Live from Barcamp Atlanta pt.2 – Better product blogging

Having wireless troubles in the second session I am attending. Talk will be focused on tips and techniques to improve product blogs. Presenter is Dave Coustan – http://blog.extraface.com This talk is about product as in product development not retailing per se.

Here’s my paraphrase of Dave Coustan’s talk:

Tip 1. Think of your product as a Point of View
Defines a way of looking at a product.
The job isn’t just done on your blog, you need to carry your point of view through your comments on other blogs.

Dreamhost vs. Lunarpages is used as an example of a point of view – oriented blog. Larger discourse on the ethics of hosting.

Tip 2. think story arc, not monster-of-the-week
Example – Earthlink — multi-post feature on Earthlink’s startpage creates ‘story arc’ – builds engagement, sense of time, and investment of the user through participation ( returning to read subsequent articles).

Tip 3. Organize revision cycles for a human being. Make it easier for the product team to write about what they’re doing, by giving them a context.

Tip 4. Who gets to break product news? Break (in the journalist sense) your own story – let the product team make their press releases truly meaningful. Play nice with your PR team.

Tip 5. Create and foster a subculture. Encourage tribal/cult branding – reward your community with attention and possibly schwag.

Bonus tips:

Make the lame interesting [like that’s easy] Example – usability lab from del.icio.us — a little humor, a little “don’t take yourself to seriously attitude” helps the dry material to be more meaningful.

Grab from the mail bag.

be specific when asking for feedback [yes always guide the call to action – that’s good marketing]

Throw in a cute animal [as a bunny owner I find this especially meaningful]

— post session —
New terminology “Dark Blog” internal closed blog that can’t be read outside the corporate network.
Getting feedback — lure ’em with candy. Encourage participation by using contests, and directly soliciting feedback.

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