Archive for July, 2006

Review of my blog improvement process


Andrew Martin has shared his observations of my blog redesign, which I launched a demo blog and obtained user feedback while doing iterative changes before final launch.

Reader and User feedback is very important to me, hopefully I can demonstrate what I preach. He compared my redesign to how lifehacker did it:

“Both of these have gone about it in different ways.

Lifehacker went big bang and just changed the site overnight, loads of comments mostly negative.

Jeremiah set up a beta version and got his readers to comment on what they think of his new design before it goes live, quite a few comments mostly positive.”

I’ve still some changes and improvements to make, based upon reader feedback, however Read Andrew’s thoughts and observations.

Swing by to their blog, they’re asking for feedback as well –thanks Andrew and team

US Marines use MySpace to Recruit new Soldiers


I’ve discussed how radio stations are using MySpace to push events –it’s a killer marketing effort.

I heard on the news a few minutes ago that US Marines are using MySpace to recruit new soldiers –it makes sense as the primary audience (and older) they are seeking are using those tools. USA today reports that:

“The Marine Corps MySpace profile — featuring streaming video of barking drill sergeants, fresh recruits enduring boot camp and Marines storming beaches — underscores the growing importance of the Internet to advertisers as a medium for reaching America’s youth.”

MySpace is the top viewed website in North America –there’s no surprise that the USMC is using this as a marketing platform. Josh Weil has additional thoughts. I while back I wrote about how the MySpace generation is going to the workforce –I didn’t think about how the MySpace generation will enter the armed services as well.

I remember this girl in 1999 in SF laughed at me for having a personal web site. I told her in a few years that everyone would have a website –I wish I could ask her about this now.

View the Marine MySpace Page here

Web Strategy: Harness the Collective Knowledge of your Customers –Instructables


Websites harness the knowledge of crowds
Instructables is a website I’ve reviewed before, see “Instructables: This Social Innovation site that could Evolve to a Company” it’s great example of harnessing the wisdom of crowds for collection knowledge sharing and capture.

Often, your collective customers will know more about your products than your product team.

I’ve frequently suggested that companies deploy such resources for products that require development or even to reduce installation or support costs. It’s commonly agreed that the collective knowledge of customers are often greater than product teams –so harness it!

As a web strategist, I often will experiment with each website to understand it (even social sites for 8-12 year olds like Club Penguin and even Walmart’s myspace site). Even though we created a step program for a cooking recipe it’s still a demonstration of using the tool.

Instructables is a website that makes it easy to upload pictures, text, and put them in sequence, readers can leave comments, rate, tag, and do all kinds of other 2.0 responses.

My wife helped me write up the instructions for some of this –she may start posting some of her recipes in the future.

Web Strategy: Harness the Collective Wisdom of your Customer Base:

  • Consider creating a webtool that allows your customers to self support each other by uploading and sharing instructions
  • Deploy social tools such as ratings, taggings, comments, and social networking to encourage collaboration
  • Reward uses who provide excellent instructions –other users will identify value-add contributors


  • Low cost management: Save time and resources by harnessing the knowledge of your crowd.
  • Build a pool of knowledge that’s easily found (make it public so Google crawls it)
  • Demonstrate to prospects a thriving community around your products.
(Written from the Portland Airport, Gate C14)

WebVisions 2006: The Blog, Picture, and Video List


I’m going to try to collect all things Webvisions 2006.

There were three to four tracks going on all at once, making it difficult to absorb it all in. I believe some of these (if not all) will be podcasted, so expect more from the webvisions crew (who’s site is down from massive traffic –it’s back up now)

I’ll try to collect a list of links to WebVisions posts, flickr photos, podcasts, and videos.

Leave a comment if I’ve missed something and I’ll add it. (note: Kit Seeborg sent me a list of some blogs that the Webvisions staff has been aggregating, I’ve added the relevent ones –thanks Kit)

Webvisions Official Blog

Jeremiah Owyang’s Capture: (me)

Brian Oberkirch’s Capture:

He was on fire; blogging, pictures, podcasts, a one man media company –since he’s a social media consultant, it’s no surprise seeing him master his mediums.

Adam Darowski’s Capture:

Adam Duvander

Brian Fling’s Capture

Keith Robinson’s Capture

Ryan Williams’s Capture:

Micki Krimmel’s Capture
I wish I had more time to chat with her, she’s doing some intersting stuff, I’ll reach out to her later.

Andy Baio’s Capture:

Megan Cole’s Capture

Dave Johnson’s Capture:

Michael Botsko’s Capture:

Bryan Veloso’s Capture

Dan Rubin’s Capture

Jonathan Snook’s Capture

Brian Ford’s Capture:

Lynsey Struthers’s Capture

Nick Fink’s Capture

Paul Farning’s Capture:

Greg Narain’s Capture

Gene Smiths’s Capture

Matt Anderson’s Capture:

Liz Waldner

Cathy Wang’s Capture:

(Picture: Left to Right: Dan Saffer, Kit Seeborg, Jeremiah Owyang, Brian Oberkirch
on Let Go, Jump In: Community Marketing Strategies for Empowered Customers
The Integration of Social Media

Webvisions: Day 1, Portland


Left: Oregon Convention Center

This post will be morphing and changing throughout the day. Please excuse any typos in advance, my goal is to capture the knowledge for the collective rather than present a perfect script. I’ll be capturing both by text, still image, and even video throughout the day.

At about 1:30 I’ll be speaking on this panel –we’ve got some great ideas and a well thought out presentation, I’ll point to an audio file later. Being the early bird that I am, I’ve taken a few photos of the city this morning, will upload more later.

Initial observations of Webvisions (I’m one of the first to arrive is how well staffed the event is) Kirsten Blair from nemodesign was kind enough to introduce herself to me –she’s a host to the speaking staff. I can hear the chatter from Ross, one of the event coordinators on the squak boxes –these guys mean business and are well organized.

I did a podcast with Brian Oberkirch and Gregory Narain. We had some discussions on the generations of blogging to building communities, some tools for backing up products, and the learning more about Brian going solo. We talked about youtube, and Brian suggested to take a look at Blip tv


Session: Becoming a Pro Blogger
With Matt Haughey

Sitting next to Tristan who’s a speaker as well –I’ve done some thoughts on his content on Social Networks –small world. I think he’s building his slide deck for tommorow –heh, web speakers are like that.

  • Pick a topic you’re passionate about.
  • Make a living from your hobby.
  • Thinks the SEO industry is a bit seedy –trying to trick engines to like you, why not focus on good content?
  • He’s working with Federated Media, who has a strong sales team (like James Gross), discussed Pajamas media —
  • Mentioned that blogs and websites that depend on ads could be jeapordized by grease monkey.
  • It’s not hard to make a few hundred bucks a month.
  • One question from audience commented about Ads do work, that’s why they do them, Matt responded that they shouldn’t be as annoying.
  • Matt publishes PVR blog about Tivo –kind of a Brand Blog.

Session Business Blogging

DL Byron
Matt Haughey
Andy Baio
Derek Powazek

Brian who was sitting next to me took such killer notes, I’m just going to link to his. 😉

Session: Stepping away from the Computer by Andy Baio
This was a great presentation by Upcoming’s founder Andy, he told me later this was his first speech, I was sure he’d givin it before. He demonstrated how communities –using web tools –are able to connect both in real life as well as online. The most effective (or at least interesting examples) are those fo communities that meetup from a bottom up (meaning self-organized) rather than top down (marketing lead). He gave examples of Ham radio meetups, discussed some top-down myspace meetups. Later, when we chatted in the hall, we explored the ideas of communities being built/harnessed/or pre-existed around companies. Adam has some notes here

More notes from Ryan Williams