Tuesday, June 9, 2009

CRI Blog Consultant Christine Whittemore Interviewed on Floor Daily

I always check out who is being interviewed on FloorDaily.net, Kemp Harr’s e-newsletter that presents a daily compilation of industry and economic news. I especially like it when the featured interviewee is someone I know or have worked with. So it was a real pleasure to listen one day last week when Kemp interviewed Christine B. Whittemore, the consultant who organized and helps guide CRI’s new blog. Christine bills herself as Chief Simplifier for her company, Simple Marketing Now LLC.

Christine has an impressive history with blogs. She created Flooring the Consumer in June 2006, The Carpetology Blog in December 2007 and most recently, her own Simple Marketing Blog.

Kemp started the interview by getting Christine to explain what a blog is, and what its value can be. According to Christine, a blog is a “web-based, self-publishing platform for sharing relevant content on a regular basis with interested readers.” She added that a blog is more about content than form or flash, and it needs to be easy to use. Many blogs, like the CRI blog, work like a journal or diary, with the latest entry showing at the top. Blogs gain stature on search engines based on how often they publish new content and how relevant the information is according to certain parameters. It is also important how many other bloggers and web sites link to your blog.

Before I started working with Christine, the previous paragraph contains more information than the sum total of what I knew about blogs or blogging. For my first blog entry, I struggled with the writing – Christine said that CRI’s blog readers would want to know who I was, including some facts about my personal life, and that was an entirely new concept for me. I was used to being a nameless, faceless copywriter, but now I understand that blogs are meant to be two-way conversations, so it makes sense that people need to know who they are listening and (we hope) responding to.

Christine went on to explain in the interview that the great value of CRI having a blog is that it gives readers from both inside and outside the carpet industry direct access to the vast resources of research and credible information that reside deep within the CRI website. It also gives CRI a chance to address issues head-on, like carpet myths and misinformation published in the media.

As an example, I recently published two posts about a negative article that appeared in Health magazine: Contrary to Health Magazine Article Headline, Carpet Won't Make You Sick and The Carpet Fact-checker Files. It felt good to write about the frustrations of dealing with those writers and editors who seem to want to print inflammatory information no matter what, but the best part was the feedback I got from people who had at one time or another been in the same boat. Wow! Social Media in action! It is exciting.

Christine says that things are going well for so far for the CRI blog. According to information she collects, there are over 100 people who have subscribed, either by email or RSS feed, as of yesterday. Thank you to everyone who has subscribed, and for everyone else, please go ahead and do it. Let me know if you have any problems with the sign-up process and we’ll get you straightened out.

To wrap up the interview with Kemp Harr, Christine talked about how to discover interesting blogs using Google blog search or the blog search engine Technorati.

I appreciate Floor Daily for focusing attention on the Carpet and Rug Institute blog. If you haven’t already, I suggest you go ahead and check out the interview. I learn something new every time I listen to Christine and I bet you will, too.


Added 6/10/09: see Whittemore Discusses CRI Blog on FloorDaily.net

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C. B. Whittemore said...

Thanks, Bethany, for this terrific summary of the interview with Kemp. I had a blast doing it, but loved even more that I had such a strong story to tell with the CRI Blog.

sblicker@aol.com said...

Have you seen the article in Mattha Stewart's article "This can floor you?"

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