Forget About Foot Traffic, Focus on Online Traffic.

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I recently moved to a new city (hence the lack of posts lately) and as a result, have been looking for new places to eat and visit. As I venture out around town, I’ll note  a few restaurants/bars that look interesting and go straight to Google and Yelp to check out reviews. What’s surprising is that many restaurants I look up have absolutely NO online presence. This is a huge mistake. Why, you may ask. Continue Reading →

Are Social Networks High School Cliques?

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Are the popular girls on Pinterest, gossip girls on Twitter and jocks on Facebook?

There have been a lot of articles written about Pinterest’s typical users; describing them as “18-34-year-old, upper-income women from the Midwest”. This instantly reminded me of the popular, rich, mean girls in high school. A stereotype, I know, but that got me wondering – do people with the same background and interests flock to certain social platforms? And if so, can they be categorized into the cliché  high school cliques? Why, yes and yes! Lo and behold, the folks at Flowtown put together a funny High School Yearbook for Social Networks, check it out:

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A Free White Paper for Fellow Project Managers

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As professionals, we constantly strive to be better at what we do and maintain our knowledge in an industry. This is true for all careers, but especially for Project Managers. In addition to staying current and knowledgable about evolving technologies within our industry, PMs must also possess the skills to lead a team and do it with elegance. Most of our skills are built from hands-on experience managing a project. But wouldn’t it be nice to have a little guidance along the way? There are sources like the PMI you can turn to as well as network with other Project Managers. Well, I have another option for you, and guess what – it’s FREE! Continue Reading →

Ads that Work: Google Tells a Story

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What makes great advertising? Experts will tell you that an effective ad should be relevant to its target audience and should connect with a consumer on a deep personal level. How can advertisers create this emotional response with only a few seconds in front of the consumer? The trick is to tell a great story. I haven’t seen many brands pull this off consistently; except for one: Google. Now, they may have an advantage over most – most people use Google’s services for search, analytics, etc. So it’s pretty easy to setup a Google advert that is relavant to its consumers since we all use it. But they successfully connect with their customers by doing one thing: they tell a great story from the perspective of a regular user. They don’t use the traditional gimmicks of flashy, shiny ads or celebrity endorsements. They don’t push messaging on why we should use their products. Instead, they simply show us how everyday people use and interact with Google products on the day to day. And it works! Time and time again, this formula has pulled at our heart strings. Check out a few of their best commercials below…

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Got Information? Why Not – It’s Free!

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I can’t tell you how many times I use Google a day. Whether I’m looking up a local restaurant or guides on how to code a drop-down list, I turn to the the search giant to help me on the day-to-day. It’s a must for me to stay informed of new and emerging technology, not only because I’ll use it as a part of an overall campaign but because it’s vital to know how they could affect said campaign. Because of this, I scour blogs and tweets from sources that I trust and respect. Continue Reading →

Twitter Gets You Instant Response

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I’ll let you in on a little secret: if you’re having trouble getting through to customer support, start making your woes public on Twitter and Facebook. You’re likely going to get an instantaneous response. Why? Well, there are have been so many examples of customer rants going viral on social networks, that brands are terrified they might be next. Just take Kevin Smith’s Twitter rant about Southwest Airlines or Jeff Jarvis’ angry letter to Dell. When issues go unnoticed, brands risk the chance of a small irritation turning into a PR nightmare.  Continue Reading →

The Dos & Don’ts of Active Listening

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I love my family, but boy, they are an interesting bunch. I joke that our family tagline is “everyone is talking, no one is listening”. They each have grand opinions and want to be heard; unfortunately, no one is willing to lend an ear. Their lack of communication skills has taught me that listening is key to creating a common ground and finding a solution.  This holds true for everyone, not just my family. We all want to express our ideas, but it is rare to find a someone who will actively listen. Continue Reading →

What’s with all the Internet Eye Candy?

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We obsess over sites like Tumblr, Fab.com and Pinterest. But why? And why you, a business owner, should pay close attention.

You’ve probably heard the chatter about the newest internet craze: Pinterest. Similar to other social networks like Tumblr, Fab.com and Instagr.am, users can share images from around the web that embody their interests and goals; a form of self expression. Some people have coined this movement as “social content curation”, which is supposedly the next big thing on the internet.    Continue Reading →

Taking it to the Tweets!

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How Social Networks have Revolutionized the Way We Protest

We’ve seen a lot of uprisings against institutions lately, from Occupy Wall Street to ‘Bank Transfer Day’. I’ve noticed a common denominator with these recent protests; one that we haven’t seen before. Rather than protesters literally taking to the streets to show dissatisfaction, we now see them take to the tweets. Continue Reading →

#OWS Needs a Project Management Plan

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Occupy Wall Street is making the news and gaining a lot of steam, but I have to ask: Is it going anywhere? It’s hard to know. While I have a vague idea of the #OWS agenda, the full scope of the movement is not 100% clear. This is why I feel #OWS needs a Project Management Plan. My thinking may be biased, seeing that I am a Project Manager, but I can’t help but see the value my profession could provide the movement. Here are a few considerations #OWS could bear in mind to help shape a solid plan moving forward. Continue Reading →

Pushing the Boundaries of Privacy

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Someone once told me that the internet is a reflection of the world’s collective consciousness at a given time. And at a basic level this makes sense; we use social media and the internet as our personal diaries to share our feelings constantly. So much so, that there are studies done to analyze our emotional state at different times using data from Twitter. But I believe this statement goes beyond just sharing how sad or happy we are,  that our awareness of each other and ourselves is somehow being represented and even expanded because of the internet. This is a hard concept to swallow. Is the internet forcing us to evolve? Continue Reading →

So You Need a CMS?

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For those of you who don’t know, a CMS is a content management system that enables website owners to modify web pages and publish new content without needing the skills to modify HTML. The system has design styles and layout structures locked in so users can focus on content creation only.

Having been a part of an interactive agency for the past 5 years, in addition to setting up a few websites for family and friends, I’ve become familiar with many of the CMSs available. From paid to free, simple to complex, open source to proprietary; I’ve test driven many systems and have become a fan for one particular CMS: WordPress! Before I get into why I love WordPress, we should first establish what your needs are as a website owner and if WordPress is the right solution for you. Continue Reading →

The Importance of Honest Time Tracking

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Many of you have probably felt the urge to fib a little on your timesheet to make it seem like you were more productive. I don’t blame you. Many companies use timesheets to assess how you’re  performing on the job by basing work done on time spent rather than the quality of work an employee produces. The problem with this is that it creates a culture of fear and is actually counter-productive. But there ARE benefits to time tracking. If a company uses it as a tool for creating efficiency that will as a result benefit their employees, then the stigmas associated with time tracking will vanish. Continue Reading →

Does Personalization Make Sense?

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You may or may not be familiar with personalization but if you’ve used the web at all in the past decade, then I can guarantee you’ve come across it. It’s a type of sales/advertising strategy that, based on your interests or browsing history, will recommend content or products suited to you. This is done by tagging content, information, products, etc. using complex taxonomies and then using algorithms to determine when and how that information should be presented to you, the end user. In certain contexts, it’s very powerful, allowing sites to upsell products that may be of interest to you. For example, if you just purchased a picture frame on Amazon, the site will suggest you take a look at frame hooks. Pretty neat, right? Continue Reading →

Facebook Fans are Powerful Brand Advocates

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Where do you start when you plan on buying a new car, try out a new restaurant or look for your next vacation spot? Most likely, you either turn to online reviews or ask a friend. With the rise of Facebook Fan Pages and Facebook Connect, these two resources are beginning to blend together, changing the way we make decisions and how businesses interact with us. Continue Reading →

How Your Online Persona Creates Real Human Connections

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We all know the reasons why it’s important for your business to reach out to your customers via Social Media. But with all the noise coming in from Twitter and Facebook, one has to wonder: are you really getting heard? To answer this you need to understand that user interactions online are very similar to human behavior in person. Your customers/users are more interested in a message that is relatable and personable on a human level. Continue Reading →

Job Creation: Are Social Media Advocates the Answer?

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Let me state the obvious, social media is big. And not just because trending topics make the nightly news. It’s big because it’s got the attention of advertisers. That means $$$. Businesses want to leverage social media to convert consumers into brand lovers. You’ve seen this already, ever notice the ads on the right column of your News Feed or the promoted Trending Topic? Advertisers pay big bucks just to get a little attention from you, but they miss the mark. The fact is, for social media marketing to work it has to engage the same way social media does: genuine conversations with real humans. Continue Reading →

In a Tech Savvy World, is a Traditional Resume Enough?

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Looking for a new job isn’t easy. Wouldn’t it be great to just walk into a business and hand in your resume, squeezing in a few minutes to show off your awesome personality? That’s a dream scenario; with the internet making everything more efficient (but less personal) it’s hard to get in those few minutes to really outshine the competition. Nowadays, most employers only accept online applications via email or job boards.  It’s nearly impossible to know where your resume ends up, let alone connect with an actual person. Trust me, I’ve had my fair share of “Thank you for your interest in this position, please DO NOT REPLY to this email”. That plus knowing that 80% of jobs offers are received through networking makes landing a job seem impossible. So what do you do to really grab an employer’s attention? Continue Reading →