Posted by: o2le | February 1, 2010

iPad…nano

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Posted by: o2le | February 1, 2010

Top 10 Common Faults In Human

Top 10 Common Faults In Human Thought

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Posted by: o2le | February 1, 2010

Top 100 funniest one-liners

1 I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.
2 Do not argue with an idiot. He will drag you down to his level and beat you with experience.
3 I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather.. Not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.
4 The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it’s still on the list.
5 Sex is not the answer. Sex is the question. “Yes” is the answer.
6 Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake a whole relationship.
7 We live in a society where pizza gets to your house before the police.
8 Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don’t have a good partner, you’d better have a good hand.
9 We never really grow up, we only learn how to act in public.
10 Men have two emotions: Hungry and Horny. If you see him without an erection, make him a sandwich.
11 Light travels faster than sound. This is why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
12 War does not determine who is right – only who is left.
13 If I agreed with you we’d both be wrong.
14 The early bird might get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.
15 Politicians and diapers have one thing in common. They should both be changed regularly, and for the same reason.
16 Children: You spend the first 2 years of their life teaching them to walk and talk. Then you spend the next 16 years telling them to sit down and shut-up.
17 If sex is a pain in the ass, then you’re doing it wrong…
18 Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit; Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
19 Evening news is where they begin with ‘Good evening’, and then proceed to tell you why it isn’t.
20 A bus station is where a bus stops. A train station is where a train stops. On my desk, I have a work station..
21 My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.
22 I didn’t fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian
23 If you think nobody cares if you’re alive, try missing a couple of payments.
24 I thought I wanted a career, turns out I just wanted paychecks.
25 If God is watching us, the least we can do is be entertaining.
26 Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.
27 If 4 out of 5 people SUFFER from diarrhea… does that mean that one enjoys it?
28 Some people are like Slinkies … not really good for anything, but you can’t help smiling when you see one tumble down the stairs.
29 How is it one careless match can start a forest fire, but it takes a whole box to start a campfire?
30 Did you know that dolphins are so smart that within a few weeks of captivity, they can train people to stand on the very edge of the pool and throw them fish?
31 A bank is a place that will lend you money, if you can prove that you don’t need it.
32 Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.
33 Never, under any circumstances, take a sleeping pill and a laxative on the same night.
34 To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism. To steal from many is research.
35 A computer once beat me at chess, but it was no match for me at kick boxing.
36 I saw a woman wearing a sweat shirt with “Guess” on it…so I said “Implants?”
37 Why does someone believe you when you say there are four billion stars, but check when you say the paint is wet?
38 A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.
39 The voices in my head may not be real, but they have some good ideas!
40 Good girls are bad girls that never get caught.
41 Women will never be equal to men until they can walk down the street with a bald head and a beer gut, and still think they are sexy.
42 Laugh at your problems, everybody else does.
43 The shinbone is a device for finding furniture in a dark room.
44 Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says “If an emergency, notify:” I put “DOCTOR”. What’s my mother going to do?
45 He who smiles in a crisis has found someone to blame.
46 The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live.
47 I didn’t say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.
48 Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.
49 God must love stupid people. He made SO many.
50 Behind every successful man is his woman. Behind the fall of a successful man is usually another woman.
51 The sole purpose of a child’s middle name, is so he can tell when he’s really in trouble.
52 Never get into fights with ugly people, they have nothing to lose.
53 Always borrow money from a pessimist. He won’t expect it back.
54 Never hit a man with glasses. Hit him with a baseball bat.
55 My opinions may have changed, but not the fact that I am right.
56 Some people say “If you can’t beat them, join them”. I say “If you can’t beat them, beat them”, because they will be expecting you to join them, so you will have the element of surprise.
57 Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.
58 It’s not the fall that kills you; it’s the sudden stop at the end.
59 Crowded elevators smell different to midgets.
60 Hospitality: making your guests feel like they’re at home, even if you wish they were.
61 You do not need a parachute to skydive. You only need a parachute to skydive twice.
62 Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.
63 I discovered I scream the same way whether I’m about to be devoured by a great white shark or if a piece of seaweed touches my foot.
64 A bargain is something you don’t need at a price you can’t resist.
65 My psychiatrist told me I was crazy and I said I want a second opinion. He said okay, you’re ugly too.
66 I intend to live forever. So far, so good.
67 Money can’t buy happiness, but it sure makes misery easier to live with.
68 A diplomat is someone who can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you will look forward to the trip.
69 We have enough gun control. What we need is idiot control.
70 You’re never too old to learn something stupid.
71 I should’ve known it wasn’t going to work out between my ex-wife and me. After all, I’m a Libra and she’s a bitch.
72 A little boy asked his father, “Daddy, how much does it cost to get married?” Father replied, “I don’t know son, I’m still paying.”
73 With sufficient thrust, pigs fly just fine.
74 Women may not hit harder, but they hit lower.
75 Knowledge is power, and power corrupts. So study hard and be evil.
76 There’s a fine line between cuddling and holding someone down so they can’t get away.
77 I don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.
78 Worrying works! 90% of the things I worry about never happen.
79 Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America?
80 I always take life with a grain of salt, …plus a slice of lemon, …and a shot of tequila.
81 If at first you don’t succeed, skydiving is not for you!
82 I used to be indecisive. Now I’m not sure.
83 When in doubt, mumble.
84 I like work. It fascinates me. I sit and look at it for hours.
85 To be sure of hitting the target, shoot first and call whatever you hit the target.
86 Jesus loves you, but everyone else thinks you’re an asshole.
87 A bus is a vehicle that runs twice as fast when you are after it as when you are in it.
88 A TV can insult your intelligence, but nothing rubs it in like a computer.
89 Just remember…if the world didn’t suck, we’d all fall off.
90 I got in a fight one time with a really big guy, and he said, “I’m going to mop the floor with your face.” I said, “You’ll be sorry.” He said, “Oh, yeah? Why?” I said, “Well, you won’t be able to get into the corners very well.”
91 Some people hear voices.. Some see invisible people.. Others have no imagination whatsoever.
92 You are such a good friend that if we were on a sinking ship together and there was only one life jacket… I’d miss you heaps and think of you often.
93 When tempted to fight fire with fire, remember that the Fire Department usually uses water.
94 Hallmark Card: “I’m so miserable without you, it’s almost like you’re still here.”
95 Virginity is like a soapbubble, one prick and it is gone.
96 Change is inevitable, except from a vending machine.
97 If winning isn’t everything why do they keep score?
98 If you keep your feet firmly on the ground, you’ll have trouble putting on your pants.
99 If you are supposed to learn from your mistakes, why do some people have more than one child.
100 Whoever coined the phrase “Quiet as a mouse” has never stepped on one.

Posted by: o2le | January 4, 2010

10 “Top 10″ Lists Every Entrepreneur Should Read

10 “Top 10″ Lists Every Entrepreneur Should Read

Posted by AJ Vaynerchuk under Business | December 17, 2009

Over the years I have learned that there is a large group of entrepreneurs who feel as if they are always too busy and can not dedicate too much time to something they do not consider critical to the business. With that being said, I decided to make a blog post that highlights the 10 “Top 10″ entrepreneur related lists that I think entrepreneurs would enjoy – simply because each post is quick to read (aka a list) and relates to entrepreneurship. Enjoy: ( also keep in mind not all of these lists are actually 10 items long, sorry! )

1. 10 Books Every Entrepreneur Should Read – Reading isn’t essential but it can be a great way to relax, yet still work.

2. 10 of the Best Social Media Tools for Entrepreneurs – Tools are important, and so is social media.

3. A Dozen of the Best Start Up Pitches on the Web – Good perspective for anyone who likes product and marketing. Also for the start-up in you.

4. 10 Definitive Tips for Writing Captivating Emails – Email marketing is still a great tool for business, and this is a good read.

5. The Eight Best Questions we got While Raising Venture Capital – Always good to know more about Venture Capital.

6. Essential Online Tools for Your Startup – A bit different than #2, worth reading as well.

7. Are You an Entrepreneur? – Just for fun really.

8. Rules of Productivity – A lot of entrepreneurs stress productivity (including me).

9. The First Jobs of 10 Wealthy Entrepreneurs – Just a good read to keep things in perspective. Also shows you why patience is key.

10. Keys to Entrepreneurial Success – Everyone wants to be successful right?

Social Media – A History of Social Media and Social Media Marketing

social-mediaFRIENDSTER, MYSPACE, FACEBOOK, TWITTER – what more can we have in the coming years? These social networking sites have been setting the whole online world ablaze for several years now. Today, new words have been lexiconized like tweet, digg, wall posts, aggregator, atom feeds, blog and the like. Many of these have become household names to some extent.

The comfy lifestyle and convenience that these social networking sites have brought to internet savvy users have become much priceless that tens of millions of people have been signing up, updating and maintaining their social media pages daily or to some extent, even 24/7. Several years back, on the early conception period of these online social media sites, the situation was much different than it is today.

To say that social networking sites have improved is an understatement. In all fairness, the social networking market has grown and heightened by light years in a span of a decade or so. To measure the extent of improvement that social networking have achieved and surpassed, it is necessary to open the book of its times of yore– how was social networking in the past decade and how far has social networking trekked in that span of years?

A brief history of Social Networking sites would be a good place to start off before we get into how Social Media has evolved.

Social Networking in the Pre-90s Era

Many people would think that the first online social networks appeared in the 90s decade, being the moment when internet service providers were on the loose. The truth is, the use of online social networks has actually been used since the 70s through the innovativeness of Ward Christensen, a former IBM employee and Randy Suess.

Source: WikipediaSource: Wikipedia – Ward Christensen and the First BBS

Initially, they envisioned a place where they can immediately contact their co-employees for announcements, i.e. meetings, reports, and other affairs, rather than making multiple phone calls, distributing memos, and the like. They were looking into creating a computerized bulletin board, which is why they named the program CBBS (Computerized Bulletin Board System).

Soon enough, more and more employees came chipping in with their ideas and comments in the said online community. That event was a momentous episode in the history of computer and internet. It was the birth of online social networking.

Luckily, the CBBS platform was made known to other companies and luckily, has been used for specific purposes. It’s breaking into the mainstream was inevitable and sooner than they thought, the Bulletin Board System was expanding largely.

The Rise of the Dot-Coms

It was during the rise of the Internet Service Providers during the early 1990s when social networking sites began to flourish. Along with the availability of internet service to people, many people rummaged to have themselves acquainted with this new technology.

With the fast response of people to the budding internet community, the bulletin boards which were usually used by companies have started to expand their roles by offering their service to more people around the globe.

More and more people joined the bandwagon with the innate goal of creating an identity in the online space and at the same time exploring the vast place that is the internet. Because of this many internet savvy companies gave what people wanted- getting to know more people and sharing common interests and points of view; that is through websites where they can socialize, websites which we now call SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES.

The Birth of the Forerunners

BEVERLY HILLS INTERNET, which was eventually named GEOCITIES, was probably one of the earliest most popular social networking sites. It was initially created to allow users to create free homepages in specified cities/areas which the users would choose from. It was bought by Yahoo for several billions only to lose it in the third quarter of this year.

geocities

During the reign of Geocities, many other similar sites mushroomed. Sites like TRIPOD and ANGELFIRE came into existence and soon, these sites came competing face off. Practically all of these sites provided users with the same features and user-experience, being able to create their own identity on the web, connecting with people of similar interest and getting to know more people online.

CLASSMATES.COM was a very wise move because it targeted not only those youths who are enthusiastic about the internet, it made possible the participation of adults by giving them the chance to reunite with their old classmates and buddies, see how their ex-crushes were doing and the like. This flavor which Classmates.com has added was an ingredient never present in the previous social networking sites, thus making classmates.com as one of the earliest most successful online communities.

The same way other sites have gone through, classmates.com suffered from hard blows left and right, rooted from their monthly subscriptions, spams, and other ambiguities on the site.

The Internet Bubble Era

This era is referred as such because of the increasing demand for internet services in different sectors of business. The role of the internet during this era is growing by exponents it was followed by the internet boom- an era of steady internet growth in the market, and eventually the Bubble Burst which hurt both established and fledgling internet companies.

During this era, one of the best things that happened in the history of the internet is the discovery of Instant Messaging. It greatly shaped the mode of communication and up to these days, IM is still and probably will forever be widely used.

REUNION.COM, started to redo what classmates.com had done while expanding the latter’s function and features. However, everything remained very liquid before and the life of a social networking site is highly contested by mushrooming sites with similar purposes and functions.

SIXDEGREES.COM, on the other hand, was also conceived at this era. The said social networking site is considered a forerunner in the field of social networking as it has many similarities with the social networking sites popular nowadays. Basically, sixdegrees.com created circles of friends via online registration and matching-up of likes, dislikes, interests, or what have you.

The Golden Period of Social Networking

Social network reached the almost-pinnacle of success with the launch of the then very popular FRIENDSTER.COM. Creator of Friendster Jonathan Abrams concocted a perfect mix of popular features from earlier social networking predecessors. Friendster became an instant celebrity and gathered about three million members who signed up in its early months of launch.

As years passed, Friendster reached an overwhelming hundred million users from all over the globe. With much demand from its users, Friendster unfortunately got out of hand and suffered from too many glitches in the server. Today, Friendster has been announced as a newly owned entity of a Malaysian Company, and outshone by present social networking sites but still remains to be patronized most especially in Asia.

The conception of MYSPACE.COM opened the internet users to vast opportunities of self-expression which includes wide control over a user’s profile content. Practically different people from all walks of life have dedicated pages in MySpace- may he be an artist, a budding rock star, a preacher, a politician, whatever background he has. In MySpace, users experienced the best of creating unique identities to show to the online world.

MySpace remained as the uncontested favorite among all the social networking sites until 2005 when it met its future competitor in the market. Soon enough, MySpace created additional features like application, mobile features and the like in order to keep up with the latest trends in the online community; and at the same time be at par with the growing popularity of contemporary social networking sites, more specifically the next thing in line.

Face-Off with Facebook

Facebook started as a local social network made for the students of Harvard. Being Mark Zuckerberg’s brainchild, Facebook was actually made by hacking Harvard’s database containing ID images of students. The initial idea was actually to compare students’ faces with images of animals, for entertainment purposes. However, due to the potentially damaging contents of the site, the creators decided to put it down before it catches the attention of school authorities.

Although shut down, the idea of creating an online community of students came to existence. The platform was then improved and sooner than they expected, Facebook was released in campuses other than Harvard. Thereafter, high schools were already starting to get attracted with the idea of having online communities, thus opening the site to the younger population.

It was in 2006 when FACEBOOK.COM ultimately offered the opportunity to the rest of the world. As 2007 approached, the registrants reached an overwhelming digit- roughly a million dozen. Facebook has grown to become the biggest and most popular social networking site today with a population of about 350 million active users, surpassing the entire American population of 307 million. With 70% of the Facebook population outside the US, Facebook has indeed set the online world on fire.

facebook-vs-myspace

Growing Social Networking Trends

Other social networking sites continued to appear in the scene. Blogging sites like BEBO, MULTIPLY and many others came into view. MICROBLOGGING partnered with social networking became popular with the launch of TWITTER. In Twitter, online users can post their Tweets, basically a 140 character phrase or line about what they have in mind.

With the help of API (Application Programming Interface), microblogging sites like Twitter and Tumblr and other dedicated sites like Flickr, Photobucket and many others were able to connect with popular social networking sites, making an unending link of information in the World Wide Web.

Waiting For the Next Rocket to Come

Social networking sites have changed the way people live and interact for more than a decade’s existence. People from one corner of the planet can reach out with others in real time, artists can be created and re-created even without the director’s lights-camera-action spiel, old friends meet again, and new acquaintances occur every second of the day. Lifestyle has been radically altered by social networking sites, all to the benefit of the majority.

What these social networking sites hold for us in the years to come? We still haven’t got any idea but one thing’s for sure; social networking sites will continue to improve the lifestyle of online people in the years to come.

Evolution of Social Media and Social Media Marketing

Today people around the world are transforming how news is broadcasted throughout the world. Social Networking sites such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Digg, etc, etc, are providing live broadcasting of real life events as they take place. This is really putting a lot of financial pressure on traditional media market.

youtube

People using their platform created on one of these social networking sites are able to broadcast to thousands of people within minutes of an event taking place. Those that are receiving the information can then disseminate that information further to their own viewers/followers. The news tends to spread like a wildfire and before you know it millions of people across the world is talking about it. This is the new information super highway. User generated content played a larger role in spreading the news in 2009; however it is expected to play even a larger role in 2010 and beyond. It will be interesting to watch the evolution of Social Media.

As consumers are spending more and more time defining their own content and distributing their own contents, the marketers are taking advantage of the situation to market their products using social networking sites. This concept is called Social Media Marketing – using sites such as YouTube, Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and other sites to market, sell and to provide services such as customer care.

Social Media experts are able to take advantage of the people power and create a buzz around a product or a service they are marketing. Using this buzz, they are able to get the word out to thousands, if not millions, of people in a matter of hours. This sort of marketing is cost effective and tends to reach many more consumers than traditional marketing.

Today, according to a survey done by CMO Survey, about 3.5% of the marketing budgets is spent on Social Media Marketing. This figure is expected to grow to 13.7% within the next five years. Therefore, you can expect more and more players entering the social media market and as a consumer you should expect to take part in it. You should be able to make money with Social Media. In order to do that, you should build a community around you. You should have your own fans and people that follow you. If you don’t have a community around you, I suggest you start one today either at Twitter, Facebook or even setup your own blog. It will definitely help you down the road.

Posted by: o2le | December 30, 2009

How To Resize Your Photos the Easy Way

How To Resize Your Photos the Easy Way

Sometimes you need a quick and easy way to resize your pictures to email, post on your blog, or put on a mobile device. Today we take a look at the Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows that allows you to resize pictures and images.

Image Resizer Powertoy Clone

This is a clone of the popular Image Resizer Powertoy developed for Windows XP. To use it, right-click on a photo and select Resize Pictures from the Context Menu.

1resize

In Basic Mode you can select between 4 different sizes…Small (854×480), Medium (1366×768), Large (1920×1080), or Mobile Device (320×480).

3resize

Click on the Advanced button to get more options and resize a picture to your own custom size.

2resize

It puts the resized image into the same directory as the original with the size type in parenthesis in the file name. Also, I was also able to select multiple pictures at a time and resize them…which saves a lot of time.

4resize

It provides an easy way to quickly resize your holiday photos and get them to family and friends through a variety of ways. It’s completely free and works on XP, Vista, and Windows 7 with a version for 32 & 64-bit users.

Download Image Resizer Powertoy Clone for Windows

Posted by: o2le | December 30, 2009

Ten Tips to Establish Startup Website Credibility



Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ten Tips to Establish Startup Website Credibility

Smart people only visit and buy from credible websites. In the past, if your startup had a website presence, the company was credible by definition. In today’s world, a website is necessary but not sufficient for credibility. Dreamers and gamblers have found out that if the website isn’t validated as credible, it’s probably a scam, and everyone loses.

Yet most startups I know experience the same shock of disappointment when they first open up their website to offer their “million dollar idea” product, and nobody comes. What validates credibility these days in the minds of consumers, and how much does it cost?

  1. Put yourself on the site. People buy from people. Until the company name is a famous brand, you are the brand. No name, picture, address, or business history only convinces customers that you are hiding, located in an untrustable country, or don’t have a clue. They will exit quickly.
  2. Show evidence of your expertise. Publish a daily blog, contribute to relevant social networks, and write a “white paper” on your technology. People respect people with relevant experience, so highlight your accomplishments, and the credentials you have.
  3. Highlight personal and product testimonials. Third parties are always more credible sources than you are. Highlight interviews and reviews from recognized industry sources, and popular news sources. Include links to other sites showing your positives.
  4. Create a positive online image. Show your visitors some evidence of community involvement and charity efforts. Offer something that is really free – with no strings attached to cause them to lose their trust. Set up an award, and show winners.
  5. Link to recognized brands. If you can have an affiliate relationship with any recognized brand names, or any connection to publicly recognized experts, highlight these and provide links to their websites.
  6. Advertising presence. The presence of a few related advertisements can actually improve your site credibility, since most credible sites have them. Of course, too many or obnoxious advertisements are especially harmful to a site’s credibility.
  7. Join relevant business associations. Most will give you a membership graphic for your website, and an association link to give your business extra credibility. Don’t forget the local Chamber of Commerce and Better Business Bureau.
  8. Provide a privacy and security statement. Display a logo like McAfee Secure or Privacy Label, in addition to specific policy statements on these subjects, to persuade your visitors and prospects to trust you.
  9. Offer support assistance and guarantee. Publish the terms of your support, return, and replacement policies. Be consistent is their application, and provide contact information for both phone and email access. Follow-up for customer satisfaction.
  10. Professional user-friendly site design. Studies have shown that consumers gauge credibility in large part based on the appeal of the overall visual design, including layout, typography, font size, color schemes, no broken links, and correct language usage. Don’t forget basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so search engines improve your ranking.

These are all minimal-cost survival marketing efforts. Beyond these, you will likely need to budget time and dollars (up to $50,000 is not unusual) for real marketing efforts to enhance your visibility and credibility, which include branding, promotions, give-aways, and free services.

In summary, a startup with no website, or a website with no credibility will kill your business. Use the tips outlined above during the first three months to get in the game, and count on much more time and money if you intend to stand out. Make your website not only credible, but incredible!

Marty Zwilling

Posted by: o2le | December 28, 2009

Are You Building Brand Instead of Reputation?

by Lisa Barone on 12/22/2009 · 11 comments | Branding

brand vs reputation

I woke up a little cranky today. My alarm went off (which is actually my Blackberry, thank you) and I immediately checked Twitter to see what everyone was talking about. And again, someone had said something stupid and the mob was lining up to throw things, cause a ruckus and show how smart they were for knowing better. I’m not going to lie, some mornings the drama and personal brands of the industry affect me more than others. Today was one of those mornings.

I love Twitter. And I love taking stands and drawing lines. But I also see the ridiculousness of it all. The truth is that what happens on Twitter doesn’t matter unless you’re finding ways to bring it off and back to your own site or business. The brand you create online means nothing without the reputation that you grow off it.

Social media has, to some degree, ruined a lot of things. Because it’s given people “fame” for what they say they do instead of what they actually do. It encourages people to get by doing less. And somewhere along the way it’s allowed people to think that Brand and Reputation are one and the same. And while they maybe should be, they’re not. The two are built very differently.

Building your brand: You build your brand by saying all the right things. You build it with blog posts (holla) and Twitter updates (double holla!) and by gaining social proof that you’re someone who knows what the hell you’re talking about. It’s the marketing rep who reaches out to you when your laptop explodes, when your sandwich comes with funny mayo or when they’ve dropped the ball in some other way. It’s public relations in the social media age. Your brand is how people feel when they talk about you.

Building your reputation: You build reputation by silently doing, proving and acting on everything you said you were going to do while building your brand. If your brand is the theory that you know what the hell you’re talking about, your reputation is the proof that you do.

We all know that personal brands are super hot right now. We’ve all heard about how we need one, the best way to build it and who’s doing it “right” and who’s doing it “wrong”. But the majority of these brands are going away. You know they are. They’re going away because most are built on bullshit smoke and mirrors. Scripts build followers and fame wars build RSS subscribers. It’s manufactured and artificial and strictly for the cameras. And you can only fool people for so long. Then they come with the pitchforks, hungry for blood.

At some point, you need to actually DO something and provide people with something of value. I think it’s a concept a lot of the new gen and Internet famous have forgotten.

As is often the case, Comcast is again a good example.

Comcast has used social media to build itself a brand based on redemption and customer service. You tweet that you haven’t had cable for three weeks and you’re going to get an immediate response asking for more information. Comcast has mastered social media protocol.

  1. Listen for complaints
  2. Respond with sympathy
  3. Promise to do better

They’ve built an online brand based on the idea that they’re listening and helpful. However, the Comcast reputation is still that the service sucks. Because it does and because while the car’s on the road, no one’s at the wheel. The brand you create doesn’t matter when your reputation is still that your customers hate you.

You should be building your brand but you should be focused on building one that will sustain. Because when everyone else who built their brands on chest pumping falls away, you want to be the brand left standing. You still need to have something to offer people when the cameras go away.   There’s a difference between being recognized and being reputable. It’s the difference between who’s take the next two weeks off and who will be pushing through. In 2010, no one is going to be concerned with the brand you think you created. Your brand may open the door but you’re being judged on your reputation.

The missing link between brand and reputation has always been your ability to do exactly what you say you’re going to do. The trick is to get your Brand and Reputation to align. That’s the zappos or the sweet spot where company culture and results meet. Don’t forget that in your pursuit for attention. I hope that 2009 has put Outspoken Media on a path to build both.  I think we’re off to a pretty good start.

Are you building a brand that’s based on reputation and that will stand the test of time? Or are you just making your company Twitter famous? Do you know?

<!– –>Tagged as: brand, Branding, reputation, smoke and mirrors

Posted by: o2le | December 28, 2009

Why Your Small Business Needs a Website in 2010

Why Your Small Business Needs a Website in 2010

by Lisa Barone on 12/21/2009 · 37 comments | Small Business Marketing

small business seoeMarketer quoted an Ad-ology survey today that found that 46 percent of small business owners do not have a Web site in 2009. A separate Vistaprint study cited by eMarketer found that only half of those with a site are currently tracking their marketing efforts. Maybe that puts my fire about last week’s small business SEO debate into a bit more perspective.

If not, what about the stats from the new a Discover Small Business Watch poll mentioned by Denise O’Beary last week that corroborate Ad-ology’s numbers and adds in that more than 45 percent think it’s a myth that people even need one?

Is the discussion about why SEO is important for small business owners still unimportant? I don’t think so.

For me, these numbers do a lot to paint a picture of where many SMBs are in the Internet marketing learning curve. Yes, we’ve seen small businesses do some amazing things in social media. I actually think they’re some of the best unofficial social media marketers out there because they still have the heart, the ears, and the passion that many larger corporations have lost. But as the numbers offered by eMarketer and Discover show, not everyone is at that point. Some are still fighting getting their feet wet.

What are SMB owners losing by NOT having a Web site?

Customers.

Small business owners need to realize that people aren’t using phone books for anything other than door stops anymore. As of last week, all three major search engines are skewing search queries towards local even when a user doesn’t include a local modifier. SMB owners need to not only create a Web presence, but to control it, as well.

It’s possible to create a Web presence without a full site thanks to things like Yelp and other social media outlets. However, you don’t control any of those. You have no say on how they’ll let you connect with customers. You can’t create an email list on Twitter. By relying on *other* sites to house your conversations you’re severely handicapping yourself.

Without a real Web site, you lose your ability to:

  • SMB toolsDifferentiate yourself
  • Create authority and street cred with customers and within your industry
  • Spread ideas
  • Get social
  • Take advantage of Universal Search’s ranking power
  • Benefit from the engines bias to show local results
  • Share your company story and information
  • House your own community
  • Save costs by answering frequently asked questions
  • Target your specific neighborhood (defined by zip code, points of interest, ideas, etc)
  • Build an email list.

Where should a small business owner start in building a Web site?

Identify the purpose(s) of the site: Not all small business Web sites have the same goal. Some want to simply promote the product, while others are looking to promote their ideas or build an active community. Give some thought to what you want to accomplish before you consider anything else. You’d be surprised how it changes your perspective.

Get your domain: In most cases, the domain name you choose will probably be very similar to your business name, however, that’s not always the case. Back in 2008, I detailed how to pick a kickass domain name. I think the advice there still holds.

Get hosting: This is typically where small business owners start eyeing the door. They’re cool with coming up with a wicked domain name, but for some reason “hosting” sounds scary. If you’re a small business owner, there are plenty of very affordable hosting options available that will get you up and running for less than $10 a month. Your hosting plan should also allow you the opportunity to create a [you@domainname.com] email address – make sure you set that up to give you some added street cred.

pizza as paymentHire someone to design it: You don’t need a fancy, feature-heavy Web site in order to promote your small business on the Web, but you do need one that looks professional. If you can’t do it yourself, hire someone to give you a hand. And hire doesn’t necessary mean “give them money”, never underestimate the power of free pizza and “real life work experience” to a college student.

Create your content: Again, you’re not Sears or CNN. You don’t need a huge Web site over flowing with content. You just need to give potential customers some place trusted to land that tells them who you are and what you’re about. That means creating (at minimum) your Home page, Product or Service pages, an About Us page, and a Contact us page to share information about who you are and what you do, but also to localize your business through content.

Get listed: Claiming your local business listing in Google, Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, BOTW and all over third-party sites is important enough that I do include it on the Setting Up Your Site list. If you’re not sure if you’re site is already listed or what info the engines have about you, the appropriately-named GetListed.org is your window into that world.

Marketing it: Like the design stage above, you may want to outsource your marketing efforts to professionals who can help you create a social media plan or a marketing road map. However, if you’re willing to get your hands dirty, you may not have to. There are plenty of easy ways to build buzz for your small business site without hiring a full-fledged Internet marketing company.  Matt McGee offered some great tips on what he’d do if he was just starting out again.  You may not even need people like us.

While the number of SMB owners creating Web sites is up 36 percent over the past two years, that number really needs to grow in the next year. The search engines’ obsession with local has made your Web site an even bigger part of your business and marketing plan. Make sure you’re treating as such.

Posted by: o2le | December 15, 2009

Thought of the Day

"Men do less than they ought, unless they do all they can." – Thomas Carlyle

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