Google Reader and Feedly

John Jantsch is validating what I’ve been telling you for months

“If you use an RSS reader to subscribe to and read blogs (and you should) then you know what a great tool it can be to keep you up to date, well-read and inspired.

I’ve used the free Google Reader tool for a long time and love it’s simplicity. However, a reader of this blog (Rob Kirby) pointed out a very cool tool called Feedly that takes my subscriptions and creates a much better looking magazine like interface. To me better looking translates into more useful when it comes to scanning a hundred blogs or so. Feedly immediately brought all of my feeds and organization folders over from Google so set-up was instantaneous.

But that’s just the beginning. Feedly is a Firefox add-on that functions using my Google Reader account so all my Feedly activity is still saved to Google Reader. Adding blog subscriptions as simple as a click, but I can also pages I find, video, images, anything I want to bookmark and organize. I can share and email articles I find and the tool analyzes the content I seem to like and gently suggests where I might find more.” Source: A Beautiful Way to Read More Blogs | Small Business Marketing Blog from Duct Tape Marketing

Go to the source for the rest of the article! Perhaps you’ll like his version better… 😉

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Slate vs. State

Jobs vs. Obama in the ultimate ‘reality distortion field’ knockdown. Who won? The results may surprise you…

“Two events dominated discussion last week: the unveiling of Apple’s iPad and President Obama’s State of the Union address. Leading up to last Wednesday, many wondered if Apple’s event would overshadow Obama’s. On social media, that was certainly the case.

Monitoring Twitter, YouTube, Facebook, blogs and the rest, social media analysts at Viralheat found over half a million mentions of the two happenings. Those mentions were overwhelmingly related to Apple’s new tablet computer.

As the infographic explains, however, even if Apple had the buzz, Obama brought the honey. Generally, 42% of Apple’s mentions were positive and 46% were indifferent, whereas 65% of his mentions approved of Obama’s address and only 19% were indifferent.” Source: The Slate Walloped the State in Social Media – apple ipad – Gizmodo

Go to the source to read the analysis…

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Ponder this 1/30/2010

Seth Godin

Image via Wikipedia

Over the weekend, ‘while you were sleeping’ content drops off but thoughtful posts on forward thinking issues abound. ‘Ponder this’ is a collection of the best of those type of articles. Let’s start with Dan Zarella’s thoughts on contagious ideas…

“In the research I’ve been doing over the past few years into why ideas spread, I’ve found a few common characteristics of contagious ideas across mediums and centuries. The list below contains those characteristics, and while its still an evolving set, the vast majority of successful memes I’ve studied have had some (or all) of them present. I’ve also tried to include takeaways, tactics you, as a marketer can use to apply these concepts to your viral campaigns.” Source: The 8 Elements of Contagious Ideas | Dan Zarrella

Chris Brogan ponders ‘points of contact’ in this post…

“I’m seriously considering deleting my LinkedIn account, but not for anything LinkedIn did. The truth is, I feel bad that people are using the “request an introduction” feature, and that I don’t notice it for days and days and days. I’m just not active enough there, and so, I end up looking like a jerk. Besides, it’s not really working for me as a point of business, but again, not because of anything LinkedIn did. I’m just not putting effort into LinkedIn to find business, as I’m getting it from other places. ” Source: Points of Contact

Jay Conrad Levison of ‘Guerilla Marketing’ fame says that the mystique is gone and that…

“for small businesses, traditional marketing is the least effective form of marketing. It’s too expensive, linear, selfish and detached.

Instead, Levinson says that small businesses take advantage of the differences between guerrilla and traditional marketing. Differences like improved customer service and connectivity, following up after the sale, communicating ideas instead of logos and collaborating with competitors.” Source: Daily Dose – The Mystique Is Gone

Who are the people you make you great? Steve Woodruff struggles with the issue here…

“My kids make jokes about all my “virtual” friends – ha-ha, you little ingrates – the old man “gets it” better than you do! Other people pass along the standard ignorant caricatures about interacting with a bunch of people you don’t know about stuff no-one cares about. Ignoramuses. I’ll stack up my buddies against anyone you know in a heartbeat.

Making friends and creating opportunities. THAT’s what social networking is all about.

So, why do I keep not writing that post? Because it would take too long! Too many links to create. And then I’d also forget people, which is embarrassing. I’ve had the wonderful privilege of meeting so many of you at conferences, tweetups, and other meetings, that it’s almost impossible to keep up any “list.”” Source: The Post I Keep Wanting to Write (but haven’t…yet) « StickyFigure

For me my list is short. Here are the people who have inspired me the most over the past year…

  • CJ Lohenry [my wife] she always forces me to dig deeper…
  • Bill Pevlor of the Victorious Faith business development ministry for helping me launch my company and encouraging me along the way
  • David Sauter of Envano for being a friend, mentor and good business partner
  • Sue Otten of AGCO corporate who has been a friend, boss and ‘customer’ for over 15 years
  • Dana VanDen Heuvel of MarketingSavant for stretching my brain
  • Heather Blish of for being a valuable sounding board and making my online stuff beautiful…

I need to add all these folks to Seth Godin’s Linchpin Index. Who’s on your index this weekend? Thank them…

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Thoughts on ROI and social media

Image representing YouTube as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

A prospective client asked me this yesterday: “I read through it [referring to this post] and was looking for how it translates into measurable business benefits such as client satisfaction, increased inside sales, increased referrals, etc – can you point me to any of these indicators with regard to this AGCO initiative?”

As I ponder how to respond, I’m considering these words of wisdom from Mitch Joel on the topic of social media ROI…

“How do you measure success? If this were a high school cheer, it would probably end in: “R-O-I!”

Ahh, the elusive ROI is Social Media. If yesterday’s Blog post (Social Media Gurus – That Old Chestnut) didn’t provoke some thought and commentary, then trying to crack the elusive Social Media ROI will surely get your noodle boiling. Richard Binhammer (from Dell’s Social Media team) gave a private presentation yesterday and when one of the audience members asked about how Dell measures the ROI of their Social Media strategy, Binhammer responded that ROI was nothing more than an accounting term and probably has little to no place when it comes to measuring the success of any Social Media marketing initiative.

How would that make your clients, team members and supervisors feel?

Pushing Binhammer’s comments further, he also said that if you’re looking for the ROI in the campaign, you’ll probably spend too much time, budget and energy just trying to figure out what your definition of ROI is, and concluded by saying that he doesn’t think about ROI, rather he looks at the overall business objectives and if Social Media can help him meet those objectives, then that is what is ultimately the most important thing.

Let’s repeat: forget the ROI and look at the business objectives.

In looking at business through this prism, Dell has changed the way they do business and – in doing so – they have made lots of money by being engaged and using everything Social Media that is under the sun. In a more primal way, they’re focused on using Social Media to meet practical business objectives and not looking at the overall ROI. In thinking about Social Media and how it can help in overall business objectives, it does make things a lot easier to swallow.” Source: Killing ROI | Six Pixels of Separation – Marketing and Communications Blog – By Mitch Joel at Twist Image

Binnhammer’s perspective means alot as Dell is one of the few major brands that are thriving in a down economy. Coincidentally, they are ranked #2 for ‘deep brand engagement’ amongst the 100 most valuable brands as ranked by the ENGAGEMENTdb study which concludes that ‘deep brand engagement correlates with financial performance’…

Relative to AGCO, do I have data that shows that a customer purchased a new combine as a direct result of a video we posted to YouTube? Hardly. What we do see at AGCO is this: Stock has risen since the time AGCO actively engaged in social media…

“SmarTrend identified an Uptrend for AGCO (NYSE:AGCO) on October 27, 2009 at $29.61. In approximately 3 months, AGCO has returned 9.1% as of today’s recent price of $32.31.

AGCO is currently above its 50-day moving average of $31.71 and above its 200-day moving average of $29.11. Look for these moving averages to climb to confirm the company’s upward momentum.

SmarTrend will continue to scan these moving averages and a number of other proprietary indicators for any shifts in the trajectory of AGCO shares.” Source: AGCO Upward Momentum Looks to Continue (AGCO) – Comtex SmarTrend Alert

Is there any other more important measurement?

I don’t claim for one minute that AGCO’s momentum is due entirely to social media. I do claim that it has a lot to do with the social media ‘state of mind’. Snap! I went there, as my teenage son would say. What I mean is this. When business results start going south, someone within the organization will usually say ‘we need to return to the ‘blocking and tackling’ [or fundamentals or get back to basics] of our business. One of the fundamental disciplines of social media is listening to what the internet as a whole and customers in particular are saying — the most fundamental of all business fundamentals and the first thing that successful companies have historically stopped doing!

More to come…

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Straight outta Wisconsin!

Most people don’t know that Steve Jobs, contrary to his Wikipedia entry, was born in Green Bay, WI. He demonstrated proof of his Wisconsin heritage at the iPad announcement…