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Facebook Applications:fun and functionality for your pages and profile

Apr 29th, 20101 Comment

Not only is Facebook is quickly becoming America’s new favorite past time, but it’s spreading like wildfire. Famous for connecting with friends and family, Facebook is a social media giant that has even managed to outrank Google as the internet’s number one site. Because Facebook is used by so many millions of people and for so many different reasons, incorporating various Facebook software applications can enhance your experience and make using the site more efficient and fun.

A Facebook application count from 2008 shows the current directory at 33,000 strong. That’s a heap of apps to choose from. Just because there’s an app doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a good one. Here are a handful that we consider to be the best of the bunch.

DivShare

If you’re tired of being limited to the types of things you can with friends from your status box, like links and photos, then DivShare is the app for you. DivShare lets users share MP3s, images and any other type of file up to 200MB in size with no cap on storage space. This is great for exchanging large files.

Marketplace

With more than 9.7 million active users, this is definitely one of Facebook’s more popular apps. Marketplace is like Craig’s List for Facebook. You can sell, buy or search for anything you want. Plus, you can support charities by selling for a cause.

RockYou Live (formerly Super Wall)

This application lets you share videos, cards and even draw graffiti. Depending on what peeks your interest, you can easily share your favorite media item of the day, like a popular video from YouTube or a home movie of your dog’s silly pet trick. Discover new and interesting content from the web right from your Facebook wall.

Weekly Schedule

A wonderful application for anyone who has friends that don’t require Blackberry’s to manage their time. Use Weekly Schedule to keep tab on your pals and let them know where you are straight from Facebook. This is a convenient way to coordinate meetings, events or conferences.

weRead

Writing and reading go hand and hand. Show off your literary prowess with a this handy app that helps you catalog, track and share all the books that you’ve read, are reading or planning to read.

Whether you’re interested in getting organized, traveling or marketing yourself, Facebook seems to have an app that will suit everyone’s needs. Explore to find more.

Not only is Facebook is quickly becoming America’s new favorite past time, but it’s spreading like global wildfire. Famous for connecting with friends and family, Facebook is a social media giant that has even managed to outrank Google as the internet’s number one site. Because Facebook is used by so many millions of people and for so many different reasons, incorporating various Facebook software applications can enhance your experience and make using the site more efficient and fun.

A Facebook application count from 2008 shows the current directory at 33,000 strong. That’s a heap of apps to choose from. Just because there’s an app doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily a good one. Here are a handful that we consider to be the best of the bunch.

DivShare

If you’re tired of being limited to the types of things you can with friends from your status box, like links and photos, then DivShare is the app for you. DivShare lets users share MP3s, images and any other type of file up to 200MB in size with no cap on storage space. This is great for exchanging large files.

Marketplace

With more than 9.7 million active users, this is definitely one of Facebook’s more popular apps. Marketplace is like Craig’s List for Facebook. You can sell, buy or search for anything you want. Plus, you can support charities by selling for a cause.

RockYou Live (formerly Super Wall)

This application lets you share videos, cards and even draw graffiti. Depending on what peeks your interest, you can easily share your favorite media item of the day, like a popular video from YouTube or a home movie of your dog’s silly pet trick. Discover new and interesting content from the web right from your Facebook wall.

Weekly Schedule

A wonderful application for anyone who has friends that don’t require Blackberry’s to manage their time. Use Weekly Schedule to keep tab on your pals and let them know where you are straight from Facebook. This is a convenient way to coordinate meetings, events or conferences.

weRead

Writing and reading go hand and hand. Show off your literary prowess with a this handy app that helps you catalog, track and share all the books that you’ve read, are reading or planning to read.

Whether you’re interested in getting organized, traveling or marketing yourself, Facebook seems to have an app that will suit everyone’s needs. Explore to find more.

LinkedIn Applications

Apr 21st, 20101 Comment

The professional networking site LinkedIn connects members together and is primarily used as a business and relationship building tool. Through LinkedIn’s profile screen, users can customize information about their current and past business accomplishments. It’s very similar to an organized version of an online resume.

Beyond profiles LinkedIn offers quite a few handy applications that allow its members to integrate into their profiles. This enables members to use their LinkedIn accounts in a variety of ways and it takes the profile for a static page to an interactive hub for professionals. Take a peek below to learn about some of the applications available and how they can elevate your LinkedIn profile.

WordPress

From the name of the application you can probably guess what it does. Use it on LinkedIn to incorporate your existing blog feed into your profile. It’s fuss free. Install and done. The application automatically pulls new posts from your blog and populates them to your profile. It gives your blog added exposure and shares blog details with your LinkedIn connections.

Events

If you’ve ever wondered what professional happenings are scheduled in your local area or region, you need to install Events. Conferences and seminars are recommended based on your industry and job function, plus you can see what events your friends are attending too.

My Travel

If you’re a road warrior then this is the app for you. Track your travel and find out when your connections will be in the same city or location as you. Great way to meet-up and catch-up with out friends and it’s great for organizing travel details.

Google Presentation

Sometimes words from a profile need the support of images and pictures. Using visuals makes it easier to convey thoughts, ideas and showcase achievements. With Google Presentation you can upload a portfolio or show off projects. Upload a Powerpoint file and you’re finished.

Huddle Workspaces

Everyone knows that sending attachments via email can be challenging. Depending on the size of the attachment, servers can kick-back and make it difficult to share. With Huddle, you’re able to collaborate online through a private workspace. Documents are safe, secure and best of all, you can choose who gets to see what.

Visit LinkedIn for more great applications to add to your profile and make it stand out from the pack.

Twitter for Branding: follow the leaders

Apr 19th, 2010No Comments

If you’re thumbs are getting sore from tweeting and searching for good tweeters, give ‘em a break. There are more than 75 million Twitter users according to data published by RJMetrics in January 2010. If you’re trying to find tweeters in a particular niche it can be a tad overwhelming. So we’ve sifted through the millions to uncover the best branding tweeters and thought we’d share them with you.

The tweeters below represent a small portion of branding focused Twitter users available, but what sets this group apart is their influence, ranking and follower base. Make sure to add them to follow them for excellent 140 character snippits to help you build your brand.

@pramitjnathan

Pramit J. Nathan has summarized himself as a marketing consultant, author and speaker that specializes in branding and perception management. With an astonishing 123,836 followers (growing daily), he’s the leader of the branding pack on Twitter.

Following Pramit will connect you to great strategies, suggestions and tips that are brand and marketing related. Definitely one of few tweeters with a ‘pure’ tweet stream, meaning you won’t find random pontification on abstract subjects (i.e. what type of coffee he likes to drink each a.m. or what he purchased for his brother’s birthday last year).

@thebrandbuilder

Olivier Blanchard is author of the Brand Builder Blog and a Frenchman with a penchant for cooking and good food. Not only does Olivier tweet about relevant branding topics, but his blog and website have an amazing arsenal of well-organized links to other helpful business strategists and influential branders.

Absolutely a resource worth following, plus his blog posts and tweets are highly original and entertaining. Don’t know too many people that can connect social media and Bette Davis together for a good read.

@danschawbel

If you’re not following Dan Schawbel, well, you’re just plain missing out. He’s the bestselling author of Me 2.0 and publisher of Personal Branding Magazine. Dan is a personal branding guru and if you’re seeking advice on how to start, where to start and what to do with branding, this is the go-to-guy.

@simonmainwaring

A native Australian, Simon Mainwaring has a fresh and creative approach to branding, which makes him an excellent follow and a fun one too. He specializes in brand triage, or a blend of creative and strategic solutions across traditional, digital and social media. Join the masses and follow to learn how Simon can help maximize your brand.

@landor_dot_com

True, this last tweeter appears to be a bit random and doesn’t have tens of thousands of followers like the others, but it is currently ranked as the number one most influential branding tweeter by a Twitter search directory. Landor Associates is one of those hidden gems in the branding mine. A continual stream of branding’s impact and branding tips can be found. All are encouraged to follow.

Top Social Media Conferences and Seminars

Apr 15th, 2010No Comments

There are hundreds of social media conferences that take place every year and around the globe. No matter what your particular marketing niche is you’re bound to find a seminar that is right for you. Instead of tunneling in on customized gatherings that are unique to a particular city, state or region, we’re highlighting a handful of the larger conferences that have something for everyone.

South by Southwest (SXSW)

Hands down, this is one of the most well-attended and most infamous conferences around. Although it’s not specifically geared toward social media, it’s definitely morphed into a platform that seems to be focusing on it. During this week-long event, techies, alternative bands and indie filmmakers gather in Austin, Texas to watch, listen and talk all things social media each spring. This is the place where new applications debut and social platforms launch. Past mentors have included, Chris Brogan, Pete Cashmore and Sanjay Gupta.

Power of eMarketing

The eMarketing Association’s annual two-day conference in San Francisco, California gathers thought leaders and key executives together from well known businesses to discuss best practices, processes and case studies. Attendees learn about marketing directly from the people in companies who practice it every day. This year’s conference takes place in April and features LinkedIn’s Vice President of Marketing & Advertising, Patrick Crane, Technorati’s Vice President and GM, Shani Higgins and eBay’s Senior Manager of Global Internet Marketing & Advertising, Ed Woo. Sign-up today, it’s not too late.

Inbound Marketing Summit

Presented by social media guru Chris Brogan, this two-day conference travels to various cities throughout the U.S. and is geared toward social influence marketers. Field experts share strategies, tools and methods to help you grow your business. The speaker line-up varies from city to city, but this year’s event in San Francisco had HubSpot’s Inbound Marketing Manager, Rick Burnes, Constant Contact’s Regional Development Director, Stu Carty and Radian6’s Director of Community, Amber Naslund. Find a conference coming to a city near year by visiting the website.

Online Marketing Summit

Similar to Inbound’s traveling conference, this event is a one-day show that travels to 23 cities throughout the nation. It allows registrants to collaborate and network with the best of the best in social media and beyond. Unlike other conferences, vendor booths are amiss in order to provide a clear focus on education and content. Jay Baer, Rohit Bhargava and Dharmesh Shah have been part of past speaker line-ups.

Bestselling Books on Podcasts

Apr 13th, 2010No Comments

As a broadcast medium, Podcasting is a wonderful way to share information through digital media files in an audio or video format. If you’re thinking about podcasting, but you aren’t quite sure just where to begin, you might want to read up on the subject. There are quite a few podcasting books available that do a great job on explaining a podcast from start to finish. Here’s a run down on some of the bestsellers that are worth the investment.

Podcasting Bible by Mitch Ratcliffe

Veteran technology writer, Ratcliffe, chose an appropriate name for his publication when he picked the word ‘bible’. It contains 570 pages that are packed with podcast suggestions and details. The book is well-organized into seven sections that focus on specific podcast segments, such as production, equipment, distribution and media integration. In order to learn all the ins and outs of podcasting, this book is highly recommended.

Business Podcasting Bible: Wherever My Market Is…I Am by Paul Colligan and Alex Mandossian

Using your podcast to enhance your business and connect with your audience requires a bit of know how. Fortunately, this book lessens the learning curve through case study models. Reviewing how other businesses use this media gives podcast newbies a chance to borrow ideas and tailor them to fit their needs. A solid book with excellent examples.

Podcast Solutions: The Complete Guide to Audio and Video Podcasting by Michael Geoghegan and Dan Klass

The authors of this book have been referred to as pioneers in the field of podcasting. They’ve been around podcasting since the beginning and offer a wealth of insight for people that are just getting their feet wet. The book covers a range of topics that help teach readers about setting-up a podcast and marketing a podcast, as well as how to format a podcast. A fantastic book that educates readers on all things podcast-based.

Podcasting Hacks: Tips and Tools for Blogging Out Loud by Jack Herrington

Having the right hardware and software can make or break a podcast. Additionally, knowing how to search and subscribe to podcasts is also key, especially when you’re ready to produce your own.  Whether you’re interested in recording telephone interviews via podcast or concerned about preparing guests for interviews, this book has it all.

One honorable mention that shouldn’t be overlooked is Podcasting for Dummies from the Dummies Series.

Sherman Hu Interview

Apr 10th, 20101 Comment

Best Branding Podcasts

Apr 8th, 20102 Comments

Podcasts are an excellent way to receive syndicated information in an audio format. Whether you choose to download and listen on your computer or portably through your MP3 player, podcasts can deliver content right directly through a web feed in less than a minute.

Competition in the podcast arena is pretty fierce these days, but there are always a few stand outs that deserve a thumbs up or a pat on the back for producing consistent and relevant topics. Take a moment (or five or ten) and listen, or subscribe, to some of these popular branding podcasts. You might be surprised by what you hear.

Brand Fast Trackers. This is a weekly podcast that focuses on helping listeners build their brands and ultimately sell more product. Each week host Brian Martin interviews marketing VPs and CMOs to get their advice and insight on how to help others market themselves.

The BeanCast. Bob Knorpp moderates roundtable-style discussions with a panel of key leaders within the marketing, advertising, public relations and interactive industries. There’s always a great tip or suggestion that can be gleaned from the conversations.

Marketing Over Coffee. This 20 minute podcast is recorded in a local coffee shop each week. Hosts John Wall and Chris Penn cover a variety of topics such as making sense of Facebook, search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. Past guest interviews include:  Seth Godin, David Meerman Scott and Mitch Joel.

Marketing Voices. Created in 2006 by host Jennifer Jones, the podcast focuses on how social media is impacting marketing. This is a great place to learn how to fine tune your current branding initiatives and get ahead of the curve with trends and forecasts.

Six Pixels of Separation. Social media expert Mitch Joel developed this Canadian podcast to unravel the complex world of new marketing. Additionally, The Montreal Business Book Club is also featured and offers regular updates on the books that will help you build your brand and market yourself in the online marketing arena.

Inbound Marketing – HubSpot TV. If Internet marketing seems overwhelming then tune in to Karen Rubin’s and Mike Volpe’s podcast. They’ll help you transform your brand from an idea to actuality. They cover recent marketing news and useful online tips regarding SEO, landing pages, lead generation and more.

The mentions referenced above only represent a tiny portion of the countless branding and marketing podcasts available. Hit the Internet and access some of the online podcast directories to find more great podcast resources.

Top Social Media Rockstars PART 2

Apr 7th, 20102 Comments

Last week we featured the first 10 out of 20 social media thought leaders that are movers and shakers within the industry. Today, we’re continuing with the second half of that list. Each individual featured has a hyperlink their blog site for easy following.

Pete Cashmore. The founder of Mashable at age 19, and also dubbed the Brad Pitt of social media, this Scottish entrepreneur was chosen as one of Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30, Forbes’ Top 25 Web Celebs and the Huffington Posts’ Top 10 Game Changers 2009. He has a weekly column on CNN and his blog has been selected as a must-ready by Fast Company and PC Magazine. BusinessWeek has featured his site as one of the world’s most profitable blogs.

Liz Strauss. A highly influential blogger, Liz created SOBCon, a conference that combines the best minds and talent from the Internet together to present models, discuss insights and determine best practices – in essence, where virtual meets concrete.

Biz Stone. This co-founder of Twitter (and creative director too) has also helped launch Xanga, Blogger, Odeo and Obvious. He’s published two books about blogging:  Blogging: Genius Strategies for Instant Web Content and Who Let the Blogs Out? These days it’s easier to follow Biz on Twitter. He currently has more than 1.6 million tweeps.

Brian Solis. As Principal of the award-winning new media marketing and branding agency, Future Works in Silicon Valley, Brian has paved the way for social media and PR 2.0. He is among the top 1.5% of all blogs tracked by Technorati and is ranked by AdAge Power 150 index of worldwide bloggers. His book, Engage, includes a forward from Ashton Kutcher.

Clay Shirky. Clay is an associate professor at New York University’s (NYU) graduate Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP). Not only is he one of the most requested speakers on social media in the world, but he’s a writer and consultant on the social and economic effects of Internet technologies. His columns and writings have appeared in: New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Wired and the Harvard Business Review.

Brian Halligan. Author of the best selling book, Inbound Marketing, Brian co-founded the online marketing and analytics company, Hubspot. Brian is a Sloan Fellow from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a thought leader on the social media scene.

Dave Morin. In 2009, Fast Company named Dave one of the ‘100 Most Creative People in Business’. Until recently, Dave was a senior platform manager at Facebook. He is partnering with  Napster creator, Shawn Fanning, to create a new startup.

Paul Chaney. Author of The Digital Handshake: Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media, Paul understands at a granular level how social media tools can be used for marketing purposes.  Paul serves as president of the International Blogging and New Media Association, an organization dedicated to advancing the growth of blogging, podcasting and social media as an industry.

Mitch Joel. Author of the book, Six Pixels of Separation, Mitch has been called by Marketing Magazine the ‘Rock Star of Digital Marketing’. He is also known as one of North America’s leading digital visionaries.

Lee Odden. In Michael Miller’s book, Online Marketing Heroes, Lee was chosen as one of 25 online marketing experts to be featured. His experience and background in social media has been cited by The Economist, U.S. News & World Reprot and Fortune Magazine. Lee is the CEO of TopRank Online Marketing.

Top 20 Social Media Rockstars (part 1)

Mar 31st, 20104 Comments

Thought Leaders

It is important in any industry, no matter what level you are at, to keep learning. I am always looking around in my community to hear what others are thinking and compare notes. Thankfully many of the leaders in Social Media publish, sharing their knowledge and insights regularly. They are a joy to learn from. I put together this list so that you might benefit from their generosity as well.

There are quite a few thought leaders in social media. Identifying and selecting the best of the best is completely subjective, but I feel that the folks I’ve listed below are true stand outs in the pack. Without further adieu – the 20 best social media experts have been shared along with a bit of their backgrounds, accomplishments and key achievements (in no particular order).

Chris Brogan. Author of New York Times Bestseller, Trust Agents and president of New Marketing Labs in Boston, Chris is a true social media Guru. He has more than 108,000 followers on Twitter and 48,050 blog subscribers and I am one of them.

Gary Vaynerchuk. Famous wine aficionado, Gary is a living example of how to make social media work for your business and brand. He single-handedly transformed his family’s annual retail wine store profits from $4 million to $50 million through video posts on Wine Library TV. He has more than 850,000 followers on Twitter and 42,000 Facebook fans. Using  social media, he has democratized oenophilia.

Amy Jo Martin. Founder of digital integration and social media agency, Digital Royalty, Amy works with entertainment brands, professional athletes, sports teams and organizations to catapult them into the online here and now. She’s a social media maven to the core.

Jay Baer. Having worked with some of the biggest brands, Jay founded five companies and spent 15 years running digital marketing agencies. His highly popular blog, Convince and Convert, provides readers with social media strategic planning and consulting advice that is on the cutting edge of technology.

Felicia Day. A canadian-born actress and self-proclaimed ‘media geek’, Felicia is a social media phenomenon. She’s the producer of a YouTube web series called The Guild which garnered more than 15 million views and has appeared in the Internet musical, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog. It may not sound like much, but she’s an amazing expert at integrating her brand into social media. Nearly 1.7 million Twitter followers can’t be wrong.

David Meerman Scott. A marketing strategist and author, David has a knack for predicting social media trends before they occur. His best selling book, ‘The New Rules of Marketing & PR’, is being followed-up with ‘Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media and Blogs’. He is an an active online social media contributor and speaker.

Guy Kawasaki. A founding partner of technology venture capitalist group Garage and co-founder of online magazine rack site, Alltop.com, Guy has written nine business and marketing books. He began with Apple and has since transformed himself into a social media leader that consistently remains ahead of the curve with his social media insight.

Mari Smith. Dubbed by Fast Company as the ‘Pied Piper of Online’, Mari is a social media business coach and strategy expert for small businesses. She is her own best case study for brand development. She regularly travels the speaker circuit sharing advice and providing social media training to thousands. I love her trademark blue shirt.

Jeremiah Owyang. A partner at Altimeter Group and columnist for Forbes CMO Network, Jeremiah  interprets news as a web strategist and reviews technology products as they are related to social media. His blog is currently ranked at #28 by AdAge Power 150. I always come away with great insights after reading his blog.

Valeria Maltoni. Listed as a Top Marketer for 2009 in AdAge, Valeria’s blog Conversation Agent is one of the top online blogs in the world. She was handpicked by Fast Company as an expert blogger to write about creating conversations between the customer and marketer and built one of the first online communities connected to a magazine.

I’ll be posting the second half of the social media expert list next week. Stay tuned.

Book Marketing Strategy: Best Websites For Authors

Mar 29th, 20109 Comments

Online is where it’s at, especially when it comes to the marketing strategy for your newly published book. Creating buzz and generating sales can be accomplished more easily than you think with the assistance of a few online sites geared toward authors. We’ve gathered some of the stand outs and are sharing them with you below.

FiledBy. Hands down this is the most comprehensive online marketing platform for authors. It provides simple to use tools that can be used to link, host and organize marketing activities and  connect to online booksellers. The service is free to use and authors can claim their site immediately. Additional features are available through affordably priced premium services and include, additional links, multimedia uploads, blogging, customized graphics, event calendars and much more. Whether you have an author website or not, FiledBy can help expand your social media presence and is absolutely worth joining to claim a name for a basic site set-up.

Red Room. This is a social hub that focuses on writers and book lovers. It’s a full-service site that allows authors to express themselves, promote their writing and connect with other like-minded people. Well-known and undiscovered talent utilize this site to network with publishing agents, interact with literary icons and showcase samples of your work. Membership is free, but if you’re an author you’ll need a Premium Membership to market and sell your books. Current price plan is listed at $30 per month or $250 per year.

Goodreads. This is a great site that promotes book-sharing, reviewing and other various ways to showcase your book. Goodreads claims to be the largest site with 1.8 million members who have added 41 million books. Authors enjoy having their own profile pages that feature a short biography, background, pages for your books, review and interview links, comments and other social media aspects. What make the site unique? It has an online advertising program for authors who are interested in ramping up their marketing efforts.

LibraryThing. Geared more toward the reader, the site does allow authors to become members and highlights them as such. A total of 35 million books have been cataloged by 600,000 readers so why not add yours to the list. As a LibraryThing author, you can promote readings, events and participate in author chats, provide review copies and include photos and other information on your author profile page.

Author’s Den. Your book is bound and ready to for reading, now what? The first step is finding an audience. At the Author’s Den, readers and authors are brought together through book reviews, blogs, news, events and more. More than 1.4 million readers each month have access to 62 literary categories. Not only is site is free to join, but it’s evolving. Coming soon is a market place that will permit authors to go a step beyond the site’s current features, including public relations, marketing and publishing.

Other author websites worth taking a peek at:

Shelfari. An Amazon.com owned site that has become very popular among Facebook users. A great way to tap into your social media audience.

Nothing Binding. Directed toward emerging writers and authors.

Scribd. Known as the ‘YouTube for documents’, authors can upload excerpts, pages, reviews and other material to share with people to view.

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