February 28, 2011

Zynga Using Facebook Game FrontierVille To Hype Johnny Depp’s New Movie

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Zynga starring Rango - In Game PromotionZynga, maker of the popular Facebook game FrontierVille has announced that they are now using an in-game cameo to promote Johnny Depp’s upcoming game Rango which hits theaters this coming weekend.

Starting today, players are told to find Rango. Players must ask their friends for 10 water buckets and then view a trailer of the movie, at which point they will receive a Rango statue to put on their homestead.

The promotion of movies isn’t a new gesture on the part of Zynga, they have also promoted The Green Hornet and Megamind but at least this time the movie they are promoting fits in a little better with the time period of the games theme.

Promoting products via social media games is becoming increasing more lucrative, with 19 million people actively playing FrontierVille, an estimated 9 million people took part in the Megamind promotion alone, a number equal or greater to the number of individuals who would have seen a commercial for the movie during primetime broadcast of a popular TV show. read more

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How to Build Trust With a New Blog

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These days blogs are spreading like wildfire across cyberspace. Finding a way to make your blog stand out from the masses takes some work. When launching a new blog to promote your company, it’s crucial to develop a positive, trusting relationship with your readers. The following are a few simple guidelines that can help you use your blog to build a trustworthy reputation.

Do:

1. Maintain a professional voice in your writing to establish credibility.
2. Determine a target audience and write specifically for your readers. If you consistently relate to your audience, then you’re providing a sense of reliability.
3. Create traffic to boost your searchability and increase your blog’s perceived validity.
4. Adhere to advertising rules and terms of service if you subscribe to a blog provider.
5. Research background information for every post you write to add credibility to your blog’s content.
6. Cite trustworthy that can lead readers to other legitimate online information that relates to your industry.
7. Make your blog as interactive as possible by encouraging participation from your readers and nurturing a relationship with your audience. read more

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February 27, 2011

LinkedIn Debuts Company Search, Brings Professionals Closer To The Social Graph

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Shortly after filing for an IPO, LinkedIn has announced its extensive company search tool which will bring professionals more information about the companies their colleagues work at and allow them to connect with other businesses.

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Sharing Is Liking: Facebook Like Buttons Replacing The Share Feature

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Facebook LogoSince the advent of Social Bookmarking, share buttons have reigned supreme and have made sharing content much easier. As Social Networks evolved so did their share buttons. Facebook is taking a new step in how sharing is defined by retiring its share button and replacing it with the new like feature.

Facebook has introduced a new update to its like button which changes how content creators and users interact. The first major update is how a liked story is shared: a thumbnail, title and blurb are posted to your stream and will be prominent to your friends. Comments and additional likes are now supported to encourage friends to discuss a story or piece of interesting content via Facebook.

How liked stories are displayed on your wall

The goal of Facebook’s improved like button is to promote content and make it more visible amongst friends. The addition of friends being able to like a story and comment it will give content publishers more reason to consider using Facebook if they want more conversations generated.

By redefining how the share button works, Facebook is hoping to increase exposure of great content and promote the social validation associated with someone in your network liking something. The share button will be supported by Facebook but the new like button will be the future of content sharing.

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February 25, 2011

BuddyPress Releases Update, Now WordPress Friendly Again

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For those of you not squeamish with the idea of hosting your own social network, you’ll be glad to hear that BuddyPress has released a new update which should make the DIY social network compatible with WordPress 3.1.

This release backports a few important fixes from the currently in-development 1.3 version of BuddyPress to play nicely with the new and very much improved WordPress network administration interface. We’ve also updated the bundled version of bbPress from 1.0.2 to 1.0.3, which addresses a few issues that do not effect BuddyPress directly.

Every effort has been put into supporting both WordPress 3.0 and 3.1 with this release to make updating your sites as painless as possible, so this should be another worry-free update! (Official BuddyPress Blog)

For those of you unfamiliar with BuddyPress, it’s basically a DIY social networking software that empowers you to host and build your own community without having to hire a developer to build one from scratch.

WordPress fans can easily activate BuddyPress by installing the official plugin, and users desiring to customize their social network further have hundreds of BuddPress plugins at their disposal (not to mention the option of creating more).

Do you use BuddyPress? If so, what are your favorite features and (more importantly) what features should the BuddyPress team add to improve it?

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Why Do Bad Internet And Social Media Marketers Thrive?

The Internet and to an extent Social Media can do wonders. Being able to connect with anyone instantly whether you’re starting a revolution or selling something has it pros but another benefit afforded to us is transparency. Data is not only readily available but can be quickly transmitted. Combining these two should be able to tell us who’s good and bad at what they do – namely marketers – but time and time again there are always people being promoted who have no skills to back them up. Why do they thrive online?

For this post I’m going to focus on Social Media and Internet Marketers but let me preface this by saying I’ve met people who excel at whey the do and put quality before dollars. But there are some bad internet marketers out there. How do you define some as a bad marketer? I’ve got a few definitions but I tend to categorize them as people who put profit before results and because of their lack of knowledge are forced to take shortcuts to deliver less than stellar results.

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Google Mobile Search Now Has Filtering Options For Mobile Places Results

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Google Mobile Search

Google search users partaking in the company’s iPhone and Android apps now have the option to arrange business results by star rating, distance and only businesses that are open at the time of the search (great for that late night snack).

Users can choose to use a variety of filter results, for example you could find a 4 star restaurant that’s open at 10pm in Chicago.

Along with the mobile search filtering results users can also check out images, while bigger map view buttons have been added and users can use one click button pushing to call a business right from the results.

The feature is live and you can try it out for yourself by going to google.com from your iPhone or Android device and then clicking on the “Places” link right at the top of the page. read more

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How Do You Use Social Media Marketing?

Working with Internet Marketers and so called Social Media Experts has taught me a few things about how companies use new media. Being immersed in the day-to-day operations of using Social Media for a variety of uses has me wondering how other companies are connecting with people.

This being The Blog Herald I wanted to start an open discussion on your experiences with Social Media Marketing – the good, the bad and the ugly.

I’ve been intrigued by not only companies and brands using Social Media but the agencies powering their online campaigns. I’ve seen varied approaches that have worked or brought stress to the staff leading to a marketing meltdown. I’ve also run in to the bad side of Social Media Marketing but there good people out there doing great things, enough to make up for the lousy guys.

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February 24, 2011

Visualize Your Social Network With New LinkedIn Tool

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LinkedIn Visual AppLinkedIn on Thursday sent out an email that provides a new web app that allows users to view which users changed jobs or updated their profile in 2009, 2010 and in the first part of 2011.

You may recall that the visualization tool was e-mailed to members towards the beginning of 2011 and provided just 2010 stats information, apparently it was so successful the company wants members to enjoy it’s benefits all the time.

The program works by providing a collage of profile updates with headshots of each person in the collage, click on a persons picture and you are taken directly to that person’s profile.

According to LinkedIn principal software engineer Dhananjay Ragade, the idea for the mosaic page was chosen during a LinkedIn hack day, which occurs “one day a month when everyone is encouraged to play with new technologies and come up with something creative.” read more

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Google Improves Content Through Search With “Big Algorithmic Improvement”

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Google does not take a stance on what content it displays through search results. Content curation is something the search engine company staunchly opposes as it would dramatically alter the quality of its search results.

However, recent news reports of black hat SEO techniques have forced the company to rethink its search engine algorithm.

Google has been making preparations to improves its search engines results which would punish content farms and those that deliver poor quality content while capitalizing black hat SEO techniques.

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