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Business Promise Trumps Privacy Concerns for Facebook Places

While some “mature” consumers may question the appeal of Facebook’s Places application – the program that allows a user to “check in” and let friends or others know where they are at any given time – savvy marketers see the application as a great way to reach a highly desirable demographic. Places largely appeals to [...]


How To Utilize Social Media in Health Insurance

So you work at a health insurance company or in a related business, and you have decided to take the plunge into social media, despite the significant obstacles. So how do you create a program that is engaging, yet complies with regulations? Jason Falls of Social Media Explorer gives some relevant tips that are useful [...]


Piwik as your web analytics software!

I know, you would probably argue with me on Google Analytics being the best of them all, but what’s the harm in knowing about this new web analytics tool on the block? Piwik, as its website claims, is an open source alternative to Google Analytics.

Piwik is a PHP-MySql based program. In order to get started, you have to first download this software from their website and get it installed on your own web server. It just takes as less as 5 minutes to set things up and get going. At the end of the set up process, the software generates a javascript code. You just need to copy and paste this code onto the web pages that you would want to track. There is also a plugin that would automate this process for you! Simple?

Okay, you would still probably argue that Google analytics is the most popular amongst all and that Piwik is just no big deal. However, let me mention here that alternative open source web analytics solutions have their own advantages:


Generating Leads in a Web 2.0 World

Marketing is going through a revolution online, thanks to the continual adoption of the Web 2.0 concepts originally defined by Tim O’Reilly and Dale Dougherty.

If you want to see some excellent graphics and analysis explaining Web 2.0, subscribe to Ross Dawson’s blog, Trends in the Living Networks.

A New Conversation

Social networking has removed many of the obstacles that got in the way of better understanding prospects and customers, and serving them.


Five tips for a Web 2.0 start-up

I’ve talked to a lot of Web 2.0 companies in the past month, some big and some small. A few themes have developed in how to make a successful Web 2.0 company – here’s a few ideas.

1. Build a real team. There are so many Web 2.0 companies that are either run in a virtual environment or with just a few people in a basement somewhere. It’s not a good strategy because any ideas that could germinate with a larger team – and I mean about 5-8 people or so — will be stagnated with just one or two employees. If you can’t afford a real team that includes a developers and designers, folks in marketing and accounting, and a sales agent or two, you might just have an idea, not a company. It reminds me of my experience this week with a rental car company staffed by just a couple of people. (Yes, I was trying to save a buck.) One of the employees was out sick, so that left one person to transport people to and from the airport, do the paperwork, and deal with frustrations. In the same way, one person can write a blog, but it takes a company to make a real Web 2.0 product that actually does something.


Shockweb aggregator feeds our link lust

A friend of mine asked me to write about, the famously shocking news aggregator that has even more loyal followers now that they don’t include porn links. I usually avoid the site, not because of the shock value, but because I don’t want to burn up an hour learning about the so-called Obama race war, violent crime rates in Detroit, and the abysmal US economy. And those are the more serious links. Usually, headlines are more like “Ike survivors may have to wait weeks for baths. France shrugs” which is just cheeky enough to get you to click on it, even though the actual report has nothing to do with France (a pet topic for the site owner). It’s what I call a force-pull headline, one that you just can’t help clicking on.