Just back from our outstanding trip to Washington, DC to be part of a blogging panel (of thought leaderships - so some people are saying) which I will write about later on, but which you can access more information on at their blog, Beyond Blogging 2006. The webinar is pending. (And yes, I remembered to wear red.)
For now, I'll say that it was thrilling to meet some of my most admired bloggers in the universe:
Debbie Weil (her new book is a must-have)
Chris Heur (he's as likeable as he is smart - he's coming to Blogher!)
Todd Tweedy (not at all as I pictured him, far more down-to-earth, geeky but so trendy, too - he so knows his stuff!)
Ed Keller (I heard him speak at WOMBAT, and he's intimidating! Smart, full of energy - but friendly, too...the intimidating part is just me being me)
Francois Gossieaux (from Corante, also intimidating - but only because I didn't really get a chance to be formally introduced; I got the feeling he was curious about that red-headed woman at the table - but, maybe it was just the announcement of my book, Dickless Marketing)
Mica Sifry (brother to - another famous Sifry, and someone I found comfortable in his space; he talked to the over 600 audience members as if he were chatting in his living room, over coffee; would that I someday get so relaxed!)
I can't leave out Shel Holtz, author, speaker, blogger, podcasting guru, and all that those labels imply - as well as a client of mine. Shel was, by far, one of the best presenters of the day. Not that all of us weren't outstanding, of course, we were...but, Shel is just a great face behind a microphone. He has presence.
This morning I decided to leave Beyond Blogging's excitement for a longer post, on another day. I'm still working on my thoughts regarding it - and USA Weekend helped me focus on what I really should be writing about - marketing to women online. Except, this will be marketing to teens. The article in today's USA Weekend, Teens and Celebrities, proves a few points that I find too valuable to ignore. About teens in the U.S.
If you didn't see it, here are some fascinating stats from the article: 32% of teens believe personality outranks talent as a celebrity's most important quality. [Does that mean a fun, happy-go-lucky personality is worth paying over $10 bucks to see him/her ruin a feature film? I wish they'd have asked THAT question.]
Also, 52% of teen think celebs use charity for self-promotion. [So, what did USA think the teens would say? Teens aren't stupid! They're a bit into themselves, but...they aren't lacking in "the grey matter" as Hercule Poirot used to say.]
The most important item mentioned in the article, however, is the one that says, "...as managing editor of Teen People [Lori Majewski], I have learned that this generation of teenagers is not satisfied with merely staring at posters or even rubbing shoulders with their favorite stars - they want to be them."
As I said at Beyond Blogging, and have been trying to help you understand, today's teens - of which there are more girls than boys (according to census numbers), don't merely WANT equality (in the workplace, in the shopping center, in restaurants and everywhere they live) they demand it. They expect it. They will be satisfied with nothing less. When you have products and services you want to sell to them -forget the celebrity talent. Get another teen to show off what you've got. Let her talk it up in her own words...let her blog it. Even better, YOU blog it...on a blog at MySpace.
To paraphrase the words of my expert panelists last Friday, "Want control of your brand? Well, get over it. You lost control a decade ago. You'll only get a measure of it back if you embrace social media like blogs."
And wear red.