Saturday, December 8, 2007

Don't beat up facebook at snack time

Facebook just can't get a break. I almost feel sorry for it. It has become that little kid is class who is really annoying, not on purpose because that is just how they are, and so everyone hates them. Then they have to friends and they talk to the trees at recess time and you feel bad for them. That is facebook.

Facebook has a rule against people placing advertisement on their pages; however users continue to do it anyways. I read this in a New York Times Article. With the help of Montreal based Weblo, users are able to earn money for their popularity online. Now get this, Facebook says they don't want ads on there because it would create "clutter". I literally laughed out loud (lol, for those who read in code) at that statement. Do the owners and creators of facebook not look at their users sites anymore? People's pages are so cluttered I can't even find the wall to leave a comment. I have to scroll down for hours before I get to the bottom of their page. There is the vampire application, hotness application, drinks, top friends, pirates vs. ninjas, jetman, dead babies . . . ok maybe not that last one but they are all equally ridiculous.

So if Facebook wants a better reason to stop people from using ads, they have to come at their content creators with more than just the word "clutter". Because without Facebook’s users/content creators, Facebook would be nothing.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

FRED '08

I wanna give a shout out to my boy Fred Thompson for engaging in Social media during his campaign. He, or rather people who work for him, have redone his website in the past few months to make it more socially friendly. There are a lot more options now and you can become a friend of Fred by signing up.

Options include:
  • Helping you write letters to the media to let them know about Fred Thompson.
  • You can upload your “support photos”.
  • See videos and photos concerning his campaign.
  • Read articles and press releases related to Fred.
  • Tell Friends about Fred.
  • Read blog posts from various people that have posted them to Fred’s site, where you can comment and give your two cents worth.
  • Also buy campaign merchandise.

This is a great way to get the younger population a little more involved in the political process of our country. I know the younger generation has the smallest voter turnout which people are trying to change, for example Rock the Vote.

Ok, so I am not a Republican and I know I called him by boy, but he is just so nice to see interviewed. He is like that nice Uncle who brings you weird gifts at Christmas time. And he has a cool website. I know Howard Dean was a big user of the internet during his campaign in 2004, I am just glad to see others jump up and get into Social Media.

5 rules for Social Media Optimization

So if you even use the internet a little bit, whether you have a website of your own or not, you have probably heard of Search Engine Optimization (SEO). This is the process of improving the flow of traffic to your website during internet searches. Well, I just read an article by Rohit Bhargava who lists 5 rules for Social Media Optimization (SMO). He states that these SMO rules “implement changes to optimize a site so that it is more easily linked to, more highly visible in social media searches on custom search engines (such as Technorati), and more frequently included in relevant posts on blogs, podcasts and vlogs.” (In case you didn’t know, because I didn’t, vlogs are video-blogs. Cool huh!?!)

Now, I don’t want to copy his rules to my blog so I suggest you go check them out. Interesting thing is, other readers of his have commented below with their own rules annnnd then translated all of them into different languages. OMG! I love the blogosphere. . . anything is possible! But seriously, go check out this blog.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Facebook got me into college!

Worried about applying for college? Well not only can Facebook be used to procrastinate from writing that paper due tomorrow, but it can also be used as a way to apply for college. Facebook has teamed up with, a leading provider of online services to help students and schools through the college and graduate admissions process. Embarks application on facebook helps you apply to college, see where your friends are interested in going and make school suggestions.

Word up to for going directly to the students instead of waiting for them to come to you.


I thought this was cute. NASA noticed that people were not visiting their site because it was, shall we say, a little dull. They did notice however the use of social media by the younger generation and decided to take advantage of this. They decided to redo their site and market to the 18-25 year olds. An article from the New York Times tells about thier new site and what it has to offere stating, “the site, introduced over the weekend, has new blogs and widgets and more ways for people to view and manipulate content.”

I think it is great for NASA to step up and change their ways in order to grab a stronger audience. I have seen NASA’s new site and there are videos, a NASA calendar, NASA TV and even an image gallery. It is not a new community like Facebook or Myspace because they are limited as to the information they can collect from their views, but never the less, if you are into space, or just feel like you are from a different planet, you should check out the site.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Use it or Lose it

After spending a few months reading the New Influencers I have finally reached the end of the book and what better way for author Paul Gillin to conclude than with a chapter called Next Steps where he describes his predictions for the future of social media and the impact it will have in changing traditional marketing and media. Now I don’t want to give it all away because I feel it is an important book to read if you are interested or involved in any form of marketing, but I will speak a little about it. He restates the importance of blogs for small business. The influence they could have by emerging themselves in social media could be astronomical. Also the fact that mainstream media is so dependent on social media gives a hint of which way the future is heading; which is in the opposite direction of traditional media.
My generation wants something different than traditional media. We don’t watch the news and rarely do we read a newspaper unless our favorite sports team won and we want to see the picture or we have to find an article for class. We expect all our information to come from the internet. I don’t look at the internet as some great invention that has changed my life because I have always had it around. It is my main source of information and I expect it to keep me updated in a way that traditional media cannot satisfy. Gillin touches on this point in his last chapter and I can only summarize it by stating this. I rely on the new influencers to tell me what is new and important, not traditional media. The bottom line is this, the internet is the new go to for everything from news and entertainment to products and services so as a marketer, you better be ready to adapt and change or else you will get left behind when my generation comes of age.

TMI!!!! (Too Much Information)

Facebook is advertising in a new way which I am sure you have heard because it has been in the news and my peers and I have talked about it in class. Facebook has been advertising to your friends the purchases you have made on other websites like and Members have been wanting an easy opt out button for this feature, but facebook doesn’t allow members to do that. Facebook members have been outraged at this feature because it is a complete invasion of privacy. Over 50,000 members have signed a petition for them to stop this advertising feature that facebook has implemented to turn their popularity into profit.

What facebook is doing is using internet tracking to see what you are buying and interested in to than send you adds based on your searches and purchases. Pretty sleazy if you ask me, but also brilliant from a marketing perspective. Problem is, people don’t like this big brother aspect of facebook and don’t want everyone to know what they are searching online, which makes sense.

But get this, I was reading an article about how people were complaining and Mr. Zuckerberg, creator of facebook, said, “Facebook executives say the people who are complaining are a marginal minority. With time, Facebook says, users will accept Beacon, which Facebook views as an extension of the type of book and movie recommendations that members routinely volunteer on their profile pages.” Can I just say he’s a butthead (since I don’t want to use a harsher word.) People shouldn’t have to get used to something they don’t want to. I know many people were upset when the mini feed came out but at least we can change the privacy levels on that. In this article, Facebook, since it has been pressured by protesters, has decided to put up a notification every time you have something that could be shared on facebook, asking whether or not you would like to share it. This should make people happy for a while, but you know there are going to be tons of people, probably even those who protested Beacon, who allow some of their interests and purchase on facebook. People like to share too much information.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

It’s 10 o’clock, do you know where your public’s at?

Ch 7 of The New Influencers talks about Putting the “Public” Back Into Public Relations. Many people feel disconnected from companies who never connect directly with their public. They send out press releases that editors and journalists can choose to write about or ignore, leaving the public unaware of what is new. The internet can change all that with social media press releases which are a way of getting out information that is accompanies by blogs, viral videos and podcasts and aimed directly at the internet using public. David Meerman Scott created the New Rules of PR which talks about how to create a press release strategy for reaching buyers directly. He talks about how the old form of public relations is dead and it is not time to connect directly with the public rather than going through some message carrying go-between. If you are interested in reading Scott’s writing they are linked above. Enjoy!

Conversation Targeting Advertisements

Advertising niche markets online just got easier thanks to Buzz Logic’s new on-demand software application, Ad Targeting.

“Now available within BuzzLogic’s on-demand software application, Ad Targeting enables advertisers to isolate influential blog and social media conversations occurring around products, brands and issues, then immediately target ad campaigns into the online conversations shaping consumer perception and buying behavior.”

This new software allows users to create conversation queries, similar to key words, to find out who are the influential leaders who are driving online conversations on various topics and communities that pertain to certain topics. Once they have this research they create text or display ads that pertain to topics that those communities identify with. This system uses online influence to double advertiser’s performance. Let’s see how well it work . . .

Friday, November 23, 2007

Outrage for Injustice

I almost forgot. In class we had to create a viral video that covered a social issue. Since one of my group members is Vegan we decided to cover the way animals are treated as they are killed for human consumption. It is called Outrage for Injustice. Watch and then try and eat a burger afterwards . . . see if you can. . . . then comment and tell me alllll about it! It will be fun!

Where do you find your Influence?

Ch 4 Measures of Influence in The New Influencers helps its readers understand the importance the internet has for small marketers influence on their audience. There is a mindset in the marketing world that big markets are better even if they reach fewer people effectively. By effectively I mean that the content is related to the customer and fits into exactly what they are looking for. Small markets are more efficient because they are focused on niche marketing and while they might reach fewer customers they are more likely to effectively hit their target audience causing more influence than larger markets.
Social media takes small markets to a new level. It allows them to compete with the big markets in a fashion that was not possible 20 years ago. It is possible for small markets to have a website that if not only more effective than a larger one, but also is more personable. Most of these small markets have few staffers but generate immense traffic and therefore, lots of influence.
Paul Gillin states that linking is the blogosphere’s version of feedback. Being able to track how often blogs are linked to helps show the influence a blog creates. I know I personally link to other blogs and articles, not to show that I know how to link or that linking it fun, I do it out of respect for other peoples work. This is what Gillian says bloggers do; they direct traffic elsewhere as a expression of respect for other bloggers. They show where they are getting their influence from.
One thing that Gillin pointed out that I thought of a few weeks ago is the negative influence that blogs and other sources of conversational social media generate. For example, if I blog that I absolutely hate Product A, I might get many responses from people who also hate product A. Depending on the amount of people that link to my blog that stomps all over product A, it could make out the product to be worse than it is. It other words, because of the influence social media has on the public, one blog could ruin a brand.

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Ben, Shane and I made a podcast for our class. It is about our experiences with Social Media. It is cute, entertaining and slightly informative so go check it out and have a listen.


Sunday, October 14, 2007

Podcasts for Buddha

Chapter 8 of the The New Influencers titled Talker made me realize that I am never alone in my interest for weird things. Talkers is about the phenomenon of podcasting which has been around since 2004ish. The other day in my Internet and Social Media for Public Relations class we edited a potcast on Garageband. This made me realize how easy this is to do. If I wanted to tell people something I could do it via podcast. *not like people would actually listen* But there is a chance.

Take for example the story about the BunnyBlab podcast (in the New Influencers). Dana McCurley has a podcast devoted to Bunny Care 101. She has four furry, hopping friend of her own and shares about various bunny care aspects via 20 minute podcasts. Although Dana only has about 40 listeners her blog archive will be helpful to those who buy bunnies in the future.

Now who would have thought about a podcast devoted to bunnies? Not I! That’s what great about podcasts, they, like blogs, can be devoted to anything. It is not like radio where you have to reach a general audience. Podcasts are for the niche audience. I could start a podcast devoted to people who collect mini Buddha statues, and although there might not be many people out there who do, I am sure I can snag a listener or five! It is good to know that you are not alone in your interests. :)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Live On Top Of The Rock!

While I stated in my last blog why companies need to scan the internet for customer’s opinions of their products and services, I slightly mentioned that maybe a company should get a blog of their own. Well according to The New Influencers, “corporations shouldn’t blog unless they know why they’re doing it”(p84). Blogging requires a goal and drive. Having a poorly maintained, boring blog could only hurt a company. According to Paul Gillin (author of The New Influencers) blogging does not make a company hip. Microsoft and Wal-Mart are not considered “cool” yet they have blogs. Apple, which is just about as hip as you can get, (actually living in Austin you can’t really be what we call a “hipster” without having an Apple computer) does not even have a blog.
So if coolness is what you desire, a blog might not help you. Buuuut if you want to reach your customers in a more advanced way then sending a Hallmark card with a kitty on the front, then blogging might be the answer for you.
Here are some ways (complements of The New Influencers) that blogging can help a large company out.

Customer Relations – blogging, along with other social media aspects, is the most cost-effective customer feedback mechanism ever invented.
Media Relations – If you start a blog you will most likely automatically go on the reading list of every journalist who covers you. This is a better way to release news then through a press release, which probably just sees the inside of journalist’s recycle bins.
Tell Your Story – You are able to speak DIRECTLY to the customer.
Tackle an Issue – you can take a stand on controversial issues. This could get messy through traditional media when tends to bends words to make a “story”.
Feed a Frenzy – Having a blog is like adding lighter fluid to the fires of your passionate customers. Remember the 80/20 rule, which my dad likes to tell me about at least 9 times a year, 80% of your business comes from 20% of your customers
Promote a Product – self explanatory.

So if you can hire someone to start a blog for your company and maintain it, I say go for it. Orrr you can ignore all the benefits and go back to living under a rock.

Vault Kicks, Well So Do Marketers!

Chapter Five of Citizen Marketers told the story of how one man’s quest to save Surge, the coca-Cola mountain dew like drink, turned into a community cause that demanded attention. Coke never brought back the drink Surge, they created a “new” soda called Vault, which tastes the same as Surge.
The point of this story was to express the fact that companies should listen to their customer online. Speaking from a personal point of view, I spend 4 times as much time online than I do watching TV. And then, I don’t watch commercials, unless my remote control is broken. This shows that companies need to watch what their customers of doing online; maybe even have someone from the company monitor their product on google, seeing what comes up when it is typed up.
First off, if you search your product and you are not even on the first page, because it is taken up by fan sites or blogs, then you have a problem. This means your site is static. Don’t just put up content and leave it there expecting people to find it. Update it, start a blog, add video, anything to draw attention.
Citizen Marketers around the world who love certain products are making sites for them as hobbies. “Their focus is often an attempt to transcend brand awareness into action by creating amateur networks of affiliation”(p105). These sites could have a positive or negative affect on a product which is why I stressed above for a company to monitor what is being said about them online.
Another reason companies need to scan the internet for their product is because of “market helping behavior”. It “describes the behavior of everyday people who help one another with decisions on what to buy and who to buy it from”. Personally, I rarely go out and buy something without looking up reviews. This goes from anything from books and CDs to televisions and hair dye. Having negative reviews spread across the internet is not a good thing and should be monitored, because chances are the problem is the product and not the people. Studies done throughout the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s showed that “40% of a retailers clientele was typically based on the recommendations of other people” (p109). If that was before Web 2.0, imagine what the percentage is now. . .

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Come fly with me . . .

So I know that everyone knows about the Southwest Airlines "mini-skirt" scandal. Personally I laughed. Maybe there was an old man who was sitting across from this girl in a “who wears short shorts” skirt who just needed a little pick me up. And Keith RUNINED IT!
Anyways, if you are not up to date on the Airline “scandal” let me give you a little run down. A few months ago a 23 year old Kyla Ebbert was asked to step off her flight and take a later one when she could dress more appropriately. She was told that her entire outfit was a problem and that she needed to change before being allowed on a flight. She instead pulled her shirt up and her skirt down to better cover her unmentionables.
Let’s just say that little Kyla was not happy with the way she was treated and wanted an apology from the airlines. It took a while for her to get her formal apology from the airlines, but it came after, of course, Kyla appearing on TV shows and news radio and many blogs have posted about her.
To counter the incident and make light of it Southwest airlines has issues new “mini-skirt fares". handeled this situation. They probably did this because of all the negative feedback they were getting from their customers who were upset (you can read about this on their blog).

Sunday, September 23, 2007

It doesn’t matter if you feed them after midnight . . . they will still come out!

They are everywhere. They are on the sides of the website you just looked at. They are there, smiling as you reading your e-mails. They creep out at all hours of the night and are infesting the World Wide Web. The only way to get rid of them . . . is to turn off your computer and hide under your bed with a cross and garlic. They are not hiding in your closet, they are hiding in your cable or DSL connection . . . they are Widgets.
Widgets are small online tools that function like mini-sites. They are interactive ads that can be posted on pages that don’t even require click-throughs. According to this New York Times article “Google Program Enlists Mini-Sites as Selling Tools for Advertisers” 48% of Internet users in America use widgets.
The majority of my fellow classmates use them, quite possibly without even realizing it. When you log onto Facebook and add that Top Friends or iLike application, you are using a widget. When you get on AOL instant messenger (AIM) and a music video starts playing at the top of your buddy list, you are viewing a widget.
Companies like Honda and Siera Mist have their own widgets to provide content or tools to potential customers. Recently Google has developed a new interaction measure to document the interest in the ads. Here’s a little snip of the article previously mentioned:

“Google tested its Gadget Ads program this summer with a group of 50 marketers. To encourage more advertisers to make such ads, Google is offering to be host of videos for the ads in YouTube’s servers — a cost-saving for advertising agencies. And Google provides tools for updating the ads, even if marketers do not bid for ads in Google’s network. Marketers pay Google only for the ads that run in its networks and not for any downloading or saving of those ads that consumers may choose to do.”

Widgets are extremely beneficial for ad agencies because they are easy to create and cut marketing expenses. A benefit could be, “Instead of paying news sites to run videos from a movie’s premiere, for example, studios can make it easy for consumers to post the movie videos on their own sites or social network profiles, providing free advertising.”

Widgets are a marketers dream, allowing the customer to decide how long with want them to live.

The Concerned Citizen

Reading Ch 1 of Citizen Marketers helped me understand the drive behind Social Media. I have used it everyday for years, but I never really stopped to think about where the motivation comes from. McConnell and Huba say that citizen marketers “don’t often represent the average person, member, customer, or citizen. They are on the fringes, driven by passion, creativity and a sense of duty. Like a concerned citizen.”
My favorite section was that of fanatics. Mainly because in class we have been talking about the power that people have to make change via the internet. The story about the Deadwood fans creating a voice strong enough to bring back the show for two two-hour episodes after it was cancelled was a great example of the power of bloggers.
It emphasizes the phrase “People are the message. Nobody likes advertisers anymore, just like I mentioned in my previous post about Brian Solis. According to Citizen Marketers “69 percent of Americans would pay for products that block out marketing and advertising.” The message is authentic when it comes from the people. These people are of all different ages and races and come from varying geographical locations, but they all have one thing in common; they are concerned citizens who create and search for genuine content that expresses what real people want, need and care about.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ikea speaks to me about home

To me, marketing is about finding out what people want, not trying to convince them to like what you already have. The whole process is a conversation between people to share an understanding of what would make each person most satisfied. Brian Solis talks about this in his blog with the article Conversational Marketing Versus Marketing Conversations. He expresses the need to find out what people want rather then forcing them to fit into a marketers mold. The control is no longer in the hands of the marketer. The power has shifted to the people who already know what they want to buy. They have their own opinions and don’t need some marketer telling them that they are wrong because they should be wanting ______. Like Solis says, “Relationships are the new metric for ROI.” You want to make money? Make relationships with your customers. Make them feel at home with you.

Speaking of home, Ikea has a new take on home. Ikea is launching a new commercial in the UK soon, which is centered on the phrase “Home is the most important place in the world.” The commercial shows different times of homes from the outside and the tracking allows you to hear what is occurring inside of the houses, for example a child’s birthday party or someone typing. When I saw this I thought awwww, how sweet, which is exactly the response that Ikea was trying to extract from their customers. It hits close to your heart. This shows that Ikea knows that home and family are the most important aspects of life for the majority of their customers.

Also, if you take a look at the Ikea homepage you can find a link to My America At Home, which is a contest where people can submit photos to be published in a book. These photos portray families of different races, cultures and background in a coffee table book. Once again, Ikea is showing that they care about families of all shapes and sizes.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Citizen Editors

After reading Citizen Marketers ch.2 I did a little research on and found an article on BBC news called Citizens New Take on News. It talks about how news agenda would be completely different if it were planned by everyday citizens rather than journalists. US Pew Research Center, mentioned in Citizen Marketers, compared news stories from mainstreams news sources, such as TV, radio and online, to three user driven sites – Digg, Reddit and The study found that the news stories that appeared on mainstream news sources and those most popular on user-driven sites varied tremendously.
People were drawn to more eclectic stories rather than stories about Iraq from different angles. There was little emphasis on single stories because readers today want to know a little bit of everything in order to be a worldly, informed citizen. The most popular stories on the user-driven site were about technology (40%) while the next popular were lifestyle stories, which is not the main content of mainstream news.
The user-driven sites are driving now web2.0highway with the top down, making your everyday people the new editors.

Who wants to be paid to be a Britney enthusiast?

Chapter 2 of Citizen Marketers not only explained to me the story behind the motorcycle riding 1%ers. The chapter also explained to me how has 400,000 registered members but grew thanks to the contribution of 1% of their members. Reading on, I found it interesting that people consider paying these 1%ers to create content.
I had to break this down in my head. Adding content to the internet is considered a hobby since no one gets paid to do so. Obviously, for some people, it takes up a majority of their free time, and even their time that they are supposed to be spending on their jobs. But if people were paid to create internet content, doesn’t that take all of the fun out of the internet. It is fun when you go to and see someone’s three minute video of two guys jamming out to Spice Girls or two guys who should never have made a video in the first place. If I knew someone was paid to dance like this it just wouldn’t be as much fun. Now I know I am speaking about a rare case because the content that Citizen Marketers is talking about it not some Britney Spears remix song, but actual useful information. But every time you look something up on don’t you get excited knowing that someone put all this information up on their free time because they actually care about the subject?

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

I need some coffee..

Dear bloggers,
This will be my first post which is really just a test post. I am sitting here in class, kind of hungry and ready to leave. I wish I had some interesting gossip to share, alas it has been a slow morning and I have tried not to pay attention to people. I am sitting next to Ben and I am sure his shirt belonged to a 6 year old girl. That's pretty much all I have for this post.
Over and Out