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July 03, 2007

I Am McKinley's Blog Watchdog

McKinley Marketing's newsletter has a new feature! Once a month, you can receive a digested version of the association blogosphere's best blog posts in McKinley Matters, as compiled by yours truly. So, if you have a co-worker, boss, colleague, friend or mom who needs to "get with it" when it comes to association blogs, send them over to McKinley's newsletter sign-up page.

Each month, I'll cross-post the column here for those who favor RSS or HTTP over SMTP, but if you opt-in to their newsletter, you'll also receive some very astute articles written by McKinley's very astute consultants. Cue up the full disclosure: I am a paid freelance writer for McKinley Marketing.

Welcome to McKinley's new best-of-the-blogs digest, designed to help you keep up with the conversation taking place in the blogosphere (if you don't have the time or inclination to keep up with it yourself). I keep up with the association community's most relevant blogs, uncover the most interesting posts and distill them into a handful of blurbs, presented here in McKinley Matters.

Looking for the Long Version?
If this leaves you wanting more, here are two ways to get plugged into the association blogosphere: aggregates many of the association industry's best blogs into a single site. At Dave Sabol's Associated Knowledge blog you can download an OPML file to subscribe to thirty association and non-profit blogs using your favorite RSS reader.

Hidden Tracks and Easter Eggs
A recurring theme for me this week has been the Easter egg. Not in the literal sense, but
the video game sense. In video games, Easter eggs are secret things sprinkled throughout that, if discovered, reveal a surprise or reward. They are like a bonus tracks at the end of a CD. I listened this week to a podcast that contained an outtake at the end, which I equated to a bonus track. Only those who listened to the bitter end of the podcast heard the outtake.

Speaking of secrets... the closing session at ASAE & The Center's Marketing and Membership Conference featured the authors of Punk Marketing, who described the In-N-Out burger chain's
Double Double Animal Style hamburger, which is not on the official menu, but the staff knows exactly what to serve you if you ask for it. Easter eggs, bonus tracks and Double Double Animal Style: All of these are intended to engage the fiercely loyal customer or fan. Could associations employ tactics like these to cultivate a similar fanaticism amongst its members?

Much Ado about Wikipedia
Wikipedia is supported by the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit whose vision is to bring a free and accurate encyclopedia to everyone on the planet. Wikipedia is the ninth most visited site on the Internet and many associations are listed there, with many more added every day. There are many advantages to having a presence on Wikipedia, but that presence is not without some risk. Joe Grant recently extolled
the virtues of being listed at Wikipedia. Although I'm generally supportive of having a Wikipedia presence, I had to blog about some serious issues that, based on my experience, association executives should carefully weigh before jumping in.

Got feedback or a tip for a future column? Contact Ben at bkmcae-at-gmail-dot-com.

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