Buying Likes

9 May

Recently,  I was reading some Facebook posts by some bloggers that I know, and an interesting topic came up.  “Like Buying” on Facebook.

The long story short, is that on Facebook’s new timeline layout, you can see where your favorite brand page’s likes come from.  Why this is interesting, is that if you search any of your favorite pages on Facebook, you can see “How I met your Mother” is has the most likes from Istanbul Turkey. Or you can check out your favorite bloggers fanpage and see that their readers are not in fact US based, but rather in a remote village in NE Russia.

As a brand, I personally don’t think likes or page views are the most important way to determine if the blogger is going to be a success.  I think that in many cases, it is just as important to have an idea of how that blogger interacts with  you and other brands.  As well as how much the blogger’s audience interacts with them.  If they can’t tell you a lot about their audience or why  your product would work for their audience, you probably should think twice before partnering.

Seriously London 2012?

27 Apr

If you haven’t heard, the London Olympics Committee is prohibiting folks from taking their own pictures and posting them to their own social media sites.  Here is the fine print of what a ticket purchase means:

19.6.3- Images, video and sound recordings of the Games taken by a Ticket Holder cannot be used for any purpose other than for private and domestic purposes and a Ticket Holder may not license, broadcast or publish video and/or sound recordings, including on social networking websites and the internet more generally, and may not exploit images, video and/or sound recordings for commercial purposes under any circumstances, whether on the internet or otherwise, or make them available to third parties for commercial purposes

I don’t get it!  So you can take a picture with your digital camera, but you can never upload those images to your social network?  I’m sorry but what century do these guys live in?  I’m not saying the world had to revolve around social media, but let’s be honest- social media is our scrap book.  It’s where a majority of the population records their life: in pictures, quotes, sounds and video.  What’s the point of going to a major event if you are not allowed to take a picture and share it with friends and family who couldn’t go?

Heck- the photo album and digital life scrapbook I have on Facebook is one of the reasons it’s taken me so long (and still will) to get going with Google+.  Saying this out loud around my parents may make me sound like a freak, but here on the internet, I feel I can comfortably say this- “My life is recorded in Facebook posts and shares and pictures”.  That’s not to say I can’t live without it, but it is an intricate part of how I live my life.  After we called all our immediate family members, it was how we announced our engagement (one of the reasons I’ve been absent from this blog).  It’s how I can connect daily with the people I love and care about, without needing to know every detail.  It’s how I’ve reconnected with friends and family throughout the years, because for some reason, I am post office phobic.

 

Now I realize this is language that is very similar to what is being shared on most tickets for most events.  Clearly, you don’t want people selling photos or videos who did not pay their due share to the organizing committee.  However, I know what the Olympics look like on television, and frankly, I don’t know if I ever want to go (I get my fix from the replays and more).  But from a brand perspective, wouldn’t you want people constantly sharing with their friends just how much fun they are having at the Olympics?  If my understanding of events like this is correct, you go for the atmosphere, which is something that is much better retold by someone who is enjoying themselves that I know, rather than NBC (in the US) having their Today Show corespondents doing things that I won’t get to do- even if I paid to go.

This is the moment where I wish old brands would pull their heads out of their behinds and realize the internet is their friend.  Social Media would make your games more exciting.  And yes, you won’t be able to control every message that comes out, but you may just seem way cooler if you had allowed for social media interaction!

What are your thoughts on live events trying to limit social media interaction- and what are some good examples of the people who do it right?

Tuesday Quick Run Down

24 Apr

I’m not ashamed to admit that I spent the first 5 minutes of this morning playing with the zipper on Google! Every once in awhile, it’s a good remind to stop searching via your tool bar and to actually type in Google.com and get the homepage.

It’s fun, you should go check it out.  I dare you not to play with it ;). And that’s what she said!

 

That is all for now, you may return to your regularly scheduled blog.

What is your Audience Worth?

23 Apr

Facebook filed an amendment to their S-1, and according to Tech Cruch, each Facebook user is worth an average of $1.21 a quarter.  As they go public, their goal will be to increase the value that each user has.  They won’t necessarily be able to rely on rapid user growth and will need to find innovative ways of continuing to grow the company’s product options.

But what does this have to do with anyone outside of Facebook?

The answer is simple- your site is only as good as it’s product offering.  That Facebook has a value that is positive for a product it does not charge it’s users for, is indicative of the usefulness of the internet.  If you have a site that provides value- users will follow.  If users grow, your ability to bring in revenue based on these users grow. It’s a fairly symbiotic relationship.  But it’s only useful, in a monetary sense, if you know what your audience wants and who they are.

If you do not know who your audience is, you can’t begin to expect to make money off of your site.  Moreover, life in general, requires that we know our audience.  If there’s one lesson that more and more people should know, it’s exactly how vital your knowledge of your audience is to success.

You may have started your blog with an idea to target a specific region (I’ve spoken with a lot of bloggers about this) and find that when you pull your Google Analytics numbers, that you’ve started to hit a different city altogether.  Or you might think your audience is primarily older young moms, until you run a survey and find out that single women are actually your biggest readers.  In either situation, if you keep blogging for the audience you think you have, rather than the audience you have, you devalue your entire site and the worth of your audience.  Not because they are less valuable- but because you don’t know how to express your audience to the sponsors, ad agencies, and brands you are reaching out to.

It seems like such a simple concept- know your audience, know your worth, just plain and simple- know!   Your site is only going to be as successful as the information you have access to exploit.  This is running theme in every piece of business advice I hear, in every critique of a failing business I read about, and every path for someone to do far better than they currently are.

Part of the reason Facebook has been able to be as successful as they currently are, is that they learned to pivot quickly as they learned about their business.  And they constantly learned about their audience and data value.

And let’s get something straight- value isn’t just a large number of followers, a combine readership of hundreds of thousands of people.  Value can be having 100 great audience members who are also influencers and able to spread your message even further.   It’s about your audiences’ wiliness to actually take action on the message you have presented.  Imagine if you were trying to sell televisions to the Amish- it doesn’t matter if you had ever Amish person in the room- you’d likely fail in the endeavor.

Know your audience, know your value!

Loving my Library’s Digital Library!

8 Dec

I’m back guys and gals.  Sorry it’s been so long.  Not sure where the past couple of months have gone.  I think they’ve gone into the depths of personal life, professional life, and non-existent personal internet life. And when I mean my personal internet life has been non-existent, I mean I haven’t been on twitter, barely on my live journal fandom pages, and haven’t even really been following tv spoilers.  Fun fact about me- way back in the day (circa- 1998, I was forced to go to school when I really wanted to stay at home and watch my stories…haha) I would log on AOL and go to the Soap Opera chat rooms, finding out spoilers (a word I learned about from them) for the next day’s episode, while reading a re-cap.  Fun times

This lack of internet time has had one small upside.  By the end of the day, I’ve been so burnt out on my professional endeavors on the internet that I needed to find a little more time to read.  Plus- with a vacation upcoming, I needed to find more books.  I finally decided it was about time I checked out my local library’s online book check-out for ereaders.  I have a Nook, which I do really enjoy using (but hate the cost of books- I read way too quickly).  So, tracked down my local library instructions, dusted off my library card, and logged-in.

Continue reading

Qwikster- the new word for business suicide?

20 Sep

Everyone was talking about it yesterday- the wonderfully ridiculous name that Netflix decided upon for it’s split DVD service “Qwikster”.   I had already decided that I would cut my streaming at the beginning of this month- with Cable and the restrictions Netflix was facing, I just frankly was not watching it enough.  That said, I thought I’d keep my DVD rentals around, because the recommendations were great, the foreign movie selection was awesome, and the price was still decent.  But- with the move to Qwikster, I’ve just decided I can’t trust Netflix to make wise business decisions.   It seems to me that not only was this a shotgun decision- meant to pacify investors and prove to them that Netflix had some idea of what they were doing earlier this summer when they adjusted prices, but that it was a decision made without really consulting the marketing staff.

Why on earth would you pick a new name for a brand and not verify it on Twitter?  Furthermore, why would you sacrifice your brand equity (the name) for the sake of confusing customers and not making the process simpler.  And by the way- the red envelope you send things in, Mr. CEO isn’t enough for me to trust your Qwikster scheme.  Well- you’d make these decisions (I’ve seen written on the Internetz) if you were trying to kill your business.  It seems that Netflix is only interested in being in the streaming business, and by making this ridiculous proposition, they are basically begging the consumer to drop the service.  That is the only logic explanation I can agree with.  The alternative is that you have a management team that did not understand its own brand, why people get the Disc option, and what they are looking for.

Netflix- your strength was that I had a one stop shop to find all the movies in the world that I wanted to watch. And you had an amazing capability of telling me what I would like.  Now- if I were to continue to use you, I would have to swap between two different venues to actually use find the best way for me to watch the movies you’ve recommended.

Meanwhile, I hope that Mr. Qwikster on Twitter holds out on his name and demands millions for it.  Let’s see how bad Netflix Qwikster wants it….

 

 

Hosting a Lounge at a Conference

24 Aug

In the past month, I’ve attended the ever popular with brands- BlogHer and the newly minted 20 Something Blogger Summit (20sbsummit).  The bloggers at both events, were great, as were the speakers.  However, the difference in lounges and brand outreach was completely unique (and that was by design I’m sure).

As a tech/geek gal, I’m someone who obviously would skip the fashion or toy lounges for the tech lounges.   While out at BlogHer, I went to two lounges (HTC and LG) and had a completely different experience than I did at the Lenovo Lounge at 20sbsummit. All were unique in how they were reaching individuals.

HTC had a very aesthetically pleasing room.  Along the lines of their green color branding, you felt like you walked into a stone spa- that just happened to also have tablets and phones.  In the back, they were hosting oh so secret focus groups and to the back right, they had massages.  While I thoroughly enjoyed my message and the tranquil beauty of the lounge.  I did find that the individuals in the lounge were lacking in knowledge of the products on display, and didn’t really want to carry on a full conversation (At least when I was there- which in all fairness was the last day of the conference-among the final hours).  The thing was, this warm and welcoming environment did bring in several women to the Lounge.  This, as opposed to the LG lounge which was fairly bare and unexciting.  However, I spent a ton of time in the lounge speaking with the LG Rep who worked specifically for LG (not a PR rep from a firm) and could share stories about his own experiences and more.   Finally, there was the Lenovo Lounge which was warm and inviting and had a good mixture of people to talk to and great conversation.

From this experience, I really took a few things away.  The first is that there is no replacement for having actually company representatives who understand the product and are inviting.  Basically, you want your best brand advocates.  Also- please don’t send people who don’t understand the demographic.  BlogHer had a ton of different brands, but I can tell you there was one brand in particular that left a sour taste in a lot of people’s mouths because they just didn’t interact well with others.  That obviously becomes a problem, because as a brand, you are there to help other people learn more about your company.  If you can’t be inviting and engaging, you probably are doing more harm than good.

Either way, the Lenovo Lounge at 20sbsummit probably get’s my favorite vote with LG and than HTC following.  To me, content will always be more important than style, but a marriage of the two is ideal for everyone involved. I spent over an hour and a half in the Lenovo Lounge playing around with the new ThinkPad Tablet (which OMG guys, I totally want one. It’s so lovely and productive, and awesome) and eventually chatting with the amazing Kionna Coleman (one of their wonderful Social Media Reps).  Before this, I am completely ashamed to say that I only vaguely knew about Lenovo.  But they’ve done an amazing job with their tablet line, and I look forward to seeing them go head to head with the Apple iPad.

And being completely honest, before the events, I was on board and seriously considering the HTC Flyer.  However, after my experience in the HTC Lounge versus LG versus Lenovo- I honestly think the ThinkPad Tablet is my top choice  in my pursuit to give up my silly little smart phone.

Giving up my Smart Phone?

23 Aug

Alright my lovely peeps.  Here’s the deal. I  hate how much I pay for my smart phone.  I hate it with a passion, particularly now that Verizon has decided that in the future (when I renew) I will no longer be able to go past the 2GB limit they’ve put in place.

I know for most, this isn’t something that is a big deal.  After all, you probably surf the web a bit from your smart phone and go home and use your internet like a regular person.  My problem? I freaking commute about 3 hours roundtrip each day.  By train.  I have a Sirius XM in my car and on my phone (I pay the 1.99 or so for online access- that I use at work and wherever. Listening to on Broadway right now).  If it’s a slow afternoon and I want to read a book, I stream that constantly.  I have a beta to Google Music which I stream every morning to help me sleep while on the train.  I watch Netflix/Slingbox occasionally to catch up with shows and movies my commute does not give me time for.

I understand the rationale of data hogs out there, and that this is meant to slow us down. But here’s the deal, my mom- who decided she needed a smart phone when I got one, barely uses .5gb a month.  My 17 year old brother who just got his smartphone uses maybe 1gb.  I’m still on the family plan-because it’s cheaper for me to pay my parents my portion of the bill (taxes and all) than it is to have my own plan.  And between the 3 of us with our smart  phones, we are maybe topping a month off with only 4gb out of 6gb paid for.  Data hogs may exist but there are plenty of people (I would bet in the majority) that do not go anywhere near the 2gb cap limit.

To top off this lovely rant, it doesn’t help that I seriously am considering a Tablet.  Basically, after attending BlogHer and 20sbsummit, I really think it’d be much nicer to carry around a tablet all day rather than a laptop. And, at least I’d be able to actually do some work on the train on my tablet as opposed to trying to eeek out emails on my phone.  Plus- let’s be honest.  I’m a big purse kind of gal.  Unless I’m going out to a bar to dance- I don’t carry a small purse.  Each and every purse I own could be considered a minor Mary Poppins bag of fun.  If I dropped the smart phone in favor of a tablet, I’d still almost always have the connectivity I want with way more productivity.

So- the question is- which brand do I go with?

And when will I start?

Why Social Media Nerds will Rule the Earth!

22 Aug

Why Jen Friel is my latest nerd crush and a great example of social media possibilities…

I have numerous nerd/geek crushes.  They include Craig Ferguson and his beautiful/awesome Doctor Who love.  And of course, there is the Nerdist himself, Chris Hardwick.  But how in the heck did I not know about Jen Friel?  Thankfully, my day job took me to #20sbsummit in Chicago this weekend.   Many of the sessions were helpful, in the blogging conference way.  Great people, good tips on publishing, etc.   But by far, my favorite session of the event was Jen Friel’s speech-which was more a display of awesome than anything else.

There is no doubt in my mind that this awesome nerd chick is winning at life because she just rocks so hard core in her nerdiness and embraces the hell out of it.  She  is a fearless gal who has said “no” to doing what is expected in this humdrum thing we call life, and has decided to really push herself forward into the universe.

What I love most though, about Jen, is that she has embraced social media and made it her b*tch!  There are two ways to really use social media.  Most people (and heck- I know I include myself in this group way too often- something I am definitely inspired to change), use social media to connect in a very surface and base level conversation.

But others- like Jen, are taking social media and using it to proclaim their mighty self.  Social Media has so much potential to let us create the space and the freedom to really be who we are (whether a corporate brand, a personal brand, or just a person who uses the internet to connect).  Embracing who she was, what she wanted to do, and letting herself fall free of everyone’s expectations and broadcasting it to the world on social media changed Jen’s life.  And they are leveraging that freeing power to do the things they want, instead of what is merely expected.

Bloggers I talk to, always ask about how far is too far before you sell out to the brand.  Jen is the living example of how you can work completely with big brands and still be yourself.  If you have a chance, you should read about Jen’s #BJDiet — which I promise is not as dirty as it sounds.  When her first foray into living life by just doing and proclaiming ended- Jen was trying to figure out what she needed to do to survive and still live the life SHE WANTED to live.  In her pursuit of this, she decided she would live off Beef Jerky for an entire month (get it? BJ…hahaha).  She wrote several companies, but many thought she was bat sh*t crazy.  They didn’t get her, and in the end, she wasn’t what their brands were looking for. And that was fine with her, because if a brand didn’t connect with her idea, they wouldn’t have been good for her to work with either.  And the same is true for anybody. If you are doing something and following your path, your heart, your purpose  (or to be more business succinct- your mission statement) you do not want to do business or enter into relationships with people who don’t get it. Because you will always be fighting a battle about why you do it how you do it, instead of how you can do better!

Which conversation sounds like more fun? 

Friday Fun Day- A Lazy Friday Roundup

12 Aug

So- it’s been an exhausting week- and it’s almost 2pm central, we’re in the final stretch.  You know you are eyeing your door (even your metaphorical one for those who work from home) thinking, dear God, please just let it be 4:30…

Not that we don’t all love our jobs…

Well, I’m sitting here, enjoying my lovely iced coffee (made from cold brewed coffee), and decided I should make a roundup of some of the things making my life a little bit more enjoyable before the weekend officially starts-

First-let’s start with a cute video that I found via Huffington Post.


This is one of the reasons I love the internet/media. Parents can do so much more than lame videos of their kids on grainy film (believe me, I have hours and hours of very meaningless video- with a few highlights buried deep within the random stuff, from my childhood). Instead, they can compile, cut, and edit awesome videos that their kids will one-day be proud of (or more likely completely ashamed that their parents did something so nostalgic).

Next up- Cold Brewed Coffee.  

This is my all time favorite new way to drink coffee.  French Press move aside, I’ve just found myself a new drink.  This coffee tastes like what we all dream it should, especially after you’ve had coffee flavored ice cream.  I’m obsessed.  Pictures will be forthcoming as I brew my own batch and bring it to the office for mass consumptions.  I’ll be pounding these babies back, the way Mad Men flirt with their whiskey and rye.

Finally- TVs, TVs, everywhere…

For those who are still looking to do a little professional development on a Friday Afternoon- here’s one of the bloggers I met at BlogHer11.  Her name is Karen, and her awesome site is titled Communications Goddess.  Her post about the necessity of video monitors at every place is both witty and insightful. While I agree there are some places (BP- really?) that don’t need a tv full of fake ads, I do love the one at the bank that tells me my weather and latest news. There are only so many times you can be entertained by the man in the pick-up next to you.  But really, this trend toward multi-media is not going anywhere, so Marketers- maybe you could try adding value?  Maybe have your QRcodes link me directly towards pictures of Ewan McGregor straddling the motorcycle I’ll never buy, but am very happy to drool over.  I’ll let you decide who/what I’m drooling over exactly!

That’s all for now folks. If anything else extremely amusing hits my doorstep before I vamoose, I’ll post it up here.
And now I leave you with Putin the Crab… because the man is a bucket full of Friday Fun.

(if you know who made this, tell them it’s hilarious- and I’m not trying to pass it off as my own).