Coming Soon From Jay Baer

MarketingPodcasts comComing sometime soon will be a new directory of marketing-related podcasts at the very appropriate URL of:

Jay Baer is the force behind the site and said last month on Google+ only this:

Soon, I am launching the search engine for podcasts about all things marketing and communications.

One of our key features will be podcast reviews (like Pitchfork, for you indie music geeks).

As readers probably know, I am a weekly contributor to the For Immediate Release (FIR) podcast that focuses on the intersection of social media and public relations, business and marketing. I am a huge fan of audio podcasting, and FIR is just one of the podcasts to which I contribute. I also enjoy listening to podcasts... and so I'll be intrigued to see what Jay surfaces through this new site.

Right now you can just provide your email address to be notified when the site goes live. We'll see, hopefully soon, what it is all about!

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Internet Society Hiring Marketing Communication Manager - Apply Now!

Isoc logoDo you want to ensure that the Internet remains "open" for everyone? Would you like to work for a global nonprofit organization focused on promoting "the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world"? Would you like to work with me[1] and the other great people we have on our staff?

If you have a marketing / communications background, the Internet Society is looking for a "Marketing Communications Manager" based in our Reston, Virginia, USA, office. Full details and information about how to apply can be found here:

The Internet Society (also known as "ISOC") is an excellent organization[2] working on a wide range of activities related to the development of Internet access, public policy around Internet governance and open standards and the key technologies underlying the Internet. We have a simple vision that "The Internet is for everyone" and that underpins everything we do. Our latest business plan lays out our priorities for the next few years and if you take a look you'll see we're active all around the world.

A key element of all that work is to increase the capacity of our Communications team - and this new role is a key element of that.

I hope that some of you reading this will take a look and strongly consider applying!

There are a great many battles out there for the future of the Internet... and we need people who can help us get our messages out!

[1] To be clear on how I fit in here, I should note that while I am involved with external communications for the Internet Society, it is through the Deploy360 Programme, one of the programs of an internal team known as the "Deployment & Operationalization (DO) Team". You can read more about why I joined ISOC and what I am doing there. I work with people on the Communications team and so you would be one of the people with whom I would potentially work - but there are also 70+ other employees scattered around the world.

[2] I was a member of the Internet Society long before I became a staff person in September 2011.

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5 Critical Facts You Need To Know About Jan 12th Launch of New Generic Top-Level Domains (gTLDs)

Are you aware that on January 12, 2011, a fundamental change to the Internet's naming infrastructure is beginning? Are you thinking about what it means to your company or organization?

What's going on?

On that date, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) starts taking applications for new "generic top-level domains (gTLDs). Here are five critical facts:

1. The gTLD process may result in 10s or 100s of new top-level domains

A "top-level domain" (TLD) is the final part of a domain name. Originally there were only eight TLDs:

.com .edu .gov .int .mil .net .org .arpa

ICANN was awarded the contract to manage the DNS system in 1998 and engaged in two rounds of domain expansion in 2000 and 2004 that resulted in the addition of 15 more domains (see the ICANN agreements):

.aero .asia .biz .cat .coop .info .jobs .mobi .museum .name .post .pro .tel .travel .xxx

Additionally, there are 250-ish two-letter "country code top-level domains (ccTLDs)" that are handled by each nation. (And some of those ccTLDs are available commercially to anyone such as ".tv". ".me", ".co", etc.)

This new round of domain name expansion happening comes after about an 18-month process by ICANN to engage many different stakeholders in the process. It will allow anyone who can meet the criteria to establish a "registry" for a new domain name. ICANN created a video that explains the program:

2. These New Domain Names Will Most Likely Not Be Out Until 2013

On January 12, 2012, the application process will start for entities that want to apply to register a new gTLD. As explained in the Applicant Guidebook, the process is quite lengthy and involves a significant amount of both technical and business due diligence. It also costs $185,000 USD just to apply, plus the additional costs of setting up the business, technical infrastructure, etc.

The application process closes on April 12, 2012, and given the lengthy process the earliest that new gTLDs would most likely become available is early 2013.

3. You Need To Watch The gTLD Applicants To Ensure No Trademark Issues

ICANN has stated that "approximately 2 weeks after the close of the application window, ICANN will post the public portions of all applications that have been received on our website. At this time, the formal objection period will begin and will last for approximately 7 months." (See Section 4.1 of ICANN's gTLD FAQ.)

ICANN has stated that at the current time they will NOT be notifying brand name / trademark holders of applications using their brand/trademark (see Section 1.12 of the FAQ), so you need to pay attention to what is being proposed.

4. There Is An Opportunity Here for Brands

If your company/organization has both the financial and technical capability to operate a gTLD registry, there is a great potential here for carving out your area of the Internet. For instance, Ford Motor Company could register ".ford" and then start using domains such as:

The beautiful thing about operating your own gTLD is that:

You do NOT have to let anyone else use it!

It can be your own top-level domain name that no one else on the global Internet can use. gTLD operators set all the rules for how the domain is to be operated - and can choose to not let anyone else use it... or set specific criteria for people wanting to use the domain.

Again, it's very definitely NOT an easy process to get started, but it is something that some larger brands certainly may want to consider. (There is also no guarantee that consumers would accept these new gTLDs and might keep trying to tack .com onto the end!)

5. Communicators Will Need To Monitor These New gTLDs for Defensive Registrations

Once these new gTLDs start appearing in 2013 or so, communicators will of course need to monitor the success (or not) of these new gTLDs and consider whether or not they want to defensively register their brand/name/etc. in the new gTLDs.

This has been the harshest critique of the new gTLD program - namely that it creates a massive problem for brand/trademark holders and will create additional cost for them to register in each of these new domains. There have even been hearings in the US House and Senate related to these concerns and numerous editorials and online articles about this. (one example - and an ICANN response)

However, all current signs are that the launch of the application process WILL go ahead as planned on January 12, 2012. The application process does require each new gTLD to have a "Sunrise" period where entities can register new domains with specific brands/trademarks in advance of the open public registration... but that again will be something communicators will need to monitor.


ICANN has established a section of their site specifically about the generic Top-Level Domain program:

Of particular value may be the FAQ: (direct link in English)

For those seriously interested or wanting more of the details, the Applicant Guidebook is critical:

There has been a great amount of discussion about this ICANN program in various parts of the media. One site I have found extremely useful has been CircleID and their specific page tracking TLDs is here:

Now, the reality is that this entire gTLD program could completely fail. There may not be enough applicants... or consumers may simply not accept any of the new domains. Certainly some of the already-approved gTLDs have not found widespread acceptance.

Still, this new expansion of top-level domains seems pretty certain to move ahead - and as communicators we all need to stay on top of what is going on here and understand what we may or may not need to do.

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The FIR "Podroll" - *other* marketing/PR podcasts to listen to

FIR PodrollOn the January 17th FIR episode, Shel Holtz mentioned that he'd cleaned up the sidebar of the FIR site to make it both more readable and useful. Indeed he has and you can see the results at:

The most interesting part to me, though, is that if you scroll down the page toward the bottom of the sidebar, you come to the FIR "Podroll" listing other PR podcasts. Shel updated it and confirmed that all of these are active podcasts. While I knew most of them already, there were a couple that were new to me and so it was good to find out about them.

If you are looking for great audio content to listen to while you are traveling, working out or whatever, do check out the list!

P.S. And of course you can check out all the other aspects of the updated sidebar, too... :-)

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Have You Claimed Your Facebook Community Page Yet? Here's How...

As a company or brand, have you claimed your Facebook Community Page yet? Did you even know you could?

One of the supreme annoyances with Facebook for companies/brands has been that back in April Facebook rolled out the ability for users to create "community pages"... essentially "unofficial" pages for companies or brands - or any other topic.

But what was most annoying was this:

In many places on the site, Facebook linked to these community pages instead of the pages that companies had already invested time and money in developing.

For example, on the Info tab of my Facebook profile, the word "Voxeo" is a link to a page:


Here's my problem as the person most involved with Voxeo's social media marketing. That "Voxeo" link does NOT go to our "official" page at:

But instead goes to the community page at:

which only has information pulled from Wikipedia. That page does not have our most current info... has no contact info whatsoever... and all around is just a pretty useless page!

It's been a rather frustrating and aggravating situation for many folks out there... particularly those who spent a significant amount to build out very detailed Facebook Pages... only to have Facebook point their name in many occurrences within the site over to this new "community page".

How To Claim Your Community Page

Today, however, it seems that we may have an option. B.L. Ochman published an article in Ad Age today titled "Facebook Community Pages Are a Confusing Mess. Time To Fix Them" that points to the recent addition of a "Is this your page?" link at the bottom of each page:


BL Ochman also references an AllFacebook post about this issue from back on November 8th, so this link has been around for the past month or so. (Did you notice it? I certainly didn't... and I'm on our Facebook page pretty much every day... but I'm not necessarily scrolling all the way down to the bottom!)

Going through the process is fairly straightforward. First you must assert that you are indeed the "official representative" for the page:


Next you have to somewhat bizarrely click through another screen that tells you that they now need to verify what you just asserted:

[NOTE TO FACEBOOK: Sooo... why couldn't you have just put this text on the top of the NEXT page and killed this dialog box?]


Clicking through this useless box then gets you to this big long form where you "declare under penalty of perjury" that you are indeed the authorized representative:


After that you are rather unceremoniously dumped into Facebook's Help Center with a message up on the top saying that you will receive an email where you have to click a link to validate this new address.

I did receive that email, clicked the link and then got a message saying that I would receive additional information, presumably as they examine my claim to the page.

We'll see what happens next.

Merging Pages?

What was strange to me in the process today was that I did not receive the message that both BL Ochman and the AllFacebook article mentioned, namely this:

"Once you have submitted the request to merge the Community Page(s) to your authenticated Page, Facebook will review your request and verify that the merge request is for two similar entities. For example, the Community Page for Nike could merge with the authenticated Nike Page, but a merge request for Nike Basketball or Nike Shoes to merge to the general Nike Page would not be approved.

Please keep in mind that the review process may take a few days, and that we may contact you if we need additional information. If we approve the request, anyone who has "Liked" the Community Page(s) will be combined and connected to your authenticated Page."

I would like to merge the pages... in truth I'd really just like to eliminate the community page and have people go directly to our main page... but if that is accomplished by a "merge", so be it.

Is this the next step? After I have been granted admin access to the community page will I then be able to request a merge of the two?

I don't know... but I'll update this post as I find out more in my own process. And if you have already gone through this process, I'd love to hear about it in the comments - please do leave one!

I'm pleased (I think) that Facebook is appearing to offer companies a way to potentially gain a bit more control over how they are represented within Facebook. I'll be curious to see how it all really pans out... (Sorry, do I sound a bit skeptical? :-) )

What do you think about this? Are you going to go claim your community page? Have you already done so?

P.S. Hat tip to Donna Papacosta who posted BL Ochman's article to, where else... her Facebook wall! (and from there I saw it)

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Do you need a "Chief Marketing Technologist?"

That was the question Mashable asked last week in a post "Should Your Company Have a Chief Marketing Technologist?", reporting on a recent presentation by Scott Brinker, president and CTO of ion interactive. Both the Mashable article and the transcript Scott posted to his site make for useful reading. He describes a "Chief Marketing Technologist" as:

“… someone who has a hybrid between business and technology, a strong background in engineering and IT, is an early adopter of technology, but someone who also understands the pragmatic realities of scaling technology. But most importantly, someone who brings those skills and combines them with a deep love and passion for the marketing mix. This is a technologist that reports to the CMO, not the CIO.”

In his slides, he identifies 3 missions for the role:

  1. Help the CMO translate strategy into technology (and vice versa).
  2. Choreograph data and technology across the marketing organization.
  3. Fuse technology into the DNA of marketing - practices, people and culture.

It's well worth a read, in my opinion. Given that my own role is a fusion of a technologist and a marketer, I agreed with many of his points.

The question is for you - do you have someone in your marketing team who is looking at the technology side of the picture and finding ways to enable your marketing team to be more effective, agile, stronger?

Scott Brinker's slides are below:

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How NOT to send out an email marketing message... (FAIL!)

This just arrived in my email inbox... can you say... "FAIL?"

It's 2010, people, never assume that people have their email programs set to display all images...


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Outstanding list of the "Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009" from Tamar Weinberg

tamarweinberg.jpgOver on her "techipedia" blog, Tamar Weinberg has pulled together an outstanding list of "The Best Internet Marketing Posts of 2009". It's a LONG list... but Tamar has done an excellent job curating a list of what's been worthwhile to read this year in the social media / marketing space. There's a few I might add... but I can't quibble with any she's listed there.

If you're looking for good info on marketing, PR, social media, search/SEO, and many other topics... you definitely need to read through the list and start following links.

Thanks, Tamar, for compiling this list... it's a great resource for all of us.

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Summarizing the Attention Wave concept of packaging news releases

Back in September, I started talking about the idea of creating an "Attention Wave" - of building a package of content around your news release. The whole idea is that:
The opportunity has never been greater to tell your story in your own words.

And that in particular in our attention-starved time, one way to potentially attract more attention to your news is to create a "wave" of stories associated with your news. Instead of simply a single story that appears as a tweet and is then missed... there may be six different stories from you from different points-of-view, plus an audio podcast, plus a video on YouTube... plus stories from other people about your news. It's a series of tweets and retweets that do get attention from people on Twitter (for instance).

Here are the posts I put up on the series:

Over the course of 2010, I have a number of other posts I'd like to write in this series. I'm also looking for examples of people and companies using an approach like this that can be highlighted.

Thanks for all the great comments and feedback I've received about this concept - and I'm looking forward to writing more on it in the months ahead.

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Congrats to HubSpot on $16M funding AND launch of "Inbound Marketing" book

hubspotlogo.jpgCongratulations are very definitely in order to the folks over at HubSpot today for two reasons:

HubSpot has definitely been one of the companies I've been watching in this space. They've provided a great amount of content through their Internet Marketing blog on a wide range of topics. I've also enjoyed some of their "Grader" tools. Plus, on a purely local note, they are an interesting Boston-area company just a couple of hours south of me.

Congrats to Brian Halligan and all the HubSpot team... and best wishes to them as they aim to become "the of marketing".

P.S. Check out their "Inbound Marketing cartoon eBook".

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