Tag Archives: bob johnson

My Happy Return to WordPress

A few hours after I was removed from WordPress, I was back up and  received a note of explanation:

The link to bobjohnson.com did that. It’s a site spammers link to very heavily so it is automatically scanned for now.
Sorry it caught you.

Your blog will not now be checked by these scans so please do not worry about tripping one again.

I do apologize for the  shock and worry we caused you.


Now, Bob Johnson is a very respected higher ed consultant.  He does an excellent newsletter and a good blog.  There’s just nothing bad about the guy, but apparently spammers love his site.  I still don’t understand the mechanics of what Mark explained but I know many of you do.  So if you Web folks would send a note of explanation, all us PR types would be grateful.

I appreciated the response, which was fairly prompt, and the explanation.  I also appreciated the fact that Mark sent it to me.  It wasn’t signed The xxxxxx Team like so any other sites.  It was Mark and it was an explanation, and it was an apology (“for the shock and worry we caused you” — only a human could generate a message like that).

And when I got the note, I loved Mark as a person and WordPress as a responsible and responsive site.  (Although fo awhile I felt like a Kafka character thrown into exile by anonymous machines and left to float in a cyber junkyard while the emotionless army of  x’s and o’s trudged onward).

Thanks Mark and WordPress.  It was a glitch.  You responded, explained and apologized.  It was good customer service and good marketing.

(Now, somebody, translate Mark’s explanation).


Sunday Afternoon Thoughts Part 8

Hmm.  The celebrated 100th post slipped right by me.  Just noticed I’ve done 102 posts since I started in February 2007.  We’ll toot the horns at 200.


I’ve given in. I’m beaten.  I’ve taken the sex out of Lonely Girl.  I tried an experiment and entitled my July 3rd entry Lonely Girl 15: Sex, Mystery and Web 2.0 just to see what would happen.  It’s an accurate title and I did get hits, lots of them.  Still does.  But a lot of them are coming through searches for subjects I don’t even dare mention.  Anyway, I want my readers to be those who share my interest in higher ed marketing.  I don’t care how popular I am (well, that’s a lie; I care a lot).  So I  changed the  title to Lonely Girl 15: S**, Mystery and Web 2.0.  Is that going to solve the s*x deviant problem?  If not, I may have to boot her off my blog, lonely or not.  I shudder at  the thought of how many testosterone-driven teens are disappointed when they hit my post. And if they are getting off on it, we have some major problems with American teen males.


Found:  through Bob Johnson’s blog this site which just blew me away at the Virginia Commonwealth University Brandcenter   That’s right.  It’s no longer the Adcenter.


Radio sales reps, to survive, must live in a constant state of denial.  A rep was selling me on her station. I said I was thinking twice about radio in the face of iTunes, etc.  She said it had not affected the listenership of her station a bit.  I knew she had daughters, ages  12 and 15.  “Do they have iPods?”  I asked.

“Oh, yes.  They  listen to them all the time.”

“When do they listen to your station?”

She smiled.  “When I drive them to school, I make them leave their iPods home and we listen to my station.”


I couldn’t get out of my mind Karine Joly’s post about the study showing the TV-online activity among kids.  This has huge implications for marketers.


Found this dichotomy while surfing Podcasting News.  Podcast guru Adam Curry’s company Podshow  just laid off 1/3 of its workforce.  At the same time podcasting network Wizzard Media announced it’s  working on the “first international geo-targeted audio podcast advertising campaign.” Tumultuous times.

But the biggest news?  There is a podcast dedicated to The Big Lebowski .  Dude, that’s awesome . . . .


Scoble Rocks Out:  Came across this from a facebook friend.  Robert Scoble as rock star.  Hilarioius.  


What do you do when the most popular DJ in the region goes off on a half hour rant calling you the “worst PR person in the world?”

That’s the subject of my two-part blog next week. 


“Writing Right for the Web”

I’m going to do two or three posts on the College & University Public Relations Association (CUPRAP) spring conference, so I’ll keep them shorter than usual.

Bob Johnson of Bob Johnson Consulting, gave two sessions which were the conference highlights for me.  Here are some notes from , “Writing Right for the Web: Engage Your Visitors and Improve Your Search Engine Visibility.”

Bob compared  “Web friendly writing” to  direct mail marketing copy. 

Short sentences of 5-10 words.  Lot of punch.  Short graphs—50 words or less.

Use sub-heads with active words, not labels.

Use bullet points.

It’s essential that the reader can scan the page quickly.  On the Web, people are impatient.

Web readers scan for “care” words or words people care about.  A couple examples  are “advance your career” and “best school possible.”

While a Website can be seen as a series of magazines (admissions, PR, alumni), it’s an absolute no-no to just plop the alumni magazine article in as a PDF.  It needs to be slightly re-written, broken up with subheads and links, and reformatted using the above rules.

The Web, Bob said, is an informal place in which you need to be as personal as possible.  Use “you” often.

Black text on a white background is best.  Sans serif is easier to read quickly .  Verdana and Arial are in right now. 

Words in the title bar should have the same keywords as the news headline.

It’s all, he said, Reality marketing.

Bob listed the BBC  and National Geographic  sites as examples of good writing, layout, tagging, etc. (Visit these at your own risk. I visited NG to copy the url and didn’t come back here for a half hour).

As I mentioned in previous posts, I’ve been reading Bob Johnson’s blog for awhile and was happy to be at one of his presentations.  He has a lot of knowledge, which he presents in a down-to-earth, logical manner.  His power point, handouts and the fact that I recorded the sessions on my Zoom H2, helped a lot.

Note:  “Personal” was the key word of nearly all the presenters.  I guess we all know this by now.  You have to be personal and genuine if you want to attract and hold a Web audience. 


Sunday Afternoon Thoughts: Part 3

A “lake effect” blizzard just passed through complete with thunder. I keep thinking, “We’re one day closer to spring. . . .” Right now I’m working on three blogs and a podcast. I interviewed Ed Washington, a black English professor about the importance of Black History Month. The conversation led to the 57-year-old prof’s personal experiences growing up in the 50’s and ‘60s. It’s a moving account that encapsulates the culture’s struggle for human rights.


BlogHighEd, the aggregator site created by Matt Herzeberger and Brad J. Ward is amazing. The day after they went live my hits soared. So, again, thanks for including me, and keep up your great energy!


People should really think hard about the name of their business or site. I was searching for paperback titles of William Ard, on whom I’m creating a modest site. I came across a title on Ebay . The dealer’s site was named “dusty crap.” I went no further.


Re: The Old College Try’s post about high school students not reading college recruiting magazines. I was doing a focus group with a group of the brightest seniors in a good school. I asked them about a very respected and aggressive publication. None had heard of it. The guidance counselor said, “We have a whole pile of them in the office!” He ran out and brought copies back. They nodded and returned to the discussion. I had a heart-to-heart talk with the magazine rep, and he said most students use the magazine to go to the publication’s website. Of course, once they go to the site they don’t need the magazine anymore.

Conclusion? I only advertise in magazines that have high-traffic Web sites.


Brad J. Ward is documenting his Facebook project at Butler. Since Mansfield University is developing a new Content Management System, I’m really interested in following his progress.


Checking out other blogs is time-consuming but rewarding as you can see by a couple of the above sites and by Matt Herberger’s post on using WordPress. I didn’t even know about template tags. . . .


Read Mark Greenfield’s post on on “Seven Inviolable, Irrefutable Things You Can Do On The Internet. He sums it from the Book The Revolution Will Not Be Televised . . . .


Chris Brogan has a really good post on creating and Social Media and Social Networking Starting Points.


Bob Johnson’s blog on Internet Marketing is always interesting. Check out this one on the Pew Internet Survey on “Defining ‘reality’ in 2020.”

Or go directly to the Pew site.


I’ve been in higher ed for more than 30 years and have a lot of Baby Boomer colleagues around the country. I’m thinking of doing an occasional blog on “What’s the Most Important Thing You’ve Learned?” I would take a specific topic such as “interpersonal communications,” or “introducing new ideas,” or even “surviving in higher education,” and asking one or two of these veterans for their thoughts/advice.

Let me know if you think it’s worth pursuing.


Gotta go fire up the snow blower. . . .