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April 18, 2008

Fun Photo Fridays: Danny & His In -N- Out Burger Hat

By Li Evans

I'm dreaming of... a fun photo, one with an In -N- Out Burger hat!  Yes, its Friday and we're back with another "fun" photo.  I snapped this one I'm featuring this week at SMX West out in Santa Clara.  I was on my way to the elevators and there's Danny Sullivan of Search Engine Land, Sphinn & SMX sportin' an In -N- Out Burger hat, and of course you know I couldn't resist capturing this moment.  I think he's dreaming of the "Animal Style" Burger, what do you think?


Fun Photo Fridays: Danny Sullivan in his In & Out Burger Hat at SMX West

If you like this photo of Danny Sullivan in his In -n- Out Burger hat at SMX West, feel free to comment and favorite it as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at SMX West, there's over 300 photos total!  Keep an eye out, we'll be back next week with Fun Photo Fridays.

April 17, 2008

Twitter & the Democratic Presidential Candidates

By Li Evans

Twitter is growing by leaps and bounds.  It is starting to reach into the main stream, especially when you consider how even the 2008 Presidential Candidates are using it to get the message out about their campaigns.  I looked at all three candidates presently still alive in the race, Hillary Clinton & Barack Obama on the Democrat side, and John McCain on the Republican side and how they used twitter. 

Twitter Search for 'John McCain'I wanted to be fair and show both sides, but when I went and looked at all three, and I couldn't find the "official" Twitter page for John McCain. However, I did find two popular ones McCain News & JohnMcCain2008.  Not sure who it is that really has the John McCain Twitter account, but its obviously not the John McCain running for President.  Searches on Twitter for John McCain don't produce the official twitter account either.  Since that campaign isn't utilizing Twitter at this point as a campaign tool, I'm just going to focus on the Democrats.

Hillary Clinton & Twitter

Hillary Clinton's Twitter Information I sit here at my keys wondering how to start this.  Well you know that term "elitist" that's been tossed around these days before the upcoming Pennsylvania primary?  Well if you looked at Twitter, you honestly would be thinking the opposite of what the press tells us here in Pennsylvania (mind you I take what the press tells me with a grain of salt) or this candidate.  When you look at Hillary Clinton's Twitter account, you see that she follows NO ONE.  Seriously, no one. 

Then there's the Hillary Clinton Twitter account for her MySpace page.  Alright, that one does a little bit better, they are following one person on twitter (as of this writing).  There are a bunch of other Twitter accounts out there about Hillary Clinton as well and those fare better in the way of following their followers. 

Hillary Clinton's Twitter Feed Talk about wanting to put out a very controlled message.  Everything that comes into the Hillary Clinton Twitter account is a reflection of her blog, but added with the words "I am" or "I'm".  There's no opportunity for two way conversations when you think of it, and there's nothing more than what's on her blog.  It's all about delivering the "spin" in a very tight, precise and controlled fashion - typical of "old politics" and how they like to run campaigns.  Trouble is - we're in a new world now and on the internet there's not a lot you can control when you enter the Social Media realm.  It's also why it doesn't appeal to the younger set of voters, they see this as typical "old politics" - not the opportunity to have their voice heard.

There are a lot of other Hillary Clinton based or themed Twitter accounts out there.  When you do a search on Hillary Clinton in the Twitter site you return 12 results, and the official Hillary Clinton Twitter account doesn't appear to near the bottom of the page.  Some of these are detractors (take a look at the icon for third result in this screen capture of the search results for 'Hillary Clinton'), but some are fans and supportors that are reporting on the news that Clinton is making in the media.  These accounts actually are engaging in conversation about Hillary Clinton, unfortunately for the Clinton campaign they can't control it.

Barack Obama & Twitter

Barack Obama's Twitter Information By contrast, you look at the Barack Obama Twitter account and you see this account is following just as many as are following him (sometimes it falls behind).  Who ever is running the account (I find it hard to believe that either candidate is "Twittering" like us "somewhat normal" folks are), is actively engaging in following people who choose to follow them, and they are twittering in a way that isn't as controlled.

If you look at the type of Tweets that are coming out of the Barack Obama Twitter account, they seem a lot more personable and less "contrived".  There is the "I'm doing this" but it's also including things like "why don't you come and see me" or "take a look for yourself" parts of a conversation that engage the audience and ask them to do something.  Compared to the Clinton Twitter account its refreshing to see this account seeming to interact with its followers rather than bragging about doing this or doing that.

Barack Obama's Twitter Feed Barack Obama's campaign team has also really promoted and used twitter, not just to say "I'm at this debate" or "I'm at this place speaking", they use it to say "hey come take a look at our video" and use it to promote different things with the campaign.  It must be working, because they have over 7 times the followers that Hillary Clinton does.  I think this also goes to show how Barack Obama is Rocking the Youth Vote, where Hillary Clinton does not.  All of this really makes me wonder, if they (Barack's campaign) took it to the next level and said "Hey voters in PA, tell us what you think about XYZ", how this might engage more supporters and voters?

A search on Twitter for "Barack Obama" shows 17 different accounts on Twitter, and the official Barack Obama account is right at the top.  It's also a little easier to see that if you just typed in "Obama" into Twitter, of those 90+ results - the majority of those are Barack Obama supporters.  Its easy to see this because his name is pretty unique, unlike typing in "Hillary" or "Clinton" where it is a lot more murky as those names are more common as people's first names or last.

So what's the conclusion in all of this, does it translate over votes?  Well a lot would point to Ron Paul and how he grew on the internet as a force to be reckoned with, but yet that didn't translate into votes that it probably doesn't. 

I think Barack Obama's campaign is fairing a lot better, thanks in part, not just to Twitter but to them recognizing how to use social media on a whole to communicate (yes two way conversations) with the younger set of voters in this country.  Look at the exit polling numbers, look at the data of the record number of youth votes in this primary - and then look at who they voted for.  I'd say social media definitely has some kind of influence there, don't you?

April 16, 2008

Quick Analytics Tip: Segment Direct Traffic

By Alex Cohen

This is Alex Cohen from Digital Alex.  I'm back for another quick analytics tips--simple and actionable advice to help you analyze your site better.

In this tip, I'm talking about segmenting direct traffic, also known as typed/bookmarked traffic.  These are visitors who came to your site without first visiting a search engine, another site or some marketing tactic.

If you want to get a better sense of what content is driving these people to return to your site, look at the entry pages for direct traffic.

Take my site for example, here's where my Direct Traffic landed in the last 7 day period:

Segmentdirecttraffic_2

If you can read that aliased picture (Typepad, argh!), you'll see that my article about tracking Yahoo paid search in Google Analytics drove the most people after my homepage.  Given this is a reference article with lots of how-to information, it's likely these people are coming from bookmarks.

To get this data in Google Analytics, you must:

  1. Go to Traffic Sources
  2. Click on "Direct Traffic"
  3. In the Segment option (under the chart) choose "Landing Page" from the drop down menu
    Directtrafficentrypage

And you're all done! 

If you liked this tip, check out my article on campaign tagging with Google Analytics.

-Alex

April 15, 2008

Online Marketing Tips: Social Media Types Video (Part 1)

By Li Evans

Tuesday's Tips in Online Marketing is back for it's 2nd edition.  This week's video features discussion of the different types of social media that is available for online marketing campaign use.  Since Social Media is such a huge area of Online Marketing and it covers a lot of different aspects, this is going to be part 1 of a 3 part series.

   

View this video on other video share services: Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, Google, Revver, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, Veoh, Crackle, Sclipo and Viddler

Full transcription(loosely) after the jump.

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips: Social Media Types Video (Part 1)" »

April 11, 2008

Fun Photo Fridays - Risa & Marty Enjoy the Charity Search Bash

By Li Evans

Fun Fun Fun!  It's Friday and it's time for another Photo from the collection I have from all the different conferences.  With over a thousand to choose from, sometimes it's really tough.  The picture I chose for today though has actually been standing out in my mind for a few weeks, that I wanted to feature it.

This photo captures the fun that happened at the Charity Event put on by BoTW and IM-NY during the Search Engine Strategies conference that was held in New York City this past March.  There was a lot of fun to be had (even if you didn't win a Wii! *yes, I know Simon will smack me soon enough*), from hanging out with colleagues to posing with the life sized cardboard replica of Danny (who took that home by the way!?) there was a great time to be had.

Risa Borysykowsky of RB3 Web Design and Marty Weintraub of AimClear took such a great picture, I wanted to share it.  These two have such a genuine caring nature to begin with, it was only a given they'd be at the charity event.



Fun Photo Fridays: Risa Borsykowsky & Marty Weintraub at the BoTW & IM-NY Charity Event in NYC

If you like this photo of Risa Borsykowsky & Marty Weintraub at the BoTW & IM-NY Charity Event in NYC, feel free to comment and favorite it as that's how we'll be judging the photos at the end of the year! Check out the rest of the fun at BOTW & IMNY Charity Event, there's over 90 photos total!  Keep an eye out, we'll be back next week with Fun Photo Fridays.

April 09, 2008

Olympic Torch Relay Demonstrations Caught by Scott Beale on Flickr, Twitter & His Blog

By Li Evans

Laughing_squid_logo Would you like to see word of mouth marketing at it's finest?  Then you need to check out Scott Beale's coverage of the Olympic Torch Run that happened in San Francisco today (4/9/008).  Word spread like wildfire what Scott was doing, mostly because he uses Twitter.

I'm one of those "lurking" fans of Scott.  I have subscribed to his blog for a long time.  I also follow him on Twitter and was just enthralled with what was unfolding before his eyes and how it was a bit different than what the media was reporting.  This is the kind of "citizen" journalism that has just sprung to life in the last 2 years.  Take a look at what all Scott used to get the "message" out about what was really going on today at the Olympic Torch Run in San Francisco.

Scott didn't just use one medium of communication in the social media spectrum he used 3 different specific services along with 4 different ways to consume the information he wanted to communicate with his followers / visitors / readers.  Twitter started the buzz.  His blog announced his intent and Flickr fed the consumer need.  So, lets take a closer look.

Continue reading "Olympic Torch Relay Demonstrations Caught by Scott Beale on Flickr, Twitter & His Blog" »

April 08, 2008

Online Marketing Tips: Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry Video

By Li Evans

Welcome to another weekly segment we're introducing here at Search Marketing Gurus.  I'm hoping to keep this as regular as possible, that each week myself and the team here offer up a video full of tips for different areas of online marketing. I promise no Karaoke tips (or singing), just fun with online marketing.

So here's my first venture into the online video blogging area of our industry!


   

View this video on other video share services:  Yahoo, MySpace, Metacafe, Google, Revver, DailyMotion, Blip.tv, Veoh, Crackle, Sclipo and Viddler

Full transcription of video, after jump....

Continue reading "Online Marketing Tips: Travel, Tourism & Hospitality Industry Video" »

Flickr Video - Huh?! 90 Second Videos Can Be Added to Flickr

By Li Evans

Flickr_video_1 I just managed to catch this via a Tweet from @davewiner, did a quick search and found out that just today Flickr's added Video to its features.  I'm scratching my head here, literally in utter confusion!

Yahoo! owns Flickr.  But Yahoo! also owns its own video uploading service.  Also Yahoo! acquired Jumpcut well over a year ago.  I'm befuddled.... yet another identity crisis for another Yahoo owned property?  Guys, come on, stop confusing us!

Granted, Flickr videos are only limited to 90 seconds, when Yahoo Video can upload a lot more, and Jumpcut allows you to mix and mashup videos, it all just really seems a little confusing, doesn't it?  It definitely is tough to keep track of, that's for sure.  While I love Yahoo's dedication to pushing forward in social media, sometimes I wish it would have all of its ducks in a row and utilize services and cross promote a little more, it would lead to a lot less general confusion.

Flickr_video_2 Perhaps taking Jumpcut and combining it with Flickr wouldn't be such a bad idea.  You could mashup your photos into neat videos with sound, or combine them with videos.  That's the really neat thing about Jumpcut.

Regardless - it is aimed at a particular market.  Cellphones and smaller digital cameras that take short clips.  Uploading these straight from the devices just like you can with photos with your Flickr account is who this is aimed at, and with how devoted Flickr users are, it won't take much time to catch on like wildfire.  Right now its just for pro account users, so unless you've upgraded to the pro account, you won't have the unlimited video feature.

Definitely something I'll be using!  Kudos Flickr!  Yahoo .. could you just make up your mind, already? LOL

April 06, 2008

Facebook Chat: Great...Another Chat Client I Need to Manage

By Li Evans

Inside Facebook's Screen cap of Facebook's Chat ClientFor a few select networks, Facebook has rolled out a new way to "chat" online.  Inside Facebook has the scoop on using it, so check out the write up over there which even has screen shots included.

While Facebook is doing some neat integrations, and while developers are coming up with more neat application for user to integrate with their profile, I just sort of find this news of a way to "chat", sort of boring.  MySpace has had this for at least a year, and to be perfectly honest, Yahoo!'s IM just dominates this space.

For people who have been around the internet and chatting long enough to have a 6 digit ICQ ID, this really comes off as a "< insert yawn here >".  What would have maybe had more of a "hey that's cool" reaction is that if Facebook's team would have taken the time and reached out to Cerulean Studios (makers of Trillian) to have them integrate Facebook's chatting abilities into its multi-chat program client. 

Trillian_astra_build_75 In today's world of multitasking and trying to limit the clients running on desktops, adding another place I have to manage people I speak to, is just a real hassle.  Trillian gives me 90% of the management in one simple place.  A lot of people in tech and search utilize Trillian and the impending release of Astra is just really going to rock (I'm testing, and I can vouch for it!).  Adding Facebook in for the launch of Trillian would benefit both companies.

From "Inside Facebook":

"What does Chat mean for developers? Currently, Facebook does not support Platform integration with Chat, though a couple of weeks ago Facebook’s Matt Cohler indicated that adding Chat APIs (and Jabber support) is in their plans. Obviously, just like Facebook, developers are interested in finding additional ways to engage their users."

So...maybe that means we'll see something coming in the next few months along these lines.  MySpace has it already, I kind of feel like Facebook, is a bit behind here.  It would be nice to be able to just add my Facebook account into my Trillian client, heck maybe then I'd actually get notified of emails and friend requests a lot more promptly too!

More discussions over at Techmeme.

April 05, 2008

Microsoft to Yahoo - 3 Weeks and Counting....

By Li Evans

Microhoo Apparently the line has been drawn in the sand by Microsoft's Steve Balmer in a letter sent to Yahoo (YHOO) today.  That line is three weeks to see some kind of progress in Microsoft's (MSFT) bid to take over Yahoo!

"...If we have not concluded an agreement within the next three weeks, we will be compelled to take our case directly to your shareholders, including the initiation of a proxy contest to elect an alternative slate of directors for the Yahoo! board."

It seems that Balmer's become a bit impatient, feeling that they've gotten no where in the past two month's since hostile bid of $44.6 billion wasn't recieved with joyous shouts from the board of Yahoo!  But who can blame Yahoo! for dragging their feet.  Really now, would you want to see your search engine company swallowed whole by a mega-corporation who can't get their own search engine right?  A company who can't make an operating system that doesn't make people's face contort in all sorts of odd ways when they realize they have no choice but to "upgrade".  I know I'd be putting off having to deal with it.

Crazy_steve_ballmer I've had a few discussions with colleagues in the industry about the "impending" Micro-hoo merger.  Honestly - this whole subject makes me sad.  Microsoft has a really tough time getting anything right, and they constantly stumble when it comes to buying companies and incorporating them into the behemoth that is Microsoft.  Yahoo's done some awesome things in the social media space in the past 12 months, it makes things feel exciting for the future, however, I'm afraid that once Microsoft comes in it'll be bye bye social media.

Wish there was a different "suitor" for Yahoo!, then there wouldn't be this big black pit of despair feeling in my stomach when I think about Yahoo!

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