Monday, October 1

Covering Hot Topics: Third Quarter 2007


Every quarter, we publish a recap of our five most popular communication-related posts, based on the frequency and the immediacy of hits after they were posted. While we base this on individual posts, some are related to larger case studies.

Nina Tassler Talks; Jericho Fans Listen

If there is one person at CBS who has captured the curiosity of fans that have a passion for the nuclear terrorist attack/small town survival drama Jericho, it is Nina Tassler, president of CBS Entertainment. While most of her attention has been vested in putting out fires related to the rating challenged, nothing-but-controversial buzz that has become Kid Nation, when she speaks about Jericho, fans listen. Of all our coverage related to consumer marketing challenges and successes of this television show in stasis, none compares to the Tassler post that asks if she has surrendered her early edginess to wrangle ratings. Jericho fans hope they can turn Tassler into “Jericho buzz believer” into a full-fledged “Jericho Ranger.” It won’t take a miracle, but it will take a season 2 start date.

Links: Jericho, Nina Tassler

Bloggers Blog Against Abuse

People spend a lot of time “talking” about social media, but Antony Berkman, president of BlogCatalog (and the entire BlogCatalog team), is one of the few who talks less and does more and has fun doing it. Determined to prove that bloggers can do good and social media can influence change and produce outcomes beyond the Internet, he asked BlogCatalog members to post against abuse on Sept. 27. BlogCatalog members were not the only ones: more than one thousand bloggers from all over the world made abuse the most-talked about topic on the Internet. The largest social awareness campaign in history moves beyond buzz and produces tangible outcomes — bloggers who inspired tens of thousands of people to take action. For our part, we launched the “Blog For Hope Post Competition in cooperation with BlogCatalog. The submission deadline is Oct. 10.

Links: Bloggers Unite, BlogCatalog

Borg Think Infiltrates Social Media

It takes many forms, some with the best intentions, but there is only one outcome. In hoping to guide social media into the mainstream, sometimes prevailing blog think leaders overstep sharing their opinion and offering guidance by staking leadership claims over the Internet. Whether written up by a few as a code of conduct over the many, or proclaiming territorial dominion over the ideas that litter the Internet in posts, on blogs, and a myriad of PDF files, we can only hope that forced assimilation doesn’t sweep across the entire social media structure. The outcome would lead to the denial of new ideas and inability to challenge old ones. While civility is always appreciated on the Web, the pioneers today might remember that collective think or the promotion of fear is not the answer. The solution is clear: lead by example, not by force of law or pirate threat.

Links: Borg, Pirates

John Mackey Tells Whole Truths

John Mackey and Whole Foods Market Inc. (WMFI) beat the Federal Trade Commission with the $565 million purchase of Wild Oats Markets Inc. (maybe that’s the good, or not), but the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) investigation still ongoing. While some people frame the issue up as a possible SEC violation or transparency issue, one of the most pressing aspects of this case study is how it chips away at what some call the tenets of crisis communication. In the case study of Mackey, he largely ignored these tenets and managed to remain at the helm of Whole Foods, with more people defending him for posing as “rahodeb” and using the pseudonym to disparage and deflate the competition before purchasing it.

Links: John Mackey , Whole Foods Market

Veronica Mars Fans Organize

Fans of Veronica Mars, the critically acclaimed teen drama/mystery neo-noir series starring Kristen Bell, demonstrate that they are not to be underestimated in their efforts to encourage Warner Bros. to syndicate the show and prove the power of this fan base is strong enough to support a movie despite the cancellation of the series. In their efforts as consumer marketers, they have developed action points that are reminiscent of a communication plan while remaining courteous and supportive of Bell and series creator Rob Thomas. Unencumbered by the rules of communication, Veronica Mars fans are working to prove consumer marketing works.

Link: Veronica Mars

Runners up (no order) include: Buzz Is Not A Measure, which reminds blog evangelists to focus on outcomes as opposed to buzz metrics; the Jericho Fan Fiction Contest, which shared some great stories and promoted a different look at Jericho on more than 50 sites, blogs, and social networks; one of two blog dramas turned positive by reminding people one gumball is not better than another; the results of an unscientific online ethics poll; and our use of the Career Distinction’s Online Identity Calculator as the basis to flush out the online identities of various public figures individuals.

While a few “bad news” case studies made it into the top spots, this is the first quarter they have given way to education-oriented and social media action, which represents a pleasant surprise. Last quarter, we wished for more attention to be given to our underpinning concept that strategic communication is best suited to drive social media and it looks like we’re getting it.

So there it is once again; the top posts as tracked by reader interest. Thank you all for dropping by, adding comments, promoting stories, and continuing to bring communication issues to our attention so we may offer up our sometimes serious (sometimes silly) take on them. Whether you agree or not, we appreciate that in our pursuit to tackle such issues, our readers have remain steadfast in never mistaking communication discussion for anything but objective discussion of issues, actions, and behaviors as they relate to communication.

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4 comments:

Jericho Saved on 10/1/07, 5:24 PM said...

Wow! Some great articles. Thanks for doing this because it's always interesting. It also reminds me how quickly time flies.
Keep up the good work!

Rich on 10/1/07, 5:50 PM said...

Thanks Jane,

Feels like forever since we did the Nina Tassler piece but it looks like Jericho related coverage still comes up on top.

All my best,
Rich

terocious on 10/1/07, 8:05 PM said...

Nice Collection!

Rich on 10/2/07, 11:51 AM said...

Thanks Terocious,

I think it's interesting to reflect now and gain on what people read (and in some cases responded to) as opposed to just what I wrote. Some of my favorites are in there, but a great many are not.

Best,
Rich

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