Smart Woman Online: Laura Bennett
Five Take-outs from Beyond Blogging

American Royalty? What's wrong with this picture?

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!)

Pete Blackshaw, who said he learned more from his personal blog than he's learned from his professional blog - and don't I say those personal blogs are where it's at?

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. Red_high_heel

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.

Comments

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Todd Tweedy

Hey Yvonne,

Thank you for your kind words, and for your great summary of the Beyond Blogging symposium.

Organizations are hearing for the first time the authentic voice of both men and women who are sharing their own personal views on products and services with their own networks of contacts and acquaintances. These knowledgeable and insightful people are educating each other so that collectively we find better schools for our kids, don't get ripped off by the heating and air companies in our neighborhood, and save a few bucks on red shoes among many other interests. And, interest, not acquaintance is what is driving the conversations.


All the best,

Todd

Chris Heuer

Wow - thanks for the kind words. I had some pretty nice things that I wrote about you as well in one of the blog posts that is stuck on my dead laptop. Hopefully I will recover it in the morning, else I will have to rewrite it and try to remember what I said - was it "uber relevant and highly intelligent" or was it "highly relevant and uber intelligent"???

Anyhoo, I just wanted to add a thought to the last bit above, about corporations letting go of the illusion of control they have held onto so desperately for the last decade or so. When talking to some of my media friends, I try to explain that to remain relevant, they can no longer talk to their audience, they now must talk WITH their audience. They can't control the conversation, but they can still play a vital role facilitating the conversation.

Everyone can come down from their ivory towers and be a participant in the commons, but no one can seriously talk down to the people from on high and expect to be taken seriously by the people who get it. This is more than Beyond Blogging, this is Beyond Democracy...

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