Tag Archives: Google

2013 Google Zeitgeist: new beginnings, new frontiers, and ways to help

The 2013 year-in review is here! Google’s comprehensive list of searches made from around the globe has been made available today. The top five search terms this year were Nelson Mandela, Paul Walker, iPhone 5s, Cory Monteith, and Harlem Shake.  Check out the top 100 searches here.  What did you search for in 2013? What were your customers searching for?

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The spirit of 2011: how the world searched

What mattered in 2011? Zeitgeist sorted billions of Google searches to capture the year’s 10 fastest-rising global queries and the rest of the spirit of 2011.

Let’s make 2012 a positive, inspirational quest for knowledge.

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social media 101: sometimes the story is in the comments

I’ve been following Google’s launch of Google+ Pages for brands with some anxiety.  I envisioned Social Marketers everywhere flocking to Google+ and spamming my circles with brand promotions.

If you don’t think Google+ is big enough for that yet—citing it’s still in its infancy—learn your facts.  Google+ has acquired 40 million users worldwide since its launch in September—kicking Facebook’s launch on its proverbial ass.

The controversy surrounding the launch of Google+ Pages continues, and rightly so.  Users are freaking out.  These 40 million users left the brand spamming of Facebook to have a social network.

If you are a brand considering creating a Page, go for it, but tread cautiously.  The reality of social is that the story is not what a brand is telling you—and Mashable, Google, and any other news delivery systems are brands too—it’s in the comments of the ultimate end-user.  It’s the opinion of the audience.

Mashable just released the article, Want to Run a Contest or Promotion on Google+? Not So Fast.  Great article—definitely worth the read.  But the comments are far more relevant to me as a Social Strategist.  Here are a smattering of comments reflecting how people feel about brands in their Google+ space.

“I am already uncircling brands, they are saturating my stream and killing all the social aspects I have been enjoying. Cheesey competitions and granting permissions to view your personal data are so Facebook ;-)”

“I cant Stand contest and quiz crap! If your page and content therein isnt promotion enough youre doing it wrong.”

“Great move from Google, spammers will stay in FB.”

“I think that’s great, I get so many promotional tweets and fb posts sometimes I miss the stuff from family. I like just having information about a company without being smacked in the face with, contests and polls.”

“I agree with others that this is a good move. Contest promotions on the net were getting to be just ways of data mining, and not a way to engage your market segment. Maybe that option will happen in the future when Google’s had time to observe what works and what flops.”

And so on, and so on…

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press it, +1 it, share it, digg it, email it, post it, reddit, stumbleupon it, technorati it, tweet it, live it, kick it, punch it… exhausted yet?

Are you suffering from tech overload?

Stephanie Rosenbloom, of the New York Times writes, “One in every 4 1/2 minutes spent on the Web is spent on a social-networking site or blog. And last year the average visitor spent 66 percent more time on such sites than in 2009, when early adopters were already feeling digitally fatigued.

But any attempt by weary networkers to scale back is complicated by the proliferation of websites such as Klout and PeerIndex that are busily computing users’ influence scores to rank them in an online hierarchy.  (On Klout, each user is assigned a score from 1 to 100.  If you’re in the high teens, you’re average; if you’re in the 40s you have a healthy following; if you score 100—you’re Justin Bieber.)

Depending on the person you ask, this is either awesome or terrifying. In the future, brands and even potential employers could conceivably make decisions about you based on your score.”

Grab your second wind… we’re going in!


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Embracing Google

Frequently I get asked about my office setup—being self-employed and all.  I find it a curious question, but I suppose folks want to compare their systems and processes and find something that might work for them.  My instinctual response is to lie—and lie big.  However, the short answer is that you have to figure it out for yourself.  The long answer illustrates a chaos that is not for the faint of heart.  I may be a bit old-school in my setup, but there is a generous helping of new-school. 

I happen to love paper.  It’s crisp, clean and shoots out of the printer like it’s an Olympic event.   I love scribbling on it in blue ink, and then crossing everything out in red. I write upside down, sideways, with printed letters, and with voracious scribbles using all available white space and then I scatter them around the room as part of this giant creative nest I’ve built for myself.  It’s comforting for me to see everything.  My thoughts down on paper, my tasks, and my plans— all in plain view—it’s inescapable.  I have coloured post-it notes tucked in and around that contain all my EUREKA! moments.  Those are the ones where I think I’ve just cured cancer or world hunger with some brilliant never-thought-of-before creative breakthrough.  Seeing those remind me of the excitement that pulsed through me in those moments, and that there are more of those moments to come.  It pushes me on when I doubt my choices.

To the outside world, I appear to be one stack of paper away from an audition for “Hoarders.”  But to those who know me, they know I work best in layers.  If I can see the walnut of my desk, I’m clearly not working hard enough.  I know that if I need my chicken-scratch notes from a series webinar 2 years ago—they are in stack 7 next to the bookshelf about halfway down.  Anyone who wants to steer clear of an ass-whoopin’ does NOT shuffle my papers around.

That said, I have also embraced some new-school and have immersed myself fully in progressive technology.  I have all the old standard equipment; desktop, laptop, printer, scanner, fax machine, telephone, cell phone, etc. but these are all slowly being replaced with the next best thing.  I purchased on-line dictionaries and references and only go to the shelf if I find a discrepancy.  I do fear that my arms may atrophy if I don’t lug that big book out now and again though.  My tired old fax machine (you know the one with the glossy-rolled paper?) finally gave me its swan song in the form of a perpetual cutter jam.  I painstakingly took it apart to see if it was operable, but its dead carcass still lingers in the corner—with guts hanging out.   It stays there available to be kicked around when clogged servers and slow response times dampen my spirits—and quite frankly, it’s thrilled to still have a job.  For the once or twice a year that I’m required to fax something, http://www.faxorama.com/ does the job.  It’s convenient and it’s free.

Instead of printed spreadsheets and databases filed in cabinets to keep track of my billable time, I use a virtual punch clock.  http://www.xpunch.com/ I keep a copy of the program on my desktop, laptop and android.  It’s broken down by client and then again by project and I’ve programmed it to populate my invoices with the accrued hours.  Easy-peasy, right? Now if I could only remember to punch in. 

I have about 3 or 4 websites, 4 or 5 social assets, 10 email addresses and all of it is funnelled to me through Google.  Google is my BFF.  Make no mistake, it takes care of me.  It reminds me what needs to be done, it encourages me to keep going with endless information, and it stays up into the wee hours of the night keeping me company when I’m on a deadline.  Truth be told, it wasn’t that long ago that I scoffed at Google.  I was one of the unbelieving.  How could a search engine have ninja prowess and an addictive personality?  I was ignorant.  Five minutes with Google and my heart was engorged in a new love-affair.  This is a relationship that will outlast all others. 

My new short answer is “paper stacks and Google.” And that’s no lie. 


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