Monday, December 28, 2009

Groups or Pages on Facebook Explained

Found this useful article from Social Media Strategy and Marketing consultant Howard Greenstein. It helps to de-mystify these too FB functions.  One thing he doesn't mention is how Pages also offer "Insights" about visitors to the page gleaned from what FB already knows about these members, like age and gender.  Similar to Google Analytics.

“Should I create a group or launch a Page?” It’s the eternal question that gets asked as often as, “What is Twitter?” at introductory social media training classes. Ever since Facebook launched their Pages product as part of their larger advertising strategy (along with the ill-fated Beacon) in November 2007, there has been confusion over which to use. Because
 Groups and Pages have an overlapping feature set, even senior social media marketing consultants are sometimes stumped as to what to tell their clients. And Facebook continues to make changes to how Pages function, complicating the matter even further.

 Read more here>>>

Monday, September 14, 2009

Elizabeth Gilbert on Nurturing Creativity

Elizabeth Gilbert muses on the impossible things we expect from artists and geniuses -- and shares the radical idea that, instead of the rare person "being" a genius, all of us "have" a genius. It's a funny, personal and surprisingly moving talk.

About Elizabeth Gilbert

The author of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert has thought long and hard about some large topics. Her next fascination: genius, and how we ruin it. Full bio and more links

Friday, September 11, 2009

A Simple, Slick-looking Document Viewer by Issuu

It's Fringe Festival time in Vancouver and so I took myself to the festival website to check out this year's program guide.

They use an interesting viewer to display their program guide which I thought was worth mentioning.
A website called Issuu lets you upload any document you want to an online Flash player which has different page display options, is intuitive and is free to use unless you want the ad-free full version.
The nice thing is that the ads are relevant to the document, employing some Google AdWords-type of platform. The Fringe site had thumbnails of other arty documents in several languages and when you rolled over one a pop-up balloon would have the name and description of the document. Some documents were in foreign languages, which gave me the impression that the Vancouver Fringe was part of a much larger and diverse community.
My one complaint was that I had no quick Table of Contents to link me to what I was looking for, i.e. a map. Instead I had to eyeball the table of contents then go through 2 sets of pages before i could get to the page I wanted.
But it still looked good and I saved a tree.
Here is the Issuu website:

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Reading on the Web

First published in 97, this article about writing better website copy is still very relevant. Much of what Jakob Neilsen talks about also holds true for press releases and print promotional material as well. - Ed.

How Users Read on the Web

They don't.

People rarely read Web pages word by word; instead, they scan the page, picking out individual words and sentences. In research on how people read websites we found that 79 percent of our test users always scanned any new page they came across; only 16 percent read word-by-word. (Update: a newer study found that users read email newsletters even more abruptly than they read websites.)

As a result, Web pages have to employ scannable text, using

  • highlighted keywords (hypertext links serve as one form of highlighting; typeface variations and color are others)
  • meaningful sub-headings (not "clever" ones)
  • bulleted lists
  • one idea per paragraph (users will skip over any additional ideas if they are not caught by the first few words in the paragraph)
  • the inverted pyramid style, starting with the conclusion
  • half the word count (or less) than conventional writing

We found that credibility is important for Web users, since it is unclear who is behind information on the Web and whether a page can be trusted. Credibility can be increased by high-quality graphics, good writing, and use of outbound hypertext links. Links to other sites show that the authors have done their homework and are not afraid to let readers visit other sites.

Users detested "marketese"; the promotional writing style with boastful subjective claims ("hottest ever") that currently is prevalent on the Web. Web users are busy: they want to get the straight facts. Also, credibility suffers when users clearly see that the site exaggerates.

Read the full article here >>>