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This past weekend my recent film about political blogger Steve Benen, Digital Pamphleteer, won the James Goldstone Award at the Vermont International Film Festival. The film is a short documentary about Steve and his blog and about political blogging, in general. The award, presented annually by the Vermont Film Commission to “an emerging Vermont filmmaker,” is named after the late Vermonter, James Goldstone, who directed the pilot episode of Star Trek back in 1966, among other things. I am very honored by the Commission’s recognition.
I’ve just been hired to teach an intro to film production class at the Community College of Vermont this fall.Â The class will be on Thursday afternoons from 3-6 pm.Â This will be a return to teaching after a few years break.Â I’m looking forward to it.
The new Business People Vermont is out and features a piece by me about new media marketing tools for Vermont businesses.Â You can read it here.Â Here’s a snip…
Along with these Web 2.0 technologies has come a new culture with a new set of cultural norms. As a result, some traditional assumptions about marketing may not be as effective in these new media.
Young is an active blogger (champlainprofessor.com) and uses Web 2.0 tools regularly. She points out that just having a blog doesnâ€™t mean it will automatically be a successful marketing tool. â€œA blog can do a lot for a companyâ€™s online visibility,â€ she says, â€œbut it must be authentic.â€ A blog shouldnâ€™t be about how great the companyâ€™s products are, but should be more focused on the particular expertise of the blogâ€™s author. She points to inspiredprotagonist.com, Seventh Generationâ€™s blog, as a good example of what she means.
Many of the blogâ€™s posts are written by Seventh Generation CEO Jeffrey Hollander; others are written by staff. â€œNotice that they arenâ€™t aggressively hawking products,â€ she says. They manage to showcase their products and mission on the blog just by writing about the things that the staff members are passionate about.
Young encourages honesty. â€œIf your blog is about getting people to know about the products you offer, donâ€™t try to hide it,â€ she warns. â€œThe worst thing to do is to disguise what or who you are.â€
This new model of marketing is encapsulated in a 1999 publication called The Cluetrain Manifesto, a list of 95 â€œthesesâ€ (intentionally aping Martin Lutherâ€™s list of 95 theses that started the Protestant Reformation in the 1400s). They posit the central message that â€œmarkets are conversations.â€ The authors of the manifesto make the case that because of the interconnected nature of the new media, person-to-person conversations are not simply possible, theyâ€™re the norm, and that this environment is fundamentally different from traditional modes of mass marketing.
Winslow cites a coffee blog run by Winooski coffee roaster freshcoffeenow.com as a good example of how a blog can be used effectively. Joeâ€™s Coffee Blog is just that: a blog about coffee written by a guy named Joe. The posts at Joeâ€™s Coffee Blog are all about coffee, but they include anecdotes from Joeâ€™s life and his personal musings on being a coffee roaster. Itâ€™s a combination of Joeâ€™s expertise as a coffee roaster and his personality that makes the blog work. â€œWe put links in there back to freshcoffeenow.com, but we never sell directly from the blog,â€ says Winslow. â€œHeâ€™s building â€˜buzzâ€™ as the go-to guy for espresso or anything coffee-related. Thatâ€™s how a blog should really be used.â€
I’ve got an IMDb page. One of the actors in a film I made called The Perfect Goodnight Kiss is trying to up her own IMDb cred and so she added it, and as the writer/producer/co-director on the film, I now have a page too. Now I just need someone to make me a Wikipedia page and I’ll be famous!
“Things are going to start happening to me now!”
–Naven R. Johnson
So I’ve just been asked to contribute an article to next month’s Business People Vermont about new media marketing tools for businesses.Â I’ll be interviewing and writing that piece for the next week or so.
I’m also flying out to Minneapolis in two weeks to attend the National Alliance for Community Media conference there.Â I’ve been invited to participate in a panel discussion on video blogging and community media centers.
I guess I can also report that starting in August I will begin giving little blogging/podcasting/social networking talks to Vermont state agencies.Â At least two informal talks are scheduled with more to follow if they’re successful.
I guess I’d better brush up on my Keynote kills.
A new article that I wrote for Business People Vermont Magazine is up on their website now. It’s a profile of Burlington-based web design firm, Propeller Media Works. You can read it here.
I’ve set up a new site for a couple of feature film projects I’m producing.Â We’re also releasing a seven-minute video clip from one of the projects this coming Sunday on the site.Â The site is based on a WordPress theme (just as this site is).Â I’m getting some experience using WP as a basis for regular, non-blog websites.Â It’s a mostly functional CMS these days, with all sorts of nifty plugin functionality.Â Very cool.
I just got the go ahead today from the E.D. at VCAM. I will be attending the national Alliance for Community Media conference in Minneapolis in July. I believe that I will be participating in a panel discussion about videoblogging while there. The last national ACM conference I went to was in Tampa two years ago. They’re always in the summer so I’m glad it’s in a northern state this time. I’ve never been to Minneapolis but I hear it’s a nice city and I have a good friend who works for the University of Minnesota, so I’m hoping I’ll get to see her while I’m there. w00t!
I’ve just been asked to contribute a profile of Dave Gibson and Propeller Media Works for the June issue of Business People Vermont Magazine. I like that I’m slowly becoming the technology writer for that magazine. Honestly, business writing is not my forte. I vastly prefer writing about subjects I know something about. The most fun I’ve had writing for BPV has been on the tech stories, like the one on J-Smart, a cell phone software developer. My favorite piece yet was January’s profile of Tim Nulty and the amazing telecom network he’s building in Burlington.
The Propeller piece will be particularly fun because I know those guys. I shot the video that appears on their homepage. Their office is next door to VCAM. If I shout really loud, they might hear me.
I’ll post an update here when the piece is published.