When Blogging first started to get some serious steam, I remember the rule of thumb being that you should try to post - at least - once a week. As Blogging continued to grow, the stakes were raised. A good rule of thumb right now might be to Blog daily or - at the very least - a couple of times a week. It's amazing to see how quickly things change, and it's equally impressive to see how many new Blogs come online - each and every day - that have something unique and engaging to say.
You can take the example above and apply it to understanding the myriad of conversations that are taking place online (right now) about your company, brand, products and services. Six Pixels of Separation friend, Joseph Jaffe (Blogger/Podcaster at Jaffe Juice and author of, Life After The 30-Second Spot) titled his latest book, Join The Conversation (if you have not read it, do yourself a favour and grab a copy now. Tell you what, I have an extra copy of it on my desk, so if you can't scramble the coins together, email me and I'll send it over). The message is just as important today as it was when he first wrote the words: all of us need to understand who's saying what, where, why and how. Just like it was ok to Blog once a week a while back, it was equally acceptable to just monitor the conversation. And, just like that changed rapidly, so too is this. It's not enough to just monitor anymore. It's time to start reacting.
No companies have truly joined the conversation is all they're doing is monitoring what's being said and where.
Just this morning I was listening to the May 23rd, 2008 episode of C.C. Chapman's most excellent Podcast, Managing The Gray. The episode (titled, Comcast Wins With Twitter) is a quick seven-minute story about how C.C. got some pretty interesting customer service from Comcast after a complaint he posted on his Twitter account. Comcast could have just been monitoring the online channels to gage voice of customer, but instead he got a reaction which led to a result (one that was very satisfying to C.C. and wound up getting Comcast some good PR in return - not to mention some additional Google Juice).
Think about that - if all you're doing at this juncture is monitoring what people are saying, how are you really improving customer experience and building your brand? While it once was good to know that a company was even bothering with Google Alerts or a Technorati Watchlist, the game is ever-changing and now is the time to start executing a long-term plan and vision towards reacting and, ultimately, really joining the conversation.