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Shifting focus of the blog August 14, 2009

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Now that my class, IMC 619 Emerging New Media, is complete, I’m going to switch the focus of the blog to more personal and other professional topics…

More to come.

Sarah Palin’s decision lights up the blogs… July 7, 2009

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Bloggers Positive About Palin’s Resignation

By Paul Bedard

Posted July 6, 2009

http://www.usnews.com/articles/news/washington-whispers/2009/07/06/bloggers-positive-about-palins-resignation.html

Sarah Palin shocked everyone with her shocking resignation. Many individuals were already away for the 4th of July weekend and many news organizations put their 2nd string on air to cover the news while the stars can take an extra day off.

This article on U.S. News tracks the opinions that individuals are displaying on their various blogs about the decision. The tracking service showed a dramatic upswing in the number of posts that were made about Sarah Palin on July 3rd and the next following days. While this announcement was sure to bring lots of attention on a somewhat “dead” news weekend, I believe she should have carried out her duties to the state of Alaska. It’s also not a surprise that the majority of the media’s opinion of Sarah Palin has been negative stories. It’s almost sickening how bad the bias is against her.

I believe in many of the same ideals that Sarah Palin fights for, but I highly doubt that she’ll ever be Presidential material. Sarah Palin is very approachable, but not an effective communicator. She is very passionate about what she believes in, but cannot hold her own when it comes to other political figures, even ones on her own party like Romney, Huckabee, Jindal or Pawlenty. Sarah Palin would be better served by going on her book tour and speaking tour to make some money and expand her presence on the national level, but should probably then consider running for U.S. Senator in 2010.

No matter what your political affiliation is, do you think that a Governor’s decision to leave a position early is a good idea? Several other Governors like Tim Pawlenty, Mike Huckabee and Mitt Romney finished their terms as Governor before taking the next step in their political process.

Wow…The iPhone 3GS is hot!!! July 3, 2009

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The iPhone 3GS is a hot commodity on the market…It’s literally too hot to handle. Reports has surfaced about the new iPhone has been overheating.

Apple is blaming the issue on the sunshine and not defective equipment. The new phone was launched on June 19th and users have been complaining about the device being hot and it changing colors. It’s reported that one white iPone gets so hot that it turns pink. The heat will have a negative effect on the screen, battery and performance. Apple is reminding individuals to not leave the phone in the car or in the sunlight.The device provides a warning when it is beginning to be too hot to use, so users are encouraged to turn the device off to allow it to cool.

How would you feel if you just dropped $199 or $299 on a new phone that was too hot to handle?

I hope Apple fixes the issues quickly…

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/scienceandtechnology/technology/apple/5730555/Overheating-iPhone-3GS-Apple-blames-the-weather.html

Obama’s “Town Hall” and social media July 3, 2009

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So, President Barack H. Obama held a town hall gathering in Annandale, Va. This meeting was to help pitch his trillion-dollar plan to completely change the health care system in the United States. I recently heard from a former director of the American Medical Association that nearly 80% of people are satisfied with their current health coverage. Many individuals would say that if the industry is not broken, don’t try to fix it. Every time the government gets involved with an issues, it only gets worse. The Federal Government’s job is to regulate the companies, organizations and parties that have a significant stake in providing health care in the United State, not to change and control the system.

Town Hall events are typically held in areas where a wide assortment of individuals have an equal chance of attending the event and asking their question to spark debate. But, unfortunately, this was not the case at this town hall meeting. In typical Obama fashion, unveiling his new age of “transparency,” all 200 members that attended the event were hand-picked and they all had some affiliation with the Obama campaign. He was surrounded with individuals that either supported him or have proven that they are in favor of this particular universal health care issue. By having individuals like this, the President can save face and continue to smooth talk the audience with his agenda of trying to push the universal health care legislation through Congress.

One of the big focuses of this event was to include questions from various social media sites. These questions were all pre-screened and his staff chose the questions that helped to further his case as to what this plan for health care is important. According to the WAshington Post article, only one question was taken from Twitter, but 7 questions were taken from pre-screened and selected members of the audience. Several of the press members questioned Robert Gibbs on the process of the town hall and selecting questions that will be read during the event.

If there was so much emphasis placed on using social media, why was only one question brought up from Twitter and Facebook. Barack Obama had great success using these social networking sites to rally supporters and relies heavily upon it to get the message out. Do you think partnering with social media has helped or hurt his efforts to increase support about universal health care?

To read more, check out

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/07/01/AR2009070100950.html

http://www.examiner.com/x-5738-St-Louis-Political-Buzz-Examiner~y2009m7d3-Fireworks-come-early-as-Robert-Gibbs-and-reporters-clash-over-attempts-to-control-the-media

http://blogs.ajc.com/thinking-right/2009/07/02/obamas-town-hall-sham/?cxntfid=blogs_thinking_right

Wiki Everything July 2, 2009

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Wikis are great sources for gaining information especially for those random questions where a quick answer is needed. Most academic professionals won’t acknowledge Wikipedia as a credible source because of its ability to be edited by just about everyone. But, Wikipedia can provide a quick lead to a more credible source.

This article made an interesting point about wikipedia slowly growing into a major source of information without a push or any advertising. I commonly heard individuals talking about looking for the answer on Wikipedia just like some people like to “Google” things. I wasn’t aware of all of the different types of Wiki sites that include information for everything imaginable.

WikiTravel

WikiPedia

WikiHow

Wiktionary

WikiBooks

WikiCookBooks

LyricWiki

There wiki sites are increasing in popularity as being a solid source of information. It is one single location where individuals can share and edit their expertise on certain information areas with other people. Wikis can be used for primary information, but the information should definitely be verified through other sources that are available via the web.

I searched on WikiHow about how to start a small business out of curiosity. The information on the site was helpful, but I could find better information by just “Googling” it.

http://www.examiner.com/x-5426-Internet-and-Technology-Examiner~y2009m6d30-Wikis-as-our-new-info-source

Easy ways to listen to people on social media July 2, 2009

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One of the great things about using social media is the ability to receive anecdotal feedback instantly from individuals who are responding to a post, message or feed by a brand or organization. It’s one thing to constantly send messages about what you’re doing, how you’re going to do it and how you are the best brand. Marketers must use social media to the best of their ability and that may include receiving information about their brand that others have used social media to express.

In my role, I sign up for Google Alerts for “West Virginia Wesleyan College” and it picks up every news article that mentions our name. For the sake of prospect research, any time an alumnus/na is identified for a job promotion, accomplishment, etc…I’m alerted of this update.

Businesses can “scan the environment” to see what newspapers, blogs and other media outlets are saying about the brand. This is important because it can help identify issues before they become crises, but it can also just provide general updates.

Other neat free brand tracking applications are:

Technorati (Blog Search Engine)

Jodange (Consumer sentiment Tracking)

Trendrr (Brand/Product Trending)

Lexicon (Facebook)

Monitter (Twitter)

Tweetbuner (Twitter)

Twendz (Twitter)

And the paid trackers are:

TruCast (keyword-based monitoring)

Radian6 (Social web analyzer)

Cision (Social web analyzer)

Techrigy (social media monitor)

Collective Intellect (keyword-based search)

http://www.marketingprofs.com/9/essential-social-media-listening-tools-mcdaniel.asp

What is a low-cost, high-return marketing tool? June 21, 2009

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Blogging is.

A 2007 article in the New York Times states that bogging can do these three things:
1) Handles marketing and public relations
2) Raises the profile of the company
3) Builds the brand

NY Times cited a survey that found only 5 percent of companies with less then 100 employees had a blog. Why is this? One of the main reasons is probably the lack of time available that small business owners would be able to contribute to blogging. Small business leaders are solely focused on operating the business, not blogging. Another reason that was stated is lack of written communication skills that may hinder some business leaders. The final reason is whether or not blogging fits with blogging. i would have to disagree with the comment in the NY Times article stating that restaurants and clothes manufacturers may be less likely to consider using a blog because sometimes a blog may increase customers eating at your restaurant or finding and buying your clothes in the store.

Blogging has to be made part of the marketing plan. A blog can serve as the central place for tracking the activities of a company and gives the business owner a platform for explaining why decisions were made. A blog can help the business relate to its customers and stakeholders. Some industry’s, like technology, almost require a blog because of the innovative (ness) of the field and the ability to quickly update with news.

If you were (or are) a small business owner, would you use a blog to enhance your brand? Does the benefits of building and maintaining customer-relations outweigh the cost of spending time to do the blog? All small business owners should at least consider using a blog and if they do use a blog, they must update frequently and offer beneficial information.

<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2007/12/27/business/smallbusiness/27sbiz.html"

Mobile Marketing June 21, 2009

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“In fact, according to research firm Informa, worldwide cell phone subscriptions recently reached 3.3 billion, which is just about HALF the world’s population! As such, cell phones have become a primary means of communication, not only for voice calls but also for digital services, e-mail and digital photos.” ( Perez, 2009)

During the video by CNBC, the reporter states that there are 1.3 billion mobile phone users in Asia. China and India are some the largest consumers of this area. Mobile marketing allows marketers to reach out to a large group of individuals. Advertisers can customize these messages based upon preferences and user data. Customers can also opt-in to programs as well.

American Idol is the greatest example of mobile marketing because it allows the users to customize and opt-in. The only real issue is how marketers can deal with spamming so that they don’t annoy the public. Do you think that self-regulation of the mobile marketing will be enough? Will it evolve like it has for other industries? Text-based advertising and mobile internet advertising are the other large methods for advertising that is currently available.

So as a marketers, which area would you invest in:

1- Text-based marketing

2- Mobile Internet marketing

3- Opt-in mobile marketing

Or, would you  try a combination of the three? Is there another type of mobile marketing that hasn’t been discovered yet?

Perez, H. (2009). IMC Lesson 5. WVU. retrieved on June 21, 2009 from ecampus.wvu.edu

Domino’s Launches Order Tracker June 17, 2009

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http://www.dominos.com/home/tracker/pizzatracker.jsp

Domino’s was the pioneer leading pizza stores to offer online ordering via their web site. This eventually lead to ordering by text message and now Domino’s allows patrons to track their order through a 5-step process. This order tracker is similar to that of UPS and Fed-Ex.

Step 1 is placing the order

Step 2 is preparation

Step 3 is baking

Step 4 is boxing

Step 5 is delivering the order

Individuals can sign up to receive updates via e-mail, text message or the web site. In addition, Domino’s provides a link for individuals to post their delivery process to Facebook. Individuals can invite others to watch the entire process and it will probably influence those people watching to either order something now or later. Domino’s makes the process very personable by putting the names of the employees that are carry-out the specific tasks that are described.

I discovered the Domino’s posting from one of my friend’s status updates via Facebook and I thought this was a great way to use new media to market their products.

Are there any other companies using a similar program like this? What are your thoughts? Good/Bad idea?

-Jason

New Twitter Research by the Harvard Business School June 17, 2009

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http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/cs/2009/06/new_twitter_research_men_follo.html

Some interesting Twitter Research was completed in May 2009 by Bill Heil and Mikolaj Piskorski at the Harvard Business School. Through some research, they were able to identify trends that are specific to just Twitter. They also compare some of these trends to other social networking sites. They observed the actions of nearly 300,000 Twitter users during the month of May 2009.

The first question that was posed by the researcher’s asked about the purpose of Twitter. Is Twitter meant for friends and family, a personal soap-box or is it a marketing tool? The answer to this question may be different for every person because of each individual’s purpose for logging on.

Some of the interesting findings are:

55% of Twitter users are female

An average man is twice as more likely to follow a man than a woman

Men have 15% more followers than women

The median number of lifetime tweets per user is one

10% of Twitter users account for 90% of tweets (In comparison to other social networking sites, 10% of users account for 30% of activity)

Twitter seems more geared toward male users, while other networking sites tend to attract females. Why is this?

Is it because individuals can only post a message that will fit within 160 characters? Possibly, men generally like to be clear and concise.

Is it because individuals can only post information and links? Maybe, men would usually just like to have the facts without a Photo-story of “Girl’s Night Out,” though some of the evidence is entertaining.

Is it because the individual’s life history is not plastered all over the page? With Twitter, men have the chance to go directly to the source and “follow” updates and information directly from where the news is delivered.

I’m sure there are other reasons why men are more to enjoy and be active participants of Twitter. Even if most men sign up for Twitter, it is not likely that they’ll update their tweet very often. Men probably enjoy having all of their updates in one location.

What are your thoughts? To tweet, or not to tweet, that is the question.