5 posts categorized "Google"

July 09, 2010

What is a business card now we have Google?

A physical token of us having met.

That's what a business card is now - isn't it?

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Things aren't the way they used to be, but they're still there - they just have a different meaning.

Take the humble business card.  Really what does it represent? You? Maybe it does, but in the world of the web if I want to find you, I mean really want to find you, I can and I will and with better detail by Googling your name.

Business cards are just one thing.

The Times (newspapers in general), is/are that/they another? I mean before the internet or the web newspapers were the norm for getting a message across. Anything from marketing to general information. In other words the newspapers contained the "call to action" - they were the final point before "interaction". If you had something to sell you put an advert in the newspaper which prompted the user to pick up the phone or visit the shop.

However, with the advent of the web, newspapers are now secondary to the final "call to action". The power of the web is changing the nature of the way we act, react, interact and it would seem that what we took for granted before the web is now playing a secondary role or has an alternate meaning.

Question therefore: What else is playing a secondary role/having an alternate meaning?

Marketing? Piping intent?

N

June 09, 2010

Social media is crap.

Apparently!

But is it?

One thing is for sure, it would seem that there is a lot of debate on the web and it would also appear that the term "Marketing" and "Social Media" are being used in the same sentence.

Question: Should they?

I would argue that if they are, then it is crap. I can say this because most of the "marketeers" that I know would wish that it did or still see it as an opportunity to do so.

I'm not a marketeer, never have been, but from what I can see Marketing stands for this: See a "channel" (an opportunity to be exposed to great numbers of people), go with a budget and create a "campaign", then calculate the "ROI", take the profit and do it again.

There is nothing wrong with this.

But what is wrong is trying to use this method in a social environment. Surely.

Yesterday it was announced that social networks have overtaken search engines in the UK!  Marketing using an indexing site such as Google will deliver a quantifiable ROI, we know this to be true. 

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Pics courtesy of TechCrunch Europe 
 

But this form of marketing is no different than having a shop on the High street - fuelled by intent, and this word "intent" is important. We go shopping with the intent to buy something, but we don't go to a social activity with the same intent. Social activities, by default, can influence the intent, but the subtleties of this are a far reach of what traditional marketing will bring to "intent".

Robin Goad from Hitwise says this: “although social networks and search engines perform different functions, they both act as gateways to the wider Internet. This data perfectly illustrates the key role that social media now plays in so much online behavior.”

So it would appear that "Marketing" is a method of captivating intent. Good. But it only works when there is intent.

The intent in a social activity is exactly that - social.

So it would appear that SM is a force that, without a doubt and bias, needs to be reckoned with - but the subtleties of method and use need to be dealt with as well.

And these subtleties mean that "Marketing" (in the traditional sense) to the social streams is crap, because you will find it very hard to calculate an ROI. It's costly and, moreover, in the long term could spell disaster as what ever you put up there today stays there in perpetuity and being perceived as a spammer will only damage your brand and mind-share.

Marketing to a social stream will "pigeon hole" the perpetrator as being "stuck on broadcast mode" and what is social about that?

Social media is not crap - marketing to it is.

N

May 18, 2010

Blogging: What's it all about then?

It is my humble opinion that blogging is the cornerstone of a nutritious social web diet.  It is the backbone of everything you do and that you are on-line.   My reason for saying this is such:  Only 14% of people trust advertising whereas 78% of people trust community, peer, or friend review.  These reviews and recommendations are coming from, among other places, the humble blog.

Question:  Are you being found, talked about, and shared into other people's networks?  Because that is where the real magic of the social web happens!

Below is my guide to best practice.

1. How to guides.

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photo courtesy of jempp.com


Think about the web and how we use it (consumers). We put a search term in Google and "bang" up come thousands of results!  Which ones do we rely on though? How do we disseminate between all the results?  Which ones do we trust?  What would you do as a consumer?

Bear this in mind as a supplier of the information. How are you going to get consumers to trust you?

You will get found, that is for  sure, but with all the thousands of unique posts out there - Question: Are you producing the goods?

Answer: Give yourself the maximum opportunity by cultivating your posts to include - great visuals, reliable content, simple steps, working examples, downloadable content. Moreover, become the "go to" person within your industry and you'll get more reaction on your blog.

2. Problems.

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Photo courtesy of Zazzle.com 


Lots of people write about problems, we're all good at that. But a structured approach to solving the problem without causing another one could be in the minority and as such becomes valuable.

Can you see problems within your industry? If so what solutions can you bring to bear? Remember the subject does not have to be related as long as it's relative.

3. Feedback.

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Photo courtesy of reach.gov 


Ask for it - no really, ask for it.

Get as much feedback as you can, engage in debate. You'll find that people will engage  when they have a different angle on the same subject and that's good!   This gives you the ability to "stretch yourself" and engage in an intellectual debate.

4. Give stuff away.

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Photo courtesy of boingpoumtchak.com 


Why not? It does not mean that you have to give all away, just the stuff that helps the consumer, stuff that makes their day better. Doing this gets them to talk about you and your blog, they will direct more people to your blog and some of them will engage with you.

The web is there to help people organise themselves and if you are part of this help, it will work wonders for you.

5. Review/s.

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Photo courtesy of zwcadclub.com


Tell people about what you read, what phone your prefer, let them know about your experience with consumer goods that you have consumed - good and bad. Remember people are looking for this information and they will find you.

The social web is about people, it's about conversation - let people engage with you.

6. Latest stories.

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Photo courtesy of boorama.files.wordpress.com 


Have an opinion.

You have to be fast with this, keeping up to date with world opinion will get you found and fast. Remember that there are "Real Time" feeds that can catapult you into the limelight of "groundswell" - meaning the ability to create content that swarms of people will aggregate for you.

7. Lessons from life.

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Photo courtesy of grief.com


Stuff happens that will all can learn from, and an excercise in humility can go along way.

Life lessons appeal to all. With respect we all can be accused of voyeurism, it guides us through what is happening in our own lives.

Sharing these experiences can go along way, you will make more "friends" and allies. In turn these people will help you aggregate your blog.

8. Comparables.

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Photo courtesy of csmanagement.files.wordpress.com 


With the multitude of content out there, improvement and change is always easy to see and report on. Within your industry change is inevitable and favorable - Question: Can you see it?

If so then write about it as some other people will miss it, and they need to know.  This helps you be perceived as a "thought leader".

9. Share.

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Photo courtesy of guardian.co.uk 


Share what other people do.

Your blog can be stimulated by sharing other views, events, writing etc - never plagerise -  just report.

Example: If you attend many events, then why not write about them? Sometimes this does not take the form of "writing" i.e a blog post. It could be in the form of pictures or video.

10. Use the platforms.

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Photo courtesy of communitywealth.com 


Blogging. Let's understand it.

It's means getting you "stuff" onto the web.  This does not mean that it has to take the form of words, it can also mean picture and/or video as well as audio.

There are many different sites and methods of using theses sites most of them are free and remember not all consumers consume from the same bowl!

We all need to accept the info in different formats.

Conclusion:

Blogging should not be a chore, it also should not solely take the format of words. The real treasure in blogging and the real value that blogging can bring is to look at it from the point of view of the consumer. By understanding this it will give you  direction as a producer.

One thing we can guarantee is that people are looking for "stuff" on the web. We know there are over 62 billion searches per month on Google alone that 10 years ago did not exist! Having a computer in your pocket (aka iPhone/Android) will only add to these searches.

Becoming an industry leader within your field means being relevant and being found - and you can't be found without being published. This does not mean published in the traditional format of a book (although this will help) but published in the realms of find-ability on the web.

The web is changing all we do and are as a society.  It is changing the fundamental structure of society.   Trust is the key and the currency of the social web so you can only get trust by engaging with the web - Share yourself with people, let people see who you really are, let them know your opinion, let them know why and how, let them get under your skin - above all, let them trust you.

April 29, 2010

"What would Google do?" Quick book review.

Quick review. I've just finished reading (or listening to) "What would Google do" by Jeff Jarvis. (HarperCollins, on January 27, 2009).

It's been on my reading list for a year now and I've only just got around to getting it read.

I'm glad I did. 

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He give a very concise image of where Google has come from and, more importantly, what we can learn from it.

Google has taught us that they are good at organising searches. This, in turn, tells of a different method that we and/or businesses can be indexed and found. It also delivers a different method of use for our businesses.

In the book Jeff explains how he has and would "Googlefy" businesses. This is well worth knowing as it gets your head thinking in the different way of how you may "Googlefy" your business.

Being as though the "social web" is not going away and it delivers a completely different method to bring yourself and/or your business to market, this book is well worth the read.

Theses are Jeff's words on the book:

"My book, What Would Google Do?, will be released by Collins Business, a division of HarperCollins, on January 27, 2009. The idea: I try to reverse-engineer the success of the fastest growing company in the history of the world, the one company that truly understands how to succeed in the internet age, and then take those lessons and apply them to a number of industries, companies, and institutions, from carmakers to restaurants to universities to government."

You can buy the book from Amazon here.

Or get the audiobook here or simply search on iTunes..

Regards N  

  

February 03, 2010

I now have the Nexus 1 Google phone and I think …

 … I'm going to talk about it.



Click here
for some bigger pics.



Firstly here's a quick prediction - Web Access Will Not Focus Around the Computer.

Let me qualify that.

It's been a long time since an action has dictated how technology is being designed. I mean take TV. Since it's conception the overall design has never changed.  It has got bigger, better, smarter but we still use it in the same manner that it has dictated since conception. Even the telephone has not really changed (until now, but hold on).  Yes it went mobile in the 80's but all we really did was answer calls whilst walking around instead of being tied to the wall.

Computing has never really changed either.  We still are chained to the wall to access the hard drive and/or the web.

Until now.

2 years ago the iPhone gave the the first glimpse of mobile computing, in the true sense. Yes we could go on the web via a standard Nokia, but it was avery much stripped down version.

However, why did Apple go to all that trouble to design such an item? Answer:  Social Media and the Social Web.

The very fact that more and more people use mobile devices to communicate via the web gave rise to this form of design change. Moreover, has and is giving rise to the method that consumers search for "stuff".

As business people this is massive. Tangent: How do we get into these streams and "pipe the flow"?*

So we have mobile computing devices that are being designed around facebook, twitter, forums, social networks etc etc. I think this is fundamental.

Technology is being designed around the groundswell of a community and it's desires which, in turn, is giving back the "portals" that we need to use the web.

So:
1. The traditional computer that we have been "chained to" is now not 100% needed to access the web and/or work/recreational activities.
2. The way we communicate has changed:  no longer are we "chained to" a traditional phone work/recreational activities.
3. The way we consume media has changed:  no longer are we "chained to" the TV and/or radio work/recreational activities. All of which has been induced by the use of the "free" web and it's various social app's. Therefore, technology is at last, changing to suit the action not dictating the action.

So back onto the devices themselves - who's in the running?
1. iPhone.
2. Android.
3. Blackberry.
4. Palm
5. All the others.

Firstly lets get rid of the ones I think don't "cut the mustard" - at the moment.

Palm - it's rubbish, ineffective, out dated and immediately out-gunned.

Nokia, what used to be (and still is a fantastic stand alone phone) now is floundering, it's software is really "buggy" and irritating. All the others: Other than BB, iPhone and Android 2.0 (Hero or Nexus 1) they have genius in small doses but are inferior to the former - and as this is not meant to be a complete phone review I'm going to leave them.

The trouble with BB (Blackberry) IMHO is, on one hand it's great for e-mail, but on the other,  it really lacks any punch for media, especially the social variety. It may have a camera and video capability but after you have shot it, it's quite difficult to share it.

iPhone is great, very svelte, very useable, media friendly, brand aware, gorgeous - and flawed in the battery department, running multi app's and being tethered to the mobile me cloud.

Android (Nexus 1) very svelte, very useable, media friendly, brand aware, gorgeous (maybe not as much as the iPhone) but infinitely better in the battery dept, not tied to a closed cloud but an open one where you can share with collaborators, friends, colleagues etc. (and a much better processor and screen resolution)

The difference between them is minimal to most users - but to hard-core SM, SB, SM users the Nexus 1 comes out on top.

I run both.  Being a geek I would, but the Nexus 1 is the one I use all the time and bearing in mind the volume of "stuff" that I put on the web the reason should be clear.

Don't shoot the messenger!   I love Mac products - I have a MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, and a Mac Pro (G4) with x2 30'' HD monitors so no one can accuse me of going against Apple or the iPhone.   It's a brilliant product/device that history will have down as the first one that delivered this change. However - right here right now - Google Android Nexus 1 is better.

BUT I have always believed in function over fashion (of which the paradox is creating fashion as the by-product) and the Android has the legs - one of the reasons for this is that the OS can be used on anything not just Googles product.

Bill Gates once said he wants to put a Windows powered PC on every desk - Google is saying it wants to put Android OS power in everything!!! This is something that Apple cannot do, as it's controlled.

So my original prediction "Web Access Will Not Focus Around the Computer" is quite predictable - just make your decision wisely as you will be trading with these devices soon, and the last thing you want is the battery to run out or limit your needs.

Conclusion: The web is now mobile, we are no longer tied to a desktop and the playing field is now level. Our next Consumer and Client use the web in a very different manner, they are searching for us in a very different manner, and the manner of their use is not 9-5.

Footnotes:

Apple are releasing their new iPhone 4 in June and you can get the Nexus 1 via Vodafone in March.

P.S You know you can get self winding watches that work off you moving, well a little birdie has told me this function may be coming to phones - self charging phones, how novel.

* engage with the web via the social networks available on your mobile device.

Next training event -
"How to implement a Social Media Strategy for your business" - click here -

Next networking event -
"Business blogging mistakes and how to avoid them" - click here -


Regards N
  
Nick Tadd is a web brand auditor, strategist, thought provoker, communicator and connector.   
socialmediagraffiti.com