Monthly Archives: August 2011

Joint Turns Twitter into a Chatroom

Many internet insiders have discussed how Twitter needs a chat function. Many think Twitter should evolve to this. Instead, start-up company Joint has allowed this interaction without Twitter changing a thing.

Joint turns any Twitter hashtag # into an IRC conversation. I see this making immediate noise. Live tweetcasts and podcasts just got a whole lot more interesting. The problem is – this functionality segments your discussion, but still floods your feed with hyper-specific content, probably not relevant to your entire audience, right? No! Conversations on Joint stay on Joint. It uses Twitter, but is completely separate from it.

Is this the future of tech evolution? You build the foundation, and others can turn it into what they like without dictating that change for everyone?

List Snippets Replace Meta Description in Google Search Results

Meta descriptions in Google search results help give searchers a sense for what’s going to be on the page. Programmers can customize this meta description on every page. Sometimes, Google creates their own for your page, based on the keyword which populates your site on their search results. But now, for sites that are list pages, List Snippets will now replace this meta description information.

If the search result contains a structured list, for instance a table or a large series of bullets, Google will select three relevant rows or items and include that information within a bulleted format on the search results page itself. Google has been experimenting with this content area in other ways recently. Their announcement of rich snippets for music allows Webmasters to display the song info within this meta description space.

Google+ Follows Facebook with New Ignore Feature

Becoming less like Twitter and more like Facebook, Google Plus has introduced a new ignore feature.

This didn’t exist a few weeks ago, so I started an (Acquaintance) circle, full of people I felt socially obliged to add to my Google Circles, but didn’t have any real interest in their daily thoughts.

Facebook has always made it easy for you to hide individual’s posts without letting them know they’ve been ignored. Twitter hasn’t added that yet. And it’s not because they haven’t thought of it. It’s because they want your number of followers to quantify something. They want it to be your number of active listeners. Until now, Google Plus’s numbers represented this. Now, you can be following 10,000 people on Google+ but only really listening to 3.

The Evolution of Paid Search Advertising

Paid search advertising is now bigger than radio advertising. It’s bigger than billboards and movie advertisements combined. It’s almost as big as television advertising, and its numbers are growing way faster.

In fact, by 2016, paid search advertising is projected to be a $60 billion industry.

Currently, Google owns 80% of the search market share, but Microsoft Bing is up to 20% and climbing. Plus, with Bing advertisers experiencing a 12% ROI increase year-over-year compared to Google’s -10%, who knows what the PPC advertising industry is going to look like 5 years from now?

All we know is that it’s going to be huge. So, make sure you’re working with a PPC expert and taking advantage of it.

NFL Teams Trading in Playbooks for iPads

If you watch the sidelines during an NFL game this season, you might see a whole lot of iPads. Especially if you’re watching the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who have traded in their massive playbook binders for the convenient and compact alternative from Apple.

The tablet specifically opens up the possibilities for this digital move. In the past, carrying around  a laptop would have been silly. Today, it’s easier and faster to use an iPad.

If the Buccaneers win more than 10 games this year, expect an ad campaign to come out of this.

It used to be cool to have an iPad. Now, for a lot of professions, it doesn’t make sense not to.

The Psychological Peer Pressure of Facebook

Looking back, I don’t think I knew exactly what some of my friends were doing in high school. But that bubble of deniability doesn’t exist today. You know exactly what all of your friends, peers and acquaintances are doing in high school. Because they’re posting the photos to Facebook.

So, what is that doing to today’s kids? Bad news if you’re a Facebook supporter. A study has found that teens who use the social network are 5 times more likely to have used tobacco, 3 times more likely to have used alcohol and 2 times more likely to have used marijuana.

So, what’s going on here? Well, one theory is based on the stat that 40% of those involved in the study have seen pictures of peers “drunk, passed out or doing drugs” on social media sites. And 49% of those saw these photos at the age of 13 or under. By the age of 15, this percentage was 90%.

When you see your peers doing something, your expectations are adjusted. In the past, we may have just believed that no one was really doing drugs or having sex. Now, kids have photographic evidence of it. And apparently, it affects them.

Inside How Google Tweaks Their Search Algorithms

This is a fabulous video of how Google makes their search algorithm decisions. It’s a lot less scary than the dictatorial decision making I assumed took place, and it’s a whole lot more thoughtful.

Google makes more than 500 algorithm changes a year. Their engineering team has an idea, or spots a weakness, and through user testing and focus groups, they decide, very strategically whether the change would be a huge net gain to Google users search engine experience.

I like that Google is showing us this side of them. If they can become the “transparent” giant behemoth of tech companies, that might be a huge win in the customer trust department – especially to combat all the privacy concerns many are facing nowadays.

Google Analytics Adds Multi-Channel Funnel Reporting for Crazy People

Google has added five new reports to their Google Analytics reporting today, called Multi-Channel Funnels.

I can’t exactly imagine who was asking for this. It’s such crazy deep analysis that only PPC experts are even going to be able to understand it, but for those PPC gurus, I suppose it’s Christmas morning.

Until now, Google Analytics credited the last gateway source with a purchase referral. For example, a visitor clicks on an online ad, which brings you to your site, and he buys a set of golf clubs. You credit the ad with that sale referral. But, that might have been that visitor’s 5th visit to your site. And we’re only giving credit to the referral that resulted in the purchase.

Most people would probably say, that’s ok. Google wouldn’t have it. So now, these multi-channel funnels will tell you exactly how searches, ads and site referrals participated in the conversion.

Steve Jobs Resigns as CEO of Apple Freaking Tech Nerds Out

Many of you were personally affected by the news that Steve Jobs was resigning as CEO of Apple for medical reasons.

Many of you didn’t understand why the rest of us cared so much.

Here’s the only analogy I can think of that best explains it. Imagine you love candy more than anything else, and Willy Wonka just died. There’s no one else in the entire world who invents the beautiful future like him – and we’re terrified there’s no one else who can.

Jobs seems to be putting his full support behind Tim Cook, who has been acting CEO since Jobs’ leave of absence back in January. But we don’t know anything about Cook. This isn’t a business-as-usual company, where any brilliant business executive can do a great job.

Jobs had remarkable vision. He could see into the future and come back with its creations. And I’m personally scared that the tech toys market is going to come to a screeching halt.

Facebook Mimics Google+ Differentiators

My favorite part of Google+ so far has been Google Circles. The ability to filter your social commentary by selectively controlling your audience had immediate appeal.

Facebook thought so, too.

But, their implementation is more like Twitter lists, which I never got around to making, because it didn’t seem simple enough. To be honest, it might be exactly as easy as Google Plus’ Circles. But + users started using this feature from the get-go. To go back through your hundreds of Facebook friends and start making lists for them?

If it’s between that and waiting for everyone to join Google +, I might just do that?