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Blog influence is growing

Not every company believes they should be writing blogs, but that doesn’t mean they don’t find blogs important. Just listen to Steve Swasey, Director of Corporate Communications for Internet video renter Netflix: “We don’t have a Netflix blog by design—our philosophy is to let our customers speak.”


Netflix has over six million members, some of them bloggers, and the company pays close attention to what they write. Mike Kaltschnee, the blogger behind the Hacking Netflix, has the company’s attention, according to Steve. “We have people dedicated to reading Hacking Netflix every day. We treat him with equal importance to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times because he knows more about Netflix than anyone else.”
Mike agrees that he gets treated as a full-fledged member of the media—he was one of just five reporters to get a sneak preview of the Netflix WatchNow download service, along with the New York Times, Forbes magazine, and the Reuters and Associated Press news services. Like many reporters, Mike has a direct line to Steve for story corrections: “Once, Steve responded from Taiwan with his Blackberry.”
Steve summed up the Netflix blog philosophy: “Rather than creating our own blogs, we harness the energy of someone who’s independent.” The “let others blog about us” approach is risky, because you don’t tell your own story, but for Netflix, the risk is low—research firm ForeSee Results has named Netflix the #1 site for customer satisfaction several times running.
Maybe delighting your customers is the only real key to getting positive publicity in the blogosphere.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in internet marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, a leading digital media marketing consultancy based in New York City. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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