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Portal for brand conversations, led by the brands


It should no longer come as any surprise to brands large or small that they are the subject of conversation online—whether they participate or not. Launched by Seth Godin, Brands in Public is a new site that aggregates all those diverse conversations and presents them through a unified public-facing dashboard that gives any brand the chance to lead the discussion. A Google search on a brand name may retrieve many of the online conversations going on out there, but Squidoo-powered Brands in Public differs by virtue of the fact that the brand in question can curate the conversation. By sponsoring the page about its brand, a participating company can edit the introductory text, highlight the tweets and posts it likes, point to its blog, videos, Twitter feed and corporate website, and even—if it’s truly bold—highlight ways to get in touch. No censorship is involved, since the automatic feed of conversations from across the web—via Twitter, blogs, YouTube, Google Trends and more—is just that: automatic. Rather, it is through the left-hand side of any brand page that the company in question can answer its critics, highlight its fans, contribute questions or quizzes, or point to its official materials. So, rather than passively monitoring the public conversation, in other words, participating brands actually coordinate it and shape it as it happens. Brands in Public is supported by Boston-based BzzAgent. The cost of participation for a brand is USD 400 per month; no long-term commitment is required. For nonprofits, however, there’s the chance to be selected for a free Brands in Public page, thanks to a special selection process at the beginning of every month. There’s no doubt consumers will talk about pretty much any and every brand under the sun—again and again, in forum after forum, and probably with widely varying results. It’s by having a hand in those conversations, however, that brands can embrace what our sister site would call foreverism and turn transparency tyranny into transparency triumph. Bottom line, as Brands in Public puts it: “People are talking about you. Are you going to show up?”



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