Archive for the ‘Blogging Best Practices’ Category

How to Defeat the Revolutionaries

Posted by Chris Kieff on May 15th, 2009

Operating a social site becomes a challenge when you make what appears to you to be a small change to the system and the users revolt.  This is being experienced by the operators of Twitter, the exploding social microblogging site.  Twitter made a small change to the way their system works without announcing the change, or apparently consulting the users beforehand.  You may recall that Facebook has seen a series of these user revolts recently over their change in the layout, and changes in their terms of use.

So what is a concerned community manger to do when they want to change something?

Talk with your users-Duh!

So what is a concerned community manger to do when they want to change something?  Talk with your users.  Identify your most vociferous, super-users and invite them into a VIP Group.  Discuss changes you’re considering with this group.  Seek their feedback, and see what they find interesting, frustrating, useful and useless.  If you happen to be running your community on the Ripple6 platform, you can use our consumer research tool  Social Insights to help you create this group and monitor it.  (Marketers use Social Insights to conduct consumer research too.)

You may also want to create a second group of newbies who are not experienced with the site, who can look at it with fresh eyes.  The newbies will see the that your super users have grown immune to over time.  Taking input from both groups and giving them a little advanced notice on upcoming changes will defuse the Revolution before it begins.

But the bottom line here is that you should be communicating with your community.  Don’t fall into the trap of thinking like old media and declaring that you know what’s best for your audience.  Because it’s not an audience any more.  “Audience” comes from audio and it means to listen.  Community is related to commune which means to meet.  You work with a community, not an audience as long as you keep that in mind you’ll do fine.

Photo credit Flickr Uploaded on February 26, 2006 by weaponofchoice

FTC to Regulate Blogger Speech

Posted by Chris Kieff on April 16th, 2009

On April 2nd the Federal Trade Commission announced revised guidelines on endorsements and testimonials which are now under review and expected to be adopted according to The Financial Times 4/2/09.

These new rules, “…would hold companies liable for untruthful statements made by bloggers and users of social networking sites who receive samples of their products…”, according to the FT article, “…If a blogger received a free sample of skin lotion and then incorrectly claimed the product cured eczema, the FTC could sue the company for making false or unsubstantiated statements. The blogger could be sued for making false representations…”

What remains unclear is the impact this could have upon community owners where users make untrue statements. Can a company that owns and operates a community be liable for the actions of bloggers on their community and liable with an advertiser?

What about the case where the community owner works with an advertiser to distribute free samples of a product and then solicits comments from the user community.  Could the advertiser and the community manager be held liable for false advertising if claims were made by users who received free samples in that case?  And the situation can get more muddy, what if a blogger receives the free sample and then makes a simple comment on another blog with a misstatement in it?  Or what if in a general free sample offer a blogger is inadvertently a recipient of a free sample and subsequently makes a misstatement?

It’s impossible to separate a blogger from non-blogger.  Does anyone who writes a comment on a public community site become in effect a “blogger”?  What about people who only write comments on other blogs but do it in large volume and develop followings with technologies such as Discus?

The implications for community managers, and brands that wish to advertise and utilize social media marketing techniques can be very serious.  You should read the FTC notice and pay close attention to this rule change.

This is going to be a sticky wicket that the FTC will have to figure out and they will need to make sure they understand how it will affect the common man before they move forward.

And finally, since the FTC may be listening, these opinions are those of the author and do not reflect the official opinions of Ripple6 or Gannett Company.  Image by Uploaded on August 20, 2005 by dbking on Flickr

Top Social Media Blogs for Big Business

Posted by Chris Kieff on March 2nd, 2009

There are lists of the  best blogs, the best blogs on social media, and best blogs for Small and Medium Sized Busiensses. 

But what if you are one of the hundreds of thousands of social media trail blazers in a large corporation searching for help, guidance and resouces?  The problems of the enterprise are in many ways unique compared to those of smaller organizations.  And starting a social media outreach effort in an enterprise is a very different proposition compared to starting it in a smaller business.

B4 Social Media

The Best Big Business Blogs 


Ripple6 will complile a list of the Best BIG Business Blogs on Social Media hereafter known as B4 Social Media.  The first list will be published next week.

Please use the comments section below to tell us the blogs you find most interesting and useful for people in enterprise environments or shoot us an email “marketing (at) ripple6 dot com”, or twitter @Ripple6 .  The blog doesn’t need to focus exclusively on large organizations nor exclusively on Social Media, but should have content addressing concerns or issues that are unique to large organizations.  Feel free to nominate your own blog.

We will compile the list of the most recommeded blogs and post it here next week.  Thereafter, we will review the list regularily and provide updates.

Social Best Practices- An Ongoing Series

Posted by Chris Kieff on September 26th, 2008

Welcome to the exciting new series on Social Best Practices brought to you by Ripple6!

An example of a social network diagram.

Image via Wikipedia

OK, ok so it’s not really exciting, but it is interesting if you’re into blogging and social media or social marketing stuff.  So we’ll call it the new INTERESTING SERIES ON SOCIAL BEST PRACTICES.  We’ll be running

an ongoing series of articles on best practices in social media, social networking and social mark

eting.  Which is why we are calling it “Social Best Practices” rather than “social media best practices”  because that wouldn’t cover the marketing or networking aspects of the whole thing.  And since Ripple6 is as much about the marketing and networking as about the media, (what the heck does the term “social media” mean anyway?) we needed a broader name.  Thusly, we’ve settled upon Social Best Practices.

If you think you’ve got a better idea for the name of the series let us know via the comments below and we’ll give each suggestion careful consideration before rejecting it.  Because this is a social place and that’s what we’re looking for, social interaction.

So back to the subject at hand, Social Best Practices.  We’re going to try to cover every area of the Social online scene here and keep updating the series.   Including but not limited to the following areas:

Best Practices for:

  • Business Blogging
  • Managing Online Social Networks
  • Branding Online
  • Managing Online Social Groups
  • Participating in Online Social Networks
  • Online Social Marketing

Now one way that we could do this series is to write a bunch of articles.  We’d start by reading the best articles on the subject from a couple of dozen bloggers.  Then we’d have to rehash and boil down the stuff they wrote into some short pithy articles.  But there’s a problem with that, (no it’s not that it’s a lot of work- but there is that ;-) ) the problem is that many of these excellent writers have already done that.  So we’d be reducing the reductions, leaving you with almost nothing.

So we’ve decided not to do that.  Instead we’re going to give you a list of the best of the best articles on each subject with some comments on what’s in each.  Then you can get it straight from the horse’s (bloggers) mouth (keyboard).

Today’s series starts with the list of the Best Online Social Bloggers.  We’ll make our selections here and you can comment and add your considerations.


  • Mashable The best and most prolific blog covering the entire social online arena.
  • Chris Brogan Chris constantly writes excellent how to articles with the best links and ideas to make you a better social animal.
  • Read Write Web Consistently one of the very best blogs discussing online social issues
  • Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang Jeremiah has a firm grasp on the state of the industry and his insights are invaluable.
  • AllTop’s list of Top Social Media Blogs This a cop-out because AllTop isn’t a blog, but rather an aggregator that collects feeds from the top blogs in many categories.  But it’s really hard to pick the best of the best, so we went with AllTop as a really good list.

What do you think?  What should be added to the list?  Let us know in the comments below…