Why, How and Who of Web 2.0


A couple weeks ago I moderated a panel and roundtable for Austin Venture portfolio companies on Web 2.0. As many of the companies were not in the "Web 2.0" bullseye, the discussion focused on the what, why, how and who of Web 2.0. I’ll skip the "What" question…here are the some of the other notes:



* Analysts read blogs.  Reporters read blogs

* Empowers customers

* Blogs are turning into a trusted media outlet

* 78% of online customers trust brands more that have reviews
on their site

* Marketing (PR) is being Master of Reality (Edelman)

* From conversation about your brand, to your brand’s values
(ex: Saturn’s findyourdetour.com site)

* From monologue to dialogue (how web 2.0 changes
marketing’s voice)

* Demonstrates your brand’s authenticity

* Longer life vs printed articles

* Get insight into audience and build relationship

* 90 / 9 / 1 rule:  90% read, 9% participate, 1%
narcissism (+1% paid participation)

* Viral growth via networking and connectivity

* Your brand = your Google content

* 25% of Google search results is user generated content

* C to C marketing (customer to customer) is much more

* Word of mouth marketing works online because the content
is archived while word of mouth marketing offline can be quickly forgotten




* Keep messaging consistent through channels

* Treat online media same as traditional media, but use a
different pitch to target each media

* Video metadata, and taking advantage of Google’s universal

* Think hard about why we are doing it.  Are we
educating the market?  Looking for SEO feed?  Engaging our existing
client base?  Giving sales content they can point prospects to?  The
answer to that dictates content – should it be original content or more of a
news aggregator w/commentary? Do we want to mix in some commercial messages

* Start with the business objective, not the technology. Ex:
Troux’s third party community to meet industry education objective. Bazaarvoice
blog to meet industry education, corporate credibility and sales tool

* Make sure that sales are in on the blogs/forum content so
that they can use the participants as leads

* Use any negative comments to your advantage. There is an
opportunity in all negative comments.

* Controversial to pay someone to write reviews on your
blogs/forums – marketing people can not be conversation starters




– You can’t just leverage Web 2.0, you have to participate

– Key to blogging visibility: giving visibility, interviews,
links to other bloggers

– Need to connect to other blogs, drives SEO results up

– Go after influential bloggers and build relationships

– Blogger relations (BR): consider exclusives, nuture
relationship and give them attention (face-to-face preferably) Web 2.0 requires
Real World Relationships

– Blog requirements:

   – updated at least weekly

   – need someone that is passionate about
subject/company to write

   – genunine content

   – must stimulate responses

– Best blog content is either practical (top 10 lists) or

– Find search keywords relevant to us and write about that

– Incorporate a blogroll and actively link

– Have our PR firm find the A list or almost A list bloggers
in our category.  Interview them for your blog.  They’ll likely
reciprocate with links like “I was interviewed here”

– Actively comment on existing blogs, especially those
above. Another good way to get links and build audience, especially early on

– It has to be a group effort or make time for some one
persons/people to do it

– If you have nothing to say, say nothing.  If people
(esp. execs) feel they have to write, it will feel that way.  Titles
matter less than passion

– Personal employee blogs can be more effective than
corporate blogs

– Company blogs:

   – Educational

   – Great venue to show who you are

   – How do you take awareness outside of your
company blog?

   – Glass ceiling for BtoB marketing: Don’t want
to give up trade secrets

   – Competitive environments can be inhibitors
for sharing




– If employees are part of forum, there must be full
disclosure that there are employees contributing to the content (ie a staff
button next to their username)

– Debate: Do you advertise products, services, prices,
deals, etc. on forum. If so, you run the risk of losing integrity.

– Use rating system and list creation. These tools make it
easy for quiet/lazy contributors to have their voice be heard as well.

– Measuring success:

   – Track number of users

   – Size of community

   – Growth

   – And how long users stay logged on





* WordPress (blogging tool for corporate users)

* Pligg (www.pligg.com)

* Drupal (www.drupal.org)

* forums (www.phpbb.com)

* rentacoder (www.rentacoder)

* addthis (www.addthis.com)

* feedblitz (www.feedblitz.com

* techcrunch (www.techcrunch.com)

* brightcove (www.brightcove.com)

* Movable Type (for personal use: www.movabletype.com)

6 Responses

  1. Troy Worman says:

    Interesting post, Sam. I particularly like the bullets. I’m curious how many of the Austin Venture portfolio companies participated in your roundtable and if any of them have blogs today?
    Also, what are your favorite business blogs?

  2. Brett's Blog says:

    Why Businesses Have to Leverage Web2.0

    I stumbled upon this great post at Decker Marketing.
    Sam moderated a Web 2.0 panel recently and was kind enough to pass along his notes. Every one of them deserves your attention, but here are the quotes that really stick out to me:
    25% of Google sear…

  3. Richard Carenton says:

    I agree that you do have to participate in Web 2.0. It’s just not an option anymore not to. Have you heard of James Brausch? I’ve been learning a lot through his newsletter about Web 2.0 and internet marketing. Getting through the millions of sites that talk about it was getting to be a bit much, though I still like sites like yours.

  4. Ted Grigg says:

    I always learn something new when I read your blogs. There’s a lot of concentrated information that makes it a particularly good reference list for online marketing.

  5. Nicki Costas says:

    Hey folks!
    I read some about James Brausch, too. He writes a lot of valuable internet marketing pieces as well as producing “Internet in a Box”, which sounds like a simple product, but is really meant for people like us who are using the internet to our advantage. I’m glad you brought him up!

  6. Mark Collier says:

    WordPress isn’t just for corporations! It’s a hugely popular platform for bloggers big and small (both in the open source .org variety and the free/hosted .com side).
    On the audience side they had 62M uniques in Sept per Comscore, so they’re numbers are impressive (the engagement numbers are quite low, though, relative to true social networks like Facebook).
    Hope you’re doing well!

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