Tendo Dev Blog

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You’re doing it wrong

Team Tendo recently had a lunchtime conversation in which we recounted our biggest email and IM blunders. Some were personal, some were business-related, but none of them was as catastrophic as Spirit Airlines’ CEO Ben Baldanza’s recent email SNAFU.

There’s a lesson in there somewhere — something about how not to conduct business in the age of the Internet. Would this have happened 20 years ago? Not a chance. First of all, there was no email. Secondly, there were no bloggers to circulate this story. And thirdly there was no Web 2.0 (this numbering scheme has become problematic, but stay with me) to alert people like me (I found this story via reddit). In fact, the only parallel I can think of is the Legend of the Neiman-Marcus Cookie Recipe — and that’s an urban legend.

So, to quote Thumper’s mother, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. And if you absolutely have to be a jerk like Ben Baldanza, check the To line before you hit Send. —Ian Miller, managing editor


August 24, 2007 Posted by | Email Marketing, Ian Miller | 1 Comment

5 content considerations when implementing Web 2.0 strategies

1. Capability vs. strategy
Just because you CAN deploy a certain Web 2.0 technology doesn’t mean you SHOULD. Use of Web 2.0 techniques should be driven by the larger communications strategy for the customers. Web 2.0 is a MEANS to achieving your communications objectives, not a strategy in and of itself.

2. Web 2.0 content is about giving up control
Most Web 2.0 techniques “democratize” access to the Web and give more control to your users. When implementing any Web 2.0 techniques, it’s important to make sure that the company is ready and willing to cede some control to the users BEFORE it engages 2.0 tactics. (To pull back after the fact will expose the company to charges of censorship, which you want to avoid.)

3. If you build it, they may or may not come
Just because you create something doesn’t mean anybody is going to use it. (And if an element is not used, it may send a negative message to your users—that nobody is using your site.) The launch of a new Web 2.0 element must be supported by its own marketing effort, it must be supported broadly and over time, and it will require extra “care and feeding” in its first six months if you want it to take root.

4. Content creates value and builds the community
If Web 2.0 techniques are about building community, you have to create something that will draw that community. The Holy Grail is a self-sustaining community with user generated content—a true dialogue among users. But that won’t happen overnight and in the beginning, you need to supply content that “seeds” the turf and makes it attractive to other users. Blogs and Wikis in particular require a concentrated content development effort in the early stages.

5. How is YOUR company unique?
How can you use Web 2.0 in ways that no other site can? What is the unique value you can offer to a community of users? It is better to create a highly targeted pilot program that utilizes 2.0 techniques, generates a small, committed group of users, and delivers great value rather than try to mimic a large, existing Web 2.0 site. (Somebody is already doing THAT, but only you can do THIS.) ―John Kovacevich, VP, marketing services

August 6, 2007 Posted by | Content Strategy, John Kovacevich, Web Content | Leave a comment