The Stereotypes of Marketers

A couple of months ago my company bookkeeper commented to a web designer, “You know marketers are good liars.” Now, I can be characterized as knowing all the stereotypes associated with other jobs and careers…

Computer programmers don’t speak and have no interests (although one at my office does have a Music degree and is to appear on film in a movie starring Hilary Swank)

Project managers create Gantt Charts all day, walk around with pencils behind their ears, and expect people to follow their orders (although one at my office used to be a theater actor, has a great open personality, and works extremely long days with no pencils behind his ears)

Accountants sit quietly and crunch numbers (although the bookkeeper at my office has a gregarious laugh, and it could be argued, rarely quiet. Yes, this was the person that commented ‘Marketers are liars.’) Read more

Turn it Off, Then Turn it On, Again

How many instruction manuals actually tell you to “turn the device off, then on again” for it to work? Why is it that mechanical and electrical devices have minds of their own? When they are overheated why is the solution often so simple as to ‘turning them off, then turning them on’ again, when the devices themselves are so complex?

A Good Idea Goes a Long Way

How would you like generate a boat load of traffic to your web site without filling someone else’s boat with money to do it?  Well, it could be just as simple as coming up with the right idea. Or to be more specific, an idea that people will talk about.

We all stand around the water cooler talking about the latest neat thing we heard about on the radio or that a friend mentioned to us. Maybe it is a product, service or just something funny that was on TV the night before. But what if that water cooler was actually a complex social network that connected with thousands of other people? Suddenly what you thought was interesting is being discussed all around the world. Then somewhere along the line all of these people stumble across a web site, video or some sort of content that is related to this topic of interest. Suddenly links to that content start popping up all over the place. As a result traffic to the web site that is hosting that content goes through the roof and prominence in search results increases. Now what if you happened to have that content of interest on your web site? That would not be so bad, would it?

So how exactly does something spread like wildfire through these social networks? Well first, there needs to be that good idea. This idea does not have to be groundbreaking. In fact it could even be something that seems downright silly. But what it needs to be is something that people will talk about and more importantly send to other people online. So long as it generates some sort of buzz or interest, then the word will start to spread. This interest can be the result of something people find humorous, silly or even controversial.

Recently we had the pleasure of developing an online contest for KFC Canada’s website, which was able to reap the benefits of this phenomenon. The contest was tied into a promotion for their new spicy Wicked Crunch Sandwich. In the contest a video shows a fictional heavy metal band playing on stage. The singer in the band screams over the music and ends the song by breathing fire. They then cut to a shot of him backstage taking a bite out of a Wicked Crunch, to which he states, “Oh man that is hot.” That may or may not seem humorous to you. However, due to the fact that a company such as KFC chose to use a dark, leather and spikes heavy metal band in their contest, it was deemed a rather bold move by many people. Because of this bold move, people online started talking about the contest, posting links to it and even clips of the video started popping up on YouTube. Suddenly contest submissions started increasing and went from a couple hundred a day to thousands. In addition to that, the contest page on the KFC web site started showing up prominently in search results. All thanks to the interest generated by the links back to the KFC site from numerous blogs and message boards.

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Optimize your website for search engines to find

I was recently flying in from Boston when I noticed my native West Pubnico from the air, clearly distinctive because of its 17 power-generating windmills, and I remarked how it reminded me of looking at Google Earth on my computer.

Then, it occurred to me how strange a thought this was: that reality was reminding me of a virtual image rather than the other way around. It was life imitating illustration, if you will.

That’s pretty much the way it is. Our sense of reality is becoming viewed more and more through the lens of the Internet, and this is something you need to take seriously if you’re depending on your website to carry your message.

Many people think that all you need to do is create a website and people will find it. That’s akin to printing stacks of marketing brochures and putting them in a warehouse, hoping someone will stumble upon them.

Others think that registering their website with search engines will do the trick. That would be like putting an ad in a few newspapers telling people where they can go to get your brochures.

Still others feel that if you put in enough keywords, then that will make your website popular. It will definitely help, but it’s far from the full story.

If not done correctly, it will hurt more than help. Why? Because search engines don’t like to be tricked. If the keywords don’t match the content and follow search engine rules, then the search engines may downgrade the site in their listings.

But help is available. There is a whole industry around making sure your website gets found by the right people via search engines, a process called search engine optimization. Here are some of the important facets of search engine optimization:

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Aging

My birthday was a few weeks ago, and although I wouldn’t necessarily say that ‘I am old’…. the aging process I am not liking. Wait, no, this is not going to be one of those female rampages. I can live with getting older, even though I don’t like it. I really can. There are other people out there older than me… But, what to do with your aging hardware?

The Apple Blog Forum, at http://forums.theappleblog.com/general-banter/484-what-do-you-do-old-technology/, actually had quite an interesting discussion about it. Everything from reselling to analyzing radio telescope data (SETI). Very interesting.

Why not donate them to the South West Vintage Television Museum? Maybe your own local museum will take them in. Technology does age faster than humans.