Is Rebecca Black a social media icon or the downfall of online credibility?

August 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

I think we have all heard our elders say, “What is this stuff that you kids call music? In my day we had REAL music!” Well, I think I have finally caught myself sounding like my grandfather…

Rebecca Black, 14, is a pop singer whose music video, “Friday” went viral last March. She is now stating her claim to fame with a semi-new music video, “My Moment.” The song “Friday” received extensive media attention and was deemed to be, “the worst song ever” with more then 160 million views. Countless parodies later, the video was removed from YouTube after a controversy as to who owned the rights to the video.

With the debut of her new single and music video,  “My Moment” receiving more then 17 million views in just one week, is Rebecca Black a new social media icon? Or is Black foreshadowing for the downfall in online credibility?

TNW shows the top 10 YouTube videos of 2010 and a little less than half of them embarrass me to say that they are the top viewed videos last year. Number four especially, Annoying Orange Wazzup, which consists of apples, oranges and bananas saying “whatzzup” at each other with human eyes and mouths, until the apple is cut in half, then they all start screaming. Have we really resorted to letting talking fruit entertain us enough to get 38 million views? The winner with nearly 86 million views is the Bed Intruder Song, which creates a song out of a news broadcast about a woman who was attacked in her bed by an intruder. The song makes fun of what the brother says in the report, essentially coming off as racist and judgmental.

I can’t say that all the top 10 YouTube videos show us a downgrade in online credibility. One, in fact, shocked and amazed me, Greyson Chance, a 12-year-old boy who in the video played the piano and sang the song “Paparazzi,” originally by Lady Gaga. This young boy plays and sings with more passion and talent then many famous artists do. I personally think he may be giving Lady Gaga a run for her money.

Although I’m sure we can all admit to indulging in some sort of ridiculous online video, I think we can at least say that’s not all the web has to offer us. Even though Rebecca Black has obtained her claim to fame through an obnoxious song and music video, her rise to fame could give hope to the people who actually have talent that maybe someday it’ll work for them too. Who knows, maybe 10 years down the road Greyson Chance will get that record deal instead of Rebecca Black.

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6 tools for SEO Specialists

August 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

When it comes to marketing, you want your company Website the top of the page on the first page of a Google Search.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies work to make this happen. According to webfroze they do so by understanding the significance of keyword research.

There are many tools out there to help SEO specialists; here are a few of the good ones based off of a recent Crunchyblogger article.

1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics gives you insight into your website traffic and marketing effectiveness. It helps you track your sales and conversions, while helping to measure your site engagement. It can track email campaigns, banner ads and offline ads, as well as identify your best revenue source.

2.  Google Website Optimizer
Google Website Optimizer helps you listen to your visitors by receiving direct feedback from them. It makes it easy to increase your site effectiveness and visitor satisfaction, which leads to higher conversion rates and a higher return on investment. You will also receive a clear report that helps eliminate guesswork, and will help you find out what leads to the most conversions.

3. MailChimp
MailChimp makes email newsletters easy. It can help you design e-newsletters, share them on social networks, integrate them with services you already use and track your results. Using Mailchimp through social sharing allows you to increase the impact of your message.

4. Google Webmaster
Google Webmaster helps to increase trafficking to your site. It allows you to find out how Google crawls, indexes and ranks your site. It can analyze your search data, showing how many people see your site compared with how many people click on it. Google Webmaster can also send you email alerts to tell you if your site has malware or generates errors.

5. Mediafeedia
Your company can use Mediafeedia for its facebook profile and pages. It allows users to manage multiple accounts at once, receive email notifications from users’ fan pages and allows easy reply through email, as well as the ability to schedule posts with pictures and links. Mediafeedia makes managing multiple facebook accounts easy.

6. Cotweet
Similar to Media Feedia, Cotweet helps you manage your twitter accounts. Although Cotweet can be used for both Facebook and Twitter, you’ll most likely have a different social media strategy for facebook than you will for twitter. Therefore, by using Cotweet for Twitter and Media Feedia for facebook, you are able to easily differentiate between these two platforms to make sure each are reaching your target audience effectively.

SEO Specialists don’t have easy jobs-they have to thoroughly understand search engines and how to get businesses on the first page of a Google Search while at the same time maintaining their ethics. However, with the help of these six tools their job can be just a little bit easier.

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Journalism and PR, It’s Time to Start Communicating

August 24, 2011 § Leave a comment

The relationship between the journalist and the Public Relations professional is rocky at best. Neither thinks the other is necessary, both are frequently butting heads.

When you take a step back and look at the scope of the PR and Journalism professions, it becomes obvious that they’re in a far more symbiotic relationship than they realize. PRestige Agency offers some good reasons why:

The PR practitioner saves the journalist a chunk of time in the research process, often presenting ready-made stories on a platter. The journalist can’t take everything the PR rep says at face value, its always necessary to fact check. However, the time that the journalist has been saved is optimal to make the story perfect for any media channel.

On the flip side, the journalist helps PR publicize the message in the most helpful medium for coverage. Unfortunately, not everyone always wants to chat with a PR rep. A savvy journalist is a good friend to have in times like these.

Youtube recently showcased a funny portrayal of the media nemesis’s.  Spoofed from the Mac/PC commercials, the practitioner and the journalist are coached by a counselor to mend a battered friendship. Even though the video pokes fun at both the PR and journalism professions, it also shows that both are necessary for the other to exist.  Journalism- the ying. PR- the yang.

Communication is always key in any relationship. The practitioner needs to understand a journalist’s deadlines, contacting news sources well in advance and always with patience. A journalist needs to be open-minded, acknowledging that a good story can come from anywhere.  In fact, the PR rep on the phone may be the ticket to the newest, hottest story out. Youtube was smart to showcase this issue with humor, an ingredient that’s lacking in today’s relationship recipe. It’s only with clear channels of communication and a few well-timed giggles, that the media world will continue on in harmony.

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Facebook: Taking Over Social Networking

August 22, 2011 § Leave a comment

We all remember Myspace.  It got big just as quickly as it faded away. If Myspace was just a fad, does that mean Facebook is too? I don’t think so. Facebook is here to stay, at least for a while.

Since its creation in February of 2004, Facebook has constantly expanded. Starting as a networking site for Harvard students, the site rapidly grew and is currently used by people all over the world. Now, marketers say, “it’s a Facebook world and other social networks just live in it.” Facebook is the most popular social networking site worldwide and continues to grow at a steady rate with more than 600 million active users as of January of 2011.

According to the world map of social media, Facebook has turned almost the entire world blue, with more people connecting everyday. Why is Facebook succeeding while so many other social networking sites have failed? Why MySpace’s Failure Solidifies Facebook’s Future tells us the five reasons why.

#1 Sharing – The point of Facebook is to share. The site provides its users a great platform to share everything from photos, to links and personal life updates.

#2 Simplicity – Facebook attracts users of all ages, using a platform that is easy to understand and navigate.

#3 Subtlety – Without users knowing it, facebook has become a leading site for advertisers. By using basic information like age, location and interests, facebook is able to target ads directly relatable to different audiences. Plus, the share button makes it easy for users to share their favorite ads with friends.

#4 Usefulness – Ever wonder what your old friends from high school or college are up to now? Facebook provides a great platform to find them and reconnect. You can even connect with family that lives across the world without the cost of international phone fees.

#5 Necessity – Facebook is doing everything it can to be the fad that won’t fade. With a recently introduced new email service, Facebook is constantly recreating itself to ensure that its users are getting a new experience all the time.

Despite the attempts of many Middle Eastern countries to ban the site, Facebook has prevailed as the social networking leader in 119 out of 134 countries. Although a drop in traffic has been reported in North America, most likely due to expanding popularity for Twitter and LinkedIn, the site is still growing rapidly all over the world.

What does it mean for one social networking site to rule the world? Does Facebook have too much power? Or does the convenience of one social networking site outweigh the competitive benefits of a more diverse internet? Think about it; never before have we been able to have such instant communication. With Facebook, we’re one click away from interacting with almost anyone in the world.

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MediaFeedia – Potential Facebook Manager

August 19, 2011 § Leave a comment

I recently came across a fun find, which opened my eyes to a market of possibility in the social media world– Mediafeedia. Two months ago, Mediafeedia opened a social media management platform for businessowners. Unlike some of the other social media managing dashboards like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck, Mediafeedia focuses solely on Facebook, recognizing the negative repercussions of utilizing the same social media campaign across every networking platform.  Because each social media platform has its own strengths and weaknesses, concentrating solely on Facebook allows Mediafeedia to accentuate its strengths and downplay its weaknesses.

At this stage in the networking world, businesses need to engage with their customers online, not just weekly or monthly, but every day. With more then 500 million users logging on daily, Facebook is the place to be for businesses to advertise and communicate with customers. Sometimes advertising your business on Facebook can be overwhelming, especially for those business owners who own multiple businesses, but Mediafeedia has provided a platform that makes it much easier to manage all of those accounts.

Not only can you manage multiple accounts, but you can also schedule status updates for those accounts with pictures and links, not just days or weeks, but years in advance. This avoids confusion between pages, and helps to ensure your posts are published in a timely manner.

At Abraham Harrison we know the importance of multi-tasking and praise the powers that be, to the tools that help us do so. It’s Websites and softwares like Mediafeedia’s that cut hours off  monitoring. It’s evident every day how necessary engaging on social media sites is, and no one is a stranger to the power that Zuckerberg and his Facebook updates seem to have over us. Maybe that was Mediafeedia’s thought process; Spend more time on our Website, spend less time on Facebook.

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Piracy and the future of the internet

August 17, 2011 § 3 Comments

With piracy laws continuously developing and expanding, is it possible that YouTube could soon be shut down? Every minute, twenty nine hours of video is uploaded YouTube. Some believe that if you can’t police it, then it should be shut down. Personally, I would rather stream twenty nine hours of video a minute from hundreds of millions of sources than five sources that make the governmental cut.

The history of piracy within U.S. entertainment from Doctorow Video on Copyright and Piracy shares insight on piracy’s evolution:

In the first part of the 20th century, sheet music composers would sell their music to performers. When recording devices were invented the performers then started recording the composer’s music to gain popularity and to make a larger profit. This is when the composers said that what the performers were doing was piracy and that the entertainers couldn’t sell their compositions without permission. The allegations were thrown out the window, just the same as when record labels tried to sue radio stations for broadcasting their music, when broadcasters tried to sue cable companies for selling their shows and when cable companies tried to sue Sony for the VCR because people would record their cable.

Now Sony and the studios are trying to sue the internet for piracy. How is this different than what anyone else has done in the past? It might actually be taken seriously this time.

A year ago, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York announced the launch of “Operation in our Sites,” a program designed to shut down Websites associated with copyright infringement or crimes related to counterfeiting. According to TechDirt, the operation has already seized at least 82 domains.

“Operation in our Sites” is not the only program designed to prevent piracy. Introduced by Senator Patrick Leahy, the Protect IP Act, (Preventing Real Online Threats to Economic Creativity and Theft of Intellectual Property Act of 2011), was proposed on May 12, 2011. It is aimed at denying access and linking to Websites encouraging infringing activities, especially those registered outside the United States. The Act has not yet passed. It follows Leahy’s prior attempt, the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act,which failed to pass in 2010.

With so many attempts to censor the internet, where is it heading? To increase the health of the cultural realm we need to allow more people to participate in the internet and its development. Is blocking specific sites targeting our right for the freedom of information or protecting the rights of the content’s creators? You tell me.

This post was originally written for Marketing conversations.

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