Thursday, January 10, 2008

Missing In Action, But Wouldn't Have Changed A Thing!

Trying to get tenure and blog. No problem. Trying to get tenure, starting a new company, and blogging. Difficult, but manageable. Trying to get tenure, starting a new company, AND having a baby... yeah, well, that's why my last blog post was November 5, 2007, a full 66 days ago!

And I wouldn't, er, couldn't, have done it differently (except maybe announce that I wouldn't be posting for a while). But I needed a break to enjoy some of life's finer moments.

Our baby is the best (especially now that her smiles mean more than just gas and she's sleeping through the night; and as if it wasn't clear, Allyn Marie is pictured above in what I call her "peek-a-boo" photo), the company is off the ground with repeat clients (always a good thing in business), and tenure, well, the tenure process is decidedly not one of the finer things in life -- it's about as much fun as watching late-night talk shows without any writers (long, drawn out, and no fun for anyone).

First, I want to apologize to all the people who wrote me with questions about WOM research, especially the undergraduate and graduate students from universities around the globe. I'm going back through my inbox now and plan to reply to everyone (there's a lot of interest from students in WOM research and it's a privilege to have the chance to talk with some of them in the formative stages of their research).

Second, I missed commenting on a lot of important events in the WOM space over the past two-plus months, namely the release of the WOM Marketing Industry forecast by PQ Media. It's well worth a read if you can get your hands on a copy.

Third, I want to provide an update about the full audio recording for the Net Promoter Discussion at the Word of Mouth Marketing Association's Research & Metrics Symposium in November. It will be posted on the WOMMA website, but I'm told there have been some challenges getting this up. I had the pleasure of facilitating this discussion between some key players and I appreciate everyone's patience while WOMMA gets this posted, which should be soon.

Finally, I'll provide a preview of what 2008 holds for this blog:

- coverage of the G2X WOM Tracking Methodology and ChatThreads: I've received a lot of inquiries from different companies in the U.S. and internationally who want to measure the effectiveness of their marketing initiatives using this industry-standard methodology and how ChatThreads is leading the way in this effort. So one of my goals is to post entries that respond to some of the most frequently asked questions. Here's a brief article about the methodology and the new company in Research magazine.

- coverage of my current academic and industry research projects and social experiments involving WOM, as well as others' research that I come across or gets sent to me;

- commentary on the state of the WOM industry, both from a research practitioner's and educator's perspective;

- commentary on returning to a Macintosh: I grew up on an Apple IIe, IIGS, and a Mac PowerBook through college and most of grad school, but had to use a PC for part of my doctoral dissertation and for some other work and so I've been away for 7 years -- now I have an iMac running Leopard and VMWare Fusion virtualization, and it's like coming "home" again!;

- perhaps a switch off the Blogger platform?;

- and probably some scattered posts about the joys (and challenges) of being a new dad.
If you stayed subscribed to my feed during my long absence, and it looks like most of you have, I appreciate your patience and look forward to your attention and any comments and discussions in this new year. It's good to be back!