How to Build the Perfect Web Community

Community will build much quicker with a good foundation. When building a web application keep all file structures and database tables neatly organized. There have been many situations in the past where a startup network won’t have enough computation power to load the site after a large influx of users. Servers crash and the site is rendered unusable – this can either cause your current base to flee or stir up some interest in the media.

If you aren’t as strong with programming it may be wise to partner up with a close friend or acquaintance. Many web frameworks are available to ease the workload on projects where intensive function libraries are required. This will also free your mind to work on other strategies in design and marketing.


Posted by Jake Rocheleau
http://webdesignledger.com/tips/how-to-build-the-perfect-web-community

By nature human beings are creatures who crave social interaction. We are forming relationships with friends and networking deeper with colleagues every passing day. The evolution from physical to digital has been an interesting one and is still ongoing. We have seen many social networks rise and fall in just a few short years.

Building a credible website community from scratch takes a lot of dedication. Even more so than dedication is the requirement for patience. Networks take time to build and will require daily care in order to mature into a strong web entity.

 

Why Social Networks?

An interesting comparison relates to the growth of the Internet and how lacking our society is on trust. Many people will connect with strangers via social profiles yet wouldn’t even pass a “hello” onto the very same person had they met physically.

Websites support this node system because a large user base finds the services appealing. Having a direct connection to a large list of people you may talk with at any given point is priceless. Couple this theory with a beautiful user interface and you’ve got a well-oiled social machine.

We are evolving as a species, and thus finding more enjoyment in creating and interacting with networks. Connecting with other people has proven to show boosts in overall mood and general outlook on life. With so many of us busy at work it’s hard to find time to connect. The Internet is a medium which fills the role very well, almost to the point of dependence.

What is Community Essence?

Ideas will pop up from time to time that may change your way of thinking. Imagining a community website as a series of interconnected nodes helps to demonstrate a larger point among all social networks. The essence behind these connections is to grow and share information in ways previously unavailable.

What keeps visitors coming back is the strong surrounding user base and like-minded ideals. You’ll attract more visitors if you have a goal or interest in mind. It isn’t common to see active networks of people without a common goal or interest at heart.

Offer tools to your visitors which they can’t find elsewhere. For example, if you were to develop a Twitter-themed network you may place profile information from each user’s Twitter account. You could also implement the option for an OAuth connection between each user profile and their Twitter account. This is a small scale example but can work in all niches. Leer más “How to Build the Perfect Web Community”

Promoting Your Company on LinkedIn Just Got Easy (Kind of)

LinkedIn’s latest addition isn’t just important because it looks hi tech and it’s easy to use – it transcends the ability of this social media to service both people and businesses.

“We are glad to provide companies a place on LinkedIn to showcase their products, services and associated recommendations,” says Director of Product Management Ryan Roslansky on the LinkedIn blog. “Company Pages will enable companies to build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals.”


by Portent, an internet marketing company.
http://www.portentinteractive.com/blog/promoting-your-company-on-link.htm#ixzz16lZdP65k

As the Facebook of the business world, LinkedIn has become the go-to social media scene for career movers and shakers, and now it’s more influential than ever. Once known as just a social network for tech-savvy professionals to find a new gig, the leading business-oriented social network recently gave companies the ability to strut their stuff with a new Products and Services tab.

One Giant Leap into B2B Marketing

LinkedIn’s latest addition isn’t just important because it looks hi tech and it’s easy to use – it transcends the ability of this social media to service both people and businesses.

“We are glad to provide companies a place on LinkedIn to showcase their products, services and associated recommendations,” says Director of Product Management Ryan Roslansky on the LinkedIn blog. “Company Pages will enable companies to build their brand through network-aware recommendations, giving members rich, credible insights into how any given product (or service) is perceived by their fellow professionals.”

linkedin image.jpgWhat this means is that companies can list off what they do best, and other LinkedIn members can provide direct recommendations to the each of the products and services, or to the company as a whole. This is measurable word-of-mouth marketing that goes beyond a simple Facebook “Like” because the LinkedIn user’s profile image is attached to the recommendation. Leer más “Promoting Your Company on LinkedIn Just Got Easy (Kind of)”

Social Media – What Size Business Does It Suit Best?

SMEs (Between 1 and 10 people)

This is the group that in my opinion struggle the most with social media. It’s not to say that there are not lots of success stories because there are but there are far more failures out there. The problem is often resource. Most companies of this size are incredibly busy with jobs allocated to team members who have little spare time. Often the responsibility for social media will be spread between several people meaning that it often gets neglected by them all. The pressure in terms of getting sales through social media and justifying it as a marketing channel that should be allocated time and financial resources are often too much and it often gets abandoned very quickly as a channel. Some SMEs will try and outsource their social media activity but more often than not they have unrealistic expectations of what it can achieve for them. It’s hard to make social media work effectively for businesses of this size and to do so you need patience, dedicated resource and realistic goals around what it can help your business achieve.
Brands (Large businesses with 50+ staff)

Most brands are at least thinking about social media at this stage if they have not already started. They have some challenges including internal politics, fear of exposing their brand online and resourcing to deal with but they also have a lot of big advantages including money and the ability to bring external help in to help them get started in social media. Although it often takes brands a while to get limbered up and finally engage in social media the reality is that when they do they usually have the smarts and the resources to get up and running quite quickly. With the right advice it’s not hard for brands to get going in social media but the challenge they face is the consistency over long periods of time with people coming and going and social media finding it’s right home within large organizations. The fact that large brands don’t always have to make the hard sell through social media like smaller companies try to is also a huge advantage for them.


 

I’ve been thinking about social media and business and in particular what sorts of businesses it works best for. The short answer is that if used correctly it can work for all sizes and types of businesses but from my experience it’s not always a level playing field. Rather than try and explain this in words I thought I simple diagram would work best…

Screen shot 2010 11 29 at 15.02.13 Social Media   What Size Business Does It Suit Best? Leer más “Social Media – What Size Business Does It Suit Best?”

What’s The Value Of Content Marketing?

One of the primary purposes of content marketing is to increase the chances that visitors will become customers by not trying to sell them. How can this be, you may be wondering? After all – every traditional online sales strategy involves pitching website visitors on your products and trying to convince them to buy something. Content marketing can accomplish the same goal as sales, only without the upfront selling. The secret is trust.

It is important to realize that not everyone is ready to buy your products from an AdWords click or first time visit to your website. However if they get a chance to warm up to your company a bit, they may eventually be ready to spend some money with you. Rather than hitting them with a high-pressure sales message right off the bat, try presenting them with a library of free, valuable content on the subject they are interested in. Eventually, this user might come to appreciate your free advice so much that they develop a trust in your expertise. When it comes time for this person to buy something related to your field, they’ll be coming straight to your website’s order form.


freedelivery

Content marketing is a rather new skill that no online business should attempt to avoid. It seems every conference you attend today, and every guide you read mentions the importance of content marketing, but where does the value truly lie? A robust content campaign requires a significant investment of time and money, so if you’re going to do it, you need to know where the return comes from. Today we reveal several ways that content marketing can be of great value to your business and recommend certain strategies necessary for success.

Building Relationships

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One of the primary purposes of content marketing is to increase the chances that visitors will become customers by not trying to sell them. How can this be, you may be wondering? After all – every traditional online sales strategy involves pitching website visitors on your products and trying to convince them to buy something. Content marketing can accomplish the same goal as sales, only without the upfront selling. The secret is trust.

It is important to realize that not everyone is ready to buy your products from an AdWords click or first time visit to your website. However if they get a chance to warm up to your company a bit, they may eventually be ready to spend some money with you. Rather than hitting them with a high-pressure sales message right off the bat, try presenting them with a library of free, valuable content on the subject they are interested in. Eventually, this user might come to appreciate your free advice so much that they develop a trust in your expertise. When it comes time for this person to buy something related to your field, they’ll be coming straight to your website’s order form.

Positioning Yourself As An Expert

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Related to the idea of building trust with your audience is the strategy of becoming a recognized expert in your industry. In field after field, from medicine to architecture, the true experts are heavily published. From articles to books, if you’re at the top of your field, people find you through your publications. So it goes for blogs – by publishing defining resources that demonstrate your erudition in the industry, searchers looking for a top notch professional will come to you after reading the resources you provide for free.

Think about it like this – If you needed blueprints for a piece of heavy machinery, would you prefer to buy from a website who hits you with a generic sales letter and no proof of expertise, or the guy who has written about your exact equipment time and time again and has clearly demonstrated an intimate understanding of your needs as a business? Most would choose the latter, because he is perceived as a top expert, not just a salesman. Such is the value of well-written, heavily circulated content.

Search Engine Ranking

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Everyone wants to rank number one on Google for searches related to their product, but only a select few ever see a placement on the first page. This puzzle is so crucial to solve that some companies spend tens of thousands of dollars a year on search engine optimization consulting. These “experts” routinely pour countless hours into studying the Google algorithm, trying desperately to find little hacks in the system they can sell to their clients as “quick SEO boosts.” The entire field has become so clouded with smoke and mirrors salesmen that it can be practically impossible for a business owner to successfully achieve their top placement.

Want to save a fortune on bad advice and unlock the secret to Google ranking in two simple words? Here it is – content marketing. Content Marketing Today reports that “There is only one way to [rank high in Google]–by creating a niche for your business that precisely targets the information needs of your best customers.” A common misconception among beginners is that simply having a bunch of content pleases Google, but in fact this is not true. It’s not the amount of content itself that Google cares much about, it is the number of links to your domain that the content attracts.

So How Does Content Marketing Help Search Rank?

Google’s ranking is largely dependent on the number of inbound links (links to your page from other blogs and websites) that exist to your website. Content acts as bait for these links – attracting interested readers and urging them to reference you on their blog or social outlet. The more content you circulate about a given topic, the more people are likely to link to it. This is how Google determines relevancy – the way they see it, links are like hundreds (or even thousands) of people are screaming, “This page is valuable to this topic, show it high in the results!”

Of course, there are several other factors that affect the search ranking, such as keyword density, duplicate content, etc. While these tweaks do have some pull, they can never compare to the power of having a hefty assortment of authoritative inbound links. There is a tendency to focus on other marginal improvements before tackling the big smoking gun of content marketing, because they are always easier and quicker to execute than the authorship of a small library of articles. This is absolutely the wrong approach however, because as difficult as it is to create all of that content, smaller tweaks in total can never make the difference that content marketing can.

Find New Customers

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So far we have talked about how content marketing can help you build relationships with customers and keep them coming back for more. Beyond merely retaining your current readership, content marketing can also be used to find new customers for your business. CopyBlogger, a leading authority in the filed of content authorship and marketing, describes every regular piece of content you release as a “tasty cookie that rewards your audience for consuming it.” To attract new readers, they advise, you need something even more appealing than a cookie — they call this content “birthday cake.”

This content should be substantially different and much more in-depth than your regular posts — a nifty new blog entry won’t cut it. On the other hand, a video that solves some vexing problem facing newcomers to your field is a good example of birthday cake. Such a resource demonstrates that you know your stuff and have the potential to solve countless other issues these new audience members may one day face. Other good choices include a free eBook, white paper, or tutorial that provides unparalleled insight into specific aspects of your field and strives to make a difference in the reader’s life. Such extensive and valuable content will convince new readers that, above all the other wannabes in the field, you are the real deal and deserve their dedicated readership.

Bait For Your Autoresponder

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Knowing the number of visitors to each of your blog posts or other content publications is important, but it is even better if you can determine how many of them are returning visitors. Using website analytic software, this kind if discernment is possible. When you find that you have a high number of returning visitors, an autoresponder course can help convert them into buyers. Your course must provide even more value than your regular content does, so as to entice people to allow you to email them on a regular basis. The worst autoresponders are ones that consist of nothing but constant sales pitches and unfocused content.

Study the trends in response to your past blog posts in order to determine a specific skill or problem your audience seems to be most interested in. Use this to develop a 7 – 10 day course on addressing, solving, and moving beyond that problem, or building a certain skill to near expert-level mastery. So long as this content follows through with it’s promises and makes a measurable difference in the subscriber’s life, you can follow up with an effective a sales pitch for a paid seminar, advanced training materials, DVD set, or whatever other materials you develop.

Social Media Integration

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Okay, so you’ve got all this content and a good number of readers organically visiting your blog, or coming in from Digg and Reddit, but you’d really like to expand and bring in more readers than ever before. If this sounds like you, then social content marketing is the key to exponential growth with a minimum of effort. Select your best new pieces of content and share them at a set interval (say every two days) on your social accounts. The nature of social networking (especially on Facebook) is that when a user likes a piece of your content, all of their friends see it on their home screen.

Since people tend to have at least some like-minded friends, there is a good chance that the mere act of your readers liking and sharing your content will attract even more new readers. As this snowball effect rolls on, your blog will receive a flood of new, organically-generated traffic that you can hit with fresh new content and feed into your autoresponder. To keep this wheel turning, it is important to include easy share buttons with each new piece of content you generare. Readers may be excited to show people the wisdom you have shared with them, but if they have to go out of their way to log in to their social network and share the link manually, they may be discouraged. Share buttons make it so that they can show their support for your website simply by clicking a button.

Competitive Advantage

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Authoring expansive libraries of original content is a strong barrier to competition for the simple fact that it is difficult to replicate. It takes hundreds of man hours, a dedicated author on staff, and payroll compensation to build your collection of content. Few but the most ambitious blogs have the money or time to devote to competing with you.

Content marketing is also an ongoing effort, meaning that one you have your initial library in place, you must continue to pump out quality content week after week to remain relevant. The more you write, the further you send the competition scrambling to catch up. As they try to match the content, you’ve already published, you’ll be releasing more and staying an extra step ahead.

Content Recycling

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Ever think about setting up an email auto responder, or sending some direct mail? Fortunately the core pieces of your sales messages already exist in your blog posts. Rather than starting from scratch, you can easily take bits and pieces of your best content to create the cogs of your new marketing objectives.

Best of all, your audience has already responded to this content, so you know exactly which pieces will be most effective. When you compose these new messages, combine similar elements of your best pieces into separate, new articles and messages. You can now recycle these for your new mailing list or ebook.

Read more: http://www.flowtown.com/blog/whats-the-value-of-content-marketing#ixzz16lQAyPQy

Who says the future needs an advertising agency?

I’m not saying for certain that there won’t be agencies in the future, only that the future doesn’t necessarily need agencies. Just like the future doesn’t need printed news but it needs journalism; the future needs commercial communications, but who creates them, the agency or the brand or someone else, is unwritten.

And though the future of the agency is unwritten, I have real doubts that agencies will survive or should survive:

* Agencies don’t value strategy. Agencies should quit blaming the brand for not paying for thinking. Your ability to court good clients who value strategic thinking is a measure of your own strategic ability. So when brands won’t pay for strategy, agencies gladly overcharge for the execution – which more often than not nets an expensive bad idea. Good luck getting the brand to pay for that the fifth time around.
* The big agencies only pay lip service to digital. They hire and knight smart digital thinkers who ultimately have no authority, no real work, and contempt directed at them from the rest of the organization. It’s no surprise why they don’t stick around. The big boys also farm out to small digital shops that undervalue themselves and lose credit for the work. By the by, almost no superbowl ad last night drove to a URL (GoDaddy has been doing this for years and no one else has caught on) and no brand I saw used their Adwords in an interesting way (even though people were sure to hit search).



the agency of the future can’t be built by just adding tail fins and Goofy’s nose

A quick disclaimer: the views expressed here are mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

Apparently there’s a roaring interest in a model for the advertising agency of the future. My aim for this post is to address some of the ideas put forth by others, weigh the usefulness of today’s agency objectively, and make a bit of a prediction myself. There’s little fun in making bold predictions about the future without a debate – so dig in and offer up a point of view in the comments, if you please.

Some smart ideas already presented:

I can’t really argue with any of the points or models above – they’re all insightful and interesting – but they’re pontifications on what agencies should be doing right now. To say these are models for the future is the equivalent of attaching tail fins to a sedan. All of the above examples seem to be creative ways to sidestep current problems with the industry instead of addressing them directly (and to be fair to the authors/creators cited above, I doubt they meant their posts to be that forward looking).

Who says the future needs an agency, anyway?

Advertising agency of the future sounds a bit like horse drawn carriage of the future.

I’m not saying for certain that there won’t be agencies in the future, only that the future doesn’t necessarily need agencies. Just like the future doesn’t need printed news but it needs journalism; the future needs commercial communications, but who creates them, the agency or the brand or someone else, is unwritten. Leer más “Who says the future needs an advertising agency?”

Innovation – Amplify creativity and skills in management

For this the creation of an environment of creativity becomes crucial for every employee understands the Organization as a whole and not just the job they habitually performs its tasks.

And so it alive this all as a passion, thereby providing a balance of responsibilities between work and family and social life, it is necessary that he find a deeper meaning that promotes actions.

This meaning is indeed what will be forwarded to the customers of the companies and that promotes the sustainability of these.

This “freedom” being relaxed is an act of exemplary management that promotes the future of employees and Organization and the benefits are clear:

-An undertaking shall be an essential element of the work environment. Employee satisfaction and motivation are leveraged and symptoms of saturation are disappearing.

-The commitment of employees is rewarded not only with increased responsibilities but also with the bonus to be part of the “Club” business. Is there a sense of belonging to a whole as enterprise.

-The social balance becomes stable contagiously environments where employees interact.

-Creativity and innovation are brought together to the diligence and promote individual and collective initiatives.

“The first job of any manager is to amplify human capabilities–that is, to create an environment in which individuals are empowered, equipped and encouraged to give the very best of themselves. The second task is to aggregate individual efforts in ways that allow human beings to do together what they couldn’t do on their own.” Gary Hamel

Whether in a collaborator role or in the role of Manager recycling make passes through abandon the bureaucratic routines and amplify the abilities of people and this is achieved by creating a clean and simple climate in the area of knowledge and a colorful atmosphere, full of emotions, in the area of creativity and innovation.


por jabaldaia
http://abaldaia.wordpress.com/

Celebrating the Imagination

It’s absolutely amazing the amount of  tools and new technologies that we have today at our disposal and that has not significant costs in our day-to-day.

It is true that we are creators and inheritors of much non-recyclable waste in this area and that we must now eventually create systems of cleaning waste from these out of date satellites or end of life to the multitude of hardware or obsolete machines stationed at the bottom of the garage.

And so, it will require so much imagination to turn waste into something useful as to create them.

Start by recycling our way of thinking, giving more weight to our creativity and less to conformity and obedience.

Let obedience and embrace the collaboration and it will not be because of that, that leaders no longer exist.

Gary Hamel says today’s workforce offers basically only the presence and the assurance of they will do what we say to them.

We see this with ease in the vast majority of undertakings by looking at the proposals of the human resources services to reward employee participation in company’s activity.

They are rewarded, not by learning and creativity but by the ability to reproduce accurately predetermined tasks.

This prospect of facing employees as performers that maximize your potential by applying their knowledge within the limits imposed by companies is useful for ensuring the delivery of products or services to consumers and users, but not explores nor allows developers to exploit its potential of initiative, creativity and passion.

Companies must let the employees and began to have collaborators. Leer más “Innovation – Amplify creativity and skills in management”

2010: un año en imágenes

Los fotógrafos de Reuters producen medio millón de imágenes cada año. La agencia de noticias ha seleccionado las 55 mejores de este frenético 2010 que declina. He elegido algunas de las imágenes más impactantes, aunque recomiendo verlas en la propia página de Reuters, cuyo ancho de pantalla es mucho más generoso (nuestro diseño sólo permite 520 píxeles de ancho) y donde también puedes leer el relato de los propios fotógrafos describiendo las circunstancias en las que tomaron las fotografías.


Los fotógrafos de Reuters producen medio millón de imágenes cada año. La agencia de noticias ha seleccionado las 55 mejores de este frenético 2010 que declina. He elegido algunas de las imágenes más impactantes, aunque recomiendo verlas en la propia página de Reuters, cuyo ancho de pantalla es mucho más generoso (nuestro diseño sólo permite 520 píxeles de ancho) y donde también puedes leer el relato de los propios fotógrafos describiendo las circunstancias en las que tomaron las fotografías.

Catástrofe en Pakistán

Dónde: Distrito de Muzaffargarh, Pakistán.

Quién: Adrees Latif.

Qué: Un grupo de afectados por las inundaciones en Pakistán intentan conseguir un paquete de ayuda que reparte un helicóptero. 1.600 personas perdieron la vida y cerca de 20 millones quedaron afectadas, en una de las peores tragedias humanitarias de este siglo.

 

Globo sobre Suiza

Dónde: Chateau d’Oex, Suiza.

Quién: Valentin Flauraud.

Qué: Un globo de aire caliente sobrevuela un pueblo nevado durante el tradicional vuelo en globo que se celebra en la localidad suiza cada mes de enero desde 1979. Un centenar de globos participaron en esta edición. Leer más “2010: un año en imágenes”