What I Like About You?

We live in a world that is consumed with collecting personal information about us.  Many companies have compiled profiles on our attitudes, behaviors, shopping habits, viewing habits, financial history, family history and the like.  Some of this information is used in ways that can benefit us, such as targeted promotional offers, loyalty programs, pre-populated shopping lists, preference centers to receive what we want and so on.

As you are aware, the internet and now mobile and social applications have also created a new sea of information about our behaviors; what we read, what we click on, what sites we visit, how we navigate when on these sites, etc.  So what information are these social sites collecting about us.  Well the answer is much more than you think.

Before proceeding with the statistics, here is a great song to start your day.  One of my favorites by The Romantics.

The information below has been sourced from Mashablewww.mashable.com

Some collect information you expressly give them, like your credit card and telephone numbers. Others gather data based on how and where you use their services. This might include anything from device and browser information to location intel. And some of it gets really specific — think about your last search query or ad click. It’s probably all “fair” game.

Depending on the type gathered, social networks use data to enhance location services and target advertising (now you know why that sunglasses website you visited three months ago follows you all over the web). A few social sites even share certain information with marketers and/or third-party partners — in that case, you are responsible for familiarizing yourself with those other companies’ policies as they apply to you and your information.

Here is an excerpt from an infographic put together by Baynotewww.baynote.com.

There is a lot of learning going on about you!

View the complete infographic at http://mashable.com/2012/07/20/social-network-data/

Enjoy the weekend.
Webman

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Pinterest – Everything you need to know

In our last blog we discussed how Pinterest is changing the game relative to social selling and e-commerce.  Our friends at Hubspot (www.hubspot.com) have put together 10 infographics that illuminate everything possible about Pinterest.  Well maybe not everything, but just about.  Here is a peak at infographic numero uno.

The remaining Pinterest infographics can be found at http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33078/10-Pinterest-Infographics-Visual-Explanations-for-a-Visual-Social-Network.aspx

Enjoy the day.

Back with a new blog tomorrow.

Webman

Pinterest Moves Merchandise

In our previous discussions about Pinterest, we discussed why the easy to use site was growing like a weed and attracting new users at an incredible rate.  For a quick refresher, Pinterest is a pinboard-style social photo sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, hobbies, and more. Users can browse other pinboards for inspiration, ‘re-pin’ images to their own collections and/or ‘like’ photos. Pinterest’s mission is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting” via a global platform of inspiration and idea sharing. Pinterest allows its users to share ‘pins’ on both Twitter and Facebook, which allows users to share and interact with a broad community. (Information sourced from Wikipedia)

Here is a brief tutorial to get you started.

Pinterest is now the 3rd most popular social network site in the world, and ecommerce stores can leverage its popularity to significantly increase traffic and sales, according to Shopify.   Shopify is an e-commerce platform that allows individuals and businesses to create online stores.  They have over 25,000 on-line merchants using their platform.  Nice sample size 🙂

Merchants care about moving product, making money and driving customer loyalty.  They want us to buy stuff.  Pinterest started as a pin board but now many of those pins come with price tags that enable you to click and buy the item you might be pinterested in (See what I did there).  Here are a couple of examples.

So all you have to do is click on the price and you are taken to the site where you can purchase the item.  Do people do this?  You bet they do.  Check this out.

$80 bucks per average order.  More than all of the big players.  Impressive.

The world of e-commerce continues to change.  Check out the rest of the infographic at http://www.shopify.com/blog/6058268-how-pinterest-drives-ecommerce-sales

Enjoy the day.

Webman

The Social Party

We hear a lot about social media these days.   It has now become fully woven into the fabric of our society.  People use it to post something they like, breaking news, share an opinion, post pictures, lifelines and of course video.  Businesses use it to promote their products, to improve their customer service, to “crowdsource” product development, to run sweepstakes and to create a direct line of communication to their customers.  Politicians use it to raise money, tell you about why they are the best candidate, why you should vote for them or identify the location of their next rally or speaking engagement.  Job seekers use it to network, identify who might be connected to their target companies and to manage their professional brand.  When you watch a traditional newscast on TV, they now have segments about what Mary from New Hampshire tweeted or what was trending on Facebook.  Think about how pervasive this really has become.

This social stuff has really become a part of our every day life.  Hey, not that you were not social creatures before, but what has changed is the shear scale of your social networks.  Friends from the neighborhood, school, business, your gym, your kids sports teams, neighbors, folks that you don’t know at all.  Whenever you engage in social media you are broadcasting.  You are your own television network, radio station, website, billboard and e-mail.  You could name your channel WARMY (For my man Armand), WPUP (For the Pup), WMAY (For the Maysek’s); you get it.

Here are some interesting fun facts from Hubspot (www.hubspot.com) showing some interesting changes in our behavior – Folks are spending 7 hours and 46 minutes on average per month on Facebook.

Anyone remember My Space?

Looks like men can tweet and watch TV!  (They are probably eating as well – Can you say multi-tasking?)

We are very social creatures and we are becoming more social.  Where does anyone find the time?

Have a great day.

Webman

Pinterest – Go Visual!

Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Linked In, YouTube, Google+…the list of social networks vying for your attention is already long and continues to grow.  Everyone wants your time; they want to connect you to all of the folks in your life; they want you to share all of your experiences with as many people as possible.  These companies make it really easy as you can post to Twitter, Facebook, Linked In and many of the others from just about every article you read, picture you view, video you watch, text you send and thought you might have.  OK, we already have enough of these options, do we really need another? Yes you do, Pinterest 🙂

In a nutshell, Pinterest is an infinite bulletin board for your favorite pictures and interests.  When I was young I had a pin board in my room for the important things like news articles, pictures, sayings, news clippings, etc.  Same thing, just totally digital and really easy to do.  Best of all you can now share your interests (Get in PIN INTERESTS!) with anyone you want, not just the people that stop by your home.  Geez, I think I just dated myself a bit.  OK, I am coming clean here.

Pinterest is a social network that allows users to visually share, curate, and discover new interests by posting (AKA ‘pinning’) images or videos to their own or others’ pinboards (i.e. a collection of ‘pins,’ usually with a common theme) and browsing what other users have pinned. The social network is focused on lifestyle, allowing you to share your tastes and interests with others and discover those of like minded people. The social network’s goal is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.” Users can either upload images from their computer or pin things they find on the web using the Pinterest bookmarklet.

As with most other social networks, users can perform standard social networking functions such as following the boards of their friends, liking and commenting on other users’ pins, re-pinning content to their own boards, sharing others’ pins on Facebook and Twitter or via email, and even embedding individual pins on their website or blog.  Here are some images from the Webman’s Pinterest pagesI am just getting going so the cupboard is still a bit bare.  Their search engine sucks right now but I am sure that will get better.


Pinterest still operates under an invitation-only basis. That being said, you can request an invitation from Pinterest.  Visit www.pinterest.com, click ‘Request an Invite,’ and enter your email address to be notified when you have access to create your account. Or you can ask a friend who already has a Pinterest account to invite you.

If you are interested in learner more about Pinterest please read more by accessing the following Hubspot article: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/31147/The-Ultimate-Guide-to-Mastering-Pinterest-for-Marketing.aspx#ixzz1l4tEVJvA

Pinterest is fun, easy and full of incredible ideas, concepts, sayings and inspiration.  Check it out when you can.  You might just find yourself using some of those other social networks a lot less.

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.

Have a great day.

Webman

Linked In – You Got Questions?

As many of you know Linked In is the place to be for connecting with business people.  As I am an early adopter of many technologies/capabilities, I received an e-mail from Reid Hoffman, Linked In’s CEO and Founder when they passed the 100MM member mark.  It was a very nice touch.  Here is what I received from Reid:

“I want to personally thank you because you were one of LinkedIn’s first million members (member number 145247 in fact!*). In any technology adoption lifecycle, there are the early adopters, those who help lead the way. That was you.”

Sweet, I an number 145,247 and now the community has over 135MM members and growing.  I use Linked In aggressively for any number of business networking activities such as folks changing positions, important business news, plugging into new groups for learning and knowledge.  I was fortunate enough to have a Linked In professional provide me with some counsel on the best words to use for search results, layout etc. so that folks can easily find what they are looking for.

Today we see these images everywhere, but if you want to network your career Linked In is the place to be.  Well, we do not see the last one everywhere yet, but the Webman predicts this will be the next big social idea, Pinterest.  More on that in an upcoming blog.

Many folks ask me how to better use Linked In.  My friend Martha is always asking this question “Hey, I signed up, so now what do I do?” And yes fans, she may be a bit naive to Linked In but she has all the other attributes we look for – fun, smart, low maintenance, loves football and smokin hot; yup a 5 tool playa!

I came across a terrific infographic that does an awesome job of providing the Linked In Boot Camp basics.  Here is a quick summary for you and a link to the great infographic from Column Five.

  • Complete your profile
  • Connect with everyone you can – More is better
  • Customize your URL and websites
  • Spice up your image
  • Recommend others
  • Join groups
  • Add your company’s profile
  • Optimize your search results
  • Add applications

Here is a link to the infographic – http://columnfivemedia.com/work-items/mindflash-infographic-linkedin-boot-camp-basic-training-for-the-personal-marketer/

Linked In is great.  Use it to gain advantage and stay focused on the value and benefits.

Let me know what you think about this blog by commenting below.

Enjoy the weekend.

Webman

Blurring of the Lines!

My friend DaCoacha is now retired, living the life.  He is a regular reader of the Webman’s blog and as he tells me he has time on his hands to do what he wants to do when he wants to do it.  DaCoacha is not worried about the life/work balance because he has put a check in the work box and can now solely focus on the things he likes to do with the people he likes to do them with.  I can regularly find him on Facebook after many years of being disconnected.  A very good thing, by the way, as we can find and locate the many people that we grew up with and reconnect in some way after so many years.  Would not have happened without the technology.

Many of you have teenage children or have observed their behavior of being constantly connected.  They will have friends over let’s say to watch a movie.  While watching they will constantly be on the ready with the phones, waiting for the little bell or ding to go off, identifying a new rather important to them text, tweet, Facebook post, e-mail or some other form of incoming information.  They immediately respond to the news, regardless of whether they are in a conversation with a friend or just watching the movie.  My favorite is when they are actually texting the people they asked over to watch the movie, when they are in the same room!

I have an on-going debate with one of my daughters over what I call “obsessive texting”.  She says, “Dad, I am just going to text so and so to see how he or she is doing.”  Seems harmless enough right.  I have then observed her actions over the course of the day and she will still be texting with that person, still finding out how they are doing.  How long does it take to find out how someone is doing?  A 10 minute conversation?  Asking them to come over to hang out and talk?  No, finding out how someone is doing has now taken the form of 500 text messages to determine how he or she is doing.  When I ask the question, the answer is, “Oh dad, she is fine.”  500 texts for that?  Geez.

Communication has been changed forever by technology.  There certainly is no going back.  The question is how can we all utilize these capabilities in a way that does not cause us more stress, where we can truly connect with the people we enjoy, love and admire.  Where we can learn the things we not only need to learn but want to learn?

Let me know your thoughts on this topic by posting your comments below.  More to come this week.

Webman