Tag Archives: blogging

Four On Friday: Social Media Recap

1 Oct

Check out these articles to see what you may have missed this week:

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1: Facebook Ads Become Dramatically More Transparent | AllFacebook

Social Mediarology thinks: This is a simple but beneficial change for Facebook users and for advertisers. The ad’s URL only displays if it’s taking you off Facebook.com. So you still won’t know exactly where the on-site ads will take you, but this is a great step forward in transparency for all Facebook users.

2: Windows Live Outsources Blogging, Migrating 30 Million Users To WordPress.com | TechCrunch

Social Mediarology thinks: Four years ago, Microsoft launched Windows Live Spaces, a blogging platform for Live.com users (the successor to MSN and what preceded Bing). Over the past four years, WLS has racked up 30 million users and starting now, those users are being migrated over to WordPress.com – the world’s largest blogging site. This is a great move for Microsoft, because it will give their users more robust features through the WordPress interface and it allows Microsoft to focus their efforts where they’re more urgently needed (Windows 7 phone?)

3: Get at Clue: What do People Remember About Your Site?ReadWriteWeb

Social Mediarology thinks: Clue is a great free web design usability tool that can help you as you’re in the process of redesigning your website. Enter the URL you want to test into Clue and they’ll spit out another URL for you to share for feedback. Users are given five seconds to view your page then they’re asked what they recall from the page. Each Clue ‘test’ is live for 48 hours and results are easy to view – just add a + to the end of the test URL and you can see the results.

4: Don’t Let the Intern Run Your Social Strategy | Travel 2.0

Social Mediarology thinks: Troy does it again with another great post about managing your company’s social strategy. While interns may have a greater degree of technical knowledge, they shouldn’t necessarily be the front-lines of your social strategy. The first step toward a successful social strategy is buy-in from the top of your organization.

Interview: Troy Thompson of Travel 2.0

3 Sep

Travel 2.0

Welcome to our series of interviews with local (and sometimes national) leaders in the social media and technology industry that will be featured on Social Mediarology. Today’s interview is with Troy Thompson of Travel 2.0, a Denver-based blog and digital consulting company focused on the travel and tourism industry

Travel2dot0.com
@Travel2dot0

Troy Thompson – Travel 2.0

Troy ThompsonTroy has been involved in interactive marketing for the past 13 years. After starting his career at NASCAR in Florida, he was integral in launching their interactive department in the late ’90s. After nearly a decade with NASCAR, Troy moved to Arizona to become the Advertising Manager for the Arizona Office of Tourism. During his time at AOT, Troy headed up the social media division and recently moved to Denver to manage Visit Denver‘s interactive marketing department, including social media, mobile, SEO and more. Earlier this year he decided to break out on his own and dive into tourism technology consulting.

The Travel 2.0 blog started while Troy worked for Arizona Tourism as regular email updates about interactive marketing to the AOT staff and quickly evolved into a blog that could reach people far beyond the Arizona Office of Tourism. Now, thousands of people throughout the world read the Travel 2.0 blog each week and Troy is considered a thought leader in the interactive travel and tourism community.

The consulting arm of Travel 2.0 launched in June, 2010 and focuses on social media strategy/social media audits, mobile strategy including iPhone applications, statistical analysis, training and tourism marketing plan development.

What are some current and upcoming trends in the travel industry as it relates to technology?

The two trends we’re in right now that are still progressing are mobile and location based services (LBS). They certainly go hand in hand, but mobile feels a lot like it did in the late ’90s and early 2000s, when everyone realized the web wasn’t going away so they started to shift more budget and create functional websites. I see this a lot within the mobile space. It’s following a very similar pattern where people are saying “I think this mobile thing is going to stick around, I think the iPhone is going to be a solid platform to build on” and they’re shifting some dollars over to address that need. The challenge is that you don’t want to fall into the same trap we all did when we built our first websites – looking for the cheaper option, just doing the basics and not thinking long term. I think a lot of us built a website in 10 years ago and have had to rebuild the site every couple of years, and I think we’re now getting to the point where people are thinking more long term and more strategically about what the site is and what it needs to be. I’m hopeful that we’ll start to take that same approach with mobile – thinking long term rather than short term. While I think there will be a lot of transition within the mobile space in the next decade or so, building a good base at the beginning will help set you up for success in the long run.

As far as location-based services go, Foursquare seems to be the media darling of LBS.

If 2009 was Twitter’s year, it’s fair to say that 2010 is shaping up to be the year of Foursquare. I think with the recent launch of Facebook Places, LBS’s will just become more important, particularly for the travel industry.

The fact that you’ll be able to have geographic information about your visitor while they’re in your area becomes very powerful. Right now, while the tools aren’t there to completely take advantage of that, those tools will surely come about soon. Taking advantage of a one-on-one communication with someone visiting your local Art Museum will be just as easy as setting up an email campaign or a Google Adwords campaign.

The final trend I’m seeing is tracking. It’s been the big demand of everyone, not just within the travel industry, but everyone who’s been involved in the mobile or social media field. How do we track all of these these things and connect the dots between websites, SEO, mobile marketing, social media marketing, and how do we get the accurate tracking to be able to quantify the ROI that we’re putting into these new spaces. I feel like that’s coming along. It depends on how much information the consumer wants to give out about themselves, but I think that’s an area where we’ll see some more big strides over the next two or three years.

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Blog Indiana 2010 Recap

20 Aug

Blog Indiana 2010

I spent Friday at Blog Indiana, a great social media and blogging conference  based in Indianapolis. It was a great chance to run into some social media and tourism people from Indianapolis and a chance to finally put a face to some names I’ve gotten to know through social media.

Day 1 Highlights:

Thanks to Noah Coffey (@NoahWesley) and Sean Plew (@HoosierPlew) as well as all the other presenters for putting on a great conference this year.

Four On Friday: Social Media Recap

19 Aug

Four On Friday: Social Media Recap

Since I’ll be at BlogIndiana tomorrow, I’m posting the weekly Four On Friday a day early. Here are some great posts from the past week about social media:

1: Facebook Places Makes Location a Commodity | ReadWriteWeb

Social Mediarology thinks: With Wednesday’s release of Facebook Places, what does this mean for location-based services in general and for Foursquare and Gowalla specifically? This post hints at the idea that the commoditization of location that Facebook Places could provide might just allow services like Foursquare and Gowalla to focus on providing rich features to users, rather than having to spend so much time on location accuracy.

2: The 8 Wrong Questions PR Firms are Asking About Social Media | Convince and Convert

Social Mediarology thinks: Instead of clamoring to make sure you can provide social media service to your clients, make sure you can provide the RIGHT social media service to your clients. These tips can be extracted for whatever industry you happen to work in, not just if you work at a PR firm.

3: 100 Free High Quality WordPress Themes: 2010 Edition | Smashing Magazine

Social Mediarology thinks: Smashing Magazine delivers a fantastic list of 100 free WordPress themes. Take a look through to find what you’re looking for. Read our How To: Choose a Blogging Platform for Your Organization post to see if WordPress makes the most sense for your business.

4: BlogIndiana 2010

Social Mediarology thinks: We’ll be out of the office today at Blog Indiana 2010. This great event, now it it’s 3rd year, features 35 different speakers from across the country talking about all kinds of digital topics, from blogging to social media and everything in between. If you missed this year’s event, be sure to check it out in 2011.

How To: Choose a Blogging Platform for Your Organization

29 Jul

A colleague at a local Convention & Visitor Bureau (CVB) recently mentioned that their office wanted to include a blog in their social media strategy, and she wanted my thoughts about which blogging platform they should use.

Here is a brief rundown of some of the most popular blogging platforms, as well as a few up-and-comers, along with some of the benefits and drawbacks of each platform. I’ll just cover free blogging platforms today, there are plenty of other paid platforms, including TypePad and Compendium.

WordPressWordPress.com

WordPress.com is a hosted blogging solution. That means that when you create a WordPress.com blog, your address will look like: YourBlogName.wordpress.com. I switched from Blogger to WordPress.com several years ago as I wanted more control over what my blog looked like.

Here are the WordPress.com features available for bloggers.

WordPress.com Features

WordPress.com Drawbacks

FREE Unable to use any javascript with free package – i.e. can’t embed widgets
Nearly 100 themes to choose from Unable to further modify your theme through CSS without purchasing add-on
Many themes have flexible customization options Very robust options may be a bit intimidating for a first-time blogger
Dozens of popular plugins/widgets to use Your website won’t benefit from the SEO component of blogging, because your blog isn’t hosted at your domain.
Very robust and easy to manage options
Ability to add multiple accounts to your blog – mange
Integrated blog stats
Integrated Spam catcher (Akismet)
3 GB of storage space
Strong support community, you can get the answers you need quickly
Easy import/export to and from other blogging platforms

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HootSuite5 – More Advanced Features

24 Jun

HootSuite5

If you’re read some of my previous posts, you’ll know that I really like HootSuite and use it for my social media management. Not only does it aggregate Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, LinkedIn, WordPress and MySpace, (yeah, I said MySpace. Who even uses MySpace anymore?) but with each new release, they add better and better functionality. I’ve written about how to manage your social media initiatives with HootSuite as well as some of HootSuites Expanded Capabilities, but today’s post will focus on the new features in HootSuite5.

Of all the upgrades in HootSuite5, you’ll need an HTML5-capable browser to take advantage of some of the best ones. I won’t go into HTML5 too much, but it’s one of the next big things on the internet and will enable much easier web coding and interactivity. The following browsers are HTML5-capable, and you if you ant to take advantage of the best features of HootSuite5, you should download one of them:

Geolocation-based Search

HootSuite5 - Geolocation search

With HootSuite5, you can easily narrow your Twitter searches to just people in your area. If you’ve used Twitter Search to look for trending topics, you’ll noticed that unless you’re very specific with what you’re searching for, you’ll get a lot of tweets that may have nothing to do with your search. Many times, you’ll even see tweets in foreign languages. By utilizing an HTML5-capable browser’s geolocation capabilities, you can search more effectively, using local Tweeters to help answer your queries.

Integrated Google Analytics

HootSuite5 - Integrated Google Analytics

If you’re anything like me, you spend a bit of time each month tracking your analytics, especially as it relates to your social media initiatives. If you use Google Analytics to track data on your site, you no longer have to go back and forth between multiple browser windows or tabs to see your analytics data – HootSuite has baked it in with HootSuite5. Once you start tweeting, you can even see your standard webstats and how many visits you received through your HootSuite Tweets!

HootSute5-Append Custom Source Code to LinksAnother tip for more accurate analysis of traffic to your website through your HootSuite shortened links: When you hover over the Shrink URL field, you can click on Advanced and then you can add custom source information to the end of EVERY link you shorten through HootSuite’s Ow.ly/Ht.ly URL shortener. Since I use Google Analytics, I’ve included the `utm_source=` and `utm_medium=` fields so I can easily see that a referral link came through HootSuite. If you use another analytics package, you should be able to append other information to the end of your URLs so you can track them as well.

Use Either Classic Retweets or New Retweets

If you’re a bit fuzzy on the difference between a ‘classic retweet’ and a ‘new retweet’ check out my Sharing, Retweeting and Mentions on Facebook and Twitter post. Older versions of HootSuite only allowed you to use the ‘classic retweet’ option, which meant that you could add your own comments, but you may have had to shorten or modify the tweet so it would still fit within the 140-character limit. The ‘new retweet’ option is the default in HootSuite5, and allows for one-click retweeting of content. Since it is the default, if you want to go back to the ‘classic retweet’ simply click on the owl at the top left, then select, Settings -> Preferences and uncheck the box next to Use Twitter Web retweets.

Enhanced Facebook Features

With older versions of HootSuite, when you posted a link to Facebook, the URL would simply show up in your status, but it wouldn’t include any of the rich options that are included when you include a link directly from Facebook. For that reason, I didn’t use HootSuite to post links to Facebook very often. That’s all changed with HootSuite5 and when you include a link to post to Facebook, a new dialog box comes up that allows you choose in image from the linked-to page as well as include some further description beneath the link – just like it works if you post the link directly from Facebook. This is a huge improvement in my book.

Drag and Drop Images to Twitter

This is another one off the features that you’ll need an HTML5-capable browser to use. Rather than having to click on the upload an image button and search for the image on your computer, you can now just drag the image and drop it right into the HootSuite5 status box. HootSuite automatically uploads it to their servers and spits back out a shortened URL directly to your image. This is just another great feature of HTML5 and HootSuite5.

There are still a few more new features in HootSuite5, but I’ve covered some of the most important ones. You can find the full list of updates on HootSuite’s blog.

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