Archive for June, 2011
Yesterday and today many of my fellow bloggers in the social media/online marketing space were abuzz about Google+. I was contemplating whether to add my slightly informed two cents to the discussion when I opened my browser. The home page is the New York Times and there, in a banner ad, one day after Google+ launched, was an invitation to demo the also new Google Voice for the desktop.
I was so excited! Google Voice on my Droid is a great fave. It’s so much easier to speak my queries than to try to type them into the tiny browser pane on a phone – especially sitting at red lights. Granted voice search on mobile can be tricky at times, but what the mike hears – compared to what you’re actually searching for can be amusing – if not downright laugh-worthy.
Thinking about it for a moment, I wasn’t sure that voice search would be as valuable at my desk, since the typing thing isn’t as challenging as on mobile. It probably won’t help in multi-tasking as I can’t interrupt a phone call to speak search terms into a mike, but nonetheless I decided to give it a try right away.
All I needed for my demo was the latest version of the Google Chrome browser, which I already have downloaded and which I use sometimes – not always. When I do use it, I’m always bemused by the fact that the Start Internet button on Chrome has the MSN butterfly logo and when you click it, it brings up a big Bing search window. Is this Google generosity? I don’t know.
Anyhow, the instructions for demo-ing Google Voice were to go to Google.com, make sure your microphone is on and click on the microphone icon in the search pane.
I decided to test drive voice search with a search for the restaurant where I’m meeting a friend later. I didn’t remember the full name but we call it by the abbreviation, Sails. It’s named for the boating community of RowaytonConnecticutwhere it’s located. Can you see what’s coming??
After I clicked the mike icon, the ‘Speak Now’ thingy (the high tech name for it of course) activated and I said “Sails Rowayton.”
The results came up with variations on: Sales in Rowayton andNorwalk.
OK. Time to adjust. So I tried again with ‘Sails Restaurant Rowayton.”
Again I got a lot of stuff around Sales and some restaurant related results.
Then I thought that maybe it’s ‘Sails Grille’ so I tried that and Bingo! (not Bing Oh) I got results for “Sails American Grille Rowayton CT”
How funny that my first experience with Google Voice involved homonyms – sound alike/different meanings for the non-English majors. That’s trial by fire in my book. So I decided to try a less challenging search: “Norwalk Movies.”
A second after the sounds left my throat, there were the times of all the movies we might want to see after dinner at Sails. My typing-weary fingers said ‘Thank You” and fortunately Google Voice didn’t hear them and start a new search.
I don’t how useful it will ultimately be, but I kind of like speaking to the voice searcher at my desk – more than I like speaking to the devil women in voicemail menu hell. I have to admit that I actually yell at them sometimes.
I experience the voice searcher as a more generous entity, trying to help me find what I want without controlling me. We’ll get to know each other better and I’ll get better at figuring out how to get what I need from our ‘conversation.’ Maybe I’ll stick a note in Google’s suggestion box that they should hire Watson for the job. He’ll get the context and nuance. That’ll probably be the new Google launch next week.
Stay tuned. What’s your favorite new Google release?Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
As I talk to businesses about inbound marketing and read research about adoption of social media, Twitter usually ends up the least understood and least used of the social media. So, today I’m introducing a new blog feature that you’ll find here every week — if it seems that people like it.
In an effort to shed light on using Twitter, Tuesday Tweets will feature actual tweets from my Twitter stream. I’ll give you my best take on why they were effective or why they didn’t hit the mark for me. Please share any great or gruesome tweets from your own feed in the comments. It’s all in the interest of learning – and hopefully we’ll have some fun, too.
And regardless of any critiques, I believe that following any of the people or companies included here has value.
elliebpr Thanks for following Ella. Look forward to learning more about virtual assistant services. Ellie
theofficeescape [thinking of something cool for my welcome message]
Tweet 1 – This was an exchange between me and a woman who had just followed me. I checked her profile out and found that she has a virtual assistant service – something that I’m interested in knowing more about. I might even want to engage such a service – maybe hers.
I followed her back and sent a personal direct mail that specifically addressed her service. See how she DM’d back. I can tell you that I would have preferred a personal reply, in kind, rather than a cool automated welcome message that wasn’t even thought of yet. I’m still following @theofficeescape, but the point I’m making is that we have to be vigilant for actual prospects/buyers in our day-to-day Twitter interactions.
Tweet 2 – @eric_anderson is a seasoned Twitterati who I’ve been following for a long time. I liked this tweet. It was humorous and had the ring of truth for me as I’ve occasionally started watching one TED video and gotten sucked in to watching numbers of others. For that reason I resisted clicking on the link. I finally succumbed, but the thought of eating a whole can of chips made me click off after watching the one video, which was interesting.
Tweet 3 – I don’t know about you, but I find tweets that go beyond the allotted 140 characters annoying. I’m eternally interested in all things Google, which is innovating constantly. So I clicked on the link anyway. Turns out that @marketstrategy copied and pasted the first paragraph of a story on Mashable.com that’s really important. Google+ apparently turns Google into a giant social network in an effort to compete with Facebook. It seems a bit lazy not to take the opportunity to write a great headline with social value, like: Google Fights Facebook on Social Battlefield by Becoming a Social Network. Then I would have added the short link and given credit a la via @mashable. Market Strategy wasn’t too strategic in this tweet.
Tweet 4 – @chuckfrey is my new go-to guy on mind mapping – a topic I’m learning more about as a creative and productivity tool. I liked this short and to the point tweet that shared a practical way to use mind mapping. The hashtag #ktt belongs to Kitchen Table Talks, part of a venture of @chrisbrogan and @joesorge.
Tweet 5 – This tweet made me smile. Even though I don’t know who @andrea_judith is, @jaimy_marie painted a picture that I can identify with, having spent many a day in strategy sessions that needed just such a mental break. She often gives insights to her life in very relatable ways. Perfect for social.
Please pluck a tweet from your feed and give us your review!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
First, apologies. I promised this post would follow up the last with a system for online marketing. I’ll deliver that next post. Today, however, I attended an event that got me thinking about journalists and what they’re going through in the evolution of media and have some thoughts to share.
This afternoon I attended the annual meeting of the Fairfield County Public Relations Association, a PR professional organization founded in 1958. I proudly served as its president in the mid 1990’s.
Coming out of the PR profession, I’ve spent my career interacting with journalists, offering them story ideas, articles and sometimes just the camaraderie of people who make up two parts of an equation.
As much as the rise of the Internet has changed the lives of PR people, I believe it’s changed life more for journalists. I recognize that the web lets me take my clients’ stories directly to their constituents. I can bypass the media and go direct to our audiences with useful information that they will embrace.
I blog and write a monthly column for a business journal. I share with you my experience, expertise and take on what’s going on in the online marketing world. But I’m not a journalist and don’t pretend to be.
I truly hope the definition and characteristics of true journalism stay alive. Journalists are committed to reporting the facts. They vet their sources. They report on what’s going on more than they opine. They’re trained to have a nose for what’s newsworthy. So do PR people, but journalists are charged with digging to get both sides of an issue, rather than advocating for only one side of the story.
The keynote speaker for today’s meeting was Julia Hood, president of the Arthur W. Page Society, a membership organization for senior PR and corporate communications executives. Julia pointed out that PR people are supposed to advocate for our clients, despite recent crises to the contrary (i.e. Facebook/Burson-Marsteller). It’s our charge to be truthful, but not necessarily impartial. That’s the role of journalists. Nonetheless, I’ve seen fabulous reporters dumped from newsrooms as daily newspapers struggle to evolve and figure out their role. Who will take up that slack?
The incoming president of FCPRA, Marian Salzman, CEO of Euro RSCG Worldwide PR, North America pointed out rightly that, although corporate America has lagged behind, hyper-local is the current focus of people and the media that reflects their interests. Hyper local media is experimenting with combining professional and citizen journalism as a way to cover the local news, taking advantage of expanded digital platforms.
That’s interesting and it’s good that they’re employing some journalists, probably not at great pay levels. But I hope we don’t lose the desire to support the kind of skeptical, truth-seeking journalists I’ve discoursed and partnered with to get great stories out, negotiated and disagreed with over newsworthiness and whether something represented a trend, cursed out under my breath when they just didn’t get something I thought was important.
Many of these incredible pros have been riffed out of newsrooms because of downsizing. I spent time with a few today. PR leaders like Bob Dilenschneider have added some of these amazing – now former – journalists to his global PR consulting team. I am intrigued about what they in conjunction with an evolving PR profession will envision together for the future.
What they provide needs an ongoing place in our culture and our political system. It’s not melodramatic to say that they are at the heart of our democracy — moreso than any politician who claims that turf for him- or herself.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )