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Newsletter #1000: The “Greatest Hits of All Damn Time” Issue

[Welcome back to the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. This is text of the great issue all of our email subscribers just received. Sign yourself up using the handy form on the right.]

This is the 1,000th issue of the Damn, I Wish I’d Thought of That! newsletter. (Well, not quite — in the early days we rounded to the next hundred at the start of a new year. But, trust us, there are a lot.) We thought we’d take a moment to look back at the most popular content from the blog over the past decade. Some of the results surprised us — but, it all came back as a good reminder to just try a lot of stuff. You just never know what’s going to take off.

Here are seven of our greatest hits:

1. “Why is the top of a UPS truck white?”
2. “Please read: A very important speech about social media in America”
3. “How to make great eggs in 2 minutes”
4. “Everything you need to know about content marketing in 100 words”
5. “Mystery solved: The IKEA naming system”
6. “What do the ‘FTC Guides re: the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials’ mean for Social Media Marketers?”
7. “The Coca-Cola Company’s case study: How to monitor social media on a global scale”

1. “Why is the top of a UPS truck white?”

Did you know that UPS trucks have white roofs so natural light illuminates the cargo bay? Why talk about the tops of UPS trucks? Because it’s one of those everyday, little ideas that has a big impact. I shared it, but the initial post didn’t get much attention. Then a few weeks later, out of nowhere, someone on Reddit asked the same question. Another Redditor shared the post, and it sent us gobs of traffic. It was just dumb luck, but it comes from the habit of always 1) having a camera handy and 2) asking lots of questions.

See the post.

2. “Please read: A very important speech about social media in America”

In 2011, Admiral Gary Roughead of the U.S. Navy gave a speech on the importance of social media in naval operations. It was groundbreaking then, and it’s still relevant today. I shared it, and it got picked up and linked to by some influential bloggers. The post was really long — maybe the longest post ever on the blog — but it was also one of the most shared. A good reminder: Short doesn’t necessarily mean more sharable.

See the post >>

3. “How to make great eggs in 2 minutes”

I shot a video of myself making eggs once, and it turned out to be one of the most popular videos I’ve ever made. Why? I think it had a few fundamentals of word of mouth going on. For one thing, it was behind the scenes. At the time, most videos were me, at a podium, in a suit, talking business. But this one was more personable. The other reason it got such a response: Sometimes it’s just easier to talk about eggs than inspiring marketing ideas. This gave a lot of folks an easier way to introduce themselves into the conversation of the blog.

Watch the video >>

4. “Everything you need to know about content marketing in 100 words”

This is just one of those headlines that resonated with a lot of folks trying to get their head around an industry buzzword. And I like to think, unlike a bait-and-switch headline, this post delivered. In 100 words, this post explains the entire secret to every business success I’ve ever had: Replace your marketing with useful advice.

See the post >>

5. “Mystery solved: The IKEA naming system”

Another one of our top five most popular posts, this one is all about sharing those little-known facts. And like cooking eggs in a microwave and the top of a UPS truck being translucent, it’s one of those life mysteries that a lot of people apparently wondered about. Also worth noting: This post didn’t require a lot of investigation on my part. Just keeping an eye out on other smart folks (in this case, David Byrne) who share interesting stuff.

See the post >>

6. “What do the ‘FTC Guides re: the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials’ mean for Social Media Marketers?”

I don’t cover a lot of breaking news on the blog, but I’ve traveled the country talking about ethics in marketing. It’s one of my core passions. When it’s about this topic, it’s important for me to get information like this out there to help others understand new rules. I want to help the good marketers stay informed, and I want to remind the few bad guys out there they’re going to get busted. After spending years of covering this topic, I’m proud to be a trusted resource when people need help on this issue.

See the post >>

7. “The Coca-Cola Company’s case study: How to monitor social media on a global scale”

We’re big on repurposing and sharing useful content wherever people can find it. In this case, it was a video from a great presentation at our SocialMedia.org conference. We shared it here, with our audience on WordofMouth.org, and as a guest post on SmartBrief. The big idea: Good content can be good content anywhere, if you package it right.

See the post >>

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