It’s Official: Google +1 Launched for Organic and Pay-per-click Search Engine Results

July 1, 2011 § 3 Comments

Have you seen the new “+1” feature recently launched by Google? I’ve been reading about it and, lo-and-behold, today its there along with a tightened up search engine results page (SERP) interface. Granted, you have to be logged in to Google to see the new feature, so if you are one of the few people without one, go get yourself a Google account. After that, you’ll have to create a public profile so you’ll be identified when “plus-oneing” something. Wait a minute. This is just like Facebook! No wonder Facebook secretly launched a smear campaign against Google. So, now I have yet another profile I have to manage and I can like, er I mean, retweet, uh no, I mean +1 stuff now. Likes and tweets and +1s, OH MY!

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Relevant Content and Social SEO – I’m a Believer

June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

Google Results: Progressive Insurance ShazamThe other day, I posted a short article on Progressive Insurance, Shazam, and the Audio QR Code and was witness to an amazing thing. It is one thing to take a leap of faith when it comes to the concept of “relevant content is king” but it is another when you see it working in real-time. I consider this my lightning bolt moment and I will never again doubt the power of relevant content and search engine optimization. In fact, I’m now fully converted — new born, if you will. Moving forward, I will evangelize this from the mountaintops and make sure everyone knows the truth.

At about 8am on June 8, I posted the blog article mentioned above on our WordPress blog, which, by the way, is simply the best blogging software there is. I then went on my usual morning run. During my run, I thought I would do some more research on the topic of the article. When I got back and settled into my desk chair at about 9:30am, I did a Google search on “Progressive Insurance Shazam.”

And then it happened.

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Politics and Social Media – Examples of Genius and Stupidity

June 15, 2011 § 1 Comment

As time ticks along, social media continues to prove itself as a game changer in how we think about the Internet. Crazy IPOs, such as LinkedIn’s, are a precursor for what we can expect when Facebook and Groupon go public. Do we have another stock market bubble on our hands? Absolutely! But that isn’t the main thrust of this post. Social media is here to stay, isn’t a fad, and is reshaping the way we communicate, create brands, and interact with customers. This is especially true in the wild wooly world of politics. If politicians think they were in a fishbowl before social media then they ain’t seen nothin’ yet.

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Progressive Insurance, Shazam, and the Audio QR Code. What was the point?

June 8, 2011 § 4 Comments

I was watching TV last night and during a Progressive Insurance commercial (you know, the one that has Flo in it) and a Shazam logo came up on the screen. For those of you who don’t know what Shazam is, it is a really neat technology that can automatically identify audio and tell you what is playing. This can be quite useful if you are listening to a song and you don’t know who the artist is or what album the song is on. Just pull up the app and, SHAZAM!, it will pull up the song title, artist, and album cover. From there you can explore similar artists and more.

So, what does Progressive Insurance have to do with this? Part of me is still trying to figure this out. As the commercial rolled on, I pulled out my trusty iPad, opened the Shazam app, and had it listen to the commercial. All this has to be done in 30 seconds, which is a challenge all by itself. Anyway, like a technology miracle, Shazam identified the commercial and up pops a picture of Flo on my iPad. The problem is, that’s all I got. I was left with a feeling of, so what? Unless there is something I missed, there was absolutely no value delivered to me at that point in the engagement. They had me. Then they lost me.

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QR Codes: Let’s think outside the black box

June 8, 2011 § 4 Comments

Please welcome guest blogger Jackie Croley as she delivers this post on how creative brands are using QR codes. — editor.

Lately I have been seeing QR Codes everywhere!  The only thing is, in most cases, they are ugly black boxes slapped in the corner of print advertisements. QR Codes don’t have to stick out like a sore thumb to attract attention.  The uses for QR Codes are still being discovered and we have only begun to see how they can be utilized in media and advertising.  Marketers can creatively incorporate them into designs to inspire users to scan and enjoy content.

Macy's QR Code

Now that they are catching on, I think it’s time to improve their design and placement. QR Codes can be so much more than just a black box! Here are some examples of creative designs and uses of QR codes.

Which one do you like? Are you inspired now?

Macy’s creatively incorporated a QR code in their trademark red star.


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Facebook, Google, or your Website: Which do you trust more?

May 19, 2011 § 4 Comments

The month of May has turned out to be a doosey in the online privacy department, which got to me thinking: do people really care about their personal data being bandied about by the largest Internet companies in the world?google-facebook

Earlier this month, top-five PR firm Burson-Marsteller initiated a campaign pitching major media outlets, such as USA Today, with a story that slammed Google and its privacy policies in regards to a new product they may be launching called Social Circles. The problem with the smear campaign is it was bought and paid for by the ethically challenged Facebook. If you’ve seen The Social Network, this lack of character should be no surprise at all. Just ask the Winklevoss twins.

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Web Design Trends for 2011

March 11, 2011 § 4 Comments

2011From time-to-time, clients will ask me what is on the horizon in the world of web design. With that in mind, I give you our design team’s collective thoughts on the web design trends for 2011. What would a blog be without a top 10 list? I haven’t done one yet so here goes… « Read the rest of this entry »

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