2010 Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs

Blog Name Pioneer Score Google Reader Alexa Score Total
1 Digital Buzz Blog 9 7 9 25
2 Mumbrella 9 5 9 23
3 Bannerblog 7 7 9 23
4 The Inspiration Room 7 6 9 22
5 Campaign Brief 7.5 5 9 21.5
6 Marketing Magazine 8 4 8 20
7 Servant of Chaos 9 4 7 20
8 B&T 6.5 4 9 19.5
9 Laurel Papworth 7 4 8 19
10 Young PR 8 3 8 19
11 Personalize Media 7.5 3 8 18.5
12 Adspace-Pioneers 8 4 6 18
13 Better Communication Results 7 5 6 18
14 Media Hunter 8 3 7 18
15 Amnesia Blog 5.5 5 7 17.5
16 Life. Then Strategy 8 3 6 17.5
17 Online Marketing Banter 8 3 6 17
18 acidlabs 8 3 6 17
19 Talking Digital 8 3 6 17
20 Consumer Psychologist 8 4 5 17
21 Brand DNA 8 4 5 17
22 Digital-Media 8 1 8 17
23 Get Shouty 8.5 3 5 16.5
24 Gold Coast Web Designers 6 3 7 16
25 Shifted Pixels 7 2 7 16
26 A perspective 8 2 6 16
27 Angus Whines 7 3 6 16
28 Dan Pankraz 8 3 5 16
29 WayCoolJnr 8 3 5 16
30 AdNews 8 0 8 16
31 Publicis Digital 7.5 3 5 15.5
32 Gourmet Ads 7 1 7 15
33 PR Warrior 8 2 5 15
34 FRANKthoughts 8 2 5 15
35 PR Disasters 7 3 5 15
36 Matthew Gain 8 1 6 15
37 Zakazukhazoo 6.5 1 7 14.5
38 EcioLab 7.5 2 5 14.5
39 Corporate Engagement 6.5 3 5 14.5
40 Dominique Hind Collective 7 2 5 14
41 Tim Longhurst 6.5 2 5 13.5
42 Pigs Don’t Fly 7.5 2 4 13.5
43 The Flasher 8.5 1 4 13.5
44 Three Billion 6 1 6 13
45 Marketing Easy 6 1 6 13
46 Who is in conrtol of your b**** 8 1 4 13
47 Sticky Ads 6.5 0 6 12.5
48 Mark Neely's Blog 7.5 1 4 12.5
49 Business of Marketing and Branding 6.5 2 4 12.5
50 CIIMS 7 1 4 12

Welcome to the 2010 Top 50 Australian Marketing Blogs, I have made a few amendments since last time. I have taken out the Technorait Authority and Reactions because lately Technorati has been inconsistent. Instead of Google Page Rank, I have now gone to Google RSS Subscribers. I have also cut the list back to the Top 50 rather than the Top 164.

If you think that you should be in the Top 50, AKA If you go to Alexa and your blog is in the top 1,000,000 and you have more than 250 RSS Subscribers please email me at julianwcole (at) gmail.com

Guest Post: The Crusaders of happiness

Nicola Swankie is an Account Director at Host and an active member of the Sydney Community Managers Meet-Up and writes the great blog Happiness we share

"You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help other people get what they want." (Zig Ziglar)
(HT to Scott Drummond for sharing this quote)

Brand communities have been around for years, Tupperware parties, Harley Davidson conventions, I believe I may have even been a member of the Spice Girls fan club somewhere back in 1990s… Even things like your favourite coffee shop or the fact you spark a conversation with another Mum at playgroup about the fact you both have the same brand of buggy.

People connect around brands they like because we enjoy finding people who like or use the same stuff as us in our lives. This stuff is part of our identities, how we view ourselves as people. So having that in common with someone else helps us connect, which is great, because as human beings connection and feeling like we belong makes us happier people.

The internet has made this all even easier.
“The internet was supposed to homogenize everyone by connecting us all, but instead what its allowed, is silos of interest.”
Seth Godin – Tribes TED talk Feb 2009

Now we’re seeing more and more brand communities emerge online. What urls are the ones you go back to time and time again? My Dad spends more time on findafishingboat.com than watching TV now. These silos of interest, have become the places in which we like to spend our time and we want to connect with the communities we find there.

“The point is you can find Ukrainian folk dancers, and connect with them, cause you wanna be connected”
Seth Godin – Tribes TED talk Feb 2009

But, communities need people to lead and facilitate them. It can happen organically, but generally there needs to be people building a sense of community around these interest points. How do you make sure your communities stay thriving and happy? Dipping back into my university Social Science books I found this definition, even though it was written in 1986 – I still found it very relevant for what is going on today.
Sense of Community - McMillan & Chavis theory (1986)
Membership includes five attributes:
▪ boundaries
▪ emotional safety
▪ a sense of belonging and identification
▪ personal investment
▪ a common symbol system
Influence works both ways: members need to feel that they have some influence in the group, and some influence by the group on its members is needed for group cohesion.
Integration and fulfillment of needs
Members feel rewarded in some way for their participation in the community.
Shared emotional connection
The "definitive element for true community" (1986, p. 14), it includes shared history and shared participation (or at least identification with the history)
My favourite barista does all of this brilliantly in his business, making me feel completely at home in his shop every time I pop by and I always leave with a smile on my face.
So taking these principles and thinking about what we like to experience in real life, who’s doing this for our online communities?

Community Managers are the people working hard in the online communities you are a part of, perhaps without you even realizing. They are the ones managing and building that sense of community, fulfilling their members needs, solving problems, answering questions and dealing with the inevitable frustrations we have too. But the thing I love the most about all the Community Managers I know? They are the most passionate people I have ever met about making people happy.

You know how you have that one friend, that no matter what’s happened they have some sort of amazing ability to see the bright and seem to thrive on helping people solve their problems? That’s them.

I am lucky enough to get to hang out with these happy people on a monthly basis at the Sydney Community Managers Meet-Up. We had our latest meet-up this week and had a pretty open discussion about just what online Community Management was all about. A multitude of areas were covered, but what came through strongly was their shared motivation in why they do what they do. Their collective desire to create emotional connections with people, not just problem solve for them, relishing the challenge to turn haters into champions, to create places of play and relaxation and overall to make and keep their communities happy.

With more people choosing to spend time in online communities, there’s a big opportunity for brands now to become something more than just a service or a product provider for their customers. Threadless are one brand who are now placing more importance on their community rather than the sale. Zappos are another famous for their community approach. Whilst this may not be realistic for every brand, I think it does demonstrate a positive shift. Yes, some brands have practicalities with their products and operational service issues that will inevitably bring negative sentiment into communities, but when problems are aired in this space with proactive people trying to solve them, done right, it can have a positive effect.

Overall, it is really exciting to see brands realising the potential they have to make a difference to people through enabling connection, and with the work of the Community Managers, make these communities a positive place to strive for happiness for the greater community, a community that includes the business too.

8th Century Homeric memes and how they affect your social media strategy

This is a guest post by Michael Goldstein, follow him on twitter at MickeyG77

In the 8th Century BC Homer’s Iliad was communicated to the public via Bardic tunes; organized so that they were particularly easy to remember and pass on. Interestingly this communication form is not dissimilar to how information is disseminated today. The only difference is that instead of rhythmic passages, today’s information is condensed into simply recalled tweets. In this post I am going to examine the advantages and disadvantages of compressing information into more palatable forms.

In Plato’s ‘Republic’, the author viciously attacks the rhythmic communication form, asserting instead that facts and information are lost through the oral tradition, whereby poetic expression becomes a fractured product of various sub-collective psyches and mores. Put simply; one orator would deliver a poem to a crowd, that crowd would then internalize that particular poet’s version of the poem and proceed to spread it, ultimately resulting in many versions of the same story travelling throughout the Greek empire. This, incidentally, is remarkably similar to the re-tweet system: one influential twitter account will be re-tweeted by many, going on to form disparate echo chambers as certain groups within the twitter community are exposed to a selection of ‘truths’ on any particular issue.

Such poetic delivery is known as mimetic form, a technique that exploits rhythm, meter and other techniques to achieve a desired affect (read: influence) from the listener. Similarly, today’s difficulty lies in the ability (or inability) to negate a tweet, the twitter form simply isn’t conducive to thorough debate and the only way to effectively argue against a tweet is to find a theoretically opposing blog post or other source and tweet that, however this will only be received by your followers not the followers of the initial tweeter. Hence a fracturing within and amongst online communities occurs.

Today we witness a return to the mimetic form. Not unlike the way in which ancient poetry was altered and modified from listener to listener due to the lack of concrete, written texts, today’s internet texts are revised from person to person as a result of remix and meme culture. Interestingly then, despite living in what has been generally dubbed the most advanced era for information intercourse to date, we find ourselves returning to archaic modes of communication!

Ironically, this seems to be the only way to rationalize the overwhelming and ever changing nature of information availability on the internet. Here is a small, simple example: two of the facebook pages that I manage have completely different ‘rules’ of engagement. For instance, one forum is appropriate to an older audience, which means that the most effective time to post is often completely different to that of the other page, which garners an audience of mainly under 18 year olds. This is because one page has socially active fans, meaning that all our engagement feedback is usually seen within an hour of posting, whereas on the less socially active page the likes and comments keep rolling in for up to 12 hours after posting. This can be attributed to the fact that the fewer friends one page has, the longer our post remains prominent on their newsfeed. So in this case it is clear that there is not one correct rule for receiving feedback, but rather two equally valid ‘truths’. Hence, differing versions of the facebook poem are equally valid and must be heard accordingly.

In the digital landscape we still work very much in cowboy territory - there are no rules. This is why mimetic forms of communication are occurring on a more frequent basis; no one is privy to any concrete, universally applicable data, and if they say they are, chances are that they are probably getting ahead of themselves due to the fact that everything is changing so quickly, and numerous digital horses run on numerous digital courses. Mimetic communication, whilst recognised in ancient times as inferior, is possibly the only way to effectively communicate digital and social media knowledge today, as there is no single objective truth, but rather many, ever changing, competing and subjective ‘truths’, that will drastically shift between user experiences. The nature of history is such that it exists in constant repetition of itself, and the role of the Homeric Bard has risen once again - so instead of searching for a single definitive answer, take everything on board, and celebrate the return of the mimetic tradition.