On-line networking and thoughts from Eric Mattson


After my podcast with Eric Mattson, I spent some time talking to him about what he is up to. I am actually one of his listeners, and although I pick and choose among the podcasts, I have noticed that there is a strong analytics bias to them. (If you can call it that.)

Two of the topics that we talked about were really of interest to me:

1) The Long Tail. Eric is currently reading Chris Anderson’s book by the same name, and so I complained about the difficulty of managing the long tail. Everyone oohs and ahhs over how wonderful those long tail words are (my example is always, “Honda 5-speed 4-door red EX” — when you type in a tail word like that, you are ready to buy.) But I find that when I work with long tail words, the customer spends more on me than on the keywords. Eric’s take on that one is, it has to happen by itself. As soon as you try to manage the tail, it breaks. “Just crank out great content,” he advises, and visitors will find you in the natural search. (This echoes the advice I gave to Justin Cutroni about blog marketing — when your blog is big enough/has enough content, visitors start on the interior pages because they find you in the organic search.)

2) Relationships. Eric maintains that relationships are the ultimate competitive weapon online. Although he started off referring to mass relationships (like the relationship that Google AdSense advertisers have with Google), I think that we don’t focus enough on real one-to-one electronic relationships. The kind where you’ve never met someone, you start writing them professionally, they write you back, and they become your friend. They send you business, or recommend your blog, or recommend that you speak at a conference. Most important of all, they just plain old help you with what you don’t know while you help them with what they don’t know, and everybody wins.

For example,(as I pointed out in a recent post), I was reading David Meerman Scott’s excellent e-book (The New Rules of PR) on the plane to Portland. I finished the paper and scrawled on the front of it, “Write him.” And then I looked at those words and realized that I would never have done that two years ago. I would have assumed that David is a busy professional who has no time for fan mail (much less email that says, “you got 96% of this right, but let’s talk about the other 4%.”)

Ultimately, I didn’t write him, I just blogged about my thoughts — and then heard from him in the comments.

This phenomenon — professional electronic relationships — is a little bit like web analytics. We understand what takes place but we don’t know why. That doesn’t stop us from speculating…

*Do we create more electronic relationships because we don’t have time to go to conferences?
*Is it because we are on our computers all day (or at least, those of us in Internet Marketing are?)
*Is it because with broadband, our email is on all day long?
*Is it because more people work in smaller offices or at home, so electronic relationships are the Internet equivalent of talking at the water cooler?

One shouldn’t think that this isn’t about conversion. I’ve been having an electronic conversation for some time now with someone who is about to become my customer. And we’ve just been talking…

BTW, Eric is moving back to Seattle this fall and loves the analytics of CGM, so I hope those companies snap him up. (I told him he should work for FeedBurner, but they are in Chicago.)

Robbin Steif

Our founder, Robbin Steif, started LunaMetrics in 2004. She is a graduate of Harvard College and the Harvard Business School, and has served on the Board of Directors for the Digital Analytics Association. Robbin is a winner of a BusinessWomen First award, as well as a Diamond Award for business leadership. In 2017, Robbin sold her company to HS2 Solutions and has since retired from LunaMetrics.

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget the simple “tyranny of distance”.
    When most of the action in a field is happening on the other side of the planet and in a different hemisphere, electronic communication may be the only communication method available.

    There’s also the simple time factor. Emails and comments in blogs 🙂 can be done quite quickly compared with physical meetings. And no parking hassles.
    They also have the advantage of allowing one to dictate a slower pace:
    Take the time to get ones thoughts together before committing to a position.

    And besides, I could be a Dog, and you’d never know. 😉


  • David Meerman Scott

    Hi Robbin,

    I greatly enjoy hearing from people who have found my work useful.

    I too used to wonder about reaching out to people. I’ve changed my mind — most writers / bloggers like to get mail. I’ve started some great virtual friendships that way.

    Now you have me wondering — what’s the 4% that I didn’t get right?


  • Well OK. It is a great book and I just sent a copy of it to a new employee to read before he writes a press release. But I would have liked to see a greater emphasis on how press releases not only need to be written in “real people” language, but on the issue of rethinking the whole concept.

    Why don’t we put cartoons in our press releases, the way FeedBurner did on their site release? True, the services don’t let you do that, but now you get my drift – maybe we are making them easier to read and easier for people to click through on and convert, but we still are writing them in a boilerplate format: Event, quote, event, subquote, for more info contact…. It’s like when they had talking heads on TV because that’s all the radio people knew how to do. Shouldn’t we competely revolutionize it, maybe even call it something new (after all, it’s not even for the press anymore, is it?)


Contact Us.

Follow Us




We'll get back to you
in ONE business day.
Our Locations
THE FOUNDRY [map] LunaMetrics

24 S. 18th Street
Suite 100

Pittsburgh, PA 15203


4115 N. Ravenswood
Suite 101
Chicago, IL 60613


2100 Manchester Rd.
Building C, Suite 1750
Wheaton, IL 60187