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I Have A Communicable Disease

I Have A Communicable Disease

computer-virus-bugs-clip-art-thumb3167674Just a quick note, cause I need to vent. In my office we have:

-A Firewall

-Appriver to scan email for spam and viruses

-McAfee on the desktops to stop viruses

-A tech team we pay over $3,000 a month for

-Rules in force about opening strange emails, going to websites, etc, etc

You get the idea.

Yet somehow, some way.. my computer out of all the computers in this office has a virus.

I am getting pop ups for gambling, online video guides,  anti-virus software (gee thanks).

The techs have tried removing it twice now. Now they are thinking of replacing the harddrive with a mirror version prior to the virus.

What the heck??? The number of work hours I have lost drives me nuts!

Thats it. I needed to vent.

Thanks for listening.

December 31, 2008 By : Category : Blog Off Subject Tags:,
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People Are Talking…Are You Listening?

People Are Talking…Are You Listening?

listening

Today a friend reached out to me.  She works for a very big, well know company. She asked me a simple question.

“How do we monitor our brand online?”

My response was “You guys get it!”. She responded with a very puzzled tone (as my wife does to me a lot) : “We do?”

“Yes, you do” Your company is taking the first step of looking into what people are saying about your brand online and learning how to deal with brand monitoring”

Okay, so enough of my little cut scene from a conversation. Let me give you some links to tools and resources that help companies monitor what people are saying online about them. We will do it in list form, as people like lists:

-Twitter Search which use to be called Summize before Twitter bought it. You simply type in keywords and you can see people who have used that word in a tweet.

-Social Mention searchs Google blog search, Delicious, FriendFeed, Digg, Twitter, Youtube and such and puts it into a nice package for you.

-Google Alerts An amazing tool by the folks at well, Google. Put in keywords and it will send you alerts when people use those words. This searches Google so we are talking about anywhere on the web that Google indexes, which is well, almost everywhere.

-Backtype allows you to search blog comments.  Users need to register and it will monitor the url you put in the chat. Then pulls all the comments back to one place for you to search.

-Yacktrack monitors lots of different social networking sites and allows you to see which sites your brand is being mentioned on vs another.

These are just some of the several tools that are out there. If there are some I have missed, please post them in the comments so I can add them to an updated list.

I used the term brand and keyword when writing this post. What is it you should be monitoring when following your brand? I think you should look at:

-Company Name

-Your Product

- Competition

-Your Company Executives (and your competitions)

- Clients

All right now, get out there and see what people are saying about you!

December 30, 2008 By : Category : Blog New Media Tags:, , , , , , , , ,
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Your Week In Review..early

Your Week In Review..early

With Christmas upon us and a short week ahead, I thought It would be a good idea to get “Your Week In Review” out early. I am thinking there will no be a lot happening on Friday from me.

glass-half-full_medium

-With 2008 coming and 2009 upon us, I have seen several posts looking at where Social Media will take us next year. Will it still be relevant? Of Course! Here is a great post on why you need it  from  Todd Mailcoat, its called 9 Reasons You Need Social Media Marketing in 2009

- The folks at Futurelab have a different outlook. They list “Five Things that Probably Won’t Happen In Social Media in 2009″ . I am not sure I agree with them on item #1. What do you think?

Seems to me its a glass 1/2 empty, 1/2 full situation. ;)

-Have you tried to start an alumni group on Facebook? Maybe a Class of 2013 kind of thing? Yet the name is taking? Seems there may be some cybersquatting going on according to Brad J Ward. Check out his post called There’s something going down on Facebook. Pay attention

-Oh and  speaking of Facebook, you might of noticed that the 2nd most popular music application has been removed due to TOS issues. Its the Music Playlists. (MySpace banned it earlier in the week as well, but no one noticed :)

-Okay now for something non Social Media realated, I just need to share that I am interested in seeing The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button. Something about it has me interested.  I hope its not a chick flick. Let me know if anyone sees it.

benjamin-button

Sorry for the shortlist, but its a short week.  I hope everyone has Happy Holidays!

December 24, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:,
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Stay On Target And Stay Focused

Stay On Target And Stay Focused

231-focus

Do you have days where you just can stay focused? Those days where you lack motivation because you are just burned out? I think I am having one of those today. I just can not seem to focus on the tasks in front of me. It does not help that there are so many distractions like:

-Christmas

-People in and out of my office

-Phone keeps ringing

-Instant Messages

-Email

-5 kids

You get the idea.  So I decided to turn the distractions around to help me at least get a blog post up this week. What are some things one can do to help “Stay On Target”? Or better said, focus? Let me share some that I do. Let me do it in list form. People like lists:

-Turn off the phone. This is my life line. I put up over 1200 minutes a month on this thing. Sometimes I just have to turn it off to get things done.

-Get off the Internet! Just unplug the cable. I love the internet. I love my email. Yet, it is well.. the root of a lot of evils.

-Clean your workspace up. I know they say a “A Clean Desk Is A Sign Of A Sick Mind” but its not true

-Music. Sometimes I need to  turn on my ipod and get lost in the music. This is one of things that works really well for me.

-Make a do to list. This is something that also works well for me. I just love checking those tasks off. It gives me a great sense of completion.

-No Multi tasking. Weird right? But doing one thing at a time works really well for me. Lets me check those items off my “to do” list faster.

-Have someone to bounce ideas off of. Another thing that works well for me. I will put togeteher a draft or list to send to someone whose feedback I value.

What do you do to focus?

December 22, 2008 By : Category : Uncategorized Tags:,
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Your Week In Review

Your Week In Review

orangereview

It is time for your weekly round up of things  I have been reading, researching, working on,  excited about or just think its worth sharing. If there is something that you think I should know about or might be worth sharing with others, please feel free to send it to me. My email is  here. Several readers have already been sending me links which is great! Please keep doing that! So, here we go, this will of course be  in list form because people like lists:

newspaper

-When was the last time you read a newspaper? I used to read 3 newspapers a day. Now I read everything on line. Heck there is even a Newspaper Death Watch site put together by Paul Gillin.

-Newspapers are seeing the writing on the wall and that the web and social media are where it is at.  Brian Solis does a nice recap about how newspapers are responding. He got his data from the annual report by The Bivings Group, who report how newspapers are using social media.

medium_logo-playstation

-Sony has finally launched after what seems a long, long time of talk and, development,  PlayStation Home, an online community for Playstation gamers.  Community 2.0 has a great take on it. Is it what the Playstation users want?

la

-If your in the Los Angeles area, your Mayor is using Twitter.. Antonio Villaraigosa he has a flickr account too.. lalawag asks  can he do more?

kmart

-Recently Izea launched a online marketing campaign for Kmart. Kmart would give $500 gift cards to bloggers, who would then blog about their experience. Jeremiah Owyang wrote a great piece about how sponsored blog posts are becoming more common.

-Jeremiah’s piece questioned several things about this type of marketing. Which Chris Brogan quickly  replied to.

rox

-Roxanne Darling did a great post called How Ford Can Ramp Up It’s Social Media Turnaround Story of 2009 it is a list of ideas how Ford can turn it around by using social media.  Roxanne will be speaking at SVAMA on January 28th, check her out if your in the Bay Area. I will be there.

-One of the best conferences I went to in 2008 was BlogWell. It was several case studies on the use of Social Media by companies like Home Depot,  Graco, UPS and many more.  In January 22nd   they will having a BlogWell in Chicago with case studies by Allstate, H&R Block, Mayo Clinic, Procter & Gamble, Walmart and others.  If are intrested in going here is a 15% off discount code: Daveiscool . Hey I did not pick it.

That is it for now! Have a great weekend!


December 19, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:,
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Its Just A Virtual World With Real Money!

Its Just A Virtual World With Real Money!

virtual-theft

Would you pay good money for:

-Something you can not hold?

-Something you can not touch?

-Something you can not smell?

-Something you can not take with you?

What’s that? No? Me either. Yet we do it all the time. Let us review it in list form, people like lists:

-In Facebook people can give virtual gifts to friends by  paying real money for virtual credits.

-In Second Life people make a living by creating virtual clothes and goods. People also pay real money for virtual land.

-In World Of Warcraft there  is a whole secondary market where people who have set up businesses  selling virtual gold coins to people so they can buy virtual goods in the game.

The list goes on and on… crazy right?

This is bigger then playing games on line or networking with friends. Companies need to start thinking outside the box and starting embracing these new ways that people interact and consume products. Brands need to do more then buy  a commercial on tv, a radio spot, or a print ad. Consumers are more then ever interacting with brands directly and in different ways. People are spending real money on virtual items and spending real time in virtual environments with brands

Lets look at some examples of how companies use virtual goods and worlds to increase brand awareness and/or generate more revue:

- On top of the monthly fees World Of  Warcraft users are spending up to $10.00 extra for a limted edition virtual pet to use in the game. They sold out.

wow

-Facebook users sold out limted edition virtual New York Times newspapers that had the headline of Obama Wins.

nyt

-Club Penigun has created its whole business model around kids paying a membership so they can earn virtual coins to buy virtual goods to decorate their virtual homes..(follow that one?) It is so successful Disney bought them. They paid with real money, not virtual.

1021_halloween-lg

MTV has created entire virtual worlds around their tv shows. Even though MTV airs the same episodes 8 times a day, users want to spend more time with the brand. They log into a virtual world based on the show. They cant get enough. It is so successful they now have over 5 virtual worlds based on their tv shows.

promo_hills

Wells Fargo Bank create an entire virtual world and active community to help educate youth on banking called StageCoach Island This includes a community site and blog. It has been so successful it has been around for over 2 years.

header_cassiesblog

So have I made my point? Let me say it again. Companies, brands, businesses, etc need to think and market in new ways. Virtual goods and virtual environments is one way to do it. Wheather they are spending money to buy virtual goods that represent a brand or logging into a virtual world to spend more time with the brand, it is another way to build brand loyalty.

December 16, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , , , , , ,
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Your Week In Review

Your Week In Review

Thought I would try something different and share what I have been reading, researching, working on, or just excited about.  Since I have been lagging with my Facebook and Twitter posts.  Of course I will do this in list form because people like lists!

-The Social Media Expert Question How do I become a Social Media Expert? I get the question a lot Here is CC Chapman’s response to the term. I thought he nailed it very well

-Do Brands Belong on Twitter? Here is a very different take on the question.  I don’t agree with all his points, especially banning them altogether.  The author makes some great points though.

-10 Tips For Getting New Twitter Followers His tips are excellent and right to the point. Its worth a read.

-General Mills’ Pssst…is a Weak Stab at Branded Community GM gets a gold star for trying, but its a swing and a miss. Trying to build an online community is not as easy as it seems. Check out Paul’s review.

-BlogWorld & New Media Expo Now One Super Huge Event! About time! This is a great move for both! This makes me fired up to go. Some of you may remember my review of New Media Expo , on my other blog. It got some interesting feedback.

-SXSW is coming. Its one of the biggest and the best. Are you going?

-Community 2.0 is a great conference coming up in May 2009 you may want to check out. I am thrilled to be part of it.

Let me know if you like this Week In Review format. If so, I will do my best to keep doing it. It is always good to try something new!

Have  a Great Weekend!

December 12, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , ,
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How Do I build A Brand Online?

How Do I build A Brand Online?

Have you heard the term ” Online Branding” and wonder what the heck it means? Let’s start with what  a brand  can be. It can be:

-a symbol

-a name

-a term

-a sign

-a design

- or any combination of those

So you have figured out what the base of your brand will be. Now you need to build it up online. Get the word how so to speak.

When your try to build or create a brand online you want to take certain steps to help make this happen. What are those steps? I will share with you some of what I consider the basic building blocks.  Let’s see, how should I share these with you? I know let’s do it in list form, people like lists..

-You should have a website that  follows  K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple Stupid). It should be clear and to the point. Let visitors know who you are, what you’re about, what you do and why it should matter to them.(my father in laws favorite point) Oh and the website should look good. Remember it reflects your brand. It is the first thing people see when they are learning about you.

-Something that drives me nuts, companies who try to push their brand online via twitter with a company logo. Come on.. a company does not blog, share, or do things. It is the people behind the company that do it. I want to know them. So put a picture of a real life person up on the page. I want to see who I am talking to. It helps people well, bond.

-Leave comments, post to forums and message boards.  If you are trying to sell soda, go to a soda forum and join the conversation. Now when your there don’t just push your product. You need to help others and give good information. Maybe post links where people can find the info they are looking for. Join the conversation.

-Pictures, people like pictures. Show people what you are doing. Where you are located. Give them a picture to associate with. Like this:

-Either create a  fan page on Facebook or a newsletter. Heck do both. Let people join in and feel like they are part of something. Make it a community.

-When you are blogging, tweeting, updating your status, plurking, etc.. talk to your users. Do not lecture them. Do not post just about your product.  Make it a two way conversation. It is about building relationships.

Remember your message about your brand should be consistent.  Oh and  you need to understand the likes and dislikes of your target demographic.  This I learned from  Harvard Business Review on Marketing which Chris Brogan told me read.

How would you build a brand online?

December 11, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , ,
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Let The Social Networking Deadpool begin..

Let The Social Networking Deadpool begin..

Will the cream rise to the top?

Will the companies with a good business model be the ones to survive?

How will this all go down?

In the last two weeks:

Pownce will no longer exist .

Facebook made a play for Twitter.

Are these the signs of what is to come?

Now in all fairness the company was acquired and key employees will move over to Six Apart. This got me thinking, who are the next social networking companies that we will see absorbed?  Will it be Plurk? Brightkite? Tumblr? Identi.ca?

Are these companies even making money?

I took this question to Linkedin, a site I think will survive, and here are some of the responses. I will put them in list form, because people like lists:

Pierre-Loïc Assayag:

“No doubt that there will be many more. Any company that has been caught between rounds of funding and doesn’t have the ability to quickly replace venture money by revenue is in deep trouble.
That said I don’t buy into any of the dooming predictions around social media, quite the opposite, this crisis may well accelerate the transition to a post mass media era and as my grand ma’ told me “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger”: those who survive will have figured out ways to build a strong business.”

Octavio Ballesta:

“I don´t think so. Social networks will survive and will grow healthier during the recession.

I envision that most of the social networks sites will disappear due to the high fragmentation of the market and to the difficulty of being profitable for the long term, and that bigger networks will have a strong growth, particularly those social networks oriented to professional themes like Linkedin.

In these times of economic recession where higher rates of unemployment will encourage the intensive development of initiatives of personal branding, tools like thematic blogs and social networks as Linkedin, will be the preferred tools to create a solid reputation in the network that help to these professionals to be hired again.

In the next years Linkedin will prove be even more useful and cost-efficient than any of the typical job boards like Monster or Careerbuilder to search quickly and precisely for talent to be hired. As a consequence of these competitive pressures job boards to remain competitive surely will include in the short term some of the features that are characteristic from social networks in order to enhance their audiences, features, capabilities and customer satisfaction.

Linkedin has the advantage that both recruiters as active and passive job applicants can belong freely to this professional network and propitiate so, different kind of interactions, promote personal branding, share knowledge and achieve visibility.”

Ari Herzog:

“Keep in mind this “recession” was around for a year. Pownce was doomed for failure long before Twitter bought Summize, though Twitter’s popularity helped Pownce’s loss. Tumblr and Posterous will survive; Jaiku is doubtful.

Like others responded, some will stay and some will go. Ultimately it’s about the people. If enough people like something, it will stay. If more than enough people continue to join, the network will innovate, such as Facebook Connect, Typepad Connect, and LinkedIn Applications.

If anything, new tools will be created rather than current ones closing shop.”


What do you think?

December 2, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , , ,
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I Have Said It Once And I Will Say It Again…Content Is King

As I do every morning I go over my blog reader and catch up on my blog reading. This post from Advertising Age caught my eye:

AT&T’s iJustine Web Series Doesn’t Exactly Go Viral

YouTube Stars as Spokesmodels May not Be Such a Great Idea After All

What do you do if you’re a big mobile carrier hoping to connect with digital youth? Tap a YouTube “star” and a popular blogger to extol the virtues of AT&T mobile phones.

The premise of AT&T's series is that iJustine and blogger Karen Nguyen get lost together in various locales such as Austin and Anchorage, and have to solve various mysteries of their surroundings using AT&T phones.
The premise of AT&T’s series is that iJustine and blogger Karen Nguyen get lost together in various locales such as Austin and Anchorage, and have to solve various mysteries of their surroundings using AT&T phones.


That was the idea behind AT&T’s “Lost in America” campaign with iJustine (Justine Ezarik) and blogger Karen Nguyen. But the result is an example of how YouTube fame tends not to translate outside the world of “Fred,” “kevjumba” and “sxephil.”

The premise of the series is that the two get lost together in various locales such as Austin and Anchorage, and have to solve various mysteries of their surroundings using AT&T phones (“It is a slick phone; it’s so tiny!”).

So far, AT&T and its vloggers have published 11 episodes, produced by Tremor Media, but it’s hard to imagine anyone watching more than one, if that. The series is heavy on AT&T, but light on storyline, unless you find it interesting that Justine could be booted out of the competition if she drops her phone a fifth time.

After two weeks, the series had generated just 31,000 views across YouTube, MySpace and four other sites, according to web video distribution firm Tubemogul. The only reason they racked up that many is that iJustine posted episodes one and six on her blog, bringing in 20,000 of that total.

Okay if you want to read more about the article just follow the link up top.

So why am I sharing this? To make the point again that content is king. This campaign seems to have everything it needed to be huge.  There was (in list form of course, cause people like lists):

-Ijustine (a very popular personality on the web)

-Karen Nguyen

-AT&T

-Use of video that can go viral

So what went wrong? In my opinion not knowing any of the folks involved directly other then Ijustine (full disclosure:I have known her for a few years very casually, as most social media folks do) is content.

The finished content was just okay.   It really didn’t grab you. It didn’t make me want to check back in each episode.  I didn’t feel at least two emotions It didn’t make me really feel the need to see what was happening each episode. I just did not care.

Now in all fairness what they did was really well done and hey 30,000+ views is nothing to sneeze at. (Though an average Ijustine video alone gets around 20,000 views like this one of her dead fish, they were hoping for a lot more no doubt.)

Plus, look I am blogging about it, so there is all the online chatter that needs to be taking into consideration.

One thing of social media note, I do find interesting is that I was really unaware of this campaign till the Ad Age blog post. It makes me wonder was there a social media competent to it? Were any social networking sites involved? Blogger outreach? Also how can i send the video to friends, I do not see a way to forward the content on from the video page.

So my point was it as Ad Age makes it seem a total bust? No. Could it have had better content and a stronger social media competent? Yes.

November 25, 2008 By : Category : Blog Tags:, , , ,
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