Trent Reznor’s Doing a Little Social Media Marketing of His Own

May 6, 2008

Last October, Radiohead shook up the music industry by allowing potential buyers to download their newest “In Rainbows” album for free.

This time Trent Reznor from Nine Inch Nails is even taking it further with their new album, “The Slip”. After you provide your email address, they give you the opportunity to send the invitation to up to three friends via email.

NIN Campaign

I wound up getting two emails before 9:00am from friends who filled out these forms.

This isn’t too much more than what Radiohead has done, but here’s a nice social media suggestion made by Nine Inch Nails.


Here’s another one, right on the home page.

NIN on Digg

That’s quite a few Diggs.

Throw in a little user-generated media with their new single, more of a picture with audio, but that’s fine.

…and you have some great social media marketing coverage.

In slightly different news, it’s rumored that both Nine Inch Nails and Radiohead are are on headlining this year’s Lollapolooza, which is very strange since both Radiohead and NIN are known for dissing these types of events.

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Corn Guy TV

February 1, 2008

This has been out for awhile, but it’s the first I’ve seen it. I think it’s Minnesota-based as well.

Meet the Corn Guy.

It’s part inspiring as the site focuses on corn-based ethanol as a cleaner burning biofuel. It’s also part “laugh ’til you freaking cry” funny when you watch the videos. Here’s the Corn Guy vs. Taco Lady:

Good stuff… and probably great viral marketing in the making.

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What the Cincinnati Bengals are Doing that the Vikes are Not

November 12, 2007

Two 3-6 teams

Ok, it’s a misleading title – my bad. Both teams are currently 3-6 and aren’t really doing much of anything.

The Cincinnati Enquirer has an interesting article regarding their own Bengals fans who market them. On the site is an easy grab it widget that lets fans do a simple copy-n-paste function for their site, blog, or even Facebook or MySpace pages. It shows their schedule, a Chad Johnson video profile, news, and different links to merchandise and tickets.

It reminds me of an easy weather widget that Ahmed and company at iBegin came out with back in May. I’ve been meaning to post about that.

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Thoughts on Video Optimization

November 11, 2007

It kinda’ mirrors my thoughts on standard search engine optimization. It’s great to be seen, but does the traffic convert?

There’s a good ClickZ article labeled Taking the Video Wheels Off.

Talk is cheap. It’s easy to discuss video and how it works online, but what about producing it?

That’s the first sentence in the article and the rest of it explains that statement nicely. Digital point-n-shoots have provided some pretty cool viral videos, but would branded businesses benefit from something like this?

Just as important, are businesses doing this for the right reasons? Once Google’s Universal Search came out, Joolie from Between Stations gave a good prediction of video mania that in many cases came true (But we neeeeeed video! They’ll show up on “the Google!”).

I’ve seen quite a few videos within Google search results that are basically commercials of a guy or girl staring into a camera talking about how good their company is. This doesn’t provide me a bit of trust and I’d love to see more creative and viral ideas in these videos.

In many cases, it would be a good idea to outsource this type of service to professionals that have the creative know-how and resources to produce quality online videos. To businesses that don’t have the budget, Ed Kohler and Filo have some good and humorous beginning tips.

Ed Learns Video 101 – Episode 1
Ed Learns Video 101 – Episode 2

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Houston, We Have Some Social Sites

October 16, 2007

There’s a really good article in the Houston Chronicle labeled Internet Startups Going Social. Normally, mainstream articles like this can be pretty vague, but I thought this one really hit the spot. Plus, I’ve always liked the format.

The article gives some cool information regarding the sites themselves, their overheads, word-of-mouth marketing, and attracting ad dollars.

It winds up that Houston (also home to the Search Engine Guide and the updated social-based Small Business Brief) has a number of cool social networking sites. Based on the success of sites like MySpace and Facebook, these Houston-based sites are similar, but built more toward a particular niche from wannabe stars, social networking for moms, illnesses and injuries, and even a user-recommended search engine – algorithm free (sort of). is built for moms gaining advice, giving wisdom, finding great ideas, and meeting other moms. touts itself as a true “social search engine”. The sites that come up on top are determined by user votes. It looks like it’s at least partially algo-based, but it gives users the chance to recommend the site or not. It probably has a long way to go, but it does have promise.

My favorite is It lets users keep up to date with friends and relatives of those who are ill with requests down to picking up mail to informational videos regarding their illness or injury. The videos themselves are really slick and informative.

The only things I really know about Houston is that it’s big, my cousin Jerry lives there, and I’m going to make my first visit there in a couple weeks (I’m still working on that shirt, Robert!). It’s cool to know that there seems to be quite the social media scene there as well.

Post also up at Search Engine Guide. If you like it, feel free to “fetch” it.

A few thoughts:

I’m not the biggest fan of the big social sites like Digg (and others) as the topics are so broad. I could get into these niche sites and now finally find Sphinn somewhat useful for information.

How hot is Houston in early November? And where in Houston do you find jumbo Gulf shrimp?

I’m thinking of hitting a Houston Aeros hockey game during my visit. Hey, you gotta’ support the MN Wild affiliates!

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SXSW Festival – Music, Interactive, and Hyperlocal

September 19, 2007

My dream geek vacation is to hit the South by Southwest (SXSW) festival in Austin TX, particularly the interactive and music festivals in adjacent weeks. It didn’t happen this year, it won’t in 2008, and am crossing my fingers for 2009.

Both Erica and Greg from Metroblogging Twin Cities are looking to present at the interactive festival for 2008. I’m particularly interested in Erica’s pitch on Building Hyperlocal Web sites for the Future. I gave my vote and comment, you can too.

Yeah, I know. I’m kinda’ passionate on the whole “local” thing. The above hyperlocal pitch is more community over business-based, but the concept remains the same. Engage and communicate with local visitors, and build trust with them. Kinda’ cool.

Greg from Weber Shandwick is pitching a cool social media presentation too on Marketing for Monkeys. I’ve been a marketing monkey before. Eeep eeep. 🙂

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Super Bowl and “Doritos”-Generated Media: Interview with Joe Herbert

February 12, 2007

The Super Bowl means different things to different people. For myself, it’s a chance to get together with friends, watch a good game (hopefully), see Prince cover the Foo Fighters (that was way cool), have some beers and choices of 21 appetizers (Chicago sausage-stuffed mushrooms are delicious), and to check out some cool commercials, including one on how do duct tape someone to a door.

I’ve made reference to the Super Bowl’s user-generated ads a couple of times, and it’s a pleasure to interview Joe Herbert from Herbert Brothers regarding user-generated media, their trip to Miami and being a finalist for the Doritos/Yahoo “Crash the Super Bowl” contest.

The interview is a bit long to post on a blog (but worth while to read), so I decided to make it the latest Localmn article. It’s great to get some input regarding user-generated media from someone outside of the search industry (plus a great story), and I hope you enjoy.

That’s gotta suck

February 13 Update: Jennifer Laycock from the Search Engine Guide was gracious enough to give the article a run.

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GoogleTube, and Viral Video Marketing’s Best

January 26, 2007

Google recently announced that YouTube video results will now appear in the Google Video search index. From an industry perspective, it’s interesting since Google’s acquisition of YouTube gives them another top 5 global brand ranking, according to Reuters.

From a user perspective, it made me curious and decided to do some Google Video searches on local Minnesota companies, media, and music. Are the new video search results relevant? And are entities taking advantage of this by branding? Are users branding for them?

Minneapolis is pretty well-known for its ad agencies, so I wanted to start there. After a little frustration, I did find a collection of work from the Fallon Agency by doing a Fallon Minneapolis video search. Google Video’s algorithm did a pretty decent job by displaying some of their different productions and TV spots.

For viral video marketing, a company called Sleepy Eye Flix came up on searches for different ad agencies. If you click on anything in this post, make sure to view this invitation that was sent to an agency. It’s hilarious, and ingenious.

 This is sweet

The invite is for a January 31 Fearless Filmmakers screening about viral videos. I’m not as privy as many of the attendees, so I’m probably going to go because I want to see their creativity and how their minds tick. Plus, it’s only 9 bucks.

Some companies do submit their own work to Google Video and YouTube, and many videos are submitted by users. Here are some other interesting ones I found:

WCCO – Includes some fun, retro 80’s news segments

City Pages – Looks like they’ve proactively gone after this market a little bit

KTTC – My hometown (Rochester) news source is pretty well represented

Minnesota Orchestra – I was a bit dissapointed as the results weren’t very relevant, but there is a great Beethoven Piano Concerto series listed from the Minnesota Sinfonia. It appears to be submitted by the (then 18 year-old) pianist himself.

Cardinal Sin – I was surprised to see relevant results for this. This Minneapolis band is no longer, but my buddy’s lil’ bro fronted it. I rarely saw them, because apparently I’m old and go to bed early.

Dillinger Four – Well-known Minneapolis punk band. If you are easily offended, by anything at all, do not click to see these video shots. If you do click and are unfamiliar with D4, don’t say I didn’t warn you. Paddy won’t apologize 😉

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Tag, You’re It! …and 5 Things Most People Don’t Know About Me

December 20, 2006

So, this blog “tag” thing is going around. It’s more of a link baiting tactic, but I’ll play since Jennifer Laycock (who rocks) from Search Engine Guide tagged me. Basically, someone “tags” your blog, you write 5 things most people don’t know about you, then tag 5 others. There’s a good chance they’ll link back to you because of it, you get a couple points from the search engines, ba-na-na.

So, 5 things that most people don’t know about me:

1) In 1995, I graduated from Central Washington University with a Music degree, have at least basic proficiency in about a dozen musical instruments (piano was my main focus), and can thank Dr. Eric Roth (now retired) to this day for making me work so damn hard in music theory and history.

2) This last summer/fall, I finished 2 inline skate full marathons (St. Paul and Duluth Northshore).

3) I’m a huge Dream Theater fan and catch their tour every time they come to Minneapolis. The majority of the current (and past) members studied at the prestigious Berklee College of Music in Boston, MA.

4) I tend to play sports involving either kicking something with my feet (soccer), or putting something underneath my feet that makes me go fast (snowboarding, inline skating).

5) I have perfect pitch.

Regarding the blog-tag thing, I wanted to go with a Minnesota theme. Here is a picture of Minnesota Wild’s Derek Boogaard playing tag:

Derek Boogaard Playing Tag

I’m not sure I can think of 5 Minnesota bloggers that haven’t already played blog-tag. So I’ll just mention a couple:

MIMASM search marketing blog, run by Chris Dohman
Blog about Buffalo, Minnesota from Aaron Weiche

To play fair, I’m supposed to include 5 of these. If there’s a Minnesota business or community blog I’m missing, let me know and I’ll give them some anchor text love. If I don’t know and trust the blog, I won’t link. 😉

So when is Bill Gates gonna’ give me that million dollars?

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MTV and MSN to Promote Windows Live Local Search

October 18, 2006

MediaPost Article:

MTV and MSN’s Windows Live Local Search are partnering up to promote Quad Squads, mtvU reality series’ that takes rival colleges, and has them compete to create niche marketing strategies for larger brands such as Snickers and Amp’d Mobile. This series is between the University of Illinois and Indiana University and is reportingly starting Wednesday.

The challenge is to promote MSN’s Live Local to their respective University peers. To quote the MediaPost article above, “you have the target market doing the marketing for the company”. The show could be addicting, kind of like the Brawny Academy.

mtvU isn’t the biggest media outlet around, but it’s slick and targets the college-age audience. Maybe this can give MSN a buzz since Yahoo and Google have a much bigger local search share.

Real World Seattle

I know, this picture doesn’t have to do with the MTV/MSN promotion, but it’s the last time I actually got into MTV (does that date me?). I lived in the Seattle area during that Real World season and it was cool to see the episodes, recognizing almost everywhere they went (like the Pike Place Market sign in the background – although I don’t see the Rachel – the bronze pig in that picture). 🙂