Posts Tagged ‘google’

Whether it’s on Yelp, Foursquare, Facebook, Google or some other mobile check in platform, if you’re a business owner, there’s no way in hell you should ever be checking in to your own business. Why?

It’s lame.

You’re there everyday. Say hello to us, comment on our check ins. But quit stealing our thunder.

Check ins. Highly social. Very much a game. I fight other users for my dukedoms on Yelp. And it’s cool, cuz we’re on a level playing field. But the minute a business has its owner or one of the employees as the duke, mayor, whatever other “winner” of the game, I stop checking in. And when I stop checking in, I stop telling my friends where I’m frequenting the most. It’s cool to be the most “regular” of regulars at the shops I love. It’s shitty when I have to compete with business owners, employees and anyone else that has an ulterior motive. And frankly, as innocent as it may seem, I put it in the “black hat” social media tactic category.

So if you’re in the habit. Please stop. A better alternative? Become a player yourself. Check in to the businesses you love… but here’s the real kicker… make sure they’re ones you aren’t affiliated with. Then you’re one of us, we trust you and we’re all better off.

Google Search Coupon: 1 FREE Google Search

Image by Bramus! via Flickr

It’s not every day I see two articles representing two different views on a topic without actively seeking them out.  But today I did, and it’s got me thinking.

The first article is from Adweek entitled “Dangling Incentives on Facebook“.  Marketers use incentives like giveaways, contests and coupons to draw people to like their Facebook page (it still feels odd to refer to “like” as an action word rather than a feeling word) or to follow them on Twitter.  Many brands have seen success with attracting large amounts of people in a short period of time using one of these tactics.

On the opposite end of the spectrum sits “Rewarding New Facebook Fans: Good Business Or “Black Hat” SEO Tactic?” over on Forrester’s blog.  This article warns of the dangers of collecting likes and followers and how this can diminish the value of that Facebook fan or Twitter follower and water down the true “social search” experience that larger search engines like Bing and Google are experimenting with.

What’s a brand to do?  Those committed to being socially responsible will use a combination of the two.  New and existing consumers will be drawn into their social bases with contests and offers, but once attracted, will find other valuable reasons to stay. 

The road ahead is diverging. The quality of the brands and offers, the willingness for our friends and networks to sell their influence for special deals and giveaways and the resulting impact we allow these “recommendations” to have on our purchase decisions will all be key factors in determining where we will go next.

The eye of an asian elephant at Elephant Natur...
Image via Wikipedia

The internet is always on.  Somewhere, somebody is reading something that may or may not be about you.  While you’re sleeping, friends are looking at your pictures on Facebook.  While you’re working, a stranger has found your name attached to a blog post or mentioned in an article and searches Google to see what more he/she can find out about you.

The home-based business industry has boomed thanks to the internet.  The ease at which anyone can publish materials, create an e-commerce store, etc. is astonishing.  The internet works for them because even while they sleep, customers in their niche are buying products on their website without the need for another human being to be there.

The internet is the biggest collaborative product the world has ever known.  No one dreamed up a plan for what it would become, no one person is leading the vision for where it will go.  It can work for us, or it can work against us.  The internet won’t discriminate, because it’s simply an archive of our collective knowledge and a tool for processing our conversations and transactions.

Recently, Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google was quoted as saying:

I don’t believe society understands what happens when everything is available, knowable and recorded by everyone all the time.

I don’t believe we do.  But it’s high time we at least tried wrap our minds around this.

The internet is our elephant.  This elephant never sleeps and never forgets. And somebody, somewhere is always watching.  ALWAYS.  So watch the trail you leave as you conduct yourself online.  There’s no shredder for the internet.

I think I just dreamed up a website that doesn’t exist yet.  No… not a website.. a SUPER WEBSITE.  An artificially intelligent web pod capable of serving up the most relevant information at different times of the day as the search patterns and visitation patterns of it’s visitors change.

A few weeks ago, CBC did a documentary on Google.  Being that I haven’t got cable or rabbit ears (not that those would do me much good with only digital signals now anyway), I had to wait for it to be posted on CBC’s website before I could watch it (thank you CBC for putting the full length documentary on your site for free).  45 minutes later, I am in awe at something I was already in awe of.  Google’s mission, just what their site and their algorithms and all of their different applications and programs can do.  Somewhere between wiping the drool from my chin and staring fixedly at my computer screen, I had a thought about websites and real time.

How cool would it be to have a site that changed as different things became important throughout the day?  #awesome.  It’s design, it’s features, like having displays in a department store that change with the seasons… except this would be way more frequent.  I wondered just what kind of man power would be required to keep that kind of site going.  Oodles.  There would have to be a huge payoff for that kind of site.  Now imagine that it could be another industrial revolution.  A new kind of machine.

We find a way to make an artificially intelligent website.  Use the patterns of your visitors, and the information they search for on your website coupled with data from conversations about your brand.  Monitor the trends, and as they rise in importance, have them become features on your main page.  In real time.  OH MY GOD.  Customer service issues, frequently asked questions, everything flowing in the most amazingly synchronized river of information and processes anyone has ever seen (and that they’d need to see for something like this to work).  A customer is experiencing a problem with one of your products.  They come to your site, or post on a forum, it doesn’t matter really, your AI site captures this.  The very first person will not get the benefit of the AI site on this specific problem.  But as it grows and the knowledge about the solution comes with it, all of a sudden, your website evolves on it’s own to display this information for the next visitors having the same issue until it trickles off, and another tide or trend requiring more information rises up and takes it’s place at just the right time… in fact, coinciding with the peak of the conversation about that exact issue on the web before trickling off to an archive for the late stragglers to access.

This site doesn’t exist anywhere but inside of my imagination at the moment.  But can you imagine just how fundamentally that would change everything we do?  Oh my… my dreams will be sweet tonight.