Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Is Social Media the Next Great Product?

How can companies use social media? How can companies sell social media? These are some questions many businesses are asking. Now that more and more corporations are finding out that social media helps create a profitable business, the next step is selling this strategy. But is social media the next great product or will it fade in a short time?

Social Media Will Sell And Sell BIG

With IBM, Best Buy and even The New York Times as some of those who are using social media, the social media product is already well on its way to reaching the early adopters. What's that? Well there are five groups that consider buying a new product when it enters the market: Innovators, Early Adopters, Early Majority, Late Majority and Laggards. Right now, the social media product is in the Early Adopters group. The important thing here is the sudden potential for this product to take off quickly. As most marketers know, a new product makes the most profit when the early and late majority purchase the product. These are the next two stages for social media to reach. So who will take advantage of this prime situation?

Strategies Wanted

No major company is leading the way just yet. This means two things. First is that the leader is close to breaking through any moment. Second is that this leader could be you! I have developed a "Five Phase Strategy Template for Social Media" and have implemented it with success. Others have created templates as well and some have failed while others have done better. The fact is that one of these strategies is just around the corner waiting to break through from the others. Will you be the one to find it?

Monday, July 28, 2008

The Best Social Media Campaigns

It is now common for companies to implement social media into their business models, for those who do not have a Facebook page then get with the program. There are other companies that stand out from the rest thanks to their innovative social media campaigns. Here is my list of best social media campaigns in the works.

First Place Goes to Lenovo

Lenovo has come up with a great campaign for advertising during the Olympics. Lenovo has 100 athletes from more than 25 countries and 29 sports signed up to blog at the games to get fans interested (see their blogs by going here). This tactic will increase the Lenovo brand awareness and associate them with the highest level of competition in the Olympics. Congrats, wish I had that idea.

Oreo and YouTube

Second place goes to Oreo, the Nabisco product. They are using this campaign on YouTube to get fans to upload their favorite Oreo moments. Plus, the winner of this contest will have their Oreo video on the YouTube homepage in late August. Pretty cool.

Honorable Mentions

The first honorable mention goes to Red Bull and what they are doing with MEN7. They are launching webisodes on YouTube about extreme sports moments and tricks. The great thing about this is that Red Bull is using YouTube to hopefully get this series picked up on TV.

And my last award for nice try goes to McDonald's Myspace campaign. The idea is great but I am not posting a link for my own personal reasons, simply Mikky Ds is just horrible for you to eat. Don't want to give too much press to stuff that can really do some damage.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Is Social Media for Big or Small Companies?

Recent discussions that I have had with companies and social media gurus have lead me to create this post. Is social media better depending on the size of the company? It is a tough question but here is my response, please let me know if you think I am missing something.

Small Guys

Small businesses have some advantages due to their stature (could not resist). They are quick, agile and quite. It is easier to start a social media strategy and they do not need a press release to do so. They are also better at responding to consumer problems because they do not deal with as much red tape. Additionally, it is easier to manage and mend relationships when dealing with fewer customers. It is also easier to make your consumers feel unique with this strategy because they know they are not competing with millions of consumers for your attention.

Big Players

Large Businesses are powerful and well endowed (too much there?). Being big helps because evangelists can sustain most of your social media strategies for you, you just have to find them. When you do, cherish them and treat them better than your own children, not really but you get the idea. Next is money. We all want it and the bigs have it. Since money is not a problem the websites, promotions and videos created can be much lavisher than smaller companies. This SM campaign should stand out and be a bit different than what has been done before. What will help is that bigs also get a lot of publicity. One post in The New York Times about Best Buy and their social network, tons of people pay attention to it.

Size Doesn't Matter

As you can see, size really does not matter. The crucial element is in the company's execution of their strategy. The size helps make certain things easier but remember that social media takes time and meaningful care to succeed just as any relationship requires.

Social Media Creates Brand Personality

What first comes to mind when someone says Target or Best Buy? Probably that they are affordable, have a wide variety of goods and they have tons of stores all around. While these are good descriptions, there is something huge lacking. A personality.

SM Creates Your Personality

I cannot help my Psychology degree from impacting how I view certain things, but I think it is a missed opportunity for brands to lack a personality. A real and true personality. Some brands argue that they already have one, but a personality results from close interaction with others that takes place on a deeper level than having someone walk through your store doors. You do not need a Myers-Briggs test, but the use of social media. Social media creates these avenues (whether it is from blogs, pictures, videos...) that provides any brand the perfect chance to show consumers their personality. By creating an interaction with consumers, the brand becomes more than a store or a service. Through conversation or sharing pictures, your brand will develop a personality that your consumers will identify. How great would it be for a brand to be thought of as interesting, caring and hilarious. Social media is the answer.

How to Create a Brand Personality

This is important, it is very difficult to create your brand personality if it is different from what your company stands for. For instance WalMart would have a hard time showing they really care about small local businesses by taking pictures of them smiling and shaking hands. Your brand has to honest, like your parents said "just be yourself". It's true, but it takes time. The most important part of this process is being consistent. It does not take time for your consumers to figure out what you are trying to do, but it takes time for them to believe it. Being steady in your dialogue will make this happen. Soon you will create a bond with your consumers that will likely lead to lifetime loyalty to your brand, and that is what every brand wants. So get out there and turn you consumers into believers.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

TiVo Strikes Social Media Deal with YouTube

Personally I think this deal is marvelous. TiVo has just struck a deal with YouTube. TiVo subscribers will be able to watch videos from the most popular video website on the planet on their television. I cannot get over this, I have TiVo and I am dying to try it.

Who Does it Help More? TiVo or YouTube

The answer to that is tricky, you ready? It's both. These two companies are going to love this relationship. YouTube already has this app for the Apple TV, but as much as we dig Apple, TiVo is far more popular for a household than Apple TV. This new deal will help YouTube get even more people to watch their videos, if that is humanly possible. For TiVo, this is one giant leap in the right direction. TiVo is all about being able to watch what you want, whenever you want and this deal adds to that desire. Get ready because Adweek says people can get these YouTube videos now. That is of course if you have the necessary equipment, which is a TiVo Series 3 or TiVo HD. I am looking foward to the fact that TiVo and YouTube will be leading the industry in entertainment for many years to come.

Risks Meebo has with Social Media

Meebo is an IM program that supports systems such as Google Talk and AIM. Meebo is trying a new concept to make more money and they are trying to use social media to do it.

Their Social Media Advantages

I saw this on Adweek, so I think this is true. Meebo has tested out their plan to use pop-up ads during chats in Google Talk, AIM and others. Advertisers want this ad space to join in a conversation with their consumers, that's one good thing. The other is that the test markets Meebo used saw a one percent interaction rate with these ads, which is pretty good. Another good thing is that advertisers only have to pay per click. Good for advertisers?

Why This Strategy Will Fail

First of all, Meebo plans to interrupt chats about every three minutes with ads. That is just going to be annoying. People will not like being invaded upon like this. That is not the main reason why this will fail. The main reason is that these companies selling these ads are looking for conversations. The only way this is going to happen is if a social media specialist is waiting to talk to every reply. Consumers have a large chance of being ignored due to the small time the company has to respond to a single chat, the SM specialist has to be right on time and most companies do not have that man power. This will cause a severe problem. Willing consumers who actually respond and are interested will be ignored, leading to potential fans of your company transforming into enemies. This is where negative word of mouth will spread rapidly. Overall, the companies paying for these clicks will be paying to create angry customers. If you have enough social media specialists than it could work, but we all know that is not the case. I tried to warn you.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Social Media and Personal Relationships

Now that more and more companies are using social media to launch a new product, manage customer reviews or anything else the secret is not a secret anymore. Social media works. However some people are still unsure why it does work. The answer is simple and one that has been around for a long time.

SM Creates Personal Relationships With Your Brand

Since the beginning of advertising and marketing, the goal has been to create a bond with the consumer. Now, thanks to social media the bond a company can have with their consumers is very personal, feeling like a one-to-one relationship. And that is why social media works. Some big businesses might be put off by this idea but they should not be. They are afraid that a close bond with your consumer might lead them to find out horrible things about your company. If this is the case, you need to change the way you operate to start. The advantage of this bond is two fold.

Two Huge Benefits

First the customer will feel unique and special to have an influence over their favorite companies. The better they feel about this, the more people they will tell about how wonderful your business is. Second is that you, the company, will begin to treat these consumers more like friends rather than piggy banks. This will be good because you will actually care if Jane from Austin is happy with her new laptop. Thus you will go out of your way to make your customers satisfied. This is the cycle you will enter if you plan on using social media in your business model. It is a great experience and you need to be doing this. Warning! If you are not fully committed to this idea then it could do more harm than good.

Twitter Acquired Summize

Summize was not in business that long. The website that tracked tweets was a helpful tool to find out what people were saying about your business. Now Twitter has acquired Summize. The new site is branded with the Twitter logo and is referred to as Twitter Search.

Good Move for Twitter?

Absolutely! All companies should be monitoring the new Twitter Search for what people are saying, whether it be good or bad. This was a great move for Twitter to acquire this company because now, not only do they have their logo branded on this popular site but they have the engineers who created Summize moving to California to work for Twitter. For all those a bit late to catch on to the acquisition do not fear. The next time you try to access the old Summize, you will be redirected to the new Twitter Search. Other than that, the site works just the same. Tweet that!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Blu-ray and Disney Go Social Media

Blu-ray is using social media to their advantage. Other companies take notice because this is just another example why social media is not a fad but a trend that is changing business models. Disney has teamed up with Blu-ray to use their new app which Blu-ray has labeled BD Live.

BD Live and Social Media

The New York Times reports that the classic movie "Sleeping Beauty" will be the next DVD to have the BD Live app for the 50 year anniversary release of the film. BD Live uses social media to create an interactive environment for movie viewers. Thanks to Blu-ray's technology, viewers can watch movies in tandem with friends in other locations and chat using a laptop, P.D.A. or cellphone and their comments appear on screen. Parents who are not able to watch the film with their children can record a video message that will pop up during a designated scene as the child watches the film and viewers can compete against others on trivia. These social media tools are a great way to fulfill the consumer desire to be interactive.

With DVD sales dropping, this new app is surely to be a big hit for all movie watchers. Look for the BD Live app on new Blu-ray movies. And congrats to Blu-ray for leading the way. The only downside is that the movie with the new app cost more than typical DVDs, but it's worth it.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Social Media is Changing TV

We all know that YouTube has great videos and that some television shows are available to watch online. What you probably do not know is that the struggles of local television networks to create a big hit is providing opportunities for social media to take control.

Social Media Success to Television Hit

If you have not heard of Yo Gabba Gabba! then ask anyone between the ages of 5-15. The new Nick Jr. show is one of the most popular kid's television series in recent years. If your wondering which Nick Jr.'s creative director came up with the idea for the show, your asking the wrong question. Yo Gabba Gabba! started playing episodes on YouTube and after such a high demand for the show, Nick Jr. picked up the series. This is not a fluke or a lucky stroke of genius but social media paving the way for change.

Future of Television

Now I am no fortune teller but I'd bet my life's savings of $37 that this trend will continue. Here is why. Companies, such as Red Bull, are creating interesting Webisodes to air on video social networks like YouTube and Vimeo. Red Bull with the help of MEN7 will be doing a series of shows about extreme athletic tricks. They hope to be picked up just like Yo Gabba Gabba! for a major payday. The future of television shows will be successful Webisodes from social network sites because this system works extremely well for the television networks. Rather than watch a pilot and hope other people will like the show as well, cable and TV networks can pick the most talked about and obsessed shows online as their next big hit. So for all you creators on YouTube, the incentive for making amazing videos just went far beyond selling your own ad space.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Wal-Mart to Change Logo

Wal-Mart is ready to change their logo. After years of criticism the retail superpower is ready to revamp their image. Maybe now consumers will look at Wal-Mart differently. Or will they?

Changing Your Logo Won't Change Your Image

According to the USA Today, Wal-Mart wants to change their logo to reflect their "renewed sense of purpose" towards consumers. Really? It takes you this long to change they way you react to people demanding a change, and all you do is change your logo! Nice try Wal-Mart, perhaps your low costs have come back to hurt your PR department. Your logo change will not fool the millions of Americans that do not shop at Wal-Mart for your savage attitude you have towards employees and small business owners. You need a new strategy. Sorry, my services are not for hire.

Twitter: Love and Hate

Ever since I began using Twitter, I became aware of two things. The first was that there are many great minds using Twitter to share their ideas and second was that this micro blogging site only works about half the time.

So Frustrating

Let's talk today. I have not been able to log-in to my Twitter all morning. I have been trying for four hours and it just wants to deny me my pleasure to chat for as long as it can. This comes just days after the reply app was "under construction" for about four days. Twitter, please use some of that money Amazon invest in your company to function like a website. Right now I hate Twitter, ask me again tomorrow and I will tell you I love them. It is confusing but we all can understand that.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Can You Solve Social Media?

Do not count on this guy coming up with the answer (he's got a lot on his plate) but will you or your company have a solution? Social media is changing the way we communicate with consumers. You will not find out the answer by getting an MBA, trust me on that one, or by reading the latest blogs and news. Hopefully the following will help because I have experience helping businesses with social media and perhaps my advice will shed some light.

Create, Don't Wait

Every second you are waiting for someone to tell you how to use social media to your advantage, you are missing the opportunity. Now I am not saying to dive in heads first without checking how deep the water is, what I am saying is that nobody has a successful generic template they can give you. Therefore as marketers or business leaders you must begin to test which social media avenues work for your brand or company and record those results. Some will work and some will not. But which ones thrive will depend on you.

Finding a Successful Social Media Avenue

The most important factor to accomplishing a social media campaign is to be interactive. You can do this in all avenues but it is more important than you think. Traditionally advertising has been targeted at large segments. This results with consumers feeling undistinguished and unexceptional as part of a large group. With social media you can actually target a single person making them feel valued. A one on one dialogue is central to this campaign and it is not as hard as it sounds. Do this well and you will turn your average consumer to a full out evangelist.

Responding to Crisis

You are bound to make mistakes because you probably have never done this before. Your consumers will at times criticize you and complain. What do you do then? Responding to a mistake or complaint quickly and efficiently will show your consumers you really value them. Just recall your last phone call to your cable company, nothing was solved and it just made you angrier. Do not let this happen, no matter what. Going through this process you will have to make promises you have never made before and follow through with them. Then these consumers will love you and tell all their friends about how a big company did so much just for one person. Get started by assembling your team of social media specialists.

These factors are not all you need but they are important ones. Let me know what other major factors I should have covered or what I missed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The VIA Group Caught Red Handed!

Who wants to work for and advertising agency that has a record of lying to their clients? The answer is clear, but that does not stop on agency out in Portland. Thanks to a story from Mediabistro a disgruntled employee at The VIA Group sent out an email expressing the dishonest truth his company has been lying about for quite some time.


According to the employee email, "despite our constant claim--on the site (vianow.com), in every press release, and in every pitch we do--that we have "offices in Boston and New York," the fact is that we have NEVER, EVER had a New York office. Not ever." Why be deceitful in where your company has a location? Perhaps saying they had a New York office was the only way they got clients such as HP, HBO, JP Morgan and CBS Radio. Well if I was one of those clients I would be livid. Not so much due to their erroneous claim of a mythical office, but that I know they have been lying to a lot of people for a long time. How can I trust my business and my money to an agency like that, who knows what other stories they have told me? This made up location, if the email is true, is not worth any of the trouble for this company.

Social Media Can Hurt You

The fact that story came out online and is being talked about in blogs all over, maybe even New York, is evidence to the power of social media. Do something great and people will post blogs about you and praise your work, but do something wrong and people will hear about it before you do and the story will spread so fast that there is no stopping it. The force of social media is at work once again. So for all you companies, check your addresses and check on your angry employees.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Future of Social Media

Companies should be preparing for a 180 degree change in they way they do business. If they are not taking these measures now, they likely will not need to bother because they are too far behind already. What should these companies be doing? Executives, board of directors and everyone else in charge needs to be ready to turn over control of their company to the customers.

Why Transition is So Hard

We all know that this is the direction businesses are going. Even though people know this change is inevitable, there is resistance among the Baby Boomer leaders of America. There are a few reasons for this, all of which are simple yet important.

Baby Boomers Do Not Likes Change

These Baby Boomers have ran a generation they way they have seen fit for quite a long time, hence the recent economic trouble. They think they rule the world and know better than everyone else, just recall how our parents used to talk to us. Botox is a prime example on the desperation of this generation to hold on to what they value: youth, power and fortune. They have been trying so hard to hold on to the torch as long as possible. They cannot bare the idea of turning over their million and billion dollar companies to customers! Unfortunately for them, their global grasp on our economy has just about expired.

Customers Have All the Power

The future of social media is already upon us. It is dialogue with our customers. We will still be creating a product or service but the consumers will dictate what they need and want through a dialogue. This communication will take place through different social media channels, and you better believe Facebook and Google will be leading way. The companies that are already interacting with consumers through these channels such as Best Buy and IBM have been very successful. These social media networks allow the consumer to take control of what they desire. The companies who can listen to them better and respond to them the fastest will be the new business leaders in America and the world. So find those specialists in SM because you do not want to be left behind.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Will Facebook Succeed in Russia?

The domination of the social networking site Facebook in the U.S. is undeniable. Thus far, the SNS giant has been able to spread this success in other countries. However, they might face their first major obstacle. It seems like a few decades before anybody here has said this but Russia could stop this powerhouse cold in their tracks. Funny? Not really.

Russian Roadblock

Facebook has picked Russia as their next potential hot spot, which seems extremely unlikely due to sub-zero temperatures. Other large internet players have tried the trip into Russia before such as MySpace and search king Google. It is hard to imagine that Google could not dominate in the Russian market as well as they have in the States. One explanation, according to The New York Times, is the popular Russian search engine Yandex. Their advantage is being a Russian product thus the language and culture is not a barrier to thrive. Facebook has a tough challenge ahead. Perhaps buying half of the Russian vodka supply could give a good name for Facebook over there. I'm just saying.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Associated Press Revolt!

The Associated Press (no link here as long as they continue to be absolutely anal) will have their own Jim Kennedy meet today with Robert Cox, president of the Media Bloggers Association. The AP as we all know have been heading this revolt against the blogger world complaining and insisting that AP material is copyrighted and cannot be used in blogs.

What Fellow Bloggers Can Do

I believe that it is up to myself and other talented writers, let's call them bloggers, to avoid paying attention to whatever the AP is posting as their "news". You can visit the site by InfoWorld and see that there are people joining the blogger revolt against the Associated Press. While our initial mental tendency is going to be towards anger, I will advice us to take some simple steps to avoid most trouble we could get into.

My Advice

Just type whatever the hell you want and we will get away with it forever! Oh, sorry about that. I am still trying to control my anger as you can see. Seriously there is something simple that we can do that should work. As long as we give credit to the initial media source where we first received the news than we will be fine. I am not saying we need to properly site our sources and include a reference page at the end. This idea is for most bloggers who repeat news rather than creating their own ideas and posting them. The outcome will probably not enforce any bloggers to change they way we do things. The AP is feeling a bit upset about losing some control of the grasp they had on providing information. Just remember this: the AP is so small in comparison to all the bloggers out there. Majority rules.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

LinkedIn Valued at $1 Billion

LinkedIn is the SNS for working professionals. While engaged workers also use sites such as Facebook to stay connected to friends and family, LinkedIn is targeted at the average employee. So what is that worth?

LinkedIn, say hello to $$

According to The New York Times, LinkedIn is valued at $1 billion. This amount is more than twice as much as the amount payed by News Corporation to aquire MySpace in 2005. I am thinking that MySpace sold out a little to early. Ouch! Anyway, how does the possible $1 billion payday compare to the SNS powerhouse Facebook? Last year Facebook was valued at a whopping $15 billion. Good effort LinkedIn, but you still have a long way to go before you can play in their league.

Next Move for LinkedIn

Clearly the challenge will be to continue on this path in the future. LinkedIn wants more of a global grasp in their business model and to do that they will soon apply wanted features such as a group calendar and allowing employees to collaborate on projects. They still have to balance the increasing pressure for world wide company use with the privacy of the employee. Some employees will feel quite uncomfortable with their resumes posted online looking for that great job while their bosses are viewing the same material. However, the future does look bright for this social networking site. Are you on LinkedIn?

Monday, June 16, 2008

MySpace to Change Site Design

Social networking sites have been recent cash cows. But is the trend slowing? MySpace had a target of $1 billion in revenue for the fiscal year. However, they will be falling way short of that goal.

The MySpace Problem

As I explained in my prior blog, MySpace has a major problem on their hands. Their web design has been subjected to harsh criticism and they deserved it. The web design is simply atrocious and very cluttered. This poor quality has led to MySpace falling short of their target revenue by about $250 million, according to the The New York Times.

Can MySpace Fix This?

Thankfully all of these voices bashing the MySpace website has caused a change. MySpace will drastically change their site design this Wednesday. They really have to improve their site and cannot afford the slightest mistake. The goal for MySpace will be to create a great new looking site that will not be too cluttered and overwhelming. At the same time they need to boost ad sales to increase their income to meet revenue forecasts. These two goals seem conflicting to me, so I wish MySpace all the luck because Facebook is growing stronger by the second.

Free Wi-Fi Where You Live is Coming

Tired of paying for internet access in your home or tired of having to go to the same coffee shop just to get online? Well your concerns and discomforts will soon be alleviated. Look no further than to California when technology reaches new heights. In San Francisco there is free Wi-Fi availble to all it's citizens. Thanks to Meraki, a South of Market company, people in the bay area are experiencing life as we'd like it. Not because of the great weather or the retreat of Barry Bonds, but because internet access is free!!

What is Meraki doing?

According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Meraki is making "repeater antenna" devices and placing them on rooftops, balconies and other open areas throughout the city. These devices, about 15,000 of them, will soon cover the city and provide the bay area population with free Wi-Fi. These citizens can sign up to use this free service if they like, I know I would. Well over 100,000 people in the city will be surfing the net for free by the end of the year.

How Will Meraki Impact You?

First of all, we can look foward to canceling our contracts with Comcast, who I simply despise. As far as getting Meraki to your city, well it could take some time. Right now Meraki is still testing their product on the west coast. Depending on their results, such as how quickly people catch on and if they earn a respecting revenue, Meraki will likely start with highly populated metropolitan locations. The company's goal is to spread like wildfire, no pun intended California. And as for receiving the service for free, again it looks promising but at most we would pay just a fraction of what we are now. The company wants to bring online connectivity to everyone for free so I say to Meraki, "You can tackle the two Twin Cities for the cost of one. Hurry and get over here, my budget desperately needs you."

Friday, June 13, 2008

Facebook Surpasses MySpace

No longer does MySpace lead the social networking world. For years MySpace has entertained users with loud images and flashy content. According to TechCrunch, the new leader in social networking is Facebook. With their extremely fast growth, we all knew this day would come. But why?

Why Facebook Excels

Facebook surpassed Myspace in the number of unique visitors worldwide because Facebook was able to do one thing much better than their rival. One thing, is that all? With all the social networking sites having similar purposes and even similar apps, one way to differentiate is all you need. Facebook has a very "eye friendly" layout. The sections of your profile and homepage is clearly sectioned with the famous blue color (that I am sure Facebook is working on patenting). Everytime I visit MySpace, I feel like I have just fallen from a tree and caught every branch in the face before I hit the ground. Honestly, this website is overloaded with advertisements that are incredibly annoying. It feels like I got caught between Pamela and Tommy Lee on a boating trip. Yikes! Sorry for the rant. Poor MySpace, their initial fame and growth eventually became their downfall due to the number of companies buying online ad space. So how did Facebook avoid this deep pit?

Respect Your Consumer

Ask any consumer and they will tell you, they hate being bombarded with advertisements. I am not saying that Facebook does not advertise. Not at all. What I am saying is that Facebook and NotEnoughSpace (you like that) uses online ads in very different ways. Go to the Facebook homepage and tell me how many ads you see. Don't bother, the answer is ZERO. That's right, not even one ad. What about MySpace? They have too many, at the current time of this post they are running movie trailors on the homepage. This is exactly what I am talking about. Consumers do not want to be harassed with these ads. Facebook has respected this and they use ads very subtly. There are some ads but for the most part, especially on your profile, they are not overwhelming in any sense. Thank you Facebook for respecting my little feeling of privacy, my mom could have learned a thing or two from you. And so can MySpace.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Glassdoor.com: A New Way to Rate and Review Your Company

I always wished I knew exactly how much my boss was being paid because it has to be way too much. Does this sound familiar? Thanks to an article I read in Business Week, a new website has come to solve that age old question. On Glassdoor.com anybody can search for the salaries of employees and view ratings and reviews of CEO's at any company including IBM, Google, and many others.

What is Glassdoor.com?

Although finding information on what your competitors and other industry leaders are paying their employees, the real power behind Glassdoor.com is the ratings and reviews. You might be thinking to yourself why is this so important? Well tune in to this. Businesses have been receiving reviews from newspapers, magazines and online sites for decades. What is special about Glassdoor.com is that actual employees are rating their CEO and giving a review of their own company. What does this mean for your business and is it good news or bad?

Good News or Bad News

For most of you, this might come as a shock but this is actually great news for your company. If you are runing a business the right way and are treating your employees the way they deserve, your ratings and reviews are going to look fantastic. If you are one of those greedy and power hungry corporations, you are soon to find out what everyone really thinks about you. Overall there are several benefits this site will make to your company.

Having actual employees rating their company is going to let potential clients and potential recruits know what it is like working with your company. This information is desperately sought after by those who want to do business with you. If one knows what the environment is like before entering into business, things are going to run much more swimmingly. Having anonymous ratings on how the company is fairing will make the reviews all the more believable to viewers. Plus, as a business owner you will be receiving free feedback from your employees rather than spending tons of money on employee surveys. Just beware! Your employees are going to be talking about their company and owners better take a look, because everyone else will be.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Seen the iPod 3G ad?

Is this how Apple really operates?

Of course not, and Apple knows it. I think the ad is hilarious. They are making fun of themselves and the stigma of being this secret powerful organization, which is partially true. Besides from being funny or too serious, either way you are right, the ad only has one strategy.

Buzz Buzz

The Apple ad for their new iPod 3G is all about buzz buzz buzz baby. I have heard people ripping on this company for not showing how many apps or new features are on the phone. People have complained how they want to see the Loopt feature, which is personally one of my favorites. Loopt really created a great feature: it is your social compass. It finds your friends and places a pin on a map to show you exactly where they are. I know, that's sweet. Know you can check to see which of your friends are close by for lunch or if your exgirlfriend was in the area when your house was just demolished by toliet paper (that feature would have been helpful then).

Here is what I say to all those Apple ad critics. This ad is not to show all the new apps or anything like that. They want to get you feeling curious about what it can do. This leads you to where they are really marketing this product. The actual store. Apple has the best plan to market this product by letting people play with it and try it out before ever needing to purchase it. You tell me, after playing with the old iPhone in their store I wanted it more than I ever thought. So watch the add again and share with me what you really think about Apple.

YouTube to have Creators sell their own ad space

Listen up all YouTube enthusiasts. You may have even more incentive now to post your view worthy material on YouTube rather than on Vimeo or other video websites. Why you ask? The answer could just make you rich.

Apparently YouTube is going to allow professional content producers to sell their own advertising space. What does this mean? Creators will be in charge of what ads they want surrounding their video or actually embeded in the posted video (at the beginning or end of the post). Being able to choose what ads appear on their video page and what they charge advertisers, wow this sounds great for the creators. But how exactly is this a good thing for YouTube?

This deal makes sense because it provides YouTube with two things that they desire. First, they get a portion of the revenue from the creators selling their ad space. More importantly, YouTube gets exposure in the ad agency world. This will provide incentive to quality content providers to join the YouTube following. More quality videos on the site will bring more advertisers willing to pay for ad space. We have to give props to YouTube on this one, they continue to find unique ways to make money. Plus, we get to benefit in watching all the new stimulating videos. What will you be watching today?

Monday, June 9, 2008

The iPhone 3G

Be prepared all you Apple addicts. Steve Jobs is set to announce today another sequal to his big motion picture "iPhone". Seriously, Apple has been hyping this announcement for quite a while. This iPhone will not be just another great product put on the shelves by Steve Jobs. Rather it could be the best prduct you can buy!

Why is it the best? Thanks to live blog posts by Tom Krazit, I got details on some of the iPhone's new features which will include a higher resolution camera, a slimmer profile, a black plastic back, metal buttons on the side,a flush-headphone jack and improved audio. And of course a 3G support. The 8GB will cost as little as $199 and the 16GB will cost $299, which is much less than the prices of the original iPhone's introduction. Basically the only thing you will not be able to do with the new iPhone is to open that can-o'-beans or stop your dog from chewing on your shoes. Steve, I know your listening so maybe the next iPhone can handle those two problems I just mentioned. You don't have to thank me. On the other hand, I am thanking Mr. Jobs because this iPhone is going to be much more affordable than when the initial version came out. So for all you trend setters out there mark your calender for July 11 which is when it should be on the shelves. The best phone on the planet will soon be yours.

Where's Twitter?

If you have noticed that your Twitter home page is looking a bit odd lately, it is not your fault. Personally, I have no pictures of all the people I am following on Twitter. So what's going on?

As you can read in my above blog, Apple is set to announce the new iPhone. All day this news has people running wild. Not only that, but they are all about to "tweet" something that explains their madness. This is why Twitter could enter a "grey mode". Their grey mode allows Twitter to remove a lot of online clutter, such as pictures and background images, that will not slow down the site and worse make the site crash as it frequently does. They have to do this to accommodate all the extra tweets during the WWDC, Worldwide Developers Conference, where Apple is set to unleash the new iPhone. Will Twitter's plan to handle the tweet overload actually work? Probably not. But I have been wrong at least once before, so we will have to wait and see.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Forget Craigslist, here comes Walmart Clasifieds!

Craigslist has long lived as the simple and easy way to buy and sell whatever you want. Sometimes this has gotten them in trouble!! For the most part, thanks to Craigslist I have bought and sold thousands of dollars worth of random things such as tickets, clothes and my TV.

But wait. Here comes Walmart. It is like that bad dream you "mom and pap" stores have been experiencing for years. Walmart has introduced Walmart Classifieds, a new competitor to Craigslist. As evil and retched Walmart has become, they might have just made your lives and my life a lot easier. This site lets you search for items just like Craigslist... So what's the difference? The main difference is that Walmart Classifieds takes you to the actual website of the listing when you click on the item you are interested in.

Go on and give it a try, but don't tell Craigslist I suggested it. I am a loyal and proud fan of Craigslist. I have used it for years and will continue to use it. I have always hated the monster corporations, let me say Walmart, for what they stand for and what they destroy. Then again, if Walmart gives me access to better deals and betters finds than Craigslist, I might have to reconsider. Please Craigslist, beware and keep those eager and bitter giants from knocking down your walls. As for now, I'm staying true to good old Craigslist. Learn and live I guess.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

New Social Network Site Headed on the Right Path

For all those who are looking to stay ahead of the social media learning curve, you cannot miss what is happening now. There is a new SNS that solves that old question: What if I don't want my boss to be my friend on Facebook? I could not find an answer to this question until I came across a site on social media by Desarae and the answer she lead me to was the SNS ZLoop. Thankfully these guys finally created a simple and user friendly network that can be used to include your groups of friends, your family, employees, etc. The best part is being able to create loops that separate your friends from employers. This application is somewhat available at other sites but not as easy to use. Learn and live, that's my mantra.