- Tested.com / This is only a test – a few San Francisco geek (one hipster… PLEASE Will, get rid of the beard!) with GREAT experience in the technology world, having worked at computer and game magazines. These guys talk about video games, software, mobile devices, websites, movies, music, live shows, quadcopters, travel, food and just tons of stuff. It’s a long show, but I love every minute of it – even the Apple fanboi stuff!
- FreakonomicsRadio – An economics view of “The hidden side of everything”. They talk about and break down many interesting things about life and money and interesting stuff, into measurable units to try to understand those things better.
- Planet Money – Fantastic shows about things related to money and how that stuff affects our lives. A really great show, well produced, interesting topics.
- StartUp – Former This American Life producer starts his own network, and this show started as a weekly documentary on how he raised money and put together a team. This is now focused on other startup businesses.
- Adam Savage: Still Untitled – From Tested.com, this is a great show with Adam Savage (from MythBusters) talking about technology, science, model making, movies and props. I love Adam :)
- Reply All – A show about the internet. Not always well-formatted, but it’s short and usually fun info about popular (or little known) things on the internet.
- Serial – The super-popular show that brought back the ‘weekly serial radio show’. Season 1 knocked it out of the park with a real-life whodunit murder case.
- Peculiar Podcast – Seattle. If you’re from (or lived in) Seattle in the 90s, you know who Pat Cashman and Lisa Foster are. This is their new digital radio show. Fun, light and wonderful :)
- This Week in Google – Leo Laporte’s Google show. Long and pretty good. They know a lot and cover a lot.
- Here’s the Thing – Really interesting interviews with big names by none other than Alec Baldwin! He interrupts a bit too much, but the show works. At the very least, look for past shows and pick the people you find interested. There’s some great surprises here.
Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category
In 2010 when I first wrote about QR codes, several friends say, ‘nah, they won’t take off’. I’m sure people said the same thing about hashtags. Well, hashtags will soon be included on packaging for major brand products, just like QR codes.
#Hashtags are more than common now and there are dozens of websites that promise to give businesses ‘tracking data’ to determine how popular a tag is – in other words, see just how many people passed along the message that was trying to be conveyed. Facebook and Twitter are obviously the most popular social media outlets to use them, but more and more television stations, individual TV shows, movies and of course whatever the internet fad of the moment are using them.
Quick quiz… you write a quick post online about wanting to watch the Olympics. Do you write:
A) “Can’t wait to watch the #Olympics tonight!”
B) “Can’t wait to watch the #SochiOlympics tonight!”
C) “Can’t wait to watch the #2014Olympics tonight!”
Of course the answer is – all are correct – but if you want to ‘correctly’ attribute the tag so that searches will take you to the Olympic organizer’s website, which is the “most” correct?
Here’s another one – what if you’re writing about the bone disease Avascular Necrosis which is often shortened to AVN and you add “#AVN” to the post, but don’t check it before you post it… then find out that AVN is probably far more commonly known as the “Adult Video News” – which runs their own version of the #Oscars for porn. Whoops.
One last scenario… you’re working on article about camping and travelling and you sidetrack a little about visiting a nearby rainforest. Your article will be released to a broad distribution newsletter that will also be printed and emailed and posted online. You want to ’correctly’ give reference to an organization that raises funds for “saving the rainforests”. You’re not an expert on rainforests and you didn’t easily find a tag for it… So which tag do you use?
You logically use “#SaveTheRainforests”. Then you find out that an oil conglomerate is using that tag in their advertisements, trying to show how environmental they are – when in fact, they clear cut thousands of acres of rainforests a year but ‘save’ 1% of each forest. You may not want to support that company… but now you are supporting their message. Another “whoops”.
So, where do you find the tag that GreenPeace uses when they talk about saving a rainforest? In this article title “The Great Bear Rainforest Victory” or this one “Protecting forests”? Nope. They don’t have any hashtags there. So what should you use?
A website idea
Okay… how about a website that lists all the hashtags that a company uses for their various advertising campaigns and brands? On the same site you can search (and watch) that fun commercial where the car guys get their wings… Was the tag #Wings or #VW100000… no, it was just #VW (kind of a missed opportunity).
The revenue model would be purely ad-based. This isn’t likely to be a popular consumer website (but who really knows?) If it caught on, companies could pay for click traffic when someone searches for a specific tag to find the ‘official’ company that started using the tag.
As hashtags become more commercial, brands will be using them more. Not just in commercials, but in more printed materials, including product packaging. So why not get a jump on the “hashtag database” now? HashBase.com?
Over the years I’ve help a lot of small business owners get their web presence started. One of the biggest mistakes those business owners have been to setup a website with too much of a focus on “timely” content.
When writing the content for a website, and more specifically a retail business, it’s important to write generically enough that your site doesn’t look old and outdated in a few months. Using phrases like “We’ve been a leader in water filtration and purification for the past 2 years” means that you HAVE to go back and change that one phrase every years – otherwise you’re taking full credit for the time that you’ve been in business. It would be better to say “We’ve been a leader in water filtration and purification since 2008” – see what a difference it makes if you’re reading that as a customer… or potential customer?
Another BIG mistake is insisting on having a blog! I have literally BEGGED clients to NOT do a blog. I explain that a blog REQUIRES active participation and marketing expertise. I show them other business’s blogs that have been updated in 2 years or more. 95% of the time they swear they’ll keep it updated and be active. 99% of the time, they are gung-ho for the first 3 months, then a year goes by with nothing posted. It makes me shudder when I go back to look at those old client sites.
Invariably they realize after a few years that they need to update things and they hire some company for thousands of dollars to do a new web presence – and it usually does NOT include a blog and the writing is done by professionals (who charge A LOT more than I ever did.)
These days Facebook would probably suffice for most of those clients as they don’t have much they need to talk about and it’s easy to make changes to hours, directions and get people to connect.
If you’re a small business and you want a good website, first, write good content; second, designate one or two employees to be in charge of the site content and make sure they keep it updated. Your employees have a good idea what your customers talk and ask about every day – why not give them something else to be committed to and be excited about… and if you really want a good blog, let several employees write posts (yes, you can review them before they go live.)