Archive for the ‘General Web News’ Category

Internet Marketing Jobs Open in Phoenix

Monday, March 7th, 2011

In the last few weeks, I have seen and heard from several agencies and companies in the Phoenix area looking for online/web/Internet talent. I am so excited to see so many job openings come available that I wanted to put together a quick post on a few of the open positions in hope of referring great talent to the Phoenix area or at least diversifying the current pool.

Cole Capital is looking for a Marketing Manager eBusiness
view job posting

Thunderbird School of Global Management is looking for an Online Marketing Specialist
view job posting (pdf)

Terralever is looking for A LOT of folks from developers to designers to account, sales, and admins
view job postings

Off Madison Ave & Mighty Interactive are looking for a PPC Manager
view job posting and other open positions

Sitewire is looking for an Account Manager
Position is very recently available, no posting on the Sitewire site as of yet but we do have the job description (pdf).

RIESTER is looking for an Integration Manager
view job posting

Crystal Ball: Twitter Requires Payment to Use API

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010

crystal
Photo by bb_matt
While it may seem that the entire social ecosystem has been thinking that Twitter is floundering in their business plan (how in the world will they make money), especially after important documents were leaked back in July of 2009. Twitter is proving quite the contrary.

This month, Twitter sent out an email to API users stating that over the coming weeks they would be making two important updates that will impact how users interact with Twitter applications. (Update 1: Starting August 31, new authorization rules for applications and Update 2: t.co URL wrapping (long URL will display with t.co)).

And just last week we saw vast improvement to the user interface with regard to the account setup process and next steps to additional features and functions on twitter.com.

While these updates seem harmless and almost predictable, are they indications of how Twitter is positioning for the future? And what is that future?

The release of their iPhone/Android apps and ad platform earlier this year coupled with new UI changes and new API technology updates has led me to make either a “very bold” prediction or “very insightful” prediction as I look into the crystal ball of Twitter’s future.

Twitter to Require Payment for API Use
There I said it, and with good reason. There are currently over 250,000 applications built using the Twitter API – some are free and some are paid. Why should everyone else (Radian6, CoTweet, etc.) make money off Twitter’s technology and userbase except Twitter? Does it not seem reasonable, that now that so many have built a business on Twitter’s platform, Twitter should start building a business on it?

If this actually comes to fruition, imagine the effect it will have on paid applications or those that are VC-funded and rely solely on the Twitter platform. For those third-party applications with a large user base their entire business could go by the wayside if they don’t cough up dollars to keep themselves in business. Especially if Twitter sees profit potential in that application’s niche.

With 145 million registered users (roughly 20% are highly active tweeters) it may not make sense to just shut off their API entirely to third party apps; this would only frustrate and cause friction amongst the current user base who use one or multiple third-party Twitter applications, but why not monetize the asset that has been built. It looks like it is going to be a reverse of the Facebook business model (Facebook built the user base on their platform then opened it up to developers).

Supporting Evidence Keeps Mounding
CB Insights reported a 50% decline in VC funding from June 2009 to May 2010 in early-stage investment of Twitter startups. Mashable’s Jolie O’Dell said that “While third-party apps have drifted toward the shallow end of the investment pool, Twitter itself has been raising healthy rounds to continue growing its staff and infrastructure.” Last Fall, Twitter raised $100 million and just six months later closed another round of funding. This has to be an indication that something big and magical is happening under the Twitter birdcage.

Do you agree and what are your favorite third-party Twitter apps and if they go away will you go directly to the source?

An experiment with HTML5

Thursday, September 16th, 2010

As a kid growing up in a small town in rural New Hampshire, I explored the roads surrounding my home with such frequency that I got to know them as well as I know the lines in the palms of my hands.

Now, like many of my 20 or 30-something peers, I’ve moved away from my childhood home and rarely get the chance to visit. But those streets are so clear in my memory I can still see the heaves and pot holes in the streets my sister and I used to play in.

Being somewhat nostalgic for childhood, as well as increasingly interested in the uses of HTML5 (I am in Internet marketing after all), I was excited to hear about Arcade Fire’s new experiment coinciding with the release of the band’s third, full-length album, The Suburbs.

The experiment, created by Google developers, writer/director Chris Milk and Arcade Fire, utilizes HTML5 capabilities to take you on a virtual tour through the streets surrounding your childhood home.

“Browsers and the modern web have indeed come a long way since Chrome was introduced, and we hope this project provides a glimpse at some of what the future holds,” wrote Google Creative Lab’s Thomas Gayno, on the Google Chrome blog.

The project, called “The Wilderness Downtown” is set to Arcade Fire’s, “We Used to Wait”, and includes an interactive amalgamation of Google Maps and Google Street View with HTML5 canvas, HTML5 audio and video, an interactive drawing tool and choreographed windows.

“These modern web technologies have helped us craft an experience that is personalized and unique for each viewer, as you virtually run through the streets where you grew up,” writes Gayno.

The resulting media experience is enthralling. It’s also creating some buzz around HTML5, which will soon (hopefully) be fully adopted by most web browsers. Google Chrome is currently at the forefront of the HTML5 frontier, but most other major web browsers are close behind.

Check out the accompanying graphic for an illustration of what HTML5 will change and improve in the language of the web.

Visit the Chrome Experiments blog for an explanation of the techniques used in “The Wilderness Downtown”.

Google Analytics 101: Annotations Feature

Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

Whether novice or pro, the annotations feature in Google Analytics (GA) is one feature your entire organization should be using. Earlier this year it became available to all GA account users and is one of the most simple features to use. Not only can it have a huge impact on tracking and monitoring site traffic, it will save you eons of time when going back historically to understand what components had the highest influence on generating traffic to and actions on your site.

What is the Annotation Feature in Google Analytics?
The annotation feature allows GA users to add notes to a website profiles’ traffic, they can share these with other users of this profile or mark them private. See example below. Notations were made to indicate when internal IP traffic was filtered, when an action to promote the site was performed and when campaigns launched.

What are the benefits of this feature and how can they make a difference for you and your company?
There are many spokes to an organization’s wheel such as PR, marketing, and customer service. In addition, there are the spokes that are not entirely under our control like social media channels. Since there are so many moving parts in an organization it is difficult to keep track of what may be influencing or impacting your daily web traffic.

The annotation feature in GA allows users to tell a story through site statistics. Perhaps major site changes were made, a new campaign was launched or a high profile blogger mentioned your company. These are just a few of the types of items that can be notated in the time-length of your web stats in GA. The possibilities are endless when logging and reviewing quarterly activity within your company – what happened this month, last month, the past 90 days? By allowing all departments to add notes to the site traffic they can provide insight into how their efforts are effecting the overall mission and understand which activities were most successful.

Think of annotations as a shortcut to digging into that spike in traffic or boost in sales. If you can follow traffic on a specific date or length of time when a specific campaign was launched you will be providing yourself and your team with a visual on its performance.

I’ve included a 58 second demo video from Google on their annotation feature below, enjoy and get to posting the notations in your stats regularly for the benefit of your entire team.

Meet Up With Us: Arizona Entrepreneurship Conference

Wednesday, November 11th, 2009

I’m excited to be on a panel with some of the brightest marketing entrepreneurs in the Valley at the AZEC09 conference.

Catch up with me at 10:15a on November 12, 2009 for a panel on Shoestring Marketing, where we’ll be discussing ideas on how to market effectively on a small budget, marketing processes and approaches for startups, and upcoming online trends.

My fellow panelists are:

Chris Johnson, CEO for Terralever (Moderator)
Eva Voorhees, Owner, Tiny Advertising,
Ed Tankersley, Owner, Eight Trails

We hope to see you there.

Up to Bat: Adjust Your Marketing Stance

Monday, October 12th, 2009

A few months ago I was at a Seattle Mariners game, in Seattle.  I was visiting a friend who was getting married that weekend and we were meeting at the Silver Cloud Inn before the game (a hotel directly across from the stadium). The usual ticket scalpers were lining the stadium walls – either asking for tickets or holding them in their hands to show they indeed had tickets available if you didn’t have one.

There must have been at least 25-30 ticket scalpers.  Imagine the competition. Before we left, I ran upstairs to grab my jacket and as I waited for the elevator a man rushed passed me into the business center located just a few steps away from the elevators and the main entrance to the hotel.  Curious, I followed the man into the business center and sat down to fake a little “online lookup.”

I noticed this man had pulled up Craigslist and started to create an ad.  Sitting next to him, a pair of Seattle Mariners baseball tickets.

The point of this story? In business, often times we do the same things our competitors are doing, we use the same resources, at the same time, in the same place.  One by one we all line up next to each other for potential customers to determine what makes each one of us different or who has the kindest smile (best logo) and looks the friendliest (cheeky marketing speak).

It’s important to recognize that we can still use the same resources and advertise using the same channels, after all that is where are customers are.  But it doesn’t mean we can’t look at how to market ourselves and our message differently than the rest.

In this case, it seems obvious that you could sell the tickets on Craigslist to folks who are planning to attend the game but can’t find tickets (days, or even weeks before the game).  It also seems obvious that you would stand right in front of the stadium because customers know they will be able to purchase tickets from…a ticket scalper.  But, this man changed the game a bit – he used the same resource at a different time and utilized the resources around him.  Whether he sold the tickets or not, he was still utilizing the resources that were available to him – and at no cost to him.  Craigslist = Free.  Hotel Business Center = Free.

Key takeaways:

1. There are plenty of free Social Media tools out there like Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube.  If every one of your competitors has access to the same tools and resources you do, how are you differentiating yourself? How can you utilize those tools differently – be it seasonal, deviating from a normal process, or other? Think strategy.

2. If you have created a Facebook page or Twitter account for your business are you just running with the herd? Have you just jumped on the bandwagon because every one else has? How can you use these resources and other resources outside of these to actually improve your bottom line?  Avoid the “me too” scenario or seek help from an outside consultant to introduce ideas on how to use these tools to your advantage.

3. Don’t forget the resources/tools that have worked in the past or the ones you haven’t really fine tuned that are working.  Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water.

4.  Don’t be so quick to jump on the next shiny object that sparkles.  Make sure you have a clear understanding and strategy in place before investing the time and labor costs associated with the upkeep, management, and maintenance.