Archive for the 'Apps' Category

26
Sep
11

Let’s get organized in the digital world!

Are you getting lost doing research on too many websites or having a hard time finding your extremely important notes? Are you frustrated when working late at night and you cannot seem to find that website your were reading on your work computer earlier in the day? Sometimes it is hard to keep your notes organized while you work on other projects, but no fear Diigo is here.

Diigo is an app that has some unique options to keep online reading and researching easy. Diigo allows you to take personal sticky notes and highlight text information with multiple colors on web pages just as you would on a piece of paper. It automatically saves, so anytime you come back to that webpage the information will be highlighted.

You can also choose to share with colleagues and friends to allow them to access the webpage, view your notes and highlights and add their own notations – even if they do not use Diigo.

Here is the best part for me, you can access your notes on any computer or browser, including cell phones with browsing capabilities. Therefore, you do not have to worry about taking notes at work and then trying to find again on your home computer or iPad.

The other useful part is for Diigo you can choose to upload the page, even if it is dynamic or password protected (if you have accessed it before), search your collections full-text, including highlights, sticky notes, titles, etc of the web pages, keep things private or public. There are a lot of great uses and options for anyone researching online.

These kinds of tools really help keep everything easy and organized, in a digital world. Today, we read online, work online, search online, be social online; we do almost everything online. Diigo is especially applicable for teachers, students, writers, business, researchers and people who read a lot.

What do you think about that kind of tool? Is it useful for you?

Let us know by commenting, following us on Twitter @Weise_Ideas or finding us on Facebook at Facebook.com/WeiseCommunications.

06
May
11

New York Times backed News.me looks to flip Flipboard users

A competitor to the news aggregator application Flipboard launched last month. The New York Times partnered with the creators of bit.ly to find links that are being widely circulated and have aggregated the news in their new service called News.me.

I adopted Flipboard the same week I got my iPad (Side Note: You’ll Flip for Flipboard) and it is one of my daily stops. I love the layout, the vast array of news sources and access to Twitter content from newsmakers and reporters.  Best of all, it’s free! This brings me to my biggest complaint with News.me, they are charging 99 cents per week for free Twitter content.  Also, News.me only allows me to follow the Twitter stream of other News.me users. Flipboard allows me to follow those same Twitter streams for free.

It appears that the biggest advantage to News.me is that you can read full articles from The New York Times without advertising. Although, I found it funny that one of the bit.ly links I found today on News.me (during my free trial week) announced the two Webby and two People’s Voice Awards won by Flipboard http://bit.ly/k4Nkee.

So, I don’t expect News.me to survive in its current form, there are three things News.me can do to encourage me to give it a second chance.

  • Timely news – The majority of Flipboard is relying on sources I’ve selected to update news. So, my news feed is as timely as my friends speed to post news.
  • Diverse sources – I follow BBC News, CNN (love that app too!), USA Today and the The Denver Post. If News.me will provide information from these sources and more instead of the Twitter feed of other News.me users, my interest would be piqued.
  • Prioritize my news feed – News.me needs to develop an algorithm that will give me the most relevant news first instead of whatever was the most recent post.

I don’t know if I would pay 99 cents per week for these improvements, but I know as my free trial ends today, it’s so long, farewell, goodbye to News.me.

Tell us if your keeping News.me and please tell us why. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow us for free on Twitter at @Weise_Ideas.

04
Mar
11

Social Media is the driving force behind online culture

One of the latest trends impacting social media is tagging an online status with a symbol. For example, the symbol to the right is the Super Mayor symbol for Foursquare, which is a special shout-out for holding down 10 mayorships at once. The symbol signifies to peers that someone made an online contribution or maintains a level of online popularity.  These online status symbols acknowledge actions and are becoming more desirable to achieve.

Initially, online status comes in the form of the number of LinkedIn connections, Facebook friends or Twitter followers. I’ll admit there is a little friendly competition among my friends to reach milestone numbers or connect with certain groups so their logo appears on the profile page.

But, Foursquare comes along and takes online status to the next level by tying it to achievement.  There is an establishment next door to our Denver offices where I am determined to be the mayor. I’m afraid that I might be spending a little too much time and money at that location to become the mayor, but that is the goal of location-based marketing.  If retail locations can encourage consumers to make every effort to obtain online status and tie status to transactions – it’s a win-win.  One retailer that understands the power of online status is Arby’s. Last November, Arby’s held a Foursquare promotion in which mayors of 37 locations from Evansville, Ind., to Huntsville, Ala., earned reserved seats at actual “Mayor’s tables.” The mayors received 50 percent off meals and Arby’s tested new products on this group.

As social media evolves, the lines between ‘real world’ and online can get blurred.  One example is the website Nerd Merit Badges which offers Foursquare symbols as a round 1.5” patch. You’ll see this patches adorn purses, backpacks, hats, etc. Further evidence of this ‘real world’, ‘online world’ crossover includes Crowded Ink, users can create a coffee mug adorned with profile pictures of Facebook friends or Twitter followers.  These images are some of my Facebook friends.

For marketers, keeping up with the cultural, intellectual, ethical and spiritual climate within groups of influencers gives your product or service an opportunity to be cutting edge.  As a part of an integrated marketing plan, consider supplying your social network with an online status symbol that displays their achievements with your company.

Tell us if you think embracing online status symbols improves social media marketing or if you think it’s just a fad. Share your ideas with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

 

11
Feb
11

Social Media’s Role in Overthrowing a President

Today at 9:30 a.m. MST, Egypt President Hosni Mubarak resigned from office. The announcement came as thousands gathered in Egyptian cities (including the epicenter, Cairo’s Tahrir Square) for an 18th consecutive day of protest demanding Mubarak’s resignation.

The pressure from Egyptian citizens was fueled by stories disseminated through social media, despite the Egyptian government blocking access to Twitter and Facebook. The attempt to block communication did not stop reports coming out of Egypt.

Reporters like Ben Wedeman of CNN and Lara Setrakian of ABC use smart phones to access the Internet to tell the story.  News is coming out of Egypt with a unique blend of traditional communication, filtered by reporters, and Web 2.0, where news spreads virally.  Hashtags like #Jan25, #Egypt and #Tahrir provide easy search options for the latest news on Twitter.  Additionally, Egyptian citizens are employing third-party apps like TweetDeck and HootSuite to update their Twitter and Facebook accounts whle the main web pages remain blocked. Since the applications don’t require a web authentication, TweetDeck and HootSuite users can access social media through mobile apps.

There is one other difference in the social media reporting in Egypt from traditional reporting. Instead of simply reporting facts and allowing the viewer to draw conclusions, with social media Ben, Lara and others are including factual information and their personal feelings and reactions to the history unfolding in front of them. Often this is delivered in a conversational tone that would be edited out of a broadcast news report.

Mubarak’s resignation is certainly a historic moment for social media as there can be no doubt that political activism has changed…permanently.

One of the lessons marketers should take away from this developing situation, increased respect for consumers. They have proven to be resourceful and intelligent and with social media – they have a voice.

Let us know if you agree this is seminal moment for social media. Share your thoughts with us on Facebook at Weise Communications and follow @Weise_Ideas on Twitter.

 

05
Jan
11

Branding Content: How creating a persona for your brand creates ROI

Branded content is essentially a fusion of entertainment and advertising that has been around for decades, just think of soap manufactures and the soap opera. With social media and the increasing prevalence of mobile apps in our daily lives, branded content seeks to have an increasingly large role in marketing and advertising of brands in the future.

Branded content can be anything from a short film, music, game, blog, mobile app, newsletter, blogzine, microsite or real-life event. The content merely exists to entertain and educate the consumer, while conveying subtle brand messages in the mean time. But more than this, branded content creates a persona for your brand and helps engage target audiences in a reciprocal relationship.

The idea for a brand is to listen to online conversations and establish what interests your target audiences. Is there a need or desire for certain information? Can you provide that information in an engaging way?

The most successful branded content programs are able to blend messaging in a seamless and transparent fashion, while still getting the information across to the consumer. Branded content creation serves several purposes: customer entertainment, stealth advertising and social engagement.

An industry that has embraced branded content is the fashion industry (see Louis Vuitton’s NOWNESS), but other brands that get it right are:

The iFood application allows users to:

  • Email or print coupons for Kraft products or even add them right to your store savings card.
  • Find recipes and post the ones you love to Facebook
  • Scan and enter a barcode to add to a shopping list or find recipes
  • Print shopping lists, coupons, and recipes
  • Get detailed recipe directions and even video tutorials
  • Set alerts about planned recipes, recopies of the day or special offers
  • Find a retailer to buy your products

Now, tell me that wont build more consumer loyalty?

Branded content is about creating an experiential story; It’s about crafting stories though every communication tool – signage, display advertising, print, radio and television ads, that are then translated to the web, social networks and now mobile apps. In the end it really comes down to knowing your customer extraordinarily well. By consistently engaging your audience via editorial content that is expertly mixed into the e-commerce landscape, you can tie sales. The best social media and branded content executions out there are driven by narrative, not commerce.

Branded content is quickly becoming a cost effective, long-term online marketing strategy that industries will continue to utilize as brands and retailers look for new, innovative ways to connect with customers online.

What impact do you think branded content can have on consumer behavior and where do you think this technique is headed in the future? We’d love to hear, so post a comment on The Side Note Blog, send us a tweet @Weise_Ideas, or find us on Facebook: Weise Communications.




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