Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Web Secret#264: Vsnap

Imagine that you could easily record a very short (under 60 seconds) message and easily send this message to your individual clients/customers/contacts.

A brand new website/app called Vsnap does just that.

Vsnap is so simple that it only takes a 60 second Vsnap to explain it:

There is no software to download, nothing tech to learn.

Imagine wishing your client happy birthday, welcoming a new patient into your practice, reminding someone of an event.

I wish everything was as simple as Vsnap.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Web Secret #263: Social Media in 2013

Social media expert Jeff Bullas recently posted his 2013 21 Awesome Social Media Facts, Figures and Statistics.

Here is my Cliffs Notes version:


The number of people accessing the Internet via a mobile phone increased by 60.3% to 818.4 million in the last 2 years.

Facebook - first quarter of 2013

Daily active users have reached 665 million
Monthly active users have passed 1.1 billion for the first time

Twitter - is the fastest growing social network in the world by active users

44% growth from June 2012 to March 2013
288 million monthly active users
21% of the world’s internet population are using Twitter every month
Fastest growing age demographic is 55 to 64 year olds


1 billion unique monthly visitors
6 billion hours of videos are watched every month
YouTube reaches more U.S. adults ages 18-34 than any cable network

LinkedIn - the largest professional business network on the planet continues to grow but not at the pace of Twitter.

Over 200 million users
2 new users join it every second
64% of users are outside the USA


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Web Secret #262: Social Media Marketing in Times of Tragedy

In my non iWebU life, I am the web editor for an international professional association.

This means that every day, several PR companies send me e-mails that say, "Please publish my article on "______________." Sample recent submission: "GET FROM THE BEDROOM TO THE BOARDROOM - How to use your skills in sex and dating to score your dream job."

You can't make this stuff up.

So it is rare, and I mean VERY rare, to get an appropriate article from a PR firm. But there are always exceptions and  "Social Media Marketing in Times of Tragedy" (author Marsha Friedman,) is one of them.

Marsha asks:

"If you’re using social media for marketing, what should you say following a tragedy like the deadly blasts at the Boston Marathon on April 15?

The horrific elementary school shootings in Newtown, Conn.?

The October storm that took lives and devastated communities across the Northeast?"

Her answer: "Sometimes, nothing at all."

She goes on to point out: "The age of digital marketing brings with it new challenges, including how to respond during a national tragedy. Remember, as recently as Sept. 11, 2001, we had no MySpace, much less Facebook, Twitter or YouTube. Except for email, no vehicle for delivering instantaneous marketing messages existed. After 9/11, one of the most painful days in American memory, most of us had time to pause, reflect and put on hold print, radio and TV marketing campaigns that might be viewed as inappropriate or offensive."

So then when do you tie – or not  - a marketing message into the news of the day?

Marsha responds: "Usually, simply applying your own sense of decency and good taste can help you avoid a blunder. Consider American Apparel’s notorious “Hurricane Sandy Sale – in case you’re bored during the storm,” advertised as tens of thousands of people endured freezing temperatures without power."

Here are her suggestions for do’s and don’ts:

"Can you be helpful? Hours after the blasts in Boston, with cell phone service out in the city and family and friends desperately trying to connect with loved ones, launched “Person Finder: Boston Marathon Explosions.” There, individuals and organizations could share information about the status of marathon participants and spectators for those trying to find them.

If your community has suffered a tragic event, perhaps you have helpful information to share. Here in Florida, which is affected by hurricanes, people use social media to help evacuees and their pets find shelter, and to alert others to danger, such as downed power lines. Depending on your area of expertise, you may be able to provide more general information or commentary. For instance, an educator can share tips for answering children’s questions about the event.

Of course, social media is also about reactions and, for many, that’s a sincere expression of sympathy for and unity with those affected.

If you want to post something and you’re unsure about what to say, take a look at what businesses and other brands are sharing, and how online users are reacting. You may decide to just say nothing for a day or two, or whatever time seems reasonable given the nature of the event.

Sometimes, saying nothing at all speaks volumes."


Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Web Secret #261: Kickstarter

This blog post is guaranteed to make you smile.

Back in 2010, I introduced you to Crowd Accelerated Innovation, the concept of using the global reach and the speed of the Internet to bring about change.

The embodiment of this kind of innovation has to be Kickstarter. And you should know about it.

What is Kickstarter?
"Kickstarter is an American-based private for-profit company founded in 2009 that provides tools to raise funds for creative projects via crowd funding through its website. Kickstarter has funded a diverse array of endeavors, ranging from indie films, music, stage shows and comics to journalism, video games and food-related projects. People cannot invest in Kickstarter projects to make money. They can only back projects in exchange for a tangible reward or one-of-a-kind experience, like a personal note of thanks, custom T-shirts, dinner with an author, or initial production run of a new product."
Thank you, Wikipedia.

Need some concrete examples? Here are some Kickstarter success stories from 2012:

"Incident in New Baghdad," a documentary short film was nominated for an Oscar. (They asked for $7,850 and got $11,960.)

Fubar, a Zombie World War II anthology made the NY Times best seller list. (They asked for $3,000 and got $6,000.)

Athens, Georgia raised money to create a beautiful bus stop. (They asked for $2,500 and raised $3,000.)

Darksky, a weather prediction app, (down-to-the-minute weather prediction for your exact location,) was launched. (They asked for $35,000 and raised $39,000.)

A Kickstarter funded opera premiered at the Kennedy Center. (They asked for $10,000 and got it.)

From art, to urban renewal projects, to scientific innovation - people like you and me, are making them happen.

Are you smiling yet?