If you totally trust the advice of Advergirl, no need to read on. Just click through this subscribe link and get a feed you're sure to love and thank me for. If you're tougher to convince, keep reading, I'll talk you into it.
It's been over a year and a half now since I hung up my blogging hat. No fanfare, no goodbye. I just wandered off after a decidedly questionable post on bug advertising.
Until, May of 07, when David Griner, a snarky AdFreak blogger, called me out on the disappearance. His "Where is Advergirl" post ended up flooding my inbox with "yeah, what the heck happened" notes and trackbacks from other bloggers echoing the sentiment. I was compelled to return to posting. Since then, David has been something of a big brother of blogging - peer pressuring me to try new social media (damn twitter) and calling bullshit when I head out too far into the land of ranting.
So, I'm very excited to tell you about his new blog: The Social Path.
TSP is a social media blog that tears down the jargon of our cliquey chat and replaces it with great examples, advice and ideas. More about it in David's own words:
David: I love social media. I love talking about social media. But I've never really liked reading about social media. For every good blog on the topic, there are hundreds packed with vague rhetoric and self-promotion. We wanted to start an agency blog that was conversational, practical and digestible for the masses.
But to be honest, I just wanted a place to rant on the company's dime.
David: I seriously felt like my life was missing something. I love writing about cool and strange stuff for AdFreak, but I also wanted a place to talk at length about trends and technology. Yeah, it spreads me little thinner, but I've gotten a lot of support from all three bosses: my creative director, the AdFreak editor and my wife. I forgot to check with the dog.
David: I'm trying to keep the luddites in mind. I want to demystify social media, make it seem less scary for businesses and ordinary people. But I still want it to be interesting for the people who already read tons of sites about networking, conversation, etc. I figure clients and potential clients probably fall somewhere between those two extremes.
Advergirl: The Social Path is pretty prominently sponsored by your home agency, Luckie & Co. Last I checked, your gig was copywriting there, not chief blogger. Is this launch the start of a new role for you?
David: Time will tell, I guess. For now, still contently plugging away as a copywriter.
Advergirl: I know we have a lot of readers who are interested in introducing their bosses, co-workers and clients to social media. What advice to you have for promoting and teaching social media?
David: You can talk all you want, but the easiest way is to actually help them set up a few accounts on sites like Facebook, Blogger or Twitter. Then walk them through the process of getting started. That's the toughest hurdle to get over. For that reason, I prefer one-on-one training instead of trying to convert the masses all at once.
Advergirl: Do you think every brand should embrace social media?
David: Embrace it? Probably not. But every brand should be experimenting with the possibilities and keeping an eye on trends. Last I checked, half of the Top 10 Web sites in the U.S. were social. That's a hell of a boat to miss.
Advergirl: Is social media marketing, customer service, product development, or something new entirely?
David: Social media is just a way to communicate. But when companies use it, I think it should be seen as a mix of PR and customer service — except good.
Advergirl: What tool do you hope comes next?
David: I love the idea behind FriendFeed, but I hate the interface and I never end up using it. It would be great to have a site that easily combines all these other things I use: Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook, etc. Lots of folks trying to do it, no one succeeding (yet).
Advergirl: What's the most un-social thing going on in social media today?
David: I still think about that MySpace suicide from time to time. It's becoming so easy for bullies to torment other kids online. Makes it more important than ever for parents and teachers to understand how all this technology works.
Advergirl: Now that you've spent some time with Lance, how would you weigh in on the Big Debate: Should he embrace the moniker Adverboyfriend? Or continue to seek his own identity?
David: I think he just needs to make Adverboyfriend his own, really feel out the potential. It worked for Dr. Girlfriend.