Sunday, October 3, 2010

Why Start a Blog?

I love that my students all get to start a blog for class. This assignment does two things for you, students.

1)  It helps you learn how much time and energy it takes to keep up a social media "property". Whether it is blog, Facebook, Twitter, or any other tool, there is time needed each week to put up new posts, respond to existing posts, and share news and insights with others. The best way to get a real appreciation for what is involved is to start your own blog.

2)  It helps you create a community around your passion/topic. As you link out to other bloggers, they will get to know you and link back to you. As they do so, some will come and explore your blog and get to know you. They will start leaving comments back, invite you to be a guest blogger in their community, and most likely connect up in other places (LinkedIn and Twitter are two common areas).

If you can't come up with a topic that you would like to blog about, be sure to check out our textbook Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. You will be inspired by Gary and how he has chased his passion.

Finally, for some tips on how to make your blog really work, in addition to the online class lecture, here are 25 great tips on blogging from another friend, Valeria Maltoni, who I look forward to seeing at BlogWorld and New Media Expo 2010 in a few weeks.

Happy Blogging, students!

(Photo credit: my friend Shashi Bellamkonda)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Summer in San Diego - and Blogging!

Here we are for another summer quarter of Marketing via New Media at UCSD Extension. I am so excited to have this group of students. Each session brings new faces, new questions, and new case studies to review. So much has changed since I first started teaching this class.

My very first quarter teaching this class, 3 summers ago, I asked the class how many were on Twitter. No hands went up. How many on Facebook? About 50% of the hands went up. How many blogging? One. How many on MySpace. A handful.  How about last week, the first class of the new quarter?

How many students were on Twitter - about 60%
How many on Facebook? I think just about all hands went up (one or two may not have)
How many blogging? A handful
How many on MySpace? No one was willing to admit this!

Times certainly have changed - from a technology perspective. However, this class does not focus on just technology. We look at the strategy of building customer relationships via social media. That strategy does not change! This is one of the main reasons that I use Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff as my course textbook. It has a solid footing in the strategy of social media - not just the cool, new technologies.

I am also using Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk as a course textbook. Gary has a definite passion for customer relationships, and I want my students to experience that passion. Gary will be a guest lecturer via Skype our last week of class; get ready for some thunder!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Passion, @GaryVee, Students, and Blogging

One of the textbooks we are using this quarter is Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk. It is chock-full of Gary's thoughts and gives people the encouragement to go out and do what they love. We were fortunate to have Gary as our guest lecturer this past Wednesday, and he was incredibly inspiring. Students lined up to ask him a question via our video Skype link, and conversation, laughter, and ideas were flowing. We all had an absolute blast, and I received many comments from students afterwards about how much they enjoyed it. Thank you so much, Gary!!

At the end of the lecture, Gary indicated that he really loved our class (gee, thanks!), and I told him he could keep in touch with them via their class blogs. Yes, each student gets to create their own blog, and the subject can be whatever they are passionate about. In fact, some of the students used their question for @garyvee (his Twitter username) as a chance to ask him about how to optimize what they are doing with their new blog. I love seeing this enthusiasm for blogging!

This is a special class this time around. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's that the classroom is full to overflowing with people who are truly interested in learning how to use social media to build strong relationships. Maybe it is the general acceptance of social media in the business world these days. Maybe I am just fortunate enough to have a classroom full of students that want to Crush It!

Whatever it is, I am loving their blogs. Check them out in the right sidebar under Winter 2010 Student Blogs, leave a comment to encourage the students, and enjoy!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Welcome to a new quarter!

We kick off a new quarter of class this week. Case studies have been updated, we already have the non-profit we will be using for our final project (Rady Children's Hospital Auxilliary), and students are already Tweeting about the class.

I am looking forward to meeting all my new students and sharing about why your business would (or wouldn't) want to use social media to market to their customers.