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Archive for the ‘Internet News’ Category

Technology is not more important than real life

Wednesday, November 18th, 2009

Don’t get me wrong, I’m a techno-geek of the purest kind, but I’m a marketer first. The marketer part of me puts a heavy emphasis on human interaction and relationships. My focus on technology is about how people connect to each other, just through a online medium instead of face-to-face. But at the end of the day, for me and for my clients, its about personal relationships and how those translate into business.

That’s why I was floored when I read an article last night put out on the BBC tech feed. The article was called Action needed’ on internet bullying. I have to admit, my first response was anger.

I grew up in a somewhat small town, less than a hundred kids in my class in middle school. I moved there from a bigger city, with nearly one thousand kids in my class. Being an army brat and moving a ton, meeting new people was no problem. In fact, I looked forward to my new residence and friends. Instead, I was ostracized, ignored, made fun of, abused on my bus, enough where my parents finally removed me from the school and sent me to a private academy.

I do not hold a grudge though, in the end, I got to go to a fantastic school with amazing teachers. And I’m aware that kids are meanest during middle school. However, where were the articles talking about bullying then? I don’t remember ever reading an article like this one. Does it matter less because harmful teasing has gone on since the beginning of time?

I’m not saying that online bullying doesn’t happen, or isn’t a problem, but I think the root of the problem is that kids are mean. This isn’t an online phenomenon, its a fact of life. Deal with the REAL problem. Don’t make it out to be some internet-age disease that only the new generation experiences. If you make websites have certain standards of behavior, you better apply those same rules to schools.

Technology should come second. Its real life that matters more.

What are your thoughts about the BBC article and online bullying?

Image by kevindooley

Marketing: Obvious Gimmicks that Still Work

Monday, November 9th, 2009

There are some marketing efforts that just fall into the category of Gimmicks. Marketers use these cheap little “tricks”  to get an action out of people (purchase, share, whatever). These tricks range from taste-testing products to sappy stories made for a few heart-string tugs. Most of us are aware of these gimmicks. We allow them work on us occasionally, but usually we ignore them.

However, there’s a reason that these marketing tactics have endured. Sometimes, they work.

Twitter gives us a great example of a gimmick not only used by marketers but by parents of four-year-olds as well. You’ve probably even said it to someone in the pas month. It goes like this, you tell someone “don’t” when you actually mean “do”. In other words you tell people to do the opposite of what you want them to do, in hopes that they’ll do it just because you said not to.

Twitter hopes by saying don’t do it! More people will tweet and blog about their new Lists.

I’m sure you’ve gotten this little message on your twitter page. I’m not going to talk about lists because Twitter got exactly what they wanted, there’s a million blog posts covering it. But do check out the little highlighted section on Twitter’s notice.

Yeah, Twitter, way to use the oldest trick in the book.Oh and congrats, since its apparently working.

So what DO you think of Twitter lists? If you blogged about it, feel free to share.

Twitter and Grassroots

Friday, April 24th, 2009

No one is arguing anymore about the power of Twitter. After Ashton Kutcher’s showdown with CNN and the appearance of Oprah, Twitter has pretty much hit mainstream. However, its not often that a company gets to feel part of something even bigger.

We’ve done some consulting and design work for the Dallas County Young Republicans, and run their Twitter account. The DCYR took a keen interest in supporting the muchblogged Tax Day Tea Parties. Here’s what WFAA has to say:

I got some time during the filming (which took way longer than I realized it would) to chat with David Schechter about what he thought of Twitter, personally. He told me the potential for having twitter and traditional news work together was incredible and he was excited to be a part of it. We’re excited to be a part of it too.

If you are interested in using social media to further your business or movement, Veribatim is offering a number of classes right now in the Dallas area and we’d be happy to send you more information:

New Dirt on Facebook Pages

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Big news on Facebook! No, its not more user-agreement debates, its Facebook Pages! The main thing to know is that Facebook wants your business to have a page with similar features to your profile. So here’s the dirt.

The Highlights

  • Enhanced Wall: Now you can share content to your Facebook Page Wall. (Much like profiles now, any video, photo, action will be posted there. Soon it will also show up on your Fans’ newsfeed!
  • Statuses: Like Twitter’s “What are you doing?” Facebook allows you to post a status. Businesses will now be able to share what they are “doing” as well!
  • Tabs: Profiles now have tabs with different organized information such as Info, Wall, and so on. Now your business can have Info, Wall and Photos provided by you and your fans.
  • Analytics Tools: Wanna know who is viewing your feed? How many comments you get on each post? Facebook plans to make measuring tools available. They’ll be called “Insight Tools”. Spiffy huh?
  • Boxes Tab: This is a tab specifically for applications. Examples of applications are: Discussion boards, Videos, Reviews, Photos, Events, and FTML (Facebook HTML) to create whatever you want for those of us with programmer tendencies.

Quick and Dirty
Pro: Woah! That’s a lot better than a mostly static page with a wall. Awesomeness.

Con: OMG, the pages I’m fans of are going to spam me constantly.

Tips on Growing

Get in on all this new Facebook Page-y Goodness. Go read the full pdf about all the new features and start getting yourself out there. But resist the temptation to use your Facebook page like a Twitterfeed for your business. Use this to encourage interaction, not stifle your fan and followers. As with all things in life, everything in moderation.

Have you started using the new Facebook Page features? What do you think?
Image by hoyasmeg

Dallas Internet Marketing

Monday, March 9th, 2009

We’re excited to share that we’ve been mentioned in an article as one of the top 10 Internet Marketing companies in Dallas.

Neil Lemons at Level Ten Web Design wrote an article last Thursday discussing the popularity of internet marketing. There are thousands of searches being done every day using the key term “internet marketing”. So obviously, someone is looking for our services. We’re just happy that a huge company like LevelTen thinks that we’re doing all right. Thanks Neil!

Image by eecue

Twitter Proves Its Worth

Friday, November 28th, 2008

p>If you have been keeping up with what’s gone on in Mumbai you have probably heard about the impact social media is having on how the news is spread. Twitter especially has gotten a lot of attention. It is unfortunate that such a abhorrent act of terror is what is takes to prove to the world the power of this tool, but now there is no denying it. I won’t add more, many other blogs have eloquently called for action and more have started funds and help sites. I agree with my whole heart: this is the reason for social media.

There should be no place for terrorism in this world.

Keep those affected by the tragedy in Mumbai in you thoughts during this holiday season. For up-to-date twitters on the situation go here.

Image by blogger/twitter Arun Shanbhag.


Tuesday, September 23rd, 2008

Usually my posts are of a more general nature but since our company is located in Dallas, I feel it is my duty to promote an awesome new resource for Dallas: Dallogy.

Dallogy is a blog site started by Matthew Rogers, who also organizes an awesome SEO meetup. The site is the combined project of everyone involved in the Dallas Interactive Marketing meetup and its goal is to be the premiere place for Dallas Technology.

The site is just getting started but it reviews the Denton Jelly, Free Software Day and the Start-Up Tech Happy Hour with Alexander Muse. The site allows anyone to contribute after a simple registration, so you can post your own tech events and news. The site also lists different tech businesses in the Dallas area and other tech meetings.

Dallas has long been on the verge of an explosion in the tech-industry. Now more than ever, sites like Dallogy are important to help everyone keep up-to-date with the wealth of events and information out there.

So stop by, list an event and show your support for the internet central of Dallas tech: Dallogy.

Term of the Day: Bliki

Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

Yup, its exactly what is sounds like, a blog and a wiki all in one magical place. A bliki allows you to write in a blog setting but provides community to go with it. Your readers can blog along with you, respond, edit, change, link… its all there in one place. I think a bliki really reminds me of a forum (remember those?) with a blog-twist.

Some of the above graphic may look a little daunting but overall it shows that you can have blogs, user pages, wiki-type definitions, and more. Its a neat little tool that for some people will be very useful. If you like a lot of feedback and get motivated by discussion, a bliki may be the answer for you.

Cynthia Wunsch, classical musician and voice-teacher extraordinaire, has a bliki: the Unlikely Entrepeneur, that I have had the opportunity to collaborate on. This is a great example of a bliki just starting. Check her out, not only does she have some great content, but she is an awesome example of a business that isn’t usually associated with technology stepping out and making the internet work for them.

Side Note: A bliki is also something great to get involved with, even if you aren’t the owner of one. A bliki can give you an opportunity to promote your website (if it is applicable to the theme of the bliki), as well as linking to your site through a userpage. Just like commenting on a blog, being actively involved in a bliki may bring you traffic if you are making thoughtful and appropriate comments.


Wednesday, July 30th, 2008

p>You know exactly the kind of site I’m talking about: 5 minute intro, loud repetitive music, no where to click through to the information you are doing a quick web search for: Flasher sites. Over all, there is nothing wrong with flash, it can be a beautiful addition to a website but like all things, moderation is the key.

Flash is one of those things many businesses want on their site because “it looks cool”. But flash has reputation for being inappropriate to the website’s content and annoying to its viewers. Also, flash was impossible to optimize. So if you had any text built into your website that you wanted search engines to find, it was a nightmare to program.

However, in July, Adobe released a product that should make Flash websites searchable. This is good news for Flashers but many web designers are less than thrilled. So my small warning is, Flash is the spice of a website but its your content and overall presentation that make your sale. Keep this in mind when you’re designing your site and remember, no one likes a Flasher.

Plurk: Follow Up and Follow Through

Tuesday, July 1st, 2008

When I first wrote about my experiences with Plurk, the social media site was still very new, and I had only been toying with it for a few days. Now that its been a month, I wanted to write a follow up post.

Plurk and Twitter: The Continued Saga

Everyday I see someone on Plurk post a blog or other entry comparing Plurk and Twitter. Overall, most of the social media savvy say that the two websites are very different and not comparable.

Bitter Twitter

Are Twitter users boycotting Plurk? Its a rumor in Plurkland. Obviously, not everyone will like Plurk. The rapid pace and disjointed time line can be more than one ADD person can handle. However, many Twitter users are trying plurk on for size. The Twitter community is full of techies and early adopters, most of them will at least use Plurk before they knock it.


It is true, that many “Tweeple” have left Twitter in favor of Plurk. I do not believe Plurk is stealing Twitter user. Many people have become fed up with Twitter’s lack-of reliability and were bound to leave anyhow. Plurk just happened to offer a vibrant, similar experience.

Plurk has many of Twitter’s good points. In fact, users often grow to love (and obsess) over their Plurkiness. Will the utopia of Plurk last? Maybe. Plurk grew quite rapidly the past few weeks and though it hasn’t experienced anything like Twitter’s Failwhale, there have been a number of small glitches. Is it due to over-capacity? Or is the Plurk team working hard to prevent the problems Plurk developed? Its hard to say.

Plurk Fever

Over the past month I plurked a few questions to take Plurk’s temperature, so to speak. At the beginning of June I asked how people felt about the service. I asked a similar question last week. Some of the answered varied in that period of time, for example:
June 5th:

And then on June 23rd:

Many people who plurk regularly think website takes up a lot of time and becomes addicting. But more people toward the end of the month felt like they had adjusted to plurking reguarly and were enjoying it. Some commented that the interface took time to adjust to (I felt the same way). But overall, Plurkers feel positive about Plurk.

Plurking: Serious Business

I’d like to end on how I think businesses can benefit from Plurk. After discussing business ideas with an internet postcard company, I realized how much they could benefit from plurking about their concept. Most plurkers are early-adopters and many of them have a business closely tied to the internet. So if your business can be marketed to knowledgeable internet users, welcome to your perfect market! Plurk, at the moment, is mostly a niche market. Not all companies have the time to devote to social media as it is, and would not be able to build relationships with other Plurkers. But if you use the internet on a regular basis and so do your clients… isn’t one of the keys to marketing, go where your clients are?

If you have also written an article about Plurk please put a link in the comments. I love reading other Plurkers views.