the subsequent intense chatter are varied and full of theory and opinion. I'll add mine to the mix.

Social Media (specifically the venues mentioned above) has empowered the internet user to connect and communicate with communities of people online. They provide ongoing and interactive forums with intricate and vibrant interfaces. Now - let that statement settle a moment. Community connections. Interactivity. Intricate interfaces. I'm too lazy (or stubborn) to break down the various forms of Social Media to apply these elements, but it should be apparent that each of them have these elements: Community connections, Interactivity and Intricate Interfaces (although I will say a word about interfaces - meaning, the many ways you can now connect and communicate across not only a single Social network, but between those networks. These are represented mostly by 3rd party UI tools).

Social Media has presented us with a unique twist to the internet's ability to display information and made it more accessible for the user to participate in what is being said to/from any given target audience. It is a grass roots movement empowered (i'mpowered?) by technology. This isn't blogging.

Blogging isn't, by nature uniquely interactive, community focused or intricately interfaced - at least not like the aforementioned (I love using that word, just because it is so fun to type aforementioned...) Social platforms. Blogs are written mostly by individuals or small teams of people. Typically, blogs have something to say to the reader. The voice of the blog is primarily singularly directed from the writer to the reader and blogs don't really provide a very interactive format for conversation. What of the comments you say?

Comments on blogs are usually just that - comments. The typical format for comments doesn't lend itself to conversations very well. Readers leave their thoughts and opinions and there may or may not be any response by the author of the post, and almost certainly there is no conversation between commenter's. The technology to connect comments, responses and dialogue via blog comments is cumbersome and not widely implemented.

Blogs build readership, not communities. For the aforementioned (I do love that word) reasons, blogs aren't particularly useful at creating communities. The relationships created are more between the reader and the blog than they are among the readers. Those who follow a blog don't by design connect with each other.

When it comes to an intricate interface that can connect the community (that doesn't exist) with others inside and outside of the readership of the blog, blogs are sorely lacking. In fact, blogs have struggled to find a singular technology to connect them with each other and readers for years. There are many and diverse blogroll tools - but no universally accepted format. There are blog directories and listings in abundance, yet even the great Technorati lacks for universal recognition as the dominant blog directory. Yet, it is this lack of Social interface that has, I believe, thrown blogging into the Social Media mix.

Bloggers have embraced Social Media to promote their blogs and the interface technologies provide by Social Media have made that a workable mix. Technorati's State of The Blogosphere 2010 identifies this reality. Here are some of those stats.

78% of bloggers surveyed are using Twitter with the most common purpose being to promote blog content (72%) and share links to interesting content (62%)
87% of bloggers surveyed use Facebook, and the majority (66%) do not have a page for their blog separate from their personal account
The most effective social media sites to promote blog content are Facebook (28%) and Twitter (26%) followed by LinkedIn (4%) StumbleUpon (3%) Flickr (2%) and YouTube (2%)

All of this to say, Blogging isn't Social Media - bloggers have however embraced Social Media in much the same way that companies have utilized it to promote their web presence.

Nuff said - end of thin ice dance.

Local Bloggers Discovering Twitter

If you are a blogger and can be in Winston-Salem, NC in October 28th, you might want to join us for a Blogger Meet and Tweet.

See details below. If you would like to come, email Laura (lauraw at

From One Blogger to Another - #6

You Can't Make This Stuff Up...

Becky was more invested in our bloggers visit to the Ronald McDonald House than the rest of us - you could just tell. It isn't that we didn't all appreciate what the House does and how it improves life for so many in such difficult situations, but she had history. You can read about it here.

You will also find her blog, You Can't Make This Stuff Up, a great read. With a keen eye (both for story and photos) she catalogues the meaning she finds in her own life - parent, spouse, person. Often she poses a simple (and entertaining) question. Sometimes she will wax philosophical about ordinary observations. Visit her and see what she has to offer.

So, what are you still doing here? Click over and tell her Kim said hello!

Tomorrow I hope it's all about moms in the Triad.

From One Blogger to Another - #5

Carpe Salem!

Want to know more about what living in Winston-Salem really has to offer? Ever need a little encouragement to grab the gusto from a day locally? If so (or if not I really don't care because I'm going to tell you about this one anyway, so listen), then meet Nancy and Carpe Salem!

Nancy was among the bloggers I met at The Ronald McDonald House celebrations last Saturday. Nancy has a easy access format to her blog that allows you to see not only the most recent post, but intros to multiple topics from past post. You will be glad she does this because her playful writing style and accounts of her living around town will entertain and guide you to more from your life in the Triad.
So, what are you still doing here? Click over and tell her Kim said hello!

Tomorrow things get REALLY interesting because, well, you can't make this stuff up people!

From One Blogger to Another - #4

Pickles and Cheese

Sometimes bloggers come up with the most obscure and memorable names for their blogs. I've uttered a lot of food words together, but I don't know that I have ever planned for a picnic with the words "let's get together some pickles and cheese!"

Yet, now that I have been introduced to Lisa who writes over at Pickles and Cheese, I understand. Her blog is a blend of taste - both about food and living space - with a spice of personality. You will find her a visual smorgasbord of treats and ideas. Certainly worth the visit.

So, what are you still doing here? Click over and tell her Kim said hello!

Tomorrow we will get seize the day locally with Carpe Salem!

From One Blogger to Another - #3

Daffodils Hope and Three Little Army Wives

Next on my list of fantastic people I met Last week while gathering with local bloggers at the Ronald McDonald House Renovation Celebration is Katie. I think I scared her when i met her at the door and almost shouted "I think I know you!" I'm prone to creating awkward situations - it's a gift. Sure now that I didn't know her, but someday maybe I'll remember who I thought she was... Anyway, on to Katie and her blogs.

Katie does the 'mommy blog' thing over at Daffodils Hope. She shares freely and creatively about her life as a mom and spouse. Not to take side here, but wow - can you say blond, cute adorable kid!? Katie has also recently started a project over at Three Little Army Wives. I expect you will find some meaningful content (and the scoop on a possible book) over there, as well.

So, what are you still doing here? Click over and tell her Kim said hello!

Be sure and drop in tomorrow for a picnic of Pickles and Cheese!

From One Blogger to Another - #2

The Fierce Beagle - aka @fiercebeagle

One of the fantastic people I met Last week while gathering with local bloggers at the Ronald McDonald House Renovation Celebration was Erin. Erin writes over at Fierce Beagle.  She writes about her life as  a parent, pet owner, wife and human being.

Erin's writing is warm, honest and often moving. She offers a good read for those who are looking to connect online with a real person. Click over and tell her Kim said hello!

Drop back tomorrow and discover how Daffodils can give Hope.