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I recently read an article by Chris Brogan about how he would do things if he had to start a new business from scratch. As an entrepreneur (and regular day dreamer) I really enjoyed reading that and it made me think about how we sometimes get stuck in a rut in day to day life. Follow the jump and find some tips on how to enjoy your job and life more!
There’s a big flurry of action around Social Media in South Africa at the moment.
It seems that Twitter and Facebook has finally become mainstream over the past year, and clients are asking more and more about integrating social media into their existing campaigns. The question that one has to ask however, is “Why would you want to do it?”.
This morning I noticed something new in Gmail – Google Buzz. Think along the lines of your Facebook News Feed. First thing you need to do is look at your privacy settings. By default it seems to share Picasa pics, your shared Google Reader items and status updates from GTalk and it’s linked to your Google Profile.
Your Google Profile has now also been expanded with some additional features that are linked to Buzz. Easy ability to share content, links, interests and a personalised URL. I just don’t like the fact that your static URL is not customisable and it uses your email address (the part before the @ sign) as URL.
It seems like a mixmatch of things that starts to compete with Facebook, but it’s not all available in once place. So you’ll ask, what’s the point? Is it Google trying to increase the amount of information they already have about their users (cue conspiracy theory)? Or are we going to see a Facebook competitor one of these days?
At first I thought Google brought Google Wave into Gmail. It might have been an interesting match by adding some additional features to Gmail, but in my opinion Google Wave is a failure. It might be one of those cases that the average Joe just doesn’t get it, and in cases even tech savvy users, but I have just not seen the value at all.
Google has the money to play around with lots of things and this is probably just another foray into looking at tools that might gain traction (especially when their features are very similar to what users are used to with Facebook). I think small things like these, lead to big things and believe me a lot of analytics will go into these new features to see how people adopt it.
The question is, do we need another Facebook and can Facebook be bettered? Will anyone even care?
I say competition is healthy, let the games begin!
Having done various campaigns for clients, we’re excited about the possibilities that Social Media Marketing offer to our clients. In fact, we’re able to give our clients some control and responsibility in the matter of managing their profiles online. Social Media spaces like FaceBook, Twitter and LinkedIn are but a few areas where different aspects of your business can be marketed. Not all businesses will benefit from this kind of marketing, but these tools enable a different level of interactivity and social conversation with your target markets that was never before possible.
As a case study we’ve created a Facebook Fan Page for a local Cape Town Catering Company. Having suffered the slowdown in business through the current economic climate, we thought it a sin that food that good go to waste and decided to share. If you’re in the Cape Town area, make sure to book them for your next corporate or private function.
We want to document the case study here, to see what impact each of these has on business for them, without going into detail on how exactly we went about things. For that you’d have to hire us of course
Now we haven’t really touched their website apart from loading some Facebook fan boxes as we want to see what influence each piece of the puzzle will have separately.
Oh yes I forgot to mention, our cashless friend needs to eat, so he’s agreed to help promote them for a delicious vegetarian meal now and then… Will try and link to his feedback through our updates as that will have some impact as well.
Be sure to return soon for Part 2, and if you have tips, comment here! Please ReTweet!
So finally it happened. This is something I wrote about in April and it seemed inevitable that Google would integrate Twitter and now it’s happening (and the same for Bing).
Well an agreement was reached. We don’t see it within results as of yet, but it’s going to be interesting times for SEO and how they would be filtering through a lot of spam (to gain top results) to show ‘legit’ results. In fact how on earth would Google and Bing determine what is spam and what is not?
What if someone wrote a simple little ping API that pushes a tweet on a competitive topic out each few minutes? Sure, I guess Twitter’s spam scripts are improving, but now all of online marketing industry has lots to talk about.
Even though Twitter’s traffic seems to be in a downturn (in the US) at least this would probably breath a lot of new life into them.
I’m going to go through a few things that are important in today’s day and age when doing email marketing campaigns. Whether it’s a one off campaign or your general company newsletter, there are a few things that you can do to improve deliverability and response on your campaigns.
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So, it seems Kumo is actually Bing, but there are some features that I’m not seeing in Bing yet as per my previous reference to the screenshot of an internal beta named Kumo at Microsoft. Not sure at all whether this was the same project, but there are some similarities.
It looks pretty nice, clean, fast and user friendly. I also like the excerpt feature that shows a small snippet of the website content when you hover to the right of search results.
Further if available they show related searches to the left of the results, which I think is pretty cool to quickly zone in on alternate queries that could give better results.
In fact searching for ‘South Africa’ produces alternate suggestions like ‘Map of South Africa’, ‘Johannesburg’, ‘Cape Town South Africa’ (Good to see we feature etc. I like…
Another hidden feature you’ll find under extras (link top right) where there’s a link to Bing Community Beta, which looks pretty boring. Can’t really see anything new and innovative there right away.
Results are pretty fast, but will it trump Google? Not sure. If they open up their advertising system globally, I believe they will have much bigger uptake. Since publishers are making money from Google, they will stay loyal.
Come on Microsoft, give your publishers 30% of advertising revenue and see what happens!!
The question is, what could any new search engine possibly do that would make users move from Google other than pay them to do so?
Plaxo has slowly been upgrading their network to be more of a social network, and it’s actually growing on me. Plaxo’s been around for ages and at one point it irritated the hell out of me because of their covert tactics to increase their network. It felt as if one didn’t have a choice in the early days and the emails were intrusive, but I think as social media grew, people are more open to share their profiles and business contact information.
And now, it’s quite intriguing to browse through the ‘possible people you might know’ and connect again. The nice thing is that I’m finding people that I have dealt with professionally years ago (because of Plaxo’s age) and linking up again.
In the current economic times, this is great. It will be interesting to see whether they can compete with Linked In over time as I think they are doing something right at the moment…
It has been confirmed that Google is in talks with Twitter about a real time search engine. This would bring about a lot of value to search results, but also some concerns about how it would be managed.
Twitter unfortunately don’t have a current way of deferring spam, except for a subtle reporting of abuse via email or @abuse tweet. What will keep shady marketers from continuously polling twitter on certain topics to increase traffic?
I am however certain of the fact that Google will employ various algorythms to weed out spam, as they’re doing with conventional search results, but it will be interesting to see how they go about it.
I don’t think an outright sale is on the cards, but we could well see a live feed being sourced to Google for producing faster results. As mentioned in the Tech Crunch article, if Google doesn’t receive a live feed the feasibility of such a deal will be worse off, as Twitter depend on real time results and that is what will make it most useful to Google Users.
Things to keep in mind on integration:
- Will there be a limit on frequency of Tweets by unique users indexed or frequency on a specific topic/keyword?
- Will users be able to reply/retweet etc directly from Google Results (if they’re logged into Twitter)?
- Will power users have the ability to track topics (this will be great – maybe with Google Alerts)?
- How will the integration impact Twitters current ability to manage traffic / uptime?
- Give me your thoughts!
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