Friday, October 12, 2007

The TruthLaidBear Comes Out of Hiding

If you're not familiar with The Truth Laid Bear, it's a kind of cool blog tracking site that's been for the past three years by the eponymous N.Z. Bear (no one knows what "N.Z." stands for except that it's not "New Zealand"). Today, the Bear came out publicly. Here's the bulk of his message:

    I hope you’ll forgive a brief commercial interruption. After five+ years as a pseudonymous ursine fellow online, the time has come for me to step out from behind the curtain.

    Hi ! My name is Rob Neppell. You may know me from such websites as The Truth Laid Bear and Porkbusters. I’m not actually a bear, but I play one on the Internet.

    The occasion? I am now ready to publicly announce the real "big thing" I've been hinting at for some time: TTLB is now part of my new company: Kithbridge, Inc.
    I’ve described Kithbridge as follows:

      Kithbridge, Inc. was launched as an evolution of one of the blogosphere's original and most successful blog-tracking sites, The Truth Laid Bear. While The Truth Laid Bear provides a portal and blog search engine for individual bloggers and blog-readers, Kithbridge provides customized technology, services, and strategies for businesses, political campaigns, nonprofits, and other organizations which seek to fully engage with the growing and dynamic world of the blogosphere and new media.

    I’m pleased to be working with a small group of great clients who have come on board already, and am now ready to open the doors and invite more on in.
So I checked out Kithbridge. "Innovative and effective strategies bring the power of blogs and new media to your organization"? The company sounds like a bit of an indirect competitor to me (or perhaps a future employer? One never knows.), though Kithbridge appears to be targeting the political market. The company has assembled an interesting package of offerings:

  • Blog tracking: while there are other ways to do this (Google Alerts for example), The Truth Laid Bear has some nice graphical tools that Kithbridge will be capitalizing on, which probably makes this feature worthwhile for organizations or individuals who garner a lot of blog coverage.

  • Custom Blog Feeds: "allow(s) clients to incorporate relevant blog posts seamlessly into their own web pages"—interesting, but it isn't clear what technology they are using for this. There are two ways to incorporate blog feeds into a website (that I'm aware of; there may be others): Javascript or PHP. Javascript is much easier from an administrative standpoint, but the feed content is invisible to search engines, so this method provides no SEO benefit. PHP is trickier but more search engine friendly, so it's what I use to post blog feeds and news feeds on WebMarketCentral.

  • Strategic Consulting: here are their questions, with my commentary.
    * Should my website include a blog?

    Probably not, but there are many other ways to use blogs for promotion. I'll address this topic in a near-future post.

    * How do I find out when bloggers are writing about my organization?

    Again, Google Alerts, Technorati...or Kithbridge.

    * How can I use new media to increase visibility of my company?

    Blogger relations, social media outreach and interactive PR for starters.

    * Who are the bloggers I should be reaching out to—and who are the ones I need to worry about?

    This is tricky and tedious. If Kithbridge can automate this process, they've definitely got something.

    * How can I get bloggers “on my side” to promote my products, services, or cause?

    Again, blogger outreach through interactive PR.

I'm a fan of the TruthLaidBear site and wish the now-public Mr. Neppell and his colleagues the best of success with Kithbridge.


Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentralDOTcom


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