By Heather Angus-Lee

Martha Stewart has proven herself a savvy businesswoman on many fronts – and now social media is no exception: last weeks’ unveiling of the impending Marthapedia! The head of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, broke the big news at the Advertising Week conference.

Modelled, obviously, on the participatory uber-wiki site, Wikipedia, ‘Marthapedia’ will feature homekeeping content, natch, with the gauntlet thrown out for the public to participate in. Wise move: for all those decorating divas who buy/watch/read her stuff, they can now dare to be mini-Marthas with wiki entries of their own, challenging the Decorator Goddess on her stuff.

Martha’s impetus into social media, she says, was seeing how “lively” her MySpace presence had become. That space contains oodles of videos, including archived photos of her early-days modeling career (imagine, a bathing-suited brunette). She has close to 3,000 friends in her MySpace and and almost 400 comments – from fan-gushing to “I need embroidery help.” Martha’s MySpace blog is photo-heavy, but hey, eye candy is how she built her empire.

And Martha just joined Facebook, on Sept. 3; as she wrote in MySpace, ” I wanted to have both a Myspace and a Facebook [profile] in order to get the most friends.” She has accrued close to 2,000 friends in Facebook in four weeks.

Martha won’t stop teaching with Marthapedia; it will be seeded with content from Martha Stewart’s Homekeeping Handbook and other of her resources, she says. Practical as she is, likely Martha hasn’t failed to notice that the new wiki site will serve as a giant, international focus group for measuring market reaction – an online test kitchen for ideas, so to speak.

Love her or hate her (criminal record and all), Martha Stewart has got it going on with tapping into new media trends and keeping her legions of fans happy – especially now that she’s promoting them to “virtual consultants.” She’s launching a genuine two-way conversation wherein her followers get to upbraid her for impossibly fussy centerpiece creations, suggest their own festive concoctions, and feel a sense of ownership in Martha’s media empire.

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4 Comments

  1. That’s really cool. She really is a marketing genius. It helps when you have an army of uber-loyal followers. I’m sure it will be a big success.

    Now we just have to wait for Oprahpedia.

  2. Alissa

    I’m not sure about having Martha as a friend on Facebook – i feel like she might critique my page layout and categorize my latest superpokes as “vulgar”.

    And yet, as someone who knows little about centrepieces and the fine art of coordinating dinnerware, i’m sure i could benefit from her wiki…everyone’s got a secret Martha who wants to get out! : )

  3. Definitely an astute business woman who has her finger on the pulse and is able to tap into the latest trends – you go girl!

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