Greg Magnus

AIM Custom Media Websites Blogs Glen Allen, VA 23059

Month: September 2006 (page 1 of 2)

USB Chargable Batteries Are Coming

Thanks to Read/Write Web, we just learned of an incredible new battery.

Simon Daniel, the CEO of Moixa Energy, introduced his company’s new invention to an audience at DEMOfall; a battery called USBCell that charges from any USB port. There are billions of USB ports in desktops and laptops, which you can use to recharge these environmentally friendly, and very smart, batteries. To learn more about the batteries and the company behind this great invention, visit: USBCell.

TechCrunch.com has an extended write-up of the companies and products at DEMOfall.

DEMOfall is taking place in San Diego and it is one of the premier launch venues for new products, technologies and companies. DEMO has established a reputation for identifying and presenting the products most likely to have a significant impact on the marketplace and market trends in the coming year.

[tags] USBCell, USB batteries, Moixa Energy, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

RSS Reader for Outlook Tracks Business Info

If you’re addicted to Outlook and you like free plug-ins, take a look at the release of Attensa’s version 2.0 for Outlook. The plug-in is a secure RSS reader designed for business users. It tracks and monitors your reading habits, then adjusts the presentation of business info from websites and blogs automatically. The plug-in also gives you the ability to play audio and video files inside Outlook.

Last week we discussed hypertargeting and the shift in power from the “advertiser” to the customer. This development in RSS reading technology once again shifts power; this time from the “publisher” to the consumer. Everyday the consumer, whether consuming content or ads, is gaining more and more power to choose.

To reach your target audience in 2007, you must understand this shift in power and adjust your marketing strategy accordingly. The importance of relevant and compelling content in your communications can not be overstressed.

Hat tip to TechCrunch.com for alerting us to Attensa’s developments (read their post).

[tags] Attensa, Outlook RSS Reader, Outlook plug-in, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Site Offers FREE Sample Bus Plans | eoecho

As a volunteer business advisor for SCORE, I meet with entrepreneurs that are looking for business plan resources. Here’s one that provides “Free Sample Business Plans.” Pay particular attention to the management and marketing sections of the plans. Also, you don’t need more than 8-10 pages for your business plan; it isn’t an operational plan. Stay focused on the big picture.

The following link provides a list of 60 free sample business plans:

Sample Business Plans and Business Plan Examples – Bplans.com

[tags] free business plans, business plans, business resources, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

WordPress Trackbacks – Plugin for Pages

Adding static “pages” to your WordPress blog increases your blog traffic. Well written content with long-term “staying power” is the key. A good page includes topics that are always fresh; the history of a subject, resources for beginners or researchers, etc.

As pointed out on Masterslate.org, the opportunity to include trackbacks on WordPress pages isn’t a default option. This WordPress plugin allows content creators to:

  • Send Trackbacks & pings from the Write Page & Manage Page interfaces.

You can download and install the plugin in literally minutes – it was one of the easiest plugins I ever installed.

[tags] WordPress plugins, trackbacks for pages, masterslate.org, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Web 2.0 – Emerging Trends

Whether you refer to it as Web 2.0 or second generation Internet, the collaboration and sharing of information in new ways is rapidly changing our world. Several trends have emerged and new trends are rapidly emerging:

Web Applicaitons
The enhanced user-experience afforded by Ajax coupled with the growth of high-speed Internet connections has prompted the development of web sites that mimic tried and true PC applications, such as MS Office (i.e., word processing, spreadsheets, and slide-show presentations). A few examples available now include:

Social Networking
It goes without saying that social networking is one of the hottest trends on the Internet today and new sites are being created daily. Examples of popular sites include:

Mashups
Mashups are services that combine content from several sources and, subsequently, present the combined information in a unique manner. With respect to Mashups, almost anything goes: Video (Virtual Videomap), real estate (Turlia) and Google Maps are all used as Mashups in one way or another (numerous examples can be found). A popular blog dedicated to mashups is Mashable.com

Additional Trends to Watch

  • Internet Television (IP TV)
  • Mobile Content, Advertising and Gaming
  • User Generated Content (already leading the growth of the top Internet brands)
  • Public Wifi (entire cities open to wireless access, 24/7 access no matter where you are)

More Info
There is an excellent interview series on Read/WriteWeb about venture capitalists (VCs) and their thoughts on ‘next generation web’. Their aim is to find out what Web technology trends and products VCs are tracking and provide tips/advice for Web developers and entrepreneurs. Read the post at: VCs on Web Technology: Judy Gibbons from Accel

ExtremeTech.com: Can Zoho’s Web 2.0 Office Beat Microsoft?

ProgrammableWeb.com: 100 Shopping Mashups

Nielsen/NetRatings tracks Internet trends:
Nielsen/NetRatings Top 10 Social Networking Sites Chart

What trends are you encountering? Comment below.

[tags] Web 2.0 trends, Internet trends, social networking, mashups, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Hypertargeting – Advertiser’s Dream or a Consumer’s Nightmare?

During the mid-1950’s, Salvador Dali painted “The Disintegration of the Persistence of Memory.” If alive today, Dali might be painting “The Disintegration of Privacy.”

Marketers already know where you shop and what you buy, but soon they’ll have an endless supply of data gleaned from the Internet, your mobile phone, and your cable TV.

For example, mobile phone companies have the technology to deliver ads to you based on where you are at any time. “Hey Sam, while you’re on Main Street stop in and grab take-out at the Olive Garden. We’re less than a block away! Tell them Mobile Mac sent you and receive 10 percent off your order for the next 20 minutes. Press 1 to call ahead or 2 to see the menu.” Hopefully, we’ll have the option to “press 3 and this ad will self destruct.”

What’s Next?
Data collection based on the websites individuals visit, what blogs they leave comments on, and tidbits of precious profile information more than a 100 million people left with Yahoo, AOL, MySpace, or MSN. These are just a few among countless other web resources that are in the process of being mined.

With the prolific creation and subsequent collection of consumer data, it is clearly possible to achieve an unprecedented level of target marketing. But should that continue to be the focus for marketing professionals?

In today’s Ad Age Digital email newsletter (Sept. 12, 2006), Gerard Broussard offers his view that, “… marketers should pay close attention to emerging digital platforms because they provide a trail of electronic bread crumbs to help identify and track consumers’ media behavior. A high degree of addressability will create greater targeting precision than ever before and holds the potential to morph standard media targeting into hypertargeting.”

Broussard goes on to state, “…Comcast and Cablevision, indicated they would like to offer household-level hypertargeting in key test markets by late 2006 or early 2007. Some are working through privacy issues relating to subscriber information they will make available for targeting specific homes. Once a single cable company throws its hat in the ring, the rest will follow quickly.”

Has technology brought about a marketing paradigm shift? You bet. Will hypertargeting become all the rage in 2007? It already has, but the lose of consumer privacy doesn’t mean that consumers will lose control.

Everyone agrees that rapid advances in technology have changed your ability to precisely target your audience. And, more importantly, there has been a significant shift in power from the advertiser to the customer. The consumer, now more than ever, has the power to choose.

What is more important; hypertargeting your market or the shift in power to the customer?
The paradigm shift resides in the understanding that the consumer is now, and likely forever more, in control. The rising tide of consumer choice coupled with customer-to-customer conversation is outpacing the collection and manipulation of consumer data. The key resides in understanding that the customer can choose the messages he or she would like to encounter.

Focusing on the content of your message, consistent across all media channels, is more important now than ever. Content, and not the target audience, is and will always be King. The right audience for a particular product or service knows who they are and social networks will spread the good word. In the near future, consumers will possess full control to choose the messages they want to receive, digest, and disseminate.

You’ll come up short if you believe hypertargeting is in itself the answer; your prospect will just change to another media channel where they have the option to choose.

Hypertarget the media channels that offer your target customer’s the opportunity to choose. You’ll know your target market is reading your message, because they independently selected to learn more about your offer. Isn’t this the ultimate goal?

[tags] hypertargeting, multi-channel marketing, target-marketing, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Ajax Defined – What is it and where to find more info

Yes, Ajax is a household product your Mom used to clean the sink. But in the Web 2.0 world, Ajax stands for “Asynchronous JavaScript and XML.” The term does not represent a technology itself. It is the combination of technologies that enhance the usability, speed, and interactivity of web pages.

Ajax represents a fundamental shift in the methods used by programmers to deliver web applications.

What does Ajax do?
In layman’s terms, Ajax uses the power of the “client” computer (your computer) to quickly provide all types of data. Using Ajax techniques allows small amounts of data to be delivered to your computer without the need for a full page refresh, which requires more resources and takes longer. Common uses include updating or deleting records, expanding web forms, simple search queries, and retrieving text.

Digg.com and Google Maps are two of a seemingly endless number of sites now using Ajax techniques.

Additional Resources

Ajax: a new approach to web applications
Feb. 2005: The term “Ajax” was coined by Jesse James Garner of Adaptive Path. The link above takes you to his site where you will find a comprehensive description of Ajax.

Ajax Tutorial – this site provides an extensive collection of Ajax info for the tech savvy.

Ajax on Wiki – exhaustive definition, history, and additional Ajax resources (tech heavy).

[tags] Ajax, Ajax tutorial, Adaptive Path, Digg.com, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Google Alternative – Blog Revenue

After reading about AdBrite, I decided to give it a try on my AMG Mercedes-Benz | Enthusiasts blog. Similar to Google, AdBrite allows you to choose between text and image ads, tracks clicks, and displays results. Setup was unusually simple and quick.

If you use AdBrite, let me know if it is working for you. Tips for using it?

[tags] AdBrite, Blog revenue, text ads, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

Photo Sharing Sites Reviewed

If Zooomr, Photobucket, Flickr, or Shutterfly mean anything to you, check out Read/Write’s review of photo sharing space (link provided below). Written by Alex Iskold and edited by Richard MacManus, this faceoff review compares features and discusses a few of the pros and cons for each service. It is a great read for anyone just starting their quest for a photo sharing space on the web.

For my photo sharing I use Flickr, which is owned by Yahoo. It is one of the most popular sites, offers loads of features, and it isn’t that hard to set up. The reveiw authors at Read/Write believe Flickr can be difficult for the non-techie to set up; I disagree, it was pretty easy to get it up and running.

Here’s the link to the full review by Alex and Richard:
The Web Photo Sharing Site Faceoff

PS: Make sure you read the comments to the review, there are a few things they forgot while compiling their review.

[tags] photo sharing sites, photo sharing review, Flickr, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

OK Go, Low-Budget Video Sets Record – 9 Million Downloads

Unless you’re a YouTube junkie you probably never heard of OK Go, but the Chicago rock band has made history. The band’s ultra-low-budget video clip, “A Million Ways,” is currently the most-downloaded music video of all time – over 9 million downloads.

What affect does this have on business? Social networking sites such as YouTube, MySpace, LinkedIn, and others are drastically changing the landscape for marketing pros.

You might want to re-think that 2007 marketing plan if it doesn’t include social networking and marketing channels such as blogs.

The number of blogs, as recorded by Technorati, is doubling every six months (see graph and more details). Serving up a static website to your prospects and clients is like handing them last month’s newspaper; thanks, but I’d prefer today’s news. And, they’ll get it. Will you?

Here’s the record video by OK Go:

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This Advertising Age article is a Q&A session with the band OK Go:
Advertising Age – Digital – YouTube Success Rockets Band to Fame

This is a direct link to OK Go’s video, “A Million Ways” on YouTube.

[tags] Social networking, OK Go Video, record downloads, Advertising Age, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

No. of Blogs Doubles Every Six Months

Last week I listened in on a webinar hosted by MarketTools (sponsored by Zoomerang). The topic, “Consumer Led Innovation: Harnessing the Power of Online Content and Communities for Breakthrough Ideas.” The MarketTools presentation included far too much “self-promo” for my tastes, but the background info was informative nonetheless.

The graph below showing the growth of blogs tracked by Technorati was one of the presentation slides. If you’re still sitting on the sidelines wondering if a blog is right for your company, consider why the number of blogs keeps growing at such a rapid pace:

  1. Effective means of presenting your ideas to your existing clients
  2. Ability to inform your prospects that you are an expert in your field
  3. Increased search engine results (SEO) for your websites linked to your blog
  4. Effective means of obtaining honest, straightforward feedback from your clients
  5. Publishing platform for your articles, press releases, and industry trends
  6. The list goes on

Growth of Blogs - Technorati

(Click on the graph for a larger view)

[tags] blog growth, social networking, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

AMA Fall Marketing Workshop

AMA Fall Marketing Workshop
October 23-26, 2006
Sheraton San Diego – San Diego, CA

This event for marketing professionals offers you the opportunity to design a customized program that most benefits your needs and marketing objectives.

With over 20 presentations to choose from, including tracks specializing in the latest in strategic marketing, CRM, branding and customer satisfaction/value/loyalty you can create your own schedule to meet your personal objectives.

For more info, visit AMA Fall Marketing Workshop

[tags] AMA Fall Workshop, Marketing, seminars, eoecho.com, eoecho [/tags]

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