Archive for March, 2011
I have ignored more than my fair share of safety videos over the years, but Air New Zealand (my most regular airline now) has grabbed even my jaded attention. Here’s their latest offering featuring Richard Simmons and below two previous versions. Inevitably there has been some comment that this approach trivialises safety but I think the opposite is true. Their YouTube channel is worth a look too.
Announced on Twitter’s Developer site, Web Intents is Twitter’s way of making tweets more interactive outside of the Twitter website. What does this mean for you? The next time you visit an article with a tweet in it, you might be able to interact with that tweet without leaving the blog.
There’s a getting started with Web Intents guide here and it is quite geeky. This one Twitter feature that bloggers and the media will want! More importantly, this is an awesome move against Google +1 and the Facebook Like button.
Twitter Web Intents
In 2009, I wrote about retweets being the new linkbacks on the web because retweets are a much easier way of giving credit to bloggers or to share links with friends. The same goes for the Facebook Like button. With web intents, bloggers can extend this same functionality to readers when using Twitter content in their blogs.
Twitter Web Intents are broken down into two categories: tweet intents and user intents:
- Tweet Intents
- Tweet or Reply to a Tweet
- Retweet a Tweet
- Favorite a Tweet
- User Intents
- Follow or Display a User
To get started with Twitter web intents you’ll need to embed a small SCRIPT tag on the pages you wish to enable web intents. Twitter has provided a zip file of icons for Twitter Web Intents. If you’re using the Twitter ReTweet button or WordPress’s Blackbird Pie, you’re already Web Intent compatible.
Using Twitter Web Intents
Here’s an example of the reply intent in use:
Will You Use The New Google +1 Button? Reply vi
Clicking on the reply link above will open a pop-up box similar to the one you see when clicking a RT button. In this box you’ll see the original tweet and the author’s Twitter handle is appended (my own in this case).
When using the SCRIPTs you have to manually insert the correct tweet ID. This ID is located on the tweet’s official page. To locate it, find your tweet on Twitter and click on the timestamp. You should see the tweet by itself now. At the end of the URL (in the address bar), there’s a bunch of random numbers. This is your tweet ID. Copy and paste it into the SCRIPT to make sure reader interactions are with the correct tweet.
How Bloggers Can Benefit
So here’s one way I see bloggers using web intents. Occasionally, when I send out a question on Twitter it can generate a steady flow of feedback. That’s when I know that I should take it to my blog. I can link to the tweet in the blog, but the discussion now shifts and stays on my blog. Though not necessarily a bad thing (and sometimes the point), I’d love to see a continued response on Twitter too. That’s a complicated process for some and web intents can not only simplify the process, but encourage the interaction.
Furthermore, when receiving answers from my followers on Twitter I find a resource or two that I’ll save for later and add them to my blog posts. Now when I showcase those conversations on my blog, I can encourage my readers to interact with those tweets that are great resources using the “favorite”, or retweet web intent. Why would my readers do that? To come back to it later when they’re ready to put it into action.
Some may want to keep their comments to the blog, but I find it much easier to get responses via Twitter. I hope that Disqus can find a way to aggregate these specific actions into blog comments and more in the future.
My latest Search Engine Land column just went live:
It’s timely for me, because we just finished a review of page performance versus page speed, and found that everything—conversions, time on page, scroll depth—improves when a page loads faster.
That’s obvious. But the difference is amazing:
Pages that load in 3,000ms (3 seconds) or less converted 2x better than average.
Average page load time on Portent’s company site is 4,400ms (4.4 seconds)
So trimming 1.4 seconds off of page load time doubled conversion rates.
Doubled. Conversion. Rates.
Do you want to double your conversion rates? Speed up your site.
Note: This is preliminary research, run site-wide. Our next test will compare the same page before and after speed improvements.
Search Engine Land article: 29 ways to speed up your web site
Afgelopen maandag gaf ik een lezing op een bijeenkomst voor HR-professionals. Onder de noemer het groot HR-dictee wisselden sprekers en aanwezigen ideeën uit over de verschillende generaties die op dit moment de werkvloer delen. Voor mij sprak Dr. Lidewey Van der Sluis (Nyenrode Business Universiteit). Zij is hoogleraar strategisch talentmanagement en Lidewey eindigde haar presentatie met een pleidooi voor rendament op talent in plaats van te focusen op “return on investment” (ROI).
Mijn lezing bestond uit twee delen. Ten eerste beschreef ik hoe verschillende generaties naar (human) resources hebben gekeken en hoe we in de huidige tijd eigenlijk zouden moeten spreker over ‘we sources‘. Het tweede deel ging over de aandachtseconomie. Laat ik vooral verwijzen naar het interview dat recent op Frankwatching stond. Daarin leg ik al uit dat ROI niet genoeg is, dat we vooral naar Return on Attention moeten kijken.
After five years, almost 1,500 posts and more discussions than I care to remember, I’ve decided to put this blog to bed. Or at least on an extended hiatus.
There are a lot of other people saying very smart things about marketing, public relations and social media and they are all saying it with a lot more gusto and smarts than I can muster right now.
This site will stay up and after a while away, who knows – I might even decide to revive it. But for the moment, there are other interests I want to pursue and ideas I want to follow.
See you around.
No matter why you have it, your web site needs to sell. You need to get visitors to do something, whether that something is ‘sign up’, ‘buy now’ or just ‘keep reading’.
Here are 10 quick tips for copy persuades, sells and converts:
- Start by telling people why they should read. Marketing copywriting 101: You have to get folks to read before you can persuade them. Write a headline that gets them reading. Something like, I dunno, ‘Writing that converts’.
- Put on the brakes. Online readers start by scanning the page. Use subheadings, images and other rhythm-changers to provide a fast preview of the page. That tells them why they should read, per #1.
- Invite agreement. I love Robert Cialdini’s brilliant book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion (affiliate link). One of the first lessons in the book is ‘invite agreement’. Say something your ideal customer can agree with. Don’t worry whether everyone will agree. You aren’t speaking to everyone. Focus on your customer. Pssst: Read the first line of this post again to see an example.
- Make a concession. Again, from Cialdini: Give your readers something. They’re more likely to stick around. I always try to give folks information they don’t already have. It provides strong incentive for them to keep reading, subscribe and maybe even retweet. It makes them deeper participants.
- Provide social proof. This term’s been beaten into a raw, stinky pulp, but it still applies. Demonstrate that others agree with you, or that 100000 people already love your product, you may get higher conversion rates. Note – this only applies if you want folks who desire social proof. If you’re looking for first adopters, this may not matter as much. Pssst: Look at #2 in this list. That’s social proof. It says “A guy 100x smarter than me agrees with me.”
- Know the no’s. AKA, the buts. Anticipate readers’ concerns, then allay them. Easy for me to write, hard for you to do, but there you have it.
- Don’t fear the long page. Write lots. Long landing pages kick ass. Don’t believe me? Read what Conversion Rate Experts did for SEOMOZ. Design your long lander in ‘chunks’. Put the first chunk and call to action above the fold. Continue the page, building in increasing detail and repeat calls to action. Watch it work.
- Put no more than 4-5 lines in a paragraph. A single, massive paragraph tells the reader “big, forbidding blob of information here”. Shorter paragraphs tell her “lots of little, digestible bits of information here.” Which is more inviting?
- Repeat yourself. First, make your point: You need copywriting that converts. Then, give an example, social proof or something similar. Then, wrap it all up by working your main point into your call to action.
- Call to action. If I look at 20 random web sites, at least 10 of them will be utterly devoid of any call to action. If your visitor has read an entire page, they like you. They want to do something. Help them out!
That’s it. There’s a reason you’re doing all this work. Make sure your writing seals the deal and turns visitors into readers into customers.
Oh, and a call to action: Buy my e-book, The Unscary, Real World Guide to SEO Copywriting. $7, and chock full o’ writing advice.
Also, follow me on Quora. I’m addicted, apparently.
- The agency employees’ guide to bosses
- A marketing agency boss’s guide to employees
- Fluffy rainbow bunnies devour marketing agencies
- 15 report writing tips
- The content revolution is here, and it’s full of crap
- Elizabeth Marsten’s new 2-part PPC e-book for small business. $37 for books 1 and 2, and a money back guarantee.
Today Google launched a +1 button, which most are hailing as a rival to the Facebook like button and even Twitter’s retweet button, but for search results. Limited to your Google contacts and chat friends, Google hints at connecting +1 with Twitter, but noticeably doesn’t mention Facebook. Is this another move for Google to go social? Will you +1?
Some of you may notice that +1 is a common notation for liking someone’s comment on the web (when no like button is available). Google’s +1 could be taking this to heart. Google Product Manager Rob Spiro announced +1 on the Official Google Blog,
Our goal at Google is to get you the most relevant results as quickly as possible. But relevance is about relationships as well as words on webpages. That’s why we recently started to include more information from people you know—stuff they’ve shared on Twitter, Flickr and other sites—in Google search results.
Today we’re taking that a step further, enabling you to share recommendations with the world right in Google’s search results. It’s called +1—the digital shorthand for “this is pretty cool.” To recommend something, all you have to do is click +1 on a webpage or ad you find useful. These +1’s will then start appearing in Google’s search results.
What Is Google +1?
t seems that Google is trying to help you not only search through their index of links on the web, but surface related links that your friends have come across in your search results. You Google chat, contacts, and Google Profile play significant roles in +1 button. Those “friends” that Google are talking about are actually your Google Chat friends and contacts.
In your Google Profile, you’ll see a +1 tab that records of all your recommendations. This one section does something that Facebook likes nor Twitter retweets offer to users: a history of your interactions.
I honestly don’t find new articles via Google Search anymore. If anything, I’m using Google Search to find articles I’ve already read and want to use for one reason or another. Oh, and for free tech support.
As for replacing Facebook Likes or Twitter Retweet buttons, I highly doubt it. This doesn’t have that socially viral nature. This feels slower and more curated, just like a search engine.
Is It Worth It?
“I don’t see myself curating search results much. By the time I know a result is good, I’ve left. What about you?“
It sounds almost absurd to do so when you could just as easily tweet or like it and share that recommendation with your friends all the same. I want to stress that the +1 tab on Google Profile’s could make a difference, but then again, who really visits their Google profile?
People just don’t use Google services or search as a social network the way they’d use Facebook or Twitter. Google has social networking features, but it can’t shed it’s search engine image enough to turn with the tides. If you want to try it out opt-in the +1 experiment in Google Labs.
They’re kicking off the blog we a 24-hour behind-the-scenes look at ESPN. Cool stuff.
Closer to Finding the Identity of the Person who Created the @BronxZoosCobra Twitter Account, You Can Help!
I might know who started the @BronxZoosCobra Twitter account.
Like everyone else I have been watching the Twitter account of @BronxZoosCobra with interest. As a person who does a lot of campaigns and work in social media and PR, these character accounts are always interesting to watch rise and fall. And like you, I have wondered, "Who is running the @BronxZoosCobra account?" I think I am pretty close to getting to the bottom of it. If you want the story, read on here, if you want to skip to my theory, head down to "The Investigation."
As you might have heard, the Bronx Zoo is missing its Egyptian Cobra. Someone, used it as an opportunity to start a humorous Twitter account about the snakes exploits in New York City.
These types of accounts are nothing new, but they capture the interest of the public in ways others can’t. Throw in a mystery and it is irresistible. Witness the @BPGlobalPR Twitter account and all of the press coverage it generated last summer.
As for @BronxZooCobra, SKYY Vodka already been trying to reach the person running the account and offer an endorsement deal (smart). How much is an account that has gained approximately 150,000 or more fans in just 4 days worth?
So, I pulled a few of my search tricks to see what I could find out about the origin of the account and I think I have a pretty good idea who started it. The bad news is that this person was already Tweeting under an assumed name. But I am pretty sure that with what I have so far, any good investigative journalist (or motivated person with more time than I have) could get to the bottom of the mystery fairly quick.
Last night Adam Schoenfeld. from Simply Measured, a new social media measurement tool sent me a report showing some data about the first 87K followers of the account (opens in Excel). It made me want more data so I could mine the first hours of the account. I turned to Google an its Realtime tool to get a timeline of all mentions.
This is where I quickly hit pay dirt. There is a pretty extensive community of Adam Lambert fans, former American Idol contestant. All of them use Adam Lambert in their Twitter feeds and basically talk about him all day. They are mostly women. Many of their tweets are protected. Here is @AuntieVenom, who calls herself Kween Cobra. She styles her account after a music video Lambert did with snakes.
I believe that @AuntieVenom is @BronxZoosCobra.
Let me unravel it for you
- It seems that the person running this account changed the name of the existing @AuntieVenom Account to @BronxZooCobra (This account was changed again a little later, notice the missing "s"?). This is pretty easy to do.
- Her first tweets were still in her old @AuntiVenom voice, to a friend @styleandchiche,. who is in New Jersey. This may the person that is most likely to know the real name of @AuntieVenom, but who knows.
- Pretty soon, her existing Adam Lambert community started ReTweeting her new crossover voice. The tweets were funny, and I am sure everyone was amused.
- Then some of her friends/followers commented on the name change.
- She responds playfully
- Somewhere between March 27th in the evening and March 28th in the afternoon, the accounts name is changed again to add the "S. " I honestly don’t know why except when you go to the original @BronxZooCobra, it says the account was suspended. So, perhaps she was notified it was about to be suspended and used the same process, as mentioned above, to jump ship with all of her new followers? Or perhaps she started over? I think this was the first tweet after the change (notice there is no avatar).
- @BronxZooCobra adopted her current avatar.
Need More Data
@BronxZooCobra has esssscaped again. To catch up we need more data.
Would love to see more data from my my friends over Simply Measured or Radian6 (who capture the Twitter pipe in their monitoring tool) to get a good idea of when exactly each of these conversations occured. I love the Google tool, but it is a blunt instrument and hard to find stuff in there (read: needle in haystack)
Also, would also be cool to see how all these Adam Lambert fans are connected which might be up Spiral16′s alley (would love to see it as a test). The ones that I saw in the search that caught my eye included:
These were most likely @AuntieVenom followers. A search right at the inception of the @bronxzoocobra account on the 27th would probably do it.
Also, if you are reading this and have advanced research skills, go for it! Looking forward to what comes of the research. It was a fun exercise using the tools I had on hand.
UPDATE: @AuntieVenom comes out of protected status for an hour or so and after many denials, admits to being the one who started @BronxZooTweets. However, not to running the newer @BronxZoosTweets account. I honestly have no way to prove otherwise. As I said, we need more data and I need some big guns here! We need a detailed look at all three feeds to see if anything triangulates.
In this tweet she says that switched back to @AuntieVenom from the @BronxZooCobra name. However, if you head over to the Twitter page for the first account, you will see that it says it is suspended. Which is a specific state reserved for accounts with TOS or other issues (read Twitter procedures here). Only thing I am sure of is that we don’t have the whole story yet. Please add anything you know to the comments.