Benefits from Blogging for Business seminar in Joburg

Last Friday, I launched my first Blogging for Business seminar. This workshop has been in development for several months. And the response has been huge. There is such a great opportunity for South African businesses to benefit from blogging. A reminder to those who attended of the core benefits of blogging for business:

  • Become the Expert: when blogging start with issues affecting your industry and use your experiences in your company as a ongoing case study. As you become a industry commentator your peers and people on the outside will start to look to your for guidance.
  • Customer Relationships: this is where blogging can have the greatest benefit for very large companies. If you ever experienced high call volumes in a call centre, writing your feedback on a blog can help blow off some steam. Other clients can read the response from your company and may never have to call in with their complaints or feedback.
  • Media Relations: When you issue a press release to the media in many cases the can edit it or rewrite it and certain important messages can be taken out of context. You can publish your media releases on your blog unedited. And your audience, clients, partners can get the story straight from the horse’s mouth as they say.
  • Internal Collaboration: Again in very large companies or in virtual teams blogging the progress of a project can be invaluable way to communicate in a non-obtrusive manner. Project managers can keep track of the project progress without getting involved in calling meetings which only take people away from the projects they are working on.
  • Knowledge Management: Information can be shared using blogging technologies like RSS to keep relevant people informed of updates.
  • Recruitment: As you write about your industry and your company you can be seen as a open and attractive company to work for. Younger generation of employees are very intolerant of old fashioned bureaucratic ways of working.
  • Test ideas or products: You can use your blog to communicate new products, features and updates. And you can get quick and instant feedback from your audience. This can be seen as a kind of co-development with prospective clients and they will help spread your word of mouth better than you could ever imagine.
  • Rank high in Search Engines: The most obvious benefit from Blogging is how it boost search engine rankings. Search engines like Google love frequently updates web pages.

You can download my presentation from here:

Blogging for Business presentation in Durban with ePages.net

Last Thursday I delivered the following Blogging for Business presentation for ePages.net at a breakfast seminar in Durban. This was the most amazing experience because just after I started with my presentation electricity was lost in the whole area. The biggest implication blogging has for business is that you enter into a conversation with our clients, your partners, your suppliers and also your staff. And as said in the Cluetrain manifesto, the more people participate in a conversation in any given market, the smarter the market becomes.

You can download my presentation from here:

Interview with Tom London on 702

Tonight I did a quick interview with Tom London, the new host of the late night show on Talkradio 702, Cape Talk. To demonstrate how easy it is to do a video podcast with my new Sony Ericsson w880i I’m posting this video of the late night team for those of you who listened to the show.

If you are interested in my Blogging for Business seminar click here for details on the next dates because Friday, 22 June is already fully booked.

Bloggers represent South Africa at TEDGlobal Conference

Two of South Africa’s leading bloggers will be attending the first ever TEDGlobal conference in Arusha, Tanzania from 4-7 June 2007.

30 May 2007 (Johannesburg): South Africa will be represented by two of it’s most distinguished bloggers at the TEDGlobal Conference held in Africa for the first time.

TED (Technology Entertainment Design) is an annual conference held in Monterey, California and recently, semi-annually in other cities around the world as TEDGlobal. The presentations, normally limited to 20 minutes, cover a broad set of topics including science, arts, politics, global issues, architecture, music and more. The speakers themselves are from a wide variety of communities and disciplines.

Nine South Africans have been awarded Fellowships to attend. These Fellowships are sponsored by multinationals like AMD, GE and Google and covers the costs of attending the TEDGlobal conference for those who would not otherwise be able to attend.

“We are very excited to represent South Africa at such an important global conference,” says Ramon Thomas, Managing Director of NETucation, an online research and training organisation. “The conference will expose us to our counterparts in the rest of Africa, and we look forward to collaborating with them to build a new future for Africa.” Thomas will be bloggingu the conference at his www.netucation.co.za, which was a finalist in the Best Business Blog catergory at the SA Blog Awards recently.

The TED.com website has won accolades and awards for it’s video podcasts of the lectures. There are currently a 109 videos available for download from the website and every month new ones are released to the public from the most recent in 2007 going back to 2002 at the moment. The speakers include lumanaries such as Jane Goodal, Richard Dawkins, Ashraf Ghani, former Iraq Finance minister, and many more. Several of the videos focus on solutions for Africa and the thirds world in the areas of poverty alleviation, architecture and town planning.

The conference co-producer is, Emeka Okafor, who spoke with Thomas, at the first Blogging Indaba held at Rhodes University’s New Media Lab in September 2006. Okafor, is a Nigerian living in New York, and blogs about business in Africa at http://timbuktuchronicles.blogspot.com. TED invited him to act as program director because of his intimate knowledge of unusual entreprenerial business in Africa.

“I’m thrilled to be attending a TED conference after watching and learning from all the amazing video clips from past events available on their website.”, says Rafiq Phillips, one of the top 10 bloggers in South Africa and co-founder of iDRIVE.co.za – a driving school search egnine, has also been selected with Thomas to attend TEDGlobal as a Fellow. Phillips will be blogging his experiences at www.webaddict.co.za.

There are over 25 South Africans who will attend TEDGlobal as Fellows, attendees, speakers, performers and technicians.

For more on TEDGlobal please visit:
http://www.ted.com/index.php/pages/view/id/49

———————
MEDIA CONTACTS
———————

Ramon Thomas
Managing Director, NETucation
Mobile 082 940-7137
skype:ramon.thomas
mailto:ramon@netucation.co.za

Rafiq Phillips
Founder, Your Group of Web AddiCT(s)
Tel 021 591-3321
Cell 072 399-9888
skype:idrive.co.za
rafiq@idrive.co.za

Blogging Evangelism advice from Guy Kawasaki

Marketing Voices is one of the best podcasts about Social Media available. And the most recent post indicates a shift towards video blogging or vlogging. Jennifer Jones previously interviewed Guy Kawasaki, author of several books on marketing as evagalism on his general opinion on social media here. Since I first saw Guy’s Art of the Start presentation I have followed his insights closely and recommend his blog How to Change the World very highly. Here’s the latest interview…

 

Vote for NETucation on South African Blog Awards

SA Blog AwardsNETucation has been nominated as the Best Business Blog for the 2007 SA Blog Awards. So please click on the logo to the right and scroll down the bottom, look for the Business category and select netucation.co.za and vote.

Here’s the full article reprinted from BizCommunity:

Industry support for SA blogging community

The 2007 SA Weblog Awards are moving from an enthusiasts-only event to a credible competition, thanks to Storm Telecom’s sponsoring of a Mac Book Pro, worth over R17 000, which will go to the winner of Best Overall Blog. “In previous awards the prizes were essentially little more than public acknowledgement,” says Jonathan Cherry, MD of Cherryflava Media, who is hosting the awards.

“This fantastic first prize lifts the profile of the awards dramatically and adds credibility. Now the SA Blog Awards are becoming a major event in publishing, thanks to the support of companies like Storm,” continues Cherry.

Now in its third year, the awards showcase the best of South African independent web publishing, as nominated and voted for by the SA web community.

Bringing people together

Explains David Gale, new business development director at Storm Telecom, “As a major Internet service provider in South Africa, we are interested in the development of online communities and technologies that bring people together,”

“Blogging is pretty new in South Africa – it’s an adventure for bloggers and an adventure for us. We want to stimulate the professionalism and quality of blogging in SA by giving bloggers incentives to put effort and value into what they do,”

Blogs are a mixed bag: they can be a source of information or analysis on niche or obscure topics; they can be a news media that operates outside the constraints of the traditional publishing establishment; they can be a source of amusement and deep satire. They can also be irrelevant personal narratives, random diatribes and barely-literate scrawls.

Bubbling to the top

“There’s an awful lot of rubbish, which is the nature of user-generated content, but the good stuff bubbles up to the top,” comments Gale.

“Internationally, blogs generally don’t last more than a few months, many just limp for years in a twilight existence, but some have become major media with millions of page impressions a month. To succeed, bloggers need to be driven by a purpose, to have a passion,” comments Gale.

Companies are becoming more aware of blogs as ways to communicate with their customers, and ways for their customers to communicate with each other, either to provide support, or to slam bad service or products.

Nasty surprise

“Companies that ignore bloggers could be in for a nasty surprise when they discover themselves being pilloried across many blogs on the Internet. At the same time, they can be a powerful ally in marketing, as they’re often perceived as being more credible than online sales blurbs,” says Gale.

The SA Weblog Awards were created to give recognition to people that have dedicated a lot of time to their blogs, and to give them the exposure they need, drawing more readers to their sites, and to blogs in general. Blogging is ‘power to the people’ for those with a passion, whether its broader topics like current events or politics, or personal subjects like fertility or philosophy.

“Bloggers are usually not beholden to advertisers, so it’s real raw opinion,” concludes Cherry.

My first blog post

This is my first attempt at regular blogging. I began blogging on Blogger.com and eventually moved to my own domain, and after several hosting companies have now settled on Hostgator.

The best movies out this week is obviously the swash buckling Pirates Of The Caribbean with Johnny Depp, one of the most versatile actors in Hollywood. If you still haven’t seen Jim Carrey’s latest farce, Bruce Almighty, do yourself a favour and go and see the greatest comedic actor of the last 10 years!

The book I am currently reading is The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene.

After a brilliant tour of South Africa I was fortunate enough to watch the brilliance of Mick Hucknall and Simply Red perform their greatest hits at The Dome in Northgate, Johannesburg. I can only recommend The Very Best of Simply Red double album and their latest Home.

This blog is primarily be about personal development and dating tips.

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