Category Archives for Social Media

What’s your brand?

The Economist recently had an article noting the rise of the “faceless bosses”. Outsized personalities such as Jack Welch and Robert Nardelli are gone or retired. Carly Fiorina has turned her attention to politics.

While clearly, in today’s turbulent times, keeping your head down is attractive, I found this article an odd juxtaposition with the revolution in branding that social media is creating. Corporate branding, ho hum, personal branding is what is hot. If you haven’t figured out, you are brandU. What we say and do on twitter, facebook and our blogs becomes part of the gestalt that defines the online perception of who we are and what we have to offer.

So what does your brand say about you? Is it disorganized and not clear? Show me yours! As someone whose brand is not as together as I would like, I would love to see a a great example. Just post your URL or social media handle

FTC new guidelines on product reviews in blogs

This just in. I just heard on NPR that the FTC has released new guidelines regarding blogs that “endorse” products. Product reviews is a common blog post, popular with searchers who are researching a potential purchase, and yes bloggers sometimes get paid for the reviews or at least get free stuff. The FTC thinks these relationships the bloggers have with companies, need to be fully disclosed. Fines can be pretty hefty, up to $11,000 per infraction.

Not surprisingly, the twittersphere has picked up on it quickly. I found a tweet pointing to a cnet article discussing the impact on twitter and facebook users.

Seems that affiliate links is outside the scope of these new guidelines, but more careful reading is needed.

What is Web 2.0 anyway? What’s next?

What’s next after Web 2.0? Cloud Computing? Maybe. The Semantic Web? Possibly. The problem with defining what’s next, is that Web 2.0 wasn’t a distinct new technology but is better described as a social movement. The technologies that sprung up to facilitate this new model of user interaction were a collection of re-purposed old technologies with some new, but I can’t think of any that were fundamentally paradigm shifts.

A few months ago I was hiring. I was looking for some engineers for a contract. One resume that crossed my desk listed as a skill, “Web 2.0”. I posted to facebook, what does this mean? The answer from one of my friends, “it means that they surf all day”. Given the ease one can lose hours to “facebooking”, there is a ring of truth in this. 1 in 8 couples married this year met through social media. Think about it.

My point though, is that Web 2.0 isn’t really a technical skill set. Perhaps the job applicant meant to say AJAX or Drupal. But there isn’t a technology one can put their finger on as *the* Web 2.0 technology.

The wikipedia entry for web 2.0 is a good read. The Criticism section points out that many of the ideas that Web 2.0 were already implemented. The article in general supports my contention that web 2.0 is a social revolution not a technological one. Content creation power was placed into everyone’s hands. Networking online got taken up to a new level.

So what’s next? One thing I think bears watching is the possible fragmentation of the web, at least from the search perspective. Google web search is only one way to find things. You can discover sites through social networking, youtube and twitter search. Communities that focus on niches are becoming more prevalent (although they have always been there).

Regardless, it will take us a while to digest Web 2.0 and the next really big thing could be some time in coming. Although I’m sure there is someone out there working to prove me wrong.

Social Media Revolution

Lots of thoughts provoking stats, set to music by Fatboy Slim.

Twitter’s summer

Twitter is certainly having a momentous summer. There was the recent DDOS (distributed denial of service) attacks, that rendered it inoperative. And the battle lines between it and facebook became more clearly drawn. Twitter is definitively morphing before our eyes, as I recently alluded to in my “lost its shine” post, but the question is into what?

The two trends to watch are use of twitter for branding, as Martha Stewart has, and the its search engine.

If you haven’t jumped yet onto the twitter bandwagon, check out this blog post I got from the Web 2.0 group on LinkedIn, an excellent group of links on using twitter.

Web 2.0 directory

For a guide to many of the web 2.0 sites out there, check out the go2web2.0 application and tools directory. It’s an overwhelming list but an interesting browse. Unfortunately there is no real indicator that separates out the relevant and “must know about” from the obscure. For example, in the social category: digg is lumped with a bunch of other sites I have never heard of.   The lesser known sites tend to be very niche focused (for example: steepster – tea drinkers unite)

If you click through the site icon, there is a short description and you can get a sense of the buzz about the site, as tweets, blogs and youtube videos that reference the web2.0 site are displayed.  If you are willing to spend a bit of time, you can discover all sorts of interesting sites.

Has Twitter lost its shine?

Interesting thing about observing trends, you can watch move them through groups as a wave.   Let’s take twitter for example, it first became popular with the tech hip as a cool way to share just about anything, in 140 characters or less.   I loved twitter at events such as the Web2.0 expo, following the instantaneous commentary on the speakers, and of course knowing where the cool party was.

In the last six months, it’s become the latest must have tool for entrepreneurial marketing.  Talks about using social media for marketing your business have become a staple at business networking events.   And with good reason, MarketOutLoud filled seats for it’s marketing events with it’s facebook connections.   Some became social media divas.  For the savvy it’s been a great lead generation tool.

But twitter has recently become less fun to use, at least for me.  It seems like every day I get a follow request from someone that has less than 40 updates (boring!), or even worse, zero.   And people that I chose to follow, immediately DM’ed me with a tweet with a link to their product.  These get unfollowed really quickly.

On the other hand, facebook which I initially didn’t like much has become a better place to hang out, I have enough friends who post interesting things to catch my interest.   The walled garden aspect of facebook, derided with frustration by some, seems to keep the riffraff out, the quality connections in.

And surprisingly, teenagers, a group you would have thought been the early adopters, don’t use twitter either. As my son’s sniffs “my Dad uses twitter”.

So if you have never used twitter, is it safe to ignore it now?  Absolutely, not.  Twitter is still a major force to be reckoned with.  As evidenced by the recent Iranian election unrest, twitter is where the news breaks first.  Fast breaking events that grab broad interest is where twitter shines, and it can be an excellent way to search for news.   And there are influencers in the twittersphere that can direct significant traffic, if you want to play in the twitterspace for business reasons, at the very least find the ones in your industry to keep a pulse on your market.

And if you didn’t know what a DM was, it’s high time you figured it out.

Basic Blogging and your own place online

People will always have their own opinions about something. The great thing about self-expression these days is that anyone can be able to get themselves published through the Internet. Just start blogging and you have your own place in the World Wide Web, which can help you rant all you can, share your knowledge, share your life, or just simply to share your thoughts. People trying to make a living off internet marketing also tend to try blogging to gain an audience and make money.

A blog is a short reference to web log, which can be likened to a diary or journal. The major difference is that this one is for the public’s eye. If you have something in mind that you want to share to the whole world, you can do so through your own blog.

There are a host of media one blogger can use like articles, images, video clips, or digital photos in making one’s blog more interesting. The blog can be about certain topics on which the blogger has a lot of brilliant ideas about. Any one blog can be a host to many links to whatever the author of the blog finds useful or interesting online.

Blogs can be about a mom’s adventures with taking care of her baby and other kids. Others may be about travel adventures, gadgets, movies, shopping, or tutorials of sorts. There are many ways one can make use of blogging. What’s best about this is that one can sign up anytime for an account for free.

Blogging has become very popular that there may be thousands upon thousands (or even millions!) already floating around the Internet now. Many of those that have become popular have visitors that regularly go to their sites for updates. These sites often have very good site traffic that could earn them some income.

Blogs have already existed as early as the mid 1990s but it is only recently that people have begun to embrace its potential. These days, blogs are considered mainstream media, which business-minded people use to do marketing, and which many people use for spreading informative articles like news.

Since people have found blogs, people have found ways to monetize them. If you are already established as a blogger and your site is fetching really good traffic regularly, then you may have already started to employ Internet advertisements to your web pages.

During the earlier days of doing ads online, probably the most popular forms of advertising were in the form of banners and pop-ups. But since so many sites are now online, and people have grown tired of being disturbed when they are reading or browsing, the way businesses advertise through blogs or websites has changed, evolved, or adapted.

When you have ads in your blog, you will be able to get some commission from the providers whenever your visitors click on the links. This can be tracked and you get paid depending on the policies set by the merchant or ad provider.

Blogging will continue to be that great medium for people to express themselves, but it will most likely grow even more into this medium for people to promote products or services, for free.

Article brought to you by CodingElite

bloggers revolt against AP

The A. P. (Associated Press) took a very strict position with bloggers quoting it’s new articles.  Essentially the position is “don’t”.   Check the techcrunch post on the topic. Wonder what this means for digg?