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Full Disclosure: NOTCOT and Boing Boing Show How Easy It Is

Conversational approaches to marketing are effective for marketers — and work better for readers — in part because they aren’t regular old banner ads. But, lest these programs confuse audiences (and, perhaps, piss them off), it’s important for participating sites to explain how the programs work.

Here’s Jean Aw at NOTCOT announcing her latest post at Comcast’s Fancast site.

NOTCOT Fancast Post

And Boing Boing’s Xeni Jardin with her latest eclectic TV faves for the same.

Boing Boing Fancast Post

That wasn’t so hard now, was it?

@ComcastCares Speaks Out

Battelle interviews Frank Eliason, the voice of @ComcastCares at Searchblog.

@ComcastCares Sample2

@ComcastCares is a Twitter-based customer service channel that’s part listening beacon — Comcast tracks mentions of their brand by Twitter users — and part real-time help desk. As much as actually helping individuals improve their Comcast experiences, though, @ComcastCares has become an emissary of goodwill across the 5-plus-million member Twitterverse: Taking disgruntled (and influential, well-followed) Comcast customers, make them happy, and have that conversation out in the public, for all Twitter users to see.

“I’ve been following Frank’s work on Twitter for a while, it seemed he was always listening to what folks were saying, and when folks (inevitably) ranted about Comcast service, he jumped in, and almost always seemed to fix the problem. Then it happened to me, in October, my service started acting deeply flaky, and I complained about it.

“I quickly got a response, and when I moved to a new place last month, he helped again. Then just this weekend, my new Internet service started acting flaky again, and in ten minutes, Frank had assessed the problem and helped me fix it, calmly, intelligently, and in the grammar natural to social media….”

That last phrase, to me, is the most important. If your customers are expressing their discontent in social media environments, bid for their forgiveness in those same social media environments, using the language and grammar of social media natives.

To see @ComcastCares in action, here’s how it worked for Guy Kawasaki and his 32,000 followers.

To see what happened to a brand that opted not to engage with disgruntled customers in the social media settings where they made their complaints, check out the Motrin Moms dust up.

UPDATE: I Twittered Battelle’s interview with @ComcastCares:

ChasNote Twitters @ComcastCares

Six minutes later (on a Saturday afternoon), @ComcastCares Twittered me back:

@ComcastCares Twitters ChasNote

Chalk up another fan, @ComcastCares! Now I’m off to Twitter all about it.

Comcast's Fancast Site Features Funny TV Reviews; CTRs Above 1%

Fancast Our TV Picks

The Our TV Picks section of the Fancast site features an eclectic batch of TV show reviews (from sci fi classics to sexy superheroes to contemporary reality TV) by writers from Boing Boing, Dooce, NOTCOT and Ask A Ninja. FM helped put all the pieces together.

Comcast is running banner ads on those same sites, with clips from the authors’ show reviews.

Dooce Ad for Fancast

Perhaps it should come as no surprise that ads, for example, on Dooce featuring an excerpt of more Dooce content would drive click-through rates that can be counted in whole numbers. But what can I say — I’m an old-fashioned guy who continues to be impressed by CTRs above 1% on banners that are SFW.

UPDATE 12/10: Xeni Jardin at Boing Boing explains to her readers how the sponsorship works:

“A disclaimer, in the interest of transparent ├╝ber-sharing: I was paid to write these posts, and the site is an online video hub run by Comcast.

“I wasn’t told what to write about or not write about, and my work wasn’t edited or modified in any way, so I picked freaky stuff I genuinely liked, and in a few cases, had some sort of personal connection with.”

Uber-well done, Xeni and Comcast!

(Credits: Robin D’agostino at Comcast Interactive Media, and Michael Cohn and John Shankman at FM.)

Comcast Offers Small Businesses “Efficiency Center” Site

Given that human brain chemistry makes us jones for new information, it’s a smart idea that Comcast built their latest online campaign around an information-rich Small Business Efficiency Center for its professional customers, with business tips pulled from the pages of Guy Kawasaki’s, Anita Campbell’s, John Jantsch’s, Chanpory Rith’s and the Behance community’s websites.

Comcast Small Business Efficiency Center

Comcast’s ad banners, running on the sites that licensed the content and others, lead with content headlines rather than promotions.

How to be a Demo God

This campaign was put together by Jessica Richards at One to One Interactive, and John Shankman, Teresa Nielsen Hayden and Matt Jessell at FM.