Microsoft has a neat new iPhone app out to create panoramic photos. Here is one I took.
Last week Facebook introduced a new comments tool that allows websites to add comments powered by Facebook. I’m testing the comments out on my blog but several other high profile sites, including TechCrunch, have switched.
One of the strengths of this system is that it ties a comment to a person. For large blogs, it prevents anonymous users from posting spam or other non constructive content. In addition, by linking blog comments to your Facebook profile, it offers the possibility of bringing new visitors to a site through a user’s friend network.
Several downsides include not being in control the content of comments, because they are stored by Facebook, and requiring users to be on Facebook (or Yahoo) in order to comment.
It will be interesting to see if Facebook comments become the default standard for comments on the web or just a side venture that never pans out. With plug-ins, like the one I’m using, to integrate Facebook comments into WordPress – I would be hard pressed to bet against at least moderate success.
A few weeks ago I put together a presentation on HTML5.
Here is the presentation:
Here are my speaking notes:
HTML5 Training Notes
Here are a few resources that I recommend:
- Dive into HTML5 – This is one of the best resources I could find. It walks you through HTML5 with an easy to follow narrative and excellent code examples.
- HTML5 Quick Reference Guide – This is a cheat sheet for coding in HTML5
For most organizations, your physical location is just a part of the way a customer experiences your brand. However, it can quickly ruin a customer’s experience because it gives them a concrete image to associate with your organization. A poorly maintained location places an obstacle to your customer doing business with you again. All business should focus on getting the following basics right before you ever invite a customer to your site.
- Be clean.
- No clutter. Keep everything that doesn’t add to a consistent brand image hidden. Simple is good.
- The exterior is just as important as the interior. Keep the landscaping up. Maintain the building and parking lots well. Better than most businesses.
Do you know of an organization that does a particularly good or bad job with this? Tell us in the comments.
Type what you want to track.
One of my favorite tools to track mentions of a company, product or person is Google Alerts. This is a simple tool that can give you an edge in understanding what people are saying about you or your organization.
How it works
Choose a search term and use advanced search options to tailor your results. Google will scan the internet for you at the time interval you decide and then email what it finds to you.
You can also decide what type of content you want to hear about. I like the comprehensive option, but it can also selectively search: news sites, blogs, the general web, video and groups.
Once you’ve created your alert you’ll be able to login using a Google Account to edit your alerts. You can also receive the results as an RSS feed to insert into your favorite feed reader by clicking the search term while managing your alerts. Just look for the RSS icon either in the address bar of your browser or on the left hand side of the page.
What have you used Google Alerts to track? Leave a comment and let us know.
If you want to succeed as a business or organization, consistency is crucial.
Last week one of the blogs that I follow had a post that was different than the type of content they normally publish. The blog has a strong following in its specific niche so after reading a post that didn’t have anything to do with their niche I was left scratching my head. It was a clear case of “one of these things doesn’t belong.”
Consistency does three main things:
- Turns a one-time experience into repeat users
- Builds trust in your organization and messages
- Creates the basis for your brand image
Consistency = Repeat users
When a new restaurant opens its doors, people will come just because it’s new. If customers enjoy the experience, they’ll come back. The second visit makes the difference between a trial and a customer. Can you deliver the same experience twice? If so, you’ve earned a repeat customer.
A single great performance will fail when compared to lesser but consistent performances.
Consistency = Trust
Trust comes from meeting expectations over time. People want to trust you. They value trust because it streamlines their life. They don’t have to hedge against you not delivering. As a result they are willing to pay for the ability to trust. Consistency impacts the bottom line because people who trust you are willing to pay in order to continue trusting you.
Consistency = A Brand
When you combine repeat users with trust, you have the beginnings of a brand. This also gives you the opportunity to expand with the goodwill that you’ve created carrying over. You can easily create a brand that stands for not meeting expectations and turning people away after one try but it won’t be around for long.
Find what you can do consistently
In order to succeed find something you can do consistently. Start small and consistent and then build or expand.
My current working theory of marketing says that there are two core elements, stories and relationships.
Stories are the threads that tie all the pieces together. Packaging, distribution, pricing and advertising are all parts of a story that is being created about a brand, product, organization or person.
Relationships are how people see themselves tied to a brand, product, organization or other person.
The best stories are those that bring a person into a relationship or further develop the relationship.
As a marketer, you should be looking for stories that create a relationship between what you’re promoting and the audience you’re targeting.