Shawn Nesaw

Last month, the social networking site Twitter celebrated its 5th year of public use. Twitter reached popularity as it helped track wildfire updates in California, free an American student from an Egyptian jail, find gas during a shortage in Atlanta, track Mumbai terrorist attacks, and even break the news of the US Airways plane crash on the Hudson.

David Wells, Jr. Marketing Specialist/ Photographer

If you don’t know what people are talking about when they use words like tweeting, following, hashtag (#), mentions (@) or trending in the same sentence, you may not know exactly what Twitter is. Twitter is a social networking site that allows users to send short status updates to their friends – called followers. Users can also choose to follow other people—consisting of their friends, celebrities, companies and brands they like, TV shows and more. The status updates are generally 140 characters or less in length, but many tweets provide links to longer posts, websites, videos or other related content.
Recently Twitter surpassed 200 million users. The Women’s World Cup soccer match featuring the United States against Japan broke the ‘Tweets per second’ (TPS) record; the total number of tweets sent out across the entire platform. A record of 7,196 tweets per second were sent out at the end of the exciting and nail-biting match. In comparison, at the end of the 2011 Superbowl, a mere 4,064 TPS were sent.
Twitter grew rapidly in the past five years. In 2007, 400,000 tweets were posted per quarter, growing to 100 million tweets per quarter in 2008, and in February 2010, over 50 million tweets were being sent per day. Today, twitter users send over 200 million tweets each day.
Who uses Twitter?
Since the end of 2010, total Twitter users nearly doubled. According to an infographic created by Digital Surgeons, 55% of Twitter users are female with 45% male. The 26 to 44 age group makes up 57% of users. Of those who follow a brand, 67 purchase that specific brand—showing action. Some of our favorite top Twitter-using brands include Chevrolet, Southwest, Old Spice, Carnival, Home Depot and Starbucks. These top-name brands have great twitter strategies that engage their audience including customer service responses, tips, deals and insights to their brand.
Social media is a multiplatform tool to engage an audience and could include Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, blogs, Flickr, FourSquare and more, depending on the goals and objectives of the strategy. It is increasingly more important for brands and businesses to have a clear and consistent message for their target audience across all platforms. The good news is, tools and applications are making this easier by allowing integration of the same messages across multiple platforms. For example, TweetDeck is an application that allows you to post updates to your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and FourSquare all at the same time. This ensures consistent messaging across your platforms. Also, Facebook posts can automatically link to your twitter account allowing your followers to be directed to your other social media platforms. Social media icons and links are showing up in print ads, television ads and even radio.
Social media, even though it’s still a new medium, allows businesses and brands to reach a broader audience in new ways, and those who are implementing good strategies are really seeing the benefits pay off.

Shawn Nesaw

Thursday, June 30 commences Social Media Day presented by Mashable. This is “a day to celebrate the revolution of media becoming social.” Now the second annual, Social Media Day encourages offline ‘meet ups’ of a social community around the United States and also across the world. These ‘meet ups’ consist of organized panel discussions about social media influences or impromptu coffee house networking events, but Mashable says there is no wrong way to celebrate Social Media Day. During the first Social Media Day in 2010, more than 600 ‘meet ups’ in 93 countries took place. With the expansion of social media followers and users, the numbers for this year’s global event are expected to be much larger.
At A. Bright Idea, we plan to celebrate by keeping our own content flowing, and maintaining the latest in cutting edge social media for our business and our clients. A. Bright Idea stays current through news articles, blogs, Twitter and Facebook posts, videos, seminars, webinars and more. Some of our favorite industry sites: Mashable, CreativityOnline, AdvertisingAge, Adweek, Time Magazine, and Ragan.
Some cities across the globe are hosting organized Social Media Day events in an attempt to earn the title of Most Social City by Mashable. Burlington, Vermont is hosting several events, a scavenger hunt with top local businesses and ‘tweet ups’ in an effort to become the Most Social City. Phoenix, Arizona is hosting a blowout informal networking event at District American Kitchen and Wine Bar. New York, the city having the highest concentration of Twitter users, is hosting events throughout the city to “celebrate the technological advancements that enable everyone to connect with real-time information, communicate from miles apart and have their voices heard.” New York currently has the largest fan base for Social Media Day, based on their planned attendance at events. Other top cities across the globe include Sao Paolo, Brazil, Barcelona, Spain, and Antwerp, Belgium.
Current social media statistics are mind blowing, and anyone who thinks social media won’t make or break their business or brand should think again. Social media outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Flickr, FourSquare, LinkedIn, Myspace, Wikipedia and more, are changing the way we interact, share and gather information and spend our time, both personally and professionally. Even further, Smartphones allow users to stay connected to their network of friends, businesses and online data at all times through the Internet.
Social Media Facts

  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • If Facebook were a country, it’d be the world’s 3rd largest
  • 95% of companies using social media for recruitment use LinkedIn
  • Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Britney Spears have more Twitter followers than the entire populations of Sweden, Israel and Australia
  • GROUPON will reach $1 billion in sales faster than any company in history
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world
  • Every minute, 24 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube
  • Wikipedia would be 2.25 million pages if it were a book
  • 90% of customers trust peer recommendations
  • 93% of marketers use social media for business
  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million users, TV 13 years, while Facebook added over 200 million users in less than a year.

* Statistics from Socialnomics video
Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, a book about how social media transforms the way we live and do business, put together his Social Media Revolution 3 video last week about the impact of social media on business and the globe:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0EnhXn5boM&feature=related
When we consider a clients brand, we realize that sometimes, social media enables businesses and brands to build online communities and share information from thousands to millions of online users and communities. Facebook allows the business to create a page to share information and build a community of followers. Twitter allows a business to share quick bits of information and @follow users similar to them and discuss #trends through tagging. The platform of YouTube allows businesses to share videos across the web. The outlets for sharing information on the Internet are almost endless.
With this new wave of technology becoming more popular over the past five years it remains crucial to understand how to effectively use this medium. With this continuing trend, Social Media Day exists as an outstanding way to celebrate the phenomenon and use social media outlets to plan events to celebrate this “technological holiday.”
Social Media Day website on Mashable: http://mashable.com/smday/
Follow on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/mashSMday

Shawn Nesaw

Melissa Mauldin, Senior Marketing Specialist - A. Bright Idea

We’ve all been there. Your food arrives cold, your online order ships and is different than it appeared on your screen (or three weeks after the estimated ship date and far too late), or the expensive piece of equipment you just bought brakes the first time you use it. Whether it’s a service or product based issue, we’ve all been disappointed by a company at one time in our lives. You may have complained to a manager or bravely took on a 2-hour on-hold session with the Customer Service Department. While it’s likely that some of you received a satisfactory result, I’ll bet for most of you even thinking about customer service mishaps initiate a twinge in the heart, just knowing how unbearably annoying the lack of service can be by a company’s attempts at rectifying an issue.
Now, thanks to social media, consumers have a broad stage to complain on and spread these bad experiences through word-of-mouth (or type-to-tweet) messaging. While some companies have taken the initiative to use these channels to effectively respond to customer complaints, others have shied away from the tool are finding that customers are also shying away from their brand.
In a recent article in American Marketing Association’s Marketing Researchers, Dr. Guy Winch, psychologist and author of The Squeaky Wheel: Complaining the Right Way to Get Results, Improve Your Relationships and Enhance Self-Esteem, discussed how today’s social media channels impact consumers’ complaining psychology.
Many consumers believe that companies could care less about their complaints. The article cited that only 5% of consumers voice a complaint to the company when dissatisfied with a product or service, meaning that 95% will not voice a complaint because they believe it requires too much time and effort. However, if you’re like most consumers, you’ll instead complain to your closest 15 friends/associates. Now, social media channels offer consumers the option to complain freely without involving too much time or effort, and by bypassing lengthy toll free calls and the fear of being put on endless hold or even disconnected when you’re transferred for the fourth time. Consumers have access to voice their complaints in a direct way, which also invites more and more people to do so – those who may not have normally responded to an issue before (impacting that 95%).
While social media is still considered “new” and most of us still have a negative perception toward customer service attributes in response to consumer complaints, some companies, like Wachovia (Wells Fargo) or Delta for example, do monitor these channels and use them as social media Customer Service Departments. They manage responses quickly and use the data in attempts to get better – and it’s visible. What’s more, these platforms offer businesses access to direct consumer feedback – what customers like, don’t like, what they are buying, what they aren’t, etc. It’s a free focus group!
In general, consumers have a good relationship with a business until something goes wrong. It’s up to the company to make it right and mend the relationship. Companies need to find out the details of the situation and show the customer that they are doing something about it. Rather than citing the return policy verbatim, businesses should offer a real heartfelt response and a sincere recognition of the pain a customer has gone through. Customers want to know that they’re heard. Even if their situation can’t be completely rectified, the manner in which it’s handled is the key. Social media makes it easy for customers to complain, but it’s the company’s responsibility to resolve the issue and convert the relationship. Responding to consumers via these channels with a message that says, “We hear you,” ‘We understand there is an issue,” or even “Here’s how to contact us” is just the first, but very important step.
In my November blog post I cited some interesting statistics from an article in Marketing News, which noted that people generate nearly 500 billion online impressions on each other in regards to products and services each year, and Nielsen Online estimates the total number of online advertising impressions comes in around just under two trillion. Now are you listening? In general, people tend to believe and associate themselves with the experiences of other people. If you’re not providing the service quality people expect, no matter how big your budget is and how much of an ingenious marketing campaign you develop, that word-of-mouth negativity can infringe on your brand and erode your profits if your not choosing to rectify these situations and promote that you’re doing so  – turning around those perceptions and making them brand advocates.
Today, we all expect instant gratification. Companies that are not responding to complaints made on social media through social media – or with plans to do so soon – may be impacted in the long run. Monitoring these tools will help businesses better understand their customers and be more attuned to their target audience. When companies do a good job of handling customer complaints and responds to them correctly, customer loyalty can increase exponentially – more so than if there was never an issue. The complaint response creates a story that the customer will share with all of their friends and acquaintances – and most important, it’s a story with a happy ending.

Shawn Nesaw

David Wells, Junior Marketing Specialist/ Photographer

If you are like me, you usually research an area before you travel there. You also probably have a list of places you want to visit during your trips. I have been given the opportunity to travel a lot in recent years and am always looking for things to do, places to stay, where to eat and overall information about the areas I visit. This requires a lot of research, ‘Googleing’ or asking others who have been there for suggestions. A lot of time and effort is made in planning the perfect trip.
Sonoma County remains a huge destination for vacationers, wine lovers and families. Have you heard of SomethingAboutSonoma.com?
After opening A. Bright Idea’s west coast office, we recognized a need for an all-inclusive destination resource for one of California’s (and our favorite) tourist attraction – ‘Wine Country.’ While some good information can be found on the web about Sonoma County, A. Bright Idea knew there needed to be a single resource connecting users to the area businesses, giving them a feel for the area, all the things we love about the area, and all before a visitor steps foot in the county. This resource needed to be vibrant and visual, providing users the ability to view attractions and hotspots and map out their stay.
SomethingAboutSonoma.com was created for this purpose. It’s the premier destination resource for everything there is to know about Sonoma County. Launched in March 2011, SomethingAboutSonoma.com offers unique 360 degree panoramic views and videos from amazing locations all over the county. Users can get up-to-the-minute details on local businesses featured on the site with social media news feeds, read customer reviews and even look up specials. SomethingAboutSonoma.com features videos, an interactive map and much more.
Over the past month, I have been traveling to our Sonoma office frequently and meeting with businesses to introduce SomethingAboutSonoma.com. A. Bright Idea also had the opportunity to present the site at the Sonoma County Chamber of Commerce Business Expo and have been very happy with the results and feedback, some even noting, “we have been waiting for a site like this to come around!”
In today’s virtual world, many of us turn to online resources and social media sites for research and data. The elements of SomethingAboutSonoma.com ensure businesses create buzz in the social media world and enhance their reach to new target audiences, while offering online users the right information and a connection to the area – all found in a single source.
So what’s your something? Check out SomethingAboutSonoma.com to see this premier destination resource in action.
SomethingAboutSonoma.com window sticker outside a restaurant letting passersby know they belong to the site.

Shawn Nesaw

Melissa Mauldin, Senior Marketing Specialist

While many businesses have decided to get their feet wet in the realm of social media (and yes, some are still hesitant), it’s apparent that some businesses do so without proper planning. Lack of planning causes wasted time and often includes inefficient methods. Social media, like any form of marketing for a business, must involve strategy.
As we all learned from the popularization of social media in 2009 and the enhancement of the medium in 2010, social media can be a truly efficient and effective way to communicate to stakeholders on a different level. It’s no longer a “new” medium, rather it is broadly being incorporated into business marketing plans and is a sought after resource in communicating businesses key messages, events, and product news and promotions directly with customers.
I recently came across a blog on socialmediatoday.com indicating the 12 reasons why businesses will fail at social media in 2011. Overall, many of the issues stemmed around businesses not incorporating social media as part of their strategic marketing plan. Rather, businesses attempted to use the medium because they thought they should get on board. Wrong. Below are a few tips to keep in mind to help businesses utilize this popular medium efficiently.
Understand the medium.
Social media is not a tool that’s going to fix a broken business or be the answer to down sales or a poor reputation. Social media will actually enhance these issues, if not conducted properly. Businesses need to have a true understanding of the medium and have a strategy in place before engaging.
Plan, plan, plan.
Businesses without a plan will fail. Otherwise known as Random Acts of Social Medial, or RASMs, no one can afford to waste time. Avoid the randomness and develop a strategy and appropriate messaging for utilizing this tool as part of your overall marketing plan. Think about the big picture as well as the logistics involved in the strategy. (i.e. What is our key message? Is our messaging appropriate for the audience? How much and how often? Will we develop any special events/promotions for this audience only? Who will manage our presence on social media sites? Who will have access? Do we have the manpower to devote one person to manage social media activity? If not, how can the workload be divided?)
Don’t expect too much too early.
Certainly, online resources provide data and feedback immediately upon entering this world. However, it takes time to understand the environment, engage with the audience and build a following that will respond, before determining the success or failure of this resource.
So, have you planned your social media participation strategically? This year, get on board with a strategic goal and action plan that’s in line and in support of your marketing efforts. Social media can help contribute to building your brand, as part of your overall marketing plan. Ensure you’re messaging correctly and devoting the resources needed to be successful in this ever-changing and continuously evolving medium. Don’t waste time.  There never seems to be enough anyway!

Shawn Nesaw

Melissa Mauldin, Senior Marketing Specialist, A. Bright Idea

Think about a good customer experience you’ve had: how elated you were and happy to share the news with your peers! In a world where we’re surrounded by negative-toned news, we often feel overjoyed when someone does something nice for us.
I recently had a nice experience with the online discounter, Groupon. I purchased a Groupon offer as a gift for my sister-in-law but later found out the retailer was not meeting Groupon’s criteria (obviously Groupon received complaints from people attempting to use their coupon for services and were not getting what they were promised) and as a result, Groupon provided a refund to everyone who purchased the coupon and they stopped offering the deal. I was so impressed with the fact that Groupon took care of me, when I called my sister-in-law to tell her that her gift no longer worked I explained how great Groupon had been – and how awful the retailer must have been to have Groupon nix the deal for everyone. Customer service in this case elevated my perception and loyalty to Groupon, but it also made me an advocate of how providing bad customer service can bite you.
When you have bad experiences (and those seem to stick out more than the good ones) they leave a taste in our mouths that you’re only too happy to share with your friends and neighbors. Add social media to the mix and now your interactions with bad customer service are known to millions of people.
An article in the recent issue of Marketing News cited that people generate nearly 500 billion online impressions on each other in regards to products and services each year. It went on to say Nielsen Online estimates the total number of online advertising impressions comes in around just under two trillion. Put that together and you could say people are generating around one-fourth as many impressions on each other as the entire marketing industry is generating. Now, taking that into consideration, who are you most likely to believe – a user of a product or service, or the company that provides it?
While testimonials are nothing new as a method of marketing for businesses, they become increasingly effective in the online age – prone to stimulate greater impressions among viewers – when they are honest responses from an end user and customer. When your business considers its marketing and advertising plans for the coming year, it’s important to check up on your operational touchpoints to ensure your customer experience lives up to your brand promise.
Ensure you have the resources and training to provide good customer service. Laying the groundwork will support the marketing messages communicated to your intended audiences, thereby increasing the brand loyalty and continued growth via word of mouth and blog to blog.

Shawn Nesaw

David Wells, Junior Marketing Specialist

I recently returned from a 10 day whirlwind trip to Europe with visits to Dublin, London, Paris and Rome. Although I could write about a million different topics or events, including the crazy drivers and insane amount of mopeds, people knowing how to speak more languages than I could wish for, how everything is just plain older, how Europeans travel way more than Americans, how Europeans work way less than Americans, or how I probably looked like an idiot sprinting through Kings Cross Station in London to catch my train to Paris. Instead, I really want to write about my love and hate of modern technology.
I am a photographer by nature. I love taking pictures, and I take pictures of anything and everything. I started taking pictures many years ago using film cameras, and have used all kinds of cameras since then. I’m pretty savvy when it comes to technology, especially cameras, so figuring out how to use each one is never a hard task. I’m the person my friends come to when they are having trouble with their camera or want to know how to shoot a picture on a certain setting, or which setting would work best. In the days of film and disposable cameras, you thought about each and every shot you took and spaced out your clicks because you had a definite limitation to the number of pictures you could take. I didn’t really have such a limitation on my 10-day trip, but probably could have used one.
Ten days. How many pictures do you think I took? If you guessed in your head, you’re probably wrong, and you probably underestimated.
I took more than 2,600 pictures on my Canon SLR. That does not include the pictures and videos on my Kodak waterproof camera or the images I deleted on the fly if I knew I didn’t like the shot. This amount of pictures used over nine gigabytes of memory. I know… I have a problem.
I encountered lots of interesting things to take pictures of in these incredible cities, but, it was still too many pictures.
Modern technology is great because you can sort of take an unlimited amount of pictures and don’t need to worry how many pictures of the same thing you take (ahem, Eiffel tower), because you can just choose your favorite one later and delete the rest.
Thankfully, with all the advancements in computers, cameras and the internet, I can take this amount of pictures, not worry about the cost of prints, and share over the internet via multiple social media outlets including Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, blogs like this and more.
While I still appreciate an actual printed photograph, accessing all of your old pictures is becoming a lot easier with a few clicks of a mouse without digging through boxes, piles or albums of photographs.
Now we get to why I hate modern technology. It takes an incredible amount of time to download, sort and edit all of these photos! And, who wants to look at that many pictures anyway? Even I got sick of going through them and I was the one on the trip! I’m still working on narrowing this number down to a manageable amount so I can share with my family and friends, and by that time, no one will care about my trip anymore.

Shawn Nesaw

Melissa Mauldin, Sr. Marketing Specialist

I recently saw a news report that discussed how the public is becoming increasingly aware and more concerned about their online persona than their “real-life” persona. While it was shocking to hear this at first (“hello, we live in the real world!”) as I thought about it more, it made more sense. Your online persona can be potentially viewed by millions of people, whereas you may only interact with a few hundred or so. How you appear to millions of people versus how you appear in your immediate interactions might allow for some additional pressure.  This obviously not only affects one’s personal image online, but has potential risks and opportunities for businesses to take note.
An article on American Public Media’s Marketplace discussed how consumers are getting more and more accustomed to providing businesses information about themselves and their friends through that ubiquitous little “Like” button on Facebook. Who wouldn’t want to give a “thumbs up” to their favorite salon, soft drink, clothing store, politician, bank or dare I say it…advertising firm!
The “Like” button is a tremendous tool for businesses. When you as a consumer “Like” something, you are endorsing that company or product. You’re notifying the business that you are someone interested in what they have to say, you like what they sell, not to mention that you’re informing all of your (thousands) of closest friends that they should take note and interest too. One example mentioned a scenario that sounds not hard to believe:
“Say I’m searching for an Italian restaurant…If I see seven of my friends all like one restaurant, I’m going to go there and I don’t care what else is on a search engine.”
While Google may not like this, this is an important opportunity for businesses to take note. Social media is continuing to encroach on our world. People are turning more and more to social media for referrals. Your online presence will continue to be an important aspect of your business persona and should be an increasing focus of your marketing strategy.
While we all still live in the real world and relationships have and will continue to drive business, how we utilize the marketing tools available to spread the message and build relationships in new ways will help businesses move the needle and evolve in this ever-changing and competitive market. The online accessibility through social media allows us to communicate to our potential audiences and their “friends.” However, it’s worth noting that in order to be successful, our online persona must match our “real-life” persona.
Reference: Marketers like that you “Like,” American Public Media, Oct. 1, 2010, http://bit.ly/bpXrtv

Shawn Nesaw

Melissa Mauldin
Melissa Mauldin, Senior Marketing Specialist

It seems like only yesterday we heard the call of summer, which always began (for me) with The Fresh Prince’s “Summertime,” for others maybe it was Alice Cooper’s “School’s Out” or The Drifters’ “Under the Boardwalk.” Well, just as it seems summer began, it’s time for all of those summer anthems to come to an end.  Although some of us are looking forward to cool off from this “Cruel Summer,” I think most of us can agree we’ve had enough “Hot Fun in the Summertime” to last three summers! Okay, enough of the songs, it’s time for the books.
Getting ready for school is an exciting time. As a child I’d go every year to buy a new pair of Stride-Rite shoes with my grandma and we’d shop for new school clothes until we literally dropped. Of course, school wasn’t all about new clothes, but new friends, new classes, new experiences and new lessons. It was exhilarating to delve further and further each year into the areas I was interested in – English, art and social studies. Conversely, I dreaded the not so interesting classes for me – chemistry, geometry and yes, gym class! As I got older I couldn’t wait to be finished with school – I’d have so much more time then (yeah, right).
Now as an adult I know there is no such thing as more time, unless someone invents the 30-hour day. But I also learned my education did not end with graduation or receiving my degree.  As many of us know, in order to stay ahead, or be considered a knowledgeable expert in our field, we must continually educate ourselves, learning new trends, new practices and new studies, whether it be in a classroom setting, online, attending seminars, joining professional organizations, etc.
The benefit of continual education has many folds. Not only does it grow your own depth of knowledge, but it also impacts those around you – colleagues, clients, customers, peers, competitors and so on. Not to mention it serves the American dream. It’s our endless hunger for knowledge, to think of the next big thing and spurn on innovation.
So as we get ready to send the kids off to school, take a moment and reminisce about your own school days. Remember the excitement and the challenge, and find a new way to enhance your skill set with the many programs and educational opportunities around you.
Below are some of the recent seminars team members at ABI have attended:

  • American Marketing Association (AMA) Baltimore/Baltimore Public Relations Council (BPRC), Marketing Adventures with Dan Cathy, President of Chick-Fil-A
  • Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Maryland Chesapeake Conference
  • Baltimore Public Relations Council Annual Conference
  • PRSA Maryland Accredited in Public Relations (APR) Bootcamp
  • Social Media Bookmarking and Tagging and PR
  • U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) training
  • Pixibility Webinar, Social Media Video Secrets with Peter Shankman
  • AIGA (American Institute of Graphic Arts), Design Army Graphics presentation
  • AIGA, Lecture with Steven Heller
  • PaperSpecs, Direct Mail and Postage seminar
  • PaperSpecs, FSC Certification and Labels

Upcoming events of interest:

  • Advertising Week, Washington, D.C. (9/20-9/24/10)
  • AMA Virtual Event: Getting to the Core of Social Media and Mobile Marketing for Higher Ed Institutions (9/22/10)
  • PRSA Maryland, Writing Series for the Public Relations Professional, a three part series (beginning 9/23/10)
  • AIGA, Lecture with Debbie Millman (9/23/10)
  • AMA, Social Media seminar, Washington, D.C. (10/12/10)
  • Annual government security training
Shawn Nesaw

Social Media Today
www.socialmediatoday.com

I remember wondering early in my career, as blogs emerged, how many people would really undertake the responsibility of writing and maintaining a website devoted to their own musings or watchdog tactics, and how many blogs would keep readers’ interest. Of course, anonymity was a plus, but could bloggers really develop a loyal following?
More than 12 years after the introduction of the blogosphere, blogs are alive and well as bloggers create niches and everyone from corporate executives to mom and pop at the shop on Main Street begin to grasp the value of starting a dialogue and engaging multiple viewpoints.
Technorati tracked more than 112 million blogs in 2008, which provides a pretty succinct answer to my one-time question about who would carry the blog flame throughout cyberspace. And of course, blogs have loyal followers as evidenced by commenters and repeat commenters. It’s still difficult to track the exact demographic of loyal blog readers, yet highly targeted topics and analytic software can track hits and impressions.
Now, other technology makes it increasingly easy for us to share blogs that we read regularly and even those that we stumble upon and want to share. Sure, we can subscribe to a blog’s RSS feed to catch up on our RSS Reader or sign up for email notifications when a new post is made. But with the integration of more than one million websites on the Facebook Platform – including two-thirds of comScore’s U.S. Top 100 websites and half of comScore’s Global Top 100 websites according to Facebook – receiving updates on new blog posts as part of your news feed or sharing via the Like button nails the “touch it once” rule suitable for both organizing your desk and managing a busy social media network.
Around the agency, we value blogs on industry news and cutting-edge trends. We’re inspired by art techniques and the clever integration of the verbal and visual because it’s what we do! We also appreciate the quirky and downright creative. Enjoy a few of our favorites and look forward to exploring a few of yours.
Social Media Todaysocialmediatoday.com
Useful nuggets of info on social media that we can implement immediately plus valuable resources too
Message With A Bottlemessagewithabottle.tumblr.com
A freelance writer turned stay-at-home dad armed with a pen, post-it notes and hysterical observations about “the kid.”
Beast Pieces, Blog of Studio on Fire – www.beastpieces.com
Hybrid design and letterpress concepts from the Studio on Fire workspace in Minneapolis, Minnesota
Dralin Design Co. – www.draplin.com
Satirical approach to the daily life of designers who love what they do
Stuff No-One Told Me –  stuffnoonetoldme.blogspot.com
Comic strip-style blog with new lesson or saying for each day
All Businesswww.allbusiness.com
Compilation of bloggers on business intelligence, small business, finance, operations, sales and technology
Catalogue Livingcatalogliving.tumblr.com
“A look into the exciting lives of the people who live in your catalogs.”
Daily Hellerwww.printmag.com/dailyheller
Commentary on graphic design pieces from industry expert, Steven Heller
Designwww.design.org
A blog about anything and everything design
Woot! The Blog –  www.woot.com/blog
Information on technology and technology based products
Designer Dailywww.designer-daily.com
Design inspiration and resources for industry professionals
Think Designthinkdesignblog.com
Designer blog with freebies, resources and inspiration
The Daily Reckoningdailyreckoning.com
A veteran blog, giving advice for how to live well in uncertain times
Felt & Wirewww.feltandwire.com
Impressions from the paper-obsessed
Lifehackerwww.lifehacker.com
Better living through technology
A List Apartwww.alistapart.com
Critical thinking, industry trends and fantastic tutorials for designing on the web
DC Radio and Televisiondcrtv.com
Information/gossip on the media scene
Simply Recipessimplyrecipes.com
Food blog for easy meals–beautiful pics too!