Archive of ‘Resources’ category

Klout

I’m shocked that I haven’t blogged about Klout yet. It’s funny too – because here I was thinking that I would have so much to say about Google+ but I don’t. I’ve been using it and having a blast dragging people and dumping them into various circles…but aside from that it’s still growing on me little by little.

Klout, on the other hand, is the tool that has been maintaining my attention lately. I was surprised to hear that not very many people (in my regular life) know about it. Here’s the lowdown: Klout is a tool that helps measure your influence online. It measures 35 variables on Facebook and Twitter and then gives you a score out of 100 (the higher the better). Some of the variables that it measures are:  True Reach, Amplification Probability, and Network Score.

Sounds cool right? Well, it gets even better! Your score changes everyday, or at least it can. Also, it shows you: who you influence, who you’re influenced by, topics that you are considered to be an “authority” on and how you rank compared to others in your network. In my opinion, the folks at Klout hit a home run with the last item, because it generates a little bit of friendly competition in that you try even harder to engage even better. In a way, it has the potential to make us all more adept social media users.

Go find out what your score is and report back to me :) The highest score that I’ve seen a person get is 63 (not including some of the large brand profiles like AddThis).

 

Facebook Video Chat

Although summer is well underway, the world of technology and social media has been busy with launches, acquisitions and a healthy dose of drama.

Yesterday, Facebook released in a very anticlimactic fashion that yes – they were launching video chatting à la Skype. Twitter has been buzzing with rumours about this for the last month or two, so when Facebook confirmed that this was the topic of their very “Awesome Announcement” I was a little disappointed. Partially, because it felt a little like old news and also because video chatting is already a service that is available. The only thing cool is that it’s now integrated into Facebook…and even that doesn’t wow my socks off. I don’t think that this will change my video chatting habits, but only time and social media market researchers will be able to tell.

Despite this, I was very excited to read Facebook’s 5 Rules Of Etiquette For Facebook Video Chat. This just about made my day and almost ignited a new found excitement for me about Facebook’s video chatting launch. Aside from being great tips for video chatting on Facebook, they’re important life lessons… ;) Enjoy!

Among the suggestions, are:

  • If someone isn’t interested in video chatting, lay off!
  • Try to be camera-ready and don’t look as if you’ve been bobbing for fries. No one wants to sit and chat with someone who gives them the heebie jeebies.
  • Keep your clothes on unless the other party asks you to take them off! And don’t disrobe if you don’t want to!

Senuti

Although style differs among us, most designers, editors,  and artists can agree on one thing – Go MAC or go home!

Last week, I upgraded my loyal G4 to the latest iMac (27″!). Fast, sleek, sexy and easy on the eyes…  The transition has been smooth sailing. Before packing up my G4, I wiped off the hard drive while doing some diagnostic testing. I always save my video projects to an external drive, but what I neglected to do was transfer my iTunes music folders. The horror!… Luckily enough, I came across this great tool called Senuti. It lets you transfer your music from your iPhone or iPod to your MAC.

The nice thing is that they give you a free 30-day/1,000 song trial. Within minutes, I was rebuilding my iTunes Library. To the Senuti developers out there: Thank you for saving my weekend! I can now go back to playing with my new machine!

LinkedIn Connection Timeline

LinkedIn has been around for quite some time, but I have to give them props because within the last two years I feel like they’ve really zeroed in on what they need to do  to be a leader in the constantly evolving online world.

LinkedIn web developer, Gordon Koo, is the mastermind behind on of their newest applications LinkedIn Connection Timeline. It is supposed to give you a life in review type of visual where you can see different connections in a sleek, sexy timeline. According to Koo, what differentiates this app is that it is three dimensional. It looks at actual connections, implicit grouping of connections (which tie the social graph together) and lastly it includes the element of time.

I tried out the app today for myself, and although it looks sleek it didn’t work for me. Perhaps my LinkedIn professional/connection history is a little too convoluted for the tool to handle during it’s early phase… I do have high hopes for it. I love infographics, charts and all visuals so this is something that I’m looking forward to using.

Give it a whirl and tell me what you think. So far, I’m still enjoying cubeduel although it seems to have hit a plateau with users in my circle.

 

 

Google Chrome

Thanks for sharing, Jeremy Chaput! This is a great example of video and social marketing that makes profound connection with viewers…unless you’re a robot!

Sometimes You Have to Swing Both Ways

Social Media Icons

Social Media Icons

One of the biggest errors I see people make when they are devising their social media strategy is that they concentrate only on the business perspective. In social media, you should always swing both ways – and think about the business and the user’s perspective. What is everyone getting out of this interaction/conversation/relationship?

Recently, I was with a group of Communication professionals brainstorming some tactics that could be used for a social media campaign. I was in “the zone”…you know that happy, creative place where ideas just come to you freely. Ideas were just coming one after the other… Afterwards, someone came up to me and asked “how did you think of all that?”. The answer is – I swing both ways, meaning I consider all perspectives involved.

If you’re a business and your target audience is moms, then you need to think like a mom. First thing to ask is: Do moms use social media? Many would say no, but many would be wrong! Moms are actually very big users of social media! Next – decide on which platforms you want to use.

One of the next big steps is to try and pinpoint what type of information you want to get from your audience. It’s great to know the things that people love about your company but it’s equally important to know what people don’t like about your company or product. Take your time and decide on the best approach.

When you finally get to the tactics part of your media plan, my suggestion is to outline the types of content that appeal to your audience. Consider your audience’s lifestyle, where and how they use the Internet. If your audience typically accesses the Internet from smartphones then you want to be certain that your pages/sites are compatible and optimized for a variety of formats. Also, if they don’t have a lot of time (like most moms) then refrain from posting long articles that take forever to get through. Use different types of media and keep it interesting…

The Wilderness Downtown

Interactive Video killed the Video Star

In case you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t seen Arcade Fire‘s interactive video yet – DO IT NOW!! RIGHT NOW!! Click here In case you’re a stubborn mule I’ll post a link to the it from youtube. This version isn’t personalized though. So…you may as well just click the darn link.

You have to check out this video – its sick! Like “sick” in the way that young kids use that word…meaning its really really cool! To view it best you should install Google Chrome. You type in the address of the place where you grew up and it uses Google Street View to feed in some of the images and video. I love the concept! At one point you are given the opportunity to use an etch a sketch type box and draw freehand. I love stuff like this because ifs fresh and makes me get lost in my own creative thoughts….like where I think video and media are heading? Please let me know if you come across any other fresh products/concepts like this!… Also, just in case you were wondering, I think the song is pretty great too.

The neat thing is that even though I think this is a great concept and video, I would be quick to point out that another video from my “Must See List” is OK GO’s “Here it Goes Again“. I think that this was executed incredibly because it’s a 1 constant shot. As a former fitness instructor and a videographer I was (and still am) thoroughly impressed!

Twitter Direct Messages

Etiquette for Twitts…part 1

Follow MediaBzz

With the cold weather coming, I’ve been spending more and more time getting in touch with my inner geek and spending even more time on the computer. Aside from my fascination with perusing wedding dresses online (which I already confessed about a few weeks ago) I also spend a lot of time on Twitter.

Everyday, I follow more and more people. Everyday, I also unfollow those that have gotten under my skin or annoyed me for some reason within the last 24 hours. One of the easiest ways to annoy me is to send me a generic auto-response direct message as soon as I start following you.

In case you’re not very familiar with Twitter, there are applications that you can add that allow you to schedule and/or automatically send direct messages to people. Many people think that its good etiquette to send a “thank you” to someone who has just started following them. I don’t disagree with this in theory – my beef is when the message is plagued with generic-ness. If social media is all about having conversations then why not actually have a conversation with this person?! Within the span of 24 hours, I received 14 messages that said the exact same thing:

“Thanks for following me. Look forward to your tweets!”

To me – that was a waste of a message. It’s also not very accurate. Unless they decide to follow me back, they won’t even see my tweets. If you’re set on sending an auto-response message, here are some suggestions on how to make it count:

1) Keep it simple. An easy “Thanks for following ”

2) Add value or a teaser to your message. Let them know what they have to look forward to from your tweets. “Thanks for following! Hope you find our indie music tweets helpful and inspiring.”

3) Start a dialogue -ask a question that is aligned with what you tweet about. “Thanks for following! What is your favorite thing about independent music?”

4) Be different. If you’re a graphic designer and tweet about the industry try sending out a tip of the day. “Thanks for following! Did you know that you can customize your twitter profile background? Some colors hurt the eyes so choose one that is easy to look at so visitors stay on your site.”

Remember – always tweet responsibly and proofread like your life depended on it!

Funkify your 404’s

Spice up your Error Msgs

I’ve been working in the online biz for a while now and during my time I’ve seen my fair share of 404 error pages. A 404 error is a standard error code that means that the page you want to view can’t be found.

Just because it’s a standard error message – doesn’t mean that it has to be boring and lame. I’ve come across several funktastic 404 designs. Mashable recently posted a selection of great examples of customized 404 error pages.

Customized error pages are a great way to reinforce the look and feel of your website and online presence.  They are quite simple to design (partially because of the lack of content) and its a great opportunity to be creative and appeal to your audience base. Here are some of my faves…

Lighting Basics for Social Media

Lighting Tricks for Social Media

Social media includes so many different formats, forms and platforms so at times it can be challenging to distinguish between them. This post will briefly touch on how you can make your videos and photos look 20x better by learning how to harness the power of good lighting!

Headshots/Profile Pics: Friends, clients, associates, potential bosses and complete strangers can see them so make sure that you’re representing yourself appropriately (or atleast modify your security settings to become invisible). For the average headshot, most people will want to avoid the passport (head on) styled photo. 

Try using an office or desk lamp and move it so its on about a 45 degree angle from your face (look at the image below). You don’t want it to be right in front of you because then you’re going to have that “deer in headlights” look…not very pretty, right!?

Interviews: Whether your just snapping pics or filming video, interviews are a great way to generate media buzz and get your message/name out there. Try jazzing things by using the same setup as for profile pics (above) but add in a light that is shining onto your background. This will create some depth to the shot and will add some drama…it basically makes the person seem even THAT much more important!

Outdoor Shots

Image via Wikipedia

Outdoor Shots: When taking group photos or video, avoid having the sun right behind the subjects.  If the camera is directly facing the sun then you’ll get a glare. The sun is a great tool – it’s a  powerful beam of light that when used properly can almost erase wrinkles, pimples, etc. 

So there you go – 3 easy ways to improve your social media content! These are simple and easy. You don’t have to have fancy, expensive lighting kits to do this. Stay tuned for more tips and tricks!…

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