Posts Tagged 'Facebook'

Ten Minutes Blogging School

One of my best friends decided to make a move and start blogging. He asked for my guidance, and instead of keeping it between us, I decided to post it here. So, here we go – welcome to the Ten Minutes Blogging School:

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1. Choose a Platform – you are looking for a combination of flexibility and stability. Flexibility is the ability to add widgets, video players, badges and so on. Stability is the total uptime of the system. Therefore you need a well known service. I am using wordpress.com as it offers a good enough flexibility (they approve every application separately so not everything is working on their platfor

m out of the box) and they provide a reliable service. Another great thing about WordPress is that you can later install your own version of the platform and get maximum flexibility with zillion plugins that are av

ailable for the WordPress platform but not implemented in wordpress.com

2. Buy a Domain – so now you have a blog in wordpress.com. Its address looks like xxxx.wordpress.com. You don’t want that. Buy a domain (from Godady for example), upgrade your wordpress.com account by buying 10 credits ($10), and redirect the blog to that address. So instead of having a long and annoying address, you will have one tailored for you. It is very important to get this thing done first – so all the links to your blog from external resources will be done to the new URL.

3. Go to Feedburner and create an RSS feed – find the RSS feed address that wordpress.com gives you and “burn” it with Feedburner to get an independent RSS feed. The reason is that your RSS address is very important in order to maintain readership over time. If tomorrow you will decide to move to your own hosted wordpress platform, or change your bloggin infrastructure, you will still need to keep the original RSS feed address.
4. Choose the template you like and start writing!

That’s it for the technical stuff. Now for the real thing – Community and Promotion

5. Identify other blogs and sites in the same topics. Comment on them regularly with your blog address in the identification. other readers will find your blog this way, and you will get more incoming links

6. Add your blog link to your Facebook profile, and import its RSS feed to your notes. You can also open a Facebook group and invite your friends to it. Use it to keep in touch with your readers.

7. Add the blog to your Linkedin profile, in case it is relevant to your business, or you believe your business contacts will be interested in it.

8. If you are on Twitter, use TwitterFeed to push your post to your Twitter friends. Use it carefully, and try to communicate using Twitter for other topics as well.

9. Constantly post your posts to Digg, Del.icio.us and StambleUpon

10. Answer your comments – it is the way your readers communicate with you. It takes time but it worth the effort.

Is that it?

No, there are many strategies, and technics to write and promote a blog. But these things are the basics to get you going. Remember – write about your passion, you will have the best posts if you’ll do that.

Good luck to all the new bloggers among us!

Media and Technology Tidbits

Ashley highfield installs GNU/Linux

Ashley Highfield

Image by cubicgarden via Flickr

Erik Huggers was announced as the BBC new media Tsar. Which actually means that he is the most influential person in the UK new media industry, replacing Ashley Highfield.

– Facebook is designing a new profile page

– Apple just can’t get MobileMe to work properly

Macromurs blogger is leaving his medical career for his blog.

– And if you are into Mac, and know some Hebrew, check out this video blog about Mac.

That’s it for this morning, have a great week!

Media Revolution 101- The Forces Behind The Revolution

Hey, I have a question for you. What are all these discussions about media revolution?

Let’s look on traditional media business models:

Film: production companies raise funds and make movies. They distribute them through distribution companies that has relation with cinema owners across the globe. Marketing companies promote the movies worldwide. Money made from selling tickets goes to the production companies, distributers and license owners. Popcorn profits are going to the venue owners.

Newspaper: reporters create content that is printed by publishers, next to ads. These ads finance the whole operation. Some newspapers also have subscription models.

TV: Production companies make TV shows, that are aired by a network. Networks and production companies sell ads or product placement and cover or profit beyond the production cost.

What is the basis of these industries?

1. Cost – it is expensive to own a film camera. It is expensive to hire a crew to make a film. Therefore, one should raise a considerable amount of money in order to make a film. It is expensive to print and distribute a newspaper, pay reporters and so on. It is expensive to create a season of a TV show. In some cases, more than 100 people are working on one drama show.

2. Ownership and scarcity of distribution channels — there is a limited amount of movie theaters in the world. If you have distribution agreements in place, you create scarcity in distribution of films. True, there are zillion TV channels, but if you are the 500th channel, no one will zap to your channel just like that. The same goes for news stands.

3. High marketing cost — how can you persuade viewers to go to your movie or watch your show? You need to do three things: advertise, advertise, and, well, advertise. Billboards, banners, and TV spots cost money. Loads of money.

Cut to the chase. I am paying you by the hour.

Three important developments changed these industries:

1. Stronger computers – I am writing this post on a Dual Core 2.4 GHz Mac, a machine that render, edit and present HD video. It costs around $2000. The fact that I have on my desktop the equivalent of a computer that used to cost tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars changes the market place fundamentally. Video is the most resource draining technology. When talking about text or audio media products, everybody could be a writer or a radio talent.

2. Cheaper cameras — with $6000 one can buy today high end HD camera, and become a movie maker. But, even with less, one can create content in fraction of past costs. Almost every cellphone has a video camera, every laptop has a webcam, and a cheap point-and-shot camera can shot HD today. Shooting video is no longer an economic barrier. It is all about talent.

3. Higher bandwidth – The increase of available bandwidth means that High Definition video can be distributed over the Internet directly to consumers. That, coupled with the proliferation of computers at homes, made the computer screen a viable source for media and information.

And yes — number 4 – almost everyone in the western hemisphere has Internet access today.

Cool. But how does it affect the media business, or my company?

These developments affected the whole value chain:

1. Strong computer and cheap cameras made content creation cheaper than before. Therefore, more content is created by amateurs, semi-professionals and professionals. Your mom can shot and edit a short movie.

I hope she won’t

Me too.

2. Higher bandwidth made video distribution available to the masses. Sites such as YouTube made video publishing as simple as sending an email. Other companies are focusing on HD and long format distribution. Now, everyone can distribute their videos, for free. So, more content is made, and it is freely distributed, directly to consumers. Slowly but surely, the computer screen is competing with TV sets and Movie theaters on viewers’ attention.

3. The Internet changed the promotion game. Though marketing is still a major expense in the media business, new ways of content promotion are created, through search engines such as Google, and social networks such as Myspace and Facebook. An effective social media campaign is much cheaper than a TV spot.

4. Everyone can publish everything on the Internet. It can be a rumor about your company, an expert opinion, a story, or breaking news.

This is a unique period in time, where the media business is being disrupted across the whole value chain — from content creation, through marketing, to distribution and consumption. This change affects not only media companies, but also corporate marketing, and consumers.

OH MY GOD! Now what?

Well, you’ll need to keep reading this blog for that…

Social Networks For Business – 7 Tips and Tricks

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Many people don’t have time to use social networks. They are too busy with emails, phone calls and face to face meetings, in order to get engaged – whether it’s work or fun. This is a major issue for most people who are trying to use social media tools as part of their business tool box.

I’ve went through several phases in my social media activities, starting with first limited steps in social networks such as LinkedIn, moving to the interactive Facebook, and using the hyper-interactive Twitter. Over time I found that I am investing a lot in communicating, on the expense of being the most effective and efficient in my communication and work. One of the causes of this phenomena is the overload social networks and tools are putting on all of us, with multiple updates and feeds.

Also, the amount of my connections affects my communication pattern as I wrote in the past. Therefore, in the recent months I’ve changed my communication pattern to better fit my needs, and support my other activities.

However, social networks and social media in general provide great business benefits if handled correctly.

In a business, I don’t believe that conversation is the most important thing. Efficiency and effectiveness are the goals of every business, in order to successfully compete in the market.

How can you balance between the social media noise, and the hidden value in its tools?

Here are my tips on how to do that. Would love to hear on how you are doing it:

If you are the ADD type, already involved in more networks then you can handle:

  1. Separate leisure and work – you know that time in day when you are not focused? Sometimes you’ll go to Facebook and check what’s going on there, get into a conversation, read some notes, and just go around the network. It is ok – if you decided that you are willing to invest your free time in having fun in Facebook. Would you do something else that is fun right now, not online, if you had the chance? If the answer is yes, then everything is ok. If the answer is no – read a blog or a newspaper to relax your brain. Social networks, especially Facebook and Twitter, can suck you in and make you loose sense of time. And you don’t want that in on working hours.
  2. Aggregate feeds from various social networks using Friendfeed or Spokeo – these tools aggregate activities of your connections from different networks in one page. It is very useful, and helps you not only keep in touch with your friends and business contacts, but also find new ones.
  3. Kick out spammers from your network – yes, sounds logical, but it is not necessarily done in a consistent manner. When someone sends me 6 useless Facebook apps – it is time to say goodbye. After that, there is less communication overload with stupid interactions.
  4. Understand when you want to communicate and when you want to do something else – A good friend of mine told me once, when I was all over Facebook, that there is a limit to the amount of interaction one wants to be involved in. At the time I thought he was dead wrong, but now I see that it is true. I’d like to interact only part of my day, and in many cases I need the ability to concentrate and reach a goal. Twitter, IM, and Facebook should be closed at these times unless they are used for the same task.

If you are not hooked yet, but understand there is a value in social networks for your work, and you want to be effective and efficient in using them:

  1. Maintain your social network periodically – once a month, upload your contacts to Linkedin or Facebook and invite relevant people to your circle of contacts. discipline is the secret. You can reduce the effort required by uploading all your contacts to gmail or yahoo mail, and let the networks retrieve the information from there. It takes less time than uploading your address book to each platform separately.
  2. Embed social networks activity in your work day:
    • Update your online address back immediately after you return from a conference. Connect to the guys you met as soon as you can. Size and quality of your networks correlates with the value you will drive from it. Foster it.
    • Add your social networks to your bookmarks toolbar so they will be easily accessible. The more you use them, the more they value you get from it.
    • Use social networks as source of information – whenever you have a question, don’t just ask google. Ask your network as well. You will be amazed how much high quality information lies in Linkedin and Facebook.
    • Spend 10-20 minutes of your work day for social networks updates. Go through Linkedin, Facebook, and Twitter every morning to see what’s new and who is talking about what. I am doing it with my morning coffee. Friendfeed and Spokeo can also come handy, but go through the sites themselves once in a while.
  3. Increase your networks’ value – connect to key people in the industry, thought leaders, experts, key decision makers and so on. The value of network is driven from the aggregated quality of its members, and not only by its size. Invest 30 minutes a week in looking for key people in your network and connect with them. It is worth it.

All those tips are completely irrelevant if you just want to chat with friends. But if you are business oriented user, I hope it would help you to get more value from time spent these social networks.

Page_11.png Thinking About Social Networks Taken by Jeff Pulver

Social Networks are NOT a Cure For Stupidity

Every time I talk with people about Facebook and social networks I learn a lot. Different people have different views on the application of these sites, how to use them, what is proper and what not.

In one of the panels I’ve attended, The following argument was raised: Facebook is not a business tool, and people are put disturbing pictures and details in their profiles that get them fired.

Well, we all saw those stories about people who lost their job because they’ve put inappropriate information in their profile. The best one I’ve heard was about that guy who asked a vacation so he can attend his grandmother’s funeral – and then posted pictures of the crazy party he attended, mysteriously on the same time as the funeral (thanks the beginner and Sean MacGuire for the link).

For all those who fear this aspect of social networks I can only say this:

Having a profile on a social network does not prevent you from being stupid. It just amplifies it. So if you had the liberty to be the village fool – now you can do the same job, just in global proportions.

Don’t blame social networks for the way people use them. They are just a tool that reflects your personality. Handle it with care – just like in any other online service.

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Hot from the press – Facebook Pages just released

Facebook just released Facebook Pages, which enables you to create pages for items, and not only people.

Now you can create a page for a business, TV show, organization and so on.

I am very excited with this new feature, as I got a bit worried seeing all those fake profiles of companies and products on Facebook.

How it affects the market?

1. I believe that it improves the overall value of Facebook to users. Now we know who is a person, product or business.

2. Number of groups might be reduced – no need to open a group for fans of a tv show – you can just open a page for it.

3. Online directories might be affected – as users can find now businesses through Facebook.

4. Personally, I believe it will increase the time I spend on the site.

On the same topic, Facebook Beacon is really disturbing. This application allows site owners to add code to their site that sends through Facebook activity notification to contacts. Personally, I feel that this one is a bit too much.

Om thinks the same, and you can find a guide on how to block this intrusive product here.

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4 Best Ways to be Extremely Annoying in Facebook

In the spirit of my post about five characters of social networkers, here are some of the best ways to be extremely annoying in Facebook:

1. Invite someone to the Vampire application. When he ignores – invite him to the werewolf one. And then to Vampire again. Repeat if necessary.

2. Poke a stranger. Then coldly ignore his pokes. Poke him again. This time, quickly join the famous group “don’t poke me unless you mean sex”. When he pokes you back – file a sexual harassment lawsuit. Repeat as much as possible.

3. Pick a guy without friends. Invite him to all the applications you can think about. Then update your status that he is an annoying person that invites everyone to stupid applications.

4. Write a blog post about how to annoy people in Facebook. List only 4 points, cause Lorelle said it makes people respond. Then share the post everywhere. Don’t respond to any comment. Share the post again. Repeat if necessary.

All ideas are relevant to males and females alike.

I am boarding my flight to Boston soon – have a great, non-annoying day.

annoying_thing

Let’s hope he doesn’t join Facebook

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