SDForum Launches Search SIG With Podcast Search

SDForum, the venerable Silicon Valley technology and networking locus, has launched a special interest group focused exclusively on search. The first get-together will be 14Sept2005 at Yahoo’s (Yahoo!’s?…where’s the style guide for that one?) headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA, and will feature:

(Yahoo! will presumably talk about their audio search capabilities as well.)

According to Jeff Clavier, who will be co-chairing the SIG…

“The purpose of the Search SIG is to offer a communication and collaboration platform to the Search ecosystem: search engines, marketers/advertisers, users and developers. Through a series of monthly events, the SIG will cover a large diversity of topics: from the latest developments in search to the needs of brands and advertisers, through the issues and key learnings of starting, funding, building, and exiting a search company.”

Kudos to SDForum, Jeff, and co-chair Dave McClure for getting this going!

Ten Things To Do While Waiting For Dell Tech Support

Crushing Jory for this one, big time.

10 Things to Do/Places to Visit while waiting for Dell Technical Support.

Brilliant. A few excerpts:

#2: “Get all of the unpleasantness over in one fell swoop is my philosophy. While you wait for Dell Customer Support, call up Sprint and try to negotiate out of the lifetime contract you inadvertently entered into when you reduced your minutes; return those obligatory calls to relatives.”


#7: “Have a Dell Customer Support party. Invite over others who are on hold. You don’t have to go through this alone!” (here ya go: the DellHell IRC channel – ed.)

By the way, Jory’s mom Joy just started a blog as well…The Joy Of Six.

Dell Loses Another Sale

First, the Jeff Jarvis snowball.

Then Dell threatens to close, and then closes, its customer forums.

Now this, from Desirable Roasted Coffee.

“Dell Denmark approached me a half-dozen times over the summer, at least. At minor expense, to be sure, but it adds up. But the hum started by a guy 4000 miles away, whom I don’t even know, who had a bad experience with a Dell subsidiary I’ll never have to deal with, was enough to wave me off. The hum got into my subconscious. And Dell Denmark could do nothing to get back into the front of my brain.”

Still think that interactions between members of a customer community don’t matter?

When Customers Blog

Susan Getgood has a great, two-part post on customer blogs (that is, enterprise-sponsored blogs that are written by customers of that organization). Here they are:

Customer Blogs: What type of company should do one? and
Customer Blogs: What you need to do to make it work.

Good stuff, read the whole thing, etc.

Some tidbits, to help stack the deck in favor of success. Susan says consider a customer blog if…

  • Customers love the product
  • Customers are already talking in some fashion
  • Others can learn from the customers’ conversations (Susan calls this “exploting an information gap,” but isn’t it more about conversation and learning, rather than “exploitation?”)
  • The hosting company is willing to give up control

The last one’s the biggie, isn’t it? It goes back to trusting the customer, I suppose…

(what’s this?)

The “newvoices” Tag: Throwing On The Floodlights

The “newvoices” Tag Is A Chance For The A-List, The Z-List And Everyone In Between To Lead By Example

Measured by inbound links, or references, or by any other measure, blogs are still very insular. We find the folks we like to read, either blogroll them or add their feeds to an aggregator, and that is the view of the world we see. Sure, we occasionally serendipitously trip across someone new and add them, but when was the last time you updated your blogroll since you set it up? How many feeds can you read and track? Even someone like Scoble (who reads, what, 1500 feeds?) is only scratching the surface. I refuse to believe that all the good ideas are in the top 0.01% of all the blogs that are out there. What’s worse, once those patterns are set up, it’s tough to break out.

We read what we know…and we link to whom we know.

Halley Suitt threw down the gauntlet back in March.

She wrote:

“So I’m throwing down a month-long challenge in March, to promote TEN NEW VOICES. I’m asking all the bloggers in the room at Harvard (Jay Rosen, Jeff Jarvis, David Weinberger, Rebecca MacKinnon, Susan Mernit, Shayne Bowman, Ana Marie Cox, Lisa Stone, Chris Willis, Craig Newmark, Bill Gannon) to find TEN NEW VOICES and promote them by writing a post about each as an introduction and blogrolling them.”

Jay Rosen and Lisa Stone went out and found fourteen. A great start. But then it seems to have fizzled.

Additionally, to this end, Scoble seems to have an interest in going down this road as well. He even seems to have a system. But…he can’t share it.

“I’m playing with some secret new technology that makes the tech blogging world even flatter. Not from Microsoft (the inventor asked me to keep it quiet until he’s ready to release it). But, it totally is going to change how I blog (and it really already has although I can’t change my style until you all get it too). It brought me Leslie’s blog, for instance.”

Secret. Greeeaaaat.

So. Here we are. The one-shot crusades don’t work. Too time-intensive. There’s some secret technology in the works, but that’s not very open, is it?

Here’s what I propose: At least once a week, do a very simple thing. Find someone to whom you’ve never linked before, link to them, and tag the post with the following tag: newvoices.

Then, either in your aggregator, on your MyYahoo or MyGoogle (I know it’s not really called “MyGoogle,” but whateverthehellitis) page, or wherever you want, subscribe to a feed of newvoices-tagged posts. Here’s what’ll happen: the good, emerging folks will come to you. Now for the really cool part.

This is a self-dampening system. It can’t evolve an “A-List,” since once you’ve linked to someone and tagged that initial post with a “newvoices” tag, that individual ceases to be a new voice for you. The next time you link to them, don’t tag the new post in this way, since for you, it’s no longer new. But…and here’s the cool part…the really smart, cool, funny insightful folks who emerge will gather a lot of “newvoices” tagged links as they become visible. (N.B. Even if someone else has pointed to somebody with a newvoices tag, you should too! It’s not a contest to see who’s first…it’s an endorsement of someone to whom you haven’t linked previously.)

In this way, there may be a lot of links to a particular new voice that show up in the newvoices tag-stream over a short period of time. The new voice gets the spotlight it deserves for a day, or a week, or a month as the person gets widely “discovered” and linked to for the first time by a number of people. But then, it’s someone else’s turn. The newvoices tag is a catalyst, in the literal sense of the word. It enables the reaction, without being consumed.

How to tag a post in this way:
In Technorati:
<a href=”” rel=”tag”>newvoices</a>

In IceRocket:
<a href=”” rel=”tag”>newvoices</a>

In Typepad:
If you set up a “newvoices” category, this should happen automagically if you put the post in the “newvoices” category.

Simply tag the URL with a “newvoices” tag. It’ll show up here.

Subscribing to the “newvoices” River-o-Goodness:
Here’s how to do it in Technorati. Subscribe to this feed:

By the way, as of today (27Jul2005), “newvoices” tagged items bring back:

    None on Technorati

  • None on IceRocket
  • One on

So, here we go!

Gonna start this off with a two-fer. Starting out on-beat and on-topic in SocialCustomerLand, Amy Gahran has a great rant on “Let’s Put Press Releases Out Of Their Misery.” A sample:

“The next time you’re tempted to issue a press release: STOP!!!! Instead, post a web page or blog item that explains what’s new – and more importantly, why anyone should care. The “so what” should go right up front. Even more, you should indicate who should care about your news, and why.

Then make sure your announcement gets picked up by the blogwatching services like Technorati. (Blogging tools and feeds make this very easy). It’s more likely to get noticed there fast.

Then talk it up – in forums with your target audience, in appropriate, constructive comments to other blogs, etc. Include a direct link to your posting. If you’re honestly adding value and not just shilling, this is not spam. It’s part of the public conversation. (By the way, to do this well you need to actually read and pay attention to what other people are saying.)”

The other, while off the typical subject, is Melissa Summers who is just a friggin’ great read when she’s on. Like this.

The drill and your mission, should you decide to accept it…

  • Once a week, find someone new on your beat
  • Link to them and tag your post with the “newvoices” tag
  • Subscribe to a newvoices tag feed

Steve Rubel, are you in? Jeff Jarvis? Dave Winer? Dave Sifry? Ross? Hugh? Doc? Susan?

That’s it. Simple. Distributed. And ridiculously powerful.