Free Wikis at PBWiki

PBwiki logoIf you are looking for an easy to use and free place to build a wiki for your personal use, your work team, your company outing, your school play or anything else you can think to organize with the direct input of others I highly recommend you check out PBwiki, its a very easy to use wiki platform. It's true what they say-- PBwiki makes creating a wiki as easy as making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Uhmmmm Peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Now is the time to learn about all the uses for a wiki.

PBwiki: Get a free wiki at

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February 15, 2006 in award winning design, Award winning publications, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Track Your Comments with coComment

coCommentI have been telling you for a long time now that you need to use the available Web Tools like Technorati, Feedster and PubSub to discover and track the conversations about your customers, your company and your products in the blogosphere. Beyond just discovering conversations you should join the conversations with constructive comments that add value to the conversations. Discovering blog posts good and bad about your product and responding in an authentic and transparent way is good for your business. It shows that you are listening and responsive to the needs of customers.

The problem comes when their are dozens of posts and you begin leaving comments all over the blogosphere. How do you know when others comment in response? You don't want to spend a lot of time manually checking each post to see if there are new comments. There's a new tool to help you track your commenting activity. coComment is a new service that helps you track your comments and see when others add comments to posts you have commented on. The service is in a private beta but go ahead and request and invitation. It seems they are sending them out within hours of your request. Not only can you track conversations you are participating you can get an RSS feed of your comments for your RSS reader. The service doesn't support all blogging platforms yet but is promising.

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February 9, 2006 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

NPR's 17 Podcasts Are Getting A Lot of Downloads

If you're still wondering if all this buzz about podcasting will amount to anything consider this:

NPR's podcasting numbers are blockbuster: 4 million downloads in the two months since it launched.

It may not be time to start your own but it is time to start following the podosphere and developing a strategy for how your company can participate. Whether advertising buys, sponsorships or content creation it's clear that podcasts are a growing highly targeted marketing opportunity.
NPR's Podcast Numbers

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October 31, 2005 in audio publication, award winning design, award winning newsletter, blog publish, Building B2B Relationships, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

What Should Casio Do in Response to Cory Doctorow's Post on Boing Boing

So what should Casio do now when the most widely linked and influential blog writes this just as they introduce a new product:

I'm an idiot. I bought another of these cameras, the S500, which is currently the top of Casio's line. It, too, has a screen that protrudes from the camera's body, and it, too, cracked within a month. The company is charging me another 90 pounds to fix this thing, and they've had it since October 4. No parts, you see.

So that's it for me and Casio -- it's a shame. The cameras are small, pretty and work well. But they suffer from flawed designs and a flawed manufacturer that treats repair customers like crap, and I can't think of a single good reason to go on giving them my business, no matter how cool this new six megapixel camera sounds.

Casio has a huge problem and they may not even know it. The above are the last two paragraphs of Cory Doctorow's post titled “Casio: cool cameras, terrible service -- buy something else” This is a full on crisis for Casio and their Exilim Digital Camera products as tens perhaps hundreds of thousands of potential customers have or will read this post. On any lessor blog this could be ignored but written by Cory on Boing Boing this is a problem.

What should Casio do in response?
They need to respond - Get a response put together within 24 hours and post-it somewhere where bloggers can link to it.
Engage Cory Doctorow in conversation - Send your response to Cory in hopes that he blogs about it. Apologize to him for his service problems and explain how you will fix the systemic problems. Don't send him a free camera! That will surely backfire. Bloggers want to be engaged in conversation not marketed to, spun or bought.
Solicit Feedback - Evaluate Cory's comments. Invite him and a small group of his expert friends (Cory has a lot of influential geek friends) to advise your company on how to make better products. You want to turn this negative into a positive and gain positive word of mouth in the blogosphere for future products.
Blog the entire process.

Companies large and small will increasingly face PR problems like these as bloggers and citizen reviewers build their following and influence. My best advice on how to be ready for this kind of very visible negative PR is to have already established a corporate blog that has already built a trusted communication channel and conversation with customers and prospects. If you aren't completely comfortable with the culture and practice of the blog world then consider outsourcing your blog to an experienced partner who can help you become an authentic voice in the blogosphere. As in any endeavor experience can mean the difference between a long painful DIY disaster or a much shortened learning curve and path to success.

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October 25, 2005 in award winning blog, award winning design, award winning magazine, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Current Affairs, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Newsletter Reader Maps with Frappr

Frappr-1Here's a nice tool for mapping customers, readers, vendor locations, retailers, etc. Frappr is a free tool that let's users set up groups and members can add themselves quickly and easily.

If you are publishing a blog or a e-newsletter consider setting up a map of your own and asking your readers to add themselves and give you a shout out on this google maps based tool. Very fun.

To see just how easy and fun this is click over and add yourself to the new map of BeConnected readers.

Why map your readers? Next time you travel to St. Louis, San Francisco or Sandusky you'll know you have friends there that might buy you a beer. They might also prove to be excellent local resources.

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October 25, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, award winning newsletter, Award winning publications, Blog Outsourcing, blog publish, Blogging Tools, Blogs, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Intuition, bulk email marketing, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, Business relationships, CMO, Travel, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Bloglines Tips

I know that many of you are using Bloglines as your newsreader of choice. Here's a nice list of tips you should know about to optimize your blog reading experience.

5 tips for Bloglines via

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October 20, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Web/Tech, Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Writeboard: An Abstract Tool Gets A Metaphor

What's in a name?

Almost everything. In this day of hyper-connectivity and zero time for anything new a name that evokes a metaphor is everything.

 Images Writeboard LogoThe productivity tool giants at 37 Signals are getting a lot of buzz these days for their new product called Writeboard. Writeboard is a collaborative writing environment. A what? Despite their own objections Whiteboard appears to be a simplified Wiki. A what? A lot of people are just beginning to understand what blogs are and have no idea what a Wiki is. At least people can understand that blog is from the words web and log. They know what those words mean. “Wiki? Oh, that's a fruit from New Zealand isn't it?.”

Everybody knows what a physical whiteboard is and how to use one. People write on them, erase and revise. Multiple people can view and contribute to the content. It's a whiteboard the offspring of the school chalkboards of our youth. We understand.

That's the brilliance of the 37 Signals developers. They took a complex sounding term - Wiki and attached a simple metaphor and suddenly the complex is understandable. Their product features a trademark simplicity and clean design. It's not feature rich by design. They practice reactionary development where feature development will quickly respond to customer requests and ideas. Minor features are added on the fly. It's smart.

Give yourself a break and take 10 minutes to explore this tool and see how you can use it to collaborate with customers and coworkers.

You can read a more detailed review of Writeboard but it's pretty painless and free to just jump in and play with it yourself.


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October 3, 2005 in award winning design, blog publish, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Current Affairs, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

The Changing Music Industry: Roll Your Own Customer Relationships

No where are digital tools changing the customer relationship faster than the music business. Disintermediation is removing the recording industry(RIAA), traditional music distribution and sales (brick & mortar music stores), CD manufacturing and even radio stations from the space between the musicians and their customers (fans). These old school status quo interests aren't going quietly. We all watch in amazement as the industry sues it's former customers.

The future is unrolling around us and many musicians are finding effective ways to draw the ever shorter line that connects them to their fans. That line used to go through the record company, the recording studios, CD manufacturers, radio stations, media & PR to the fans. Now the line between musicians and fans runs from the musicians directly to their customers through the internet. New tools like blogs, wikis, podcasting, iPods, and the iTunes Music Store are allowing musicians to build their fan base in more connected intimate ways. No longer do fans have to turn to third parties like the entertainment media to quench their thirst for information about their favorite musicians. You want to know more about your favorite band? Now you can read their blog and subscribe to their podcast.

More than ever before musicians have the ability to communicate directly to their customers and build direct relationships. The permission assets of email lists, blog feed subscriptions, podcast subscriptions, etc. give bands the ability to market and deliver their story and music faster and more powerfully than ever before. Customers (fans) who are this connected will be eager to buy merchandise, attend concerts, patronize marketing partners and evangelize the brand.

The good news is more potential revenue for musicians as fewer and fewer intermediaries take a cut of the revenue. The downside is that the new skills and tools of marketing and PR are in the hands of musicians that may not be well educated and skilled at the business of promoting their creative output.

So if your teenage daughter's band is using Garage Band to record their music in the basement. You need to help her discover the new tools of the music business. Help her start a blog, start a podcast, submit her music to the Podsafe Music Network to get it played on podcasts, burn some CDs on her computer, set up to sell those CDs online through CD Baby, and open a CafePress store to sell band merchandise.

Help your young musicians to learn how to build relationships with their fans not just sell CDs. Whether they pursue their music or go into other fields the ability to build customer relationships will serve them well.

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October 2, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Blog Outsourcing, Brand enhancement, build credibility, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, Business publications, CMO, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Something You Need to Understand

If you're new to the whole Web 2.0 thing where mass media is increasingly becoming “My Media” there's a nice intro at Business Week. It's pretty important to understand the huge shift from places(sites) on the web to services where users are creating there own experience and content. It's more than just blogs. Bring on RSS, wikis, photostreams, web apps, social bookmarking, podcasting and other new actions to the web. At this point you are either in front of your customers, employees, coworkers and competitors or behind them in your use and understanding of this new world. I suggest you learn as much as you can about the Web 2.0 so that you can lead, catch-up or identify what hit you. This piece at Business Week is a good start.

It's a Whole New Web via SvN

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September 22, 2005 in award winning design, award winning magazine, Building B2B Relationships, Building Customer Community, Business Marketing, Business newsletter, CMO, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Great Resource for Google Search Techniques

Here's one to bookmark. Ever have a problem finding exactly what you need in Google? Here's a page that explains all the special tips and techniques for searching on Google, Google Images and Google News. Very handy and useful stuff.

Google Search Techniques via Lifehacker

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September 19, 2005 in award winning design, build credibility, Building Customer Community, Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack