Thursday, June 23, 2011

BGSU SISO Promotion - Lessons Learned and Tips for the Future

The number one thing  I learned when contributing content to the sites we chose, was to make the posts interesting. Even if the subject matter is interesting, users may not read simply because it looks boring. By using images and videos, we can attract users to our site and hope they will read and comment on our posts. I also learned that asking questions and encouraging interaction is important. By interacting with our followers we give them a sense of involvement and in turn give a purpose to the organization. If no one interacts with us it may appear that we wasted time, but in fact we are just building our foundation to promote more in the future. It was very cool to see people actually like our pages and was good motivation for us to continue our work on the sites.

One of the recommendations I have for future classes is to start early. One has no idea how much time is lost over on the course of a few days of not posting. Also, viewers may begin to drop off if no updates are made over the course of a few days. Another recommendation I have is to keep the interaction at a steady pace. If a group interacts with its users intensively for two days then stops for five, users can get frustrated and leave the site. My final recommendation is to post meaningful posts. Don't just post or write on a blog to do it, make sure what you are writing has meaning and is important or insightful to others.

Overall, I learned how to organize and collaborate with others to promote on social media sites. It was a good experience and I learned some important tips if I ever need to promote an event or group in the future using these tools.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Prezi - My thoughts, its purpose, and business uses.

Prezi is a web based presentation tool that can integrate text, videos, and images all into one to create an experience that is entertaining and rich with information. The information on the "slides" are grouped together in a such a way that all can be seen but individual item can be zoomed in on and panned to create a visually appealing presentation. When compared to PowerPoint, it simply blows it our of the water. While from a zoomed out view the information can seem unorganized, but once the show actually starts everything is shown in the proper order making the whole presentation smooth.

The presentations I have seen using Prexi have been more entertaining overall than those that used PowerPoint. Power point slides are simple click and continue presentations which usually are boring and can blend together. Prezi aims to break up the monotony and give those who have to view the presentation some entertainment as well. Prezi can also use the whole picture of the presentation as the presentation too. For example, if a site says "look at this and make sense of it", it may be hard to do so, but if you drill down and go in order the show becomes easy to understand an informative. It is up to the presenter to set up the show to be this way and can have great benefits for those watching.

Businesses can use Prezi to show their new products and services to the public in ways they haven't seen before. Instead of a boring conference where something is announced, they could instead incorporate a Prezi presentation to make the whole experience visually appealing and more interesting overall to consumers. Businesses can also use Prezi to make interactive guides for consumers that are fun to follow instead of long boring pamphlets or instructions to read. Setup guides would be much more entertaining when done in Prezi versus looking through the pages of different languages in instruction books.

Quora - My thoughts, its purpose, and its business use.

Quora is a site that allows users to post questions about anything and answer questions other users may have. The questions and answers are sorted and stored according to topic and can be edited or have suggestions proposed for edits by other users. This site is somewhat similar to other services like Yahoo Answers. When a user answers a question other users can upvote or downvote the answer, allowing the most popular choice to be at the top, usually meaning that it answers the question better than other answers available. This voting method is very similar to that which has been implemented on Reddit.

I think Quora is a neat site since it integrates with Facebook and Twitter. This allows users to see what their friends have questions about or may be able to answer themselves. I can tell that Quora may not be that popular as only one of my Facebook friends is using Quora, although, others may have chose not to connect with Facebook or Twitter. Quora offers a unique way for users to get answers to their questions that they may not be able to find anywhere else on the web.

Quora could be incredibly helpful for a company. A person with a question about the company's product or use could ask on Quora. The company could then answer them directly on Quora. This allows not only the person who asked the question to see the official answer from the company but also others who may be searching for the same information. A business could also pose questions to the public about what the public would like to see happen with products or services. Many companies have educated guesses at what the public wants. With Quora, the company could instead ask the customers directly.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Google Reader/RSS - My thoughts, its purpose, and business uses.

Google Reader is a site that allows users to have rss feeds compiled all in one place. These can be blogs, videos, audio, news pages, or anything that has updates often. These feeds allow users to save time by not having to visit each site individually to see what new content is available. Instead, these rss feeds compile all new content automatically from chosen sites to one place, like Google Reader, saving time. A neat feature on Google Reader is one that marks what the user has seen or not, making only new content visible so there is no unnecessary time wasted scrolling through items that have already been viewed. Users of Google Reader can also share feeds they have enjoyed with others, share notes with others and view others' notes, and view trends in their internet usage on the site.

I have used rss feeds in the past for shows when they came out on Hulu with delayed releases. This way I wouldn't have to keep checking back for the show's new episodes, I could just wait until I was notified. Other than that I have not used rss feeds much but Google Reader appears to have interesting features to set it apart. It takes simple rss features and adds the social aspect of sharing and messaging to make the experience more enjoyable to use.

Businesses can use rss to keep up on the latest trends of the business's industry. They can have the stories delivered right to them through rss and can also deliver their own feeds to customers and the public. Once they have customers on their feeds, their customers will see what new articles or media they have to offer and will be able to read them as soon as they are available, all without having to search around. Overall, Google Reader and rss feeds can save both business and customer time when using the internet, which means more time for producing goods and more time for buying.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

StumbleUpon - My thoughts, its purpose, and business uses.

StumbleUpon is more of a toolbar than a whole site. For example, should a user choose to not install the StumbleUpon toolbar, they will instead be taken to a page where there is a toolbar inside the window itself. You can "stumble" while in this view but if you see something somewhere else on the web you like you cannot "like it" if you do not have that toolbar. The site allows you to select topics you are interested from which the site will pull from to give you images, video, or whatever else the web has to offer that deals with those topics. you click "stumble" to move to a different item and can like or dislike an item. You can can also share what you stumble upon on Facebook or Twitter by clicking their respective buttons.

Being a new user to the site I found it very easy to use and setup my preferences for topics. I then actually used the site without the toolbar. After a few clicks I liked most of what I saw and can now say that I have the toolbar installed. The site had me stumbling and made me not want to stop. It has this sort of appeal of wondering what will come next that kept me hooked. It is easily one of the new time wasters of the web, in a good way. In fact, this site has had me procrastinating on this very blog while I stumble in the background.

The best use for a business is to create something, whether it be a video or image that is tagged as humor or dealing directly with their industry. If users check the box pertaining to their tag, they may get stumbled on. The challenge after being stumbled upon is being able to get people to like it. The business will still need a good marketing campaign but I have seen people recommend certain stumbles through Facebook and a good find on the web can spread like wildfire.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Digg - My thoughts, its purpose, and business uses.

I used to be a Digger before I found Reddit. Digg, before v4, was a user submitted news site which had users either "digging" or "burying" submissions. Those that were liked received a digg and those that were not received a bury. Essentially, whichever stories were receiving the most diggs would be front page. Digg was very unstable during the transition from v3 to v4, which displeased many users. With the implementation of v4 Digg went from user submitted news to publisher created stories and links with some user submitted news. Many users saw this as straying away from the core of what Digg was supposed to be.

Today Digg can be used to find interesting news stories and can be integrated with Facebook connect. The stories on Digg can be broken down into categories, such as business and gaming. Digg is meant to spread news through social media, and it does its job.

Businesses can use Digg to see how people are reacting to news that may be happening in their industry or even with their company and use those reactions to gauge what steps the company should be taking next. Businesses can also follow certain publishers that may be useful to their industry and gain an insight into current events. Other categories, such as technology could even help businesses expand their operations and stay on top of new advances in technology that could help advance the businesses.

Monday, June 6, 2011

LinkedIn - My thoughts, its purpose, and its business uses.

I have been on LinkedIn for the past few years. When I had my internship with Therma-Tru, most people there had accounts on the site. I was encouraged to create one as well due to the fact that many of my coworkers wanted to keep in touch with me in a professional yet social manner. I found the site easy to use and liked the fact that the site was able to pull information off of my resume without having to have me type out all that information again. I have not had to use LinkedIn to contact any prospective employers and have used it sparingly, but always try to keep it up to date. In the future, I plan on looking to LinkedIn to see if any of my contacts have positions open in their companies that I might want to look into.

LinkedIn is a business related social site. It allows coworkers or contacts to stay in touch in a professional manner. It also allows for recommendations that others can see and lists that persons contacts. It opens new doors for people and takes networking in the business world past business cards. It allows people who may have not met, but may have a professional relationship with one person they both know, and possibly start a new business suiting both. Some people may even have recommendations sent to someone over LinkedIn due to its convenience and professional setup. I know past employers have said they look on LinkedIn for potential candidates which really changes the landscape of job searching. Instead of waiting a week to hear back on a resume that was mailed, someone can send a resume and hear back by that afternoon or sooner from prospective employers.

Businesses looking for help can see who is reliable and trustworthy by checking their LinkedIn before interviewing them. Much time can be saved by screening on LinkedIn before interviewing candidates. If they have amazing recommendations, they may even skip a round of interviews, one never knows. A business can also have employees writing positive things about their place of work, making the business more desirable to work for in the eyes of LinkedIn users. The site has over 100 million users and with numbers like that, I'm sure many great workers can be found for companies willing to look.

Check out my LinkedIn profile here.