my blog 2012 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 13,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 3 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

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Here’s how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there

OK this is really shocking. real story

I copied that from (The next web Blog)

7262935116 f03d16a2e8 o 520x245 Heres how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there

Let’s pretend that you’re a blogger. You’re given the chance to review new, hot hardware from a major company. All that’s required is that you participate in some tasks, but these tasks would fit into your coverage so you agree. In return you get to be one of the first to go hands-on with devices and give your opinion on them. Sounds like a good deal? Well that’s what a couple of Indian participants in Samsung’s Mob!ler program thought too, until Samsung threatened to leave them stranded in Berlin, Germany.

First let’s start with the facts. Programs such as Mob!lers (or Mobilers, for my sanity) are in place by many companies. In fact, I’ve even participated in one, for a company called STI, where I’ve done reviews of Kia and Mazda cars. But there’s one factor that differentiates programs such as STI from Mobilers – Only one of them expects you to become a shill for the company.

The story that follows is one of those that’s going to be hard to believe. We’ve done our very best to verify the facts, and we’ve heard the same tale from multiple sources and the end result has been the same in each case. That said, let’s go back in time a few weeks.

Samsung launched its Mobilers program in India. Clinton Jeff of Unleash the Phones and another blogger who asked to remain unnamed were two of the ones who were chosen as winners of a contest and given Mobiler perks. Now before you go calling foul, bear in mind that programs like this are imperative in some countries. Without them the bloggers will often not get early access to devices, or in some cases will be among the last to see them. Engaging with the programs means that they get access and they get to bring news to their respective audiences.

7352689988 a6505f53fe z 520x259 Heres how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there

Jeff, however, reports that they made it abundantly clear to Samsung that they were first and foremost independent bloggers and that they had no intention of acting as brand ambassadors for the company. Even with this restriction in place, the two were invited by Samsung to attend this year’s IFA conference in Berlin, a large trade show that’s important to European and Asian mobile device coverage. Though surprised by the invitation, they took up Samsung on its offer to fly them to the show and to cover their hotel.

An important point – In the invitation email, Jeff reports that he was asked whether he’d like to attend as a reporter or as a promoter. He was insistent that he would only accept the offer if he was allowed to do so as a reporter.

Screen Shot 2012 09 02 at 2.19.37 PM 220x183 Heres how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them thereAgain, a reminder – Behavior such as Samsung’s isnot uncommon in the world of tech coverage. It’s perhaps considered more normal in some parts of the world, but even we here at TNW are regularly offered to have our travel and accommodations covered in hopes that we’ll write about a specific brand during our overall coverage of an event.

Now back to the bloggers — In the days and weeks leading up to the IFA trip there were a couple of things that happened which should have raised flags, but the preemptive, no-compromises statement about the two refusing to be brand ambassadors should have kept them covered. One such flag, for instance, was Samsung contacting Jeff and asking for his clothing measurements.

“What? A uniform? A quick call to Samsung India to find out what was going on. Oh it’s just for a closed door event? No proper answer, I sent my sizes wondering what was going on.” – Clinton Jeff

Jeff tells me that there were a couple of other clues as well, such as Samsung insisting that they record themselves dancing in front of landmarks, a la “Where the Hell is Matt“, as well as encouraging them to bring a local gift that would be exchanged with other Mobilers. But Jeff went along with the requests, thinking that it would perhaps be a fun activity that he’d be doing with others in the Mobiler program. It wasn’t until after a 12-hour day of flying that the alarm bells went off.

“As soon as we stepped in [to the hotel], there was a Samsung Mobilers booth waiting for us. They gave us our key, a Samsung shirt that we’d have to wear for “orientation” the next morning, and we’d have to be down in five minutes to go for the uniform fitting.” – Clinton Jeff

They were instructed that they were to arrive at 8 AM the next day to sign an NDA. While this isn’t an uncommon ask, it’s the kiss of death for a tech reporter who’s hoping to break news about new devices. But what’s more, the 8 AM session was for “orientation”. Samsung told them that, over the course of the event, they’d “have to be in uniform, in the Samsung booths, every day. Showing the products to members of the press.”

“This was really a shocker. For a month before departure we were continuously reminded that we were being sent to IFA to cover the launch of the Note 2, every little detail was taken care of and we were even updated on a daily basis with the situation of the stay , tickets etc.”

Screen Shot 2012 09 02 at 2.33.44 PM 220x161 Heres how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there

The red flag just became a stop sign.

Jeff told Samsung again, in no uncertain terms, that they were not there to be product demonstrators for the brand. They reiterated that they had agreed to the trip so that they could cover Samsung, but also the other brands that were launching products. They were shuttled off to a meeting where they once again stated ,this time to a stern-faced PR person, that they had no interest in playing Samsung’s employee for the event. They were told that they had some free time while the company made its decision, so they headed to the local Starbucks to grab a pre-show coffee.

Then things got nasty.

“We got a call from Samsung India saying ‘You can either be a part of this and wear the uniform, or you’ll have to get your own tickets back home and handle your hotel stay from the moment this call ends…

A few minutes later, we got a call from the Samsung India guy who said that our flights on the 6th have been cancelled, and that they’re bringing us back on the 1st instead. But this is only if, and only if, we agreed to wear atleast the samsung branded shirt at the unpacked event, and not blog about any of this incident.

None of this should leave Berlin. Or Reach India” – Clinton Jeff

This might come as a surprise, but we blogger types aren’t exactly rolling in cash. Jeff tells me that he’s no different. His weak local currency, combined with high rent in South Delhi, has prevented him from saving much money. In short, they were trapped and their tickets were essentially being held for ransom. In fact, emails between Jeff and I were exchanged prior to his return home and he practically begged me to not run the story until he returned, stating without any uncertainty that he’d be trapped in Berlin.

In short, their hands were forced. They attended the event, in the Samsung shirt, but did opt to not stand and demonstrate the phones “while getting dirty looks from some of the other Samsung mobilers who were present in their white pants, Samsung shoes and the Samsung shirt, all stationed next to a device, presenting it to press. And presenting it to us.”

But the hits just keep on coming. The next morning, Jeff awoke to the following email:

Screen Shot 2012 09 02 at 3.07.09 PM 520x205 Heres how Samsung flew bloggers halfway around the world, then threatened to leave them there

Instead of being in Berlin until September 5th, covering the rest of IFA, they were to be shuttled home as soon as possible. They had only been in country long enough to cover Samsung’s Unpacked event, but missed almost everything else from the show. They didn’t have tickets in hand, and had no assurance that they’d get them. The only confirmation that they had was that their initial return tickets had been cancelled.

In the end it’s a cautionary tale – There were a few instances in which the bloggers perhaps should have seen too many flags raised and backed out of the event. But when the bloggers had been covering bases and stating their position time and again, Samsung had every opportunity to explain its position and cancel the trip as well. Instead, it opted to play hardball, threatening to leave two bloggers stranded thousands of miles from home, in a foreign country.

So take care, bloggers and those hoping to be. The next time that you’re offered a trip in exchange for coverage, you might find yourself being fitted for a uniform, signing NDAs and demoing products upon which you’re supposed to be reporting. While this will hardly be the end of the Mobilers program, in India or elsewhere, Samsung’s scummy tactics should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks the Korean manufacturer is playing fair.

We’ve emailed representatives from Samsung, and told them the story that we are working on. It’s been a few hours, as of the time of this publishing, and we’ve still not gotten a reply. We’ll update this story when or if we do. But for now, Jeff tells me that another company has offered to fly him home and get him to a hotel, so he’s still able to cover the event as it should be.

 

Blogging: Balancing Professional Versus Personal

This is a great article I came a cross. lets share

 Blog Elements To Consider

As happens with social media, many bloggers find that the distinction between their professional and personal lives tends to blur. It’s easy to say keep your professional exchanges separate from your personal ones on social media platforms. But, as in real life relationships, this can be easier said than done. Nowhere is this more challenging than blogging where the best bloggers integrate their personality into their content.

Unlike social media networks where you can limit which of your connections see the information you post, your blog reveals to the world information you, the blogger, may not realize you’re disclosing. This is attributable to the nature of the quicker, less edited style used in blogging.

To help you navigate the blogging waters regardless of whether it’s designed to achieve professional or personal goals, here’s a chart across a variety of topics. (Note: When we discuss personal blogs, the reference is to something broader than a personal journal.)

Blogging: Balancing Professional Versus Personal
13 Elements You Must Consider

Topic

Professional Blog

Personal Blog

Hosting
  • Integrate into company website
  • Host on your own
  • Host on your own
  • Write on WordPress.org, Blogger.com or similar site
Branding
  • Extension of corporate branding
  • Special blog branding
  • Special blog branding (Understand that no branding is still branding)
Topic
  • Company or product related
  • Executive platform
  • Advocacy
  • Any area of interest (Including news, hobbies, mommy/daddy blogs)
Language use
  • Sound like a real person
  • Skip corporate-speak
  • Avoid foul language
  • Be appropriate for company image you wish to convey
  • Sound like a real person
  • Omit the foul language (but can be useful if in character)
Photographs
  • Company photographs
  • Infographics
  • Stock photography
  • Your own photographs
  • Flickr, etc. (Where you have permission)
Bloggers/
contributors
  • Group of executives and/or employees
  • Professional group/  association
  • Editorial staff (Media blog)
  • Customers and/or fans
  • Ghost writer
  • Individual
  • Group of individuals interested in the topic
Publishing
schedule (akablog post frequency)
  • Needs to be consistent. Best if at least 2-3 times per week
  • Needs to be consistent—shouldn’t just write when sprit moves you
Guest posting
guidelines
  • Will you accept guest posts? If so, are there any special requirements?
  • Experts
  • Employees
  • Customers
  • Will you accept guest posts? If so, are there any special requirements?
  • Experts
  • Other bloggers
Comment
policy
  • Determine what’s acceptable to post-no foul language, no links, no blatant self promotion, etc.
  • Determine what’s acceptable to post-no foul language, no links, no blatant self promotion, etc.
Terms of use
  • Can content be reused by outsiders & under what conditions?
  • Can content be reused by outsiders & under what conditions?
Private
information
  • Keep private information off of blog
  • Sprinkle in personal details only when and where appropriate
  • Keep private information off of blog
  • Add personal details over time but don’t over do it!
Support
  • Content creation
  • Creative
  • Technology/website support
  • Technical support – useful to have
Budget
  • Needed to support efforts
  • Should increase to support evolving goals, if cost effective
  • Useful to have for branding, technical support and for URL, plug-ins, etc.
 © 2012 Heidi Cohen – HeidiCohen.com – All rights reserved

 

When examining the differences between professional and personal blogs, a lot depends on the topic, positioning, target readership and the blogger. As with any social media platform, you have to be human and transparent. When in doubt, choose to be more restrained in your approach and your language. Understand that your blog has a potentially broad audience that’s likely to have a variety of different perspectives and language standards.

What else would you add to this list? How would you make the distinction between professional and personal blogs?

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen

Reasons why people are Not Reading any Kuwaiti Company Blog ?? if there is any !!

Now before reading this article that is published by By Amy Kattan

 

I took the libirty to cross check the information against some Kuwait company blogs, and as usual whom would think of firstly? . The Big players like Telecom or airline or Banks . Surprise surprise Non except for Wataniya telecom have even thought of creating a corporate BLOG !!!! waw VIVA, Zain, NBK,X-cite Alghanim…NON ??? ok obviously they took the LAZY way, and thought that sponsoring  couple of influencing blogs like Mark 248AM or Q8ping or this annoying Al-sul6ana ads catalogue will cut it, actually no. Keeping Wataniya telecome a side, these huge companies totally forgot that they need to take a proactive approach otherwise, any new comer to their market will make them shoot dust. Any way hope you enjoy these few important points.

In the social media industry, we’re always talking about the importance of engaging with influencers. Engaging with bloggers that have large audiences and high Klout scores increases your chances of generating buzz around your brand. As a brand, you want to be recognized as a thought leader in your industry and a resource for your consumers. You’ve set up a blog to become an influencer in the space, but no one is reading the content you’re creating. Why? Let’s take a look:

1) You woke up one morning and decided to start a blog, but you didn’t really set a long term plan. You’ve set up you blog, but you haven’t really given thought to what it will look like, the kind of content you’re going to create, who’s going to create it, and how often you’re putting it out there. As a reader, this confuses me. When should I expect to see content? Who is this coming from? What are you trying to tell me? You need to set a clear plan of action and stick to it before building your blog.

2) When I’m online, I’m really not in the mood to hear a sales pitch. It’s one thing when I’m watching television and a commercial comes on, but online, I’m looking for a totally different experience. I’m online because I’m interested in actively searching for information that is relevant to me. I would come to your blog and use it as a resource for relevant information, but I’m not interested in seeing an advertisement.

3) Take off your marketer hat and put on your consumer hat. Your consumers are the people you are trying to reach. What interests you as a marketer is different than what interests your consumers. Think about the type of content that would interest your potential readers. Not sure what your consumers would like? Do some research! Take a look at the kind of blog comments you’re getting, ask questions, and listen closely to the answers. Take a look at what your fans and followers are saying on Facebook and Twitter. Find out what your consumers need and see if you can provide value.

4) No offense, but your content is boring. I don’t care if it’s grammatically correct or intellectually stimulating. I’m reading your blog with the expectation that I’m going to hear from a person with real opinions and emotions. In addition, as an internet-savvy consumer, content is being thrown at me every day. In order for your posts to stand out among the pack, I need something that will draw me in. The title of your blog post should be clear and concise, but also make me stop and think.

5) Um… how am I supposed to know you even have a blog? Building your readership takes work. One way to jump-start your readership is to share your new posts to your existing networks: Engage your current Facebook fans, Twitter followers, Pinterest followers, e-mail subscribers, etc. In addition, you want to make sure that once your consumers start reading your posts, the content you’re providing is as shareable as possible. Include tweet buttons, Facebook share and Like buttons, “Pin It” buttons, +1 buttons, etc. The only way your blog is going to be successful is if your content is easily shareable.