Introducing Nuts About Southwest 3.0
Five years ago we launched the first version of Nuts About Southwest. It was simple and straight forward. A blog where Southwest Airlines could share their stories and culture. A way to more deeply connect the Southwest Airlines brand with Customers by exposing how Southwest Airlines ticks. We knew this was a very special launch in that Southwest Airlines was taking a tremendous step forward at a time when companies were not yet completely taking the risk of jumping into the social space. Looking back, many companies wanted to do it, but it was a bit of a "staring contest" to see which would flinch first and jump in.
While we knew it was special, I don't think any of us could say with a straight face exactly how this would evolve. We had no idea that this would be a blog that would win three consecutive "Best Corporate Blog" awards, plus be inducted into the "Blog Hall of Fame." It's been quite a journey...
Southwest Airlines recognized the value in Nuts About Southwest as their social media hub and has fielded a small army of employees to the Blog Team to make sure that they continue communicating and sharing the operations and culture of Southwest Airlines. We've had many opportunities to work with this team over the past five years as it has grown. If you are looking for a case study in how blogs should work, just go to BlogSouthwest.com and do a little reading. Participate in the conversation. The best case study I can possibly think of is to just soak in how the team at Southwest Airlines interacts. Amazing.
Monday morning, at 7:37 am, we launched Nuts About Southwest 3.0. It's a fresh new look with some great new tools to help the Emerging Media team communicate. The following is a list of new features:
- Information is now organized into streams based on content type which allows readers to consume information based on whether they want to read, watch, or listen.
- Approximately 1/3 of the real estate on the main page is now dedicated to a "Southwest Social Stream" where the online social behaviors of blog team members are shared in real time updates. Even though there are two to three blog posts daily, this gives a very fresh snapshot of all of Southwest's social activity.
- "More Ways To Go Nuts" is a new navigation feature in the top right-hand portion of the page to give access to all of the social channels of Southwest Airlines including: Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, Linkedin, YouTube, Gowalla, and Foursquare.
- Facebook Connect has been added to help readers easily join the community using their Facebook credentials.
- Comment threading has been added to blog posts. Many posts on Nuts About Southwest attract a number of comments, many of which turn into conversations. Threaded comments will help following those conversations even easier.
- "View By" is a new filter that has been added to all blog post feeds. Readers naturally default to the "Most Recent" posts, but can also now view posts based on "Most Active" within the parameters of: last 7 days, last 30 days, last 365 days, or "ever."
- If you like or love a post you can now select "LUV it." This new nugget is attached to every post so readers can simply click on the new button and the corresponding post will earn your "LUV it" vote.
- "Meet The Team" is a new section that has been added to more directly introduce the bloggers of Southwest Airlines. Each blog author now has their own page where their bio is featured as well as their latest contributions to Nuts About Southwest.
- When the sun sets over Love Field Airport every evening, the background theme of BlogSouthwest.com changes to a night theme. At sun up, each morning, the background theme is switched back to a daytime theme.
This past Friday we attended the Southwest Airlines BlogCon where we demonstrated the new Nuts About Southwest blog to the Emerging Media Team and the new Nuts About Southwest Blog Team. True that I'm a gadget junkie and I was seriously impressed that each member of the team was handed a shiny new Flip HD camera (branded of course for Southwest Airlines). Overall, the spirit of Southwest Airlines could not be more evident in the interactions we have had with this team. The commitment and enthusiasm of each and every one of them is what has made Nuts About Southwest such a successful social media experience.