Thursday, March 20, 2008

Short Takes: 3.20.08

Here are some interesting XM and online marketing news items and links for your perusal:
  • We all know about UGC (or User-Generated Content), but how about taking all that desire to produce content that exists on the Web and taking it offline? That's the idea behind Everywhere Magazine, a publication composed entirely of user-generated content. Every month, the editors select the best articles and photos and lay out a new magazine. I'll be interested to see how this works--with so many people creating new content, the idea of finding related content, gathering the best of it, and repurposing it offline sounds like a winner. Read more in the Influential Marketing Blog.

  • Starbucks has launched an interesting site to involve customers in improving their experience. Visitors to My Starbucks Idea may submit ideas which are then voted on by the community. Starbucks will implement the top ideas and give credit to the person who offered the concept. While I love the idea of getting input from customers, I was surprised to see that Starbucks won't reward people whose ideas are implemented. I suppose the problem is that so many people may submit the same or similar ideas; still, if they can give credit to one person for an idea, you'd think they could provide a free coffee a week to people who provide a demonstrably great idea!

  • This article might be a little on the techie side, but I thought it was so well written, funny, and helpful that it was worth sharing. "17 Tips For Getting Bloggers To Write About You" provides some simple tips to Web developers and site owners about how to make it easy for bloggers to write about you (and by now we should all know how powerful blog links are for increasing traffic and for improving search engine relevance). The tips range from the obvious ("Have a permanent link" and "Put your URL on your images") to the controversial ("PDFs Suck") to the critical ("Don't worry about 'bandwidth stealing'" and "Enough with the legal boilerplate").

  • I am very impressed with a deceptively simply program launched by Acura to introduce their luxury cars to luxury-oriented consumers. Acura and W Hotels have formed a partnership under which guests, staying at any of the Starwood brand's 18 upscale hotels in North America, will be chauffeured to local spots in an Acura MDX. Each vehicle, a 7-passenger SUV priced at $40,195 and up, will be equipped with products found in W hotel rooms, including a bottle of Voss water and a W CD. Guests will be able to reserve the SUV at Acura-staffed desks in W lobbies.

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