Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Three Excellent Web 2.0 Resources

Looking for help with your Web 2.0 development and marketing efforts? Check out these valuable resources.

First, the helpful folks at the FontShop have assembled an extensive compilation of Web 2.0 typeface, logo, design and website examples. As they point out with regard to Web 2.0 design, "There is no official standard for what makes something 'Web 2.0', but there certainly are a few tell-tale signs...characteristic among these brands is their appearance. Web 2.0 sites nearly always feel open and friendly and often use small chunks of large type. The colors are bright and cheery — lots of blue, orange, and what we jokingly call the Official Color of Web 2.0: lime green." Many of the sites are also, not surprisingly, Web 2.0-related; blogging, tagging, photo sharing etc. They also link to Ludwig Gatzke's even larger Web 2.0 logo collection here.

Second is InfoPirate's Search Engine for Social Bookmark Services. This listing of 53 social bookmark sites (BlinkList, Digg, RawSugar, etc.) is among the most complete I've seen. Oddly, the list links aren't live -- a minor disappointment -- and somehow Reddit was missed, but this is a helpful collection nonetheless.

Third, with the era of "websafe colors" long over, graphic designers are able to make website colors exactly match styleguide specs. Color Schemer lets you enter RGB values and get the matching hex code (or vice versa) -- a very useful term when your designer has something more specific than "lime green" in mind.

Paul Dunay has put together an amusing list of the Top 10 Lame Excuses for Not Adopting Web 2.0. The resources above give you three good reasons not to need Paul's list.

*****

Terms: web 2.0 design resources, FontShop, Ludwig Gatzke, web 2.0 logos, typesfaces, colors

The web marketing news and resources portal: WebMarketCentral.com

The B2B IT go-to-market and lead generation specialists: KC Associates

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

Labels:


KudoSurf Me!
Add to Technorati Favorites
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Insight24 - YouTube for B2B Podcasts and Video?

Webcasting and rich media producer ON24 is beta testing a new portal / directory site for B2B webcasts, podcasts, corporate videos, and online demos called Insight24. With content in over 30 business and technology categories, Insight24 has been called "YouTube for B2B podcasts, webcasts etc." but the better analogy might be that it's KnowledgeStorm for online audio and video.

Insight24 allows companies to freely upload podcasts, corporate video and other rich media assets into a categorized, searchable directory. It enables businesses to leverage and increase the ROI of their rich media investments, and virtually any type of rich media, from any source (not just ON24 clients) can be uploaded. The site also provides an RSS feed to keep registered users up to date on newly added content.

Although Insight24 is likely to attract some viewers as a destination site, the real value to businesses that take advantage of this will be through exposure on syndication partner websites. That's where the KnowledgeStorm analogy comes in: as KnowledgeStorm provides value to businesses by syndicating white paper and case study content to its 250 or so content partners (including Computerworld, InfoWorld, Informati0nWeek and BusinessWeek), Insight24 will provide a similar service for online video, podcasts and webcast content. This is likely to be the revenue model as well, eventually charging content providers for leads (registrations) generated by the content.

It's an interesting model, and one likely to work well for ON24, provided they are able to lock in high-quality syndication partners. It won't turn the company into the next YouTube, but they may become the KnowledgeStorm, Bitpipe, TechTarget or TechRepublic of rich online media.

*****

Terms: On24, Insight24, YouTube, KnowledgeStorm, Bitpipe, TechRepublic, TechTarget, podcasting, webcasting, online video, rich media portal

The B2B website marketing portal: WebMarketCentral.com

The B2B technology PR and lead generation specialists: KC Associates

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

Labels:


KudoSurf Me!
Add to Technorati Favorites
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

How to Write a Web Marketing Plan - Part 1

Many companies struggle to implement a comprehensive web marketing strategy. They may be running some Google and Yahoo search ads, but even for these programs, keywords, bids, ad content and landing pages are frequently not optimized.

Part of the reason is a shortage of practical models. That's now been partially remedied with the addition of a page on How to Develop a Web Marketing Plan on WebMarketCentral. This outline is loosely based on the Six Pillars of Internet Marketing blog. Although the Six Pillars model is one of the best available, it does have some shortcomings. For example, it fails to start with the most basic element of all: building an effective website. Also, affiliate marketing is overplayed (this is important in online retailing, but a small component of B2B web marketing strategy).

Helpfully, however, the Six Pillars model includes interactive PR as a key element; this is an important but challenging area for many PR agencies, let alone small to midsized companies. Only a handful seem to really get it, including Blueliner in New York (the folks behind the Six Pillars model), Racepoint (Boston and San Francisco), Kinetic Results (New York and Dallas), and KC Associates (Minneapolis). The TopRank SEO Blog has one of the best pieces written on this topic.

Stay tuned...

*****

Terms: web marketing plan, web marketing strategy, interactive PR, Blueliner, Racepoint, Kinetic Results, KC Associates

The Internet marketing strategy portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

Labels:


KudoSurf Me!
Add to Technorati Favorites
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button

Thursday, March 08, 2007

New Blog, Old Tool

A couple of quick items:

First, Mike Schultz, co-founder of the Wellesley Hills Group and publisher of RainToday, is now writing his own blog. The Services Insider Blog is focused on marketing and selling professional services. Topics of recent posts include successful cold-calling, prospect targeting, lead generation, and the proper use of CRM systems. Services Insider is a cleanly structured, thoughtfully written, carefully researched must-read blog for anyone involved in professional services sales or marketing.

Second, GoogleFight is a tool mentioned here previously in my post on e-words vs. ewords. GoogleFight is a great tool for determining which of two terms is most commonly used in web writing. For example, I used it recently to check "dropshipping" vs. "drop-shipping" vs. "drop shipping" (the last variant is the most commonly used -- by a wide margin).

But my nine-year old became curious about the little stick men fighting on the screen as I did my GoogleFight search and wanted to try it himself. Turns out GoogleFight is not only an easy and practical tool to determine the popularity of terms for writing, but can also be an amusing time-waster, providing all manner of trivial and worthless data! For example, who gets more web mentions, Luke Skywalker or Darth Vader? (Darth Vader "wins" this fight.) Brittany Spears or Lindsay Lohan? (Not even close: Britanny, by a roughly 7 to 1 margin). Hillary Clinton or John McCain? (Hillary by about 9 to 5). Okay, Hillary Clinton or Anna Nicole Smith? (The late Anna Nicole, by more than 3 to 1; I don't even want to ponder what that says about our culture.)

Finally, Mike Schultz or Seth Godin? Seth wins -- but it's closer than you probably think.

*****

Terms: Mike Schultz, Wellesley Hills Group, RainToday, Services Insider Blog, professional services marketing, GoogleFight, John McCain, Seth Godin

The web marketing and B2B lead generation portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

Labels:


KudoSurf Me!
Add to Technorati Favorites
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Book Review: Made to Stick


Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath explores why some ideas "stick" in our consciousness while others are never understood in the first place and are quickly forgotten. The authors cite two examples early in the book, from opposite ends of the political spectrum, to illustrate stickiness: Ronald Reagan's "It's morning again in America" and James Carville's "It's the economy, stupid" (proving that sometimes stickiness is more a matter of luck than brains).

Still, the authors attempt to both define the common characteristics of sticky ideas, and prescribe methods to make ideas sticky. The result is not only philosophically interesting, but a practical guide for marketers in trying to make their messages stick in an increasingly over-promoted marketplace.

As the Blogcritics review of the book points out, however, the book is not solely aimed at marketers, but also at teachers, politicians, parents, and anyone else who wants their ideas to make a lasting impact: "The Heaths have put together six principles on what makes a concept 'sticky,' i.e. memorable. They are: Simplicity, Unexpectedness, Concreteness, Credibility, Emotions and Stories. That's right, SUCCESs." The review from the Practice of Leadership blog explains these six principles of stickiness in greater detail.

Ted Boardman's brief review helpfully points out the "Curse of Knowledge" described in the book: the natural human tendency for people with deep expertise in a particular subject to forget that often their audience doesn't share that level of knowledge, which leads to the creation of overly complicated and detailed messages that don't resonate or stick.

Finally, as Gail Whitcomb notes in her review on Amazon: "The principles of stickiness are examined--an unexpected outcome, lots of concrete details that we remember, emotion, simplicity, and credibility--all packaged in an easily told story format...Exercises, checklists, and other tools are sprinkled throughout the book to help the reader understand and test how stickiness can be applied to their ideas."

*****

Terms: Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive And Others Die, Chip Heath, Dan Heath, book review, Blogcritics, The Practice of Leadership, Ted Boardman, Gail Whitcomb

The Internet website advertising portal: WebMarketCentral.com

Minnesota-based, exclusively B2B IT lead generation and PR agency: KC Associates

Contact Tom Pick: tomATwebmarketcentral.com

Labels:


KudoSurf Me!
Add to Technorati Favorites
AddThis Social Bookmark Button
AddThis Feed Button

eXTReMe Tracker