Sunday, March 23, 2008

Flattery Will Get You Everywhere

Guy Kawasaki describes him self as a Venture capitalist and democratizer of information. I'm not exactly sure what that means, but I do like to read his blog. I think he is a pretty big deal in the Web 2.0 world - but I'm too clueless to know how big. His is one of the few non-educator technology blogs I read. He gives me insight into the bigger picture of Read/Write Web world.

Recently he wrote a post titled "The Myth of A Listers and Influencers." In this post, Guy gives advice to technology companies on how to market their products to "influencers." An influencer has a personal network (not necessarily a large one), is passionate about one subject (or many), and has a basic desire to help others. Guy suggests a few "marketing takeaways," one of which is to
"shape your marketing messages for the larger network of moderately connected users, not just the few highly connected individuals at the top."

Lately, I've been feeling like one of those "moderately connected users." I've been getting "personal" emails from Web 2.0 companies asking me to try their application. First, they flatter my blog, then they invite me to give their tool a try and, if I like it, to share it with my network. Some of the tools are great, others, not so great. After reading Guy's post, I'm feeling a little bit dirty. Are these people just sucking up to me? Have they really read my blog or are they just using me to further their own goals (or both)?

As I was pondering this question and formulating a blog post about it, I received this email:
Hi Liz Davis,
I just came across your blog "The Bradford" blog and liked it very much. I thought i should let you know about my new blog "Slideshows for your website and Blogs" My blog basically consists of slideshows which fall in 12 different categories. If you like any of the slideshows, you are welcome to embed it in your own blog.
Here's the catch, "The Bradford" blog is private, you can't read it unless you are invited (and this guy wasn't invited). I guess I'm just not as fabulous as I thought I was. Darn!

Image Citation: "peacock" vigilant20's Photostream on Flickr. 19 May 2007. [] 23 March 2008 .


Cathy Jo Nelson said...

Yep Ive been getting some of the same things on my own blog and one that I am a contributor for (SCASL Blogs). I generally delete tham, and I have to agree they make me feel dirty. Though yesterday someone said they offer to cover an exhibit and do a demo if the vendor will fly them to NECC. Hmm may begin to rethink this. Ask them if they help you go ot a conference somewhere in return.

john said...

Hi Liz,

How are you? I wonder how did the marketer manage to contact you regarding the Bradford blog if it is private?

"Not fabulous after all?" Of course you are fabulous! Your blog is excellent. It is original, authentic and yourself!

Cathy is right ~ ask what they can do for you. One company gave me seven software licenses to give away to teachers on a professional development day.

Cheers, John.