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 (, 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 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 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

Although finding information on what your competitors and other industry leaders are paying their employees, the real power behind 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 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.