Posted by: Tim Moore | March 6, 2008

Too Funny!

I love this cartoon sent to me by a colleague, hilarious (face it – blogging / twittering is here to stay)…

 

Posted by: Tim Moore | March 6, 2008

Google Calendar Now Sync’s With Outlook!

This is pretty cool.  If you go to Google Calendar, the new caledendar sync allows you to sync events between Google Calendar and your Microsoft Outlook Calendar. You’ll be able to determine the direction of information flow, as well as the sync frequency. With all the Google Calendar features now having this auto sync with your Outlook Calendar, that’s hot!

Get started

To begin syncing, download Google Calendar Sync here http://dl.google.com/googlecalendarsync/GoogleCalendarSync_Installer.exe

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7 Wonderful (if you are from the 80’s) Things, written by my friend Li Evans (I am jealous I was not there Li!):

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 1) Get Your Message Heard and Understood
Is your message coming through, can your audience really hear what you are saying?  While we had awesome seats, near the stage, we found it really tough to understand anything that Chris Daughtry (the opening act) was singing, since he didn’t use the same sound system as Bon Jovi.  The three of us knew maybe 2 of his songs from hearing them occasionally on the radio, but felt “lost” because we really couldn’t understand the words to the songs he was singing, since all of his speakers were facing the front, and we were on the side.

Bon Jovi was a little better, but both acts would have benefited from having another speaker or two facing the crowd that was “behind” the open stage.  Then everyone could have fully enjoyed the songs they sang.

So, stop and think, is your audience understanding your message?  Is something hindering them from truly understanding what you are trying to relate.  If you have a high bounce rate on your website, you might need to “re-tune” that message so your visitors understand what you are trying to convey.

2) Can Everyone See the Show?
While we had these truly awesome seats (like as almost as close as you could get to Matt Cutts at SMX West), and it was an open stage that Jon Bon Jovi did move around, there were parts that blocked our view.  The stage lifted up from the back, and they had these TV screens that dangled from chains and moved along tracks.  Those blocked our view of the show and really frustrated not only us, but the fans around us too.  At the time, the screens weren’t showing what was going on stage, they were showing some cartoon like video, which frustrated us all a little more.

What I take away from that is, can all your visitors see your website?  Have you tested it in Firefox, IE, Opera and any other browser out there?  If someone is running with images off, can they understand what your images are trying to convey?  Can someone who is blind and uses a reader, understand what your site is all about?
   
   

3) Distractions From the Real Message
I just mentioned the “floating” TV screens that they had at the concert.  At times they would show videos or cartoon type videos during the songs.  Between my sister and my best friend, we looked at each other and thought “what does this have to do with the song”.  Finding it rather distracting, rather than adding value to the song or show.

Are there parts of your site or even your ad campaign that distract from your real message? Do you have annoying images that spin, or music that plays “on load”?  Just because you like it, doesn’t mean that your audience will.  Run your site through user testing and see how the users react to it, are they really “getting” your message, or is all the “Fluff” distracting from it?
   
   

4) Get the Crowd Involved
Jonbonjoviphillyconcert2If there’s one thing that rock bands to well, it’s getting the crowd involved.  Bon Jovi does this extremely well because they have a catalog of hits that spans over 25 years.  From “You Give Love a Bad Name” to “Who Says You Can’t Go Home”, the crowd sings the lyrics on queue, does the hand gestures, claps and screams.  There’s no better way for a band to know they are relating to the crowd than when a stadium of 18,000 people sing back their lyrics to them.

So how do you get your audience involved?  How do you get the feedback you need to know if the services you provide are meeting expectations? There are a lot of different avenues companies can take to get their audiences involved.  From contests to forums, email forms to asking for comments on blog, the key is to find what works best for your audience.  Are they passionate and fanatical about your products?  Do they rave about the service they receive?  Start highlighting your client’s responses, thank them for the feedback and heck, even give them a coupon for being so honest.  That will get them involved!
   
   

5) Using the Familiar to Introduce the New
When bands go out on tour, it’s usually to promote a new album that they have released. There’s a lot of new songs on that album that the audience might not have heard before, so they might not feel as “comfortable” with the new line up of songs.  Bands that have been around a while have a great advantage, they can use their older hits to help lead into the new music and warm the crowd up to the newer stuff.  Bon Jovi’s “Lost Highway” tour has a few songs in their lineup, that unless you’ve listened to the album you might not have heard, but they meld it perfectly with “Blaze of Glory”, “Runaway” and “Have a Nice Day”.

Brands that have been around have that kind of leverage too.  New products and services are always an expensive venture, even online.  But being able to leverage the familiar successes with the new items can help your audience warm up to the products or services.  You can also leverage that familiar audience, the established one, to attract a new one as well.  Don’t throw away the “old” just because of something new, leverage it to your advantage.
   
   

6) Change is Good!
“I Would Die For You” is probably one of my most favorite songs that Jon Bon Jovi sings.  It’s probably a favorite of many women, as well.  I can remember screaming women falling at the stage when Jon still sported that long mane of hair.  At Sunday night’s concert the scene was a little different.  Of course Jon now has shorter hair, he’s a little older and his teeth are a little whiter.  That I already knew “changed”.  What I wasn’t expecting was a change in the lead singer of “I Would Die For You”.  This time out Bon Jovi guitarist, Richie Sambora, sang the lead on this song, and you know what – it was great!  It also gave Jon Bon Jovi, time to change into this really funky red shirt! (hey at least I didn’t drool!)

Sometimes we’re afraid to change what works on our websites or in online marketing plans and strategies.  Rock bands are forever re-inventing themselves.  Putting new twists on old songs to see if they “work”, they experiment constantly.  As marketers, especially online marketers, things hardly ever stay stagnant, so neither should our online marketing strategies – remember change is good!  Take a crack at putting a new twist on an ad creative, change the color on a display ad or even add some new content to a page, you never know until you try!
   
   

7) With Age Comes Experience
The opening act for Bon Jovi was Chris Daughtry, who came from American Idol fame. What was interesting was when Chris came out and did a song with Bon Jovi.  There was a definite difference between the singers, but it went a lot further than tone, and style.  With experience, singers can learn to grade their voices – Jon Bon Jovi does this beautifully.  Chris Daughtry still needs a few years to be able to do this properly.  As a result, it was like Chris was screaming into the microphone, rather than just tempering his voice, and knowing that he didn’t need to be “so loud”, we really could hear him!

Online marketing is still a very young business.  We are all still learning, but we also learn from mistakes we’ve made in the past.  The other places we learn are from our past experiences in older media forms.  Some of us have come from offline Public Relations, Graphic Arts companies, Madison Avenues advertising firms – each and every one of these fields (and more) have something to contribute to the learning process of online marketing. The wise online marketers knows to tap into those fountains of knowledge to help the new strategies succeed.

 Sometimes I think it’s fun to take something that is far removed from the online world and see how I can learn and relate it back to online marketing.  It certainly gets my brain thinking “outside the box”!  So now I ask you, is there something that you indulge in that can teach you even one thing about the job your do?

Now don’t you feel better? 🙂

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Posted by: Tim Moore | March 4, 2008

Posting on Red VW Bus!!!!

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 Hi Everyone – I have been ‘persuaded’ to become a chief editor for the exploding blog www.redvwbus.com , so effective immediatley, I will be posting differnet items on each blog, so check them both out.  ImpactIM is all me, so any technology alerts that are SEM related (Blended and Local, or just downright cool stuff) that I come across I’ll immediatley post here.  Things that are more full service SEO I’ll post on redV-Dubb”.    This site is owned by www.perspectiveim.com and I really dig what they are doing in the ‘white hat’ arena for SEO/SEM, it’s a privilege to be associated with them.  (BTW: I got twittered today that Matt Cutts cautions all those practicing ‘black hat’ methods, that all these ‘hacking tricks’ Google will be exposing and done and gone later this year).

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Thanks for your continued support!! Please take a minute and bookmark me now at www.redvwbus.comFYI: All on my blogroll (I appreciate your support and comments), no worries, I have already linked each of you over there to redV-Dubb” .  Please check me out there too?!?!

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Posted by: Tim Moore | February 15, 2008

Ebay’s Kijiji Competing with Craigslist?

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Have you guys been following this?  Ebay has created their own “Free” classifieds site?  Check it out, it’s called kijiji…

www.kijiji.com

Posted by: Tim Moore | February 13, 2008

Kansas City is in the Big Time!

Hey! We’re a Street View City on Google Maps! Very cool.  Check out your address. Thanks to BlogKC for the heads up.

Google Street View

Now if we can just get an NBA team into the new Sprint Center, huh?

Tim

Posted by: Tim Moore | February 11, 2008

Social Media Sites easier than converting from Google?

Debateable? For sure.  However, interesting perspective here.  Check out the ‘Social Media Marketing’ video on the right.  (He is a little hillbilly sounding, but good points)

Tell me what you think about this and what you have used?

Tim

Posted by: Tim Moore | February 7, 2008

How Colors Influence Site Visitors

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Like death and taxes, there is no escaping color, or it’s powerful influence. Why are people more relaxed in green rooms?  Why do weightlifters do their best in blue gyms? Add to this that in various cultures, colors often have differnet meanings.  For us, understanding color psycology (the ‘meaning’ of various colors) is very important before you begin designing, or advising a client on a websitee.   While debated by ‘artists’ the world over, in the U.S., researchs have generally found the following to be accurate: 

    Black – Black is the color of authority and power. It is popular in fashion because it makes people appear thinner. It is also stylish and timeless. Black also implies submission. Priests wear black to signify submission to God. Some fashion experts say a woman wearing black implies submission to men. Black outfits can also be overpowering, or make the wearer seem aloof or evil. Villains, such as Dracula, often wear black

    White – Brides wear white to symbolize innocence and purity. White reflects light and is considered a summer color. White is popular in decorating and in fashion because it is light, neutral, and goes with everything. However, white shows dirt and is therefore more difficult to keep clean than other colors. Doctors and nurses wear white to imply sterility.

    Red – The most emotionally intense color, red stimulates a faster heartbeat and breathing. It is also the color of love. Red clothing gets noticed and makes the wearer appear heavier. Since it is an extreme color, red clothing might not help people in negotiations or confrontations. Red cars are popular targets for thieves. In decorating, red is usually used as an accent. Decorators say that red furniture should be perfect since it will attract attention.The most romantic color, pink, is more tranquilizing. Sports teams sometimes paint the locker rooms used by opposing teams bright pink so their opponents will lose energy.

    Blue – The color of the sky and the ocean, blue is one of the most popular colors. It causes the opposite reaction as red. Peaceful, tranquil blue causes the body to produce calming chemicals, so it is often used in bedrooms. Blue can also be cold and depressing. Fashion consultants recommend wearing blue to job interviews because it symbolizes loyalty. People are more productive in blue rooms. Studies show weightlifters are able to handle heavier weights in blue gyms.

    Green – Currently the most popular decorating color, green symbolizes nature. It is the easiest color on the eye and can improve vision. It is a calming, refreshing color. People waiting to appear on TV sit in “green rooms” to relax. Hospitals often use green because it relaxes patients. Brides in the Middle Ages wore green to symbolize fertility. Dark green is masculine, conservative, and implies wealth. However, seamstresses often refuse to use green thread on the eve of a fashion show for fear it will bring bad luck.

    Yellow – Cheerful sunny yellow is an attention getter. While it is considered an optimistic color, people lose their tempers more often in yellow rooms, and babies will cry more. It is the most difficult color for the eye to take in, so it can be overpowering if overused. Yellow enhances concentration, hence its use for legal pads. It also speeds metabolism. 

    Purple – The color of royalty, purple connotes luxury, wealth, and sophistication. It is also feminine and romantic. However, because it is rare in nature, purple can appear artificial.

     Brown Solid, reliable brown is the color of earth and is abundant in nature. Light brown implies genuineness while dark brown is similar to wood or leather. Brown can also be sad and wistful. Men are more apt to say brown is one of their favorite colors.

Also, this is a very good article, “Find Out What Colors Will Cause Your Visitors to Hate You.”  Take a minute to read it, it’s well researched and written:  http://www.designmore.com/find_out_what_colors.htm   (Don’t skip the 45 second vision test about halfway through the article: http://www.designmore.com/ctesta.htm )

Microsoft also has a good article on this subject, found here: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/frontpage/HA010429371033.aspx

Bottom Line:  In our Western culture, colors have either a positive or negative effect depending on the context used, and evoke responses of those viewing them.  So, choose carefully!

All the best to you.

Tim

Posted by: Tim Moore | February 6, 2008

Another social network – www.moli.com

 

Will this one reach the adult orieneted market and be successful? (“adult” = no one under 18 allowed)   www.moli.com

Some nice features: You can integrate a store for $4 a month, no commission, PayPal and Google Checkout accepted.   

Moli has other revenue models as well, which is more than MySpace and Facebook thought of when they launched, and they’re still struggling to find good ones. At Moli, the first profile URL is free, and each additional one—you know, the ones for the secret yous—are $1.99 per month. Don’t want to be bothered by advertising? An ad-free experience is available for $2.49 per month.

Moli appears to have what it takes to be up-to-date: Ajax, blogs, message boards, RSS feeds, video players, audio players, games, media slideshows, and even event calendars. Additionally, it has an in-house publishing staff and video crew that create content for the site as well as ads for advertisers. The video crew produces video profiles of interesting Moli members.  In other words, this is one pretty complete social network whose principals have paid pretty close attention to the woes of MySpace and Facebook.   Overall: Moli may do pretty well out there. 

Have you tried it?  Any feedback on it?

Posted by: Tim Moore | February 6, 2008

Urchin Analytics Software From Google Now Available in Beta

Urchin from Google 

Google has announced that the Urchin Software is now in public beta and can be downloaded at urchin.com.

Google says the software is similar to Google Analytics but you install and manage the software on your own servers. The company says the beta software “should only be used for evaluation purposes,” and it is not recommended for production environment.

Urchin can be used by businesses that have content behind a security firewall or that have restrictions that will not allow them to use Google Analytics. The software can also be used to do ad-hoc historical log processing for those that want to store their Web analytics on local servers.

According to the Google Analytics Blog the upgrades include:
More accurate geo-identification of visitors
Cross-segmentation options similar to Google Analytics
Ecommerce and campaign tracking
Improved embedded scheduler to more easily manage processing and re-processing jobs
Improved user interface
More robust log processing engine

A 90-day version is available for download. When the software moves out of beta it will be available for $2,995.

This seems a little pricey for the average SEO/IM to cover.  What do you think?

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