Dec 192008

As you may know, I have an interest in digital media, particularly regarding digital video, including its production and its use (home, mobile, etc.). I’ve decided to start a blog (or two) and maybe a related podcast on the topic of digital media. Specifically, I want to reach these two audiences:

  1. Home entertainment enthusiasts – those people who have a computer of some kind stationed in or near their home entertainment center, dedicated solely for use by the home entertainment center
  2. Digital media content producers – those people who capture audio, video, and/or digital images and work with them in order to deliver the appropriate format and size for their intended destination (such as TV, mobile devices, the web, etc.)

I’ve thought about this quite a bit, but I wonder, what do you think?  Here are the issues I am wrestling with:

  1. Are these target audiences different enough to warrant two separate blogs, or can one blog serve both audiences with excellence?
  2. I really like the “blog family” concept, which I think is essential to establish a brand.  Think about TechCrunch, MobileCrunch, and TalkCrunch as an example of a “blog family”.  With that in mind, what should the blog/blogs/podcast be called?

I’m usually really good at brainstorming, but for some reason, the name question is killing me.  Therefore, as a thank you for relieving my mental block, whoever comes up with the naming scheme I end up using will receive a free copy of Tribes by Seth Godin.  Please comment here with your suggestions, and thanks in advance for your help!

Dec 072008

On November 28th, I followed Alex Barger (AKA @galaxiecruzin) on Twitter. Immediately I received a direct message from him that said:

“Thanks 4 following. Here is a short video introduction:

So I checked out his video, liked the guy and the idea, and asked him how he did it. He told me, so I did it too a few days later. See my welcome video here.

As you can see, I simply introduce myself and tell people what I do, what my interests are, and what I tweet about.  The feedback I received in the week since has been overwhelmingly positive.  In fact, I went back and counted.  I got 50 positive responses via direct message or reply from Twittter, 4 neutral responses, and 2 negative responses out of the 344 people who clicked on the link.  In addition to that, I’ve been invited to lunch by a social media company, invited to write for a recently launched online magazine with several authors, and invited to record 30-60 second videos on various topics for a well known musical artist’s web site.  Here is some of the praise I received (only public responses included here):

steaner: Pretty cool. When @Hobnox started following @br524 we got a DM with a link to a short introduction video

MikeLizun: Nice touch from @br524 thanks followers with a video tells you a little about him, what he does, what he tweets

cwalcott: @br524 I like your twitter welcome video, I think that’s a really good idea

aneel: well now.. @br524 has a nice “welcome” vid for twitter followers. kinda like that. :)

botchagalupe: Digging the video intro thingy when I follow someone. I need to get one of those… thx @br524

dcw: @br524 just inadvertently gave me a wonderful idea as far as v/blogging goes. Brilliant; utterly brilliant….

MikeyPod: @br524 wow! great idea to do the twitter intro video! nice to meet ya!

ellieeille: Nice idea: @br524 introduces himself to new twitter followers in a 30-second video clip (link in a DM)

martin001: @ellieeille i just followed @br524 because i watched his video you linked up.. i think thats a brilliant idea – might just have to imitate

jstorerj: the other day i asked what you thought of auto-DM’s after a follow. most ppl thought it was a bad practice. @br524‘s is ok

DarinRMcClure: @br524 Nice welcome vid.

HeatherLeson: Wow that is a first! Follow someone and get a video introduction. Masterful usage @br524

Today I got a negative response from @lizstrauss, a highly followed and successful blogger, who asked me to ‘please turn off your auto-responder’.  After a private back and forth, Liz directed me to this post about Twitter Spam, which basically says auto responses demonstrate that you don’t “get it”, and that you’re sending unwanted spam to people in this fashion.  I really have to disagree with this view, particularly in light of all the positive feedback I’ve been receiving about this.  Generally, yes, the auto-response is impersonal, and I rarely click on the links to a person’s blog in those messages.  I really do think the approach I’ve taken is distinctly different, significantly more personal, and a hell of a lot more engaging.

So I’m curious now…those who did not respond after having clicked the link in my auto-response message but did not comment one way or another…did they dislike the introduction?  After all, there are 289 people who saw the video who have not weighed in.  Maybe all this positive feedback is really the minority!

Somehow I doubt it though.  The guy who had the idea originally (as far as I can tell) reports success on several levels, and got similarly positive responses.

For those of you seeing it here for the first time, what do you think?  If you followed me on twitter and got a direct message that said, “Thanks for following! I made you a 30 second Twitter Welcome Video – .  Thanks again…Brian”, would that make you mad?  What about after you watched the video?

Please comment here, I’d really love to get to the bottom of this.