October 2008

The Vancouver Sun held a live Webcast with editor-in-chief Patricia Graham yesterday. It was an interesting thing for the Sun to do. Traditionally media has talked  “at” us – and while the Sun has been good about cautiously jumping into the interactive/online media trend, this Webcast is a step further into reaching out to their readers.

The topic of the Webcast was the new format of the Sun. And, as you might expect, there were definitely a few people who didn’t like the change. Graham handled herself well – she came across as authentic, caring and real.  It’s often easy to think of the person that runs the Sun as off in some big office, barking orders, bossing reporters around, making lots of money, and not really giving a stink about the people out there reading the paper. For those few minutes, Graham dispelled that myth and gave us a peek into the person who is at the head of the line, when it comes to bringing us our news.

There were a few technical glitches, but overall – it was a good first effort and when it comes to interactive media online, the production value is nowhere near as important as the content and the connection.   The technology might get a C+, but Graham gets an A in my book.

Of course, this kind of thing being my profession and my passion, I have a few things I might do differently.  I would have had a few shots of the newsroom or even a short video clip of what it’s like at the Sun that viewers could click on. It would have been nice to see what goes on in there. We’re all curious.

When I went back to find a link to share the Webcast with you, I couldn’t find one. Now, that might be because I am posting early today and my coffee hasn’t hit my bloodstream yet and I just couldn’t find it … or maybe they aren’t going to let people who weren’t a part of it view the Webcast.  I think it would have been good to let others who might not have known about the Webcast or couldn’t make it, view it on their time.

Overall, I think they did a good job.  And I think that the people at The Sun are getting it. They are seeing that the world has changed and are evolving to meet our needs. It will be interesting to see what the next Webcast is and where Graham takes the Sun interactively. 


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Seth Godin is a genius. While some might label Seth a marketer, I am not sure that’s the right title. He is definitely a communicator and he understands social media. And by that I don’t mean the technology, but the foundation of it, the passion, the heart, the art …the listening, the collaboration. He just gets it. 

Here is a great example of reaching out and creating an exceptional brand experience. Seth’s new book Tribes just went on sale. All of the people that pre-ordered his book, received an advance copy last week and Seth asked them to give the copy they bought to someone that might like it. Nice touch, and it shows how well he understands his people.

Along with that, for .95 cents, yep less than $1.00 (U.S.), you can buy an MP3 download of the book – 3 hours and 43 minutes of it, narrated by Seth. (Go to iTunes and search Seth Godin.)

He goes even one step farther though – which is what we have come to expect from Seth. On his blog, he reached out to his “tribe” and asked them to write an e-book. You can download it for free – and it’s substantial – more than 240 pages.

Seth took what could have been a great thing for him and turned it around so we all felt a part of it. He made us truly feel like a part of his tribe.



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